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Boldline Religious Freedom

About the Challenge
Posted By: Department of State / Boldline Accelerator
Category: Ideas
Submission Dates: 9 a.m. ET, Jul 24, 2018 - 12 a.m. ET, Aug 23, 2018

Boldline Religious Freedom (RF) is the U.S. Department of State’s partnership accelerator aimed to support and scale innovative public-private partnerships (P3s) to promote and defend religious freedom around the world.  Boldline RF will support stakeholders who are leading social good P3s that align with U.S. foreign policy priorities and focus on giving them tools to scale their missions.  The main goal of Boldline RF is to build and deploy strategic collaborations aimed at advancing religious freedom globally by: a) facilitating connectivity between the private sector and governments; b) fostering innovative partnership models; and c) providing mentoring and training.  

Through this accelerator program, Boldline RF will take the often dotted lines between government, private sector and civil society and create a bold line between the sectors through partnerships.  The Department defines a partnership as a collaborative working relationship that includes non-governmental partners in which the goals, structure, and governance, as well as roles and responsibilities, are mutually determined and decision-making is shared.  Successful partnerships entail shared objectives, transparency, mutual risks and benefits, and accountability.

The Accelerator

The U.S. Department of State, in close collaboration with industry leaders, will organize a three-day partnership building accelerator program that will bring together selected stakeholders of public-private partnerships, including civil society organizations, public institutions, corporations, innovation companies, entrepreneurship support organizations, and financial institutions to galvanize interest for the participating partnerships and to help build the framework for these partnerships in their respective countries.  We are seeking the participation of stakeholders representing partnerships that are in the early development stages or are ready to scale their activities and/or engage additional partners.  Through a three-day accelerator and ongoing support, Boldline will provide the individuals and institutions behind these partnerships with mentorship, skills building, government relations, and global networks needed to scale their impact. The accelerator will take place in October 2018 in Washington, D.C., and participation in the program will be highly competitive.  Funding for participation and travel will not be paid for by the U.S. Department of State.

Who We Are

The U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships and Office of International Religious Freedom are working in collaboration to provide the Boldline RF accelerator program.

The U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships is a center of excellence for collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, the public and private sectors, and civil society.  The Office aims to strengthen and deepen U.S. diplomacy and development around the world through partnerships that leverage the creativity, innovation, and core business resources of partners for greater impact.  The Department recognizes that it takes more than governments to address many global issues and believes that partnerships with the private sector, civil society, philanthropy and other non-governmental organizations are necessary for our national security and diplomacy objectives.

The U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Religious Freedom leads the U.S. government’s efforts to promote and defend freedom of religion, conscience, and belief for all people around the world. The Office monitors abuse and discrimination by governments and societal actors and develops and implements policies and programs to address these challenges.  Created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the Office is led by Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback who serves as a principal advisor to the President and the principal advisor to the Secretary of State on matters impacting religious freedom abroad. 

Judging Criteria

Impact - 20%

Are there significant needs for your product or service? Does the partnership address an important problem or critical barrier to religious freedom globally? Does it go beyond one-country? Does it have the potential to further scale? Will it impact the well-being of people and enhance life or livelihoods? If an already existing partnership, please provide metrics of impact.  

Innovation - 20%

Does the submission seek to shift current paradigms by utilizing novel approaches, methodologies, services or interventions to create a changed environment? Is your partnership proposal novel in a broad sense?

Feasibility - 20%

Is the proposal reasonable, resourceful, and feasible? Is the proposing organization committed to making the partnership successful? Is the entire organization committed to the partnership? A successful proposal will improve upon existing policies, practices, strategies, and leverage existing or emerging technologies. It will offer creative solutions to possible funding and resource constraints if applicable. It can be implemented within 1-3 years.

Relevance to U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities - 25%

Is the proposal within the framework of U.S. foreign policy interests? Proposals should explain how the partnership will directly impact U.S. foreign policy goals related to promoting and protecting religious freedom around the world for all, including the protection of religious minority groups and those holding no faith.  A successful proposal will be understood by and persuasive to both government stakeholders and lay audiences alike in its written and oral communication.

Collaboration - 15%

Is the proposal collaborative in its approach to the problem or issue and/or proposed solution? Is a partnership feasible for this effort? A successful proposal will involve team members and stakeholder engagement and support from across sectors of government and non-government.

How to Enter

Proposals should outline a partnership idea that clearly illustrates the problem statement, potential partners, activities, and objectives. Please note that proposals should focus on the global dimension of the problem; solely domestic proposals will not be considered. Applicants may be requested to do a telephonic interview prior to final selection.  

Proposals Submissions Must Include:

  1. Name of organization submitting partnership
  2. Full address and postal code
  3. For-profit or not-for-profit status
  4. Industry affiliation (e.g., health care, aviation, energy)
  5. Links to biographies of the participants or LinkedIn profiles (preferable) that will be shared with the other participants
  6. Has your organization ever partnered with the U.S. government? Describe.
  7. What stage is your partnership business plan (new idea, existing program going to scale)?
  8. Signed commitment statement to participate in the full three-day accelerator program in or around Washington, D.C.

Proposal Information:

Problem Statement (250 words max): Describe the problem you are trying to solve and any relevant background information. Address the impact and innovation potential of your idea given the status quo.

Idea (250 words max): What is the core concept for the partnership; what would it look like?  How will working in a partnership obtain the outcome that is required?  How does this advance religious freedom in a way that aligns with U.S. interests?

Resource Requirements (250 words max): Describe what is needed to implement your idea (resources, stakeholder buy-in, legal requirements, etc.). Address the feasibility of your idea.

Best Potential Partners (250 words max): Describe ideal partners (from 2-10) or types of partners that would make for a successful partnership.

Ideal End State (150 words max): Describe what success will look like with the implementation of your idea. Address the impact of your idea and its innovation potential

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