USAID’s VukaNow: Combating Wildlife Crime in Southern Africa Activity

Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Wednesday, 30 September, 2020
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

Annual Program Statement (APS) No. 03

Issuance Date: 01 April 2020
Closing Date: 30 September  2020

Dear Applicant:

USAID’s VukaNow: 

Combating Wildlife Crime in Southern Africa Activity, implemented by Chemonics International, is seeking concept papers for implementation of activities designed to address a multi-faceted program that aims to significantly reduce the level of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife through innovative approaches to: enhancing law enforcement capacity, enhancing judiciary systems, minimizing wildlife crimes and illegal trade, enforcing the law more effectively, and reducing the root causes and enablers of wildlife crime. The grants will be awarded and implemented in accordance with USAID and U.S. Government regulations governing grants under contracts and USAID’s VukaNow internal grant management policies.

The funding from this grant shall not provide any direct benefits to the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) or any department, ministry, or organ of the GoZ, including entities or parastatals owned in whole or part by the GoZ unless specifically approved, in advance, in writing by USAID.

For the APS containing the application instructions and the associated documents, please follow the GoogleDrive link: All applications with supporting documents should be submitted to [email protected] on close of business 17.00 local time (South Africa) 30 September 2020.

USAID’s VukaNow and Chemonics employees may not ask for, and applicants are prohibited from offering, any money, fee, commission, credit, gift, gratuity, thing of value, or compensation to obtain or reward improper favorable treatment regarding this solicitation. Any improper request from a project employee should be reported to the chief of party or [email protected].

The following Annexes are included with this APS:

  • Annex A – Grant Concept Paper Template
  • Annex B – Grant Budget Template
  • Annex C – Implementation Plan Timeline Template
  • Annex D – Required Certifications (To be completed and submitted only by selected grantees prior to grant award. These required certifications are provided at this time for informational purposes only.)
  • Annex E – Mandatory and Required As Applicable Standard Provisions

Standard Provisions for Non-U.S. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) receiving a fixed amount award can be accessed through the following URL:

Standard Provisions for Non-U.S., Nongovernmental recipients receiving all other types of grants can be accessed through the following URL:     



USAID’s VukaNow is awarding grants to local or regional not-for-profit and for-profit NGOs, associations, and firms legally registered and recognized under the laws of a South African Development Community (SADC) member country. Preference will be given to NGOs, associations, and firms that have experience working in the geographic footprint of the VukaNow Activity. The objective of grant activities awarded through this APS is to contribute to coordination of learning from multiple landscape-based combating wildlife crime activities awarded by USAID and to support strategic regional activities that are necessary to address the wildlife crime challenges that fall outside any discreet landscape.

USAID’s VukaNow is a four-year activity  financed by USAID and implemented by Chemonics International. The activity started in March 2018 and is currently anticipated to end in March 2022. The goal of the project is to dramatically decrease wildlife crime across Southern Africa. To achieve this purpose, UVN has two main objectives:

  1. Catalyze learning and sharing for improved results to combat wildlife crime
  2. Increase collaborative action to reduce wildlife crime in targeted areas


Wildlife crime is a multi-billion-dollar illicit business that is decimating Africa’s iconic animal populations and undermining the economic prosperity and sustainable development of countries and communities throughout Southern Africa. It threatens the region’s natural capital and undermines sustainable development from legal nature-based enterprises such as tourism. Wildlife crime also threatens social stability and cohesion as it robs and impoverishes citizens of their cultural and natural heritage, while its organized criminal networks threaten regional peace and security.

In response to these threats, USAID/Southern Africa has embarked on a multi-faceted regional program to address wildlife crime. In March 2018, USAID launched the “USAID’s VukaNow” (UVN) activity to complement six projects in four landscapes across Southern Africa that it is undertaken in partnership with regional bodies. The aim of this region-wide program is to significantly reduce the level of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and to enhance law enforcement capacity and promote sustainable utilization of natural resources.
UVN supports the shared commitments of the U.S. Government (USG), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), member states, private sector partners and civil society to significantly decrease wildlife crime across Southern Africa. Its approach is rooted in a theory of change and a fundamental belief that a collective impact model is necessary to achieve USAID’s goal of significantly decreasing wildlife crime across Southern Africa. Broader and more systematized than collaboration alone, collective impact recognizes that complex social problems like wildlife trafficking require intentional cross-sectoral coordination rather than isolated, individual efforts to achieve lasting change. UVN promotes four principles needed to achieve collective impact: clarity and alignment of purposes and activities, clear communication, co-creation and progress tracking, and partnership growth and fundraising.
Chemonics and its partners — CollaborateUp and TRACE Wildlife Forensics Network implement UVN with a collective impact model by working closely with landscape partners to catalyze learning and knowledge sharing among themselves as well as with SADC to implement its Law Enforcement and Anti-Poaching (LEAP) strategy.

The LEAP strategy objectives are focused on the following areas:

  • Enhancing judiciary systems
  • Minimizing wildlife crimes and illegal trade
  • Enforcing the law more effectively
  • Promoting sustainable trade and use of natural resources; and
  • Reducing the root causes and enablers of wildlife crime.

Geographic focus:

UVN specifically focuses on coordinating learning from other USAID supported efforts with relevant partners in four priority landscapes: 1) the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA); 2) the north western regions of Namibia; 3) Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area; 4) the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, which includes areas in South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
USAID’s Vuka Now works closely with the following activities in the region:

Partner Landscape
World Wildlife Fund US (WWF-US) Kavango-Zambezi Landscape and Northwest Namibia
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier landscape
WWF South Africa Great Limpopo Transfrontier landscape
Sustainable Agricultural Technology Lowveld areas of Zimbabwe linked to the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area
Lowveld Rhino Trust Lowveld areas of Zimbabwe linked to the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area


Grant activities funded by USAID’s VukaNow must meet the following general criteria.

  • Grants must promote the overall goal of USAID’s VukaNow (UVN) and further one or more of the specific objectives of UVN, as described above in Section IB.
  • Execution of grant activities must take place in Southern Africa (in one or more areas of UVN’s geographic focus).
  • Grant activities shall be results-oriented or performance-based, emphasizing achieving results that are relevant and technically sound; show a clear relationship between tasks, milestones, and payment; contain verifiable results; and be measured by means of verifiable indicators.
  • Grant activities may be related to an organization’s primary objective, or may be related to a special function of an organization that is otherwise largely dedicated to other objectives.
  • Grants will cover only necessary and allowable costs linked to the execution of the activity, such as program staff salaries, consultant fees, training, meetings and seminars, publications, purchase and/or rental of equipment, office and travel expenses, and other direct costs. The specific costs to be funded must conform to the USAID guidelines for funding activities.
  • Should it be deemed necessary by UVN, grants will also cover costs of activities associated with mitigating the environmental impact of grant activities.
  • To reflect their commitment to the activity, applicants are encouraged to consider a meaningful grantee contribution (cash or monetized in-kind services or equipment provided by the grantee) as a contribution to the overall cost of a grant. UVN also encourages applicants to consider leveraging third-party resources to support the proposed activity.


The following themes are open for grant application:

  • Innovative approaches to disrupting  wildlife crime (poaching and trafficking).
    • The focus of this theme is to identify tools, methods, technologies, etc. which can be used by different actors such as protected areas managers, civil society organizations, or government counterparts to assist their work.  
  • Mitigating political, economic, and social drivers of wildlife crime:
    • The focus of this theme is to implement activites which serve to influence the dynamics which enable and sustain the commission and perpetuation of wildlife crime
  • Robust investigative reporting on wildlife crime:
    • The focus of this theme is to support media actors such as journalists and editors, to expand and enhance reporting to be a more strategic, accurate, holistic and coordinated view of poaching including connection to broader social and economic issues. Under this theme, applicants must demonstrate that media actor engagement will contribute to improved synergy and networking in media efforts in a way that is different from other crimes.
  • Novel approaches for communities to derive benefits from combatting wildlife crime taking in to account application of current legislation and mechanisms.
    • The focus of this theme is to identify, test, adapt novel approaches to community benefit mechanisms for combating wildlife crimes while ensuring accountability. While a focus here is to identify how existing mechanisms can be applied, VukaNow also notes that there may not be specific legislation on community benefits which should not preclude applications, but applicants should identify any applicable legislation/policy.  While community engagement and awareness is part of this effort, the focus of this theme is beyond basic awareness and education, but rather to operationalize mechanisms of support for wildlife crime deterrence.

Applicants must indicate the primary theme to which they are applying and describe how the proposed grant activity fulfills the theme.

As USAID VukaNow operates regionally, grantees applicants are encouraged to demonstrate how the proposed activity supports multi-actor collaborations at transboundary level.
USAID’s VukaNow recognizes that some grantees may need technical assistance to more effectively carry out the activity. Consequently applicants are encouraged to specify their needs for technical assistance and/or training in their application. 
USAID’s VukaNow grant awards are made under the authority of the U.S. Foreign Affairs Act and USAID’s Automated Directive System (ADS) 302.3.5.6, “Grants Under Contracts.” Awards made to non-U.S. organizations will adhere to guidance provided under ADS Chapter 303, “Grants and Cooperative Agreements to Non-Governmental Organizations” and will be within the terms of the USAID Standard Provisions as linked in the annexes, as well as the USAID’s Vuka Now grants procedures.

ADS 303 references two additional regulatory documents issued by the U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the U.S. Agency for International Development:
-2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, Subpart E (U.S. applicants are subject to 2 CFR 200 in its entirety)
-Full text of 2 CFR 200 can be found at USAID’s Vuka Now is required to ensure that all organizations receiving USAID grant funds comply with the guidance found in these circulars, as applicable to the respective terms and conditions of their grant awards.
Under the USAID’s VukaNow grant program, USAID retains the right at all times to terminate, in whole or in part, USAID’s VukaNow grant-making authorities.

USAID’s VukaNow anticipates that each grant award may range from between the local currency equivalent of USD 30,000 – USD 150,000, but the final amount will be dependent upon grant activities and final negotiation and may be lower or higher than that range. The duration of any grant award under this solicitation is expected to be no more than 18 months. The estimated start date of grants awarded under this solicitation is variable, depending on when grantees are selected. UVN anticipates that grant implementation will begin within 45 days following grantee selection. The types of grants awarded will be determined during the negotiation process with selected grantees.


  • Applicants must be local or regional not-for-profit and for-profit NGOs, associations, and firms legally registered under the laws of a SADC member country. Applicants must be formally constituted, recognized by and in good standing with appropriate authorities, and compliant with all applicable civil and fiscal regulations.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate successful past performance in implementation of programs related to the priority areas of USAID’s VukaNow.
  •  Applicants must display sound management in the form of financial, administrative, and technical policies and procedures and present a system of internal controls that safeguard assets; protect against fraud, waste, and abuse; and support the achievement of program goals and objectives. USAID’s VukaNow will assess this capability prior to awarding a grant.
  • Additionally, grantees must sign the required certifications prior to receiving a grant. The certifications are attached to this solicitation (Annex E) for informational purposes; USAID’s Vuka Now will review them with applicants selected for grant awards.
  • For any grant award(s) resulting from this solicitation that is other than in-kind and equivalent to $25,000 USD or more, grantees will be required to provide a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number at the time of award. If the applicant already has a DUNS number, it should be included in their application. Otherwise, applicants will be expected to get a DUNS number before an award is made. USAID’s Vuka Now will assist successful applicants with this process. DUNS numbers can be obtained online at
  • The project will work with the successful grantee to draft a marking and branding plan which will be annexed to the grant agreement.
  • Faith-based and community groups will receive equal opportunity for funding in accordance with the mandated guidelines laid out in ADS 303.3.28, except for faith-based organizations whose objectives are for discriminatory and religious purposes, and whose main objective of the grant is of a religious nature.

 USAID’s VukaNow encourages applications from new organizations who meet the above eligibility criteria.

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