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Funding Opportunity: Academy for Women Entrepreneurs 2024
Submission deadline: Saturday, December 30, 2024
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Embassy of the United States of America in Bangladesh

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

FISCAL YEAR 2024
(Submission deadline: Saturday, December 30, 2024)

 

Program Office: Public Diplomacy Section, Dhaka
Funding Opportunity Title: Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) 2024
Announcement Type: Standard Grant
Funding Opportunity Number: PDS-DHAKA-NOFO-FY2024-01
NOFO Announcement date: November 19, 2023
Deadline for Applications: 11:59 p.m., Saturday, December 30, 2023, BST 
Assistance Listing Number: 19.022
Total Amount Available: Up to $40,000

CONTACT INFORMATION

  • For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726.
  • For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, contact the Mission Bangladesh Public Diplomacy Grants Management Team at  DhakaGrants@state.gov .
  • To inquire about the process for obtaining a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) contact Donald Hunter at HunterDS@state.gov.

In order to be eligible to receive an award under this NOFO, organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please begin the registration processes immediately to ensure the registrations are completed well in advance of the submission deadline.  The process can require several weeks for the registrations to be validated and confirmed.  See Section D: Submission Requirements for further details.

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

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application package has been received in its entirety. Incomplete applications will be considered ineligible. Applicants are urged to begin the application process well before the submission deadline. No exceptions will be made for organizations that have not completed the necessary steps

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Executive Summary: 

The U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy Section in Dhaka is soliciting proposals for a grant agreement, that meets the specifications stated below.  The implementer will be a legally recognized non-profit and non-governmental organizations, that meet U.S. and Bangladesh technical and legal requirements to develop and implement Public Diplomacy programs as specified in Section C. Information about the Public Diplomacy Section can be found at: [announcement link on the website].

Background:

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) established the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in 2019 to provide women with the knowledge, networks, and access they need to launch or scale successful businesses. AWE (https://eca.state.gov/awe) is a flexible educational opportunity with no-cost online learning platforms that combines localized coaching and mentoring with the online platform DreamBuilder, created through a partnership with Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School for Global Management and the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. Cohorts of approximately 30 women meet online and in person to learn core business skills such as strategic planning, marketing, and finance, then discuss the material with local facilitators, business leaders, and U.S. exchange alumni mentors.

DreamBuilder teaches participants the fundamentals of starting or growing a small business from a U.S. perspective, offering modules on marketing, pricing, and bookkeeping and includes a built-in business plan generator. Available exclusively in English and Spanish, the implementing partner has the flexibility to provide mentoring and facilitation in local languages. This year, program implementors may also use a new online curriculum, in whole or in part - the Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative - alongside or instead of DreamBuilder. Organizations seeking a more demanding business curriculum or those wishing to offer supplementary modules on essential subjects related to entrepreneurship and innovation may find it most appropriate. There are currently 20 languages available, and there will soon be up to 20 more. The curriculum for proposals to create new AWE cohorts must be based on DreamBuilder or 100 Million Learners.

AWE Program Results: 

AWE reinforces peer-to-peer learning, networking, and cohesion among the graduating women entrepreneurs, while also driving local prosperity and business growth. According to ECA’s 2021 evaluation of the program, 74 percent of AWE graduates reported higher incomes, and 29 percent reported hiring additional staff in their businesses after completing the program. This data shows AWE alumni’s ability to generate income and create jobs in the local economy. AWE fundamentally empowers women by promoting women’s full participation in the economy. According to the study, more than 90 percent of AWE graduates reported increased confidence and higher self-esteem, citing improvements in specific skill sets like independent decision-making, strategic planning, and public speaking – skills that have helped women-led businesses better adapt to economic upheavals caused by COVID-19.

Program Goal:

Empower the next generation of women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh by providing them with the knowledge, networks, and skills essential for business success. AWE aims to prepare women for leadership roles through a flexible educational platform, fostering connections with peers, and facilitating mentorship opportunities with accomplished female leaders in the entrepreneurial landscape.

Project Audience(s): Bangladeshi aspiring women entrepreneurs planning to develop their own businesses.

Project Objectives:

  • AWE participants have the opportunity to engage in U.S-style online education with local guided facilitation from U.S. Exchange alumni, local business leaders, academics and other local partners.
  • Women have access to peer-to-peer mentorship, business partners, and scaling opportunities with businesses in the region and in the United States. Engage U.S. Exchange alumni also serve as mentors, facilitators, and contacts for participants.
  • AWE alumni have access to a wide range of on-going programs tailored to women’s economic empowerment.

All proposals should:

  • Address how the project will contribute to one or more of the objectives listed above;
  • Identify specific outputs and outcomes with quantifiable targets to be achieved by the end of the grant period, using the Monitoring & Evaluation Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP);
  • If applicable, describe involvement of American participants, expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s;
  • Clearly specify the audiences to be reached and the geographic locations of program activities.  Programs proposed in multiple locations should explain how that will be accomplished.  The grantee must demonstrate capacity to implement activities in locations and with audiences proposed;
  • Describe how elements of the project will have a multiplier effect or be sustainable beyond the life of the grant;
  • Include a traditional and/or social media plan for marketing or advertising program activities and outcomes;
  • Demonstrate competency to manage all financial and oversight aspects of the project, including participant costs and transparent arrangements of sub-grant relationships with partner organizations, if applicable.

This opportunity will not support:

  • Projects relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction projects;
  • Projects that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
  • Scientific research or surveys;
  • Commercial projects;
  • Projects intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization;
  • Projects that duplicate existing projects; or
  • Illegal activities

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: 12 months or less

Number of awards anticipated: one award

Total available funding: Up to $40,000

Type of Funding: FY24 Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds 

Anticipated program start date: July 1, 2024

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Grant

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in twelve months or less.

The Department of State will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.

The Public Diplomacy Section reserves the right to award less or more than the funds described under circumstances deemed to be in the best interest of the U.S. government, pending the availability of funds and approval of the designated grants officer.

C. ELIGIBILTY INFORMATION

  1. Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to apply:

  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Civil society/non-governmental organizations
  • Think tanks
  • Public and private educational institutions
  • Public International Organizations and Governmental institutions

For-profit entities, even those that may fall into the categories listed above, are not eligible to apply for this NOFO.  Organizations may sub-contract with other entities, but only one, non-profit, non-governmental entity can be the prime recipient of the award. When sub-contracting with other entities, the responsibilities of each entity must be clearly defined in the proposal.

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.

2. Special consideration will be given to applications that:

  • Demonstrate strong engagement of the U.S. Government Exchange Program alumni network in AWE program design,
  • Target discrete audiences strategic to U.S. foreign policy and mission goals,
  • Collaborate with private and public-sector partners on cost-sharing arrangements.

3. Cost Sharing or Matching

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

4. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D for more information. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

  1. The U.S. Embassy will accept completed proposals and budgets only via email to DhakaGrants@state.gov.
  2. Applicants must use the FY24 proposal template provided for AWE proposals and budgets. Please note that you must fill out both the budget line items tab and the budget narrative tab on the FY24 budget form provided; failure to do so will result in a lower scoring of the proposal.

Applicants must ensure:

  • The Proposal clearly addresses the goals, audiences, and objectives of this notice.
  • No more than six (6) pages
  • 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
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Calibri font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins
  • All applicant-authorized signatures are provided where indicated on the various required forms
  • Please use The U.S. Embassy’s current exchange rate (USD 1 = BDT 112) in time ofdetermining the budget.
  1. Emails containing the proposal and budget should have in their subject line- “Application for AWE 2024 – [NAME OF ORGANIZATION]” and should be sent to DhakaGrants@state.gov.

The following documents and components are required and must be included in the applicant’s submission:

Section 1. Mandatory application forms

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)
  • SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) 
  • SF-424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) (note: the SF-424B is only required for individuals and for organizations not registered in SAM.gov)

All submissions must include the SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance and the SF-424A Budget Information—Non-Construction. These forms and the instructions for completing them are available at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms.html under the heading “SF-424 Family.”  NOTE: The SF-424B is required only for those applicants who have not registered in SAM.gov.  An authorized signature by the applicant must be provided on this form.

Section 2. Technical Proposal (not more than 6 pages): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant intends to do. Applicants may use their own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.

  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Organizational Description and Capacity: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies as well as experience with and expertise in areas related to those described in the NOFO.
  • Program Methods, Design, Activities, and Deliverables: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal. Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline:  The proposed timeline for the program 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 program.  Include the proportion of their time that will be used in support of this program.
  • Program Partners:  List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees, if applicable.
  • Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  • Monitoring & Evaluation: Proposals must include a draft Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP).  The M&E PMP should show how applicants intend to measure and demonstrate progress towards the project’s objectives and goals.  Attachment 3 of this funding opportunity contains a template that may be used to fulfill this requirement.  While the grantee is free to create their own template, completing Attachment 3 will ensure a thorough PMP.

The key components to the PMP are as follows:

a. Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative: In narrative form, applicants should describe how they intend to monitor and evaluate the activities of their award and collect data that tracks award performance. In addition, the applicant should describe any M&E processes, including key personnel, management structure (where M&E fits into the overall program’s staff structure), technology, and as well provide a brief budget narrative explaining any line-item expenditures for M&E listed in the program’s budget. Submission should demonstrate an ability to adjust project activities based on new information. If the proposal is from a prior grantee, the proposal discusses how the grantee has adapted, improved or otherwise modified their approach based on learning from previous experience. This narrative is limited to two pages.

b. Theory of Change Diagram: Applicants will be expected to submit a Theory of Change diagram that illustrates how project activities will lead to intended outcomes.  Attachment includes a suggested format for these requirements.

c. Monitoring and Evaluation Datasheet: The applicant must include their proposed activities and their expected outputs and outcomes as well as the goals and objectives as written in the NOFO. The datasheet’s purpose is to explicitly illustrate how a project’s activities lead to tangible results (such as increased beneficiary skills, knowledge, or attitudes) that ultimately address a PAS objective. For more information, please see attached M&E PMP Instructions.

The selected applicant’s M&E PMP is subject to review and approval before any award will be issued under this NOFO.  The selected applicant will be required to work with PDS Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist to ensure the applicant’s M&E PMP achieves an expected level of expertise and meets PDS objectives.

Expenses directly associated with monitoring and evaluation are considered allowable.  The suggested template includes a space to list the portion of the total budget amount directly associated with monitoring and evaluation activities.

Section 3. Detailed Budget and Budget Narrative:

  • Detailed Budget – Applicants must submit a detailed line-item budget. Applicants are encouraged to utilize the template provided with the funding opportunity, but are not required to do so (Attachment 4). Line item expenditures should be listed in the greatest possible detail. The budget must identify the total amount of funding requested, with a breakdown of amounts to be spent in the following budget categories: personnel; fringe benefits; travel; equipment; supplies; consultants/contracts; other direct costs; and indirect costs. See Annex Section I for a description of the types of costs that should be included in each category. Personnel salaries should include the level of effort and the rate of pay, which should cover the percentage of time each staff member will dedicate to grant-based activities.  If an organization is charging an indirect cost rate without a NICRA, it must apply it to the modified total budget costs (MTDC), refer to 2CFR§200.68.  Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.
  • Budget Justification Narrative – Applicants must submit a budget justification narrative to accompany the detailed line-item budget.  The purpose of the budget justification narrative is to supplement the information provided in the detailed budget spreadsheet by justifying how the budget cost elements are necessary to implement project objectives and accomplish the project goals. The budget justification narrative is a tool to help PDS staff fully understand the budgetary needs of the applicant and is an opportunity to provide descriptive information about the requested costs beyond the constraints of the budget template. Together, the detailed budget spreadsheet, the budget justification narrative, and the SF-424A should provide a complete financial and qualitative description that supports the proposed project plan and should be directly relatable to the specific project components described in the applicant’s proposal.

Additional Budget Notes:

  • Audit Requirements:  Please note the audit requirements for Department of State awards in the Standard Terms and Conditions https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm and 2CFR200, Subpart F – Audit Requirements.  The cost of the required audits may be charged either as an allowable direct cost to the award OR included in the organization’s established indirect costs in the award’s detailed budget.
  • Visa Fees:  Include all visa application and related fees in your budget as applicable.  Please note DS-2019s for post-funded programs must be submitted directly by the award recipient.  If you anticipate your program will include the DS-2019 visa processing, your organization must be a registered Designated Sponsoring Organization.  For more information go to: https://j1visa.state.gov/sponsors/become-a-sponsor/

Section 4. Required Attachments:

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

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

c. NICRA: If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included in the application submission.

d. Proof of Non-profit Status: Documentation to demonstrate the applicant’s non-profit status (e.g., U.S.-based organizations should submit a copy of their 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Service determination letter, and non-U.S. organizations should provide evidence of non-profit status issued by a government entity).

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

Other items NOT required/requested with the application submission, but which may be requested if your application is approved to move forward in the review process include:

a. Copies of an organization or program audit within the last two (2) years

b. Copies of relevant human resources, financial, or procurement policies

c. 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.

d. Information to determine what financial controls and standard operating procedures an organization uses to procure goods and services, hire staff and track time and attendance, pay for grant-related travel, and identify other financial transactions that may be necessary to undertake the project activities

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

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

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

  • www.SAM.gov registration which will generate a UEI
  • NCAGE/CAGE code

Any applicant with an exclusion 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.”

The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards.  SAM.gov is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements.  OMB designated SAM.gov as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance.  Under the law, it is mandatory to register in SAM.gov.

Starting April 2022, the UEI will be assigned when an organization registers or renews it’s registration in SAM.gov at www.SAM.gov.  To access SAM.gov an organization is required to have a Login.gov account. Organization can create an account at https://login.gov/.   As a reminder, organizations need to renew its sam.gov registration annually.

US-based organizations: A CAGE code will be automatically assigned when the U.S. organizations registers in www.sam.gov.  CAGE must be renewed every 5 years.  Site for CAGE: https://cage.dla.mil/Home/UsageAgree. Grantees may be asked for more information to finalized and must comply.

Foreign-based organizations: Must apply for a NCAGE code before registering in SAM.gov. Go to: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/CageTool/home to apply for a NCAGE code.  NCAGE codes must be renewed every 5 years.

It is in the organization’s best interest to check if their CAGE/or NCAGE codes are active.  Organizations are required to register/or renew their CAGE or NCAGE codes prior to registering or renewing www.sam.gov .  Both registration and renewals for both CAGE and NCAGE can take up to 10 days.  Organization’s legal address in NCAGE/CAGE must mirror www. sam.gov.

www.sam.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM.gov.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov.

If an organization plans to issue a sub-contract or sub-award, those sub-awardees must also have a unique entity identifier (UEI number).  Those entities can register for a UEI only at SAM.gov.

If an organization does not have an active registration in SAM.gov prior to submitting an application, the application will be deemed ineligible.  All organizations applying for grants must obtain these registrations, the latter are free of charge.

Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required.

E. APPLICATION CLOSING DATE:

Applicants seeking AWE funding must submit their proposals by 11:59 p.m., Saturday, December 30, 2023, BST. This is a global competition. Funding for AWE is dependent on the availability of funds. This deadline is firm and is not a rolling deadline. If organizations fail to meet the deadline noted above their application will be considered ineligible and will not be considered for funding.

1.Funding Restrictions:

Pre-award costs are not an allowable expense for this funding opportunity.

2. Other Submission Requirements:

Applicants must acquire all required registrations and rights in the United States and Bangladesh. All intellectual property considerations and rights must be fully met in the United States and Bangladesh.
Any sub-recipient organization must also meet all the U.S. and Bangladesh requirements described above.

F. APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS AND INFORMATION: 

The AWE Team will assess all applications based on technical eligibility, which includes the following scoring criteria:

1. Criteria: Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the criteria enumerated below. The criteria are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project, and to determine the likelihood of its success.

  • Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 20 points:  The program idea should be innovative and well developed, with sufficient detail about how project activities will be carried out. The proposals should demonstrate originality and outline clear, achievable objectives. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline. The project scope is appropriate and clearly defined.
  • Degree of ECA exchange alumni engagement in AWE programming – 10 points; 

We encourage proposals that foster greater alumni engagement and ensure USG exchange alumni play a significant role with each cohort.  Please provide an estimate of how many USG exchange alumni will be involved in the program as facilitators, mentors, speakers, or partners. Include proposed activities specifically seeking to strengthen the local or regional AWE alumni community and sustain gains from previous AWE programs.

  • Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants – 10 points:
  • The project proposal demonstrates that the organization has sufficient expertise, skills, and human resources to implement the project.
  • The organization demonstrates that it has a clear understanding of the underlying issue that the project will address.
  • The organization demonstrates capacity for successful planning and responsible fiscal management. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
  • Applicants who have received grant funds previously have been compliant with applicable rules and regulations.
  • Where partners are described, the applicant details each partner’s respective role and provides curriculum vitae (CVs) for persons responsible for the project and financial administration. Proposed personnel, institutional resources, and partners are adequate and appropriate.
  • Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 points: The project plan is well developed, with sufficient detail about how activities will be carried out. The proposal specifies target audiences, participant recruitment, and geographic areas of implementation. The proposal outlines clear, achievable objectives. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline. The project scope is appropriate and clearly defined.
  • Strength of communication, media, and outreach plans – 10 points

Describe your communications and outreach plan. This can include communications strategies for generating engagement with AWE graduates, social media presence, media outreach, and any other post-specific communication ideas.  How will readership and engagement with AWE-related communications be monitored? ECA will provide a logo and additional AWE communications materials.    

  • Budget – 10 points: The budget and narrative justification are sufficiently detailed. The budget demonstrates that the organization has devoted time to accurately determine expenses associated with the project instead of providing rough estimates. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The results and proposed outcomes justify the total cost of the project. Budget items are reasonable, allowable, and allocable.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation – 10 points: There is a complete and thorough draft submission of a M&E Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP).  This will include a list of proposed project activities, corresponding milestone, output, and outcome indicators, a description of data collection methods, and a timeline for collecting such information. The proposal presents a clear theory of change on how the program will address that problem. Further, if the project requires selecting participants, or beneficiaries, the proposal should articulate how the selection will be done in an equitable way. Use of the suggested template (Attachments) will satisfy these requirements.  Funded projects will have their plans finalized during the negotiation phase, and monitoring plans may be subject to periodic updates throughout the life of the project.
  • Sustainability – 15 points: The project proposal describes clearly the approach that will be used to ensure maximum sustainability or advancement of project goals after the end of project activity.

 

2.Review and Selection Process

a. Acknowledgement of receipt.  Applicants will receive acknowledgment of receipt of their proposal.

b. Review.  All submissions are screened for technical eligibility. If a submission is missing any required forms/documents listed above in Section D, it will be considered ineligible and will not be reviewed by the grants review committee. A technical review panel will review eligible proposals based upon the criteria noted in this NOFO.

F. FEDEARAL AWARD AMINISTRATION INFORMATION

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.

The Federal government is not obligated to make any Federal award as a result of the announcement. Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received. The U.S. government also reserves the right to make an award in excess of the award ceiling.

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:

In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following:  NOTE:

  • Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR part 200.205),
  • Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115—232) (2 CFR part 200.216),
  • Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (§§ 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341),
  • Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR part 200.322), and
  • Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law, if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR part 200.340).

Reporting

Recipients are required to submit quarterly program progress and financial reports throughout the project period. The quarterly progress report should include an up-to-date copy of the PMP datasheet. Progress and financial reports are due 30 days after the reporting period. Final certified programmatic and financial reports are due 120 days after the close of the project period.

All reports are to be submitted electronically.

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

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

Foreign Assistance Data Review: As required by Congress, the Department of State must make progress in its efforts to improve tracking and reporting of foreign assistance data through the Foreign Assistance Data Review (FADR). The FADR requires tracking of foreign assistance activity data from budgeting, planning, and allocation through obligation and disbursement.  Successful applicants will be required to report and draw down federal funding based on the appropriate FADR Data Elements, indicated within their award documentation.  In cases of more than one FADR Data Element, typically program or sector and/or regions or country, the successful applicant will be required to maintain separate accounting records.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about this funding opportunity or the grant application process, please contact: DhakaGrants@state.gov.

Question Deadline: For questions on this solicitation, please contact  DhakaGrants@state.gov.  Questions must be received on or before, December 15 at 11:59 p.m., BST. Applicants should not expect an email response to questions, as questions received before the deadline will be answered in a question and answer document and posted at http://www.grants.gov and https://bd.usembassy.gov/embassy/dhaka/grants-and-procurement-opportunities/.

  1. 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 program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

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

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

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.

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.

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