Notice of Funding Opportunity

USAU Seal

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. Mission to the African Union, Addis Ababa

Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title: Strengthening US-Africa Ties with Arts, Culture, and Heritage

Funding Opportunity Number: NOFO 01/FY21

Deadline for Applications: August 21, 2021

CDFA Number: 19.040                   

Total Amount Available: $80,000

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Mission to the African Union, Addis Ababa (USAU), Bureau of African Affairs of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a program focused on the linkages between arts, culture, and heritage in the United States and in Africa. The United States has one of the largest African diasporas in the world and the contributions of African-Americans to every facet of the American experience has been immeasurable.  This year, the African Union’s theme is “Arts, Culture, and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want,” and throughout the year USAU will underscore the African origins of certain aspects of American arts and culture, and highlight how arts and culture can be leveraged to address issues around peace & security, economic development, and democracy & good governance.  Please follow all instructions below.

Priority Region: Sub-Saharan and North Africa

Program Objectives:

All proposals must incorporate linkages between arts, culture, and heritage in the United States and in Africa.  All proposals should also be thematically relevant to one of the areas specified below:

  • Expand and improve the relationship between the US and AUC
  • Conflict prevention, mediation, & post-conflict development in Africa
  • Economic development and partnership of the AU with US
  • Highlight AU democracy building and good governance activities
  • Support AU anti-corruption efforts
  • Promote the rights of women and girls
  • Capacity building of the youth of the AU and Africa in general
  • Africa CDC capacity building

Public diplomacy programming strengthens cultural ties between the U.S. and African Union through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral and Multilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or 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 Public diplomacy programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Cultural heritage conservation and preservation programs;
  • Programs developed by an alumnus/a of a U.S. sponsored or supported educational or professional exchange program;
  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars and speaker programs;
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions;
  • Programs developed by an alumnus/a of a U.S. sponsored or supported educational or professional exchange program;
  • Programs that strengthen U.S. college and university relationships with local higher education institutions, businesses, and/or regional organizations.

Participants and Audiences:

Programs should target youth (under 35) audiences in Africa and the African diaspora.

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: 4 to 12 months

Number of awards anticipated: 2 awards (dependent on amounts)

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $20,000 to a maximum of $40,000

Total available funding: $80,000

Type of Funding:  Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds,

Anticipated program start date:  October 2021

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in three to nine months. The Department of State will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

  1. Eligible Applicants

The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from throughout Africa and from the African diaspora in the United States.

The following organizations are eligible to apply

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
  • Individuals will be considered, but priority is given to organizations or educational institutions with a proven track record of success

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

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required but is strongly encouraged.

3. 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.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.  Individuals are not required to have a unique entity identifier or be registered in SAM.gov.

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per individual/organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an individual/organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Application forms required below are available at on https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.

Content of Application

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 documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with

a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required for consideration:

  1. Mandatory application forms
  • 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 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 (15 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.
  • Full Proposal (15 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 Africa 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.
  • American Content: How will the program promote a better understanding of the U.S.? For example, will there be a U.S. citizen speaker or trainer, will U.S. developed training materials be used, or will U.S. exchange alumni run a program?
  • 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 timeframe 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.
  • Branding Plan: Applicant’s plan for branding and promotional materials.
    • Attachments (suggested examples):
  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.
  2. 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 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)

Required Registrations:

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) 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.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

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

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

NCAGE application: Application page here: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf

For NCAGE help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For NCAGE help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

  1. Submission Dates and Times

The Public Affairs Section will accept concept notes from August 1 through September 1, 2021.

Submission: Concept Notes should be submitted via email to Rubani Trimiew in the Public Affairs Section at AddisUSAUPD@state.gov. Additional information, full proposals, and standard forms will be required from selected projects only. Concept Notes must be in the English language.

NOFO Deadlines and Timelines:

  • July 21 to August 21: Application Window – The Public Affairs Section will accept proposals from July 21 to August 21.
  • September 10: All proposals will be reviewed by September 10. Applicants will be notified if they were not selected. Finalists will be notified of their selection.
  1. Funding Restrictions

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages

  1. Other Submission Requirements

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

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

  1. Criteria

Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of their completeness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail.  The criteria is designed to assess the quality of the proposed project and to determine the likelihood of its success.  The criteria is closely related and is considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.

Application Evaluation Criteria:

  • Goals and Objectives The project is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.  The project addresses one or more of the U.S. Mission to the African Union Public Affairs Section priorities outlined above.
  • Strengths and Innovation– Applicant clearly describes how its proposal will address the problem within the proposed time frame and articulates an innovative strategy or plan.  The project builds civil society leadership and capacity and demonstrates sustainable capacity building.
  • Mission priorities and U.S. Content: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Mission to the African Union priority areas or target audiences. It is clear how U.S. content will be incorporated into the program.
  • Organizational Capacity– 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.
  • Sustainability– The organization demonstrates a clear plan for sustainable activity or impact of the activity after the grant period of performance.
  • Budget and Budget Justification– 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.
  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

  1. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications. We expect final funding decisions to be made no later than September 10. Organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified via email.

F. 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 Notice of Funding Opportunity (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. Payment Method: Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: 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: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at:  https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

  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.

      • FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact Rubani Trimiew at AddisUSAUPD@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. Mission to the African Union   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. 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:

  • President’s September 2, 2020 memorandum, entitled Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds that Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities;
  • Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence (E.O. 13933); and
  • 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).