Community Building Initiatives Program

Funding Opportunity Title:             Community-building Initiatives Program
Deadline for Applications:              May 15, 2020
Total Amount Available:                 $150,000 USD

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Embassy of the United States of America in Azerbaijan is pleased to announce a call for proposals to support community-building initiatives to increase inclusive growth and local community capacity development.  The program seeks to fund small projects that promote values that contribute to the growth of civic organizations.  It will also fund innovative individual initiatives to build Azerbaijan’s prosperity and well-being.  The competition is open to all well-developed, innovative community-building initiatives that aim to create an open, tolerant, and inclusive society, develop pluralistic communities, or foster economic prosperity.  The Community-building Initiatives Program has chosen to address the following topics:

  • Enhancing capacity-building, including programs that help young people grow into the next generation of leaders;
  • Building strong communities through projects and platforms that promote local civic engagement, volunteerism, and community associations;
  • Promoting tolerant, multicultural, diverse, and pluralistic worldviews, and countering violent messaging in communities;
  • Advocating for disadvantaged communities by creating opportunities for their development, including providing legal services and projects that draw attention to their concerns;
  • Empowering entrepreneurs, especially women and young people, to create local economic opportunities and achieve their potential;
  • Strengthening Civil Society to play a greater role in building public institutions and promoting socio-economic development.

Participants and Audiences

The intended audience for potential projects includes economically and socially disadvantaged communities, which include refugees and IDPs, women and girls, persons with disabilities, and young people.

FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

  • Length of performance period: 12 months maximum
  • Number of awards anticipated:  up to 9-10 awards, depending on available funds
  • Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $24,000
  • Type of Funding:  FY 19/20 AEECA Funds
  • Anticipated program start date: June 2020

This notice is subject to availability of funding

Funding Instrument Type:  Award

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less.

 ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

Submissions are encouraged from Azerbaijani entities with relevant experience. This experience should be documented in the proposal. Eligible entities include Azerbaijani non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and associations, community-based organizations (CBOs), and individual citizens. Previous recipients who are not/were not in compliance with the terms of their financial and program reporting requirements are ineligible to apply. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they are in compliance with all applicable terms, conditions, and Office of Management and Budget guidance and requirements. Those organizations found to be in non-compliance may be found ineligible for funding or designated high risk if selected for funding.

Cost Sharing or Matching

Though cost-sharing is not mandatory, applicants are encouraged to include their contribution in suggested project budget which also can be an in-kind contribution (equipment, labor, program materials, etc.).

Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.  Individuals are not required to have a unique entity identifier or be registered in SAM.gov.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

  • Address to Request Application Package
    The application forms listed below are available upon request.  Please email: BakuPASPrograms@state.gov.  Please indicate in your email whether you are applying as an individual or entity.
  • 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 and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

Applications should be emailed back to BakuPASPrograms@state.gov.   Please be sure to send all attachments in one email message and include your first name, last name, and program name in the subject line of the email. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. (Baku time) May 15, 2020. Community-building Initiatives Program recipients will be announced after May 30, 2020.

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms (available from BakuPASPrograms@state.gov)
  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)
  • SF424A(Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF424B (Assurances-Non-Construction Companies)
  1. 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.
  2. Proposal (4 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 awards 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.
  • 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 projects. Throughout the time-frame of the award, 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 award?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the award period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  1. 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.
  2. 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 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
  1. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov) (Organizations only)

 

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.

All organizations applying for awards (except individuals) must obtain the following registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

NCAGE application: Application page here: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf

For NCAGE help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For NCAGE help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

Submission Dates and Times
Applications are due by May 15, 2020.

 

Other Submission Requirements

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

 

  1. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

Criteria

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

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea:  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 Awards: 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: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Budget: 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: Applicant demonstrates the ability 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: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the award application process, please contact: BakuPASPrograms@state.gov

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.