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[Federal Register: June 7, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 110)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[Public Notice 3332]
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; U.S.-China Youth
Exchange Initiative: Pilot Project; Notice: Request for Proposals
SUMMARY: The Youth Programs Division, Office of Citizen Exchanges, of
the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open
competition to award one grant for the U.S.-China Youth Exchange
Initiative: Pilot Project. Public and private non-profit organizations
meeting the provisions described in IRS regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c) may
submit proposals for the recruitment and screening of schools, an
assessment of communication technology, and the implementation of a
pilot project of a reciprocal youth exchange program between secondary
schools in the United States and in China. This program will develop
linkages between schools and communities in the U.S. and China for the
purpose of mutual education and the development of student
participation in community affairs.
During a June 1998 visit to China, President Clinton announced a
youth exchange program that would link schools and communities in China
and the United States. The program has been projected to span three
years and to provide funding for the reciprocal exchange of students
and teachers from the paired schools. It is in anticipation of this
program being enacted in fiscal year 2001 that the Office of Citizen
Exchanges offers this opportunity for organizations to apply for an
assistance award to pilot a modest school exchange project this year.
Expansion beyond the pilot phase is subject to the availability of
funding in subsequent fiscal years, as well as to assessments by the
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the U.S. Embassy
in Beijing of the desired pace of expansion. The goal is to expand the
program incrementally over the next few years.
The focus of the principal program is to link schools and
communities in as many provinces of China as possible with schools and
communities across the United States and to foster interaction and
lasting relationships between these partnered schools through Internet
connections and reciprocal student and educator exchanges with strong
academic content. Each one-to-one school partnership will choose a
theme relevant to their communities; students will work together to
complete a joint project related to this theme. Support for Internet
connectivity and computer training is also an important component of
the program so that the paired schools can communicate throughout the
school year and work on these joint projects. The three-to four-week
exchange visits to the partner community will involve studying at the
host school, working on the thematic project, participating in cultural
activities, and spending time with host families. The overarching goals
of this program are to support student participation in community
affairs and to advance mutual understanding between the youth and
teachers of the U.S. and China.
This competition is intended to allow the Youth Programs Division
to select the organization that will best be able to establish these
linkages and facilitate the joint projects and exchanges. The
objectives of this project are (1) to plan for the principal program by
recruiting and screening schools, (2) to assess the opportunities for
establishing Internet access in the schools, and (3) to develop and
implement a pilot partnership that will serve as a model for future
The components of the program are as follows:
(1) Planning and Selection
(a) Announce the program to recruit a strong pool of candidate
schools and communities in the U.S. and China. Communities should
represent the great geographic diversity of each country.
(b) Conduct an open, merit-based competition to screen secondary
schools for participation in the principal program. Applicants should
be prepared to select approximately 50 schools, or 25 partnerships.
(c) Determine the capacity of the schools to develop lines of
communication, especially through the use of the Internet.
(2) Pilot Project
(a) Select a partnership to conduct a pilot exchange program (this
will be selected outside of the larger competitive process noted
(b) Oversee the communications and project activity between the two
(c) Manage the exchange of 22 participants: nine students and two
educators (or one educator and one community member chaperone) from
each school will visit the partner school for three to four weeks while
the host school is in session.
(d) Monitor and evaluate the pilot project.
The grant will begin on or about November 1, 2000, and conclude 14
months later. The pilot project activity should begin as soon as
possible. The exchanges should take place in Fall 2001.
This pilot project will create the foundation for the follow-on
program. This project should be designed to best prepare the
organization for the implementation of the full program. However, all
applicants should be aware that there are no assurances of a specific
level of funding for a follow-on program. As is the case with all
Bureau exchange programs, actual funding for future activities is
contingent upon the Congressional Appropriation and Authorization
Process and final availability of funds. Funding to support the initial
phase of this project is $98,900. Upon successful implementation of the
pilot phase and pending the availability of funds, ECA reserves the
right to amend the grant to support future program activities.
As ECA and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing will need to carefully gauge
the appropriate rate of growth of this program (in terms of the number
of states or provinces, schools, and participants) and future funding
is indefinite, ECA requests that applicants create a rank ordered list
of the schools that they recruit and screen so that the schools can be
approached to participate once the FY-2001 funding level has been
determined. ECA expects to work up to the participation of as many as
50 schools over the course of the initiative.
Eligible applicant organizations will have the following:
Experience working in China;
A demonstrated track record of conducting youth exchange;
Experience with managing international institutional
linkages and/or experience developing the program content for short-
An established partnership with an individual or
organization based in China or own branch office or representative
Access to schools in both the United States and China
through the partner organization.
Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to the
complete Solicitation Package, which includes the Project Objectives,
Guidelines, and Implementation (POGI) and the Proposal Submission
Instructions (PSI), for further information.
An initial assistance award for no more than $98,900 will be
awarded. Organizations with less than four years of experience in
conducting international exchange programs are not eligible for this
competition. Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the
entire program. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns
reflecting both administrative and program budgets. Applicants may
provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase,
location, or activity to provide clarification.
Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget
guidelines and formatting instructions.
Announcement Title and Number
All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFP should
reference the above title and number ECA/PE/C-00-58.
For Further Information Contact: The Youth Programs Division, ECA/
PE/C/PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of State, 301 4th Street, SW,
Washington, DC 20547, telephone (202) 619-6299; fax (202) 619-5311; e-
mail address: email@example.com to request a Solicitation Package.
The Solicitation Package contains detailed award criteria, required
application forms, specific budget instructions, and standard
guidelines for proposal preparation. Please specify Bureau Program
Officer Carolyn Lantz on all other inquiries and correspondence.
Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before
sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFP deadline has
passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants
until the proposal review process has been completed.
To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet
The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's
website at http://exchanges.state.gov/education/rfps. Please read all
information before downloading.
Deadline for Proposals
All proposal copies must be received at the Bureau of Educational
and Cultural Affairs by 5:00 p.m. Washington, DC time on Friday, July
28, 2000. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Documents
postmarked the due date but received on a later date will not be
accepted. Each applicant must ensure that the proposals are received by
the above deadline.
Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation
Package. The original proposal and eight copies of the application
should be sent to: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C-00-58, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM,
Room 336, 301 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20547.
Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary'' and
``Proposal Narrative'' sections of the proposal on a 3.5" diskette,
formatted for DOS. These documents must be provided in ASCII text (DOS)
format with a maximum line length of 65 characters. The Bureau will
transmit these files electronically to the Public Affairs Section at
the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for its review.
Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines
Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must
maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and
representative of the diversity of American political, social, and
cultural life. ``Diversity'' should be interpreted in the broadest
sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to
ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic
status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to
adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program
administration and in program content. Please refer to the review
criteria under the ``Support for Diversity'' section for specific
suggestions on incorporating diversity into the total proposal. Public
Law 104-319 provides that ``in carrying out programs of educational and
cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom
and democracy,'' the Bureau ``shall take
appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in such
programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such countries.''
Proposals should reflect advancement of this goal in their program
contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.
Year 2000 Compliance Requirement (Y2K Requirement)
The Year 2000 (Y2K) issue is a broad operational and accounting
problem that could potentially prohibit organizations from processing
information in accordance with Federal management and program specific
requirements including data exchange with the Bureau. The inability to
process information in accordance with Federal requirements could
result in grantees being required to return funds that have not been
accounted for properly.
The Bureau therefore requires all organizations use Y2K compliant
systems including hardware, software, and firmware. Systems must
accurately process data and dates (calculating, comparing and
sequencing) both before and after the beginning of the year 2000 and
correctly adjust for leap years.
Additional information addressing the Y2K issue may be found at the
General Services Administration's Office of Information Technology
website at http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov.
The Bureau will acknowledge receipt of all proposals and will
review them for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed
ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein
and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be
reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public Diplomacy section
overseas, where appropriate. Eligible proposals will be forwarded to
panels of Bureau officers for advisory review. Proposals may also be
reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department
elements. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of the
Department of State's Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public
Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards (grants or
cooperative agreements) resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.
Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the
Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-
256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of
the Act is ``to enable the Government of the United States to increase
mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the
people of other countries * * * ; to strengthen the ties which unite us
with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural
interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United
States and other nations * * * and thus to assist in the development of
friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States
and the other countries of the world.'' The funding authority for the
program above is provided through legislation.
The terms and conditions published in this RFP are binding and may
not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information
provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be
binding. Issuance of the RFP does not constitute an award commitment on
the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce,
revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of
the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject
to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements.
Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by
Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.
Dated: May 30, 2000.
Evelyn S. Lieberman,
Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S.
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 00-14361 Filed 6-6-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-11-P
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