Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): YSEALI Regional Workshop on Citizen Journalism and Free Flow of Information (Deadline: July 31, 2019)

U.S. EMBASSY Phnom Penh

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

Funding Opportunity Title:             YSEALI Regional Workshop on Citizen Journalism and Free Flow of Information
Funding Opportunity Number:      CB60019PAS004
Deadline for Applications:               July 31, 2019
CFDA Number:                                19.040
Total Amount Available:                 $200,000.00


The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh announces an open competition for a cooperative agreement to develop and implement a four-day workshop (inclusive of arrival and departure days) in Phnom Penh on Citizen Journalism and Free Flow of Information for the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), pending the availability of funds.

The YSEALI Regional Workshop on Citizen Journalism and Free Flow of Information will bring together 50-70 YSEALI members from across ASEAN countries, including Timor-Leste, who have some knowledge, experience or are pursuing careers in journalism fields, citizen journalism, blogging, and communications. The 50-70 participants will include 10 Cambodian YSEALI members and aims to strengthen networks, encourage dialogues about the need and importance of transparency, accountability and good governance. It aims to enable participants to learn about the importance of transparency, accountability and good governance, and the role that the free flow of information plays in improving the delivery of public services and development.  The workshop will increase public awareness about standards of citizen journalism and encourage critical thinking on the issues of misinformation, evidence-based reporting, and creating platforms for citizens to gain access to important information.

Additionally, participants will engage in hands-on activities and learn about the challenges and best practices of citizen journalism.  They will also learn about the role of “the Fourth Estate” (the press and media) in holding democratically elected governments accountable and providing access to accurate information to the masses.

The workshop will include a mix of informational sessions, discussions, break-out sessions, site visits, hands-on training and group presentations.

YSEALI ( is the U.S. government’s signature initiative to engage emerging young leaders in ASEAN, specifically from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as young leaders from Timor-Leste. YSEALI aims to create a network of young Southeast Asian leaders who work across national borders to solve common problems. The YSEALI Citizen Journalism workshop will be one of several events whose topics cut across the four pillars of YSEALI – civic engagement, economic growth, education, and sustainable development.

The YSEALI workshop on Citizen Journalism and Free Flow of Information will focus on:

* Content:
  • Understanding Citizen Journalism and Free Flow of Information
  • How to responsibly document and report on newsworthy events, in a way that brings accurate information to the masses.
  • How to increase public awareness about standards of citizen journalism and encourage critical thinking on evidence-based information and the dangers of misinformation and disinformation.
  • How to create a resource or platform for citizens to gain access to important information and best practices.
* Methodology:
  • Informational sessions/panel discussions
  • Small group discussions and group work
  • Participant presentations
  • Journalism speaker(s)
  • Site visits for the participants to practice citizen journalism (possibly to Siem Reap or Sihanoukville)

Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Project Objectives:

The YSEALI Regional Workshop on Citizen Journalism and Free Flow Information will challenge and inspire the 50-70 YSEALI participants to gain the skills to become responsible citizen journalists.  They will learn about the importance of transparency, accountability and good governance, and the role that the free flow of information plays in improving the delivery of public services and development.  The workshop will increase public awareness about standards of citizen journalism and encourage critical thinking on the issues of misinformation, evidence-based reporting, and creating platforms for citizens to gain access to important information.

Participants and Audiences:

The recipient will create an online recruitment platform and will coordinate with embassies for the final selection.  The recipient will manage the recruitment of the workshop participants and coordinate with U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh and with U.S. Embassies in ASEAN and Timor-Leste to clear on the short list of participants.  The recipient will recruit 50-55 YSEALI members from across the region and 10 Cambodian members as participants in the YSEALI Regional Workshop.  Participants will have some knowledge, experience or are pursuing careers in journalism fields, communications, citizen journalism, blogging, and are ages 25-35 from member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.  Citizens of Timor-Leste are also eligible to apply. U.S. embassies will advertise the opportunity to registered YSEALI members. Selection of final participants will be made by the Recipient in consultation with the U.S. embassies in each of the ASEAN member countries.  As feasible, the recipient will seek host government buy-in for the workshop, including but not limited to inviting the Minister of Information and other relevant officials to participate.


The workshop is tentatively planned for March 30- April 3, 2020; arrival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on March 30, and departure on April 3 in the afternoon. The grant will start September 30, 2019 to December 30, 2020.

Coordination of Program Logistics and Content Development:

Working closely with U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, the Recipient of this cooperative agreement shall develop a robust program for the workshop; schedule the event at a mutually agreed upon location in Phnom Penh and an overnight trip to Siem Reap or Sihanoukville; create an online application process, and manage the application and selection process; develop the agenda and content for the workshop; recruit speaker(s); manage all travel logistics for participants and speakers; and generate content for social media and other publicity.

Regular, transparent communications via email, phone and video conference calls and face-to-face meetings (as appropriate) with the Embassies throughout the period of performance are critical to the success of this cooperative agreement.

All major elements of the program and its content require advance approval by the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia, including, but not limited to:

  • Choices of dates, venue, accommodations, and menus;
  • Final selection of participants, mentors, and speakers;
  • Titles, format, and content of workshop sessions and other program activities;
  • Design and content of all marketing materials, publicity, and media products.

Elements of the Program Proposal:

Organizations (see C. Eligibility Information) are invited to submit a proposal that includes detailed descriptions of how each of the following activities will be administered:

  1. Management of project logistics and administrative tasks, including how the Recipient will organize and staff the entire workshop, including scheduling, venue rental, flights and transportation, lodging, and meals for all participants, presenters and staff.
  2. Management of the participant recruitment, application, and selection process to include the development of an online application form. Coordination with U.S. Embassy in Cambodia and the other ASEAN embassies is key to the success of the recruitment/selection process.
  3. Design of a digital engagement strategy for outreach, publicity and engagement, in collaboration with information officer from U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh and the U.S. Mission to ASEAN.
  4. Management of printing and branding of program material (e.g. activity sheets, biographies of speakers, schedule of activities, etc.), banners, backdrops, and other printed materials. Printed and online materials must carry the YSEALI logo and U.S. – Cambodia 70th Friendship logo, and must comply with other branding requirements as described in the cooperative agreement, including branding with the U.S. flag and Department of State seal.


U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh anticipates having approximately $200,000 in Fiscal Year 2019 Public Diplomacy funding available to support one successful application submitted in response to this NOFO, subject to the availability of funding.

U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh may issue an award resulting from this NOFO to the applicant(s) whose application(s) conforming to this NOFO are the most responsive to the objectives set forth in this NOFO. The U.S. government may (a) reject any or all applications; (b) accept other than the lowest cost application; (c) accept more than one application; (d) accept alternate applications; and (e) waive informalities and minor irregularities in applications received.

The U.S. government may make award(s) on the basis of initial applications received, without discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each initial application should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint. The U.S. government reserves the right (though it is not under obligation to do so), however, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional detail, or to suggest refinements in the project description, budget, or other aspects of an application.

Applications should request no more than $200,000. Applicants should include an anticipated start date on or about (date) and the period of performance should be 12 months.

Length of performance period: September 30, 2019 – December 30, 2020
Number of awards anticipated: 1 award (dependent on amount)
Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $100,000 to a maximum of $200,000
Total available funding: $200,000
Type of Funding:  Public Diplomacy Programs
Anticipated project start date:  September 30, 2019

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that bureau/embassy staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.

U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh anticipates awarding a cooperative agreement, and expects to be substantially involved during the implementation of the cooperative agreement. Examples of substantial involvement can include:

  1. Approval of the Recipient’s work plans, including: planned activities, travel plans, planned expenditures, event planning, and changes to any activity to be carried out under the cooperative agreement;
  2. Approval of sub-award Recipients, concurrence on the substantive provisions of the sub-awards, and coordination with other cooperating agencies;
  3. Selection of program participants;
  4. Other approvals that will be included in the award agreement.


Project Performance Period: Proposed projects should be completed by (date) or earlier.


  1. Eligible Applicants

U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh welcomes applications from U.S.-based, Cambodia-based, and foreign non-profit organizations / non-government organizations (NGO); and U.S. Cambodia, and foreign private, public, or state institutions of higher education. For-profit organizations are not eligible to apply. Successful applicants will demonstrate strong linkages with a Cambodia-based partner organization.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.

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.


  1. Address to Request Application Package

Applicants can find application forms, kits, or other materials needed to apply on and on the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh website under the announcement title “YSEALI Regional Workshop on Citizen Journalism and Free Flow of Information” funding opportunity number CB60019PAS004.

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

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms
  1. 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.
  2. Proposal (20 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 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.
  1. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF424B (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissionsbelow for further information.
  2. 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

         3.  Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (

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 must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

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

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 for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

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

          4. Submission Dates and Times

All application materials must be submitted by 11:30p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on July 31, 2019 by email to under the announcement title “YSEALI Regional Workshop on Citizen Journalism and Free Flow of Information” funding opportunity number CB60019PAS004. Please attach proposals and required form in Microsoft Word or .pdf format with “YSEALI Regional Workshop on Citizen Journalism and Free Flow of Information Proposal_Your Organization’s Name” in the subject line.

          5. 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.

           6. Other Submission Requirements

Faxed or couriered documents will not be accepted.


  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

  • Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 25 points: The program idea is well developed, with detail about how project activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
  • Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants – 25 points: The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
  • Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 points: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • Budget – 10 points: 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 – 15 points: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The project includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.
  • Sustainability – 10 points: Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.
  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

  1. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)

The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, 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).

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.

The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh 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.


  1. Federal Award Notices

The 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 three installments.

The first installment shall be requested at the execution of the grant agreement.

The second installment shall be requested after the following milestone are complete:

  • Choices of dates, venue, accommodations, and menus;
  • Final selection of participants, mentors, and speakers;
  • Titles, format, and content of workshop sessions and other program activities;
  • Design and content of all marketing materials, publicity, and media products.

The third and final installment/reimbursement shall be requested at the completion of the project.

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.

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

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

  1. Reporting

Applicants should be aware that U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh awards will require regular financial and progress reporting. The Federal Financial Report (FFR or SF-425) is the required form for the financial reports. The progress reports should reflect the focus on measuring the project’s impact on the overarching objectives and should be compiled according to the objectives, outcomes, and outputs as outlined in the award’s Scope of Work (SOW) and in the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Statement. An assessment of the overall project’s impact should be included in each progress report. Where relevant, progress reports should include the following sections:

  • Relevant contextual information (limited);
  • Explanation and evaluation of significant activities of the reporting period and how the activities reflect progress toward achieving objectives, including meeting benchmarks/targets as set in the M&E plan. In addition, attach the M&E plan, comparing the target and actual numbers for the indicators;
  • Any tangible impact or success stories from the project, when possible;
  • Copy of mid-term and/or final evaluation report(s) conducted by an external evaluator; if applicable;
  • Relevant supporting documentation or products related to the project activities (such as articles, meeting lists and agendas, participant surveys, photos, manuals, etc.) as separate attachments;
  • Any problems/challenges in implementing the project and a corrective action plan with an updated timeline of activities;
  • Reasons why established goals were not met;

Data for the required indicator(s) for the reporting period as well as aggregate data by fiscal year. Additional pertinent information, including analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs, if applicable.

A final narrative and financial report must also be submitted within 90 days after the expiration of the award.

Please note: delays in reporting may result in delays of payment approvals and failure to provide required reports may jeopardize the recipients’ ability to receive future U.S. government funds.

U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial project information during the award period.

Applicants should be aware of the post award reporting requirements reflected in 2 CFR 200 Appendix XII—Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.


Please contact in the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh for any questions related to this announcement.


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.

This NOFO will appear on U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh’s website.