U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador
Public Affairs Section (PAS)
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador – Public Affairs
Section – Notice of Funding Opportunity
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS EC Federal Awards – NOFO 2023
Deadline for Applications: April 14, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (Quito, Ecuador time)
Assistance Listing Number (CFDA): 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Embassy in Quito and U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil, under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State, are pleased to announce available funding through the Public Diplomacy Federal Awards Program. This is an open competition, outlining funding priorities, strategic themes of importance, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.
The Public Affairs Sections in Quito and Guayaquil invite proposals for programs that strengthen ties between the United States and Ecuador through cultural and exchange programming that highlight shared values and promote bilateral cooperation. All programs must include a U.S. cultural element, or connection with U.S. expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives. Please carefully follow all instructions below.
Applicants should outline how they will ensure all projects address one or more of the following strategic outcomes:
- Advance and defend democratic principles and human rights through:
- Fortifying democratic institutions and promoting democratic values and universal freedoms.
- Promoting equal rights, social inclusion, and respect for human dignity of all people, especially members of marginalized communities.
- Promote mutual, inclusive, and sustainable economic prosperity through:
- Expanding equal access to economic opportunities for marginalized groups.
- Strengthen bilateral and multilateral partnerships to address global challenges, including climate change through:
- Pursuing environmental priorities to conserve biodiversity, protect vital ecosystems, and address challenges posed by climate change.
Participants and Audiences:
All proposals should clearly indicate their intended participants and audiences.
B.FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Length of performance period: Up to 24 months
Number of awards anticipated: 3 awards (dependent on amounts)
Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $30,000 to a maximum of $45,000
Type of Funding: Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt Act and Fulbright Hays of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. The source of funding is FY2023 Public Diplomacy Funding, U.S. Mission Ecuador.
Anticipated programs start date: To be considered for FY2023, all programs must start before September 30, 2023.
This notice is subject to availability of funding.
Funding Instrument Type: Grant, fixed amount award, award to individuals, or cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that embassy/consulate staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 24 months or less.
- Eligible Applicants
The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from U.S. and Ecuadorian:
- Registered, not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations
- Public and private educational institutions
For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
- Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost sharing is not required and therefore will not be included in the criteria for evaluation. However, if a project includes cost sharing, please detail whether the cost-share is through in-cash or in-kind contribution and estimated dollar amounts.
Pre-award costs are not an allowable expense for this funding opportunity.
- Other Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible to apply for 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.
Please start the registration processes immediately to ensure the registration has been initiated and/or may be completed well in advance of the submission deadline. Before registering in SAM, organizations must first obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and a NATO Commercial and Government Entity Code (NCAGE). These two steps are required prior to submitting the full proposal.
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.
D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
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.
- Address to Request Application Package
Application forms required below are available at embassy website.https://ec.usembassy.gov/
- Content and Form of Application Submission
Full applications must be submitted via e-mail to email@example.com. All required documents must be attached to the e-mail.
- 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.
- See suggested technical application in Word as a reference here.
- See suggested budget application in Excel as a reference here.
The following documents are required:
- Mandatory application forms
- SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) here or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals) here .
- SF-424A(Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) at here .
- SF-424B(Assurances for Non-Construction programs) at here (note: the SF-424B is only required for individuals and for organizations not registered in SAM.gov).
- Technical Application: 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. We recommend you use the suggested technical application in Word.
- Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
- 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 United States and Ecuador will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
- U.S. Component: A description of the U.S. component/elements that your project aims to include.
- 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 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 Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the timeframe 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.
- Communication Plan: Describe strategies for promoting the program via social media, websites, etc.
- Management Plan: Describe if this project will have other partner individuals or organizations. Describe roles/responsibilities and how partners will be managed.
- Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), we recommend you use the suggested technical application template to complete the Budget Narrative.
- Allowable Attachments
- Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner.
- If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.
- Official permission letters, if required for program activities.
- Required Registrations:
All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:
- 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.
- Funding Restrictions
Alcoholic Beverages: Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.
Award funds cannot be used for construction, vehicle purchases, or property rental. Please review the following types of programs that are not eligible for funding:
- Programs that do not contain a distinct U.S. component
- Charitable or development activities
- Infrastructure/construction programs
- Programs related to partisan political activity
- Programs that support specific religious activities
- Venture capital
- For-profit endeavors
- Social travel/visits
- Individual scholarships
- Personal development
- 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
All application materials must be submitted in English by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than date and time specified.
E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
Each application will be evaluated and rated based on the evaluation criteria outlined below.
Applications will be reviewed based on their completeness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail.
The Federal Awards Committee will only review application materials submitted as directed in this program announcement.
Detailed Project Description – 15 points: The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
U.S. Component – 20 points: Clear description of U.S. component/element that the project will include.
Program Methods and Design – 10 points: Methodology used to achieve results is clearly presented, all planned activities are described.
Timeline and feasibility of planned activities – 15 points: Timeline of program is clearly presented.
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.
Communication Plan – 5 points: Proposals should clearly describe strategies for promoting the program via social media, traditional media, websites, etc.
- Review and Selection Process
An impartial Federal Awards Committee composed of U.S. Embassy Quito and U.S. Consulate Guayaquil staff evaluate all eligible applications received under this NOFO within 30 days following the closing date.
Successful applicants will be notified in writing between June and September 2023 depending on the availability of funds.
Unsuccessful applicants will be notified within 50 days of the application deadline.
Ineligible or unqualified applicants will be informed once the initial screening has been completed.
Note: Unqualified or incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed by the evaluation panel.
F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
a. 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 U.S. 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.
Payments will be disbursed in U.S. dollars, via EFT (electronic funds transfer) to the recipient’s bank account.
Requests for advance and/or reimbursement payments must be submitted through the SF-270 with sufficient time to allow at least ten (10) working days for processing. Advance payments are to cover immediate cash needs in order to commence the program but will not exceed the quarterly estimates and in no case will exceed the 90% of the award total amount.
In all cases, subsequent and final payments must be previously approved by the Grants Officer after reconciliation of advances and review of all reporting requirements according to the terms and conditions of the award (e.g., financial and performance reports). All other details related to award administration will be specified in the award agreement as well.
b. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
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.
- 2 CFR 25 – UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER AND SYSTEM FOR AWARD MANAGEMENT
- 2 CFR 170 – REPORTING SUBAWARD AND EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION INFORMATION
- 2 CFR 175 – AWARD TERM FOR TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
- 2 CFR 182 – GOVERNMENTWIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE (FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE)
- 2 CFR 183 – NEVER CONTRACT WITH THE ENEMY
- 2 CFR 600 – DEPARTMENT OF STATE REQUIREMENTS
- S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS
In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the U.S. Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following:
- Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register’s 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:
- Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR part 200.205);
- Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115—232) (2 CFR part 200.216);
- Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (§§ 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341);
- Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR part 200.322); and
- Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law, if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR part 200.340).
In accordance with the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Underserved Communities, proposals should demonstrate how the program advances equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. The proposal should also demonstrate how the program will further engagement in marginalized communities and with individuals from underserved communities. Proposals should demonstrate how addressing racial equity and underserved communities will enhance the program’s goals and objectives, as well as the experience of participants.
The support of underserved communities will be part of the review criteria for this opportunity. Therefore, proposals should clearly demonstrate how the program will support and advance equity and engage underserved communities in program administration, design, and implementation.
Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit program and financial reports signed and certified by an authorized representative of the recipient organization. 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 email@example.com.
H. OTHER INFORMATION
Guidelines for Budget Justification
Personnel and Fringe Benefits: 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, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. 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.
- A contract is for the purpose of obtaining goods and services for the recipient’s own use and creates a procurement relationship. A consulting agreement with a consultant or contractor is generally considered a contract.
- A subaward is provided to a subrecipient to carry out a portion of the Federal award. A beneficiary of a program is not considered a subrecipient. A subaward may be provided through any form of legal agreement, including an agreement that the prime recipient entity considers a contract. All sub awardees must obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) in www.sam.gov .
- Note: If the budget or subaward agreement is not available, or the subrecipient has not yet been selected at the time the prime award is signed, the prime award may be signed with the requirement that the subaward budget and agreement be submitted for the Grants Officer review prior to work commencing under the subaward. The recipient is responsible for ensuring that subaward is administered in accordance with the relevant terms outlined in the 2CFR §200.
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.
As a condition of receipt of a federal award, all materials produced pursuant to the award, including training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under an agreement, including but not limited to invitations to events, press materials, and backdrops, podium signs, etc. must be marked appropriately with the standard, rectangular U.S. flag in a size and prominence equal to (or greater than) any other logo or identity. Note: Exceptions to the branding requirement are allowable under certain conditions. If an applicant is notified that their award has been chosen for funding, the Grants Officer will determine, in consultation with the applicant, if an exception is applicable.