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[Federal Register: February 7, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 26)]
[Page 5871-5875]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

[Public Notice 3904]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: Small Grants Competition for Women's Political Leadership, 
Girls' Education, Disability Issues, and Women-Led Small Business 
Development, for Afghanistan, North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula 
States of the Middle East, and Latin America and the Caribbean

SUMMARY: The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational 
and Cultural Affairs announces a Small GrantsCompetition designed to 
promote Women's PoliticalLeadership, Girls' Education, Disability 
Issues, and Women-Led Small Business Development. Public and private 
non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal 
Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to conduct 
exchanges for a single country from the following: Afghanistan, North 
Africa, the ArabianPeninsula States of the Middle East, and Latin 
America & the

[[Page 5872]]

Caribbean. The goal of this initiative is to provide support for 
grassroots organizations or local chapters of national groups to expand 
the scope of their overseas work and build or strengthen linkages with 
partner organizations in other countries. Approximately $500,000 has 
been allotted for this competition, with at least $250,000 projected 
for Afghanistan and countries in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula 
States. ``(Afghanistan is included in this solicitation, contingent on 
security and feasibility of programming.)'' Grant awards will not 
exceed $60,000, with most grants ranging from $25,000 to $50,000.


    The Office of Citizen Exchanges, Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs (ECA) announces a small grants competition for U.S. nonprofit, 
nongovernmental organizations and institutions to implement 
international exchange programs, in partnership with one or more local 
organization(s) in one of the countries listed below. Each Small Grant 
award is meant to fund a single-country project, with the exception of 
projects for Afghanistan*. The following are this year's priority 
themes: (1) Political Leadership for Women, (2) Girls' Education, (3) 
Disability Issues, or (4) Women-Led Small Business Development. Project 
activities may take place in the partner's country overseas, or in both 
the U.S. and the partner country.
    * Two-country projects with Afghanistan and one other MiddleEastern 
or North African country are eligible. These projects should recruit an 
equal number of participants from each country. Alternatively, single-
country projects for Afghanistan may take place in the U.S., 
Afghanistan and/or a third country.
    With the exception of Women-Led Small Business Development, 
eligible countries for each theme are:
    Afghanistan (included in this solicitation, contingent on security 
and feasibility of programming.)
    Latin America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador,Paraguay, Peru, 
Uruguay, Venezuela, Belize, Costa Rica, ElSalvador, Guatemala, 
Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico; Caribbean: The Bahamas, Barbados, 
Dominican Republic,Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad.
    North Africa: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia.
    Arabian Peninsula States of the Middle East: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, 
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates,Yemen.
    Proposals for Women-Led Small Business Development may include 
Afghanistan, and the countries listed under NorthAfrica and the Arabian 
Peninsula States of the Middle East.
    ECA seeks organizations that are interested in expanding or 
developing grassroots training programs and international exchanges in 
Afghanistan, North Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the 
Arabian Peninsula States of the Middle East. Eligibility: U.S. 
nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations that have not received prior funding 
directly from ECA; and organizations that have received prior ECA 
funding, but only under previous Small Grants competitions, are 
eligible to apply. All proposals will receive equal consideration. 
Foreign organizations may submit a joint proposal with the U.S. partner 
as the principal applicant.
    Organizations planning to submit a proposal are strongly encouraged 
to contact the program office for a consultation. Before calling, 
applicants should be ready to discuss a concrete concept specific to 
the guidelines supplied in this request for grant proposals (RFGP).
    For Latin America & the Caribbean: Laverne Johnson,, Tel: (202) 619-5337.
    For North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula States of the Middle East 
and Afghanistan: Susan Krause,, Tel: (202) 619-


    To be considered for a grant award in this competition, the 
proposed project must address one of the themes described in this RFGP 
for a single country from the above list (except as noted above for 
    Applicants should describe a clear and convincing plan for carrying 
out project components that will fulfill the expected outcomes stated 
in the proposal narrative. Proposals should address the REVIEW CRITERIA 
outlined below.
    Projects funded under this competition should enhance partnerships 
among American and foreign organizations, reach the widest possible 
audiences, provide hands-on activities and training sessions with 
practical materials in the local language for use during the project 
and after the grant period is over, and achieve permanent and 
sustainable results.
    This program is not academic in nature; proposals should be 
creative and innovative, combining elements of skill enrichment, 
experiential learning and exposure to American life and culture. The 
activities should also provideAmericans an opportunity to experience 
the culture of the partner country. Cultural programming may include 
activities or events hosted by local institutions and home stays with 
community members. Orientation sessions must be included for all 
foreign and American program participants.
    The majority of funding should be directed toward participant 
program costs.
    Unless otherwise specified below, project components may include, 
but are not limited to, training of trainers(TOT), internships & job 
shadowing, workshops, site visits, consultations, and short-term 
training. Distance learning techniques using appropriate technology and 
activities meant to bridge the digital divide are also encouraged.
    Partner organizations should be identified in the proposal, with 
project plans developed collaboratively by both the American and 
foreign organization(s). Applicants that have not yet identified local 
partners, but whose proposals show significant regional and thematic 
expertise, are also eligible to apply.
    The proposal narrative (excluding resumes, sample materials, the 
budget & budget notes) should be 3-5 pages and double-spaced. The 
budget should be presented on one page. Budget notes should be 
included. The proposed start date should not commence before June 1, 
2002, and may be subject to change.

Women's Political Leadership

    Proposals should focus on promoting women's political leadership by 
(1) strengthening the capacity of grassroots women's organizations in 
developing the skills of current and future women political leaders, 
and (2) compiling a repertoire of practical materials in the local 
language for use in workshops, mock elections and campaigns, 
educational sessions, or other activities. Proposals must indicate a 
practical knowledge of the political and legislative environment in the 
partner country. Projects may include, but are not limited to, 
components listed above and may also include the following: ``Workshops 
for PoliticalLeaders,'' ``Women's Political Awareness Campaigns'' and 
``NGO Management,'' as described below.
    Workshops for Political Leaders might include such topics as public 
speaking, message development, leadership, campaign management, 
accountability and constituencies, consensus building, lobbying, 
surveying, polling, advocacy, voter outreach, networking, working with 
the media, and fundraising. Mock campaigns and elections are 

[[Page 5873]]

    Women's Political Awareness Campaigns should educate women on the 
political process and get them actively involved in the political 
arena. Awareness campaigns should be jointly conducted with partner 
organizations, and should reach the widest possible audience in large 
and small cities, towns and villages.
    NGO Management Part of the program design may also include 
workshops on NGO management and capacity building, for NGOs whose work 
is linked to emerging or enhanced women's political leadership. NGO 
workshop topics might include: strategic planning, managing volunteers, 
coalition building, public relations, facilitation training, peer 
education & outreach, public-private partners, information management, 
and website development.

Girls' Education

    The proposal should focus on exchanges and training for grassroots 
educational and community leaders who are actively involved in girls' 
education. Emphasis should be on providing essential tools and support 
to educators for classes and leadership activities. Potential topics 
for activities include, but are not limited to, creating & 
reconstructing educational opportunities, methodology & practice, the 
role of women & girls in society, leadership, civic responsibility, 
mentoring, women in history, conflict resolution, health education, and 
social issues. Only adult professionals or grassroots practitioners may 
be selected to travel internationally for exchange activities. Girls 
may take part as students in pilot sessions and other in-country 
educational activities.

Disability Issues

    Projects should focus on engaging disability NGOs and institutions, 
individuals with disabilities, leaders in the disability community, as 
well as the community at-large, to improve opportunities and expand 
services for the disabled. Projects should seek to involve victims of 
civil wars and acts of terrorism. Possible themes for exchanges and 
training include: professional & occupational training, accessibility, 
entrepreneurship, community involvement, educational & extra-curricular 
issues, association building, leadership, dealing with mental & 
emotional scars, public relations, and NGO management. Projects may be 
designed to cover a range of topics and/or methods, or may focus more 
intensively on a specific area.

Women-Led Small Business Development

    Projects should foster the development of local women-led 
businesses in the partner country and create ongoing international 
partnerships. Project components in the U.S. or overseas, with examples 
of possible topics, include: seminars for women considering micro-
enterprise (e.g. entrepreneurship, management, finance and registration 
issues); workshops (start-up, loan packages, marketing, staff training, 
appropriate technology); site visits(chamber of commerce, local 
government, women's business association, small business resource 
centers); mentoring; consultancies; internships; job-shadowing; or 
other activities.
    Grant funds may be used to establish or enhance overseas Women's 
Business Resource Centers, Women's Business Associations, and regularly 
published not-for-profit Women's Business Newsletters in the local 
language, or other sustainable elements. For women's business 
centers,ECA funding may be used on resources and development of 
services, but may not be used to furnish new centers. No more than 
$5,000 may be used to purchase computer and/or office equipment. No 
funds may be used for micro-credit or re-lending activities.
    Foreign participants should be linked with U.S. mentors or 
counterparts with similar work responsibilities, in order to ensure 
ongoing professional interaction. In addition to activities for 
businesswomen, proposals should include components targeting potential 
entrepreneurs, single mothers and low-income working or non-working 
women, particularly in countries with critical social and economic 
    Countries eligible for Women-Led Small Business Development grants 
are Afghanistan, and those listed above under NorthAfrica and the 
Arabian Peninsula States of the Middle East.

Selection of Participants

    The proposal narrative should include a description of an open, 
merit-based selection process for all international exchange components 
and/or any other component requiring participant selection. A draft 
application and a sample announcement used for recruitment advertising 
should be included. ECA and the U.S. embassies retain the right to 
nominate participants and 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 FY 2002 Small Grants Competition will be 
disbursed through grants to several organizations. Priority will be 
given to grant proposals with budgets ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, 
with funding limited at $60,000. Applicants should not submit a budget 
that exceeds $60,000 in costs to be paid by ECA, however the overall 
budget may exceed $60,000 through cost sharing by the U.S. and foreign 
partner organization(s), and/or other sources. Approximately $500,000 
has been allotted for this competition, but may be subject to change. 
At least $250,000 is projected for Afghanistan, and the countries of 
North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula States of the Middle East. ECA 
expects to announce the small grants awards recipients around late May 

Budget Guidelines

    To assist applicants in preparing project budgets, listed below are 
selected sample allowable costs. Applicants should refer to the 
Proposal Submission Instructions for specific formatting instructions 
and sample line items.
    (1) General Program Expenses (i.e. orientation & program-related 
supplies, educational materials, traveling campaigns, consultants, 
interpreters, room rental, etc.)
    (2) Participant Program Expenses (i.e. domestic and international 
travel, per diem)
    (3) Administrative Expenses (i.e. salaries, telephone/fax, and 
other direct administrative 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 per the established 
review criteria outlined in this RFGP. Second, the most competitive 
proposals will be forwarded to embassies overseas and to ECA panels for 
formal advisory review. Non-finalists will be advised at

[[Page 5874]]

this point in the process. Please follow the instructions in this RFGP 
and the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for guidelines. 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. 
Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance with Federal and 
Bureau regulations and guidelines. 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 
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final 
technical authority for assistance awards (grants or cooperative 
agreements) resides with the ECA GrantsOfficer.

Review Criteria

    Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below. Proposals should adequately 
address each area of review. The criteria are not rank ordered and all 
carry equal weight.
    1. Quality of Program Idea and Ability to Achieve Objectives: 
Program objectives should be clearly and precisely stated and respond 
to the priority topics in this announcement. The proposal should 
articulate the organization's ability to carry out the planned 
objectives, and should include an outline of the U.S. and foreign staff 
responsibilities, staff resumes, the organizations' mission statements, 
a monthly timetable, and sample schedules for program components.
    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 and challenges. The 
evaluation plan should show a clear link between program objectives and 
expected outcomes, and should include a brief description of 
performance indicators and measurement tools. A draft questionnaire for 
evaluation purposes may be attached to support the proposal.
    4. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive 
support of 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).

Announcement Title and Number

    All communications with ECA concerning this Request for Grant 
Proposals should refer to the announcement title FY02 Small Grants and 
reference number ECA/PE/C-02-37.

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, DC time on 
Friday, March 29, 2002. 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 March 29, 2002, 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 Web 
site at


    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-02-37, Program 
Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC 
    Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary,'' ``Proposal 
Narrative'' and ``Budget'' sections of the proposal 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 RFGP deadline has 
passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition in any way with 
applicants until the proposal review process has been completed.
    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: 
FY02 Small Grants, By phone: (202) 619-5334; By fax: (202) 619-4350, By 
    Interested applicants may request a copy of the Application 
Package, which includes the RFGP and the Proposal Submission 
Instructions (PSI). Please specify ``FY02 Small Grants'' 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 RFGP 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 RFGP 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

[[Page 5875]]

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 Bureau procedures.

    Dated: January 28, 2002.
Patricia S. Harrison,
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-3005 Filed 2-6-02; 8:45 am]