Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to strengthen government through civil society engagement


Agency Name: U.S. Mission to Costa Rica

The U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica, announces a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to strengthen government institutions through civil society engagement. U.S. Embassy San Jose intends to issue awards in an amount not to exceed $250,000 in FY 2022 Economic Support Funds (ESF), pending availability of funding. The anticipated start date for this activity is September 30, 2023, and project periods should not exceed two years. The U.S. Embassy San Jose intends to fund 3-5 awards between the amounts of $150,000 and $250,000 each.

The NOFO and submitted proposals should focus on Pillar II of the Root Causes Strategy (RCS): Combating corruption, strengthening democratic governance, and advancing the rule of law. Specific objectives and indicators should be included in the proposals that allow the organization to measure and demonstrate progress. Proposals may also support Pillars III – Promoting respect for human rights, labor rights, and a free press, and Pillar IV – Countering and preventing violence, extortion, and other crimes perpetrated by criminal gangs, trafficking networks, and other organized criminal organizations.

Funding awarded under this NOFO cannot be used for law enforcement, to train members of law enforcement, or to provide social services.

U.S. Embassy San Jose invites qualified U.S. non-profit/non-governmental organizations (NGOs) having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS or non-U.S.-based NGOs, and U.S. and non-U.S.-based public and private institutions of higher education to submit proposals that include an implementation strategy focused on building strong, capable, and accountable governments. Proposals should be oriented toward activities by civil society organizations working with the government of Costa Rica to improve the delivery of government services, particularly to vulnerable and/or marginalized communities and in areas outside of the Central Valley, with a particular focus on Limon.

Proposals should focus on vulnerable populations that – may include, but not limited to, women and girls, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, people of African descent, members of racial and ethnic minorities, refugees and internally displaced persons, members of religious minorities, LGBTQI+ persons, rural residents, migrants, and individuals adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality. These proposals will assist or complement central/local/municipal government efforts to increase and improve services. Proposals should facilitate citizens’ abilities to hold the government accountable for its responsibilities. Proposals cannot provide direct support to the central, regional, or municipal governments of Costa Rica.

Ideal projects will focus on one or more of the following objectives:

Objective 1: Promotion of activities by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working with the government to advance anti-corruption initiatives and increase transparency and openness.

Objective 2: Development of tools to increase responsible management of public resources, building government capacity to publish data that is easily accessible to citizens.

Objective 3: Addressing Limon Province’s most pressing needs by fostering actions such as anti-corruption initiatives, accountable local governments and transparency mechanisms, improved interinstitutional coordination, employability governance and jobs policy.

Objective 4: Strengthening civil society’s role in environmental governance.

U.S. Embassy San Jose reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted and will determine the resulting level of funding for the award. The authority for this NOFO is found in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended.

Eligible organizations interested in submitting an application are encouraged to read this NOFO thoroughly to understand the type of project sought and the application submission requirements and evaluation process.

Link to:  View Grant Opportunity SCS-800-23-GR-001-WHA-030723

Grantor Contact Information: If you have difficulty accessing the full announcement electronically, please contact:
Roberto Soro Grants Officer Representative
For inquiries