Notice of Funding Opportunity: Next Level Cambodia Program

Funding Opportunity Agency: U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh
Funding Opportunity Title: Next Level Cambodia
Funding Opportunity Number: CB-600-18-PAS-0005
Deadline for Applications: December 31, 2017
Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 19.040 (Public Diplomacy Program)
Total Funding: USD15,000

A. Program Description

The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for American and Cambodian non-profit organizations, universities, community organizations, and individuals that are already doing work around community engagement, youth empowerment, arts programming, or support for marginalized populations to submit grant applications to serve as the local partner for U.S. team of hip hop artists that will be conducting a two-week residency as part of the Next Level program to be held March 26 – April 9, 2018. Familiarity with and connections to the hip hop community in Phnom Penh/Cambodia is a plus.

Project Objective:

The Next Level program is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), administered by Meridian International Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Next Level uses hip hop music, dance, and visual arts to foster cross-cultural creative exchange in diverse communities. The ultimate goal of the program is to promote mutual understanding, and support the professional development of Cambodian artists in those communities. Sessions will be facilitated by a team of four U.S. hip hop artists and staff from Meridian and the UNC-Chapel Hill. For information about a previous State Department Next Level program, please see here: http://nextlevel-usa.org/

Participants and Audiences:

This funding opportunity is available to organizations and individuals who are interested and have experience working with the above fields. Target audiences should include the groups listed above, with participants between 15 to 25 years of age.

The grantee will collaborate with the Next Level program staff to make local logistical arrangements, in consultation with the U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, including:

  • Recruitment – The partner organization(s) will be responsible for selecting participants for the workshops, as well as helping to identify and connect with local professional artists to collaborate with the American artists in the jam sessions.
  • Venue or Space – The partner organization will provide spaces for the 4 simultaneous workshops to be held during the residency. In addition, the partner organization will help to secure space for the final public performance as well as for the jam sessions.
  • Sound and other Logistics – The partner organization will coordinate with the US Embassy and Next Level to make sure all necessary sound and technical equipment is in place for the final public performance. Next Level will provide the grantee with a list of the equipment that will need to be rented in-country. All other equipment is brought by the Next Level artist team and is donated to the partner organization(s) at the culmination of the residency.

The program components will include:

  • Workshops: These will take place daily for 3 hours with the same group of youth and young adults. 4 different workshops will occur simultaneously: Dancing, Beatmaking, Rapping/MCing, and Graffiti with a maximum of 10-20 participants in each. (Max. Dance is the one exception and may be able to accept as many as 25 participants).
  • Jam Sessions: These are meetings between the American artists and local professional musicians that allow them to collaborate. The local musicians may be hip hop artists or musicians of traditional forms of music. It usually hold one session for 2-3 hours, and then a possible follow up session or rehearsal if the artists desire. Artists may choose to share something that they create together during the jam session as part of the final public performance, although this is not required.
  • Final Concert: At the end of the week of workshops, a final public performance will be held to showcase work by the workshop participants, the American artists, and potentially the collaboration pieces created in the jam sessions.
  • Other Events and Programs: In addition to the Next Level Academy and the Final Concert, each residency may include other visits to schools, community centers, etc. to give single performances or workshops.

Please carefully follow all instructions below:

B. Federal Award Information

Length of performance period: 4 months including planning, implementation and close-out
Number of awards anticipated: 1 award
Award amounts: Up to $15,000
Total funding available: Up to $15,000
Type of Funding: Fiscal Year 2018 Public Diplomacy Funding
Anticipated project start date: January 30, 2018 (with exchange program from March 26 – April 9, 2018)
Funding Instrument Type: Grant, or Fixed Amount Award

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh welcomes applications from local organizations, universities, community organizations, and individual. For-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Providing cost sharing is not a requirement for this NOFO.

There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost sharing required for this competition. However, the U.S. Embassy encourages cost sharing, in-kind contributions, and other forms of cost participation. When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved agreement. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. For accountability, you must maintain written records to support all costs which are claimed as your contribution, as well as costs to be paid by the U.S. government. Such records are subject to audit.

3. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Individuals are not required to have a unique entity identifier or be registered in SAM.gov.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Application forms required below are available to download directly from the provided hyperlinks.

2. 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, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required:

1. Mandatory application forms

2. Summary Page:

Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, project title, project period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the project.

3. Proposal (5 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 project, including project objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the organization or individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the project, 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 project is needed.
  • Project Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the project is intended to achieve. The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Project Activities: Describe the project activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the project is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal. Include a logic model as appropriate.
  • Proposed Project Schedule and Timeline: The proposed timeline for the project 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 project. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this project?
  • Project Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Project 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.
  • 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.

5. Attachments:

  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the project;
  • Letters of support from project partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner;
  • If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.
  • Official permission letters, if required for project activities.

6. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

Required Registrations:

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

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

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • www.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.

Instructions for the NCAGE application process.

For NCAGE help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423
For NCAGE 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.gov by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov. SAM registration must be renewed annually.

7. Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than December 31, 2017.

8. Funding Restrictions

U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh will not consider applications that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization. No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance.

Federal awards generally will not allow reimbursement of pre-Federal award costs; however, the Grants Officer may approve pre awards cost on a case by case basis. Generally, construction costs are not allowed under U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh awards.

9. Other Submission Requirements

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

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

1. Criteria

Evaluators will judge each application individually against the following criteria, listed below in order of importance, and not against competing applications.

Quality of Project Idea

Applications should be responsive to the NOFO, appropriate in the regional context, and should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the stated mission.

Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives

A strong application will include a clear articulation of how the proposed project activities contribute to the overall project objectives, and each activity will be clearly developed and detailed. A comprehensive monthly work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and the logistical capacity of the organization. Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable results-focused and achievable in a reasonable time frame. Applications should address how the project will engage relevant stakeholders and should identify local partners as appropriate. If local partners have been identified, U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from proposed in-country partners. Additionally, applicants should describe the division of labor among the direct applicant and any local partners. If applicable, applications should identify target areas for activities, target participant groups or selection criteria for participants, and the specific roles of sub-awardees, among other pertinent details. In particularly challenging operating environments, applications should include contingency plans for overcoming potential difficulties in executing the original work plan and address any operational or programmatic security concerns and how they will be addressed.

Institution’s Record and Capacity

U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Applications should demonstrate an institutional record of responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives.

Cost Effectiveness

U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh strongly encourages applicants to clearly demonstrate project cost-effectiveness in their application, including examples of leveraging institutional and other resources. However, cost-sharing, or other examples of leveraging other resources are not required and do not need to be included in the budget. Inclusion in the budget does not result in additional points awarded during the review process. Budgets however should have low and/or reasonable overhead and administration costs and applicants should provide clear explanations and justifications for these costs in relation to the work involved. All budget items should be clearly explained and justified to demonstrate its necessity, appropriateness, and its link to the project objectives.

Please note: If cost-share is included in the budget then the recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs that are claimed as its contribution to cost-share, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. In the event the recipient does not meet the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the recipient’s budget, U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh’s contribution may be reduced in proportion to the recipient’s contribution.

Multiplier Effect/Sustainability Plan

Applications should clearly delineate how elements of the project will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect will have an impact beyond the direct beneficiaries of the grant. A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating continuing impact beyond the life of a project.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Complete applications will include a detailed plan (both a narrative and table) of how the project’s progress and impact will be monitored and evaluated throughout the project. Incorporating a well-designed monitoring and evaluation component into a project is one of the most efficient methods of documenting the progress and results (intended and unintended) of a project. Applications should demonstrate the capacity to provide objectives with measurable outputs and outcomes and engage in robust monitoring and assessment of project activities.

The quality of the M&E plan will be assessed on the narrative explaining how both monitoring and evaluation will be carried out, who will be responsible for those related activities.

The M&E plan will also be rated on the M&E performance indicator table. The output and outcome-based performance indicators should be separated by project objectives. Performance indicators should be clearly defined (i.e., explained how the indicators will be measured and reported) either within the table or with a separate Performance Indicator Reference Sheet (PIRS). For each performance indicator, the table should also include baselines and cumulative targets, data collection tools, data sources, types of data disaggregation, and frequency of monitoring and evaluation.

2. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

F. 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 project 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:

The Standard Form (SF) 270 Request for Advance or Reimbursement Payments may be requested in the amounts required by the recipient to carry out the purpose of this award. The SF-270 must be certified by the appropriate person, numbered consecutively and identified for the period which payment is claimed. Each payment must be the amount of expenditures anticipated or actually incurred during the requested period less any unexpended funds remaining from prior payments. Recipients should request funds based on immediate disbursement requirements and disburse funds as soon as possible to minimize the Federal cash on hand in accordance with the policies established by the U.S. Treasury Department and mandated by the OMB Circulars. This information must be reflected on the SF-270 submitted for payment.

Send payment requests to: Grants Officer and copy the Grants Officer Representative. Requests for payments must be submitted in sufficient time to allow at least thirty (30) working days for processing.

Payment shall be request in different installments which will be decided later between the Grant Officer and Grantee.

Approval of payment requests will be based on the Recipient’s progress towards achieving the award objectives, the amount of unexpended cash on-hand as reported in the SF-425 and SF-270, and the Recipient’s adherence to the terms and conditions of the award, particularly in terms of timely submission of required financial, program and other reports. Delinquency in submitting reports may result in payment delays.

2. 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 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available here.

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.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

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

H. OTHER INFORMATION

Guidelines for Budget Justification

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

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this project, for both program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. If the project 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 project, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the project), 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 project. 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 project activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the project, 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 project 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.