CALL FOR PARTNERSHIP CONCEPT PAPERS FOR RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC FREEDOM AND INCLUSION IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Agency for International Development
Posted on

Application Deadline

Type

Financial aid

Reference Number

7200AA20APS00016

USAID/Bureau for the Middle East is seeking applications that respond to the President’s Executive Order on Advancing Religious Freedom. In the last decade of the 20th century, the world has witnessed unprecedented levels of displacement and humanitarian crises, some of which are a result of persecution of ethnic and religious minorities and atrocities, including genocide and ethnic cleansing. In 1998, the U.S. codified its commitment to religious freedom through a bipartisan law, the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-292)[1], which states that β€œreligious freedom is an inalienable right for all people, of all faiths or no faith at all” and established foreign assistance programs as one tool to promote and protect religious freedom. The Frank R Wolf Act of 2016 supports assistance to β€œpromote international religious freedom.” The United States Office of the Vice President (OVP) is deeply engaged in programming that supports religious and ethnic minorities. Globally, these minorities are experiencing persecution, displacement, and atrocities such as genocide and ethnic cleansing. U.S. foreign policy recognizes that pluralistic and inclusive societies that are characterized by multi-ethnic and multi-religious groups where human rights are respected are critical to a peaceful world. Ethnically and religiously diverse societies are decreasing over the past few decades as vulnerable communities disproportionately suffer from the effects of instability, conflict, poor economic growth, violent extremism, discrimination, physical insecurity, and weak governance. These factors have contributed to the population decline of smaller and more vulnerable ethnic and religious communities in their own homelands over the past few decades. The intent of this solicitation is to support grassroots local initiatives that will have sustainable and long-term impact. We invite those with creative solutions and partnership ideas to apply. In order to best leverage local knowledge, develop local capacity and ensure local ownership and sustainability, applicants will be required to demonstrate their role as a local partner or how they will engage with local partner organizations, including working with them as sub-partners. Broadly, interventions should work towards achieving the following objectives: ● Addressing government constraints on religious and/or ethnic minorities; Illustrative activities could include, but are not limited to: β—‹ Meeting immediate needs of communities or individuals persecuted as a result of religion, belief, or practice; β—‹ Improving health services and outcomes targeted to at-risk religious and religiously-based ethnic minority populations as a result of mass atrocities, including genocide or ethnic cleansing; β—‹ Providing essential services and reconstruction for communities persecuted as a result of religion, belief, and practice; β—‹ Improving access to training for lawyers specialized in protecting vulnerable or persecuted religious and/or ethnic minority communities; β—‹ Advocating for legal or policy instruments that protect freedom of religion or belief; advocating against restrictive legal or policy instruments that restrict freedom of religion or belief; and β—‹ Promoting democratic participation among religious and ethnic minority populations. ● Addressing social constraints on religious and/or ethnic minorities; Illustrative activities could include, but are not limited to: β—‹ Working with local grassroots NGOs and faith-based organizations to build coalitions to combat xenophobia and advocate for societal acceptance for all community members; β—‹ Developing and refining early warning and response systems that improve protection of at-risk religious and ethnic minority communities; and β—‹ Supporting interfaith, interethnic dialogue to promote community building, religious tolerance, counter hate speech, and disseminate messages of peace. ● Addressing economic constraints on religious and/or ethnic minorities; Illustrative activities could include, but are not limited to: β—‹ Advancing private sector investment and entrepreneurship among religious and ethnic minority communities; and β—‹ Advancing inclusive economic growth, eg. by providing vocational training and fostering leadership skills among religious and ethnic minority communities to help them obtain dignified employment, or improving the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized businesses to improve revenues, create jobs, and bring economic prosperity. ● Addressing education and health constraints on religious and/or ethnic minorities; Illustrative activities could include, but are not limited to: β—‹ Working with local schools to ensure teacher pedagogy and assessments, as well as community outreach, are inclusive of all religious and ethnic groups. Identifying areas in the teaching and learning space where tolerance and inclusion can be modeled and reinforced, whether those opportunities can take place during school hours or in after-school programming.; β—‹ Helping ensure that all forms of primary and secondary education heed the importance of inclusion of religious and ethnic minorities, from the formal school system to non-formal and privately sponsored learning environments; and β—‹ Partnering with Ministries of Education and non-government institutions and organizations on making inclusion of all children and youth, regardless of ethnic or religious background, a priority to improve school culture and the quality of learning. ● Preserving/Rehabilitating cultural heritage sites of religious and/or ethnic minorities. Illustrative activities could include, but are not limited to: β—‹ Educational workshops; β—‹ Public awareness campaigns that promote understanding between communities and that address discrimination targeting segments of the population; β—‹ Community commemorative or similar events; β—‹ Conferences with specific deliverables that will support broad community engagement around interfaith issues; β—‹ Community activities that result from intercultural or interreligious dialogue and partnership; and β—‹ Sustainable community initiatives that preserve heritage while enhancing employability. Through this APS, USAID is prioritizing an approach that will enable USAID to partner with new and under-utilized development actors as described below and in the APS, based on the belief that a larger and more diverse partner base will expand the available ideas, capabilities and networks to address shared development challenges. Any proposed intervention or activity must have an explicit and direct link to the achievement of USAID/Bureau for the Middle East programmatic objectives as defined herein. [1] https://www.congress.gov/bill/105th-congress/house-bill/2431
Categories: Other (see text field entitled "Explanation of Other Category of Funding Activity" for clarification).

More Information

Posted on

Application Deadline

Type

Financial aid

Reference Number

7200AA20APS00016

United States