U.S Embassy , Kigali – Notice of Funding Opportunity: Facilitating Virtual access to U.S. Embassy programs

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Funding Opportunity Title:             Facilitating Virtual Access to U.S. Embassy Kigali Programs

Funding Opportunity Number:       SRW-600-FY21-002

Deadline for Applications:              Open December 1, 2020 through January 30, 2021

CFDA Number:                                19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

Total Amount Available:                 Variable

Maximum for Each Award:            $2,000 to $5,000

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy Kigali Public Affairs Section (PAS) is pleased to announce that funding may be available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This is a Notice of Funding Opportunity soliciting proposals from organizations that seek to assist Rwandan youth, women, persons with disabilities, and other audiences to have virtual access to U.S. Embassy programs. Please carefully read this in its entirety and follow instructions to apply.

Purpose of Small Grants: PAS Kigali invites local, Rwandan, non-profit, non-governmental organizations to submit a proposal for programs that will facilitate U.S. Embassy target audiences to virtually join programs, particularly for audiences that do not have sufficient funds for data costs or other internet costs associated with participating in virtual programs. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the U.S. Embassy has sought to minimize in-person public diplomacy programs to help keep the people of Rwanda safe from COVID-19. The U.S. Embassy has had ongoing programs to promote economic growth, youth leadership, and democracy and good governance, most of which are undertaken virtually using Google Meet, Zoom, or other virtual meeting platforms. Rwandan audiences join us from inside and outside of Kigali, from every province of Rwanda. However, data costs for many would-be participants are too high for them to join. The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section seeks to partner with a local organization that also wants to assist more Rwandans to participate in our virtual programs. We anticipate 100-200 virtual programs of one to two-hour duration over the course of a one-year period. Successful proposals will offer to coordinate with the U.S. Embassy on guest lists for virtual programs, then work with invited guests to send guests sufficient funds or data for them to participate in the U.S. Embassy program. Guest lists can be as small as five people, or up to more than 100 people depending on the program and platform. U.S. Embassy virtual programs will continue even after COVID-19 is no longer a public health threat, as more audiences gain familiarity with engaging virtually. Successful proposals may offer other components to facilitate virtual engagement, such as training for target audiences to effectively engage using virtual platforms, or other components. However, the main and priority component of the grant is to assist audiences with funds and data to participate in U.S. Embassy programs. Successful proposals will clearly demonstrate how the organization proposes to do this and provide a clear plan of funding or data distribution to participants. Successful grantees will proactively show progress towards results through regular reporting to the U.S. Embassy. Individuals, companies, for-profit organizations, and organizations outside of Rwanda are not eligible for grants.

Priority Participants and Audiences:

  • Youth aged 18-35;
  • Young professionals;
  • Above categories with focus on women and/or people with disabilities.

Learn more about U.S. Embassy Kigali’s current policy priorities at https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/ICS-Rwanda_UNCLASS_508.pdf.

The Public Affairs Section cannot fund:

  • Individuals
  • For-profit organizations or companies;
  • Commercial or trade activities;
  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Humanitarian/social aid and charities or charitable or development activities;
  • Construction projects;
  • Projects that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization;
  • Professional development for individuals, including conferences and trips abroad;
  • Vehicle purchases
  • Individuals or organizations from outside of Rwanda; or
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:

The source of funding is FY2021 Public Diplomacy Funding.

  1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: Three to 12 months

Number of awards anticipated: Subject to funding availability.

Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $2,000 to a maximum of $5,000

Anticipated program start date: January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Grant or Cooperative Agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that PAS staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation. The appropriate level of “substantial involvement” will be agreed upon by PAS Kigali and the grantee prior to award notification. 

Program Performance Period: Performance of this grant should be completed in 12 months or less.

  1. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

 

  1. Eligible Applicants

The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
  • Non-profit educational institutions

Please note: For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.  

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is welcome, but not required.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.  Individuals are not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.

  1. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

 

  1. Address to Request Application Package

Application forms required below are available at www.grants.gov.

  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Content of Application

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
  • All documents are in English;
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars;
  • All pages are numbered;
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms available at www.grants.gov:
  • SF-424(Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)
  • SF424A(Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF424B(Assurances for Non-Construction programs) or SF-424B-Individual
  1. Summary Coversheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
  2. Proposal (6 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.
  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed
  • Program Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve. The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
  • Proposed Program Schedule: The proposed timeline for the program activities. Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • Key Personnel:Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
  • Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability:Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  1. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.
  2. Attachments:
  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities
  1. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

Required Registrations:

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:

  • Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, if your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting

http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

NCAGE application: Application page here https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf

For help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov. SAM registration must be renewed annually.

  1. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time before the closing date of January 30, 2021. No applications will be accepted after that date. We anticipate reviewing submitted applications around January 31, 2021 to February 28, 2021. No applications will be received after January 30, 2021.

  1. Other Submission Requirements

Applicants must submit a complete application package with a concise budget that reflects the scope of work as indicated on the proposal. Completed applications should be submitted by email to KigaliPublicAffairs@state.gov.

Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated by a committee and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. Applications will be reviewed on the basis of their completeness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail.

  1. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
  2. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.

U.S. Component: Proposals must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institutions/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea: The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Kigali’s priority themes and target audiences discussed above.

Budget: The budget justification is detailed. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.

Monitoring and evaluation plan: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.

Sustainability: Program activities is likely to have positive impact after the end of the program.

  1. Review and Selection Process

An Embassy Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

 

  1. Federal Award Notices

 

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method: Payments will be made by electronic funds transfer in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities. Payment schedules will be determined by the Grants Officer and Grants Officer Representative and specified in the award document, according to program milestones and as needed to carry out the project activities. Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified.

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply. These include:

2 CFR 2002 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm.

Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

3. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

  1. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS Kigali at: KigaliPublicAffairs@state.gov.

Note: We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Please refer to the guidance and materials we make available to all applicants at https://rw.usembassy.gov/embassy/kigali/grants. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.

  1. OTHER INFORMATION

Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor. Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “other” or “miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs: These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating. If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy. It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Alcoholic Beverages: Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.

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