Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title:             U.S. Embassy Baku PAS Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number:      DOS-AZE-PD-22-02
Deadline for Applications:               December 23, 2022
CFDA Number:                                19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available:                 $100,000
Maximum for Each Award:            $50,000

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy Baku Public Affairs Section (PAS) is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Annual Program Statement.  U.S. Embassy Baku’s Annual Program Statement solicits proposals for projects that further the U.S. Mission’s public diplomacy goals of expanding and strengthening people-to-people ties between Azerbaijan and the United States, engaging with local media, and building and strengthening local partners through the specific objectives listed. Public diplomacy programming includes cultural programming, educational exchanges, workshops and training for entrepreneurs, innovation in and improvement of education systems, promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and gender equality programs connected to environmental issues, and journalist skills-building and professionalism.

 

Purpose of Programs: 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. Programs with in-person elements should include virtual-program contingency plans (and corresponding budget). Examples of PAS program activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars, and speaker programs on the topics of entrepreneurship, STEM, education policy, gender equality and reforms, among others.
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances, and exhibitions.
  • Professional and academic exchanges and programs.
  • Trainings and workshops for professionals.
  • Programs to engage young people, women, or vulnerable populations.

 

Participants and Audiences:

The intended audience for potential projects includes entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, young people, women, IDP and other vulnerable communities, people with disabilities, and the public.

 

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:

 

  • 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.

 

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

 

Length of performance period: 12 months maximum

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 $50,000

Type of Funding:  FY 22/23 Public Diplomacy Funds, pending availability of funds

Anticipated programs start date: rolling

 

 

Funding Instrument Type:   Award

 

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

 

  1. 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.

 

For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.

 

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

 

Though cost sharing is not mandatory, applicants are encouraged to include their contribution in the 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 (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.

 

  1. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

 

  1. 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

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.
  • 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 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 23, 2022, but will be evaluated on a rolling basis throughout the year.

 

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 for Non-Construction programs)

 

  1. Summary Coversheet: 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 grants 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 XXX 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 grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, 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 grant?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

 

  1. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the provided SF-424A Budget document (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) (NOTE: This section is required and not optional, except for NOFOs targeting applications from individuals instead of organizations)

 

Required Registration

 

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.

 Submission Dates and Times

 

Applications are due by December 23, 2022.

 

 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 projects: 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: 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 it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide 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. Please specify your plan.

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

 

 

  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 grant application process, please contact PAS at: BakuPASPrograms@state.gov

 

  1. 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.