NOFO: PRC and the Rule of Law

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) from the Institute for War & Peace Reporting’s (IWPR) Information Access Fund

Application Deadline:  5 p.m., March 26, 2021 U.S. Eastern time.

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is a full and open competition.

A.  Program Description

Through the Institute for War and Peace Reporting’s Cooperative Agreement with the Department of State, this full and open competition announcement invites organizations to submit a proposal for funding via a subaward agreement.

This subaward is focused on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and affiliated state and non-state entities’ ties to transnational criminal activity, including, but not limited to: 

  • Illicit drug manufacturing and trafficking; 
  • The manufacturing and trafficking of precursors used to manufacture illicit drugs; 
  • Illegal mining; 
  • Money laundering; 
  • Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing; 
  • Illegal logging and associated trade (ILAT); and 
  • Wildlife trafficking.  

This research should expand policy-makers', civil society's, and media's understanding of the PRC's adherence to international, regional and bilateral conventions, laws and norms when operating outside of mainland China.  Organizations must have the ability to examine PRC messaging efforts and information in multiple languages, including but not limited to Mandarin, French, Spanish, Burmese, Lao, Khmer, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Thai. To better understand the role of the PRC and Chinese actors in adhering to international conventions and norms, organizations must be able to assess whether PRC statements are consistent with open-source analysis of PRC state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and other state and non-state actors’ activities and links to transnational criminal activity.  

The grantee’s work should build upon current open-source assessments of the role that the PRC, state-owned and non-state entities and actors play in both committing and countering transnational crime.  The work should examine the impact of these entities’ actions on local communities, nation-states, and larger regions, potentially including regions such as the Mekong sub-region, Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America & the Caribbean. It should emphasize the extent to which these actions impact broader efforts to reduce transnational crime.  Comparative analysis should also be conducted in examining the role of the PRC in comparison to other major powers' efforts in these areas. The overall research should provide a comprehensive resource for policy-makers, civil society, and media and be communicated in visually compelling and digitally accessible formats, such as a story map. 

Budget:  Estimated available funding is up to $207,000 for one award.

Proposals:  Should be no longer than seven pages  

  1. Proposals should outline submitting organization’s background and expertise to take on this project, proposed research and study plan/treatment, potential data sources, and duration as well as ideas for public roll-out of the final products.  Proposals should include a budget and a budget narrative. Proposals might also consider and include how the research and findings might also be presented and repackaged in accessible ways through various social media platforms to improve their public reach and impact.  In this way, the research and findings may directly reach mass audiences without the need for intermediaries – such as the media.  Target countries and audiences should be identified. This section should constitute no more than five pages.
  2. In addition to the above, all proposals should include a theory of change as well as clear objectives, outcomes, outputs, and activities organized in a logical framework. The theory of change should be a brief if/then statement that describes the change and results the program is intending to achieve. Additionally, some forethought should be given to indicators that will measure the objectives, outcomes, and outputs. When objectives are developed, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This theory of change and logical framework section will constitute no more than two pages.

Length of Project Period:  Up to eight months

Preference will be given to proposals that include providing quarterly updates/drafts of data gathered and analyzed to date.

Project Objectives:

  1. Produce and disseminate a report assessing the PRC's adherence to international conventions and norms and create a repository of examples that evaluate its performance. 
  2. Identify and define relevant rule of law norms, values and statutes.

Project Outcomes:

  • Increased comprehensive data resources available to foreign publics.
  • Better informed discussion regarding rule of law, communications related to rule of law issues, and adherence to rule of law. 

Project Outputs and Required Elements:

  • A publicly available report in English and other relevant languages that includes:
    • An executive summary;
    • Full analysis consisting of at least 15-20 case studies across multiple regions; Infographics illustrating findings.
  • Dissemination and Outreach: the grantee will develop and execute an outreach plan that  includes at minimum two public roll-out events each for different target audiences (ex. different countries, regions, etc.), and could also include briefings, social media promotion, interviews and other public engagements;

B.  Process and Regulations

Any questions concerning this NOFO should be submitted in writing to IWPR via email.  Please address any questions to alan@iwpr.net by 5 p.m., March 5, 2021 U.S. Eastern time. If necessary, answers to any questions will be publicly announced.

To be eligible for the award, applicants must provide all required information.  Applications that are submitted late, incomplete, or are non-responsive risk not receiving full consideration.

All applicants must have a valid DUNS number.

An award will be evaluated based on the requirements of this NOFO. Proposals will be evaluated and scored on the following, with a total 100 points available: Up to 15 points for background/experience, 40 points for proposal quality and responsiveness, 15 points for theory of change and logical framework; 20 points for budget and budget narrative; and 10 points for risk management and contingency planning, (including COVID-19-related restrictions). 

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of IWPR or the U.S. government, nor does it commit IWPR or the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application. IWPR reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted. All preparation and submission costs are at the applicant's expense.  In addition, final award of any resultant grant agreement cannot be made until funds have been fully appropriated, allocated, and committed through internal IWPR and USG procedures.  While it is anticipated that these procedures will be successfully completed, potential applicants are hereby notified of these requirements and conditions for award.  Applications are submitted at the risk of the applicant.  

The successful organization will be responsible for ensuring achievement of the program objectives.  

IWPR will confirm receipt of all proposals and their eligibility.

Application Deadline:  5 p.m., March 26, 2021 U.S. Eastern time.

Principals only. No calls please. Women and minorities encouraged to apply. Only those who have been selected for interviews will be contacted. IWPR will never ask for payment for recruitment.

This position description is not an exhaustive list of all functions that the incumbent is expected to perform, but is instead a summary of the primary responsibilities and requirements of the job. The incumbent may be asked to perform duties not included in this position description. IWPR reserves the right to revise position descriptions at any time based on changes to the required job responsibilities. Staff will be informed of any changes to their job responsibilities.

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