Women Empowerment Centers for Azerbaijan      

Funding Opportunity Title: Women Empowerment Centers for Azerbaijan
Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-AZE-PD-22-03
Deadline for Applications: August 01, 2022
Assistance Listing Number: 19.900
Total Amount Available: $500,000

 

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
    The Embassy of the United States of America in Azerbaijan announces an open competition for organizations to submit proposals that focus on creating a network of women economic empowerment centers throughout Azerbaijan and helping Azerbaijan’s women participate in their nation’s labor and entrepreneurship sectors.

The Embassy will fund a project working with women and girls to enhance their ability to open their own businesses, increase their employability, and/or increase their incomes.  While using the Embassy’s American Corners – located in Baku and six regional cities of Ganja, Sheki, Khachmaz, Kurdemir, Salyan, and Lankaran – as hubs, the program can also propose additional program centers, such as libraries, youth, and community centers.  Program partners will offer training sessions for varying degrees of skills in such areas as financial and digital literacy, resource-efficient agricultural techniques, post-harvest processing, accounting, marketing (including via social media), and business development.  In addition, elaborate mentorship programs will be designed to meet the varying needs and aspirations of the participants.  Successful proposals will feature built-in competition and reward mechanisms offering internships and/or similar engagements to the most motivated and promising participants, thus laying pathways to employment (including self-employment), offering new connections, and building new partnerships.  Finally, a successful proposal will include a rigorous monitoring, evaluation, learning plan.

Background:

Despite significant achievements, progress towards gender equality in Azerbaijan faces numerous challenges.  Most of these challenges include sectoral and occupational gender segregation, disproportionate distribution of unpaid domestic work and gender-based discrimination in the workplace. While Azerbaijan is narrowing the gender gap in educational attainment and health, major shortcomings in the areas of empowerment (including the extent of women’s participation in decision-making) and economic participation remain evident.  Salient gender-specific obstacles include:

  • Restrictive socio-cultural practices and gender-based discrimination: marginalization of women and girls in family and community decision-making, domestic violence and coercive control, gender stereotyping, rigid gender-based distribution of family duties and responsibilities, early marriage, and school dropouts.
  • Weak links between local women entrepreneurs and financial institutions and the absence of gender-sensitive financial services that target women entrepreneurs.
  • Lack of networking and capacity building opportunities for women and girls.
  • Absence of gender responsive corporate policies in the private sector.

Overwhelming evidence demonstrates that women’s economic empowerment is essential in achieving broad developmental goals such as economic growth, poverty reduction, health, education, and welfare. Economic empowerment enables women to achieve their rights and increase their well-being while also helping reduce household poverty and increasing economic growth and productivity.

Priority Regions: 

The selected organization will include American Corners located Baku, Kurdemir, Lankaran, Khachmaz, Sheki, Ganja, and Salyan regions as hubs and platforms for project activities. However, the implementing partners will not be limited to these hubs and will be encouraged to suggest additional project gravity centers.

Program Objectives:

The program’s goal is to support women’s economic and social participation and leadership by improving their economic opportunities as entrepreneurs or in quality jobs through building skills, knowledge, and networks.

 

Below are illustrative outputs and outcomes with reference to indicators that can help measure programmatic success and achievements:

 

Income and control over assets: level of income and revenue, earnings, profits, savings, ownership of productive assets (land, animals, machinery, etc.), women’s increased control on household spending.

 

Decision-making in household and community: increased access to information and technology, participation in community groups, associations, networks, community decision-making and leadership.

 

Self-confidence and self-perception: psychological wellbeing, attitudes on own self-esteem, and confidence to interact with authorities and other stakeholders.

 

Changes in gender roles and responsibilities: number of hours spent in housework, equity of domestic care work, community attitudes towards women’s rights and inclusion.

 

Productivity and skills: improved business and work skills, access to productive tools and technologies, access to markets (as buyers and sellers), access to jobs.

 

 

Participants and Audiences:

The intended participants for a potential project are women and girls, including those from economically and socially disadvantaged communities, such as IDP settlements.

Proposals should also demonstrate how – in cooperation with our American Corners and alumni network – additional women from defined target groups will be reached, and how assessment results will be analyzed and presented in reports and used for learning and future program design.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: 18-36 months

Number of awards anticipated: One grant will be awarded to a single entity.  It is assumed that the winning bidder will retain the services of other organizations with specific geographic or subject-matter expertise to successfully undertake the whole suite of program activities. An applicant can be the lead of a consortium of several partners. A leading organization will take full financial responsibility and will outline shared tasks and precise budget division between partners.  The U.S. Embassy will sign a grant document with and disburse funds to the leading organization only.

 

Total available funding: $500,000

Type of Funding:  FY 21 AEECA funding

Anticipated program start date:  October 01, 2022

 

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

 

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant.

 

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 36 months period or less.

 

  1. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

 

  1. Eligible Applicants

 

Submissions are encouraged from international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and associations with relevant experience, as well as from Azerbaijani NGOs and for-profit entities.

Successful applicants should possess some/all of the following attributes:

 

  • Organizations with a demonstrated success in working with women’s groups at the grassroots level and women empowerment networks. Proven experience in capacity development activities within Azerbaijan will be an asset.

 

  • A track record in developing and implementing innovative and transformational interventions that mobilize women and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and female engagement in the local decision-making processes.

 

  • Applicants should demonstrate that they have existing partnerships or negotiated potential subcontractor arrangements with women-led and locally-led CSOs/NGOs with experience working in the target districts. In such cases, applicants may provide letters of intent demonstrating what activities and where the subcontractor will undertake.

 

  • In case of a consortium, the lead organization should have at least 5 years of experience in similar project interventions.

 

  1. Cost-Sharing or Matching

 

Though cost-sharing is not mandatory, applicants are encouraged to include their contribution in suggested project budget.  Contributions can take the form of in-kind commitments (e.g., 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

 

Application forms required below are available at grants.gov or by emailing to BakuPASPrograms@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
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins.

 

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms
  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) 
  • SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF-424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) (note: the SF-424B is only required for individuals and for organizations not registered in SAM.gov)

 

  1. Summary Page: 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.

 

  1. Proposal (20 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant proposes to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.

 

Content of the proposal (list all documents and attachments with page numbers):

  • Cover Page: include organization name, project title, project duration, target regions, key contacts, and requested funding amount.
  • 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, Objectives, and Indicators: “Goals” describes what the program intends to achieve.  “Objectives” refers to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable and demonstrated by indicators.
  • 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.  Include a logic model as appropriate.
  • 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: In narrative form, applicants should describe how they intend to monitor and evaluate the project. This narrative should describe intended M&E processes, including key personnel and management structure (where M&E fits into the overall program’s staff structure). Applicants must submit either a Theory of Change diagram or an If-Then statement that illustrates how project activities will lead to intended outcomes.  All applicants must outline objectives, proposed activities and their expected outputs and outcomes, as well as indicators against which success will be measured.  This description should demonstrate how project activities will result in increased beneficiary knowledge, skills, attitude, and behavior change, as well as higher quality of life due to beneficiaries’ increased income and elevated status in their communities.

Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable

  • Gender and Social Inclusion Analysis and Safeguarding and Do Not Harm Policies: Proposals must include a gender analysis that is contextualized by each geographic area where the Applicant proposes to program; demonstrates how the proposed program accounts for the different ways in which it might impact and be impacted by different genders; and identifies challenges and opportunities for narrowing gender inequalities. Funding priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate a strong understanding of how intersecting aspects of identity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, geography, marital or relationship status, or religious, caste, or tribal affiliation, combine to further marginalize certain sections of the population, and how these will be addressed to realize meaningful inclusion.
  • Risk assessments: Identify risks to staff, implementers, participants, or their communities as a result of their participation in the program. Besides political and environmental factors, risks may include in-person or online gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, and other forms of physical, psychological, economic, or social backlash against beneficiaries. Risk assessments should also address how the program will avoid exacerbating local tensions or divisions, such as unintended power shifts within or between communities, local competition over program funds and opportunities, unintended crowding out of local civil society actors, or “brain drain” of their own staff or members, in line with Do No Harm principles. Submit copies of any organization-wide policies and procedures on Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)[1], or explain how the Applicant organization plans to develop such policies. If not already explained in its policies and procedures, the Applicant must outline in its proposal how it will work with any sub-grantees who do not yet have PSEA policies and procedures to develop and apply them over the course of the program. Proposals must include a plan for regular review and updates of risk assessment(s).
  • Detailed Line-Item Budget: Applications will not be considered complete and eligible for consideration unless they include budgets that respond to the NOFO guidelines. Complete budgets must include detailed line items outlining specific cost requirements for proposed activities. Applicants must adhere to the regulations found in 2 CFR 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Costs Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR Part 30 and Part 31.

 

Applications must include a detailed line-item budget (in Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet format) that delineates funds requested from the Embassy and cost-share (see below for more information on budget format). Costs must be in U.S. dollars. The budget must identify the total amount of funding requested, with a breakdown of amounts to be spent in the following budget categories: personnel; fringe benefits; travel; equipment; supplies; consultants/contracts; other direct costs; and indirect costs. See Annex 1 for a description of the types of costs that should be included in each category.

 

Additional Budget Considerations

Please note the audit requirements for Department of State awards in the Standard Terms and Conditions https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm and 2 CFR 200, Subpart F – Audit Requirements. The cost of the required audits may be charged either as an allowable direct cost to the award OR included in the organization’s established indirect costs in the award’s detailed budget.

 

Organizations claiming indirect costs should have an established Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). A copy of the NICRA should be provided with the proposal package. If sub-grantees are claiming indirect costs, they should have an established NICRA, and it should also be submitted with the proposal package. Information on how to obtain a NICRA rate is listed in Section G. If a non-profit organization does not have a NICRA and the proposal budget has a line item for indirect cost charges, those indirect charges may not exceed 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. The 10% maximum does not apply to for-profit entities. For-profit entities that do not have a NICRA but do have a formally established General and Administrative (G&A) rate may apply the G&A rate. For-profit entities that do not have a formally established G&A rate should allocate indirect costs to the appropriate direct cost category.

 

Grant funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.

 

 

  1. Budget Justification Narrative: The purpose of the budget justification narrative is to supplement the information provided in the budget spreadsheet by justifying how the budget cost elements are necessary to implement project objectives and accomplish the project goals. The budget justification narrative is a tool to help the U.S. Embassy staff fully understand the budgetary needs of the applicant and is an opportunity to provide descriptive information about the requested costs beyond the constraints of the budget template. Together, the detailed budget spreadsheet, the budget justification narrative, and the SF-424A should provide a complete financial and qualitative description that supports the proposed project plan and should be directly relatable to the specific project components described in the applicant’s proposal. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissionsbelow for further information.

 

  1. Attachments (supporting documents):
  • Key Personnel: Project implementation organizational chart with names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications and 1-page CVs attached of all key team members.
  • Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees, and cooperation Intent letters from all indicated partners.
  • List of relevant projects with descriptions implemented in the last five year.
  • Copies of an organization or program audit within the last two years.
  • 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.
  • Proof of Non-profit or LLC Status.
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities.

 

Please note:

Other items NOT required for submission, but which may be requested if your application is selected to move forward in the review process include:

  • Copies of relevant human resources, financial, or procurement policies
  • Copies of other relevant organizational policies or documentation that would help the Department determine an organization’s capacity to manage a federal grant award overseas
  • Completion of a pre-award organizational information sheet to determine what financial controls and standard operating procedures an organization uses to procure goods and services, hire staff and track time and attendance, pay for grant-related travel, and identify other financial transactions that may be necessary to undertake the activities in your application
  • The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial information regarding the proposal.

 

Applications are accepted in English only, and final grant agreements will be concluded in English. Budgets should be submitted in U.S. dollars, and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.

 

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

 

Required Registrations:

 

All organizations applying for grants 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.

 

U.S.-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:

 

Application Deadline: All applications must be received by August 01, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. Baku (Azerbaijan) time. This deadline is firm and is not a rolling deadline. If organizations fail to meet the deadline noted above, their applications will be considered ineligible and will not be considered for funding. All application materials must be submitted by email to BakuPASPrograms@state.gov or through www.Grants.gov.

 

Question Deadline: For questions on this solicitation, please contact BakuPASPrograms@state.gov. Questions must be received on or before July 20, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., Baku (Azerbaijan) time.

 

  1. Funding Restrictions

 

  • Construction: Any award made as a result of this NOFO will not allow for construction activities or costs.
  • Pre-award Costs: Any costs incurred prior to the award start date in the Federal Notice of Award are incurred at the recipient’s own risk. Approval of these costs requires authorization of the Grants Officer to be considered allowable, will only be considered on a case-by-case basis, and will only be authorized in extraordinary circumstances. Applicants should assume that any costs incurred before the start date on the Federal Notice of Award will not be authorized.

 

  1. Other Submission Requirements

 

All application materials must be submitted by email to BakuPASPrograms@state.gov or through www.Grants.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 – 15 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 – 15 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.

Gender Analysis, Social Inclusion, Do No Harm (10 points): Application includes a thoughtful gender analysis and reflects its findings in the program design. It also includes a plan for iteratively reviewing progress against the gender analysis with local partners/beneficiaries and adapting implementation. If additional geographic areas will be added during implementation, the application explains how a gender analysis will be conducted for the new areas.

Budget – 10 points: The overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and supplies, are consistent with prevailing market rates in Azerbaijan. All items are necessary, appropriate, and directly relatable to the project’s goals and objectives. 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. Cost sharing is not required.

Monitoring and evaluation plan – 15 points:   Our theory of change focuses on the economic security of women and girls.  Selected organization will be required to develop logical framework with key objectives, short term and long terms result, as well as key indicators against which the success of the project will be measured. Proposals should focus on short term and long-term outcome driven results on a personal and community levels using qualitative and quantitative M&E methods and instruments.

  • Long term indicators should measure real life achievements, such as women starting their own business, experiencing increased income level, finding new employments, etc.
  • Short term indicators should focus on knowledge acquisition, soft skills, enhanced communication and networking skills, and self-confidence, as well as higher perceived status in the community, etc.

 

Examples of long-term indicators:

  • Percentage of female participants who experience increased access to productive economic resources (assets, credit, income or employment).
  • Percentage of participants reporting increased male partners’ agreement with the concept that males and females should have equal access to social, economic, and political resources and opportunities.

Examples of short-term indicators:

  • Percentage of female training participants who gained greater roles in public or private sector institutions or organizations.
  • Percentage of participants reporting increased own agreement with the concept that males and females should have equal access to social, economic, and political resources and opportunities.

Sustainability – 10 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program. Please describe how the program will take a participatory, locally-led approach that is demonstrably driven by the needs and perspectives of local partners and the communities they serve.

 

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. Review and Selection Process

It will take up to 60 days from the application deadline before an award or decline notice is sent from the Embassy to applicants. Due to the volume of proposals received, individual responses to requests for updates prior to the 60-day timeframe may not be returned until final review of proposals and issuance of an award is completed. Public Affairs Section (PAS) utilizes the following review and selection process:

After the NOFO closes, applications are reviewed for eligibility. Those applications found to be ineligible will be removed from the selection process. Applications found to be eligible will be forwarded to an Embassy review committee for consideration. An Embassy review committee will score eligible proposals based on the funding criteria provided in the NOFO. The top applicant(s) will go through additional vetting, risk assessments, and negotiations with a designated PAS representative. If and when the Grants Officer is satisfied, s/he will issue the award(s). Once a grant award(s) is made from this solicitation, those applicants whose proposals were not selected for funding will be notified via email. PAS will send such notifications to the email address listed in box 8f of the applicant’s SF424. Applicants should expect to be notified if their proposal has been selected for award within 60 days of the submission deadline.

 

  1. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (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 on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

 

  1. 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 designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);

 

  1. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

 

iii. That 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 §200.206 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

 

 

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

 

  1. Federal Award Notices

 

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant 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. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

 

Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.

 

These include:

 

In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following:  NOTE:

  • Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register’s 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:
    • Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR part 200.205),
    • Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115—232) (2 CFR part 200.216),
    • Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (§§ 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341),
    • Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR part 200.322), and
    • Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law, if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR part 200.340).

 

In accordance with the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Underserved Communities, proposals should demonstrate how the program advances equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. The proposal should also demonstrate how the program will further engagement in underserved communities and with individuals from underserved communities. Proposals should demonstrate how addressing racial equity and underserved communities will enhance the program’s goals and objectives, as well as the experience of participants.

 

The support of underserved communities will be part of the review criteria for this opportunity. Therefore, proposals should clearly demonstrate how the program will support and advance equity and engage underserved communities in program administration, design, and implementation.

 

  1. Reporting

 

Reporting Requirements:  Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

Recipients will be required to submit semi-annual program progress and financial reports throughout the project period. Progress narrative reports will be submitted in Word document, along with other digital copies of photographs, video materials, project promotional materials, etc.  Financial report will include the SF-425 form and comprehensive budget tracker showing up-to-date spending in each budget line, and indicating possible forthcoming requested changes between budget lines.

All reports are to be submitted electronically.

 

 

Foreign Assistance Data Review: As required by Congress, the Department of State must make progress in its efforts to improve tracking and reporting of foreign assistance data through the Foreign Assistance Data Review (FADR). The FADR requires tracking of foreign assistance activity data from budgeting, planning, and allocation through obligation and disbursement.  Successful applicants will be required to report and draw down federal funding based on the appropriate FADR Data Elements, indicated within their award documentation.  In cases of more than one FADR Data Element, typically program or sector and/or regions or country, the successful applicant will be required to maintain separate accounting records.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

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

 

[1] Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) occurs when people in power exploit or abuse vulnerable populations for sexual purposes. According to the U.N. Secretary-General’s Bulletin on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, sexual exploitation refers to “any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.” Sexual abuse refers to “actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.”