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[Federal Register: March 8, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 46)]
[Page 13990-13992]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[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

[[Page 13991]]

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,, (202) 619-5337.
    For the Middle East/Arabian Peninsula states, James Ogul,, (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, 
Jamaica, Trinidad
    Middle East/Arabian Peninsula states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, 
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

Women's Issues

    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 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.

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.

Project Funding

    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 
May 2001.

Budget Guidelines

    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)

Review Process

    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.

Review Criteria

    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

[[Page 13992]]

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 
and activities.


    Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by 
Congress, allocated and committed through internal U.S. Department of 
State procedures.

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]


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