USAID EDGE Request for Applications: Supporting Projects working in Economic Growth

    International Development Group LLC (IDG) is seeking applications from qualified applicants in the Western Balkans countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia; the Caucasus countries of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan; and the Western Newly Independent States (NIS) countries of Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus (UMB), to enable inclusive, sustainable economic growth by supporting intra-regional and Euro-Atlantic integration under the regional USAID Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth Project (EDGE).

    EDGE is a 3 to 5-year regional activity in Europe and Eurasia (E&E) that aims to create inclusive, sustainable economic growth and to support intra-regional and Euro-Atlantic integration. EDGE aims to generate synergies among USAID projects working in economic growth and bring together stakeholders across countries to work on mutual problems, giving the USAID E&E portfolio a regional dimension.

    The Development Objective (DO) of EDGE is Inclusive, sustainable economic growth supporting intra-regional and Euro-Atlantic integration.

    This RFA will support the following EDGE Results:

    • Reduced Barriers to Cross-Border Trade and Investment;
    • Improved Business Sophistication Within Targeted Value Chains;
    • Improved Market Integration and Expanded Market Linkages of Firms Within Targeted Value Chains.

    Funding Information

    Financial allocation under this RFA is US$ 1,000,000 to be awarded to up to 15 Grantees. Initial grant performance period will be limited to 15 months. High performing grantees receiving high evaluation scores on their performance and quality of deliverables may receive additional grant support. Grant awards will start on or around July 1, 2020, with the performance period of 15 months until September 30, 2021.

    Targeted Value Chains

    With respect to Results II and III, EDGE activities are intended to improve the competitiveness of SMEs within targeted value chains; to increase their trade with the EU and other Western markets; increase their ability to comply with EU standards; and take better advantage of EU trade arrangements in the region. The targeted value chains include:

    • Agriculture and ag processing
      • Fresh and processed fruit and vegetables
    • Light manufacturing
      • Apparel and textiles
      • Wood processing
    • Tourism
      • Inbound tourism to at least two countries for the following types of tourism: ecotourism, rural tourism, and adventure tourism (as defined by UN World Tourism Organization)

    Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

    EDGE invites applicants to propose activities that promote ICT usage and digital transformation in any of the value chains listed above. Illustrative activities may include orientation workshops to demonstrate to SMEs the positive benefits of adopting or expanding their use of ICT; conducting gap analyses to diagnose SMEs’ specific ICT needs and identify interventions to improve SMEs’ operations, performance, marketing, etc.; developing or adapting ICT applications to address identified needs and providing training on implementation; match-making events that bring together local ICT firms and SMEs from the value chains; etc.

    Eligibility Criteria

    • Business Support Organizations (BSOs): chambers, clusters, associations, incubators, innovation centers that are locally registered;
    • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are locally registered;
    • Government entities (local, regional, national, and parastatal);
    • International Organizations (IOs);
    • Private sector firms and consulting firms;
    • U.S. Organizations;
    • Public private partnerships;
    • Educational institutions and training centers; and;
    • Coalitions of these entities.

    How to Apply

    This RFA is a two-stage application process. In the first stage, applicants are only expected to submit a Concept Note. EDGE will perform an administrative and eligibility check, evaluate concepts and notify applicants of the results of the evaluation. Only selected applicants will be invited to the second stage and submit a Full Application.

    All documents must be sent via email at the address given on the website in PDF format of originals. The Concept Note should be sent in both MS Word and in PDF format.

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