Funding Opportunity Title: Public Affairs Section NOFO
Funding Opportunity Number: CB600-17-PAS-003
Deadline for Applications: September 18, 2017
CFDA Number: 19.040
Total Amount Available: $15,000-$20,000
A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit grant applications to carry out a program (or project) that focuses on ultimately promoting mutual understanding between the United States and Cambodia through several priority areas listed below. Please carefully follow all instructions below.
The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh invites proposals for projects that focus on promoting mutual understanding between the United States of American and Cambodia.
The programs should focus on one of the Embassy priorities listed below:
- Protecting the environment, particularly through youth participation.
- Promoting economic growth and sustainable development through the use of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
- Advancing economic growth, specifically through the empowerment of women and youth.
- Strengthening the understanding of civic engagement: making use of the interconnecting modern society to strengthen democracy and the respect of human rights.
- Protecting and preserving Cambodian cultural heritage and celebrating Cambodia’s recent progress and development.
Programs focusing on other issues will be considered, but preference will be given to programs that address the priorities above.
Participants and Audiences:
This funding opportunity is available to organizations who are interested and have experience working with the above topics. The audiences should target the groups listed above, depending on the focus of the project.
The grant will be issued by September 30, 2017. Projects should be carried out by September 2018.
Coordination of Program Logistics and Content Development:
Working closely with U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, the Recipient of this grant shall develop a robust program; manage the application and selection process of participants; as well as develop and manage the program.
Elements of the Program Proposal:
Organizations (see C. Eligibility Information) are invited to submit a proposal that includes the need for the project as well as detailed descriptions of how each of the following activities will be administered:
- Management of project logistics and administrative tasks.
- Management of participant recruitment, application, and selection process.
B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh anticipates having approximately $15,000-$20,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 Public Diplomacy funding available to support successful application(s) 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 $20,000. Applicants should include an anticipated start date on or about September 30, 2017 and the period of performance should be 12 months.
Length of performance period: September 2017 to September 2018
Number of awards anticipated: 1 or more awards (dependent on amount)
Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $20,000
Total available funding: $20,000
Type of Funding: Public Diplomacy Programs
Anticipated project start date: September 30, 2017
This notice is subject to availability of funding.
Funding Instrument Type: Grant.
Project Performance Period: Proposed projects should be completed by September 2018 or earlier.
C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
1. Eligible Applicants
U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh welcomes applications from individuals, 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.
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. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations. Individuals are not required to have a unique entity identifier or be registered in SAM.gov.
D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
i. Address to Request Application Package
Applicants can find application forms, kits, or other materials needed to apply on www.grants.gov and on the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh website under the announcement title “Public Affairs Section NOFO” funding opportunity number CB600-17-PAS-003. Please contact the point of contact listed in section G if requesting reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or for security reasons. Please note: reasonable accommodations do not include deadline extensions.
ii. 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
- 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
- SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424 –I (Application for Federal Assistance – Individuals)
- SF-424 Instructions
- SF-424-I Instruction
- SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
- SF424A Instructions
- SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)
- SFLLL (Disclosure of Lobbying Activities)
- Required Budget Spreadsheet
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 (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 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.
4. 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.
- 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
iii. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
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
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.
4. Submission Dates and Times
All application materials must be submitted by 11:30p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on September 18, 2017 by email to PASExchanges@state.gov. Please attach proposals and required forms in Microsoft Word or .pdf format with “Public Affairs Section NOFO” 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.
E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
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.
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.
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.
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 on the U.S. State Department website.
Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
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.
G. CONTACT INFORMATION
Please contact PASExchanges@state.gov in the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh for any questions related to this announcement.
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.