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MEPI Local Grants Algeria 2020:

The MEPI Local Grants Program seeks projects that build links between and among citizens, civil society, government, and the private sector, and are responsive to emerging opportunities at the local level in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The program supports projects that align with U.S. foreign policy goals and promote U.S. interests in the region, enhancing stability, and increasing prosperity across MENA.

These grants are designed to support two priority areas of the MEPI Strategic Framework:

  • Participatory Governance: Enable civil society to effectively interact with government officials to increase responsiveness to citizen needs. Enhance citizens’ ability to actively participate in their governments and develop a more informed citizenry. Enable government officials’ engagement with, and responsiveness to, their citizens to resolve issues of shared concern.
  • Economic Reform: Enable citizens, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector with the skills and resources to provide economic opportunity, foster economic growth, and promote improved business enabling environments. 

Country Problem Statement: Algeria is undergoing political and economic changes. Algerian civil society organizations (CSOs) will play an essential role linking citizens and the authorities during transitional phases, including elections. CSOs still face difficulties pooling resources and expertise, as well as effectively coordinating. Helping build CSOs’ capacity to communicate, mediate, represent, and deliver services to people in underserved areas will be essential in 2020.

The official youth unemployment rate in Algeria exceeded 29 percent in 2019, which may worsen absent economic reform as the number of those under 30 (who already comprise nearly 70 percent of the Algerian population) increases. Private entrepreneurs face significant challenges including currency controls, import restrictions, bureaucratic hurdles, burdensome regulations, and strict government control of key sectors. Entrepreneurs and small- and medium- enterprises (SMEs) also face challenges from a workforce skills gap such as limited managerial skills, training, and difficulties in identifying or connecting with suitable markets. Further, startups rarely manage to scale up or reach a level of sustainability.

Country Priorities:

  1. Support for Civil Society: Enable CSOs to reach out to both constituents and local and national government counterparts in order to increase citizen participation in decision making processes and governance. Sample activities under this priority could include but are not limited to:
    1. Strengthening CSOs’ administrative, financial, and programmatic capacities.
    2. Offering interactive spaces for citizens to identify and prioritize local needs.
    3. Creating communication channels to promote effective, reliable, and transparent bridges between citizens and local authorities.
    4. Conducting advocacy activities to advance specific policy goals resulting in demonstrable outcomes and impacts during the project timeframe.
  1. Economic Growth: Increase youth employability through job placements and/or the creation of effective and sustainable businesses. Applicants should have business sustainability plans and established relationships with employers, demonstrated through a letter of intent or formal partnership. Sample activities under this priority could include but are not limited to:
    1. Equipping youth, especially in rural areas and areas with high unemployment rates, with soft and technical skills and place them in long-term employment opportunities.
    2. Developing policies and procedures related to job-related training to align with identified market needs based on employer feedback and job placement outcomes.
    3. Creating mentoring opportunities and incubations mechanism to scale up nascent or small and medium sized businesses to a sustainable level

Geographic/Thematic Focus: Projects must target at least one of the following populations: youth, women, and/or people living with disabilities. Priority will be given to geographic areas outside the main cities and to MEPI alumni. Applicants must demonstrate the process of assessing the implications for women, men, and other groups of any planned action at social, economic, and political levels in their project narrative through implementation and evaluation.

Specific eligibility requirements:

  • Eligible applicants include: Local civil society organizations, non-profit organizations, community groups, non-governmental organizations, professional associations, private

sector organizations, and universities based in Algeria, which have obtained all required registrations.

  • Priority will be given to applicants who have previously implemented or managed international awards in an amount of at least $50,000.

Application Deadline: February 25, 2020.

For more information, please click here: Local Grants Algeria 2020

To apply, please click here: Apply for Local Grants 2020

Program-2020-NOFO-Algeria  (PDF 250kb)

MEPI advances participatory governance in viewing citizens’ role as direct deliberative engagement with decision-makers and processes. Broader citizen participation in governance ensures inclusive decision-making and transparent political processes, promotes stability and enhances citizen confidence in government. MEPI empowers citizens to engage with governments in shaping their demands for services and opportunities on the local, regional, and national levels. MEPI bolsters civil society to effectively interact with government officials to increase their responsiveness to citizen needs and with citizens to channel their participation in decision-making. MEPI supports government officials’ efforts to increase their engagement with and responsiveness to citizens to resolve issues of shared concern.

  1. Increase citizens’ civic engagement to foster partnership and mutually beneficial dialogue with civil society and public officials.
  2. Strengthen individuals, including youth, with knowledge and skills to advocate for their interests at all levels of government.
  3. Utilize MEPI leadership training programs to provide economically disadvantaged individuals the opportunities to build their leadership skills to effectively engage with civil society, the private sector, and/or government actors.
  4. Professionalize civil society organizations and build their organizational and communication capacity to connect effectively with decision makers and/or citizens.
  5. Strengthen civil society’s ability to act as a credible mediator between governments and citizens, and channel citizens’ concerns in an effective manner.
  6. Enhance governments’ efforts to be representative of, responsive to, and trusted by their citizens.
  7. Support governments’ efforts to increase their transparency, access, and accountability.
  8. Increase women’s representation in government institutions, and promote their civic and political participation.

Economic opportunity and reforms are cornerstones for fostering partnership between citizens, civil society, the private sector, and governments. MEPI partners with the U.S. private sector in areas of mutual interest to promote business enabling environments, entrepreneurship, and a skilled labor force to help cultivate broad-based opportunities.

  1. Improve business-enabling environments through economic reform, especially in higher-income and non-traditional development countries.
    Support governments’ efforts to increasing financial transparency and implement economic reforms.
  2. Improve government policies and procedures that expand opportunities for entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises for economic growth and job creation.
  3. Bolster social entrepreneurship initiatives that develop, fund, and implement solutions to social issues, and facilitate their collaboration with citizens, civil society and governments.
  4. Partner with investors, entrepreneurs, and consumers to create institutions, and craft regulations that encourage broad-based economic growth.
  5. Increase workforce employability and skill level, and improve citizens’, including youth, access to higher value opportunities through demand-driven vocational training and targeted, localized job placement, primarily in the private sector.
  6. Promote economic growth through increasing women’s participation in economic activities and reducing the gender income and employment gap.
    In addition to these core objectives, MEPI’s Tomorrow’s Leaders program prepares future community and business leaders in the MENA region. The Congressionally-directed program supports scholarships for underserved and qualified students at select U.S.-accredited universities and emphasizes a strong civic engagement component.

MEPI does not fund programs with a primary focus on:

  • Human rights
  • Humanitarian Assistance
  • LGBT rights
  • Religious freedom
  • Journalist training
  • Basic and secondary education
  • English language training
  • College Prep
  • Health
  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Countering violent extremism
  • Public diplomacy/cultural heritage activities

MEPI adopts a distinct approach that:

  1. Fosters development of civic and business leaders by providing opportunities at various stages of their professional development.
  2. Encourages “intellectual risk taking” by engaging in innovative projects and exploring new initiatives with potential for scaling up.
  3. Operates at the local level and builds the organizational capacity of nascent civil society organizations.
  4. Designs regional programs to connect individuals and organizations across MENA.
  5. Promotes collaboration between the private sector and civil society.
  6. Partners with middle and high income countries to improve the investment climate through targeted legal and regulatory reforms that further U.S. economic objectives.
  7. Adopts a methodological approach that focuses on the long term and a geographical connectivity that draw from the experience of experts and thought leaders in the region.
  8. Remains committed to providing flexible and timely responses to emerging priorities that advance U.S. strategic interests in the region.

Programming Mechanisms

This strategic framework is operationalized through country-specific strategies that align these priorities with Post’s Integrated Country Strategies (ICS), other State Department and interagency strategies to guide projects designed to further U.S. foreign policy in the region. The country strategies further inform the prioritization of projects implemented through one of the following four mechanisms:

  1. Country-focused grants (typically managed by MEPI-DC);
  2. Locally focused grants (typically managed by Regional Offices);
  3. Cross-cutting regional grants (typically managed by MEPI-DC); and
  4. Interagency Agreements (IAA – managed by another U.S. government agency).