Public Diplomacy-Annual Program Statement 2023

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY TUNIS, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION

Notice Of Funding Opportunity

 

Funding Opportunity Title:            U.S. Embassy Tunis PAS Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number:      PAS-Tunisia-FY2023
Deadline for Applications:             See Application deadlines section
CFDA Number:                                19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available:                 $350,000
Maximum for Each Award:            Ranging in value from $10,000 to $250,000
Email: PASTunisSmallGrants@state.gov

A .PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy Tunis 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 we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Purpose of Small Grants: PAS Tunis invites proposals for programs that strengthen cultural ties between the U.S. and Tunisia through programs that highlight shared values and promote bilateral cooperation.  All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s  fields that will promote increased understanding of the United States..

Examples of PAS Small Grants Program programs include, but are not limited to (suggested examples below):

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars and speaker programs by American experts.
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions with an American component.
  • Cultural heritage conservation and preservation programs with an American partner;
  • Professional and academic exchanges and programs between the U.S. and Tunisia.

Priority Program Areas: The objective of the Public Diplomacy Grant Program is to promote positive relations between Tunisia and the United States; reinforce shared values; and connect Tunisia’s emerging leaders to the American people through projects that:

  • Strengthen understanding of U.S. values and institutions; highlight U.S. culture through, American Studies, English language teaching/learning, and study in the United States; and support diversity, acceptance of minority groups, and other areas of mutual interest.
  • Help Tunisian youth explore and discover their potential through science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) programs, as well as environment protection programs.
  • Encourage Tunisia youth to participate in civic life through social entrepreneurship, volunteerism, and community engagement.

Participants and Audiences: Grants are intended for civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, cultural institutions, and academic institutions.  Awards to individuals will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.  All grantees must have a non-profit status.

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding: (suggested examples below)

  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Programs that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization; or
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: 12 to 18 months
Number of awards anticipated: 6 awards (dependent on amounts)
Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $5,000.00 to a maximum of $25,000.00
Total available funding: $350,000
Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2023 Public Diplomacy Funding
Anticipated program start date:  February 2023
This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that PAS staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in one or two years. .

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

  1. Eligible Applicants

The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from the U.S. and Tunisia

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

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

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required but preferred.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for more information. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

  1. Address to Request Application Package

Application forms required below are available at https://tn.usembassy.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/59/APS-Project-Narrative.pdf

  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

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.

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 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

2. Summary Coversheet:
Cover sheet stating the applicant’s name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.

3. Proposal (5 pages maximum):
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.

  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact. (No more than 300 words)
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, 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 program is needed
  • Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Tunisia will be improved? 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.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
  • Proposed Program Schedule:  The proposed timeline for the program 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 program.  What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
  • 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.

4. 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.

5. Attachments (suggested examples):

  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities
  • Legal Registration of your entity
  • Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

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
  • 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 it’s 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.

U.S.-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.

If an organization does not have an active registration in SAM.gov prior to submitting an application, the application will be deemed ineligible.  All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations, the latter are free of charge.

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

Submission Dates and Times

 For example:
The Public Affairs Section will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals according to the following schedule:

  • Proposals received between October 1 and December 1 will be reviewed by January1, with responses going out by February 1.
  • Proposals received between January 1 and April1 will be reviewed by May 1,  with responses out by June 1.

Proposals received after April 1, 2023 will not be accepted.

1. Application Deadlines

Applications will be reviewed two times during Fiscal Year 2023.  The deadlines for application are:

Round 1:        December 1, 2022 (By Midnight Tunis Time)
Round 2:        April 1, 2023 (By Midnight Tunis Time) 

2. Funding Restrictions

  • Fees and travel costs to attend conferences in the United States,
  • Ongoing salary costs and office equipment,
  • Paying to complete activities 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,
  • Social welfare projects,
  • Political party activities,
  • Projects that support specific religious activities,
  • Trade activities; fundraising campaigns; commercial projects; scientific research; construction projects; projects whose primary aim is the institutional development of the organization itself.

3. Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to PASTunisSmallGrants@state.gov 
Applicants are also welcome to provide a brief summary of the proposed project in Arabic or French in addition to the English application.  An organization or individual may submit only one application per application’s deadline.  All applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of proposals. Proposals will not be considered until all information is received. Please note that all information must be received by the application deadlines listed above.

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below:

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program.  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 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 Tunis’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.

  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

  1. 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.

F. 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: Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.

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

  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.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. 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.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS at: PASTunisSmallGrants@state.gov.
Note:  We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.

H. 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 program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program. If the program 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 program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), 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 program. 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 program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, 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 program 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.