ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT INNOVATION FUND (AEIF) 2024 

ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT INNOVATION FUND (AEIF) 2024 

 

The U.S. Embassy in Tunisia invites alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to apply for the 2024 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2024).  Proposals must include teams of at least two alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements.  The most competitive proposals will advance key priorities identified below.  Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2024 should submit proposals with an accompanying budget to TunisAlumni@state.gov by Thursday, February 29, 2024 (23:59 Tunisian local time). 

AEIF provides alumni of U.S. sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community. 

This year, the U.S. Embassy Tunis is seeking proposals from teams of at least two (2) alumni to advance:  

  • Civic and youth engagement, leadership development, community service, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.   
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship.   
  • Building U.S.-Tunisian ties and promoting U.S. culture and/or the English language. 
  • Strengthening alumni network and collaboration.  

FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION 

Announcement posted:  January 5, 2024 

Closing date for applications:  February 29, 2024 

Funding type:  Small grant awards 

Award amounts:  Between $5,000 to $35,000.  

Program Performance Period:  Proposed programs should be completed in one year (12 months) or less. 

Anticipated program start date:  Approximately July 2024 

 

Please note that this notice is subject to availability of funding.  

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION  

The following individuals are eligible to apply: 

  • Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. government-funded or sponsored exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (https://j1visa.state.gov/).  
  • Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni. 
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizen alumni cannot submit proposals, but may participate as team members in a project. 
  • Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries. 
  • Applicants must be submitted by exchange alumni or alumni associations of USG exchange alumni. No other organizations are eligible to apply. Exchange alumni can partner with not-for-profit or non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions to implement project activities. The grant can be issued to the individual alumni or partner organization.  

Other Eligibility Requirements 

If the grant will be processed with an individual, that individual is not required to have a DUNS  number or be registered in SAM.gov . However, should the grant be processed with an organization that is a partner in the project, that organization 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 

(Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and to non-discrimination practices regarding beneficiaries, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.) 

Individuals must be able to receive funds from foreign donors. 

FORMAT AND TIMELINE  

Applications and budgets must be submitted using the official AEIF 2024 proposal and budget forms. 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. 

Please ensure: 

The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity; 

The proposal addresses all questions in the official AEIF 2024 proposal form; 

All documents are completed in English; 

The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEIF budget form; 

All pages are numbered. 

The following documents are required: 

  1. AEIF 2024 Proposal Form  
  2. AEIF 2024 Budget Form (with budget narrative justification) 

Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2024 should submit complete proposals to TunisAlumni@state.gov by Thursday, February 29, 2024 (23:59 Tunisian local time) 

REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS 

Evaluation Criteria:  

The U.S. Embassy in Tunisia’s Public Affairs Section will use the criteria outlined below to evaluate all applications. 

Relevance to Application Theme  

The proposal provides sufficient information on how the activities will support the theme(s) of the competition. The narrative explains any relevant local context the D.C. Selection Committee may not be aware of in relation to this project.  Proposed project ideas must be public diplomacy in nature (i.e., not development or military).   

Purpose and Summary, Description, and Implementation Plan  

When developing the purpose, summary, description, and implementation plan, applicants should aim to make all descriptions clear, concise, and compelling.  Reviewers will judge the proposals based on the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the community where it is undertaken.  Does the project address an important gap of understanding or need?  If the aim of the project is achieved, how will existing knowledge or practice be improved?  What audience do the applicants hope to reach with this project?  How many will participate?  How will they be selected?   

Degree of Alumni Involvement  

Projects must include the involvement of at least two (2) exchange alumni.  They may be the project team leaders or collaborate directly with PAS in formulating the project.  More than two alumni may comprise the team, however, the minimum is two.  As the team leaders, the alumni must be closely involved in project planning, implementation, etc.  Applicants should ensure that the proposal includes the following information for each alumni team member: first name, last name, e-mail address, exchange program, country of citizenship, and roles and responsibilities.   

Participation and Support from Local Partners  

The proposal demonstrates buy-in and support from the community where the project will take place. Local partner involvement is a strong sign that there is community support and that the project will engage a broad array of experts, such as subject matter experts, community centers, academic institutions, businesses, local/national government, non-governmental organizations, American Spaces, etc.  

Evaluation and Impact of the Project   

A monitoring & evaluation (M&E) plan is pivotal to project implementation and important tracking progress towards the project’s objectives and goals.  An M&E plan should consider the data needed to effectively monitor progress toward specific outputs and outcomes as well as how that data collection will be accomplished.  Well-crafted indicators should be used to understand a program’s progress toward the desired results.  An M&E plan should be reviewed for the following:   

  • Completion   
  • Applicability and logic of objectives and indicators   
  • Clear approach to monitoring   
  • Adherence to SMART criteria   
  • Feasibility of baselines and targets   
  • Data quality plan   
  • Capacity to implement plan    

Communication, Media, and Outreach Plan  

The project should include a clear plan and timeline for how and when the team will share information about the project.  It is important to ensure that the U.S. Embassy gets recognition throughout the process if circumstances permit.   

Budget and Budget Narrative  

The budget and narrative justification are sufficiently 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.  The results and proposed outcomes justify the total cost of the project.  Budget items are reasonable, allowable, and allocable.  

After this initial review, the Public Affairs Section will submit the top proposal from Tunisia to the global AEIF 2024 competition where they will be reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of regional and exchange program experts located at the Department of State in Washington, D.C.  Panelists will review and evaluate applications based on their relevance to civic engagement, entrepreneurship and STEAM, and promotion of national unity through arts and culture. 

AEIF 2024 will provide resources for alumni-led projects around the world that support these identified themes.  Throughout the proposal, applicants will need to demonstrate how your project will advance the selected themes for this year. 

When developing the project, applicants should keep in mind the safety of alumni and project beneficiaries, including unintended impacts the project may have on their security. 

Questions about the grant application process should be directed to TunisAlumni@state.gov.