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  • Posted: Aug 30, 2021
    Deadline: Sep 23, 2021
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  • 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 transparen...
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    Northeast Connection - Support Existing and New Early Warning Detection Systems

    Background

    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.

    Purpose

    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.

    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.

    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.

    reased 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. 

    • 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.

    1. 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.

    1. Award Information

    2. Estimate of Funds Available and Number of Awards Contemplated

    Subject to the availability of funds, Northeast Connection plans to three awards 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.

    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.

    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. 

    1. Eligibility Information

    2. 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.

    • Cost Sharing or Matching

    Cost sharing is not required under this funding opportunity.

    1. 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.

    The Complete RFA Can be Found on Google Drive

    Method of Application

    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.

    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 protected] prior to the date of the conference.

    Location

    Venue 

    Date and Times

    Yola

    Duragi Hotel

    5/7 Gibson Jalo Way, 

    Along Army Barracks Road, Jimeta Yola, Adamawa State

    8/31/2021 9AM – 4PM

    Damaturu

    Summit Hotel

    Plot 129 NEP/85 GRA Layout, Damaturu, Yobe State

    9/03/2021   9AM – 4PM

    Maiduguri

    Grand Pinnacle

    Jimna Road, Pompomari Byepass, 

    Maiduguri, Borno State

    9/07/2021   9AM – 4PM

    Applicants will be asked to submit an Activity Concept 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 [email protected], 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.

    Northeast Connection will accept Activity Concepts via the following methods:

    1. Email to [email protected] 

    2. Electronically via its online grant’s management portal, which can be accessed at the following link: https://smart.fluxx.io/

    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.

    The Complete RFA Can be Found on Google Drive

    Note: Never pay for any training, certificate, assessment, or testing to the recruiter.

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