U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador
Public Affairs Section (PAS)
Notice of Funding Opportunity for Alumni
Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador – Public Affairs
Section – Notice of Funding Opportunity for Alumni
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-SEC-FY23-02
Deadline for Applications: May 31, at 11:59 p.m. (Quito, Ecuador time)
Assistance Listing Number (CFDA): 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available: $25,000.00
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 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) specifically targets alumni of U.S. Embassy/Consulate and U.S. government programs who fall under the Inspira Ecuador network. This is an open competition, outlining funding priorities, strategic themes of importance, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.
Inspira Ecuador is a network of Ecuadorian alumni of U.S. government/U.S. Mission programs. An alumni is a person who has participated in a U.S. Department of State funded exchange program, a program funded by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Ecuador, or a person who has received a grant for Public Diplomacy funds. Alumni may apply as individuals or through their organizations (if educational or non-profit) for projects that encourage climate change action, promote diversity and inclusion, revive the economy through entrepreneurship and innovation, combat disinformation, promote volunteerism, among other ideas.
The Public Affairs Sections in Quito and Guayaquil invite proposals that engage with other alumni in the Inspira Ecuador network and support their communities through projects that highlight shared values between the United States and Ecuador. 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.
Alumni 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.
Special consideration will be given to:
- Projects that clearly demonstrate alumni leadership and community engagement.
- Projects that support English language learning.
- Project that strengthens the Inspira network.
- Projects that promote diversity and inclusion for underserved communities.
- Projects that support efforts to combat climate change.
- Projects that engage with diverse alumni individuals through mini grants.
- Alumni applying in teams.
- Projects that include a volunteer component.
Participants and Audiences:
All proposals should clearly indicate their intended participants and audiences.
B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Length of performance period: Up to 12 months
Number of awards anticipated: 2 awards (dependent on amounts)
Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $25,000.
Total funding available: $25,000
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: Fixed and grants to individuals.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less.
C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
- Eligible Applicants
This call for proposals is exclusive to alumni and registered, not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations led by an alumni of U.S. Mission Ecuador programs. If you have any doubts as to whether you qualify as alumni, please contact the Public Affairs Section at firstname.lastname@example.org
For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
2. 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.
3. Other Eligibility Requirements
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. Organizations must obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI).
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 https://ec.usembassy.gov/
2. 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. Please type: “Alumni Program TITLE OF YOUR PROJECT” in the subject line.
- A brief introduction of the alum/alumni presenting the project.
- 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 the proposal 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 Alumni/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 Information (link 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.
5. Required Registrations:
All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:
- Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
All organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration with the SAM.gov. A 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.
Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required for federal assistance applications.
The 2 CFR 200 requires that sub-grantees obtain a UEI number. Please note the UEI for sub-grantees is not required at the time of application but will be required before an award is processed and/or directed to a sub-grantee.
Note: The process of obtaining or renewing a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.
- Organizations based in the United States or that pay employees within the United States will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
- Organizations based outside of the United States and that do not pay employees within the United States do not need an EIN from the IRS but do need a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
- Please note that as of November 2022 and February 2022 respectively, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code or CAGE code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. If an applicant organization is mid-registration and wishes to remove a CAGE or NCAGE code from their SAM.gov registration, the applicant should submit a help desk ticket (“incident”) with the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online at www.fsd.gov using the following language: “I do not intend to seek financial assistance from the Department of Defense. I do not wish to obtain a CAGE or NCAGE code. I understand that I will need to submit my registration after this incident is resolved in order to have my registration activated.”
Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO NOT plan to do business with the DoD should follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Proceed to SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and complete the SAM.gov registration process. SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually.
Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO plan to do business with the DoD in addition to Department of State should follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Apply for an NCAGE code by following the instructions on the NSPA NATO website linked below:
NCAGE Code Request Tool (NCRT):
An exemption from the UEI and sam.gov registration requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:
- An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.
- For an applicant, if the Federal awarding agency decides that there are exigent circumstances that prohibit the applicant from receiving a unique entity identifier and completing SAM registration prior to receiving a federal award. In these instances, Federal awarding agencies must require the recipient to obtain a unique entity identifier and complete SAM registration within 30 days of the Federal award date.
Organizations requesting exemption from UEI or SAM.gov requirements must email the point of contact listed in the NOFO at least two weeks prior to the deadline in the NOFO providing a justification of their request. Approval for a SAM.gov exemption must come from the warranted Grants Officer before the application can be deemed eligible for review.
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
- 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 can 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.
2. 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 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
- U.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).
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.