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NOFO: U.S.-ASEAN Women’s Leadership Academy for YSEALI

NOFO: U.S.-ASEAN Women’s Leadership Academy for YSEALI

Deadline: 9-Aug-24

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN of the U.S. Department of State has announced an open competition for a cooperative agreement to develop and implement the 2025 U.S.-ASEAN Women’s Leadership Academy for YSEALI, titled YSEALI WLA: InnovatHER, pending availability of funding.

YSEALI is the U.S. government’s signature initiative to engage emerging leaders in Southeast Asia. The program aims to create a network of young Southeast Asian leaders who work across national borders to solve common problems. Through a variety of programs and engagements, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture a community of leaders who work across borders to solve shared issues.

YSEALI is open to young leaders ages 18 to 35 who are both citizens and residents of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries (Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) or Timor-Leste. Responding to priorities from youth in the ASEAN region, YSEALI programs focus on four themes (i.e., Civic Engagement, Economic Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship, Education and Environmental Issues).

The 2025 YSEALI WLA: InnovatHER will be designed for 50 to 60 female participants who have professional experience working in the tech industry.  Possible fields include artificial intelligence technology, clean energy, cybersecurity, software development, medical technology research, and tech start-up incubators.  The participants, age 20 to 35, must represent all 10 of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and Timor-Leste.

The Academy will have pre-workshop virtual activities and an in-person four-day or five-day workshop located in Southeast Asia.

  • The 2025 YSEALI WLA: InnovateHER will advance all of the YSEALI themes and the U.S. Mission to ASEAN’s strategic goals:
    • ASEAN recognizes the contribution of women in the economic recovery of the region and strives to promote DEIA principles across its economic community pillar.
    • The United States creates a program to promote the role of women across ASEAN in contributing to peace and security across the region.
  • The purpose of the pre-workshop and workshop activities will be to:
    • create a network of Southeast Asian women making advances in technology who will design future activities and workshops for women in the YSEALI network;
    • explore how technological advancements, including artificial intelligence, could improve the daily lives of women;
    • discuss political and governmental policies that are affecting women’s access to the digital economy and technological advancements;
    • develop general leadership skills, including self-awareness of personal professional strengths.
  • Additional topics that could be explored:
    • why many women avoid tech fields;
    • underrepresentation of women in tech fields;
    • biases and stereotypes;
    • inspirational women tech entrepreneurs;
    • lack of mentorship;
    • lack of access to technology training, particularly in rural communities;
    • artificial intelligence innovations and trends that could impact the daily lives of Southeast Asian women;
    • why women working in technology fields is beneficial;
    • the barriers that still exist that prevent women from being full participants in technology fields in Southeast Asia.
    • Whether women are still encountering discrimination in hiring, promotion and workplace interactions and what policies are needed to prevent this discrimination.
  • The Academy’s workshop and pre-/post-workshop meetings and gatherings will include sessions with expert panels, panel discussions with U.S. and Southeast Asian experts on tech such as but not limited to tech entrepreneurs, industry leaders, AI ethicists, policy experts, AI researchers, and social entrepreneurs.
Funding Information
  • Total available funding: $250,000
  • Award amounts: award may range from a minimum of $150,000 to a maximum of $250,000
  • Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less. The workshop must be a minimum of three full days not including travel days.
  • The grant recipient will be responsible for arranging and using cooperative agreement funds to cover all elements related to participant and staff travel including international and domestic flights, visas, travel to and from airports, visas, accommodations, per diem, meals during the program, insurance, etc.
Workshop must include
  • Opportunities for professional development sessions and activities. The Academy’s workshop, as well as pre-/post-workshop meetings and gatherings, must also include strength assessments, elevator pitch practices or public speaking sessions, and networking opportunities with leaders from the region and the United States
  • A site visit to a tech company or organization or community organization that focuses on technological innovation.
  • A cultural activity .
  • The concepts of leadership, giving back, and strengthening a Southeast Asian/ASEAN identity based on shared values and shared challenges should be integrated into the program.
  • Workshop speakers/facilitators/mentors that are citizens of the United States and ASEAN member countries or Timor-Leste.
  • Opportunities for alumni to take part in the workshop.
  • Follow-on activities such as virtual collaborative work, projects funded through small grants or ongoing mentorship. The follow-on activity should be included in the monitoring and evaluation plan.
  • The Proposal should also include:
    • A pre- and post-workshop survey to measure the overall effectiveness of the workshop, as well as any changes to the participants’ knowledge of the topic;
    • An alumnae engagement strategy for the YSEALI Women’s Leadership Academy Alumnae Network.
  • The recipient is expected to develop syllabus materials and an event program with participant and speaker biographies, as well as design banners, backdrops, and other printed materials. The recipient is expected to design a digital engagement strategy for workshop participants and social media audiences.
  • No new website specific to the event should be created or launched. Domain, hosting and build costs will not be covered.
Participants and Audiences
  • The recipient will coordinate with the U.S. Mission to ASEAN and with the U.S. embassies in ASEAN and Timor-Leste to recruit and select up to 60 participants. Participants will be between the ages of 20 to 35 and not limited to clean energy, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, community management, incubators/accelerators, STEM, peace and security and more.
  • Shortlisted participants should include participants who are living in cities outside of the capital cities.  For example, Indonesian participants who are shortlisted should not only be participants from and living in Jakarta but includes resident of Lampung, Papua, Bali etc.
  • All participants must be proficient in written and spoken English. All programs must include participants from all 10 ASEAN member countries and Timor-Leste.
Eligibility Criteria
  • The following organizations are eligible to apply:
    • U.S. public and private educational institutions
    • U.S. not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks
    • Foreign public and private educational institutions
    • Foreign not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks
  • The workshop will be conducted in English.

For more information, visit U.S. Mission to ASEAN.

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