Strengthen the Relationship: The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Mission to South Africa of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for Federal financial assistance to support projects that strengthen ties and build relationships between the United States and South Africa. PAS welcomes proposals from South African organizations with a U.S. partner. U.S. organizations may also submit proposals, so long as they have a South African partner. Project Objectives: PAS is seeking proposals that address one or more of the following challenges from a public diplomacy perspective. Public Diplomacy (PD) seeks to promote partnerships and information/knowledge exchange between the Americans and South African publics and institutions to enable more effective, mutually beneficial cooperation with the United States globally, benefitting the U.S. national interest and the national security as well as South Africa. PD aims to identify and fund programs and projects that broaden and deepen dialogue and empower cooperation between American citizens and institutions – including civil society and educational organizations – and their South African counterparts. 1. Adapting to Climate Change and Implementing a Just Green Energy Transition The Challenge: Mitigating and adapting to climate change is a key policy priority for the global community. Climate change is already altering ecosystems, economies, and livelihoods. Floods, drought, and water shortages, driven by climate disruptions, have been severe over the last few years, with parts of the world facing water scarcity issues and others suffering devastating floods. As we move from fossil-fuel based energy production to renewables, livelihoods based on fossil fuels will shift, requiring social safety nets and reskilling to build resilience in these communities. A just transition aims to realize a quality life for those impacted by a transition from fossil fuels to renewables. PAS seeks proposals that will create exchanges of information and experience, as well as partnerships between Americans and South Africans. Projects may generate awareness and promote shared action/collaboration on mitigating and adapting to climate change. Projects may also facilitate the response to the evolving climate crisis with an emphasis on identifying shared challenges and solutions in implementing a just transition to green energy sources. Project proposals should identify a primary audience that the project seeks to influence. An audience related to a just energy transition in South Africa might be, for example: vocational students; secondary school or university educators; start-up entrepreneurs; leadership in community organizations; civil society representatives or government officials working on climate and energy issues. While a project may mention or incorporate multiple groups of people, a proposal must identify a single countable primary audience composed of human beings. Proposals should estimate how many people are in the primary audience. Note that short-term impact may lay the groundwork for longer-term outcomes. Priority project areas include: fostering economic opportunity and facilitating a green energy transition; sustainable waste management and recycling; urban and peri-urban clean water solutions; climate change adaptation; or urban gardening and greening. 2. Promoting Equity, Social Justice, and Social Cohesion The Challenge: The Black Lives Matter protests in the United States in 2020 quickly grew into mass protests in the United States and around the world, including Africa. Citizens and civil society organizations raised concerns about social injustice that had manifested as racial violence, economic inequality, and non-inclusive historical narratives. The United States has since seen increases in anti-Black, anti-Asian, and anti-Semitic violence but also efforts by government, business, and civil society to address questions of inequity and discrimination within American society. In South Africa, violent social unrest in July 2021, centered predominantly in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, led to the loss of two million jobs and a substantial contraction in the South African economy. These events have highlighted continued racial and social cleavages within South Africa, raising important questions around social and economic inequality in the current post-Apartheid era. In response to these events, PAS would like to create safe spaces for dialogue and exchange on topics that address equity, racial justice, and social inclusion in an effort to create greater social and economic security for all citizens. PAS seeks proposals that build on shared American and South African goals to promote respect for human rights and advance racial equity, social justice, and social cohesion. Proposals should align with the U.S. Government’s commitment to acknowledge and protect members of marginalized racial and ethnic communities, including indigenous communities, in keeping with White House Initiatives to advance racial equity and the U.S. Department of State’s Equity Action Plan. Project proposals should complement existing equity efforts, particularly those focused on women and girls, as well as LGBTQI+ persons, persons with disabilities, persons belonging to religious minorities, and members of other marginalized communities. Preference will be given to proposals that engage audiences and help them address the existing disparities and unique circumstances faced by members of marginalized communities, including those who experience compounded discrimination due to multiple and intersecting social identities. Proposals should foster dialogue, encourage civic engagement, and increase understanding about the historical injustices in the United States and South Africa to make concrete connections with contemporary applications of the lessons learned from those histories. Project proposals should identify a primary audience that the project seeks to influence. An audience related to the promotion of equity, social Justice, and social cohesion might be, for example: secondary school or university educators; leadership in community organizations; religious leaders; journalists or editors; civil society representatives; or government officials. While a project may mention or incorporate multiple groups of people, a proposal must identify a single countable primary audience composed of human beings. Proposals should estimate how many people are in the primary audience. Note that short-term impact may lay the groundwork for longer-term outcomes. Priority project areas include: Outreach to underscore connections between the struggle for equality of marginalized groups in the United States and South Africa’s liberation struggle; Exploration of the literature, culture, and histories of marginalized groups in the United States with South African audiences; or Facilitation of dialogues and exchanges which increase connections between individuals and communities in the United States and South African committed to increasing equity and social inclusion in both countries, sharing challenges and best practices from contemporary scholarship. Proposals may incorporate use of sport or art that addresses the American experience that is relevant to the South African experience. Competitive proposals will outline how the activities will resonate with South African audiences. 3. A Global Crisis: Trafficking in Persons The Challenge: Through force, fraud, and coercion, human traffickers violate the most basic right of people everywhere to freedom. Traffickers’ exploitative practices negatively impact countries like South Africa and the United States by diminishing and destroying communities, a sense of security, and the global economy. How can we use public diplomacy to combat human trafficking in South Africa, especially in the most at-risk communities? PAS seeks proposals that aim to improve the public’s ability to recognize and report TIP, to identify TIP risk factors, and to reduce demand for labor and sexual exploitation. Proposals should facilitate awareness of and generate grass-roots action on TIP-related issues in South Africa. Proposals should address recommendations in the most recent U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report for South Africa with the goal of increased public knowledge, understanding, and calls for action to prevent this abuse of human rights. Project proposals should identify a primary audience that the project seeks to influence. An audience related to the fight against trafficking in persons might be, for example: members of a vulnerable population (children, LGBTQI+ persons, refugees, migrants, or commercial sex workers); university educators; leadership in community organizations; religious leaders; journalists or editors; civil society representatives; or government officials. While a project may mention or incorporate multiple groups of people, a proposal must identify a single countable primary audience composed of human beings. Proposals should estimate how many people are in the primary audience. Note that short-term impact may lay the groundwork for longer-term outcomes. PAS welcomes proposals incorporating South African government entities as partners. Priority project areas include: Increasing the public’s understanding of trafficking in persons; Increasing TIP awareness among populations vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation; Reducing demand for labor and sexual exploitation; or Increasing the public and civil society’s reporting of TIP offenses and official complicity to appropriate South African authorities. 4. Expanding Cooperation in Higher Education and Vocational Training The Challenge: Universities, colleges, community colleges, and vocational schools are important community institutions in both the United States and South Africa. Economically, they have a role to play in identifying and addressing gaps in skills and other needs. Socially, they can effect positive change in relation to pressing political, social, and economic problems – from youth unemployment to countering gender-based violence to climate change and adaptation. Ties between American and South African institutions should enable societies in both countries to look around the corner at the challenges of tomorrow. PAS seeks proposals that strengthen existing ties and foster new collaborations between U.S. and South African higher education institutions under the University Partnership Initiative (UPI). Proposals should address the option to scale up the scope and reach of the project pending funds availability and should address potential significant involvement by PAS. Collaboration with existing U.S. Mission South Africa programs or alumni of USG-funded exchanges is encouraged. Project proposals should identify a primary audience that the project seeks to influence. An audience related to cooperation in higher education might be, for example: South African university and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students; South African government officials in positions responsible for funding and programmatic decisions linked to South African higher education institutions; Leadership of NGOs working to improve access to higher education and higher education outcomes; Out of school and other historically underserved individuals and groups who can benefit from restored linkages to educational and vocational opportunities; or Administrators of university, TVET, or community education training centers. While a project may mention or incorporate multiple groups of people, a proposal must identify a single countable primary audience composed of human beings. Proposals should estimate how many people are in the primary audience. Note that short-term impact may lay the groundwork for longer-term outcomes. Priority project areas include: Promoting U.S.- South Africa faculty and student exchanges, particularly the development of dual degree programs that have South Africans complete their studies locally and address South Africa’s shortage of qualified academic staff and that facilitate collaboration on addressing shared challenges in the United States and South Africa; Sharing best practices and expertise in curriculum development and aligning curricula to address job market needs and skills gaps; Developing the use of instructional technology to increase access to educational opportunities, including in the context of challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic; Facilitating early-career training for academics; Joint research, especially in agriculture, food security, health, and STEM; Providing training and transfer skills in all aspects of university and TVET college administration through subject-matter exchange programs; Sharing best practices for student recruitment, retention, and job placement while battling misconceptions about the utility of TVET and community college education; or Exploring public-private partnerships, with an emphasis on commercialization, technology transfer, and job creation as well as post-graduate job placement. Proposals should address how relationships between institutions will be sustained after U.S. government-funded efforts end. Proposals that develop linkages between South African technical universities and their American counterparts are strongly encouraged.
Categories: Education, Arts (see "Cultural Affairs" in CFDA), Humanities (see "Cultural Affairs" in CFDA).
Categories: Education, Arts (see "Cultural Affairs" in CFDA), Humanities (see "Cultural Affairs" in CFDA).