Creative Associates / Northeast Connection Request for Application (RFA) – Adamawa, Yobe & Borno

Application Closing Date
10th November, 2021; (5:00 PM WAT Local Time)

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.

Applications are invited for:

Title: Request for Application (RFA) to Address Trauma in Northeast Communities

Locations: Yola – Adamawa, Damaturu – Yobe and Maiduguri – Borno

Overview

  • 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

1.) 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 supporting northeastern Nigerians create a stronger foundation and become more resilient to violent extremist organization (VEO) infiltration and conflict, the NE Connection will support in developing local capacity to respond to emerging threats and vulnerabilities.
  • For over a decade, Northeast Nigeria has experienced spate of violent conflict and insurgency leaving over 2.4 million people displaced. The insurgency has inflicted unimaginable psychological trauma on children, men, women and girls, youth, and elderly people in communities across the NE.
  • Many community members have witnessed kidnappings, loss of lives, bombings, death of loved ones, women being sexually abused, girls taken as sex slaves by the insurgents, child soldiering and many more. These traumas have led to the increased movement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) into urban cities and local government headquarters in search of security and humanitarian assistance.
  • Although violence in the BAY states has significantly reduced, attacks by VEOs are still common, particularly in isolated rural communities. Violence associated with VEOs in the northeastern states of Borno and Adamawa have produced large groups of IDPs and have negatively affected community resilience and livelihoods.
  • The activities of VEOs have both psychological and physical impacts on communities. In most cases, support for IDPs and community members focuses on the physical impact of VEO violence (for both people and infrastructure).
  • However, the psychological effects of these challenging conditions can also be profound – not only on individuals displaced but on the entire host communities. There are no or limited coping mechanisms for these IDPs and host community members to deal with trauma and stress – thereby making them vulnerable to conflict or influenced by VEOs.
  • Immediate actions are therefore required to raise awareness on trauma and its effects and provide psychosocial first aid for communities affected by conflict and mass displacement with particular focus on men, women, youths and the elderly.
  • Thus, under this RFA, NE Connection, via grantees, will raise awareness on trauma and its effect, as well as empower community members -including traditional rulers, religious leaders, men, women and youth groups to provide trauma awareness and psychosocial first aid services in Adamawa and Borno states.

2.) Purpose

  • This RFA seeks to respond to the harmful effects of unaddressed trauma by raising awareness about trauma and providing community-based psychosocial first aid services across IDP communities in Borno and Adamawa 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 two (2) competent local organizations: one (1) to implement activities in Adamawa and one to implement activities (1) in Borno. The anticipated geographic scope for each state includes:
    • Borno State: Maiduguri metropolis, and Biu – 4 Wards, 12 communities.
    • Adamawa State: Mubi South, and Mubi North – 4 Wards, 12 communities
  • The selected organization will be expected to raise awareness about trauma. Awareness and trauma-relief-focused activities should enable victims to recognize the various forms and types of traumas, the symptoms, and effects of trauma, and understand how to address it.
  • By raising awareness of trauma, the IDPs and community members should be able to understand what they have gone through and feel more empowered to seek support.
  • The selected organization will also be expected to create peer-to-peer support groups and train community members -including traditional rulers, religious leaders, men, women and youth groups to help victims cope with trauma through local mechanisms, including traditional processes and/or psychosocial support, targeting rescued men, women and youth who have fled violence and have returned to their communities.
  • Creating these community-based resources/support and providing safe spaces will enhance the resiliency of community members and will allow them to regain a sense of control by being able to help themselves.
  • Potential grantees should clarify in their applications how they will select the community members to be trained to provide peer-to-peer support, as well as who the intended beneficiaries of the trauma awareness and psychosocial first aid services are, and how they will adapt to existing local context to ensure sustainability.
  • NE Connection will favor program activities that provide platforms for community members to interact through peer-to-peer activities and awareness campaigns using different approaches. These approaches should allow for the participation of vulnerable groups, especially women, girls, youth and other minority groups.

3.) RFA Theory of Change

  • “If” trauma awareness is increased and safe spaces for community-based psychosocial first aid services for trauma relief are created, “then” community members will be aware of trauma, and their capacity to provide psychosocial first aid will be enhanced.

4.) Objectives
Objective 1 – To raise awareness on trauma through different techniques in target communities:

  • Expected Result 1.1:Increased awareness on trauma facilitated through different techniques in target wards and communities.
  • Expected Result 1.2:Enhanced understanding among community members about the harmful effects of trauma in target communities.

Objective 2 – To provide basic psychosocial first aid services through community-based peer to peer support groups:

  • Expected Result 2.1:Community-based peer-to-peer support groups are established and strengthened through training to facilitate psychosocial first aid across target communities.
  • Expected Result 2.2:Psychosocial first aid activities implemented to support community members address trauma across target communities.

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:
    • Raise awareness on trauma using different techniques.
    • Psychosocial first aid activities on trauma relief
    • Capacity-building activities for community-based peer to peer psychosocial support groups and referral pathways
  • 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:

  • # oftrauma awareness campaigns conducted.
  • # of people reached through trauma awareness campaigns
  • # of community-based psychosocial support groups/platforms formed/strengthened
  • # of community members trained on psychosocial first aid services (disaggregated by gender and age)
  • % Increase in knowledge of community members trained on psychosocial first aid services.
  • # ofpsychosocial first aid activities conducted as coping mechanisms in communities
  • # ofpeople who receive psychosocial first aid services (disaggregated by gender and age)
  • # ofcommunity members attesting to being aware of trauma and its harmful effects
  • # of community members who report trauma-relief as a result of program intervention

B.) Award Information

1.) Estimate of Funds Available and Number of Awards Contemplated:

  • Subject to the availability of funds, Northeast Connection plans to award two grants under this RFA. The estimated value of each individual award in Borno and Adamawa is up to 16,448,700.00 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 November 15, 2021. The anticipated duration of Northeast Connection’s support is 3-6 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, community-based organization, faith-based organizations, and for-profit making organizations.
  • 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 Review Information

1.) 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 contribution 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 details in an application.
  • The Chief of the Party or authorized delegee makes the final decision on all awards made under the RFA.

2.) Pre-Award Assessment

  • 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.

3.) 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.

F.) Award Administration Information

1.) Award Notices:

  • A Notice of Intent to Award will be provided to the point of contact listed in the application of the apparently successful applicant(s). Please note that such notification does not constitute or guarantee an award.
  • 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.

2.) Award Administration:

  • Any award resulting from this RFA will be administered in accordance with provisions provided in “Attachment 4”.

3.) Reporting:

  • 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.

4.) Program Income:

  • 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.
  • Northeast Connection reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted.

Attachment 2: Activity Concept Template

  • Interested applicants may obtain a full copy of the RFA and Activity Concept template, which includes detailed instructions by:

Attachment 3: Provisions

Standard Provisions for U.S. Nongovernmental Organizations:
https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/303maa.pdf

Standard Provisions for Non-U.S. Nongovernmental Organizations
https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/303mab.pdf

Standard Provisions for Fixed Amount Awards to Nongovernmental Organizations
https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/303mat.pdf

Attachment 4: Certifications

A.) Conflict of Interest Avoidance Certification

  • 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 pertaining 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 & 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’s role 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.

3.) Method for Submission:

  • Northeast Connection will accept Activity Concepts via the following methods:
  • 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.

Click Here To Download The Concept Application Template

4.) 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.

5.) Submission Date & Time:

  • Applicants must submit their Technical and Cost Applications prior to the closing date and time listed on the cover page. Applications that are submitted late are at risk of not being considered for review.
  • Late applications are marked as “late.” Northeast Connection reserves the right to accept and include late applications in the review and award process only when: a) Northeast Connection considers it to be in its best interest and b) applications received on time have not yet been opened and reviewed.

6.) Funding Restrictions:

  • 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.

7.) 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: grants@connection-nigeria.com

8.) Pre-Application Conference:

  • A Pre-Application Conference will be held for interested applicants at (Yola – Adamawa State on 15th October 2021), (Damaturu – Yobe State on 21st October 2021), and (Maiduguri – Borno State on 18th October 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) to the “Grants Department” via email at: grants@connection-nigeria.com 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.
Location Venue Date and Times
Yola Duragi Hotel

5/7 Gibson Jalo Way,
Along Army Barracks Road, Jimeta Yola, Adamawa State

10/15/2021

9AM – 1PM

Maiduguri Grand Pinnacle
Jimna Road, Pompomari Byepass,
Maiduguri, Borno State.
10/18/2021

9AM – 1PM

Damaturu Summit Hotel
Plot 129 NEP/85 GRA Layout, Damaturu, Yobe State.
10/21/2021

9AM – 1PM

Note

  • Applicants will be asked to submit an Activity Concept directly to “Northeast Connection” using one of the following methods:
    • Electronically via the online grants’ management portal (https://smart.fluxx.io),
    • Electronically via email at: grants@connection-nigeria.com 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/createwith 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.

Deadline for Questions / Clarifications
25th October, 2021; (5:00 PM WAT Local Time).

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