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U.S. Embassy announces Speaker Program

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Embassy Of The United States Of America To Moldova

Public Affairs Section

 

NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY

Opportunity Title:  

SPEAKER PROGRAM

Opportunity Number: 

PAS-CHISINAU-FY20-08-SPEAKER

CFDA Number: 

AEECA PD Programs

CFDA Title:

19.900

Assistance Program: 

Speaker Program

Announcement Type:

Open Competition

Announcement Date:

March 3, 2020

Submission Deadline:

April 15, 2020, 18:00

Anticipated Award Date: 

July 1, 2020

 

 

 

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION



The U.S. Speaker Program promotes an understanding of U.S. policies and institutions and the political, economic, social, and cultural context from which they arise.  PAS Chisinau invites proposals for programs that engage speakers and experts from the United States in programs including but not limited to: seminars, workshops, conferences, and media engagements.  The program should build and consolidate knowledge and skills essential to the development of communities in Moldova.

Program Objectives:

The U.S. Speaker Program provides seed money to sustainable projects that promote mutual understanding between U.S. and Moldovan citizens.

The themes for the speaker program are:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Accountable and Democratic Governance
  • Cyber-security
  • Economic opportunities through investments
  • Active citizenship
  • Promoting Moldova’s energy diversification efforts
  • Judicial Independence

Applicants are encouraged to develop partnerships with relevant stakeholders, including

the public and/or private sector as well as local organizations, where applicable. All proposals must include an evidence-based description of: (i) the problem the applicant seeks to address; (ii) the implementation context, including any relevant details and the target beneficiaries of the project; and (iii) the project’s theory of change, i.e., how the proposed project will achieve the program objectives.

Strong proposals will also define how their programs are innovative, which could include one or more of the following elements:

  • Demonstrates strong potential for sustainability and positive impact regardless of future funding or lack thereof.
  • Presents a new model or a creative way of scaling and building upon successful approaches;
  • Responds to a current challenge;
  • Involves people from underserved communities or groups in activities that relate to
  • American values.

In identifying the specific target populations, proposals must demonstrate a commitment towards the support and inclusion of marginalized communities (including disability status, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, whether they live in a rural or urban setting, etc.).

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

The U.S. Embassy will consider awarding grants ranging from $6,000 up to $25,000. Any requests outside of these limits will not be considered. Please read section C. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION about requirements and criteria.

Total budget for the competition: $60,000

Assistance Instruments: Grants or Fixed Amount Awards

Maximum period of performance: 18 months

 

C. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

 

  1. Eligible Applicants

Eligibility is limited to educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations (NGOs, CSOs, and Think-Tanks) officially registered in the Republic of Moldova.

Organizations without Moldovan registration can apply only as partners through an eligible organization.

Public Affairs Section reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

Please note: The Department of State prohibits profit under its assistance awards to for-profit or commercial organizations.  No funds will be paid as profit to any recipient.  Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs.  The permissibility of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR Part 31, Cost Accounting Standards, and Part 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.  Program income earned by the recipient must be deducted from the total project or program allowable cost in determining the net allowable costs on which the federal share of costs is based.

Please note:  No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM) is eligible for any assistance or can participate in any activities under an award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR Part 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR Part 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List System in SAM (www.sam.gov) to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Applicants are not required to include funding from other donors.  However, applications that include additional in-kind and/or cash contributions from non-U.S. Government sources will be more competitive, since cost-sharing may demonstrate a stronger commitment to the planned activities and greater cost effectiveness.

  1. Other

Organizations should have, or demonstrate the capacity to develop, active partnerships with in-country entities and relevant stakeholders, including the public sector, private sector, and civil society, as relevant to the proposed program objectives.

Organizations may form consortia and submit a combined proposal. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicants

Organizations should not submit multiple grant proposals unless the scope, goal, and substance of the proposals vary significantly.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

  1. Address to Request Application Package

All Application forms and formats required below are also available for download on the Related Documents tab on Grants.gov opportunity page.

  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

A complete application must contain the following mandatory elements:

Unsolicited attachments will not be read and should not be submitted for this award.

Each proposal submission should clearly demonstrate the relationship to Speaker Program and address at least one of the program objectives described in this announcement.

We require that each speaker program fulfills a minimum of 3-4 days of work in Moldova with at least 3-4 meetings or 8 hours of activities per day. Travel and leisure days do not count as work days. Per diem is awarded only for working days and official travel dates to/from Moldova. All events with the U.S. speaker must be free of charge. The program must not favor only one organization or a group. Plan your program with different key audiences, involve several private or public institutions, invite media and open your events to the public. Plan an evaluation meeting at the end of the program between the project coordinator, speaker and the Embassy. Projects with more than one speaker are also accepted.

 

Covered Costs: The U.S. Embassy will cover economy-class airfare ticket, per diem ($73 per day), lodging costs (up to $161), and honoraria ($250 per work day).

Please include these numbers in your budget outline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to identify the relevant expert and ensure that he/she agrees to these conditions and states this in their letter of intent. If you do not have a confirmed speaker but you have a clear idea of objectives and subject matter expertise you can still apply but you need to describe in your application the potential profile of the speaker. Allowable costs are limited to immediate program needs, such as translation services, in-country transportation, conference room rentals, relevant supplies, and meals.  The program cannot cover overhead or staff salaries.

Do not archive/compress documents. The documents should be attached as individual files and sent in one email before the deadline. Do not send the application package more than once.

Please send the application electronically to moldovagrants@state.gov including the Funding opportunity Number and Name of the Organization in the subject of your email.  

Example:  PAS-CHISINAU-FY20-08-SPEAKER Asociatia Moldova

It is the responsibility of all applicants to ensure that proposals have been submitted on time to the specified email. The U.S. Embassy bears no responsibility for data errors during the transmission or conversion processes.

We encourage the applicants to use the downloadable application format.  If Internet access is limited, please contact us to arrange an alternative way of receiving the application package.

Please use only Microsoft Word to fill out the Application format. If you do not have Microsoft Office software, feel free to use the computers at the America House (find address on the Embassy’s website) or any other public access center (e.g., Novateca’s nationwide library network, Internet cafés, etc.).

Please contact us (See Section G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACT(S)) if you experience technical problems or are unable to submit an electronic version of the application.

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

Successful applicants may be required to register in SAM.GOV (System for Award

Management) before an award can be made. You should consider starting the registration process early to avoid any delays if your grant is selected for funding.

Be Aware:

SAM.gov is a free government-managed website; applicants do not need to pay to have their organization registered. A/OPE receives frequent reports that recipients are contacted by organizations posing as SAM.gov and threatening to cut off registration unless a fee is paid for registration or renewal. These emails are not coming from SAM.gov and should be reported to Spam and Phishing/Spoofing.

Please read the available information before registering: Useful Information for International Registrants: 

To register:

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number (Click to Apply)

Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet.

Step 2: Apply for an NCAGE number (Click to Apply)

Instructions for the NCAGE application process 

Phone:1-888-227-2423 (within the U.S.) or 1-269-961-7766 (outside of the U.S.)

Email: NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil 

Step 3: Register for SAM (Click to Apply)

After you have received your NCAGE Code, you may register in SAM. SAM registration must be renewed annually.

Please do not contact the U.S. Embassy regarding the registration process.

  1. Submission Dates and Times

 

Submission Deadline: April 15, 2020, 18:00

 

  1. Intergovernmental review

 

This funding opportunity is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and does not require Intergovernmental Review.

  1. Funding Restrictions

The Grants Program cannot fund:

  • Organizations with affiliation to elected officials, political parties, or religious groups;
  • Humanitarian or charitable activities, including direct social services to populations;
  • Pre-award costs.
  1. Other Submission Requirements

N/A

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

The Program will fund proposals that best address the Program’s themes and that reflect the values of the United States and the mandate of the Embassy of the United States of America.  Successful proposals will contain accurate and well-developed implementation plans and clear explanations of how the project goals will be achieved.

Project selection is competitive. 

  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 organization 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.

  1. Review and Selection Process

The Program Review Committee is made up of heads of sections or their delegates of the U.S. Embassy in Moldova.  The panel members have at least 10 working days to read the projects and then convene to review and discuss the project proposals and recommend selected projects for funding.

The selected awards of the committee are confirmed by the Front Office of the U.S. Embassy and submitted to the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC for final approval.\

F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

  1. Federal Award Notices

Applicants will be notified electronically about selection results.  An email message will be sent to the email addresses included in the application (authorized representative and a carbon copy to the project contact person). Grants Program Staff might also contact the applicant to request additional information or to clarify certain aspects of the application documents; therefore, it is important to provide accurate contact information.

Unsuccessful program applicants will receive an email notification.  Grants Program Staff can provide a signed rejection letter upon request; however, the Grants Program will not provide specific reasons for rejection. 

Successful program applicants must sign a Notice of Award (grant agreement) before receiving the funds.  The grant or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The Notice of Federal Award signed by the grants officer 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 award document signed by the Grants Officer.  

No costs should be incurred by the applicant prior to signing a Notice of Award.

  1. 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: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions.

  1. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports in English.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

(a) Program Reports:  U.S. Embassy Chisinau requires program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement.  A program report is required within thirty (30) days following the end of each three-month period of performance during the validity period of the agreement.  The final program report is due ninety (90) days following the end of the agreement. Monthly progress briefs may also be required.

(b) Financial Reports:  Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement (January 30th, April 30th, July 30th, October 30th).  The final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement. 

Reports reflecting expenditures should be completed in accordance with the Federal Financial Report SF-425 (click to download) and in accordance with other award specific requirements. 

The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to contract certified auditors to conduct program and financial audits of the projects funded under this Notice of Funding Opportunity.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACT(S)

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact:

Andrei Cusnir

Alumni and Speakers Program Specialist CusnirAM@state.gov

+373 22 85 17 04; +373 68 22 77 31

H. OTHER INFORMATION

 

Organizations that submit applications in response to this announcement acknowledge and accept all of the requirements contained herein. This announcement serves as notice to select interested parties to have equal opportunity to submit project proposals for funding consideration. All submissions in response to this announcement are voluntary and do not obligate the Department of State to fund any proposal or proposal preparation costs.

Issuance of this Request for Proposals does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government, nor does it commit the Government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received. 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 total discretion of the Department of State.


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