The Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) seeks proposals in support of its goal of building participatory societies where citizens have the regular opportunity to play an active role in making decisions that affect their lives and in holding their governments accountable.
call is consistent with President Obamas July 2009 speech in Ghana, in which he stated, In the 21st century, capable, reliable, and transparent institutions are the key to success -- strong parliaments; honest police forces; independent judges; an independent press; a vibrant private sector; a civil society.
Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in people's everyday lives. Secretary Clinton echoed this sentiment in February 2010, stating that the United States believes that people can best fulfill their potential when they have a say in the decisions that shape their lives; when they are free to share and access information; speak, criticize, and debate
Proposals should present programs that strengthen democratic practices, electoral systems, political parties, or transparency in government across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
MEPI considers the following objectives critical to achieving this goal: Free, open, and fair elections reflecting the will of the electorate; and, Political parties serving as a vehicle for meaningful public participation.Proposals should foster political processes and institutions that encourage effective participation, giving attention to: Governance, Transparency, and Accountability, or Political Process Strengthening, including Womens Political Development and Public Confidence in the Electoral Process.Project proposals should specify country or countries of activity, priority area, and partner organizations and provide particular detail on how activities will contribute to building the capacity of MENA-based partners and capitalize on youth participation in political processes and institutions.
All proposals should indicate explicitly how activities will achieve policy impact and how implementers plan to measure political change.
Proposals should propose a realistic timeline and outline specific plans for how the activities will continue to have an impact after the award ends.
Illustrative ExamplesMEPI invites creative and detailed proposals from qualified implementers.
Examples of past projects in the RFAs two areas (Good Governance and Political Process Strengthening, including Womens Political Development and Public Confidence in the Electoral Process) include: Training or professional enrichment opportunities for young and emerging leaders; Public monitoring of the budgetary process in parliaments and legislatures; Efforts to increase transparency in government institutions and public affairs; Internships for youth in local and national government; and Local initiatives to strengthen political parties responsiveness to constituents.
These projects are listed not to limit creative thinking with respective to project design, but rather to provide a sense of the type of activities previously considered impactful.
Project proposals will be evaluated, in part, on their abilities to assist local organizations and institutions in increasing their recruitment and mobilization of constituents for collective action and/or participating together with government to shape the future.
Proposals should also factor in the contributions of women and youth as change makers.
In all projects, supporting local leadership of activities is essential.
Applicants must submit a separate application for each priority area under which they apply and must clearly state which priority area each application addresses.