The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for International Sports Programming Initiative. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to discuss approaches designed to enhance and improve the infrastructure of youth sports programs in selected countries in Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, South East Asia and the Near East.
The Office of Citizen Exchanges welcomes proposals that directly respond to the following thematic areas. Given budgetary limitations, projects for other themes will not be eligible for consideration under the FY-2002 Sports Program Initiative.
Training Sports Coaches
The World Summit on Physical Education (Berlin, 1999) stated that a “quality physical education helps children to develop the patterns of interest in physical activity, which are essential for healthy development and which lay the foundation for healthy, adult lifestyles.” Coaches are critical to the accomplishment of this goal. A coach not only needs to be qualified to provide the technical assistance required by young athletes to improve, but must also understand how to aid a young person to discover how success in athletics can be translated into achievement in the development of life skills and in the classroom. Projects submitted in response to this theme would be aimed at aiding youth, secondary school and university coaches in the target countries in the development and implementation of appropriate training methodologies, Start Printed Page 4771through seminars and outreach. The goal is to ensure the optimal technical proficiency among the coaches participating in the program while also emphasizing the role sports can play in the long-term economic well being of youth.
Youth Sports Management Exchange
Exchanges funded under this theme would help American and foreign youth sport coaches, adult sponsors, and sports associations officials share their experience in managing and organizing youth sports activities, particularly in financially challenging circumstances, and would contribute to better understanding of role of sports as an significant factor in educational success. Americans are in a good position to convey to the foreign counterparts the importance of linking success in sports to educational achievement and how these two factors can contribute to short-term and long-term economic prospects.
Youth With Disability
Exchanges supported by this theme are designed to promote and sponsor sports, recreation, fitness and leisure events for children and adults with physical disabilities. Project goals include improving the quality of life for people with disabilities by providing affordable inclusive sports and recreational experiences that build self-esteem and confidence, enhancing active participation in community life and making a significant contribution to the physical and psychological health of people with disabilities. Physically and developmentally challenged individuals will be fully included in the sports and recreation opportunities in our communities.
Sports and Health
Projects funded under this category will focus on effective and practical ways to use sport personalities and sports health professionals to increase awareness among young people of the importance of following a healthy life style to reduce illness, prevent injuries and speed the rehabilitation and recovery. Emphasis will be on the responsibility of the broader community to support healthy behavior. The project goals are to promote and integrate scientific research, education, and practical applications of sports medicine and exercise science to maintain and enhance physical performance, fitness, health, and quality of life. (Actual medical training and dispensing of medications are outside the purview of this theme.)
The Office seeks proposals that provide professional experience and exposure to American life and culture through internships, workshops and other learning-sharing experiences hosted by local institutions. The experiences also will provide Americans the opportunity to learn about culture and the social and economic challenges young athletes face today. Travel under these grants should provide for a two-way exchange. Projects should not simply focus on athletic training; they should be designed to provide practical, hands-on experience in U.S. public/private sector settings that may be adapted to an individual's institution upon return home. Proposals may combine elements of professional enrichment, job shadowing and internships appropriate to the language ability and interests of the participants.
Applicants must identify the local organizations and/or individuals in the counterpart country with whom they are proposing to collaborate and describe in detail previous cooperative programming and/or contacts. Specific information about the counterpart organizations' activities and accomplishments should be included in the section on Institutional Capacity.
Exchanges and training programs supported by the institutional grants from the Bureau should operate at two levels: they should enhance institutional partnerships, and they should offer practical information to individuals and groups to assist them with their professional responsibilities. Strong proposals usually have the following characteristics: A strong existing partnership between a U.S. organization and an in-country institution or the potential to develop such a linkage; a proven track record of working in the proposed field; cost-sharing from U.S. and/or in-country sources; experienced staff with language facility; a clear, convincing plan showing how permanent results will be accomplished as a result of the activity funded by the grant; and a follow-on plan beyond the scope of the Bureau grant. The Bureau would like to see tangible forms of time and money contributed to the project by the prospective grantee institution, as well as funding from third party sources.
Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to Solicitation Package for further information.
Selection of Participants
All grant proposals should clearly describe the type of persons who will participate in the program as well as the process by which participants will be selected. It is recommended that programs in support of U.S. internships include letters tentatively committing host institutions to support the internships. In the selection of foreign participants, the Bureau and U.S. Embassies abroad retain the right to review all participant nominations and to accept or deny participants recommended by grantee institutions. However, grantee institutions should describe in detail the recruitment and selection process they recommend. The grantee institution will also provide the names of American participants and brief (two pages) biographical data on each American participant to the Office of Citizen Exchanges for information purposes. Priority will be given to foreign participants who have not previously traveled to the United States.
The Bureau has an overall budget of $400,000 for this competition. Grants awarded to eligible organizations with less than four years of experience in conducting international exchange programs will be limited to $60,000. The Bureau has set a ceiling of $135,000 for proposals funded under this competition. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding from private sources in support of its programs.
Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire program. Grant awards may not exceed $135,000. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns reflecting both administrative and program budgets. Applicants may provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase, location, or activity to provide clarification.
Allowable costs for the program include the following:
(1) All Participant Expenses (foreign and American).
(2) Other Program Expenses as needed and justified.
(3) Administrative Expenses including indirect costs.
Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions.
Announcement Title and Number
All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title “Sports Programming Initiative” and reference number ECA/PE/C-02-55.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Please contact the Office of Citizen Exchanges, Room 224, U.S. Department of State, 301 4th Street, SW., Start Printed Page 4772Washington, DC 20547, telephone number 202/619-5326, fax number 202/260-0440, or firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Solicitation Package. The Solicitation Package contains detailed award criteria, required application forms, specific budget instructions, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation. Please specify Bureau Program Raymond H. Harvey on all other inquiries and correspondence.
Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed.
To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet
The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's Web site at http://exchanges.state.gov/education/RFGPs. Please read all information before downloading.
Deadline for Proposals
All proposal copies must be received at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs by 5 p.m. Washington, DC time on Friday, April 19, 2002. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Documents postmarked the due date but received on a later date will not be accepted. Each applicant must ensure that the proposals are received by the above deadline.
Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation Package. The original and ten copies of the application should be sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C-02-55, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20547.
Applicants must also submit the “Executive Summary” and “Proposal Narrative” sections of the proposal on a 3.5” diskette, formatted for DOS. These documents must be provided in ASCII text (DOS) format with a maximum line length of 65 characters. The Bureau will transmit these files electronically to the Public Affairs section at the US Embassy for its review, with the goal of reducing the time it takes to get embassy comments for the Bureau's grants review process.
Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines
Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and representative of the diversity of American political, social, and cultural life. “Diversity” should be interpreted in the broadest sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program administration and in program content. Please refer to the review criteria under the “Support for Diversity” section for specific suggestions on incorporating diversity into the total proposal. Public Law 104-319 provides that “in carrying out programs of educational and cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom and democracy,” the Bureau “shall take appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such countries.” Public Law 106-113 requires that the governments of the countries described above do not have inappropriate influence in the selection process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these goals in their program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.
The Bureau will acknowledge receipt of all proposals and will review them for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. The Program Office and the Public Diplomacy section overseas will review all eligible proposals. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.
Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:
1. Quality of the program idea: Proposals should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the Bureau's mission.
2. Program planning: Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Agenda and plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above.
3. Ability to achieve program objectives: Objectives should be reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's objectives and plan.
4. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs should strengthen long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual linkages.
5. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant features should be cited in both program administration (selection of participants, program venue and program evaluation) and program content (orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource materials and follow-up activities).
6. Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or project's goals.
7. Institution's Record/Ability: Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past Bureau grants as determined by Bureau Grant Staff. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants.
8. Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for continued follow-on activity (without Bureau support) ensuring that Bureau supported programs are not isolated events.
9. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. A draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus description of a methodology to be used to link outcomes to original project objectives is recommended. Intermediate reports after each project phase or quarterly reports are required.
10. Cost-effectiveness/Cost-sharing: The overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All other items should be necessary and appropriate. Proposals should maximize cost sharing through other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding contributions. Start Printed Page 4773
11. Value to U.S.-Partner Country Relations: Proposed projects should receive positive assessments by the U.S. Department of State's geographic area desk and overseas officers of program need, potential impact, and significance in the partner country(ies).
The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements.
Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.Start Signature
Dated: January 25, 2002.
Patricia S. Harrison,
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-2420 Filed 1-23-02; 8:45 am]
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