Nigeria's next general elections are due in 2011. Nigerian Youth-based NGO's/ for Profit Organizations and the voting youth in general have a key role in ensuring their effective participation in the electoral process and that its outcomes are credible and acceptable to the general populace. Consequently, there is a dire need for social investments in young people to promote active citizenry, to develop tolerance and commitment to peace, justice and human rights in the country. This call avails some opportunities for qualified (on the basis of the set selection criteria outlined below) registered Non Governmental Organizations and for profit organizations that are focused on youth development to access a grant facility for promoting active and constructive participation of the voting youth in the 2011 electoral process under the main theme "Youth for Youth in Support of Peaceful Elections".
The support is made available through a joint donor fund established to provide assistance to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and civil society organizations working on the 2011 elections. Contributors to this fund are the European Commission, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). A Project Management Unit (PMU) runs the project under the leadership of the UNDP.
The objective of youth-based organization's engagement is to enhance active, positive and peaceful participation of all youth, male and female, aged between 18 and 30 years in the 2011 electoral process. Specifically, focused interventions will be supported to achieve the following outputs:
a) The youth are adequately informed to enable them realize and uphold their civic rights and responsibilities.
b) The youth aged between 18 and 30 years are able to register and vote during the 2011 elections.
c) The youth are transformed into peace makers and ambassadors in their communities for the promotion of a conflict free environment during the electoral process.
Obstacles and benchmarks to the success of increasing the positive and constructive youth participation in the electoral process, specific to individual states or geopolitical zones, should be identified and adequately addressed. These may include:
· Addressing the deep sense of apathy about their role in the elections by assuring them that their vote counts.
· Facilitating any technical difficulties related to registering and voting.
· Discouraging and adopting zero tolerance for the use of youth groups for violence by political parties.
· Addressing negative peer pressure and fear of violence and intimidation.
3. Organization's Eligibility Criteria for application
The Organizations that are eligible to submit proposals for grants should meet the following criteria:
- Evidence that they are owned and run by the youth and represent the interests of the youth i.e, they should be youth-based NGO's and for profit organizations.
- Representing a diversity of sex, age and ethnic backgrounds.
- Demonstrated commitment to support the realization of free, fair and credible 2011 elections in Nigeria.
- Be a not-for-profit organization
- Should be registered and operating in Nigeria
- Should have at least 2 years of experience
- Should not be affiliated to any political party
4. Eligibility of proposals
The following benchmarks will be used as the basis for evaluation of grant proposals by the Selection Committee:
· Have an Office in the geographical area it is submitting the proposal on.
· Bank accounts management by a minimum of three signatories.
· Technical capacity, indicating previous experience of similar work; training resources and other relevant information.
· Innovative and creative proposal with clear 'youth for youth' strategies aimed at increasing youth participation in the electoral process and the promotion of peace. These should be creative enough to accomplish the ultimate goal of increased youth participation in the electoral process. These may include but not limited to ICT, mobile telephoning, music concerts, art, dance, theatre (drama) and sports.
· Realistic budgets that matches the proposal.
· Language capacity to understand the electoral process and conceptualize clearly. Preference will be given to those with strong, youth oriented communication. Proposed activities may be implemented in English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
5. Evaluation and Selection process
A Grants committee will be responsible for evaluating the organizations proposals and submit recommendations to UNDP on successful proposals to be considered for funding using the following evaluation procedure:
Proposals will be evaluated in 4 steps:
· Step 1: Pre-screening of all proposals by the Grants Steering Committee
· Step 2: Technical review by the Grants Steering Committee of proposals considered eligible at Step 1.
· Step 3: Capacity Assessment by UNDP of all applicants whose proposals have been considered eligible at Step 2.
· Step 4: Grants Awards recommendation by the Steering Committee based on results of steps 2 and 3.
5.1 Pre-screening of proposals by the DGD (Step 1)
This first step will consist of checking the administrative responsiveness and/or eligibility of proposals based on the following checks:
- Was the application submitted within the required deadline?
- Was the application submitted in the required format?
- Was the application submitted in the correct language? (Proposals will be written in English)
- Are the requested documents duly attached?
- Is the application computer-typed? (hand-written applications will not be accepted)
- Is the applicant part of the 'eligible organizations' as per defined organizations eligibility criteria?
- Is the requested funding within the specified range?
- Is the duration of the proposed project in line with the time frame set out in the call for proposals?
All proposals considered non eligible on the basis of above mentioned criteria will be rejected at this stage. Proposals considered eligible will undergo further evaluation (Step 2).
5.2 Technical review of proposals by the Grants Steering Committee (Step 2).
All proposals considered eligible at Step 1 will be reviewed and evaluated by the Grants Steering Committee. Assessment of proposals at this stage will be based on areas in Table 1. The review will include checking that budgets are reasonable, realistic and in line with all activities proposed in the work plan.
Table 1: Evaluation criteria and allocation of points:
· Nature and depth of youth ownership – (5)
· Understanding of the tasks to be performed - (10)
· Creative and innovative youth to youth activities –(10)
· Appropriateness and effectiveness of methodology –(5)
· Outreach and expected level of impact, including gender balance – (10)
Project Implementation Plan (PIP)
· Identification and coverage of all programmatic and administrative areas of proposed project - (15)
· Appropriateness of timelines - (7)
· Alignment of the PIP in relation to set goals and objectives of the proposed project – (8)
· Knowledge of strategies and youth issues in relation to 2011 electoral process. - (5)
· Training personnel available in the Organization - (5)
· Familiarity with basic monitoring tools –(5)
· Relevant and realistic performance indicators –(5)
Budget and Cost effectiveness
· Budget compliance with regard to reasonable allocation of direct and indirect costs – (5)
· Rationality of the budget in relation to the implementation of the proposed activities – (5)
All proposals that do not obtain the minimum score of 60% will be rejected at this stage. All proposals that pass the minimum score of 60% will be considered for Capacity Assessment (Step 3).
5.3 Capacity Assessment of the organizations' whose proposals have been considered eligible at step 2 (Step 3)
The DGD will conduct on-site visits of short-listed organizations with the aim of assessing their organizational and financial management capacity. Criteria and points allocation are summarized in the table below:
Table 2: Capacity Assessment Criteria and allocation of points:
ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY ASSESSMENT
Organization's governance structure in place with distinct board and executive management
A youth Organizational Structure in place and appropriate to the kind of work to be carried out
Organizational Policies established and in place
FINANCIAL CAPACITY ASSESSMENT
Existence of proper accounting procedures
Existence and application of appropriate internal controls
Budgeting, reporting and auditing
Financial policies established and in place
TOTAL FOR CAPACITY ASSESSMENT
The capacity assessment will result in a rating of short listed organizations, which will provide input for the final appraisal and selection. The level of risk will be one major determinant factor in selecting a proposal for funding. All applicants whose capacity assessment result falls below 60% will be rejected at this stage; those obtaining above 60% will be further considered for final appraisal.
5.4 Grants Awards by UNDP (Step 4).
Based on the results of the technical review of Proposals and capacity assessment of short-listed applicants, the Grants Steering Committee will make final decisions on the allocation of grants based on:
- Competitive scores from Step 2.
- An equitable geographical balance.
- Level of risk from the capacity assessment in Step 3.
Even if a proposal may satisfy the evaluation criteria, the selection Committee reserves the right to refuse to fund any particular proposal if there is a need to balance the allocation of grants across the country.
6. Scope of Work
In order to realize the project objectives and generate expected outputs effectively, the project intends to involve Youth-based Organizations for implementing various activities in respect of the 2011 elections, for a period of five months from January to May 2011, as follows:
· Provision of awareness raising programmes to the youth population to empower them to realize and uphold their civic rights and responsibilities. This will be achieved through the use of youth friendly information and communication technologies and face to face youth interactions to reach out to most of the voting population, male and female, including those in the rural communities.
· Mobilization of most youth aged 18 to 30 years to register and vote wisely during the 2011 elections. This will be achieved through specially designed information and education campaigns that are youth friendly.
· Transforming the youth and empowering them to become peace makers and peace ambassadors in their communities of residence for the promotion of a conflict free environment during the electoral process.
· Encouraging the youth to resist attempts by other forces to engage them in political hooliganism and to shun the tendency to become perpetrators of violence and conflict before, during and after elections.
· Implement programmes to encourage young people, in their own unique ways, to educate and inspire their communities to participate peacefully and constructively in the electoral process. These activities can be implemented through Internet based media( blogs, twitter, mobile telephony etc), music concerts, art, dance, theatre (drama), sports and other innovative youth activities.
The above activities should specifically address the following key issues:
o The youth have to register if they are to exercise their right to vote in 2011 elections
o Voting is only meaningful if done wisely, basing on adequate information of contesting candidates.
o The youth 'Vote' will count and make a difference.
o Elections can only be deemed free, fair and credible if conducted in a peaceful environment, free of violent conflicts and fear of intimidation.
The Organizations' are required to submit their proposals on all or any of the activities outlined above. The selected Organizations' shall be required to carry out the specified project activities in any States of Nigeria.
7. Duration of Project and implementation modality
The Youth for Youth in Support for Peaceful Elections will be implemented during the electoral period, from January to May 2011. Lessons learnt during this period will inform any future programmes under a similar grant facility.
This initiative is strictly by the youth and for the youth. Implementation modality of Project activities should take cognizance of mediums of communication that are youth-friendly and capable of attracting most youth in the targeted age group. These mediums of exchange should use the following, among other communication tools:
· ICT tools such as Social Media (Face-book, Twitter, Blogs, On-line discussion forums etc), short message service (sms).
· Radio and Television (with strong youth following) and Telephone hotlines.
· Live crowd Pullers such as Concerts, Plays, Dance, Popular outdoor games (football and netball), Street theatres and other forms of artistic and cultural activities.
· Educational tools like direct mail, youth newspapers and magazines, creative advertising in locations like billboards, sports stadiums, sides of buses and trains.
Youth for Youth in Support of Peaceful Elections programmes will be supported through the award of grants to Youth-based Organizations' up to a maximum of US$150,000. Organizations' are therefore requested to ensure that their submissions do not exceed this budget limit.
8. Deadline for submission of proposals
Proposals with budgets should be submitted to UNDP address below with the following additional documents:
- 1. Certificate of Incorporation
- 2. Evidence of Bank Account with a reputable bank.
- 3. Organization's Profile
- 4. Curriculum Vitas for key personnel
- 5. Evidence of completing similar assignments i.e. Job completion Certificates, if any.
Deadline for submission of proposals is 12.30 PM local time on 19th January 2011.
All proposals must be submitted to the following address:
Attention: The Project Director,
Call for Proposal for Grant-
Youth for Youth in Support of Peaceful Elections
4th Floor, Toyota House,
Elizade (Nigeria) Limited,
Opposite Bolingo Hotel,
Central Business District,
The NGO Funding Consultant
SUDESH KUMAR FOUNDATION
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