Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program

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

CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

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

Email: LilongwePAS@State.gov

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 awards a limited number of grants to individuals, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions to support exchange between the U.S. and Malawi to improve mutual respect and understanding between the people of the two countries.

The Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program supports projects including, but not limited to, the following themes and initiatives:

  • American culture/society
  • Improving teacher skills and child literacy
  • Women/girls empowerment
  • Preventing Gender-based violence
  • Youth leadership development
  • Human rights and civil society development
  • Democracy, transparency in governance, and rule of law
  • Supporting and improving conditions for vulnerable and marginalized citizens

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

Funding Instrument Type:  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.

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

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.

Proposals must be submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe at the following email address: LilongwePAO@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 April – July will be reviewed by August 20 with responses delivered by August 30
  • Proposals received between August – November will be reviewed by December 20 with responses delivered by January 15
  • Proposal received between December – March will be reviewed by April 20 with responses delivered by April 30

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:

1) 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)

2) Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

3) DUNS Number: Any entity that receives PAS financing must register for a DUNS number which is a unique nine-digit identification number. DUNS Number assignment is free for organizations required to register with the U.S. federal government for grants. Begin the process at: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

4) SAMS registration at: https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/

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

Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed 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.

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.

Funding Instrument Type:  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.

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

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.

Proposals must be submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe at the following email address: LilongwePAO@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 April – July will be reviewed by August 20 with responses delivered by August 30
  • Proposals received between August – November will be reviewed by December 20 with responses delivered by January 15
  • Proposal received between December – March will be reviewed by April 20 with responses delivered by April 30

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:

1) 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)

2) Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

3) DUNS Number: Any entity that receives PAS financing must register for a DUNS number which is a unique nine-digit identification number. DUNS Number assignment is free for organizations required to register with the U.S. federal government for grants. Begin the process at: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

4) SAMS registration at: https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/

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

Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed 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.

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.