There's just so much money in the non-profit industrial complex. And it's so unrepentantly imperialist. Take, for example, the recent "Grants to Support U.S. Ideology in Foreign Hospitals and Schools," offered by USAID: Number of Grants: 26; Estimated Size of Grant: $2,000,000. So silly of me to think they'd make an effort to hide it. On the hospital ideology note, there's the much slimmer (get it??) award being advertised on Claro—only $100,000 a pop:
That last point, of course, ties in very nicely to the most recent time I was teargassed, in Oakland last Tuesday, when in the name of public health, the OPD smashed Scott Olsen's skull.
And just to stick with the theme, of me being teargassed and the non-profit military-industrial complex...The second time I was teargassed this year was outside the gates of the U.S. military base Palmerola on the anniversary of the coup. I got strep for two weeks from that, just like I have it now (thanks a lot, OPD- great job on promoting health—although at least my skull's still intact). But my strep's beside the point. The point is, what does SOUTHCOM need to defend so badly that it is willing to teargas dozens of gringos who aren't posing the slightest threat to its power? Okay, so that's a long answer, but in the meantime I can tell you a bit about whom they're funding. JTFB has had an active program of funding neoliberal education programs that facilitate (both enthusiastically and through more devious means) the destruction of unions and corresponding increasing lack of access to primary education. Take, for example, the information from a recently released USG cable outlining the embassy's strategy for its then-recently launched initiative promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). It shows that Marco Cáceres's Project Honduras is funded by DARPA (DoD) through JTF-Bravo. DARPA?? I quote:
The organization projecthonduras.com, whose annual conference in Copan the Ambassador attended, offers a unique opportunity for PPP networking. Projecthonduras.com was started by a Honduran-American to help bring together U.S. groups by networking more than 100 organizations, most of them with private-sector supporters, to help those in need. JTF-Bravo provided USD 20,000 of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funds for the recent conference and hopes to support the conference again next year. SouthCom's direct contact with the organization could lead to a productive partnership to leverage wider knowledge.
I'm scratching my head trying to figure out what "leverage wider knowledge" means. JTFB also like to get with the kids for a little firefighting propaganda:
The activities, as part fire prevention week, included crawling through a simulator containing dry ice smoke, participating in a smoke detector class, touring the fire station and watching a water truck demonstration...Earlier in the day, the firefighters participated in a local parade where they handed out safety flyers, fire hats and candy to children.
This is particularly disgusting in light of the comment a Palmerola firefighter made to me earlier this year about letting a massive fire burn for four days because there was no PR value in it.
The above-linked cable also demonstrates very very close ties between the golpista AmCham and the embassy (it's signed by Llorens) but that of course is no surprise. In fact, the whole document is a goldmine of U.S. (especially USAID) government complicity in the whitewashing of corporate crimes through dubious "assistance" programs promoting neoliberal solutions to neoliberal problems via partners like Walmart, CitiGroup, and Monsanto (the list goes on), just months before the coup. Groups like Hart-Lyman openly bring corporate philanthropy, USAID, State, and the military together with their education NGO donations recipients, like OYE.
Speaking of links to María Otero, "Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs [who] oversees and coordinates U.S. foreign relations on a variety of global issues, including democracy, human rights, and labor;" take a look at this grant. I haven't researched which NGOs won for Honduras or the other countries; I don't know if that information is available yet. But the USG could save a lot of money by pulling its head out of its ass. As usual, there's a fundamental problem in the assumptions embedded in this massive grant, i.e. (in the case of Honduras), international NGOs can fix a problem that a U.S.-supported coup largely created. If State really cared about "Access to Justice" and "Freedom of Expression/Press" it would have opposed the coup and its continuation in the form of the illegally-installed Lobo administration. Instead, it bathes the same Non-Profit Industrial Complex that is central to Honduran golpismo in our taxpayer dollars. Thanks to Julie Schneyer for pointing this grant out to me, and to JB for sending me the above-linked cable.
Department of State
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Request for Proposals: Democracy, Human Rights, Rule of Law, and Freedom of Expression/Press for countries in the Western Hemisphere.
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Proposals from organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that promote democracy, human rights, rule of law, and freedom of expression/press in the following regions and countries: Western Hemisphere (Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Argentina)
PLEASE NOTE: DRL strongly urges applicants to access immediately www.grants.gov in order to obtain a username and password. It may take two full weeks to register with www.grants.gov. Please see the section entitled, “DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS” below for specific instructions.
REQUESTED PROPOSAL PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
DRL invites organizations to submit proposals outlining program concepts and capacity to manage projects targeting the following issues:
Access to Justice:
Central America (Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua) Access to Justice (subject to the availability of funding approximately $525,000): DRL seeks proposals for a two-year project directed at increasing citizen confidence in the judicial system and strengthening citizen access to justice by combating impunity, raising citizen awareness of civil and political rights and increasing availability of legal services. The project will target the general population in the identified project countries, with an emphasis on reaching marginalized and vulnerable communities in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
This outreach could include: 1) informational meetings with members of vulnerable populations to learn of human rights problems of ongoing concern such as excessive use of force by the police and specific abuses or crimes, and 2) education sessions for those communities on civil and political rights and the options available through the justice and prosecutorial systems for pursuing remedies.
Clinics, with the participation of local partner NGOs, would help citizens who are victims of human rights abuses prepare a legal strategy and bring the case to trial. Program success might be measured through the number of cases taken up, and/or successfully litigated, by the clinic, as well as concrete feedback through surveys and other tools to assess understanding by target populations of their civil and political rights and the means for protecting them.
Proposals should indicate how project activities would be complementary, rather than duplicative, of current USG funding in the access to justice area in the targeted countries. For purposes of coordinating and creating synergies among ongoing USG efforts, applicants will work in at least six of the communities and/or municipalities listed below (at least two for each country):
Guatemala: Guatemala City; Villa Nueva; Villa Canales; Mixco; Cobán; Quetzaltenango; Tactíc; Tamahú; Santa Cruz; Mancomunidad Copanch’orti; Limon; Santa Elisa; El Esfuerzo; Santa Fe; Santa Faz; Jocotenango; Brigada; Lo de Fuentes; Milagro; Casco de Mixco; Carolingia; Palencia; Palín Escuintla; Ciudad Quetzal; Brisas; Santa Catarina; Ciudad del Sol; Búcaro, Mezquital; Bárcenas; Mezquital; Villalobos; Santa Isabel; and Peronia.
Honduras: Tegucigalpa; Chamelecon district of San Pedro Sula; Japón; Las Pilas; Lopez Arellano; Los Invencibles; Rivera Hernandez; San Jose in Chamelecón; Padre Claret; Los Angeles/el Carmen; Suazo Cordova; Cofradia Centro; Cofradio Casa Quemada; Villafranca (Comayaguela); Buenas Nuevas; Nueva Suyapa; and Puerto Lempira.
Nicaragua: Managua; Bluefields; Pearl Lagoon; Bilwi; and Corn Islands.
Applicants should also provide a brief rationale/criteria used for the selecting nine communities and/or municipalities.
To foster sustainability after the end of DRL funding, the project implementers will develop partnerships with these legal clinics. As project partners, the legal clinics would continue working with government and civil society partners to enhance their services and promote public awareness. An additional sustainability component could include local civil society partners seeking and obtaining longer-term funding through public-private partnerships with the business sector in each country.
Freedom of Expression/Press
WHA Regional (Honduras, Ecuador, and Argentina) Freedom of Expression/Press (subject to the availability of funding, approximately $1,000,000): DRL seeks proposals for a regional project designed to decriminalize press offenses; reduce harassment and intimidation of journalists; address self-censorship in the media resulting from intimidation; and advance techniques to protect journalists from political interference in Ecuador, Honduras, and Argentina, or at least two out of three of those countries. Issues to be addressed and proposed interventions will vary in accordance with the targeted country/countries. The project’s end goal will be to strengthen press freedom. Project activities may include:
Proposals should conform to DRL’s posted Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI), available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/p/october_2010/index.htm#. (For this solicitation, applicants must use the Revised PSI dated October 2010.)
An organization may submit no more than two (2) proposals (one proposal per theme). Proposals that do not meet the requirements of the announcement and PSI may not be considered. Proposals that combine target countries and/or themes may be deemed technically ineligible. Proposals that request less than the award floor ($525,000) or more than the award ceiling ($1,000,000) will be deemed technically ineligible.
For all application documents, please ensure:
Complete applications should include the following for proposal submission:
Note: To ensure all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the DRL Review Committee will review the first page of the requested section up to the page limit and no further. DRL encourages organizations to use the given space effectively.
The Bureau anticipates awarding grants before September 30, 2011. The bulk of funding activities should take place during a two to three-year time frame. Programs that leverage resources from funds internal to the organization or other sources, such as public-private partnerships, will be highly considered. Programs that have a strong academic or research focus will not be highly considered. Cost sharing is strongly encouraged, and cost sharing contributions should be outlined in the proposal, budget, and budget narrative.
Approximately $1,525,000 in FY 2009 and FY 2010 HRDF Funds, subject to availability, would be awarded for programs in the themes/regions outlined above. To support program and administrative costs required for implementation, the Bureau anticipates making awards in amounts of $525,000 to the maximum available figure listed by theme for WHA programs.
DRL will not consider proposals that reflect any type of support, for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization, whether or not elected members of government.
The information in this solicitation is binding and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by the Bureau that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the solicitation does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program evaluation requirements.
Organizations submitting proposals must meet the following criteria:
The Bureau will review all proposals for eligibility. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance of Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements. Final signatory authority for assistance awards resides with the Department’s Grants Officer. DRL and the Grants Office reserve the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial information regarding the proposal.
Proposals will be funded based on an evaluation of how the proposal meets the solicitation review criteria, U.S. foreign policy objectives, and the priority needs of DRL. A Department of State Review Committee will evaluate proposals submitted under this request. Each proposal will be rated along six criteria. Review criteria will include:
DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Applicants must submit proposals using www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on May 23, 2011. Please note that over the next several months www.grants.gov will experience higher than normal application volume due to Recovery Act-related opportunities. DRL will still require applications to be submitted via www.grants.gov but will work with applicants who have trouble in the actual submission process.
Several of the steps in the www.grants.gov registration process can take several weeks. Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate staff within their organizations immediately after reviewing this solicitation to confirm or determine their registration status with Grants.gov.
Please note: In order to safeguard the security of applicants’ electronic information, www.grants.gov utilizes a credential provider to confirm, with certainty, the applicant organization’s credentials. The credential provider for www.grants.gov is Operational Research Consultants (ORC). Applicants MUST register with ORC to receive a username and password which you will need to register with www.grants.gov as an authorized organization representative (AOR). Once your organization's E-Business point of contact has assigned these rights, you will be authorized to submit grant applications through www.grants.gov on behalf of your organization.
Each organization will need to be registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) http://www.ccr.gov/, and you will need to have your organization's DUNS number available to complete this process. For more information regarding the DUNS number, please visit www.dnb.com or call 1-866-705-5711. After your organization registers with the CCR, you must wait approximately three to five business days before you can obtain a username and password. This may delay your ability to post your proposal. Therefore, DRL strongly urges applicants to begin this process on www.grants.gov well in advance of the submission deadline.
No exceptions will be made for organizations that have not completed the necessary steps to post applications on www.grants.gov.
Once registered, the amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors including the size of the application and the speed of your internet connection. In addition, validation of an electronic submission via www.grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through www.grants.gov.
The www.grants.gov website includes extensive information on all phases/aspects of the www.grants.gov process, including an extensive section on frequently asked questions, located under the "For Applicants" section of the website. DRL strongly recommends that all potential applicants review thoroughly www.grants.gov, well in advance of submitting a proposal through the www.grants.gov system.
Direct all questions regarding www.grants.gov registration and submission to:
www.grants.gov Customer Support
Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726
Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 7AM – 9PM Eastern Standard Time
Applicants have until midnight (12:00 a.m.), Washington, D.C. time of the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been uploaded to www.grants.gov. There are no exceptions to the above deadline. Applications uploaded to the site after midnight of the application deadline date will be automatically rejected by the www.grants.gov system and will be technically ineligible.
Please refer to www.grants.gov for definitions of various "application statuses" and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from www.grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Again, validation of an electronic submission via www.grants.govcan take up to two business days. DRL will not notify you upon receipt of electronic applications.
Faxed, couriered, or emailed documents will not be accepted at any time. Applicants must follow all formatting instructions in this document and the PSI.
It is the responsibility of all applicants to ensure that proposals have been received by www.grants.gov in their entirety. DRL bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
For questions related to proposal submissions, please contact Violeta Roman at 202-261-8107 or RomanV@state.gov and/or Gregory Maggio at 202-647-8298 or MaggioGF@state.gov and/or Stephen Kopanos at 202 647-8299 or KopanosSK@state.gov and/or Kimberly Holbrook at (202) 647 8242 or HolbrookKM@state.gov.
Once the RFP deadline has passed, U.S. Government officials - including those in the Bureau, the Department, and at embassies/missions overseas - must not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.