Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), 70921-70926 [E7-24188]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 239 / Thursday, December 13, 2007 / Notices B. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement on Burden on Competition The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. C. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received from Members, Participants or Others mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES No written comments were solicited, or received, with respect to the proposed rule change, by NYSE Arca. the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File number SR–NYSEArca–2007–98 and should be submitted by January 3, 2008. IV. Commission’s Findings and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of the Proposed Rule Change After careful consideration, the Commission finds that the proposed III. Solicitation of Comments rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules Interested persons are invited to and regulations thereunder applicable to submit written data, views and a national securities exchange 22 and, in arguments concerning the foregoing, particular, the requirements of Section 6 including whether the proposed rule of the Act.23 Specifically, the change is consistent with the Act. Commission finds that the proposed Comments may be submitted by any of rule change is consistent with Section the following methods: 6(b)(5) of the Act,24 which requires, Electronic Comments among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be • Use the Commission’s Internet designed to promote just and equitable comment form (https://www.sec.gov/ principles of trade, to foster cooperation rules/sro.shtml); or and coordination with persons engaged • Send e-mail to rulein regulating, clearing, settling, comments@sec.gov. Please include File Number SR–NYSEArca–2007–98 on the processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in subject line. securities, to remove impediments to Paper Comments and perfect the mechanism of a free and • Send paper comments in triplicate open market and a national market to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, system, and, in general, to protect Securities and Exchange Commission, investors and the public interest. 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC The Commission finds good cause for 20549–1090. approving the proposed rule change prior to the 30th day after the date of All submissions should refer to File publication of the notice of filing thereof Number SR–NYSEArca–2007–98. This in the Federal Register. The proposal file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help the seeks to conform the Exchange’s rules for ELNs to the rules of the Amex that Commission process and review your have previously been approved by the comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will Commission.25 Therefore, the post all comments on the Commission’s Commission does not believe that the Exchange’s proposal raises any novel Internet Web site (https://www.sec.gov/ regulatory issues. The Commission rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the believes that accelerating approval of submission, all subsequent this proposal should benefit investors amendments, all written statements by creating, without undue delay, with respect to the proposed rule additional competition in the market for change that are filed with the ELNs. Commission, and all written communications relating to the Therefore the Commission finds good proposed rule change between the cause, consistent with Section 19(b)(2) Commission and any person, other than of the Act,26 to approve the proposed those that may be withheld from the rule change on an accelerated basis. public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be 22 In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has considered the proposed rule’s available for inspection and copying in impact on efficiency, competition, and capital the Commission’s Public Reference formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f). Room, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, 23 15 U.S.C. 78f. DC 20549, on official business days 24 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. 25 See Amex Rules 101 and 107; see also Amex Copies of such filing also will be Release, note 5 supra. 26 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2). available for inspection and copying at VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:22 Dec 12, 2007 Jkt 214001 PO 00000 Frm 00106 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 70921 V. Conclusion It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,27 that the proposed rule change, as amended (SR– NYSEArca–2007–98), be, and it hereby is, approved on an accelerated basis. For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.28 Florence E. Harmon, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. E7–24134 Filed 12–12–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 6025] Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: Global Connections and Exchange Program. Announcement Type: New Grant. Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/ PE/C/PY–08–13. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000. Key Dates: Application Deadline: February 8, 2008. Executive Summary: The Youth Programs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the Global Connections and Exchange program. Public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to administer the Global Connections and Exchange program in (1) Afghanistan and/or (2) the Palestinian Territories, West Bank only. The Bureau will award one grant for each program. The grantee organizations and/or their partners will select overseas schools and provide them with access to the Internet and related training to develop collaborative partnerships with U.S. schools. Thematic online projects will enhance mutual understanding as they encourage learning, research and free expression among participating schools. All Global Connections and Exchange activities will be undertaken in regular and consistent consultation with the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem respectively. Please note that all Global Connections Exchange activities in the Palestinian Territories must be carried out according to all relevant laws and 27 15 28 17 E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM U.S.C. 78s(b)(2). CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). 13DEN1 70922 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 239 / Thursday, December 13, 2007 / Notices policies regarding assistance to the Palestinian Authority, and to the West Bank and Gaza; organizations should consult with PAS—Jerusalem before entering into any formal arrangements or agreements with Palestinian organizations or institutions. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES I. Funding Opportunity Description Authority: Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87– 256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of the Act is ‘‘to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries * * * ; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations * * * and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.’’ The funding authority for the program above is provided through legislation. Purpose: The Global Connections and Exchange program is designed to introduce youth to a broad range of ideas and resources while enhancing the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in schools. Through this program, overseas secondary schools will expand computer literacy skills, improve general education, and gain a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture and values. American students will, in turn, gain a greater understanding of foreign languages and cultures. Goals: The overarching goals of the program are: (1) To use technology as a democratization tool by providing access to information and encouraging free expression via the Internet; (2) to improve educational tools, resources and learning through the application of ICT and student-centered methodology; (3) to provide participants with the necessary skills to enable them to apply for exchange and study opportunities in the United States and overseas; (4) to generate personal and institutional ties across borders among students, educators and their schools; (5) to promote civil society and youth activism through collaborative projects and online resources; (6) to increase understanding of the United States through teacher and student exchanges. The following outcomes will indicate a successful project: VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:10 Dec 12, 2007 Jkt 214001 • Participants will use the Internet as a source of information and means of communication. • Teachers will use technology to complement existing curricula, enhance daily lessons, and create a studentcentered classroom environment that enhances critical thinking and problem solving skills. • Participants will develop professional and congenial relationships with people living in different societies and cultures through online and face-toface interaction. • Participants will gain interest in foreign countries and languages, exchange programs and international issues. • Participants will increase their understanding of civil society and engage in service activities that benefit their communities. Guidelines: The two grants are intended to build on a network of schools that have benefited from participation in the program for the past few years. Information about the two programs can be found at the program Web sites: Afghanistan: https:// www.connect-afghanistan.org/ index.html; West Bank: https:// www.connect-middleeast.org/. Applicants should identify specific objectives and measurable outcomes based on program goals and project specifications provided in the solicitation. Should organizations wish to apply for more than one program, they must submit a separate proposal for each since the two programs will be judged independently. For both programs, applicants must demonstrate their capacity for conducting programs of this nature. This includes administrative infrastructure in the geographic areas and resources to link the foreign schools with schools in the United States to facilitate substantive online programs. The grants to be awarded under this competition will be based upon the quality and responsiveness of proposals to the review criteria presented later in this document. Sub-grant and consortium arrangements are possibilities. Applicants MUST refer to the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) guidelines for details. II. Award Information Type of Award: New Grant Agreement. Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2008. Approximate Total Funding: $350,000. Approximate Number of Awards: 2 grants, one for each program. PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Average Grant Award: Afghanistan: $150,000; West Bank: $200,000. Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, April 2008. Anticipated Project Completion Date: May 2009. Additional Information: Pending successful implementation of this program and the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years, it is ECA’s intent to renew grants awarded under this competition for at least two additional fiscal years, before openly competing it again. III. Eligibility Information III. 1. Eligible applicants: Applications may be submitted by public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3). III. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or maximum percentage required for this competition. However, the Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs. When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved grant agreement. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. For accountability, you must maintain written records to support all costs which are claimed as your contribution, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. The basis for determining the value of cash and in-kind contributions must be in accordance with OMB Circular A–110, (Revised), Subpart C.23—Cost Sharing and Matching. In the event you do not provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the approved budget, ECA’s contribution will be reduced in like proportion. III. 3. Other Eligibility Requirements: Bureau grant guidelines require that organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA anticipates awarding grants that exceed $60,000 to support program and administrative costs required to implement this program. Therefore, organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs. E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM 13DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 239 / Thursday, December 13, 2007 / Notices IV. Application and Submission Information mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Note: Please read the complete announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed. IV.1. Contact Information to Request an Application Package: Please contact The Office of Youth Programs, ECA/PE/ C/PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of State, SA–44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, telephone (202) 203–7513, and fax (202) 203–7529, email Linda Beach at BeachLF@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/PY–08–13 located at the top of this announcement when making your request. Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained from https://www.grants.gov. Please see section IV.3f for further information. The Solicitation Package contains the Proposal Submission Instruction (PSI) document, which consists of required application forms and standard guidelines for proposal preparation. It also contains the POGI, which provides specific information, award criteria and budget instructions tailored to this competition. Please specify Anna Mussman (MussmanAP@state.gov) and refer to the Funding Opportunity Number (ECA/PE/ C/PY–08–13) located at the top of this announcement on all other inquiries and correspondence. IV.2. To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet: The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau’s Web site at https://exchanges.state.gov/education/ rfgps/menu.htm, or from the Grants.gov Web site at https://www.grants.gov. Please read all information before downloading. IV.3. Content and Form of Submission: Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation Package. The original and seven (7) copies of the application should be sent per the instructions under IV.3e. ‘‘Application Deadline and Methods of Submissions’’ section below. IV.3a. You are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to apply for a grant or cooperative agreement from the U.S. Government. This number is a nine-digit identification number, which uniquely identifies business entities. Obtaining a DUNS number is easy and there is no charge. To obtain a DUNS number, VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:10 Dec 12, 2007 Jkt 214001 access https:// www.dunandbradstreet.com or call 1– 866–705–5711. Please ensure that your DUNS number is included in the appropriate box of the SF–424 which is part of the formal application package. IV.3b. All proposals must contain an executive summary, proposal narrative and budget. Please refer to the Solicitation Package. It contains the mandatory PSI and the POGI for additional formatting and technical requirements. IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application. If your organization is a private nonprofit which has not received a grant or cooperative agreement from ECA in the past three years, or if your organization received nonprofit status from the IRS within the past four years, you must submit the necessary documentation to verify nonprofit status as directed in the PSI document. Failure to do so will cause your proposal to be declared technically ineligible. IV.3d. Please take into consideration the following information when preparing your proposal narrative: IV.3d.1 Adherence to All Regulations Governing the J Visa. The Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is the official program sponsor of the exchange program covered by this RFGP, and an employee of the Bureau will be the ‘‘Responsible Officer’’ for the program under the terms of 22 CFR part 62, which covers the administration of the Exchange Visitor Program (J visa program). Under the terms of 22 CFR part 62, organizations receiving grants under this RFGP will be third parties ‘‘cooperating with or assisting the sponsor in the conduct of the sponsor’s program.’’ The actions of grantee program organizations shall be ‘‘imputed to the sponsor in evaluating the sponsor’s compliance with’’ 22 CFR part 62. Therefore, the Bureau expects that any organization receiving a grant under this competition will render all assistance necessary to enable the Bureau to fully comply with 22 CFR part 62 et seq. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs places critically important emphasis on the secure and proper administration of Exchange Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by grantee program organizations and program participants to all regulations governing the J visa program status. Therefore, proposals should explicitly state in writing that the applicant is prepared to assist the Bureau in meeting all requirements governing the administration of Exchange Visitor Programs as set forth in 22 CFR part 62. PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 70923 If your organization has experience as a designated Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor, the applicant should discuss their record of compliance with 22 CFR part 62 et seq., including the oversight of their Responsible Officers and Alternate Responsible Officers, screening and selection of program participants, provision of pre-arrival information and orientation to participants, monitoring of participants, proper maintenance and security of forms, record-keeping, reporting and other requirements. The Office of Citizen Exchanges of ECA will be responsible for issuing DS– 2019 forms to participants in this program. A copy of the complete regulations governing the administration of Exchange Visitor (J) programs is available at https://exchanges.state.gov or from: United States Department of State, Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD—SA–44, Room 734, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Telephone: (202) 203–5029, FAX: (202) 453–8640. IV.3.d.2 Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines. Pursuant to the Bureau’s authorizing legislation, programs must maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and representative of the diversity of American political, social, and cultural life. ‘‘Diversity’’ should be interpreted in the broadest sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, and disabilities. Applicants are strongly encouraged to adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program administration and in program content. Please refer to the review criteria under the ‘‘Support for Diversity’’ section for specific suggestions on incorporating diversity into your proposal. Public Law 104–319 provides that ‘‘in carrying out programs of educational and cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom and democracy,’’ the Bureau ‘‘shall take appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such countries.’’ Public Law 106–113 requires that the governments of the countries described above do not have inappropriate influence in the selection process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these goals in their program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible. IV.3d.3. Program Monitoring and Evaluation. Proposals must include a plan to monitor and evaluate the project’s success, both as the activities E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM 13DEN1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 70924 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 239 / Thursday, December 13, 2007 / Notices unfold and at the end of the program. The Bureau recommends that your proposal include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus a description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives. The Bureau expects that the grantee will track participants or partners and be able to respond to key evaluation questions, including satisfaction with the program, learning as a result of the program, changes in behavior as a result of the program, and effects of the program on institutions (institutions in which participants work or partner institutions). The evaluation plan should include indicators that measure gains in mutual understanding as well as substantive knowledge. Successful monitoring and evaluation depend heavily on setting clear goals and outcomes at the outset of a program. Your evaluation plan should include a description of your project’s objectives, your anticipated project outcomes, and how and when you intend to measure these outcomes (performance indicators). The more that outcomes are ‘‘smart’’ (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and placed in a reasonable time frame), the easier it will be to conduct the evaluation. You should also show how your project objectives link to the goals of the program described in this RFGP. Your monitoring and evaluation plan should clearly distinguish between program outputs and outcomes. Outputs are products and services delivered, often stated as an amount. Output information is important to show the scope or size of project activities, but it cannot substitute for information about progress towards outcomes or the results achieved. Examples of outputs include the number of people trained or the number of seminars conducted. Outcomes, in contrast, represent specific results a project is intended to achieve and is usually measured as an extent of change. Findings on outputs and outcomes should both be reported, but the focus should be on outcomes. We encourage you to assess the following four levels of outcomes, as they relate to the program goals set out in the RFGP (listed here in increasing order of importance): 1. Participant satisfaction with the program and exchange experience. 2. Participant learning, such as increased knowledge, aptitude, skills, and changed understanding and attitude. Learning includes both substantive (subject-specific) learning and mutual understanding. 3. Participant behavior, concrete actions to apply knowledge in work or community; greater participation and VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:10 Dec 12, 2007 Jkt 214001 responsibility in civic organizations; interpretation and explanation of experiences and new knowledge gained; continued contacts between participants, community members, and others. 4. Institutional changes, such as increased collaboration and partnerships, policy reforms, new programming, and organizational improvements. Please note: Consideration should be given to the appropriate timing of data collection for each level of outcome. For example, satisfaction is usually captured as a shortterm outcome, whereas behavior and institutional changes are normally considered longer-term outcomes. Overall, the quality of your monitoring and evaluation plan will be judged on how well it (1) specifies intended outcomes; (2) gives clear descriptions of how each outcome will be measured; (3) identifies when particular outcomes will be measured; and (4) provides a clear description of the data collection strategies for each outcome (i.e., surveys, interviews, or focus groups). (Please note that evaluation plans that deal only with the first level of outcomes [satisfaction] will be deemed less competitive under the present evaluation criteria.) Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. All data collected, including survey responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request. IV.3e. Please take the following information into consideration when preparing your budget: IV.3e.1. ECA will provide two awards under this competition: $150,000 for Afghanistan and $200,000 for the West Bank. Applicants must submit a proposal and comprehensive budget for each program. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns reflecting both administrative and program budgets. Applicants may provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase, location, or activity to provide clarification. IV.3e.2. Allowable costs for the program and additional budget guidance are outlined in detail in the POGI document. Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions. IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission: Application Deadline Date: February 8, 2008. Reference Number: ECA/PE/C/PY– 08–13. PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Methods of Submission Applications may be submitted in one of two ways: Methods of Submission: Applications may be submitted in one of two ways: 1. In hard-copy, via a nationally recognized overnight delivery service (i.e., DHL, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. Postal Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or 2. electronically through https:// www.grants.gov. Along with the Project Title, all applicants must enter the above Reference Number in Box 11 on the SF– 424 contained in the mandatory PSI of the solicitation document. IV.3f.1 Submitting printed applications. Applications must be shipped no later than the above deadline. Delivery services used by applicants must have in-place, centralized shipping identification and tracking systems that may be accessed via the Internet and delivery people who are identifiable by commonly recognized uniforms and delivery vehicles. Proposals shipped on or before the above deadline but received at ECA more than seven days after the deadline will be ineligible for further consideration under this competition. Proposals shipped after the established deadlines are ineligible for consideration under this competition. ECA will not notify you upon receipt of application. It is each applicant’s responsibility to ensure that each package is marked with a legible tracking number and to monitor/confirm delivery to ECA via the Internet. Delivery of proposal packages may not be made via local courier service or in person for this competition. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Only proposals submitted as stated above will be considered. Important note: When preparing your submission please make sure to include one extra copy of the completed SF–424 form and place it in an envelope addressed to ‘‘ECA/ EX/PM’’. The original and eight (8) copies of the application should be sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA–44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C/PY–08–13, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. Applicants submitting hard-copy applications must also submit the ‘‘Executive Summary’’ and ‘‘Proposal Narrative’’ sections of the proposal in text (.txt) or Microsoft Word format on a PC-formatted disk. The Bureau will provide these files electronically to the E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM 13DEN1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 239 / Thursday, December 13, 2007 / Notices Public Affairs Sections at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul or the Jerusalem Consulate General for review. IV.3f.2—Submitting electronic applications. Applicants have the option of submitting proposals electronically through Grants.gov (https://www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation packages are available at Grants.gov in the ‘‘Find’’ portion of the system. Please follow the instructions available in the ‘Get Started’ portion of the site (https://www.grants.gov/ GetStarted). Several of the steps in the Grants.gov registration process could take several weeks. Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate staff within their organizations immediately after reviewing this RFGP to confirm or determine their registration status with Grants.gov. Once registered, the amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors including the size of the application and the speed of your internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. Direct all questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission to: Grants.gov Customer Support, Contact Center Phone: 800–518–4726, Business Hours: Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Eastern Time, E-mail: support@grants.gov. Applicants have until midnight (12 a.m.), Washington, DC time of the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been uploaded to the Grants.gov site. There are no exceptions to the above deadline. Applications uploaded to the site after midnight of the application deadline date will be automatically rejected by the grants.gov system, and will be technically ineligible. Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. ECA will not notify you upon receipt of electronic applications. It is the responsibility of all applicants submitting proposals via the Grants.gov web portal to ensure that proposals have been received by Grants.gov in their entirety, and ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes. IV.3g. Intergovernmental Review of Applications: Executive Order 12372 does not apply to this program. V. Application Review Information V.1. Review Process VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:10 Dec 12, 2007 Jkt 214001 The Bureau will review all proposals for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public Diplomacy section overseas, where appropriate. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of the Department of State’s Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards (grants) resides with the Bureau’s Grants Officer. Review Criteria 1. Program Planning/Ability To Achieve Program Objectives: Proposals should exhibit originality, substance, and relevance to the Bureau’s mission. A detailed agenda and relevant work plan should explain how objectives will be achieved and should include a timetable for completion of major tasks. Reviewers will assess the degree in which proposals engage American and overseas participants in collaborative projects, including those that focus on foreign languages, civil society and American studies, including English. With respect to anticipated program outcomes, reviewers will assess the degree to which the proposed outcomes of the project are realistic and measurable. 2. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive support of the Bureau’s policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant features should be cited in both program administration (selection of participants, host families, schools, program venue and program evaluation) and program content (orientations, program meetings, resource materials and follow-up activities). 3. Organization’s Record/Institutional Capacity: Reviewers will assess the applicant and its partners to determine if they offer adequate resources, expertise, and experience to fulfill program objectives. Applicants should demonstrate knowledge of each country’s educational environment and the capacity to recruit and retain U.S. schools. Partner activities should be clearly defined. Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting and J–1 Visa requirements PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 70925 for past Bureau grants as determined by Bureau Grant Staff. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. 4. Multiplier Effect: Proposed programs should strengthen long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of information and establishment of institutional and individual linkages. Applicants should detail how participants will share newly -acquired knowledge and skills with others. 5. Project Monitoring and Evaluation: Proposals must include a plan to monitor the activity’s success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of the program. The evaluation plan should show a clear link between program objectives and expected outcomes, and should include a description of performance indicators and measurement tools. Applicants should provide draft questionnaires or other techniques for use in surveying schools/participants to facilitate the demonstration of results. 6. Follow-On and Sustainability: Proposals should provide a strategy for the continuation of the schools’ capacity to implement Internet access and online linkages without the Bureau’s financial support. 7. Cost-effectiveness/Cost Sharing: Reviewers will analyze the budget for clarity and cost-effectiveness. They will also assess the rationale of the proposed budget and whether the allocation of funds is appropriate to complete tasks outlined in the project narrative. The overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All other items should be necessary and appropriate. Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding contributions. Preference will be given to organizations whose proposals demonstrate a quality, cost-effective program. VI. Award Administration Information VI.1a. Award Notice: Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures. Successful applicants will receive an Assistance Award Document (AAD) from the Bureau’s Grants Office. The AAD and the original grant proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the only binding authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. Government. The AAD will be signed by an authorized E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM 13DEN1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 70926 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 239 / Thursday, December 13, 2007 / Notices Grants Officer, and mailed to the recipient’s responsible officer identified in the application. Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification of the results of the application review from the ECA program office coordinating this competition. VI.1b The following additional requirements apply to this project: For Assistance Awards involving the Palestinian Authority: All awards made under this competition must be executed according to all relevant laws and policies regarding assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Organizations should consult with relevant Public Affairs Offices before entering into any formal arrangements or agreements with Palestinian organizations or institutions. VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: Terms and Conditions for the Administration of ECA agreements include the following: Office of Management and Budget Circular A–122, ‘‘Cost Principles for Nonprofit Organizations.’’ Office of Management and Budget Circular A–21, ‘‘Cost Principles for Educational Institutions.’’ OMB Circular A–87, ‘‘Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Governments’’. OMB Circular No. A–110 (Revised), Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations. OMB Circular No. A–102, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments. OMB Circular No. A–133, Audits of States, Local Government, and Nonprofit Organizations. Please reference the following websites for additional information: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants. https://exchanges.state.gov/education/ grantsdiv/terms.htm#articleI. VI.3. Reporting Requirements: You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus one copy of the following reports: 1. A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award; 2. One interim program report 3. Financial reports 4. Quarterly newsletters that highlight program activities and successes are strongly recommended. Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. (Please refer to IV. Application and Submission Instructions (IV.3.d.3) above for Program Monitoring and Evaluation information. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:10 Dec 12, 2007 Jkt 214001 All data collected, including survey responses and contact information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the Bureau upon request. All reports must be sent to the ECA Grants Officer and ECA Program Officer listed in the final assistance award document. VI.4. Program Data Requirements: Organizations awarded grants will be required to maintain specific data on program participants and activities in an electronically accessible database format that can be shared with the Bureau as required. VII. Agency Contacts For questions about this announcement, contact: Anna Mussman, Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C/PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of State, SA–44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. Telephone: (202) 203–7506 Fax number: (202) 203–7529, Internet address: MussmanAP@state.gov. All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/PE/C/ PY–08–13. Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed. VIII. Other Information Notice: The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements per section VI.3 above. Dated: December 5, 2007. C. Miller Crouch, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affair, Department of State. [FR Doc. E7–24188 Filed 12–12–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P PO 00000 Frm 00111 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Fifth Meeting, Special Committee 215 Aeronautical Mobile Satellite (Route) Services Next Generation Satellite Services and Equipment Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of RTCA Special Committee 215, Aeronautical Mobile Satellite (Route) Services, Next Generation Satellite Services and Equipment. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public of a second meeting of RTCA Special Committee 215, Aeronautical Mobile Satellite (Route) Services, Next Generation Satellite Services and Equipment. DATES: The meeting will be held January 22–23, 2007, at 9 a.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at Continental Airlines, 600 Jefferson Street, Concourse Level—Training Room C, Houston, TX 77002. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: RTCA Secretariat, 1828 L Street, NW., Suite 805, Washington, DC 20036; telephone (202) 833–9339; fax (202) 833–9434; Web site https://www.rtca.org for directions. POC: Mr. David Pitoniak, Phone: 713–324–3907. Note: Dress is Business Casual. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act Pub. L. 92– 463, 5 U.S.C., Appendix 2), notice is hereby given for a Special Committee 215 meeting. The agenda will include: • January 22: • Opening Plenary Session (Welcome, Introductions, and Administrative Remarks, Review and Approval of Agenda for Fifth Plenary. • Review and Approval of Fourth Meeting Summary (215–045; RTCA Paper No. 295–07/SC215–011). • Review of Action List Outstanding Actions. • DO–262 Normative Appendix. • Report from DO–262 Working Groups. • Review and Discussion of Remaining Sections. • DO–270—Normative Appendix. • Overview of Approach for Normative Appendix. • Review of DO–270 Normative Appendix. • Closing Plenary Session (Other Business, Schedule Next Plenary Meeting, Adjourn—Wednesday, January 23, 2007; 12 noon). Attendance is open to the interested public but limited to space availability. E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM 13DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 239 (Thursday, December 13, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 70921-70926]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-24188]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 6025]


Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)

    Request for Grant Proposals: Global Connections and Exchange 
Program.
    Announcement Type: New Grant.
    Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C/PY-08-13.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000.
    Key Dates:
    Application Deadline: February 8, 2008.
    Executive Summary: The Youth Programs Division of the Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the 
Global Connections and Exchange program. Public and private non-profit 
organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code 
section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to administer the 
Global Connections and Exchange program in (1) Afghanistan and/or (2) 
the Palestinian Territories, West Bank only. The Bureau will award one 
grant for each program. The grantee organizations and/or their partners 
will select overseas schools and provide them with access to the 
Internet and related training to develop collaborative partnerships 
with U.S. schools. Thematic online projects will enhance mutual 
understanding as they encourage learning, research and free expression 
among participating schools. All Global Connections and Exchange 
activities will be undertaken in regular and consistent consultation 
with the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and 
the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem respectively. Please note that all 
Global Connections Exchange activities in the Palestinian Territories 
must be carried out according to all relevant laws and

[[Page 70922]]

policies regarding assistance to the Palestinian Authority, and to the 
West Bank and Gaza; organizations should consult with PAS--Jerusalem 
before entering into any formal arrangements or agreements with 
Palestinian organizations or institutions.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Authority: Overall grant making authority for this program is 
contained in the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, 
Public Law 87-256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. 
The purpose of the Act is ``to enable the Government of the United 
States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the 
United States and the people of other countries * * * ; to strengthen 
the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the 
educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of 
the people of the United States and other nations * * * and thus to 
assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful 
relations between the United States and the other countries of the 
world.'' The funding authority for the program above is provided 
through legislation.
    Purpose: The Global Connections and Exchange program is designed to 
introduce youth to a broad range of ideas and resources while enhancing 
the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in schools. 
Through this program, overseas secondary schools will expand computer 
literacy skills, improve general education, and gain a deeper 
understanding of U.S. society, culture and values. American students 
will, in turn, gain a greater understanding of foreign languages and 
cultures.
    Goals: The overarching goals of the program are: (1) To use 
technology as a democratization tool by providing access to information 
and encouraging free expression via the Internet; (2) to improve 
educational tools, resources and learning through the application of 
ICT and student-centered methodology; (3) to provide participants with 
the necessary skills to enable them to apply for exchange and study 
opportunities in the United States and overseas; (4) to generate 
personal and institutional ties across borders among students, 
educators and their schools; (5) to promote civil society and youth 
activism through collaborative projects and online resources; (6) to 
increase understanding of the United States through teacher and student 
exchanges.
    The following outcomes will indicate a successful project:
     Participants will use the Internet as a source of 
information and means of communication.
     Teachers will use technology to complement existing 
curricula, enhance daily lessons, and create a student-centered 
classroom environment that enhances critical thinking and problem 
solving skills.
     Participants will develop professional and congenial 
relationships with people living in different societies and cultures 
through online and face-to-face interaction.
     Participants will gain interest in foreign countries and 
languages, exchange programs and international issues.
     Participants will increase their understanding of civil 
society and engage in service activities that benefit their 
communities.
    Guidelines: The two grants are intended to build on a network of 
schools that have benefited from participation in the program for the 
past few years. Information about the two programs can be found at the 
program Web sites: Afghanistan: https://www.connect-afghanistan.org/
index.html; West Bank: https://www.connect-middleeast.org/.
    Applicants should identify specific objectives and measurable 
outcomes based on program goals and project specifications provided in 
the solicitation. Should organizations wish to apply for more than one 
program, they must submit a separate proposal for each since the two 
programs will be judged independently.
    For both programs, applicants must demonstrate their capacity for 
conducting programs of this nature. This includes administrative 
infrastructure in the geographic areas and resources to link the 
foreign schools with schools in the United States to facilitate 
substantive online programs.
    The grants to be awarded under this competition will be based upon 
the quality and responsiveness of proposals to the review criteria 
presented later in this document. Sub-grant and consortium arrangements 
are possibilities.
    Applicants MUST refer to the Project Objectives, Goals and 
Implementation (POGI) guidelines for details.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: New Grant Agreement.
    Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2008.
    Approximate Total Funding: $350,000.
    Approximate Number of Awards: 2 grants, one for each program.
    Average Grant Award: Afghanistan: $150,000; West Bank: $200,000.
    Anticipated Award Date: Pending availability of funds, April 2008.
    Anticipated Project Completion Date: May 2009.
    Additional Information: Pending successful implementation of this 
program and the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years, it is 
ECA's intent to renew grants awarded under this competition for at 
least two additional fiscal years, before openly competing it again.

III. Eligibility Information

    III. 1. Eligible applicants: Applications may be submitted by 
public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions 
described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3).
    III. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or 
maximum percentage required for this competition. However, the Bureau 
encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and 
funding in support of its programs.
    When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the 
applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its 
proposal and later included in an approved grant agreement. Cost 
sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. For 
accountability, you must maintain written records to support all costs 
which are claimed as your contribution, as well as costs to be paid by 
the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. The basis 
for determining the value of cash and in-kind contributions must be in 
accordance with OMB Circular A-110, (Revised), Subpart C.23--Cost 
Sharing and Matching. In the event you do not provide the minimum 
amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the approved budget, ECA's 
contribution will be reduced in like proportion.
    III. 3. Other Eligibility Requirements: Bureau grant guidelines 
require that organizations with less than four years experience in 
conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau 
funding. ECA anticipates awarding grants that exceed $60,000 to support 
program and administrative costs required to implement this program. 
Therefore, organizations with less than four years experience in 
conducting international exchanges are ineligible to apply under this 
competition. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels 
of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.

[[Page 70923]]

IV. Application and Submission Information

    Note: Please read the complete announcement before sending 
inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has 
passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with 
applicants until the proposal review process has been completed.

    IV.1. Contact Information to Request an Application Package: Please 
contact The Office of Youth Programs, ECA/PE/C/PY, Room 568, U.S. 
Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, 
telephone (202) 203-7513, and fax (202) 203-7529, e-mail Linda Beach at 
BeachLF@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to 
the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/PY-08-13 located at the top of 
this announcement when making your request.
    Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained 
from https://www.grants.gov. Please see section IV.3f for further 
information.
    The Solicitation Package contains the Proposal Submission 
Instruction (PSI) document, which consists of required application 
forms and standard guidelines for proposal preparation.
    It also contains the POGI, which provides specific information, 
award criteria and budget instructions tailored to this competition.
    Please specify Anna Mussman (MussmanAP@state.gov) and refer to the 
Funding Opportunity Number (ECA/PE/C/PY-08-13) located at the top of 
this announcement on all other inquiries and correspondence.
    IV.2. To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet: The entire 
Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's Web site at 
https://exchanges.state.gov/education/rfgps/menu.htm, or from the 
Grants.gov Web site at https://www.grants.gov. Please read all 
information before downloading.
    IV.3. Content and Form of Submission: Applicants must follow all 
instructions in the Solicitation Package. The original and seven (7) 
copies of the application should be sent per the instructions under 
IV.3e. ``Application Deadline and Methods of Submissions'' section 
below.
    IV.3a. You are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal 
Numbering System (DUNS) number to apply for a grant or cooperative 
agreement from the U.S. Government. This number is a nine-digit 
identification number, which uniquely identifies business entities. 
Obtaining a DUNS number is easy and there is no charge. To obtain a 
DUNS number, access https://www.dunandbradstreet.com or call 1-866-705-
5711. Please ensure that your DUNS number is included in the 
appropriate box of the SF-424 which is part of the formal application 
package.
    IV.3b. All proposals must contain an executive summary, proposal 
narrative and budget. Please refer to the Solicitation Package. It 
contains the mandatory PSI and the POGI for additional formatting and 
technical requirements.
    IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of 
application. If your organization is a private nonprofit which has not 
received a grant or cooperative agreement from ECA in the past three 
years, or if your organization received nonprofit status from the IRS 
within the past four years, you must submit the necessary documentation 
to verify nonprofit status as directed in the PSI document. Failure to 
do so will cause your proposal to be declared technically ineligible.
    IV.3d. Please take into consideration the following information 
when preparing your proposal narrative:
    IV.3d.1 Adherence to All Regulations Governing the J Visa. The 
Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs is the official program sponsor of the exchange program covered 
by this RFGP, and an employee of the Bureau will be the ``Responsible 
Officer'' for the program under the terms of 22 CFR part 62, which 
covers the administration of the Exchange Visitor Program (J visa 
program). Under the terms of 22 CFR part 62, organizations receiving 
grants under this RFGP will be third parties ``cooperating with or 
assisting the sponsor in the conduct of the sponsor's program.'' The 
actions of grantee program organizations shall be ``imputed to the 
sponsor in evaluating the sponsor's compliance with'' 22 CFR part 62. 
Therefore, the Bureau expects that any organization receiving a grant 
under this competition will render all assistance necessary to enable 
the Bureau to fully comply with 22 CFR part 62 et seq.
    The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs places critically 
important emphasis on the secure and proper administration of Exchange 
Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by grantee program 
organizations and program participants to all regulations governing the 
J visa program status. Therefore, proposals should explicitly state in 
writing that the applicant is prepared to assist the Bureau in meeting 
all requirements governing the administration of Exchange Visitor 
Programs as set forth in 22 CFR part 62. If your organization has 
experience as a designated Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor, the 
applicant should discuss their record of compliance with 22 CFR part 62 
et seq., including the oversight of their Responsible Officers and 
Alternate Responsible Officers, screening and selection of program 
participants, provision of pre-arrival information and orientation to 
participants, monitoring of participants, proper maintenance and 
security of forms, record-keeping, reporting and other requirements.
    The Office of Citizen Exchanges of ECA will be responsible for 
issuing DS-2019 forms to participants in this program.
    A copy of the complete regulations governing the administration of 
Exchange Visitor (J) programs is available at https://
exchanges.state.gov or from:
    United States Department of State, Office of Exchange Coordination 
and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD--SA-44, Room 734, 301 4th Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20547, Telephone: (202) 203-5029, FAX: (202) 453-8640.
    IV.3.d.2 Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines. Pursuant to 
the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must maintain a non-
political character and should be balanced and representative of the 
diversity of American political, social, and cultural life. 
``Diversity'' should be interpreted in the broadest sense and encompass 
differences including, but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, 
religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, and disabilities. 
Applicants are strongly encouraged to adhere to the advancement of this 
principle both in program administration and in program content. Please 
refer to the review criteria under the ``Support for Diversity'' 
section for specific suggestions on incorporating diversity into your 
proposal. Public Law 104-319 provides that ``in carrying out programs 
of educational and cultural exchange in countries whose people do not 
fully enjoy freedom and democracy,'' the Bureau ``shall take 
appropriate steps to provide opportunities for participation in such 
programs to human rights and democracy leaders of such countries.'' 
Public Law 106-113 requires that the governments of the countries 
described above do not have inappropriate influence in the selection 
process. Proposals should reflect advancement of these goals in their 
program contents, to the full extent deemed feasible.
    IV.3d.3. Program Monitoring and Evaluation. Proposals must include 
a plan to monitor and evaluate the project's success, both as the 
activities

[[Page 70924]]

unfold and at the end of the program. The Bureau recommends that your 
proposal include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus a 
description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original 
project objectives. The Bureau expects that the grantee will track 
participants or partners and be able to respond to key evaluation 
questions, including satisfaction with the program, learning as a 
result of the program, changes in behavior as a result of the program, 
and effects of the program on institutions (institutions in which 
participants work or partner institutions). The evaluation plan should 
include indicators that measure gains in mutual understanding as well 
as substantive knowledge.
    Successful monitoring and evaluation depend heavily on setting 
clear goals and outcomes at the outset of a program. Your evaluation 
plan should include a description of your project's objectives, your 
anticipated project outcomes, and how and when you intend to measure 
these outcomes (performance indicators). The more that outcomes are 
``smart'' (specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and 
placed in a reasonable time frame), the easier it will be to conduct 
the evaluation. You should also show how your project objectives link 
to the goals of the program described in this RFGP.
    Your monitoring and evaluation plan should clearly distinguish 
between program outputs and outcomes. Outputs are products and services 
delivered, often stated as an amount. Output information is important 
to show the scope or size of project activities, but it cannot 
substitute for information about progress towards outcomes or the 
results achieved. Examples of outputs include the number of people 
trained or the number of seminars conducted. Outcomes, in contrast, 
represent specific results a project is intended to achieve and is 
usually measured as an extent of change. Findings on outputs and 
outcomes should both be reported, but the focus should be on outcomes.
    We encourage you to assess the following four levels of outcomes, 
as they relate to the program goals set out in the RFGP (listed here in 
increasing order of importance):
    1. Participant satisfaction with the program and exchange 
experience.
    2. Participant learning, such as increased knowledge, aptitude, 
skills, and changed understanding and attitude. Learning includes both 
substantive (subject-specific) learning and mutual understanding.
    3. Participant behavior, concrete actions to apply knowledge in 
work or community; greater participation and responsibility in civic 
organizations; interpretation and explanation of experiences and new 
knowledge gained; continued contacts between participants, community 
members, and others.
    4. Institutional changes, such as increased collaboration and 
partnerships, policy reforms, new programming, and organizational 
improvements.

    Please note: Consideration should be given to the appropriate 
timing of data collection for each level of outcome. For example, 
satisfaction is usually captured as a short-term outcome, whereas 
behavior and institutional changes are normally considered longer-
term outcomes.

    Overall, the quality of your monitoring and evaluation plan will be 
judged on how well it (1) specifies intended outcomes; (2) gives clear 
descriptions of how each outcome will be measured; (3) identifies when 
particular outcomes will be measured; and (4) provides a clear 
description of the data collection strategies for each outcome (i.e., 
surveys, interviews, or focus groups). (Please note that evaluation 
plans that deal only with the first level of outcomes [satisfaction] 
will be deemed less competitive under the present evaluation criteria.)
    Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their 
evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. All 
data collected, including survey responses and contact information, 
must be maintained for a minimum of three years and provided to the 
Bureau upon request.
    IV.3e. Please take the following information into consideration 
when preparing your budget:
    IV.3e.1. ECA will provide two awards under this competition: 
$150,000 for Afghanistan and $200,000 for the West Bank. Applicants 
must submit a proposal and comprehensive budget for each program. There 
must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns reflecting both 
administrative and program budgets. Applicants may provide separate 
sub-budgets for each program component, phase, location, or activity to 
provide clarification.
    IV.3e.2. Allowable costs for the program and additional budget 
guidance are outlined in detail in the POGI document.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.
    IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission:
    Application Deadline Date: February 8, 2008.
    Reference Number: ECA/PE/C/PY-08-13.
    Methods of Submission
    Applications may be submitted in one of two ways:
    Methods of Submission:
    Applications may be submitted in one of two ways:
    1. In hard-copy, via a nationally recognized overnight delivery 
service (i.e., DHL, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. 
Postal Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or
    2. electronically through https://www.grants.gov.
    Along with the Project Title, all applicants must enter the above 
Reference Number in Box 11 on the SF-424 contained in the mandatory PSI 
of the solicitation document.
    IV.3f.1 Submitting printed applications. Applications must be 
shipped no later than the above deadline. Delivery services used by 
applicants must have in-place, centralized shipping identification and 
tracking systems that may be accessed via the Internet and delivery 
people who are identifiable by commonly recognized uniforms and 
delivery vehicles. Proposals shipped on or before the above deadline 
but received at ECA more than seven days after the deadline will be 
ineligible for further consideration under this competition. Proposals 
shipped after the established deadlines are ineligible for 
consideration under this competition. ECA will not notify you upon 
receipt of application. It is each applicant's responsibility to ensure 
that each package is marked with a legible tracking number and to 
monitor/confirm delivery to ECA via the Internet. Delivery of proposal 
packages may not be made via local courier service or in person for 
this competition. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. 
Only proposals submitted as stated above will be considered.

    Important note: When preparing your submission please make sure 
to include one extra copy of the completed SF-424 form and place it 
in an envelope addressed to ``ECA/EX/PM''.

    The original and eight (8) copies of the application should be sent 
to:
    U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C/PY-08-13, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 
534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
    Applicants submitting hard-copy applications must also submit the 
``Executive Summary'' and ``Proposal Narrative'' sections of the 
proposal in text (.txt) or Microsoft Word format on a PC-formatted 
disk. The Bureau will provide these files electronically to the

[[Page 70925]]

Public Affairs Sections at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul or the Jerusalem 
Consulate General for review.
    IV.3f.2--Submitting electronic applications. Applicants have the 
option of submitting proposals electronically through Grants.gov 
(https://www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation packages are available 
at Grants.gov in the ``Find'' portion of the system. Please follow the 
instructions available in the `Get Started' portion of the site (http:/
/www.grants.gov/GetStarted).
    Several of the steps in the Grants.gov registration process could 
take several weeks. Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate 
staff within their organizations immediately after reviewing this RFGP 
to confirm or determine their registration status with Grants.gov. Once 
registered, the amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors including the size of the 
application and the speed of your internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to 
begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
    Direct all questions regarding Grants.gov registration and 
submission to:
    Grants.gov Customer Support, Contact Center Phone: 800-518-4726, 
Business Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Eastern Time, E-mail: 
support@grants.gov.
    Applicants have until midnight (12 a.m.), Washington, DC time of 
the closing date to ensure that their entire application has been 
uploaded to the Grants.gov site. There are no exceptions to the above 
deadline. Applications uploaded to the site after midnight of the 
application deadline date will be automatically rejected by the 
grants.gov system, and will be technically ineligible.
    Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail from grants.gov upon 
the successful submission of an application. ECA will not notify you 
upon receipt of electronic applications.
    It is the responsibility of all applicants submitting proposals via 
the Grants.gov web portal to ensure that proposals have been received 
by Grants.gov in their entirety, and ECA bears no responsibility for 
data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.
    IV.3g. Intergovernmental Review of Applications: Executive Order 
12372 does not apply to this program.

V. Application Review Information

    V.1. Review Process
    The Bureau will review all proposals for technical eligibility. 
Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the 
guidelines stated herein and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible 
proposals will be reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public 
Diplomacy section overseas, where appropriate. Eligible proposals will 
be subject to compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and 
guidelines and forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. 
Proposals may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by 
other Department elements. Final funding decisions are at the 
discretion of the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for 
Educational and Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for 
assistance awards (grants) resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.
    Review Criteria
    1. Program Planning/Ability To Achieve Program Objectives: 
Proposals should exhibit originality, substance, and relevance to the 
Bureau's mission. A detailed agenda and relevant work plan should 
explain how objectives will be achieved and should include a timetable 
for completion of major tasks. Reviewers will assess the degree in 
which proposals engage American and overseas participants in 
collaborative projects, including those that focus on foreign 
languages, civil society and American studies, including English. With 
respect to anticipated program outcomes, reviewers will assess the 
degree to which the proposed outcomes of the project are realistic and 
measurable.
    2. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive 
support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant 
features should be cited in both program administration (selection of 
participants, host families, schools, program venue and program 
evaluation) and program content (orientations, program meetings, 
resource materials and follow-up activities).
    3. Organization's Record/Institutional Capacity: Reviewers will 
assess the applicant and its partners to determine if they offer 
adequate resources, expertise, and experience to fulfill program 
objectives. Applicants should demonstrate knowledge of each country's 
educational environment and the capacity to recruit and retain U.S. 
schools. Partner activities should be clearly defined. Proposals should 
demonstrate an institutional record of successful exchange programs, 
including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all 
reporting and J-1 Visa requirements for past Bureau grants as 
determined by Bureau Grant Staff. The Bureau will consider the past 
performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new 
applicants.
    4. Multiplier Effect: Proposed programs should strengthen long-term 
mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of information and 
establishment of institutional and individual linkages. Applicants 
should detail how participants will share newly -acquired knowledge and 
skills with others.
    5. Project Monitoring and Evaluation: Proposals must include a plan 
to monitor the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at 
the end of the program. The evaluation plan should show a clear link 
between program objectives and expected outcomes, and should include a 
description of performance indicators and measurement tools. Applicants 
should provide draft questionnaires or other techniques for use in 
surveying schools/participants to facilitate the demonstration of 
results.
    6. Follow-On and Sustainability: Proposals should provide a 
strategy for the continuation of the schools' capacity to implement 
Internet access and online linkages without the Bureau's financial 
support.
    7. Cost-effectiveness/Cost Sharing: Reviewers will analyze the 
budget for clarity and cost-effectiveness. They will also assess the 
rationale of the proposed budget and whether the allocation of funds is 
appropriate to complete tasks outlined in the project narrative. The 
overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including 
salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. All other 
items should be necessary and appropriate. Proposals should maximize 
cost-sharing through other private sector support as well as 
institutional direct funding contributions. Preference will be given to 
organizations whose proposals demonstrate a quality, cost-effective 
program.

VI. Award Administration Information

    VI.1a. Award Notice:
    Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by 
Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures. 
Successful applicants will receive an Assistance Award Document (AAD) 
from the Bureau's Grants Office. The AAD and the original grant 
proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the 
only binding authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. 
Government. The AAD will be signed by an authorized

[[Page 70926]]

Grants Officer, and mailed to the recipient's responsible officer 
identified in the application.
    Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification of the results of 
the application review from the ECA program office coordinating this 
competition.
    VI.1b The following additional requirements apply to this project:
    For Assistance Awards involving the Palestinian Authority: All 
awards made under this competition must be executed according to all 
relevant laws and policies regarding assistance to the Palestinian 
Authority. Organizations should consult with relevant Public Affairs 
Offices before entering into any formal arrangements or agreements with 
Palestinian organizations or institutions.
    VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements:
    Terms and Conditions for the Administration of ECA agreements 
include the following:
    Office of Management and Budget Circular A-122, ``Cost Principles 
for Nonprofit Organizations.''
    Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21, ``Cost Principles 
for Educational Institutions.'' OMB Circular A-87, ``Cost Principles 
for State, Local and Indian Governments''.
    OMB Circular No. A-110 (Revised), Uniform Administrative 
Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher 
Education, Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations.
    OMB Circular No. A-102, Uniform Administrative Requirements for 
Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments.
    OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Government, and 
Non-profit Organizations.
    Please reference the following websites for additional information: 
https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants. https://exchanges.state.gov/
education/grantsdiv/terms.htm#articleI.
    VI.3. Reporting Requirements: You must provide ECA with a hard copy 
original plus one copy of the following reports:
    1. A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after 
the expiration of the award;
    2. One interim program report
    3. Financial reports
    4. Quarterly newsletters that highlight program activities and 
successes are strongly recommended.
Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their evaluation 
findings to the Bureau in their regular program reports. (Please refer 
to IV. Application and Submission Instructions (IV.3.d.3) above for 
Program Monitoring and Evaluation information.
    All data collected, including survey responses and contact 
information, must be maintained for a minimum of three years and 
provided to the Bureau upon request. All reports must be sent to the 
ECA Grants Officer and ECA Program Officer listed in the final 
assistance award document.
    VI.4. Program Data Requirements:
    Organizations awarded grants will be required to maintain specific 
data on program participants and activities in an electronically 
accessible database format that can be shared with the Bureau as 
required.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For questions about this announcement, contact: Anna Mussman, 
Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C/PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of 
State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. Telephone: 
(202) 203-7506 Fax number: (202) 203-7529, Internet address: 
MussmanAP@state.gov. All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this 
RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/PE/C/PY-08-13.
    Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before 
sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has 
passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants 
until the proposal review process has been completed.

VIII. Other Information

    Notice:
    The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding and may 
not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information 
provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be 
binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment 
on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, 
revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of 
the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject 
to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements per section VI.3 
above.

    Dated: December 5, 2007.
C. Miller Crouch,
Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affair, 
Department of State.
 [FR Doc. E7-24188 Filed 12-12-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P