NOFO: U.S. Embassy Kampala Public Diplomacy Annual Program Statement | Closing: Feb 15, 2024 & May 15, 2024

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

Notice of Funding Opportunity 

Funding Opportunity Title:    U.S. Embassy Kampala Public Diplomacy Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number:  DOS-PDS-FY24-01
Assistance Listing     19.040 – Smith-Mundt
                                     19.022- Fulbright Hays
Estimated Total Program Funding: $200,000. Funding may be available to renew awards issued under the Public Diplomacy Grant Program for a period of two additional years.
Award Ceiling:     $40,000; proposals for awards over $40,000 and up to $200,000 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Award Floor:    $5,000
Deadline for Applications:  Applications will be reviewed twice during Fiscal Year 2024. The deadlines for application are: Feb 15, 2024 & May 15, 2024
Email:    Kampalagrants@state.gov  

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
    The U.S. Embassy Kampala Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) 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 outlining our funding priorities, the strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding.  Please carefully follow all instructions below. 

Objectives and Project Outcomes:

The objectives of the Public Diplomacy Grant Program are to promote understanding and foster positive relations between the people of Uganda and the United States; reinforce shared values on the topics listed below; and connect high potential Ugandan youth and young professionals (aged 16 to 35) as well as established professional leaders to the American people.  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:

  • Strengthen media practitioners and institutions with U.S. principles and methods for achieving free, accurate, and objective media practices.
  • Strengthen media practitioners and consumers ability to detect and combat mis/disinformation.
  • Foster shared U.S. values on civic engagement and democratic principles among youth and young professionals, including civic education programs.
  • Link Americans and Ugandans to foster increased awareness of effects and solutions to address climate change.
  • Increase Ugandans’ awareness of and appreciation for USG engagement with Uganda.
  • Increase knowledge of STEM skills, particularly for young girls and women and gain appreciation for U.S. leadership in these areas
  • Increase business skills for young entrepreneurs and gain appreciation for deep U.S. experience in fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Strengthen ties between U.S. and Ugandan institutes of higher education.

U.S. Content

To be eligible for funding consideration, proposals must demonstrate significant U.S. content.  U.S. content can include, for example, the substantial participation of U.S. experts and/or alumni of U.S. government exchange programs, partnership with U.S. organizations or educational institutions, the involvement of U.S. companies present in Uganda, the application or adaptation of U.S. models and best practices, or learning materials related to American history, society, culture, government, or institutions. Initiatives that promote sustained cooperation between the people of the United States and Uganda even after program funding has concluded are encouraged.  Proposals without significant U.S. content will not be considered for funding.

Types of activities that may be considered for funding include, but are not limited to:

  • Programs that reinforce and amplify lessons learned by alumni of State Department-funded exchange programs (both American and Ugandan alumni).
  • Youth engagement and leadership programs.
  • Workshops, seminars, trainings, and master classes on American themes or issues of mutual interest mentioned in the above goals of the program.
  • Programs to empower young women.
  • Radio, television, and social media training and programming in support of the above program objectives.
  • Programs designed as a partnership between a Ugandan and U.S. organization.
  • Initiatives in support of the above program objectives that make creative use of the Mission’s American Center in Kampala or Nile Explorer bus, a mobile classroom that provides extracurricular learning opportunities in STEM and other subjects through visits to underserved communities across Uganda.

Activities that are not considered for funding include, but are not limited to:

  • Social welfare, community development, or vocational skilling projects,
  • Fees and travel costs to attend conferences in the United States,
  • Ongoing salary costs and office equipment,
  • Paying to complete activities begun with other funds,
  • Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support to individual or single party electoral campaigns,
  • Political party activities,
  • Projects that support specific religious activities,
  • Trade activities; fundraising campaigns; commercial projects; scientific research; construction projects; or projects whose primary aim is the institutional development of the organization itself.

Inviting U.S. Experts

The Public Diplomacy Office also welcomes proposals for the participation of U.S. citizen experts at in-person or virtual programs in support of the above program objectives. The travel costs for in-person programs in Uganda may include economy class airfare on a U.S. flag carrier, stipend for meals, daily honorarium, lodging, and local transportation. Funding requests for activities involving U.S. citizen experts should include a proposed daily schedule for the expert (minimum of two program days excluding travel time). If participation in a conference is expected, please provide its description (organizer, topics, goals and objectives, audience, other sponsors and other expected speakers and participants).

When possible, the Public Diplomacy Office prefers to provide support to U.S. experts who are available to participate in multiple events. The Public Diplomacy Office is willing to work with grantees to identify additional programming opportunities in support of public diplomacy program objectives for U.S. experts traveling to Uganda.

Project and Budget Periods

Projects are expected to be funded by September 30, 2024, and generally should be completed within one year or less. 

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:

Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt Act and Fulbright-Hays.  The source of funding is FY2024 Public Diplomacy Funding.   

  1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: 1-12 months
Number of awards anticipated: 1-4 awards (dependent on amounts)
Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $40,000.
Total available funding: $200,000
Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2024 Public Diplomacy Funding
Anticipated program start date:  September- December 2024

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 Public Diplomacy staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation. 

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in one year or less.  PDS 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.

  1. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
  1. Eligible Applicants

The Public Diplomacy Section encourages applications from U.S. and Ugandan individuals and organizations:

  • 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

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

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for more information. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.

  1. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

Please follow all instructions below carefully. 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:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity.
  • All documents are in English.
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars.
  • All pages are numbered.
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Calibri font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required: 

  1. Mandatory application forms: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-mandatory-family.html
  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)
  • SF424A(Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF424B(Assurances for Non-Construction programs)
  1. 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.
  1. 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. We highly recommend that the applicant use the proposal template provided Here. If the applicant elects not to use the template provided, they may use their own proposal format, but must provide all the items listed below.
  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past 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 Uganda 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Attachments
  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities

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

  1. Required Registrations:

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

  • Please visit SAM.gov registration which will generate a UEI

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

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

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. PDS Kampala 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 November 2022 and February 2022 respectively, 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 using the following language: “I do no intend to seek financial assistance from the Department of Defense. I do not wish to obtain a CAGE or NCAGE code. I understand that I will need to submit my registration after this incident is resolved in order to have my registration activated.”

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.

  • Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO NOT plan to do business with the DoD should follow the below instructions:

Step 1: Proceed to SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and complete the SAM.gov registration process. SAM.gov registration must be renewed annually.

  • Organizations based outside of the United States and that DO plan to do business with the DoD in addition to Department of State should follow the below instructions:

Step 1: Apply for an NCAGE code by following the instructions on the NSPA NATO website linked below:

NCAGE Homepage: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/sc/CageList.aspx

NCAGE Code Request Tool (NCRT):

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.

  1. Submission Dates and Times

The Public Diplomacy Section will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals according to the following schedule:

  • Proposals received by February 15 will be reviewed by April 30, with responses going out by June 15.
  • Proposals received between February 15 and June 15 will be reviewed by July 30, with responses going out by October 15.
  1. Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to KampalaGrants@State.gov.

 

  1. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
  1. 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.

Announcing Award Decisions:

Due to the number of applications received, we are only able to provide feedback to successful applicants. The timing of approvals is, however, subject to the availability of funds.

Please note: Funding for approved proposals will not be available immediately. The allocation of funds can take up to two months once all award paperwork has been completed. Applicants should, therefore, submit proposals no sooner than 3-4 months in advance of the intended project start date.

Selection Process:

Applications will be reviewed by the Public Diplomacy Section’s Grants Committee.  Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated based on the following criteria:

  • Strength of U.S. component/content: The extent to which the project will engage American experts/counterparts, create or strengthen ties between U.S. and Ugandan peer institutions, foster connections between Americans and Ugandans, or present American culture and society or best practices in an innovative manner.
  • Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated, and the program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results;
  • Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: Demonstrated capacity of the applicant to manage and execute project in line with desired outcomes, as evidenced by prior project success and/or a clear and achievable work plan.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support priorities of the U.S. Mission Uganda’s Public Diplomacy Grant Program, as outlined above.
  • Target audience: Applicant has clearly described how the project will effectively engage and impact a priority target audience of high potential Ugandan youth and young professionals (aged 16 to 35) as well as established professional leaders. The more specific the audience, the better.
  • 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.
  • Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

Applicants selected for further consideration will receive official written notification and detailed information on the process of finalizing awards. Applicants selected for further consideration must provide official copies of all registrations outlined in the eligibility requirements. Failure to provide these documents will result in disqualification.

Awards are contingent upon availability of U.S. Government funds and the signing of official award documents. Verbal or other informal communications cannot be considered official notification of an award, and applicants may not obligate expenses for a proposed project until all required administrative procedures have been completed.

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

  1. Responsibility/Qualification Information in SAM.gov (formerly, 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:

  1. 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);
  2. 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;
  3. 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

  1. 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.

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

Payment Method: Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PDS at: KampalaGrants@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.

  1. 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.