The National Democratic Institute (NDI) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) invites proposals from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to implement the Supporting Advancement of Gender Equality (SAGE) project. SAGE is a response to declining opportunities for women to participate in Nigeria’s political and electoral processes. As an illustration of this decline, of the 654 members elected to the Nigerian Senate since 1999, only 36, or six percent, have been women. To help address these challenges, NDI is calling for applications from NGOs to partner on four distinct project areas: (1) coordination of NGO advocacy efforts, (2) advocacy for legal reforms, (3) advocacy for political party reforms and (4) entrenching a masculinities approach.
The goal of SAGE is to increase women’s representation in public office through advocacy for policy and legal reform.
Project Timeline: July 1, 2020 – August 16, 2021. Applicants should indicate the number of months they would propose to complete their project activities.
Under SAGE, NDI will work with a coalition led by four NGO partners. The coalition will advocate for electoral reforms (to the Constitution and Electoral Act) and the passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities (GEO) bill, and work with key political leadership to build greater support for women’s meaningful participation in politics. Partners will have the opportunity to leverage support from national and international working groups. Coalition partners will develop strategies to help political leaders to better understand, and to both privately and publicly acknowledge, how gender inequality limits the ability of individuals, political institutions, and communities to reach their full political, economic, and social potential.
Selecting only one of the four focus areas below, applicants should propose strategies and activities to fulfill the objectives of that role and contribute to the broader goal of SAGE.
1. Serve as secretariat of the SAGE program, produce an initial political-economy assessment, produce analyses as required, convene quarterly meetings, organize major program events, monitor and evaluate impact of all SAGE activities.
2. Lead SAGE efforts to remove legal barriers that limit women’s political participation. Undertake analysis of the Constitution and Nigerian legal framework and identify barriers to as well as opportunities for enhancement of women’s participation in the political process; establish formal liaison with the national assembly, report on trends in the national assembly to promote necessary amendments to the constitution and the laws; report on emerging issues in the national assembly.
3. Direct program engagement with political party leadership to promote the nomination of women candidates for political office.
4. Support an international consultant to be identified by SAGE to assist SAGE partners in recruiting men in key roles to support and drive SAGE objectives.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NDI anticipates that some activities may take place virtually or through other remote engagements. Applicants should explain how they will adapt to circumstances emerging from the health effects and related government restrictions. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how SAGE’s objectives can be strategically achieved while prioritizing the health and safety of all staff and partners.
NDI plans to issue four awards, one each to the four selected NGOs. The award amount not exceeding the ceilings below will be awarded to successful NGOs:
|SN||Award Category||Maximum Amount|
|1.||Program Secretariat (Advocacy Coordination)||$80,000|
|3.||Political Party Reforms||$80,000|
|4.||Engaging Men Political Leaders as Change Agents for SAGE Coalition Efforts||$25,000|
The proposal budget shall not exceed the amount stated above. Kindly note that your proposed budget does not need to cover the full amount if the activities can be realized with less than the maximum amount stated. Additionally, the proposed budget cannot include: grants to other organizations, micro-loans, or contingencies. All costs must be budgeted directly, in the NDI proposed format (see section VI below) and have explanatory budget notes. Procurement of new equipment is limited to $1,000.
III. Implementation Timeline
The implementation timeline for the SAGE project is July 1, 2020, to August 16, 2021
Partners Eligibility Criteria:
All applicants should be registered NGOs with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). They must be neutral and free of any conflict of interest related to partisan competition in the elections or national or local administration of the elections. They must be firmly independent, objective in their approaches, unbiased and able to work with all political parties.
Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in Nigeria’s electoral process, women’s programming, capacity to influence political processes and outcomes, legislative advocacy experience and access to legislators, strong networks and relationships with political parties. Applicants must demonstrate thorough financial management, monitoring and evaluation, internal control systems, policies and procedures that comply with established US and Nigeria Government standards, laws and regulations.
IV. Application Process:
Interested applicants should develop a full proposal not exceeding ten (10) pages and based on the following structure:
Problem Statement and Background (1 page)
Describe the key barriers to women’s political participation. The Background should include relevant analysis of the political and electoral context of women’s participation. Please identify the needs or problems that exist and briefly explain how the proposed activities will meet these needs and contribute to longer-term impacts of gender equality advancement. The background should describe implications of the current COVID-19 pandemic for project objectives.
Project Activities/Description (5 pages)
1) Project Secretariat (advocacy coordination): The objective of this NGO is to serve as the convener and secretariat for the SAGE coalition. This organization will also be responsible for coordinating the activities of the National Working Group (NWG) and the International Working Group (IWG). The NWG and IWG are expected to jointly offer a unified course of action to influence stakeholders at all levels for specific legal and political party policy reforms. This organization will generate technical analysis for the program, including a political economy analysis (PEA) to inform advocacy. This partner will produce monthly briefing papers, organize a meeting to formalize the NWG, a public media launch of SAGE project and as needed under the SAGE project. This organization will monitor and evaluate the impact of all SAGE activities. Organizations applying for this project focus area must have excellent media and communication skills, capacity to manage a coalition and engage high-level stakeholders.
|1||Conduct a PEA on factors that influence the behavior of the National Assembly and political parties|
|2||Organize a high level event to unveil the SAGE program|
|3||Conducts continuous analysis of progress against SAGE objectives, milestones, and adjust work plan and at quarterly review forums.|
|4||SNGO produces monthly briefing papers for SAGE team and technical analyses per need|
2) Legal Reforms Advocates: The partner for this focus area will be responsible for advocating for legal reforms to enhance women’s political participation in Nigeria. This partner should propose a plan to thoroughly review all electoral laws, regulations, and policies to identify barriers to women’s political participation and lead legislative advocacy for implementation of SAGE recommendations. In addition, this NGO in coordination with the program secretariat will design and implement a legislative advocacy plan to work directly with lawmakers to ensure they have all necessary information on proposed legislation including the GEO bill. Organizations applying for this program area must demonstrate prior experience in the analysis of laws legislative advocacy.
|1||Draft and disseminate comprehensive review of the laws|
|2||Analysis of the legal framework pertaining to women's participation|
|3||Establish a parliamentary liaison to track and push key legislations|
|4||Report on emerging issues in National Assembly with actionable recommendations|
3) Political Party Coordinator: The NGO partner for this focus area will be responsible for advocating to political parties on achieving gender equality. The NGO partner will identify persons with influence on political party leadership who support SAGE objectives and will engage with the leadership to support women’s participation in decision making and nomination processes. They will review political party policies and procedures and draft recommendations for improvements. In addition, the NGO partner will develop an advocacy plan to engage party leadership in support of SAGE objectives. Organizations applying for this program area must have experience working with senior political party leaders and expertise on party constitution and procedures.
|1||Plan for engagement with persons with influence on political party leadership to promote SAGE objectives|
|2||Review all party constitutions, regulations and policies to identify sections that hinder women participation|
|3||Draft gender equality guidelines for political parties|
4) Masculinities Approach Advisory Partner: The advancement of gender equality is often limited by traditional power structures and gender identities, and requires broader work to shift cultures within institutions to allow for more meaningful participation of women. To complement the advocacy for legal and policy reforms under this project, this NGO will be responsible for helping coalition partners mobilize male leaders to become change agents and in advocacy processes, political parties, and the parliament. The partner will evaluate the nature and impacts of masculinities in political structures on democratic processes and inclusion, and produce a handbook on how to recruit and build male champions. The NGO will serve as an advisory group for the rest of the SAGE coalition, provide training for SAGE coalition partners using the handbook and monitor the implementation of the handbook and SAGE coalition strategies throughout the lifespan of the program. This partner should demonstrate understanding of masculinities theory, its application to advocacy, and the gendered nature of national politics.
|1||Produce a handbook on the role of men in furthering women’s equal opportunities to participate in public life and techniques for recruiting men in this effort.|
|2||Train coalition NGOs on the handbook on role of men in furthering women’s equal participation in public life, methods of recruiting male champions.|
Interested organizations are expected to demonstrate how they would take advantage of the ongoing constitutional and electoral reform processes in Nigeria to influence reform. Note: Organizations can apply for only one of these award categories.
This section should include activities) that demonstrate the methods by which the deliverables listed above will be achieved. In addition applicants must describe COVID-19 mitigation tactics.
This section should provide information about the organization, including but not limited to:
o Organizational structure (core staff, staff size, composition and contact details of board of directors) and organization human resource policy document;
o Previous experience with gender equality programming initiatives; and
o Experience with developing and implementing external communication and outreach programs, including press and stakeholder outreach, traditional and social media and other communications;
o Information about the applicant organization’s financial management policies that would ensure grant funds from NDI are utilized in accordance with USAID financial standards. Successful applicants will complete a pre-award questionnaire form provided by NDI.
V. Evaluation Criteria
Project Activities/Description (40 points)
o The degree to which the applicant demonstrates capacity to achieve project goals, how they would take advantage of ongoing constitutional and electoral reform processes in Nigeria to inform reforms, and how it intends to set up a functional team to respond to the needs of the project; how the applicant intends to coordinate advocacy and external communication with other partnering organizations, initiate reforms within political parties, the legislature, and other identified electoral stakeholders; and how the applicant intends to manage finances.
Organizational Capacity (30 points)
o The degree to which the application can provide evidence that its proposed staff possesses working experience and leadership qualities necessary to successfully implement the proposed activities.
o The degree to which the application can demonstrate effective internal management of the organization, including oversight functions of the board and a statement assuring a policy against salary tithing.
Budget (30 points)
o The budget falls under the relevant ceiling.
o The degree to which the applicant can produce a budget that reflects cost reasonableness, effectiveness and consistency.
o The budget notes clearly provides justification and necessary connection between the budget and project activities.
Note: NGOs can apply for ONLY one of the four coalition leadership roles.
VI. Submission Format
Interested organizations must submit a full proposal in PDF format not exceeding ten pages by June 3, 2020. The proposal should be submitted to NDI by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your program area as the subject of the email. NDI will respond to questions that seek clarification on the goals, criteria, and conditions of this award. Questions should be submitted on or before May 20, 2020.
All applications must be submitted with the following attachments: A completed application should consist of the following:
1. Valid registration as NGO with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
2. Technical proposal with activities
3. Budget in Microsoft Excel showing formulas
4. Budget notes
5. Completed pre-award questionnaire (The pre-ward questionnaire can be downloaded through this link)
6. Organization Human resource policy document
Note: Applications that do not include all six attachments will not be considered.
VII. About NDI
NDI is a nonpartisan, non-governmental organization that responds to the worldwide quest for popular civic participation, open and competitive political systems, and representative and accountable government. Since its founding in 1983, NDI and its local partners have worked to establish and strengthen democratic institutions and practices by building political and civic organizations, safeguarding elections and promoting citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. You can learn more about the Institute on our website, www.ndi.org.
Illustrative SAGE Workflow