ARISA: ABA Call for Proposals (Indigenous People’s Rights)

Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA)
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Wednesday, 24 March, 2021
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 Peoples’ Rights, Media Freedoms and Digital Rights and the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.
Thematic and Country 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, under this call to provide financial support to partners undertaking programming at regional and national levels in the area of Indigenous People’s Rights. This call is for Civil Society Organisations from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
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 from Botswana, South Africa and Namibia that are currently litigating on or with capacity and interest to litigate on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights using both national and supranational mechanisms. The ABA also recognizes that for strategic litigation to be successful, it requires multi-pronged supporting approaches such as capacity building and the development of manuals and tools to guide CSOs and partners in their work. For this call, applicants will be required to undertake all of the following specific activities:

  1. Build and/or strengthen a paralegal unit within their organisation;
  2. Capacitate at least 12 paralegals in various aspects related to their role in supporting litigation on indigenous peoples’ rights. The paralegals can be part of an existing structure within the organisation or may be identified as part of the programme;
  3. Identify and take up at least three (3) cases on indigenous peoples’ rights for litigation using national and/or international mechanisms; and
  4. Participate in an ABA led development of Resource Manuals on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. 

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 Indigenous Peoples’ Rights;
  2. Must be registered to work in Botswana, South Africa or Namibia;
  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; and
  4. Organisations must never have been convicted of or currently be 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 US$10,000 - US$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:

  1. Name and contact (telephone, email and physical address) of the organisation;
  2. The aims and objectives of the project for which grant support is being sought with specific activities as identified above clearly elaborated, and how the activities align with the ARISA Indigenous Peoples’ Rights thematic focus area and Programme Objectives;
  3. A proposed time-line for the activities an  indicative budget; and
  4. A brief history and description of the organisation; including governance/management structure and information/documentation on past experience/activities relevant to this call.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the ABA on the email addresses indicated below, by the 28th of February 2021 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:

Applications must be clearly referenced/marked “ABA Call for Proposals 2021: Grant Application Reference Number: SOUT-10022021-003”.

Application Close Date: 12 Midnight CAT on Wednesday 24 March 2021.
Review and Selection

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

  1. Quality of project conception/idea;
  2. General approach and proposed interventions;
  3. Cost effectiveness;
  4. Sustainability and impact potential; and
  5. 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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