The Democratic Governance Facility is requesting for Concept Papers On Public Debate Series

The Democratic Governance Facility is requesting for Concept Papers On Public Debate Series
The staff from DGF Partner organisations, and the DGF Programme Management Unit staff.
The staff from DGF Partner organisations, and the DGF Programme Management Unit staff.

Invitation for submission of concept papers: The Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) is pleased to call upon interested individuals and entities (non-governmental and civil society organizations, research organizations/think tanks, media groups, production houses and others) to express their interest in preparing, organising, convening and broadcasting a substantive public issue-based debate series, with special regard for governance, human rights and accountability issues.

The envisaged public debates will essentially be a series of forums were issues of national importance will be presented, analysed and discussed in a knowledgeable manner. The debates will be guided by an ‘issues brief’ prepared by subject experts as well as possibly other audio-visual materials to introduce and frame the issues at stake; the debate participants will be chosen for their expertise and represent a variety of viewpoints, and the debate will be moderated by a well-respected and credible non-partisan personality. The debates will be organised in a public space and allow the participation of an in-person audience as well as media viewers/listeners.

The language will be English to allow for national participation. The debates will be produced to high professional standards (lighting, audio, set, cameras etc), ‘taped as live’, and edited to ensure a dynamic and lively flow. They will be aired on television, radio and social media, with a view of reaching the highest audience across the country. Proceedings will be documented and published, along with the relevant preparatory ‘issues brief’, to encourage follow-up of debate outcomes by relevant stakeholders. The debates will take place on a monthly basis from January to August/September 2015, then bi-monthly during the electoral campaign period, then revert to a monthly format until June 2016, with a total of 24 debates organized/produced.

DGF support will be premised on the implementation of a set of principles that will ensure the public debates are informative, well-reasoned, persuasive, orderly and dynamic, and that governance, human rights and accountability considerations feature in the selection of debate issues and panellists. The organisers must also ensure adherence to all legal requirements of organising assemblies.

Objectives of Public Debates

One of the objectives pursued by the DGF is for the political process to increasingly become pluralistic and tolerant based on democratic freedoms and values and increasingly centred on policies and issues facing Ugandans. In addition, the DGF aims to promote a policy and issue-based electoral campaign in the run up to 2016. The envisaged public debates will make a direct contribution to these objectives, specifically by:

1.         Improving the quality of debate on matters of national interest by establishing a regular, well regarded platform where debate is based on prepared research, presentation of alternative view points and active participation.

2.         Reaching, interesting and engaging a significant audience (both in-person and through the media), particularly policy-shapers/makers/influencers across the country, with a focus on youth and women, in matters of national interest being debated.

3.         Increase the participation of persons attending/viewing the debates in demanding for accountability, good governance and respect for human rights in policy and decision-making on matters of national importance.

The Scope of Work
The selected organisation will:

–           Carry out a needs assessment to establish issues the target audience is interested in

–           Determine and frame the topics to be debated

–           Identify experts in the topics to be debated to carry out research and prepare concise and incisive preparatory ‘issue briefs’ for each topic and/or other audio-visual clips to introduce and frame the issues at stake

–           Develop the format and publish guidelines for debating, including interactive aspects with in-person and broadcast audience

–           Organize monthly public debates, including defining the topic, framing the issues, identifying moderator(s), selecting and preparing panelists/speakers, mobilizing participants, ensuring interactivity, summarizing proceedings and ‘take away’ messages etc.

–           Ensure high professional standards in the production of the debates: lighting, set/venue, sound, number of cameras etc

–           Record and edit proceedings for broadcast (TV, radio, social media)

–           Secure the broadcasting of debates on as many radio and TV stations to reach the highest possible audience (‘free to air’, syndication etc)

–           Ensure wide publicity for the debates and their proceedings, including through social media
–           Publish issue briefs and summary of debate proceedings and disseminate widely (print media, others).

1.         24 issue briefs prepared by subject experts that are non- partisan and of good repute.

2.         24 public debates on well-defined and prepared topics attended by at least 500 men and women each in person.

3.         24 professionally produced and edited minimum 50 minutes debate programmes for broadcast on TV and radio

4.         3 – 5 Minutes mini video documentary to demonstrate issue at hand

5.         Broadcasting of the debate on TV, radio and social media with widest audience possible

6.         Tailor-made materials about the debates (announcement, excerpts etc) for social media, both text (Twitter, Facebook) and audio-visual (Youtube).

7.         Publication of and dissemination of issue briefs and debate proceedings for follow-up
8.         Monitoring and evaluation of debate performance (broadcasts, quality, audiences, follow-up etc.)

Target audience

The primary audience is composed of Ugandan policy-makers/shapers/influencers, with a focus on youth and women, with access to Kampala where the public debates will be held. Secondary audience: English speaking Ugandans across the country with access to mass media.

Women, people with disabilities and youth will particularly be encouraged to attend, and means of dissemination will consider how best to reach and engage them.

Format for the Public  debates
The moderated debates will run for two hours, and will include framing/presentation of the issues, views from selected experts and audience participation. The proceedings will be recorded and then edited for a minimum 50 minutes TV and radio format.

The recorded programmes will run on a wide range of broadcast platforms, including social media, to ensure the widest possible audience.

Request for Concept Notes

DGF is inviting interested individuals and entities to submit concept notes to produce and disseminate a public debate series as described above. Please note that DGF can only provide funding to a non-for-profit entity (NGO, CSO, company limited by guarantee). DGF cannot contract an individual or a for-profit entity (media house, production company etc) directly to carry out this project. While for-profit entities can provide services on a competitive basis (ensuring ‘value for money’) as part of this project, they cannot be the primary recipient of a grant from DGF. DGF encourages partnerships between different organizations/individuals to meet the objectives of the project.

The concept notes should not exceed 15 pages, and address the objectives and scope of work to produce the deliverables listed above. They should include, but not necessarily be limited to the following:

a) public debate structure, format and content, including consideration of unanswered questions

b) methodology for conducting the needs assessment and provisional outline of the topics to be considered

c) production specifications

d) relations with radio/TV stations and plans for broadcast

e) estimated audiences to be reached through mass media and social media

e) monitoring and evaluation framework and methods

f) background and experience of organization(s) and key individuals in the project, with CVs and references

g) outline of a budget, with main expenses (maximum 750,000,000 UGX – this is approx 30 million per debate all costs included.)

Concept notes received will be considered on a competitive basis based on the applicant’s understanding of the assignment, adequacy of the proposed methodology for achieving the objectives, specific experience and background of the applicant(s) and cost-effectiveness. Follow-up information (both on the proposal and budget) may be requested. DGF makes no promise of financial or other support for any of the concept notes received.

Concepts notes, including budgets and supporting documentation, should be labelled Public Debates Concept Note and addressed to, both in soft/electronic format to and in hard copy to:

Component Manager
Deepening Democracy Component
Democratic Governance Facility
1st Floor Building Plot 4 Nile Avenue
P.O Box 8772
Kampala – Uganda

Concept notes should be submitted no later than December 1, 2014 at 9:00 am.

DGF reserves all rights to consider or reject any concept note, to amend and/or re-issue this request for concept notes and to abandon and then recommence at any time, or not recommence the process. Therefore, submitting a concept note does not guarantee funding from DGF. All costs for any response to this request for concept notes and participation are solely the responsibility of interested party(ies). DGF shall not be liable for payment of any such costs, or for any other perceived or real losses or damage resulting from participation in this request for concept notes.

The Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) was established in July 2011 to support the efforts of Ugandan state and non-state actors to strengthen democratisation, protect human rights, enhance access to justice, promote peaceful co-existence and improve accountability in Uganda. The Development Partners currently contributing to the DGF include Austria, Denmark, European Union, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The DGF has three components:  1. Deepening Democracy, 2. Rights, Justice and Peace and 3. Voice and Accountability, and it will run until the mid of 2016. DGF does not carry out its own programs: it provides financial and, in a more limited manner, technical support to Ugandan organizations, state and non-state, initiating and implementing interventions aimed at improving democratic governance in Uganda in fulfilment of the Constitution and the National Development Plan.

Also see: Call for Proposals-Higher Education Research and Innovation

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