Creative Associates International provides outstanding, on-the-ground development services and forges partnerships to deliver sustainable solutions to global challenges. Its experts focus on building inclusive educational systems, transitioning communities from conflict to peace, developing sustainable economic growth, engaging youth, promoting transparent elections and more. Creative is recognized for its ability to quickly adapt and excel in conflict and post-conflict environments.
Creative Associates / Northeast Connection hereby requests for Application (RFA) to:
Title: Request for Application (RFA) to Support Existing and New Early Warning Detection Systems
Locations: Yola, Adamawa, Damaturu, Yobe and Maiduguri, Borno
- Through this RFA, the Northeast Connection (NE Connection) seeks your assistance to implement activities in support of the program description provided in “Section A of Attachment 1”.
- The program description in this RFA may be updated periodically to account for any adjustments in program strategy.
Attachment 1: Request for Application (RFA)
A.) Program Description
- Northeast Connection (NE Connection), implemented by Creative Associates International on behalf of USAID, aims to strengthen the resilience of communities vulnerable to violent extremist infiltration and conflict.
- The activity targets communities in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) states to mitigate the grievances that make communities vulnerable to violent extremism, while building social cohesion within and across communities in northeast Nigeria.
- In addition to helping northeastern Nigerians create a stronger foundation and become more resilient to violent extremist organization (VEO) infiltration and conflict, the NE Connection will help develop local capacity to respond to emerging threats and vulnerabilities.
- In the Northeast Nigeria, conflict management and security governance rely on a complex and overlapping set of agencies that are often poorly coordinated and lacking strategic direction due to the prevailing conflict and the existence of many ungoverned spaces occasioned by years of persistent insurgency.
- This has prevented effective early warning and response systems and community groups are now considered in the best position to detect early warning signs and report to the relevant agencies.
- Under this RFA, NE Connection, via grantees, will empower civil society organizations (CSOs), community-based organizations (CBOs,), local government, traditional institutions, and community-based women and youth groups to respond to emergent VEO threats and conflict risks by training them to detect VEO/conflict risks, what to do with the information, and to whom to transmit it for immediate response.
- This RFA seeks to increase the number of functional early warning/early response (EW/ER) platforms and exchanges across Wards in the BAY states.
- The effort seeks grantees to design and implement activities that support the above goal and the key objectives outlined in “Section 4” below.
- Through a competitive grant process, NE Connection will award multiple grants to three (3) competent local organizations: one (1) in Adamawa, one (1) in Borno, and one (1) in Yobe states. The anticipated geographic scope for each state includes:
- Borno State: Maiduguri metropolis, Jere and Biu LGAs – 6 Wards
- Yobe State: Damaturu and Potiskum LGAs – 4 Wards
- Adamawa State: Demsa, Mubi South, and Mubi North LGAs – 6 Wards
- The context of this intervention assumes that each LGA and focal Wards will be at different stages of development of EW/ER platforms and will have various levels of understanding, resources and needs to enable effective early warning.
- The awardees are expected to propose activities that primarily help NE Connection identify and better understand what EW/ER platforms currently exist at the community and Ward-levels within the target Wards and support community leaders to establish new Ward-level EW/ER platforms where they are absent.
- According to the needs of each Ward, grantees are also expected to: a) Engage community leaders and key interest groups in dialogue to improve functioning of EW/ER platforms; b) Enhance feedback loops across the community, and c) Sensitize and train local leaders, stakeholders, and volunteer platform members in focal communities on EW/ER platforms and how to cooperate with security actors.
- The NE Connection program will directly procure EW/ER support items such as whistles, flashlights, umbrellas, raincoats, rubber boots.
- As a part of the activity, the grantee is expected to work closely with the NE Connection team to determine the types and quantity of items needed in their target communities and then distribute these items to the appropriate EW/ER platform members.
- In addition, NE Connection will procure one motorcycle per ward and the motorcycles will be stationed at an agreed central point in each of the wards to be utilized essentially for conveying emergency EW/ER messages to critical points.
- The grantee will support NE Connection in identifying the traditional or community leader who will serve as the central focal point, designing a management and maintenance plan to ensure the motorcycle is accessible and used for the purpose of early warning and response engagements.
- This assistance will improve the communities’ local capacity to respond to VEO risks and prevent infiltrations.
3.) RFA Theory of Change
If we strengthen existing and new EW/ER platforms, equip youth with training and tools, and increase coordination among important stakeholders,then the coordinated and strengthened EW/ER platforms would have the capacity to mitigate violent conflicts and other forms of VEO advances in the focal communities.
4.) Purpose & Objectives
- Overall Purpose: Increase the number of functional early warning/early response platforms and exchanges across communities in the BAY states.
Objective 1 (Increased Capacity) – To build the capacity of members of EW/ER platforms to understand and identify VEO/conflict risks:
- Expected Result 1.1: Increased capacity of members of EW/ER platforms at the Ward level to identify and analyze early warning signs of VEO/conflict risks.
- Expected Result 1.2: Increased capacity of CSOs/CBOs, local leaders, stakeholders and volunteer platforms to support communities/Wards to implement EW/ER systems.
- Expected Result 1.3: Ward-level EW/ER platforms supported with tools/items to increase the sustainability and efficiency of the platforms.
Objective 2 (Increased Collaboration) – To increase collaboration between CSOs, CBOs, communities, local government officials and security actors to respond to EW/ER signs of violence:
- Expected Result 2.1: Ward-level EW/ER platforms are expanded to include all appropriate interest groups.
- Expected Result 2.2: Feedback loops across communities within the target Wards are established and/or strengthened.
5.) Illustrative Activities
- The proposed activities for this RFA should be guided by the Theory of Change (ToC) and RFA objectives. Grantees are encouraged to propose activities that are applicable to their proposed geographic locations and previous experience.
NE Connection has prepared the following illustrative examples of the types of activities that grantees could propose to implement under this grant, they include but are not limited to:
- Map existing community and Ward-level EW/ER platforms in focal Wards and identify existing gaps.
- Organize dialogue sessions to bring key leaders and stakeholders together to discuss current challenges, gaps and needs for EW/ER platforms and identify ways to solve them.
- Where EW/ER platforms do not exist, establish Ward-level EW/ER platforms that involve all interest groups.
- Design workshops/ sensitization activities to help community leaders to understand the value of EW/ER platforms.
- Identify ways to link EW/ER platforms with LGA and relevant security agencies for efficient reporting and response.
- Ensure EW/ER platforms are gender sensitive, culturally appropriate and acceptable to operate in the particular community.
- Organize community-based training on VEO/conflict risks, EW/ER platforms, and countering violent extremism for local leaders and volunteer platform members in focal Wards.
- Develop/adapt a training package that provides key modules and handouts for communities to understand various response options and techniques of generating local resources for EW/ER
- Advocate with traditional institutions to improve engagement with community members and deepen understanding and integration of the EW/ER platforms to drive the process for ownership and sustainability.
- Develop a user-friendly and simple EW/ER monitoring form/checklist that will be based and managed by stakeholders.
- All activities implemented under this RFA will follow COVID-19 protocols, including but not limited to, the mandatory use of non-medical face masks and limiting sessions to a maximum of 20 people.
6.) Draft Output and Outcome Indicators for this RFA
- # of EW/ER (formal and informal) platforms identified
- # of Ward-level EW/ER platforms strengthened
- # of Ward-level early response platforms created
- # of community members trained on identifying and reporting early warning signs (disaggregated by gender and age)
- Percentage increase in knowledge of community members trained on EW/ER
- Percentage of target stakeholders reporting an increase in coordination between CSOs, CBOs, communities, local officials and security actors to analyze and respond to early warning information
- Number of target stakeholders reporting an increase in coordination between CSOs, CBOs, communities, local officials and security actors to analyze and respond to early warning information
- # of EW/ER motivation and sustainability support tools/items distributed across communities
- # of actions taken by Ward-level EW/ER response platforms in response to early warning information
- Percentage of target stakeholders reporting an increase in responses facilitated by early warning information
- # of advocacy actions taken by communities under this activity.
- # of incidences reported and acted on by relevant security agencies.
B.) Award Information
1.) Estimate of Funds Available and Number of Awards Contemplated
- Subject to the availability of funds, Northeast Connection plans to threeawards under this RFA – one in each state.
- The estimated value of each individual award in Borno and Adamawa is up to 15,000,000.00 NGN and the Yobe award is estimated to be up to 10,000,000 NGN. A negotiated award amount may or may not fall within this range.
- Furthermore, Northeast Connection is not obligated to issue awards/an award up to the amount of funds available.
Northeast Connection reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted.
2.) Period of Performance
- The estimated start date will be upon signature of award, on or about October 1, 2021. The anticipated duration of Northeast Connection’s support is 6-9 months.
3.) Award Mechanisms
- Northeast Connection’s final determination on award mechanism will be based on its assessment of the applicant’s capacity and risk prior to award. If this assessment identifies weaknesses or deficiencies that call into question the applicant’s ability to manage an award, Northeast Connection may elect to remove the applicant from consideration or select a mechanism more appropriate for the applicant’s current capacity.
- The most common award mechanisms issued by Northeast Connection are fixed amount awards (FAAs) and in-kind awards. Under FAAs, payments are performance based and issued to an awardee after its successful completion of pre-defined programmatic milestones. Under in-kind awards, Northeast Connection: a) makes payments on behalf of the awardee and/or b) procures/delivers goods and services on behalf of the awardee.
- Northeast Connection also may elect to issue a cost-reimbursable award to an awardee in instances when: a) the applicant demonstrates sufficient financial management capacity to implement this mechanism and b) the mechanism is determined to be appropriate for implementing the program description.
C.) Eligibility Information
1.) Eligible Applicants
To be eligible for award under this opportunity, an applicant must demonstrate that it falls into one of the grantee categories below:
- A registered civil society organization
- Be registered and working in compliance with all applicable civil and fiscal regulations, including, but not limited to, pertinent local laws and status (for example evidence of registration with the National Planning Commission, Corporate Affairs Commission, State Emergency Management Agency (Yobe & Adamawa), or Agency for the Coordination of Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Activities (Borno).
- In lieu of official registration, a grantee may show proof of effort to secure registration, exemption from registration, or show cause why such registration is either not optional or practicable.
- Proof that the entity or organization is not a debarred organization.
- Individuals and governments are not eligible to apply.
2.) Cost Sharing or Matching
- Cost sharing is not required under this funding opportunity.
3.) Limit on Number of Applications
- An eligible organization may submit only one application. Please note that issuance of this RFA does not in any way obligate Northeast Connection to pay for costs incurred by a prospective applicant to prepare and submit an application.
D.) Application & Submission Information
1.) Content and Form of Activity Concept Submission
- As a first step, interested applicants are requested to submit an activity concept. Each concept will be evaluated in accordance with “Section E” below.
- An applicant whose concept is accepted will be required to submit technical and cost applications for funding.
- The concept must be submitted using the template provided in Attachment 2, which provides instructions on the required content and format.
- An applicant not adhering to these instructions, risks being considered nonresponsive to the requirements of the RFA and eliminated from further consideration.
- All information must be submitted in English. If an application is in any other language, it will be considered nonresponsive and eliminated from further consideration. Finally, plagiarism is grounds for disqualification.
2.) Submission Guidance and Assistance
- Northeast Connection may provide guidance to an applicant while it prepares an application.
- However, when such guidance is offered, Northeast Connection’srole is limited to facilitating the application process, ensuring that proposed activities contribute to the program objectives stated in “Section A”, and co-designing/creating activities with the applicant.
- Actual preparation of the technical and cost applications is the strict responsibility of the applicant.
F.) Award Administration Information
- Reporting requirements (including a reporting schedule) will be provided in the award document for any award resulting from this RFA. The specific reports required will depend on the award type and project duration; however, examples may include the following:
- Monthly Report(s) with activity updates for the reporting period, photos of project activities, challenges encountered during implementation, activities planned for the next reporting period, etc.
- Final Program Report including lessons learned, success stories, any impacts achieved vis-à-vis the funded project’s goal and objectives, etc.
- Financial Reports including planned obligations, actual expenditures, funds remaining, etc. as well as a detailed Final Financial Report.
- Please note that issuance of final payment will be contingent upon Northeast Connection’s receipt and acceptance of the Final Financial Report and/or Final Program Report. For Fixed Amount Awards (FAAs), final payment is also contingent on the completion of the final milestone and acceptance of its deliverables/means of verification.
- Any income generated under a grant awarded through this solicitation must be reported immediately to the program’s Grants Department and will be evaluated and negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Attachment 2: Activity Concept Template
Interested applicants may obtain a full copy of the RFA and Activity Concept template, which includes detailed instructionsby (a) Google Drive here(b) making a written request to Grants Team at: email@example.com, or when you log in to the program’s SMART grants portal (https://smart.fluxx.io/).
Attachment 3: Provisions
Standard Provisions for U.S. Nongovernmental Organizations:
Standard Provisions for Non-U.S. Nongovernmental Organizations:
Standard Provisions for Fixed Amount Awards to Nongovernmental Organizations:
Attachment 4: Certifications
Conflict of Interest Avoidance Certificate
- When signing a grant agreement with Northeast Connection, a successful applicant’s authorized representative will also be required to sign a certification affirming that the entity she/he represents (the Grantee) does not have any conflicts of interest pertinent to the award. Such conflicts would include, for instance:
- Personal or professional relationships with entities that could directly benefit from the award;
- Personal or professional relationships with other staff persons involved in administering the award;
- Personal or professional relationships with government officials that may have influence or oversight of matters directly pertaining to the award;
- Holding formal or informal positions in organizations that would be relevant to the award;
- Holding any financial interest in any entity that would be impacted by the award.
- By virtue of the Grantee’s actions in carrying out the award, the authorized representative’s certification will affirm that she/he would endeavor to ensure that conflicts of interest or their appearance do not arise, understanding that such conflicts of interest would arise when there are situations in which the Grantee is involved in multiple interests (financial, personal, or otherwise) that could be conceived of as corrupting the motivation of herself/himself or the Grantee in the discharge of duties pertinent to the award.
- Should such real or perceived conflicts arise, the authorized representative’s certification will affirm that the Grantee will immediately inform the Chief of Party of the project with which the award is associated to discuss the matter.
B.) Other Certifications
- When signing a grant agreement with Northeast Connection, a successful applicant will be required to sign the Certifications, Assurances, Representations, and Other Statements of the Recipient referenced here: https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/303mav.pdf
Application Closing Date
23rd September, 2021.
Method for Application
Northeast Connection will accept Activity Concepts via the following methods:
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Electronically via its online grant’s management portal, which can be accessed at the following link: https://smart.fluxx.io/
Important Information and Notice
- Applicants are encouraged to use the online portal as it significantly reduces administrative burden for both the applicant and Northeast Connection.
- If the applicant would like to submit its application via the online grant’s management portal, but has not previously registered in the portal, it must complete an initial registration form, which can be found at the following link: https://smart.fluxx.io/apply/connection. After Northeast Connection reviews and validates the form, the applicant will receive an email with its username and password.
- Regardless of the submission method chosen, an applicant should retain for its records one (1) copy of its application and all enclosures that accompany it.
Registration Requirements for U.S. Government Funding
- To be eligible for award under this solicitation, a non-U.S. NGO applicant may be required to obtain a valid Duns & Bradstreet number (DUNS). Information regarding DUNS registration can be found at: http://www.dnb.com/get-a-duns-number.html.
- The program will notify non-U.S. NGO applicants of DUNS requirements where applicable.
- A U.S. NGO applicant must provide a valid DUNS number, be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) before submitting its application and continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has:
- An active award with the U.S. Government or
- An application or plan under consideration by the U.S. Government or a U.S. Government implementing partner. Information regarding SAM registration can be found at: http://www.sam.gov
- Northeast Connection will not issue an award to an applicant until it has complied with the applicable requirements.
- As the registration process may take several weeks to complete, applicants are encouraged to register early.
- Please note that completion of an early registration does not constitute any commitment on the part of Northeast Connection to make an award.
- An applicant that receives an award under this RFA is responsible for ensuring that it only incurs post-award costs that were approved and determined to be allowable, allocable, and reasonable by Northeast Connection during pre-award negotiations.
- Furthermore, Northeast Connection will not reimburse a successful applicant for any costs it incurs prior to the date it signs a grant agreement with Northeast Connection.
Questions & Answers:
- Any questions concerning this RFA should first be directed to the Northeast Connection representative assigned to the applicant. Alternatively, please direct questions to the “Grants Department” via email at: email@example.com
- A Pre-Application Conference will be held for interested applicants at: Yola, Adamawa State on 31st August, 2021; Damaturu, Yobe State on 3rd September, 2021; and Maiduguri, Borno State on 7th September, 2021 at 9:00 AM each day to explain the program description and application submission requirements as stated in this solicitation and answer any related questions.
- Due to space limitations, no more than 2 representative(s) may attend the conference on an applicant’s behalf.
- For planning purposes, interested applicants are requested to provide the name(s) of their representative(s) (no more than 2) to the “Grants Department” via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the date of the conference.
- All interested applicants are encouraged to participate in the conference; however, attendance is not required to apply for funding in response to this RFA.
Application Review Information
Application Review Process:
- An applicant’s Activity Concept application will be reviewed by Northeast Connection’s senior program staff to ensure that the activities proposed contribute to the program objectives in Section A above.
- During these reviews, the applicant may be requested to submit a revised application and/or respond to clarifying questions.
- However, Northeast Connection reserves the right to award without requesting clarifications or additional detail in an application.
- The Chief of Party or authorized delegate makes the final decision on all awards made under the RFA.
- An apparently successful applicant must first demonstrate that it possesses or has the ability to obtain the necessary management competence to practice mutually agreed upon methods of accountability for funds and other assets provided.
- To this end, the applicant may be required to submit additional information about its organization (e.g., Articles of Incorporation or other documentation substantiating the legal character of the applicant or key individuals within its organization) for vetting purposes.
- Final issuance of an award will be contingent upon the timely receipt of the information requested and the successful completion of the Program’s vetting process and pre-award capacity and risk assessment.
- Northeast Connection will complete the pre-award capacity and risk assessment while the applicant’s technical and cost applications are in review. The results will be used by Northeast Connection to make a responsibility determination and, if a decision is made to proceed with award, select the appropriate award mechanism.
Conflict of Interest
- Throughout the evaluation process, Northeast Connection will take every step to ensure that Northeast Connection staff do not have any conflicts of interest or the appearance of such with any organization/individual submitting an application in response to this RFA.
- An individual shall be considered to have the appearance of a conflict of interest if that individual or that individual’s spouse, partner, child, close friend, or relative works for, is negotiating to work for, and/or has a financial interest (including being an unpaid member of a Board of Directors) in any organization that has submitted an application for review by Northeast Connection.
- Northeast Connection staff shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from any applicant.
- NE Connection will host three Pre-Application Conferences throughout the BAY States for this RFA. The dates and times for the conferences are below and more information can be found in Section D of Attachment 1. For planning purposes, interested applicants are requested to provide the name(s) of their representative(s) (no more than 2) to the “Grants Department” via email at email@example.com prior to the date of the conference.
|Location||Venue||Date and Times|
5/7 Gibson Jalo Way,
Along Army Barracks Road, Jimeta Yola, Adamawa State
9AM – 4PM
Plot 129 NEP/85 GRA Layout, Damaturu, Yobe State
9AM – 4PM
Jimna Road, Pompomari Byepass,
Maiduguri, Borno State.
9AM – 4PM
- Applicants will be asked to submit an ActivityConcept directly to Northeast Connection using one of the following methods: a) electronically via the online grants’ management portal (https://smart.fluxx.io), or b) electronically via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org to the attention of “Grants Department.” Applications must be received no later than the deadline stated above.
- Eligible and responsive applicant(s) will be invited to proceed to the next stage, which applicants will co-design/create with NE Connection to complete full technical and cost applications. Awards will be made to eligible and responsible applicants whose proposed activities best meet the program objectives.
- To be eligible for award, an applicant must meet the eligibility requirements described in “Section C” and submit complete applications in accordance with the submission instructions described in “Section D”.
- Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award commitment on the part of NE Connection nor does it commit NE Connection to pay for any costs incurred by a potential applicant while preparing/submitting an application. All preparation/submission costs are at the applicant’s expense. All applications submitted are at the risk of the applicant.
- AIDAR clause incorporating 22CFR Part 228 prohibits NE connection from procuring any good/services that support police and other law enforcement activities. Therefore, acceptance of grant applications that support or work with security agencies is contingent on:
- USAID approval, and
- The applicant providing all documentation and information requested by NE Connection for the Leahy vetting process.
- Thank you for your interest in this opportunity.