Public Diplomacy Grant Programs

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY RANGOON, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION

Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title:  U.S. Embassy Rangoon PAS Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number:  22-MMR-NOFO-01
Deadline for Applications:  Various; See Section D, “Application and Submission Information”
CFDA Number:   19.040– Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available:  $270,000; subject to confirmation of availability of funds
Maximum for Each Award:  $25,000
Deadline for Proposal Submission: rolling basis until August 1, 2022

 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

 

The U.S. Embassy Rangoon 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 is an Annual Program Statement (APS), outlining our funding priorities, our strategic themes of focus, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, which runs from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.  Awards will be made to successful applicants subject to the availability of appropriated funds. 

 

Purpose of Small Grants: PAS Rangoon invites proposals from individuals, civil society organizations, think tanks, cultural and arts organizations, and non-regime affiliated academic institutions for programs that strengthen the cultural ties between the U.S. and Myanmar through cultural programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.

 

Examples of the kinds of activities that can be funded under the PAS Small Grants Program programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional development programs, which may include lectures, seminars, trainings, and workshops;
  • Bilateral collaborative projects featuring participation of both local and American scholars, artists, and/or other civil society groups;
  • Workshops, training, and competitions to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Myanmar;
  • Training activities and programs that support science and technology education or STEAM skills; or
  • Projects that develop the knowledge, skills, values, and motivation of participants to improve the quality of life in their communities.

Priority Program Areas: Priority will be given to proposals that address one or more of the following program areas:

  1. U.S.–MYANMAR BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP — Programs that seek to promote a greater understanding of U.S. policies, culture, and society to Myanmar audiences; activities that promote shared values and interests between the American and Myanmar people; and projects that build people-to-people ties.
  2. INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH — Programs related to economic growth and prosperity, inclusive socio-economic development, skills development, entrepreneurship, career planning, technology/innovation, economic empowerment of women and youth, and underserved populations in Myanmar.
  3. SOCIAL ISSUES — Programs that support an engaged civil society, promote a deepened understanding of diversity and inclusion, and encourage tolerance and peace through dialogue.
  4. EDUCATION — Programs that promote and prepare for study in the United States, the building of linkages between American and Myanmar private academic institutions, and training opportunities for Myanmar students or faculty.
  5. MENTAL HEALTH–Programs that address issues of mental health and promote enhanced wellness and resilience for vulnerable communities and the general public.

Participants and Audiences: All programs should target primarily Myanmar audiences.  Proposals should describe both the primary and secondary audiences for the program, including age, gender, geographic location, and numbers anticipated to be reached.  Primary audiences are those who will participate directly in the program, and secondary audiences include those reached indirectly – for example, via social media or traditional media.

 

Specific audiences who are considered a priority for awards funded under this APS include:

  • Young leaders in the 18-30 year-old age ranges;
  • Young jobseekers and emerging entrepreneurs
  • Women and girls;
  • Minority, peripheral, and/or disadvantaged communities;
  • Audiences residing outside of Yangon or Mandalay; and
  • Alumni of U.S. Embassy-sponsored cultural exchange programs

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding: 

  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Programs designed for the direct provision of social services;
  • Construction programs;
  • Programs that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization;
  • Projects seeking funds for personal use; or
  • Projects that duplicate existing projects

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:

Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt Act.  The source of funding is FY2022 Public Diplomacy Funding.

FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Number of awards anticipated: Because the amounts requested for each project may vary and funding is subject to confirmation of availability, it is not possible to predict how many awards will be made.

Award amounts: Awards generally do not exceed $25,000.

Total available funding: Approximately $270,000 total is anticipated to be available for the three funding cycles, pending availability of funds.

Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2022 Public Diplomacy Funds

Anticipated programs start date:  April 10, 2022-September 30, 2022

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that PAS staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should generally be completed in 12 months 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 availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon.

 

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

 

Eligible Applicants:

The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from U.S. and Myanmar:

  • Individuals
  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations; and
  • Non-profit or non-regime affiliated educational institutions

For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.  

Other Eligibility Requirements

Applicants should not submit more than one application per cycle unless submitting for two (or more) completely unrelated programs.

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.

PLEASE NOTE: 

Beginning April 4, 2022, the federal government will stop using the DUNS number to uniquely identify entities. Starting on that date, entities doing business with the federal government will use a Unique Entity Identifier created in SAM.gov.

All individuals and organizations applying for federal grants, cooperative agreements, or other forms of federal financial assistance through Grants.gov, will have to be registered in SAM.gov.

Current SAM.gov registrants have already been assigned their Unique Entity Identifier and can view it within SAM.gov; there is no further action required.  The Unique Entity Identifier is located below the DUNS Number on the entity registration record.

After April 4, 2022, entities registering in SAM.gov will no longer have to acquire a DUNS number to apply for a federal government grant.  For more information please visit the GSA website.

Please note that while at this time individuals are not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.in order to be eligible for a federal award, any individual submitting a proposal to be considered for funding after April 4, 2022 will be required to be registered in SAM.gov. This change will affect those planning to submit proposals for cycles A, B, and C (see point D.1 below).

 

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Submission Dates and Times:

The Public Affairs Section will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals according to the following schedule.  Please note that while the deadlines for submission of applications are firm, review and response dates are approximate and are subject to change, based on availability of funds. All funding decisions are also subject to availability of funds at all times.

Cycle A:  Proposals received from the date when the APS is published on the Embassy website and Grants.gov to March 1, 2022, will be reviewed by March 20, 2022 with responses going out by April 5, 2022.

Cycle B:  Proposals received from March 2, 2022 to April 30, 2022, will be reviewed by May 20, 2022, with responses going out by June 5, 2022.

Cycle C:  Proposals received from May 1, 2022 to August 1, 2022, will be reviewed by August 20, 2022, with responses going out by September 5, 2022.

Generally, the Embassy recommends that applicants submit proposals 3-6 months in advance of the intended project start date.

 

The following forms are required:

For All Applicants:

For Individuals:

  • SF-424I (Application for Federal Assistance – Individuals) [Word | 12KB]
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs) [Word | 19KB]
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction Programs) [Word | 15KB]
  • Vendor EFT form [Word | 55KB]

For Organizations:

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – Organizations [Word | 20KB]
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs) [Word | 19KB]
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction Programs) (only necessary if applicant is not yet registered in SAM.gov) [Word | 15KB]
  • Vendor EFT form [Word | 55KB]

All of the forms listed above may be found at grants.gov.

Additionally, applicants should complete U.S. Embassy Rangoon’s Federal Assistance Award checklist, which may be found at https://forms.office.com/g/tsY3qJ8iGP or via below QR code:
 
PD Grants Checklist
 
Budget Justification Narrative:  After completing the SF-424A Budget (above), use the PD Small Grants Budget Narrative (listed above) to describe and justify each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Justification below for further information.

Attachments:

  • 1-page CV or resume for each of the key personnel who are proposed for the program;
  • Letters of support from project partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner (if applicable);
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities

Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

Required Registrations:

All organizations applying for grants (including individuals beginning April 4, 2022) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Until April 4, 2022: Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • After April 4, 2022: Unique Entity Identifier created in SAM.gov
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • www.SAM.gov registration

 

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number (only until April 4, 2022) and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

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

Beginning April 4, 2022, the federal government will stop using the DUNS number to uniquely identify entities. At that point, entities doing business with the federal government will use a Unique Entity Identifier created in SAM.gov.

Current SAM.gov registrants have already been assigned their Unique Entity Identifier and can view it within SAM.gov; there is no further action required. The Unique Entity Identifier is located below the DUNS Number on the entity registration record.

NCAGE Application
Instructions for the NCAGE application process

For help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423
For help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766
Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto:https://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

Other Submission Requirements:

All application materials must be submitted by email to RangoonPDGrants@state.gov.

Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

 

APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below:

  • Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Rangoon’s priority areas or target audiences as described in Section A.  Applicant has also clearly identified the American component to be included in the program.
  • Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
  • Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea:  The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
  • Goals and objectives:  Goals and objectives are clearly stated, and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • Budget: The budget justification is detailed.  Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.
  • Monitoring and evaluation plan: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators and shows how and when those will be measured.
  • Media outreach plan: Applicant describes a clear plan for how the program will be shared with secondary audiences through traditional and/or social media, if safe to do so.  Branding waivers will be granted if safety conditions warrant.
  • Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

Federal Awards Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)

For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

  • That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);
  • That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;
  • That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

 

FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

Federal Award Notices

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document, and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding.  Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this APS does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals.  Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method: Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.  Payment schedules will be determined by the Grants Officer and specified in the award document, according to the program’s milestones and as needed to carry out the project activities.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified via email.

Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

 

FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

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

OTHER INFORMATION

Guidelines for Budget Justification

  • Personnel: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.
  • Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.
  • Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.
  • Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.
  • Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.
  • Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.
  • Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.
  • “Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.
  • Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.