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U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program

U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program

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Department of State – Embassy of the United States, Kazakhstan
Notice of Funding Opportunity

Program Office: Public Affairs Section, U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan
Funding Opportunity Title: The U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program
Announcement Type: Grant or Cooperative Agreement
Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-KAZ-NS-AEECA-20-001
Deadline for Applications: January 20, 2020 and March 9, 2020
(11:59 p.m. Nur-Sultan time)
CFDA: 19.900 – Assistance to Eastern Europe and Central Asia

For submission and specific questions about the Small Grants Program, please send your inquiries to SGP-Kazakhstan@state.gov, or contact a Senior Program Coordinator at +7 7172 70 22 17, Program Assistant at +7 7172 70 24 56 in Nur-Sultan and Grants Coordinator in Almaty +7 727 250 48 70.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program is designed to support civil society in Kazakhstan and advance the interests and will of Kazakhstani citizens. Applications may be submitted before one of two deadlines. Awards will be made on pending the availability of funds.

This program has two deadlines for submission of Application forms which are
1) 11:59 pm January 20, 2020 (Nur-Sultan time)
2) 11:59 pm March 9, 2020 (Nur-Sultan time)

Applications submitted by the first deadline have a greater likelihood of consideration while funding is available.

Due to the volume of applicants and inquiries, PAS does not accept letters of intent, concept papers, or requests for meetings prior to application.

This program will be funded under the appropriate Foreign Assistance Act authorization.

Project proposals must address one of the following themes:
1. Rule of law and legal reform;
2. Transparency in government and anti-corruption;
3. Anti-trafficking
4. Protection of human rights and promotion of tolerance;
5. Public education and advocacy (including civic education);
6. Minority rights;
7. Women’s empowerment;

Priority focus will be given to the following themes:
• Trafficking in persons (Anti-trafficking):
– Building capacity of responsible agencies to improve identification of labor victims (both foreign and domestic) of trafficking;
– Reintegration, rehabilitation and vocational training programs for victims of trafficking;
– Prevention of trafficking in persons by addressing the demand;
– Assistance and protection programs for foreign victims;

• Public Education and Advocacy: Air Quality Management:
– Emissions inventories, including using existing modeling techniques to conduct, publish, and implement outreach campaigns educating the public about actual sources of significant pollution, versus presumed sources;
– Outreach campaigns, highlighting the actual economic costs and benefits of improving air quality, focusing on economic and morbidity data.

Preference will be given to projects that engage in the following activities:
 Activities that will result in concrete outcomes (versus only discussions);
 Advocacy for solving societal issues;
 Development of proposals for legislative changes;

For all themes, priority will be given to projects that yield concrete results. Projects consisting solely of conferences or roundtable discussions are unlikely to be funded. Also, all things being equal, projects implemented in the regions (including rural areas), are preferable to those focusing only on Almaty, Nur-Sultan, or Shymkent.

FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement or Grant
Anticipated period of performance: 9-12 months
Number of awards anticipated: 15
Floor of Individual Award Amounts: $10,000
Ceiling of Individual Award Amounts: $50,000

The U.S. Embassy Kazakhstan Public Affairs Section reserves the right to award less or more than the funds described in the absence of worthy applications or under such other circumstances as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. Government.

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION:
– Non-governmental and/or non-profit and/or not for profit organizations registered in Kazakhstan are eligible for this program. Applications from organizations registered outside of Kazakhstan, commercial organizations, political groups carrying out partisan activities, and charity organizations will not be considered.
– Only one grant application may be submitted per one eligible organization.
– Organizations funded through the U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program during 2018 and 2019 are not eligible during 2020 cycle.
– In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a DUNS number (“unique entity identifier”), NCAGE code, and a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see attachments for information on how to obtain these registrations.

Grant funding can be used to support:
 Project-related salaries and honoraria including applicable taxes;
 In-country travel expenses directly related to the project;
 Supplies or equipment necessary for project implementation;
 Contracted services directly related to the project (for example: translation, design, web-design, printing, publishing of promotional materials, etc.).

Small Grants Program will not consider applications that include the following activities:
 Support for or lobbying on behalf of any political party;
 Religious activities;
 Strictly charitable or humanitarian activities;
 Theoretical research;
 Individual or group international travel grants;
 Alcohol, entertainment, or “miscellaneous” costs;
 Capital construction projects.

The maximum funding for each project this year is $50,000 with the average amount expected to be approximately $27,000.

Allowable and Unallowable Budget Items:
1. Grants may not provide for infrastructure needs that are not sustainable once grant funds are depleted.
2. Salaries, overhead, equipment, and other administrative expenses are allowable only as they relate to specific project activities. Salary or honoraria should be listed according to rate of pay and percentage of time spent on program-related activities. While salary expenses are permissible for indigenous personnel, payment of honoraria and other expenses for foreign experts will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
3. Funds may not be used to pay for travel to the United States or for travel grants. Projects involving regional travel will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and must have a clear justification outlining why the travel is integral to the project.
4. Funds may not be used to provide direct social services to populations.
5. Funds may not be used for alcohol, entertainment, or “miscellaneous/contingency” costs.
6. Funds may only be used for food expenses under special circumstances. When these costs cannot be supported by cost share, they should be clearly justified. This includes expenses associated with individual per diems for grant-related activities.

Cost Sharing or Matching
Inclusion of cost share is not a requirement of this opportunity. If cost share is proposed, it will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
Application Deadline
All applications must be received by the deadlines listed above. For the purposes of determining if an award is submitted on time, PAS will utilize the time-stamp provided by Grants.gov or the email time-stamp if submitted via email. This deadline is firm and is not a rolling deadline. If organizations fail to meet the deadline noted above their application will be considered ineligible and will not be considered for funding.

Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement will not be considered.

Application Submission Process: There are two submissions methods available to applicants. Applicants may submit their application using Submission Method A or Submission Method B outlined below.

• Submission Method A: Applications can be submitted by email to SGP-Kazakhstan@state.gov by one of two deadlines. Please indicate in the Subject Line: [Name of Organization]. Faxed, mailed, or hand delivered Grant Applications will not be accepted. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. Accepted applications will be given a certain application registration number via email.
• Submission Method B: Submitting all application materials through Grants.gov. For those opting to apply through Grants.gov, thorough instructions on the application process are available at http://www.grants.gov. For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or go to https://www.grants.gov/support.html. Please note that SGP-Kazakhstan@state.gov is unable to assist with technical questions or problems applicants experience with Grants.gov.
Applicants utilizing Grants.gov must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application. Registering with Grants.gov is a one-time process; however, it could take as long as two weeks to have the registration validated and confirmed. Please begin the registration process immediately to ensure that the process is completed well in advance of the deadline for applications. Until that process is complete, you will not be issued a user password for Grants.gov, which is required for application submission.

To submit an application, applicants must:

Step 1:
Apply for an UEI (DUNS) and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

Step 1a:
UEI (DUNS) application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, if your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting
http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do;jsessionid=81407B1F03F2BDB123DD47D19158B75F.
http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

Step 1b:
NCAGE application: Application page here (but need to click magnifying glass and then scroll down to click new registration) https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf
For help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423
For help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766
Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code. After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov/

Step 2:
Once DUNS and NCAGE are obtained, continue to SAM registration. www.SAM.gov

Step 3:
Once SAM registration is confirmed, continue to Grants.gov organization registration http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html organizations must maintain an active SAM registration (www.SAM.gov) with current information at all times during which they have an active Federal award or an application under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. SAM registration must be renewed annually.

Please note: Obtaining the DUNS number, NCAGE code, and registering in the SAM system can take up to four or more weeks to complete. We strongly encourage you to start this process as soon as possible, since we cannot review any projects that do not include DUNS numbers and completed SAM.gov registrations.

How to Submit an Application via Grants.gov
Grants.gov applicants can apply online using Workspace. Workspace is a shared, online environment where members of a grant team may simultaneously access and edit different webforms within an application. For each funding opportunity announcement (FOA), you can create individual instances of a workspace.

Please note: Obtaining the DUNS number, NCAGE code, and registering in the SAM system can take up to four or more weeks to complete. We strongly encourage you to start this process as soon as possible, since we cannot review any projects that do not include DUNS numbers and completed SAM.gov registrations.

For more information, go to www.grants.gov. Please note that your SAM registration must be annually renewed. Failure to renew your SAM registration may prohibit submission of a grant application through Grants.gov.

Proof of Submission
Applicants will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and a tracking number from Grants.gov with the successful transmission of their application. When PAS successfully retrieves the application from Grants.gov and acknowledges the download of submissions, Grants.gov will provide an electronic acknowledgment of receipt to the email address of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR).

If the applicant is submitting an application via email to SGP-Kazakhstan@state.gov, they can expect a confirmation of receipt from PAS within five working days. If the applicant does not receive an email confirmation in that time, they should contact SGP-Kazakhstan@state.gov to ensure the proposal was received.

Applications must be written and submitted in English.
Proposals may not exceed 10 pages in length in Times New Roman size 12 font.

Successful applications will:
 Describe the prospective organization’s capacity to perform the proposed project;
 Provide a clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed;
 Define the target audience;
 Include specific, measurable, attainable and time-framed project goals and objectives;
 Present a clear implementation plan of activities that clearly support the program goals;
 Present a strong media and information plan to include broader audiences and draw public attention through traditional and social media;
 Provide a compelling argument that the planned activities are realistic and achievable within suggested activity timelines;
 Include concrete and logical budget; include budgets calculated in U.S. dollars (with the total rounded to the nearest dollar), which are clearly linked to project activities in the proposal narrative. Budgets should show cost-sharing by the organization and third-party contributors if applicable.

The following documents are required:
• Mandatory application forms: Standard Forms 424 are available, along with guidance for completing these forms, at: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms.html under the heading, “SF-424 Family.”
a. SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) (PDF, 265 KB)
b. SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) (PDF, 322 KB)

• Applicant Organization Survey: Applicants must complete and submit the survey (Attachment 1). (DOC, 48 KB)

• Proposal (DOC, 2 MB) (10 pages maximum): Application form must follow the outline described below. Incomplete or differently formatted submissions will not be reviewed.
1. Contact information: name of the organization, DUNS number, BIN, and the name of the person responsible for submitting the application form and his or her title/position, contact information for both, including address, phone, email address.
2. Information about organization: Introduce the NGO. How sustainable is the NGO? What is the NGO’s experience implementing similar project? Please indicate any previously received grants from the U.S. Embassy.
3. Project Name: Short describing name of the project.
4. Project Justification: Why this project is needed for the certain region? Who will benefit from the proposed project? Describe the anticipated beneficiaries of your project, including estimated number and age range.
Grants for publication of materials should describe the intended audience, content, and method for distributing materials. Grants for seminars and workshops should describe the expected audience, content, and timeframe.
5. Goals and objectives: What specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-framed goals or objectives will result in realization of the strategic vision?
6. Implementation plan: What steps will you take to achieve your goals and objectives? What stakeholders in the public, private, and civil society sectors will you engage? What will be media and information plan to include broader audiences and draw public attention? List the cities/towns/communities where the project activities will take place.
7. Program Duration: When will the project begin and end? The length of the project in month.
8. Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
9. Project Outcomes: What outcomes do you expect? How it will impact the local community?
10. Sustainability: How will the proposed solution be sustained once this grant’s funding expires?
11. Detailed Budget: Present the budget in the form of a spreadsheet, in USD amounts, dividing the budget into the categories delineated in the application. Cost sharing is not required. However, the Recipient may present cost-sharing on voluntary basis. The absence of cost sharing will not in any way impact evaluation of the project. If the Recipient includes cost sharing in the project proposal, then the Recipient is accountable for providing additional funds and justifying the costs.
Budget narrative: Please explain your budget in narrative form, detail personnel duties, list names of trainers/moderators/experts and project staff and break down travel and lodging costs (i.e., how many people, how many overnights, cost per person per day).
12. Date of application

Attachments:
a. Budget Narrative (XLS, 30 KB) (please use our MS Excel template)
b. If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.
c. Official permission letters, if required for project activities

Please note:
1. The Embassy reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial information regarding the proposal, including:
• 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the project
• Letters of support should be included for sub-awardees or other partners. The letters must identify the type of relationship to be entered into (formal or informal), the roles and responsibilities of each partner in relation to the proposed project activities, and the expected result of the partnership. The individual letters cannot exceed 1 page in length.
• Copies of an organization or program audit within the last two (2) years
• Copies of relevant human resources, financial, or procurement policies
• Copies of other relevant organizational policies or documentation that would help the Department determine your organization’s capacity to manage a federal grant award overseas.

REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS
Criteria for evaluation: All proposals will be evaluated by the review panel on the below criteria:

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea: The program idea should be well developed, with sufficient detail about how project activities will be carried out. The proposals should demonstrate originality and outline clearly identified goals and target audiences. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline. The project scope is appropriate and clearly defined.

Budget: Concrete, detailed and logical budget. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities. The results and proposed outcomes justify the total cost of the project. Budget items are reasonable, allowable, and allocable.

Project Sustainability: Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.

Monitoring and Evaluation: The proposal should outline in detail how the activities will advance the program’s goals and objectives. A strong proposal will include the following:
• Any outputs and outcomes the grantee expects to occur because of their program. Outputs are direct actions or products that result from program activities, such as articles written, films shown, items produced, people trained, etc. Outcomes are program results such as: change in knowledge, awareness, and attitudes; improved quality of services; increased capacity at a school, group; etc.
• How the grantee will know those outputs and outcomes are occurring (surveys, interviews, observations, success stories, etc.). For example: If the program expects that a teacher-training program will improve the skills of a teacher, a proposal may explain the skills the teacher would gain and plan to perform a pre- and post-survey that would show a change in understanding as a result of the program. The proposal may also include a plan to collect teacher’s stories regarding how program participation effected them.
• A well-developed schedule of when grant activities will occur (such as participant selection, workshops, travel, lectures, trainings, etc.) and when the grantee will check the grant’s progress to know how it is performing. Results of those checks should be reported in the quarterly reports.
A plan to include the grantee’s reflection of how their program, as a whole, contributed to the program’s goals and objectives. As applicable, a strong final report would be supported by qualitative information such as success stories, behaviors changed, lessons learned, and results

Funding Instrument Type: Grant or Cooperative Agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that bureau/embassy staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation to provide support and technical expertise to the grantee.

Optional Elevator pitch: In addition to your application, you have the option to provide a video pitch. In no more than five minutes video, you can use this video to explain your project and why it should receive support from the U.S. Embassy, also known as an elevator pitch. If you’d like to submit the video, the link to a Cloud or YouTube video must be provided in your application. This video is not a requirement and will not factor into the official evaluation of your proposal. However, the video provides a chance to for you to showcase your work and give context to your written application package.

FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
Federal Award Notices
The Federal government is not obligated to make any Federal award as a result of the announcement. Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received. The U.S. government also reserves the right to make an award in excess of the award ceiling. If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding.

Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply. These include: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm

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