Thursday, January 28, 2016

U.S. Commerce Sec. Penny Pritzker Speaks at Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Event

Photo: Tony Elumelu Foundation facebook page
Office of the Secretary
Department of Commerce
Washington, DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 25, 2016
Office of Public Affairs

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker addressed U.S. and African business leaders at an event hosted by the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the United Bank for Africa titled “Unleashing Africa’s Entrepreneurs: Strengthening the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem to Empower the Next Generation of Africa’s Business Leaders.” The President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) members were in attendance along with local entrepreneurs representing diverse sectors including agriculture, media and entertainment, transportation, healthcare, and financial services. The Tony Elumelu Foundation is a nonprofit organization that ensures entrepreneurs in Africa have access to the mentorship, training, and support they need to build better businesses.

During her remarks, Secretary Pritzker highlighted how the American private sector, working in partnership with the African business community and entrepreneurs, can help address many of the continent’s most pressing challenges, including creating jobs and opportunity for young people across the continent. As “America’s Innovation Agency,” the Secretary leads the Department of Commerce’s entrepreneurship efforts around the world, helping to connect the world’s next generation of entrepreneurs with the networks, mentors, and investors they need to make their businesses successful.

Following her remarks, Secretary Pritzker moderated a panel discussion with four of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) Fellows. The TEEP is a 10-year, $100 million commitment by the Tony Elumelu Foundation to empower the next generation of Africa’s entrepreneurs with businesses that have the potential to generate income and jobs for their nations. PAC-DBIA members were then able to participate in direct and substantive discussions with Africa’s emerging leaders and discuss the opportunities and challenges businesses face in the region.

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Tony, for that lovely introduction and congratulations again on the launch of the Tony Eleumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.

Tony has been one of our foremost team players in supporting entrepreneurs, particularly here on the African continent. I am so grateful for the leadership and creativity that he has brought into the many initiatives on which we have worked together, including most recently, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya.

Tony, thanks to your vision and extraordinary generosity, many young African entrepreneurs across the continent – like the ones here today – will have access to the mentorship, training and support they need to build the businesses they dream of. They will be the leading edge of Africa’s next wave of economic growth.

Supporting entrepreneurs across Africa, and indeed around the world, is a top priority for President Obama. He recognizes, as I do, that opportunity for business creators to thrive around the world is the foundation for a rising middle class, for security and stability, and for broad-based prosperity.

I am proud to lead the Administration’s effort to support and empower aspiring entrepreneurs, both in the United States and across the globe. As “America’s Innovation Agency,” my Department connects the world’s next generation of entrepreneurs with the networks, mentors and investors they need to make their businesses successful.

Our initiatives and programs include our annual Global Entrepreneurship Summits, held most recently in Kenya, where we convene entrepreneurs with investors and other key figures in their constellation of support. Another example is Our Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship initiative, known as Page. President Obama asked me to chair the initiative where we work with celebrated business creators like Daymond John to harness their energy, ideas and experience to help develop young entrepreneurs.

I am always inspired by the entrepreneurs I meet during my travels throughout this continent. A year and a half ago, in Ghana, I met Eyram Tawia and Wesley Kirinya, two young men who are creating mobile video games with storylines and characters re-imagined as superheroes from African folklore. In a continent where more people use data enabled mobile phones than computers, they have been enormously successful.

And last July at the GES Summit in Kenya, I met Jehil Oliver, an American entrepreneur who grew up in the States but has made Nigeria his business base and his home. He created Hello Tractor, a startup that makes smart, low-cost tractors available for small farmers like an “Uber” taxi service.

This has been a cost-cutting breakthrough for many of Nigeria’s small farmers, and the market potential is huge. There are 35 million of them!

I am delighted to visit Nigeria on behalf of President Obama, who has long appreciated that Africa being home to many of the 21st century’s fastest growing economies means there are enormous mutually beneficial opportunities for us to explore.

President Obama believes, as I do, that the American private sector, working in partnership with the African business community, and entrepreneurs like all of you, can help address many of the continent’s most pressing challenges, including creating jobs and opportunity for young people across the continent.

Recognizing the enormous, long-term potential of enhanced private sector cooperation, the President directed me to establish the the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa – or PAC-DBIA – to deepen our commercial ties across Africa.

In support of that mission, this delegation of carefully chosen business leaders has come to Nigeria to listen, to engage, and to gather facts. We are not here to close particular business deals but to report back to the President with strong and actionable recommendations that will benefit both our countries by raising our commercial relationship to the next level.

Of the many countries aspiring to lead Africa into a more prosperous future, Nigeria is the undisputed rising star. It recently surpassed South Africa as Africa’s biggest economy. And it is widely projected to grow into one of the top-10 global economies with a top-four population by the year 2050.

As Africa’s largest and fastest growing economy, Nigeria’s potential is huge. But with President Buhari’s election and the changing nature of global oil markets, this is a genuine moment of truth for the nation. President Buhari has assembled a capable and experienced economic team that is committed to making sure Nigeria remains “open for business.” And we are encouraged by his commitment to create a diversified economy and business friendly environment in Nigeria that enables Nigerian companies to grow and thrive, while also attracting foreign investment.

Reforms to the business climate are welcome in a nation, which, while boasting the largest economy and population in Sub-Saharan Africa, has not yet reached its potential. And American companies stand ready to be partners moving forward. We are here because we believe we can do more together.
Accordingly, the PAC-DBIA has focused its efforts around key sectors where we think the greatest potential lies for creating jobs in both Africa – especially Nigeria – and the United States. Those sectors, which include power, services, ICT, transportation, agriculture and health care, are the ones in which members of the PAC-DBIA have deep expertise. They will be looking for ways to expand our commercial ties by reviewing with American and Nigerian business leaders what works and does not work, and share their observations with the Nigerian government and President Obama.

In our meetings and conversations, we will also be discussing how entrepreneurs – like you – can be even more successful through partnerships and business opportunities with other entrepreneurs and companies in the United States.

We recognize that few players are more pivotal to Nigeria’s economic growth – or will benefit more from government-led reforms – than entrepreneurs like you.

President Obama put it very well at the Kenya GES Summit when he said –and I quote: “Entrepreneurship creates new jobs and new businesses, new ways to deliver basic services, new ways of seeing the world. It’s the spark of prosperity.”

As entrepreneurs who have already started businesses, you have already experienced that spark. But now you know how hard it is to keep that fire going.

You know the challenges of growing and maintaining your businesses. You have seen how hard it can be to access capital – or to get training and the skills to run a business professionally and be competitive. You may have encountered problems trying to find networks to join, or meeting mentors whose advice could be the difference between your venture taking off or falling flat.

The PAC-DBIA members are here to listen to those experiences and hear your thoughts on the business climate in Nigeria, and what the U.S. government and American companies can do to support you. It is important to them to get a sense of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, not only across the Nigerian economy but the region. These sessions will be very much a two-way street, in terms of mutual benefit!

As we move to these breakout discussions, please consider them a unique opportunity to test out your ideas, to ask strategic questions, and to build relationships. All of these elements are key to the success of any entrepreneur – and the future of your businesses.

I know that we do not have much time, so please do not be shy. Pin these business leaders down. Get their advice. Pitch them your idea. Above all, do not be discouraged if they say, “I’m not sure that is going to work,” and they ask you very tough follow-up questions. They will ask you because every one of these business leaders has experienced setbacks as well as successes. What makes them successful is that they learned from them.

Before I moderate today’s panel, I want to invite all of you to join us on “The Road to GES,” which leads all the way to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit this summer in Silicon Valley. I am proud that this “Road to GES” goes through Lagos, and I hope some of you will apply to participate in the Silicon Valley Summit. You can find the applications on the web at www.GES2016.org.

But whether you apply or not, I want to wish you the best of luck with your businesses. And I hope you will benefit from the sessions you have today – and the contacts you can develop.
Finally, I would like to express my appreciation once again to Tony – who recognizes the importance of taking the long view, and of planting seeds. He is helping economies grow across Africa by investing in the people who will make them grow – entrepreneurs like the people in this room.

Thank you, Tony. And to all the entrepreneurs, let me say: Keep growing, keep expanding and keep connecting!

Thank you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

U.S. Issues Statements on Attacks in Burkina Faso




THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2016

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on Attacks in Burkina Faso

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the recent terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, and in the country’s northern region. We mourn with the families of those killed in these senseless acts of violence, including Michael James Riddering, an American citizen who had devoted his life to working with the Burkinab√© people, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured. We continue to attempt to account for all American citizens in Burkina Faso and assist the victims of the attacks. We commend the bravery of the Burkinab√©, French, and U.S. security personnel who responded to the situation and prevented even worse loss of life.
The people of Burkina Faso have time and again demonstrated their strength and resilience, most recently by conducting peaceful and democratic elections after turning back efforts by the previous president to extend his stay in office illegitimately and then successfully resisting the efforts of a few to derail the elections.

The United States continues to stand with the people of Burkina Faso. Acts of terrorism will not stop efforts by brave Americans and others from around the world who travel far and wide to support governments, civil society groups, and others working to strengthen democracy, improve healthcare, and increase economic opportunities for all.

The United States will remain a steadfast partner to the Government of Burkina Faso and others in the region fighting the terrorist groups that seek to undermine peace and democracy in the Sahel. We are prepared to assist the Burkinabé government in the days and weeks ahead as it investigates and works to hold accountable those responsible for these tragic terrorist attacks.

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Press Statement
John Kirby
Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
January 16, 2016

The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso that began Friday: one on the Splendid Hotel, Capuccino Cafe, and the Yibi Hotel in which more than 25 people were killed, and another attack on a gendarmerie patrol near the northern mining town of Tinakoff in which two gendarmerie were killed.

We extend our condolences to the family of Michael James Riddering, a U.S. citizen killed in this violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time, as they are with all those affected by this brutality. Embassy personnel are in touch with local authorities as they continue to assess the situation and are working to assist all U.S. citizens in the area.

We stand with the Burkinabe people against terrorism and extremism. We will continue to support our partners in Africa to combat this shared and lethal threat.

U.S. Concerned about Uganda’s Electoral Environment




Press Statement
John Kirby
Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
January 15, 2016

The United States is concerned that the electoral environment in Uganda is deteriorating in the run-up to national polls next month. Numerous reports of the police using excessive force, obstruction and dispersal of opposition rallies, and intimidation and arrest of journalists have contributed to an electoral climate of fear and intimidation, and raise questions about the fairness of the process. We also underscore the need for all candidates and their campaigns to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric that could incite violence. We note with particular concern the reports that Christopher Aine, an opposition campaign aide, has disappeared.

Free and fair elections depend on all Ugandans being able to exercise their right to assemble peacefully, express their opinions, and participate in the electoral process free from intimidation and abuse. They also depend on government institutions and security forces remaining neutral, defending the rights of all people and protecting all parties equally. We call on the government, civil society, and political parties to do their part to ensure a peaceful, transparent and credible electoral process.

U.S. Issues Statement on Ethiopia’s Oromo Community




The United States Calls for Meaningful Dialogue About Oromo Community Concerns

Press Statement
John Kirby
Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
January 14, 2016

The United States is increasingly concerned by the continued stifling of independent voices in Ethiopia, including the detention of Oromo political party leaders. These arrests have a chilling effect on much needed public consultations to resolve legitimate political grievances in Oromia.

We support the Government of Ethiopia’s December commitment to public consultation with affected communities. For these consultations to be meaningful, all interested parties must be able to express their views freely.

We reaffirm our call on the Ethiopian Government to refrain from silencing dissent and to protect the constitutionally enshrined rights of all citizens, including the right to gather peacefully, to write, and
to speak freely as voices of a diverse nation. We call for the release of those imprisoned for exercising their rights, such as political party leaders and journalists.

President Obama Selects Adewale Adeyemo as Deputy National Security Advisor




THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2015

Statement by the President on the Selection of Adewale Adeyemo as Deputy National Security Advisor

For the past four years, I have relied on Caroline Atkinson, most recently as my Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, as we’ve navigated pressing challenges to the global economy. As my representative at the G-7 and G-20, she played a key role in coordinating our response to international financial crises, worked with our allies to devise and implement targeted economic sanctions to advance our national security goals, played a vital role in our economic engagements with China, and helped to achieve breakthrough agreements on climate that will strengthen our economy and our security. I’ve relied on, and benefited from, Caroline’s knowledge and judgment and, as she concludes her tenure on my national security team, I am deeply appreciative of her service.

I am grateful that Caroline’s work will be carried on by Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, who has served in my administration since 2009. At the Treasury Department, he was part of the team that helped coordinate our response to the global recession, laying the foundation for renewed growth at home and abroad. He helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and he’s been our point person on a range of international economic issues, including negotiations on strong currency agreements around the Trans Pacific Partnership. I will be calling on Wally’s intellect, judgment and dedication as we sustain America’s global economic leadership, which reinforces our national security, and as we work with allies and partners around the world to create jobs and opportunity for all our people.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

U.S. Special Envoy Perriello Travels to Tanzania, Rwanda, DRC, Burundi, and Ethiopia


Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
January 11, 2016

U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa Thomas Perriello departs today for an extended trip that will include stops in Brussels, Belgium; Rome, Italy; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Kigali, Rwanda; Bukavu, Goma, and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Bujumbura, Burundi; and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The trip is focused on supporting regional efforts to resolve the crisis in Burundi and to support upcoming elections in the DRC.

The U.S. Government strongly supports the regionally-mediated Burundian dialogue relaunched on December 28, 2015, and is urging all stakeholders to remain committed to the process without preconditions. An inclusive dialogue remains the best route for peacefully resolving the crisis in Burundi and restoring the stability achieved by the Arusha Agreement. The Special Envoy will engage with Burundian stakeholders and East African Community (EAC) leadership about next steps for advancing the dialogue, including moving the dialogue to Arusha, Tanzania.

The United States is committed to supporting the DRC in holding elections per the constitution. The Special Envoy will meet with Congolese stakeholders to discuss next steps in the electoral process and the importance of respecting human rights throughout an electoral cycle, including the rights to peacefully assemble and to free speech. While in the DRC, the Special Envoy will also continue to work to resolve the impasse over adoptions and engage with stakeholders working to counter the illegal trade in Congolese natural resources and promote conflict-free minerals.

The trip will culminate in Addis Ababa, where the Special Envoy will join the U.S. delegation to the African Union Summit.

Asst. Sec. Thomas-Greenfield Travels to Comoros, Madagascar, and Mauritius




Office of the Spokesperson
Department of State
Washington, DC
January 8, 2016

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield is traveling to Comoros, Madagascar, and Mauritius January 8-13, 2016

In Comoros, Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield will participate in high-level bilateral meetings to discuss elections, security, and combatting trafficking in persons. She will also meet with Peace Corps Volunteers.

In Madagascar, Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield will discuss governance, security issues, and health with top officials. She will visit the American Center, and she will meet with Madagascar’s Mandela Washington Fellows from President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

In Mauritius, Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield will discuss climate change and trafficking in persons with Mauritian officials. In addition, she will meet with Mauritian women political leaders, as well as Mauritian Mandela Washington Fellows from President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

For further information, please visit http://www.state.gov/p/af or follow @StateAfrica on Twitter.

U.S. Issues Statement on First Round of Elections in the Central African Republic


John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 8, 2016

The peaceful conduct and high turnout in the first round of presidential and parliamentary elections in the Central African Republic are clear signs that Central Africans seek a new beginning for their country, and a future based on democratic governance and free from the violence and instability that have plagued the country for far too long.

We commend all Central Africans who, with support from international forces, ensured the vote on December 30 was peaceful and secure. As the Central African Republic moves towards the second round of elections in the coming weeks, we reiterate our desire to see this spirit of peace, tolerance, and free expression. And we strongly urge all parties and their supporters to peacefully address any disputes with yesterday’s announcement through the Central African legal system.

These elections are an historic opportunity for Central Africans to build a united, prosperous, and democratic future for their country and establish a government that reflects the country’s rich geographic, ethnic, and religious diversity. In that effort, they will find a steadfast supporter in the United States.

The United States stands with the Central African Republic at this critical moment and will continue to be a strong friend and ally of the Central African people.

U.S. Expands Market Access for Meat Exports to South Africa


Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Expanded Market Access for U.S. Poultry, Pork and Beef Exports to South Africa

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2016 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement:

On Jan. 7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), reached agreement with South African officials to allow most U.S. exports of poultry, pork and beef and their products to re-gain access to the South African market, pursuant to an out-of-cycle review of South Africa conducted under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The agreement was reached following intense U.S. government engagement with South African officials over the last year. Only a limited number of U.S. poultry and meat products have been exported to South Africa in recent years, due to unwarranted sanitary requirements by the South African authorities, with most poultry exports blocked for the last 15 years. With this renewed access for U.S. red meat and poultry products, U.S. exports to South Africa could generate $75 million of shipments annually.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made the following statement regarding this announcement:

“This is good news for American farmers, ranchers and poultry, pork and beef companies. We welcome this move by South Africa and will continue our efforts to break down barriers and expand access for high-quality, safe and wholesome U.S. food and agricultural products around the world. With this agreement, South Africa reaffirms the scientific soundness and integrity of the U.S. system for ensuring animal health and food safety, and this will result in high-quality U.S. meat and poultry being available for South African consumers.

The regained access for American meat and poultry exports we’re announcing today is the culmination of many months of hard work by USDA and USTR staff. The past seven years have been the strongest in history for agricultural trade, with U.S. agricultural product exports totaling $911.4 billion since 2009. Strong agricultural exports contribute to a positive U.S. trade balance, create jobs and boost economic growth. Those exports supported approximately 1 million U.S. jobs last year. The economy is strengthened in rural communities and throughout the entire country from the additional economic activity that flows from the expanded farm and processing business.”

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U.S. Reacts to Rwandan President’s Decision To Run for Third Term

Press Statement
John Kirby
Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
January 2, 2016

The United States is deeply disappointed that President Paul Kagame has announced his intention to run for a third term in office.

With this decision, President Kagame ignores an historic opportunity to reinforce and solidify the democratic institutions the Rwandan people have for more than twenty years labored so hard to establish.

The United States believes constitutional transitions of power are essential for strong democracies and that efforts by incumbents to change rules to stay in power weaken democratic institutions. We are particularly concerned by changes that favor one individual over the principle of democratic transitions.

As Rwanda moves toward local elections this year, presidential elections next year, and parliamentary elections in 2018, we call upon the Government of Rwanda to ensure and respect the rights of its citizens to exercise their freedom of expression, conscience, and peaceful assembly — the hallmarks of true democracies.

The United States remains committed to supporting the free and full participation of the Rwandan people in the electoral processes ahead.

U.S. Issues Statement on Arrest of Journalists in Ethiopia

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 30, 2015

Statement by National Security Council Spokesperson Ned Price on the Arrest of Journalists in Ethiopia


Having welcomed developments in Ethiopia earlier this year–including the release of several detained bloggers–that suggested increased protections for the fundamental right of free expression, we are deeply concerned by the recent arrests of other journalists in Ethiopia. We continue to urge the Ethiopian Government to build on earlier developments by strengthening free speech protections and broadening democratic progress, and note that the continued stifling of independent voices will only inhibit such progress as well as development and economic growth.

The United States has consistently applauded Ethiopia for being a model and a voice for development in Africa, but such gains must rest on a foundation of democratic governance and respect for human rights if they are to be sustainable. We urge the Ethiopian Government to release journalists and all others imprisoned for exercising their right to free expression, to refrain from using its Anti-Terrorism Proclamation as a mechanism to silence dissent, and to protect the rights of journalists, bloggers, and dissidents to write and speak freely as voices of a diverse nation.

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Notice of Funding Opportunity for Refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya

FY 2016 Notice of Funding Opportunity for NGO Programs Benefiting Refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya

Funding Opportunity Announcement
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
January 6, 2016

Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-PRMOAPAF-16-001-055273

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.517 – Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Africa

Announcement issuance date: Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Proposal submission deadline: Friday, February 5, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST

**ADVISORY: All applicants must submit proposals through the website Grants.gov NOT through GrantsSolutions.gov. Please note that if you apply on the GrantSolutions.gov site, your application will be disqualified. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address any difficulties that may arise.**

If you are new to PRM funding, the Grants.gov registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “New to PRM Funding” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher.

Full Text of Notice of Funding Opportunity

A. Program Description

This announcement references PRM’s General NGO Guidelines which contain additional information on PRM’s priorities and NGO funding strategy with which selected organizations must comply.

Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that your submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements and that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities. Submissions that do not reflect the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

Current Funding Priorities:

(a) PRM will prioritize funding for proposed NGO activities that best meet the Bureau’s priorities for filling programming gaps in the Horn of Africa region as identified below.

(b) Because of PRM’s mandate to provide protection, assistance, and sustainable solutions for refugees and victims of conflict, PRM will consider funding only those projects that include a target beneficiary base of at least 50 percent refugees. Please note that projects that do not meet the protection/assistance gap(s) below will not be considered.

Country-specific Provisions:

Ethiopia

(a) For activities in Benishangul-Gumuz, proposals may focus on one or more of the following areas of intervention:

(i) Energy and environmental management (household energy and fuel usage)

(ii) Livelihoods (vocational education/training that benefits both refugees and host nationals, N.B. Any proposal must include a completed market analysis)

(iii) Protection (child protection and/or gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response)

(b) For activities in Dollo Ado, proposals may focus on one or more of the following areas of intervention:

(i) Education (primary and/or secondary)

(ii) Healthcare (primary care, reproductive health and/or maternal and child health; assistance to elderly with specific needs; and/or to persons living with disabilities)

(iii) Livelihoods, N.B. Any proposal must include a completed market analysis

(iv) Nutrition and food security (activities to support diet diversification or food-related livelihoods)

(v) Protection (child protection and/or GBV prevention and response)

(vi) Psychosocial assistance (mental health)

(c) For activities in Gambella, proposals may focus on one or more of the following areas of intervention:

(i) Education (primary and/or secondary)

(ii) Healthcare (reproductive health and/or maternal and child health; assistance to elderly with specific needs; and/or to persons living with disabilities)

(iii) Livelihoods, N.B. Any proposal must include a completed market analysis

(iv) Nutrition and food security (activities to support diet diversification or food-related livelihoods)

(v) Protection (GBV prevention and response; and/or assistance to unaccompanied or separated minors; and/or child protection)

(vi) Psychosocial assistance (mental health)

(d) For activities in Jijiga, proposals may focus on one or more of the following areas of intervention:

(i) Education (primary and/or secondary)

(ii) Healthcare (reproductive health and/or maternal and child health; assistance to elderly with specific needs; and/or to persons living with disabilities)

(iii) Livelihoods, N.B. Any proposal must include a completed market analysis

(iv) Nutrition and food security (activities to support diet diversification or food-related livelihoods)

(v) Protection (child protection and/or GBV prevention and response)

(vi) Psychosocial assistance (mental health)

(e) For activities in Tigray, proposals may focus on one or more of the following areas of intervention:

(i) Education (primary and/or secondary)

(ii) Health (reproductive health and/or maternal and child health; assistance to elderly with specific needs; and/or to persons living with disabilities)

(iii) Nutrition and food security (activities to support diet diversification or food-related livelihoods)

(iv) Protection (child protection and/or GBV prevention and response)

(v) Psychosocial assistance (mental health)

Kenya

(f) For activities in Dadaab camps, proposals may focus on one or more of the following areas of intervention:

(i) Education (primary and/or secondary)

(ii) Health (reproductive health; maternal and/or child health/nutrition; assistance to elderly with specific needs; and/or other vulnerable populations; and/or to persons living with disabilities)

(iii) Livelihoods (linked to vocational skills development and/or youth education/training that benefit both refugees and host nationals, N.B. Any proposal must include a completed market analysis)

(iv) Protection (GBV prevention and response; child protection, and/or assistance to separated and unaccompanied minors)

(v) Psychosocial assistance (mental health)

(g) For activities in Kakuma camps, proposals may focus on one or more of the following areas of intervention:

(i) Education (primary and/or secondary)

(ii) Health (reproductive health; maternal and/or child health/nutrition; assistance for elderly with specific needs and/or other vulnerable populations; and/or persons living with disabilities)

(iii) Livelihoods (linked to vocational training, skills development, and/or youth education that benefit both refugees and host nationals, N.B. Any proposal must include a completed market analysis)

(iv) Protection (GBV prevention and response; support to LGBTI refugees; child protection, and/or assistance to separated or unaccompanied minors)

(v) Psychosocial assistance (mental health)

(h) For activities in other refugee hosting areas, proposals may focus on the following area of intervention:

(i) Protection (GBV prevention and response; support to LGBTI refugees; child protection and/or assistance to separated or unaccompanied minors – boys and/or girls; asylum-seekers and other vulnerable refugees)

(ii) Livelihoods (vocational education/training, N.B. Any proposal must include a completed market analysis)

(iii) Health (mental health and/or psychosocial assistance)

B. Federal Award Information

Proposed program start dates: May 1 – August 15, 2016

Duration of Activity: Program plans for one, two, or three years will be considered. Applicants may submit multi-year proposals with activities and budgets that do not exceed three years (36 months) from the proposed start date. Actual awards will not exceed one year (12 months) in duration and activities and budgets submitted in year one can be revised/updated each year. Continued funding after the initial 12- month award requires the submission of a noncompeting single year proposal narrative and will be contingent upon available funding, strong performance, and continuing need. In funding a project one year, PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years and encourages applicants to seek a wide array of donors to ensure long-term funding possibilities. Please see Multi-Year Funding section below for additional information.

Funding Limits: Project proposals must not be more than $1,500,000, or they will be disqualified.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: (1) Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education; (2) Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education; and (3) International Organizations. International multilateral organizations, such as United Nations agencies, should not submit proposals through Grants.gov in response to this Notice of Funding Opportunity announcement. Multilateral organizations that are seeking funding for programs relevant to this announcement should contact the PRM Program Officer (as listed below) on or before the closing date of the funding announcement.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not a requirement of an application in response to this funding announcement.

3. Other:

(a) Proposals must have a concrete implementation plan with well-conceived objectives and indicators that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and reliable, time-bound, and trackable (SMART), have established baselines, and include at least one outcome or impact indicator per objective. Objectives should be clearly linked to the sectors.

(b) Proposals must adhere to relevant international standards for humanitarian assistance. See PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for a complete list of sector-specific standards including new guidance on proposals for projects in urban areas.

(c) PRM strongly encourages programs that target the needs of potentially vulnerable and underserved groups among the beneficiary population (women; children; adolescents; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) individuals; older persons; the sick; persons with disabilities; and other minorities) and that can demonstrate what steps have been taken to meet the specific and unique protection and assistance needs of these vulnerable groups effectively.

NOTE: PRM partners must complete a gender analysis (see PRM proposal template) that briefly analyzes

(1) gender dynamics within the target population (i.e., roles, power dynamics, and different needs of men and women, girls and boys);

(2) associated risks and implementation challenges for the project posed by those dynamics; and

(3) how program activities will mitigate these protection risks and be made accessible to vulnerable
groups (particularly women and girls). The analysis should identify specific at-risk sub-populations of women and girls, in particular women and girl heads of households, out-of-school girls, girls with disabilities, married girls, and adolescent mothers who are often unaware of and excluded from mainstream interventions and service delivery and who may be essentially hidden. A gender analysis should be included in all applications for funding and is a requirement prior to PRM making a final funding award.

(d) PRM will accept proposals from any NGO working in the above mentioned sectors although, given budgetary constraints, priority will be given to proposals from organizations that can demonstrate:

• a working relationship with UNHCR and/or current UNHCR funding. Proposals should include a letter of support from UNHCR for the proposed activities. This letter should highlight the gap in services the proposed program is designed to address. (Applicants are encouraged to make timely requests to UNHCR to allow for sufficient time to review proposed activities and process letters of support);

• a proven track record in providing proposed assistance both in the sector and specified location;

• evidence of coordination with international organizations (IOs) and other NGOs working in the same area or sector as well as – where possible – local authorities;

• a strong transition plan, where feasible, involving local capacity-building;

• where applicable, adherence to PRM’s Principles for Refugee Protection in Urban Areas;

• an understanding of, and sensitivity to, conflict dynamics in the project location.

D. Application and Submission Instructions

1. Address to Request Application Package:

(a) Application packages may be downloaded from the website www.Grants.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application:

(a) This announcement is designed to accompany PRM’s General NGO Guidelines which contain additional administrative information on proposal content and formatting, and explain in detail PRM’s NGO funding strategy and priorities. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that your proposal submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements and that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities.
Proposal submissions that do not meet all of the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

(b) PRM strongly recommends using the proposal and budget templates that are available upon email request from PRM’s NGO Coordinator. Please send an email, with the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line, to PRM’s NGO Coordinator to receive an automated reply with the templates.

New page limits: Single-year proposals using PRM’s templates must be no more than 15 pages in length (Times New Roman 12 point font, one inch margins on all sides). If the applicant does not use PRM’s recommended templates, proposals must not exceed 10 pages in length. Organizations may choose to attach work plans, activity calendars, and/or logical frameworks as addendums/appendices to the proposal. These attachments do not count toward the page limit total; however, annexes cannot be relied upon as a key source of program information. The proposal narrative must be able to stand on its own in the application process. For multi-year funding application instructions, see section (e) below.

(c) To be considered for PRM funding, organizations must submit a complete application package including:

• Proposal narrative reflecting objectives and indicators for each year of the program period.

• Budget and budget narrative for each year of the program period.

• Signed completed SF-424.

(d) In addition, proposal submissions to PRM should include the following information:

• Focus on outcome or impact indicators as much as possible. At a minimum, each objective should have one outcome or impact indicator. Wherever possible, baselines should be established before the start of the project.

• To increase PRM’s ability to track the impact of PRM funding, include specific information on locations of projects and beneficiaries (GPS coordinates if possible).

• Proposals should outline how the NGO will acknowledge PRM funding. If an organization believes that publicly acknowledging the receipt of USG funding for a particular PRM-funded project could potentially endanger the lives of the beneficiaries and/or the organization staff, invite suspicion about the organization’s motives, or alienate the organization from the population it is trying to help, it must provide a brief explanation in its proposal as to why it should be exempted from this requirement.

• The budget should include a specific breakdown of funds being provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization.

• Please note that organizations applying for livelihoods project funding must include both a market analysis and a beneficiary competency/capacity assessment as part of the proposal package. Please see the General NGO Guidelines for more details.

• Applicants whose proposals address gender-based violence (GBV) through their projects must estimate the total cost of these activities as a separate line item in their proposed budgets. PRM’s budget template document has been updated to reflect this requirement.

• Gender analysis (See above. Required before an award can be made).

• Copy of the organization’s Code of Conduct (required before an award can be made).

• Copy of the organization’s Security Plan (required before an award can be made).

• Proposals and budgets should include details of any sub-agreements associated with the program.

• Most recent Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), if applicable.

• NGOs that have not received PRM funding since the U.S. government fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. government by submitting copies of 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) proof of non-profit tax status including under IRS 501 (c)(3), as applicable, 3) a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and 4) an Employer ID (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification number, as applicable.

• Organizations that received PRM funding in FY 2015 for activities that are being proposed for funding under this announcement must include the most recent quarterly progress report against indicators outlined in the cooperative agreement. If an organization’s last quarterly report was submitted more than six weeks prior to the submission of a proposal in response to this funding announcement, the organization must include, with its most recent quarterly report, updates that show any significant progress made on objectives since the last report.

(e) Multi-Year Funding: Applicants proposing multi-year programs should adhere to the following guidance:

Applicants may submit proposals that include multi-year strategies presented in one year (12-month) cycles for a period not to exceed three years (36 months) from the proposed start date. Fully developed programs with detailed budgets, objectives and indicators are required for each year of activities. Applicants should use PRM’s recommended multi-year proposal template for the first year of a multi-year application. Multi-year funding applicants may use PRM’s standard budget template and should submit a separate budget sheet for each project year. Multi-year proposal narratives and budgets can be updated yearly upon submission of new noncompeting single year proposal narrative template with an updated budget, each year.

New page limits: Multi-year proposals using PRM’s multi-year template must be no more than 20 pages in length (Times New Roman 12 point font, one inch margins on all sides). If the applicant does not use PRM’s recommended templates, proposals must not exceed 15 pages in length. Organizations may choose to attach work plans, activity calendars, and/or logical frameworks as addendums/appendices to the proposal. These attachments do not count toward the page limit total; however, annexes cannot be relied upon as a key source of program information. The proposal narrative must be able to stand on its own in the application process.

Multi-year applications selected for funding by PRM will be funded in one year (12- month) increments based on the proposal submitted in the initial application as approved by PRM. Continued funding after the initial 12- month award requires the submission of a noncompeting single year proposal narrative and will be contingent upon available funding, strong performance, and continuing need. Follow-on funding applications must be submitted by the organization no later than 90 days before the proposed start date of the new award (e.g., if the next project period is to begin on September 1, submit your application by June 1). Follow-on year applications are submitted in lieu of responding to PRM’s published call for proposals for those activities. Late submissions will jeopardize continued funding.

Organizations can request single-year and multi-year funding proposal narrative templates by emailing PRM’s NGO Coordinator with the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line.

3. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM)

(a) Each applicant is required to: (i) be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active PRM award or an application or plan under consideration by PRM. No federal award may be made to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the PRM award is ready to be made, PRM may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a PRM award and use that determination as a basis for making a PRM award to another applicant.

(b) Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov (not via GrantSolutions.gov). Grants.gov registration requires a DUNS number and active SAM.gov registration. If you are new to PRM funding, the Grants.gov registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “New to PRM Funding” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher. Applicants may also refer to the “Applicant Resources” tools and tips page on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements.

(c) Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should register well in advance of the deadline as it can take up to two weeks to finalize registration (sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to get the required registration numbers). We also recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via Grants.gov no later than one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in an application not being considered. PRM partners must maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which they have an active federal award or an application under consideration by PRM or any federal agency.

(d) When registering with Grants.gov, organizations must designate points of contact and Authorized Organization Representatives (AORs). Organizations based outside the United States must also request and receive an NCAGE code prior to registering with SAM.gov. Applicants experiencing technical difficulties with the SAM registration process should contact the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online or at 1-866-606-8220 (U.S.) and 1-334-206-7828 (International).

(e) Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.

(f) If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at support@grants.gov or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via Grants.gov due to Grants.gov technical difficulties and who have reported the problem to the Grants.gov help desk, received a case number, and had a service request opened to research the problem, should contact the relevant PRM Program Officer to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

(g) It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure the appropriate registrations are in place and active. Failure to have the appropriate organizational registrations in place is not considered a technical difficulty and is not justification for an alternate means of submission.

(h) Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), the Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found here.

4. Submission Dates and Times

Announcement issuance date: Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Proposal submission deadline: Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

5. Intergovernmental Review – Not Applicable.

6. Funding Restrictions. Federal awards will not allow reimbursement of Federal Award costs without prior authorization by PRM.

7. Other Submission Requirements

(a) PRM Standardized Indicators: In an effort to streamline the proposal writing/reviewing process and better measure the impact of the Bureau’s work, PRM requires the use of standardized indicators in the health, protection, child protection, education, WASH, livelihoods, emergency shelter, nutrition and food security, and core relief items (non-food items) sectors. Applicants must fill in numerical and/or percentage targets for each indicator. Sphere standards should be used as targets, unless otherwise noted. Proposals must include all standardized indicators that apply to the program. Please refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for a complete list of all standardized indicators that must be included.

(b) Applicant Vetting as a Condition of Award: Applicants for proposals in Kenya are advised that successful passing of vetting to evaluate the risk that funds may benefit terrorists or their supporters is a condition of award. Applicants may be asked to submit information required by DS Form 4184, Risk Analysis Information about their company and its principal personnel. Vetting information is also required for all sub-award performance on assistance awards identified by DOS as presenting a risk of terrorist financing. When vetting information is requested by the Grants Officer, information may be submitted on the secure web portal at https://ramportal.state.gov, via email to RAM@state.gov, or hardcopy to the Grants Officer. Questions about the form may be emailed to RAM@state.gov. Failure to submit information when requested, or failure to pass vetting, may be grounds for rejecting your proposal. The following clause shall be included in Section 9, Special Award Conditions, or as an addendum to the solicitation, whenever assistance is awarded after vetting:

Recipient Vetting After Award: Recipients shall advise the Grants Officer of any changes in personnel listed in the DS Form 4184, Risk Analysis Information, and shall provide vetting information on new individuals. The government reserves the right to vet these personnel changes and to terminate assistance awards for convenience based on vetting results.

(c) Branding and Marking Strategy: Unless exceptions have been approved by the designated bureau Authorizing Official as described in the proposal templates that are available upon email request from PRM’s NGO Coordinator, at a minimum, the following provision will be included whenever assistance is awarded:

• As a condition of receipt of this assistance award, all materials produced pursuant to the award, including training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under this agreement, including but not limited to invitations to events, press materials, event backdrops, podium signs, etc. must be marked appropriately with the standard U.S. flag in a size and prominence equal to (or greater than) any other logo or identity.

o Sub-recipients and subsequent tier sub-award agreements are subject to the marking requirements and the recipient shall include a provision in the sub-recipient agreement indicating that the standard, rectangular U.S. flag is a requirement. In the event the recipient does not comply with the marking requirements as established in the approved assistance agreement, the Grants Officer Representative and the Grants Officer must initiate corrective action.

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria: Eligible submissions will be those that comply with the criteria and requirements included in this announcement. In addition, the review panel will evaluate the proposals based on the following criteria:

(i) Problem Statement/Analysis

(ii) Program Description

(iii) Objectives and Indicators

(iv) Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

(v) Beneficiary Interaction and Accountability

(vi) Coordination

(vii) Transition and Capacity-Building

(viii) Management and Past Performance

(ix) Budget

2. PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all proposals submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel of at least three people will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced programmatic criteria and PRM priorities in the context of available funding.

3. Department of State Review Panels may provide conditions and recommendations on applications to enhance the proposed program, which must be addressed by the applicant before further consideration of the award. To ensure effective use of limited PRM funds, conditions or recommendations may include requests to increase, decrease, clarify, and/or justify costs and program activities.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Administration. A successful applicant can expect to receive a separate notice from PRM stating that an application has been selected before PRM actually makes the federal award. That notice is not an authorization to begin performance. Only the notice of award signed by the grants officer is the authorizing document. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified following completion of the selection and award process.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements. PRM awards are made consistent with the following provisions in the following order of precedence: (a) applicable laws and statutes of the United States, including any specific legislative provisions mandated in the statutory authority for the award; (b) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR); (c) Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions of the award; (d) the award’s specific requirements; and (e) other documents and attachments to the award.

3. Reporting

Successful applicants will be required to submit:

(a) Program Reports: PRM requires program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. A program report is required within thirty (30) days following the end of each three month period of performance during the validity period of the agreement. The final program report is due ninety (90) days following the end of the agreement. The submission dates for program reports will be written into the cooperative agreement. Partners receiving multi-year awards should follow this same reporting schedule and should still submit a final program report at the end of each year that summarizes the NGO’s performance during the previous year.

The Performance Progress Report (SF-PPR) is a standard, government-wide performance reporting format. Recipients of PRM funding must submit the signed SF-PPR cover page with each program report. In addition, the Bureau suggests that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended program report template and reference this template as being attached in block 10 of the SF-PPR. This template is designed to ease the reporting requirements while ensuring that all required elements are addressed. The Program Report Template can be requested by sending an email with only the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” (without the quotation marks) in the subject line to PRMNGOCoordinator@state.gov.

(b) Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement (January 30th, April 30th, July 30th, October 30th). The final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement. For agreements containing indirect costs, final financial reports are due within sixty (60) days of the finalization of the applicable negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA).

Reports reflecting expenditures for the recipient’s overseas and United States offices should be completed in accordance with the Federal Financial Report (FFR SF-425) and submitted electronically in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Payment Management System (HHS/PMS) and in accordance with other award specific requirements. Detailed information pertaining to the Federal Financial Report including due dates, instruction manuals and access forms, is provided on the HHS/PMS website.

For more details regarding reporting requirements please see PRM’s General NGO Guidelines.

G. PRM Contacts

Applicants with technical questions related to this announcement should contact the PRM staff listed below prior to proposal submission. Please note that responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed.

PRM Program Officer Wossie Mazengia: MazengiaW@state.gov, 202-453-9380, Washington, D.C.; please include PRM Acting Program Officer Martha Marrazza on email correspondence (MarrazzaM@state.gov).

PRM Program Officer Kristin Alderman: AldermanKL@state.gov, 202-453-9377, Washington, D.C.; please include PRM Acting Program Officer Martha Marrazza on email correspondence (MarrazzaM@state.gov).

Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Horn of Africa David Moore: MooreDT@state.gov, U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Deputy Refugee Coordinator for Kenya and Somalia Sarah Skorupski: SkorupskiSF@state.gov, U.S. Embassy, Nairobi, Kenya.

Regional Horn Refugee Coordinator Assistant Sandra Bedoya-Hanson: Bedoya-HansonSP@state.gov, U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Notice of Funding Opportunity in the SADC

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Strengthening Engagement Between Parliament and Civil Society in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

December 29, 2015

This is the initial announcement of this funding opportunity, DRLA-DRLAQM-16-044.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.345

Application Deadline: February 22, 2016 at 11:30pm EST

A. Project Description

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for programs to improve accountability through effective engagement between a country’s Parliament and domestic civil society organizations (CSOs). The target countries are Botswana, Lesotho and Malawi; other SADC member countries may be included for compelling reasons. Programs can be regional or focused on
one country.

The overall goal of this program is to strengthen government accountability in a country or countries in SADC through improved parliament action via collaboration with civil society around a key issue of national importance. Successful programs will facilitate engagement between a country’s Parliament and its civil society, providing effective tools to hold Government accountable for policies and budgets around an issue of mutual concern. Proposals should include partnerships with relevant CSOs and one or more parliamentary committees, with the objective of improving CSO and parliamentary capacity through development of common resources around one key issue of civil or political rights, such as legal identity documentation.

Technical assistance, including targeted legislative advice to select portfolio committees and strengthening these committees’ oversight functions, should be a key activity of any successful proposal. Activities that facilitate sustained, practical engagement between CSOs and key parliamentary committees should be included, as well as activities that seek to connect committee members with relevant constituencies in innovative ways. Workshops are expected but should not be a focus of the proposal. DRL is not seeking a basic capacity building program for Members of Parliament (MPs); rather, the successful program will create opportunities for collective efforts around the key issue, ensuring that MPs and CSOs work together towards a common goal and producing new and lasting mechanisms as a result, such as improved legislation and/or the establishment of caucuses and working groups.

At least one sub-grant to a local organization is required. Proposals that include letters of support from proposed sub-grantees and key MPs in the Parliaments with which they are seeking to partner will be deemed more competitive, as will proposals from organizations that are registered in Africa and have majority African staff. The successful grantee will plan to invest full-time staff in the country or countries in which they plan to work. Programs that include substantial travel budgets will be deemed noncompetitive. Proposals must demonstrate awareness of similar existing programs and explain how the proposed program would complement and build off of ongoing efforts, especially if funded by the U.S. government. Cost-sharing from non-USG funding sources is highly encouraged.

Programs should have the potential for immediate impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms, and consider ways to use this program as a starting point for continued funding beyond these initial DRL funds. DRL prefers innovative and creative approaches rather than projects that duplicate or add to current efforts by other entities. However, DRL welcomes projects that clearly build from existing successful projects in new and innovative ways. DRL also strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most vulnerable or at-risk populations.

Activities that typically are not considered competitive include:

• The provision of large amounts of humanitarian assistance;

• English language instruction;

• Development of high-tech computer or communications software and/or hardware;

• Purely academic exchanges or fellowships;

• External exchanges or fellowships lasting longer than six months;

• Off-shore activities that are not clearly linked to in-country initiatives and impact or that do not relate to security concerns;

• Theoretical explorations of human rights or democracy issues, including projects aimed primarily at research and evaluation that do not incorporate training or capacity-building for local civil society;

• Micro-loans or similar small business development initiatives;

• Activities that go beyond an organization’s demonstrated competence, or fail to provide clear evidence of the ability of the applicant to achieve the stated impact;

• Initiatives directed towards a diaspora community rather than current residents of targeted countries.

The authority for this funding opportunity is found in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA).

B. Federal Award Information

DRL anticipates having approximately $990,099 available to support approximately one successful application submitted in response to this NOFO, subject to the availability of funding.

DRL may issue one or more awards resulting from this NOFO to the applicant(s) whose application(s) conforming to this NOFO are the most responsive to the objectives set forth in this NOFO. The U.S. government may (a) reject any or all applications, (b) accept other than the lowest cost application, (c) accept more than one application, (d) accept alternate applications, and (e) waive informalities and minor irregularities in applications received.

The U.S. government may make award(s) on the basis of initial applications received, without discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each initial application should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint. The U.S. government reserves the right (though it is not under obligation to do so), however, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional detail, or to suggest refinements in the project description, budget, or other aspects of an application.

Applications should request $990,099 and no more or less than that amount. Applicants should include an anticipated start date between May 2016 – July 2016 and the period of performance should be at least 18 months in duration.

DRL anticipates awarding either a grant or cooperative agreement depending on the application’s risk factor, or the needs of the program, which is determined by the grant officer for applications that are successful. If it is determined to award a cooperative agreement, DRL expects to be substantially involved during the implementation of the cooperative agreement. Examples of substantial involvement can include:

1) Approval of the Recipient’s annual work plans, including: planned activities for the following year, travel plans, planned expenditures, event planning, and changes to any activity to be carried out under the cooperative agreement;

2) Approval of sub-award Recipients, concurrence on the substantive provisions of the sub-awards, and coordination with other cooperating agencies;

3) Other approvals that will be included in the award agreement.

C. Eligibility Information

C.1 Eligible Applicants

DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.

For-profit entities should be aware that their applications may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process and that the Department of State generally prohibits profit under its assistance awards to for-profit or commercial organizations. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs. The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR 30, Cost Accounting Standards Administration, and 48 CFR 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures. Project income earned by the recipient must be deducted from the total project allowable cost in determining the net allowable costs on which the federal share of costs is based.

C.2 Cost Sharing or Matching

Providing cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not an eligibility requirement for this NOFO.

C.3 Other

Applicants must have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with thematic or in country partners, entities and relevant stakeholders including industry and NGOs and have demonstrable experience in administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL encourages applications from foreign-based NGOs headquartered in the geographic regions/countries relevant to this NOFO. Applicants may form consortia and submit a combined application. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant with the other members as sub-award partners. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

DRL is committed to an anti-discrimination policy in all of its projects and activities. DRL welcomes applications irrespective of an applicant’s race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other status. DRL encourages applications from organizations working with the most at-risk and vulnerable communities, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, members of ethnic or religious minority groups, and LGBTI persons.

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM)(www.sam.gov) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR,1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR,1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List System in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

D. Application and Submission Information

D.1 Address to Request Application Package

Applicants can find application forms, kits, and other materials needed to apply on www.grants.gov and www.grantsolutions.gov under the announcement title “Strengthening Engagement between Parliament and Civil Society in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)” funding opportunity number DRLA-DRLAQM-16-044. Please contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if requesting reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or for security reasons. Please note: reasonable accommodations do not include deadline extensions.

D.2 Content and Form of Application Submission

For all application documents, please ensure:

1) All documents are in English and all costs are in U.S. dollars. If an original document within the application is in another language, an English translation must be provided (please note: the Department of State, as indicated in 2 CFR 200.111, requires that English is the official language of all award documents. If any documents are provided in both English and a foreign language, the English language version is the controlling version);

2) All pages are numbered, including budgets and attachments;

3) All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper; and,

4) All documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins. Captions and footnotes may be 10 point Times New Roman font. Font sizes in charts and tables, including the budget, can be reformatted to fit within 1 page width.

Complete applications must include the following:

1. Completed and signed SF-424, SF-424A, and SF-424B, as directed on GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov; completed and signed SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities”(if applicable) (which can be found with the solicitation on GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov and on the DRL website at: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm); and your organization’s most recent audit (A-133 audit, if applicable, or standard audit).

2. Table of Contents (not to exceed one [1] page in Microsoft Word) that includes a page numbered contents page, including any attachments.

3. Executive Summary (not to exceed two [2] pages in Microsoft Word) that includes:

a) The target country/countries and thematic area;

b) Name and contact information for the project’s main point of contact;

c) The total amount of funding requested and project length;

d) A statement of work or synopsis of the project, including a concise breakdown of the project’s objectives, activities, and expected results; and,

e) A brief statement on how the project is innovative, sustainable, and will have a demonstrated impact.

4. Proposal Narrative (not to exceed ten [10] pages in Microsoft Word). Please note the ten page limit does not include the Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Attachments, Detailed Budget, Budget Narrative, or Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). Applicants are encouraged to submit multiple documents in a single Microsoft Word or Adobe file, (i.e., Table of Contents, Executive Summary, and Proposal Narrative in one file).

5. Detailed Line-Item Budget (in Microsoft Excel) that includes three [3] columns including the request to DRL, any cost sharing contribution, and total budget (see below for more information on budget format). A summary budget should also be included using the OMB approved budget categories (see SF-424A as a sample). Costs must be in U.S. dollars. Detailed line-item budgets for sub-awardees should be included in additional tabs within the excel workbook.

6. Budget Narrative (in Microsoft Word) that includes substantive explanations and justifications for each line item in the detailed budget spreadsheet, as well as the source and a description of all cost-share offered. For ease of review, DRL recommends applicants order the budget narrative as presented in the detailed budget. Personnel costs should include a clarification of the roles and responsibilities of key staff, base salary, and percentage of time devoted to the project. The budget narrative should provide additional information that might not be readily apparent in the detailed-line item budget, not simply repeat what is represented numerically in the budget, i.e. salaries are for salaries or travel is for travel. Please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

7. Attachments (not to exceed fourteen [14] pages total, preferably in Microsoft Word) that include the following in order:

a) Logic model – Page 1-2: Please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

b) Risk Assessment – Page 3: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

c) Narrative of Monitoring and Evaluation Plan – Pages 4-5: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

d) Monitoring and Evaluation Performance Indicator Table – Pages 6-9: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information. This section can be up to four pages long if necessary.

e) Roles and responsibilities of key project personnel – Page 10: Please include short bios that highlight relevant professional experience. This relates to the organization’s capacity. Given the limited space, CVs are not recommended for submission.

f) Timeline of the overall proposal – Page 11: Components should include activities, evaluation efforts, and project closeout.

g) Additional optional attachments – Page 12-14: Attachments may include further timeline information, letters of support, memorandums of understanding/agreement, etc. Letters of support and MOUs must be specific to the projects implementation (e.g. from proposed partners or sub-award recipients) and will not count towards the page limit.

8. If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a .pdf file. This document will not be reviewed by the panelists, but rather used by project and grant staff if the submission is recommended for funding and therefore does not count against the submission page limitations. If your proposal involves subawards to organizations charging indirect costs, please submit the applicable NICRA also as a .pdf file (see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information on indirect cost rates). If your organization does not have a NICRA per 2 CFR 200. 414(f) the organization can elect to charge the de minimis rate of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68. The budget narrative should indicate what costs will be covered using the 10% de minimis rate.

Please note: DRL retains the right to ask for additional documents not included in this NOFO. Additionally, to ensure all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the DRL Review Panel will review the first page of the requested section up to the page limit and no further. DRL encourages organizations to use the given space effectively.

Additional information that successful applicants must submit after notification of intent to make a Federal award, but prior to issuance of a Federal award, may include:

1) Written responses and any revised application documents addressing any conditions or recommendations from the DRL Review Panel;

2) Completion of the Department’s Financial Management Survey, if receiving DRL funding for the first time;

3) Submission of required documents to register in the Payment Management System managed by the Department of Health and Human Services if receiving DRL funding for the first time, unless an exemption is provided;

4) Other requested information or documents included in the notification of intent to make a Federal award or subsequent communications prior to issuance of a Federal award.

D.3 Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

Applicants must have an active registration in SAM (www.sam.gov) prior to submitting an application, must prove a valid Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number, formerly referred to as a DUNS number, and must continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the U.S. government.

The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards. SAM is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements. OMB designated SAM as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance. Under the law, it is mandatory to obtain a UEI number and register in SAM.

SAM requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM and to also maintain its active registration in SAM.

No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance or can participate in any activities in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR Part 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR Part 1989 Comp., p. 235).

DRL may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable UEI and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time DRL is ready to make an award, DRL may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

An exemption from this requirement may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

1. An applicant is a foreign organization located outside of the U.S., does not currently have a UEI, and the Department determines that acquiring one is impractical given the geographic location; or

2. If the applicant’s identity must be protected due to possible endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.

Please note: foreign organizations will be required to register with the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) to receive a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code in order to register in SAM. NSPA will forward your registration request to the applicable National Codification Bureau (NCB) if your organization is located in a NATO or Tier 2 Sponsored Non-NATO Nation. (As of January 2015, NATO nations included Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States of America; and Tier 2 nations included Australia, Austria, Brazil, Finland, Israel, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Serbia, and Singapore.)
NSPA and/or the appropriate NCB forwards all NCAGE code information to all Allied Committee 135 (AC/135) nations, which as of January 2015 also included Afghanistan, Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Montenegro, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. All organizations are strongly advised to take this into consideration when assessing whether registration may result in possible endangerment.

D.4 Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), on Monday, February 22, 2016 on www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov under the announcement title “Strengthening Engagement between Parliament and Civil Society in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)” funding opportunity number DRLA-DRLAQM-16-044.

Grants.gov and Grantsolutions.gov automatically log the date and time an application submission is made, and the Department of State will use this information to determine whether an application has been submitted on time. Late applications are neither reviewed nor considered unless the DRL point of contact listed in section G is contacted prior to the deadline and is provided with evidence of system errors caused by www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov that is outside of the applicants’ control and is the sole reason for a late submission. Applicants should not expect a notification upon DRL receiving their application.

If ultimately provided with a notification of intent to make a Federal award, applicants typically have two to three weeks to provide additional information and documents requested in the notification of intent. The deadlines may vary in each notification of intent and applicants must adhere to the stated deadline in the notification of intent.

D.5 Funding Restrictions

DRL will not consider applications that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization. No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance.

Project activities that provide training or other assistance to foreign militaries or paramilitary groups or individuals will not be considered for DRL funding given purpose limitations on funding.

Restrictions may apply to any proposed assistance to police or other law enforcement. Among these, pursuant to section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended(FAA), no assistance provided through this funding opportunity may be furnished to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country when there is credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. In accordance with the requirements of section 620M of the FAA, also known as the Leahy law, project beneficiaries or participants from a foreign government’s security forces may need to be vetted by the Department before the provision of any assistance.

Federal awards generally will not allow reimbursement of pre-Federal award costs; however, the grants officer may approve pre awards cost on a case by case basis. Generally, construction costs are not allowed under DRL awards. For additional information, please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015.

D.6 Other

All application submissions must be made electronically via www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov. Both systems require registration by the applying organization. Please note: the Grants.gov registration process can take 10 business days or longer, even if all registration steps are completed in a timely manner.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that it has an active registration in GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov and that an application has been received by GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov in its entirety. DRL bears no responsibility for applicants not being registered before the due date or for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.

GrantSolutions.gov is highly recommended for submission of all applications and is DRL’s preferred choice for receiving applications.

Faxed, couriered, or emailed documents will not be accepted. Reasonable accommodations may, in appropriate circumstances, be provided to applicants with disabilities or for security reasons.
Applicants must follow all formatting instructions in the applicable solicitation and these instructions.

GrantSolutions.gov Applications

All applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications via www.grantsolutions.gov.
Applicants using GrantSolutions.gov for the first time should complete their “New Organization Registration” as soon as possible. This process must be completed before an application can be submitted. Registration with GrantSolutions.gov usually occurs directly after an applicant submits their registration. To register with GrantSolutions.gov, click “Login to GrantSolutions” and follow the “First Time Users” link to the “New Organization Registration Page.” There are different ways to register your organization, click on the link that fits best.

Upon completion of a successful electronic application submission, the GrantSolutions system will provide the applicant with a confirmation page indicating the date and time (Eastern Time) of the electronic application submission as well as an official Application Number. This confirmation page will also provide a listing of all items that constitute the final application submission. Please save this page for your records.

GrantSolutions.gov Help Desk:

For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays.

Grants.gov Applications

Applicants who do not submit applications via GrantSolutions.gov may submit via www.grants.gov. It is DRL’s preference that applications be submitted through GrantSolutions.gov.

Please be advised that completing all the necessary registration steps for obtaining a username and password from Grants.gov can take more than two weeks.

Please refer to the Grants.gov website for definitions of various “application statuses” and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from Grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days.

Grants.gov Helpdesk:

For assistance with Grants.gov, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

Should an applicant experience technical issues, contacted the applicable helpdesk, and is not receiving timely assistance (e.g. if you have not received a response after 2 days of contacting the helpdesk), you may contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G, who may assist in contacting the appropriate helpdesk but an applicant should document their efforts in contacting the help desk.

Also, applicants may contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if experiencing technical issues with grants.gov or grantsolutions.gov that may result in a late submission.

E. Application Review Information

E.1 Criteria

Evaluators will judge each application individually against the following criteria, listed below in order of importance, and not against competing applications.

Quality of Project Idea

Applications should be responsive to the NOFO, appropriate in the country/regional context, and should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to DRL’s mission of promoting human rights and democracy. DRL prioritizes innovative and creative approaches rather than projects that simply duplicate or add to efforts by other entities. This does not exclude projects that clearly build off existing successful projects in a new and innovative way from consideration. In countries where similar activities are already taking place, an explanation should be provided as to how new activities will not duplicate or merely add to existing activities and how these efforts will be coordinated.

Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives

A strong application will include a clear articulation of how the proposed project activities contribute to the overall project objectives, and each activity will be clearly developed and detailed. A comprehensive monthly work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and the logistical capacity of the organization. Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable results-focused and achievable in a reasonable time frame. A complete application must include a logic model to demonstrate how the project will have an impact on its proposed objectives. Applications should address how the project will engage relevant stakeholders and should identify local partners as appropriate. If local partners have been identified, DRL strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from proposed in-country partners. Additionally, applicants should describe the division of labor among the direct applicant and any local partners. If applicable, applications should identify target areas for activities, target participant groups or selection criteria for participants, and the specific roles of subawardees, among other pertinent details. In particularly challenging operating environments, applications should include contingency plans for overcoming potential difficulties in executing the original work plan and address any operational or programmatic security concerns and how they will be addressed.

Institution’s Record and Capacity

DRL will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Applications should demonstrate an institutional record of successful democracy and human rights projects, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives.

Inclusive Projecting

DRL strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most at risk and vulnerable populations, including women, youth, people with disabilities, members of racial and ethnic or religious minorities, and LGBTI persons. To the extent possible, applicants should identify and address considerations to support these populations in all proposed project activities and objectives, and should provide specific means, measures, and corresponding targets to include them as appropriate. Applicants should provide strong justifications if unable to incorporate the most at risk and vulnerable populations within proposed project activities and objectives. Applications that do not include this will not be considered highly competitive in this category.

Cost Effectiveness

DRL strongly encourages applicants to clearly demonstrate project cost-effectiveness in their application, including examples of leveraging institutional and other resources. However, cost-sharing or other examples of leveraging other resources are not required and do not need to be included in the budget. Inclusion in the budget does not result in additional points awarded during the review process. Budgets however should have low and/or reasonable overhead and administration costs and applicants should provide clear explanations and justifications for these costs in relation to the work involved. All budget items should be clearly explained and justified to demonstrate its necessity, appropriateness, and its link to the project objectives.

Please note: If cost-share is included in the budget then the recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs that are claimed as its contribution to cost-share, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. In the event the recipient does not meet the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the recipient’s budget, DRL’s contribution may be reduced in proportion to the recipient’s contribution.

Multiplier Effect/Sustainability

Applications should clearly delineate how elements of the project will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect will have an impact beyond the direct beneficiaries of the grant (e.g. participants trained under a grant go on to train other people, workshop participants use skills from a workshop to enhance a national level election that affects the entire populace). A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating continuing impact beyond the life of a project or garnering other donor support after DRL funding ceases.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Complete applications will include a detailed plan (both a narrative and table) of how the project’s progress and impact will be monitored and evaluated throughout the project. Incorporating a well-designed monitoring and evaluation component into a project is one of the most efficient methods of documenting the progress and results (intended and unintended) of a project. Applications should demonstrate the capacity to provide objectives with measurable outputs and outcomes and engage in robust monitoring and assessment of project activities.

The quality of the M&E plan will be judged on the narrative explaining how both monitoring and evaluation will be carried out, who will be responsible for those related activities. Projects that are at least 24 months or more than $500,000 are strongly encouraged to include an external mid-term and/or final evaluation. Explain how an external evaluation (mid-term and/or final) will be incorporated into the project implementation plan or how the project will be systematically assessed in absence of one. Please see DRL’s PSI for Applicants, updated in July 2015, for more information on what is required in the narrative.

The M&E plan will also be rated on the M&E performance indicator table. The output and outcome-based performance indicators should not only be separated by project objectives but also should match the objectives, outcomes, and outputs detailed in the logic model. Performance indicators should be clearly defined (i.e., explained how the indicators will be measured and reported) either within the table or with a separate Performance Indicator Reference Sheet (PIRS). For each performance indicator, the table should also include baselines and yearly and cumulative targets, data collection tools, data sources, types of data disaggregation, and frequency of monitoring and evaluation; There should also be metrics to capture how project activities target the most at risk and vulnerable populations or addresses their concerns, where applicable.

E.2 Review and Selection Process

DRL strives to ensure each application receives a balanced evaluation by a DRL Review Panel. The Department’s Office of Acquisitions Management (AQM) will determine technical eligibility for all applications. All applications for a given solicitation are then reviewed against the same seven criteria, which includes quality of project idea, project planning/ability to achieve objectives, institution’s record and capacity, inclusive programming, cost effectiveness, multiplier effect/sustainability, and project monitoring and evaluation.

In most cases, the DRL Review Panel includes representatives from DRL, the appropriate Department of State regional bureau (which includes feedback from US embassies), as well as U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (which includes feedback from USAID missions).

In some cases, additional panelists may participate, including from other Department of State bureaus or offices, U.S. government departments, agencies, or boards, representatives from partner governments, or representatives from entities that are in a public-private partnership with DRL. At the end of discussion on an application, the Panel votes on recommending the application for approval by the DRL Assistant Secretary. If more applications are ultimately recommended for approval than DRL has funding available for, the Panel will rank the recommended applications in priority order for consideration by the DRL Assistant Secretary. The Grants Officer Representative (GOR) for the eventual award does not vote on the panel. All Panelists must sign non-disclosure agreements and conflicts of interest agreements.

DRL Review Panels may provide conditions and recommendations on applications to enhance the proposed project, which must be addressed by the applicant before further consideration of the award. To ensure effective use of DRL funds, conditions or recommendations may include requests to increase, decrease, clarify, and/or justify costs and project activities.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

F.1 Federal Award Notices

DRL will provide a separate notification to applicants on the result of their applications. Successful applicants will receive a letter electronically via email requesting that the applicant respond to panel conditions and recommendations. This notification is not an authorization to begin activities and does not constitute formal approval or a funding commitment.

Final approval is contingent on the applicant successfully responding to the panel’s conditions and recommendations, being registered in required systems, including the U.S. government’s Payment Management System (PMS), unless an exemption is provided, and completing and providing any additional documentation requested by DRL or AQM. Final approval is also contingent on Congressional notification requirements being met and final review and approval by the Department’s warranted grants officer.

The notice of Federal award signed by the Department’s warranted grants officers is the sole authorizing document. If awarded, the notice of Federal award will be provided to the applicant’s designated Authorizing Official via GrantSolutions to be electronically counter-signed in the system.

F.2 Administrative and National Policy Requirements

The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards set forth in 2 CFR Chapter 200 (Sub-Chapters A through F) shall apply to all non-Federal entities, except for assistance awards to Individuals and Foreign Public Entities (for more information on these exceptions, see Chapters 5, Federal Assistance to Individuals, and 6, Federal Assistance to Foreign Public Entities Directive.) Sub-Chapters A through E shall apply to all foreign organizations, and Sub-Chapters A through D shall apply to all U.S. and foreign for-profit entities.

The applicant/recipient of the award and any sub-recipient under the award must comply with all applicable terms and conditions, in addition to the assurance and certifications made part of the Notice of Award. The Department’s Standard Terms and Conditions can be viewed at https://www.statebuy.state.gov/fa/Documents/2015DeptTermsAndConditionsForUSandForeignOrg.pdf.

F.3 Reporting

Applicants should be aware that DRL awards will require that all reports (financial and progress) are uploaded to the grant file in GrantSolutions on a quarterly basis. The Federal Financial Report (FFR or SF-425) is the required form for the financial reports and must be submitted in PMS as well as downloaded and then uploaded to the grant file in GrantSolutions. The progress reports uploaded to the grant file in GrantSolutions must include page one (signed and completed) of the SF-PPR (Performance and Progress Report); a narrative attachment to the SF-PPR as described below; and the SF-PPR-B: Project Indicators (or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the grants officer) for the F Framework indicators.

Narrative progress reports should reflect the focus on measuring the project’s impact on the overarching objectives and should be compiled according to the objectives, outcomes, and outputs as outlined in the award’s Scope of Work (SOW) and in the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Statement. An assessment of the overall project’s impact should be included in each progress report.

Where relevant, progress reports should include the following sections:

• Relevant contextual information (limited);

• Explanation and evaluation of significant activities of the reporting period and how the activities reflect progress toward achieving objectives, including meeting benchmarks/targets as set in the M&E plan. In addition, attach the M&E plan, comparing the target and actual numbers for the indicators;

• Any tangible impact or success stories from the project, when possible;

• Copy of mid-term and/or final evaluation report(s) conducted by an external evaluator; if applicable;

• Relevant supporting documentation or products related to the project activities (such as articles, meeting lists and agendas, participant surveys, photos, manuals, etc.) as separate attachments;

• Description of how the Recipient is pursuing sustainability, including looking for sources of follow-on funding;

• Any problems/challenges in implementing the project and a corrective action plan with an updated timeline of activities;

• Reasons why established goals were not met;

• Data for the required F Framework indicator(s) for the quarter as well as aggregate data by fiscal year using the SF-PPR-B: Project Indicators or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the Grants Officer. Evaluation indicators from the Foreign Assistance Framework can be found at http://www.state.gov/f/indicators/ ;

• Proposed activities for the next quarter;

• Additional pertinent information, including analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs, if applicable.

A final narrative and financial report must also be submitted within 90 days after the expiration of the award.

Please note: delays in reporting may result in delays of payment approvals and failure to provide required reports may jeopardize the recipients’ ability to receive future U.S. government funds.
DRL reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial project information during the award period.

G. Contact Information

For technical submission questions related to this solicitation, please contact Emma Friedheim at FriedheimER@state.gov.

For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays.

For assistance with Grants.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

For a list of federal holidays visit:
http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/#url=2015

With the exception of technical submission questions, during the solicitation period U.S. Department of State staff in Washington and overseas shall not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process has been completed and rejection and approval letters have been transmitted.

H. Other Information

Applicants should be aware that DRL understands that some information contained in applications may be considered sensitive or proprietary and will make appropriate efforts to protect such information. However, applicants are advised that DRL cannot guarantee that such information will not be disclosed, including pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or other similar statutes.

The information in this NOFO and DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, is binding and may not be modified by any DRL representative. Explanatory information provided by DRL that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the NOFO and negotiation of applications does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government. DRL reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the project evaluation requirements.

This NOFO will appear on www.grants.gov, www.grantsolutions.gov, and DRL’s website http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.

Background Information on DRL and general DRL funding

DRL is the foreign policy lead within the U.S. government on promoting democracy and protecting human rights globally. DRL supports projects that uphold democratic principles, support and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights, prevent atrocities, combat and prevent violent extremism, and build civil society around the world. DRL typically focuses its work in countries with egregious human rights violations, where democracy and human rights advocates are under pressure and where governments are undemocratic or in transition.

Additional background information on DRL and its efforts can be found on www.state.gov/j/drl and www.humanrights.gov.