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Grants Program – General Notice of Funding Opportunity
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November 7, 2023

Grants Program – General Notice of Funding Opportunity

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Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Apia, Samoa — PDS Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number: PDS-SAMOA-2024-01

PDF version of this page

Deadline for Applications

Applications for this Notice of Funding Opportunity will be reviewed on a rolling-basis with the following schedule:

  • December 2023 – results to be advised last week of December 2023
  • February 2024 – results to be advised first week of March 2024
  • May 2024 – results to be advised first week of June 2024
  • August 2024 – results to be advised first week of September 2024

CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available: $50,000 (subject to availability)
Maximum for Each Award: $25,000

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy Apia, Samoa Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Grants Program. This is an Annual Program Statement, outlining our funding priorities, the strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding. Please carefully follow all instructions below. This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Purpose of Grants: PDS Samoa invites Statements of Interest (SOI) for projects that seek to do at least one of the following:

  • strengthen U.S.-Samoa cooperation and coordination on global issues of shared interest (e.g. combatting climate change, supporting Indo-Pacific security, promoting diversity and inclusion);
  • promote the mutual benefits of tech and innovation; and promote stronger connections between the people of the United States, Samoa, and may include the Pacific Island region if inclusive of Samoa.

All programs must include an element that will promote increased understanding of the United States including, but not limited to U.S. policy, people, culture and/or perspectives.

Examples of PDS Grants Program projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars, and speaker programs;
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions; or
  • Professional and academic exchanges and projects.
Priority Program Areas:

I. BUILDING UNDERSTANDING
Programs that seek to explain U.S. policies, culture, and values to Samoan audiences resulting in a positive impact on the bilateral relationship. Programs that deepen connections between the United States and Samoa based on our shared values and heritage. (Can include Pacific Islands regional audiences if inclusive of Samoa.)
II. A GREENER FUTURE
Programs that support or promote environmental issues such as, but not limited to: climate change mitigation, food security, biodiversity sustainability, blue/green technology, and youth engagement.
III. PARTNERS IN A SAFER WORLD
Programs that support or promote regional issues such as, but not limited to: regional security, cybersecurity, non-proliferation, combatting trans-national crime, responding to global health crises, mis- and disinformation, multilateral cooperation, enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region, human rights, and a rules-based order.
IV. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONNECTIONS
Programs that support or promote economic connections such as, but not limited to: COVID economic recovery, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the digital economy, trade diversification and innovation, and regional economic stability and security.
V. CONNECTING OUR VALUES
Programs that support or promote cross-cultural connections such as, but not limited to: promoting diversity, equality, inclusion and accessibility, supporting underrepresented communities, promoting human rights, supporting shared democratic values, education and exchange opportunities, and combatting mis- and
disinformation.

Participants and Audiences:

PDS will only consider grants that are geared to local audiences.
The following types of projects are not eligible for funding:

  • Projects relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction projects;
  • Projects that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or projects
  • Scientific research;
  • Projects intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization; or
  • Projects seeking funds for personal use
Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:

Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt act. The source of funding is FY2024 Public Diplomacy Funding.

FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Length of performance period: Up to 24 months
Number of awards anticipated: Number of awards issued will be dependent on requested amounts for funding
Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $500.00 to a maximum of $25,000.00
Total available funding: $50,000 (subject to availability)
Type of Funding: Fiscal Year 2024 Public Diplomacy Funding
Anticipated project start date: From December 1, 2023

Funding Instrument Type: Grants, Fixed Amount Awards, Awards to Individuals or
Cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from federal awards in which PDS
staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.

Project Performance Period: Proposed projects should be completed in 2 years or less.
PDS 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.

ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

Eligible Applicants
The Public Diplomacy Section encourages applications from the United States, Samoa, and may consider regional Pacific Islands solicitations if inclusive of Samoa:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/nongovernmental organizations with programming experience
  • Individuals
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
  • Governmental institutions

For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost sharing is not required although encouraged.
Other Eligibility Requirements
Multiple requests from the same applicant will be considered. Applicants should be aware that the total amount granted to any one organization will be considered when additional applications are considered.

No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM) is eligible for any assistance or can participate in any activities under an 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 CFR1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.”

If an organization’s SOI is approved, a valid Unique Entity Identified (UEI) number, formerly referred to as a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number, and an active SAM.gov registration will need to be obtained before an organization is able to receive final grant approval and funding. Individuals are not required to have a UEI (DUNS) number or be registered in SAM.gov.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Applications for this Notice of Funding Opportunity may be submitted at any time and will
be reviewed on a rolling basis with the following schedule:

    • December 2023 – results to be advised last week of December 2023
      • All applications must be received by no later than 5:00pm NZT on December 8, 2023

     

    • February 2024 – results to be advised first week of March 2024
      • All applications must be received by no later than 5:00pm NZT on February 1, 2024

     

    • May 2024 – results to be advised first week of June 2024
      • All applications must be received by no later than 5:00pm NZT on May 1, 2024

     

    • August 2024 – results to be advised first week of September 2024
      • All applications must be received by no later than 5:00pm NZT on August 1, 2024

Please follow all instructions below carefully. SOIs 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 SOI clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • All documents are in English
  • Budgets must be submitted in U.S. dollars
  • All pages are numbered
  • All documents are formatted to A4, and
  • Captions and footnotes may be 10-point Times New Roman font. Font sizes in charts and tables, including the budget, can be reformatted to fit within 1 page width.
HOW TO APPLY:

Please send your project and budget Statement of Interest (SOI) to ApiaPD@state.gov and publicaffairsusnz@state.gov.

SOI (10 pages maximum): The SOI should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own format, but it must include all the items below.

  • Project Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed project, including project objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Requested amount: The amount of funding that you are requesting.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the project, 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 project is needed
  • Project Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the project is intended to achieve. What aspect of the relationship between the United States and Samoa will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Project Activities: Describe the project activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Project Budget: Describe the budget for the project in as much detail as possible
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the project is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
  • Proposed Project Schedule: The proposed timeline for the project 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 project. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this project?
  • Project Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the federal 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 federal award?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability: Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the award period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

If your SOI is favorably reviewed by the grant review panel, you will be requested to submit the other mandatory documents below before final grant approval and funding:

Application forms (these will be provided by your U.S. Embassy POC on confirmation of your application being accepted)

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424- I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs – organizations only)
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)

Summary Coversheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, date, project title, project period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the project.

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.

Attachments:

  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the project
  • Letters of support from project partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Official permission letters, if required for project activities

Required Registrations:

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

  • www.SAM.gov registration which will generate a UEI
  • 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 its 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.

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations before final grant approval can be given, the latter are free of charge.

  • Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required.

Submission Dates and Times

Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time before the closing date of August 1, 2024. No applications will be accepted after that date.

Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to ApiaPD@state.gov and publicaffairsusnz@state.gov

APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

Criteria
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.

  • Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PDS is confident of its ability to undertake the project. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
  • Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – The program idea is well developed, with detail about how project activities will be carried out. The SOI includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
  • Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • U.S. Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Samoa’s priority areas or target audiences.
  • 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 provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the SOI. The project includes output and outcome indicators and shows how and when those will be measured.
  • Sustainability: Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.

Review and Selection Process
A Review Panel will evaluate all eligible applications.

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:

i. 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);

ii. 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 §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates

Applications will be received and evaluated on as per the schedule given earlier in this Notice, beginning November 1, 2023, until the deadline for applications on August 1, 2024.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified within 30 business days of the Grants Committee meetings to be held per the schedule given earlier in this Notice. Applicants selected for further consideration will be contacted within 30 days and asked to submit all remaining mandatory documents. Applicants should submit their applications at least three months prior to the proposed project’s start date. Please note we do not accept ongoing projects.

FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

Federal Award Notices
The assistance 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 project expenses beginning on the start date of Period of Performance shown on the federal award document signed by the Grants Officer. If a SOI 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 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 installments, as needed to carry out the project activities.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

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.statebuy.state.gov/. Note the U.S representation, flag branding, and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

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 federal award application process, please contact PDS at: ApiaPD@state.gov and publicaffairsusnz@state.gov.

Note: We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in this announcement. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies / missions 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 project, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the project.
  • Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this project. If the project 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 project, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the project), 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 project. 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 project activities.
  • Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the project, 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 project 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.

 

MORE DETAILS & APPLY HERE!! (pdf)

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