Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program

Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Lilongwe Public Affairs Section (PAS) Public Diplomacy FY2020 Small Grants Program

CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

Contact: Grants Officer, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Lilongwe

Email: LilongwePAS@State.gov

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) at the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe, Malawi of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This is an Annual Program Statement, outlining our funding priorities, the strategic themes on which we focus, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding. Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Purpose of Small Grants:

PAS Lilongwe invites proposals for programs that strengthen cultural ties between the U.S. and Malawi through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation between the people of the two countries.   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 PAS Small Grants Program programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars and speaker programs;
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions;
  • Professional and academic exchanges and programs

Note: this Annual Program Statement does not apply to applications for Cultural heritage conservation and preservation programs; those are covered under our Notice  of Funding  Opportunity: 2020 U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), and are due November 29, 2019.

 

Priority Program Areas:

  • Promote Good Governance and Rule of Law
  • Facilitate and encourage growth of youth entrepreneurship
  • Facilitate economic growth through increased private sector trade with U.S. private companies
  • Promote gender equality to increase adolescent girls and young women’s participation in education and improved health decision-making
  • Promote stronger, more numerous University partnerships between U.S. and Malawian Universities
  • Increase transparency of government activities through a more capable media.
  • Supporting and improving conditions for vulnerable and marginalized citizens, such as the disabled, people living with albinism, and those subject to stigma or persecution.
  • Preventing Gender-Based Violence and Trafficking In Persons

PAS will ONLY consider grant applications that contain a significant American component or aspect in the proposal. This could include, but is not limited to, including an American expert as a speaker, using curriculum developed by a U.S. institution, or projecting an American film.

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

  • Social welfare projects;
  • Individual travel to conferences;
  • Construction projects;
  • Completion of activities for projects begun with other funds;
  • Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns;
  • Political party activities; and,
  • Projects that support specific religious activities.

Authorizing statutes for the funding opportunity are:

1) Fulbright-Hays Act, which allows the U.S. Department of State to use funds for the purpose of supporting international exchanges that address issues of mutual interest to the United States: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/iegps/fulbrighthaysact.pdf (PDF 88 KB)

2) Smith-Mundt Act, which specifies the terms in which the United States Government can engage global audiences: http://www.state.gov/pdcommission/library/177362.htm

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award (FAA), Cooperative Agreement, or Property Grant

Minimum Individual Award Amount: $1,000

Maximum Individual Award Amount: $25,000

Project and Budget Periods: Grant projects generally must be completed in one year or less. PAS will entertain applications for continuation of grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a noncompetitive 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.

Applicants should consider their budgets carefully and submit a budget commensurate with their project goals. While PAS will consider proposals up to $25,000, projects that are smaller in scope are more likely to be considered. Funding levels average from $1,000-$10,000.

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

PAS encourages applications from organizations located in Malawi, the U.S., or abroad:  

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations
  • Civil society/non-governmental organizations with at least two years of programming experience
  • Educational institutions

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

Preference will be given to projects submitted by alumni of U.S. government-funded exchange programs, such as: YALI, Fulbright, Humphrey, IVLP, Global UGrad, PAYLP, SUSI and Community Solutions.

Only projects that take place in Malawi will be considered. PAS encourages applicants to provide cost-sharing from additional sources in support of the proposed project.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Proposals must be submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe at the following email address: LilongwePAS@State.gov. Applications are accepted in English only. Final grant agreements will be concluded in English.

PAS will accept proposals throughout the year but will only review proposals three times a year. Below are the dates of review:

  • Proposals received between October 2019 and January 2020 will be reviewed by February 20 with responses delivered by February 28
  • Proposals received between February  – May will be reviewed by June 20 with responses delivered by June 30
  • Proposal received between June – September will be reviewed by September 05, with responses delivered by September 10

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 and clearly indicates the proposing organization’s cost share and/or any in-kind contribution to the project.

In addition to the project description applicants must also submit:

  • Summary Cover-sheet: 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.

2) Federal Assistance Application Standard Form 424 which is available at: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/grants/pdf/SF424_2_1-V2.1.pdf (PDF 265 KB)

3) Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

4) DUNS Number

To apply for a DUNS Number search for your organization SIC Code @ http://www.sec.gov/info/edgar/siccodes.htm

5) SAMS Registration

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

  • DUNS number- Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet
  • www.SAM.gov registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number by first obtaining a sic code: A sic code is a 3 to 4 digit number that is a numeric representation of your organization. To obtain a sic code click: https://www.sec.gov/info/edgar/siccodes.htm

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/pages/CCRSearch.jsp

Step 2: After receiving the DUNS Number, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov, (use chrome). SAM registration must be renewed annually.

PAS will not consider proposals which do not include the above components.

6) 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.

Organizational Capacity: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its technical capacity to undertake the project.

Goals and Objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Embassy Priority: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support PAS priority areas.

Sustainability: Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.

Feasibility: Analysis of the project’s economic, organizational, and technical feasibility. This is related to the project approach, budget items requested, and technical/human resource capacity of the organization.

Budget: The budget justification is both reasonable and realistic in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. Grants will be awarded to programs with the highest impact per dollar spent.

Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The project includes a systematic recording and periodic analysis of selected information on the project activities.

Award Notices: The grant award or cooperative agreement shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The Grants Officer is a U.S. government official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants and cooperative agreements. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient. Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified in writing.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the U.S. Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the U.S. Department of State.

Reporting Requirements: All awards issued under this announcement will require both program and financial reports on a frequency specified in the award agreement. The disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner.

All other details related to award administration will be specified in the award agreement. Final programmatic and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.  Progress reports should be submitted via e-mail to an address to be provided in the award.

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

 A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

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.

American component: There is a clearly apparent 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.

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field, and has clearly done the research to understand the issue and proposes appropriate methods to address it and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

Non-Duplication of efforts:  The U.S. Embassy is not already funding a similar project, or, this one differs enough in significant aspects as to justify funding.

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Malawi’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 provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.

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