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PDS Annual Program Statement 2024
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January 24, 2024

PDS Annual Program Statement  2024

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE  
U.S. EMBASSY NIAMEY, PUBLIC DIPLOMACY SECTION  

Notice of Funding Opportunity  

  

Funding Opportunity Title:  U.S. Embassy Niamey PDS Annual Program Statement  

Funding Opportunity Number:  PDS-Niamey-FY24-APS  

Deadline for Applications: July 1, 2024  

Assistance Listing Number:  19.040 

Statutory Authority: Smith-Mundt 

Total Amount Available: $60,000  

Minimum for Each Award: $250 

Maximum for Each Award: $20,000  

  

  

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION  
The U.S. Embassy Niamey Public Diplomacy Section (PDS Niamey) is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program.  This is an Annual Program Statement, outlines our funding priorities, the strategic themes, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.  Please carefully follow all instructions below.  

  

Purpose of Small Grants:  PDS Niamey invites individuals or organizations interested in submitting a proposal to use the award as seed money to generate buy-in from other stakeholders.  We will be looking for partnerships and cost-sharing with host country civil society organizations and the business community that can extend the impact of your proposals.  Competitive proposals will also address the issue of sustainability — explaining how the project or program will continue beyond the initial support from the U.S. government.  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.  

  

Priority Program Areas:  

  

All public diplomacy Small Grants Programs must include one or more of the below themes:  

Countering Violent Extremism (Counterterrorism)  

Increasing Media Literacy 

Inter-religious Unification 

Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment  

Youth Engagement  

Education (particularly English-language instruction and acquisition)  

Economic development (entrepreneurship, economic empowerment)  

Development of a strong media ecosystem (including countering mis- and disinformation)  

  

Participants and Audiences:  

  

The target audience must be Nigerien.  Priority Audiences include the following:  

Women and youth  

Businesspeople/entrepreneurs   

Academia/universities/think tanks (including students)  

Journalists  

Civil society activists  

  

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:   

Publishing of books  

Translation of books  

Conference attendance (i.e. participant travel to UN program conference, etc.)  

Programs relating to partisan political activities  

Charitable or development activities  

Construction programs  

Programs that support specific religious activities  

Fundraising campaigns  

Lobbying for specific legislation or programs  

Scientific research  

Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization or  

Programs that duplicate existing programs  

  

Authorizing legislation, type, and year of funding:  

Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt Act.   The source of funding is FY 2024 Public Diplomacy Funds  

  

  

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION  
  

Length of performance period: 1 to 12 months   

Number of awards anticipated:  Up to 10 awards (dependent on amount)  

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $250 to a maximum of $20,000  

Total available funding:  $60,000 

Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2024 Public Diplomacy Funding  

Anticipated program start date:  Program must begin prior to September 30, 2024  

  

This notice is subject to availability of funding.  

  

Funding Instrument Types:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative Agreement. Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that PDS Niamey staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.    

  

Program Performance Period:  Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less.   PDS Niamey may 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.  

  

  

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION  

  

Eligible applicants include:  

Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience.  

Individuals   

Non-profit or governmental educational institutions  

Governmental institutions  

  

Reminder: 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.  

  

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

  

Cost Sharing or Matching  

Cost sharing is not required.  

  

Other Eligibility Requirements  

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization or per person. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.  

  

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and a valid registration on www.SAM.gov.    

Public Diplomacy Section Niamey recommends registering for a UEI and SAM.gov account before submitting your application. Registering does not guarantee you will receive funding. Registering early will help your organization receive funding faster if your proposal is selected.   

  

Please see Section D for information on how to obtain these registrations.  Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.  

  

  

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION  

  

Submission Details  

  

The Public Diplomacy Section will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals according to funding availability.  Proposals with the content and forms listed below must be sent electronically to NiameyPD@state.gov.     

  

Content and Form of Application Submission  

  

Please follow all instructions below carefully. We highly suggest using the proposal template for submission. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.  

  

Content of Application  

Please ensure:  

All documents are in English  

All budgets are in U.S. dollars  

The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity  

All pages are numbered.  

UEI number  

All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper 

  

The following documents are required:  

  

Mandatory application forms  

SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or   

SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)   

SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)   

SF-424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)   

Summary Coversheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant’s name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.  

Proposal (5 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.    

Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.  

Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A brief description of the organization and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.  

Problem Statement: Clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed. 

Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and XXX will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.  

Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.   

Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.   

Proposed Program Schedule:  The proposed timeline for the program activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.  

Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program.  What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?    

Program Partners:  List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.  

Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the timeframe 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 Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.  

Budget Justification Narrative:  After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail.  See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.  

  

Required Registrations  

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:  

Unique Entity Identifier (previously DUNS Number)   

Apply for a UEI number. Please review frequently asked questions about this transition here: https://www.fsd.gov/gsafsd_sp?id=gsafsd_kb_articles&sys_id=14c7dfa81b9659d0c5c4dd39bc4bcb0f.  

www.SAM.gov Registration

A Quick Start Guide can be found here: https://www.fsd.gov/sys_attachment.do?sys_id=85bc6ab61b165954860e62cfe54bcbe0.   

SAM registration must be renewed annually.  

  

Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)  

All prime organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration with the SAM.gov before submitting an application. DRL may not review applications from or make awards to applicants that have not completed all applicable UEI and SAM.gov requirements.  A UEI is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding  Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards.  

Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required for federal assistance applications.  

The 2 CFR 200 requires that sub-grantees obtain a UEI number. Please note the UEI  for sub-grantees is not required at the time of application but will be required before the  award is processed and/or directed to a sub-grantee. 

Note: The process of obtaining or renewing a SAM.gov registration may take  anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.  

Organizations based in the United States or that pay employees within the United States will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the  Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code, and a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.  

Organizations based outside of the United States and that do not pay employees within the United States do not need an EIN from the IRS, but do  need a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov. Please note that as of December 2022, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO CAGE (NCAGE) code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. If an applicant organization is mid-registration and wishes to remove an NCAGE code from their sam.gov registration, the applicant should submit a help desk ticket (“incident”) with the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online at www.fsd.gov to seek guidance on how to do so.  

All prime organizations must also continue to maintain active SAM.gov registration with current information at all times during which they have an active Federal award or application under consideration by a Federal award agency. SAM.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov and to maintain that active registration. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements at the time of application, the applicant may be deemed technically ineligible to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.  

Please refer to 2 CFR 25.200 for additional information. Note: SAM.gov is not the same as SAMS Domestic. It is free of charge to register in both systems, but the registration processes are different. Information is included on the SAM.gov website to help international registrations Navigate to www.SAM.gov, click “HELP” in the top navigation bar, then click, “Explore” and “New to SAM.gov?” for general information. Please note, guidance on SAM.gov and the guidance on GSA’s website is being updated to reflect the change in NCAGE requirement.Applicants should review the website frequently for the most up-to-date guidance.  

Exemptions  

An exemption from these requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:  

An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.  

For an applicant, if the Federal awarding agency makes a determination that there are exigent circumstances that prohibit the applicant from receiving a unique entity identifier and completing SAM registration prior to receiving a Federal award. In these instances, Federal awarding agencies must require the recipient to obtain a unique entity identifier and complete SAM registration within 30 days of the Federal award date.  

Organizations requesting exemption from UEI or SAM.gov requirements must email the point of contact listed in the NOFO at least two weeks prior to the deadline in the NOFO providing a justification of their request. Approval for a SAM.gov exemption must come from the warranted Grants Officer before the application can be deemed eligible for review.  

Note: As of December 2022, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO CAGE (NCAGE) code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities.  

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:  

www.SAM.gov registration  

Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)  

Step 1: Register in SAM by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.  

Step 2: Retrieve Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number also from https://www.sam.gov.    

To access SAM.gov an organization is required to have a Login.gov account. Organization can create an account at https://login.gov/.   

Since April 2022, the UEI are assigned when an organization registers or renews its registration in SAM.gov at www.SAM.gov. Organizations should renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM.gov. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active SAM registration. 

  

  

Submission Dates and Times  

The Public Diplomacy Section will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals according to the following schedule, or until funds have been expended:    

Proposals received between January 1 and May 30, 2024, will be reviewed by June 2024.

Proposals received between June 1 and July 1, 2024, will be reviewed by September 2024.   

  

Other Submission Requirements  

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

  

  

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION  

Criteria  

  

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application:  

  

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PDS 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.  

Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Niger’s priority areas or target audiences and include an American cultural element.  

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 can 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.  

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. Feedback will be provided to successful applicants. Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.    

  

  

F. 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 NOFO 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.    

  

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

  

Administrative and National Policy Requirements  

  

Terms and Conditions: Before applying, 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 Requirements  

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

  

  

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS  

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PDS at NiameyPD@state.gov.  

  

Note:  We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. 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.  

H. 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 cost 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.