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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly


[Federal Register: May 7, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 88)]
[Notices]               
[Page 30750-30753]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr07my02-96]                         

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

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 4012]

 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: Tibet Development, Professional and Cultural Exchange 
Project

SUMMARY: The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational 
and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the Tibet 
Development, Professional and Cultural Exchange Project. U.S.-based 
public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions 
described in Internal Revenue code section 26 USC 501 (c) (3) may 
submit proposals that promote understanding between the people of the 
United States and the people of the Tibetan ethnic group living in 
China, through professional developmental, educational and cultural 
projects.
    Interested applicants should read the complete Federal Register 
announcement before addressing inquiries to the Office of Citizen 
Exchanges or submitting their proposals. Once the RFP deadline has 
passed, the Office of Citizen Exchanges may not discuss this 
competition in any way with applicants until after the Bureau program 
and project review process has been completed.

Announcement Name and Number

    All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should 
reference the Tibet Development, Professional and Cultural Exchange 
Project and reference number: ECA/PE/C/WHAEAP-02-66. Please refer to 
title and number in all correspondence or telephone calls to the Office 
of Citizen Exchanges.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Interested organizations/institutions 
must contact the Office of Citizen Exchanges, room 216, SA-44, U.S. 
Department of State, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, 
telephone number 202/619-5326, fax number 202/260-0440, or 
pmidgett@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 Program 
Officer, Raymond H. Harvey, on all other inquiries and correspondence.

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.

Program Information

Overview

    The Office of Citizen Exchanges welcomes proposals that directly 
respond to the following thematic areas. Preference will be given to 
those proposals that incorporate two of the following themes in the 
submission. Given budgetary limitations, projects for other themes will 
not be eligible for consideration under the FY-2002 Tibet Development, 
Professional and Cultural Exchange Project announcement.

Public Health Management

    Projects submitted in response to this theme would be aimed at 
engaging public health leaders to combat the debilitating health 
problems ethnic Tibetans face in China, from malnutrition to fatal 
pneumonia, tuberculosis and diarrhea. The program would focus on 
developing and implementing appropriate public health policies, through 
seminars, training programs (especially in the areas of inoculations, 
child nutrition, midwifery, cataract surgery, or cleft palate repair) 
and outreach to public and private health planners and practitioners, 
to ensure the optimal welfare and economic viability of ethnic Tibetan 
communities. (Formal medical education and dispensing of medications 
are outside the purview of this theme and will not be accepted 
activities for funding based on exchange guidelines.)

Sustainable Development and Eco-Tourism

    Exchanges and development activities funded under this theme would 
help American and ethnic Tibetan conservationists, tourism planners, 
and economic development officials share their experience in managing 
tourism resources and development projects, particularly in 
ecologically fragile areas, and would contribute to better 
understanding of conservation and concepts essential to responsible 
economic development. Local community development projects are invited 
in such areas as renewable energy, ecotourism, micro-credit, or poverty 
alleviation projects, including farm technology, animal husbandry, or 
agricultural marketing. Americans are in a good position to convey to 
their Tibetan counterparts the importance of sustainable forestry 
practices and sustainable harvesting of plant resources to short-term 
and long-term economic prospects.

Vocational Education

    Proposals are sought which emphasize vocational training or 
administration and development of vocational schools targeted towards 
the practical needs of ethnic Tibetan communities. Successful projects 
would help influence thinking among those responsible for economic 
planning in rural and urban areas where Tibetans live. Discussion of 
how to integrate education planning with economic development 
initiatives, how to diversify revenue sources, and how to recruit, 
train and retain strong faculty would all contribute towards dialogue 
on vocational education, an issue important to both ethnic Tibetans and 
Americans in a modern and changing economy.
    Vocational education may include practical training of 
entrepreneurs; development of Tibetan-language educational materials 
(such as Tibetan-English teaching guides or Tibetan-language public 
health education materials; or development of distance-learning 
technology solutions for remote rural schools. English-language 
training projects should focus on in situ training. (Projects seeking 
funding to support the travel of ethnic Tibetans to the U.S. for 
English language instruction are outside the purview of this theme and 
will not be accepted activities for funding under this competition.)

[[Page 30751]]

Developing Enterpreneurship

    Projects under this theme may focus on the skills ethnic Tibetans, 
many of whom come from rural backgrounds with rudimentary economies, 
need to function effectively in a modern economy (e.g. finance, 
accounting, and language skills). Projects that explore ways that both 
the government and the private sector can help promote entrepreneurship 
in sustainable ways, including access to credit, ecologically conscious 
tourism policies and investment, or English language training for trade 
or tourism purposes will be favored. Programs that train budding 
entrepreneurs and develop micro finance programs for them are welcome.

Cultural Preservation

    Projects under this theme are aimed to assist ethnic Tibetans in 
preserving their cultural heritage through programs designed to reduce 
the threat of pillage of irreplaceable cultural heritage, and to create 
opportunities to develop long-term strategies for preserving cultural 
property through training and conservation, museum development, and 
public education. Projects might include supporting the preservation of 
cultural sites; objects in a site, museum or similar institution; or 
forms of traditional cultural expression. The proposals may encompass 
topics such as museum needs, historic buildings, collections, 
archaeological sites, rare manuscripts, traditional music and language.

Guidelines

    The Office seeks proposals that provide professional experience and 
where possible, exposure to American life and culture through 
internships, workshops and other learning-sharing experiences hosted by 
local institutions. The experiences also will provide Americans the 
opportunity to learn about Tibetan culture and the social and economic 
challenges Tibetans face today. While a portion of this funding will be 
available for travel under these grants to support two-way exchanges, 
the key aim is to train and assist ethnic Tibetans living in China. 
Proposals only seeking funding for one-way travel, either Tibetans to 
travel to the United States or U.S. project personnel to travel to 
China must provide a clear explanation detailing the rationale for a 
one-way exchange. Projects in the U.S. should not simply be academic in 
nature; they should be designed to provide practical, hands-on 
experience in U.S. public/private sector settings that may be adapted 
to an individual's institution upon return home. Proposals may combine 
elements of professional enrichment, job shadowing and internships 
appropriate to the language ability and interests of the participants.
    Applicants should identify the local organizations and individuals 
in the counterpart country with whom they are proposing to collaborate 
and describe in detail previous cooperative programming and/or 
contacts. Specific information about the counterpart organizations' 
activities and accomplishments is required and should be included in 
the section on Institutional Capacity. All proposals must contain 
letters of support specific to the project being proposed from all in-
country partner organizations.
    Exchanges and training programs supported by the institutional 
grants from the Bureau should operate at two levels: they should 
enhance institutional partnerships, and they should offer practical 
information to individuals and groups to assist them with their 
professional responsibilities. Strong proposals usually have the 
following characteristics: a strong existing partnership between a U.S. 
organization and a dependable in-country institution with a track 
record of successful project implementation; a proven track record of 
working in the proposed issue area; cost-sharing from U.S. and/or in-
country sources; experienced staff with language facility and a 
commitment by the staff to monitor projects locally to improve 
accountability; a clear, convincing plan showing how permanent results 
will be accomplished as a result of the activity funded by the grant; 
and a follow-on plan beyond the scope of the Bureau grant. The Bureau 
would like to see tangible forms of time and money contributed to the 
project by the prospective grantee institution, as well as funding from 
third party sources.
    Proposals must demonstrate an organization's willingness to consult 
closely with the Public Affairs Section and other officers at the U.S. 
Embassy in Beijing and at the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu. Proposal 
narratives should confirm that all materials developed for the project 
must acknowledge USG funding for the program as well as intention to 
invite representatives of the Embassy and/or Consulate to participate 
in various program sessions/site visits. Please note that this 
requirement will be included in the grant document.

Selection of Participants

    All grant proposals should clearly describe the type of persons who 
will participate in the program as well as the process by which 
participants will be selected. It is recommended that for programs 
including U.S. internships, grant applicants submit letters tentatively 
committing host institutions to support the internships. In the 
selection of Tibetan participants, the Department, the U.S. Embassy in 
Beijing and the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu retain the right to review 
all participant nominations and to accept or refuse participants 
recommended by grantee institutions. The grantee institution will also 
provide the names of American participants and brief (two pages) 
biographical data on each American participant to the Office of Citizen 
Exchanges for information purposes. Priority in two-way exchange 
proposals will be given to foreign participants who have not previously 
traveled to the United States.
    Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. Please refer to 
Solicitation Package for further information.

Budget Guidelines

    Grants awarded to eligible organizations with less than four years 
of experience in conducting international development or exchange 
programs will be limited to $60,000. Applicants must submit a 
comprehensive budget for the entire program. Grant awards will range 
from $175,000 to $250,000. There must be a summary budget as well as 
breakdowns reflecting both administrative and program budgets. 
Applicants may provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, 
phase, location, or activity to provide clarification.
    The following project costs are eligible for consideration for 
funding:
    1. Travel costs. International and domestic airfares; visas; 
transit costs; ground transportation costs. Please note that all air 
travel must be in compliance with the Fly America Act. There is no 
charge for J-1 visas for participants in Bureau sponsored programs. 
Please note that Tibetan participants may not travel to the U.S. 
primarily for English language instruction.
    2. Per Diem. For the U.S. program, organizations have the option of 
using a flat $160/day for program participants or the published U.S. 
Federal per diem rates for individual American cities. For activities 
outside the U.S., the published Federal per diem rates must be used. 
Note: U.S. escorting staff must use the published Federal per diem 
rates, not the flat rate. Per diem rates may be accessed at http://
www.policyworks.gov/.
    3. Interpreters: If needed, interpreters for the U.S. program are 
available through the U.S. Department of State Language Services 
Division. Typically, a pair of simultaneous interpreters is

[[Page 30752]]

provided for every four visitors who need interpretation. Bureau grants 
do not pay for foreign interpreters to accompany delegations from their 
home country. Grant proposal budgets should contain a flat $160/day per 
diem for each Department of State interpreter, as well as home-program-
home air transportation of $400 per interpreter plus any U.S. travel 
expenses during the program. Salary expenses are covered centrally and 
should not be part of an applicant's proposed budget. Locally arranged 
interpreters with adequate skills and experience may be used by the 
grantee in lieu of State Department interpreters, with the same 1:4 
interpreter to participant ratio. Costs associated with using their 
services may not exceed rates for U.S. Department of State 
interpreters.
    4. Book and cultural allowance: Foreign participants are entitled 
to and escorts are reimbursed a one-time cultural allowance of $150 per 
person, plus a participant book allowance of $50. U.S. program staff 
members are not eligible to receive these benefits.
    5. Consultants. Consultants may be used to provide specialized 
expertise, design or manage development projects or to make 
presentations. Honoraria generally do not exceed $250 per day. 
Subcontracting organizations may also be used, in which case the 
written agreement between the prospective grantee and subcontractor 
should be included in the proposal. Subcontracts should be itemized in 
the budget.
    6. Room rental. Room rental may not exceed $250 per day.
    7. Materials development. Proposals may contain costs to purchase, 
develop, and translate materials for participants.
    8. Equipment. Proposals may contain limited costs to purchase 
equipment crucial to the success of the program, such as computers, fax 
machines and copy machines. However, equipment costs must be kept to a 
minimum, and costs for furniture are not allowed.
    9. Working Meal. The grant budget may provide for only one working 
meal during the program. Per capita costs may not exceed $5-8 for a 
lunch and $14-20 for a dinner, excluding room rental. The number of 
invited guests may not exceed participants by more than a factor of 
two-to-one. Interpreters must be included as participants.
    10. Return travel allowance. A return travel allowance of $70 for 
each foreign participant may be included in the budget. This may be 
used for incidental expenses incurred during international travel.
    11. Health Insurance. Foreign participants will be covered under 
the terms of a U.S. Department of State-sponsored health insurance 
policy. The premium is paid by the U.S. Department of State directly to 
the insurance company. Applicants are permitted to included costs for 
travel insurance for U.S. participants in the budget.
    12. Administrative Costs. Costs necessary for the effective 
administration of the program may include salaries for grant 
organization employees, benefits, and other direct or indirect costs 
per detailed instructions in the Solicitation Package.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.

Deadline for Proposals

    All proposal copies must be received at the Bureau of Educational 
and Cultural Affairs by 5 p.m. Washington, D.C. time on Friday, June 
14, 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 12 copies of the application should be sent 
to: U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C/WHAEAP-02-66, 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 U.S. Embassy for its review, with the goal of reducing the time it 
takes to get embassy comments for the Bureau's grants review process.

Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines

    Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must 
maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and 
representative of the diversity of American political, social, and 
cultural life. ``Diversity'' should be interpreted in the broadest 
sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to 
ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic 
status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to 
adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program 
administration and in program content. Please refer to the review 
criteria under the `Support for Diversity' section for specific 
suggestions on incorporating diversity into the total proposal. Public 
Law 104-319 provides that ``in carrying out programs of educational and 
cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom 
and democracy,'' the Bureau ``shall take appropriate steps to provide 
opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and 
democracy leaders of such countries.'' Public Law 106-113 requires that 
the governments of the countries described above do not have 
inappropriate influence in the selection process. Proposals should 
reflect advancement of these goals in their program contents, to the 
full extent deemed feasible.

Review Process

    Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to 
the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. The 
program office, the Public Diplomacy section and other elements at the 
U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and officials at the U.S. Consulate in 
Chengdu, 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 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. Quality of the program idea: Proposals should exhibit 
originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the Bureau's 
mission.
    2. 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.
    3. Ability to achieve program objectives: Objectives should be 
reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly 
demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's objectives and 
plan.
    4. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs should strengthen 
long-term

[[Page 30753]]

mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of information and 
establishment of long-term institutional and individual linkages.
    5. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive 
support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant 
features should be cited in both program administration (selection of 
participants, program venue and program evaluation) and program content 
(orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource materials 
and follow-up activities).
    6. Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional 
resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or 
project's goals. For technical projects, foreign experts and their 
local partners will be required to have the necessary education, 
training and experience for the work to be undertaken, in addition to 
language skills where applicable.
    7. Institution's Record/Ability: Proposals should demonstrate an 
institutional record of successful development or exchange programs, 
including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all 
reporting requirements for past Bureau grants as determined by Bureau 
Grant Staff. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior 
recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Applicants 
should have a multiyear track record of successful work in Tibetan 
regions of China or other remote parts of Asia.
    8. Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for 
continued follow-on activity (without Bureau support) ensuring that 
Bureau supported programs are not isolated events.
    9. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate 
the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of 
the program. A draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus 
description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original 
project objectives should be included with the application.
    10. 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.
    11. Cost-sharing: Proposals should maximize cost sharing through 
other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding 
contributions.

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 The Conference Report on the FY-2001 
Consolidated Appropriation Act that mandated support for 2001 Tibet 
Professional and Cultural Exchange Project.

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 28, 2002.
Rick A. Ruth,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and 
Cultural Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-11274 Filed 5-6-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P





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