[Federal Register: April 11, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 70)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
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.
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Unallowable costs include:
(1) Salary support for government employees (salary support may
only be requested for non-government employees performing project
(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/
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 email@example.com 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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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 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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