English-Language Program for Disadvantaged Communities

Funding Opportunity Title: English-Language Program for Disadvantaged Communities

Deadline for Applications: 23:59 on May 11, 2022

CFDA Number: 19.900

Total Amount Available: $80,000 USD

 

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce a call for proposals from individuals and organizations for its English-Language Program for Disadvantaged Communities. The program is focused on English-language training for youth aged 12-17 from underserved communities, especially those located outside of the capital city.  In addition to in-person programs, instruction may be offered virtually, in part or entirely.

The Program objectives are:

 

  • To offer free-of-charge English-language instruction to Azerbaijani students from underserved communities.
  • To offer different high-quality English-language instruction that is based on communicative teaching methods and that focuses on enhancing students’ conversational and comprehension skills.
  • To instill knowledge of and appreciation for American culture and values, to promote community service, and to enhance critical-thinking skills among program participants.

 

Participants and Audiences:

The intended audiences for potential projects are individuals from disadvantaged communities.  Secondary school students and young people are the targeted beneficiaries and special consideration will be given to programs working in regions outside of Baku.  Proposed programs may have an online instruction element and should include contingency plans to accommodate potential prohibitions on in-person gatherings.

Proposal may entail various additional creative elements (such secondary focuses might include the environment, performing arts, youth leadership, STEM, etc.) but all successful proposals will comply with the core framework and requirements.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ENGLISH-LANGUAGE TRAINING COURSE

 

  1. Scope

A minimum of 102 hours of active teaching hours over the course of the program.  The schedule should encompass 34 active teaching weeks of two 1.5-hour classes every week (for a total of 68      classes).  Furthermore, each program should offer a non-classroom-based enhancement activity every month. (Representative activities might include a community clean-up program, a library visit, or a volunteer session with a local community service organization.)   Each class should be comprised of a maximum of 20 students.

Please provide a calendar of class meetings and activities in your proposal.

 

  1. Teacher qualifications

All teachers must be identified and presented in the proposal.  All teachers must have at least advanced-mid proficiency levels in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

In addition, the Embassy will arrange for ACTFL-style testing of all teachers prior to the start of the program and before teacher-training in August.  Teachers must be at or above advanced-mid level in all four skills to be able to continue with the program.

Please provide teachers’ names, CVs, and proof of language proficiency, if available.

  1. Teacher-training in August

All teachers must commit to a 32-hour virtual training program in August 2022 on Communicative Techniques and Teaching American Culture and Values.  Attendance in the training is mandatory but participants will not be compensated financially.  Payment to successful proposers will not be made until all teachers have successfully completed the training.

The training workshop, which represents an excellent professional development and networking opportunity for the teachers, will enable the participating teachers to achieve the programs’ desired results.  Specifically, by the end of the course teachers will be able to:

  • Use communicative methods in their classroom
  • Conduct their classes in American style (and not duplicate the normal Azerbaijani school environment)
  • Encourage their students, permitting them to ask questions, teaching them to think critically, and empowering them by providing them the freedom to do such things as suggest authentic materials of interest to them and state their opinions.

Please provide teachers’ signed agreements to participate in the 32-hour virtual training throughout August.

  1. Administering ACTFL proficiency tests

An Embassy English Language Specialist will administer the speaking test for selected students before the training program and after the training program. In addition, the Embassy’s English Language Coordinator will help the teachers administer reading, writing, and listening tests before the training program and after the training program. Applicants should budget one day of their teachers’ time for the assessment test.

  1. Textbooks

All textbooks used in U.S. Embassy-funded language programs must be produced by an American publisher.

Please include the name(s) of the textbook(s) you will use in your proposal.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: applicants are encouraged to design programs that encompass at least one academic year.

Number of awards anticipated:  up to four awards, depending on available funds

Award amounts: awards may range to a maximum of $20,000

Type of Funding:  FY 22 AEECA Funds

Anticipated start date of selected projects: August 2022

Anticipate start of the training programs: October 2022

Info Session: April 25, 2022, 15:00

Please use the following link to access the session:
meet.google.com/rmk-khfn-nhw

 

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Award

 

  1. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

Submissions are encouraged from Azerbaijani entities with relevant experience. This experience should be documented in the proposal. Eligible entities include: not-for-profit, civil society/non-governmental organizations, public educational institutions and individuals. For-profit entities are eligible to apply. Previous federal award 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.

  1. 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.).

  1. 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.6 for information on how to obtain these registrations. Individuals are not required to have a unique entity identifier or be registered in SAM.gov.

 

  1. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

 

  1. Address to Request Application Package

To obtain the application forms and instructions, please send a request to Sabina Abdullayeva at abdullayevas@state.gov. Please indicate in your email your applicant status: individual or organization. To receive additional explanation on filling in the forms send your questions to Sabina Abdullayeva at abdullayevas@state.gov .

 

  1. 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 to Sabina Abdullayeva at abdullayevas@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 11:59 p.m (Baku time) May 11, 2022. English Language Program for Disadvantaged Communities awards will be announced after June 15, 2022.  Only selected applicants will be contacted.

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms (available from abdullayevas@state.gov)

 

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)

 

  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.

 

  1. 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 a mandatory part of the project budget. Throughout the timeframe 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 ensure it meets the goals of the award. When calculating your budget costs, you should allocate Monitoring and Evaluation activity expenses not exceeding 5% of your entire budget.

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 Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.

 

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

 

  1. Required Registrations:

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

  • 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 (except individuals) must obtain these registrations, the latter are free of charge.

 

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

 

  1. Submission Dates and Times

 

Applications are due by May 11, 2022.

 

  1. Other Submission Requirements

 

All application materials must be submitted by email to English Language Programs Coordinator Sabina Abdullayeva at abdullayevas@state.gov.

 

  1. 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 – 20 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 Awards – 20 points: The organization or an 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. When calculating your budget costs, you should allocate Monitoring and Evaluation activity expenses not exceeding 5% of your entire budget.

Sustainability – 10 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

 

Support of Equity and Underserved Communities – 10 points:  Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the program will support and advance equity and engage underserved communities in program administration, design, and implementation.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

 

The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the 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.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

 

If you have any questions about the award application process, please contact: Sabina Abdullayeva at abdullayevas@state.gov .

 

  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.