Women, youth and elections in Libya call for proposals

Background

The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) is a cross-government fund that supports and delivers activity to tackle instability and to prevent conflicts that threaten UK interests. It has been a catalyst for a more integrated UK government response to fragility and conflict, including delivering the UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security (WPS) 2018-2022.

The CSSF in Libya is supporting work that leads towards an equitable, durable peace process. A key milestone in the achievement of this will be national elections, currently scheduled to be held at the end of 2021. Ensuring these elections are inclusive of women, youth and other minority groups is crucial for building a sustainable peace. This project will provide flexible, responsive support to local organisations seeking to support women’s and young people’s engagement with the electoral process as candidates and voters.

Women globally face significant threats of violence and harassment related to political participation. Libyan women and young people have played a core role in community peacebuilding, mediation and conflict resolution, but their role has been limited in the formal peace process, including at local and national government level. The majority of civil society organisations in Libya are women-led, but this has not translated into participation in formal decision-making fora.

Under the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) roadmap, the interim executive has committed to 30% participation of women in government. Women’s current representation is at 15%. Only 39% of voters in the last election were women.

The participation of young people is critical. The importance of youth participation is recognised in multiple international agreements, including United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Resolution on Youth Participation in Democracy.

60% of the Libyan population are under 34. Unemployment for this group is at over 40%, and young people have experienced decades of conflict, instability and have limited experiences of the political process. Young women especially have their engagement limited by cultural barriers to mixed gender gatherings. Digital platforms, however, are widely used and a critical part of communication and learning for young people.

Project details

This project will provide flexible and responsive support to organisations working to achieve more equitable election participation for women and youth in Libya. This will take forward recommendations made (including in UK-funded consultations and research) to provide funding for women’s rights organisations that allows them to determine their own priorities and activities, respond flexibly to changes in contexts and emergencies, and protect their civic space. At least 60% of funding must be targeted at women and girls and this must be demonstrated in bidders’ budgets.

The project will aim to support organisations working to:

  • improve youth and women’s political participation, as candidates and voters, including organisations providing protection and psychosocial care for activists
  • providing voter education and skills training
  • support safer elections for women, both as voters and candidates
  • monitor and/or take action on online and offline violence, disinformation and threats
  • improve voter registration and turnout among women and youth and support for securing voting rights
  • any other activity that supports women, girls and young people to engage in the upcoming electoral process

The implementer will work to provide funding to local youth and women’s organisations, which can include coalitions or supporting local-national links. Building on previous successful models in the CSSF, we anticipate the bidder will propose a mechanism to identify and select recipients. Core funding to local organisations is encouraged, provided they are working on the areas outlined above. We will work with the implementer to develop a set of outcomes and a monitoring and evaluation approach that reflect the flexible nature of this funding.

Organisations should aim to demonstrate a broad geographical reach, including West, East and Southern Libya if possible. Organisations should provide evidence of ability to operate (official registration documents or other permissions should be provided).

Proposals

Proposals should clearly outline timeframes, costs, risks and sustainability and ability to operate. Activities should take an inclusive, multi-stakeholder approach, working with local organisations and partners wherever possible across East, West and Southern Libya. Proposals should demonstrate strong civil society networks and consultation with women, youth and their organisations as well as outline how they will be involved in project oversight.

Bids for the project should address:

a) How your organisation is well-equipped with the expertise and resources for this project.

b) Your organisation’s proposed approach to delivering, measuring progress and monitoring short-term impact. Bids should include a particular focus on how they shall measure the value for money impact of their proposed approach. Strong proposals will be high-impact interventions, defined by clear evidence of the potential to deliver solutions that are sustainable and/or scalable.

c) Your approach to safeguarding and conflict sensitivity.

d) How your organisation will deliver its activities and outcomes under different COVID-19 scenarios, including full or partial lock-downs and restrictions on local/international travel.

Scope and scale

The project will require that all activity take place by 31 March 2022. The project budget should not be more than £350,000.

Bidders should not craft proposals in such a way to reach the budget ceiling. Bidders should instead construct their bid to specifically meet the objectives in pursuit of demonstrable impact and value for money.

Assessment

We would welcome bids from not-for-profit organisations working with women and youth in Libya.

The successful applicant will have previous experience working in Libya. We would welcome applications that show ability to work across East, West and Southern Libya. A successful bidders should also have a track record of working with local organisations. It will have the technical and organisational capacity to manage a grant-scheme with different funding streams and to provide tailored capacity and technical support to civil society organisations (CSOs) of differing organisational strengths and capabilities. Applicants should demonstrate at least 60% of funding will be targeted to Women and Girls.

Bids will be assessed against the following criteria and weighting:

  • strategic fit: Alignment with the stated objectives, underpinned by organisational alignment to feminist and youth-centred values and approaches, and demonstrated experience, expertise and reach to take forward activity in the political participation space (25%)
  • project design and viability: based on a good contextual analysis and understanding of the CSO operating space in Libya (and required project responses therein); a realistic description of activities including methodology and capacity to adapt to the security context and to restrictions and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (25%)
  • project monitoring, evaluation and learning: framed against considered, achievable outcomes and outputs and a grounded Theory of Change (ToC) and Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy (MES) (15%)
  • partnerships and donor engagement: capacity to build meaningful, collaborative partnerships, based on mutual respect, shared endeavour, and supportive, open communication with sub-grantees and CSSF Libya, the British Embassy Libya (10%)
  • value for money: financial soundness of the proposed activity, demonstration of economy and efficiency of costs (10%)
  • sustainability: clear consideration of how to sustain project benefit(s) after project completion (5%)
  • risk management, gender and conflict sensitivity: a clear understanding and approach to risk management and to gender and conflict sensitivity (10%)

Requirements

  • the FCDO requires applicants to have the necessary permissions to operate in the relevant regions of Libya
  • at least 60% of funding should be targeted at women and girls
  • applicants should have sufficient financial resilience and a proven track record of transparently and effectively managing donor funded projects of similar scale
  • CSSF will conduct a due diligence assessment on the successful potential partner including reviewing safeguarding measures
  • the project will be delivered through a Grant Agreement and therefore the organisation cannot profit from the received grant funding. Read further information/guidance on what that agreement might look like
  • additional project documentation will be completed by the successful bidder/s, following the award

Bidding process

  • complete and submit the project bid in the project proposal form (ODT, 43.9KB) and CSSF finance reporting template – ABB (ODS, 13.1KB) in English by 3 September 2021
  • proposals that do not meet the criteria and are not completed using the required forms will not be accepted
  • completed forms should be sent in standard format with the subject title “Women, Youth and Elections [XXX – name of the implementer]”, to

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization/author(s)and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.