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[Federal Register: February 28, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 40)]
[Page 9345-9347]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

[Public Notice 3927]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for 
GrantProposals: Balkan Educational Partnerships Program

SUMMARY: The Office of Global Educational Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the 
Balkan Educational Partnerships Program. Public and private non-profit 
organizations and educational institutions meeting the provisions 
described in Internal Revenue Code 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit 
proposals to cooperate with the Bureau in the administration of a 
three-year program to support the development of instruction in civic 
education, public administration, business administration, and the 
social, economic, and political sciences at eligible Balkan university 
faculties or departments and educational institutions. The means for 
achieving these objectives may include the exchange of teachers, 
administrators, and advanced students from the Balkan region with 
appropriate U.S. counterpart colleges and universities.

Program Information


    The Balkan Educational Partnerships Program will fund three-year 
projects to permit U.S. institutions to work with counterpart 
university departments and educational institutions in Balkan countries 
and locations as specified in the RFGP. Applicants may either identify 
a U.S. college or university with which each Balkan educational partner 
would cooperate, or propose other models for exchange that will lead to 
the achievement of program objectives through increased cooperation by 
the Balkan partner institutions, their teachers and students with U.S. 
scholars, educators, and other professional experts. Pending 
availability of funds, approximately $2,010,000 is expected to be 
available in support of the Balkan Educational Partnerships Program in 
FY 2002.


    Program objectives are to assist participating Balkan institutions 
and individuals to: (1) Develop courses and curricula in eligible 
fields; (2) Improve teaching methods; (3) Develop educational materials 
which support new courses and curricula; (4) Train teachers or other 
practitioners in the effective use of these materials; and (5) Foster 
enduring relationships with U.S. academic institutions and educators. 
The program should equip participating Balkan institutions and 
educators to assist with the transitions to more market-oriented 
economies, to democratic political life, to strengthened civil 
societies, and to responsible administrative practices in the public 
sector. At the conclusion of the program, teachers at the participating 
Balkan institutions should be capable of teaching the newly introduced 
or revised courses and should be able to participate more fully in 
international dialogue with U.S. and other educators. Students 
graduating from the participating Balkan institutions should be better 
prepared to assume responsibilities in public service, education, and 
the private sector, and to exercise the duties of citizens in a 
democratic society.
    Pending availability of funds, grants should begin on or about 
September 1, 2002.
    Applicants should propose a plan that includes all of the projects 
listed below. If a specific partner is not identified, the applicant 
may identify any appropriate partner from the country or entity 
    Albania: Political science at Tirana University. Funding for this 
project should not exceed $225,000.
    Kosovo: Civic education. This project should be designed to support 
curriculum development at the primary or secondary level rather than at 
the university level and may include participants at the university 
level in Kosovo as well as the elementary and secondary levels. 
Educational administrators are also eligible to participate. Funding 
for this project should not exceed $185,000.
    Kosovo: Law, education, or the social sciences. This project may 
include one or more faculties or departments of the University of 
Pristina. Funding for this project should not exceed $670,000.
    Montenegro: Public administration and business administration. This 
project may include one or more faculties or departments. Funding for 
this project should not exceed $550,000.
    Serbia (except Kosovo): Economics/business at the University of 
Novi Sad. Funding for this project should not exceed$180,000.
    Serbia (except Kosovo): Law, business, public administration, 
journalism, education or the social sciences. This project may include 
one or more faculties or departments at one or more Serbian 
universities. Funding for this project(s) should not exceed $200,000.
    The Bureau anticipates that funding may become available for 
additional sites in the future. Applicants are encouraged to contact 
the program office to discuss options and priorities for the various 
locations listed above.

Participant Eligibility

    All participants traveling to the Balkans funded under the grant 
should represent U.S. educational institutions and must be U.S. 
citizens. Foreign participants must be both qualified to receive U.S. 
J-1 visas and willing to travel to the U.S. under the provisions of a 
J-1 visa during the exchange visits funded by this Program.
    Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to 
Solicitation Package for further information.

Budget Guidelines

    The Bureau anticipates awarding one grant not to exceed $2,010,000. 
Applicants may submit a budget not to exceed this amount. Organizations 
with less than four years experience in conducting international 
exchanges are limited to $60,000, and are not encouraged to apply. The 
Bureau encourages applicants to provide

[[Page 9346]]

maximum levels of cost-sharing and funding from private sources in 
support of its programs.
    Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire 
program. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns 
reflecting both administrative and program budgets. Applicants should 
provide separate sub-budgets for each sub-project with each foreign 
partner institution. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for 
complete 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/A/
    For Further Information Contact: To request a solicitation package, 
contact the Humphrey Fellowships and Institutional Linkages Branch; 
Office of Global Educational Programs; Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs; ECA/A/S/U, Room 349; U.S. Department of State; SA-44, 
301 Fourth Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547; phone: (202) 619-5289, 
fax: (202) 401-1433. The Solicitation Package includes more detailed 
award criteria, all application forms, and guidelines for preparing 
proposals, including specific criteria for preparation of the proposal 
budget. Applicants desiring more information may contact Program 
Officer Jonathan Cebra at 202-205-8379 or
    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 
Web site 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 on Friday, April 26, 
2002. 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 SolicitationPackage. 
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/A/S/U-02-13, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
    No later than one week after the competition deadline, applicants 
must also submit the Proposal Title Sheet, Executive Summary, and 
Proposal Narrative sections of the proposal as e-mail attachments in 
Microsoft Word (preferred), WordPerfect, or as ASCII text files to the 
following e-mail address: In the e-mail 
message subject line, include the following: ECA/A/S/U-02-13. To reduce 
the time needed to obtain advisory comments from the Public Affairs 
Sections of U.S. Embassies overseas, the Bureau will transmit these 
files electronically to these offices.

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 adhere to the guidelines stated herein 
and in the Solicitation Package.All eligible proposals will be reviewed 
by the program office, as well as by the appropriate Public Diplomacy 
sections overseas. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance 
with Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and forwarded to 
Bureau grant panels 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 Assistant Secretary for Educational and CulturalAffairs. Final 
technical authority for grants resides with the Bureau's Grants 

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) Broad and Enduring Significance of InstitutionalObjectives: 
Program objectives should have significant and ongoing results for the 
participating institutions and for their surrounding societies or 
communities by providing a deepened understanding of critical issues in 
one or more of the eligible fields. Program objectives should relate 
clearly to institutional and societal needs, including the transition 
of the Balkan countries to democratic systems based on market 
    (2) Creativity and Feasibility of Strategy to AchieveObjectives: 
Strategies to achieve program objectives should be feasible and 
realistic within the budget and timeframe. These strategies should 
utilize and reinforce exchange activities creatively to ensure an 
efficient use of program resources.
    (3) Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs should strengthen 
long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of 
information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual 
    (4) Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive 
support of the Bureau's policy on diversity by explaining how issues of 
diversity are included in objectives for all institutional partners. 
Issues resulting from differences of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, 
geography, socio-economic status, or physical challenge should be 
addressed during program implementation. In addition, program 
participants and administrators should reflect the diversity within the 
societies which they represent (see the section of this document on 
``Diversity,Freedom, and Democracy Guidelines''). Proposals should also 
discuss how the various

[[Page 9347]]

institutional partners approach diversity issues in their respective 
communities or societies.
    (5) Institution's Capacity and Record/Ability: Proposed personnel 
and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to 
achieve the program or project's goals.Proposals should demonstrate an 
institutional record of successful exchange programs, including 
responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting 
requirements for past Bureau grants as determined by BureauGrant Staff. 
The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and 
the demonstrated potential of new applicants.
    (6) Evaluation: Proposals should outline a methodology for 
determining the degree to which the project meets its objectives, both 
while it is underway and at its conclusion.The final program evaluation 
should include an external component and should provide observations 
about the program's influence within the participating institutions as 
well as their surrounding communities or societies.
    (7) Cost-effectiveness: Administrative and program costs should be 
reasonable and appropriate with cost-sharing provided by all 
participating institutions within the context of their respective 
capacities. Cost-sharing is viewed as a reflection of institutional 
commitment to the program.


    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 funding authority 
for the program cited above is provided through the Support for East 
EuropeanDemocracy (SEED) Act of 1989.


    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: February 20, 2002.
Patricia S. Harrison,
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-4853 Filed 2-27-02; 8:45 am]