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FY 2012 Funding Opportunity Announcement for NGO Programs Benefiting Refugees and Refugee Returnees in Rwanda, the DRC, Tanzania and Uganda

Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-AFR-12-CA-AF-100611-GREATLAKES

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number:

19.517 – Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Africa

Announcement issuance date: Thursday, October 06, 2011

Proposal submission deadline: Friday, November 04, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT. Proposals submitted after this deadline cannot be considered.

Advisory: Grants.gov experiences continued high volume of activity. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal several days early to allow time to address difficulties that may arise due to system delays.

Proposed Program Start Dates: January 1, 2012—March 1, 2012

Duration of Activity: Program plans for the DRC should be no more than 12 months. Applicants must re-compete for PRM funding each year. Furthermore, in funding a project one year, PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years and encourages applicants to seek a wide array of donors to ensure long-term funding possibilities.

Program plans from 12 to 24 months will be considered for activities addressing protracted needs in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. Applicants may submit multi-year proposals with activities and budgets that do not exceed 24 months from the proposed start date. Actual awards will not exceed 12 months in duration. Multi-year proposals selected for funding by PRM will be funded in 12-month increments and must include results-based indictors within the first 12 months. Continued funding after the initial 12-month award requires the submission of a noncompeting continuation application as detailed in the Noncompeting Application Requirements section below and will be contingent upon available funding, strong performance, and continuing need. NGOs receiving awards under these terms will be required to submit continuation applications at least three months in advance of the end of each 12-month period of activities. Please see the “Proposal Content, Formatting, and Templates” section for additional guidance.

Current Country Specific Funding Priorities and Instructions: PRM will prioritize available funding for Tanzania, Rwanda, the DRC and Uganda as identified below. All proposals should target beneficiaries as identified in collaboration with UNHCR and local authorities.

(1) Tanzania and Rwanda

· Proposals for Tanzania should focus exclusively on life-saving basic preventative and curative healthcare assistance (including reproductive health) in the remaining refugee camps in western Tanzania (Nyaragusu and Mtabila).

· Proposals for Rwanda should focus on camp management, life-saving basic preventative and curative healthcare assistance (including reproductive health), water and sanitation, and/or gender based violence prevention and response for refugees.

· While PRM does not discourage activities that also include the local host population along with refugees, proposals should concentrate on activities for refugees. At least 80% of beneficiaries must be refugees.

(2) DRC

· Proposed activities for the DRC should support prevention of and response to gender based violence in areas of refugee return in South Kivu and Katanga.

· Proposals should focus on areas of high refugee return where new refugee returnees (those who have returned in 2010-2012) make up at least 50% of targeted beneficiaries. Proposals should specify refugee returnee population numbers and/or projections for 2012 in proposed locations.

· Proposals should describe how the proposed activities fit into the Comprehensive Strategy on Combating Sexual Violence in the DRC.

(3) Uganda

· For Uganda proposals should focus on protection, including prevention of and response to gender based violence in urban refugee communities.

· At least 80% of beneficiaries must be refugees with the remainder being vulnerable individuals in host communities.

General Instructions

PRM will accept proposals from any NGO working in the above mentioned sectors although, given budgetary constraints, priority will be given to proposals from organizations that can demonstrate:

· A working relationship with UNHCR, current UNHCR funding, and/or a letter of support from UNHCR for the proposed activities and/or overall country program (this letter should highlight the gap in services the proposed program is designed to address);

· An established presence and a proven track record providing proposed assistance both in the sector and specified location;

· Coordination with international organizations (IOs) and NGOs working in the same area or sector as well as local authorities;

· A concrete implementation plan with well-conceived objectives and indicators that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and reliable, time-bound and trackable (SMART), have established baselines, and at least one outcome indicator per objective;

· A budget that is appropriate for meeting the objectives and demonstrates co-funding and/or cost-sharing by non-US government sources;

· Appropriate targeting of beneficiaries in coordination with UNHCR and other relevant organizations. Because of PRM’s mandate to provide protection, assistance, and sustainable solutions for refugees and victims of conflict, PRM will only consider funding projects that include a target beneficiary base of at least 80% refugees or 50% refugee returnees.

· Adherence to relevant international standards for humanitarian assistance. See PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for a complete list of sector-specific standards.

International Organizations (IOs) that are engaged in programs relevant to the assistance addressed by this PRM funding announcement should ensure that these programs are made known to PRM on or before the closing date of this funding announcement so that PRM can evaluate all IO and NGO programs for funding consideration.

Funding Limits:

For Rwanda PRM will consider proposals with budgets up to $1,700,000.

For DRC and Tanzania PRM will consider proposals with budgets up to $600,000.

For Uganda PRM will consider proposals with budgets up to $300,000.

As stated in the PRM’s General NGO Guidelines, PRM looks favorably on cost-sharing efforts and seeks to support projects with a diverse donor base and/or resources from the submitting organization.

Approval of projects is subject to the availability of funding.

Proposal Submission Requirements:

See “How to Apply” (http://www.grants.gov/applicants/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements, and note the following highlights:

· Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov. Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should register well in advance of the November 4, 2011 deadline as it can take up to two weeks to finalize registration (sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to get the required registration numbers). To register with Grants.gov, organizations must first receive a DUNS number and register with the Central Contract Registry (CCR) which can take weeks and sometimes months. See “Applicant FAQs” section on Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/help/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) for complete details on registering.

· Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Applicants who have done so in the past and experienced technical difficulties were not able to meet the deadline and were not considered for funding. Please note: Grants.gov is expected to experience continued high volumes of activity in the near future. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal several days early to avoid submission delays. We recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via Grants.gov no later than one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in an application not being considered.

· If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at support@grants.gov or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via Grants.gov due to Grants.gov technical difficulties and who have reported the problem(s) to the Grants.gov help desk and received a case number and had a service request opened to research the problem(s), should contact PRM Program Officer Wendy Henning at (202) 453-9380 or henningwl@state.gov to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

· Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization. PRM recommends submitting proposals from agency headquarters. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.

· NGOs that have not received PRM funding prior to the U.S. Government fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. Government by submitting copies of 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) non-profit tax status under IRS 501 (c)(3), 3) a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and 4) an Employer ID (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification number.

Proposal Content, Formatting and Template:

Please refer to the “Proposal Submission and Review Process” section in PRM’s General NGO Guidelines. PRM strongly encourages organizations applying for PRM funding to use the PRM recommended proposal and budget templates. Templates can be requested by sending an email to PRM’s NGO Coordinator. You must type “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line to receive an automated reply containing the template.

In addition to referencing the General NGO Guidelines, applicants proposing multi-year programs should adhere to the following guidance.

Applicants may submit proposals that include multi-year strategies presented in 12-month cycles for a period not to exceed 24 months from the proposed start date. Fully developed programs with detailed budgets, objectives and indicators are required for the first 12 months of activities. PRM expects all multi-year program plans to broadly outline out-year activities. Multi-year strategies should include notional budgets (budget summaries only) for out-year activities. Objectives and indicators for out-year 12-month program cycles are not required as part of the initial proposal and will be submitted with continuation applications.

PLEASE TAKE SPECIAL NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED IN THE PRM’s FY2011 NGO GUIDELINES:

This announcement is designed to accompany the General NGO Guidelines, which contain additional administrative information and explain in detail PRM’s NGO funding strategy and priorities. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities and that your proposal submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements. Proposal submissions that do not meet all of the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered. PRM recommends using the proposal and budget templates that are available upon email request from PRM’s NGO Coordinator. Please send an email, with the phrase “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line, to PRM’s NGO Coordinator.

· Proposals should outline how the NGO will acknowledge PRM funding. If an organization believes that publicly acknowledging the receipt of USG funding for a particular PRM-funded project could potentially endanger the lives of the beneficiaries and/or the organization staff, invite suspicion about the organization’s motives, or alienate the organization from the population it is trying to help, it must provide a brief explanation in its proposal as to why it should be exempted from this requirement.

· Focus on outcome or impact indicators as much as possible. At a minimum, each objective should have one outcome or impact indicator. Wherever possible, baselines should be established before the start of the project.

· To increase PRM’s ability to track the impact of PRM funding, include specific information on locations of projects and beneficiaries. Any project involving the building or maintenance of physical infrastructure must include coordinates of site locations (place name, P-Code, latitude and longitude coordinates).

· Budget must include a specific breakdown of funds being provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization (where applicable). PRM strongly encourages multi-lateral support for humanitarian programs.

· Organizations that received PRM funding in FY 2010 for activities that are being proposed for funding under this announcement must include the most recent quarterly progress report against indicators outlined in the cooperative agreement. If an organization’s last quarterly report was submitted more than six weeks prior to the submission of a proposal in response to this funding announcement, the organization must include, with its most recent quarterly report, updates that show any significant progress made on objectives since the last report.

Reports and Reporting Requirements:

Program reporting: PRM requires quarterly and final program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. It is highly suggested that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended program report template. To request this template, send an email with the phrase “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line to PRM’s NGO Coordinator.

Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement; a final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement.

For more details regarding PRM’s reporting requirements please see the General NGO Guidelines.

Noncompeting Application Requirements

Multi-year applications selected for funding by PRM will be funded in 12-month increments based on the proposals submitted in the competing application and as approved by PRM. Continued funding after the initial 12-month award requires the submission of a noncompeting continuation application as follows:

· Continuation applications must be submitted not later than 90 days than the proposed start date of the award ( e.g., if funding the next budget period is to begin on September 1, submit your application by June 1. Late applications will jeopardize continued funding.

· Applications must be signed by the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization on the submitted SF-424.

· Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found at: http://fa.statebuy.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=161&menu_id=68 )

· Proposal Content, Formatting and Templates: Please refer to the guidance contained within and in the PRM NGO Guidelines. The total budget should not exceed the amount which is listed on the current Federal Assistance Award. You must submit a complete application including:

o Signed completed SF-424.

o Proposal reflecting objectives and indicators for the continuation period.

o Budget for the continuation period.

o Budget narrative.

o Most recent Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), if applicable.

o Information on the amount of unexpended funds to include a statement of the estimated cumulative total dollar amount taking into consideration the actual expenditures shown on the Financial Status Report. Note that funds are available for expenditure only during the period in which they are awarded.

Proposal Review Process:
PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all proposals submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced proposal evaluation criteria and PRM priorities in the context of available funding.

PRM may request revised proposals and/or budgets based on feedback from the panel. PRM will provide formal notifications to NGOs of final decisions taken by Bureau management.

 
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FY 2012 Funding Opportunity Announcement for Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program

Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-A-12-CA-DOM-092111

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.510 – U.S. Reception and Placement Program

Announcement issuance date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Proposal submission deadline: Monday, November 21, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

Advisory: PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address any difficulties that may arise.
Proposed Program Start Dates: January 1, 2012

Duration of Activity: January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012


Applicants with multi-year programs must continue to re-compete for PRM funding each year. Furthermore, in funding a project one year, PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years and encourages applicants to seek a wide array of donors to ensure long-term funding possibilities.

Sample Attachment Formats:

Sample formats of the following documents are available on Grants.gov. The Excel documents are included in a single Excel workbook.

-Budget Summary and Detail, FY 2012 (Excel Document)

-Staff Summary, FY 2012 (Word Document)

I. Background and Purpose

The Cultural Orientation (CO) Technical Assistance Program is managed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State (hereinafter referred to as the “Bureau”). The purpose of the CO Technical Assistance Program is to strengthen linkages between overseas cultural orientation programs for refugees approved for admission to the United States and reception and placement activities conducted upon their arrival.

Overseas cultural orientation is typically conducted in three to twenty hours over a period of one to five days, and addresses (at a minimum) the following subjects essential to processing, travel, and resettlement:

-Pre-Departure Processing

-Travel

-Role of the Resettlement Agency

-Rights and Responsibilities of Refugees

-Housing

-Transportation

-Employment

-Cultural Adjustment

-Education

-Health Care

-Money Management

This program serves to complement the Reception and Placement Program, the purpose of which is to promote the effective resettlement of all persons who are admitted to the United States under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, including assisting refugees to achieve economic self-sufficiency through employment as quickly as possible.

II. Program Objectives

The Bureau has established the following CO Technical Assistance Program objectives and activities for 2012:

A. To strengthen linkages between overseas CO programs and reception and placement activities:

1. Develop, maintain and manage a CO website and listserv;

2. Provide technical support to the CO working group;

3. On request, conduct presentations regarding cultural and/or community orientation at national and/or regional refugee resettlement-related conferences;

4. If requested by the Bureau, provide technical assistance to overseas and/or domestic CO programs regarding the integration of ESL training into CO curricula, as appropriate;

5. Facilitate overseas and domestic CO trainer exchanges; and

6. If requested by the Bureau, provide coordination and/or facilitation of special forums or workshops.

B. To provide information and materials to overseas CO programs and to domestic refugee service providers:

1. Compile fact sheets and other documents to be posted on the CO website;

2. Identify, locate, and distribute specific materials requested by overseas CO programs;

3. Ensure that all CO materials are available online, as possible and practicable, in accessible and flexible electronic format(s);

4. When requested, handle bulk distribution of hardcopy Bureau-produced materials to overseas CO providers and domestic reception and placement affiliates in order to supplement electronic materials;

5. Produce new translations of and updated content for the Welcome to the United States guidebooks, videos, and DVDs as directed by the Bureau;

6. Reproduce hardcopies, and maintain and store an adequate inventory of the Welcome to the United States guidebooks, videos, and DVDs as necessary to supplement electronically-available materials at the request of the Bureau, overseas CO providers, and domestic reception and placement affiliates.

C. To provide support and technical assistance to overseas CO programs on request;

D. To provide feedback to overseas CO programs as needed with input from the CO Working Group and guidance from the Bureau;

E. To provide other technical assistance requested by the Bureau, subject to availability of funds and adequate staffing levels to perform assigned tasks.

III. Eligible Applicants

The Bureau intends to award one Cooperative Agreement in FY 2012 to a well-qualified non-profit organization with the required technical expertise in cultural orientation program activities. This will include agencies that have demonstrated satisfactory performance under previous agreements with the Bureau and/or agencies that meet the selection criteria described below and have demonstrated the capacity to provide required services. Applicants should understand that receipt of prior funding for the CO Technical Assistance Program is not a pre-condition for and does not guarantee continued participation in FY 2012.

In order to be considered for participation in the program, applicants must:

A. demonstrate knowledge and experience in cultural orientation curriculum and materials development, in educational program implementation, in basic ESL curriculum and materials development, and in adult teaching and learning methodology;

B. demonstrate experience working in a refugee context or with other migrant populations in the United States; and

C. demonstrate financial stability and provide documentation of at least three full years of operation in a 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

Failure to satisfy any of the three required qualifications above will preclude further consideration for participation in the program.

IV. Funding Procedures

The Bureau will enter into one Cooperative Agreement for an initial period beginning January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012, subject to the availability of funds. Through the Cooperative Agreement, the Bureau will provide full financial support to the selected organization, based on the proposal submitted in response to this request. This financial support may be renewable for up to two additional years based upon budget submissions on an annual basis, as long as there remains a need for the program and the organization conducting the program provides satisfactory service, and subject to the availability of funds. At the end of three years, if the need for the program continues, the Bureau will re-compete the project, and the recipient of this award may participate in that process.

V. Proposal Evaluation Process

The Bureau will establish a panel to evaluate each proposal and may request revisions before an agreement is finalized. The panel will evaluate the proposals to determine whether and to what extent the organization’s capacity to provide technical assistance in cultural orientation will meet the Bureau’s goals and objectives for the technical assistance program. Proposals that are incomplete and/or fail to respond to all required elements of this program announcement may not be validated by the Grants.gov. In the event that an applicant’s proposal is not validated, the applicant must revise and resubmit the proposal. Applicants should be aware that the time required for this process must be taken prior to the closing date and time/deadline of this request for proposals. Proposals that are incomplete or that do not include all attachments required may not be considered as responsive. Also note that if the Bureau requests revisions or amendments to the proposal post-submission, these documents will become part of the Cooperative Agreement.

The panel will evaluate eligible proposals according to the following ranking factors (100 points possible):

1. Proposed plan of work, including access to language translation services, experience and capacity to develop CO training materials and curricula, experience and capacity to conduct trainings, experience and capacity to integrate ESL into CO curricula, ability to manage an international list serve and maintain a website, expertise to create new resources, and ability to store and distribute materials. (30 points)

2. Documented organizational capacity to manage and administer a cultural orientation technical assistance program, including demonstrated knowledge, experience, and fiscal responsibility. (25 points)

3. Documented capacity to manage activities in accordance with established program requirements and performance standards, including accountability for outcomes. (25 points)

4. Detailed and cost-effective budget and demonstrated fiscal responsibility. (20 points)

The panel will present its recommendations to the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, who will make the final award determinations.

VI. Proposal Requirements and Format

It is the intention of the Bureau to enter into Cooperative Agreements effective January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. Agencies should report all data in terms of the calendar year unless the instructions for an appendix or attachment specify another time period.

Each organization requesting consideration for the CO Technical Assistance Program through a Cooperative Agreement with the Bureau must submit all information requested in the Proposal Submission Instructions.

Proposal Submission Instructions

The Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (hereinafter referred to as the “Bureau”) welcomes the submission of proposals for the 2012 Cultural Orientation (CO) Technical Assistance Program, overseen by the Bureau. The deadline for submission of proposals is November 21, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. noon EST.

The goals of the Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program administered by the Bureau are:

(1) to strengthen linkages between overseas cultural orientation programs and reception and placement activities;

(2) to provide information and materials to overseas cultural orientation programs and to domestic refugee service providers;

(3) to provide support and technical assistance to overseas cultural orientation programs on request;

(4) with input from the Cultural Orientation Working Group and guidance from the Bureau, to provide feedback to overseas cultural orientation programs as needed; and

(5) to provide other technical assistance requested by the Bureau, subject to availability of funds and adequate staffing levels to perform assigned tasks.

The Bureau prefers that applicants submit via Grants.gov. In extreme circumstances, the Bureau has the discretion to accept proposals via e-mail or in hardcopy. The Bureau will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants who are unable to submit via Grants.gov due to technical difficulties should contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov at least one week prior to deadline to secure a trouble ticket. Applicants should then immediately contact the specific PRM point of contact identified in the respective funding opportunity announcement in order to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

Once submitted, Grants.gov will send applicants via e-mail a notice of receipt of proposal documents. If correctly and completely submitted, an additional notification “validating” receipt or rejecting (with errors noted) of the proposal will be e-mailed to the applicant. Once received by the Bureau, an applicant will receive a final notification of receipt by the Agency from Grants.gov. An applicant who has not received Grants.gov validation within 48 hours of submitting the proposal should immediately notify the Admissions Office at 202-453-9259.

Applicants should adhere to the following guidelines when preparing proposals:

-All documents in the proposal should be submitted electronically on 8.5 inch by 11 inch pages with one-inch margins.

-All documents in the proposal must be in 12-point Times New Roman font.

-All pages of the proposal must be numbered. Page numbers should restart at “page 1” for each separate file/attachment (Excel or Word Document) that is submitted. Applicants must adhere to page limitations as described in the detailed instructions below.

-Sections within each narrative should be sequential as directed in the detailed instructions below.

Required Information
Required Forms (Instructions accompany each form in the electronic Grant Application Package):

1. OMB Standard Form 424 (Version 02)– Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424 02 form can be found at: http://www.grants.gov/techlib/424_20090131.doc)

2. OMB Standard Form 424 A — Budget Information – Non Construction Programs

3. OMB Standard Form 424 B — Assurances – Non Construction Programs

Other Required Information (Instructions are detailed below):

A. Project Narrative

B. Budget

C. Budget Narrative

D. Organization and Program Key Staff

E. Current U.S.G. Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA)

F. If the organization has not received funding from PRM prior to the U.S.G. fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. government by providing copies of the following: 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) non-profit tax status under IRS 501 (c)(3), 3) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number, and 4) Employer ID number (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification

Sample Attachment Formats:

Sample formats of the following documents are available as online attachments to these instructions. Please note that the format used in each of these samples is suggested, not mandatory. Submissions in alternate formats are acceptable provided all required information is provided.

-Budget Summary and Detail, 2012 (Excel Document)

-Organization and Program Key Staff (Word Document)

A. PROJECT NARRATIVE

Organizations interested in entering into a Cooperative Agreement with the Bureau for Fiscal Year 2012 must submit a Project Narrative containing the information specified below. Each section I – V of the Project Narrative should be subtitled and numbered to correspond with the required information sections below. If any individual section of information is not applicable, that fact should be specifically stated. Each portion of the narrative should not exceed the number of pages indicated in the corresponding parentheses below. Please note that page numbers should be sequential for the entirety of the Project Narrative and should not restart with each section of required information. Submit the Project Narrative as an attachment by selecting the “Project Narrative Attachment Form” in the Grant Application Package.

I. Organizational Structure (Maximum 2 pages)

Each organization should describe its organizational structure, including the number of staff assigned to the Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program and how it will manage CO Technical Assistance Program activities.

II. Project Management and Implementation (Maximum 8 pages)

Organizational Capacity and History

All organizations should include a narrative describing the history and development of the organization; its background in cultural orientation or similar activities and its experience in developing cultural orientation or similar materials, particularly as pertains to refugee populations; and its experience and capacity to provide technical assistance related to the provision of cultural orientation or similar topics. Organizations must be sure to include a detailed organizational staffing plan that describes the CO Technical Assistance management function that each individual will perform.

Proposals should also include evidence of at least three years of operation in a non-profit 501(c)(3) status.

Training Capacity

Organizations must describe their experience, ability, and capacity to provide training and CO technical assistance in:

-Presenting at meetings, public fora, conferences, and workshops;

-Conducting workshops and training on teaching methodology and curriculum development;

-Facilitating the exchange of best practices among programs;

-Facilitating international travel for staff exchange programs.

Technical Expertise in Development of Resource Materials

Organizations must illustrate their experience and describe their ability to:

-Administer the CO electronic discussion list;

-Distribute materials to overseas and domestic CO service providers and reception and placement agencies and store existing CO materials prior to distribution in both electronic format as well as hardcopy;

Develop an online repository for CO resources and maintain the CO website;

-Develop background papers or fact sheets on refugee populations, as determined in collaboration with the Bureau;

-Provide translations of the Welcome to the United States refugee orientation set, which includes the book, the VHS, and the DVD; and

-Update trainer support materials to accompany the Welcome to the United States orientation video, including the Trainers Guide.

Plan of Work

All proposals should contain a detailed plan of work, including a timeline for activities and projected outcomes. It is recommended that objectives and activities be submitted in SMART format.

B. BUDGET

The sample budget format enclosed includes columns reflecting the Bureau (federal) and other (non-federal) funding sources as well as the total funding need. The budget summary requires each applicant to provide a breakdown of sources of any non-federal funding and the amounts. This breakdown should correspond to the amount of non-federal funding included in the budget.

The following provides guidance for the preparation of budget submissions using the sample Excel format provided. Please note that in the sample summary format some basic program information is requested in addition to the summary budget figures (on two separate tabs in the sample Excel workbook). Note that budget information is required by quarter, and agencies should provide real quarterly budgets, factoring in activities such as trainings and events.

The 2012 Request for Grant Proposals (RFGP) for the Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program includes the requirement that each proposing organization submit a line item budget for calendar year 2012 costs by quarter, following the instructions below.

Personnel and Fringe Benefits

This section of the budget should list individuals whose responsibility is to provide technical assistance in cultural orientation, or to conduct cultural orientation-related activities as specified in the full announcement. Costs should include salaries and benefits of full-time and part-time program and administrative personnel associated with providing or supervising the provision of CO technical assistance. Provide salary and Full-time Equivalent (FTE) for each individual. Fringe benefits should be provided as a single line item, representing total cost for all CO staff listed. Personnel whose costs are included in an agency’s overhead base may not be included here.

If an employee works 100% of the time on the CO Technical Assistance Program, that employee should be listed as 1.0 FTE. If an employee works less than 100% of the time on the CO Technical Assistance Program, the FTE and funding level for the employee should be prorated appropriately. Organizations are reminded that any employee charged directly to the CO Technical Assistance Program must complete time sheets demonstrating that the claimed amount of time was actually devoted to working on the CO Technical Assistance Program versus other responsibilities.

Travel

This section of the budget should include travel costs related to the CO Technical Assistance Program for the purposes of conducting trainings, presenting at national and/or regional conferences, and participation at other relevant Bureau meetings such as the CO Working Group. Provide a brief description of the travel in the comments section (for example, number of trips for what purpose at a cost of $xx per trip). Provide details regarding proposed expenditures for conference travel. Travel costs listed should include local taxi fares, POV mileage, airfares, and per diem (when required for overnight trips). For each trip, include departure and arrival cities, number of travelers, and duration of trip/number of days.

Equipment/Furniture

This section of the budget should include equipment costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program. Provide separate estimates for expendable and nonexpendable equipment and furnishings, with explanation in the comments section.

Office Supplies

This section of the budget should include supply costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program. Items listed in this section would include (as examples) stationery, copier paper, envelopes, paper clips, pens, pencils, file folders, or other small items generally used within one (1) year or less.

Professional Fees

This section of the budget should include contractual costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program. Provide the information according to appropriate category (e.g. computer or program consultants, services of certified public accountants whose work is directly related to CO). Applicants are reminded that contracts not dedicated entirely to the CO Technical Assistance Program may not be charged to the program.

Space/Utilities

This section of the budget should include space and utilities costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program. Provide estimated costs for such items as rental or lease of office space, telephone service, postage and courier service, electricity, heat, water, and custodial and maintenance services – all for the appropriate share of the agency’s costs in these categories devoted to the CO Technical Assistance Program.

Other

This section of the budget should include costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program not covered by any of the previous categories. Such costs must be individually itemized and explained. Some examples of costs that might appear in this section include subscriptions, briefing and orientation materials, and conference registrations.

Overhead

This section should include only those charges resulting from the application of a Government (U.S.G) approved indirect cost rate to recover an appropriate portion of an organization’s indirect costs. Organizations with an approved negotiated indirect cost rate should submit via PDF attachment a copy of the most recent approved U.S.G. negotiated indirect cost rate agreement to support the rate reflected in this category. Organizations are reminded that headquarters costs not dedicated entirely to the CO Technical Assistance Program may not be charged to the program.

C. BUDGET NARRATIVE (Maximum 4 pages.)

The Budget Narrative should describe in full detail each of the above mentioned items included in the Budget for calendar year 2012. The Budget Narrative should thoroughly and clearly describe each item, correspond with the information and figures provided on the Excel budget format, be easy to follow and understand, demonstrate cost reasonableness and that calculations are mathematically correct, and comply with guidelines and limitations.

D. CO PROGRAM STAFF

Applicants should submit information on proposed Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program staff and other involved staff, including their proposed responsibilities, using the sample format that is provided. List on this attachment all staff members working on the CO Technical Assistance Program, including the hours per week each will spend performing CO Technical Assistance Program tasks, and a description of the duties performed.

 


FY 2011 Funding Opportunity Announcement for NGO Programs

Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-AFR-11-CA-AF-071811-HORN
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.517
Announcement issuance date: Monday, July 18, 2011

Proposal submission deadline: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

ADVISORY: PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address difficulties that may arise due to system delays.
 

Proposed Program Start Dates: Immediately

Duration of Activity: No more than 12 months.

In funding a project one year, PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years and encourages applicants to seek a wide array of donors to ensure long-term and diverse funding sources.

Current Funding Priorities for refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya:

(a) For Kenya, only proposals for assistance programs in response to new Somali arrivals in refugee camps will be considered.

(b) For Ethiopia, only proposals for assistance programs in response to new Somali arrivals in refugee camps in the Dolo Ado region will be considered.

(c) Proposals must focus on the following sectors: Health, Emergency Nutrition, Protection (including prevention of and response to gender-based violence and assistance to unaccompanied minors), Shelter and Infrastructure, and/or Water and Sanitation.

(d) PRM will accept proposals only from NGOs working in the aforementioned sectors that are existing PRM partners with FY 2010 or FY 2011funding.

(e) PRM will give priority to proposals from organizations that include activities that build on existing programs in response to the influx of new arrivals from Somalia to the above referenced camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.

International Organizations (IOs) that are engaged in programs relevant to the assistance addressed by this PRM funding announcement should ensure that these programs are made known to PRM on or before the closing date of this funding announcement so that PRM can evaluate all IO and NGO programs for funding consideration.

Funding Limits: None.

As stated in the General NGO Guidelines, PRM looks favorably on cost-sharing efforts and seeks to support projects with a diverse donor base and/or resources from the submitting organization.

Proposal Submission Requirements:

See “How to Apply” (http://www.grants.gov/applicants/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements, and note the following highlights:

· Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov.

· Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Applicants who have done so in the past and experienced technical difficulties were not able to meet the deadline. Please note: Grants.gov is expected to experience continued high volumes of activity in the near future. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to avoid submission delays.

· If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at support@grants.gov or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via Grants.gov due to Grants.gov technical difficulties and who have reported the problem(s) to the Grants.gov help desk and received a case number and had a service request opened to research the problem(s), should contact PRM Program Officers Cathy Baroang at (202) 453-9381 or BaroangCA@state.gov or Chris Upchurch at (202) 453-9384 or UpchurchCM@state.gov to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

· Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.

· Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found at: http://fa.statebuy.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=161&menu_id=68.

Proposal Content, Formatting and Template:

Please refer to the “Proposal Submission and Review Process” section in PRM’s General NGO Guidelines. PRM strongly encourages organizations applying for PRM funding to use the PRM recommended proposal and budget templates. Templates can be requested by sending an email to PRM’s NGO Coordinator. You must type “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line to receive an automated reply containing the template.

PLEASE TAKE SPECIAL NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED IN THE PRM’s NGO GUIDELINES:

This announcement is designed to accompany PRM’s General NGO Guidelines, which contain additional administrative information and explain in detail PRM’s NGO funding strategy and priorities. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities and that your proposal submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements. Proposal submissions that do not meet all of the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

· Proposals should outline how the NGO will acknowledge PRM funding. If an organization believes that publicly acknowledging the receipt of USG funding for a particular PRM-funded project could potentially endanger the lives of the beneficiaries and/or the organization staff, invite suspicion about the organization’s motives, or alienate the organization from the population it is trying to help, it must provide a brief explanation in its proposal as to why it should be exempted from this requirement.

· Focus on outcome or impact indicators as much as possible. At a minimum, each objective should have one outcome or impact indicator. Wherever possible, baselines should be established before the start of the project.

· To increase PRM’s ability to track the impact of PRM funding, include specific information on locations of projects and beneficiaries. Any project involving the building or maintenance of physical infrastructure must include coordinates of site locations (place name, P-Code, latitude and longitude coordinates).

· Budget must include a specific breakdown of funds being provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization. PRM strongly encourages multi-lateral support for humanitarian programs.

· Organizations that currently receive PRM funding for activities that are being proposed for funding under this announcement must include the most recent quarterly progress report against indicators outlined in the cooperative agreement. If an organization’s last quarterly report was submitted more than six weeks prior to the submission of a proposal in response to this funding announcement, the organization must include, with its most recent quarterly report, updates that show any significant progress made on objectives since the last report.

Reports and Reporting Requirements:

Program reporting: PRM requires quarterly and final program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. It is highly suggested that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended program report template. To request this template, send an email with the phrase “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line to PRM’s NGO Coordinator.

Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement; a final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement.

For more details regarding reporting requirements please see PRM’s General NGO Guidelines.

Proposal Review Process:
PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all proposals submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced proposal evaluation criteria and PRM priorities in the context of available funding.

PRM may request revised proposals and/or budgets based on feedback from the panel. PRM will provide formal notifications to NGOs of final decisions taken by Bureau management.

PRM Points of Contact:

Should NGOs have technical questions related to this announcement, they should contact the PRM staff listed below prior to proposal submission. (Note: Responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed.):

PRM Program Officer Cathy Baroang (BaroangCA@state.gov; 202-453-9381), Washington, DC

PRM Program Officer Chris Upchurch (UpchurchCM@state.gov; 202-453-9384), Washington, DC

Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Horn of Africa Lubna Khan (KhanL@state.gov), U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 


Request for Proposals: Justice and Dignity Middle East Initiative

Public Notice

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Request for Proposals: Justice and Dignity Initiative

PLEASE NOTE: DRL strongly urges applicants to access immediately www.grants.gov in order to obtain a username and password. It may take up to a week to register with www.grants.gov. Please see the section titled “DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS” below for specific instructions.

Background and Introduction:
As Secretary Clinton said at the Forum for the Future in Doha in January 2011, “While some countries have made great strides in governance, in many others people have grown tired of corrupt institutions and a stagnant political order. They are demanding reform to make their governments more effective, more responsive, and more open.” Yet despite demands from their people, many governments around the world are unwilling to make the changes their citizens deserve – changes that include the establishment of transparent, accountable institutions; a commitment to and implementation of basic human rights protections; the ability for citizens to freely choose their government and then hold government officials accountable; and an open space in which media and civil society organizations can operate without fear of harassment, physical threat or harm, detention, or imprisonment.

To address this growing trend, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Proposals (RFP) for organizations interested in implementing large, country-specific projects—in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region only—that will address new challenges as they unfold on the ground in countries that routinely and systematically infringe on the fundamental freedoms of association, assembly, expression, and religion, or that will leverage new opportunities as they arise.

Activities of the Justice and Dignity Initiative:
The activities to be administered under the Justice and Dignity Initiative must promote the fundamental freedoms of association, assembly, expression, and religion in countries that routinely and systematically infringe on those freedoms. The grantee will be expected to efficiently and effectively implement, at times within a matter of weeks, a wide range of program activities, including, but not limited to, providing technical assistance to and building the capacity of civil society activists/organizations, media actors, and new and opposition political parties; developing public advocacy and civic education campaigns; documenting human rights abuses; and improving access to justice and legal aid. More specifically, these activities could include, but are not limited to, training and mentoring local and citizen journalists; increasing public awareness and understanding of religious freedom and tolerance; engaging women in political party activities; building coalitions among youth groups; bolstering the capacity of independent worker organizations; or expanding access for at-risk populations, including women and disabled and indigenous people, to justice or civic participation.

The scope of activities that are eligible to be undertaken in this cooperative agreement is broad and meant to cover the complete spectrum of assistance activities that will promote fundamental freedoms. The individual programs of the initiative will be larger in scope and can be administered over multiple years.

Cooperative Agreement for NGO Consortium:
DRL will award a cooperative agreement to a consortium of at least four NGOs with global reach (“Consortium”), with one lead organization serving as the primary recipient/applicant (“Primary Applicant” or “Lead Organization”). One member of the Consortium may implement one program, two or more may work on similar activities separately, or two or more may work jointly. DRL employs this cooperative agreement mechanism in order to provide the Consortium with a pre-approved grant vehicle that allows for rapid response/disbursement of resources when the situation on the ground requires it.

The Consortium will work closely with DRL to design in a timely fashion targeted programs that address a myriad of issues in various ways. DRL may approach the Consortium with an idea for a program or the Consortium may propose a program idea to DRL, but the two will work together to design the program that one or more members of the Consortium will implement. Regardless of which party proposes the idea, the Consortium will prepare proposals for each program idea pursuant to the guidelines outlined in the “Technical Requirements for Proposals for Activities Administered under the Justice and Dignity Initiative” section below, which DRL will review.

The Primary Applicant need not be based in the U.S. but must be a non-profit organization registered in the U.S., meet the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3), and have demonstrated experience administering successful projects in various countries. (See “Primary Applicant/Organization Criteria” section below for more information.)

Consortium members must demonstrate a region-wide reach, the capacity to implement in a time-sensitive manner large program activities that could be multi-year in nature, and the technical expertise for the broad scope of activities to be undertaken in this cooperative agreement.

The Primary Applicant will be required to develop a detailed program plan outlining the role and responsibilities of the other NGO partners in the Consortium and how the Consortium will work and consult with DRL. The Primary Applicant should submit a letter of commitment from each NGO partner in the Consortium.

Proposals should allocate requested funding to provide as much direct assistance to the program’s activities as possible and keep overhead costs to a minimum. The Lead Organization shall obtain receipts and/or reimbursement documentation for all expenditures over $10,000 and for those under $10,000 to the extent possible.

The Consortium should ensure that it has a solid reach across the MENA region, and can maintain, through a demonstrated track record, strong relationships with experienced, reliable, local partner NGOs across the region. Strategies to develop stronger contacts to improve the administration of the program can be included, but associated costs must be reasonable and kept to a minimum.

Vetting will be required in accordance with the Department’s standard vetting procedures.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR PROPOSALS FOR THE JUSTICE AND DIGNITY INITIATIVE

Proposals should conform to DRL’s posted Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI), available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/p/c12302.htm(For this solicitation, applicants must use the Revised PSI dated October 2010.)

Proposals that do not meet the requirements of the announcement and PSI may not be considered. Proposals that request less than the award floor or more than the award ceiling will be deemed technically ineligible.

For all application documents, please ensure that:
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. Please refer to the PSI for directions on how to complete the forms.

2) Table of Contents (not to exceed one [1] page in Microsoft Word) that includes a page-numbered contents page, including any attachments.

3) Executive Summary (not to exceed one [1] page in Microsoft Word) that includes:

a) Name and contact information for the project’s main point of contact and
b) A brief statement on the unique capacity of the Primary Applicant and the members of the proposed Consortium to implement quickly programs that address a broad range of human rights, democracy, and rule of law issues.

4) Proposal Narrative (not to exceed twenty-five [25] pages in Microsoft Word). Please note the 25-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 three specific criteria (Institution’s Record and Capacity, Technical Understanding, and Past Performance). With regard to the “Past Performance” criteria, the Lead Organization and each member of the Consortium are required to submit one-paragraph summaries of three (3) past or current programs, which should include the start and end dates of the program, goals, objectives, activities, and outcomes/outputs of the program, as well as the projected budget and the actual final budget, if the grant has been completed, which should be submitted as attachments (see below under 7) Attachments). Further 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 breaks down the administrative costs of overseeing the Justice and Dignity Fund and overseeing program activities. The budget should contain three [3] 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. Please note that a budget outlining the costs for administering and overseeing the fund should be submitted. DRL does not expect budgets for individual projects that will be administered under the Fund as budgets for these individual projects will be negotiated when the need for those projects arise.

7) Attachments (Attachments A through C not to exceed six [6] pages total, preferably in Microsoft Word) that include the following in order:

a) Pages 1-2: Administration and Oversight Plan. Please explain how the Primary Organization will administer the Fund and oversee the NGO Consortium.
b) Page 3: Roles and responsibilities of key program personnel with short bios that highlight relevant professional experience. CVs are not recommended for submission.
c) Pages 4-6: Additional optional attachments. Attachments may include letters of support, Memoranda of Understanding/agreements, 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.
d) Pages 7-XYZ: Budgets. Submit the projected budget and the actual final budget, if the grant has been completed, of the three (3) past or current programs being used as examples under the “Past Performance” criterion. The projected budget and actual final budget should be no longer than 2 pages each per program example.

8 ) If your organization has a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest approved/valid NICRA agreement 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 itemized and included in specific budget line items as Other 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 requested section only up to the page limit and no further. DRL encourages organizations to use the given space effectively.

Additional Information

Before applying, all applicants are encouraged to call DRL.

The Bureau anticipates awarding a cooperative agreement in the third quarter of 2011. The bulk of funding activities should take place during a three-year time frame. Projects that leverage resources from funds internal to the organization or other sources, such as public-private partnerships, will be highly considered. Projects 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.

Pending availability of funds, this cooperative agreement will have an authorized funding level of approximately USD $2,075,000 total to address the parameters above over a three-year timeframe. DRL anticipates granting one award totaling approximately USD $2,075,000 in FY2011 to support the program and administrative costs required to implement this initiative. DRL envisions that between six to 12 programs will be implemented, each in the $250,000 to $500,000 range. Additional future funding may be possible, pending the availability of resources.

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 they are elected members of government.

PRIMARY APPLICANT/ORGANIZATION CRITERIA Lead 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.

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 www.grants.gov.

Have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with in-country entities and relevant stakeholders including industry and non-government organizations.

Organizations must form a Consortium and submit a joint proposal. However, one organization must be designated as the Primary Applicant/Lead Organization.

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 on or after October 1, 2003. Please reference http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/062703_grant_identifier.pdf for the complete OMB policy directive.

REVIEW PROCESS FOR SELECTING LEAD ORGANIZATION AND NGO CONSORTIUM OF JUSTICE AND DIGNITY INITIATIVE

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 three criteria. Review criteria will include:

1) Institution’s Record and Capacity (40%)
The Lead Organization and each member of the Consortium must demonstrate that they have the institutional capability to carry out the work described in the section “Activities of the Fundamental Freedoms Fund.” More specifically and in order of importance, the Lead Organization and Consortium members must demonstrate the ability to a) evaluate country conditions and draw on theory, experience, and lessons learned to design innovative, effective, and workable programs within their respective areas of expertise as new opportunities and challenges unfold on the ground; b) effectively and efficiently manage programs, including the capability to place them in the field quickly with all necessary support and to start program activities rapidly; c) build and maintain relationships with other organizations, including at the local levels, and key stakeholders; and d) monitor and evaluate program implementation, results, and impact, solve problems, and make course corrections when necessary.

2) Technical Understanding (40%)
The Lead Organization and each member of the Consortium must demonstrate their understanding of the activities of the Fundamental Freedoms Fund by describing the technical approaches they each have used or may use when establishing programs within their respective areas of expertise and which, in some cases, are specifically outlined in this RFP. The Lead Organization and Consortium members must a) demonstrate technical soundness of analysis and proposed programmatic strategies, based on knowledge and understanding of their specific area of expertise and lessons learned; b) include innovative approaches and strategies that are responsive to complex political environments and challenges such as working with limited resources; and c) demonstrate understanding of different strategic approaches and programming priorities as determined by varying country contexts.

3) Past Performance (20%)
The past performance of the Lead Organization and each member of the Consortium will be evaluated, as required by section 4 “Proposal Narrative”under “Technical Requirements for Proposals for the Fundamental Freedoms Fund.”This part of the evaluation will focus on a) the quality of programs, including consistency in meeting goals and targets, achievement of clearly defined outputs and outcomes within the projected timeframe of the program, and effectiveness in addressing and learning from problems; b) cost controls, including forecasting costs and accuracy in financial reporting; and c) effectiveness of key personnel.

DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Applicants must submit proposals using www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on July 14, 2011. Please note that over the next several months www.grants.gov will experience higher than normal application volume due to Recovery Act-related opportunities. 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 www.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
ustomer Support
Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726
Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 7AM – 9PM Eastern Standard Time
Email: support@grants.gov

Applicants have until 11:59 p.m. EST 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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The information contained 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.

This request for proposals will appear on www.grants.gov and DRL’s website www.state.gov/g/drl.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION For questions related to proposal submissions, please contact Benton Wisehart at (202) 632-2064 or via email WisehartBP@state.gov.

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.

 


Request for Proposals: Civic Participation in Cuba

Public Notice

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.

SUMMARY

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.

Cuba:

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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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.

APPLICANT/ORGANIZATION CRITERIA

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 [1] page in Microsoft Word) that includes a page numbered contents page, including any attachments.

3) Executive Summary (not to exceed one [1] 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 [10] 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 [3] 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 [7] 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.

REVIEW PROCESS

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
Customer Support
Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726
Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 7AM – 9PM Eastern Standard Time
Email: support@grants.gov

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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION Please contact Matt Solis at 202.261.8107 or SolisM2@state.gov and/or Cory Andrews at 202-647-1238 or AndrewsC2@state.gov with any questions.

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.

 
 

Disclaimer: The Office of Policy Planning and Public Diplomacy, in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, of the U.S. Department of State manages this site as a portal for international human rights related information from the United States Government. External links to other internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.