Special Notice – REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) RFI Number:
Foundations for Political Change Activity Issuance Date:
August 23, 2018 Closing Date:
September 17, 2018 This is a Request for Information (RFI) pursuant to FAR Part 1 5. 201(c), (d)
and (f) and FAR Part 1 0. 002(b)(2)(iii).
The purpose of this RFI is to:
invite input on five (5) specific questions for an anticipated activity supporting the reform of key political and democratic structures in Honduras, and building citizen trust in these structures.
request information, opinions, and recommendations on the design of the proposed intervention.
An additional purpose of this RFI is to increase the efficiency in proposal preparation and evaluation, as well as the negotiation of a contract or agreement, in the event that USAID/Honduras elects to issue a solicitation requesting proposals or applications.
This is an RFI, not a Request for Proposals (RFP) or Request for Applications (RFA).
This RFI is not to be construed as a commitment by the U. S. Government to issue any solicitation or ultimately award a contract or agreement on the basis of this RFI, nor to pay for any information submitted as a result of this request, nor does it commit the Government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of any comments.
This RFI is issued to offer the opportunity for interested organizations and individuals to provide information, opinions, and recommendations on the proposed intervention as well as responses to the five (5) questions listed below.
Kindly submit responses to this RFI to Vann D.
Rolfson, Contracting Officer, USAID/Honduras at firstname.lastname@example.org with the RFI Number RFI-522-18-00005 on the subject line.
Interested parties should submit their name, address, and contact information.
The submitted information should not exceed ten (10) pages.
Response to this RFI is voluntary.
Responders are free to address any or all of the five (5) questions, as well as provide additional information relevant to reform and improvement of key political and democratic structures in Honduras.
The last day to submit a response to this RFI is Monday, September 17, 201 8. Submissions will receive an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of response.
USAID will not directly provide responses to any inquiries submitted based on this RFI.
Proprietary information must not be sent.
USAID may use any information provided without incurring any obligations.
No basis for claims against the U. S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.
Specific questions about this RFI should be directed only to the email addresses identified above.
Concurrently, USAID/Honduras will host a listening session for interested organizations on Wednesday, September 12, 201 8. Please note that this listening session is not a bidders conference.
USAID will not be providing any additional information on this anticipated activity during the listening session.
The listening session will be an opportunity for local organizations to respond verbally to the questions posed in this RFI, and to provide additional feedback.
The listening session will be conducted in person and entirely in Spanish.
To register for the listening session, interested parties are kindly requested to submit their name, address, and contact information to email@example.com by Wednesday, September 5, 201 8. Sincerely, Vann.
Rolfson Contracting Officer BACKGROUND On November 26, 2017 millions of Hondurans exercised their democratic right and participated in national elections.
In the days and weeks that followed, political unrest over allegations of electoral irregularities, lack of institutional credibility, and inflammatory rhetoric seized the nation.
Much of this political upheaval, while sparked by the 2017 electoral cycle, traces its roots to the political challenges left unaddressed since the coup in 200 9. Despite significant work, considerable international investment, foundational recommendations from numerous elections observer reports in 2013, and a comprehensive Truth and Reconciliation process in 2011, Honduras’ political and democratic structures remain ill-equipped to respond to the realities of Honduras in the 21st century.
While blame is easily transferred to others, the uncomfortable truth is that there has been insufficient willingness or pressure from all quarters, including political and economic elites, and at times the USG, to force the socio-political structure to adapt, reform and reflect modern-day Honduras.
Despite these challenges, Honduras has made important advances over the past decade.
Corruption, transparency, accountability, security, and economic growth indicators have largely followed a positive trend – and from a strictly technical perspective – the 2017 elections demonstrated unprecedented levels of transparency and fairness.
That said, political actors and civil society organizations (CSOs) are deeply divided, and tend to rely on inflammatory rhetoric rather than evidence as a justification for their actions.
Political parties and CSOs in Honduras are often characterized as largely fragmented and uninterested in coalescing around shared priorities – regardless of merit or importance for constituents.
Rifts within civil society were exacerbated by the 2009 coup and 2017 elections, the resulting political operating landscape, and the process through which the present administration sought reelection.
Compounding these issues is the fact that CSOs are increasingly in competition for scarce resources and/or leadership and recognition in the NGO community, rather than focused on differences in ideology or ultimate objectives.
Political parties have some capacity to organize, plan, and promote a unified internal voice, however there remains much skepticism of their willingness to invest the time, resources, or energy in making Honduras a better place for all citizens.
The subject of electoral and political reform in Honduras is neither new nor under-researched.
Overwhelming evidence points to a combination of several factors that contribute to the current situation.
This includes a lack of political will, the lack of organizational capacity by all of the critical stakeholders (political parties, congress, executive agencies, civil society, etc.), and the lack of an effective and long-term demand for these reforms by the citizens (and voting public) of Honduras, the international community, and anyone else with a stake in the governance of Honduras.
PROPOSED INTERVENTION The proposed intervention for the anticipated activity will support the reform of key political and democratic institutions in Honduras, and (re-)build citizen trust in these entities.
In order to (re-)build this missing confidence, the activity should focus on the credibility, accountability and responsiveness of political institutions and structures at the national level, and concurrently increase, or where necessary create, demand from citizens for these actions.
This anticipated activity also builds upon lessons learned through previous and existing USAID programming, as well as complement ongoing activities and bilateral engagements between the U. S. Government (USG) and the Government of Honduras (GOH).
INFORMATION REQUESTED Specific questions on which USAID/Honduras would like to gather input include the following:
1. From a systems perspective, what are key leverage points for fostering political will among citizens, strengthening public confidence in democratic processes and institutions, and restoring trust between civil society organizations and government institutions? 2. From a systems perspective, what are key leverage points for generating, increasing, and sustaining momentum for political reform at the national level, so that national level institutions foster greater trust among citizens? 3. What approaches might help strengthen ties between the general public and civil society organizations? Please reference any specific examples of previous efforts that have worked in the context of Honduras or comparable operating environments.
Who are the key stakeholders? How might they be engaged most effectively? 4. How might a new activity develop or complement civic education programming in a strategic and targeted manner? 5. How might a new activity ensure that the process is Honduran-led, sustainable, and socially inclusive?