Establishing an open government ecosystem is critical to improving public safety and governance in Belize. Local and national authorities in the country face difficulties in providing public services to remote communities, making those communities vulnerable. Building pro-transparency coalitions among civil society and local governments, including active participation from vulnerable groups, is key to combating criminal activity through enhanced civic engagement and increasing the effectiveness and resilience of public institutions.
The project “Promoting an Open Government Ecosystem in Belize”, implemented by The Trust for the Americas and the Department for Effective Public Management of the Organization of American States (OAS) provide opportunities for local governments and the civil society of Belize to create together discussion spaces and Open Data policy deliberation. This project is possible with financial support from the United States Embassy in Belmopan.
The project promotes the participation of Civil Society from all six districts of Belize (media, non-profit organizations, associations, academia and private sector).
The three objectives of this project are:
- Reinforce existing e-government initiatives to guarantee public access to information and effective service delivery.
- Strengthen the capacities of CSOs to participate in coalitions and advocate for the improvement of government services.
- Promote effective collaboration between government and civil society through coalition-building processes and social innovation mini-grants.
The third objective aims to support the country with donations of up to US$ 5,000 to 10 civil society organizations for the implementation of projects-initiatives along with a government authority, to promote the principles of Open Government in their districts.
Characteristics of the Fund for Open Government projects
The purpose of the nonrefundable seed funding is to sponsor the participation of civil society in the implementation of specific projects under the principles of open government (transparency, collaboration and citizen participation)
Following global trends, it is intended to encourage initiatives linked to promote collaboration between civil society and government, to provide innovative and high impact solutions to public services or needs identified in each district, which specifically demonstrate the benefits and opportunities that open governance represents.
Therefore, the projects to be financed will be from Belizean social organizations that submit proposals in alliance with any district/national entity.
With this fund, a total of 10 projects will be financed and a total amount of US$50,000 will be invested in the six districts of Belize: Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, and Toledo.
Only one project per organization will be financed and the amount of the donation will be up to US$ 5,000 (this includes the commitment of each organization to use part of these resources in socialization activities, consultation and validation of the project with their communities). The funds will be paid out directly to the winning organization, 50% upon signing the agreement and 50% upon delivery of the mid-term management report. The expected execution period for the projects financed by the fund will be 6 months. The organization must submit a midterm report and a final report on the project’s technical and financial execution.
Basic eligibility requirements
The project proposals must be submitted by legally constituted (non-governmental) social organizations, such as:
- Non-profit associations
- SMEs / Private Sector
- Professional associations
The projects must be related with the principles-values of open government, which are:
- Access to public information
- Open data
- Citizen participation
- Civic collaboration
- Technological innovation
The following are the requirements to submit proposals:
- Complete the online form with information about the project proposal and send by email the following documents:
- Send copy of legal status or probative document of legal status.
- Send letter from the public counterpart for the implementation of the project (letter must be signed and stamped by the institutional leader). See template here.
- Send CV from the organization’s leader that will be in charge of the project.
After completing the online form with the description of the proposal, support documents must be send to the Project Coordinator’s email, Mr. Henry Wade – HWade@oas.org
Timeline and important dates
The call for proposals will follow the schedule below:
- Nov 5, 2018: Call is open.
- Dec 7, 2018: Due date for receiving proposals.
- Week of Dec 10, 2018: Evaluation of proposals by the Selection Committee.
- Week of Dec 10, 2018: Questions to applicants requesting clarifications.
- Dec 14, 2018: Announcement of selected proposals through a press release and emails.
- Week of Dec 17, 2018: Administrative process for signing of donation agreements and disbursements of funds.
- January 2019: Starting date for the implementation of the projects.
- End of March 2019: Follow up meeting with recipient organizations.
- June 2019: Delivery of execution final reports and presentation event of the project’s results.
The evaluation committee will gather during the week of Dec 10, 2018 to select the best 10 innovative and disrupted projects that were received.
The committee is integrated by:
- A representative of The Trust for the Americas
- A representative of the Department for Effective Public Management from the OAS
- A representative of the United States Embassy in Belmopan
- A representative of Belizean Civil Society
All the proposals and profiles will be evaluated by each member of the Committee individually, and later presented in a group evaluation. The selection criteria and scores for the proposals will be based on the conditions of the current call. The principal of consensus will prevail in the selection of proposals.
- Relevance of problem or opportunity in the geographic and political context
- Adequacy and technical feasibility
- Contribution to solve the problem or take advantage of the opportunity identified in your district
- Direct impact on the problem
- Cost/Benefit ratio
- Sustainability and replicability