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

[Federal Register: October 25, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 207)]
[Notices]               
[Page 65626-65628]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr25oc02-131]                         

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

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 4177]

 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Disability Reentry Workshop; 
Notice: Request for Grant Proposals

    Summary: The Office of Citizen Exchanges, Youth Programs Division, 
of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open 
competition for the FLEX Disability Reentry Workshop. Public and 
private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in 
Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals 
for the conduct of a special reentry workshop to be held in April 2003 
for students with disabilities participating in the 2002/03 Future 
Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program. Approximately 16-18 students will 
participate in this workshop. All programs must comply with J-1 visa 
regulations. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for further 
information.
    Budget Guidelines: Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget 
for the entire program. Awards may not exceed $35,000. 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. Administrative costs should be kept as low as possible. 
Cost sharing is encouraged. Allowable costs for the program include the 
following:
    (1) Round-trip transportation for participants from their host 
communities to/from the workshop site.
    (2) Daily travel at workshop site location as necessary.
    (3) Accommodations and meals for participants during the time of 
the workshop.
    (4) Rental of facilities and equipment.
    (5) Fees for relevant excursions and cultural activities.
    (6) Honoraria for speakers/trainers, as appropriate.
    (7) Necessary reasonable accommodations.
    (8) Materials development.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.
    The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program brings secondary school 
students from Eurasia to the U.S. for an academic year. During their 
time in the U.S., FLEX students live with American host families and 
attend U.S. high schools.

    Note: For more information on the FLEX program, you may refer to 
the Youth Programs Division Web site: [http://exchanges.state.gov/
education/citizens/students.]

    Since 1995, the FLEX program has included a component for students 
with disabilities. This has been challenging since individuals with 
disabilities are treated very differently in Eurasia than they are in 
the U.S. In Eurasia, most disabled young people attend special schools, 
largely institutions, and being disabled carries a major stigma. Most 
young, disabled individuals either are ignored by parents who are 
ashamed of them or are overprotected by parents who are concerned that 
they cannot function independently.
    Generally, FLEX participants with disabilities adjust well to 
American life and culture and realize the same positive effects as non-
disabled participants. However, after having enjoyed the accessibility 
and other disability supports that exist in the U.S., they frequently 
are not well-prepared to return to the less disability-friendly 
environments of their Eurasian home countries. The major purpose of 
this special reentry workshop is to help prepare them to readjust to 
their home cultures. It is Bureau policy that recruitment of people 
with disabilities at every level should be a priority in all sponsored 
programming. If this is to be done effectively, it becomes equally 
important to adequately prepare

[[Page 65627]]

disabled program participants for the reverse culture shock that is 
sure to occur when they return home.
    Therefore, this workshop should focus on the reentry and transition 
to home country of each student as a person with a disability, as the 
students will also be attending other reentry workshops conducted for 
all FLEX students by their respective placement organizations at the 
end of the program year. These other workshops will provide more 
general training for readjustment to their Eurasian home culture. Goals 
of the disability workshop are: (1) Facilitating readjustment as a 
person with a disability to a less disability-friendly environment; (2) 
conducting activities to further develop leadership skills and foster 
empowerment; (3) providing students with tools that will enable them to 
do outreach and work in support of disability rights in their home 
countries.
    Announcement Title and Number: All correspondence with the Bureau 
concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/
PE/C/PY-03-21.
    For Further Information Contact: The Youth Programs Division, 
Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C/PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of 
State, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, telephone: 202/619-
6299, fax: 202/619-5311, e-mail: lbeach@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 Linda Beach 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 Web site 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 Monday, December 16, 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 seven 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/PY-03-21, 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. Applicants are also 
encouraged to submit proposals as Microsoft Word or Excel documents as 
well.

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.

Adherence to all Regulations Governing the J Visa

    The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is placing renewed 
emphasis on the secure and proper administration of Exchange Visitor (J 
visa) Programs and adherence by grantees and sponsors to all 
regulations governing the J visa. Therefore, proposals should 
demonstrate the applicant's capacity to meet all requirements governing 
the administration of Exchange Visitor Programs as set forth in 22 CFR 
6Z, including the oversight of Responsible Officers and Alternate 
Responsible Officers, screening and selection of program participants, 
provision of pre-arrival information and orientation to participants, 
monitoring of participants, proper maintenance and security of forms, 
record-keeping, reporting and other requirements. ECA will be 
responsible for issuing DS-2019 forms to participants in this program.
    A copy of the complete regulations governing the administration of 
Exchange Visitor (J) programs is available at http://
exchanges.state.gov or from: United States Department of State, Office 
of Exchange Coordination and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD-SA-44, Room 734, 
301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Telephone: (202) 401-9810, 
FAX: (202) 401-9809.

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 the Public Diplomacy section 
overseas, where appropriate. 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 or cooperative agreements) 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 and ability to achieve program objectives: 
Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should demonstrate substantive 
undertakings

[[Page 65628]]

and logistical capacity. Agenda and plan should adhere to the program 
overview and guidelines described above. Objectives should be 
reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly 
demonstrate how the organization will meet the program's objectives and 
plan.
    3. 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 and program 
content (orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource 
materials and follow-up activities).
    4. Institutional capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional 
resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or 
project's goals. Proposing organization should demonstrate it has 
experience with disability programming and international youth 
exchange, as well as familiarity with Eurasian culture.
    5. Institution's record/Ability: 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 Bureau Grant 
Staff. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior 
recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants.
    6. Multiplier effect/Impact: Proposed programs should describe how 
workshop participants will be motivated and enabled to reach out to 
other individuals with disabilities in their home countries.
    7. Follow-on activities: Proposals should describe how workshop 
participants would be provided with knowledge and tools that will 
prepare them to work in support of disability rights in their home 
countries.
    8. Project evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate 
the activity's success. A draft survey questionnaire or other technique 
plus description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original 
project objectives are recommended. Successful applicants will be 
expected to submit a final report after the project has been completed.
    9. Cost-effectiveness/Cost Sharing: 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. 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 legislation of the FREEDOM Support 
Act.

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: October 21, 2002.
C. Miller Crouch,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Educational and Cultural Affairs, 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 02-27231 Filed 10-24-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-U




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