DRL Lifeline: Embattled CSOs Assistance Fund

Deadline Date: March 12, 2024

Donor Name: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL)

Grant Size: More than $1 million

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support efforts to enable and protect civil society and counter closing civic space.

Programs should specifically:

  • Identify and assess emergency needs of embattled civil society organizations (CSOs) across all regions and types of advocacy that have been threatened or attacked because of their work, vet cases according to pre-established criteria, and provide assistance in a timely and secure manner. Emergency assistance may be provided for needs that could include, but are not limited to: legal representation, appeals, and trial monitoring; medical bills arising from abuse; transportation costs for visiting incarcerated members; replacement of equipment damaged or confiscated as a result of harassment; relocation of staff and/or offices; and security. (50% of program activities)
  • Provide rapid response resiliency grants and direct technical assistance to CSOs, designed to enable the most at-risk CSOs and civil society groups to take preventive action before emergencies erupt. Resiliency assistance should be evaluated on how the initiative impacts the safety of those participating, both over the short and long term, and should fall into two broad categories- community/peer-based initiatives and/or technical assistance. Requests would be funded according to a pre-established criteria based on a framework for the types of interventions that would fall under each broad category should be developed. (25% of program activities)
  • Provide support and short-term assistance to local CSOs for advocacy initiatives which could include, but are not limited to: participation in legislative proceedings; engagement in advocacy with national legislatures and their committees; increased media coverage of FOAA-related issues or laws and/or the advocacy initiative itself; fact-finding and information-sharing missions; and reports on laws or draft laws that adversely affect civil society’s ability to operate. (25% of program activities)
  • Demonstrate it will have the capacity to learn from its experiences in providing this type of assistance to embattled CSOs through the establishment of a robust monitoring and evaluation system.

Funding Information

  • Total Funding Floor: $5,000,000
  • Total Funding Ceiling: $5,000,000
  • Anticipated Number of Awards: 1
  • Period of Performance: 18 months
  • Anticipated Time to Award, Pending Availability of Funds: Immediate

Eligibility Criteria

  • DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be some occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.
  • Applications submitted by for-profit entities may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process. Additionally, the Department of State prohibits profit to for-profit or commercial organizations under its assistance awards.

For more information, visit DRL.

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