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PAS Small Grants Program
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Notice of Funding Opportunity

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY Brazzaville
PUBLIC DIPLOMACY SECTION

 

Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Brazzaville PDS Annual Program Statement

Funding Opportunity Number:  PDS-Brazzaville-FY23-01

Deadline for Applications: 6/1/2023

Assistance Listing: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

Maximum for Each Award: $10,000 (Exceptional proposals above $10,000 may be granted funds pending availability of funding)

Minimum for Each Award: No minimum

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy Brazzaville Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This is an Annual Program Statement, outlining our funding priorities, the strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Purpose of Small Grants:  PDS Brazzaville invites proposals for programs that U.S. Mission Brazzaville’s strategic goals. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.

Examples of PDS Small Grants Program programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars and speaker programs;
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions;
  • Cultural heritage conservation and preservation programs;
  • Professional and academic exchanges and programs;

 

Priority Program Areas:

  • Preserve and Protect Congo’s Environment (Examples: school clean ups, green energy projects, trainings)
  • Work in Partnership with Congo to Ensure a Secure, Healthy, and More Democratic Future for Both our Countries (Examples: democracy trainings, diversity and inclusion activities, civic engagement activities)
  • Increase Mutually Beneficial Growth and Improve the Business Climate (Examples: soft skills or entrepreneurship workshops, training and certificate programs, business idea competitions)
  • Empower Congolese Youth with 21st Century Skills and Knowledge (Examples: English language competitions and activities, computer skills workshops)

 

Participants and Audiences:

Congolese youth, businesspeople, social activists, journalists, or the general public.

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:

Programs relating to partisan political activity;

  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Programs 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; or
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.

 

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:

The source of funding is FY2023 Public Diplomacy Funding, Smith-Mundt Act.

FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: 1 to 12 months

Number of awards anticipated: 10-25 awards (dependent on amounts)

Award amounts: awards may range from $500 or less to a maximum of $10000

Total available funding: $100,000

Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2023 Public Diplomacy Funding

Anticipated program start date:  Before December 2023

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant

Program Performance Period:

APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

  1. Eligible Applicants

The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from U.S. and Congolese

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

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

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for more information. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.

  1. Address to Request Application Package

Please submit your completed application as a PDF or Word file email attachment to PASBrazza@state.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 documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced,

The following documents are required:

Mandatory application forms:

SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or

SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals) found at:

https://cg.usembassy.gov/education-culture/small-grants-annual-program-statement/.

  1. Summary Coversheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant’s name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
  2. Proposal (3 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 all 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.  What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and XXX will be improved? 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:

D.3 Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

All prime organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration with the SAM.gov before submitting an application. DRL may not review applications from or make awards to applicants that have not completed all applicable UEI and SAM.gov requirements. A UEI is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards.

Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required for federal assistance applications.

The 2 CFR 200 requires that sub-grantees obtain a UEI number. Please note the UEI for sub-grantees is not required at the time of application but will be required before the award is processed and/or directed to a sub-grantee.

Note: The process of obtaining or renewing a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.

  • Organizations based in the United States or that pay employees within the United States will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code, and a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
  • Organizations based outside of the United States and that do not pay employees within the United States do not need an EIN from the IRS, but do need a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov. Please note that as of December 2022, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO CAGE (NCAGE) code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. If an applicant organization is mid-registration and wishes to remove an NCAGE code from their sam.gov registration, the applicant should submit a help desk ticket (“incident”) with the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online at www.fsd.gov to seek guidance on how to do so.

All prime organizations must also continue to maintain active SAM.gov registration with current information at all times during which they have an active Federal award or application under consideration by a Federal award agency. SAM.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov and to maintain that active registration. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements at the time of application, the applicant may be deemed technically ineligible to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.

Please refer to 2 CFR 25.200 for additional information.

Note: SAM.gov is not the same as SAMS Domestic. It is free of charge to register in both systems, but the registration processes are different.

Information is included on the SAM.gov website to help international registrations. Navigate to www.SAM.gov, click “HELP” in the top navigation bar, then click, “Explore” and “New to SAM.gov?” for general information. Please note, guidance on SAM.gov and the guidance on GSA’s website is being updated to reflect the change in NCAGE requirement. Applicants should review the website frequently for the most up-to-date guidance.

D.3.1 Exemptions

An exemption from these requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

  • An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.
  • For an applicant, if the Federal awarding agency makes a determination that there are exigent circumstances that prohibit the applicant from receiving a unique entity identifier and completing SAM registration prior to receiving a Federal award. In these instances, Federal awarding agencies must require the recipient to obtain a unique entity identifier and complete SAM registration within 30 days of the Federal award date.

Organizations requesting exemption from UEI or SAM.gov requirements must email the point of contact listed in the NOFO at least two weeks prior to the deadline in the 4

NOFO providing a justification of their request. Approval for a SAM.gov exemption must come from the warranted Grants Officer before the application can be deemed eligible for review.

Note: As of December 2022, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO CAGE (NCAGE) code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. Other Submission Requirements

 

All application materials must be submitted by email to PASBrazza@state.gov.

APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

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.

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 Brazzaville’s priority areas or target audiences.

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 will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

 

Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

  1. FAPIIS

For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

  1. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);
  2. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

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 in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.

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

  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/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

  1. 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.

FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PDS at: PASBrazza@state.gov.

Note:  We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. 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.

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.