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[Federal Register: September 21, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 184)]
[Page 57225-57228]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[Public Notice 3423]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Wye River People-to-
People Exchange Program

NOTICE: Request for Proposals.
SUMMARY: The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational 
and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the United States Department of State, in 
cooperation with the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), announces an 
open competition for grants under the Wye River People-to-People 
Exchange Program. Public and private non-profit organizations operating 
in the United States, in the West Bank and Gaza, and in Israel may 
submit proposals to develop and implement individual exchange projects 
or multi-faceted programs that involve both Israeli and Palestinian 
participants. American applicants are required to meet the provisions 
described in IRS regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c). The Bureau anticipates 
conducting a series of grant competitions over a two-year period and 
seeks to award grants totaling approximately $10 million. These 
assistance awards will be issued by ECA in Washington, by the American 
Embassy in Tel Aviv, and by the American Consulate General in 
Jerusalem. Project proposals requesting grant funding of $1 million or 
more will be accepted, though it is anticipated that most proposals 
submitted will request funding ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. Grants 
awarded to American organizations with less than four years' experience 
in conducting international exchange--programs will be limited to 

Program Information


    The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, consults with and supports 
public and private nonprofit organizations in developing and 
implementing multi-phased, often multi-year, exchanges of 
professionals, academics, youth leaders, public policy advocates, etc. 
These exchanges address issues crucial to the communities involved; 
they represent focused, substantive, and cooperative interaction among 
individuals representing diverse communities; and they entail both 
theoretical and experiential learning for all participants. A primary 
goal is the development of sustained, intercommunal institutional and 
individual linkages. In addition to providing a context for 
professional development and collaborative, inter-group problem-
solving, these projects are intended to introduce participants to one 
another's political, social, and economic cultures.
    The Wye River People-to-People Exchange Program is based on the 
premise that people-to-people exchanges--particularly those that focus 
on sharing efforts and pooling resources to address issues of 
importance to all parties to the exchange -will enhance mutual 
understanding, increase both the will and the ability of individuals to 
cooperate in an environment of mutual respect, and strengthen prospects 
for peaceful co-existence between communities.
    In response to the aspirations of this program, the Office of 
Citizen Exchanges, in cooperation with the Bureau of Near Eastern 
Affairs, is soliciting proposals for exchange projects that will 
contribute to enhanced understanding and cooperation between 
Palestinians and Israelis by engaging representatives from the two 
communities in cooperative efforts to address issues of crucial 
importance to both. The emphasis should be on sustainable, 
collaborative, balanced efforts. Proposals must be submitted in English 
and may be submitted by any of the following:
    1. American non-profit organizations and institutions, submitting 
jointly with Palestinian and Israeli counterparts. Grants in this 
category will be awarded in Washington by ECA.
    2. Partnerships between Palestinian and Israeli non-profit 
organizations and institutions (inclusion of American partner 
organizations optional). Grants in this category will be awarded by the 
U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and/or the U.S. Consulate General in 
    3. Joint Israeli-Palestinian non-profit organizations and 
institutions (inclusion of American partner organizations optional). 
Grants in this category will be awarded by the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv 
and/or the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem.
    Proposal subject areas that will receive priority consideration 
from the review panels, based on their potential for having a broad 
public impact in the two communities, are education (including 
institutional strengthening, teacher training, and curriculum 
development) and media (joint reporting initiatives; journalism 
education; specialized reporting, etc.). The panels will also consider 
proposals in other areas, including, but not limited to, human rights/
the protection of women and children, health, environmental education/
conservation, and the management and strengthening of public interest 
groups or non-governmental organizations.
    It is essential that proposals demonstrate parity in participation 
by Palestinians and Israelis in every phase.
    Suggested components of proposed exchanges might include:
    1. Initial needs assessment/orientation travel (if necessary) by 
project organizers to gain first-hand knowledge of the issue in the 
context of each community and to develop contacts and relationships 
with counterpart organizations/individuals involved;
    2. Participant orientation to program purposes, with discussions 
and site visits to familiarize participants with all aspects of the 
issue to be addressed and with the cultural context and expectations of 
other participants;
    3. Collaborative development and conduct of seminars and workshops 
to expand the network of involved individuals and to engage this 
expanded network in project implementation;
    4. On-site training; short internships; cooperative work;
    5. The development of pilot projects and the broad dissemination of 
information about the undertaking; and
    6. Longer, intensive, joint Israeli-Palestinian internships.
    Applicants are encouraged to be creative in planning project 
implementation. Activities may include both theoretical orientation and 
experiential, community-based initiatives designed to achieve concrete 
objectives. Meetings, workshops, etc. may take place on site, at a 
neutral venue in the region, or in the United States, should 
consultation or site visit requirements justify such travel. Travel to 
consult with specialists or to view examples of working models are 
legitimate grant expenditures.
    Applicants should, in their proposals, identify, to the extent 
possible, partner organizations and/or individuals in the region or in 
the United States with which/whom they are proposing to collaborate, 
and they should justify their choices on the basis of experience and 
accomplishments. Subcontractual agreements or letters of understanding 
should be included in all proposals where these are relevant.

[[Page 57226]]

Selection of Participants

    Successful applications should include a description of an open, 
merit-based participant selection process. Applicants should anticipate 
consulting and working with the Public Affairs Sections (PAS) of the 
U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem in 
selecting participants, according the Embassy and the Consulate General 
staff the right to nominate participants.

Public Affairs Section Involvement

    The Public Affairs Section of U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the 
Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem will 
play an important role in project implementation. The U.S. Missions 
will participate in proposal evaluation, and they may be involved with 
the grantee organization and its partners in project planning, 
facilitation of in-country activities, nomination of participants, 
observation of in-country activities, debriefing participants, and 
evaluating project impact. U.S. Missions are responsible for issuing 
IAP-66 forms in order for Israeli and Palestinian participants to 
obtain J-1 visas for entry to the United States in cases in which 
travel to the United States is appropriate to the implementation of the 
exchange. They also serve as a link between Israeli and Palestinian 
partners and participants and between these and the American partners 
when the grant recipients include an American institution.
    Though project administration and implementation are the 
responsibility of the grantee, the grantee is expected to inform the 
Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) in Tel Aviv and/or Jerusalem, or their 
designees, of its operations and procedures and to consult with 
American Public Affairs personnel in the development of project 
activities. For American grantee institutions, the PAOs should be 
consulted regarding country priorities, current security issues, and 
related logistic and programmatic issues. Each grant, whether issued in 
Washington, in Tel Aviv, or in Jerusalem, will contain specific/
detailed financial and program reporting requirements. Failure to 
comply with these requirements or failure of the grantee to implement 
grant activities as proposed may result in the early termination of the 
grant award.

Visa Regulations

    Foreign participants on programs sponsored by ECA are granted J-1 
Exchange Visitor visas by the U.S. Embassy in the sending country. All 
programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to the 
Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI), either for American or for non-
American organizations, as applicable, for further information.

Budget Guidelines

    All applicants must submit a line item budget based on guidance 
provided in the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) of the 
Solicitation Package. The anticipated range of awards is cited above.
    All 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. Proposals must provide 
for cost sharing--in cash or in kind--of 50% of the TOTAL COST of the 
exchange project. Cost sharing may be derived from diverse sources, 
including foreign or domestic government contributions, private sector 
contributions, and/or direct institutional support. Funds originating 
with other departments or agencies of the U.S. Federal Government may 
not be used as cost sharing. Applicants may apply for a Wye River Grant 
in anticipation of receiving cost sharing or matching funds upon 
selection of the proposed project for an award. In such cases, grants 
will be formalized and funds become available only when evidence that 
the required level of cost sharing is available is presented to the 
Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv or the U.S. Consulate 
General in Jerusalem.
    Allowable costs include the following:
    (1) Direct program expenses;
    (2) Administrative expenses, including indirect costs.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.

Announcement Title and Number

    All correspondence with the Bureau, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv or 
the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem concerning this request for 
proposals should reference the above title (Wye River People-to-People 
Exchange Program) and number ECA PE/C-00-69.

For Further Information

    American organizations should contact: The Office of Citizen 
Exchanges, ECA/PE/C, Room 224, U.S. Department of State, 301 4th 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, attention: Thomas Johnston. 
Telephone number 202/619-5325 or 202/260-0299; fax number 202/619-4350; 
Internet address to request a Solicitation Package (specific to 
American organizations): The Solicitation 
Package contains detailed award criteria, required application forms, 
specific budget instructions, and standard guidelines for proposal 
preparation. Please specify Bureau Program Officer Thomas Johnston on 
all inquiries and correspondence.
    Israeli or Palestinian applicants should direct inquiries to: the 
U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv or the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem 
respectively. Inquiries should be addressed to:
    In Tel Aviv (Note: Inquiries from Gaza should be directed to this 
address): Programs and Exchanges Office, U.S. Embassy, Tel Aviv. 
Telephone number: 03-516-3210; e-mail:
    In Jerusalem (Note: Inquiries from Gaza should be directed to the 
Tel Aviv address above): Public Affairs Office, U.S. Consulate General, 
Jerusalem. Telephone number: 02-622-7207;      e-mail:
    Please read the complete Federal Register announcement or Request 
for Proposals (RFP) 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 

To Download a Solicitation Package via Internet

    The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's 
website, Please note! There 
will be two separate sets of Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) 
available, one specific to American applicants and one specific to non-
American (Israeli and Palestinian) applicants. Please read all 
information before downloading.

Deadline for Proposals

    All proposal copies must be received at the Bureau of Educational 
and Cultural Affairs (in the case of American organizations) by 5 p.m. 
Eastern Standard Time (EST) or at the Public Affairs Section of the 
U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv or at the Public Affairs Office of the U.S. 
Consulate General in Jerusalem (in the case of Israeli or Palestinian 
organizations) by 5 p.m. local time on January 5, 2001. Faxed documents 
will not be accepted at any time. Documents postmarked January 5, 2001, 
but received on a later date, will not be accepted. Each applicant must

[[Page 57227]]

ensure that the proposals are received by the above deadline.
    Applications must conform to all instructions in the Solicitation 
Package. The original and ten copies of the application submitted by 
American applicants should be sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C-00-69, 
Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 336, 301 4th Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20547.
    American 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 of 
the US Embassy and the Public Affairs Office of the US Consulate for 
their review, with the goal of reducing the time it takes to receive 
comments for the grants review process.
    The original and ten copies of applications submitted by Israeli 
and Palestinian applicants should be sent to one of the following 

1. Programs and Exchanges, Migdalor Building, 8th Floor, One Ben Yehuda 
Street, Tel Aviv, Israel.
2. Public Affairs Office, American Consulate General, PO Box 290, 
Jerusalem 91002.

Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines (Specific to American 

    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.''
    Public Law 106-113 requires that the governments of the countries 
described above do not have inappropirate influence in the selection 
process. Proposals should reflect advancement of this goal in their 
program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.

Review Process

    The Bureau, the Embassy in Tel Aviv, or the Consulate General in 
Jerusalem 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 by the Public Diplomacy section of the U.S. 
Mission overseas. Eligible proposals will be forwarded to panels of 
State Department 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 Assistant Secretary for Educational and Public 
Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards (grants or 
cooperative agreements) from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer. Final technical 
authority for assistance awards from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and 
the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem resides with the Public Affairs 
Officer in the Public Affairs Section/Office in each Mission.

Review Criteria

    Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank 
ordered, and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation.
    1. Quality of the Program Idea: Proposals should be substantive, 
well thought out, focused on issues of demonstrable relevance to all 
proposed participants, and responsive, in general, to the exchange 
suggestions and guidelines provided above.
    2. Implementation Plan and Ability to Achieve Objectives: A 
detailed project implementation plan should establish a clear and 
logical connection between the interest, the expertise, and the 
logistic capacity of the applicant and the objectives to be achieved. 
The plan should discuss, in concrete terms, how the institution 
proposes to achieve the objectives. Institutional resources--including 
personnel--assigned to the project should be adequate and appropriate 
to achieve project objectives. The substance of workshops and site 
visits should be included as an attachment, and the responsibilities of 
all partners should be clearly described.
    3. Institution's Record/Ability: Proposals should include an 
institutional record of successful exchange programs, with reference to 
responsible fiscal management and full compliance with reporting 
requirements. The Bureau will consider the demonstrated potential of 
new applicants and will evaluate the performance record of prior 
recipients of Bureau grants as reported by the Bureau grant staff.
    4. Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for 
sustained follow-on activity (building on the linkages developed under 
the grant and the activities initially funded by the grant, after grant 
funds have been exhausted), ensuring that Bureau-supported projects are 
not isolated events.
    5. Project Evaluation/Monitoring: Proposals should include a plan 
to monitor and evaluate the project's implementation, both as the 
activities unfold and at the end of the program. Reports should include 
both accomplishments and problems encountered. A discussion of survey 
methodology or other disclosure/measurement techniques, plus a 
description of how outcomes are defined in terms of the project's 
original objectives, is recommended. Successful applicants will be 
expected to submit a report after each project component is concluded 
or semi-annually, whichever is less frequent.
    6. Impact: Proposed projects should, through the establishment of 
substantive, sustainable individual and institutional linkages and 
encouraging maximum sharing of information and cross-boundary 
cooperation, enhance mutual understanding among communities and 
    7. Cost Effectiveness and Cost Sharing: Administrative costs should 
be kept low. Budgets submitted with proposals should reflect 50 percent 
(of the total cost of the exchange) cost sharing, comprised of cash or 
in-kind contributions. Such contributions may represent international 
or domestic government contributions, private sector contributions, or 
direct institutional support.
    8. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate support for 
the Bureau's policy on diversity. Features relevant to this policy 
should be cited in program implementation (selection of participants, 
program venue and program evaluation), program content, and program 

[[Page 57228]]


    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 funding authority 
for grants awarded to foreign entities under the Wye River People-to-
People Exchange Program is provided in Title VI--International Affairs 
Supplemental Appropriations: Bilateral Economic Assistance.


    The terms and conditions published in this RFP are binding and may 
not be modified by any Bureau/Department of State representative. 
Explanatory information provided by the Bureau/Department 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/Department reserves the right to revise, reduce, or increase 
proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the 
availability of funds. Awards 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: September 15, 2000.
Helena Kane Finn,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Educational and Cultural Affairs, 
U.S. Department of State.
[FR Doc. 00-24285 Filed 9-20-00; 8:45 am]