U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY YEREVAN PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION
NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY / SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM
Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Yerevan PAS Annual Program Statement
Deadline for Applications: Rolling Basis on Quarterly Review—Refer to Section V
CFDA Number: 19.040; 19.900; 19.025
Federal Agency Contact: Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Yerevan
I. Funding Opportunity Description
The U.S. Embassy Yerevan Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is accepting applications for the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and awarded pending funding availability. This is an Annual Program Statement outlining our funding priorities, strategic themes, and procedures for submitting proposals. Please follow all instructions below carefully.
Purpose of Small Grants: PAS Yerevan invites proposals for programs that strengthen cultural ties between the United States and Armenia, including cultural and exchange programs that highlight shared values and promote bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert(s), organization(s) or institution(s) in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy, culture, and perspectives.
Priority Program Areas
- Reinforce U.S. – Armenian Shared Values
- Advance Regional and Global Security
- Develop Media Capacity and Expand English Language Opportunities
- Strengthen Democracy and Civil Society
—Reinforce U.S. – Armenian Shared Values, by funding proposals which: promote U.S. culture, including music, dance, arts, film, sports, and education, and support human rights, social inclusion, entrepreneurship, youth outreach, and women’s empowerment.
—Advance Regional and Global Security, by funding proposals which: promote reconciliation and lasting partnerships between the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan and/or Turkey, including plans for continued cooperation after the project ends.
—Develop Media Capacity and Expand English Language Opportunities, by funding proposals which: train journalists and advance the use of new media tools, as well as expand English language learning and training opportunities for journalists, students, and youth.
—Strengthen Democracy and Civil Society, by funding proposals which: encourage transparency and accountability in governance, foster civic engagement and reforms, and promote democracy, trade and investment, rule of law, civic education, and entrepreneurship. Most projects of this nature are funded under the Democracy Commission and Alumni Outreach small grants.
Activities that are typically funded include, but are not limited to:
- bringing an American expert speaker or performer to Armenia;
- conferences on American themes or issues of mutual interest;
- exhibitions of works by Americans or on American themes;
- youth empowerment, leadership, and education programs;
- cultural programs, and particularly those that target underserved communities;
- radio, television, and social media programming in support of the above four objectives;
- exchange programs that support reconciliation with neighboring countries.
Activities that are not typically funded include, but are not limited to:
- ongoing salary costs;
- office equipment;
- paying to complete activities begun with other funds;
- projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns;
- citizen exchange programs with foreign countries;
- social welfare projects;
- political party activities;
- projects that support specific religious activities;
- scientific research;
- fundraising campaigns;
- commercial projects;
- trade activities; and
- projects aimed primarily at the institutional development of the organization.
Authorizing statutes for the funding opportunity are:
1) Fulbright-Hays Act, which allows the Department of State to use funds for the purpose of supporting international exchanges that address issues of mutual interest to the United States: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/iegps/fulbrighthaysact.pdf (PDF 88 KB)
2) Smith-Mundt Act which specifies the terms in which the United States government can engage global audiences: http://www.state.gov/pdcommission/library/177362.htm
3) Foreign Assistance Act, which promotes the foreign policy, security, and general welfare of the United States by assisting peoples of the world in their efforts toward economic development and internal and external security, and for other purposes. The Foreign Assistance Act is a United States Act of Congress.
II. Award Information
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement or Grant. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that PAS staff are more actively involved in proposal execution and anticipates having moderate to substantial involvement once the award has been made.
While the Public Affairs Section will consider proposals up to $50,000, projects that are smaller in scope are more likely to be awarded. Most grants selected are between $5,000 and $25,000. In rare circumstances, applications above $50,000 will be evaluated.
Applicants should carefully consider their budget requests and submit a budget commensurate with their project goals. The U.S. Embassy 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.
Project and Budget Periods: Local grants projects generally must be completed in one year or less. The Public Affairs Section will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards, beyond the initial budget period, on a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the applicants, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Department of State.
III. Eligibility Information:
The U.S. Embassy Yerevan encourages applications from all sectors: committed and organized civil-society organizations, local representatives of civil society, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and individuals. The majority of selected proposals will be from those registered and performing in Armenia; however, a limited number of proposals from U.S.-based organizations will be considered.
The U.S. Embassy Yerevan encourages applicants to provide cost-sharing from additional sources in support of this project. The U.S. Embassy also encourages projects that use highly skilled volunteers as an element of cost-sharing. Applications should explain clearly other likely sources of funding and how the volunteers will be used.
4. Application Submission and Deadline
Grant funds can be requested by Individuals or Organizations.
- Federal Assistance Application Standard Form 424 Individual
- Proposal and project description
- Detailed Budget plus budget narrative
All Organizations applying for grants must obtain these registrations which are free of charge:
- Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number): http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform
- NCAGE/CAGE code: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx
- SAM.gov registration
And also submit these forms:
- Federal Assistance Application Standard Form 424 which is available here:
- Proposal and project description
- Monitoring and Evaluation Plan
- Detailed Budget and budget narrative
PAS will not consider proposals which do not include all of the above components.
Proposals should be submitted via email to the U.S. Embassy at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Applications are accepted in English only, and final grant agreements will be concluded in English.
V. Review and Selection Process
U. S. Embassy Yerevan will accept proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year, and will review proposals on a quarterly basis subject to the availability of funds, on/around:
Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the following evaluation criteria. The criteria are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project, and to determine the likelihood of its success. The criteria are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application. Applications will be reviewed on the basis of their fullness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail:
- Organizational Capacity: The organization has expertise in its stated field, and the Embassy is confident of its technical capacity to undertake the project.
- Goals and Objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
- Embassy Priority:Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Yerevan’s priority areas.
- Sustainability: Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.
- Feasibility:Analysis of the project’s economic, organizational and technical feasibility. This is related to the project approach, budget items requested and technical/human resource capacity of the organization.
- Budget:The budget justification is both reasonable and realistic in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. Grants will be awarded to programs with the highest impact per dollar spent.
- Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:Applicant demonstrates ability to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The project includes a systematic recording and periodic analysis of selected information on the project activities.
Applicants must submit a full project description in accordance with the following instructions and the specified evaluation criteria. The instructions give a broad overview of what the project description should include, while the evaluation criteria provide details of more program-specific information that is needed.
Project Description: Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished. Account for all functions or activities identified in the application. Cite factors that might accelerate or decelerate the work and state reasons for taking the proposed approach rather than alternatives. Describe any unusual features of the project, such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement. Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the accomplishments to be achieved for each function or activity in such terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities accomplished. When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates. List those organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals who will work on the project, along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.
VI. Award Administration
Award Notices: The grant award or cooperative agreement shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The Grants Officer is the U.S. government official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants and cooperative agreements. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient. Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified in writing.
If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department of State.
Reporting Requirements: All awards issued under this announcement will require both program and financial reports on a frequency specified in the award agreement. The disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner. All other details related to award administration will be specified in award agreement as well. Final programmatic and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period. Progress reports at a minimum should be submitted via electronic mail to an address to be provided in the award.
Notice of Publicly Released Information: All federal grant awards—organization name and project title— will be published on the U.S. Embassy Yerevan’s website at the discretion of the Public Affairs Section.