Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), 17741-17749 [E9-8745]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 72 / Thursday, April 16, 2009 / Notices For Assistance Awards Involving the Palestinian Authority, West Bank, and Gaza All awards made under this competition must be executed according to all relevant U.S. laws and policies regarding assistance to the Palestinian Authority, and to the West Bank and Gaza. Organizations must consult with relevant Public Affairs Offices before entering into any formal arrangements or agreements with Palestinian organizations or institutions. Note: To assure that planning for the inclusion of the Palestinian Authority complies with requirements, please contact Patricia Johnson (ECA/PE/V/C), Office of International Visitors, by e-mail JohnsonPA2@state.gov for additional information. 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 Web sites for additional information: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants http://exchanges.state.gov/education/ grantsdiv/terms.htm#articleI. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES VI.3. Mandatory Reporting Requirements Award recipients 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. This report must disclose cost sharing and be certified by the award recipient’s chief financial officer or an officer of comparable rank. (2) Quarterly financial reports within thirty (30) days following the end of the VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:47 Apr 15, 2009 Jkt 217001 calendar year quarter. These reports should itemize separately International Visitor costs, Voluntary Visitor costs, English Language Officer/Interpreter costs for International Visitors, English Language Officer/Interpreter costs for Voluntary Visitors, special project costs by projects, and administrative costs for the previous quarter on a cash basis. These reports should also list separately the number of English Language Officers/Interpreters accompanying International Visitors, and the number of English Language Officers/ Interpreters accompanying Voluntary Visitors for whom funds are expended. Quarterly financial reports must be certified by the award recipient’s chief financial officer or an officer of comparable rank. For further information, please refer to the Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI) document. (3) Providing ECA with Quarterly Projected Expenditure Reports: Due by the 15th day of the 3rd month of each quarter. These reports should indicate projections for the next quarter in the following categories: Grant Benefits: Regional Program Visitor Benefits (plus group enhancements, per diem and ground transportation), Voluntary Visitor Benefits (plus group enhancements, per diem and ground transportation), English Language Office/Interpreter Benefits (plus per diem and ground transportation), and Multi-Regional Projects (MRP group enhancements). Travel Manager Company (TMC): Regional/MRP Program domestic air travel, Voluntary Visitor domestic air travel and English Language Officers/Interpreter domestic air travel. Number of Visitors: Number of Regional/MRP Program Visitors, number of Voluntary Visitors, and number of English Language Officers/ Interpreters. The original hard copy of the reports should be sent to ECA/PE/ V/C—Patricia Johnson, who is responsible for Cooperative Agreement administration. The report should also be sent to JOHNSONPA2@state.gov. (4) Such operating, statistical, and financial information relating to the program as may be requested by the DoS to meet its reporting requirements and answer inquiries concerning the operation of the IVL Program, as stipulated in the FY 2010 Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation. (5) Reports analyzing evaluation findings should be provided to the Bureau in award recipient’s 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 must be maintained PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17741 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. VII. Agency Contacts For questions about this announcement, contact: Patricia Johnson, Office of International Visitors, Community Relations Division, Room 247, Reference Number ECA/PE/V–08– 01, U.S. Department of State, SA–44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, telephone 202–494–8714, fax 202–453–8631, or e-mail JohnsonPA2@state.gov. All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number ECA/PE/V– 10–01. 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. 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: April 9, 2009. C. Miller Crouch, Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. E9–8640 Filed 4–15–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 6585] Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: Youth Ambassadors Program With South America and Mexico Announcement Type: New Grants. Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/ PE/C/PY–09–51. E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 17742 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 72 / Thursday, April 16, 2009 / Notices Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.415. Application Deadline: May 28, 2009. Executive Summary: The Office of Citizen Exchanges, Youth Programs Division, of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announces an open competition for the Youth Ambassadors Program with Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the United States. 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 recruit and select youth and adult participants and to provide the participants with three-week exchanges focused on civic education, community service, and leadership along with follow-on projects in their home communities. For planning purposes, it is anticipated that exchange delegations will travel from all 13 countries to the United States, and U.S. exchange delegations will travel to six South American countries. 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, as amended, Public Law 87– 256, 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. Overview: This Youth Ambassadors Program enables youth (ages 15–18) and adult educators to participate in intensive, thematic, three-week exchange projects that are designed to promote high-quality leadership, civic responsibility, and civic activism among future leaders of their communities. Projects involve a practical examination of the principles of democracy and civil society and provide participants with training that allows them to develop their leadership skills. Participants engage in a variety of activities such as VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:47 Apr 15, 2009 Jkt 217001 workshops, community and schoolbased programs, seminars, and other activities that are designed to achieve the program’s stated goals. Multiple opportunities for participants to interact with American youth and educators are included. The goals of the program are: 1. To promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of South America and Mexico; 2. To prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities; 3. To significantly influence the attitudes of the leaders of a new generation; and 4. To foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups and create networks of hemispheric youth leaders, both within the participating countries and internationally. With the specific focus of this program, the following outcomes will indicate a successful project: • Participants will demonstrate a better understanding of the elements of a participatory democracy as practiced in the United States. • Participants will demonstrate critical thinking and leadership skills. • Participants will demonstrate skill at developing project ideas and planning a course of action to bring the projects to fruition. For each project, applicant organizations must focus on the primary themes of civic education (grassroots democracy and rule of law), leadership development, and community service. Secondary themes are the environment, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, business and entrepreneurship, or alternatives to violence. Secondary themes will be used as a tool to illustrate the more abstract concepts of the primary themes. For instance, the secondary theme of care for the environment can be used to examine youth leadership and community service through sessions with students who have founded a recycling club in their school or to examine grassroots democracy by meeting with citizens who have sought to have a county commission block development on environmentally sensitive land. Using the goals and the themes above, applicant organizations should identify their own specific objectives and measurable outcomes based on these program goals and the project specifications provided in this solicitation. PO 00000 Frm 00111 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Projects and Application Options The total amount of funding available is $3,000,000. ECA anticipates awarding approximately three grants. The Bureau intends to have exchange activity with all of 13 countries. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal project configurations and budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. Organizations may submit only one proposal under this competition. If multiple proposals are received from the same applicant, all submissions will be declared technically ineligible and will be given no further consideration in the review process. Applicant organizations may apply for one, two, or all three of the options outlined below. These options will allow applicants the flexibility to propose working with the countries in which they have the best infrastructure. The Bureau strongly urges organizations to limit their applications to the option(s) where they have the strongest institutional capacity in every country; this capacity must be thoroughly described in the proposal. Please note the funding range for each option. Option One: Southern Cone regional project (Project A). $900,000– $1,000,000. Option Two: Andean regional project (Project B) PLUS a single-country or joint project (one of Projects C through F below). $850,000–$1,000,000. Option Three: Three or four singlecountry projects or joint project (Projects C through G below). $750,000– $1,000,000. If an organization chooses Option Two or Option Three, please note that our intention is to have these projects conducted separately and distinctly from one another. If, however, an applicant proposes to conduct two or more projects at the same time, or connect them in some way, it should provide justification for doing so. The list below identifies the project name, the language in which the exchange will be conducted, the requested secondary themes (of which applicants choose one), and whether an exchange to the partner country by U.S. students and teachers is requested. Project A: Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay). Regional project. English. Secondary theme: Environment, Drug and alcohol abuse prevention, Business and entrepreneurship, or Alternatives to violence. U.S.-to-Chile and U.S.-toParaguay exchanges. Project B: Andean (Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru). Regional project. Spanish. E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 72 / Thursday, April 16, 2009 / Notices Secondary theme: Environment, Business and entrepreneurship, or Drug and alcohol abuse prevention. U.S.-to-Ecuador exchange. Project C: Colombia. Single-country project. English. Secondary theme: Drug and alcohol abuse prevention. Project D: Venezuela. Single-country project. English. Secondary theme: Environment, Drug and alcohol abuse prevention, or Business and entrepreneurship. Project E: Suriname and Guyana. Joint project. English. Secondary theme: Environment, Business and entrepreneurship, or Drug and alcohol abuse prevention. U.S.-to-Suriname/ Guyana exchange. Project F: Mexico. Single-country project. Spanish. Secondary theme: Alternatives to violence. Project G: Brazil. Single-country project. English. Secondary theme: Business and entrepreneurship. U.S.-to-Brazil exchange [Note: Please see details on the Brazil project below.] The grant period will span two or more years. Each project will have at least two delegations of exchange participants to the United States over those two years. In the case of two regional projects, there will be four exchange delegations. For some specified countries, the grant will also support two U.S. exchange delegations to the partner country in South America. Exchanges to the United States: For a single-country project and the Suriname/Guyana project, an exchange delegation may range from 12–15 participants. For Brazil only, the delegation will be 37 participants. For a regional project (Southern Cone and Andean), an exchange delegation may range from 20–30 participants. Exchanges to South America: Approximately 15% of the total amount of funding is to be dedicated to the exchange of U.S. students and teachers to the following countries: Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Suriname and Guyana, and Paraguay. U.S. delegations may range from 10 to 14 participants, though larger delegations may be possible if funding allows, including supplemental funding from private sources. Participants traveling to Chile, Ecuador, and Paraguay should be able to communicate in Spanish. Those traveling to Brazil and Suriname/ Guyana do not have any language requirements. The successful applicant organization will present a program plan that allows the participants to thoroughly explore civic education, leadership and community service in creative, VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:47 Apr 15, 2009 Jkt 217001 memorable, and practical ways. Activities should be designed to be replicable and provide practical knowledge and skills that the participants can apply to school and civic activities at home. These projects will offer bright and ambitious youth and teachers who work with youth the opportunity to develop their personal skills in a positive and productive way. Proposals must clearly indicate the project names specifying the country or countries with which the applicant plans to work and budgets should be appropriately scaled to the projects. Since cost effectiveness is one of the proposal review criteria, the number of participants that can be accommodated in each project will be a factor in the proposal review process, though this will be balanced with program quality and a realistic budget. Special Instructions for ‘‘Project G: Brazil’’: The project with Brazil is structured differently than the other projects. The U.S. Embassy in Brasilia will serve as the in-country partner and will manage the recruitment and selection of the Brazilian participants, their follow-on activities, and the Brazilbased exchange activities for the U.S. participants. The total number of participants each year will be 37 (35 high school students plus 2 educators). For the Brazilians, the grant recipient for this project will be organizing and funding the U.S. domestic program only; the Embassy will cover in-country expenses and will arrange and purchase the international airline tickets. These exchanges to the U.S. will take place in January 2010 and January 2011. For the U.S. exchange participants, who do not have to speak Portuguese, the grant recipient will cover all costs, except the administrative costs necessary to organize the activities in Brazil. Organizational Capacity Applicant organizations must demonstrate their capacity for doing projects of this nature, focusing on three areas of competency: (1) Provision of programs that address the goals and themes outlined in this document; (2) age-appropriate programming for youth; and (3) previous experience working on programs with Mexico or South America. With the exception of Brazil, applicant organizations must have an established presence and the administrative capacity in each of the partner countries necessary to implement the in-country activities. This may be a branch office of the U.S. applicant organization, a nongovernmental partner organization, or other associates with demonstrated PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17743 experience in educational exchange that can coordinate the program nationally. Grant recipients will be responsible for their partners’ activities under the grant, both programmatically and financially. The partners must have the requisite capacity to recruit and select participants for the program, to provide follow-on activities, and to organize a program for the U.S. participants, if specified. Organizations must convincingly demonstrate their capacity to manage a complex, multi-phase program with several separate projects. Their proposals must also thoroughly demonstrate their institutional capacity (infrastructure and experiences); if necessary, applicants may insert supplemental information that demonstrates their capacity and experience under TAB E of their proposal submission to elaborate. ECA is interested in proposals that demonstrate in the narrative and supporting documentation the organization’s capacity and ability to sustain and expand the Youth Ambassador Program in future years. Guidelines The grants will begin on or about September 15, 2009. The grant period will be 24 to 34 months in duration, as appropriate for the applicant’s program design. Each U.S. applicant organization must work with its partner organizations in the participating countries to propose appropriate dates for the exchanges, which may take place throughout 2010 and 2011 and into 2012. The exact timing of the project may be adjusted through the mutual agreement of the Department of State and the grant recipient. The grant recipients will be responsible for the following, and therefore applicant organizations should describe these components in detail in their proposals: • Recruitment and selection of youth and adult educators from diverse geographic regions in the partner countries, with the exception of Brazil. The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in the partner country will have a key role in developing a recruitment strategy and deciding how finalists are chosen. Activities for some projects may also include the recruitment and selection of U.S. youth and educators for exchanges to South America. • Providing orientations for exchange participants and for those participating in the host communities. • Designing and planning of activities that provide a substantive project on the theme of civic education, leadership E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 17744 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 72 / Thursday, April 16, 2009 / Notices development, and community service, plus a secondary theme. Some activities should be school and community-based and the projects will involve as much sustained interaction with the exchange participants’ peers as possible. • Arranging homestays with properly screened and selected host families. • Logistical arrangements, including visa applications, interpretation services, international and domestic travel, accommodations, and disbursement of stipends. • Follow-on activities for exchange alumni that reinforce the ideas, values and skills imparted during the exchange through community projects. Recruitment and Selection: In all of the partner countries except Brazil, the grant recipients must manage the recruitment and merit-based selection of participants in cooperation with the Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Embassies in the participating countries. Once a grant is awarded, the grant recipient must consult with the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy to review a recruitment and participant selection plan and to determine the degree of Embassy involvement in the process. For those implementing projects with a U.S. to South American exchange component, the grant recipients must manage the recruitment and open, merit-based selection of U.S. participants as well. Organizers must strive for regional, socio-economic, and ethnic diversity, as well as gender balance. Collaboration with Bi-National Centers (BNCs) is suggested, if possible. The Department of State and/or its overseas representatives are responsible for final approval of all selected delegations. Participants: The youth participants must be high school students aged 15 to 18 years old who have demonstrated leadership aptitude and a commitment to their communities. Participants will be sought primarily through public high schools in order to reach beyond the elite. Geographic and ethnic diversity is important, including outreach to indigenous, Afro-descendents, and rural populations. The exchange participants will also include adults who are teachers, school administrators, and/or community leaders who work with youth; they will have the dual role of both exchange participant and chaperone. The ratio of youth to adults should be between 5:1 and 10:1. For those projects that will be conducted in English, the South American and Mexican participants must have sufficient language proficiency to participate fully in interactions with their host families and their peers and in educational activities. VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:47 Apr 15, 2009 Jkt 217001 A similar level of Spanish language ability is required for the American participants traveling to Chile, Ecuador, and Paraguay. For the U.S. projects that will be conducted in Spanish, the grant recipient will provide interpretation and will place the participants with host families with someone who speaks Spanish. Exchange Program: High schools students and educators will spend three weeks on an intensive program that is designed to develop the participants’ knowledge and skill base in civic education and community service as well as in youth leadership development. The exchange will take place in the capital city and in one or two other communities. The exchanges will focus primarily on interactive activities, practical experiences, and other hands-on opportunities related to the program themes. All programming should include substantive interaction with teenagers of the host country whenever possible. The program will also provide opportunities for the adult educators to work with their peers. Cultural, social, and recreational activities will balance the schedule. In the United States, participants will live with host families in homestays for at least half of the exchange period. In South America, homestays are desired, but not required. Follow-on Activities and In-Country Programming: Exchange participants should go home from the exchange prepared to conduct projects that serve a need in their schools or communities. The design, planning, and implementation of these projects will allow participants to apply what they have learned and enable to them to instigate community action on a modest scale. Applicant organizations should plan follow-on activities that focus on reinvigorating and inspiring the alumni group and assist them in furthering their action plans. In South America, these activities may be implemented by U.S. staff or trainers who travel there several months after the exchange and/or by staff or educators in the partner country (in Brazil, the U.S. Embassy will play this role). The activities will involve some practical skills training in addition to reinforcing the topics of the exchange. ECA strongly recommends additional in-country programming on the project themes for not only the program participants who travel but also their peers at home. Alumni will also be encouraged to make presentations to share their experience with their peers. Grant recipients will retain the name ‘‘Youth Ambassadors Program’’ to identify their program. Materials produced for grant activities need to PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 acknowledge the Department of State as the sponsor and reflect the Department of State’s goals for the program. Proposals must demonstrate how the stated objectives will be met. The proposal narrative should provide detailed information on the major program activities, and applicants should explain and justify their programmatic choices. Programs must comply with J–1 visa regulations for the International Visitor category. Please be sure to refer to the complete Solicitation Package—this RFGP, the Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI), and the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI)—for further information. II. Award Information Type of Award: Grant Agreement. Fiscal Year Funds: 2009. Approximate Total Funding: $3,000,000. Approximate Number of Awards: Three. Floor of Award Range: $750,000. Ceiling of Award Range: $3,000,000. Anticipated Award Date: September 15, 2009. Anticipated Project Completion Date: 24–34 months after start date, to be specified by applicant based on project plan. 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. Costsharing from private sources may be used to augment the ECA funding, including increasing the number of exchange participants. 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 that 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 E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 72 / Thursday, April 16, 2009 / Notices 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 III.3.a. Bureau grant guidelines require that applicant organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA anticipates making an award in an amount exceeding $60,000 to support program and administrative costs required to implement this exchange program. Therefore, organizations with less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges at the time of application are not eligible to apply under this competition. III.3.b. Proposed sub-award recipients are also limited to grant funding of $60,000 or less if they do not have four years of experience in conducting international exchanges. III.3.c. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs. III.3.d. Organizations may submit only one proposal (total) under this competition. If multiple proposals are received from the same applicant, all submissions will be declared technically ineligible and will be given no further consideration in the review process. 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. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES IV.1. Contact Information To Request an Application Package Please contact the Youth Programs Division, 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) 453–8171, Fax (202) 453–8169; E-mail: PiersonCompeauHM@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/PY–09–51 when making your request. Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:47 Apr 15, 2009 Jkt 217001 from 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 Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document, which provides specific information, award criteria, and budget instructions tailored to this competition. Please specify Program Officer Carolyn Lantz and refer to the Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/PY–09– 51 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 http://exchanges.state.gov/grants/ open2.html, or from the Grants.gov Web site at http://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 application should be submitted per the instructions under IV.3f. ‘‘Application Deadline and Methods of Submission’’ 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 http:// 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 Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) document and the Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document for additional formatting and technical requirements. IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application. Please note: Effective January 7, 2009, all applicants for ECA federal assistance awards must include in their application the names of directors and/ or senior executives (current officers, trustees, and key employees, regardless PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17745 of amount of compensation). In fulfilling this requirement, applicants must submit information in one of the following ways: 1. Those who file Internal Revenue Service Form 990, ‘‘Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax,’’ must include a copy of relevant portions of this form. 2. Those who do not file IRS Form 990 must submit information above in the format of their choice. In addition to final program reporting requirements, the award recipient will also be required to submit a one-page document, derived from program reports, listing and describing grant activities. For the award recipient, the names of directors and/or senior executives (current officers, trustees, and key employees), as well as the onepage description of grant activities, will be transmitted by the State Department to OMB, along with other information required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), and will be made available to the public by the Office of Management and Budget on its USASpending.gov Web site as part of ECA’s FFATA reporting requirements. 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 awards (either a grant or cooperative agreement) under this RFGP will be third parties ‘‘cooperating with or assisting the sponsor in the conduct of the sponsor’s program.’’ The actions of recipient 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 an award under E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 17746 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 72 / Thursday, April 16, 2009 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 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 emphases on the secure and proper administration of Exchange Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by recipient 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 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 http://exchanges.state.gov or from: United States Department of State, Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD—SA–44, Room 734, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Telephone: (202) 203–5029, FAX: (202) 453–8640. IV.3d.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, socioeconomic 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 VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:47 Apr 15, 2009 Jkt 217001 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 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 recipient organization 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 PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 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.) The Recipient organization will be required to provide reports analyzing evaluation findings to the Bureau in 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: Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire program. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns reflecting E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 72 / Thursday, April 16, 2009 / Notices both administrative and program budgets. Applicants may provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase, location, or activity to provide clarification. Please refer to the POGI and PSI for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions. IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission Application Deadline Date: Thursday, May 28, 2009. Reference Number: ECA/PE/C/PY– 09–51. 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., Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. Postal Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or (2) Electronically through http:// www.grants.gov. Please Note: ECA strongly encourages organizations interested in applying for this competition to submit printed, hard copy applications as outlined in section IV.3f.1., below rather than submitting electronically through Grants.gov. This recommendation is being made as a result of the anticipated high volume of grant proposals that will be submitted via the Grants.gov webportal as part of the Recovery Act stimulus package. As stated in these RFGPs, ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes for proposals submitted via 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 Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) of the solicitation document. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 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 VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:47 Apr 15, 2009 Jkt 217001 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, one fully-tabbed copy, and six (6) copies with Tabs A–E and appendices (no Tab F) should be sent to: U.S. Department of State, SA–44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C/PY–09–51, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. With the submission of the proposal package, please also e-mail the Executive Summary, Proposal Narrative, and Budget sections of the proposal, as well as any attachments essential to understanding the program, in Microsoft Word and/or Excel to the program officer at LantzCS@state.gov. The Bureau will provide these files electronically to the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassies for their review. IV.3f.2. Submitting Electronic Applications Applicants have the option of submitting proposals electronically through Grants.gov (http:// www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation packages are available at Grants.gov in the ‘‘Find’’ portion of the system. Please Note: ECA strongly encourages organizations interested in applying for this competition to submit printed, hard copy applications as outlined in section IV.3f.1. above, rather than submitting electronically through Grants.gov. This recommendation is being made as a result of the anticipated high volume of grant proposals that will be submitted via the Grants.gov webportal as part of the Recovery Act stimulus package. As stated in these RFGPs, ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes for proposals submitted via Grants.gov. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17747 including the size of the application and the speed of your internet connection. In addition, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. The Grants.gov Web site includes extensive information on all phases/ aspects of the Grants.gov process, including an extensive section on frequently asked questions, located under the ‘‘For Applicants’’ section of the Web site. ECA strongly recommends that all potential applicants review thoroughly the Grants.gov Web site, well in advance of submitting a proposal through the Grants.gov system. ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes. 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. Please refer to the Grants.gov Web site, for definitions of various ‘‘application statuses’’ and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Again, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the submission process through Grants.gov. 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. E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 17748 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 72 / Thursday, April 16, 2009 / Notices V. Application Review Information mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 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 Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed according to the criteria stated below. 1. Quality of the program idea: Objectives should be reasonable, feasible, and flexible. The proposal should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program’s objectives and plan. The proposed program should be creative, ageappropriate, respond to the design outlined in the solicitation, and demonstrate originality. It should be clearly and accurately written, substantive, and with sufficient detail. Proposals should also include a plan to support participants’ community activities upon their return home. 2. Program planning: A detailed agenda and work plan should clearly demonstrate how project objectives would be achieved. The agenda and plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described above. The substance of workshops, seminars, presentations, school-based activities, and/or site visits should be described in detail. 3. Support of diversity: The proposal should demonstrate the recipient’s commitment to promoting the awareness and understanding of diversity in participant recruitment and selection and in program content. Applicants should demonstrate readiness to accommodate participants with physical disabilities. 4. Institutional capacity and track record: Proposed personnel and institutional resources in both the United States and in the partner countries should be adequate and VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:47 Apr 15, 2009 Jkt 217001 appropriate to achieve the program goals. The proposal should demonstrate an institutional record, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for any past Bureau grants as determined by the Bureau’s Office of Contracts. The Bureau will consider the past performance. 5. Program evaluation: The proposal should include a plan to evaluate the program’s success in meeting its goals, both as the activities unfold and after they have been completed. The proposal should include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique, plus a description of a methodology to link outcomes to original project objectives. The grant recipient will be expected to submit intermediate reports after each project component is concluded. 6. Cost-effectiveness and cost sharing: The applicant should demonstrate efficient use of Bureau funds. 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. The proposal should maximize costsharing through other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding contributions, which demonstrates institutional and community commitment. VI. Award Administration Information VI.1a. Award Notices Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures. Successful applicants will receive a Federal Assistance Award (FAA) from the Bureau’s Grants Office. The FAA and the original proposal with subsequent modifications (if applicable) shall be the only binding authorizing document between the recipient and the U.S. Government. The FAA will be signed by an authorized 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.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.’’ PO 00000 Frm 00117 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 Web sites for additional information: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants. http://fa.statebuy.state.gov. VI.3. Reporting Requirements You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus one copy of the following reports: 1. Interim reports, as required in the Bureau grant agreement. 2. A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award; 3. A concise, one-page final program report summarizing program outcomes no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award. This one-page report will be transmitted to OMB, and be made available to the public via OMB’s USAspending.gov Web site—as part of ECA’s Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) reporting requirements. 4. A SF–PPR, ‘‘Performance Progress Report’’ Cover Sheet with all program reports. Award recipients 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. VII. Agency Contacts For questions about this announcement, contact: Carolyn Lantz, Program Officer, Youth Programs E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 72 / Thursday, April 16, 2009 / Notices Division, ECA/PE/C/PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of State, SA–44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. Telephone (202) 203–7505. Fax (202) 203–7529. E-mail: LantzCS@state.gov. All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and the reference number ECA/PE/C/PY–09–51. 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. 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: April 9, 2009. C. Miller Crouch, Acting Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State. [FR Doc. E9–8745 Filed 4–15–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710–05–P to foster good will, engage foreign audiences, and provide insight into American culture and values. The Visual Arts Initiative (VAI) program will provide funding on a competitive basis for posts to showcase American talent overseas. Over a period of two years, grantee will be responsible for one-way exchanges in the visual arts, providing support to ECA to include cyclical solicitation and review of proposals received from U.S. Missions abroad using ECA-established criteria; packaging and submitting proposals to ECA for final decision; extending financial support to selected U.S. partners, and; to reporting on program results. The Bureau anticipates that approximately $500,000 will be available to support this program. The Bureau is interested in receiving proposals from organizations with a strong background/thematic expertise in the visual arts, institutional commitment to cultural diplomacy and the role of the United States in the arts, and a successful track-record in conducting international programs in the arts. Organizations that have the expertise, interest, and institutional commitment but lack the required experience of conducting exchanges may wish to consider developing proposals based on consortia type relationships with more experienced, eligible organizations. Please note that for these proposals, the role of each organization must be clearly defined and any sub-granting agreements must be included in the proposal submission. I. Funding Opportunity Description DEPARTMENT OF STATE Authority [Public Notice 6579] 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 FulbrightHays 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. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for Grant Proposals: Visual Arts Initiative Program. Announcement Type: New Cooperative Agreements. Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/ PE/C/CU–09–50. Key Dates: Application Deadline: May 19, 2009. Executive Summary: The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State seeks an organization to assist the Cultural Programs Division of the Office of Citizen Exchanges in all logistical and administrative aspects related to its support of U.S. Embassy sponsored visual arts programs. The visual arts programs to be supported are intended VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:47 Apr 15, 2009 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00118 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17749 Purpose Goals and Objectives This competition is based on the premise that the arts provide an ideal vehicle for communication between people in the United States and other countries and is well-suited to highlight American innovation, creativity, and democratic values. Cultural exchanges strengthen discourse, nurture the social growth of societies, help counter negative stereotypes and demonstrate U.S. commitment to the arts and to artistic and educational projects of high quality. Under this premise, the Bureau and Public Affairs Sections of U.S. Missions abroad look for opportunities to support selected exhibitions or other projects that showcase the work of U.S. artists abroad and that can be the basis for outreach beyond exhibition halls and into the community. The Bureau therefore offers this new funding opportunity for an organization that will help facilitate this type of cultural diplomacy abroad. Desired Grantee Qualifications Applicants should have extensive expertise in the visual arts and in the organization of international programs. Proposals must therefore describe this expertise and reflect a practical understanding of global issues, and demonstrate sensitivity to cultural, political, economic, and social differences. Special attention should be given to describing the applicant organization’s experience with planning and implementing international cultural exchange projects. Applicants should outline their project team’s capacity for successfully implementing projects of this nature, provide a detailed sample program and timeline to illustrate planning capacity and ability to achieve overall objectives. Applicants must identify all U.S. and foreign partner organizations and/or venues with whom they are proposing to collaborate, and describe previous cooperative projects in the section on ‘‘Institutional Capacity.’’ For this competition, applicants must include in their proposal supporting materials or documentation that demonstrates a minimum of five years experience in conducting international arts programs and four years experience in conducting exchange programs with the U.S. Government. Proposals must include references with name and contact information for other assistance awards the applicant has received in the event the Bureau chooses to be in touch directly. E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 72 (Thursday, April 16, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17741-17749]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-8745]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 6585]


Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)

    Request for Grant Proposals: Youth Ambassadors Program With South 
America and Mexico
    Announcement Type: New Grants.
    Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C/PY-09-51.

[[Page 17742]]

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.415.
    Application Deadline: May 28, 2009.
    Executive Summary: The Office of Citizen Exchanges, Youth Programs 
Division, of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) 
announces an open competition for the Youth Ambassadors Program with 
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, 
Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the United States. 
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 recruit and select youth and adult participants and 
to provide the participants with three-week exchanges focused on civic 
education, community service, and leadership along with follow-on 
projects in their home communities. For planning purposes, it is 
anticipated that exchange delegations will travel from all 13 countries 
to the United States, and U.S. exchange delegations will travel to six 
South American countries.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Authority

    Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the 
Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended, 
Public Law 87-256, 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.
    Overview: This Youth Ambassadors Program enables youth (ages 15-18) 
and adult educators to participate in intensive, thematic, three-week 
exchange projects that are designed to promote high-quality leadership, 
civic responsibility, and civic activism among future leaders of their 
communities. Projects involve a practical examination of the principles 
of democracy and civil society and provide participants with training 
that allows them to develop their leadership skills. Participants 
engage in a variety of activities such as workshops, community and 
school-based programs, seminars, and other activities that are designed 
to achieve the program's stated goals. Multiple opportunities for 
participants to interact with American youth and educators are 
included.
    The goals of the program are:
    1. To promote mutual understanding between the people of the United 
States and the people of South America and Mexico;
    2. To prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and 
contributing members of their communities;
    3. To significantly influence the attitudes of the leaders of a new 
generation; and
    4. To foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, 
religious, and national groups and create networks of hemispheric youth 
leaders, both within the participating countries and internationally.
    With the specific focus of this program, the following outcomes 
will indicate a successful project:
     Participants will demonstrate a better understanding of 
the elements of a participatory democracy as practiced in the United 
States.
     Participants will demonstrate critical thinking and 
leadership skills.
     Participants will demonstrate skill at developing project 
ideas and planning a course of action to bring the projects to 
fruition.

For each project, applicant organizations must focus on the primary 
themes of civic education (grassroots democracy and rule of law), 
leadership development, and community service. Secondary themes are the 
environment, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, business and 
entrepreneurship, or alternatives to violence. Secondary themes will be 
used as a tool to illustrate the more abstract concepts of the primary 
themes. For instance, the secondary theme of care for the environment 
can be used to examine youth leadership and community service through 
sessions with students who have founded a recycling club in their 
school or to examine grassroots democracy by meeting with citizens who 
have sought to have a county commission block development on 
environmentally sensitive land.
    Using the goals and the themes above, applicant organizations 
should identify their own specific objectives and measurable outcomes 
based on these program goals and the project specifications provided in 
this solicitation.

Projects and Application Options

    The total amount of funding available is $3,000,000. ECA 
anticipates awarding approximately three grants. The Bureau intends to 
have exchange activity with all of 13 countries. The Bureau reserves 
the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal project 
configurations and budgets in accordance with the needs of the program 
and the availability of funds.
    Organizations may submit only one proposal under this competition. 
If multiple proposals are received from the same applicant, all 
submissions will be declared technically ineligible and will be given 
no further consideration in the review process.
    Applicant organizations may apply for one, two, or all three of the 
options outlined below. These options will allow applicants the 
flexibility to propose working with the countries in which they have 
the best infrastructure. The Bureau strongly urges organizations to 
limit their applications to the option(s) where they have the strongest 
institutional capacity in every country; this capacity must be 
thoroughly described in the proposal. Please note the funding range for 
each option.
    Option One: Southern Cone regional project (Project A). $900,000-
$1,000,000.
    Option Two: Andean regional project (Project B) PLUS a single-
country or joint project (one of Projects C through F below). $850,000-
$1,000,000.
    Option Three: Three or four single-country projects or joint 
project (Projects C through G below). $750,000-$1,000,000.
    If an organization chooses Option Two or Option Three, please note 
that our intention is to have these projects conducted separately and 
distinctly from one another. If, however, an applicant proposes to 
conduct two or more projects at the same time, or connect them in some 
way, it should provide justification for doing so.
    The list below identifies the project name, the language in which 
the exchange will be conducted, the requested secondary themes (of 
which applicants choose one), and whether an exchange to the partner 
country by U.S. students and teachers is requested.

Project A: Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay). 
Regional project. English. Secondary theme: Environment, Drug and 
alcohol abuse prevention, Business and entrepreneurship, or 
Alternatives to violence. U.S.-to-Chile and U.S.-to-Paraguay exchanges.
Project B: Andean (Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru). Regional project. 
Spanish.

[[Page 17743]]

Secondary theme: Environment, Business and entrepreneurship, or Drug 
and alcohol abuse prevention. U.S.-to-Ecuador exchange.
Project C: Colombia. Single-country project. English. Secondary theme: 
Drug and alcohol abuse prevention.
Project D: Venezuela. Single-country project. English. Secondary theme: 
Environment, Drug and alcohol abuse prevention, or Business and 
entrepreneurship.
Project E: Suriname and Guyana. Joint project. English. Secondary 
theme: Environment, Business and entrepreneurship, or Drug and alcohol 
abuse prevention. U.S.-to-Suriname/Guyana exchange.
Project F: Mexico. Single-country project. Spanish. Secondary theme: 
Alternatives to violence.
Project G: Brazil. Single-country project. English. Secondary theme: 
Business and entrepreneurship. U.S.-to-Brazil exchange [Note: Please 
see details on the Brazil project below.]

    The grant period will span two or more years. Each project will 
have at least two delegations of exchange participants to the United 
States over those two years. In the case of two regional projects, 
there will be four exchange delegations. For some specified countries, 
the grant will also support two U.S. exchange delegations to the 
partner country in South America.
    Exchanges to the United States: For a single-country project and 
the Suriname/Guyana project, an exchange delegation may range from 12-
15 participants. For Brazil only, the delegation will be 37 
participants. For a regional project (Southern Cone and Andean), an 
exchange delegation may range from 20-30 participants.
    Exchanges to South America: Approximately 15% of the total amount 
of funding is to be dedicated to the exchange of U.S. students and 
teachers to the following countries: Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Suriname 
and Guyana, and Paraguay. U.S. delegations may range from 10 to 14 
participants, though larger delegations may be possible if funding 
allows, including supplemental funding from private sources. 
Participants traveling to Chile, Ecuador, and Paraguay should be able 
to communicate in Spanish. Those traveling to Brazil and Suriname/
Guyana do not have any language requirements.
    The successful applicant organization will present a program plan 
that allows the participants to thoroughly explore civic education, 
leadership and community service in creative, memorable, and practical 
ways. Activities should be designed to be replicable and provide 
practical knowledge and skills that the participants can apply to 
school and civic activities at home. These projects will offer bright 
and ambitious youth and teachers who work with youth the opportunity to 
develop their personal skills in a positive and productive way.
    Proposals must clearly indicate the project names specifying the 
country or countries with which the applicant plans to work and budgets 
should be appropriately scaled to the projects. Since cost 
effectiveness is one of the proposal review criteria, the number of 
participants that can be accommodated in each project will be a factor 
in the proposal review process, though this will be balanced with 
program quality and a realistic budget.
    Special Instructions for ``Project G: Brazil'': The project with 
Brazil is structured differently than the other projects. The U.S. 
Embassy in Brasilia will serve as the in-country partner and will 
manage the recruitment and selection of the Brazilian participants, 
their follow-on activities, and the Brazil-based exchange activities 
for the U.S. participants. The total number of participants each year 
will be 37 (35 high school students plus 2 educators). For the 
Brazilians, the grant recipient for this project will be organizing and 
funding the U.S. domestic program only; the Embassy will cover in-
country expenses and will arrange and purchase the international 
airline tickets. These exchanges to the U.S. will take place in January 
2010 and January 2011. For the U.S. exchange participants, who do not 
have to speak Portuguese, the grant recipient will cover all costs, 
except the administrative costs necessary to organize the activities in 
Brazil.

Organizational Capacity

    Applicant organizations must demonstrate their capacity for doing 
projects of this nature, focusing on three areas of competency: (1) 
Provision of programs that address the goals and themes outlined in 
this document; (2) age-appropriate programming for youth; and (3) 
previous experience working on programs with Mexico or South America.
    With the exception of Brazil, applicant organizations must have an 
established presence and the administrative capacity in each of the 
partner countries necessary to implement the in-country activities. 
This may be a branch office of the U.S. applicant organization, a non-
governmental partner organization, or other associates with 
demonstrated experience in educational exchange that can coordinate the 
program nationally. Grant recipients will be responsible for their 
partners' activities under the grant, both programmatically and 
financially. The partners must have the requisite capacity to recruit 
and select participants for the program, to provide follow-on 
activities, and to organize a program for the U.S. participants, if 
specified.
    Organizations must convincingly demonstrate their capacity to 
manage a complex, multi-phase program with several separate projects. 
Their proposals must also thoroughly demonstrate their institutional 
capacity (infrastructure and experiences); if necessary, applicants may 
insert supplemental information that demonstrates their capacity and 
experience under TAB E of their proposal submission to elaborate. ECA 
is interested in proposals that demonstrate in the narrative and 
supporting documentation the organization's capacity and ability to 
sustain and expand the Youth Ambassador Program in future years.

Guidelines

    The grants will begin on or about September 15, 2009. The grant 
period will be 24 to 34 months in duration, as appropriate for the 
applicant's program design. Each U.S. applicant organization must work 
with its partner organizations in the participating countries to 
propose appropriate dates for the exchanges, which may take place 
throughout 2010 and 2011 and into 2012. The exact timing of the project 
may be adjusted through the mutual agreement of the Department of State 
and the grant recipient.
    The grant recipients will be responsible for the following, and 
therefore applicant organizations should describe these components in 
detail in their proposals:
     Recruitment and selection of youth and adult educators 
from diverse geographic regions in the partner countries, with the 
exception of Brazil. The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in 
the partner country will have a key role in developing a recruitment 
strategy and deciding how finalists are chosen. Activities for some 
projects may also include the recruitment and selection of U.S. youth 
and educators for exchanges to South America.
     Providing orientations for exchange participants and for 
those participating in the host communities.
     Designing and planning of activities that provide a 
substantive project on the theme of civic education, leadership

[[Page 17744]]

development, and community service, plus a secondary theme. Some 
activities should be school and community-based and the projects will 
involve as much sustained interaction with the exchange participants' 
peers as possible.
     Arranging homestays with properly screened and selected 
host families.
     Logistical arrangements, including visa applications, 
interpretation services, international and domestic travel, 
accommodations, and disbursement of stipends.
     Follow-on activities for exchange alumni that reinforce 
the ideas, values and skills imparted during the exchange through 
community projects.
    Recruitment and Selection: In all of the partner countries except 
Brazil, the grant recipients must manage the recruitment and merit-
based selection of participants in cooperation with the Public Affairs 
Sections of the U.S. Embassies in the participating countries. Once a 
grant is awarded, the grant recipient must consult with the Public 
Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy to review a recruitment and 
participant selection plan and to determine the degree of Embassy 
involvement in the process. For those implementing projects with a U.S. 
to South American exchange component, the grant recipients must manage 
the recruitment and open, merit-based selection of U.S. participants as 
well.
    Organizers must strive for regional, socio-economic, and ethnic 
diversity, as well as gender balance. Collaboration with Bi-National 
Centers (BNCs) is suggested, if possible. The Department of State and/
or its overseas representatives are responsible for final approval of 
all selected delegations.
    Participants: The youth participants must be high school students 
aged 15 to 18 years old who have demonstrated leadership aptitude and a 
commitment to their communities. Participants will be sought primarily 
through public high schools in order to reach beyond the elite. 
Geographic and ethnic diversity is important, including outreach to 
indigenous, Afro-descendents, and rural populations. The exchange 
participants will also include adults who are teachers, school 
administrators, and/or community leaders who work with youth; they will 
have the dual role of both exchange participant and chaperone. The 
ratio of youth to adults should be between 5:1 and 10:1.
    For those projects that will be conducted in English, the South 
American and Mexican participants must have sufficient language 
proficiency to participate fully in interactions with their host 
families and their peers and in educational activities. A similar level 
of Spanish language ability is required for the American participants 
traveling to Chile, Ecuador, and Paraguay. For the U.S. projects that 
will be conducted in Spanish, the grant recipient will provide 
interpretation and will place the participants with host families with 
someone who speaks Spanish.
    Exchange Program: High schools students and educators will spend 
three weeks on an intensive program that is designed to develop the 
participants' knowledge and skill base in civic education and community 
service as well as in youth leadership development. The exchange will 
take place in the capital city and in one or two other communities.
    The exchanges will focus primarily on interactive activities, 
practical experiences, and other hands-on opportunities related to the 
program themes. All programming should include substantive interaction 
with teenagers of the host country whenever possible. The program will 
also provide opportunities for the adult educators to work with their 
peers. Cultural, social, and recreational activities will balance the 
schedule. In the United States, participants will live with host 
families in homestays for at least half of the exchange period. In 
South America, homestays are desired, but not required.
    Follow-on Activities and In-Country Programming: Exchange 
participants should go home from the exchange prepared to conduct 
projects that serve a need in their schools or communities. The design, 
planning, and implementation of these projects will allow participants 
to apply what they have learned and enable to them to instigate 
community action on a modest scale. Applicant organizations should plan 
follow-on activities that focus on reinvigorating and inspiring the 
alumni group and assist them in furthering their action plans. In South 
America, these activities may be implemented by U.S. staff or trainers 
who travel there several months after the exchange and/or by staff or 
educators in the partner country (in Brazil, the U.S. Embassy will play 
this role). The activities will involve some practical skills training 
in addition to reinforcing the topics of the exchange. ECA strongly 
recommends additional in-country programming on the project themes for 
not only the program participants who travel but also their peers at 
home. Alumni will also be encouraged to make presentations to share 
their experience with their peers.
    Grant recipients will retain the name ``Youth Ambassadors Program'' 
to identify their program. Materials produced for grant activities need 
to acknowledge the Department of State as the sponsor and reflect the 
Department of State's goals for the program.
    Proposals must demonstrate how the stated objectives will be met. 
The proposal narrative should provide detailed information on the major 
program activities, and applicants should explain and justify their 
programmatic choices. Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations 
for the International Visitor category. Please be sure to refer to the 
complete Solicitation Package--this RFGP, the Project Objectives, 
Goals, and Implementation (POGI), and the Proposal Submission 
Instructions (PSI)--for further information.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Grant Agreement.
    Fiscal Year Funds: 2009.
    Approximate Total Funding: $3,000,000.
    Approximate Number of Awards: Three.
    Floor of Award Range: $750,000.
    Ceiling of Award Range: $3,000,000.
    Anticipated Award Date: September 15, 2009.
    Anticipated Project Completion Date: 24-34 months after start date, 
to be specified by applicant based on project plan.

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. 
Cost-sharing from private sources may be used to augment the ECA 
funding, including increasing the number of exchange participants.
    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 
that 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

[[Page 17745]]

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

    III.3.a. Bureau grant guidelines require that applicant 
organizations with less than four years experience in conducting 
international exchanges be limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA 
anticipates making an award in an amount exceeding $60,000 to support 
program and administrative costs required to implement this exchange 
program. Therefore, organizations with less than four years experience 
in conducting international exchanges at the time of application are 
not eligible to apply under this competition.
    III.3.b. Proposed sub-award recipients are also limited to grant 
funding of $60,000 or less if they do not have four years of experience 
in conducting international exchanges.
    III.3.c. The Bureau encourages applicants to provide maximum levels 
of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.
    III.3.d. Organizations may submit only one proposal (total) under 
this competition. If multiple proposals are received from the same 
applicant, all submissions will be declared technically ineligible and 
will be given no further consideration in the review process.

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 Youth Programs Division, 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) 453-8171, Fax 
(202) 453-8169; E-mail: PiersonCompeauHM@state.gov to request a 
Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Number 
ECA/PE/C/PY-09-51 when making your request.
    Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained 
from 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 Project Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) 
document, which provides specific information, award criteria, and 
budget instructions tailored to this competition.
    Please specify Program Officer Carolyn Lantz and refer to the 
Funding Opportunity Number ECA/PE/C/PY-09-51 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 http://exchanges.state.gov/grants/open2.html, or from the 
Grants.gov Web site at http://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 application should be submitted per the instructions under 
IV.3f. ``Application Deadline and Methods of Submission'' 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 http://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 
Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) document and the Project 
Objectives, Goals and Implementation (POGI) document for additional 
formatting and technical requirements.
    IV.3c. You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of 
application. Please note: Effective January 7, 2009, all applicants for 
ECA federal assistance awards must include in their application the 
names of directors and/or senior executives (current officers, 
trustees, and key employees, regardless of amount of compensation). In 
fulfilling this requirement, applicants must submit information in one 
of the following ways:
    1. Those who file Internal Revenue Service Form 990, ``Return of 
Organization Exempt From Income Tax,'' must include a copy of relevant 
portions of this form.
    2. Those who do not file IRS Form 990 must submit information above 
in the format of their choice.

In addition to final program reporting requirements, the award 
recipient will also be required to submit a one-page document, derived 
from program reports, listing and describing grant activities. For the 
award recipient, the names of directors and/or senior executives 
(current officers, trustees, and key employees), as well as the one-
page description of grant activities, will be transmitted by the State 
Department to OMB, along with other information required by the Federal 
Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), and will be made 
available to the public by the Office of Management and Budget on its 
USASpending.gov Web site as part of ECA's FFATA reporting requirements.
    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 awards (either a grant or cooperative agreement) under this 
RFGP will be third parties ``cooperating with or assisting the sponsor 
in the conduct of the sponsor's program.'' The actions of recipient 
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 an award under

[[Page 17746]]

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 emphases on the secure and proper administration of Exchange 
Visitor (J visa) Programs and adherence by recipient 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 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 http://exchanges.state.gov or from: United States Department of State, Office 
of Exchange Coordination and Designation, ECA/EC/ECD--SA-44, Room 734, 
301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547, Telephone: (202) 203-5029, 
FAX: (202) 453-8640.

IV.3d.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 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 recipient organization 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.)
    The Recipient organization will be required to provide reports 
analyzing evaluation findings to the Bureau in 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:
    Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire 
program. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns 
reflecting

[[Page 17747]]

both administrative and program budgets. Applicants may provide 
separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase, location, or 
activity to provide clarification.
    Please refer to the POGI and PSI for complete budget guidelines and 
formatting instructions.

IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission

    Application Deadline Date: Thursday, May 28, 2009.
    Reference Number: ECA/PE/C/PY-09-51.
    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., Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. Postal 
Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or
    (2) Electronically through http://www.grants.gov.

    Please Note: ECA strongly encourages organizations interested in 
applying for this competition to submit printed, hard copy 
applications as outlined in section IV.3f.1., below rather than 
submitting electronically through Grants.gov. This recommendation is 
being made as a result of the anticipated high volume of grant 
proposals that will be submitted via the Grants.gov webportal as 
part of the Recovery Act stimulus package. As stated in these RFGPs, 
ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from 
transmission or conversion processes for proposals submitted via 
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 
Proposal Submission Instructions (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, one fully-tabbed copy, and six (6) copies with Tabs 
A-E and appendices (no Tab F) should be sent to: U.S. Department of 
State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/
C/PY-09-51, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 534, 301 4th Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20547.
    With the submission of the proposal package, please also e-mail the 
Executive Summary, Proposal Narrative, and Budget sections of the 
proposal, as well as any attachments essential to understanding the 
program, in Microsoft Word and/or Excel to the program officer at 
LantzCS@state.gov. The Bureau will provide these files electronically 
to the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassies for their review.
IV.3f.2. Submitting Electronic Applications
    Applicants have the option of submitting proposals electronically 
through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov). Complete solicitation 
packages are available at Grants.gov in the ``Find'' portion of the 
system.

    Please Note: ECA strongly encourages organizations interested in 
applying for this competition to submit printed, hard copy 
applications as outlined in section IV.3f.1. above, rather than 
submitting electronically through Grants.gov. This recommendation is 
being made as a result of the anticipated high volume of grant 
proposals that will be submitted via the Grants.gov webportal as 
part of the Recovery Act stimulus package. As stated in these RFGPs, 
ECA bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from 
transmission or conversion processes for proposals submitted via 
Grants.gov.

    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. In 
addition, validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can 
take up to two business days.
    Therefore, we strongly recommend that you not wait until the 
application deadline to begin the submission process through 
Grants.gov.
    The Grants.gov Web site includes extensive information on all 
phases/aspects of the Grants.gov process, including an extensive 
section on frequently asked questions, located under the ``For 
Applicants'' section of the Web site. ECA strongly recommends that all 
potential applicants review thoroughly the Grants.gov Web site, well in 
advance of submitting a proposal through the Grants.gov system. ECA 
bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or 
conversion processes.
    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: grants.gov">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.
    Please refer to the Grants.gov Web site, for definitions of various 
``application statuses'' and the difference between a submission 
receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a 
validation e-mail from grants.gov upon the successful submission of an 
application. Again, validation of an electronic submission via 
Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Therefore, we strongly 
recommend that you not wait until the application deadline to begin the 
submission process through Grants.gov. 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.

[[Page 17748]]

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

    Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below.
    1. Quality of the program idea: Objectives should be reasonable, 
feasible, and flexible. The proposal should clearly demonstrate how the 
institution will meet the program's objectives and plan. The proposed 
program should be creative, age-appropriate, respond to the design 
outlined in the solicitation, and demonstrate originality. It should be 
clearly and accurately written, substantive, and with sufficient 
detail. Proposals should also include a plan to support participants' 
community activities upon their return home.
    2. Program planning: A detailed agenda and work plan should clearly 
demonstrate how project objectives would be achieved. The agenda and 
plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described 
above. The substance of workshops, seminars, presentations, school-
based activities, and/or site visits should be described in detail.
    3. Support of diversity: The proposal should demonstrate the 
recipient's commitment to promoting the awareness and understanding of 
diversity in participant recruitment and selection and in program 
content. Applicants should demonstrate readiness to accommodate 
participants with physical disabilities.
    4. Institutional capacity and track record: Proposed personnel and 
institutional resources in both the United States and in the partner 
countries should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program 
goals. The proposal should demonstrate an institutional record, 
including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all 
reporting requirements for any past Bureau grants as determined by the 
Bureau's Office of Contracts. The Bureau will consider the past 
performance.
    5. Program evaluation: The proposal should include a plan to 
evaluate the program's success in meeting its goals, both as the 
activities unfold and after they have been completed. The proposal 
should include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique, plus a 
description of a methodology to link outcomes to original project 
objectives. The grant recipient will be expected to submit intermediate 
reports after each project component is concluded.
    6. Cost-effectiveness and cost sharing: The applicant should 
demonstrate efficient use of Bureau funds. 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. The proposal should maximize cost-sharing 
through other private sector support as well as institutional direct 
funding contributions, which demonstrates institutional and community 
commitment.

VI. Award Administration Information

VI.1a. Award Notices

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

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants.
http://fa.statebuy.state.gov.

VI.3. Reporting Requirements

    You must provide ECA with a hard copy original plus one copy of the 
following reports:
    1. Interim reports, as required in the Bureau grant agreement.
    2. A final program and financial report no more than 90 days after 
the expiration of the award;
    3. A concise, one-page final program report summarizing program 
outcomes no more than 90 days after the expiration of the award. This 
one-page report will be transmitted to OMB, and be made available to 
the public via OMB's USAspending.gov Web site--as part of ECA's Federal 
Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) reporting 
requirements.
    4. A SF-PPR, ``Performance Progress Report'' Cover Sheet with all 
program reports.

Award recipients 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.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For questions about this announcement, contact: Carolyn Lantz, 
Program Officer, Youth Programs

[[Page 17749]]

Division, ECA/PE/C/PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 
4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547. Telephone (202) 203-7505. Fax 
(202) 203-7529. E-mail: LantzCS@state.gov.
    All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should 
reference the above title and the reference number ECA/PE/C/PY-09-51.
    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.

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: April 9, 2009.
C. Miller Crouch,
Acting Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of 
State.
 [FR Doc. E9-8745 Filed 4-15-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P