Grant Opportunities

Department of State – United States Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

Program Office: Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Colombo, Sri Lanka

Funding Opportunity Title: Administrative Support – American Center in Maldives

Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement.

Funding Opportunity NumberPAS-COL-2021-ASACM

Deadline for Applications: by 7th July 2021 to 7th August 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (Maldives time).

CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs.

Contact Information

  1. For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726.
  2. For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, contact the Mission Sri Lanka Public Affairs Grants Management Team at info@AmericanCenterMale.com

IMPORTANT NOTE: All application materials must be submitted electronically to info@AmericanCenterMale.com and info@AmericanCenterMale.com 

Due to the volume of applicants and inquiries, Public Affairs Section (PAS) does not accept letters of intent, concept papers, or requests for meetings or phone calls prior to application. 

A. Program Description

Executive Summary

The U.S. Embassy Colombo Public Affairs Section (PAS) is pleased to announce a funding opportunity through the Public Diplomacy grants program for Administrative Support for the American Center in Male (ACM). American Spaces are a nationwide network of PAS-funded cultural centers that are part of the American Spaces program, a global network of over 600 State Department-sponsored cultural centers. The American Spaces conduct youth-oriented educational and cultural programming. The award recipient will be responsible to oversee administrative aspects of the American Spaces program, to include staffing of the American Center Male’, training logistics, and equipment and facility maintenance. The recipient will also assist in implementing American Spaces programming with significant Public Affairs Section input and assistance. 

Background

American Center Malé is a cultural center based on the 3rd floor of National Bureau of Classification Building in Malé City, with a target audience of youth between 15 and 30 years old, particularly those with the potential to become local or national leaders. The American Center Malé seeks to empower youth, traditionally underrepresented communities including women, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities. American Spaces provide resources and development opportunities to their target audience, while also serving as gateways for their audience to learn about American society, culture, and values.

Project Goal

Though the American Center Malé has Maldives-specific goals (see “Project Objectives” section below), they operate based on the global standards of the American Spaces program. The overarching goal is to empower youth by developing opportunities for them to learn about American society, culture, and values. These standards also mandate that every American Space offers programming in six core areas:

  • Information about the United States
  • English language learning
  • EducationUSA advising
  • Cultural programs
  • Alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs
  • Community engagement

The American Spaces standards mandate that American Spaces maintain a collection of books, magazines, databases, computer workstations, and an area for programs. All materials at the American Spaces —to include internet access—must be free and open to the public.   American Spaces vary in size, but have the following minimum characteristics:

  • Secure location with public access.
  • Minimum size of approximately 75 square meters.
  • Library containing a minimum of 500 books selected and provided by the U.S. Mission.
  • Program venue to accommodate 20 people.
  • 3D Printer
  • MakerSpace robotic and technology materials

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between PAS and the host institution is already in place. The MOU is not a legally binding document and outlines each party’s responsibilities under the partnership, to include the host institution’s contribution to the American Space. Per the MOU, the host institution provides all programs at the American Center Malé venue free of charge. 

Project Objectives

The American Center Malé program’s aim is to provide resources and programming that achieves the following Maldives-specific project objectives (in priority order):

  • Develop Future Leaders: Train and empower over 60 talented Maldivian youth below the age of 30 in a space of 12 months to become leaders in their local community and nation.
  • Promote peace, democracy, moderate voices and human rights through 72+ short programs and 10 sub grant targeting at-risk youth, women and girls primarily
  • Empower Youth: Enable 60 young Maldivians, with a special emphasis on girls and young women, to develop their English language skills. An additional 60 will receive training be in entrepreneurship; 30 will receive training in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics or STEAM education; and another 60 will receive training media literacy, over the span of 12 months.
  • Empower Women: Mentor and train 60 young women to develop entrepreneurial skills within a space of 12 months. Promote women’s rights in the local community.
  • Build U.S.- Maldives friendship and regional stability: Increase Maldives’ understanding of the United States, U.S. policy in the region, and the U.S. as an important and positive partner for Maldives through 12 in-house and 12 outreach programs in Male’ city and at least 12 rural islands in a span of 12 months.

The recipient will provide general and administrative support to the American Center Malé, including providing staff to operate the American Space.  American Center Malé staff develop and implement PAS-approved programs, provide free, public access to American Center Malé computers, programs and materials, conduct outreach to the local community, and maintain a positive relationship with the local government and other stakeholders. In addition, the recipient will be responsible, as requested, for the maintenance of the physical American Space structures as well as replacement or repair of equipment and furniture. The recipient may be required to work alongside the current American Space implementer for a period of up to two months to ensure a smooth transition.  In exchange for the general and administrative support to the Space, the selected organization will receive up to 10% Management fee (10% of the award amount for the full grant period).

Proposals should describe how the participant plans to address the requirements listed for American Center Malé. 

Administrative support will include:

1) Human Resources

  • Plan for, coordinate, and implement a transition from the current implementer, ensuring no interruptions in American Center Malé (ACM) operations or programming.
  • Employ a qualified, English-speaking staff member to serve as the Project Manager, selected in cooperation with PAS, to oversee and manage the project. ACM is staffed by the recipient and must either sustain the employment of existing Coordinators or employ two qualified English-speaking Coordinators to supervise the ACM throughout the project period of performance. The Project Manager will work with all Coordinators to ensure they follow U.S. Government guidelines.
  • Employ administrative staff as necessary to operate the ACM program, these administrative staff are not required to be fluent in English, but administrative staff must be able to, at a minimum, perform the following:
    • Conduct monitoring and evaluation activities as described in paragraph 4 below.
    • Manage human resources
    • Maintain sufficient information technology (IT) capability in order to manage the program reporting/communication system (described below), and to modify the communication system if necessary
    • Manage maintenance/upkeep of the ACM
    • Effectively manage ACM inventories, to include an electronic catalog of all ACM collections
    • Manage other programming and logistics as described in this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
  • For every employee, the recipient must formally develop, document, and sign terms of employment and disburse monthly salaries, relevant OT pay and fringe benefits in a timely manner.
  • Develop and implement an annual employee performance evaluation system for all staff and provide reference letters to ACM Coordinators when relevant. Though the recipient is expected to consult with PAS for some portions of the evaluation, the recipient is solely responsible for designing and implementing the annual review process. The performance evaluation should:
    • Meet international business standards, including a meaningful written review of employee performance and areas for improvement.
    • Incorporate PAS input, to include PAS satisfaction ratings of timely support of ACM programs and logistics, when evaluating all key personnel.
    • Tie compensation to performance for ACM coordinators, if desired.
    • Detail all salaries or other benefits.
  • Inform PAS of any human resources issues, to include personnel conflicts or absences, which will impact ACM operations.
  • Arrange temporary replacement staffing for personnel absences exceeding two weeks.
  • Develop and implement a staffing plan that describes the hiring process for all personnel. The plan must:
    • Include PAS in the vacancy announcement (for prior approval), conduct interviews and implement a recruitment assessment process for all positions designated as key personnel by the recipient.
    • Give PAS final approval on hiring decisions for designated key personnel.

2) Maintenance of ACM’s Equipment and Materials

ACM already has most of the necessary equipment. The recipient should only budget for replacing existing equipment on a schedule agreed upon by PAS and the Recipient or when broken or in need of repair. In addition, the Recipient will provide the following support for American Center Malé:

  • Provide general maintenance, upkeep, and select utilities to the ACM.
  • Negotiate with outside vendors, establish and sign contracts and pay for needed services and repairs with host institution and PAS concurrence.
  • Establish a standard list of office supplies required by the ACM; purchase supplies as needed and distribute accordingly.
  • Monitor the condition of all computer equipment currently in the ACM, including computers, monitors, laptops, ipads, kindles, e-books, Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) units, and voltage stabilizers.
  • Develop a rotating replacement schedule with PAS-approved equipment. The replacement schedule must ensure that ACM continue to function at full capacity with working computer equipment. The recipient must receive PAS approval prior to ordering replacement computer equipment.
  • Ensure that ACM computers have licensed up-to-date antivirus software, filters, operating systems, and Microsoft Office Suites.
  • Provide continuous internet connection to ACM at the highest locally available speed.
  • Monitor the condition of all ACM equipment such as generator, projectors, printer/scanners, DVD players, digital cameras, flat screen televisions, air conditioners, screens, network servers, CCTV camera systems, electronic lock system and door phone system
  • Ensure that equipment and materials provided to the ACM are adequately inventoried. All resources provided by PAS or paid for via this agreement are to remain on the ACM premises and may not be relocated or dispersed in any way without prior written consent of PAS. The recipient is responsible for safeguarding ACM materials, equipment and supplies.
  • Coordinate with PAS for the shipment and receipt of materials and equipment to the ACM.
  • Maintain a collection of resources about the United States, such as books, U.S. government publications, periodicals, movies, posters, and other cultural materials. All material included in the ACM will be selected in consultation with PAS.
  • ACM currently have collections meeting minimum standards. The recipient is responsible for maintaining the collections and updating them with PAS-provided materials. The recipient is responsible for distributing new materials to ACM.
  • The recipient should not include the cost of purchasing new library collection materials in the budget. PAS will purchase these items.
  • In cooperation with PAS, create and produce promotional materials to be provided to ACM staff with recommended distribution strategies. The recipient must produce and deliver promotional materials two times per year.
  • Coordinate the logistics for initial and` annual training for ACM coordinators. Notification for these training opportunities will come from PAS. The recipient must fund travel, per diem, and training or tuition costs for ACM staff to attend conference, training or workshop. The recipient must consult with PAS but is solely responsible for organizing and implementing the travel and attendance logistics of coordinators to the conference, training or workshop.
  • Ensure ACM has continuous logistical support in situations of low or no utilities (e.g. telephone and power) to include generator support; utility support need not cover all electrical needs but should maintain minimal but necessary equipment functioning.

3) American Spaces Programs

PAS will provide training on acceptable and successful programming techniques.  As a part of their ongoing duties, ACM coordinators must ensure that ACM does the following as required by PAS:

  • Ensure that ACM conducts a minimum of 8 to 12 programs per month, with the specific number decided in consultation with PAS. The recipient must obtain PAS approval prior to implementing any program. Programs may include, but are not limited to:
    • cultural and educational programming,
    • activities focusing on economics, tolerance and diversity, women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship, technology and regional security,
    • regularly scheduled, recurring programs, to include volunteer-led English language classes, internet and computer skills classes, professional development workshops, and other programming as directed by PAS
  • Conduct marketing and promotion campaigns, using various media to include outreach visits and social media, to promote ACM programs.
  • Conduct outreach to the ACM target audience, to include at schools and other community centers, to promote the ACM and attract new users.
  • Conduct outreach to government offices, civil society, US-MV alumni and community leaders to build local support for the ACM.
  • Facilitate free access for ACM users to ACM collections
  • Facilitate free computer and internet access for visitors.
  • Supervise public computer and internet access.
  • Create and manage sub grants with resource personnel/facilitators/speaker for program implementation in the ACM.

4) Monitoring & Evaluation

Proposals must include a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Performance Management Plan (PMP).  Attachment 3 of this funding opportunity contains a template that may be used to fulfill this requirement. The M&E PMP shows how applicants intend to measure and demonstrate progress towards the project’s objectives listed above.

The selected applicant(s) will be required to submit an approved M&E PMP before an award is signed. The selected applicant will be required to work with PAS Monitoring and Evaluation Specialists to ensure the M&E PMP meets an expected level of expertise and meets PAS objectives.

The key components to the PMP are as follows:

  1. Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative: Applicants should describe how they intend to monitor and evaluate ACM programs. In addition, the applicant should describe any M&E processes, including key personnel, management structure (where M&E fits into the overall program’s staff structure), technology, and as well provide a brief budget narrative explaining any line item expenditures for M&E listed in the program’s budget.
  2. Monitoring and Evaluation Datasheet: Under each objective listed above, the applicant must include proposed indicators to track outputs and outcomes of their programs at the ACM. For example, an output indicator for the promotion of peace, democracy, moderate voices and human rights might be the number of people that attended a session on peace, while an outcome indicator might be an increase in attendees reporting willingness to engage in a peace process after attending the session. The datasheet’s purpose is to explicitly illustrate how a project’s activities lead to tangible results (such as increased beneficiary skills, knowledge, or attitudes) that ultimately address ACM’s objectives. For more information, please see Attachment 3.1: Instructions.

5) Reporting

  • Monitor the progress of ACM programs with quarterly reporting to the U.S. Embassy, Colombo
  • Ensure that ACM staff submit plans for upcoming ACM programs to PAS. Plan submissions will contain such content as PAS determines necessary, such as an agenda, program description, venue layout, and other background information.
  • Ensure that ACM staff submits post-program reports to PAS within five (5) business days of each program end date. Program reports will contain such content as PAS determines necessary, such as a brief report and photos of events.
  • PAS will provide a performance rating for each program report. The recipient may use these ratings as one of its inputs when evaluating ACM coordinator performance.
  • Utilize on-line communication between ACM staff, the recipient’s administrative staff, and PAS to provide:
  • Total number of visits per month and per year, for ACM and for the program as a whole, including total women and total men disaggregated by age and identification of unique vs. repeat visitors.
  • Total number of program participants per month and per year, for ACM and for the program as a whole, including total women and total men
  • Program plans (submitted by ACM staff to PAS);
  • Post-Program reports (submitted by ACM staff to PAS);
  • Program ratings (submitted by PAS to Lincoln Corners staff);
  • Site visit reports
  • Quarterly reports including updated PMP.
  • Annual staff performance reviews (archived by the recipient, searchable by PAS);
  • Any necessary administrative updates.
  • Inventory of all equipment and supplies, indexed by ACM
  • Monthly expenditure reports from the ACM
  • Other necessary information determined by PAS or the Recipient.
  • Any logos or branding used in the system interface should utilize PAS-approved logos and in compliance with the American Space Branding Guide.
  • Conduct regular operational, administrative, and programmatic evaluations, report results and make appropriate recommendations for improvement to PAS.
  • Implement regular quality control monitoring and reporting of the ACM, including assessment visits to evaluate staff performance, evaluate the ACM relationship with the local government, evaluate condition of ACM facilities, supplies and equipment, ensure all computers function and have all required software installed, and address any management, administrative, and maintenance concerns at each site. During in-person visits technology upgrades or security patches for the computers should be addressed.
  • There should be a minimum of two physical assessment visits per year as possible, with ongoing regular contact between the Project Manager, ACM Coordinators, U.S. Mission Regional Public Engagement Specialist, and U.S. Mission Locally Employed Staff Managers.

American Center Malé Subgrants: The selected recipient will provide the following program oversight support for American Center Malé:

  • Timely selection of subgrants to implement various programs approved by PAS that meet U.S. Embassy goals.
  • Liaise with PAS POC (Grants Officer Representative (GOR) to execute and monitor grants.
  • Make payments to subgrantees as per the payment schedule.
  • Work with PAS staff to ensure each subgrantee (for programs) is aware of and complies with the financial and narrative reporting required.
  • Pay monthly fee to facilitators upon successful completion per the subgrantee conditions
  • Monitor and evaluate progress of subgrantee’s performance by submitting timely quarterly reports to PAS POC (as directed above for ACM).
  • Inform PAS of any resource or timeline issues that hinders subgrant performance or impacts ACM operations.
  • Arrange implementation solutions for subgrantees for ongoing issues that exceed two weeks.

U.S. Government Role and Responsibilities

As any award resulting from this NOFO will be a cooperative agreement; PAS will have significant involvement in this effort.  PAS responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Establish signed MOUs with the appropriate Government of Maldives.
  • As circumstances require, delineate the responsibilities of host institutions, in consultation with the recipient.
  • Review program content presented at the American Space to ensure programs support U.S. government objectives and are pertinent to Maldivian audiences.
  • Provide PAS-developed programs that the American Space must implement.
  • Review and approve all programs implemented by the recipient.
  • Provide the American Space with an information resource collection including books, periodicals, DVDs, and CD-ROMs about the United States. PAS will consult with the recipient when selecting and purchasing additional materials for the library collections. PAS will provide these materials; the recipient should not budget for purchasing new collection materials.
  • Provide appropriate public diplomacy materials to American Space for free distribution to patrons.
  • Approve the hiring of designated key personnel by the recipient.
  • Provide ongoing communication and feedback to the recipient regarding program operations and administration.
  • Review and approve any manuals, policies, procedures, program materials, or other materials developed by the recipient for the American Space prior to use or distribution.
  • At its discretion, conduct oversight visits (including through third-party monitors) to the American Space
  • At its discretion, provide trainings and consultations to American Space staff, in coordination with the recipient, at locations in Maldives. 

 B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION 

Anticipated Award Amount

The award ceiling is one hundred and eighty-five thousand two hundred dollars $185,200.00.

Please note: The award includes all costs included in managing the ACM to include up to 10% Management and Administrative costs.  The remaining award funds will go towards the above-mentioned operational expenditures. The administrative fee (up to 10%) is for the duration of the award; if the award needs to be extended for any reason, the fee remains at 10%. 

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo reserves the right to award less or more than the amount of funds described in the absence of worthy applications or under such other circumstances as they may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. government. 

Duration of Award
One year.

Project and Budget Periods

Grant projects and associated administrative fees generally must be completed and paid within the specified duration. The Public Affairs Section will consider applications for continuation grants funded through this NOFO on a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.

Cost Sharing

Cost sharing or matching is not required for this funding opportunity.

C. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Eligible Applicants

Eligibility is open to non-profit organizations. Organizations may sub-award or sub-contract with other entities including for-profit organizations, but only one non-profit organization can be the prime recipient of the award. Government entities are not eligible to apply. For-profit entitles are not eligible to be the prime recipient of an award under this NOFO. When sub-awarding or sub-contracting with other entities, the responsibilities of each entity must be clearly defined in the proposal. The applicants must submit proof of their non-profit status with their proposal submission. Applications that do not include proof of non-profit status will not be considered for an award. Individuals are not eligible for an award under this NOFO. U.S.-based or registered organizations should provide proof of registration to operate in Maldives or have a documented agreement with a partner organization registered to operate in Maldives. Please refer to Section D for funding restrictions.

Other Eligibility Requirements

There is one project described in this NOFO.  Organizations may not submit more than one proposal per project.  Any organization that submits more than one proposal per project will be considered ineligible for funding.

To be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. Applicants must also have a valid registration on www.SAM.gov, and a valid NCAGE code. Please see Section D for information on how to obtain these registrations.

Previous federal award recipients who are not/were not in compliance with the terms of their financial and program reporting requirements are ineligible to apply. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they comply with all applicable terms, conditions, and Office of Management and Budget guidance and requirements. Those organizations found to be in non-compliance may be found ineligible for funding or designated high risk if selected for funding.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION 

Technical Requirements

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 and Form of Application Submission

Please ensure:

  1. The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity.
  2. All documents are in English.
  3. All pages are numbered.
  4. All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper.
  5. All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.
  6. All applicant authorized signatures are provided where indicated on the various, required forms.

When submitting a proposal, applicants are required to include the following documents and information from Sections 1–4 below, as applicable:

Section 1—Organization Information

A. Application Summary Coversheet: Applicants must complete and submit the form provided (Attachment 1).

B. Applicant Organizational Information Sheet:Applicants must complete and submit the form provided (Attachment 2). An authorized signature by the applicant must be provided on this form.

C. Proof of Registration:A copy of the organization’s registration should be provided with the proposal application. U.S.-based organizations should submit a copy of their IRS determination letter. Maldives -based organizations should submit a copy of their certificate of registration from the appropriate government organization.

Section 2—Technical Proposal

Applicants must submit a complete narrative proposal in a format of your choice. The proposal shall not exceed twelve (12) pages.  Refer to the evaluation criteria in Section E below for further detail about what makes a strong proposal. All proposals must address the following areas:

  • Organizational Description and Capacity
  • Organization History and Background
  • Implementation Timeline
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (see note below) 

Monitoring & Evaluation

Proposals must include a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Performance Management Plan (PMP).  Attachment 3 of this funding opportunity contains a template that may be used to fulfill this requirement. The M&E PMP shows how applicants intend to measure and demonstrate progress towards the project’s objectives and goals.

The selected applicant(s) will be required to submit an approved M&E PMP before an award is signed. The selected applicant will be required to work with a PAS Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist to ensure the M&E PMP achieves an expected level of expertise and meets PAS objectives.

The key components to the PMP are as follows:

  1. Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative: Applicants should describe how they intend to monitor and evaluate the activities of their award and collect data that tracks award performance. In addition, the applicant should describe any M&E processes, including key personnel, management structure (where M&E fits into the overall program’s staff structure), technology, and as well provide a brief budget narrative explaining any line item expenditures for M&E listed in the program’s budget.
  2. Monitoring and Evaluation Datasheet: The applicant must include their proposed activities and their expected outputs and outcomes as well as the goals and objectives as written in the NOFO. The datasheet’s purpose is to explicitly illustrate how a project’s activities lead to tangible results (such as increased beneficiary skills, knowledge, or attitudes) that ultimately address a PAS objective. For more information, please see Attachment 3.1: Instructions.

Section 3— Key Personnel and Project Partners.

A. Key Personnel: A résumé, not to exceed one page in length, must be included for the proposed key staff persons, such as the Project Director and Finance Officer, as well as any speakers or trainers (if applicable). If an individual for this type of position has not been identified, the applicant may submit a 1-page position description, identifying the qualifications and skills required for that position, in lieu of a résumé.

B. Project Partners: Letters of support should be included for sub-recipients or other partners. The letters must identify the type of relationship to be entered into (formal or informal), the roles and responsibilities of each partner in relation to the proposed project activities, and the expected result of the partnership. The individual letters cannot exceed 1 page in length.

Section 4—Standard Form 424 Family

All submissions must include the SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance.  This form and the instructions for completing it are available at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms.html under the heading “SF-424 Family.”  Please note: The SF-424B is required only for those applicants who have not registered in SAM.gov or recertified their registration in SAM.gov since February 2, 2019 and completed the online representations and certifications.  An authorized signature by the applicant must be provided on this form. 

Please note:

  1. Other items NOT required/requested for submission, but which may be requested if your application is approved for funding include:
    1. Copies of an organization or program audit within the last two (2) years
    2. Copies of relevant human resources, financial, or procurement policies
    3. Copies of other relevant organizational policies or documentation that would help the Department determine your organization’s capacity to manage a federal grant award overseas.
  2. The Embassy reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial information regarding the proposal.

Applications are accepted in English only, and final grant agreements will be concluded in English.

Application Deadline

Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time before the closing date of this opportunity; however, all submission must be received by 7th August 2021 at 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time. For the purposes of determining if an award is submitted on time, officials will utilize the timestamp provided by Grants.gov.

This deadline is firm. If organizations fail to meet the deadline noted above, their application will not be considered for funding and will be considered ineligible.

Once the proposal is submitted, all submissions will be assessed, and short-listed candidates will be supplied with a Budget Template for further consideration.  The applicant will need to complete the budget template to justify their administrative and management fees of up to 10% of the proposed budget. Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.  Additionally, the short-listed applicants will be asked to complete the SF-424A Budget Information—Non-Construction. This form and the instructions for completing it are available at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms.html under the heading “SF-424 Family.”  An authorized signature by the applicant must be provided on this form. 

  1. Audit Requirements: Please note the audit requirements for Department of State awards in the Standard Terms and Conditions https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm and 2CFR200, Subpart F – Audit Requirements.  The cost of the required audits may be charged either as an allowable direct cost to the award OR included in the organization’s established indirect costs in the award’s detailed budget.

Submission Requirements

Applicants must submit all application materials electronically through info@americancentermale.com 

Final funding is dependent on the recipient organization’s successful registration with three separate sites: DUNSNCAGE, and SAM.  Please begin the registration process with each one immediately to ensure that the process is completed well in advance of the NOFO application deadline.  The entire registration process can require up to six weeks for the registration to be validated and confirmed.  See below for further details.

Organizations must obtain the following:

  • UEI (DUNS).
  • NCAGE code; and
  • SAM registration.

Thorough instructions on the application process are available at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf for the DUNS number application, NCAGE number application, and registration with SAM.

Please note: Only DUNS, NCAGE, and SAM can assist with technical questions or problems applicants may experience during the registration process. Please refer to the contact information for these organizations listed below.

Step 1:

Apply for an UEI (DUNS) and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously):

Step 1a:

UEI (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/displayHomePage.do;jsessionid=81407B1F03F2BDB123DD47D19158B75F.

http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

Step 1b:

NCAGE application:  Application page here (but need to click magnifying glass and then scroll down to click new registration)

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. After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov/ 

Step 2:

Once DUNS and NCAGE are obtained, continue to SAM registration. www.SAM.gov

Step 3:

Once SAM registration is confirmed, continue to Grants.gov organization registration http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html organizations must maintain an active SAM registration (www.SAM.gov) with current information at all times during which they have an active Federal award or an application under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. SAM registration must be renewed annually.

E. REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS

Each technically eligible application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated based on the criteria detailed below. The criteria are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project, and to determine the likelihood of its success. The criteria are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application. Applications will be reviewed based on their fullness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail.

Past performance on grants awarded by the U.S. Department of State, other United States government, or international donor agencies may also be considered. The proposal submitted by your organization should comply with the requirements of 2 CFR 200 relevant to your organization and the activities of your proposal.

PAS reviews all proposals for eligibility. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance of Federal and Public Diplomacy regulations and guidelines and may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements. Final technical authority for assistance awards resides with the Department’s Grants Division A/OPE.

All submissions are screened for technical eligibility. If a submission is missing any required forms/documents listed in section D, it will be considered ineligible and will not be reviewed by the grants review committee.

Proposals will be approved based on an evaluation of how the proposal meets the solicitation review criteria, U.S. foreign policy objectives, the priority needs of the Public Affairs Section, and availability of funding. A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all technically eligible proposals.

Review criteria will include:

  1. Organization’s Record and Capacity (35 points) – The organization has expertise in the subject area and demonstrates the ability to perform the proposed activities. The organization demonstrates capacity for successful planning and responsible fiscal management. Applicants who have received grant funds previously have been compliant with applicable rules and regulations. Details on previous management and administrative roles in other projects are required, as well as details of successful completion of other grant projects and programs.
  2. Monitoring and Evaluation (35 points) – The use of the Grantee M&E PMP (Strongly suggest applicant’s use the template provided in Attachments 3 & 3.1) is required to receive points in this category. Projects should demonstrate the capacity for engaging in performance management. Proposal should include specifics about previous M&E experiences and successes. Expenses directly associated with monitoring and evaluation are considered allowable.
  3. Planning and Feasibility (30 points) – The administrative plan is well developed, with sufficient detail about how management activities will be carried out. The proposal specifies roles and capacities for each expectation. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline. The project scope is appropriate and clearly defined

F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

Federal Award Notices

The successful applicant will be notified via email that its proposal has been selected to move forward in the review process; this email IS NOT an authorization to begin performance.  The Notice of Federal Award, signed by the grants officer (or equivalent), is the authorizing document.  It shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer.  The Grants Officer is the Government Official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants and cooperative agreements.  The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the Recipient through email transmission.  The recipient may only incur obligations against the award beginning on the start date outlined in the DS-1909 award document that has been signed by the Grants Officer.  Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

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.  The U.S. government also reserves the right to make an award above the award ceiling.

Terms and Conditions

Recipients will be held to the applicable terms and conditions found at https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. It is the Recipient’s responsibility to ensure they comply with all applicable terms, conditions, and OMB guidance and requirements. Those organizations found to be in non-compliance may be found ineligible for funding or designated high risk.

2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Costs Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

All applicants must adhere to the regulations found in 2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Costs Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

Branding Requirements

As a condition of receipt of a grant award, all materials produced pursuant to the award, including training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under an agreement, including but not limited to invitations to events, press materials, and backdrops, podium signs, etc. must be marked appropriately with the standard, rectangular U.S. flag in a size and prominence equal to (or greater than) any other logo or identity and in compliance with the American Spaces Branding Guide. Note: Exceptions to the branding requirement are allowable under certain conditions. If an applicant is notified that their award has been chosen for funding, the Grants Officer will determine, in consultation with the applicant, if an exception is applicable.

Evaluation

In line with the Department of State’s Evaluation Policy, U.S. Embassy Colombo’s Public Affairs Section may include this award in its program evaluation efforts.  When applicable and feasible, the Recipient shall cooperate with the Grants Officer (GO), Grants Officer Representative (GOR), and Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist’s requests to contribute data on specific performance measures and indicators; consider GO and GOR input on design and methodology of Recipient-led evaluation efforts; provide any evaluation reports produced under the award to the GO and GOR for review; incorporate the project into any third-party evaluations that PAS may initiate.

Reporting Requirements

Recipients are required to submit quarterly (calendar year) program progress and financial reports throughout the project period.  Progress and financial reports are due 30 days after the reporting period.  Final certified programmatic and financial reports are due 120 days after the close of the project period.  Schedule of reporting due dates will be discussed with selected organization.

Awardees that are deemed to be high-risk may be required to submit more extensive and frequent reports until their high-risk designation has been removed.

The Awardee must also provide the Embassy on an annual basis an inventory of all the U.S. government-provided equipment using the SF428 form.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

Questions regarding the administrative and programmatic aspects of this funding opportunity may be directed to the Mission Colombo Public Affairs Grants Management Team at info@americancentermale.com 

H. OTHER INFORMATION

Disclaimers

The Federal government is not obligated to make any Federal award as a result of the announcement.  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.  The U.S. government also reserves the right to make an award in excess of the award ceiling.

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

This NOFO is subject to funds availability. Awards may be granted only if appropriated funds are allocated to the United States Embassy in Colombo by Department of State central budget authorities.

Copyrights and Proprietary Information

If any of the information contained in your application is proprietary, please note in the footer of the appropriate pages that the information is Confidential – Proprietary. Applicants should also note what parts of the application, program, concept, etc. are covered by copyright(s), trademark(s), or any other intellectual property rights and provide copies of the relevant documentation to support these copyrights.