U.S. Embassy Valletta Public Affairs Section Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title:  U.S. Embassy Valletta PAS Annual Program Statement

CFDA Number:  19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs for Valletta

Date Opened:  10/01/2018

Federal Agency Contact:  Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy, Valletta

Email: usembmalta@state.gov

 

  1. Program Description

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Valletta of the U.S. Department of State announces that it will accept proposals for funding under the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Grants program.  Please carefully follow all the instructions below.

Program Objective:  Funding will support projects that:

  1. Encourage the fullest participation, especially of women and youth, in government and civil society;
  2. Promote bilateral cooperation in regional security;
  3. Promote empowerment of minorities by reinforcing the bridge of mutual understanding and shared values between the U.S. and Valletta, in particular diversity and integration of refugees/migrants into Maltese society; empowerment of women and other minorities;
  4. Enhance freedom of the press and standards in journalism;
  5. Enhance standards of good governance and ethics; and,
  6. Promote innovation and bilateral investment and commercial cooperation.

Local grant proposals must have a connection to American society, culture and values or should be directed to increasing understanding in Malta of American culture, values and society.

Activities that are typically funded include, but are not limited to:

  • new media concepts aimed at reaching wider audiences;
  • media training projects;
  • proposals to expand U.S.-Malta exchange programs;
  • programs that strengthen government and private sector communications capabilities;
  • youth community service projects that practice democratic processes and encourage volunteerism;
  • civic education projects that promote democratic processes and human rights;
  • proposals that support the dissemination of tolerant voices of traditional and community leaders;
  • women leadership and education programs;
  • youth leadership, and education programs;
  • innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • arts and culture programs;

Participants and Audiences: 

Individuals, non-federal entities, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks, and academic institutions.

The U.S. Embassy in Valletta Public Affairs Section is soliciting proposals for local grants that fall into one of the above-mentioned areas from individuals, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions.  Please contact the Public Affairs Section (usembmalta@state.gov) for more information.

  1. Federal Award Information

 Length of performance period:  Varies. 

Number of awards anticipated:  20 awards (dependent on amounts requested)

Award amounts; awards may range from approximately $500 to approximately $5,000.

Total available funding:  $25,000 (subject to availability of funding for requested projects during the fiscal year)

Type of Funding:  FY 19 Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds.

Anticipated program start date:  Varies

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Award Amount.

The U.S. Embassy Valletta Public Affairs Section reserves the right to refuse requests in the absence of worthy applications or under such other circumstances as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. government.  The U.S. Embassy Valletta Public Affairs Section reserves the right to award less or more than the amount requested by the applicant.

Program Performance Period:  Proposed programs should be completed within one year of the date of this Notice.  Program length can vary.

The Public Affairs Section will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards, beyond the initial budget period, on a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the applicants, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the United States Government.

  1. Eligibility Information

 

  1. Applications are encouraged from all sectors: committed and organized civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and individuals.

 

  1. Cost sharing or matching: Cost-sharing is not required but applications should explain clearly other likely sources of funding or in-kind participation.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. Application and Submission Information

 

  1. Please contact the U.S. Embassy (usembmalta@state.gov) for more information and to request a grant proposal form and other relevant documents required. Once all the documents are complete, please send them to the U.S. Embassy (usembmalta@state.gov).

 

  1. 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 Euros or 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 a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required:

  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)

 

  1. Proposal: 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.
  • 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.  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.
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline:  The proposed timeline for the program activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • 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.

Other documents may be required and applicants will be notified on a case by case basis.

 

  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.

 

  1. 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 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 U.S. Embassy will receive applications at any time from October 1, 2018 through September 15, 2019.

 

  1. Funding Restrictions
  • projects that do not have a business plan for sustaining the activity or monitoring results;
  • social welfare projects;
  • paying to complete activities begun with other funds;
  • projects that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns;
  • international travel, unless specifically justified within the project;
  • S. citizen exchange programs with foreign countries;
  • projects that are mainly designed to pay organizational salaries or to cover only logistical costs (e.g., room/chair rental, coffee breaks, etc.).

 

  1. Other Submission Requirements

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

 

  1. Application Review Information

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

Applicants must submit a full project description, including a detailed narrative that outlines the plan of action, describing the scope of the proposed work and how it will be accomplished.  The narrative should be accompanied by a detailed budget that includes all program costs.  Cost-sharing is not required.

Application Evaluation Criteria:

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 25 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 – 25 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.

Budget – 10 points: The budget justification is detailed.  Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.

Monitoring and evaluation plan – 15 points: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides 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.

Sustainability – 10 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

  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.

Payment Method:  Funds will be electronically transferred into the grantee’s account either in advance of the program or as reimbursement for expenses incurred.    

  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.statebuy.state.gov/fa/pages/home.aspx

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.

  1. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

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

  1. Other Information

 Guidelines for Budget Justification

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

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.

“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.