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Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: Algeria Youth Leadership Program

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Announcement Type: New Grant.

Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C/PY-08-12.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000.

Key Dates:

Application Deadline: January 3, 2008.

Executive Summary: The Office of Citizen Exchanges, Youth Programs Division, of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the Algeria Youth Leadership Program. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. Start Printed Page 61929501(c)(3) will submit proposals to recruit and select high school students in Algeria, and conduct a program in Algeria and the United States approximately six weeks in length that will focus on themes of leadership development, respecting diversity, and civic education.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Authority

Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of the Act is “to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries * * *; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations * * * and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.” The funding authority for the program above is provided through legislation.

Purpose

The Algeria Youth Leadership Program has been established to offer youth from Algeria an opportunity to interact with their American peers and jointly develop their leadership skills. The Office of Citizen Exchanges' Youth Programs Division, through the Algeria Youth Leadership Program, will bring Algerian and American exchange participants (ages 15-17) together in the United States for approximately four weeks in the summer of 2008. The Algerian participants will also undergo two (2) weeks of intensive English language instruction before their departure to the United States.

Components of the program will include: (A) Two (2) weeks of intensive English language instruction in Algeria for the Algerian participants; (B) a pre-departure and post-arrival orientation for the Algerian students, each being no more than two (2) days in length; (C) approximately two (2) weeks of structured activities in U.S. communities when the Algerian students will have homestays with American families; (D) a week at a summer program site for both the Algerians and Americans; (E) a week-long civic education workshop for both the Algerians and Americans, and (F) a one-day wrap-up session at the conclusion of the program for both the Algerian and American participants. Follow-on activities for alumni will be designed to reinforce the lessons learned on the exchange and enable the alumni to apply their new skills in their home communities.

The grantee organization will be responsible for the entire cycle of the program to include: Recruitment and selection of Algerian and American students; management of travel documents, international airline reservations for Algerian students and up to two (2) adult escorts, who will accompany the Algerian students and participate in the program; domestic transportation for Algerian and American participants; preparation and oversight of all programmatic components in the United States; provision of follow-on activities for Algerian alumni in their home country, and, to the extent possible, for American alumni in the United States.

The grantee organization must recruit and select the Algerian exchange participants in consultation with the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Algiers. The grantee organization must make arrangements for the students to take part in intensive English language instruction before their departure to the United States. English language classes should be no longer than two (2) weeks in duration.

The grantee organization must also recruit and select American high school students. Preference will be given to a nationwide recruitment plan, though a regional recruitment plan may also be considered.

The grantee organization must provide the Algerian participants with pre-departure and post-arrival orientations to prepare them for both the content and the logistics of the exchange. The American students must receive pre-program information on content and logistics.

A successful project will be one that nurtures a cadre of students to be actively engaged in their schools and communities upon their return home, and that equips students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to do so. By the end of the program, Algerian students will have developed relationships with their peers in the United States and within their delegation; developed their own impression of the United States; strengthened their English language skills; and obtained an understanding of how American democracy operates on a daily basis. The American students will develop an appreciation for another culture and learn more about Algerian society and traditions through their relationships with the Algerian participants.

Goals

  • To develop leadership, civic responsibility, and commitment to community service among youth;
  • To strengthen the English language skills of the Algerian participants;
  • To foster relationships between Americans and Algerians with a focus on respect for ethnic, socioeconomic and religious diversity; and
  • To promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of Algeria.

Applicants should identify their own specific program objectives, as well as measurable outcomes based on the program goals and specifications provided in this solicitation. Applicants should outline their capacity for doing projects of this nature, focusing on three areas of competency: (1) Provision of leadership and civic education programming, (2) age-appropriate programming for youth, and (3) prior work with individuals from the region.

Participants

Selection of Algerian students must focus on teenagers, aged 15-17, from across the country who represent the full diversity of the Algerian population. They should demonstrate an interest in the project themes and exhibit maturity, flexibility, and open-mindedness.

The program must also include American students, aged 15-17, who demonstrate an interest in the project themes and exhibit maturity, flexibility, and open-mindedness. Care should be taken to ensure a recruitment process that targets a diverse pool of Americans from across the county (or from throughout a region).

Algerian adult participants will be educators or leaders of non-governmental organizations that work with youth. They should be available to support the participants during the course of each component of the exchange.

There will be at least 20 participants from Algeria, plus the two adult escorts. They will be joined by a delegation of at least 10 American students for the camp and civic education components. Applicants must specify the size and composition of each country delegation in their proposal.

U.S. Program

The approximate six-week program will begin in the United States with a two-day orientation for the Algerian participants and wrap up with a one-day debriefing session for both the Algerian and American students. The Start Printed Page 61930camp and civic education experiences will allow Algerian and American students to build relationships, and should combine both recreational and substantive elements addressing such topics as participatory democracy, community service, and respect for diversity. The civic education workshop should include briefings, simulations, and discussions on citizen participation and the fundamentals of the American democratic system of government. During the time that the Algerian students are living with American host families, their scheduled events should include a structured and sustained mix of workshops, simulations and role-playing, meetings, tours, training, and social time among their peers.

The primary components are described in more detail in the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Grant Agreement.

Fiscal Year Funds: FY-2008, pending availability of funds.

Approximate Total Funding: $225,000.

Approximate Number of Awards: 1.

Approximate Average Award: $225,000.

Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, March 10, 2008.

Anticipated Project Completion Date: Approximately 18 months after start date.

Additional Information: Pending successful implementation of this program and the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years, it is ECA's intent to renew this grant for two additional fiscal years before openly competing it again.

III. Eligibility Information

III.1. Eligible applicants: Applications may be submitted by public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3).

III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or maximum percentage required for this competition. However, the Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.

When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved grant agreement. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. For accountability, you must maintain written records to support all costs which are claimed as your contribution, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. The basis for determining the value of cash and in-kind contributions must be in accordance with OMB Circular A-110, (Revised), Subpart C.23—Cost Sharing and Matching. In the event you do not provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the approved budget, ECA's contribution will be reduced in like proportion.

III.3. Other Eligibility Requirements: Bureau grant guidelines require that organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA anticipates awarding one grant, in an amount up to $225,000 to support program and administrative costs required to implement this exchange program. Therefore, organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition.

IV. Application and Submission Information

Note:

Please read the complete 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.

IV.1. Contact Information to Request an Application Package: Please contact Matt O'Rourke, ECA/PE/C/PY, Room M23, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, (t) 202-453-8170, (f) 202-453-8169, ORourkeMM@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package.

Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/PY-08-12 located at the top of this announcement when making your request. Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained from grants.gov. See section IV.3f for further information.

The Solicitation Package contains the Proposal Submission Instruction (PSI) document, which consists of required application forms, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation. It also contains the POGI, which provides specific information, award criteria and budget instructions tailored to this competition.

Please specify Matt O'Rourke and refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/PY-08-12 located at the top of this announcement on all other inquiries and correspondence.

IV.2. 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/​menu.htm, or from the Grants.gov website at http://www.grants.gov. Please read all information before downloading.

IV.3. Content and Form of Submission: Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation Package. The application should be submitted per the instructions under IV.3f. “Application Deadline and Methods of Submission” section below.

IV.3a. You are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to apply for a grant or cooperative agreement from the U.S. Government. This number is a nine-digit identification number, which uniquely identifies business entities. Obtaining a DUNS number is easy and there is no charge. To obtain a DUNS number, access http://www.dunandbradstreet.com or call 1-866-705-5711. Please ensure that your DUNS number is included in the appropriate box of the SF-424 which is part of the formal application package.

IV.3b. All proposals must contain an executive summary, proposal narrative and budget.

Please Refer to the Solicitation Package. It contains the mandatory PSI document and the POGI for additional formatting and technical requirements.

IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application. If your organization is a private nonprofit which has not received a grant or cooperative agreement from ECA in the past three years, or if your organization received nonprofit status from the IRS within the past four years, you must submit the necessary documentation to verify nonprofit status as directed in the PSI document. Failure to do so will cause your proposal to be declared technically ineligible.

IV.3d. Please take into consideration the following information when preparing your proposal narrative:

IV.3d.1. Adherence To All Regulations Governing The J Visa.

The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is the official program sponsor of the exchange program covered by this RFGP, and an employee of the Bureau will be the “Responsible Officer” for the program under the terms of 22 CFR part 62, which covers the administration of the Exchange Visitor Program (J visa program). Under the terms of 22 CFR part 62, organizations receiving grants under this RFGP will be third parties “cooperating with or assisting the sponsor in the conduct of the sponsor's Start Printed Page 61931program.” The actions of grantee program organizations shall be “imputed to the sponsor in evaluating the sponsor's compliance with” 22 CFR part 62. Therefore, the Bureau expects that any organization receiving a grant under this competition will render all assistance necessary to enable the Bureau to fully comply with 22 CFR part 62 et seq.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs places great emphasis on the secure and proper administration of Exchange Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by grantee program organizations and program participants to all regulations governing the J visa program status. Therefore, proposals should explicitly state in writing that the applicant is prepared to assist the Bureau in meeting all requirements governing the administration of Exchange Visitor Programs as set forth in 22 CFR part 62. If your organization has experience as a designated Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor, the applicant should discuss their record of compliance with 22 CFR part 62 et seq., including the oversight of their Responsible Officers and Alternate Responsible Officers, screening and selection of program participants, provision of pre-arrival information and orientation to participants, monitoring of participants, proper maintenance and security of forms, record-keeping, reporting and other requirements.

The Office of Citizen Exchanges of ECA will be responsible for issuing DS-2019 forms to participants in this program.

A copy of the complete regulations governing the administration of Exchange Visitor (J) programs is available at http://exchanges.state.gov or from: United States Department of State, Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD—SA-44, Room 734, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Telephone: (202) 203-5029, FAX: (202) 453-8640.

IV.3d.2. 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 disabilities. 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 your 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.

IV.3d.3. Program Monitoring and Evaluation.

Proposals must include a plan to monitor and evaluate the project's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. The Bureau recommends that your proposal include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus a description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives. The Bureau expects that the grantee will track participants or partners and be able to respond to key evaluation questions, including satisfaction with the program, learning as a result of the program, changes in behavior as a result of the program, and effects of the program on institutions (institutions in which participants work or partner institutions). The evaluation plan should include indicators that measure gains in mutual understanding as well as substantive knowledge.

Successful monitoring and evaluation depend heavily on setting clear goals and outcomes at the outset of a program. Your evaluation plan should include a description of your project's objectives, your anticipated project outcomes, and how and when you intend to measure these outcomes (performance indicators). The more that outcomes are “smart” (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and placed in a reasonable time frame), the easier it will be to conduct the evaluation. You should also show how your project objectives link to the goals of the program described in this RFGP.

Your monitoring and evaluation plan should clearly distinguish between program outputs and outcomes. Outputs are products and services delivered, often stated as an amount. Output information is important to show the scope or size of project activities, but it cannot substitute for information about progress towards outcomes or the results achieved. Examples of outputs include the number of people trained or the number of seminars conducted. Outcomes, in contrast, represent specific results a project is intended to achieve and is usually measured as an extent of change. Findings on outputs and outcomes should both be reported, but the focus should be on outcomes.

We encourage you to assess the following four levels of outcomes, as they relate to the program goals set out in the RFGP (listed here in increasing order of importance):

1. Participant satisfaction with the program and exchange experience.

2. Participant learning, such as increased knowledge, aptitude, skills, and changed understanding and attitude. Learning includes both substantive (subject-specific) learning and mutual understanding.

3. Participant behavior, concrete actions to apply knowledge in work or community; greater participation and responsibility in civic organizations; interpretation and explanation of experiences and new knowledge gained; continued contacts between participants, community members, and others.

4. Institutional changes, such as increased collaboration and partnerships, policy reforms, new programming, and organizational improvements.

Please note:

Consideration should be given to the appropriate timing of data collection for each level of outcome. For example, satisfaction is usually captured as a short-term outcome, whereas behavior and institutional changes are normally considered longer-term outcomes.

Overall, the quality of your monitoring and evaluation plan will be judged on how well it (1) specifies intended outcomes; (2) gives clear descriptions of how each outcome will be measured; (3) identifies when particular outcomes will be measured; and (4) provides a clear description of the data collection strategies for each outcome (i.e., surveys, interviews, or focus groups). (Please note that evaluation plans that deal only with the first level of outcomes [satisfaction] will be deemed less competitive under the present evaluation criteria.)

Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. All data collected, including survey responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request.

IV.3e. Please take the following information into consideration when preparing your budget: Start Printed Page 61932

IV.3e.1. Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire program. Awards may not exceed $225,000. 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 for clarification. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions.

IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission:

Application Deadline Date: January 3, 2008.

Reference Number: ECA/PE/C/PY-08-12.

Methods of Submission: Applications may be submitted in one of two ways:

(1) In hard-copy, via a nationally recognized overnight delivery service (i.e., DHL, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. Postal Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or

(2) Electronically through http://www.grants.gov.

Along with the Project Title, all applicants must enter the above Reference Number in Box 11 on the SF-424 contained in the mandatory PSI of the solicitation document.

IV.3f.1. Submitting Printed Applications. Applications must be shipped no later than the above deadline. Delivery services used by applicants must have in-place, centralized shipping identification and tracking systems that may be accessed via the Internet and delivery people who are identifiable by commonly recognized uniforms and delivery vehicles. Proposals shipped on or before the above deadline but received at ECA more than seven days after the deadline will be ineligible for further consideration under this competition. Proposals shipped after the established deadlines are ineligible for consideration under this competition. ECA will not notify you upon receipt of application. It is each applicant's responsibility to ensure that each package is marked with a legible tracking number and to monitor/confirm delivery to ECA via the Internet. Delivery of proposal packages may not be made via local courier service or in person for this competition. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time.

Important note:

When preparing your submission please make sure to include one extra copy of the completed SF-424 form and place it in an envelope addressed to “ECA/EX/PM”.

The original, one fully-tabbed copy, and six copies of the application with Tabs A-E (for a total of 8 copies) should be sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C/PY-08-12, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.

Applicants must also submit the executive summary, proposal narrative, budget section, and any important appendices as e-mail attachments in Microsoft Word and Excel to the following e-mail address: ORourkeMM@state.gov. In the e-mail message subject line, include the name of the applicant organization and the partner country.

IV.3f.2. Submitting Electronic Applications. Applicants have the option of submitting proposals electronically through Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov. Complete solicitation packages are available at Grants.gov in the “Find” portion of the system. Please follow the instructions available in the 'Get Started' portion of the site (http://www.grants.gov/​GetStarted). Several of the steps in the Grants.gov registration process could take several weeks. Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate staff within their organizations immediately after reviewing this RFGP to confirm or determine their registration status with Grants.gov. Once registered, the amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors including the size of the application and the speed of your internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. Direct all questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission to: Grants.gov Customer Support, Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726, Business Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Eastern Time, e-mail: support@grants.gov.

Applicants have until midnight (12 a.m.), Washington, DC time of the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been uploaded to the Grants.gov site. There are no exceptions to the above deadline. Applications uploaded to the site after midnight of the application deadline date will be automatically rejected by the grants.gov system, and will be technically ineligible.

Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. ECA will not notify you upon receipt of electronic applications.

It is the responsibility of all applicants submitting proposals via the Grants.gov web portal to ensure that proposals have been received by Grants.gov in their entirety, and ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.

IV.3g. Intergovernmental Review of Applications: Executive Order 12372 does not apply to this program.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Review Process

The Bureau will review all proposals for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public Diplomacy section overseas, where appropriate. 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 grants resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.

Review Criteria

Please see the review criteria in the accompanying POGI document.

VI. Award Administration Information

VI.1a. Award Notices: Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures. Successful applicants will receive an Assistance Award Document (AAD) from the Bureau's Grants Office. The AAD and the original grant proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the only binding authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. Government. The AAD will be signed by an authorized Grants Officer, and mailed to the recipient's responsible officer identified in the application.

Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification of the results of the application review from the ECA program office coordinating this competition.

VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements:

Terms and Conditions for the Administration of ECA agreements include the following:

Office of Management and Budget Circular A-122, “Cost Principles for Nonprofit Organizations.” Start Printed Page 61933

Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21, “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions.”

OMB Circular A-87, “Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Governments”.

OMB Circular No. A-110 (Revised), Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations.

OMB Circular No. A-102, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments.

OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Government, and Non-profit Organizations

Please reference the following Web sites for additional information: http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​grants. http://exchanges.state.gov/​education/​grantsdiv/​terms.htm#articleI.

VI.3. Reporting Requirements: You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus one copy of the following reports:

(1) A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award;

(2) Interim reports, as required in the Bureau grant agreement.

Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. (Please refer to IV. Application and Submission Instructions (IV.3.d.3) above for Program Monitoring and Evaluation information.

All data collected, including survey responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request.

All reports must be sent to the ECA Grants Officer and ECA Program Officer listed in the final assistance award document.

VII. Agency Contacts

For questions about this announcement, contact: Matt O'Rourke, Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C/PY, Room M23, ECA/PE/C/PY-08-12, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, (t) 202-453-8170, (f) 202-453-8169, ORourkeMM@state.gov.

All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/PE/C/PY-08-12.

Please read the complete 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.

VIII. Other Information

Notice

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 per section VI.3 above.

Start Signature

Dated: October 25, 2007.

C. Miller Crouch,

Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E7-21562 Filed 10-31-07; 8:45 am]

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