Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Baku PAS Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-AZE-PD-23-01
Deadline for Applications: December 22, 2023
CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available: $55,000
Maximum for Each Award: $25,000
- PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The U.S. Embassy Baku Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Awards Program. This is an Annual Program Statement, outlining our funding priorities, strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding. Please carefully follow all instructions below.
U.S. Embassy Baku invites proposals for projects that expand and strengthen ties between the United States and Azerbaijan through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All programs must include connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.
Examples of PAS Small Award programs include, but are not limited to:
- Programs that enhance connections between educational institutions to foster a greater understanding of American academic standards
- Initiatives to support local media counter disinformation and promote transparency initiatives
- Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions
- Cultural heritage conservation and preservation programs
- Professional and academic exchanges and programs.
Priority Program Areas:
- Regional cooperation and interconnectivity in the South Caucasus
- Strengthening U.S.-Azerbaijan cultural or economic ties
- Green energy and other economic and environmental sustainability initiatives
- Rule of law, gender equality, and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights
- Programs that promote media literacy and/or combat disinformation
Participants and Audiences:
Selected programs should demonstrate engagement with underserved communities and equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, and disability. Proposals should demonstrate how working with underserved communities will enhance the program’s goals and objectives, as well as the experience of participants. Applicants should strive to implement projects with diversity and inclusion as guiding principles.
The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:
- Programs relating to partisan political activity
- Charitable or development activities
- Construction programs
- Programs that support specific religious activities
- Fund-raising campaigns
- Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
- Scientific research
- Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization; or
- Programs that duplicate existing programs
- FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Length of performance period: 12 months or less
Number of awards anticipated: Up to 10 awards, depending on available funds
Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $25,000
Total available funding: $55,000
Type of Funding: FY 23/24 Public Diplomacy Funds, pending availability of funds
Anticipated programs start date: rolling
Authorizing legislation: Award
- ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
Submissions are encouraged from U.S. and 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, think tanks and individuals. For-profit entities are not 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 receive a “high-risk” designation if selected for funding.
- Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost sharing is not required but is encouraged.
- Other Eligibility Requirements
Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.
In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for more information. Individuals are not required to have a UEI 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.
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
- 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 Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Calibri font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.
Applications should be emailed 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) December 22, 2023 but will be evaluated on a rolling basis throughout the year.
The following documents are required:
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 for Non-Construction programs)
- Summary Coversheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant’s name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
- 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. What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Azerbaijan will be improved? 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: 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 awards. 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.
- 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-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) (NOTE: This section is required and not optional, except for NOFOs targeting applications from individuals instead of organizations)
All organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration with the SAM.gov. A 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.
Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required for federal assistance applications.
The 2 CFR 200 requires that sub-awardees obtain a UEI number. Please note the UEI for sub-awardees is not required at the time of application but will be required before an award is processed and/or directed to a sub-awardee.
Note: The process of obtaining or renewing a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.
- Organizations based in the United States or that pay employees within the United States will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
- Organizations based outside of the United States and that do not pay employees within the United States do not need an EIN from the IRS but do need a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
- Please note that as of November 2022 and February 2022 respectively, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code or CAGE code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. If an applicant organization is mid-registration and wishes to remove a CAGE or NCAGE code from their SAM.gov registration, the applicant should submit a help desk ticket (“incident”) with the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online at fsd.gov using the following language: “I do not intend to seek financial assistance from the Department of Defense. I do not wish to obtain a CAGE or NCAGE code. I understand that I will need to submit my registration after this incident is resolved in order to have my registration activated.”
Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO NOT plan to do business with the DoD should follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Proceed to SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and complete the SAM.gov registration process. SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually.
Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO plan to do business with the DoD in addition to Department of State should follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Apply for an NCAGE code by following the instructions on the NSPA NATO website linked below:
NCAGE Code Request Tool (NCRT):
An exemption from the UEI and sam.gov registration requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:
- An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.
- For an applicant, if the Federal awarding agency makes a determination that there are exigent circumstances that prohibit the applicant from receiving a unique entity identifier and completing SAM registration prior to receiving a Federal award. In these instances, Federal awarding agencies must require the recipient to obtain a unique entity identifier and complete SAM registration within 30 days of the Federal award date.
Organizations requesting exemption from UEI or SAM.gov requirements must email the point of contact listed in the NOFO at least two weeks prior to the deadline in the NOFO providing a justification of their request. Approval for a SAM.gov exemption must come from the warranted Officer before the application can be deemed eligible for review.
NOTE: SAM.gov is not a State Department website and the U.S. Embassy Baku is not involved in its operations. Please forward all questions related to registration process to the SAM.gov helpdesk.
Applications are due by December 22, 2023.
Other Submission Requirements
All application materials must be submitted by email to BakuPASPrograms@state.gov
Proposals will be considered and funded on a rolling basis until the final December 22, 2023, deadline.
- APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.
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 has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program. 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 provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. 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. 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.
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.
- Review and Selection Process
A Proposal Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.
- Responsibility/Qualification Information in SAM.gov (formerly, 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 over the period of performance (see §200.01 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants 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 U.S. government designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM.gov (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);
- An applicant, at its option, may review and comment on any information about itself in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM that a federal awarding agency previously entered.
iii. 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 §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.
- 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 U.S. Embassy 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.
- FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
If you have any questions about the award application process, please contact PAS at: BakuPASPrograms@state.gov
Note: We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.
- OTHER INFORMATION
Guidelines for Budget Justification
Personnel: 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. 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.