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January 27, 2023

U.S. Mission to Azerbaijan in Baku: Fund for Media Support

Funding Opportunity Title:           U.S. Mission to Azerbaijan in Baku: Fund for Media Support
Deadline for Applications:               March 15, 2023
Total Amount Available:                 $65,000 USD
CFDA title:                                       AEECA/ESF PD Programs
Catalog of Federal of Domestic Assistance Number (CFDA):    19.900




The Embassy of the United States of America is pleased to announce a call for proposals to support media, social media, freedom of the press, and journalism in Azerbaijan.  It will fund innovative initiatives to support Azerbaijan’s press, freedom of press, and independent media.  The program will support projects of $5,000 to $15,000, which will connect to the following thematic areas:


  • developing professional media
  • advancing student and citizen journalism
  • assessing media needs
  • increasing accessibility to diverse sources
  • giving voice to underprivileged groups and/or individuals
  • building resilience to disinformation and foreign malign influence
  • increasing social media engagement on key topics
  • supporting media literacy


Possible program ideas could include professional media training, factchecking, reporting tools to counter disinformation, media environment needs assessment, mapping of disinformation, fact checking, and identification of disinformation.  Program proposals must explain their short- and long-term impact on the general public and/or in the media environment to be competitive.


All programs must include a connection with American culture, expert(s), organization(s), or institution(s) in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policies and perspectives.


Participants and Audiences:


The intended beneficiaries for funded projects will include such groups as youth, netizens, social media influencers, news organizations, media and communication professionals, independent media, regional media, civil society, journalism programs, students, and the general public.



Length of performance period: 12 months

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $15,000

Type of Funding:  FY 22/23 AEECA Funds

Anticipated start date of selected programs: May 2023


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.




Submissions are solicited from organizations and individuals with relevant experience.  This experience should be documented in the proposal.  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 follow all applicable terms, conditions, and Office of Management and Budget guidance and requirements.


  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. Address to Request Application Package


The application forms listed below are available upon request.  Please email: BakuMediaPrograms@state.gov.  Please indicate in your email whether you are applying as an individual or entity.


  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 back to BakuMediaPrograms@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) March 15, 2023.


The following documents are required:


  1. Mandatory application forms (available from BakuMediaPrograms@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.


  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 an important part of successful projects. 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 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.


  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 applicable
  • 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
  • Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov) (Note:  This is required and not optional for all organizations but not for individuals.  End note.)


  1. Submission Dates and Times


Applications are due by March 15, 2023 at 5pm.


  1. Other Submission Requirements


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






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 Grants – 20 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:  This is a mandatory part of the project budget. 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.  Note: all CBI finalists will be required to work with Embassy staff to develop and incorporate a project-specific monitoring and evaluation plan.  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 for Media – 10 points:  Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the program will support and advance professional media, press freedom, independent media, factchecking as well as countering disinformation and malign foreign influence on Azerbaijani media environment.




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.



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



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.