USAID/Armenia Justice Sector Support Project (hereinafter ’JSSP’ or the “Project’’) is seeking applications from duly accredited higher educational institutions, in accordance with the terms and provisions defined by the Armenian legal framework, for a funding opportunity to a) establish new law school legal clinics in Armenia working on civil justice matters or b) enhance/expand already existing law school clinics working on civil justice matters (collectively, "legal clinics"), with the aim of: - Enhancing the practical skills of law students. - Providing access to legal services for those entitled to free legal aid, support, and/or in need of legal information within the territorial reach and interest of the legal clinic. - Fostering professionalism and a sense of legal ethics and public service among law students. - Promoting human rights and civic participation. - Strengthening civil society and the rule of law.
The legal clinics will provide legal information and legal advice free of charge to members of the community on topics related to civil justice, which could include but not be limited to such matters as family law (divorce, child custody and support), employment rights, property claims, etc. Demand-driven services will focus on issues related to substantive legal rights. The legal clinics shall also work towards ensuring the sustainability and autonomy of the clinics beyond the grant period. Therefore, the grantees shall demonstrate and comply with several requirements.
The responsibilities of the legal clinic from the thematic/content-related perspective.
The legal clinic shall: - Conduct training of law students on issues related to substantive legal rights in the area of civil justice. The selection of the thematic direction shall be based on the civil justice needs of the community, especially marginalized populations, and supported by data; - Prepare students to manage client cases from intake to disposition, including how to conduct client interviews, identify and research relevant issues, provide legal advice, document consultations, and draft client communications and other legal documents as necessary; - Conduct training for students on how to interact with and assist clients, including all necessary soft skills and confidentiality; - Provide free legal information and advice to members of the community on civil justice-related matters; - Contribute to the legal awareness of the local community by various means, including street law initiatives; - Conduct outreach to the community, especially marginalized populations, to raise awareness of legal issues and the clinic as an access point; - Develop or improve training and legal awareness materials for the local community based on localized needs, especially for marginalized populations; - Enhance the awareness of the law students about different moot court competitions, including but not limited to the Brown Mosten International Client Consultation Competition, and encourage students to participate in such activities.
The responsibilities of the legal clinic from the organizational, administrative, and financial perspective
The legal clinics shall: - Provide a brief outline on the vision of the higher educational institution on the establishment, development or expansion of the legal clinic; - Provide brief outline on the vision of the higher educational institution on the financial and programmatic sustainability of the legal clinic; - Provide information and written commitment from the administration of the higher educational institution (e.g., letter of support) on the financial and in-kind contribution of the higher educational institution for the establishment and/or promotion of the legal clinic; - Provide a working plan of the legal clinic; - Fully operate 2 or 3 days a week, depending on the circumstances and the individual situation in each higher educational institution and the local community; - Actively engage and participate in the capacity-building activities organized by the Project; - Demonstrate an interest in exchanges and engaging in active cooperation with existing and to-be-established legal clinics in Armenia; - Contribute to the establishment of a Legal Clinical Association in Armenia in line with any future recommendations of the Project; - Work with the administration of the higher educational institution to ensure that legal clinical education is integrated in the university curricula; - Ensure that the legal clinic can ultimately function without external support by preparing a post-grant sustainability plan elaborating the modalities for its long-term functioning, in order to ensure that the legal clinics continue to operate effectively after the grant support ends; - Actively work with the Public Defender’s Office to enhance the cooperation with the Public Defender’s office and the experience for the law students, where such cooperation is possible.
ПРОЦЕДУРА ПОДАЧИ ЗАЯВОК
. - Deadline for Questions/Clarifications: 15 September 2023, 17:00 Yerevan time. - Deadline for Responses to Questions/Clarifications: 22 September 2023, 17:00 Yerevan time. - Deadline for Submitting Applications: 02 October 2023, 17:00 Yerevan time.
Any questions concerning this RFA should be submitted in writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than the deadline stated above. Responses to questions received prior to the deadline will be furnished through an amendment to this notice via e-mail. Phone calls are prohibited. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
The application must be submitted electronically to mail to: email@example.com (see Annex 5 for the Application Form). JSSP reserves the right to organize an informative conference workshop prior to the delivery of the application, if deemed necessary, to allow the eligible applicant to ask questions about the RFA and receive directions on how to fill out the application (see Annex 6 for Frequently Asked Questions).
Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award commitment on the part of JSSP nor does it commit the JSSP to pay for any costs incurred in preparation or submission of comments/ suggestions or an application. The application is submitted at the risk of the applicant. All preparation and submission costs are at the applicant’s expense. The maximum grant amount will be 9,600,000.00 (nine million six hundred thousand) Armenian Drams per grant award, for up to 12 months, with the possibility of follow-on awards (per USAID regulations). Funding may be requested for programmatic and administrative expenses, as well as purchasing of technological and IT means necessary for the proper operation of the legal clinic.
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ОТКРЫТ ДЛЯ/ КРИТЕРИИ ОТБОРА
For applying to the grant application, the higher educational institution must operate in the territory of the Republic of Armenia and must demonstrate that it meets the following criteria:
- Be a duly accredited higher educational institution in accordance with the terms and provisions defined by the Armenian legal framework;
- Must have accredited LLB and/or LLM programs;
- Be qualified to receive grants within the meaning of Armenian legislation;
- Either have a demonstrated interest in establishing a new legal clinic involved with civil justice; have an already established legal clinic involved with civil justice; or have a demonstrated interest of expanding an already established legal clinic into the area of civil justice;
- Have relevant personnel (at least one part-time lawyer who meets the staffing requirements defined by Annex 2, and at least one experienced part-time law professor/ tutor who will be engaged in the work of the legal clinic on a permanent basis). Detailed staffing requirements are provided in Annex 2;
- Have dedicated space in the university for the legal clinic, which in addition to a training room shall have a separate room for confidential client interviewing/ counseling;
- Commit to supporting and sustaining the legal clinic beyond the funding of the Project.
Selected grantees must commit to meeting the following reporting requirements as a condition of receiving continued grant funding:
- Work Plan for the grant period, which should include defining your project's stakeholders, scope of the work of the clinic, deliverables expected, defined milestones for success, criteria for measuring success, and resource requirements; timeline; and Gantt Chart, within two weeks after the effective date of the grant award.
- Programmatic and financial Sustainability Plan within a month after the effective date of the grant award, which should demonstrate the grantee’s strategic plan for creating the ability to continue its mission or program beyond the life of the grant.
- Visibility Plan, within a month after the effective date of the grant award.
- Quarterly programmatic reports highlighting the progress made and the challenges faced not later than on the 3rd of the month following each quarter.
- Quarterly financial reports no later than on the 3rd of the month following each quarter.
- Draft deliverables produced under the grant award within 5 working days after the finalization of the development of the given document. Deliverables can include Operational Rules of the clinic, training courses or manuals, templates, etc. JSSP reserves the right to make comments and propose revisions to the deliverables, which should be finalized and resubmitted within the deadlines set by JSSP for each individual case.
- Final programmatic and financial reports along with the final versions of any deliverables developed, including but not limited to the training courses, manuals, etc., not later than a month after the end date of the grant award.
- Other deliverables that might be requested by JSSP within two weeks after the creation of the deliverable in question.
See Annex 1 of this RFA for eligibility requirements.
Grants will be awarded to applicants whose application (1) meets the minimum qualifications described above, and (2) best demonstrates commitment and capacity to achieve the objectives of this funding opportunity. See the selection criteria contained in Annex 1. JSSP reserves to right to make multiple awards to more than one applicant operating on the territory of the Republic of Armenia, not to exceed five awards, based upon the discretion and financial resources of the Project.
The applicant should make sure its staffing complies with the minimum staffing requirements specified in Annex 2. The review and evaluation procedures are specified in Annex 3.
To be eligible for an award, the applicant must provide all information as required in this RFA and meet eligibility standards specified in Annex 1 of this RFA. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the entire RFA has been downloaded from the internet in its entirety and JSSP bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from the transmission process.
Qualified applicants are encouraged to read this funding opportunity thoroughly to understand the type of program sought, application submission requirements and evaluation process.
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