U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY YAOUNDE, CAMEROON
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Funding Opportunity Title: Countering Disinformation International Leadership Exchange Program
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-CMR-FY22-05
Deadline for Applications: August 28, 2022
CFDA Number: 19.040
Total Amount Available: Maximum $100,000
A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The Embassy of the United States in Yaounde announces an open competition for U.S. based NGOs or non-profit organizations to submit applications to implement the participation of 10 Cameroonians in a 10-day in-person Countering Disinformation International Leadership Exchange Program.
Interested U.S. based NGOs or non-profit organizations should submit proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 28, 2022, at 5 p.m., Yaounde time.
The rapid spread of sophisticated “fake news” and large-scale disinformation campaigns are major challenges for many countries in Africa, including Cameroon, with the development of digital platforms. This project for current/rising professionals addresses current trends and technologies to detect and combat disinformation and deceptive news. It will highlight the importance of investigative journalism, fact-checking, and myth-busting in countering misleading information and demonstrate the serious impact of disinformation campaigns on domestic publics. Participants will examine strategies designed to encourage greater public awareness of the phenomenon of disinformation. They will explore the role of government agencies, NGOs, academia, and traditional and social media in the fight against the proliferation of deceptive media and the dissemination of disinformation. Participants will also examine strategies that support responsible and ethical reporting in an increasingly complex information environment.
⦁ Bring current/rising Cameroonian leaders to the United States to engage with their American counterparts on key policy issues concerning the topic of countering disinformation.
⦁ Increase understanding on U.S. efforts to counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation through seminars, workshops, site-visits, and other activities.
⦁ Promote critical and objective analysis to distinguish between information and propaganda.
⦁ Design and implement a 10-day Countering Disinformation Exchange Program for a maximum of 10 Cameroonian delegates selected by the Embassy.
⦁ Organize all logistics including travel arrangements and airfares (internationally and domestically in the United States) for the Cameroonian delegates.
⦁ Conduct needs assessment, pre- and post-evaluation to measure the impact of the program on participants.
⦁ Provide French interpretation throughout the program as needed.
⦁ Oversee, monitor, and evaluate a small grants opportunity (maximum $20,000, included as part of the budget) for a group of participants to implement a follow-on project on the theme of countering disinformation upon their return.
⦁ The program should be conducted in a format that is compliant with COVID-19 prevention measures.
⦁ The Embassy will select a maximum of 10 participants (priority ages 25-40 years old).
⦁ Participants are Cameroonian current/rising leaders who will be influential in shaping the views of others in his/her field, and/or in crafting policy for years to come.
⦁ Participants may be from various sectors including the media, academia, civil society, and the government.
⦁ Participants are drawn from different regions of Cameroon and their selection respect the principle of diversity and inclusion.
The following types of activities are not eligible for funding:
⦁ Scholarships for study in the United States or to fund conference attendance or study tours to the United States
⦁ Activities that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship
⦁ Construction activities
⦁ Programs that support specific religious activities
⦁ Fund-raising campaigns
⦁ Cash prizes for participants
B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Length of performance period: 1 year
Number of awards anticipated: 1 award
Award amounts: $80,000 to $100,000
Total available funding: $100,000
Type of Funding: FY22 Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds
This notice is subject to availability of funding.
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Cooperative agreements are different from grants in that bureau/embassy staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation.
This may include:
⦁ The grantee will propose for Embassy input on the content of the program.
⦁ Program timeline with key dates for pre-departure activities
⦁ The Embassy will select the participants for the exchange program.
⦁ The grantee can request Embassy assistance with:
⦁ Booking visa interviews for participants
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in three months or less.
C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
1. Eligible Applicants
⦁ Registered non-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society organizations based in the United States.
⦁ International NGOs, U.S. NGOs based in the United States.
⦁ Public and private educational institutions in the United States.
⦁ Public international organizations and governmental institutions in the United States.
The Embassy will only consider proposals from organizations based the United States. Priority is given to applicants with proven experience in organizing exchange programs for the State Department.
For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost sharing or matching is not required.
3. Other Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet). Organizations who have previously received U.S. government funding from any source must also have a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. This registration is free of charge. You may register for it at any time, regardless of the status of an application for grant funding. It is recommended to apply for this registration as early as possible.
Individuals are not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.
D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.
The following requirements must be met:
⦁ The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
⦁ All documents are in English
⦁ All budgets are in U.S. dollars
⦁ All pages are numbered
Mandatory application forms
⦁ SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) [or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance — Individuals)]
⦁ SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
⦁ SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)
These forms are available here: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms.html. They must be submitted in English, but French translations of the forms are available here:
Content of Application
Summary Cover Sheet: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
Proposal (5 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information so that anyone not familiar with the subject of the proposed project would understand exactly what the applicant intends to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.
⦁ Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
⦁ Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
⦁ Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed.
⦁ Program Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve. The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
⦁ Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
⦁ Program Methods and Design: An explanation of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
⦁ Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline: The proposed timeline for the program activities. Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
⦁ Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
⦁ Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
⦁ Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the timeframe of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
⦁ Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.
a. 1-page CV or resumes of key personnel who are proposed for the program
b. Letters of support from partner organizations (if any) that you intend to play a key role in carrying out your proposal activities
c. If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file
d. Official permission letters, if required for program activities
Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:
www.SAM.gov registration which will generate a UEI
⦁ NCAGE/CAGE code
Any applicant with an exclusion in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.”
The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards. SAM.gov is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements. OMB designated SAM.gov as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance. Under the law, it is mandatory to register in SAM.gov.
Starting April 2022, the UEI will be assigned when an organization registers or renews it’s registration in SAM.gov at www.SAM.gov. To access SAM.gov an organization is required to have a Login.gov account. Organization can create an account at https://login.gov/. As a reminder, organizations need to renew its sam.gov registration annually.
US-based organizations: A CAGE code will be automatically assigned when the U.S. organizations registers in www.sam.gov. CAGE must be renewed every 5 years. Site for CAGE: https://cage.dla.mil/Home/UsageAgree. Grantees may be asked for more information to finalized and must comply.
Foreign-based organizations: Must apply for a NCAGE code before registering in SAM.gov. Go to: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/CageTool/home to apply for a NCAGE code. NCAGE codes must be renewed every 5 years.
It is in the organization’s best interest to check if their CAGE/or NCAGE codes are active. Organizations are required to register/or renew their CAGE or NCAGE codes prior to registering or renewing www.sam.gov . Both registration and renewals for both CAGE and NCAGE can take up to 10 days. Organization’s legal address in NCAGE/CAGE must mirror www. sam.gov.
www.sam.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM.gov. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov.
If an organization plans to issue a sub-contract or sub-award, those sub-awardees must also have a unique entity identifier (UEI number). Those entities can register for a UEI only at SAM.gov.
If an organization does not have an active registration in SAM.gov prior to submitting an application, the application will be deemed ineligible. All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations, the latter are free of charge.
Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required.
Submission Dates and Times:
Applications are due no later than August 28,2022.
Other Submission Requirements:
All application materials must be submitted by email to PASGrantsYaounde@state.gov.
E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.
Organizational capacity: The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program. This includes a financial management system appropriate to the amount of funding being requested and a bank account.
Quality and feasibility of the program idea: The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clear, realistic, and measurable, and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy Yaoundé’s priority program areas and/or target audiences.
Budget: The budget justification is detailed. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.
Monitoring and evaluation: Applicant demonstrates ability to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.
Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.
2. Review and Selection Process and Timeline
An Embassy Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications within two weeks of the submission deadline and will contact successful applicant(s) for next steps within one week of the Review Committee meeting.
3. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)
For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:
i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);
ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;
iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.
F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
1. Federal Award Notices
The grant award will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.
If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.
Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply. These include: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions which are available at: https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/.
Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit a financial and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.
G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact: the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section at PASGrantsYaounde@state.gov
H. OTHER INFORMATION
Guidelines for Budget Justification
Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.
Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.
Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.
Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.
Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor. Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.
Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.
Indirect Costs: These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating. If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.
“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy. It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.
Alcoholic Beverages: Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.