Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The new year, 2020, is upon us. As we cross this threshold, the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives looks back with gratitude. 

In 2019, our office had the privilege of working alongside USAID colleagues in missions and in Washington, with local and faith-based partners and stakeholders around the world, to catalyze the benefits of partnership between local and faith-based organizations (FBOs) and governments. We have convened FBOs and CSOs with agency leadership around pressing topics that span USAID's scope of work, including women's empowerment, global health, education, trafficking in persons, humanitarian assistance in conflict and crisis zones, and international religious freedom. As we step into 2020, we look forward to continuing to build impactful collaboration between local and faith-based partners and USAID.

For those celebrating religious or family holidays this season, we send you warm wishes.  

Happy New Year to all!

Kirsten Evans
Director
USAID Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives
USAID in Action
USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick joined religious communities from around the world in Budapest for the 2nd International Conference on Christian Persecution. She spoke about the efforts of courageous people and governments worldwide working to counter religious persecution. Read her full remarks.
USAID Administrator Mark Green met with His Excellency Bashar Warda, Archbishop of the Catholic Chaldean Diocese of Erbil, to discuss USAID's ongoing commitment to rebuild persecuted ethnic and religious communities in Northern Iraq, including Christian and Yezidi communities. USAID has invested over $300 million in funding for Northern Iraq since 2017. 

Photo: Anthony Guas for USAID
CFOI Director Kirsten Evans underscored the importance of engaging with faith-based communities during her speech at the KAICIID Fellows Network Conference in Austria. She cited ways that USAID helps build peace by partnering with religious communities in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Photo: KAICIID
Earlier this week, USAID celebrated Hanukkah with faith-based NGO partners. Deputy Administrator Glick spoke about the history of Hanukkah and its significance as a holiday that represents religious freedom. Rabbi Levi Shemtov shared a Hanukkah presentation and led a menorah lighting.

Photo: Patrick Moore for USAID
The USAID of tomorrow will enable partner countries to plan, resource, and manage their own development through strengthened capacity and commitment—this is both the essence of the Journey to Self-Reliance and a key rationale for diversifying the USAID partner base.

The New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) will allow USAID to work with a more diverse range of partners, strengthen existing partner relationships, and provide more entry points for organizations to work with the Agency.

Under NPI, USAID will engage new and underutilized partners through a series of solicitations designed to help countries be self-reliant and meet the needs of their people. Learn more.
NPI Resources
USAID celebrated its first Small Business Week this month. Check out this blog that includes:
  • Advice for U.S. small businesses looking to engage with USAID
  • The biggest benefit for small businesses partnering with USAID

Photo: Securing Water for Food
Watch the NPI webinar that covers:

  • USAID's Acquisition & Assistance Strategy
  • Guiding Principles of Partnering
  • NPI goals and approaches
  • How NPI Co-creation Works

Photo: Benoit Almeras for Handicap International
NPI Press Release
Advancing the Evidence Base and Community Building - Research

The Advancing the Evidence Base and Community Building - Research activity is designed to increase the impact that USAID’s education investments have on learning and education outcomes. It will focus on: developing and adaptively managing education sector learning agendas; and carrying out applied research related to those learning agendas. The procurement of this activity will be aligned with the objectives and parameters of the New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) an initiative to allow USAID to work with a more diverse range of partners.  Learn more.
YouthPower2: Learning through Action

The purpose of "YouthPower2: Learning through Action" (YP2LA) is to advance the global evidence base of effective approaches for cross-sectoral youth programming through investment in positive youth development (PYD) action research and learning. The procurement of this activity will be aligned with the objectives and parameters of the NPI.   Learn more.
W-GDP_New Partnerships Initiative

Under the NPI, $10 million is available for qualified partners to support Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment's (GEWE) work in promoting women's economic empowerment by addressing constraints identified through the Women's Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative Learn more.
Partner Spotlight
Partner of the Month:

The National Peace Council of Sri Lanka (NPC) supports religious leaders to organize committees that help build ethnic peace through inter-religious dialogue in Sri Lanka.
In the span of 5 years , the project has:
  • Impacted over 13,000 community members
  • Expanded across all 25 districts in the country after the Government of Sri Lanka adopted it as a government initiative two years ago

CFOI Director Kirsten Evans recently met with an NPC Program Manager, H.A. Nishantha Kumara, at the KAICIID Conference in Austria.

Big thank you to the NPC for your great work!
Funding Announcements
USAID's American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) Request for Applications is Open for Comments (Deadline: January 6)
The Fiscal Year 2020 Request for Applications (RFA) is available for Public Comments and Questions until January 6, 2020 at 4pm U.S. EST. Please submit all comments and questions to ASHAapplications@usaid.gov by January 6, 2020 at 4pm U.S. EST.  Learn more.
ANDE Gender Equality Initiative Call for Proposals (Deadline: January 8)
Under the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) initiative, applications are now open for the Advancing Women’s Empowerment Fund . A partnership between USAID , the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE ) and Visa Foundation, the program seeks proposals to tackle the financing gap for women-led small and growing businesses in South and Southeast Asia. Applications for grants up to $150,000 are due by January 8, 2020. Learn more.
Partnerships Plus Call for Concept Papers “Advancing Protection and Care for Children in Adversity” (Deadline: January 13)
The Partnerships Plus project invites qualified local and/or U.S.-based organizations, private voluntary organizations, NGOs, faith-based organizations, or universities to submit a Concept Paper as a first step in a competitive process to support the U.S. Government Strategy,  Advancing Protection and Care for Children in Adversity: A U.S. Government Strategy for International Assistance (APCCA).  A total of USD $1,000,000 is available. Partnerships Plus intends to award up to three sub-grants.  Learn more.
Questions? cfoi@usaid.gov