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[Federal Register: April 5, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 66)]
[Page 18138-18142]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []


[Public Notice 3632]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: International Visitor Program Assistance Awards

SUMMARY: The Office of International Visitors of the Division of 
Professional and Cultural Exchanges, Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs, (ECA/PE/V), United States Department of State (DOS) announces 
an open competition for two assistance awards to support the 
International Visitor program. Awards will be divided into one small 
awards' category (Award A) and one large awards' category (Award B). 
Funding will be for FY-2002 (October 1, 2001-September 30, 2002). The 
small assistance award (AWARD A) will include the development and 
implementation of International Visitor programs (IV) for up to 450 
current or potential foreign leaders; the large award (AWARD B) will 
include the development and implementation of IV programs for up to 
1,700 current or potential foreign leaders. Public and private 
nonprofit organizations not receiving Office of International Visitor 
assistance awards for FY-2002 and meeting the provisions described in 
IRS regulation 26 CFR 1.501 may apply for these awards. 
*[See Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) for 
definitions of program-related terminology.]
    The intent of this announcement is to provide the opportunity for 
two organizations to develop and implement a variety of IV programs 
including those funded through FREEDOM Support Act (FSA) and Support 
for Eastern European Democracy (SEED) Act transfers. The award 
recipients will function as national program agencies (NPAs) and will 
work closely with DOS Bureau staff, who will guide them through 
procedural, budgetary and/or programmatic issues for the full range of 
IV programs, as they arise. (Hereafter, the terms ``award recipient'' 
and ``national program agency'' will be used interchangeably to refer 
to the winning organization(s). On occasion, the award recipients may 
be asked to develop and implement specialized IV programs.
    The award recipients will develop over the course of fiscal year 
2002 (October 1, 2001--September 30, 2002) two discrete sets of IV 
programs: (1) (AWARD A): up to 450 foreign participants; and (2) (AWARD 
B): up to 1,700 foreign participants. Applicant organizations may bid 
on one or both awards. Pending availability of funds, one award will be 
made under the small assistance award and one will be made under the 
large assistance award. If an organization is interested in bidding on 
both awards, a separate proposal and budget is required for each award.

Program Information

    Overview: IV program goals are based on U.S. foreign policy 
objectives and are designed to: (1) increase mutual understanding 
between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries; and 
(2) provide substantive professional exchange between the

[[Page 18139]]

foreign participants and their U.S. counterparts. Participants are 
current or potential foreign leaders in government, politics, media, 
education, science, labor relations, and other key fields. They are 
selected by officers of U.S. embassies overseas and approved by the DOS 
staff in Washington, D.C. Since the program's earliest inception in 
1940, there have been more than 140,000 distinguished participants in 
the program. Almost 200 program alumni subsequently became heads of 
state or government in their home countries. All IV programs must 
maintain a non-partisan character.
    The Bureau seeks proposals from non-profit organizations for 
development and implementation of professional programs for Bureau-
sponsored International Visitors to the U.S. Once the awards are made, 
separate proposals will be required for each group program (Single 
Country (SCP)*, Sub-Regional (SRP)*, Regional (RP)*, and Multi-Regional 
(MRP)*) as well as less formal proposals for Individual and Individuals 
Traveling Together (ITT)* programs. At this time proposals are not 
required for Voluntary Visitor (VolVis)* programs.
    Each program will be focussed on a substantive theme. Some common 
IV program themes are: (1) U.S. foreign policy; (2) U.S. government 
systems; (3) U.S. political system; (4) economic development; (5) 
education and training; (6) media; (7) information technology; (8) U.S. 
social concerns; and (9) environmental issues. IV programs must conform 
to all Bureau requirements and guidelines. Please refer to the Program 
Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI) document for a more 
detailed description of each type of IV program.
    Guidelines: Goals and objectives for each specific IV program will 
be shared with the award recipients at an appropriate time following 
the announcement of the assistance awards. Most programs will be 21 to 
30 days in length and will begin in Washington, DC, with an orientation 
and overview of the issues and a central examination of federal 
policies regarding these issues. Well-paced program itineraries usually 
include visits to four or five communities. Program itineraries ideally 
include urban and rural small communities in diverse geographical and 
cultural regions of the U.S., as appropriate to the program theme. 
Programs should provide opportunities for participants to experience 
the diversity of American society and culture. Participants in RPs or 
MRPs are divided into smaller sub-groups for simultaneous visits to 
different communities, with subsequent opportunities to share their 
experiences with the full group once it is reunited.
    Award recipients should demonstrate the potential to develop the 
type of programs described below:
     Programs must contain substantive meetings that focus on 
foreign policy goals and program objectives and are presented by 
experts. Meetings, site visits, and other program activities should 
promote dialogue between participants and their U.S. professional 
counterparts. Programs must be balanced to show different sides of an 
     Most programs are 21 days in length and begin in 
Washington, DC, with an orientation and overview of the issues and a 
central examination of federal policies regarding these issues;
     Well-paced program itineraries usually include visits to 
four or five other communities. Program itineraries ideally include 
urban and rural communities in diverse geographical and cultural 
regions of the U.S., as appropriate to the program theme;
     Programs should provide opportunities for participants to 
experience the diversity of American society and culture. Depending on 
the size and theme of a large group program, the award recipients can 
divide the participants into smaller sub-groups for simultaneous visits 
to different communities, with subsequent opportunities to share their 
experience with the full group once it is reunited;
     Programs may provide opportunities for the participants to 
share a meal or similar experience (home hospitality) in the homes of 
Americans of diverse occupational, age, gender, and ethnic groups. Some 
individual and group programs might include an opportunity for an 
overnight stay (home stay) in an American home;
     Programs should provide opportunities for participants to 
address student, civic and professional groups in relaxed and informal 
     Participants should have appropriate opportunities for 
site visits and hands-on experience that are relevant to program 
themes. The award recipients may propose professional ``shadowing'' 
experiences with U.S. professional colleagues for some programs; (A 
typical shadowing experience means spending a half- or full-workday 
with a professional counterpart.)
     Programs should also allow time for participants to 
reflect on their experiences and, in group programs, to share 
observations with program colleagues. Participants should have 
opportunities to visit cultural and tourist sites; and
     The award recipients must make arrangements for community 
visits through affiliates of the NCIV. In cities where there is no such 
Council, the award recipients will arrange for coordination of local 
    The award recipients are expected to have a Washington, D.C. 
presence, e-mail capability, and access to internet resources. DOS will 
provide close coordination and guidance throughout the duration of the 


    1. Applicants' proposals must demonstrate four years of successful 
experience in coordinating international exchanges.
    2. Applicants' proposals must demonstrate the ability to develop 
and administer IV programs.
    3. Proposals should demonstrate an applicant's broad knowledge of 
international relations and U.S. foreign policy issues.
    4. Proposals should demonstrate an applicant's broad knowledge of 
the United States and U.S. domestic issues.
    5. Proposals should demonstrate that an applicant has an 
established resource base of programming contacts and the ability to 
keep the base continuously updated. This resource base should include 
speakers, thematic specialists, or practitioners in a wide range of 
professional fields in both the private and public sectors.
    6. All proposals must demonstrate sound financial management.
    7. All proposals must contain a sound management plan to carry out 
the volume of work outlined in the Solicitation. This plan should 
include an appropriate staffing pattern and a work plan/time frame.
    8. Applicants must include in their proposal narrative a discussion 
of ``lessons learned'' from past exchanges coordination experience, and 
how these will be applied in implementing the International Visitor 
    9. Applicants must include as a separate attachment under TAB G of 
their proposals the following:
     Samples of at least two schedules for international 
exchange or training programs that they have coordinated within the 
past four years that they are particularly proud of and that they feel 
demonstrate their organization's competence and abilities to conduct 
the activities outlined in the RFGP;
     Samples of orientation and evaluation materials used in 
past international exchange or training programs.

[[Page 18140]]

Requirements for Past Performance References

    Instead of Letters of Endorsement, DOS will use past performance as 
an indicator of an applicant's ability to successfully perform the 
work. Tab E of the proposal must contain between three and five 
references who may be called upon to discuss recently completed or 
ongoing work performed for professional exchange programs (may include 
the IV program). The references must contain the information outlined 
below. Please note that the requirements for submission of past 
performance information also apply to all proposed subcontractors when 
the total estimated cost of the subcontract is over $100,000.
    At a minimum, the applicant must provide the following information 
for each reference:

 Name of the referenced organization
 Project name
 Project description
 Performance period of the contract/grant
 Amount of the contract/grant
 Technical contact person and telephone number for referenced 
 Administrative contact person and telephone number for 
referenced organization

    DOS may contact representatives from the organizations cited in the 
examples to obtain information on the applicant's past performance. DOS 
also may obtain past performance information from sources other than 
those identified by the applicant.


    Applicants must include complete and current resumes of the key 
personnel who will be involved in the program management, design and 
implementation of IV programs. Each resume is limited to two pages per 

Visa Requirements

    IV program participants will travel on J-1 visas arranged by the 
DOS. Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to 
the Solicitation Package for further details.

Budget Guidelines

    Applicants are required to submit a comprehensive line-item 
administrative budget in accordance with the instructions in the 
Solicitation Package (Proposal Submission Instructions.) The submission 
must include a summary budget and a detailed budget showing all 
administrative costs. If an organization wishes to bid on both Awards A 
and B, a separate proposal and budget for each award must be submitted. 
Proposed staffing and costs associated with staffing must be 
appropriate to the requirements outlined in the RFGP and in the 
Solicitation Package.
    Award recipients enter into close consultation with the responsible 
ECA/PE/V Program Officer throughout development, implementation, and 
evaluation of each IV program. Cost sharing is encouraged and should be 
shown in the budget presentation.
    The Department of State is seeking proposals from public and 
private non-profit organizations that are not already in communication 
with DOS regarding an FY-2002 assistance award from ECA/PE/V. All 
applicants must have four years' experience conducting international 
exchanges. It is incumbent on organizations to demonstrate a capacity 
for programming IV participants from all geographic regions of the 
world; proven fiscal management integrity; and an ability to have close 
consultation with DOS staff throughout program administration. Please 
refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and 
formatting instructions.
    Announcement Title and Number: All communications with DOS 
concerning this announcement should refer to the announcement's title 
and reference number ECA/PE/V-02-01.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: The Office of International Visitors, 
Community Relations Division (ECA/PE/V/C), Room 266, U.S. Department of 
State, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, telephone (202) 619-
5234, fax (202) 619-4655, to request a Solicitation Package. The 
Solicitation Package contains detailed award criteria, required 
application forms, specific budget instructions, and standard 
guidelines for proposal preparation. For all other inquiries, please 
contact, Janet Beard, Chief, Group Projects Division (ECA/PE/V/P), 
telephone (202) 619-6892; fax (202) 205-0792; or e-mail:
    Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before 
sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP 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: 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 p.m. Washington, DC, time, by June 1, 2001. 
Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time nor will documents 
postmarked the due date but received on a later date. Each applicant 
must ensure that the proposals are received by the above deadline.
    Submissions: Applicants must follow all instructions in the 
Solicitation Package. The original and 12 copies of the application 
should be sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/V-02-01, Program 
Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 

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.'' 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.

Review Process

    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

[[Page 18141]]

adhere to the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. 
All eligible proposals will be reviewed by the program office. Eligible 
proposals will be subject to compliance with Federal and Bureau 
regulations and guidelines and forwarded to grant panels of Bureau 
officers for advisory review. Proposals may also be reviewed by the 
Office of the Legal Advisor or by other Department elements. Final 
funding decisions are at the discretion of the Department of State's 
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final 
technical authority for assistance awards or cooperative agreements 
resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.

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. Evidence of Understanding/Program Planning: The proposal should 
convey that the applicant has a good understanding of the overall goals 
and objectives of the IV Program. It should exhibit originality, 
substance, precision, and be responsive to requirements stated in the 
RFGP and the Solicitation Package. The proposal should contain a 
detailed and relevant work plan that demonstrates substantive intent 
and logistical capacity. The plan should adhere to the program overview 
and guidelines cited in the RFGP.
    2. Support of Diversity: The proposal should demonstrate 
substantive support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and 
relevant features should be cited in both program administration 
(selection of resources, program venue and program evaluation) and 
program content (orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, 
resource materials and follow-up activities).
    3. Institutional Capacity: The proposal should clearly demonstrate 
the applicant's capability for performing the type of work required by 
the IV Program and how the institution will execute its program 
activities to meet the goals of the IV Program. It should reflect the 
applicant's ability to design and implement, in a timely and creative 
manner, professional exchange programs which encompass a variety of 
project themes. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should 
be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program goals. Finally, the 
proposal also must demonstrate that the applicant has or can recruit 
adequate and well-trained staff.
    4. Institution's Record/Ability: The proposal should demonstrate an 
institutional record of a minimum of four years of successful 
experience in conducting IV or other professional exchange programs, 
which are similar in nature and magnitude to the scope of work outlined 
in this solicitation. Note that evidence of success includes 
responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting 
requirements such as those set out for DOS cooperative agreements. The 
applicant must demonstrate the potential for programming IV 
participants from all geographic regions of the world and must have a 
Washington, D.C. presence.
    5. Cost-effectiveness/Cost-sharing: The administrative and indirect 
cost components of the proposal, including salaries, should be kept as 
low as possible. Consideration will be given to proposed cost-sharing 
through other private sector support and institutional direct funding 
    6. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate 
the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of 
the program. A draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus 
description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original 
project objectives is recommended. Successful applicants will be 
expected to submit intermediate reports after each project component is 
concluded or quarterly, whichever is less frequent.


    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 to 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 RFGP are binding and may 
not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information 
provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be 
    Issuance of the RFGP 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.

Government Reporting Requirements

    In order to account better for the spending of public funds, the 
Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) requires federal 
agencies and departments to establish standards for measuring their 
performance and effectiveness. Each Executive Branch Agency and 
Department must develop a strategic plan describing its overall goals 
and objectives, annual performance plans containing quantifiable 
measures of its progress, and performance reports describing its 
success in meeting these goals and measures. DOS will be looking to our 
partner organizations to measure and report in three areas: (1) Program 
efficiency (resource costs versus outputs); (2) program effectiveness 
(degree to which program goals are achieved); and (3) program impact 
    For general administrative assistance awards such as this, specific 
program results will be worked out on an individual project basis. DOS 
will work closely with its partner organizations to define specific 
project results, coordinate the gathering of information, and evaluate 
the projects according to the three areas listed above. Please note 
that DOS advances several strategic goals (national security, economic 
prosperity, American citizens and U.S. borders, law enforcement, 
democracy and human rights, humanitarian response, global issues: 
environment, population, health, and mutual understanding) and you may 
be asked to administer projects and measure outcomes for each. Project 
outcomes will be based on country or regional goals as well as the 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' goals to expose foreign 
leaders (participants) to American ideas, values, and society; increase 
Americans' understanding of foreign cultures and society; foster 
linkages between U.S. and foreign individuals and institutions; and 
generate cost sharing and other forms of financial leveraging for 


    Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by 
Congress, allocated and committed through internal DOS procedures.

[[Page 18142]]

    Dated: March 26, 2001.
Helena Kane Finn,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-8421 Filed 4-4-01; 8:45 am]
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