Grants Procurement Opportunities

Program Office: Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Dhaka
Funding Opportunity Title: FY 18 Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number: SCADHA-FY2018-APS-001
Funding Opportunity Type: Initial Announcement
CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Key Dates: Applications may be submitted between January 01, 2018 and July 31, 2018
Date Opened: December 07, 2017

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of U.S. Embassy Dhaka is thorough instructions on the application process are available at: pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy grants program, and is seeking proposals for projects throughout the fiscal year that further public diplomacy goals to promote U.S.-Bangladesh ties, strengthen democratic and inclusive societies, counter violent extremism, increase educational and economic opportunity for citizens, and amplify U.S. diplomacy activities and programs on social and traditional media platforms.

This is an Annual Program Statement (APS), outlining our funding priorities, strategic themes, and procedures for submitting requests for funding.

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

Federal Assistance Awards, hereafter referred to as grants, under this notice are intended for local representatives of civil society, including U.S. or overseas-based non-profit/non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private institutions of post-secondary and higher education.

Grant proposals submitted should meet one or more of the following U.S. Embassy Dhaka, Public Diplomacy priorities:

  1. Improve Capacity within Bangladesh to Counter Violent Extremism:
  • Build community resilience, including (but not limited to) formal education and informal education programs; sports, arts and cultural programs; technical and vocational skills development; municipal or neighborhood associations and meetings; after school and family-oriented programs to promote pluralism, tolerance, critical thinking which can challenge and counter violent extremist messages.
  • Conduct strategic communication efforts to counter and reject misinformation, dispute messages of violent extremists, reinforce and communicate national government messages, promote alternative, positive messages and address illegal media content.
  • Amplify local community voices to build resilience and counter violent extremist messages in social media.
  • Encourage and strengthen interventions to create awareness of vulnerability towards radicalization and prevent it.
  • Identify and build response capacity of practitioners and frontline workers on processes of radicalization and recruitment.
  • Create support hotlines, other communication mechanism or information systems for communities to use and access.
  • Strengthen the community of interest among governments and institutions working to Counter Violent Extremism in Bangladesh.
  1. Promote Pluralism, Democratic Values, Good Governance, Tolerance and Non-Violent Public Discussions:
  • Promote non-violent elections and increase and enhance participation in the 2018 national elections.
  • Initiate dialogue and create greater accountability and transparency in public institutions.
  • Strengthen the role and capacity of civil society organizations to influence the government, and promote good governance.
  • Build partnerships and coordination among civil society organizations, and develop public-awareness and advocacy campaigns.
  1. Increase Access to Quality Education and expand U.S.- Bangladesh Educational Linkages:
  • Create academic linkages between Bangladesh and the United States to enrich teaching and learning experiences; promote and enable academic cooperation, curriculum development, and resource exchange.
  • Strengthen relationships between the respective stakeholders in the education sector to expand access to quality education.
  • Implement academic programs that provide increased and improved English language learning for marginalized groups.
  1. Promote Entrepreneurship and Activities that Lead to Economic Growth and Prosperity:
  • Support a robust and inclusive entrepreneurial environment through exchanges of information, experiences, and expertise.
  • Facilitate regional communication and economic linkages with other local and regional entrepreneurs to share lessons learned and other resources and promote Bangladesh as the economic hub between South Asia and Southeast Asia.
  1. Pursue gender equality and women empowerment, and combat gender based violence:
  • Minimize gender disparities in access to resources and opportunities in the economic, social, political and cultural context.
  • Involve awareness campaigns that reduce gender based violence and mitigate its harmful effects on individuals and communities.
  • Focus on increasing awareness of rights and building the capacity of young girls and women to realize their rights that in due course will influence decision making in households, communities, and societies.

In addition to the specific requirements listed above by program area, ALL proposals must:

  1. Clearly indicate the primary activity area to which it is being submitted for consideration;
  2. Focus on the key public diplomacy audiences and activities specified in the areas, provide programs for under-served geographic regions of Country, as well as non-elite schools (if applicable);
  3. Clearly delineate how elements of their program will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant;
  4. Identify specific outcomes to be achieved by the end of the grant period; and
  5. Provide a traditional and/or social media plan for marketing program activities and outcomes.
  6. Identify the cities/districts in which activities will take place, and addressing any security concerns or constraints as necessary.

Applicants must demonstrate competency to manage all financial aspects of the project, including participant costs and transparent arrangements of sub-grant relationships with partner organizations, if applicable.

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Number of awards anticipated: 4-10 awards (dependent on amounts) Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement or Standard Grant

Individual Award Floor: $20,000

Individual Award Ceiling: $50,000

Anticipated project start date: September 01, 2018 or earlier

The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to award less or more than the amounts described in the absence of worthy applications or under such other circumstances as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. Government.

Anticipated Period: Grant projects generally should be completed in one year or less. The U. S. Embassy may entertain applications for an extension of the grant period for grants funded under these awards subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the project activities, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Department of State. 

C. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION:

The U.S. Embassy encourages applications from non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, foundations, trusts, community-based organizations and educational institutions that have legal standing in Bangladesh and the appropriate registrations as per the local regulatory requirements. Commercial firms and for-profit entities are not eligible to apply for this funding opportunity.

The applicant may propose to share the cost of the project but these costs must reflect the realistic capacity of the applicant’s contribution. If the applicant proposes cost sharing in their proposal, the recipient must provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the recipient’s budget approved by the Grants Officer. Cost share is not mandatory and will not be considered as a factor during merit review of applications.

Local organizations must submit a copy of their certificate of registration from the appropriate government organization. In addition, applicant organizations must have an organizational bank account for financial transactions and all transactions pertaining to an award granted will happen through Electronic Fund Transfer.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Proposals should only be submitted via email to the U.S. Embassy Dhaka at the following email address: dhakagrants@state.gov.

Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of its coherence, clarity, attention to detail, and completeness. 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 budgets are in U.S. dollars

When submitting a proposal, applicants are required to include the following documents and information, as applicable:

  1. Filled out Grants Application Form (Microsoft Word 1 MB)
  2. Filled out Organizational Information Form (Microsoft Word 47 KB). A copy of the organization’s registration should be provided.
  3. Project Narrative: Applicants must submit a complete proposal. Applicants may use their own proposal format. The proposal shall not exceed 15 pages. All proposals should address the following areas:
  1. Project Justification/Needs Statement
  2. Project Goals, Objectives and Activities
  3. Implementation Timeline
  4. Monitoring and Evaluation Plan
  5. Strengths and Innovation
  6. Sustainability

Proposal must also describe the outcome(s) sought and the benefits to society or to the participants that the proposal seeks to bring about/achieve.

  1. Project Budget: Applicants must submit a detailed budget and budget narrative justification utilizing the template (Microsoft Excel 45 KB) provided. Line item expenditures should be listed in the greatest possible detail. Personnel salaries should define the percentage of time each position will allocate to the project and the rate of pay. Budgets that are not in the provided format will not be considered. Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.
  2. Key Personnel and Project Partners
  3. Key Personnel – A résumé, not to exceed 1 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.
  4. Project Partners – letters of support should be included for sub-awardees 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.
  5. Standard Forms 424 – Application for Federal Assistance, 424A- Budget Information – Non-Construction Programs and 424B – Assurances for Non-construction Programs (2 separate forms), which are available, along with guidance for completing these forms, at: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms.html under the heading, “SF-424 Family.”

Please Note:

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.

The Embassy reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial information regarding the proposal.

Regulatory Requirements

In order to receive a grant, the applicant is required to register and obtain the following:

  • DUNS number
  • NCAGE code
  • SAM registration

Thorough instructions on the application process are available at: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf (PDF 397 KB)

For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726.

Please note: Only www.grants.gov, 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 on the organization registration page of www.grants.gov.

Application submission timeframe

Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time between: January 01, 2018 till the close of business on July 31, 2018.

This timeframe is firm. If organizations fail to submit applications during timeframe noted above, their applications will not be considered for funding and will be considered ineligible.

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

Each eligible proposal submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of 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 on the basis of 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 the OMB Circulars 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.

Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy, Dhaka will have a Grants Review Committee to review all proposals for eligibility. Eligible proposals will be further reviewed for compliance of Federal regulations and guidelines and may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements if deemed necessary. Proposals will be approved based on an evaluation of how the proposal meets the review criteria as stated in the announcement, U.S. foreign policy objectives, priority needs of PAS Dhaka, and availability of funding. Final authority for assistance awards resides with the Public Affairs Officer.

Review criteria will include:

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – The program idea should be well developed, with sufficient detail about how project activities will be carried out. The proposal should demonstrate

originality and outline clear, achievable objectives. The proposal must include a reasonable implementation timeline and have an appropriate and clearly defined scope.

Project Justification and Support of PAS Priorities – The project proposal must demonstrate maximum impact in furthering broader U.S. Public Diplomacy policy objectives. The project should address one or more of the PAS priorities, target audiences, and geographic areas identified in the solicitation. The proposal must contain a compelling justification, demonstrating an in-depth understanding of the environment in Country and citing specific factors creating/influencing the need for the proposed project.

Organizational Capacity –The applicant organization must demonstrate the ability to successfully carry out the proposed activities, and have previously designed and implemented similar initiatives. Where partners are described, the applicant must detail each partner’s respective role and provide curriculum vitae (CVs) for persons responsible for the project and financial administration. The organization must also have been established for a minimum of six months prior to applying for a grant and must demonstrate capacity for responsible fiscal management.

Budget and Budget Justification – Budget and narrative justifications must be provided and should be reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results, and provide a realistic plan for services. The results and proposed outcomes must justify the total cost of the project. Budget items must be reasonable, allowable, and allocable.

Sustainability– Proposals should clearly delineate how elements of their program will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect may include but is not limited to, plans to build lasting networks for direct and indirect beneficiaries, follow-on training and mentoring, and continued use of project deliverables. A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating capacity-building results, a plan to generate revenue, or interest and support from the private sector.

Monitoring and Evaluation– Applicant should demonstrate its ability to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward PAS, Dhaka goals. Projects should demonstrate the capacity for engaging in outcome-based evaluations and identify proscribed outputs and outcomes to measure how program activities will achieve the program’s strategic objectives. The Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Plan should include output- and outcome-based indicators, baseline and target for each indicator, disaggregation if applicable, monitoring and evaluation tools, data source, and frequency of monitoring and evaluation.

F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

Federal Award Notices: Successful applicants will be notified via email if a proposal has been selected to move forward in the review process. Please note that 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. 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 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.

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. 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, PAS, Dhaka may include this award in its program evaluation efforts. When applicable and feasible, the Recipient shall cooperate with the Grants Officer (GO) and Grants Officer Representative (GOR) 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.

Terms and Conditions: Recipients will be held to the applicable terms and conditions found at: https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm

It is the Recipient’s responsibility to ensure they are in compliance 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.

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be expected to provide periodic program progress and financial reports as specified in the Notice of Award throughout the project period.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

For More Information: Please send inquiries to: dhakagrants@state.gov

H. OTHER INFORMATION

Disclaimers

The Federal government is not obligated to make any Federal award as a result of the announcement. Issuance of this Annual Program Statement 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 Annual Program Statement is subject to funds availability. Awards may be granted only if appropriated funds are allocated to the United States Embassy, Dhaka 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.

Announcement In-PDF

The Edward M. Kennedy Center for Public Service and the Arts (EMK Center) awards small grants of Taka 100,000-800,000 every year to individuals/groups active in volunteerism, women’s empowerment, education, community development, youth engagement, and the arts, as well as entrepreneurship related projects in Bangladesh. Take a look at the small grants we have awarded here. Stay tuned for next year’s grants.

Application Closed for 2019.

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