The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Office of Assistance Coordination (NEA/AC) and the United States Embassy in Tunisia, Assistance Unit has announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to support the development of the Tunisian agriculture sector by providing technical assistance to the Agence de la Vulgarisation et de la Formation Agricoles (AVFA) (Agricultural Training and Extension Agency) and modernizing vocational training centers around the country.
This opportunity aims to advance U.S. foreign policy by increasing inclusive private sector employment through job creation in the agriculture sector.
Achievable Objectives :
A successful project will result in:
- Increased capacity of the AVFA to effectively administer and manage the 40 vocational training centers in Tunisia, leading to more persons trained and higher productivity of the agribusiness sector.
- Improved effectiveness of five vocational training centers through modernized facilities and equipment, efficient operating procedures, and increased quality of training that will create a stronger farming and agribusiness production value chain, leading to economic growth for the individuals that depend on this industry for their livelihoods.
Priority Areas :
- AVFA Capacity Building (Priority Area 1): In order to increase the productivity of the agriculture sector in Tunisia, the AVFA must increase its capacity to manage and coordinate the efforts of the 40 vocational training centers. Thus, the first priority areas seek to provide technical assistance to the AVFA to bolster its organizational capacity. Successful applicants will develop additional activities, but those listed below are required:
- Review of the AVFA’s legal framework to allow for more independence in the management of the vocational training centers so they can respond to local needs.
- Development of an AVFA procedural manual.
- Review and revision of AVFA’s organizational chart and structures.
- Conduct an assessment of the geographical distribution of the training centers and review each center’s specialty according to regional specificity.
- Training Center Revamp (Priority Area 2): Concerns regarding the infrastructure and access to high-value trainings at the vocational centers must be addressed in order to support growth in the Tunisian agriculture industry. As such, the second priority area aims to modernize and assist five (5) targeted centers out of the existing 40 to improve the delivery of services to Tunisian farmers. At least three (3) of the five (5) centers must be in Jendouba and Kasserine. The selection of centers must take into consideration the potential for growth for each center’s primary sector of specialty and rate of unemployment in the region where the center is located. While activities must focus on farmers altogether, a particular emphasis should be placed on young and female farmers. Successful applicants will develop additional activities, but those listed below are required:
- Conduct an in-depth diagnostic examination of the key challenges and potential comparative advantages of each of the five (5) targeted vocational centers. Embassy Tunis Assistance Unit will provide the selected applicant a study of the 40 centers conducted in 2019. Based on the results of this study and the diagnostic examination, develop a separate implementation plan and budget for each targeted vocational center, for approval by the grants Officer and the Grants Officer Representative. This Plan should be prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture and the AVFA.
- Review communication processes at the centers and develop updated tools, procedures, and methods to improve coordination amongst the different centers, especially for those within the same area or working on the same sector. Focus will be on the selected centers but other centers of the same specialty can benefit from this activity.
- Develop new training curricula for each center based on regional production, needs, and potential for growth and support the implementation of updated trainings. This should be developed based on the needs identified by the farmers in the region.
- Conduct capacity building trainings for the staff at the targeted centers, employing a train-the-trainer model, to ensure the centers can continue to operate effectively and remain staffed by well-trained professionals beyond the end of the project.
- Procure equipment and new technology to improve the resources and facilities available to center staff to use for trainings.
Funding Information :
- Estimated Total Program Funding: $5,000,000
- Estimated Award Ceiling: $5,000,000
- Estimated Award Floor: $4,000,000
- Estimated Length of Project Period: 2.5 years
Eligible Applicants :
U.S. or foreign
- Non-profit organizations;
- For-profit organizations;
- Public or state institutions of higher education;
- Private institutions of higher education;Public International Organizations;
- andSmall businesses with function and regional experience in the areas of economic growth, capacity building, leadership training, and organizational development in the MENA region.
- NEA/AC and Embassy Tunis Assistance Unit strongly encourage applications from organizations headquartered in the Middle East and North Africa region. International non-governmental organizations with principal bases of operations outside the Middle East and North Africa are also encouraged to apply, but the percentage of total budget actually spent in the region through local partners will be among the elements of evaluation for this competition.
- NEA/AC and Embassy Tunis Assistance Unit are committed to an anti-discrimination policy in all of its programs and activities. NEA/AC and Embassy Tunis Assistance Unit welcome applications irrespective of an applicants’ race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. They encourage applications from organizations working with underserved communities, including women, people with disabilities, and youth.