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Request For Applications: Safeguarding Democratic Space In Kenya (SADES-K)

Request for Applications: Safeguarding Democratic Space in Kenya (SADES-K)

Deadline: 01 December 2018

SADES-K Project Overview

Safeguarding Democratic Space in Kenya, SADES-K’s overall goal is to enhance Kenya’s ability to hold a national conversation on reforms and national cohesion, and to safeguard democratic gains, including protecting civic space, respect for human rights and observance of rule of law. SADES-K will be implemented through four complementary Results Areas:

  • Result Area 1: Kenya’s Governance Architecture Revisited and Strengthened
  • Result Area 2:  Social and Ethnic Cohesion Strengthened
  • Result Area 3:  Civic and Democratic Space Protected
  • Result Area 4: National Conversation and Implementation of Outcome Monitored for Accountability, Learning and Scale-up

The program is grounded in a locally-driven co-creation process with Kenyan stakeholders to further the national dialogue process under the Building Bridges to Unity Initiative (BBUI), promote social and ethnic cohesion, protect civic and democratic space and monitor the national conversation’s implementation. SADES-K will provide a much-needed bridge between electoral periods in Kenya, mainly by supporting locally-led initiatives and advocacy through technical assistance and grants.

SADES-K is a three-year project (2018-2021) implemented by FHI 360, a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solution.

Eligibility and RFA Context

Through this Full Open Call Request for Applications (RFA), FHI 360 invites civil society organizations (CSOs), including those who can collaborate with government institutions, to apply for grants to help strengthen social cohesion, bridge social divides, and foster unity among different groups of people in Kenya, especially those who have suffered ethnic and social marginalization, such as religious minorities, women and girls, persons with disabilities, and minority ethnic groups.

An  applicant  must,  be  a,  not-for-profit  organization,  a  non-governmental organization,  a  non-governmental  media organization, or a non-governmental  research institute or center who are encouraged to collaborate with government and semi government institutions.  CSOs representing CSO consortia and/or networks are also eligible to apply.Organizations must be registered per Kenyan  government requirements.

Applications for activities from one or more of the issue areas (described below) are encouraged.


The following is a list of issues that could be addressed by projects proposed under this RFA.  Applicants are encouraged to propose a range of activities in support of the issue(s) they seek to address in their grants. Applicants are encouraged to propose activities of their own design.


  • Supporting institutional  and  legal  reforms  to  enhance  democratic  and  accountable governance.
  • Citizen-owned and driven innovative interventions to consolidate national cohesion at national and county levels.
  • Creative proposals to undertake political (beyond civic/ voter) education to promote issue-based political mobilization.


  • Innovative interventions to address continuing challenges to greater cohesion in Kenya, including but not limited to, the social, ethnic, economic, political, religious, age and gender dimensions of exclusion, discrimination and intolerance especially to the extent that these may impact democratic participation in devolution and service delivery at national and county levels.
  • Opportunities and possibilities for healing and reconciliation for historical, recent and on-going grievances to groups and communities.
  • Promote participation through media and digital platforms that give voice to youth, counter divisive narratives to facilitate civic education and engagement.
  • Interventions addressing persistent identity and boundaries conflicts.


  • Protecting and enhancing media freedoms to better perform its editorial duties with a view to financial sustainability, self-regulation and journalistic integrity.
  • Enhancing freedom of expression and freedom of the media through advocacy, policy frameworks and review of media laws. Public interest litigation, monitoring and documentation of human rights violations and threats against journalists are key.
  • Institutional strengthening through research, training and collaborations among media institutions and civil society groups to document, monitor and promote human rights, and strengthen the civic space and rule of law.
  • Media literacy and public engagement geared towards countering hate speech, fake news and online and offline misinformation.
  • Content development on safeguarding the democratic space, publications and publicization through various mediums including Television, Online, Radio and Print outlets.
  • Implementation of the PBO Act. Supporting a robust self-regulation, integrity and peer accountability mechanisms within the PBO sector; increasing visibility and legitimacy of county-level PBO leadership and engagements with County Governments.
  • Monitoring, documenting and pursuing human rights violations for accountability and institutional reforms; Strengthening institutional collaborations


  • FHI 360 intends to issue 10-15 small grants and 2-3 large grants through this RFA.
  • Small grants will be up to 70,000 USD for not more than one year.
  • The large grants will be up to 300,000 USD up to 2 years.
  • Grants to be applied for can vary in size and duration but should be no larger than USD 300,000 USD and for no longer than two years (24 months).

How to Apply

Interested Applicants should use the proposal and budget templates provided with this RFA (Also linked below).

Applications will be accepted electronically and should be submitted via email to , clearly marked ‘RFA for SADES-K Grants’, and accompanied by an e-mail to  confirming that delivery has been made.

More Information

Requests for clarification of issues relating to the RFA are accepted on an ongoing basis up to 10 days prior to the due date November 21st  at 5pm, via email to  Such  requests  will  be  answered  individually. Consolidated questions and answers will also be emailed to all eligible applicants.

SADES-K will hold a consultation workshop and will give potential applicants an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the SADES-K project and its priorities, the RFA application process, and grant-making processes.

The meeting in each of the locations will be held from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. The venues are as listed below

  1. Nairobi – 6 Nov, 2018 -The Norfolk
  2. Nakuru – 8 Nov, 2018 -Waterbuck  (Date changed from 9th Nov)
  3. Kisumu -13 Nov, 2018 -Acacia Premier
  4. Mombasa –15 Nov, 2018 -Pride-Inn Mombasa (Date changed from 16th Nov)
  5. Nyeri-20 Nov, 2018 -The White Rhino


  1. SADES-K Detailed Request for Applications
  2. SADES-K RFA 001 Technical Application – Final
  3. SADES-K RFA 001 Budget Template – Final


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