[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 28 (Thursday, February 12, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7085-7091]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-3059]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 6525]


Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for 
Grant Proposals: Sports, Cultural, and Youth Visitor Program

    Announcement Type: New Cooperative Agreement.
    Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C/WHA-EAP-09-18.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 00.000.
    Key Dates:
    Application Deadline: April 2, 2009.
    Executive Summary: The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of 
Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) seeks an organization to assist 
the Office of Citizen Exchanges in the implementation of several short-
term, high-visibility cultural, sports, and youth exchanges taking 
place during calendar year 2009 and 2010. Approximately 170 visitors 
(96 for sports, 32-48 for culture, and 30 for youth) from countries 
around the world will participate in approximately 13 separate exchange 
initiatives/projects (eight for sports, three for culture with multiple 
visitors for each initiative, and two for youth) in the United States 
designed to promote interaction between the foreign participants and 
their American peers.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    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 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.
    Purpose: The three overarching goals for the exchange participants 
and their American counterparts are to: (1) Develop a broad worldview 
that incorporates diverse perspectives; (2) apply their skills toward 
productive and positive outlets in their local communities, and (3) 
build upon their professional skills and knowledge while developing a 
deeper understanding of U.S. society and culture. Through these 
projects, the Visitor Program provides opportunities for foreign 
visitors to participate in intensive thematic exchanges in the United 
States. The award recipient must provide overall programmatic, 
logistical, and administrative support for each of the 170 visitors for 
U.S.-based exchanges of 10-50 days.
    The project will entail working with ECA in planning and scheduling 
all events, including:
     Oversight of arrivals and departures;
     Preparing briefing materials;
     Locating and reserving athletic or cultural facilities; 
scheduling meeting rooms;
     Recruiting and screening of host families for select 
cultural exchanges and all youth exchanges;
     Aiding in the recruitment of appropriate speakers and/or 
other sports or cultural figures;
     Designing and planning substantive and well-organized 
activities;
     Coordinating escorts and interpreters;
     Providing adult supervision for minors, including 
overnight stays when students are not with host families;
     Arranging all air travel (domestic and, in some cases, 
international) and local transportation.
    The program will enable participants to:
     Foster understanding and build relationships with others 
from different ethnic, religious, and national groups;
     Promote mutual understanding between the people of the 
partner countries and the United States;
     Learn more about U.S. society and culture, thereby 
countering negative stereotypes;
     Become part of a network of leaders who will share their 
knowledge and skills with their peers and the broader community.
    Applicant organizations should identify their own specific 
objectives and measurable outcomes based on these program goals and the 
specifications provided in this solicitation.
    Most projects will start and end in Washington, DC. Other 
activities will take place at other sites in the United States. The 
exchange format will be intensive and interactive, weaving together 
both formal and informal sessions to achieve the stated goals and 
objectives. Applicants must present a program plan that allows the 
participants to thoroughly explore the themes in a creative, memorable, 
and practical way. Activities should be

[[Page 7086]]

designed to be replicable and provide practical knowledge and skills 
that the participants can apply at home. Staff from the selected 
organization will be expected to be available and/or attend all aspects 
of the visitor programs, when appropriate and in coordination with ECA.
    The proposal must demonstrate how these activities/objectives will 
be met. The proposal narrative should also provide detailed information 
on major program activities, and applicants should explain and justify 
their programmatic choices. Programs must comply with J-1 visa 
regulations. Please refer to the complete Solicitation Package--this 
RFGP, the Project Objectives, Goals, and Implementation (POGI), and the 
Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI)--for further information.

Sports Visitor Program

    The Sports Visitor Program will consist of eight projects with 
approximately 96 participants. Program participants will be selected 
from all world regions and will focus on a range of sports from 
basketball to volleyball. The Sports Visitors will be either high 
school athletes between the ages of 15 and 18, or adult coaches who 
will benefit both from personal interaction with U.S. professional 
athletes and coaches, and from traveling to the United States to take 
part in an introduction to U.S. training approaches, sports management 
techniques, or community-based sports programs. The majority of the 
Sports Visitors will be non-English language speakers with little prior 
experience in the United States. The final mix of countries and sports 
will be determined after discussions between ECA and our Embassies, as 
well as input from the relevant U.S. Sports Federations and their 
foreign counterparts.

Cultural Visitor Program

    The Cultural Visitor program consists of the following, three 
separate projects for visitors from multiple regions of the world to 
come to the United States and further their professional development: 
(1) The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Workshops on 
Landmarks of American History and Culture; (2) The NEH Picturing 
America Program Workshops; and (3) Individually designed independent 
programs in the U.S. related to the cultural visitor's specific 
professional needs and interests. Below is a summary of each of the 
three cultural projects. Please see the POGI associated with this RFGP 
for more specific information about each of the three Cultural Visitor 
projects.
(1) The NEH Summer Workshops on Landmarks of American History and 
Culture
    ECA will sponsor 12-18 foreign participants who will attend one-
week workshops coordinated by the NEH, focusing on historical events 
and cultural themes in American history. The participants will also 
attend a week-long orientation in Washington, DC, prior to the 
workshop.
(2) Picturing America Program Workshop With the NEH
    ECA will sponsor 10-20 foreign participants who will attend a one-
week seminar developed by the NEH and held in conjunction with a U.S. 
cultural institution with an extensive American art collection.
(3) Individually Designed Cultural Visitor Programs
    ECA will sponsor approximately 10 visitors for individually 
designed U.S. programs focused on the visual arts, dance, music, drama, 
film, literature and other artistic and humanistic genres. This program 
will not include the involvement of the NEH; however, the visitors will 
meet with representatives from a variety of cultural institutions.
    The award recipient will work closely with the Cultural Programs 
Division staff, who will guide them through programmatic, procedural, 
and budgetary issues for the full range of Cultural Visitor programs. 
Programs must contain substantive educational sessions or meetings that 
focus on program objectives presented by experts. Orientation sessions, 
meetings, site visits, and other program activities should promote 
dialogue between participants and their U.S. professional counterparts. 
All of the cultural programs may also include a home stay or community 
visit following the conclusion of a workshop or independent program. 
The Cultural Programs Division will identify all participants for the 
three programs in consultation with U.S. Embassies and Consulates 
overseas. Participants for all three programs will include foreign 
educators, social influencers and arts managers.

Youth Visitor Program: Embassy Initiatives

    The two Youth Visitor Programs will enable two groups of 14 to 16 
secondary school students and teachers each to travel to the United 
States to take part in activities focused on leadership, respect for 
diversity, and multiculturalism. The Bureau will identify the two 
participating countries in consultation with its U.S. Embassies. 
Additional program themes may be added after these consultations; 
therefore, the award recipient will need to demonstrate some 
flexibility and an ability to be innovative in its program planning.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement.
    Fiscal Year Funds: 2009.
    Approximate Total Funding: $1,130,000 ($600,000 for Sports 
Programs, $380,000 for Cultural Programs, $150,000 for Youth Programs).
    Approximate Number of Awards: One.
    Approximate Average Award: $1,130,000.
    Anticipated Award Date: June 1, 2009, pending availability of 
funds.
    Anticipated Project Completion Date: September 30, 2010.
    Additional Information: Pending successful implementation of this 
program and the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years, it is 
ECA's intent to renew this cooperative agreement for two additional 
fiscal years, before openly competing it again.
    The responsibilities of ECA regarding this cooperative agreement 
are as follows:
    (1) Participation in the design and direction of program 
activities;
    (2) Approval and input on program timelines and agendas;
    (3) Guidance in execution of all program components;
    (4) Review and approval of all program publicity and recruitment 
materials;
    (5) Approval of decisions related to special circumstances or 
problems throughout duration of program;
    (6) Management of all SEVIS-related issues;
    (7) Assistance with participant emergencies;
    (8) Liaison with relevant U.S. Embassies and country desk officers 
at the State Department.

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

[[Page 7087]]

competition. However, the Bureau encourages applicants to provide 
maximum levels of cost sharing and funding in support of its programs.
    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 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 
which 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 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

    (a.) Bureau grant guidelines require that organizations with less 
than four years experience in conducting international exchanges be 
limited to $60,000 in Bureau funding. ECA anticipates making awards in 
amounts exceeding $60,000 to support program and administrative costs 
required to implement these exchange programs. Therefore, organizations 
with less than four years experience in conducting international 
exchanges are ineligible to apply under this competition. The Bureau 
encourages applicants to provide maximum levels of cost sharing and 
funding in support of its programs.
    (b.) Award recipients must have a Washington, DC presence. 
Applicants who do not currently have a Washington, DC presence must 
include a detailed plan in their proposal for establishing such a 
presence by May 1, 2009. The costs related to establishing such a 
presence must be borne by the award recipient. No such costs may be 
included in the budget submission in this proposal. The award recipient 
must have e-mail capability, access to Internet resources, and the 
ability to exchange data electronically with all partners involved in 
the Sports, Cultural and Youth Visitor Program.
    (c.) Proposals must demonstrate that an applicant has an 
established resource base of programming contacts and the ability to 
keep this resource base continuously updated. This resource base should 
include speakers, thematic specialists, or practitioners in a wide 
range of professional fields in both the private and public sectors.
    (d.) Technical Eligibility: In addition to the requirements 
outlined in the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) technical format 
and instructions document, all proposals must comply with the following 
or they will result in your proposal being declared technically 
ineligible and given no further consideration in the review process.
    The Office does not support proposals limited to conferences or 
seminars (i.e., one- to fourteen-day programs with plenary sessions, 
main speakers, panels, and a passive audience). It will support 
conferences only when they are a small part of a larger project in 
duration that is receiving Bureau funding from this competition.
    No funding is available exclusively to send U.S. citizens to 
conferences or conference-type seminars overseas; nor is funding 
available for bringing foreign nationals to conferences or to routine 
professional association meetings in the United States.
    The Office of Citizen Exchanges does not support academic research 
or faculty or student fellowships.

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 Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C, Room 224, 
U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 
20547, telephone number: 202-453-8165, fax number: 202-452-8169 or e-
mail: PleasantNX@state.gov to request a Solicitation Package. Please 
refer to the Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C/WHA-EAP-09-18 when 
making your request.
    Alternatively, an electronic application package may be obtained 
from grants.gov. Please see section IV.3.f 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 Raymond H. Harvey and refer to the Funding 
Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C/WHA-EAP-09-18 located at the top of this 
announcement 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/education/rfgps/menu.htm, 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.

[[Page 7088]]

    In addition to final program reporting requirements, award 
recipients will also be required to submit a one-page document, derived 
from their program reports, listing and describing their grant 
activities. For award recipients, 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 that 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 62, which covers 
the administration of the Exchange Visitor Program (J visa program). 
Under the terms of 22 CFR 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 62. Therefore, the Bureau expects that any organization 
receiving an award under this competition will render all assistance 
necessary to enable the Bureau to fully comply with 22 CFR 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 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

[[Page 7089]]

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.)
    Recipient organizations will be required to provide reports 
analyzing their evaluation findings to the Bureau in their 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.3d.4. For information on the Bureau's policies regarding alumni 
outreach and engagement, as well as guidance on the proper 
acknowledgement of ECA sponsorship of this program, please refer to the 
enclosed PSI.
    IV.3e. Please take the following information into consideration 
when preparing your budget:
    IV.3e.1. Applicants must submit SF-424A--``Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs'' along with a comprehensive budget for the 
entire program. The award request may not exceed $1,230,000. There must 
be a summary budget as well as breakdowns reflecting both 
administrative and program budgets. Applicants may provide separate 
sub-budgets for each program component, phase, location, or activity to 
provide clarification.
    IV.3e.2. Allowable costs for the program include the following:
    1. Educational materials;
    2. Participant travel (domestic, local, and in some cases, 
international, transportation);
    3. Orientations;
    4. Cultural and social activities;
    5. Meeting costs;
    6. Food and lodging, when not in home stay;
    7. Interpreters and translation, when necessary;
    8. Follow-on activities;
    9. Evaluation;
    10. Stipends or allowances;
    11. Other justifiable expenses directly related to supporting 
program activities.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.
    IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission:
    Application Deadline Date: April 2, 2009.
    Reference Number: ECA/PE/C/WHA-EAP-09-18.
    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., DHL, Federal Express, UPS, Airborne Express, or U.S. 
Postal Service Express Overnight Mail, etc.), or
    (2.) Electronically through http://www.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 and ten copies of the application should be sent to: 
U.S. Department of State, SA-44, Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C/WHA-EAP-09-18, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, 
Room 534, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20547.
    Applicants submitting hard-copy applications must also submit the 
``Executive Summary'' and ``Proposal Narrative'' sections of the 
proposal in text (.txt) or Microsoft Word/Excel format on a PC-
formatted disk.
    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 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.

[[Page 7090]]

    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.

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 cooperative agreements resides with the Bureau's 
Grants Officer.

Review Criteria

    Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank 
ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:
    1. Program Planning: Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should 
demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Agenda 
and plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described 
above. Program schedules should reflect innovative and relevant 
itineraries, and creative and dynamic meetings and site visits.
    2. Ability to Achieve Program Objectives: Objectives should be 
reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Your proposal should clearly 
demonstrate how your organization will meet the program's objectives 
and plan.
    3. Multiplier Effect/Impact: The proposed program should strengthen 
long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of 
information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual 
linkages.
    4. Support of Diversity: Your proposal should demonstrate your 
organization's commitment to promoting awareness and understanding of 
diversity.
    5. Project Evaluation: Your proposal should include a plan to 
evaluate the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at 
the end of the program. The Bureau recommends that the proposal include 
a draft survey questionnaire or other technique, plus a description of 
a methodology to use to link outcomes to original project objectives.
    6. Institution's Record/Ability/Institutional Capacity: Your 
proposal should demonstrate an institutional record of successful 
international exchange programs, including responsible fiscal 
management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past 
Bureau grants as determined by the Bureau's Grants Office. The Bureau 
will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the 
demonstrated potential of new applicants. Proposed personnel and 
institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve 
the program or project goals.
    7. Cost-effectiveness: 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.

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.1b. The following additional requirements apply to this project: 
A critical component of current U.S. government Iran policy is the 
support for indigenous Iranian voices. The State Department has made 
the awarding of grants for this purpose a key component of its Iran 
policy. As a condition of licensing these activities, the Office of 
Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has requested the Department of State to 
follow certain procedures to effectuate the goals of Sections 481(b), 
531(a), 571, 582, and 635(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as 
amended); 18 U.S.C. 2339A and 2339B; Executive Order 13224; and 
Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6. These licensing conditions 
mandate that the Department conduct a vetting of potential Iran 
grantees and sub-grantees for counter-terrorism purposes. To conduct 
this vetting the Department will collect information from grantees and 
sub-grantees regarding the identity and background of their key 
employees and Boards of Directors.

    Note: To assure that planning for the inclusion of Iran complies 
with requirements, please contact Raymond H. Harvey, telephone 
number 202-453-8163, e-mail HarveyRH@state.gov for additional 
information.

    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

[[Page 7091]]

or agreements with Palestinian organizations or institutions.

    Note: To assure that planning for the inclusion of the 
Palestinian Authority complies with requirements, please contact: 
Raymond H. Harvey, telephone number 202-453-8163, e-mail 
HarveyRH@state.gov.

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 two copies of 
the following reports:
    (1.) A final program and financial report no more than 90 days 
after the expiration of the award;
    (2.) 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.
    A SF-PPR, ``Performance Progress Report'' Cover:
    (3.) Quarterly program and financial reports are required that 
provide concise information on all programs completed that quarter as 
well as a description of planning undertaken for programs taking place 
in the following quarter. Financial reports should describe funding 
allocated to each program completed as well as an estimated budget for 
programs to be undertaken in the next quarter. A SF-PPR, ``Performance 
Progress Report'' Cover Sheet is required 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: Raymond H. Harvey, 
Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C, Room 224, ECA/PE/C/WHA-EAP-09-
18, U.S. Department of State, SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW., Washington, 
DC 20547, telephone number: 202-453-8163, fax number: 202-453-8169, e-
mail HarveyRH@state.gov.
    All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should 
reference the above title and number: ECA/PE/C/WHA-EAP-09-18.
    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: February 4, 2009.
C. Miller Crouch,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. E9-3059 Filed 2-11-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P