PLEASE NOTE CHANGE IN CLOSING DATE FROM JUNE 13, 2005 TO JUNE 14, 2005. THANK YOU.
MONGOLIA POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS AND PROCESSES
Issuance Date: May 11 2005
Closing Date : June 14, 2005
Closing Time : 12:00 noon (Manila time)
SUBJECT: RFA 438-05-001
Mongolian Political Institutions and Processes (MPIPs)
The U.S. Agency for International Development is seeking applications for a 3-year Cooperative Agreement with an organization for funding a program on making Mongolian political institutions and processes more competitive, effective and transparent.
The areas to be addressed are:
1) Elections that reflect the will of the people.
2) Parliament made more effective, responsive and accountable.
3) Capacity of civil society to fight corruption increased.
Non-profit and for-profit organizations are encouraged to send in their applications. It must be noted that USAID does not award fees under assistance instruments. All reasonable, allocable and allowable expenses, both direct and indirect, which are related to the program and are in accordance with applicable cost standards (22 CFR 226, OMB Circular A-122 for non-profit organizations, OMB A-21 for educational institutions, and Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) Part 31 for for-profit organizations) may be paid under the assistance instrument.
Subject to the availability of funds, USAID/Mongolia expects to award one or more Cooperative Agreements under this RFA with a total USAID funding of $500,000 a year for three years or $1,500,000 for the period.
Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the US Government nor does it commit the Government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application. USAID reserves the right to reject any or all applications received. USAID reserves the right to award a grant to any, all or none of the applications received. Furthermore, USAID reserves the right to determine the level of funding for the awards.
This RFA and any future amendments are available at http://www.fedgrants.gov/ and at http://www.usaid-ph.gov/.
Please address any questions concerning this RFA to Mabel De La Torre, Office of Regional Procurement, USAID/Philippines, 8/F PNB Financial Center, Pres. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd. Pasay City 1308, Philippines. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. She can be reached at telephone nos. (63)(2) 552-9800 or (63)(2) 552-9900 and fax no. (63)(2) 551-9297.
William E. Reynolds
Office of Regional Procurement
The objective of this program is to make Mongolian political institutions and processes more competitive, effective, and transparent.
Mongolia has had a successful transition to democracy since its peaceful revolution in 1990. Prior to that time, the country had a communist government with strong ties to the Soviet Union. But, since 1990, Mongolia has held several free and fair elections: three presidential elections, four parliamentary elections and four local elections.
The Mongolian People?s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) is the most dominant and well-organized party and can be characterized as reformist in its approach as it has transitioned away from its communist roots. The Democratic Party (DP) and other, smaller parties are less well-organized, but have held power through coalitions in the State Great Hural (Parliament).
The months after the most recent Parliamentary elections, held in June 2004, tested the durability of the democratic process. By all accounts, the country has in most respects passed the test -- so far. In the two months following the election, member seats were contested, recounts for some seats were conducted, and a de facto grand coalition government between the Motherland Democracy Coalition (MDC) and the MPRP was formed after weeks of stalemate.
This solution, however, remained stable for less than four months. In late December 2004, the MDC disbanded due to factional in-fighting within one of its coalition partners (the Democratic Party). The de facto grand coalition between MDC and MPRP ceased, and Prime Minister Elbegdorj, a member of the Democratic Party who took office in September, now remains in his post only through the support of the MPRP caucus. Through the entire process, however, the political parties and their members abided by the rule of law and generally accepted institutional rules and norms (although there has been considerable debate about what the laws mean and about which rules and norms to follow).
One sign that democracy is taking hold was the increased capacity of Mongolians to carry out and monitor the last election. Poll watchers were trained and several thousand poll watcher manuals with election rules and regulations were published. Election observers reported seeing the manual in use in virtually every precinct they visited.
The State Great Hural (SGH) is the supreme governing institution according to the Mongolian Constitution. The SGH is a unicameral governing body and makes and passes all laws. The president has veto powers, but the SGH can override vetoes. Its members are elected from single member districts through first-past-the-post electoral procedures. The central administrative office of the SGH is the Secretariat. The Secretariat has traditionally been very influential in the legislative process, primarily through the vetting of bill language though its large staff. It is also involved in the scheduling of votes, rulings on legislative procedure, and general administrative duties. Processes within the Secretariat are generally considered to be closed, unresponsive and unaccountable.
The Parliament is also organized according to several standing committees. In May, 2004 the SGH passed the Parliamentary Procedures Law which strengthened the capacity of the standing committees to legislate. More specifically, the legislation allows the standing committees to draw up their own rules of procedure and to have the staff and resources to legislate and hold open hearings. Advocates of this legislation hope that it will open the legislative process and make it more effective, responsive and accountable. The new Parliamentary Procedures Law, however, still has not yet been fully implemented.
Another area of growing concern is the problem of corruption. Transparency International recently ranked Mongolia 85th out of 145 countries in their Corruption Perception Index, as compared to 43rd out of 99 countries in 1999. This represents a significant increase in the perception of corruption in Mongolia. Reports and surveys completed in the past confirm that the public has believed that corruption is a serious issue and that corruption has affected a host of public institutions.
There are, however, some signs that an indigenous non-governmental movement to combat corruption is developing. One recent initiative was a public demonstration against alleged Parliamentary corruption by a variety of groups. Nevertheless, the capacity of civil society to fight corruption is not well developed in Mongolia. There is a general lack of knowledge by citizens about their rights and responsibilities with respect to corrupt activities. The capacity of indigenous anti-corruption non-governmental organizations to promote transparency, hold the government accountable, and help combat corruption also needs development.
USAID/Mongolia?s Strategic Objective in this sector is to further more effective and accountable governance in Mongolia. This is to be accomplished by making political institutions and processes more competitive, effective, and transparent. Applications under this RFA should clearly demonstrate how the proposed activities would assist USAID/Mongolia to achieve the following ?intermediate results?:
1) Elections reflect the will of the people:
Assistance leading to this result should be designed to ensure that upcoming Mongolian elections reflect the will of the people.
Possible activities could include, but are not limited to, the following: support for the credible administration of elections; the development of an impartial electoral framework (e.g., laws and regulations, including campaign finance reform and disclosure laws, governing elections); informing and motivating citizens/voters about the election and important issues; fostering the participation of women and historically disenfranchised groups; and monitoring and/or observation of the election process by local organizations (e.g., poll watcher training and poll watcher manuals in response to possible changes in election laws).
2) Parliament made more effective, responsive, and accountable:
Assistance leading to this result should be designed to ensure that the State Great Hural increases its effectiveness, responsiveness, and accountability to the people it serves.
Possible activities could include, but are not limited to, the following: continued reform of standing committee structure, staff and processes within the SGH (e.g., by helping the SGH to complete implementation of the Parliamentary Procedures Law passed in 2004); continued decentralization of Secretariat authority; efforts to promote greater transparency of the legislative and budgetary process; development of a legislative research capacity and/or improvement of the SGH?s capacity to draft and analyze new legislation; development of legislative constituent services; improvement of the Parliament?s capacity to oversee the executive branch of government; and the enactment or further implementation of government ethics legislation.
3) Capacity of civil society to fight corruption increased:
Assistance leading to this result should be designed to ensure that the capacity of Mongolian civil society to combat corruption is strengthened.
Possible activities could include, but are not limited to, the following: public education campaigns; education campaigns to school age children; development of the organizational capacity of indigenous anti-corruption NGOs; and the development of citizen complaint and advocacy mechanisms.
The criteria presented below have been tailored to the requirements of this RFA. Applicants should note that these criteria serve to: (a) identify the significant matters which applicants should address in their applications, and (b) set the standard against which all applications will be evaluated. The relative importance of each criterion is indicated by the number of points assigned, of which 85 points are possible for technical and 15 points for cost with a possible total of 100 points. The technical applications shall be evaluated by a review committee of USAID/Mongolia representatives and others, as deemed appropriate.
The selection criteria are:
1) Illustrative Program Approach [30 points]
The application should demonstrate innovativeness, flexibility, pragmatism, and creativity in the overall approach to attain project outputs and achieve results, within the timeframe of the project. The application should clearly articulate an analysis of potential obstacles, risks and problems that could be encountered during project implementation, and the feasibility of the proposed solutions for addressing the identified problems. Moreover, the application should outline the merits of the Applicant?s approach to ensure that project results can be sustained after completion of the three-year implementation period.
2) Strategic Fit [15 points]
Demonstration that the program and/activities for which funding is requested will make a recognizable, significant and measurable contribution toward achieving the objectives and results detailed in the Program Description. The application should outline realistic indicators to monitor and assess the success of the proposed interventions.
3) Institutional Capabilities, Staffing, and Past Performance [25 points]
The application should demonstrate the knowledge, capability and long term experience of the Applicant in the design and implementation of donor-funded democracy and governance projects. More specifically, the Applicant should demonstrate these qualities in accordance with the ?intermediate results? detailed in Section C.III upon which the proposed project will focus. Moreover, professional staff should demonstrate competencies and experience necessary for the implementation of the proposed project.
4) Innovation/Gender and Diversity [5 points]
The applicant must demonstrate that products, services and delivery methodologies are innovative and will benefit all potential beneficiaries, regardless of sex or social status. The technical application should identify how the applicant will ensure broad access to services and products.
5) Exit Strategy [10 points]
Clear and reasonable demonstration on how the results expected of this project will be sustained following the end of the proposed award.
6) Cost Considerations [15 points]
a. Cost effectiveness and realism. Are the budget estimates realistic for the proposed activities? Do the budget allocations result in optimal use of program funds and ensure that there are sufficient resources to achieve the results of the proposed program activities?
b. Completeness and adequacy of proposed budget information.
c. Level of cost sharing proposed.
For the full RFA announcement, please visit http://www.usaid-ph.gov/.
Who can apply:
Nonprofits Having A 501(C)(3) Status With The IRS, Other Than Institutions Of Higher Education
Other Private Institution/Organization
Private Institutions Of Higher Education
Private Nonprofit Institution/Organization (Includes Institutions Of Higher Education, Hospitals)
Eligible functional categories:
USAID Foreign Assistance for Programs Overseas
RFA 438-05-001 Mongolian Political Institutions and Processes
If you have problems accessing the full announcement, please contact:
De La Torre, Ma. Belinda
If you have problems accessing the full announcement, please contact:
Agency for International Development, Overseas Missions, Philippines USAID-Manila