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[Federal Register: April 11, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 70)]
[Notices]               
[Page 17739-17743]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr11ap02-112]                         
=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 3976]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: Afghanistan Women's Teacher-Training Project

SUMMARY: The Office of Global Educational Programs of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the 
Afghanistan Women's Teacher-Training Project. Public and private non-
profit organizations or universities meeting the provisions described 
in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit 
proposals to enhance the skills of Afghan women teachers working in 
basic education. The project will be conducted in three phases and 
Bureau funding of up to $200,000 is currently available to support one 
grant. Should additional funding become available, we would anticipate 
increasing participant numbers.

PROGRAM INFORMATION

1. Overview

    The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs seeks to assist in 
the on-going efforts to re-establish the ability of the government of 
Afghanistan to deliver education to all its children by providing a 
project which targets potential master teachers or teacher trainers. 
Concentrating on women teachers will offer a sharp contrast to the 
actions of the previous regime in which women were systematically 
stripped of their positions and careers in the education field. The 
Afghan Women's Teacher Training Project will augment the skills of 
Afghan women teachers working in basic education. The selected 
participants should have demonstrated their commitment to teaching in 
recent years by serving Afghanistan's children.
    All programming and logistics including design and implementation 
of the academic, cultural, and administrative components will be the 
responsibility of the applicant. These responsibilities include (1) a 
three-phased academic component in Afghanistan and the U.S. that 
provides for an assessment of the relevant needs of teachers and the 
education system, recruitment of ten master teachers and their exposure 
to relevant basic education curricula, train the trainer skills, 
educational materials and technology, and education policy topics that 
would benefit basic education teachers in Afghanistan, and follow-on 
training preferably in Afghanistan, (2) a

[[Page 17740]]

cultural component that complements and reinforces material covered in 
the academic component, during four weeks in the U.S. including a home 
stay and a visit of no less than four days in Washington, DC. The 
grantee organization will be expected to arrange and budget for 
housing, meals, transportation, allowances for incidental expenses, 
books, and excess baggage.
    Responsibilities for this particular project include:
    1.A. Needs Assessment: After receipt of the grant the grantee 
institution should carry out a needs assessment in Afghanistan to 
determine what topics teachers and school administrators, appropriate 
Afghan education officials, and the U.S. Embassy Kabul Public Affairs 
section identify as most relevant to Afghan basic education and develop 
the project around those perceived priorities. At the time of 
assessment the Bureau and Embassy Kabul should be consulted about the 
feasibility of and timeline for conducting the project as designed in 
the applicant's proposal.
    1.B. Recruitment and Selection: The grant recipient will be 
responsible for identifying ten Afghan women participants for the U.S. 
phase of the project. The participants should be basic education 
teachers or specialists with a strong commitment to rebuilding the 
teaching corps of Afghanistan. Participants could come from among those 
who ran home-based schools, especially for girls, in Afghanistan or 
Pakistan during the Taliban regime. They might include women who are 
serving in the current Ministry of Education or a provincial government 
department, and who have basic education responsibility in areas such 
as curriculum, educational materials development or supervision. The 
recruitment methodology and specific criteria for selection should be 
outlined in the proposal, including language skills that will be 
required of participants. Applicants should expect to carry out the 
entire selection process, with the understanding that the Bureau and 
the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul must be 
consulted during the recruitment and selection process.
    Applicants should identify in-country (Afghanistan-based) partner 
organizations and individuals with whom they are proposing to 
collaborate and describe in detail previous cooperative projects 
undertaken by the organization(s)/individual(s). Specific information 
about in-country partner's activities and accomplishments is required 
and should be included in the section on ``Institutional and Language 
Capacity.'' Please include letters of project commitment from any in-
country partners.
    1.C. Training Workshops: Participants will travel to the U.S. for a 
four-week training program to enhance their expertise and skills so 
that they become master teachers. Although the program will reference 
American examples of education reform, the wide disparity between the 
American and Afghanistan contexts demands that the focus be on the 
Afghan education system. Any American examples that are used must have 
relevance and applicability to the realities of Afghanistan. This 
project should not be perceived to be an American studies program or a 
program on concepts of American basic education, but a Teacher-Training 
Project specifically designed for Afghanistan educators. The approach 
should be one that provides in-depth content on a few selected themes 
rather than cursory information on a wide variety of topics. The 
workshop in the U.S. will upgrade their curriculum and materials 
development and train-the-trainer skills, while also affording 
opportunities to observe student-centered learning. Specific topics 
might include: establishing coordination among the various components 
of the basic education system, turning policy into practice, testing, 
certification, staff development, community outreach, education 
technology, parental involvement and student government, etc. In 
addition, observation of U.S. classrooms and applied practices should 
be included. The activities should also provide Americans an 
opportunity to experience the culture of Afghanistan. Orientation 
sessions must be included for all foreign and American participants.
    The project should also include a follow-up teacher training 
workshop, which ideally would be held in Afghanistan, in coordination 
with the ten previously trained Afghan participants, involving U.S. 
teacher-trainers identified by the grantee organization. The planning 
and conducting of the workshops should use an Afghan-driven approach. A 
modest stipend, perhaps $50 per month, should be budgeted for the ten 
Afghan women while the workshop is planned and implemented. The ten 
Afghan women would be expected to play a central role in the workshop 
phase. Design and content of the Afghan workshop would be determined 
with the ten participants while they still are in the U.S. phase of the 
teacher-training project. The follow-up workshop should reach out to at 
least 100 basic education teachers in Afghanistan and provide relevant 
education materials in Dari and Pashto to the participants. The project 
should be designed so that the sharing of information and training that 
occurs during the grant period will continue long after the grant 
period is over.
    1.D. Timing: The project should be implemented at a time frame, 
such as a summer or winter break, that will cause the least disruption 
to the Afghan education system and the on-going responsibilities of the 
participants. Concurrence must be obtained from the Bureau and the 
Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on the timing of 
the project.

2. Program Specific Guidlines

    2.A. Travel: The Grant recipient must arrange all travel through 
their own travel agent in accordance with the ``Fly America Act'' and 
all government travel regulations (GTR).
    2.B. Visa Requirements: Project participants traveling to the 
United States must obtain and comply with J-1 exchange visitor visa 
regulations. The Grant recipient is responsible for preparing for each 
participant a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor J-1 
status on a DSP-2019 (formerly known as an IAP-66) form with the U.S. 
organization or university's own program number. Applicant 
organizations must have authority to issue a Certificate of Eligibility 
(Form DSP-2019) or indicate in the proposal that they will seek it. 
Grant recipients with this authority may obtain Form DSP-2019 from 
their own grants or international students' office or, if unavailable 
there, from the Department of State's Exchange Visitor Program 
Designation Staff. J-1 visa authority must be obtained from the 
Department of State before foreign program participants or 
administrators can travel with funds from the award. For information on 
J-1 rules and regulations, contact: Exchange Visitor Program 
Designation, Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation, 
Department of State, SA-44, 301 Fourth Street, SW., Room 734, 
Washington, DC 20547, Phone: (202) 401-9810, Fax: (202) 401-9809.
    2.C. Health Insurance Requirements: The Bureau provides limited 
accident and sickness, repatriation of remains, and medical evacuation 
insurance coverage for participants in the exchange phases of the 
Afghan Women's Teacher Training Project. The Bureau will provide the 
grantee with the necessary instructions and forms to complete prior to 
the travel phases for the U.S. and Afghan participants. Although the 
Bureau assumes the responsibility of providing limited insurance 
coverage for participants, the

[[Page 17741]]

grantee is responsible for enrolling all participants in the Bureau's 
health coverage program. The grantee will assist in presenting claims 
to insurance agency and consult with the Bureau on grantee health 
issues that may affect successful program completion. A plan for 
providing participants with ready access to medical care should be 
included in the proposal.
    Please note that the Bureau's health insurance program is described 
in the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI).
    2.D. Proposal Content: Applicants should submit a complete and 
thorough proposal describing the project in a convincing and 
comprehensive manner. Since there is no opportunity for applicants to 
meet with reviewing officials, the proposal should respond to the 
criteria set forth in the solicitation and other guidelines as clearly 
as possible.
    Proposals should address succinctly, but completely, the elements 
described below and must follow all format requirements. Proposals 
should include the following items:

TAB A--Application for Federal Assistance Cover Sheet

TAB B--Executive Summary

    In one double-spaced page, provide the following information about 
the project:
    1. Name of organization/participating institutions.
    2. Beginning and ending dates of the program.
    3. Proposed theme and nature of activity.
    4. Funding level requested from the Bureau, total program cost, 
total cost sharing from applicant and other sources.
    5. Scope and Goals.
    a. Number and description of participants.
    b. Wider audience benefiting from program (overall impact).
    c. Geographic diversity of program, both U.S. and overseas.
    d. Anticipated results (short and long-term).

TAB C--Calendar of activities/itinerary

    Narrative--In 20 double-spaced, single-sided pages, provide a 
detailed description of the project addressing the areas listed below.
    1. Vision (statement of need, objectives, goals, benefits).
    2. Participating Organizations.
    3. Program Activities (assessment, advertisement, recruitment, 
orientation, academic component, cultural program, participant 
monitoring, follow-up workshops).
    4. Program Evaluation.
    5. Follow-on.
    6. Project Management.
    7. Work Plan/Time Frame.

TAB D--Budget Submission

    Applicants must follow the budget submission guidelines presented 
in the RFGP and PSI for this solicitation.
    Budget Guidlines: Currently, the Bureau anticipates awarding one 
grant, not to exceed $200,000 under this grant competition. However, 
the number or funding level of grants may increase if additional 
funding becomes available. ECA grant guidelines require that 
organizations with less than four years experience in conducting 
international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. 
Organizations that cannot demonstrate at least a four year track-record 
implementing exchanges are not eligible to apply under this 
competition.
    Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire 
program, not to exceed $200,000. There must be a summary budget as well 
as breakdowns reflecting both administrative and program budgets. 
Applicants must provide separate sub-budgets for each program 
component, phase, location, or activity to provide clarification. 
Applicants should include a budget narrative or budget notes for 
clarification of each line item. While there is no rigid ratio of 
administrative to program costs, priority will be given to proposals 
whose administrative costs are less than twenty five per cent of the 
total requested from ECA. Proposals should show strong administrative 
cost sharing contributions from the applicant, the in-country partner 
and other sources.
    Allowable costs for the program include the following:
    (1) International, economy-class airfare for participants.
    By law, travel supported by the Bureau must be on U.S. flag 
carriers wherever possible. Use of foreign carriers when U.S. carriers 
are available may result in the grant organization being required to 
reimburse the Department for the cost of such travel.
    (2) Domestic, economy-class travel to undertake eligible activities 
within the countries of the partner institutions.
    (3) Local transportation allowances (e.g. car rental), which must 
be clearly justified in terms of need, length of visit, and cost 
savings. Ground transportation for group cultural and educational 
activities; ground transportation for airport arrival and departure.
    (4) Costs of lodging, meals, and incidental expenses may not exceed 
the published U.S. government per diem allowance rates. Per diem rates 
can be found on the following Department of State website: http://
exchanges.state.gov/education/rfgps. Actual costs may be less than the 
published per diem rates; dormitory accommodations and long-term rental 
arrangements are encouraged to enable applicants to avoid the costs of 
hotel accommodations and to employ other strategies for the donation of 
lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. Official per diem rates may 
change during the course of the project. Charges to the Department of 
State must be in compliance with U.S. government allowances in effect 
when the expense is incurred. Applicants are encouraged to arrange home 
stays to increase benefits derived from a cross-cultural experience.
    (5) Educational materials and educational technology as 
appropriate. The proposal should explain use of the materials and 
technology in detail for the project in the content of the capacity in 
Afghanistan for the use of such technology. In addition, the proposal 
should indicate how the maintenance of any education technology tools 
would be sustained after the end of the grant.
    (6) Priority will be given to proposals whose administrative costs 
are no more than twenty five per cent of the total requested from the 
Bureau. Administrative costs typically may include such expenditures as 
those listed in the sample budget format.
    (7) Salary support at the U.S. or foreign partner institution for 
administrative assistance specific to the project is allowable, except 
for administrative expenditures incurred by government entities. 
Positions with project administrative duties should be identified. Pro-
rated salary amounts for these individuals should be provided.
    (8) A maximum daily fee of $300 is allowable to an external 
consultant reporting on the degree to which project objectives have 
been achieved. The amount requested for external consulting reporting 
must not exceed three percent of the total amount of project funding, 
and may be lower.
    (9) Supplemental book allowance of $150 per person.
    (10) Excess baggage allowance of $150 per person.
    (11) Cultural activities: entrance fees, costs for Washington 
cultural and educational tour.
    (12) Interpretation fees and/or translation of educational 
materials into Dari or Pashto. Interpreters with adequate skills and 
experience may be used for program activities as required.
    (13) Escort Staff: Domestic transportation costs and per diem (or

[[Page 17742]]

lodging and subsistence) for grantee escort staff for overnight 
cultural activities and Washington visit (if necessary), and project 
management as required.
    (14) A modest stipend for the ten Afghan women educators for use 
during the final planning and implementation phase of the workshop done 
in Afghanistan. Applicant should explain the rationale for the stipend 
and the proposed follow-up role of the teacher trainers. Stipends are 
not to be used as living expenses.
    The Bureau will consider funding project activities in addition to 
those specifically listed in the RFGP as long as they are not 
designated unallowable.
    Unallowable costs include:
    (1) Salary support for government employees (salary support may 
only be requested for non-government employees performing project 
administrative duties).
    (2) Travel and expenses for lodging, meals, or incidental costs of 
the dependents of program participants or administrators.
    (3) Visits whose primary purpose is to plan activities that would 
take place outside the scope of the project.
    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/
S/X-02-06.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: The Office of Global Educational 
Programs, Teacher Exchange, Branch, Room 349, U.S. Department of State, 
301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, (202) 401-5969, (fax 202) 
401-1433, or Internet at mpizarro@pd.state.gov to request a 
Solicitation Package. The Solicitation Package contains detailed award 
criteria, required application forms, specific budget instructions, and 
standard guidelines for proposal preparation. Please specify Bureau 
Senior Program Officer Mary Lou Johnson-Pizarro on all other inquiries 
and correspondence.
    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 
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, DC 
time on Friday, May 24 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 Solicitation 
Package. The original and eight 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/X-02-06, 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 in Kabul 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 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. The program office, as well as the 
Public Diplomacy section in Kabul and the regional bureau will review 
all eligible proposals. 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 
Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards 
grants 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. Program planning: Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should 
demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Agenda 
and plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described 
above. Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the institution will 
meet the program's objectives and plan. The recruitment and selection 
methodology of participants should be presented.
    2. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate the 
recipient's commitment to promoting the awareness and understanding of 
diversity.
    3. Institutional and Language Capacity: Proposed personnel and 
institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve 
the program or project's goals. Resumes for individuals mentioned in 
the proposal should be provided, including proposed U.S. and in-country 
staff, trainers, consultants, etc. Letters of support from partner 
organizations as well as site visit hosts should be included in the 
proposal. Proposals should also indicate the ability to communicate and 
translate materials using the Dari and Pashto languages.
    4. Area Expertise: Proposals should reflect a practical 
understanding of the current political, economic and social

[[Page 17743]]

environment. The demonstration of an institutional record of successful 
exchange programs in Afghanistan, or nearby countries with past Bureau 
grants should be highlighted; activities funded by other donors or 
governmental groups will be considered. Proposals should also indicate 
knowledge of similar projects being conducted in Afghanistan.
    5. Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for 
continued follow-on activity (without Bureau support), which insures 
that Bureau supported programs are not isolated events. Applicants 
should describe how responsibility and ownership of the program would 
be transferred to the in-country participants to ensure continued 
activity and impact. Programs that include convincing plans for 
sustainability will be given top priority.
    6. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate 
the project's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of 
the program. The Bureau recommends that the proposal include a draft 
survey questionnaire or other technique plus description of a 
methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives. The 
Grantee will be expected to submit intermediate reports after each 
project component is concluded or quarterly whichever is less frequent. 
The project should be designed so that the sharing of information and 
training that occurs during the grant period will continue long after 
the grant period is over.
    7. Cost-effectiveness: The overhead and administrative components 
of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as 
low as possible. All other items should be necessary and appropriate. 
Priority will be given to proposals whose administrative costs are no 
more than twenty five per cent of the total requested from ECA.

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 4, 2002.
Rick A. Ruth,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-8835 Filed 4-10-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P



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