Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
March 17, 2004
FY 2004 PRM Guidelines for NGO Projects: Assistance for Iraqi Refugees and Returnees
The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) has primary responsibility within the U.S. Government for formulating U.S. foreign policy on refugee and migration issues, and for administering U.S. refugee assistance and admissions programs. In this capacity, PRM has the lead role within the State Department in responding to complex humanitarian situations around the world. The Bureau also is responsible for policy leadership on the U.S. Governmentís international population policies and programs, and it serves as the focal point within the U.S. Government for multilateral coordination of international migration policies and programs.
PRMís primary refugee assistance and admissions goals relate to protection and the achievement of durable solutions. A key PRM objective is to guarantee that refugees and returnees worldwide have access to basic, life-sustaining resources in ways that meet internationally accepted standards of care in shelter, food supply, nutrition, water supply, sanitation, and public health. PRMís program priorities include the promotion of refugee and returnee womenís equal access to resources -- and their participation in managing those resources. PRM also focuses considerable attention on meeting the special needs of refugee and returnee children. PRM supports UNHCR's guidelines, including those on the protection of refugee women and children.
PRM relies mainly on UNHCR and other international organizations to provide the basic framework of assistance to refugees and returnees, but it traditionally funds a number of NGO programs directly to fill critical gaps.
Iraqís Refugee Situation
Iraqi refugees (UNHCR-recognized refugees and persons living in refugee-like situations) who were displaced over the past three decades live mostly in Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait, with smaller numbers living in Saudi Arabia and Syria. UNHCR expects as many as 500,000 Iraqis to return in the next 2 years. The Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq (CPA) and UNHCR have agreed that the conditions inside Iraq are not yet conducive to large-scale, assisted returns, and neither are promoting such efforts. But as security improves and infrastructure is rehabilitated, it is expected that Iraqis could begin to return home in larger numbers. In fact, some Iraqi refugees and IDPs inside Iraq have begun to return spontaneously.
UNHCR has the lead role for refugee returns to Iraq, though its capacity has been severely constrained since the UNís evacuation following the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad. The UN is considering the expansion of some of its down-sized assistance activities. Meanwhile, UNHCR continues to support recognized refugees in neighboring countries, and is developing a strategy for the return and reintegration of refugees with the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MDM). UNHCR also plays a role in IDP assistance and integration, supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
A welcome development is the introduction of the new Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MDM). Supported by other relevant ministries, the MDM has taken the lead governmental role in facilitating the return and reintegration of refugees and IDPs, though its capacity needs to be strengthened. The MDM also will oversee the function of the Iraq Property Claims Commission (IPCC), whose role is important for justice and reconciliation. The CPA has a refugee/IDP advisory office that is helping the MDM to establish policy, build capacity, and coordinate programs related to returns and reintegration. It is a key PRM priority to help build an institutional capacity within the Iraqi Government to manage the return and reintegration process, working closely with the UN and NGO partners.
When the UN expands its limited operations in Iraq, its capacity will be constrained at first. The UN needs experienced implementing partners and will look to NGOs to fill critical gaps, in close coordination with UNHCR and UNOHCI. PRM intends to support this engagement of NGO actors, who may have greater mobility, connection with affected populations, and operational capacity inside Iraq. PRM will review, on a rolling basis, NGO proposals for activities that address UN gaps and the capacity building requirements of the MDM. Priority will be given to proposals that serve refugees and persons of concern to UNHCR.
PRM will also consider proposals for IDP assistance inside Iraq, especially in areas to which refugees and IDPs are returning. As the U.S. Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) has primary responsibility within the U.S. Government for IDP issues, PRM will only consider proposals focusing on IDP assistance after they have been submitted and reviewed by USAID/OFDA. Proposals deemed worthy of funding, but for which USAID/OFDA does not have funding, will be forwarded to PRM for consideration. Such proposals should be coordinated with UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Proposals to PRM should describe how NGOs will meet the needs of the most vulnerable and describe measures that ensure that women and children will have access to the program. They should also describe how NGOs will meet the needs of the most vulnerable. Proposals must include a copy of the NGO's Code of Conduct (which should reflect the IASC's six core principles), and a brief discussion of how the Code of Conduct will be reflected in project implementation.
These guidelines are intended to help NGOs prepare proposals that target PRMís current funding priorities and follow the required proposal format. PRM will accept proposals from any NGO that follows these guidelines, but priority will be given to proposals from those organizations with 1) an established presence in the region, 2) support from UNHCR, and 3) a demonstrable ability to achieve the project goals. A proven track record in providing assistance to Iraqis is desirable, but not mandatory. Proposals must present evidence of coordination with UNHCR and other lead international organizations. In addition, proposals should be coordinated with relevant governments, the Iraqi MDM, and the Coalition Provisional Authority. NGOs that have never received PRM funding must be prepared to demonstrate that their organizations meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. Government before they will be eligible to receive PRM funding.
Current Funding Priorities
At the present time, PRM seeks to focus its Iraq funding on the following activities, in this order of priority:
Reintegration assistance for Iraqi returnees
Capacity-building of Iraqi Institutions
Assistance to internally displaced persons
PRM expects that some NGO projects inside Iraq would target mixed communities composed of refugees, IDPs, and members of local populations.
NGOs are encouraged to propose programs that include a mix of elements from the above categories. Although the list is not intended to be exclusive or binding, and PRM remains open to considering a broad range of NGO activities, priority will be given to programs that include one or more of these elements.
PRM program officers will review informal, brief concept papers prior to a full proposal if NGOs have questions about whether the proposed activities are consistent with PRMís current priorities.
Each official submission to PRM must include a signed, dated cover letter on NGO letterhead, and the three USG-required certifications mentioned below (available on PRMís website at www.state.gov/g/prm. Organizations should submit their proposals to PRM/Washington (after appropriate consultation with PRM field staff, if applicable). In addition, proposals that focus onm IDP populations should be submitted to USAID/OFDA for review. Proposals should be no more than 10 pages in length (not including budget, budget narrative, SF 424, and required signed certifications). Descriptions of background information should be succinct; brevity is appreciated. Proposals should provide information on the NGOís experience in the particular region in past years. PRM will fund no more than a 12-month program, but is willing to consider supporting multi-year programs in principle.
The budget should identify not only the PRM request, but also those portions funded by the NGO itself, UNHCR or other international organizations, USAID, or other donors. The proposal should include a budget narrative with sufficient detail by sector and objective.
Applicants should mail submissions from their Headquarters to PRM/Washington and send an electronic copy of the full proposal by e-mail. The PRM addressee must be made aware that the proposal is on its way, or the package risks being turned away by Diplomatic Security.
Please address proposals or questions to:
PRM Field Contacts (for questions and coordination):
Stacy Gilbert, Advisor for Displaced Persons
Proposals submitted to PRM must be written according to the following format. Proposals that do not follow the format will not be considered. Please include 2 copies along with the original.
I. Executive Summary
The executive summary should include the following information and be limited to one page:
II. Problem Analysis
This section should provide the rational and justification for the proposal as follows:
C. Profile of the Target Population
III. Program Goals, Objectives, and Indicators
IV. Program Description
This is the core of a proposal. It should clearly and concisely outline the implementation plan for each objective including those elements described below, as appropriate. It should reflect a thorough understanding of the problem described in Section II.
A. Implementation Plan
B. Suggested Elements
1. Context-Specific Programming
2. Beneficiary Interaction and Capacity Building
3. Coordination Efforts
4. Codes of Conduct
V. Management and Security
A. Program management
1. Describe the organizationís management structure. Describe how this structure will be used to achieve the stated objectives.
1. Describe briefly the current security situation in the region of the programís operation.
VI. Monitoring and Performance Measurement
A. Monitoring Plan
B. Performance measurement
Include a detailed budget that is broken down by each objective of the proposed program. Where possible, also break out budget by sector of activity (this should be facilitated by submission of S.F. 424). Staffing and office needs often cannot be easily allotted to specific objectives and can be given for the whole program, if more appropriate. Be sure the budget also includes a breakdown of the dollar amount requested from PRM, the dollar amount(s) coming from other sources (e.g., UNHCR and including your own organization) and the dollar amount of in-kind contributions. Indicate clearly the funding source for each activity. The budget must also be accompanied by a summary budget of the major line items and a budget narrative. Identify subgrantees, if applicable, and in the case of health/family planning activities, whether those subgrantees are foreign-based.
VIII. Administrative Requirements
All submissions must include the following: