PAS-BGI-FY21-03: Women in Politics Leadership Institute Program Coordinator

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
WHA/U.S. Embassy Bridgetown
Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title: Women in Politics Leadership Institute Program Coordinator
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-BGI-FY21-03
Deadline for Applications: April 2, 2021
Assistance Listing Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available: $15,000.00

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Public Affairs Section (PAS), U.S. Embassy Bridgetown, of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for eligible candidates to submit applications to carry out a program to encourage young women in the Eastern Caribbean to increase their personal involvement in civic participation, including community organizing and elections. The program will comprise five (5) virtual sessions.  Please follow all instructions below.

Priority Region: WHA/Eastern Caribbean

Program Objectives:

In an effort to encourage greater female participation in politics and government in the Caribbean, PAS Bridgetown launched the Women In Politics Leadership Institute (WIPLI) in 2020. The program featured a series of five virtual training workshops for women, ages 18 to 35 years old. The weekly workshops presented by American and regional facilitators underscored the United States’ celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote in the United States.  Post is inviting proposals from eligible applicants to host the second cohort of this program.

Proposed Duration & Schedule: Four Virtual Sessions (90-minutes to two-hours) every other week.

  • May: Planning and Identifying Facilitators
  • June: Online promotion of Virtual Training Institute and Registration of Participants
  • July: Two sessions
  • August: Two sessions
    • August 26: ECA Virtual Speaker Program on Women’s Equality Day

Proposed Topics:

  • Building a Brand: Instilling Confidence, Identifying Your Platform/Objectives, Finding Your Political Voice
  • Identity, Diversity and Inclusion: The Value of “Female Qualities” in Governance and Leadership; Calling Out Sexism in Politics; Gender Balance in the Caribbean and the United States
  • Local Government: A Stepping Stone to Greater Female Political Engagement and Representation?
  • Building Support: Networking, Fundraising, Media Training, Mentorship

The applicant will be required to:

  • create the session context for each workshop
  • leverage their professional network to identify and confirm speakers and moderators for the workshop
  • in consultation with the Embassy provide honoraria to the speakers and moderators
  • provide the platform (zoom) for each workshop
  • create and implement the marketing and promotion plan and artwork for the program
  • create the application form and participant selection criteria/rubric
  • review and shortlist applicants for the program
  • in consultation with the Embassy select the program participants
  • plan and execute the opening and closing ceremonies for the program
  • conduct program monitoring and evaluation

Participants and Audiences:

One cohort of 20-25 women from the Eastern Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines) selected by a competitive application process. Those selected will range in age from 18 – 35, and demonstrate the strongest interest in government, international relations, and/or public service and leadership. 

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: May 1 to September 30, 2021
Number of awards anticipated: One award
Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $7,500.00 to a maximum of $15,000.00
Total available funding: $15,000.00
Type of Funding:  FY21, Smith Mundt
Anticipated program start date:  July 29, 2021

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed before September 30, 2021.

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

1. Eligible Applicants

The following are eligible to apply

  • Individuals:
    • who actively work in the field of civic engagement and who through their past and current activities support this field.
    • With a proven record of successful project implementation and engagement with international and regional funding organizations.
    • Who are citizens and residents of Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
    • Who are between the ages of 25 and 45.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost share is not required.

3. Other Eligibility Requirements

N/A.

D.APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

1. Address to Request Application Package

Application forms required below are available at https://bb.usembassy.gov/education-culture/grants/ , grants.gov,

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Content of Application

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars
  • All pages are numbered
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required:

1. Mandatory application forms

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals) at https://gov
  • SF-424A(Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) at https://gov
  • SF-424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) at https://grants.gov

2. Summary Page: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.

3. Proposal (6 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 program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: 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.
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed
  • Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.  Include a logic model as appropriate.
  • 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.  What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
  • Program Partners:  List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Program 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.

5.  Attachments:

  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities

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

Required Registrations:

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

4. Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than April 2, 2021

5. Funding Restrictions

Award fund cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages or to settle personal expenses of the project implementer. Award funds cannot be used for construction.

6. Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to bridgetownexchanges@state.gov

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

1. Criteria

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

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

2. Review and Selection Process

A review committee comprised of staff of the US Embassy Bridgetown will evaluate all eligible applications.

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

For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);

ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.206 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

4. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates

March 1, 2021

F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

1. Federal Award Notices

The grant award 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 program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method: An initial disbursement of funds equivalent to 80% of the grant award will be issued to the recipient on submission to the grants officer of the completed federal assistance documents and the SF270 Advance/Reimbursement Form. Subsequent payments/reimbursements will be actioned once the recipient submits receipts accompanied by the SF270 Advance/Reimbursement Form

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

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:

  • President’s September 2, 2020 memorandum, entitled Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds that Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities;
  • Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence (E.O. 13933); and
  • Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register’s 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:
    • 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).

3. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.   The Recipient is required to submit quarterly performance and quarterly financial reports. All reports must be signed and certified by the Recipient. All performance progress reports must indicate the Federal Award Identifying Number (FAIN), period of performance, reporting period end date, reporting frequency (quarterly, interim, semi-annual, annual, final) and include a detailed description of program progress.

Reports are due 30 days after the end of a reporting period and in accordance with the schedule below. A final program and financial report is due 90 calendar days after the period of performance end date. Failure to comply with these reporting requirements may jeopardize the Recipient’s eligibility for future awards and/or delays in payments.

Financial Reports:

All financial reports, along with receipts/invoices, must be submitted using form SF-425—Federal Financial Report. Financial reports shall be submitted directly to the Grants Officer and Grants Officer Representative.

The form and instructions are available at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/post-award-reporting-forms.html.

Performance Reports:

As appropriate, performance reports must contain:     

  • A comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives of the federal award established for the period. This should include information on how costs are tied to accomplishments;
  • The reasons why established goals were not met; and
  • Additional pertinent information including an analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs.

Performance Reports must be submitted to the Grants Officers and Grants Officer Representative via email.

The Recipient acknowledges that the Department of State may make site visits as determined by the Grants Officer.

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 the grant application process, please contact: bridgetownexchanges@state.gov.

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 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.

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PAS-BGI-FY21-03: Women in Politics Leadership Institute Program Coordinator (PDF 494 KB)