Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Request for Proposals: To expand Cuban civic participation and strengthen independent civil society groups with a view to supporting the ability of Cuban citizens to freely determine their own future.
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Proposals from organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that respond to the needs and interests of Cubans on the island and empower citizens to engage more robustly in civic activities and decisions that improve their lives.
PLEASE NOTE: DRL strongly urges applicants to access immediately www.grants.gov in order to obtain a username and password. It may take two full weeks to register with www.grants.gov.
Please see the section entitled, “DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS” below for specific instructions.
REQUESTED PROPOSAL PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
DRL invites organizations to submit proposals outlining innovative implementation concepts (including but not limited to distribution of small cash grants to enable Cubans on the island to carry out activities that they design, and use of new technologies that facilitate networking, such as SMS text messaging) and capacity to manage projects, targeting one of the following issues. Proposals that include a majority of on-island activities are strongly preferred. Special thought and consideration should be given to the selection of consultants and other personal who may be required to travel to the island. To the extent possible, travel by American citizens should be limited. It is preferable for these personnel to speak Spanish fluently, possess solid understanding of the cultural context, and have prior experience on the island, in order to maximize their effectiveness in this unique operating environment.
Proposals that combine topics may be deemed technically ineligible. Applicant organizations proposing the disbursement of small cash grants should demonstrate their capacity to disburse cash grants and propose a comprehensive plan for administering multiple small cash grants and ensuring that funds are used strategically within the scope of the primary grant. In addition to quarterly reporting responsibilities, grantees will be required to provide DRL, on a quarterly basis, a record of all small cash grant disbursements, breakdown of disbursements, activity funded, and goals reached to date. To ensure transparency and oversight, DRL reserves the right to request any programmatic and/or financial information during the grant period.
Strengthen the inclusion of people with disabilities (subject to the availability of funding, approximately $200,000):
DRL seeks proposals to strengthen and complement Cuban-led initiatives to create the conditions that allow meaningful civic participation by persons with disabilities. DRL seeks to support
initiatives that enable Cuban civil society to encourage and support Cubans to respect, protect and fulfill the rights set out in within Cuban law and international conventions to which Cuba is a party, such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Envisioned projects should be designed with the end goal of enabling independent Cuban civil society groups to promote changes in attitudes and behaviors that stigmatize and marginalize persons with disabilities. Illustrative project activities may include, but are not limited to:
Strengthening the organizational and administrative capacity of grassroots disabled persons’ associations and other organizations that provide services to disabled persons, particularly those organizations centered outside of Havana; for example, providing management and organizational skills training; facilitating networking among disabled associations, student groups, and other organizations; and capacity building for public events, publications, etc. For example, this could include working with local associations to promote and execute their activities in remote areas and engage in sponsored events, such as Special Olympics.
Promoting advocacy activities, for example by providing training for grassroots disabled persons’ organizations on principles of independent living, data and information collection and analysis, outreach, communications strategies, and advocacy techniques to help ensure that disabled persons have equal access to housing, education, healthcare services, employment etc. and equal opportunity for civic participation.
Promoting awareness of the rights and obligations set forth by international conventions on the rights of persons with disabilities, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as education and training on advocating in international fora for the enforcement of treaty obligations.
Evaluating and promoting the use of accessible technologies to conduct awareness-raising activities to affect negative societal attitudes against disabled persons and better inform members of the disabled community about their rights, especially outside of Havana; for example, working with local groups to organize events and awareness campaigns, etc.
Strengthen the inclusion of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community (subject to the availability of funding, approximately $300,000):
DRL seeks proposals to strengthen grassroots organizations to create the conditions that allow meaningful and unhindered participation by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in all aspects of Cuban society. Envisioned projects should have the ultimate goal of promoting change in attitudes and behaviors that stigmatize and marginalize LGBT persons. Illustrative project activities may include, but are not limited to:
Strengthening the organizational and administrative capacity of grassroots LGBT associations and other organizations that provide services to LGBT persons, particularly those organizations centered outside of Havana; for example, providing management and organizational skills training; facilitating networking among LGBT associations, student groups, and other organizations; and capacity building for public events, publications, etc.
Promoting advocacy activities, for example by providing training for grassroots LGBT groups on data and information collection and analysis, outreach, communications strategies, and advocacy techniques to promote the equal access of LGBT persons to housing, education, employment, healthcare services, police protection, etc. and equal opportunity for civic participation.
Awareness-raising activities to affect negative societal attitudes against LGBT persons and better inform members of the LGBT community about their rights, especially outside of Havana; for example, working with local groups to organize Pride parades and festivals, HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns, etc.
Strengthening the capacity of grassroots LGBT organizations to register in Cuba as recognized non-governmental organizations
Freedom of Expression
Professional support to journalists (subject to the availability of funding, approximately $600,000):
DRL seeks to expand its professional support to journalists by enabling the creation of better networked and more professional journalists that can carry out citizen-led initiatives to advance freedom of expression on the island. The end goal is to involve independent journalists’ in the media development process.
Illustrative project activities may include, but are not limited to:
Strengthening the organizational capacity of journalists and independent journalists’ unions to enable them to:
improve the quality of media coverage
raise awareness among journalists of their professional/ethical obligations
provide a platform for interaction among journalists
provide resources for journalists and other media professionals
Promote interaction between journalists and their audiences in order to increase on-island readership.
Greater freedom of expression on the island (subject to the availability of funding, approximately $600,000): DRL seeks proposals to support greater freedom of expression on the island, especially among performing artists, visual artists, musicians, poets, bloggers, and writers. Objectives are to increase opportunities for expressing opinions openly and sharing ideas, generate increased demand not only for information, per se, but to advocate for artistic freedom and for general freedom of expression.
Social Inclusion in Cuba (subject to the availability of funding, approximately $1,000,000): DRL seeks proposals to support effective approaches that empower Cuban citizens to advocate for public policy alternatives that improve standards of living to enable them to demand rights, including access to housing, food, education, and health care. In some instances, these rights may be contained within, but not implemented by the Cuban Constitution, existing Cuban legislation, and/or international conventions signed and/or ratified by Cuba. Local actors increasingly seek means of demanding governmental accountability for systemic rights violations, and have demonstrated a widespread interest in enhancing governmental accountability and transparency within Cuba. Successful applicants will employ mechanisms to promote home-grown solutions to achieving greater respect for rights.
Mechanisms should be aimed at empowering Cuban citizens by providing the appropriate resources and tools to allow them to identify rights that they consider important, and by enabling them to design peaceful, nonviolent strategies or more effectively promote existing strategies. Illustrative project activities may include, but are not limited to:
Community organizing, counseling, advocacy and self-advocacy to demand social and/or economic change
Facilitation of alliance-building to coordinate social and/or economic advocacy efforts on the island
Education and outreach regarding issues related to how housing, food, water, and education, health care are currently provided in Cuba, and discussion of alternative approaches to improving non-discriminatory access.
Education and outreach regarding the right to work, the right to the free choice of employment, the right to just and favorable conditions of work, and the right to own property
Documentation of citizens’ access to guaranteed rights such as housing, food, water, education, and health care, and of violations of those rights. Facilitation of legal advocacy initiatives that promote Cubans’ understanding of their legal rights and increase knowledge of mechanisms for demanding governmental accountability.
Promoting the peaceful resolution of conflict (subject to the availability of funding, approximately $300,000): DRL seeks proposals that promote conflict resolution techniques and foster collaboration among Cuban civil society actors. The end goal is to use conflict resolution as a tool to improve respect for human rights by helping people work together to manage their differences and promoting a consultative process to prevent conflict.
Envisioned projects should include activities that promote techniques (i.e., cooperative approaches, negotiation techniques, principle of impartiality, interest-based cooperative strategies, dialogue, and role-play/scenario exercises) for resolving a wide range of conflict situations, including seeking remedies and redress for abuses and arbitrary enforcement of the law, community disputes, workplace grievances, and vulnerable populations’ participation in society. Illustrative project activities may include, but are not limited to:
Promoting peaceful conflict resolution to prevent or mitigate conflict
Use of conflict resolution to promote greater respect for human rights,
Promoting cooperative approaches that bring opposing parties to the negotiating table and solve problems of mutual concern
Incorporating conflict resolution techniques to the work that nascent civil society groups, such as legal associations, bloggers and larger media community, and religious groups carry out in order to facilitate networks among like-minded groups that would otherwise be competing for limited civic space.
Strengthening Cuban independent legal associations (subject to the availability of funding, approximately $700,000):
DRL seeks proposals that strengthen independent lawyers and legal associations by providing resources, training, information dissemination, and capacity building, among other measures. The end goal will be to further empower independent Cuban lawyers to assist citizens in explaining and defending their rights and freedoms. In addition, given the recent economic reforms in Cuba, the envisioned program will also help independent Cuban lawyers to play a critical role on economic issues related to markets. Illustrative project activities may include, but are not limited to:
Provision of continuing legal education for independent lawyers and other trainings law students. Trainings may focus on topics not traditionally taught in Cuba, such as public international law, office administration and management, small business growth, budgeting and planning, etc.
Provision of management, administrative, human resources and other capacity-building trainings to encourage the effective growth of independent associations.
Creation of synergies with ongoing DRL-funded alternative dispute resolution activities.
Potential synergies could be found through training in mediation and conflict resolution skills for attorneys and civil society actors.
Human Rights Documentation (subject to the availability of funding approximately $427,024):
This project will provide professional support to human rights monitors and investigators throughout Cuba. Currently, most human rights monitors and investigators lack training in basic skills such as data collection, information security, reporting for appropriate audiences, and effective collaboration. Program activities may include:
Promoting the establishment of human rights monitors/investigators’ networks in order to
1) facilitate human rights documentation and analysis effort on the island;
2) identify the most effective approaches to documenting cases; and
3) increase the efficiency and effectiveness of human rights monitoring efforts.
Strengthening the capacity of Cuban human rights monitors/investigators to act upon rights violations and advocate for human rights based upon international human rights standards. Professional development training for human rights monitors/investigators. Training sessions should cover methodologies for monitoring, reporting, coalition building and advocacy. Specifically, training should cover
1) protection and security of information gathered by fact finding missions (security refers to both that of the investigator/monitor and of the persons who come in contact with him/her);
2) documentation techniques, including unique and creative ways to collect and preserve testimony from those inside the island, such as the use of SMS messaging to transmit information, and the provision of sound and precise information through thorough and well-documented reports;
3) how to conduct fact finding missions, collecting sensitive data without compromising the safety of witnesses, and collection of sound, objective, and precise information to document human rights situations.
Supporting human rights monitors/investigators in clarifying both their mission and international human rights standards.
Subject to Congressional approval, the Bureau anticipates awarding grants before September 30, 2011. The bulk of funding activities should take place during a two to three-year time frame. Programs that leverage resources from funds internal to the organization or other sources, such as public-private partnerships, will be highly considered. Programs that have a strong academic or research focus will not be highly considered. Cost sharing is strongly encouraged, and cost sharing contributions should be outlined in the proposal, budget, and budget narrative.
Approximately $4,127,024 in FY 2010 ESF Funds subject to the availability and Congressional approval of funding would be awarded for programs in the themes outlined above. To support program and administrative costs required for implementation, the Bureau anticipates making awards to the maximum available figure listed by theme for Cuba programs. DRL will not consider proposals that reflect any type of support, for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization, whether or not elected members of government. The information in this solicitation is binding and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by the Bureau that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the solicitation 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 evaluation requirements. To ensure transparency and oversight, DRL reserves the right to request programmatic and/or financial information during the grant period. This request for proposals will appear on www.grants.gov and DRL’s website, www.state.gov/g/drl.
Organizations submitting proposals must meet the following criteria:
Be a U.S. non-profit organization meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c) (3) or a comparable organization headquartered internationally, or an international organization.
Have demonstrated experience administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on organizations that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards. These applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.
Be a registered user of grants.gov.
Have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with in-country entities and relevant stakeholders including industry and non-governmental organizations.
Organizations may form consortia and submit a combined proposal. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant.
An OMB policy directive published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 27, 2003, requires that all organizations applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements must provide a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number when applying for all Federal grants or cooperative agreements in or after October 1, 2003. Please reference: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/062703_grant_identifier.pdf for the complete OMB policy directive.
TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS Proposals should conform to DRL’s posted Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI), available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/p/october_2010/index.htm#. (For this solicitation, applicants must use the Revised PSI dated October 2010.) An organization may submit no more than two (2) proposals. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of the announcement and PSI may not be considered. Proposals will need to include a justification for the selection of targeted groups and geographic regions within the targeted county. Proposals that request more than the award ceiling will be deemed technically ineligible.
For all application documents, please ensure:
1) All pages are numbered, including budgets and attachments,
2) All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
3) All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.
Complete applications should include the following for proposal submission:
1) Completed and signed SF-424, SF-424a (Budget Summary) and SF424b (Assurances), most recent A-133 Audit, and Certifications Regarding Lobbying forms as directed on www.grants.gov.
2) Table of Contents (not to exceed one  page in Microsoft Word) that includes a page numbered contents page, including any attachments.
3) Executive Summary (not to exceed one  page in Microsoft Word) that includes:
a) Name and contact information for the project’s main point of contact,
b) A one-paragraph “statement of work” or synopsis of the program and its expected results,
c) A concise breakdown of the project’s objectives and activities,
d) The total amount of funding requested and program length, and
e) A brief statement on how the project is innovative, sustainable, and will have a demonstrated impact.
4) Proposal Narrative (not to exceed ten  pages in Microsoft Word). Please note the ten page limit does not include the Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Attachments, Detailed Budget, Budget Narrative or NICRA. Applicants may submit multiple documents in one Microsoft Word file, i.e., Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Proposal Narrative, and Budget Narrative in one file or as separate, individually submitted files. Submissions should address four specific criteria (Quality of Program, Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives, Multiplier Effect/Sustainability, and Institution’s Record and Capacity). Details about these criteria are described in the Review Process section below.
5) Budget Narrative (preferably in Microsoft Word) that includes an explanation/justification for each line item in the detailed budget spreadsheet, as well as the source and description of all cost-share offered. For ease of review, it is recommended that applicants order the budget narrative as presented in the detailed budget. Primarily Headquarters- and Field-based personnel costs should include a clarification on the roles and responsibilities of key staff and percentage of time devoted to the project. In addition, cost-effectiveness is one of the key criteria for rating the competitiveness of a program proposal. Applicants that include cost share in their budget should note that cost share is considered a commitment and that the grantee will be held responsible for meeting the amount of cost share included. It is recommended that budget narratives address the overall cost-effectiveness of the proposal, including any cost-share offered (see the PSI for more information on cost-sharing and cost effectiveness).
6) Detailed Line-item Budget (in Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet format) that contains three  columns including DRL request, any cost sharing contribution, and total budget. A summary budget should also be included using the OMB approved budget categories (see SF-424 as a sample). See the PSI for more information on budget format. Costs must be in U.S. Dollars.
7) Attachments (not to exceed seven  pages total, preferably in Microsoft Word) that include the following in order:
a) Pages 1-2: Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (see PSI for more information on this section).
b) Page 3: Roles and responsibilities of key program personnel with short bios that highlight relevant professional experience. Given the limited space, CVs are not recommended for submission.
c) Page 4: Timeline of the overall proposal. Components should include activities, evaluation efforts, and program closeout.
d) Page 5-7: Additional optional attachments. Attachments may include additional timeline information, letters of support, memorandums of understanding/agreement, etc. For applicants with a large number of letters/MOUs, it may be useful to provide a list of the organizations/government agencies that support the program rather than the actual documentation.
8 ) If your organization has a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be sent as a pdf file. This document will not be reviewed by the panelists, but rather used by program and grant staff if the submission is recommended for funding. Hence, this document does not count against the submission page limitations. If your organization does not have a NICRA agreement with a cognizant agency, the proposal budget should not have a line item for indirect cost charges. Rather, any costs that may be considered as indirect costs should be included in specific budget line items as direct costs. Furthermore, if your proposal involves sub-grants to organizations charging indirect costs, and those organizations also have a NICRA, please submit the applicable NICRA as a pdf file (see the PSI for more information on indirect cost rate).
Note: To ensure all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the DRL Review Committee will review the first page of the requested section up to the page limit and no further. DRL encourages organizations to use the given space effectively.
The Bureau will review all proposals for eligibility. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance of Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements. Final signatory authority for assistance awards resides with the Department’s Grants Officer. DRL and the Grants Office reserve the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial information regarding the proposal.
Proposals will be funded based on an evaluation of how the proposal meets the solicitation review criteria, U.S. foreign policy objectives, and the priority needs of DRL. A Department of State Review Committee will evaluate proposals submitted under this request. Each proposal will be rated along six criteria. Review criteria will include:
1) Quality of Program Idea Proposals should be responsive to the solicitation and should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the Bureau’s mission of promoting human rights and democracy.
2) Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives A strong proposal will include a clear articulation of how the proposed program activities contribute to the overall program objectives and each activity will be clearly developed and detailed. A relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and the logistical capacity of the organization. The work plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above. Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable and achievable. For complete proposals, applicants should provide a monthly timeline of project activities. Proposals should address how the program will engage relevant stakeholders and should identify local partners as appropriate. If local partners have been identified, the Bureau strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from proposed in-country partners. Organizations also should identify and address gender considerations in all proposed program activities, and must provide specific means, measures, and corresponding targets to address them. Organizations should also identify and address disability considerations in all proposed program activities, and must provide specific means, measures and corresponding targets to address them. Additionally, applicants should describe the division of labor among the direct applicant and any local partners. If applicable, proposals should identify target areas for activities, target participant groups or selection criteria for participants, and purpose/criteria for sub-grantees, among other pertinent details. In particularly challenging operating environments, proposals should include contingency plans for overcoming potential difficulties in executing the original work plan.
3) Multiplier Effect/Sustainability Proposals should clearly delineate how elements of their program will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect may include but is not limited to, plans to build lasting networks for direct and indirect beneficiaries, follow-on training and mentoring, and continued use of project deliverables. A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating capacity-building results or garnering other donor support after DRL funding ceases.
4) Program Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Plan Programs should demonstrate the capacity for engaging in outcome-based evaluations and identify outputs and outcomes to measure how program activities will achieve the program’s strategic objectives. The M&E Plan should include output- and outcome-based indicators, baseline and target for each indicator, disaggregation if applicable, monitoring and evaluation tools, data source/s, and frequency of monitoring and evaluation. For a more detailed explanation of what DRL is looking for in the M&E Plan, please see the PSI and the DRL Monitoring and Evaluation Primer (www.state.gov/g/drl/p/c12302.htm). Projects that propose an independent evaluation, including a midterm and final assessment, with a clear monitoring and evaluation plan will be viewed favorably in this category.
5) Institution’s Record and Capacity The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful programs, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants, especially in similar operating environments. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives. Roles, responsibilities, and brief bios demonstrating relevant professional experience of primary staff should be provided as one of the main attachments.
6) Cost Effectiveness The administrative, including salaries and honoraria, and overhead components should be kept as low as possible. All other items should be necessary and appropriate. Given that the majority of DRL-funded programs take place overseas, U.S.-based costs should be kept to a minimum. Cost sharing is strongly encouraged and is viewed favorably by DRL reviewers. For a more detailed description of how DRL evaluates the cost effectiveness of its proposals, please see the PSI.
DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS Applicants must submit proposals using www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on July 18, 2011. DRL will still require applications to be submitted via www.grants.gov but will work with applicants who have trouble in the actual submission process.
Several of the steps in the www.grants.gov registration process can take several weeks. Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate staff within their organizations immediately after reviewing this solicitation to confirm or determine their registration status with Grants.gov.
Please note: In order to safeguard the security of applicants’ electronic information, www.grants.gov utilizes a credential provider to confirm, with certainty, the applicant organization’s credentials. The credential provider for www.grants.gov is Operational Research Consultants (ORC). Applicants MUST register with ORC to receive a username and password which you will need to register with www.grants.gov as an authorized organization representative (AOR). Once your organization’s E-Business point of contact has assigned these rights, you will be authorized to submit grant applications through www.grants.gov on behalf of your organization.
Each organization will need to be registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR), and you will need to have your organization’s DUNS number available to complete this process. For more information regarding the DUNS number, please visit www.dnb.com or call 1-866-705- 5711. After your organization registers with the CCR, you must wait approximately three to five business days before you can obtain a username and password. This may delay your ability to post your proposal. Therefore, DRL strongly urges applicants to begin this process on www.grants.gov well in advance of the submission deadline.
No exceptions will be made for organizations that have not completed the necessary steps to post applications on www.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 www.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 www.grants.gov.
The www.grants.gov website includes extensive information on all phases/aspects of the www.grants.gov process, including an extensive section on frequently asked questions, located under the “For Applicants” section of the website. DRL strongly recommends that all potential applicants review thoroughly www.grants.gov, well in advance of submitting a proposal through the www.grants.gov system.
Direct all questions regarding www.grants.gov registration and submission to: www.grants.gov
Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726
Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 7AM – 9PM Eastern Standard Time
Applicants have until midnight (12:00 a.m.), Washington, D.C. time of the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been uploaded to www.grants.gov. 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 www.grants.gov system and will be technically ineligible.
Please refer to www.grants.gov 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 www.grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Again, validation of an electronic submission via www.grants.gov can take up to two business days. DRL will not notify you upon receipt of electronic applications.
Faxed, couriered, or emailed documents will not be accepted at any time. Applicants must follow all formatting instructions in this document and the PSI.
It is the responsibility of all applicants to ensure that proposals have been received by www.grants.gov in their entirety. DRL bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.
Once the RFP deadline has passed, U.S. Government officials – including those in the Bureau, the Department, and at embassies/missions overseas – must not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.