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 focusing on the synthesis and dissemination of evaluative research and learning materials for the democracy and rights community.


Disseminating Evaluative Approaches, Evidence, and Learning: Ensuring that rights-based approaches are effectively disseminated and contributing to informed debates and application in democracy, human rights and governance (DRG) programming. Applicants should demonstrate how they will identify and share evaluative approaches, evidence, and/or methodologies with the DRG community. Through dissemination, applicants should aim to ensure that practitioners and evaluators have information that is accessible; in turn, leading to improvements in how DRG programs are designed, implemented, and evaluated.
Illustrative activities may include, but are not limited to:
  • Producing and disseminating publicly available materials that outline research and evaluative approaches, evidence, and learning. Materials should document how DRG practitioners, human rights defenders, civil society, beneficiaries, and evaluators can use the highlighted approaches, evidence, and learning to improve activities, strategies, and funding. The dissemination of materials may include researching new methods or effectively disseminating existing methods; however, all information must be shared in ways that are accessible to practitioners.
  • Contributing to publicly available journal articles, reports, briefs, toolkits, manuals, frameworks, or other deliverables. Activities may include, but are not limited to, disseminating findings through in-person or virtual meetings, conferences or briefings, and/or publications; advocating for the use of these approaches to better inform national and international agendas on foreign assistance and human rights; and organizing learning exchanges.
DRL encourages academic-practitioner partnerships. Applicants should focus on topics and areas that are in line with DRL’s scope of programming. The aforementioned objectives and activities are illustrative; proposals do not need to copy the language of the listed objectives or include all aforementioned activities. Focal areas are provided solely to indicate a subset of interest areas for consideration. DRL would like to encourage innovative, contextualized, and locally-driven concepts. Any platform developed should ensure that local understandings, approaches, and voices in beneficiary communities can inform funder program design and approaches. Thus, applicants who do not address the stated focal areas, but provide alternatives they feel are necessary in responding to the stated objectives, will not be penalized nor disqualified from the competitive process.

Where appropriate, competitive proposals may include:

  • Opportunities for beneficiaries to apply their new knowledge and skills in practical efforts.
  • Solicitation of feedback and suggestions from beneficiaries when developing activities in order to strengthen the sustainability of programs and participant ownership of project outcomes.
  • Input from participants on sustainability plans and systematic review of the plans throughout the life of the project with adjustments made as necessary.
  • Inclusion of vulnerable populations.
  • Joint identification and definition of key concepts with relevant stakeholders and stakeholder input into project activities.
  • Systematic follow up with beneficiaries at specific intervals (3 months, 6 months, etc.) after the completion of activities to track how beneficiaries are retaining new knowledge as well as applying their new skills.

Activities that are not typically allowed include, but are not limited to:

  • The provision of humanitarian assistance;
  • English language instruction;
  • Micro-loans or similar small business development initiatives;
  • Initiatives directed towards a diaspora community rather than current residents of targeted countries

Funding Information

  • Award Ceiling: $300,000
  • Award Floor: $75,000
  • Period of Performance (example 12-18 months, 2 -5 years): 12-36 months

Eligibility Criteria

  • DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment 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. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs.

How to Apply

For all application documents, please ensure:

  • All documents are in English and all costs are in U.S. dollars. If an original document within the application is in another language, an English translation must be provided (please note the Department of State, as indicated in 2 CFR 200.111, requires that English is the official language of all award documents. If any document is provided in both English and a foreign language, the English language version is the controlling version);
  • All pages are numbered, including budgets and attachments;
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper; and, 4) All documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins. Captions and footnotes may be 10-point Times New Roman font. Font sizes in charts and tables, including the budget, can be reformatted to fit within 1 page width.

Applicants can find application forms, kits, or other materials needed to apply on the given website.

For more information, visit Evaluation Innovation Fund.

Name of the Organisation
The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and Labor (DRL)
Grant Amount
USD 3,00,000
Closing date of Proposal
Wednesday, 29 April, 2020
RFP Email
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