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[Federal Register: April 12, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 71)]
[Notices]               
[Page 18997-19000]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr12ap01-123]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Program Information

Overview

    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 
$140,000.
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 
$140,000.

[[Page 18998]]

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 
internship opportunities
    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, 
accomplishments, etc.

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 
issues.

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 
Solicitation Package for further information.

Budget Guidelines

    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 
instructions.

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, tjohnsto@pd.state.gov. 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.
    Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before 
sending

[[Page 18999]]

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.

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 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 
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. 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 
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.

6. Impact

    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 
societies.

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,

[[Page 19000]]

including private-sector contributions and/or direct institutional 
support

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.

Authority

    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.

Notice

    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.

Notification

    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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