CENTER FOR AFRICAN STUDIES
University of Florida
427 Grinter Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-2037
BriNETADDRESS: Peter R Schmidt. Doctor
To: Dr. H. Kraft, Director, Women's Studies
Dr. S. Russo and Dr. P. Hildebrand, WIAD%/
From: P. Schmidt, Center for African Studies \I
Re: USIA RFP: Role of Women's Organizations in Social and Political
If the attached USIA RFP is of interest,
we will assist with proposal development.
please let us know and
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OFFICE OF CITIZEN EXCHANGES
UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY
INITIATIVE GRANT CONCEPT PAPER
DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA PROGRAM CITIZEN EXCHANGES PROJECT #6
THE ROLE OF WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS
IN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL AFFAIRS
The Office of Citizen Exchanges (E/P) of the United States
Information Agency (USIA) proposes the development of a two-way
exchange program for representatives of Nigerian women's
organizations. The grantee institution would develop a program to
examine the role of U.S. women's groups in American social and
political affairs. During the first program phase, a team of two
U.S. specialists would travel to Nigeria for consultations aimed at
developing a series of workshops that would take place in Nigeria.
During the second phase, representatives of Nigerian women's groups
would travel to the United States to observe the operations of U.S.
counterpart organizations and to work with the grantee institution
to further develop the workshops. U.S. presenters and selected
Nigerian participants would conduct the workshops in Nigeria during
Phase Three. Program activities should help enhance the
capabilities of women's organizations to contribute to the public
debate over social and political issues. The program should
establish linkages between Nigerian and U.S. women's organizations
to promote dialogue on issues of common concern. USIA anticipates
providing funding for a grant to cover a two-year period.
A U.S. not-for-profit institution will design and execute the
program and select the American participants. The institution
should demonstrate success in managing international exchange
programs and experience in working with private sector interest
groups active in promoting women's issues. The Nigerian
participants will be selected through coordination between the
Nigerian partner organizations, overseas personnel of the United
States Information Service (USIS) and USIA. The program should
begin no later than May 1992.
Nigerian women play a dominant role in Nigeria's informal economy
and thus account for a significant proportion of the country's
economic activity. However, this strength has not translated into
political power nor has it inspired a great deal of organized
political networking. Nigeria's democratization program embraces
broad citizen participation and will open new opportunities for
the development of interest groups in the areas of economic, social
and political affairs. In the political arena, women would be in
a position to build upon past gains. Female candidates won
election to legislative posts in Nigeria's two preceding Republics
and several women have announced their candidacies in upcoming
gubernatorial elections. In recent years, the National Association
of University Women of Nigeria has organized national conferences
focusing on women and the political process. Still, the
association is one of only a small number of national groups vocal
on women's issues.
In the United iStates, women's groups focus on a wide range of
issues and represent the broad spectrum of political thought. Like
other interest groups, these organizations have won for their
members a greater voice in shaping the national agenda and have
made an impact on the political process. From grassroots
initiatives to lobbying on Capitol Hill, women's groups are
actively seeking to raise public awareness through networking,
media campaigns, legal action, and voter registration drives.
The proposed program would establish new ties between organizations
in Nigeria and the United States to help Nigerian women benefit
from the new political environment in their country. These ties
could help Nigerian women articulate issues, stimulate voluntarism
and community civic service, and become more active players in
shaping the liberalization process itself.
- Provide an overview of the U.S. Constitution and its relationship
to the development of the women's movement in the United States.
- Examine the role and influence of women's organizations in the
American political process. This examination should cover the
spectrum of political thought in the United States.
- Examine the organizational structure, activities and influence of
American women's organizations. The examination would include
groups active at the community level as well as the national level.
- Provide a comparative analysis of U.S. and Nigerian cultural
issues that affect equal participation in socio-political affairs.
- Develop strategies for women's organizations to play an active
role in the political process as outlined in Nigeria's new
- Develop plans for educational programs to promote a greater
understanding of the Ipolitical process and to encourage
voluntarism, broader political participation and civic
- Develop strategies for women's groups to influence public debate
over social issues.
- Establish enduring linkages between women's organizations in
Nigeria and the United States to promote dialogue on issues of
common interest and to enhance the institutional capabilities of
women's groups in Nigeria.
The Nigerian participants will be women's rights advocates,
community leaders, political planners and scholars. Among the
participants will be nominees named by Nigerian organizations
including the Nigerian Association of University Women. All
participants will be selected by USIS personnel in Nigeria and
USIA. Participants will have strong English language skills. The
grantee institution will select the U.S. participants in
consultation with USIA.
This program, as designed by the applicant institution, must be
non-partisan in nature and representative of the diversity of
American political, social and cultural life. The following
suggestions should not serve as a blueprint, but as a stimulus for
the development of an original program.
The intensive workshops should be designed to thoroughly cover the
substantive issues related to the program themes. Workshops of
longer duration (at least three days) are preferred, but
flexibility in program design is allowed depending on the subject
and target audience. Program proposals should demonstrate a cost-
effective plan to present the workshops to a maximum number of
program participants representing the diversity of Nigeria's
population. Workshops should take place in various geographical
regions. Budget submissions should reflect this objective and
should cover travel and per diem costs for those participants who
would travel to the workshop venues in Nigeria.
The project would consist of three distinct cycles to take place
over a two year period. Each cycle would consist of three program
Two-five U.S. specialists would travel to Nigeria for 4-6 weeks of
consultations with representatives of the Nigerian co-host
institutions to begin development of the workshops that would take
place in Nigeria during Phase Three. They would also meet with
scholars, community groups, political activists and other leaders
to assess the structures, objectives and level of participation of
women's groups in Nigeria's social and political affairs. The
visit would form the basis for a comparative study of women's
groups in the United States and Nigeria and their potential
contributions to greater pluralism and equal opportunity.
Two-five Nigerian participants would travel to the United States
for 4-6 weeks of consultations aimed at developing the content and
format of the workshops. The grantee institution would develop a
program to expose the participants to a wide range of women's
organizations that are active in promoting greater opportunities
for women in business, politics and social affairs. Activities
would examine issues affecting these opportunities and constructive
approaches to achieving equal opportunity goals. Participants
would examine organizational structure, networking strategies, fund
raising, public relations, educational programs, lobbying and
U.S. specialists would travel to Nigeria for 4-6 weeks. The
specialists and selected Nigerian participants would present a
series of intensive workshops to take place in various regions
across Nigeria. The workshops would be aimed at equipping women's
organizations to join other key interest groups in helping to shape
the evolving social and political environment during Nigeria's
transition to civilian rule.
This project should establish enduring institutional linkages
designed to promote the exchange of ideas and strengthen the
potential for joint efforts in areas of common concern.
Program responsibilities include: selecting presenters, themes and
topics for discussion; coordinating with Nigerian partner
institutions to provide logistical support for the workshops in
Nigeria; organizing a study program (4-6 weeks) in the United
States for Nigerian participants; providing any support materials
for the workshops and for the traveling U.S. and Nigerian
participants; and providing all travel arrangements, hotel
accommodations and other logistical arrangements. At the
conclusion of leach program cycle, the grantee institution will
conduct participant evaluations and submit to E/P a progress report
summarizing program outcomes. At the conclusion of the third
program cycle, the institution will submit a final report
summarizing project outcomes, anticipated follow-on activities and
any resulting institutional linkages.
Competition for USIA funding support is keen. Selection of a
grantee institution is based on the substantive nature of the
program proposal; the applicant's professional capability to carry
the program through to a successful conclusion; and
cost-effectiveness -- including in-kind contributions and the
ability to keep overhead costs at a minimum. USIA can devote
approximately $280,000 $300,000 to cover a two-year period,
though organizations with less than four years of successful
experience in managing international exchange programs are limited
to $60,000, and their budget submissions should correspond to this
limitation. Funding assistance is limited to project costs as
defined in the Project Proposal Information Requirements (OMB#
3116-0175, provided in application packet), with modest
contributions to defray total administrative costs (salaries,
benefits, and other direct costs including communications expenses,
office supplies, office space and materials not directly developed
for program participants) and indirect costs. Total USIA-funded
administrative costs for the U.S. grantee institution (and any
Nigerian cosponsors) are limited to 22 (twenty-two) per cent of the
total funds requested from USIA. USIA will consider funding travel
and per diem costs for the U.S. participants during Phase One and
Phase Three of each program cycle. USIA will also fund most costs
for 2-5 Nigerian participants to travel to the United States during
Phase Two of each program cycle.
The funding categories described above are examples and the
applicant institution may wish to cover any of these expenses
through in-kind contributions or other resources.
Program proposals must include a detailed three-column budget
summarizing funding amounts requested from USIA, institutional and
other contributions, and total costs. A sample budget and other
budget guidelines are attached. Because this is a competitive
solicitation, representatives of the Office of Citizen Exchanges
can only respond to technical questions.
The USIA program officer for this project is:
Program Development Officer
Initiative Grants and Bilateral Accords Division
Office of Citizen Exchanges
United States Information Agency
301 4th Street S.W., Room 216
Washington, DC 20547
Proposals must be received at the U.S. Information Agency by 5:00
p.m. EST on February 7, 1992. Proposals received by the Agency
after this deadline will not be eligible for consideration. Faxed
documents will not be accepted, nor will documents postmarked
February 7, 1992, but received at a later date. Institutions must
submit 16 copies of the! final grant proposal and attachments.
Proposals must fully accord with the terms of this Request for
Proposals (RFP) as well as with Project Proposal Information
Requirements (OMB #3116-0175). Please forward proposals to:
U.S. Information Agency
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Office of the Executive Director (E/X)
(Attention: Citizen Exchanges Democracy in Africa Program,
301 4th St. S.W.
Washington, DC 20547.
Application packages should clearly note the name of the project
and the USIA program officer.