REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA) UNDER THE MODEL COURT INITIATIVE (MCI) GRANTS PROGRAM
Issuance Date: February 7, 2024
Closing Date: March 28, 2024
The Model Court Initiative (MCI) is a six-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Dexis Consulting Group (`Dexis`). The Project aims to improve the performance of courts in delivering quality justice services and to improve the connection between courts, communities, and system users. MCI is implemented in two phases: January 11, 2021 – January 10, 2024 (Phase 1) and January 11, 2024 – January 10, 2027 (Phase 2).
During its Phase 2, MCI will work toward two objectives:
- Selected Moldovan courts identified and supported through targeted assistance to improve functioning and services to gain model court status.
- Supplementary national level assistance provided in key areas necessary for changes to enhance court improvement at the individual level, including but not limited to support to the newly created Superior Council of Magistracy, the new Supreme Court of Justice, and other key legal actors in Moldova.
The purpose of the MCI Grants Program is to strengthen CSOs so that they: (1) have ready capacities to advocate to improve laws, policies, and services; and (2) can participate directly in supporting the development of MCI initiatives in model courts and at the national level.
In MCI Phase II, the grants program for CSOs will aim to build upon the achievements of Phase 1 and significantly increase the impact of CSOs on the delivery of justice services and improved access to justice of the population. The CSOs are expected to participate in activities designed to develop national level policy documents aiming to improve access to justice for vulnerable groups, increase the professional competencies of court staff and judges, and raise public awareness of digital tools available in courts.
III. LOCATION OF ACTIVITIES
The grants can be implemented at the national, regional and/or local levels. Grant activities with a national scope may be prioritized under this RFA. For grants with a regional or local scope, part of the proposed activities must be implemented in districts served by Hincesti, Straseni, Drochia and Criuleni first instance courts.
IV. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
Dexis invites registered non-governmental organizations to submit proposals that align with the specific objectives outlined in the fourth round of the MCI Grants Program:
- Developing and implementing comprehensive policy documents that will significantly increase access to justice for vulnerable populations, including minors, elderly, persons with disabilities, and victims or potential victims of domestic violence.
- Increasing the professional competencies of employees and judges within selected PMCs in key areas crucial for effective public engagement and information dissemination, including, but not limited to legal writing, public and media communication, press-release writing, social media management, and preventing professional burnout.
- Raising awareness of digitalization in the judiciary and promoting the adoption of good practices in this area by national courts and other judicial institutions.
- Increasing the organizational capacity of grantees.
V. APPLICANTS ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
The applicant/application must meet the following requirements:
- Be officially registered and work in compliance with all applicable civil and fiscal regulations, including pertinent local laws and status. In lieu of official registration, a grantee may show proof of effort to secure registration, exemption from registration, or show cause why such registration is either not optional or practicable.
- Meet the project’s objectives and principles.
- Contain expected outcomes and results consistent with and linked to the project’s objectives.
- The applicant is not a debarred organization.
Types of Grantees Eligible:
- Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
- Journalistic, media associations and outlets
- Legal clinics
- Partnerships or consortia between entities mentioned above.
VI. COST SHARE REQUIREMENTS
Cost share is not required for this round of grants.
VII. AWARD INFORMATION
Subject to the availability of funds in the framework of the MCI Grants Program, Dexis expects to award up to 5 Fixed Amount Award grants, ranging from $50,000 to $150,000. The total amount available is $350,000. The expected duration of Dexis’ support, or the period of performance, is from June 2024 to September 2026 and cannot exceed a maximum of 24 months. MCI reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted. The final amount will be dependent upon grant activities and final negotiation. Under exceptional circumstances, a grant may be awarded that is outside this range. Applicants may only submit one application under this RFA.
VIII. CONTACT INFORMATION
Please submit all questions concerning this RFA to MCIgrants@dexisonline.com by March 14, 2024. Questions may be formulated in Romanian, Russian or English. Answers will be sent via email to applicants by March 23, 2024. At applicants' request, MCI will help them understand the application process, via video meetings or emails.
The Request for Applications, mandatory requirements, templates for proposal submission and other relevant documents can be downloaded below: