[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 52 (Thursday, March 17, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14725-14737]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-6276]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 7368]


Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Request for 
Grant Proposals: Open Competition for Professional Exchange Programs

    Announcement Type: New Grant.
    Funding Opportunity Number: ECA/PE/C-11-01.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.415.
    Fiscal Year Funds: 2011.
    Application Deadline: May 12, 2011.
    Executive Summary: The Office of Citizen Exchanges (ECA/PE/C), 
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), announces an open 
competition for grants to conduct the 2011 professional exchange 
programs. This opportunity is designed to bring young foreign 
professionals to the United States for four week to six week-long 
fellowships in organizations related to their field of work, followed 
by American counterparts who will travel overseas for reciprocal 
fellowships. Projects should take place over the course of one to two 
years, and engage up-and-coming and mid-level government or civil 
society professionals who will effect positive change in their 
institutions and communities through the following initiatives: The 
Legislative Fellows Program, the Women's Empowerment Program, and the 
Young Entrepreneurs Program.
    U.S. public and non-profit organizations meeting the provisions 
described in Internal Revenue code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c) (3) may 
submit proposals that support the goals of these professional exchange 
programs (the Legislative Fellows Program, the Women's Empowerment 
Program, and the Young Entrepreneurs Program). The basic framework that 
should be followed for all three of these programs, including the 
expected outputs and program timeline, is described in sections I.2 
through I.6 below. Elaboration on specific aspects of these programs, 
and the eligible countries, are provided in Section I.7 below.

[[Page 14726]]

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    I.1. Authority: 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.

I.2. Purpose and Program Description

    The 2011 professional exchange programs (the Legislative Fellows 
Program, the Women's Empowerment Program, and the Young Entrepreneurs 
Program) are two-way exchanges involving current or potential 
government and civil society leaders in the areas of entrepreneurship, 
the legislative process, and women's empowerment. This is one of two 
RFGPs being published simultaneously in the Federal Register to support 
the overall goals and objectives of the 2011 professional exchange 
programs.
    Reflecting both Department and Bureau priorities, those goals are 
to: (1) Provide participants from eligible countries an opportunity to 
gain knowledge of U.S. practices and techniques in their field of 
expertise; explore governance principles and practices in both public 
and civil society institutions in the United States, and gain a deeper 
understanding of U.S. society, culture, and people; (2) provide U.S. 
participants the opportunity to share their professional expertise with 
counterparts in eligible countries and gain a deeper understanding of 
the societies, cultures, and people of other countries; and 3) promote 
mutual understanding and lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships 
between key professionals and organizations in the United States and 
their counterparts in eligible countries.
    As a result of the program it is expected that participants from 
both the U.S. and foreign countries will effect positive change in 
their workplaces and communities and develop long-term engagement 
between their home organizations and foreign counterparts.
    I.3. Participants. ``Participants'' are defined as those who travel 
under grant funding from their country of origin to a designated 
exchange country. It is acceptable for there to be more foreign 
participants than American participants under this program model; 
however, applicants are encouraged to include approximately as many 
American as foreign participants to emphasize that this program is 
reciprocal in nature.
    Foreign participants should be selected through a merit-based, 
competitive process. They should be up-and-coming and mid-level 
government or civil society professionals with experience and current 
employment related to one of the designated areas. Because of the 
nature of this program, all selected participants must be highly 
proficient in written and oral English, self-directed, able to work 
effectively in a cross-cultural setting, and have demonstrated 
leadership abilities.
    U.S. participants should include professionals with relevant 
expertise from the government and civil society organizations where the 
foreign participants are placed. While U.S. participants are not 
required to have foreign language ability or previous country-specific 
experience, it is highly encouraged.
    I.4. Partner Organizations. Applicants must identify the U.S.-based 
and foreign-based organizations and individuals with whom they are 
proposing to collaborate and describe previous cooperative activities, 
if any. Successful proposals will include qualified and established 
partner organizations/offices in each of the regions where participants 
are being recruited. Also, proposals must demonstrate capacity in the 
U.S. to secure relevant fellowship placements for foreign participants: 
Proposals that include this information--especially with letters of 
commitment from possible U.S-based host organizations--will be deemed 
more competitive.
    I.5. Project Outputs. Successful grant applicants must fully 
demonstrate a capacity to provide the following project outputs:
    I.5a. Recruit participants. The grant recipient will recruit and 
select qualified individuals from throughout the target country(ies) 
for two cohorts of both U.S. and foreign participants. Foreign 
participants should be selected, with the knowledge and participation 
of the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy, through a 
merit-based, competitive process. Unless an organization has its own 
presence in the partner country(ies), an in-country or regional partner 
organization should be designated to coordinate participant screening, 
selection, and orientation prior to their departure for the United 
States. While the PAS should be involved in participant selection, 
responsibility for coordination and implementation will lie completely 
with the grantee organization.
    I.5b. Facilitate the visa process. The grant recipient will work 
with ECA and the PAS to procure U.S. visas for foreign participants and 
work directly with the foreign embassy of the partner country to 
arrange visas for U.S. travelers. The recipient will collect and 
deliver to ECA/PE/C all biographical information from foreign 
participants necessary to complete the DS-2019 form required for J-1 
visas. ECA will issue the DS-2019 forms required for J visas; see 
Section IV.3d.1. for additional information related to the 
administration of J visa programs.
    I.5c. Arrange all round-trip international travel. The recipient 
will comply with all federal regulations regarding the use of U.S. 
government funds for travel including the Fly America Act.
    I.5d. Conduct two rounds of U.S. Participant Engagement. The grant 
recipient will be responsible for arranging four-week to six-week 
fellowships in the United States for foreign participants. Fellowships 
should be designed to offer the maximum hands-on experience for all 
participants within relevant agencies and/or organizations. One 
placement that allows the participant to get an insider look and feel 
of the organization is preferable to serial, short-term placements with 
several organizations. The purpose of each placement is to provide 
first-hand experience of the inner, day-to-day workings of a relevant 
U.S. workplace and an opportunity for the participant to form work and 
personal relationships with U.S. co-workers. While some group 
activities may be appropriate, site visits where the participants have 
only a brief glimpse of a variety of organizations should be kept to a 
minimum.
    The Program Office anticipates that all proposals will adhere to 
the model outlined in this RFGP. However, in very limited 
circumstances, when a compelling reason exists to deviate slightly from 
the program model (for example a somewhat shortened timeline, or 
alternate dates), this will be taken it into consideration in the 
review process.
    I.5e. Engage with participants via the ECA Alumni social network. 
Grantees should describe plans to utilize the ECA Alumni Web site, a 
proprietary social networking site for the exclusive use of ECA program 
participants, grantee

[[Page 14727]]

organizations, and ECA program staff. Grantees should communicate with 
their participants through the Web site from the time they are 
identified, through the life of the project and beyond. The site can be 
used to provide logistical information to the participants as well as 
project content. The award recipient must be able to create a dynamic 
on-line environment and substantive content that engages participants 
in on-going group discussions on programmatic themes as they relate to 
the participants' experience in the U.S. and their home countries.
    I.5f. Conduct two rounds of overseas activities for U.S. 
participants. The recipient will arrange two to three weeks of overseas 
travel for U.S. participants to conduct on-site consultancies and joint 
programming with foreign participants and their colleagues, and, if 
appropriate and feasible, arrange fellowship placements for U.S. 
participants to learn from their counterparts and share their 
professional expertise. Proposals should present a convincing and 
detailed work plan for the U.S. participants while they are with the 
home organizations of the foreign participants. Activities should 
engage a wide range of people and focus on building the sustainability 
of the participants' professional and institutional relationships 
beyond the grant period.
    I.5g. Conduct a Pre-Departure Orientation and an In-Country 
Orientation for all Participants. The grantee will be responsible for 
conducting a pre-departure orientation for foreign participants prior 
to their departure from their home countries. The grantee should also 
provide a comprehensive orientation for foreign participants upon their 
arrival in the United States and for U.S. Participants prior to their 
travel abroad. Many, if not most, of the foreign participants will 
never have been to the U.S. before this project. Pre-departure 
orientation topics should include an overview of travel logistics, 
arrival information, J-1 visa regulations, programmatic expectations, 
as well as issues related to U.S. culture, and their programs. Their 
orientation should provide not only information on their fellowship 
placements and logistics, but also cover more day-to-day considerations 
for working and living in the U.S., such as information on the 
community where they'll be located, cross-cultural issues, standards of 
conduct, etc. Project goals, performance measurements, a calendar of 
events and the participants' place in the wider project and program 
should be discussed.
    I.5h. Facilitate the participation of the foreign professional 
participants in two Professional Exchanges Congresses. At the 
conclusion of each round of U.S.-based fellowships, the grantee will 
coordinate with ECA and other grant recipients in implementing a three-
day Congress in Washington, DC, for all FY 2011 professional exchange 
participants from foreign countries. The Professional Exchanges 
Congress is intended to provide the participants:
     The opportunity to network with colleagues from around the 
world, sharing their own U.S. experience and learning about the 
experiences of others;
     A contextual framework for understanding the ``fellowship 
experience'', the broader exchange program, and civil society issues as 
they pertain to individual professional backgrounds and expertise;
     Substantive dialogue to examine the interplay of 
government and civil society;
     A deeper understanding of the ways an individual, 
organization, or interest group can generate change for the common 
good; and
     An enhanced appreciation of the importance of public 
diplomacy in the global community.

Grantees must be willing and able to participate in regularly scheduled 
planning meetings via teleconference with ECA and other grantee 
organizations. Grantees' ability and willingness to work 
collaboratively are key to making each Congress a meaningful and 
significant capstone that ties seamlessly with individual projects and 
participants' experience.
    It is anticipated that a grant for the overall planning, 
management, and implementation of the Congresses will be awarded in a 
separate competition (ECA/PE/C-11-21) to which grant recipients of this 
funding opportunity (ECA/PE/C-11-01) and other U.S. public and non-
profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal 
Revenue code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) will be eligible to apply.
    I.5i. Monitor, evaluate, and report on project. The Department of 
State places high importance on monitoring and evaluation as a means of 
ensuring and measuring a project's success. Proposals must include a 
detailed monitoring and evaluation plan that assesses the impact of the 
project on the participant, his/her organization, and community. Please 
refer to section. IV.3d.3. Project Monitoring and Evaluation below.
    I.5j. Carry out post-grant engagement. The grant recipient will 
develop enhancement activities that reinforce project goals after the 
participants' return to their home country. This includes encouraging 
participants' on-going involvement with the on-line Alumni community 
and helping them maintain and expand their ties to their fellowship 
placement organizations.
    I.5k. Conduct Re-entry Seminar. The grant recipient will conduct an 
in-country re-entry seminar or ``debrief'' for all returning foreign 
participants. If possible, the dates of the seminar or debrief should 
coincide with international arrival schedules to ensure limited 
domestic travel and good stewardship of federal funds. The grant 
recipient should consult with the Public Affairs Section on the 
development of the program date and agenda. The seminar should be 
interactive in nature with a special emphasis on creating a forum for 
participants to share their reflections and observations of their U.S. 
exchange experience.
    I.5l. Manage all financial aspects of the project. The grantee will 
be responsible for budget oversight and management of project 
activities, including participant costs and transparent arrangements of 
sub-grant relationships with partner organizations, if applicable.
    Important: Logistics for the Washington, DC, Congresses, including 
local transportation, lodging and meals for all participants, will be 
covered under a separate grant. Therefore, these expenses should NOT be 
included in individual budgets under this solicitation. Please see 
IV.3e.2o for further details.
    I.6. Projected Timeline. ECA envisions the 2011 professional 
exchange programs calendar as follows:
     Fall 2011: Planning for first foreign cohort travel to the 
U.S. (participant recruitment, selection; J-1 visas; arranging 
fellowship placements, etc.)
     April 2012: Travel to the U.S. by the first cohort of 
foreign participants for four-week to six-week fellowships.
     May 2-4, 2012: Three-day enrichment component in 
Washington, DC, at the end of the U.S. stay that includes a 
Professional Exchanges Congress for all Spring 2012 participants.
     Spring 2012: Planning for first U.S. cohort travel abroad 
(schedule, flights visas; etc.)
     Summer 2012: Travel by the first cohort of U.S. 
participants overseas for two to three weeks.
     Summer 2012: Planning for second foreign cohort travel to 
U.S.
     September/October 2012: Travel to the U.S by second cohort 
of foreign participants for four-week to six-week fellowships.

[[Page 14728]]

     November 7-9, 2012: Three-day enrichment component in 
Washington, DC, at the end of the U.S. stay that includes a 
Professional Exchanges Congress for all Fall 2012 participants.
     Fall 2012: Planning for second U.S. cohort travel abroad.
     Winter 2012-3: Travel by the second cohort of U.S. 
participants overseas for two to three weeks.
    I.7. Only proposals that involve the following will be considered 
technically eligible:
    I.7a. Legislative Fellows Program
    The Legislative Fellows Program will engage professionals who are 
actively involved in the legislative process and/or policy-making 
through their work in government, civic education organizations, 
citizen advocacy groups, political parties, or election monitoring 
organizations. During their time in the United States, the participants 
will examine the relationship between civil society and government, and 
the issue of public corruption and accountability. Participants will 
observe the role of their U.S. counterparts in various levels of the 
U.S. government, through placements in Congressional offices (including 
state/district offices), state legislatures, city councils/local 
government bodies, advocacy groups or other relevant organizations 
across the United States, engage in dialogue, and develop plans for 
projects that support more responsive social and political 
institutions.
    U.S. participants will be selected from staff members at the 
various fellowship sites who will act as primary hosts/mentors to the 
foreign fellows during their U.S. stay, including staff of the U.S. 
Congress, state legislatures, city councils/local governments, and 
advocacy groups. After the U.S.-based fellowships are completed, these 
American participants will travel overseas to their counterparts' home 
countries for on-site consultancies and joint programming with foreign 
participants and their colleagues, and, if appropriate and feasible, 
arrange fellowship placements for U.S. participants to learn from their 
counterparts and share their professional expertise. This programming 
could also include outreach activities, engaging the local media and 
giving presentations to wider audiences.
    I.7a.1. Sub-Saharan Africa (AF): Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, South 
Africa, Zimbabwe
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Legislative Fellows 
Program should include one or more of the countries listed above.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Jim Ogul, tel: (202) 632-6055, e-mail: 
OgulJE@state.gov.
    I.7a.2. East Asia and Pacific (EAP): Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, 
Taiwan
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Legislative Fellows 
Program should include at least three (3) of the countries/territories 
listed above.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Adam Meier, tel: (202) 632-6067, e-mail: 
MeierAW2@state.gov.
    I.7a.3. Europe (EUR): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, 
Russia, Turkey, Ukraine
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Legislative Fellows 
Program should include all of the countries listed above. Participants 
from Russia and Turkey combined should constitute at least one half of 
the total participants.
    Approximate Grant Award: $900,000 to $1,000,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 90 to 100
    Program Contact: Linn[eacute]a E. Allison, tel: (202) 632-6060, e-
mail: AllisonLE@state.gov.
    I.7a.4. Europe (EUR): Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, 
Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Legislative Fellows 
Program should include at least three (3) of the countries listed 
above, and should have a specific focus on the involvement of minority 
communities and/or the immigrant population in legislatures and 
government.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Linn[eacute]a E. Allison, tel: (202) 632-6060, e-
mail: AllisonLE@state.gov.
    I.7a.5. Near East/North Africa (NEA): Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, 
Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, 
Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Legislative Fellows 
Program may include multiple countries or be single-country projects.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Thomas Johnston, tel: (202) 632-6056, e-mail: 
JohnstonTJ@state.gov.
    I.7a.6. South and Central Asia (SCA): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, 
India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Legislative Fellows 
Program should include at least five (5) of the countries listed above, 
and should include within the broader program (i.e. not limited solely 
to) a focus on grassroots involvement and youth engagement in civil 
society/political decisionmaking. For proposals that include 
Afghanistan, security conditions will dictate whether it will be 
possible to conduct programming for American participants in 
Afghanistan, and this should be addressed specifically, including 
appropriate contingencies.
    Approximate Grant Award: $650,000 to $750,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 65 to 75
    Program Contact: Karin Brandenburg, tel: (202) 632-9368, e-mail: 
BrandenburgKL@state.gov.
    I.7a.7. Western Hemisphere (WHA): Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, 
Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, 
Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Legislative Fellows 
Program must include participants from Mexico and Brazil, and at least 
seven (7) additional countries from the above list, including 
representative countries from 2 Caribbean, 2 Central American, and 3 
South American countries.
    Approximate Grant Award: $650,000 to $750,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 65 to 75
    Program Contact: Carol Herrera, tel: (202) 632-6054, email: 
HerreraCA1@state.gov.
    I.7b. Women's Empowerment Program
    The Women's Empowerment Program will focus on the unique interests 
of women in issues that affect the broader society, including business, 
civil society, and journalism. Participants will represent women-owned 
businesses, non-governmental organizations, healthcare industries, and 
educational institutions. During their 4-6 week fellowships in the 
United States, participants will gain firsthand knowledge of how 
organizations and institutions advocate on behalf of women and their 
critical role in community advancement, while also participating in 
site visits and specially-designed seminars.
    U.S. participants will be selected from those individuals who act 
as primary hosts/mentors to the foreign participants

[[Page 14729]]

during their U.S. stay. After the U.S.-based fellowships are completed, 
these American participants will travel overseas to the participants' 
home countries to engage with their counterparts on the role of women 
in civil society. The programs will include joint programming with 
foreign participants and their colleagues, and, if appropriate and 
feasible, fellowship placements for U.S. participants. This programming 
could also include outreach activities, engaging the local media and 
giving presentations to wider audiences.
    I.7b.1. Sub-Saharan Africa (AF): Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, 
Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Women's Empowerment 
Program should include at least two (2) of the countries listed above 
and specifically emphasize women's entrepreneurship and employment 
skills development for participation in the workforce.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Jim Ogul, tel: (202) 632-6055, e-mail: 
OgulJE@state.gov.
    I.7b.2. Sub-Saharan Africa (AF): Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, 
Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Women's Empowerment 
Program should include at least two (2) of the countries listed above 
and specifically emphasize building partnerships between U.S. and 
international women and organizations devoted to health issues such as 
HIV/AIDS, nutrition, maternal health, disease prevention, gender-based 
violence or other relevant health issues.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Jim Ogul, tel: (202) 632-6055, e-mail: 
OgulJE@state.gov.
    I.7b.3. East Asia and Pacific (EAP): Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, 
Vietnam
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Women's Empowerment 
Program should be regional in scope, including all four (4) of the 
Lower Mekong countries listed above and should endeavor to empower 
women to increase local capacity and connectivity. Specifically, 
proposals should emphasize strengthening local community infrastructure 
and capacity, especially in the area of technology, such as improving 
women's access to reliable mobile technology and services. Participants 
should be placed at non-governmental organizations, advocacy groups, 
relevant government offices, small businesses or other related 
organizations and focus on advancing gender equality by bringing 
together women and technology.
    Program Contact: Adam Meier, tel: (202) 632-6071, e-mail: 
MeierAW2@state.gov.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    I.7b.4. East Asia and Pacific (EAP): Fiji, Marshall Islands, 
Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Timor-Leste, Tonga
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Women's Empowerment 
Program should include at least four (4) of the countries listed above, 
and should focus on the development of civil society groups that focus 
on women.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Adam Meier, tel: (202) 632-6067, e-mail: 
MeierAW2@state.gov.
    I.7b.5. East Asia and Pacific (EAP): Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, 
Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Women's Empowerment 
Program should include at least four (4) of the countries listed above, 
with a specific emphasis on women's entrepreneurship.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Adam Meier, tel: (202) 632-6071, e-mail: 
MeierAW2@state.gov.
    I.7b6. South and Central Asia (SCA): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, 
Kyrgyzstan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (including the Maldives)
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Women's Empowerment 
Program include at least four (4) of the countries listed above. For 
proposals that include Afghanistan, security conditions will dictate 
whether it will be possible to conduct programming for American 
participants in Afghanistan, and this should be addressed specifically.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Karin Brandenburg, tel: (202) 632-9368, e-mail: 
BrandenburgKL@state.gov.
    I.7b.7. Western Hemisphere (WHA): Brazil, Colombia, Dominican 
Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, El Salvador, Mexico, Haiti, 
Honduras, Guatemala, Barbados (and the Eastern Caribbean), Costa Rica
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Women's Empowerment 
Program should support professionals who are actively involved in 
enhancing the role of civil society in the following sectors: Economic 
Development, Environmental Sustainability and Health. Projects should 
directly engage African descendant and indigenous communities.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Carol Herrera, tel: (202) 632-6054, email: 
HerreraCA1@state.gov.
    I.7c. Young Entrepreneurs Program
    The Young Entrepreneurs Program will engage small business owners, 
business professionals and business educators, to observe best 
practices in business, engage in dialogue with their peers in the U.S., 
and complete individually tailored fellowships in appropriate 
organizations. Participants will increase their understanding of the 
links between entrepreneurial activity and free markets, as well as the 
importance of transparency and accountability in business and 
government through the participants' direct involvement in American 
businesses.
    U.S. participants will be selected from those individuals who act 
as primary hosts/mentors to the foreign fellows during their U.S. stay. 
After the U.S.-based fellowships are completed, these American 
participants will travel overseas to the participants' home countries 
for on-site consultancies and joint programming with foreign 
participants and their colleagues, and, if appropriate and feasible, 
arrange fellowship placements for U.S. participants to learn from their 
counterparts and share their professional expertise. This programming 
could also include outreach activities, engaging the local media and 
giving presentations to wider audiences.
    I.7c.1. East Asia and Pacific (EAP): Ngwang Choephel Fellows 
Program--Tibetan Autonomous Region or Tibetan areas of China
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Young Entrepreneurs 
Program should be designed to carry out a two-way Professional program 
as described in section I.2 through I.6 above, but on a smaller scale; 
it is expected that there will only be one cycle of participants under 
this

[[Page 14730]]

program, as opposed to the two cycles described in the 2011 
professional exchange program overview. The economic outcomes on which 
the proposals focus could, for example, include economic activity 
related to cultural preservation and eco-tourism. Proposals should 
incorporate alternate plans into their narrative in anticipation of any 
difficulties of participants traveling to or from the Tibetan 
Autonomous Region or the Tibetan areas of China.
    Program Contact: Linn[eacute]a E. Allison, tel: (202) 632-6060, e-
mail: AllisonLE@state.gov.
    Approximate Grant Award: $200,000 to $250,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 20 to 25
    I.7c.2. Near East/North Africa (NEA): Algeria, Egypt, Israel, 
Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Syria
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Young Entrepreneurs 
Program should include at least four (4) of the countries listed above.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Thomas Johnston, tel: (202) 632-6056, e-mail: 
JohnstonTJ@state.gov.
    I.7c.3. South and Central Asia (SCA): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri 
Lanka, Tajikistan
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Young Entrepreneurs 
Program should include at least one of the countries listed above, and 
should focus on strengthening the entrepreneurial system in each 
country, advocating and enabling greater economic diversification. For 
proposals that include Afghanistan, security conditions will dictate 
whether it will be possible to conduct programming for American 
participants in Afghanistan, and this should be addressed specifically.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Karin Brandenburg, tel: (202) 632-9368, e-mail: 
BrandenburgKL@state.gov.
    I.7c.4. Western Hemisphere (WHA): Brazil, Colombia, Dominican 
Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, El Salvador, Mexico, Haiti, 
Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador
    Proposals submitted under this section of the Young Entrepreneurs 
Program will engage professionals who are actively involved in working 
to improve the lives of young people living in communities threatened 
by conflict and insecurity due to lack of positive economic 
opportunities. Proposals should focus on engaging young social 
entrepreneurs to promote sustainable and inclusive community economic 
empowerment. Projects should engage African Descendants, Indigenous 
peoples, and other socially excluded communities. Fellows from 
communities confronted by drugs, crime, and gang violence can be 
community leaders, educators, and other youth-program implementers who 
are placed with government, NGO and community organizations that work 
with youth to offer positive alternatives to gangs, drug-trafficking, 
and associated violence.
    Approximate Grant Award: $350,000 to $450,000
    Approximate no. of participants per award: 35 to 45
    Program Contact: Carol Herrera, tel: (202) 632-6054, Email: 
HerreraCA1@state.gov.
    I.8. What to Include in Your Proposal
    I.8a. Executive Summary. The Executive Summary should be one page 
in length and include the project title, the goals of the project, the 
target countries, the names of all partner organizations responsible 
for project implementation, the numbers of participants, both foreign 
and American, and the number of proposed exchanges and approximate 
dates.
    I.8b. Proposal Narrative. In 20, double-spaced pages the narrative 
should include:
    I.8b.1. Project Goals, Objectives, Anticipated Outcomes. A clear, 
succinct statement of project goals, objectives and anticipated 
outcomes that expand upon ECA/PE/C goals as stated in this RFGP. 
Objectives should be described in specific, measurable, and realistic 
terms that are achievable within the scope of the project, both in 
terms of time and funding. They should be framed from the participant 
perspective, i.e., ``By (time), the participants will * * *'' They 
should be guided by one or more of the following questions. (Please see 
section IV.3d.3. Project Monitoring and Evaluation for assistance in 
identifying and defining outcomes.)
    1. What specifically will participants, U.S. and foreign, learn as 
a result of this project?
    2. What new attitudes will participants, U.S. and foreign, develop, 
or what new ideas will they encounter as a result of this project?
    3. How will the participants' behavior change as a result of this 
project? What new actions will they take?
    4. Will participants be a catalyst for change in their schools, 
work-places, communities, or institutions? How so?
    Proposals that clearly delineate salient objectives in measurable 
terms and plan activities in a sequence that will progressively lead to 
achieving those objectives, will be considered more competitive.
    I.8b.2. Background Information on Implementing Organizations. 
Information on all organizations and staff involved in the 
implementation of the project including the mission, relevant expertise 
in the project theme and country(ies), examples of past activities and 
accomplishments, on-going and planned activities not including the 
proposed project.
    I.8b.3. Roles and Responsibilities. A clear delineation of the 
roles and responsibilities of all partner organizations in terms of 
project logistics, management, and oversight.
    I.8b.4. Project Management Plan. A simple project management plan 
for the two-year life of the project that lists, in table format, 
outputs (major events or tasks performed by the grantee organization or 
partners), dates and the person or group responsible.
    I.8b.5. Support of Diversity. A description on how the Bureau's 
policy on Support of Diversity will be integrated into all aspects of 
the project including but not limited to fellowship placements, program 
materials, training methodology, etc. Please refer to guidance in PSI 
under ``Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines.''
    I.8b.6. Post-grant Plan. A post-grant plan that demonstrates how 
the grantee and participants will collaborate and communicate after the 
ECA-funded grant has concluded.
    I.8b.7. Evaluation Plan. An evaluation plan that follows the 
guidance provided in this RFGP. Please refer to section IV.3d.3. 
``Project Evaluation'' below. Detailed evaluation plans that put the 
narrative over the 20-page limit and sample surveys or other evaluation 
tools may be included in TAB E.
    I.8b.8. Budget. Please refer to section IV.3e. Budget Submission in 
this document and the PSI for guidance on preparing your budget.
    I.8b.9. Working with the ECA Office of Public Affairs and Strategic 
Communications and the Public Affairs Section. Proposals should include 
plans to work with ECA's Office of Public Affairs and Strategic 
Communications in developing a coordinated media and public outreach 
strategy to strengthen the identity, increase the program's visibility, 
and raise the public awareness of the Legislative Fellows Program, the 
Women's Empowerment Program, and the Young Entrepreneurs Program. All 
grantees will need to incorporate the respective program's

[[Page 14731]]

brand (provided by ECA) and give credit to ECA throughout all of its 
educational and outreach materials including its website with final 
approval by ECA.
    Proposals should also include an articulated plan as to how the 
grantee plans to work closely with the Public Affairs Section of the 
U.S. Embassy in the relevant country(ies) to develop plans for project 
implementation, to select project participants, conduct outreach, and 
to invite representatives of the Embassy(ies) and/or consulate(s) to 
participate in project sessions or site visits. Grantee organizations 
should include a scheduled debrief with Embassy representatives 
following the foreign participants' return to their home countries, and 
where possible, at the conclusion of the U.S. participants' visit. All 
plans must be approved by ECA.
    I.8b.10. Acknowledging ECA's Financial Support and use of program 
logo. An acknowledgement to follow guidance in the PSI entitled 
``Acknowledgement of ECA's Financial Support and Use of the Department 
Seal''. Proposals should also indicate that grantee organization's plan 
to use the three ECA-developed program logos (one each for the 
Legislative Fellows Program, the Women's Empowerment Program, and the 
Young Entrepreneurs Program) in all relevant program materials, 
applications, websites, and other related materials.
    I.8b.11. Alumni Outreach. An acknowledgement to comply with ``ECA's 
General Policy Guidance on Alumni Outreach/Follow-on and Engagement'' 
provided in the PSI.
    I.8c Attachments
    I.8c.1. Resumes. Resumes of principal staff of all partner 
organizations involved in the implementation of the project should be 
included in TAB E.
    I.8c.2. Letters of Commitment and/or letters of support. Letters of 
commitment or support from partner organizations partner institutions 
should demonstrate a capacity to arrange and conduct U.S. and overseas 
activities and should also be included in TAB E.
    I.8c.3. Project Materials. Materials that help demonstrate project 
design and implementation should be included in TAB E. These include:
    1. Draft agendas of professional workshops, conferences and 
seminars including pre-departure, orientation and final conference 
activities
    2. Draft application and recruitment materials
    3. Draft selection and interview materials
    4. Outline of alumni programming including sample of small grant 
applications
    5. Sample evaluation and survey instruments
    6. Project management plan
    7. Project promotional materials
    8. Sample of any on-line sessions
    I.8c.4. Unsolicited Documents. Attachments that do not directly 
address the proposed project (i.e., organization brochures, pamphlets, 
unsolicited reports) are strongly discouraged.

II. Award Information

    II.1. Type of Award: Grant Agreement.
    II.2. Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2011.
    II.3. Approximate Total Funding: $8,300,000.
    II.4. Approximate Number of Awards: 15-20.
    II.5. Approximate Average Award: $400,000.

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 USC 501(c)(3).
    III.2. Cost-Sharing or Matching Funds: There is no minimum or 
maximum percentage required for this 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. Four Years of Exchange Experience. 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 an amount from $300,000 and 
higher to support program and administrative costs required to 
implement the projects under this RFGP. Therefore, organizations with 
less than four years experience in conducting international exchanges 
are ineligible to apply under this competition.
    III.4. Technical Eligibility: 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.
     Eligible applicants may not submit more than one proposal 
under this competition.
     Eligible applicants may only propose working with the 
countries and themes listed under each of the themes of this RFGP.
     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.
     Please refer to the Proposal Submission Instruction (PSI) 
document for additional requirements.

IV. Application and Submission Information


    Note:  Please read the complete Solicitation Package before 
sending inquiries or submitting proposals. All applicants are 
strongly encouraged to consult with the Washington, DC-based State 
Department contact for the themes/regions listed in this 
solicitation. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to consult 
with Public Affairs Officers at U.S. Embassies in relevant countries 
as they develop proposals responding to this RFGP. Once the RFGP 
deadline has passed, Bureau and Embassy staff may not discuss this 
competition with applicants until the proposal review process has 
been completed.

IV.1. Contact Information To Request a Solicitation Package

    Please contact David Gustafson in the Office of Citizen Exchanges, 
ECA/PE/C, U.S. Department of State, SA-5, 3rd Floor, 2200 C St, NW., 
Washington, DC 20037, ph: (202) 632-6083, GustafsonDP@state.gov, to 
request a Solicitation Package. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity 
Number ECA/PE/C-11-01 located at the top of this announcement when 
making your request. An electronic solicitation package may be obtained 
from http://www.grants.gov. Please see section IV.3f for further 
information.
    IV.2. To Download a Solicitation Package Via the Internet: The 
entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's Web 
site at http://exchanges.state.gov/grants/

[[Page 14732]]

open2.html or from the Grants.gov Web site at http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=Jq8YKvxYr8YPgjW2VSLdBhwhY0NxsFzdgctFJGDpfQYdJV2GzJl
9!-1163459943?mode=AGENCYSEARCH&agency=DOS. Please read all information 
before downloading.
    IV.3. Content and Form of Submission: Applicants must follow all 
instructions in the Solicitation Package. The Solicitation Package 
includes both the Request for Grant Proposals (RFGP) and the Proposal 
Submission Instruction (PSI) document, which consists of required 
application forms, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation. 
Applicants should assure that proposals respond to guidance provided in 
both documents.
    IV.3a. DUNS number. 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. Proposal Components: All proposals must contain an executive 
summary, proposal narrative and budget. Please refer to the 
Solicitation Package. It contains the mandatory Proposal Solicitation 
Instructions (PSI) document for additional formatting and technical 
requirements.
    IV.3c. Registration and Non-Profit Status: All federal award 
recipients and sub-recipients must maintain current registrations in 
the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database and have a Dun and 
Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Recipients 
and sub-recipients must maintain accurate and up-to-date information in 
the CCR until all program and financial activity and reporting have 
been completed. All entities must review and update the information at 
least annually after the initial registration and more frequently if 
required information changes or another award is granted.
    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.
    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 website as part of ECA's FFATA reporting 
requirements.
    If your organization is a private nonprofit which 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. Additional Information

IV.3d1. 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 part 
62, which covers the administration of the Exchange Visitor Program (J 
visa program). Under the terms of 22 CFR part 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 part 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 part 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 part 62. If your organization has experience as 
a designated Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor, the applicant should 
discuss their record of compliance with 22 CFR part 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, 
recordkeeping, 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://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1267.html 
or from: United States Department of State, Office of Exchange 
Coordination and Designation, (ECA/EC/D), SA-5, Floor C2, Department of 
State, Washington, DC 20037.
IV.3d2. 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

[[Page 14733]]

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.3d3. Project Monitoring and Evaluation
    Proposals must include a plan to monitor and evaluate the project's 
success, both as the activities unfold, at the end of the project and 
beyond. The Bureau recommends that each proposal include a draft survey 
questionnaire or other instruments plus a description of a methodology 
to be used to link outcomes to original project objectives. The Bureau 
expects that the grantee will track participants or partners and be 
able to respond to key evaluation questions, including satisfaction 
with the project, learning as a result of the project, changes in 
behavior as a result of the project, and effects of the project 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, participant-centric goals and intended outcomes at the outset of 
a project. 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). 
(Note the call for measurements at the baseline and for short term and 
longer-term outcomes.) 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 ECA/PE/C goals 
described in this RFGP.
    Your monitoring and evaluation plan should clearly distinguish 
between project 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 in participant learning, 
behavior, and at the participant's institution. Findings on outputs and 
outcomes should both be reported, but the emphasis 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 impact):
    1. Participant satisfaction with the project and exchange 
experience.
    2. Participant learning, such as increased knowledge, aptitude, 
skills, and changed understanding and attitude. Learning includes both 
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 each 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 (e.g., 
surveys, interviews, tests, 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.)
    Grantees will be required to provide reports analyzing their 
evaluation findings to the Bureau in their regular project 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.3e. Budget Submission. Please follow the guidelines in this 
section and consult the PSI when preparing the budget submission.
    IV.3e.1. Form SF-424A. Applicants must submit SF-424A--``Budget 
Information--Non-Construction Programs'' along with a comprehensive 
budget for the entire program. 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. Allowable costs for the project include 
the following:
    IV.3e.2a. Travel. International and domestic airfare; airline 
baggage and seat fees; visas; transit costs; ground transportation 
costs. Please note that all air travel must be in compliance with the 
Fly America Act. There is no charge for J-1 visas for participants in 
Bureau sponsored projects.
    IV.3e.2b. Per Diem. For U.S.-based programming, organizations 
should use the published Federal per diem rates for individual U.S. 
cities. Domestic per diem rates may be accessed at: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21287. ECA requests applicants to budget realistic 
costs that reflect the local economy and do not exceed Federal per diem 
rates. Foreign per diem rates can be accessed at: http://aoprals.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=184&menu_id=78.
    IV.3e.2c. Interpreters. We anticipate that all participants coming 
to the U.S. on this program have good English skills. However, if 
special circumstances warrant the use of interpretation, ECA strongly 
encourages applicants to hire their own locally-based interpreters but 
may ask ECA to assign State Department interpreters. One interpreter is 
typically needed for every four participants who require 
interpretation. When an applicant proposes to use State Department 
interpreters, the following expenses should be included in the budget: 
Published Federal per diem rates (both ``lodging'' and ``M&IE'') and 
``home-program-home'' transportation in the amount of $400 per 
interpreter. Salary expenses for State Department interpreters will be 
covered by the Bureau and should not be part of an applicant's proposed 
budget. Bureau funds cannot support interpreters who accompany 
delegations from their home country or travel internationally.
    IV.3e.2d. Book and Cultural Allowances. Foreign participants are 
entitled to a one-time cultural allowance of $150 per person, plus a 
book allowance of $50. Interpreters should be reimbursed up to $150 for 
expenses

[[Page 14734]]

when they escort participants to cultural events. U.S. project staff, 
trainers or participants are not eligible to receive these benefits.
    IV.3e.2e. Consultants. Consultants may be used to provide 
specialized expertise or to make presentations. Honoraria rates should 
not exceed $250 per day. Organizations are encouraged to cost-share 
rates that would exceed that figure. Subcontracting organizations may 
also be employed, in which case the written agreement between the 
prospective grantee and sub-grantee should be included in the proposal. 
Such sub-grants should detail the division of responsibilities and 
proposed costs, and subcontracts should be itemized in the budget.
    IV.3e.2f. Room rental. The rental of meeting space should not 
exceed $250 per day. Any rates that exceed this amount should be cost 
shared.
    IV.3e.2g. Materials. Proposals may contain costs to purchase, 
develop and translate materials for participants. Costs for high 
quality translation of materials should be anticipated and included in 
the budget. Grantee organizations should expect to submit a copy of all 
project materials to ECA, and ECA support should be acknowledged on all 
materials developed with its funding.
    IV.3e.2h. Supplies. Applicants may propose to use grant funds to 
purchase supplies, such as computers and printers; supply costs should 
be justified in the budget narrative. Costs for furniture are not 
allowed.
    IV.3e.2i. Working meal. One working meal may be provided during 
each U.S.-based or foreign-based travel component. Per capita costs may 
not exceed $45/person, excluding room rental. The number of invited 
guests may not exceed participants by more than a factor of two-to-one. 
When setting up a budget, interpreters should be counted as 
participants.
    IV.3e.2j. Return travel allowance. A return travel allowance of $70 
for each foreign participant may be included in the budget. This 
allowance would cover incidental expenses incurred during international 
travel.
    IV.3e.2k. Re-entry Seminars. Costs related to providing foreign 
participants a re-entry seminar may include per diem, hotel 
accommodations, material development, and other related expenses.
    IV.3e.2l. Health Insurance. The grant recipient will be responsible 
for enrolling foreign and U.S. participants in the program by the ECA-
sponsored Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE). The 
premium is paid by ECA and should not be included in the grant proposal 
budget. Applicants may include costs for travel insurance for U.S. and 
foreign participants in the budget.
    IV.3e.2m. Wire transfer fees. When necessary, applicants may 
include costs to transfer funds to partner organizations overseas. 
Grantees are urged to research applicable taxes that may be imposed on 
these transfers by host governments.
    IV.3e.2n. In-country travel costs for visa processing purposes. 
Visas for foreign participants are provided by DOS and should not be 
included in the budget. Given the requirements associated with 
obtaining J-1 visas for ECA-supported participants, applicants should 
include costs for any travel associated with procuring visas, including 
travel for interviews, delivering or picking-up passports, etc.
    IV.3e.2o. Administrative Costs. Costs necessary for the effective 
administration of the project may include salaries for grantee 
organization employees, benefits, and other direct and indirect costs 
per detailed instructions in the PSI. While there is no rigid ratio of 
administrative to project costs, proposals in which the administrative 
costs do not exceed 25% of the total requested ECA grant funds will be 
more competitive under the cost effectiveness and cost sharing 
criterion, per item V.1 below. Proposals should show strong 
administrative cost sharing contributions from the applicant, the in-
country partner and other sources.
    IV.3e.2p. Professional Exchanges Congresses, Washington, DC: 
Proposals should incorporate a minimum of three (3) days and four (4) 
nights in Washington, DC into their project plan in order for each 
group of participants to attend one of the Professional Exchanges 
Congresses that will take place in spring (May 2-4, 2012) and fall 
(November 7-9, 2012.) All logistics, including local transportation, 
hotel, and meals will be arranged and paid for through a separate grant 
that will cover expenses for all participants and staff attending the 
Professional Exchanges Congresses. Expenses for the Professional 
Exchanges Congress must not be included in your budget. The only 
allowable costs associated with the Washington, DC-based component are:
    1. Travel to/from Washington, DC: PE/C strongly encourages program 
managers to plan for the Congress to occur at the end of the fellowship 
period and to send participants home directly from the Washington area. 
If, for programmatic reasons, the Professional Exchanges Congress must 
be scheduled before the fellowships are completed, travel from 
Washington to the next U.S. site should be included in the budget.
    2. Additional Days: PE/C strongly encourages program managers to 
take advantage of the opportunity to arrange meetings with government 
agencies and national organizations represented in the DC metro area 
that are relevant to the participants' areas of expertise. If more than 
three days and four nights are programmed, costs for lodging, meals, 
and miscellaneous expenses for all additional days should be included 
in the budget.
    3. Cultural/thematic programming: All expenses for cultural and 
relevant thematic activities programmed on additional days beyond the 
three days and four nights set aside for the Professional Exchanges 
Congresses should be included in the budget.

IV.3f. Application Deadline and Methods of Submission

    Application Deadline Date: May 12, 2011.
    Reference Number: ECA/PE/C-11-01.
    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., 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 package.
    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

[[Page 14735]]

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 eight (8) copies of the application should be sent 
to: Program Management Division, ECA-IIP/EX/PM, Ref.: ECA/PE/C-11-01, 
SA-5, Floor 4, Department of State, 2200 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 
20037.
    Applicants submitting hard-copy applications must also submit the 
``Executive Summary'' and ``Proposal Narrative'' sections of the 
proposal in text (.txt) or Microsoft Word format on CD-ROM. As 
appropriate, the Bureau will provide these files electronically to U.S. 
Embassy Public Affairs Section(s) for review.
    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 website, 
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. 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.

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 award grants resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.

V.2. 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:
    V.2a. Quality of Project Idea: Proposals should exhibit 
originality, substance, precision, and direct linkage to the goals of 
ECA/PE/C's Professional Exchanges Program as well as relevance to the 
Bureau's mission of mutual understanding. Proposals should demonstrate 
a realistic and achievable scope that fits within the budgetary and 
time parameters set forth in the RFGP.
    V.2b. Project Planning and Ability to Achieve Objectives: Project 
objectives should be framed from the participant perspective, targeting 
participant satisfaction with the project, his/her learning and changes 
in behavior as a result of the project, and institutional change as a 
result of the participant having taken part in the project. A detailed 
agenda should demonstrate how and when these objectives will be 
achieved. A project management plan should provide, in table format, 
outputs (major events or tasks by the grantee and/or partner 
organizations), dates, and the person or group responsible. 
Responsibilities of proposed in-country partners should be clearly 
described.
    V.2c. Project Monitoring and Evaluation:
    Proposals should include a detailed plan to monitor and evaluate 
the effectiveness and overall impact of the project. Project objectives 
should target clearly defined results in quantitative terms. 
Competitive evaluation plans will describe how applicant organizations 
would measure these results, and proposals should include draft data 
collection instruments (surveys, questionnaires, de-briefing sessions, 
etc.) in Tab E.
    V.2d. Institutional Capacity: Proposals should include (1) The 
institution's mission and date of establishment; (2) detailed 
information about proposed in-country partner(s) and the history of the 
partnership; (3) an outline of prior awards--U.S. government and/or 
private support received for the target theme/country/region; and (4) 
descriptions of experienced staff members who will implement the 
program. The proposal should reflect the institution's expertise in the 
subject area and knowledge of the conditions in the target country/
countries. Proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of 
successful exchange programs, including responsible fiscal management 
and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past Bureau 
grants as determined by Bureau Grants Staff. 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's goals. The 
Bureau strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from 
proposed in-country partners.
    V.2e. Cost Effectiveness and Cost Sharing: Overhead and 
administrative costs in the proposal budget, including salaries, 
honoraria and subcontracts for services, should be kept to a minimum. 
The number of participants and actual project days should be maximized. 
Proposals that employ other creative techniques to increase or stretch 
funding dollars, such as home-stays for foreign participants, and 
funding or in-kind support from other public and private partners, will 
be deemed more competitive. Proposals in which the

[[Page 14736]]

administrative costs do not exceed 25% of the total requested ECA grant 
funds will be more competitive (see IV.3e.2 14 for clarification on 
this). Applicants are strongly encouraged to cost share a portion of 
overhead and administrative expenses. Cost-sharing, including 
contributions from the applicant, proposed in-country partner(s), and 
other sources should be included in the budget request. Proposal 
budgets that do not reflect cost sharing will be deemed not competitive 
on this criterion.
    V.2f. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate 
substantive support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and 
relevant features should be cited in both project administration 
(selection of participants, project venues and evaluation) and program 
content (orientation and wrap-up sessions, meetings, resource materials 
and follow-up activities). Applicants should refer to the Bureau's 
Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines in the Proposal Submission 
Instructions (PSI).
    V.2g. Post-Grant Activities: Applicants should provide a plan to 
conduct activities after the Bureau-funded project has concluded in 
order to ensure that Bureau-supported programs are not isolated events. 
Funds for all post-grant activities must be in the form of 
contributions from the applicant or sources outside of the Bureau. 
Costs for these activities must not appear in the proposal budget, but 
should be outlined in the narrative.

VI. Award Administration Information

    VI.1. 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.2a. Additional Requirements for the Palestinian Authority, West 
Bank, and Gaza. 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 or agreements with Palestinian 
organizations or institutions.

    Note:  To assure that planning for the inclusion of the 
Palestinian Authority complies with requirements, please contact Tom 
Johnston, Tel. (202) 632-6056; e-mail: JohnstonTJ@state.gov for 
additional information.

VI.2b. Special Provision for Performance in a Designated Combat Area 
(Currently Iraq and Afghanistan)
    All Recipient personnel deploying to areas of combat operations, as 
designated by the Secretary of Defense (currently Iraq and 
Afghanistan), under assistance awards over $100,000 or performance over 
14 days must register in the Department of Defense maintained 
Synchronized Pre-deployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT) system. 
Recipients of federal assistance awards shall register in SPOT before 
deployment, or if already in the designated operational area, register 
upon becoming an employee under the assistance award, and maintain 
current data in SPOT. Information on how to register in SPOT will be 
available from your Grants Officer or Grants Officer Representative 
during the final negotiation and approval stages in the federal 
assistance awards process. Recipients of federal assistance awards are 
advised that adherence to this policy and procedure will be a 
requirement of all final federal assistance awards issued by ECA.
    Recipient performance may require the use of armed private security 
personnel. To the extent that such private security contractors (PSCs) 
are required, grantees are required to ensure they adhere to Chief of 
Mission (COM) policies and procedures regarding the operation, 
oversight, and accountability of PSCs.
VI.3. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
    Terms and Conditions for the Administration of ECA agreements 
include the following Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance:
     Circular A-122, ``Cost Principles for Nonprofit 
Organizations.''
     Circular A-21, ``Cost Principles for Educational 
Institutions.''
     Circular A-87, ``Cost Principles for State, Local and 
Indian Governments.''
     Circular A-110 (Revised), Uniform Administrative 
Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher 
Education, Hospitals, and other Nonprofit Organizations.
     Circular No. A-102, Uniform Administrative Requirements 
for Grants-in-Aid to State and Local Governments.
     Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Government, and 
Non-profit Organizations.
    Please reference http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_circulars/for additional information:
    VI.4. Reporting Requirements. You must provide ECA with a hard copy 
original plus one electronic copy of the following reports:
    VI.4a. Final Reports. A final program and financial report no more 
than 90 days after the expiration of the award;
    VI.4b. One-Page Report. A 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.
    VI.4c. SF-PPR. A SF-PPR, ``Performance Progress Report'' Cover 
Sheet should be submitted with all program reports.
    VI.4d. Quarterly reports. Quarterly program and financial reports 
should be submitted for the duration of the program. For program 
reports, award recipients will be required to provide reports analyzing 
their evaluation findings to the Bureau. (Please refer to section 
IV.3.d.3, ``Program Monitoring and Evaluation'') 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.

VI.5. Additional Program Data Requirements

    VI.5a. Data on Program participants and activities. Award 
recipients will be required to maintain specific data on program 
participants and activities in an electronically accessible database 
format that can be shared with the Bureau as required. At a minimum, 
the data must include the following: Name, address, contact information 
and biographic sketch of all persons who travel internationally on 
funds provided by the agreement or who benefit from the award funding 
but do not travel.
    VI.5b. Travel. Itineraries of international and domestic travel, 
providing dates of travel and cities in which any exchange experiences 
take place. Final schedules for in-country and U.S. activities must be 
received by

[[Page 14737]]

the ECA Program Officer at least three work days prior to the official 
opening of the activity.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For questions about this announcement, contact: Carol Herrera, 
Office of Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C, U.S. Department of State, SA-5, 
3rd Floor, 2200 C St., NW., Washington, DC 20522-0503, phone: (202) 
632-6054, e-mail: herreraca1@state.gov. All correspondence with the 
Bureau concerning this RFGP should reference the above title and number 
ECA/PE/C-11-01.

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.4 
above.

    Dated: March 9, 2011.
Ann Stock,
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of 
State.
[FR Doc. 2011-6276 Filed 3-16-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-05-P