Call for Applications: Public Diplomacy Grants


 

Deadline: 15 July 2020

 

Funding Opportunity Description

The U.S. Mission Nigeria’s Public Affairs Sections are pleased to issue this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for their Public Diplomacy (PD) small grants program.  This annual program statement outlines PAS’ funding priorities and the procedures for submitting applications for funding.  Please carefully read through and follow all the instructions below.  Implementation of this program remains subject to the approval and availability of U.S. government fiscal year 2020 (FY2020) funds.

Purpose of PAS Grants:  PAS awards a limited number of grants to individuals, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and other civil society entities that further the Embassy’s policy goals and strengthen relations between the American and Nigerian peoples. PAS will prioritize grant program proposals that:

  1. Promote Nigeria’s democratic governance, unity and stability by improving government transparency and accountability, the rule of law, a free and professional media, as well as civil society capacity and engagement;
  2. Strengthen human capital to promote inclusive economic growth and development via entrepreneurship, STEM education, women’s empowerment, youth engagement, and cultural exchange;
  3. Protect against security threats and foster peace and stability through measures to counter violent extremism, reduce human trafficking and illegal immigration, mitigate rural violence, and encourage peaceful dialogue and non-violent conflict resolution;
  4. Improve and expand English language learning through curriculum development and teacher training, in partnership with U.S. education institutions where possible.

Activities that are not funded include, but are not limited to: 

  • Social welfare projects;
  • Tuition assistance;
  • Individual travel to conferences;
  • Construction projects;
  • Completion activities for projects begun with other funds;
  • Projects that are inherently political in nature or that convey partisan support to an individual or single party electoral campaigns; and,
  • Political party activities.

Authorizing statutes for the funding opportunity are:

  1. Fulbright-Hays Act, which allows the Department of State to use funds for the purpose of supporting international exchanges that address issues of mutual interest to the United States and host nations: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/iegps/fulbrighthaysact.pdf
  2. Smith-Mundt Act that outlines the terms by which the U.S. government engages global audiences: http://www.state.gov/pdcommission/library/177362.htm

Award Information 

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant or Cooperative Agreement.  The majority of successful proposals will be supported via a grant instrument.  In some instances, a Cooperative Agreement may be used in cases requiring a higher level of involvement from PAS staff in managing the award.  The PAS Abuja or PAS Lagos grants management team will provide further information regarding Cooperative Agreements as needed.

Floor of Individual and/or Organizational Award Amounts:  $5,000

Ceiling of Individual and/or Organizational Award Amounts: $50,000 

Project and Budget Periods:  Grant projects generally must be completed in one year or less.  PAS will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a noncompetitive 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.  A project’s sustainability beyond the funding period is a key criterion in evaluating applications.

Applicants must carefully draft their budgets for the full duration of the proposed project and commensurate with their project goals.  Budget submissions should include a narrative to explain specific line items as needed.

Eligibility Information

PAS encourages applications from individuals or organizations located in Nigeria, the United States, or abroad including:

  • Not-for-profit and civil society/non-governmental organizations with at least two years of programming experience and with evidence of required registrations;
  • Individuals with two years of not-for-profit, project management, or education experience; and,
  • Registered educational institutions.

Application Submission and Deadline

Proposals should be submitted online to the U.S. Mission Nigeria at the following email addresses:  PASAbujaGrants@state.gov or LagosPASGrants@state.gov. Applications and all supporting documents are accepted in English only.  While budget figures may be calculated in naira before converting to U.S. dollars, final budget figures must be stated in U.S. dollars as this is the currency in which awards are made irrespective of the exchange rate in effect at the time of award.

PAS Abuja (for the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, and the FCT), will accept proposals in two tranches and review them according to the following schedule:

  • Proposals received by March 16, 2020 will be reviewed in March-April with results issued by April 30;
  • Proposals received from March 17 through July 15, 2020 will be reviewed in July-August with responses issued by September 21.

Applicants must submit a full project description, including a detailed narrative that outlines the plan of action, describes the scope of the proposed work, and a time-frame including key benchmarks within which the work will be accomplished.  The narrative should be submitted using the template of the application form provided and must be accompanied by a detailed budget that clearly indicates all program costs, including the individual applicant’s or organization’s cost share and/or in-kind participation if applicable.

PAS Lagos (for the states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, and Rivers), will also accept proposals in two tranches and review them according to the following schedule:

  • Proposals/applications for funding focused on the areas of media capacity building, entrepreneurship, and cultural programs aligned with our Mission Goals will be received from February 3, 2020 to February 28, 2020; reviewed in March; and results issued by April 15;
  • In addition, PAS Lagos offers an annual Notice of Funding Opportunity. The call for applications will be issued in March 2020 and last through April 2020. All interested grantees may take advantage of this opportunity. April 30 will be the firm deadline for the receipt of applications for funding. All applications will be reviewed by the Consulate Grants Committee during May and June 2020. Final determinations will be issued by July 1, 2020.

Applicants must submit a full project description, including a detailed narrative that outlines the plan of action, describes the scope of the proposed work, and a time-frame including key benchmarks within which the work will be accomplished.  The narrative should be submitted using the template of the application form provided and must be accompanied by a detailed budget that clearly indicates all program costs, including the individual applicant’s or organization’s cost share and/or in-kind participation if applicable.

In addition to the project proposal, applicants must also complete and submit:

  • Unique Identity Identifier [Currently the DUN and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (aka DUNS Number), unless the applicant has an exemption]: DUNS Number assignment is free for organizations required to register with the federal government for grants.  Begin the process here: https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm.
  • Active registration in the U.S. government’s “System for Award Management” (aka SAM): To register visit: https://www.sam.gov/SAM/

NOTEIndividual applicants are exempt from the DUNS and SAM requirements, which apply only to organizational applicants.

  • Standard Form 424 (SF-424) – Federal Assistance Application (for organization or individual as appropriate)
  • SF-424A – Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs
  • Project proposal
  • Budget document on the template provided including a narrative (as needed)
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (included in the application form)

PAS will not consider individual or organizational proposals that do not meet the aforementioned mandatory requirements. Additionally, applicants are permitted to submit only one proposal per cycle.

Review and Selection Process

Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below, which are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project and to determine the likelihood of its success.  They are holistically applied in judging the overall quality of an application, with particular emphasis on a given application’s completeness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail. 

  • Organizational Capacity: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its human and technical resource capacity to implement the project.
  • Goals and Objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and the project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • Embassy Priority: The applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Mission priority areas as described in Section I above.
  • Sustainability: Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project, including the ability to become self-sustaining after the end of the award period.
  • Feasibility: The project is economically and technically feasible with respect to approach, budget items requested and the organization’s resource capacity.
  • Budget: The budget justification is both reasonable and realistic in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results.  Successful proposals will ensure the maximum impact per dollar spent.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: The applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide benchmarks against which to gauge progress toward its goals.  The indicators should allow for systematic recording and periodic analysis of progress on project activities in response to any required reporting outlined in the Award Specifics.
  • American Content: American content emphasizes informing others about the U.S. and increasing their understanding of U.S. policy, values, etc. This can be as complex as having a U.S. citizen speaker or trainer, or as simple as having alumni run a program.  The key is to visibly tie the program in some way to the U.S., our priorities and established Public Diplomacy programs/exchanges.

Award Administration 

Award Notices:  The grant award or cooperative agreement shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by a warranted Grants Officer, assisted by a certified Grants Officer Representative as appropriate.  The Grants Officer is the U.S. government official delegated authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants and/or cooperative agreements.  The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document, a copy of which will be provided to the recipient.  Organizations whose applications are unsuccessful will also be notified in writing.

If a proposal is selected for funding, 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 discretion of the Grants Officer.

Reporting Requirements:  All awards issued under this announcement will require a periodic program, and possibly financial reports on a frequency specified in the award agreement.

The disbursement of funds is tied to the submission of these reports in a timely manner.

All other details related to award administration will be specified in the Award Specifics.  Final programmatic and financial reports (the latter if required) are due 90 days after the close of the project period.  Progress reports should be submitted via electronic mail to the address provided in the award.

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