Announcement Type: New Cooperative Agreement.
Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C-CU-08-70.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000.
Application Deadline: May 27, 2008.
The Cultural Programs Division in the Office of Citizen Exchanges in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announces an open competition for a cooperative agreement to administer the American Documentaries Showcase program. Through this program, ECA seeks to showcase and promote American documentaries and their filmmakers at international venues, including U.S. Embassy-organized events and/or U.S. Embassy-supported international documentary film festivals. ECA therefore seeks an organization to identify and select a thematic collection of twenty (20) to thirty (30) American documentaries that offer a broad overview of the best in American documentary filmmaking. The documentaries should demonstrate high artistic quality, illustrate diverse viewpoints, address a variety of social issues, and reflect the creativity inherent in an open, democratic society. The collection should include documentaries addressing universal themes and issues such as—but not limited to—nature and the environment, human rights, HIV/AIDS, and other subjects that reflect contemporary American society and culture. The documentary collection will be available to U.S. Embassies to program in its entirety or in part. U.S. Embassies also may choose to submit appropriate documentaries from the collection to local documentary festivals. This program will also provide for travel by the documentary filmmakers in conjunction with the presentation of their documentaries overseas at U.S. Embassy programs or local festivals. Travel by film experts will include public presentations, workshops, master classes, interviews, and outreach activities designed to address underserved and younger audiences overseas. Applicants should submit proposals that show how they will identify and select the collection of American documentaries outlined here and how they will assist ECA in programming the documentaries and their filmmakers in eighteen (18) to thirty (30) U.S. Embassies overseas.
U.S. public and non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals that support the goals of American Documentaries Showcase: To promote mutual understanding and cross-cultural awareness. The program accomplishes this by providing an opportunity for international audiences to view American documentaries; become exposed to American viewpoints on socially relevant issues; gain an understanding of the role of filmmaking as a catalyst for dialogue and for exploring solutions to contemporary problems; and allow American documentary filmmakers to learn about life and culture in the foreign host countries.
The Bureau is particularly interested in proposals that will facilitate the organization of programs in countries with significant Muslim or underserved populations, and youth. No guarantee is made or implied that programming will be made in any particular region.
For this competition, all organizations must demonstrate sufficient experience successfully exhibiting, distributing, or otherwise promoting American documentaries. They also should demonstrate extensive knowledge of the documentary field in general both in the U.S. and overseas. Proposals from organizations with significant international experience will be more competitive. Organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply.
I. Funding Opportunity Description
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.
The Bureau seeks proposals that will showcase and promote American documentaries and their filmmakers at international venues such as U.S. Embassy-organized events and U.S. Embassy-supported documentary film festivals. These events will help engage audiences overseas that do not normally have regular access to American documentaries. The applicant will be responsible for identifying and assembling a collection of approximately 20 to 30 American documentaries on diverse social themes and whose filmmakers will be available for overseas travel and programming by U.S. Embassies in connection with the presentation of their documentaries at Embassy events or local documentary festivals. In addition to presentations, American Documentary Showcase filmmakers will be expected to conduct or participate in master classes, lectures, workshops, radio and TV appearances, and other activities with local cultural institutions, other filmmakers, media, and students.
The successful applicant must fully demonstrate a capacity to achieve the following:
(1) Identify the film professionals, subject matter specialists, and other experts who will be members of the panel selecting the documentaries. Provide credentials to illustrate the film and international expertise of the review panelists.
(2) Identify the specific selection criteria the review panel will use to select the documentaries and Start Printed Page 22208participating filmmakers. The panel will include an ECA representative as an observer.
As documentaries will be presented abroad as part of ECA's public diplomacy outreach, they should be balanced, represent the diversity of American political, social and cultural life, and take political and cultural sensitivities into consideration. ECA will review and approve nominated documentaries in consultation with other Department officials.
(3) Identify, select, and obtain approximately twenty (20) to thirty (30) American documentaries appropriate for overseas presentation. The collection should include documentaries reflecting universal themes and issues such as nature and the environment, human rights, HIV/AIDS awareness, and women's issues as well as categories such as history and social documentaries, ethnographic films, biographies, animation, and the arts. The collection should include films appropriate for entry into international documentary festivals if requested by U.S. embassies. It should also include a mix of feature length and short documentaries to allow for flexible programming at various venues.
(4) Identify the film professionals, subject matter specialists or other experts who will travel overseas to present the documentaries. Filmmakers must be U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old; demonstrate the highest artistic ability; be conversant with broader aspects of contemporary American society and culture; be conversant with the other documentaries in the collection, as well as his/her own, and be adaptable to unescorted, rigorous touring through regions where travel and performance situations may be difficult.
(5) Ensure documentaries are available in appropriate formats for various kinds of screening venues and that sufficient copies of the entire collection are available for multiple bookings in various geographic areas.
(6) Ensure documentaries meet all festival criteria, in the event they are to be submitted for presentation at a U.S. Embassy-supported festival.
(7) Ensure rights to the documentaries are cleared to permit flexibility in programming.
(8) Work with ECA and PAS to develop program models for Embassy sponsored or Embassy organized film events. This includes identifying documentaries from the collection menu that could be used to demonstrate different approaches to the same social issue or challenge.
(9) Develop discussion guides and public relations and educational materials to support the documentaries. The educational materials should be developed to be used either with individual documentaries or to support proposed thematic groupings.
(10) Working in coordination with ECA, engage Public Affairs Officers at U.S. Embassies in the project to ensure they concur with suitability of documentaries for their programming.
Proposals should reflect a practical understanding of global issues, and demonstrate sensitivity to cultural, political, economic, and social differences in regions where the documentaries will be shown and the film experts programmed. Special attention should be given to describing the applicant organization's experience with documentary film and with planning and implementing logistical scenarios overseas. Applicants should outline their project team's capacity for doing projects of this nature and provide a detailed sample program to illustrate planning capacity and ability to achieve program objectives. Applicants must identify all U.S. and foreign partner organizations and/or venues with whom they are proposing to collaborate, and describe previous cooperative projects in the section on “Institutional Capacity.” For this competition, applicants must include in their proposal supporting materials or documentation that demonstrate a minimum of four years experience in conducting international exchange programs. Proposals must include references with name and contact information for other assistance awards the applicant has received, in the event the Bureau chooses to be in touch directly.
ECA intends to give one assistance award to a qualified institution or organization to administer the American Documentary Showcase program globally. Activities funded through this cooperative agreement support the organization and implementation of between 20 to 30 overseas programs. Activities must include, but are not limited to:
—Selection of documentaries with associated filmmakers.
—Production of documentary packages in appropriate formats for multiple exhibition overseas.
—Development of promotional and corollary support material, including educational and media packets.
—Travel overseas by documentary filmmakers or other experts.
—Advance program planning.
—Programming educational, media, and other outreach activities in consultation with U.S. embassies.
—Assisting filmmakers with passport, visa, immunizations, and other pre-travel preparations.
—Arranging and providing orientation sessions and pre-travel briefings, producing press materials, and providing support for publicity while the filmmakers are overseas.
—Evaluating program activities.
—Reporting on program activities to ECA.
—Providing suggestions for follow-on program development, including the option of bringing foreign filmmakers to the United States.
Applicants must have experience in documentary filmmaking aspects and in planning and implementation of programs, with particular emphasis on overseas programs and should address these elements in the proposal. The grantee must be highly responsive and able to work in close consultation with ECA and the Public Affairs Sections of the participating U.S. embassies.
Successful applicants will include with their proposal specific criteria for the selection of American documentaries and documentary filmmakers.
The Cultural Programs Division's activities and responsibilities for this program are as follows:
—Participation in the final selection of documentaries and filmmakers.
—Determination of the countries to which the documentary collection and filmmakers will travel. Priority countries will be those in all world regions of greatest importance to the Department of State's public diplomacy mission to build mutual understanding.
—Final approval of all program arrangements.
II. Award Information
Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement. ECA's level of involvement in this program is listed under number I above.
Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2008.
Approximate Total Funding: $400,000.
Approximate Number of Awards: 1.
Approximate Average Award: $400,000.
Ceiling of Award Range: $400,000.
Anticipated Award Date: September 1, 2008.
Anticipated Project Completion Date: December 29, 2009.
Additional Information: Pending successful implementation of this program and the availability of funds in Start Printed Page 22209subsequent 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. In-kind cost-sharing is acceptable for certain aspects of the budget. For example, a grantee's existing inherent professional expertise is considered in-kind cost sharing. This can be reflected as a contribution of honoraria fees that might otherwise have to be spent to hire experts.
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
(a) 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 giving one award, in an amount not to exceed $400,000 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. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.
(b) Technical Eligibility: All proposals must comply with the following: (1) Full adherence to the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package; (2) proposal submission deadline date; (3) non-profit organization status, and; (4) for purposes of this competition, a demonstrated track record in documentary programming and at least four years experience in international exchanges, or your proposal will be declared technically ineligible and given no further consideration in the review process. Eligible applicants may submit only ONE proposal (TOTAL) in response to this RFGP. If multiple proposals are received, all submissions will be declared technically ineligible and will be given no further consideration in the review process.
IV. Application and Submission Information
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 the Cultural Programs Division (ECA/PE/C/CU) in the Office of Citizen Exchanges, Room 568, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, 202/203-7488; fax 202/203-7525; e-mail ProctorLM@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package.
Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C-CU-08-70 located at the top of this announcement when making your request.
Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained from grants.gov. Please 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.
For questions about this announcement, please contact: Susan Cohen, Cultural Programs Division, ECA/PE/C/CU, 202/203-7509; fax 202/203-7525; CohenSL@state.gov. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C-CU-08-70 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 Web site 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 original and 14 copies (15 proposals total) of the application should be sent 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 Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) document for additional formatting and technical requirements.
IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application.
Effective March 14, 2008, all applicants for ECA federal assistance awards must include with their application, a copy of page 5, Part V-A, “Current Officers, Directors, Trustees, and Key Employees” of their most recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990, “Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax.” 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 62, which covers the administration of the Exchange Visitor Program (J visa Start Printed Page 22210program). Under the terms of 22 CFR 62, organizations receiving grants under this RFGP will be third parties “cooperating with or assisting the sponsor in the conduct of the sponsor's program.” The actions of grantee program organizations shall be “imputed to the sponsor in evaluating the sponsor's compliance with” 22 CFR 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 critically important emphases 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 e t 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, recordkeeping, 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.
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, Start Printed Page 22211including 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:
IV.3e.1. Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire program. The award may not exceed $400,000. 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.
IV.3e.2. For budgeting purposes, applicants should estimate costs based on selection of approximately 20 to 30 documentaries, packaging of multiple copies of the collection as well as administration of travel abroad and programming of documentary filmmakers to 18 to 30 U.S. Embassies overseas. Final determination of participating regions and countries will be made by ECA in collaboration with U.S. embassies and the successful applicant after the assistance award has been given.
IV.3e.3. Allowable costs for the program include the following:
(1) Program Expenses, including but not limited to: Costs involved in the identification and selection of an American documentary collection, including organization of selection panel; costs of producing multiple copies of the documentary collection; domestic and international travel for the selected filmmakers (per The Fly America Act) to approximately 20 or more venues overseas for an average of one week of programming; visas and immunizations; airport taxes and country entrance fees; honoraria for the filmmakers; educational materials and presentation items; excess and overweight baggage fees for educational material; trip itinerary booklets; press kits and promotional materials; follow-on activities; monitoring and evaluation; and international travel for program implementation and/or evaluation purposes. The following guidelines may be helpful in developing a proposed budget:
A. Travel Costs. International and domestic airfares (per The Fly America Act), transit costs, ground transportation, and visas for American Documentary Showcase Abroad participants to travel to the program destinations.
B. Per Diem: For any U.S. portion of the travel, organizations should use the published Federal per diem rates. The Public Affairs Sections of the participating U.S. embassies and consulates are responsible for per diem abroad. Domestic per diem rates may be accessed at: http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/contentView.do?contentId=17943&contentType=GSA_BASIC%20.
C. Sub-grantees and Consultants. Sub-grantee organizations may be used, in which case the written agreement between the prospective grantee and sub-grantee should be included in the proposal. Sub-grants must be itemized in the budget under General Program Expenses. Consultants may be used to provide specialized expertise. Daily honoraria cannot exceed $250 per day, and applicants are strongly encouraged to use organizational resources, and to cost share heavily in this area.
D. Health Insurance. Each American Documentary Showcase Abroad participant will be covered under the terms of the ECA-sponsored COINS health insurance policy. The cost for international travel insurance for staff travel may be included in the proposal budget.
E. Honoraria for American Documentary Showcase Abroad filmmakers. Daily honorarium is $200 per day for each filmmaker or film expert, including rest and travel days.
F. Educational and Promotional Items. ECA funds for educational and promotional items should not exceed $200 per filmmaker or film expert per program.
G. Excess Baggage. For brochures, educational and other support material related to overseas programming.
H. Immunizations/Visas. For purposes of a proposed budget, line items for immunizations should be estimated at $400 per filmmaker, and visas/visa photos should be estimated at $600 per filmmaker or film expert.
I. Press Kits. Each relevant U.S. embassy should receive appropriate contents for press kits. Items may be sent electronically with the understanding that in some cases, embassies may not be able to access large files or attachments. This line item may include funds for shooting and duplicating publicity photos and duplicating documentary clips.
J. Staff Travel. Allowable costs include domestic staff travel for one staff member to attend recruitment/selection events in approximately two U.S. cities. International staff travel will be allowable, especially if associated with monitoring and evaluation. Cost-sharing for staff travel is strongly encouraged.
2. Administrative Costs. Costs necessary for the effective administration of the program may include salaries for grantee organization employees, benefits, and other direct and indirect costs per detailed instructions in the Solicitation Package. While there is no rigid ratio of administrative to program costs, proposals in which the administrative costs do not exceed 25% of the total requested from ECA grant funds will be more competitive on cost effectiveness. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions.
IV.3F. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission
Application Deadline Date: Thursday, May 27, 2008.
Reference Number: ECA/PE/C-CU-08-70.
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 Proposal Submission Instructions (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. Only proposals submitted as stated above will be considered.
When preparing your submission please make sure to include one extra copy of the completed SF-424 form and Start Printed Page 22212place it in an envelope addressed to “ECA/EX/PM”.
The original and 14 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-CU-08-70, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
Applicants submitting hard-copy applications must also submit the “Executive Summary” and “Proposal Narrative” sections of the proposal in text (.txt) or Microsoft Word format on a PC-formatted disk. The Bureau will provide these files electronically to the appropriate Public Affairs Section(s) at the U.S. embassy(ies) for its(their) review.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 cooperative agreements 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. Program Planning and Ability To Achieve Objectives: 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. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's objectives and plan.
2. 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.
3. 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).
4. Institutional Capacity: Proposals should include (1) The institution's mission and date of establishment; (2) an outline of prior awards—U.S. government and/or private support received for tours abroad; (3) descriptions of experienced staff members who will be part of the team implementing the program, and; (4) all other documentation requested herein. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or project's goals. The proposal should reflect the institution's expertise in documentary exhibition, promotion, and programming. (5) Institution's Record/Ability: Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of at least four years of international exchanges. (6) 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 use to link outcomes to original project objectives is recommended.
5. Cost-effectiveness and 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.
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 a Federal Assistance Award (FAA) from the Bureau's Grants Office. The FAA 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 FAA 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. Start Printed Page 22213
Should any proposals include programming for Iranian audiences or include follow-on activities involving Iranian grantees, the following additional requirements would apply to this project:
A critical component of the Administration's Iran policy is the support for indigenous Iranian voices. President Bush himself has pledged this support and the State Department has made the awarding of grants for this purpose a key component of its Iran policy. As a condition of licensing these activities, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has requested the Department of State to follow certain procedures to effectuate the goals of Sections 481(b), 531(a), 571, 582, and 635(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as amended); 18 U.S.C. 2339A and 2339B; Executive Order 13224; and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6. These licensing conditions mandate that the Department conduct a vetting of potential Iran grantees and sub-grantees for counter-terrorism purposes. To conduct this vetting the Department will collect information from grantees and sub-grantees regarding the identity and background of their key employees and Boards of Directors.
To assure that planning for the inclusion of Iran complies with requirements, please contact the Office's Iran Policy Coordinator, Lea Perez, at (202) 453-8156 for additional information. Or in her absence, please contact Sheila Casey at (202) 453-8150.
All awards made under this competition must be executed according to all relevant U.S. laws and policies regarding assistance to the Palestinian Authority, and to the West Bank and Gaza. Organizations must consult with relevant Public Affairs Offices before entering into any formal arrangements or agreements with Palestinian organizations or institutions.
To assure that planning for the inclusion of the Palestinian Authority complies with requirements, please contact program officer Susan Cohen (202) 203-7509, e-mail: email@example.com for additional information.
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.”
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.
VI.3. Reporting Requirements: You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus two copies of the following reports:
(1) A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award;
(2) A concise, one-page final program report summarizing program outcomes no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award. This one-page report will be transmitted to OMB, and be made available to the public via OMB's USAspending.gov Web site—as part of ECA's Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) reporting requirements;
(3) Quarterly program and financial reports showing activities carried out and expenses incurred in the calendar quarter.
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: Susan Cohen, Cultural Programs, ECA/PE/C/CU, Room 568, Ref. # ECA/PE/C-CU-08-70, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, tel: 202/203-7509; fax: 202/203-7525; e-mail: CohenSL@state.gov.
All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/PE/C-CU-08-70.
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
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: April 18, 2008.
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
[FR Doc. E8-8958 Filed 4-23-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P