amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

TARGETED Request for Proposals 

GMT Initiative Community Awards – Eastern Europe and Central Asia

To view the RFP in Russian, please click here 

Deadline: May 8, 2013, 5:00 p.m. in New York City, USA (UTC 21:00) 

Available Funding
Who Is Eligible to Apply // Who Is Not Eligible
Background
Funding Priorities and Areas of Interest
Previous Award Recipients
Sponsor Organizations
Review Process
Forms and Instructions
Application Submission
Confidentiality and Communications
Requirements and Restrictions

Available Funding
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is pleased to announce new funding for innovative projects that focus on innovative combination interventions that increase access to HIV prevention and ARV/STI treatment for  gay men, other men who have sex with men, and transgender individuals (GMT) in the Balkans, South Caucuses and Central Asia. Grassroots organizations led by or closely linked to men who have sex with men (MSM) or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in low- and middle-income countries in the Balkans, South Caucuses and Central Asia are encouraged to submit relevant proposals. Funds for this round of awards are made available through the general support of amfAR.

Each organization may apply for an award of up to $15,000 USD to support project-related costs for up to 12 months. Only one application may be submitted per organization. Proposals for general operating support will not be considered.  

Approximately 105,000 USD is available; amfAR anticipates funding up to seven proposals. Funding recommendations will be announced in July 2013. Organizations that are approved for awards can expect to receive funds to begin activities as early as September 2013.

Funding Priorities and Areas of Interest
This request for proposals (RFP) solicits proposals for innovative community-led projects relevant to reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS among gay men, other MSM, and/or transgender individuals (GMT). 

Regional priorities have been determined in advance of issuing the RFP by surveying a wide range of community-based colleagues with experience and expertise in the region. Based on the survey, only proposals that address the following types of programming will be considered: 

Projects that focus on systems change --:

Innovative combination interventions that increase access to HIV prevention and ARV/STI treatment for GMT, including any combination of the following: 

  • Increased access to HIV/STI testing, including monitoring follow-up, linkages to care, and documenting results 
  • Increased access to HIV care, particularly ARV treatment for GMT who are positive (ideally linked with adherence counseling and secondary prevention) 
  • Decreasing stigma and discrimination for GMT in healthcare and other social service settings (public and private) through various means including but not limited to provider education and sensitization training 
  • Distribution of condoms and condom-compatible-lubricant 
  • Monitoring and documenting episodes of stigma and discrimination for GMT in public healthcare and other social service settings, and producing a report for broader dissemination and advocacy efforts  
  • Advocacy related efforts to inform and increase support for GMT/HIV programming and policies among key stakeholders at the local and/or national level. 

Recognizing the increased challenges faced by transgender communities and GMT living with HIV throughout the Balkans, South Caucuses and Central Asia, relevant projects that include transgender communities and.or GMT living with HIV will be given prioritized attention.

Projects that do not focus on combination interventions will not be considered for funding.   

Since amfAR’s investment is relatively modest, priority will also be given to projects that can be sustained after the conclusion of amfAR funding, and help to inform local, national, regional, or international advocacy activities. Each proposal must clearly explain the involvement of local MSM/LGBT communities in project design, development, implementation, and evaluation, as well as having a clear monitoring and evaluation plan.

The GMT Initiative will provide support for organizational development activities if they are directly related to the project and linked to longer-term goals related to HIV among GMT. In addition, amfAR provides successful applicants with technical and capacity-building assistance, which may include organizational development activities if needed.

As always, the GMT Initiative is receptive to feedback and suggestions regarding the RFP and application process, so please do not hesitate to let us know what you think.  

Who Is Eligible to Apply? 

  • Community-based organizations located in low-and middle-income countries in the Balkans (non EU), South Caucuses and Central Asia  (click here to see list of eligible countries); 
  • Non-profit organizations (e.g., NGOs, CBOs, and other charitable organizations) that are the equivalent of U.S. tax-exempt non-profit organizations;
  • Organizations comprised of MSM or LGBT community members and/or that have established links to MSM/LGBT communities and experience directly involving members of those communities in the development and implementation of programs and activities;
  • Organizations with strong management and leadership;
  • Organizations with capacity to carry out the proposed activities and effectively manage award funds.

Who Is Not Eligible and SHOULD NOT APPLY? 

  • Individuals;
  • Government organizations or units;
  • For-profit organizations;
  • Organizations based in countries that are not on the list of eligible countries;
  • Organizations with annual operating budgets of more than $1 million USD; 
  • Organizations that do not involve MSM or LGBT community members in the development and implementation of programs and activities.

Previous Award Recipients
amfAR encourages current GMT Initiative community award recipient organizations to re-apply, recognizing systems change takes time.  Proposals that are relevant to the focus of this RFP that are submitted by current GMT Initiative community award recipients will be prioritized for funding. Applications should include a summary of work completed to date, accomplishments resulting from current amfAR funding, and describe how the organization plans to build upon successes or challenges from prior awards. 

Sponsor Organizations
Grassroots groups that are not yet formally registered may consider partnering with a “sponsor” organization that is eligible to receive funding. The sponsor organization would receive and manage funds, provide generaloversight for execution of the funded project, and potentially provide technical support to the applicant. In such cases, the non-registered organization should apply directly. However, the application should clearly identify the sponsor organization, describe in detail all technical support that the sponsor will provide (including monitoring and oversight of expenditures), and include a letter of agreement from the sponsor.

Background
The GMT Initiative (formerly the MSM Initiative) was established by amfAR in 2007 and benefits from collaboration with various international and regional agencies including UNDP, UNAIDS, Johns Hopkins University – Center for Public Health and Human Rights, the Global Forum on MSM & HIV, and other partners. The GMT Initiative’s community awards program seeks to reduce the spread and impact of HIV among GMT individuals by providing vital support to grassroots GMT efforts that are committed to advocating with and serving individuals whose needs have often been ignored. For more information about the GMT Initiative, visit www.amfar.org/gmt/

Review Process
Funding decisions will be based upon recommendations generated by community-based peer review involving experts in the region who have the same or similar expertise, perspectives, and focus on HIV among GMT as the applicants.  

Forms and Instructions
Please use the links below to download a copy of this RFP, the application and budget and justification forms, and instructions. Please carefully read all of the instructions before you start. The instructions include all of the information necessary for the proper preparation and submission of a successful proposal.

Application and budget and justification forms may be submitted in English and Russian. For application and budget and justification forms prepared in a language other than English, amfAR requires that both the original language version and an English translation also be submitted.  Even an approximate translation such as one made using an Internet translation engine (e.g., Google translate) is required.  If a translation is not provided, the proposal may not be accepted for review.  Copies of both the original language version of the proposal and the translated English version will be provided to community peer reviewers.  Please make sure your submission includes the original language version of your proposal.  

Applicants must also provide the names and contact information of at least three external references who are familiar with the organization and its work but who are not affiliated with the organization or the project for which funding is requested. Please do not include letters of support or other documents from your references. References may or may not be contacted as part of the proposal review.

Application Submission 

E-mail submission (preferred)
E-mail the completed application as an attachment to:
msm.awards@amfAR.org 

Maximum incoming file size is 5 MB. If application packet files are larger than 5MB, we suggest you use a utility such as YouSendIt (www.yousendit.com), a secure online file sharing software that allows you to easily send large files and email attachments. YouSendIt has a free service option.

Hard copy submission
Send by mail or courier to:
amfAR / GMT Initiative Community Awards
120 Wall Street, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10005-3908 USA
Please remember to mail or ship hard copy submissions with adequate time for delivery by deadline.

All applications (e-mail or hard copy) must be received no later than: 

May 8, 2013, 5:00 p.m. in New York City, USA (UTC 21:00)
 
Deadlines are strictly observed. Applications that are received late, are incomplete, or exceed page or budget limitations (see instructions) will not be reviewed. Proposals may include citations, listed references, and resumes (curricula vitae) for key personnel. Web links to important documents and articles may be listed, but they should not be included as physical attachments. 

Applicants are encouraged to e-mail msm.awards@amfAR.org if they have any questions or seek advice about this RFP, program design, or the application requirements.

Confidentiality and Communications
Throughout the review and award process, amfAR routinely respects the privacy of the applicant and is committed to protecting from disclosure any confidential or proprietary information contained in a submitted proposal. 

However, the GMT Initiative also recognizes that many organizations working to address HIV among GMT individuals are doing this work in complex and sometimes dangerous or volatile social, political, and legal environments. Groups that require special measures to protect confidentiality, particularly due to security and safety concerns, should indicate this need in the application for funding. In such instances we will inform reviewers that extra confidentiality is needed, and we will limit what we communicate about your organization with other funders, partners, and the public. Indicating that extra confidentiality is not needed means that we will maintain routine confidentiality about the funding proposal, but will feel free to communicate about the proposal and the organization to other funders and partners in the interest of mobilizing support.

While we will make every effort to ensure confidentiality in these situations, amfAR, the GMT Initiative, and its partners cannot guarantee complete confidentiality and/or be held liable for the disclosure of information that causes harm to individuals or groups associated with funded projects. Groups should be aware that any information provided carries the risk of being shared publicly through open dialogue about funding priorities, peer review processes, and communications about GMT Initiative directions, decisions, and reported outcomes. Submission of a funding application is deemed to indicate the applicant’s understanding and acceptance of these risks.

Requirements and Restrictions
The GMT Initiative aims to encourage, support, and document activities of the highest quality. Therefore, all organizations funded by the GMT Initiative will be required to provide interim and year-end progress reports of program activities and expenditures. Organizations should be able and ready to document appropriate financial and accounting controls, including measures to prevent duplicated use or misappropriation of funds. Any renewal of funding will be contingent upon careful adherence to these reporting requirements. In addition, the GMT Initiative will work with partners within the region to be in contact with award recipients, to monitor and document any needs for technical support and assistance, and, if possible, to provide this support.

Funding for the GMT Initiative is made possible primarily through the private donations of individuals and philanthropic foundations. The GMT Initiative will report regularly to these funding partners about the use of funding and all supported organizations and activities (except where confidentiality is specifically requested).
Pre-Award Due-Diligence
Applicants whose proposals are recommended for funding will be required to submit the documents listed below in the original language and in English as part of the pre-award due diligence review and eligibility verification.

  • Registration certificate or other document demonstrating legal recognition of nonprofit or similar status
  • Organization bylaws, charter or other document describing the organization’s purpose, governance structure, etc.
  • Audited or certified financial statements for the most recently ended year; if such statement is not available then a list of grants and other revenue will be required.

These documents should NOT be submitted with the application. They should be submitted only if requested.  Applicants should, however, be prepared to submit the documents within three weeks if their proposal is recommended for funding.