Announcement Type: New Grant.
Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C/SU-09-28.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000.
Application Deadline: March 23, 2009.
Executive Summary: The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the International Sports Programming Initiative. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals for projects designed to reach out to youth and promote mutual understanding by increasing the professional capacity of those who design and manage youth sports programs in select countries in Africa, East Asia, the Near East and North Africa, South Central Asia, Europe, and the Western Hemisphere. The focus of all programs must be on reaching out to both male and female youth ages 8-18 and/or their coaches. Programs designed to train elite athletes or coaches will not be considered. For the purposes of this competition, eligible regions are Africa, Europe, East Asia, the Near East and North Africa, South and Central Asia and the Western Hemisphere. Eligible countries in each region are: Africa: Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Namibia, Senegal, and Mali; East Asia: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam; Near East and North Africa: Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Oman; South and Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Bangladesh; Europe: Turkey and Armenia; and the Western Hemisphere: El Salvador, Panama, Honduras, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, and Brazil.
Proposals may address multiple countries but they must be from the same region. Proposals for countries that are not designated in the RFGP or that address more than one region will be deemed technically ineligible and will receive no further consideration in the review process.
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: Overview: The Office of Citizen Exchanges welcomes proposals for two-way exchanges (one component in the United States and the other in the chosen country) that directly respond to the following thematic areas. Given budgetary limitations, projects for themes not listed below will not be eligible for consideration under the FY-2009 International Sports Program Initiative Competition, and if received will be deemed technically ineligible and will receive no further consideration in the review process.
(1) 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 help a young person to discover how success in athletics can be translated into achievement in the development of life skills and in the classroom.
Through seminars and outreach, projects submitted in response to this theme will aim at aiding youth and secondary school coaches in the target countries in the development and implementation of appropriate training methodologies. 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.
(2) Youth Sports Management Exchange
Exchanges funded under this theme will enable American and foreign youth sport coaches, adult sponsors, and sport association officials to share their experience in managing and organizing youth sports activities, particularly in financially challenging circumstances, and will advance cross-cultural understanding of the role of sports as a significant factor in educational success. The pursuit of academic degrees from U.S. institutions is not an acceptable focus of this program, and applications that propose this will not be considered.
(3) Youth With Disabilities
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. Proposals under this theme aim to demonstrate that physically disabled individuals can be included in sports and recreation opportunities in their communities, and will develop opportunities for them to do so.
(4) Sports and Health
Projects funded under this category will focus on effective and practical ways to use sports personalities and sports health professionals to increase awareness among young people of the importance of following a healthy lifestyle to reduce illness, prevent injuries and speed 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.)
No guarantee is made or implied that grants will be awarded in all themes or for all countries listed.
Audience: The intended audience is non-elite youth, coaches, community leaders and representatives from Start Printed Page 6191government and non-governmental organizations.
Ideal Program Model: The following are suggested program structures:
- A U.S. grantee identifies U.S. citizens to conduct a multi-location, in-country program overseas that includes clinics and training sessions for: Male and female athletes; government officials (Ministry of Sports and Ministry of Education); coaches (adult and youth); NGO representatives (including representatives from relevant sports federations); community officials (including local authorities associated with recreational facilities); youth audiences (equal numbers of boys and girls); elected local government officials; and sports management professionals to support one of the themes listed.
- An in-country partner overseas (a local university, government agency or other appropriate organization, such as a relevant sports federation) co-hosts an activity with the U.S. grantee institution, and participates in the selection of participants for a U.S. program.
- A U.S. program that includes site visits designed to provide participants with exposure to American youth and coaches, sports education in the United States, background information on U.S. approaches to the themes listed in the announcement, relevant cultural activities, and a debriefing and evaluation.
- U.S. experts who worked with participants from overseas implement an in-country program.
- Participants in the U.S. program design in-country projects and serve as co-presenters.
- Materials are translated into the relevant language for use in future projects.
- Small grants are dispersed for projects designed to expand the exchange experience.
- All participants are encouraged to enroll in the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs' alumni Web site.
U.S. Embassy Involvement: Before submitting a proposal, all applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the Washington, DC-based State Department contact for the themes/regions listed in this solicitation. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to consult with Public Affairs Officers at U.S. Embassies in relevant countries as they develop proposals responding to this RFGP. It is important that the proposal narrative clearly state the applicant's commitment to consult closely with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in the relevant country/countries to develop plans for project implementation, to select project participants, and to publicize the program through the media. Proposals should acknowledge U.S. Embassy involvement in the final selection of all participants.
Media: Proposals should include specific strategies for publicizing the project, both in the United States and overseas, as applicable. Sample materials can be included in the appendix.
Participant Selection: Proposals should clearly describe the types of persons that will participate in the program, as well as the participant recruitment and selection processes. It is a priority of the office to include female participants in all of its programs. In the selection of foreign participants, the Bureau and U.S. embassies retain the right to review all participant nominations and to accept or refuse participants recommended by grantee institutions. When U.S. participants are selected, grantee institutions must provide their names and brief biographical data to the Office of Citizen Exchanges. Priority in two-way exchange proposals will be given to foreign participants who have not previously traveled to the United States.
II. Award Information
Type of Award: Grant Agreement.
Fiscal Year Funds: 2009.
Approximate Total Funding: $1,500,000.
Approximate Number of Awards: 6-8.
Approximate Average Award: $225,000.
Ceiling of Award Range: $225,000.
Floor of Award Range: $60,000.
Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, August 31, 2009.
Anticipated Project Completion Date: September 30 2010-June 30 2011.
Projects under this competition may range in length from one to three years depending on the number of project components, the country/region targeted and the extent of the evaluation plan proposed by the applicant. The Office of Citizen Exchanges strongly encourages applicant organizations to plan enough time after project activities to measure project outcomes. Please refer to the Program Monitoring and Evaluation section, item IV.3d.3 below, for further guidance on evaluation.
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 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) Grants awarded to eligible organizations with less than four years of experience in conducting international exchange programs will be limited to $60,000. Organizations that only qualify for the $60,000 level may choose to conduct a one-way exchange, but must explain how the objectives of Americans interacting with foreign participants will still be achieved.
(b) Technical Eligibility:
- It is imperative that all proposals follow the requirements outlined in the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) technical format and instructions document. Additionally, all proposals must comply with the following or they will result in your proposal being declared technically ineligible and given no further consideration in the review process.
- The Office does not support proposals limited to conferences or seminars (i.e., one- to fourteen-day programs with plenary sessions, main speakers, panels, and a passive audience). It will support conferences only when they are a small part of a larger project in duration that is receiving Bureau funding from this competition. No funding is available exclusively to send U.S. citizens to conferences or conference-type seminars overseas; nor is funding available for bringing foreign nationals to conferences or to routine professional association meetings in the United States.Start Printed Page 6192
- The Office of Citizen Exchanges does not support academic research or faculty or student fellowships.
- Applicants may not submit more than one (1) proposal for this competition. Organizations that submit proposals that exceed these limits will result in having all of their proposals declared technically ineligible, and none of the submissions will be reviewed by a State Department panel.
- Proposals that target countries/regions or themes not listed in the RFGP will be deemed technically ineligible.
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 Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C, Room 220, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, tel.: 202-453-8167; fax: 202-453-8168; or e-mail Elizabeth Fine at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/SU-09-28 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.
Please specify Elizabeth Fine and refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/SU-09-28 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 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 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. Please note: 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 an applicant does not file an IRS Form 990, but instead files Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ)—“Organization Exempt Under Section 501(c)(3),” applicants must include with their application a copy of Page 1, Part 1, “Compensation of the Five Highest Paid Employees Other Than Officers, Directors and Trustees,” of their most recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form—Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ).
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 awards (either a grant or cooperative agreement) under this RFGP will be third parties “cooperating with or assisting the sponsor in the conduct of the sponsor's program.” The actions of recipient 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 an award 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 recipient 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 Start Printed Page 6193status, 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 recipient organization 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.)
Recipient organizations 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.
Department of State Acknowledgement
All recipients of ECA grants or cooperative agreements should be prepared to state in any announcement or publicity where it is not inappropriate that activities are assisted financially by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended. Award recipients are strongly encouraged to use the Department seal on all promotional and related materials for ECA funded programs which support the commemoration of special occasions or events, but only after first obtaining written permission from the ECA program office(r) assigned to the project. In any contact with the media (print, television, blogging, etc.) applicants must acknowledge Department of State ECA Bureau funding for the program.
Alumni Outreach /Follow-on Programming and Engagement
Please refer to the Proposal Submissions Instruction (PSI) document for additional guidance.
IV.3e. Please take the following information into consideration when preparing your budget:
IV.3e.1. Applicants must submit SF-424A—“Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs” along with a comprehensive budget for the entire program. For this competition, requests should not exceed approximately $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 to provide clarification. Please note that the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs does not fund programs that involve building of structures of any kind, including playing fields, recreation centers, or stadiums.
IV.3e.2. Allowable costs for the program include the following:
1. Travel. International and domestic airfare; visas; transit costs; ground transportation costs. Please note that all air travel must be in compliance with the Fly America Act. There is no charge for J-1 visas for participants in Bureau sponsored programs.
2. Per Diem. For U.S.-based programming, organizations should use the published Federal per diem rates for individual U.S. cities. Domestic per diem rates may be accessed at: http://policyworks.gov/org/main/mt/homepage/mtt/perdiem/perd03d.html. Start Printed Page 6194ECA requests applicants to budget realistic costs that reflect the local economy and do not exceed Federal per diem rates. Foreign per diem rates can be accessed at: http://www.state.gov/m/a/als/prdm/html.
3. Interpreters. For U.S.-based activities, ECA strongly encourages applicants to hire their own locally based interpreters. However, applicants may ask ECA to assign State Department interpreters. One interpreter is typically needed for every four participants who require interpretation. When an applicant proposes to use State Department interpreters, the following expenses should be included in the budget: Published Federal per diem rates (both “lodging” and “M&IE”) and “home-program-home” transportation in the amount of $400 per interpreter. Salary expenses for State Department interpreters will be covered by the Bureau and should not be part of an applicant's proposed budget. Bureau funds cannot support interpreters who accompany delegations from their home country or travel internationally.
4. Book and Cultural Allowances. Foreign participants are entitled to a one-time cultural allowance of $150 per person, plus a book allowance of $50. Interpreters should be reimbursed up to $150 for expenses when they escort participants to cultural events. U.S. program staff, trainers or participants are not eligible to receive these benefits.
5. Consultants. Consultants may be used to provide specialized expertise or to make presentations. Honoraria rates should not exceed $250 per day. Organizations are encouraged to cost-share rates that would exceed that figure. Subcontracting organizations may also be employed, in which case the written agreement between the prospective grantee and sub-grantee should be included in the proposal. Such sub-grants should detail the division of responsibilities and proposed costs, and subcontracts should be itemized in the budget.
6. Room Rental. The rental of meeting space should not exceed $250 per day. Any rates that exceed this amount should be cost shared.
7. Materials. Proposals may contain costs to purchase, develop and translate materials for participants. Costs for high quality translation of materials should be anticipated and included in the budget. Grantee organizations should expect to submit a copy of all program materials to ECA, and ECA support should be acknowledged on all materials developed with its funding.
8. Equipment. Applicants may propose to use grant funds to purchase equipment, such as computers and printers; these costs should be justified in the budget narrative. Costs for furniture are not allowed.
9. Working Meal. Normally, no more than one working meal may be provided during the program. Per capita costs may not exceed $15-$25 for lunch and $20-$35 for dinner, excluding room rental. The number of invited guests may not exceed participants by more than a factor of two-to-one. When setting up a budget, interpreters should be considered “participants.”
10. Return Travel Allowance. A return travel allowance of $70 for each foreign participant may be included in the budget. This allowance would cover incidental expenses incurred during international travel.
11. Health Insurance. Foreign participants will be covered during their participation in the U.S. program by the ECA-sponsored Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE). The grantee must notify the program office to enroll them. Details of that policy can be provided by the contact officers identified in this solicitation. The premium is paid by ECA and should not be included in the grant proposal budget. However, applicants are permitted to include costs for travel insurance for U.S. participants in the budget.
12. Wire Transfer Fees. When necessary, applicants may include costs to transfer funds to partner organizations overseas. Grantees are urged to research applicable taxes that may be imposed on these transfers by host governments.
13. In-country Travel Costs for visa processing purposes. Given the requirements associated with obtaining J-1 visas for ECA-supported participants, applicants should include costs for any travel associated with visa interviews or DS-2019 pick-up.
14. 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 Application 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 ECA grant funds will be more competitive under the cost effectiveness and cost sharing criterion, per item V.1 below. Proposals should show strong administrative cost sharing contributions from the applicant, the in-country partner and other sources.
Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions.
IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission:
Application Deadline Date: Monday, March 23, 2009.
Reference Number: ECA/PE/C/SU-09-28.
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 place it in an envelope addressed to “ECA/EX/PM”.
The original and eight (8) 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/SU-09-28, 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 Start Printed Page 6195text (.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 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. In addition, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
The Grants.gov Web site includes extensive information on all phases/aspects of the Grants.gov process, including an extensive section on frequently asked questions, located under the “For Applicants” section of the Web site. ECA strongly recommends that all potential applicants review thoroughly the Grants.gov Web site, well in advance of submitting a proposal through the Grants.gov system. ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.
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: email@example.com.
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.
Please refer to the Grants.gov Web site, for definitions of various “application statuses” and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Again, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. 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 grants 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: Program objectives should be stated clearly and should reflect the applicant's expertise in the subject area and region. Objectives should respond to the topics in this announcement and should relate to the current conditions in the target country/countries. A detailed agenda and relevant work plan should explain how objectives will be achieved and should include a timetable for completion of major tasks. The substance of workshops, internships, seminars and/or consulting should be described in detail. Sample training schedules should be outlined. Responsibilities of proposed in-country partners should be clearly described. A discussion of how the applicant intends to address language issues should be included, if needed.
2. Institutional Capacity: Proposals should include (1) The institution's mission and date of establishment; (2) detailed information about proposed in-country partner(s) and the history of the partnership; (3) an outline of prior awards—U.S. government and/or private support received for the target theme/country/region; and (4) descriptions of experienced staff members who will implement the program. The proposal should reflect the institution's expertise in the subject area and knowledge of the conditions in the target country/countries. 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 Grants Staff. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program's goals. The Bureau strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from proposed in-country partners.
3. Cost Effectiveness and Cost Sharing: Overhead and administrative costs in the proposal budget, including salaries, honoraria and subcontracts for services, should be kept to a minimum. Proposals whose administrative costs are less than twenty-five (25) per cent of the total funds requested from the Bureau will be deemed more competitive under this criterion. Applicants are strongly encouraged to cost share a portion of overhead and administrative expenses. Cost-sharing, including contributions from the applicant, proposed in-country partner(s), and other sources should be included in the budget request. Proposal budgets that do not reflect cost sharing will be deemed not competitive in this category.
4. 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 Start Printed Page 6196program content (orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource materials and follow-up activities). Applicants should refer to the Bureau's Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines in the PSI and the Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines section, Item IV.3d.2, above for additional guidance.
5. Post-Grant Activities: Applicants should provide a plan to conduct activities after the Bureau-funded project has concluded in order to ensure that Bureau-supported programs are not isolated events. Funds for all post-grant activities must be in the form of contributions from the applicant or sources outside of the Bureau. Costs for these activities must not appear in the proposal budget, but should be outlined in the narrative.
6. Program Monitoring and Evaluation: Proposals should include a detailed plan to monitor and evaluate the program. Program objectives should target clearly defined results in quantitative terms. Competitive evaluation plans will describe how applicant organizations would measure these results, and proposals should include draft data collection instruments (surveys, questionnaires, etc) in Tab E. See the “Program Monitoring/Evaluation” section, item IV.3d.3 above for more information on the components of a competitive evaluation plan. Successful applicants (grantee institutions) will be expected to submit a report after each program component concludes or on a quarterly basis, whichever is less frequent. The Bureau also requires that grantee institutions submit a final narrative and financial report no more than 90 days after the expiration of a grant. Please refer to the “Program Management/Evaluation” section, item IV.3d.3 above for more guidance.
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 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.
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) A SF-PPR, “Performance Progress Report” Cover Sheet with all program reports.
(4) Quarterly program and financial reports which should include the activities completed during that quarter, information about any participants of the activities, and any adjustments in the program timeline.
Award recipients 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.
Program Data Requirements: Award recipients will be required to maintain specific data on program participants and activities in an electronically accessible database format that can be shared with the Bureau as required. As a minimum, the data must include the following:
(1) Name, address, contact information and biographic sketch of all persons who travel internationally on funds provided by the agreement or who benefit from the award funding but do not travel.
(2) Itineraries of international and domestic travel, providing dates of travel and cities in which any exchange experiences take place. Final schedules for in-country and U.S. activities must be received by the ECA Program Officer at least three work days prior to the official opening of the activity.
VII. Agency Contacts
For questions about this announcement, contact: Elizabeth Fine, SportsUnited Division, ECA/PE/C/SU, Room 220, ECA/PE/C/SU-09-28, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, tel: (202) 453-8167, fax: (202) 453-8169, firstname.lastname@example.org.
All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/PE/C/SU-09-01.
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: January 29, 2009.
C. Miller Crouch,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. E9-2472 Filed 2-4-09; 8:45 am]
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