ARISA: Call for Proposals

Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA)
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 30 November, 2020
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

The Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA) is a five-year USAID funded regional program that aims to improve the recognition, awareness, and enforcement of human rights in the SADC region, including the protection of the region’s most vulnerable and marginalized. The Program is run by four consortium partners namely Freedom House, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA/ABAROLI), Pact and Internews in collaboration with regional partners to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Improving the enabling environment for the promotion and protection of human rights;
  2. Strengthening the capacity of regional and local civil society actors to seek redress of rights violations;
  3. Increasing public demand for improved rule of law and human rights protection; and
  4. Fostering South-to-South communities of practice for knowledge and resource sharing to advance efforts to address human rights violations.

The Program implements activities under four thematic areas, namely; Women’s Customary Land Rights, Indigenous People’s Rights, Media Freedoms and Digital Rights and the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.
Thematic and Focus Areas for the Call
In its efforts to strengthen the capacity of regional and local civil society actors to achieve the above objectives, the ABA as part of the ARISA Program seeks to provide financial support to partners undertaking programming at regional and national levels in the following ARISA thematic areas:

  • Women’s Customary Land Rights; and
  • Indigenous People’s Rights.

The Approach
Strategic and access to justice litigation are important approaches in securing redress for rights violations, and civil society organisations (CSOs) in Southern Africa have for a long time played a critical role in this regard. As part of efforts to continue supporting CSOs’ strategic and access to justice litigation in the region, the ABA seeks to provide grant support to organisations with a history of using litigation, both at national and supranational levels, as an approach in protecting and promoting the rights of vulnerable and marginalised communities and individuals.
We are therefore seeking funding applications from civil society organisations currently litigating on or with the capacity and interest to litigate on Women’s Customary Land Rights and Indigenous People’s Rights protection using both national and supranational mechanisms.
Grantee Qualifying Criteria
To qualify for a grant, applicants must meet the following minimum criteria:

  1. Must be a non-profit, non-governmental organization working in or with the capacity to litigate on Women’s Customary Land Rights and/or Indigenous Peoples’ Rights;
  2. Must be a registered SADC regional organisation or registered to work in any of the eight (8) ARISA Programme countries, namely; Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Madagascar,  Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa;  (NB: Unregistered organisations that can provide justifiable reasons for lack of such registration may also be considered); 
  3. Organisations must have the capacity to undertake both strategic and access to justice public interest litigation at either national or supranational levels or both;
  4. Smaller organisations that are in need of extra resources to strengthen and improve their capacities will also be considered;
  5. Organisations must never have been convicted of or currently the subject of any legal proceedings related to the mismanagement of funds or had a public transaction terminated for cause of default; must not be bankrupt; must not be a political party or politically affiliated organization.

The grants will range from $5,000 - $15,000 over a period of 12 months (1 year)
Application Process
Qualifying organisations must submit a two to three-page Concept Note as the first step in the application process. The concept note must provide the following information:

  • Name and contact (telephone, email and physical address of the organisation);
  • The aims and objectives of the project for which grant support is being sought with specific activities identified, duration of the activities and how the activities align with the ARISA objectives and thematic areas of Women’s Customary Land Rights and/or Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
  • An indicative budget;
  • A brief history and description of the organisation; including governance/management structure;
  • Information/documentation on past experience/activities relevant to this call for proposals and how this work aligns with the ARISA program objectives and the two thematic areas under which applications are being sought.

Prospective partners are encouraged to contact the ABA on the email addresses indicated below, should they need any clarifications during the concept note writing process.
All submitted concept notes will be assessed and successful applicants will be requested to submit full applications.
Applications/Concept Notes must be submitted to the following email address:

Please include Grant Application Reference Number: SOUT-10262020-002
Applications must be clearly referenced/marked “ABA Call for Proposals 2020”
Application Close Date: 12 Midnight CAT on Monday 30 November 2020.

Review and Selection 
The ABA will review all proposals according to the following criteria:

  • Quality of project conception/idea;
  • General approach and proposed interventions;
  • Cost effectiveness;
  • Sustainability and impact potential;
  • Organizational strength and past performance.

ABA will award grants to the most qualified applicants until resources allocated to this call for proposals have been exhausted. All funding is subject to availability of funds.

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