Public Diplomacy Small Grant Opportunities

U.S. EMBASSY WINDHOEK PUBLIC DIPLOMACY SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM

I. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy Windhoek Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This annual notice of funding opportunities outlines our funding priorities and areas of interest, as well as procedures for submitting requests for funding. Please note that this notice supplements specific notices of funding opportunities that may be posted both here and on other relevant sites throughout the year. Any organization interested in applying for funding should carefully follow all instructions below.

  • Ceiling of Award Amount: US $25,000
  • Proposals accepted: throughout the year
  • Applications reviewed: twice a year; March 1 and August 1.
  • This notice is subject to funds availability.

II. PURPOSE OF SMALL GRANTS

PAS awards a limited number of grants to enhance mutual understanding between the U.S. and Namibia. PAS will only consider grants that have a significant American component and are geared to Namibian audiences. The PAS Small Grants Program projects may include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  1. JUDICIARY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
    Programs that will work hand in hand with the Government of Namibia to improve their abilities to effectively plan and implement policies for wildlife conservation.
  2. SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
    Programs that promote policies that incentivize the private sector to take more risk, and support small businesses and entrepreneurship.
  3. ECONOMIC GROWTH
    Programs related to innovation and women’s empowerment.
  4. SOCIAL ISSUES
    Programs that seek to promote a better understanding of human rights and diversity and inclusion.
  5. ENGLISH TEACHING
    Programs that promote teacher training in areas related to English teaching, or those that enhance English learning among Namibian youth.
  6. EDUCATION
    Programs related to building capacity of Namibian learners or educators, or programs building linkages between American and Namibian institutions of higher learning.

III. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

Applications will be accepted from individuals, governmental and non-governmental organizations, think tanks, academic institutions, and other organizations located in Namibia.

The PAS Small Grants Program projects may include, but are not limited to, the following types of programs:

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars and speaker programs;
  • Professional and academic exchanges and projects;
  • Professional development workshops and training;
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions;
  • Youth outreach programs.

The following types of projects are not eligible for funding:

  • Requests by organizations and individuals who are not Namibian;
  • Those related to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable activities;
  • Construction projects;
  • Projects that support specific religious activities;
  • International travel, unless specifically justified within the proposal as being integral to the project;
  • Trade activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Commercial projects;
  • Scientific research;
  • Projects aiming only at primary institutional development of the organization; or
  • Projects that duplicate existing projects.

IV. AWARD INFORMATION

Funding Instrument Type
Funding will be provided to selected organizations by grant or cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that PAS staff are more actively involved in proposal execution and anticipate having moderate to substantial involvement once the award has been made.

Project and Budget Periods
Grant projects generally must be completed within one year or less. PAS will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to the availability of funds, the satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State. Applicants should consider their budgets carefully and submit a budget commensurate with their project goals. While PAS will consider proposals up to US $25,000, projects that are smaller in scope are more likely to be considered.

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement
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. Applicants are encouraged, but not mandated, to include cost-sharing elements in support of their proposals.

V. APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Please ensure that:

  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars
  • All pages are numbered, and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required:
A. Cover Letter
Applicants must submit a cover letter on the organization’s letterhead containing the proposal’s submission date, project title, project period (start date and completion date), and purpose of the project.

B. Proposal
The proposal should contain sufficient information so that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant proposes. Applicants must submit a complete proposal that includes the items listed below. (The proposal should not exceed 15 pages total.)

  • Proposal Summary: A brief narrative that outlines the proposed project, including project objectives and anticipated influence of the project.
  • Introduction to the Organization: A description of past and present operations, as well as information on any previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
  • Problem Statement: A clear, concise and well-supported statement of the issue that the proposal addresses and how it will address it.
  • Project Goals and Objectives: The “goals” should describe what the project is intended to have achieved at its completion. How will it further the relationship between the U.S. and Namibia?
  • The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the project is expected to work and solve or address the stated problem.
  • Project Activities: The specific activities related to the objectives that must be reached and the methods used to achieve the stated objectives)
  • Proposed Project Schedule: The proposed timeline for undertaking and completing the specific project activities. Dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events should be included.
  • Key Personnel: The names, titles, roles, and experience/background of the key personnel to be involved in the project.
    – Who will work on the project?
    – What responsibilities will they have?
    – What qualifications do they have?
    – What proportion of their time will be used in support of this project?
  • Project Monitoring and Evaluation: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
  • Future Funding or Sustainability: The applicant’s plan for continuation beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  • Proposed Budget: A listing of all project expenses, consistent with the proposal narrative, project activities and USG-wide budget categories.
    – Types and amounts of funding your organization has received for current projects from other partners should be included.
    – Please see section VIII. Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.

C. DUNS Number registration
Any entity that requests PAS financing must register for a DUNS number, which is a unique nine-digit identification number. DUNS Number assignment is free for organizations required to register with the federal government for grants. Here’s the website for the DUNS number http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/CCRSearch.do?val=1

D. SAM registration
Any organization or individual that requests PAS financing must register in the System for Award Management (SAM). Please see the instructions for registering here: Here’s the website for SAM https://sam.gov/portal/SAM/##11

E. Official Permission Letters
If applicable for project activities, official permission letters from the relevant authorities to carry out the project must be obtained. For example, a permission letter from regional authorities might be needed for certain projects. If the applicant intends to work with educational institutions such as schools/universities, an official permission letter from the relevant educational institution/authorities may be needed in order to carry out the project. In the case of an applicant that is affiliated with another organization, a permission letter from the parent organization may be requested.

F. How to Apply
All application materials must be submitted to PublicAffairsWindhoek@state.gov with “PAS FY18 NOFO” and the applicant organization’s name in the subject line of the email. Proposals that do not meet the requirements above will not be considered.

VI. REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS

Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project and to determine the likelihood of its success. The criteria are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application. Applications will be reviewed on the basis of their completeness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail.

  • Organizational capacity: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its technical capacity to undertake the project. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
  • Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results. Alignment with priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support the goals and themes outlined above.
  • Sustainability: Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.
  • Feasibility: Analysis of the project’s economic, organizational, and technical feasibility. This is related to the project approach, budget items requested, and technical/human resource capacity of the organization.
  • Budget: The budget justification is both reasonable and realistic in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. Grants will be awarded to programs with the highest impact per dollar spent.
  • Monitoring and evaluation plan: The Applicant has demonstrated the ability to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The project includes a systematic recording and periodic analysis of selected information on the project activities.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION

Award Notices
The grant award or cooperative agreement shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The Grants Officer is the U.S. government official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants and cooperative agreements. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient. Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified in writing. If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department of State.

Payment Method
The standard form SF-270 Request for Advance or Reimbursement Payments may be submitted in the amounts required by the recipient to carry out the purpose of this award. Payments will be made in at least two installments and the initial installment may not exceed the amount of 60%.

Reporting Requirements
All awards issued under this announcement will require both program and financial reports on a frequency specified in the award agreement. The disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner.

All other details related to award administration will be specified in the award agreement as well. Final programmatic and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period. Progress reports at a minimum should be submitted via electronic mail to an address to be provided in the award.

VIII. GUIDELINES FOR BUDGET SUBMISSIONS

Personnel: Use this budget category for wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the project.

Travel: Use this budget category for the estimated costs of travel and per diem for this project. If the project involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel either in the Project Activities Description or as an attachment.

Equipment: Use this budget category for all tangible, non-expendable (non-disposable) machinery, furniture, and other personal property having a useful life of more than one year (or longer than the duration of the project), and a cost of $5,000 or more per unit.

Supplies: Use this category for materials that will be consumed (used up) during the course of the project. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.

Contractual: Use this budget category for goods and services that the applicant intends to acquire through a contract with a vendor, such as professional photographic services that include photographic prints as part of the contract.

Other Direct Costs: Use this budget category for other costs directly associated with the project, which do not fit any of the other categories. Examples include shipping costs for materials and equipment, and the costs of utilities (water, electricity, Internet) required for the project. Applicable taxes, if any, should be included as part of your budget. “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained. “Cost Sharing” refers to contributions other than the U.S. Embassy Windhoek grant being applied for. It includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time, donated venues, admin support, etc. “Counterpart contributions” by the involved organizations are encouraged and funds or in-kind, such as staff time, space, etc., should be mentioned in the estimated value of contribution.

Entertainment and Alcoholic Beverages Not Funded: Please note that U.S. Embassy Windhoek does not provide any funding for entertainment or alcoholic beverages in its grants. If you feel that these are important to the project, you may want to consider such expenses as part of your cost-sharing.

IX. INQUIRIES

If you have any questions about the grants application process, please contact PAS at: PublicAffairsWindhoek@state.gov

Note: Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.