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Africa: FY 2017 Notice of Funding Opportunity for NGO Programs Benefiting: Malian Refugees in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger; Nigerian Refugees in Niger; Refugee Returnees in Mali, Senegal, or Cote d’Ivoire

Funding Opportunity Announcement
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
January 24, 2017


Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-PRMOAPAF-17-007-058648 / PRM-PRMOAPAF-17-007

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.517 - Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Africa

Announcement issuance date: Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Proposal submission deadline: Friday, April 7, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. noon Eastern Daylight Time. We are unable to consider proposals submitted after this deadline.

**ADVISORY: All applicants must submit proposals through the website Grants.gov NOT through GrantsSolutions.gov. Please note that if you apply on the GrantSolutions.gov site, your application will be disqualified. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address any difficulties that may arise.**

If you are new to PRM funding, the Grants.gov registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “New to PRM Funding” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher.

Full Text of Notice of Funding Opportunity

A. Program Description

This announcement is designed to accompany PRM’s General NGO Guidelines which contain additional information on PRM’s priorities and NGO funding strategy with which selected organizations must comply. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that your submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements and that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities. Submissions that do not reflect the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

Current Funding Priorities:

(a) Proposed activities should primarily support Malian refugees in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, or Niger; Nigerian refugees in Niger; and/or refugee returnees in Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, or Senegal, as outlined below. Because of PRM's mandate to provide protection, assistance, and sustainable solutions for refugees and victims of conflict, for Burkina Faso, Mauritania, or Niger, PRM will consider funding only those projects that include a target beneficiary base of at least 50 percent refugees. If programming in Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, or Senegal, at least 50 percent of the beneficiaries must be refugee returnees.

(b) Each proposal may only address activities in one country, except for proposals including Mali. Proposals that include refugee returnees in Mali must include activities that are linked to activities benefiting Malian refugees in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, or Niger. Organizations that submit proposals which cover activities in Mali and one neighboring state – Burkina Faso, Mauritania, or Niger – must demonstrate operational presence in both Mali and the other country. Except for proposals involving Mali, applicants seeking funding for programs in more than one country must submit more than one proposal.

Country-specific Provisions:

(a) Burkina Faso and Mauritania: Proposed activities should primarily support

Malian refugees living in Burkina Faso (in camps or those who have been transitioned or are in the process of transitioning out of camps as part of UNHCR “localization” efforts) or Mauritania (Mbera Camp only) and must focus on one or more of the following sectors:

(i) Protection, including child protection and/or addressing gender-based violence;

(ii) Livelihoods, in particular programs that foster refugees’ economic well-being/self-sufficiency and may be transferable to Mali for returning refugees; and/or

(iii) Education (with priority given to primary and “catch-up” programs).

(b) Niger: It is strongly recommended, but not required, that organizations wishing to work with both Malian and Nigerian refugees in Niger submit a single proposal which covers activities benefiting both populations. Organizations are not required to work with both Malian and Nigerian refugees.

(i) Malian refugees living in camps, zones d'accueil des réfugiés, or those who have been transitioned or are in the process of transitioning out of camps as part of UNHCR “localization” efforts. Activities must focus on one or more of the following sectors:

a. Protection, including child protection and/or addressing gender-based violence;

b. Livelihoods, in particular programs that foster refugees’ economic well-being/self-sufficiency and may be transferable to Mali for returning refugees; and/or

c. Education (with priority given to primary and “catch-up” programs).

(ii) Nigerian refugees in the Diffa region living in current or planned refugee camps or outside of camps. Priority will be given to programs that can also demonstrate benefit to affected host communities and/or Nigerien returnees displaced by the conflict in Nigeria. Proposals must focus on one or more of the following sectors:

a. Protection (including addressing gender-based violence, child protection, assistance for unaccompanied and separated minors, and/or prevention of recruitment by armed groups and ensuring civilian character of refugee sites);

b. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) only for refugees living outside formal refugee camps;

c. Health (including malnutrition, reproductive health, maternal and child health, and/or mental health and psychosocial support) only for refugees living outside formal refugee camps;

d. Emergency shelter assistance only for refugees living outside formal refugee camps; and/or

e. Livelihoods, in particular programs that foster refugees’ economic well-being/self-sufficiency.

(c) Mali: Proposals that include refugee returnees in Mali will only be considered if the submission includes activities that are linked to activities benefiting Malian refugees in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, or Niger. Priority will be given to proposals which demonstrate a plan that allows program activities to follow returning refugees from the country of asylum to Mali. Programs benefiting Malian refugee returnees must focus on one or more of the following sectors:

(i) Protection; including child protection and/or addressing gender-based violence

(ii) Livelihoods, in particular programs that foster refugees’ economic well-being/self-sufficiency that are linked with similar programs in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and/or Niger; and/or

(iii) Social Cohesion and/or Community Reconciliation (including any activities that serve to foster positive relations between the local population and returning refugees).

(d) Senegal: Programs benefiting Senegalese refugee returnees to the Casamance region must focus on one or more of the following sectors:

(i) Shelter and/or

(ii) Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

(e) Côte d’Ivoire: Programs benefitting Ivoirian refugee returnees in Côte d’Ivoire living in Bloléquin, Danane, Duékoué, Guiglo, Man, San-Pédro, Séguéla, Soubré, Tabou, Tai, Touba, Toulépleu, Zouan-Hounien, and/or Abidjan and surrounding areas, should focus on one or more of the following sectors:

(i) Protection, including child protection and/or addressing gender-based violence;

(ii) Livelihoods, in particular programs that foster refugees’ economic well-being/self-sufficiency;

(iii) Shelter; and/or

(iv) Social Cohesion and/or Community Reconciliation (including any activities that serve to foster positive relations between the local population and returning refugees)

Competitive proposals should:

• Include a well-developed plan for training and building the capacity of local staff and service providers as well as building refugee self-sufficiency;

• Include a transition plan for long term sustainability of programming and an exit strategy; and

• Address gaps in services for the most vulnerable including women, children, people living with disabilities, the elderly, and LGBTI refugees.

B. Federal Award Information

Proposed program start dates: June 1, 2017 – September 1, 2017

Duration of Activity: For proposals involving livelihoods activities for Malian refugees only, program plans for up to two years (24 months) will be considered. (Note: For the purposes of this announcement, a two-year plan is not the sum of two stand-alone one-year plans with Year 2 proposing to essentially duplicate Year 1; rather, it is one plan of up to twenty-four months of programming with a breakdown of activities and budgets between the first and second years of the overall two-year program plan. Applicants are encouraged to carefully consider whether livelihoods projects should be one- or two-years in duration to accomplish the project goals.) Applicants may submit multi-year proposals with activities and budgets that do not exceed two years (24 months) from the proposed start date and must have an end date of no later than July 31, 2019. Actual awards will not exceed one year (12 months) in duration and activities and budgets submitted in year one can be revised/updated each year. Continued funding after the initial 12- month award requires the submission of a noncompeting single year proposal and will be contingent upon available funding, strong performance, and continuing need. In funding a project one year, PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years and encourages applicants to seek a wide array of donors to ensure long-term funding possibilities.

For all other proposals, program plans should not exceed 12 months ­and must have an end date of no later than July 31, 2018. To meet the required end date, proposed programs may be less than 12 months.

Funding Limits: Project proposals outside of the funding limits below will be disqualified:

• Proposals benefiting one refugee population in one country must not request less than $200,000 or more than $700,000.

• Project proposals for Niger for activities benefiting both Malian and Nigerian refugees must not request less than $200,000 or more than $1.4 million.

• Project proposals for activities benefiting Malian refugee returnees in Mali and Malian refugees in either Burkina Faso, Mauritian, or Niger must not request less than $200,000 or more than a total of $1 million.

• Project proposals for activities benefiting Senegalese refugee returnees in Senegal must not request less than $200,000 or more than $500,000.

• Project proposals for activities benefitting Ivoirian refugee returnees in Côte d’Ivoire must not request less than $200,000 or more than $1.5 million.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: (1) Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; (2) Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; and (3) International Organizations. International multilateral organizations, such as United Nations agencies, should not submit proposals through Grants.gov in response to this Notice of Funding Opportunity announcement. Multilateral organizations that are seeking funding for programs relevant to this announcement should contact the PRM Program Officer (as listed below) on or before the closing date of the funding announcement.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not a requirement of an application in response to this funding announcement.

3. Other:

(a) Proposals must have a concrete implementation plan with well-conceived objectives and indicators that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and reliable, time-bound, and trackable (SMART), have established baselines, and include at least one outcome or impact indicator per objective; objectives should be clearly linked to the sectors.

(b) Proposals must adhere to relevant international standards for humanitarian assistance. See PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for a complete list of sector-specific standards including guidance on proposals for projects in urban areas.

(c) PRM strongly encourages programs that target the needs of vulnerable and underserved groups among the beneficiary population (women; children; adolescents; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) individuals; older persons; the sick; persons with disabilities; and other minorities) and can demonstrate what steps have been taken to meet the specific and unique protection and assistance needs of these vulnerable groups effectively. See gender analysis requirements below in D.2.(c).

(d) PRM will accept proposals from any NGO working in the above mentioned sectors although, given budgetary constraints, priority will be given to proposals from organizations that can demonstrate:

• a working relationship with UNHCR and/or current UNHCR funding, and/or a letter of support from UNHCR for the proposed activities (this letter should highlight the gap in services the proposed program is designed to address);

• a proven track record in providing proposed assistance both in the sector and specified location;

• evidence of coordination with international organizations (IOs) and other NGOs working in the same area or sector as well as – where possible – local authorities;

• a strong sustainability plan, involving local capacity-building, where feasible;

• where applicable, adherence to PRM’s Principles for Refugee Protection in Urban Areas; and

• an understanding of and sensitivity to conflict dynamics in the project location.

D. Application and Submission Instructions

1. Address to Request Application Package:

(a) Application packages may be downloaded from the website www.Grants.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application:

(a) PRM strongly recommends using the proposal and budget templates that are available upon email request from PRM's NGO Coordinator (PRMNGOCoordinator@state.gov). Please send an email, with the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line, to PRM's NGO Coordinator to receive an automated reply with the templates.

Page limits: Single-year proposals using PRM’s templates must be no more than 15 pages in length (Times New Roman 12 point font, one inch margins on all sides). If the applicant does not use PRM’s recommended templates, proposals must not exceed 10 pages in length. Organizations may choose to attach work plans, activity calendars, and/or logical frameworks as addendums/appendices to the proposal. These attachments do not count toward the page limit total however annexes cannot be relied upon as a key source of program information. The proposal narrative must be able to stand on its own in the application process. For multi-year funding application instructions, see section (e) below. Proposals exceeding the page limit cannot be considered.

(b) To be considered for PRM funding, organizations must submit a complete application package including:

• Proposal narrative reflecting objectives and indicators for each year of the program period.

• Budget and budget narrative for each year of the program period.

• Signed completed SF-424.

• Risk Analysis.

(c) Additionally, organizations must submit the following documents as part of their proposal package, if applicable:

• Organizations applying for livelihoods project funding must include both a market analysis and a beneficiary competency/capacity assessment as part of the proposal package. Please see the General NGO Guidelines for more details.

• Most recent Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), if applicable or a de minimis rate calculation if the applicant elects to use the de minimis rate, if applicable.

• NGOs that have not received PRM funding since the U.S. government fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. government by submitting copies of 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) proof of non-profit tax status including under IRS 501 (c)(3), as applicable, 3) a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and 4) an Employer ID (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification number, as applicable.

• Organizations that received PRM funding in FY 2016 for activities that are being proposed for funding under this announcement must include the most recent quarterly progress report against indicators outlined in the cooperative agreement. If an organization’s last quarterly report was submitted more than six weeks prior to the submission of a proposal in response to this funding announcement, the organization must include, with its most recent quarterly report, updates that show any significant progress made on objectives since the last report.

(d) In order to be considered a competitive proposal, the proposal narrative should include the following information:

• Focus on outcome or impact indicators as much as possible. At a minimum, each objective should have one outcome or impact indicator. Wherever possible, baselines should be established before the start of the project.

• Include Specific information on locations of projects and beneficiaries (GPS coordinates if possible) to increase PRM’s ability to track the impact of PRM funding.

• Outline how the NGO will acknowledge PRM funding. If an organization believes that publicly acknowledging the receipt of USG funding for a particular PRM-funded project could potentially endanger the lives of the beneficiaries and/or the organization staff, invite suspicion about the organization's motives, or alienate the organization from the population it is trying to help, it must provide a brief explanation in its proposal as to why it should be exempted from this requirement.

• The budget should include a specific breakdown of funds being provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization.

• Applicants whose proposals address gender-based violence (GBV) through their projects must estimate the total cost of these activities as a separate line item in their proposed budgets (see PRM’s budget template).Proposals and budgets must include details of any sub-agreements associated with the program.

• PRM partners must complete a gender analysis in the proposal narrative that briefly explains (1) Experiences of men, women, boys, and girls with a focus on the different familial roles, community privileges, and gender dynamics within the target population; (2) associated risks and threats experienced by women, girls, and other vulnerable populations based on their gender; (3) power imbalances and needs that arise based on gender inequalities that exist within the family or community; and (4) proposed responses that will address the above and mitigate any gender differences in access, participation, or decision-making that may be experienced by at-risk groups, particularly women and girls. The gender analysis should aim to specify and target specific at-risk sub-populations of women and girls, in particular women and girl heads of households, out-of-school girls, women and girls with disabilities, women and girl survivor of violence, married girls, and adolescent mothers, as well as people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) who are often unaware of and excluded from programs and services and who may be the hardest to reach based on their gender.

• Summarize the risk analysis in the security and risk management section of the proposal narrative.

(e) We will ask applicants to submit the following documents before a cooperative agreement is finalized:

• Copy of the organization’s Code of Conduct.

• Copy of the organization’s Security Plan.

• Copy of the organization’s Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) framework.

• Completed PRM Award Data Sheet.

(f) Multi-Year Funding: Applicants proposing multi-year programs should adhere to the following guidance:

Applicants may submit proposals that include multi-year strategies presented in one year (12-month) cycles for a period not to exceed three years (36 months) from the proposed start date. Fully developed programs with detailed budgets, objectives and indicators are required for each year of activities. Applicants should use PRM’s recommended multi-year proposal template for the first year of a multi-year application. Multi-year funding applicants may use PRM’s standard budget template and should submit a separate budget sheet for each project year. Multi-year proposal narratives and budgets can be updated yearly upon submission of new noncompeting single year proposal narrative template with an updated budget, each year.

Page limits: Multi-year proposals using PRM’s multi-year template must be no more than 20 pages in length (Times New Roman 12 point font, one inch margins on all sides). If the applicant does not use PRM’s recommended templates, proposals must not exceed 15 pages in length. Organizations may choose to attach work plans, activity calendars, and/or logical frameworks as addendums/appendices to the proposal. These attachments do not count toward the page limit total however annexes cannot be relied upon as a key source of program information. The proposal narrative must be able to stand on its own in the application process. Proposals exceeding the page limit cannot be considered.

Multi-year applications selected for funding by PRM will be funded in one year (12- month) increments based on the proposal submitted in the initial application as approved by PRM. Continued funding after the initial 12- month award requires the submission of a noncompeting single year proposal narrative and will be contingent upon available funding, strong performance, and continuing need. Follow-on funding applications must be submitted by the organization no later than 90 days before the proposed start date of the new award (e.g., if the next project period is to begin on September 1, submit your application by June 1). Follow-on year applications are submitted in lieu of responding to PRM’s published call for proposals for those activities. Late submissions will jeopardize continued funding.

Organizations can request single-year and multi-year funding proposal narrative templates by emailing PRM's NGO Coordinator with the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line.

3. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM)

(a) Each applicant is required to: (i) be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active PRM award or an application or plan under consideration by PRM. No federal award may be made to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the PRM award is ready to be made, PRM may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a PRM award and use that determination as a basis for making a PRM award to another applicant.

(b) Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov (not via GrantSolutions.gov). Grants.gov registration requires a DUNS number and active SAM.gov registration. If you are new to PRM funding, the Grants.gov registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “New to PRM Funding” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher. Applicants may also refer to the “Applicant Resources” tools and tips page on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements.

(c) Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should register well in advance of the deadline as it can take up to two weeks to finalize registration (sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to get the required registration numbers). We also recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via Grants.gov no later than one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in an application not being considered. PRM partners must maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which they have an active federal award or an application under consideration by PRM or any federal agency.

(d) When registering with Grants.gov, organizations must designate points of contact and Authorized Organization Representatives (AORs). Organizations based outside the United States must also request and receive an NCAGE code prior to registering with SAM.gov. Applicants experiencing technical difficulties with the SAM registration process should contact the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online or at 1-866-606-8220 (U.S.) and 1-334-206-7828 (International).

(e) Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.

(f) If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at support@grants.gov or by calling 1-800-518-4726.

(g) It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure the appropriate registrations are in place and active. Failure to have the appropriate organizational registrations in place is not considered a technical difficulty and is not justification for an alternate means of submission.

(h) Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), the Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found here.

(i) In accordance with 2 CFR §200.113, Mandatory disclosures, the non-Federal entity or applicant for a Federal award must disclose, in a timely manner, in writing to the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity all violations of Federal criminal law involving fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the Federal award. Non-Federal entities that have received a Federal award including the term and condition outlined in Appendix XII—Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters are required to report certain civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings to SAM. Failure to make required disclosures can result in any of the remedies described in 2 CFR §200.338 Remedies for noncompliance, including suspension or debarment. (See also 2 CFR part 180, 31 U.S.C. 3321, and 41 U.S.C. 2313.)

4. Submission Dates and Times

Announcement issuance date: Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Proposal submission deadline: Friday, April 7, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. noon Daylight Eastern

5. Intergovernmental Review – Not Applicable.

6. Funding Restrictions. Federal awards will not allow reimbursement of Federal Award costs without prior authorization by PRM.

7. Other Submission Requirements

(a) PRM Standardized Indicators: In an effort to streamline the proposal writing/reviewing process and better measure the impact of the Bureau’s work, PRM requires the use of standardized indicators for projects in the protection, child protection, health, mental health and psychosocial support, WASH, nutrition and food security, education, livelihoods, and emergency shelter sectors, as well as projects that include local government capacity-building and core relief items (non-food items). Applicants must fill in numerical and/or percentage targets for each indicator. Sphere standards should be used as targets, unless otherwise noted. Proposals must include all standardized indicators that apply to the program. Please refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for a complete list of all standardized indicators that must be included.

(b) Branding and Marking Strategy: Unless exceptions have been approved by the designated bureau Authorizing Official as described in the proposal templates that are available upon email request from PRM's NGO Coordinator, at a minimum, the following provision will be included whenever assistance is awarded:

• The Recipient shall recognize the United States Government’s funding for activities specified under this award at the project site with a graphic of the U.S. flag accompanied by one of the following two phrases based on the level of funding for the award:

1) Fully funded by the award: “Gift of the United States Government”

2) Partially funded by the award: “Funding provided by the United States Government”

Exemptions from this requirement may be allowable but must be agreed to in writing by the Grants Officer.

All programs, projects, assistance, activities, and public communications to foreign audiences, partially or fully funded by the Department, should be marked appropriately overseas with the standard U.S. flag in a size and prominence equal to (or greater than) any other logo or identity. The requirement does not apply to the Recipient’s own corporate communications or in the United States.

The Recipient should ensure that all publicity and promotional materials underscore the sponsorship by or partnership with the U.S. Government or the U.S. Embassy. The Recipient may continue to use existing logos or program materials; however, a standard rectangular U.S. flag must be used in conjunction with such logos.

The U.S. flag may replace or be used in conjunction with the Department of State seal, the U.S. embassy seal, or other DOS program logos.

Sub non-Federal entities (sub-awardees) and subsequent tier sub-award agreements are subject to the marking requirements and the non-Federal entity shall include a provision in the sub non-Federal entity agreement indicating that the standard, rectangular U.S. flag is a requirement.

In the event the non-Federal entity does not comply with the marking requirements as established in the approved assistance agreement, the Grants Officer Representative and the Grants Officer must initiate corrective action with the non-Federal entity.

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria: Eligible submissions will be those that comply with the criteria and requirements included in this announcement. In addition, the review panel will evaluate the proposals based on the following criteria:

(i) Problem Statement/Analysis

(ii) Program Description

(iii) Gender Analysis

(iv) Objectives and Indicators

(v) Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

(vi) Accountability to Affected Populations

(vii) Coordination

(viii) Sustainability and Capacity-Building

(ix) Management and Past Performance

(x) Budget

2. PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all proposals submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel of at least three people will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced programmatic criteria and PRM priorities in the context of available funding.

3. Department of State Review Panels may provide conditions and recommendations on applications to enhance the proposed program, which must be addressed by the applicant before further consideration of the award. To ensure effective use of limited PRM funds, conditions or recommendations may include requests to increase, decrease, clarify, and/or justify costs and program activities.

4. New PRM Award Data Sheet: Prior to award and upon final negotiation, PRM will ask the selected NGOs to fill out and submit a PRM Award Data Sheet to capture a subset of information from the proposal.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Administration. A successful applicant can expect to receive a separate notice from PRM stating that an application has been selected before PRM actually makes the federal award. That notice is not an authorization to begin performance. Only the notice of award signed by the grants officer is the authorizing document. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified following completion of the selection and award process.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements. PRM awards are made consistent with the following provisions in the following order of precedence: (a) applicable laws and statutes of the United States, including any specific legislative provisions mandated in the statutory authority for the award; (b) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR); (c) Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions of the award; (d) the award’s specific requirements; and (e) other documents and attachments to the award.

3. Reporting

Successful applicants will be required to submit:

(a) Program Reports: PRM requires program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. A program report is required within thirty (30) days following the end of each three month period of performance during the validity period of the agreement. The final program report is due ninety (90) days following the end of the agreement. The submission dates for program reports will be written into the cooperative agreement. Partners receiving multi-year awards should follow this same reporting schedule and should still submit a final program report at the end of each year that summarizes the NGO’s performance during the previous year.

The Performance Progress Report (SF-PPR) is a standard, government-wide performance reporting format. Recipients of PRM funding must submit the signed SF-PPR cover page with each program report. In addition, the Bureau suggests that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended program report template and reference this template as being attached in block 10 of the SF-PPR. This template is designed to ease the reporting requirements while ensuring that all required elements are addressed. The Program Report Template can be requested by sending an email with only the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” (without the quotation marks) in the subject line to PRMNGOCoordinator@state.gov.

(b) Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement (January 30th, April 30th, July 30th, October 30th). The final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement. For agreements containing indirect costs, final financial reports are due within sixty (60) days of the finalization of the applicable negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA).

Reports reflecting expenditures for the recipient’s overseas and United States offices should be completed in accordance with the Federal Financial Report (FFR SF-425) and submitted electronically in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Payment Management System (HHS/PMS) and in accordance with other award specific requirements. Detailed information pertaining to the Federal Financial Report including due dates, instruction manuals and access forms, is provided on the HHS/PMS website.

For more details regarding reporting requirements please see PRM’s General NGO Guidelines.

(c) Audit Reports: When a recipient-contracted audit is not required because the Federal award amount is less than the $750,000 threshold, the Department may determine that an audit must be performed and the audit report must be submitted to the responsible grants office(r) for review, dissemination, and resolution as appropriate. The cost of audits required under this policy may be charged either as an allowable direct cost to the award, or included in the organizations established indirect costs in the award’s detailed budget.

G. PRM Contacts

Applicants with technical questions related to this announcement should contact the PRM staff listed below prior to proposal submission. Please note that responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed.

PRM Program Officer: Naveed Malik (MalikNA@state.gov, +1-202-453-9308) Washington, D.C.

Regional Refugee Coordinator: Skye Justice (JusticeSS@state.gov, + 221 33 879 4049) U.S. Embassy, Dakar, Senegal.


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Convening amid a backlash against globalization, expanding economic inequality and marked shifts towards nationalism and isolation around the world, the sixth annual Economic and Social Council Youth Forum opened to hundreds of Government representatives and youth delegates today with an urgent focus on the role of youth in poverty eradication and promoting prosperity.

Speakers opening the two-day event stressed that the world’s 1.8 billion young people had been disproportionately affected by rising inequality brought about by rapid technological innovation, and continued to face unemployment, discrimination and exploitation.  Many stressed that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — with its concrete targets and promise to leave no one behind — must serve as a unifying roadmap for all generations, in sharp contrast to the “bans and walls” proposed by some world leaders.

Council President Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava (Zimbabwe) said the broad participation in the Forum was a sure sign that people “have not given into despair and cynicism”.  The 2030 Agenda was a blueprint for action “by and for the youth”, as it sought to achieve lasting prosperity while preserving the Earth for coming generations.  He underlined a number of priorities in that context, including boosting investments in education, putting in place social safety nets and promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns.

Secretary-General António Guterres, addressing the meeting via videoconference, issued a broad appeal to youth delegates gathered at the Forum as well as those following through social media from around the world:  “We want to hear from you — tell us how the United Nations can see the world from your perspective and address your concerns.”  Noting that his Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, was approaching the end of his term of office, he thanked him for four years of dedicated work in elevating youth issues on the global agenda. 

“When youth are left out of the equation, the results speak for themselves,” said Mr. Alhendawi.  Recalling that the 2007-2008 global economic crisis had resulted in high youth unemployment, protests, and finally, radicalization and violent extremism — raising questions about how to address young people’s concerns — he emphasized the need for everyone to do more for youth and to engage with them in candid discussions.  Young people were central to everything the United Nations did, he added.

Echoing that sentiment, Assembly President Peter Thomson (Fiji) said the Forum had become a dynamic, innovative and essential fixture on the United Nations calendar in just a few short years.  Emphasizing the relevance of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change to the Forum’s current focus on poverty eradication, he said the best chance for achieving a sustainable way of life lay in ensuring that young people were fully engaged and empowered as innovators in those development processes.

Keynote speaker Trisha Shetty, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SheSays, representative of the Major Group for Children and Youth and member of the United Nations Young Leaders, declared:  “We must be acutely aware that every minute we are losing young lives to violence and discrimination.”  Noting that the 2030 Agenda offered a holistic road map forward — in contrast to bans and walls — she said the 17 Sustainable Development Goals should also serve as a template for young people to demand accountability from their Governments.

Hisham Bin Mohammed Al-Jowder, Minister for Youth and Sport Affairs of Bahrain, also delivered a keynote address, stressing that young people’s “enthusiasm, dynamism and drive” must not be wasted.  Recalling that their hopes and ambitions had been instrumental in designing the Goals, he said it was now crucial to create young leaders in fields ranging from science to sports and music to social work.

During an interactive round-table discussion on the role of youth in poverty eradication and promoting prosperity, a number of Government ministers responded to questions from youth delegates as well as from the moderator, Mr. Alhendawi, who pointed out that the Forum’s discussions would feed directly into the Council’s High-Level Political Forum on the 2030 Agenda’s implementation.

The cross-cutting nature of youth issues was underscored by the presence of a range of Government ministers, not just those responsible for youth affairs, he said.  Among those represented were ministers for education, human resource development, equal opportunities and foreign affairs, many of whom described national efforts to empower youth, support their development and institutionalize their participation in decision-making.

The topics discussed ranged from the importance of intergenerational dialogue and the creation of local youth councils, to the provision of education and other services, to the massive flows of young refugees fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.  The heads of a number of youth organizations and major groups also participated, calling in particular for more financing to support young people as the “custodians of the future”.

Also today, the Forum held six breakout sessions on the Sustainable Development Goals to be reviewed under the High-Level Political Forum in 2017, as well as a second round table on the role of technology in the implementation of the Goals, moderated by Erhardt Graeff, PhD Researcher at the Center for Civic Media, MIT Media Lab.  The discussion centred on young people’s contributions to addressing developmental challenges.

The Youth Forum will reconvene at 10 a.m. Tuesday, 31 January, to conclude its work.

Opening Remarks

FREDERICK MUSIIWA MAKAMURE SHAVA (Zimbabwe), President of the Economic and Social Council, said the broad participation in today’s meeting was a sure sign that people around the world “have not given into despair and cynicism”.  Indeed, there was a readiness to respond to the clarion call, made through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to leave no one behind.  “Your presence here tells me that you recognize that years of collaborative action, through the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and other development goals have resulted in tangible progress toward poverty eradication,” he said.  However, global prosperity had been uneven, with inequalities rising.  Today, the very ideas of globalization and international trade were viewed by many with a sense of unease and anxiety.  In particular, the world faced massive migration flows and youth unemployment.  “As 2017 dawned, many were asking what went wrong.”

However, there was an alternate direction available through implementation of the 2030 Agenda, which he called a blueprint for action “by and for the youth” as it sought to achieve lasting prosperity today while preserving the Earth for coming generations.  “We must ensure that economic growth is as inclusive as it is sustainable,” he stressed, adding that the failings of the current models must be addressed.  Social safety nets could help spread the benefits of globalization more equitably, and investment in education — which should be relevant to the needs of the labour market, unleashing both creativity and innovation — was critical.  Noting that climate change was among the biggest challenges, he called for increased investment in sustainable consumption and production, and policy actions to promote innovation in those areas.  “Youth have a special stake” in implementing the 2030 Agenda, he concluded, stressing:  “this will be your world”.

ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, Secretary-General of the United Nations, addressing the Forum via videoconference from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, emphasized that millions of young people continued to struggle to find work, and suffered from violence and discrimination — even in places where peace prevailed.  He urged youth around the world to help steer the United Nations.  “We want to hear from you — tell us how the United Nations can see the world from your perspective and address your concerns,” he said, thanking the Envoy on Youth for his work in elevating their issues on the global agenda.

PETER THOMSON (Fiji), President of the General Assembly, said that within a few short years, the Youth Forum had become a dynamic, innovative and essential fixture on the United Nations calendar.  The focus this year could not be more fundamental to poverty eradication efforts.  Poverty affected young people disproportionately, with 156 million youth around the world living in extreme poverty, he said, a number that could grow amid automation, digitization, slowing economic growth and environmental destruction.  Emphasizing the importance of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change, he said the best chance for achieving a sustainable way of life lay in ensuring that young people were fully engaged and empowered as innovators in development processes.

He called for young people to be part of inclusive new partnerships involving Governments, the United Nations, civil society and the private sector that would drive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.  They must also help shape new ways to run economies, do business and manage labour markets so that those systems were based on principles of sustainability and equality, and featured access to education, health and decent green jobs.  In addition, the Youth Forum should be strengthened so that young people were heard and could help shape policies.  Young people today would, as adults, inherit the success or failure of the 2030 Agenda, and he called on them to bring their energy, passion, idealism and ideas to the task of implementing the Goals.

AHMAD ALHENDAWI, Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, said it was heart-warming to see young people gain recognition during three “waves” that included the 2007-2008 economic crisis, which had resulted in high youth unemployment, protests in 2011 and then radicalization and violent extremism, which had made the world question how to deal with young people.  He expressed hope that another crisis would not be required in order to discover young people’s role in development.  “When youth are left out of the equation, the results speak for themselves,” he said, emphasizing the need for everyone to do more for youth and to engage with them in candid discussions. 

Recalling that this was his last week as Youth Envoy after a four-year term, he said it had been an exceptional journey that had enabled him to see the centrality of youth in everything the United Nations was doing.  Sixteen indicators in the 2030 Agenda related to youth, while Security Council resolution 2250 (2015) on youth, peace and security had benefitted from contributions by the large youth peacebuilding movement.  Indeed, Governments were better off when they listened meaningfully to youth and struggled when they did not, he added.

He urged young people to be a source of hope, saying: “We make progress when we don’t underestimate our power, or the power of showing up, when shared values are under attack.”  Young people around the world were remarkably similar, but the situations in which they found themselves were linked to access to opportunities.  Youth today were the most connected generation in history, but they were also dealing with the most interconnected challenges.  Recalling the 1985 film Back to the Future, in which the future was set in 2015, he said young people were “here right now”.  Expressing his belief in the United Nations and the multilateral path to peace and progress, he encouraged youth delegates to take time, learn and speak with representatives of Member States who were also attending the Youth Forum.

HISHAM BIN MOHAMMED AL-JOWDER, Minister for Youth and Sport Affairs of Bahrain, delivering a statement on behalf of Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, said the world’s 1.8 billion young people between 10 and 24 years old had become ever more essential in shaping the future.  Their hopes and ambitions had been instrumental in designing the Sustainable Development Goals and it was now critical to provide them unconditional guidance and limitless opportunities.  Young people must be empowered and become leaders in all fields, from science and sports, to music and social work.  He urged recognizing that without young people’s participation, implementing change would be near impossible.

“Their enthusiasm, dynamism and drive should not be wasted,” he stressed, outlining ways that Bahrain had encouraged opportunity for young people, including through partnering up with the United Nations.  The private sector was also empowering young people from different cultural backgrounds through novel and creative means.  Recognizing the role of various sectors and the importance of promoting a global culture that invested in and involved young people, he emphasized that good habits formed at a tender age.  It would not be enough to simply talk of empowerment behind closed doors.  Rather, conversations must happen everywhere and nations must commit to believing in young people.

TRISHA SHETTY, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SheSays, representative of the Major Group for Children and Youth and member of the United Nations Young Leaders, described three cases of child rape and murder in which her team was currently involved in her home country, India.  Among those were the sexual abuse and murder of a young woman in her home, the rape of a four-and-a-half-year-old child by her neighbour and the discovery of the dismembered body of a three-year-old girl.  “We must be acutely aware that every minute we are losing young lives to violence and discrimination,” she stressed, adding that the many challenges facing people around the world disproportionately affected young people.  Millions of young people faced violence, discrimination and the effects of climate change, she said, emphasizing that “these statistics are not alternative facts”.  The 17 Sustainable Development Goals offered a holistic road map forward, she said, in contrast to bans and walls.

It was critical to build the resilience of the most vulnerable — including women and youth — and to safeguard their environment.  They must fight for a seat at the table that went beyond “tokenism” by investing in youth parliamentarians and through programmes such as the Special Envoy’s Office’s “Not too Young to Run” campaign.  “You had better step up,” she said, calling on Government representatives present in the room to advocate more strongly for the youth that could vote for them.  Better policies were also needed at the national levels, she said, recalling that marital rape had yet to be criminalized in her country and that those who advocated for a change to that policy were sometimes termed “western-imported feminists”.  More data, disaggregated by age, were needed, and young people needed to use the Sustainable Development Goals as a template to demand accountability from their Governments.  “We will get up, lace up and show up to fight to make our existence known,” she concluded.

Interactive Round Table on Role of Youth in Poverty Eradication

The Council then held an interactive round-table session on the theme “The role of youth in poverty eradication and promoting prosperity”.  Moderated by Mr. Alhendawi, it featured Government ministers and other high-level speakers from around the world.

Mr. ALHENDAWI, opening the discussion, said the Council’s annual Youth Forum offered the most institutionalized setting for the United Nations to join together with young people, as it would feed into the discussions of the Council’s High-Level Political Forum on the 2030 Agenda’s implementation.  The cross-cutting nature of youth issues was underscored by the presence today of various Government ministers, not only ministers for youth.

IGOR CRNADAK, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to a question on how youth issues were being brought to the international stage, replied that young people were critical to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Almost 90 per cent of young people lived in developing countries, and many lacked access to adequate education, health systems or employment.  Bosnia and Herzegovina had worked to help youth hold their Government accountable, and was bringing youth perspectives to the fore at the local, national, regional and international levels.  The region had seen much cooperation, including in the area of intercultural development, which was especially critical given its turbulent past.  However, “we need more active participation”, he said, including through non-governmental organizations, youth groups and at international forums such as the United Nations. 

NIELS CASZO, President of AIESEC International, asked by Mr. Alhendawi to describe progress made on youth issues, said many young people still lacked a decent understanding of global issues, especially the 2030 Agenda.  Asking participants whether they felt all their peers understood the Agenda and its 17 Goals — to which not one delegate raised his or her hand — he stressed that the work done for and by youth so far was “just the tip of the iceberg”.  His organization’s “Youth for Global Goals” project had reached out to millions of young people, thousands of whom had taken action in their communities.  However, despite many good intentions by Member States, funding for such work remained a challenge.  “If we say young people are the custodians of the future, we need to give them more support through funding,” he said.

SHRI BIREN SIKDER, State Minister for Youth and Sports of Bangladesh, asked how his country was engaging youth in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, explained that in Bangladesh people between the ages of 18 to 35 represented one third of the population.  The Government believed they could play a vital role, and that it was its duty to provide young people with proper guidance and institutional support.  He described a number of programmes in that regard, adding that there should be several platforms at the United Nations to engage youth in the formulation of global policies.

DALJIT B.K. SHREEPALI, Minister for Youth and Sport of Nepal, asked how his country aligned its national youth policy with the Sustainable Development Goals, discussed the work of the National Youth Council.  The Government had linked its various youth development programmes with the Goals.  For example, special programmes had been put in place to address gender violence, girl trafficking and domestic violence, while other important policy initiatives sought to enhance the status of youth in Nepal.

ALEXEI PALAMARCHUK, Acting Head of the Federal Agency on Youth Affairs, Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, to a question on how to promote the Goals at the nineteenth World Festival of Youth and Students, explained that the event, to be held in Sochi from 14 to 22 October, would bring together youth from around the world who had different views, but were united in their determination to create a better world.  Organizers were planning a number of round tables, parallel discussions and lectures on education, the environment, security, economic growth and other topics.  He invited the Youth Forum to participate in the festival and looked forward to support from the United Nations. 

JOÃO PAULO REBELO, Secretary of State of Youth and Sport of Portugal, responding to a question about how his country was setting the stage for the implementation of the Goals, said youth policies interacted with all ministries, from education and employment, to health care, the environment, citizenship, communities and political participation.  Portuguese young people engaged with the Economic and Social Council, as well as with the European Union’s decision-making processes and Ibero-American dialogue, and with the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community.  Portugal, along with Senegal and the Republic of Moldova, planned to present a resolution to the General Assembly’s seventy-second session on the empowerment, participation and integration of youth in decision-making.

AZAD RAHIMOV, Minister for Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan, asked how his Government would engage on youth issues, said Azerbaijan was working to mobilize young people to embrace the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to health, education, gender and employment.  It was working with partners to ensure that targets were achieved before the deadline, he said, drawing attention to a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to raise awareness of the Goals among young people.  Also, the Youth Foundation was working on thousands of youth-led projects, worth millions of dollars, he said, adding that “investing in youth domestically and abroad is a smart investment”.

CARIZA SEGUERRA, Chairperson of National Youth Commission of the Philippines, responding to a question about how his country’s national youth policy engaged young people in the implementation of the Goals, said youth comprised 30 per cent of the Philippines’ population.  Among other things, its youth policy defined the duties of local governments in addressing young people’s political, cultural and civic rights.  As part of its Chairmanship of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2017, the Philippines had also worked to align its youth policies with those of the group, as well as with the 2030 Agenda.  “Youth will help realize the [Goals],” he said, calling for adult-youth partnerships at all levels of Government and creation of more youth councils around the world.

MAX TREJO, International Youth Organization from Ibero-America, asked to relay information from the group’s recent summit, responded by drawing attention to his organization’s “Pact for Youth”, which had been agreed with 22 Ibero-American States and established 23 actions to help young people.  “This shows that in our region actions are stronger than words,” he said, warning against “resting on our laurels”.   More work was needed to implement those agreements, targets and indicators, requiring efforts by United Nations agencies.  Underscoring the importance of civil society organizations in engaging young people, he said more efforts were needed to mobilize Governments, monitor implementation of the 2030 Agenda and address related gaps.  “Today, some Governments want to build walls,” he said, stressing that “now is the time” to not let history repeat itself.

SAMANTHA O’BRIEN O’REILLY, youth delegate from Ireland, asked how many Governments, in drawing up national implementation plans for the Sustainable Development Goals, had sought the input of young people.  If young people were to put their energy into building sustainable societies, they must be empowered to do so.  The 2030 Agenda would be achieved by cooperation, not by command.

KAREN ELLEMANN, Minister for Equal Opportunities of Denmark, was asked by a Forum participant from Tunisia to share her country’s best practices regarding young people and closing the gender gap.  Replying, she said the recipe was clear — everyone had the same rights, and thus, everyone had equal opportunities in Denmark as well as equal responsibilities.  On a global level, she emphasized such challenges as domestic violence and honour-related crimes, stressing that Denmark would continue to push for full sexual and reproductive health rights until all women and girls could decide freely over their own bodies.

SAMANTHA MARSHALL, Minister for Social Transformation and Human Resource Development of Antigua and Barbuda, described her country’s efforts to promote youth and women in leadership positions.  Since 2014, there had been an equal number of female and male senators, she said, including the country’s youngest-ever female senator, who was around 23 years old.  She emphasized the need to sensitize the public about the Goals and ensure that women and girls understood them. 

SOLVEIG HORNE, Minister for Children and Equality of Norway, to a question about youth education and youth employment, said it was her Government’s goal to increase access to work.  It sought to reduce the proportion of young people lacking jobs, education and training.  She described a number of programmes that Norway had put into place, including one that would provide mentors for those aged 14 to 23 who were in danger of dropping out of school or work.

Ms. WU, speaking on behalf of the Major Group for Children and Youth, asked the representative of the United States a question related to access to secondary education and the large burden of student loan debt often seen in his country.

ANDREW RABENS, Special Adviser for Global Youth Issues of the United States, responded that access to quality education was among the most critical challenges around the world.  “We need to prevent the lottery of birth determining one’s prospects in life,” he stressed, calling education the “great equalizer” and a springboard for young people to pursue their passions and create opportunities.  The United States was working to guarantee equal access to education early in life and ensure that it prepared young people for knowledge- and innovation-fuelled jobs. It was estimated that nearly half of young people now entering grade school would one day enter industries that did not yet exist.  Thus, it was crucial to better understand the labour market, align education with emerging opportunities and keep the costs of higher education down.

Mr. ALHENDAWI, noting that some 6 million school-aged refugees were currently registered with the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), then asked Akif Cagatay Kilic, Minister for Youth and Sport of Turkey, how his country was tackling the fundamental rights of young refugees during the present crisis.

Mr. KILIC agreed that Turkey had seen a “shocking” number of refugees — nearly 3 million — from neighbouring Iraq and Syria.  As the provision of education and other basic services was a big challenge, it was critical to prevent young refugees from becoming a “lost generation”, he said.  Refugee children took part in the Turkish school system, with thousands enrolled in the country’s universities.  The Government was also carrying out a number of important social inclusion programmes.  “We need to give opportunities to youngsters who are eager to take part in the world” while also helping them keep their traditions alive in the face of the great challenges, he said.  It was the human responsibility of all people, including through the United Nations, to give young refugees a chance at a better future.

Ms. ILLES, Deputy Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs of Hungary, asked to describe her country’s efforts to reduce youth unemployment, said that rate had recently fallen to under 12 per cent — below the European Union average.  Hungary had developed a multilateral approach to help young people transition from education to employment.  Family and children were a top national priority, she said, drawing attention to such projects as the Youth Guarantee Programme, which aimed to support young people holistically.  Mr. VOLOM, youth delegate from Hungary, then took the floor to emphasize the importance of intergenerational dialogue.

CHRISTOPHER DEKKI, International Movement of Catholic Students PAX-Romana, addressed a question about national efforts to help youth entrepreneurs to the Permanent Representative of Kenya.

MACAHRIA KAMAU (Kenya) responded that, with young people comprising more than 30 per cent of his country’s population, youth issues were a major priority.  Kenya had established a Youth Enterprise Development Fund to support young entrepreneurs in start-ups and business expansion, provide skills training and create access to employment abroad.  It had distributed loans, on soft terms, to more than 1 million young Kenyans, and helped them develop links with large enterprises.  Among other things, the Fund was also fostering access to affordable commercial infrastructure and helping young people to win tenders for the provision of goods and services to county governments.

Mr. ALHENDAWI then drew attention to the central role played by youth in the recent peace agreement between Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) group. 

JUAN CARLOS REYES, President of Colombia Joven, said young people had been especially active after the Cartagena Peace Agreement was rejected by a small majority in October 2016.  They had risen up to stress the importance of ending the war, and as a result, generated the climate necessary for the Government and the FARC to return to the negotiating table and adjust the peace agreement.  Youth organizations, in particular, had worked to influence Parliamentarians to endorse and implement the agreement.

DESSIMA WILLIAMS, Special Adviser to the President of the General Assembly for the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, noted that today’s discussions would contribute to the High-Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals that the Economic and Social Council would hold from 10 to 19 July.  She described the work of “two fabulous young women” — one, from Morocco, who was using art to help people embrace the Goals, and the other, from Guinea, who had established an organization to promote the Goals.  She also emphasized the importance of the United Nations outlining a set of values, including justice, equality, non-discrimination and leaving no one behind.

Interactive Round Table on Role of Technology

In the afternoon, the Economic and Social Council Youth Forum held a panel discussion on the “Role of technology in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals,” moderated by Erhardt Graeff, PhD Researcher at the Center for Civic Media, MIT Media Lab.  The panel included the following speakers: James Powell, U-Report Global Lead, United Nations Children’s Fund; Zoe Carletide, U-Report Manager, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts; Nevena Vukasinovic, Secretary-General for the Organisation Européenne Non-Gouvernementale des Sports (ENGSO), Belgrade Initiative for Digital and Public Diplomacy-UN MGCY Science Policy Interface Platform; Zain Habboo, Senior Director for Digital and Multimedia Strategy, UN Foundation; and Jake Horowitz, Founder of MIC and young leader for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. GRAEFF, introducing the panellists, said that one of the most exciting opportunities for youth was technology, yet too many young people lacked access to digital tools and other infrastructure necessary to leverage technology.  In some places, information was simply shut down and misinformation was rampant.  Today’s discussion would focus on the contributions of young people to addressing developmental challenges and equipping youth with skills.

Mr. POWELL underscored the need to exploit the most connected generation in history through bold and innovative ideas.  The tools to reach millions of people now existed even in hard to reach places, ensuring that people who had never been part of the development process could now be involved.  To reach the most marginalized people, technology would have to be affordable.  Partnerships between the private sector and civil society must focus on empowering young people and youth organizations.  As the digital world could be a dangerous place, it would be critical to ensure a safe space for young people to express themselves without fear of repercussion. 

Ms. CARLETIDE said U-Report supported and empowered millions of girls to share their challenges, views and hopes.  U-Report allowed UNICEF to collect qualitative data in a quantitative way.  Noting that the current poll on the website had garnered some 4,000 responses on incidents of sexual violence, she said many reported that sexual violence against girls and women was worsening, and remained a major barrier to women securing their full rights and well-being.  It would be critical to work together to build a future where everyone felt safe, she added.

Ms. VUKASINOVIC said there were ongoing debates over whether technology had had a positive or negative impact on societies.  The answer was both:  Technology had become so prevalent that it was difficult to measure its impacts; however, it remained the key driver of sustainable development.  To reap its full benefits while minimalizing its negative impacts, technology and innovation must work hand-in-hand.  Digital literacy would help provide decent jobs for youth.  Enhancing young people’s meaningful participation would also empower them to shape their future.  “I refuse to be left behind,” she said, emphasizing that action meant shared engagement and that young people were the best catalysts of hope.

Ms. HABBOO said the UN Foundation was a big believer in media partnerships as a means of raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on print and digital-only media.  In 2014-15, it had observed a 228 per cent increase in English-language media coverage of sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. HOROWITZ described his experience with a high-school friend in launching a news company that would appeal to millennials and become “the next CNN”.  It was time for youth to show that it had a voice.  The power was with the people and the current generation must go into the streets and make their voices heard.

The panel then took questions from the moderator and others in the Forum on such topics as creative storytelling methods, reaching youth in areas of low Internet penetration, partnerships with the private sector, localized languages and the use of social media to radicalize young people.

Mr. HOROWITZ responded that everyone today had a mobile phone and understood how to go live on social media.  He recalled how social media had been used a few months earlier to draw attention to Native American issues during protests at Standing Rock against pipeline construction.

Ms. HABBOO said that, whatever the platform, when someone discovered the story they wanted to tell, and to whom they would tell it, then the story would tell itself.

Ms. CARLETIDE added that voices would more easily heard when people joined or helped to build a community.  That was especially important for marginalized people.

Mr. POWELL said that in areas of low Internet penetration, face-to-face interaction remained valuable if conducted with goodwill and enthusiasm.  He also noted the creation of innovation funds by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UNICEF in support of youth innovation.

On social media and the radicalization of youth, he said he viewed the issue as a battle between good and bad information.  Social media companies had a responsibility and they were clamping down.  However, ignoring young people’s concerns was what drove radicalization.

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MORE REFORMS NEEDED, IMF TELLS ZIMBABWE

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Zimbabwe should put in place a comprehensive economic reform plan to ensure successful the transformation of its economy.The Zimbabwean economy went into a free fall following sanctions imposed by some Western...
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Press Conference: Food Security and Nutrition in Somalia

What: The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) issue their latest assessment on the state of food security and nutrition in Somalia.

When: Thursday 2nd February 2017 � 11:00AM EAT.

Who: Peter de Clerq - Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Richard Trenchard - FAO Representative in Somalia, Daniel Molla - Chief Technical Adviser, FSNAU, Abdirizak Nur � National Technical Manager, FEWS NET Somalia

Where: AMISOM VIP Conference Room, Mogadishu with Video Teleconference (VTC) link to FAO Somalia Country Office, Ngecha Road Campus, off Lower Kabete Road, Nairobi

Why: Somalia remains in the grip of an intense drought, induced by two consecutive seasons of poor rainfall. In the worst affected areas, poor rainfall and lack of water has wiped out crops and killed livestock, with communities forced to sell their assets, and borrow food and money to survive.

About: FSNAU provides a broad range of life-saving information and analysis on food security and malnutrition in Somalia. FSNAU is a multi-donor project managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Office in Somalia. FEWS NET is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food security, operating in 35 countries.

Contacts: Chi Lael, Communications Officer, FAO Somalia, Email � Chi.Lael@fao.org, Tel � +254 715 894 825, or Joe Lamport, Communications Adviser, FEWS NET, Email � jlamport@fews.net, Tel � +1 202 524 779

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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Human Rights

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 13:21

An international court's condemnation of the Colombian state's role in an infamous military operation in the city of Medellín speaks to the failings of militarizing the fight against illegal armed groups, particularly in heavily populated urban areas.

Monday, November 14, 2016 - 07:24

Turkey has halted the activities of 370 non-governmental groups including human rights and children's organizations over their alleged terrorist links, the government said as it widens purges following a failed coup in July.

Monday, November 14, 2016 - 07:20

That practice has fueled resentment among the local Arab population and risks breathing new life into the insurgency just as a U.S.-backed government offensive pushes into Mosul, the Sunni extremist group’s last major stronghold in Iraq.

Monday, November 14, 2016 - 06:50

Authorities have arrested more than 11 000 people since Ethiopia declared a state of emergency in early October amid violent protests, state TV said on Saturday.

Friday, November 11, 2016 - 07:56

A former U.S. state department top expert on Nigeria has asked the American government not to sell 12 warplanes worth $500 million to the Muhammadu Buhari administration due to allegations of human rights violations and corruption.

Friday, November 11, 2016 - 07:09

Human Right Watch (HRW) on Thursday called on Colombia’s Defense Ministry to prevent the promotion to general of at least five top military officials accused of executing civilians, but to no avail.In spite the protest, a Colombian senate commission approved the officials’ promotion, which will now be sent to the full senate for approval.

Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:23

“From the outset this trial has been marred by irregularities, and allegations of torture that have not been investigated. The authorities have failed to prove any criminal responsibility for the acts of violence these individuals have been accused of. The Appeal Court must put an end this farce," said Kiné Fatim Diop, Amnesty International’s West Africa Campaigner.

Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:21

The government of Zimbabwe is crafting a bill to clamp down on cybercrime and terrorism, but journalists fear the bill will trample the fragile freedoms of the press and expression in the country.

Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:18

The Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) said journalists have had to contend with frequent death threats, arbitrary arrests, assaults, detention and killings under President Salva Kiir's administration.

Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:13

Colombian authorities should ensure that generals and colonels against whom there is credible evidence of involvement in extrajudicial executions and other abuses are not elevated in rank during impending promotions, Human Rights Watch said today.

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