Russian Civic Networking Program (RCNP) - Application Guidelines

The recipients the first RCNP grant were the Samara Civic Network, the Chelyabinsk Civic Network and the Sergiev-Posad Civic Network. This decision was reached in December of 1997 and the project began in February of 1998. The overall quality of the 1997 proposals was excellent, far surpassing anything that we had anticipated and the decision to choose these three proposals was a most difficult one.

We recognize that the "Invitation for Partnership" for the Russian Civic Networking Program (RCNP) is long, presents a lot of material and perhaps presents as overwhelming the task of submitting a proposal. To help make this task simpler, we present some basic guidelines below and a suggested outline for your proposal. While not required, we feel that following this outline format and guidelines will help you submit the best possible proposal.

Please know that the "Friends and Partners" organization wishes to help you submit the best possible proposal and is very glad to help you with any questions. Please direct your comments and questions to:

General Recommendations . .

The application (excluding budget and supporting materials) should generally be no longer than 15-20 pages, single-spaced, using a reasonably-sized font. However, if you feel you need more space to describe your program, it is acceptable. There is no suggested limit on the length of supporting materials.

Because proposal reviewers will be in both Russia and the U.S., the proposal must be submitted in both the Russian and English languages (excluding the "supporting material" section). If this requirement makes it impossible for you to submit a proposal, please write us at the address mentioned above.

Proposals will consist of 4 main parts:

  1. Program Summary. Generally, 1-2 pages.

  2. Program Detail. 15-20 pages. Will consist of 5 main sections.

    1. Goals and objectives
    2. Proposed program activities
    3. Organizational infrastructure
    4. Technical infrastructure
    5. Summary and conclusion

  3. Budget. 3-4 pages.

  4. Supporting Material. As long as needed.
These items are now explained in more detail below.

I. Program Summary

Please summarize the proposed program in 1-2 pages.

II. Program Detail

This is the narrative of the proposal and is where you will describe your goals for the RCNP in your community, how you will accomplish those goals, and why your community is well positioned for a successful community network. It should be presented in the following 5 main sections:
  1. The goals and objectives of the civic network program in your community. Be very specific about what your community hopes to accomplish with this program. Why is your community interested in the program? What specific needs of the community will the program address? What results will show success? (i.e., how you will know if you've been successful?)

  2. Proposed program activities

    1. Program promotion. How will the local public learn about and contribute to the civic networking project?

    2. Training activities (technical and non-technical)

    3. Creation/publication of local information and resources. This is very important. How will local organizations be able to publish, maintain, and update their own information resources?

      Every proposal should also address the inclusion of local government information - local offices, local services, elected officials and their responsibilities, etc. How will this information be gathered and kept up-to-date?

    4. Collaboration with existing programs and initiatives

    5. Community networking and organizing activities

    6. Other supporting activities and events. For example, what special activities and events can be planned to make the civic network interesting for the local public? Be creative here . . .

    7. Timeline for program activities

  3. Statement of community organizational/institutional infrastructure.

    1. Proposed governance structure, including possible organizations and institutions represented in the governing board

    2. Proposed staffing structure

    3. Proposed partnerships and collaboration with existing initiatives

  4. Proposed technical infrastructure and connectivity

    1. Detailed description of existing technical infrastructure, including both commercial and non-commercial Internet Service/access providers

    2. Description of proposed community network technical infrastructure

    3. Description of method by which local organizations and individuals will connect to the network

    4. Description of method by which the network will connect to the Internet, including explanation as to the choice of Internet service provider

    5. Possible location of public access center(s). Where will they be located? At what times will they be open to the public? How will they be managed and staffed?

    6. Timeline for infrastructure development

  5. Summary and Conclusion.

      In the summary, please indicate again how you will determine if the civic networking project has been successful.

III. Budget

Please include both; detailed budget worksheets (indicating expenses in all indicated categories) and a narrative explanation of your budget, your categories and how you arrived at the numbers indicated in the budget detail. Please explain in detail the nature and source of all cost-sharing (please read carefully the section below, "A word about cost-sharing.").

Please provide specific budget numbers in the following categories.

  1. Administrative costs

    1. Salaries: include title, percentage of time (hours/week), rate paid

    2. Rental of facilities

    3. Telephone/fax/postage (monthly)

    4. Office supplies

    5. Other miscellaneous administrative costs

  2. Program costs

    1. Staff travel: include number of trips at estimated cost per trip.

      This does not include the international travel for 2-3 participants to the US for the planning conference, which will be provided for by Friends and Partners.

    2. Technical and equipment costs: This excludes the general computer package which will be provided by Friends and Partners (2 UNIX servers, back-up equipment, power conditioners, basic telecommunications equipment to handle a dial-in pool, 2 public access workstations, one public publishing station including scanner and other necessary peripheral equipment)

      1. Internet access, including traffic and connection method (for example: hardwiring, radio modems, or leased line)

      2. Additional public access terminals and related networking materials

      3. Telephone lines for dial-in modem pool: no fewer than 8 lines

    3. Program activities: This will depend highly on the nature of the activities envisioned. Constructive cost-sharing will demonstrate strong capacity on behalf of the applicant. Some sub-categories for possible inclusion here include:

      1. Training (for staff, organizations and end-users)

      2. Events

      3. Regional travel

      4. Projects

      5. Publications and materials

      6. Promotion
A word about cost-sharing . . .

Please include all anticipated cost-sharing, including source of cost-sharing, nature of cost-sharing (in-kind contribution, donation of resources and/or materials, cash donations).

It is expected that cost-sharing should reflect roughly 50% of the overall program budget. Cost-sharing is highly recommended in the following categories:

  1. additional equipment to be used as public access sites;

  2. telecommunications access;

  3. partial salary support;

  4. donation of educational and/or training materials;

  5. program activities.
All cited cost-sharing should be documented by letters of support from the contributing parties. Cost-sharing should be distributed in a balanced manner to show financial commitment on the part of consortium members. No one (or few) organizations should bear the burden of the majority of cost-sharing. This budget summary will demonstrate the creativity and broad commitment of the applying consortium.

Supporting Materials

We encourage applicants to demonstrate the strength of their consortium and their community ties in the supporting materials provided. The following specific items should be included.

  1. Letter of support from lead organization

  2. Additional Letters of Support

    Letters of support should not merely state a willingness to participate, but rather, offer concrete suggestions as to what forms that participation may occur. Letters should address the reasons organizations, institutions and/or individuals wish to become involved, what they have to offer to the program and what they hope to gain from involvement.

    Strong letters of support will include specific, detailed ideas and suggested activities. At least one letter should come from the Internet service provider through which you proposed to connect the civic network. Other possible sources for letters of support include: members of the applying consortium; representatives from other community groups and organizations; educators; health care professionals; public safety officers; local government officials and ministry representatives; local business and commercial representatives; other Internet access providers; interested individuals; potential volunteers and trainers.

  3. copy of the charter (ustav) of organization

  4. copy of certification of registration this organization

  5. copy of all documents from GOSKOMSTAT showing that your organization has all appropriate code

  6. copy of account report to tax department for the latest reporting period

  7. copy of audit report ( if available))

  8. Diagram of proposed technical structure of the community network:

    Please include a pictorial representation and brief narrative explanation as to the proposed technical infrastructure underlying the civic network. Be sure to include how local organizations and individuals will connect, as well as how the civic network will connect to the Internet.

  9. Background on consortium members:

    Please include 1-2 paragraphs about each member organization of the applying consortium. This should include the group's mission statement and history, previous grants or awards in related fields, and the experience and expertise they bring to the consortium.

  10. Brief biographic information on application authors:

    Please include a resume (vitae) on each application author. It should indicate their organizational affiliation and any background experience, publications, etc. that are relevant to this project.

Please remember, all questions must be submitted by email to:

Natasha Bulashova, President
Friends and Partners, Russia
Friends and Partners Foundation,
Russia Moscow, 125252,
Kuusenena Str., 21 B, CIIC,
office 117

Greg Cole, Director
Center for International Networking Initiatives
The University of Tennessee
Phone: (423) 974-7277 Fax: (423) 974-8022

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Updated: 1999-09-

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