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[Federal Register: April 12, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 71)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[Public Notice 3641]
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Program Title:
Israel-Arab Peace Partners Program
NOTICE: Request for grant proposals.
SUMMARY: The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational
and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the United States Department of State
announces an open competition for grants under the Israel-Arab Peace
Partners Program. U.S. public and private non-profit organizations
meeting the provisions described in IRS regulation 26 CFR 1.501(c) may
submit proposals to develop and implement exchange programs involving
participants from Israel and one or more Arab countries or entities in
the Middle East or North Africa. Five grant awards are anticipated.
Grants will be awarded based on competitiveness. Depending upon the
types and number of proposals received, more than one award may be made
in some areas of focus and no awards may be made in others.
The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, consults with and supports
American 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 are focused on issues crucial both to the United States
and to the foreign countries with which the exchange will be conducted.
They represent focused, substantive, and cooperative interaction among
counterparts, and they entail both theoretical and experiential
learning for all participants. A primary goal is the development of
sustained, international institutional and individual linkages. In
addition to providing a context for professional development and
cooperative, international problem-solving, these projects are intended
to introduce participants to one another's political, social, and
economic structures. Two-way exchange travel should be provided for,
and desirable components of an exchange may be local citizen
involvement and activities that orient participants to one another's
society and culture.
The Israel-Arab Peace Partners Program is based on the premise that
people-to-people exchanges--particularly those that are youth oriented
and that focus on cooperative efforts in community and institutional
development--will contribute to enhanced mutual understanding and will
increase the prospect for peaceful co-existence among Middle Eastern
societies, specifically between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Participants should include college and graduate students as well as
leaders and public policy advocates in various professions. In response
to the aspirations of this program, the Office of Citizen Exchanges
solicits proposals in five areas of focus. Proposals should respond to
the project foci and guidelines suggested below.
1. Dispute Resolution/Conflict Prevention
This exchange should focus on dispute resolution, peer mediation,
and conflict prevention and management in the context of community,
school, or youth organization activities. It should encourage open
dialogue, introduce innovative mediation and arbitration mechanisms, or
focus on crisis management, presenting alternatives to the use of
violence and extreme force. Potential participants are non-governmental
organization activists, mediators, teachers, teacher trainers, youth
organization leaders, and older students. The focus should be on
initiatives and programs that have been found effective in defusing or
managing conflict based on, or exacerbated by, communal differences.
The role played by the media in communal conflict, the destructive
effects of stereotyping and scapegoating, and the positive potential
for youth initiative and activism are all topics that could be
addressed. The project should entail two to three phases of
international travel, and it should directly involve, in the course of
its several phases, 15 to 20 foreign participants and an equal number
of American participants, if feasible. Grant requests should not exceed
2. Environmental Protection and Environmentally Responsible Development
This exchange should engage community activists, teachers, youth
project leaders, and representatives of non-governmental organizations.
It should focus on protecting the environment in the public interest,
increasing public awareness of and information about environmental
issues, civic responsibility, planning and policy advocacy, and
activism/volunteerism. Non-governmental organizations that have engaged
in grass-roots educational efforts and have mobilized local schools and
youth groups to undertake projects to conserve/protect the environment,
perhaps including or overlapping with grassroots lobbying efforts or
the initiation of public-private cooperative projects, are a model.
Suggestions for specific areas of concern are water management,
biodiversity/species preservation, industrial pollution and hazardous
materials, and solid waste management. The potential for mutually
planned and developed nature reserves could also be addressed. The
project should entail two to three phases of international travel, and
it should directly involve, in the course of its several phases, 15 to
20 foreign participants and an equal number of American participants,
if feasible. Grant requests should not exceed $140,000.
3. Democratization and Building Civil Society
This exchange might focus on fostering open dialogue and grassroots
activism or on mobilizing public opinion as a factor in policy making.
Every hierarchy--political or social--is dominated by certain groups
and individuals. However, in a democratic society, if the concerns and
preferences of the people are effectively expressed by locally
supported interest groups, public policy may be affected. Training
should center on identifying issues of common importance to be
addressed, mobilizing support, volunteer effort, disseminating
information, use of the media, fundraising, and effective communication
with leaders. Participants might be youth activists, teachers or other
professionals, local community leaders, influential women in the
community, etc. The project should entail two to three phases of
international travel, and it should directly involve, in the course of
its several phases, 15 to 20 foreign participants and an equal number
of American participants, if feasible. Grant requests should not exceed
4. Enhancing the Rights and Opportunities of Women and/or the Disabled
The goal of this project would be to increase the participation of
women and/or other often under-represented groups, such as the
disabled, in civic life. This will entail, in many instances, assisting
members of disadvantaged groups in understanding their rights;
promoting, through community education, an awareness of the need for
and advantages of more egalitarian participation; introducing ways of
strengthening social integration; and focus on the social welfare
infrastructure. Participants would be non-governmental organization
activists, representatives of women's groups, youth leaders, and
disabled professionals and spokesmen for the disabled. The project
should entail two to three phases of international travel, and it
should directly involve, in the course of its several phases, 15-20
foreign participants and an equal number of American participants, if
feasible. Grant requests should not exceed $140,000.
5. A Community-based Exchange
The applicant should propose a community-based exchange which would
bring together, in a sustained series of discussions and site visits,
young civic activists, organizational leaders, and public policy
advocates in various professions from several communities: one American
community, at least one Israeli community, and at least two communities
selected from potential partners: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the West
Bank/Gaza, Morocco, Tunisia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab
Emirates, Oman, and Yemen. This project should focus on a general theme
of mutual importance to the participating communities, such as conflict
resolution, primary and high school education, administration of
justice, preventing corruption in government, social welfare, urban
environment, etc. This exchange would involve a greater number of
participants than the four projects suggested above. Grant requests
should not exceed $190,000.
Suggested activities for the above projects might include:
1. Initial needs assessment/orientation travel (if necessary) by
American organizers to develop contacts and relationships with both
American Mission officers and counterpart organizations/individuals in
the countries with which the exchange will be conducted
2. A U.S.-based program, including orientation to program purposes
and to U.S. society, discussions, site visits, limited shadowing or
3. A return visit by selected American professionals/youth to
collaborate with participants in the U.S.-based program. This might
include site visits, conducting joint workshops, seminars, on-site
training, and networking
4. Longer (two-week), intensive, joint internship in the U.S. for
two or three selected youth leaders--one Israeli; one or more Arab--
from the Middle East
The Office of Citizen Exchanges encourages applicants to be
creative in planning project implementation. Activities may include
both theoretical orientation and experiential, community-based
initiatives designed to achieve concrete objectives.
Applicants should, in their proposals, identify any partner
organizations and/or individuals in the U.S. with which/whom they are
proposing to collaborate and justify on the basis of experience,
Selection of Participants
Successful applications should include a description of an open,
merit-based participant selection process. Applicants should anticipate
working closely with the Public Affairs Sections (PAS) of U.S.
Embassies abroad in selecting participants, with Embassies retaining
the right to nominate participants and to advise the grantee on
participants recommended by other entities.
Public Affairs Section Involvement
The Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Embassies may play an
important role in project implementation. Public Affairs Officers
evaluate project proposals, and they may serve as a link to in-country
partners and participants. At their discretion, they may coordinate
planning with the grantee organization and in-country partners,
facilitate in-country activities, nominate participants and/or advise
on grantee nominations, observe in-country activities, debrief
participants, and evaluate project impact. U.S. Missions are
responsible for issuing IAP-66 forms in order for foreign participants
to obtain the necessary J-1 visas for entry to the United States.
Though project administration and implementation are the
responsibility of the grantee, the grantee is expected to inform the
PAS in participating countries of its operations and procedures and,
where appropriate, to coordinate with PAS officers in the development
of project activities. The PAS should be consulted regarding country
priorities, security issues, and related logistic and programmatic
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
Solicitation Package for further information.
Applicants must submit a comprehensive line-item budget for the
project based on guidance provided in the Proposal Submission
Instructions (PSI) of the Solicitation Package. Award amounts are cited
above. Grants awarded to organizations with less than four years'
experience in conducting international exchange programs will be
limited to $60,000.
Awards may not exceed the amounts cited in the guidelines above.
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 that present evidence of cost
sharing--in cash or in kind--representing 33% or more of the total cost
of the exchange project will receive priority consideration.
Allowable costs include the following:
(1) direct program expenses
(2) administrative expenses, including indirect costs Please refer
to the Solicitation Package for budget guidelines and formatting
Announcement Title and Number
All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should
reference the above title and number ECA PE/C-01-51
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, 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; fax number 202/619-4350; Internet address to request a
Solicitation Package, email@example.com. 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
Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before
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: http://exchanges.state.gov/education/rfgps. 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, D.C. time on Wednesday, June
13, 2001. 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 and ten copies of the application should be sent
to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural
Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C-01-51, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534,
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 US Embassy for its review, with the goal of reducing the time it
takes to get embassy comments for the Bureau's grants review process.
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 this goal in their program contents, to the full
extent deemed feasible.
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 Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and
Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards
(grants or cooperative agreements) resides with the Bureau's Grants
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
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
U.S. participants and in-country 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 depleted),
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.
Proposed projects should, through the establishment of substantive,
sustainable individual and institutional linkages and through
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. Proposal budgets that
provide evidence of cost sharing comprised of cash or in-kind
contributions, representing 33 percent or more of the total cost of the
exchange will be given priority consideration. Cost sharing may be
derived from diverse sources,
including private-sector contributions and/or direct institutional
8. Support for 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 administration.
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 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
binding. 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.
Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by
Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.
Dated: April 6, 2001.
Helena Kane Finn,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs,
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-9187 Filed 4-11-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-11-U
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