Request for Applications: Strengthening Rwandan CSO and Government GBV Prevention and Response (Deadline: May 25,2018)

WfWI’s Mission:

In countries affected by conflict and war, Women for Women International supports the most marginalized women to earn and save money, improve health and wellbeing, influence decisions in their home and community, and connect to networks for support. By utilizing skills, knowledge, and resources, she is able to create sustainable change for herself, her family, and community.

WfWI’s Vision:

To create a world in which all women determine the course of their lives and reach their full potential.

I. Summary

Women for Women International invites applications from local CSOs in Rwanda working to address GBV. There will be 10 successful applicants, who will receive:

  • Capacity building support in areas including NGO management, advocacy and men’s engagement.
  • Facilitated peer-to-peer learning with other CSOs.
  • The opportunity to apply for a grant of $25-50k USD for 7 months for anti-GBV activities.

Successful applicants will have a strong track record in advancing women’s rights, addressing and preventing GBV, engaging in community-based projects, and/or working cooperatively with Rwandan justice sector players and other Rwandan government actors.

Applicants must submit a completed application form no later than May 25, 2018.

II. Introduction

Over the past 25 years, Women for Women International (WfWI) has empowered more than 479,000 of the most economically, socially and politically excluded women in countries affected by violent conflict with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to be catalysts for change in their lives and families.

WfWI has operated in Rwanda since 1997 and has served more than 73,000 women and 600 male champions.  Our main office is located in Kigali and is active in communities across the districts of Kayonza, Rwamagana, Gasabo, Muhanga, Kicukiro, and Nyaruguru. In addition to training women and men on women’s rights and Gender Based Violence (GBV), WfWI’s anti-GBV work in Rwanda includes conducting GBV awareness campaigns, including during the 16 Days of Activism Against GBV.

Despite strong government commitments and policies in place regarding GBV, GBV remains a serious challenge in Rwanda due to factors including the lack of implementation of laws, multi-sector engagement, and concrete actions to address cultural barriers. Key issues include: legacy of rape and GBV from the genocide; entrenched inequalities between men and women; a nascent civil society lacking capacity; citizens’ lack of trust in the legal system and procedures regarding GBV; and lack of government accountability in policy implementation.

This program responds to these challenges by strengthening Rwandan civil society’s ability to engage the government, including the justice sector, in the fight against GBV, increasing awareness of GBV in Rwanda, and encouraging government willingness to address these issues. WfWI will provide needed capacity building and training of local institutions and CSOs, facilitated structured, action-oriented networking among CSOs and government officials, and will provide targeted technical assistance and grants to local CSOs to promote cooperative advocacy with the Rwandan government to press for needed changes.

III. Program Details

This is part of a larger, two-year USAID-funded program which aims to build the capacity of local CSOs to strengthen their ability to engage the government in the fight against GBV.

Through this RFA, WfWI is inviting 10 select CSOs to participate in our GBV prevention project training component. 2 representatives from each CSO will receive a minimum of 23 full days of structured group training in Kigali between June-October 2018.

Participating in WfWI’s project involves receiving targeted training, technical assistance, and participating in a GBV mapping conference and lessons learned conference in all of the five following areas:

1. NGO Management and Operations – Training on the basics of NGO management and governance, strategic planning and sustainability, monitoring and evaluation (10 days of training in the month of June or early July – specific dates of the workshop TBD)

2. Outreach and Cooperative Advocacy – Training in project development and implementation, cooperative and evidence-based advocacy, coalition building and networking (10 days of training in the month of July or August – specific dates of the workshop TBD)

3. Men’s Engagement – Sharing WfWI’s approach and methodology for men’s engagement in order to address the cultural and social barriers to women’s rights and engagement (3 days of training in September – specific dates of the workshop TBD)

4. GBV Mapping and Advocacy Conference –Provide CSO members and representatives of national institutions the opportunity to share experiences and deepen their knowledge of GBV service implementation challenges, develop recommendations to improve GBV coordination, and prime grantees for their advocacy work (3 days conference in October plus a session prior to the conference where WfWI will train a small team of the CSO grantees to conduct a rapid review and analysis of relevant reports and policies related to GBV)

5. Lessons Learned Conference—Participate in Lessons Learned Conference bringing together representatives from all 10 CSOs as well as relevant government agencies to discuss experiences during grant implementation, share success stories, and develop recommendations (1 day in January 2020)

A. Target Population and Districts

WfWI currently works in seven districts in Rwanda: Rwamagana, Kayonza, Bugesera, Gasabo, Kicukiro, Muhanga, and Nyaruguru. While this activity will have a national reach by strengthening CSOs throughout the country, WfWI will specifically target four of the seven districts in which it currently operates. NGOs working in any of the above districts are welcome to apply.

Please note that the training will be conducted in Kigali in English and transport and accommodation (if needed) are at the expense of the CSO participants.

B. Grant opportunity

Following the training, the 10 selected CSOs will be invited to apply to WfWI’s GBV Advocacy and Accountability Grants between October 2018 and May 2019. Only the 10 CSOs who complete the capacity building trainings will be eligible to apply for these grants. Only three (3) grants will be awarded. In October 2018, we will award three grants for up to $25K, and in June 2019 we will award up to three grants in the amount of $50K each. WfWI will work closely with CSOs to help them conceptualize advocacy and accountability projects and will continue to provide tailored, hands-on technical assistance throughout grantees’ campaigns and actions.

Please note that we are not inviting grants applications at this time – this RFA is strictly for CSOs to participate in the capacity building project.

IV. Selection Criteria

In order to be considered for the capacity building program, an organization must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The organization must be a local not-for-profit and registered with the Government;
  • The organization’s mission and vision must be closely aligned with WfWI’s
  • The organization must have been in existence and implementing programs related to GBV prevention, advocacy, or men’s engagement for more than two years;
  • The organization has established monitoring and evaluation systems in place;
  • The organization must be able to demonstrate that it has other sources of funding and is receiving support from the community in which it is working and have an annual budget of at least $50,000 or has implemented at least two grants of $15,000 funded by other established donors;
  • The organization must have solid accountability, financial management and program implementation structures in place;
  • The organization must have ongoing implementation activities; and
  • The organization must have the capacity to attend training in English and report to donors in English

Upon receipt of the completed application materials, WfWI will screen applications to assess conformity with the eligibility criteria described above. Applicants must be able to participate fully in this program, which includes attending all of the capacity building trainings, workshops, and meetings. While organizations do not need to submit small grant advocacy project applications at this time, they should at least be able to clearly articulate a plan.

V. How to apply

A. Application Process

To apply to participate in this progam, the organization must submit a completed application form (in English) which addresses the following points: Please email Megan Walker at to receive the application form. 

  • Please describe how your organization’s mission and vision aligns with Women for Women International’s.
  • Please present your past record in carrying out women’s empowerment projects with a focus on GBV prevention, advocacy, or men’s engagement. Address any specific accomplishments related to advocacy work in the areas of GBV prevention, access to justice, or men’s engagement.
  • If you were selected to attend this program, how would your organization benefit from attending the various trainings?
  • Please describe what you would like to propose to address as a future project for a small grants application in October 2018?  Competitive projects will be those that include clear approach for women with disabilities.
  • Please describe the background and current role of the two representatives who will attend each of the various training components (the above five listed in section A – depending on the role of each participant, you may have different staff attending the NGO Management and Operations training than those who attend the Men’s Engagement training session, for example) and how your organization will benefit. Please confirm that the proposed staff are a) ready to be available on short notice to dedicate their time to attend the full training, b) will continue to work with your organization for at least another 2 years, and c) and are fluent in English.
  • Please describe your Monitoring and Evaluation systems, and how you specifically have measured impact related to women’s empowerment, including in the areas of gender-based violence, advocacy, or men’s engagement.

1. Proposal Requirements (guidelines and template attached)

  • Contact information
  • Answers to the above questions
  • Project Personnel who will attend trainings and their background

2. Annexes

  • NGO Registration Certificate, or another form of official government confirmation of the NGO’s identity
  • Recent audited financial report or summary annual budget (2015 or 2016)

B. Submission Deadline and Method

Applications must be received by e-mail to Megan Walker, at, not later than 5pm EST time, May 25, 2018. No extensions or exceptions will be made. Only short-listed applicants will be contacted.

After the initial submission, WfWI may contact the organization to ask questions for clarification, make suggestions for revisions, and/or request additional organizational materials as part of a due-diligence grant management process.

VI. Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the criteria below.

Application Evaluation Criteria Weight
Organizational background

Does the organization possess the relevant experience to participate in this program?

Does the organization have strong background in the subject matter (gender based violence, advocacy, or men’s engagement?)

25 points
Organizational capacity

The organization demonstrated that it will be able to strongly benefit by attending this program.

Does the organization propose a strong team to participate in the trainings?

Do the proposed individuals who will attend the trainings have the relevant background and experience?

Will the individuals attending the trainings be able to benefit from the program and carry out a proposed project?

Does the organization have Monitoring and Evaluation systems in place?

25 points
Project strategy

Does this organization work in the specified districts?


25 points
Total 75 points


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