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[Federal Register: March 8, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 46)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[Public Notice 3596]
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant
Proposals: Small Grants Competition Designed To Promote Women's
Leadership and Disability Issues in Latin America, the Caribbean and
the Middle East
SUMMARY: The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational
and Cultural Affairs announces a Small Grants Competition designed to
promote Women's Leadership and Disability Issues in Latin America, the
Caribbean and the Middle East. Public and private non-profit
organizations meeting the provisions described in IRS regulation 26 CFR
1.501(c) may submit proposals for exchanges and training programs that
address women's leadership or disability issues in a single country in
South America, Central America, the Caribbean, or the Arabian Peninsula
states of the Middle East.
Announcement Title and Number
All communications with the Bureau concerning this Request for
Grant Proposals (RFGP) should refer to the announcement title ``Small
Grants Competition designed to promote Women's Leadership and
Disability Issues in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East''
and reference number ECA/PE/C-01-38.
The Office of Citizen Exchanges, Bureau of Educational and Cultural
Affairs (ECA) announces a small grants competition for community-based
nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations and institutions that conduct
programs focusing on women's leadership and disability issues. ECA
seeks organizations that are interested in developing grassroots
training programs and international exchanges in Latin America, the
Caribbean or the Middle East. Only U.S. organizations that have not
received prior funding directly from ECA are eligible to submit
The goal of this initiative is to provide support for small
organizations or local chapters of national groups to expand the scope
of their work and build or strengthen linkages with partner
organizations in other countries. Programs should be designed so that
the exchanges will operate on two levels: (1) They should enhance
institutional partnerships and improve institutional capacity of the
partner organizations, and (2) they should offer training sessions that
include practical information and useful materials to enable the
partners to conduct further training sessions after the grant period is
Competitive proposals will be creative and innovative with a clear
implementation plan and well-articulated expected outcomes. Proposals
should indicate that the program ideas were jointly developed between
the American and foreign organization(s). Applicants should identify
the foreign partner organization(s) and individuals with whom they are
proposing to collaborate. Background information on the partner
organization(s), and resumes for all American and foreign staff members
and consultants should be included in the proposal.
The exchanges and training should combine elements of skill
enrichment, experiential learning and exposure to American life and
culture. The experiences should also provide Americans the opportunity
to learn about and experience the culture of the partner's country.
This program is not academic in nature; programs should be designed to
provide practical, hands-on experience.
Program components may include, but are not limited to, ``training
of trainers (TOT),'' job shadowing, hands-on workshops, internships,
educational campaigns, consultations and short-term training.
Orientation sessions must be included in the program and cultural
programming may include mutually beneficial experiences hosted by local
institutions and home stays with community members. The programming may
take place in the United States and/or the partner country. Programs
should be designed so that the sharing of information that occurs
during the grant period will continue after the grant period is over.
Strong proposals will have a clear, convincing plan outlining exactly
how the program components will be carried out and how permanent
results will be accomplished as a result of the grant. Proposals should
be designed so that the majority of funding is directed toward
participant program costs.
Organizations planning to submit a proposal must contact the
program office for a consultation. Before calling, organizations should
be ready to discuss a concrete concept specific to the guidelines
supplied in this request for proposals.
For Latin America & the Caribbean, Laverne Johnson,
firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 619-5337.
For the Middle East/Arabian Peninsula states, James Ogul,
email@example.com, (202) 205-0535.
To be considered for a grant award in this competition, the
proposed training and exchange program must address one of the three
themes listed below (Girls' Education, Women's NGO Development, or
Disability Issues). ECA encourages potential grantees to be creative.
The proposal narrative, excluding resumes and sample materials, should
not exceed six (6) pages and should be double-spaced. Priority will be
given to short (3 to 5 page) concise innovative proposals that are
developed around the criteria outlined in the section called ``Review
Criteria'' below. The budget should be contained on one page. Budget
notes should be included as needed. The program start date should not
be before June 1, 2001. Eligible countries are:
South America: Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama
Caribbean: The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Haiti,
Middle East/Arabian Peninsula states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar,
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
Girls' Education: The proposed program plan should focus on
promoting and understanding the current and potential role of women and
girls in society (i.e. education practices, community responsibility,
cultural and political life, historical contributions); and providing
training opportunities for young women educators and community leaders
to develop skills in leadership, public awareness and conflict
resolution. Emphasis will be on exchanges and training for grassroots
educational and community leaders with current experience and active
involvement with girls' education issues. Grant funds may not be used
for student/youth exchanges.
Women's NGO Development: Proposals should focus on culturally
sensitive organizational management for grassroots women's NGOs,
identification of core issues, long term planning, steps for the
development and implementation of programs, and effectiveness training.
Thematic topics may include leadership training, awareness, PR/media
strategies, networking, coalition building, conducting educational
campaigns, fundraising, volunteerism and community responsibility, and
women's social issues.
Disability Exchanges: The proposed program should target disability
NGOs and institutions, individuals involved in disability awareness and
rights issues and disabled persons. Possible themes and activities
include, but are not limited to, PR/media, awareness, educational
campaigns, community involvement, leadership, dealing with challenges
and overcoming barriers, professional/occupational training,
skillbuilding, and NGO development/management. Exchanges and training
program plans may either address a range of disability issues (for
example, awareness, educational campaigns and PR/media), or may focus
more deeply on one specific area. Plans addressing multiple topics
should clearly explain how the chosen topics are complementary.
Selection of Participants
Proposals should include an open, merit-based participant selection
process. A sample application may be submitted with the proposal. ECA
and the U.S. Embassies retain the right to nominate participants and to
approve or reject participants recommended by the grantee institution.
For exchanges to the U.S., priority must be given to foreign
participants who have not previously traveled to the United States.
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.
Funding available for the Small Grants Competition will be
disbursed through grants to several organizations. Funding for each
program is limited to $50,000. Priority will be given to grant
proposals with budgets ranging from $15,000 to $40,000. Organizations
should not submit a budget that exceeds $50,000 in costs to be paid by
ECA, however the overall budget may exceed $50,000 through cost sharing
by the U.S. and foreign partner organization(s). Approximately $250,000
has been allotted for this competition, but may be subject to change.
ECA expects to announce the small grants awards recipients around late
Allowable costs include the following (see the Proposal Submission
Instructions for sample budget line items and formatting instructions):
(1) General Program Expenses (i.e. consultants, room rental, and
(2) Participant Program Expenses (i.e. international travel and per
(3) Administrative Expenses (i.e. salaries, benefits, telephone/fax
and indirect costs)
In support of first-time applicants, the grant proposal, budget and
review process has been modified for this competition. Proposals will
be reviewed in two tiers. First, all proposals will be reviewed by a
team of qualified staff from the Office of Citizen Exchanges and the
respective Department of State regional bureaus. Second, the most
competitive proposals will be forwarded to embassies overseas and to
panels of State Department officers for formal advisory review. Non-
finalists will be advised at this point in the process. Please follow
the enclosed Request for Grant Proposal (RFGP) Proposal Submission
Instructions (PSI). ECA 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. Final funding decisions will be made
at the discretion of the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for
Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for
assistance awards (grants or cooperative agreements) resides with the
ECA Grants Officer.
Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed
according to the criteria stated below. Proposals should adequately
address each area of review. These criteria are not rank ordered.
1. Quality of Program Idea and Ability to Achieve Objectives:
Program objectives should be clearly and precisely stated. Proposal
objectives should respond to the priority topics in
this announcement and articulate the organization's ability to
successfully carry out the objectives. U.S. and foreign staff and
participant responsibilities should be outlined. A monthly timetable
and schedule for the training session(s) should be included.
2. Cost Effectiveness and Cost Sharing: Administrative costs should
be kept to a minimum. Proposals should maximize cost sharing through
support and in-kind contributions from the U.S. and partner
3. Program Evaluation: Proposals must include a plan and
methodology to evaluate the program's successes, both as the activities
unfold and at the program's conclusion. The evaluation plan should show
a clear link between program objectives and expected outcomes and list
performance indicators and measurement tools. A draft survey
questionnaire may be attached to the proposal.
4. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive
support of the ECA's policy on diversity. Program content (orientation,
evaluation, program sessions, resource materials, follow-on activities)
and program administration (selection process, orientation, evaluation)
should address diversity in a comprehensive and innovative manner.
Applicants should refer to ECA's Diversity, Freedom and Democracy
Guidelines on page four of the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI).
Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines
Pursuant to ECA'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,'' ECA
``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 inappropriate influence in
the selection process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these
goals in their program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.
Deadline for Proposals
The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural
Affairs must receive all copies by 5 p.m. Washington, D.C. time on
Thursday, April 19, 2001. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any
time. The mailroom closes at 5:00 p.m.; no late submissions will be
accepted. Documents postmarked by April 19, 2001, but received at a
later date, will not be accepted. Each applicant must ensure that the
proposals are received by the above deadline.
To Download an Application Package Via the Internet
The entire Application Package may be downloaded from ECA's website
Applicants must follow all instructions given in the Application
Package. The applicant's original proposal and ten (10) copies should
be sent to: U.S. Department of State, Ref.: ECA/PE/C/EUR-01-38, Program
Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC
Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary'' and
``Proposal Narrative'' sections of the proposal in MSWord on a 3.5"
diskette. ECA will transmit these files electronically to the Public
Affairs Sections of the U.S. Embassies for review. Once the RFP
deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition in
any way with applicants until the proposal review process has been
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: By mail: United States Department of
State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of
Citizen Exchanges (ECA/PE/C), Room 220, Washington, DC 20547, Attn:
Small Grants Competition 2001, By phone: (202) 205-2209; By e-mail:
Interested applicants may request the Application Package, which
includes the Request for Proposals (RFP) and the Proposal Submission
Instructions (PSI). Please specify ``Small Grants Competition'' on all
inquiries and correspondence. All potential applicants should read the
complete announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals.
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 or program officers that contradicts published
language will not be binding. Issuance of the RFP does not constitute
an award commitment on the part of the U.S. 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. Organizations will be expected to cooperate with the
Bureau in evaluating their programs under the principles of the
Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993, which requires
federal agencies to measure and report on the results of their programs
Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by
Congress, allocated and committed through internal U.S. Department of
Dated: March 2, 2001.
Helena Kane Finn,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S.
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-5768 Filed 3-7-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-U
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