USAID Public Diplomacy Grants (Sri Lanka and Maldives)

The U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka and Maldives welcomes grant applications for programs that address key development issues in Sri Lanka and Maldives to strengthen democratic institutions, promote ethnic/religious reconciliation and gender equality, provide sustainable economic growth through entrepreneurship and job skills training, foster media freedoms and promote transparency, strengthen environmental protection, and/or address transnational problems.

Deadline: 30 September 2016

Grant proposals will be accepted in three primary categories based on funding levels. Successful proposals will impact one of the issues highlighted above. In evaluating proposals, emphasis will be placed on the size of the budget, experience of the grantee on implementing programs, and diversity of audiences affected by the program.

Categories of awards:
Category 1: $1000 – $9990: To conduct a series of classes or workshops on one of the key development issues above. Recommended for organizations with experience working in the subject matter but little or no past partnerships with the U.S. Embassy.  Proposals can also include cultural or thematic events or informational products, such as a concert or printed/virtual/online guidebooks. Individual trainers seeking to hold regularly weekly classes or form activity clubs should apply under this category.

Category 2: $10000 – $24900: To conduct extended training for a diverse audience and/or produce material to raise awareness of one of the key development issues above.  Recommended for organizations with substantial experience working in the subject matter and with past successful projects with the U.S. Embassy.  Programs can include broad campaigns to support these development goals, workshops bringing international expertise, and other relevant projects.

Category 3: $25000 – 40,000: To conduct extended training for a diverse audience and/ or produce material to raise awareness of one of the key development issues above.  Recommended for organizations with extensive experience working in the subject matter and past successful projects with the U.S. Embassy and other international donors.  NOTE: This category is highly competitive.

CFP Promoting Reconciliation and Advancing Accountability in Sri Lanka

Promoting Reconciliation and Advancing Accountability in Sri Lanka

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Proposals (RFP) from organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that will support the bureau’s policy priorities of promoting reconciliation and advancing transparency and accountability in Sri Lanka. DRL invites organizations to submit proposals for programs to conduct the following:

1. Advancing reconciliation and cooperation across religious and ethnic lines (approximately $750,000, pending availability of funding): DRL’s goal is to facilitate cooperation across religious and ethnic lines to advance reconciliation so that all citizens of Sri Lanka can live with each other in peace. The bureau seeks proposals that will create opportunities for religious and ethnic groups to come together to promote reconciliation through cross-community communication and initiatives. Program approaches should not be limited to dialogues; activities should include concrete actions to foster intercommunity trust and collaboration. The use of traditional and alternative media to encourage collaboration among diverse communities could also be considered. Strong consideration will also be given to proposals that work to facilitate interaction among communities in the north/east and south.

2. Advancing transparency and accountability and countering corruption (approximately $1,000,000, pending availability of funding): DRL’s goal is to counter corruption and advance transparency and accountability. The bureau’s objective is to strengthen the technical capacity of the Commission to Investigate Allegation of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) so that it can more effectively serve the citizens of Sri Lanka. The program approach should include working with CIABOC to enhance the documentation, processing, monitoring, and resolution of corruption and bribery cases, train staff on effective case management, and assist the Commission to educate government entities, civil society organizations, and the broader public about its work. Activities could include technical capacity building, awareness raising initiatives, as well as procurement of necessary software and equipment.

Amount: Upper  $1,000,000USD Lower $500,000USD
For each program area, proposals that have at least an 18-month timeframe will be viewed more competitively.

Closing date: July 15, 2015

Sponsor:
United States Department of State (DOS)
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL)
Sponsor ID: DRLA-DRLAQM-15-079

Eligibility:
Organizations submitting proposals must meet the following criteria:
– Be a U.S.-based or foreign-based non-profit organization/non-government organization (NGO), or a public international organization; or
– Be a for-profit organization or business, although there are restrictions on payment of fees and/or profits to the prime recipient under grants and cooperative agreements,
including those outlined in 48 CFR Part 30 (“Cost Accounting Standards”), 48 CFR Part 31 (“Cost Principles”), and 22 CFR 145.24(b)(3)(“Program Income”);
3. Have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with thematic partners or in-country partners, entities, and relevant stakeholders including industry and NGOs; and
4. Have demonstrable experience administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on organizations that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards. These applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

Organizations may form consortia and submit a combined proposal. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant.

Applications that request less than the award floor ($500,000) or more than the award ceiling ($ 1,000,000) will be deemed technically ineligible.

S Asia Journalists workshop

South Asia’s Youth at Risk – Multimedia Storytelling by Young Journalists
International Center for Journalists (ICFJ)

Journalists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives are invited to apply to a program that aims to connect 21-30 year old journalists in South Asia for joint reporting projects that will explore topics relating to youth and the risks young people face in the region, while also training the journalists on responsible reporting in the digital age. The program, run by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, has two main components.

ICFJ will conduct a six-week online course for 80 journalists on digital expression. During the interactive course, participants will receive an introduction to in-depth reporting, weekly individual feedback from trainers on story progress, and lessons on Internet and document research. They will also learn interview techniques, how to generate support for a complex story in one’s newsroom, how to harness social media for reporting, and how to plan and execute a story plan and a multimedia package. Participants are required to propose story ideas related to the youth in their countries prior to starting the course so that they can rely on the online training to help them develop their stories for more in-depth reporting. The course will be conducted in four languages: English, Hindi, Pashto and Urdu. Daily translation will allow those of all languages to share ideas with the group.

ICFJ will follow the online course with a five-day conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka that will bring together the 30 best participants from the online course who propose the best projects. The projects will be grouped together for regional cooperation. The groupings will help each of the young journalists report their stories in a more responsible and informed way, and create a lasting change in the journalists’ understanding of one another’s cultures. Through these joint reporting projects, audiences throughout the region will benefit from more nuanced and in-depth reporting on critical cultural, religious and social issues. Project selections will be made before the Colombo conference, giving the journalists an opportunity to plan their reporting together. They will also present their projects to the larger conference group. The conference in Colombo will also include panel discussions, site visits and small group breakout meetings.

To apply for this program in English, click here. Applications are due January 1, 2013.

Joseph Zompetti-Fulbright

Joseph Zompetti
Professor of Communication
Illinois State University

Fulbright to Sri Lanka

My Fulbright was in 1993 to Sri Lanka. I emailed the department of political science at the University of Colombo to arrange collaboration for research on the legacies of colonialism on the civil strife occurring in Sri Lanka. Once I arrived in Sri Lanka, I met with members of the political science department who then helped me locate important libraries, book stores, and individuals to interview for my research. As I was there, the civil war intensified and communication with individuals ceased. Unfortunately, those contacts did not last, and many of the individuals with whom I worked are no longer at the University. Nevertheless, while I was in Sri Lanka, the individuals at the University of Colombo were extremely helpful and welcoming. I strongly encourage anyone interested in Sri Lanka to reach out to relevant departments and introduce themselves to Sri Lankan academics. My experience suggests that the Sri Lankan academics will be more than willing to help however they can.

UPDATE 4/2/16:
Zompetti was also the recipient of a Fulbright grant to travel to Brazil in summer 2015. Zompetti taught at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), located in Belo Horizonte. The Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) allowed Zompetti to teach a graduate course in cultural studies, work in a research consortium and lecture at nearby universities. The experience lasted 35 days.