U.S. Department of State
U.S. Embassy Jordan
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Funding Opportunity Title: 2023 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-JOR-FY23-001
Deadline for Applications: March 12, 2023
Assistance Listing Number: 19.022- Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs Appropriation Overseas Grants
Total Amount Available: $5,000 – $35,000
The Embassy of the United States in Jordan announces an open competition for past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to submit applications to the 2023 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2023). We welcome proposals from teams consisting of at least two alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements below. Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2023 should submit proposals to (AmmanGrants@state.gov) by March 12, 2023 / 5:00 p.m. EET (Amman time).
A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
AEIF provides alumni of U.S. Government-sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community. Since its inception in 2011, AEIF has funded nearly 500 alumni-led projects around the world through a competitive global competition. This year, AEIF 2023 will support the United States’ commitment to strengthening economic prosperity and inclusive economic growth; promoting innovation; and skill-building to improve job opportunities.
A successful program will foster social and economic empowerment by promoting inclusive economic growth, particularly for women, youth, and underserved populations through ensuring they have the skills, capabilities, and resources they need to participate and excel in the job market and workforce. Activities must be implemented in person. Examples of programs include, but are not limited to: Leadership programs; speaker programs; participatory and/or problem-solving programs; internship programs; career counseling; and professional workshops.
Programs should include participants from governorates outside of Amman. Applicant must budget for beneficiaries’ transportation fees if traveling from one governorate to another to attend an activity. All programs must be implemented inside of Jordan and for a period of 12 months or less.
The Embassy of the United States in Jordan will accept public service projects proposed and managed by teams of at least two (2) alumni that support the themes of:
- Inclusive Economic Growth and Innovation
- Economic Empowerment of Women, Youth, and Underserved Populations
- Bridging the Gap between Education and Employment/Workforce Preparedness
B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Announcement posted: Jan 11, 2023
Closing date for applications: March 12, 2023.
Funding type: Grant
Decision date: No later than Oct 1, 2023.
Expected size of individual awards: Between $5,000 to $35,000.
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in one year (12 months) timeframe or less.
This notice is subject to availability of funding.
C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
- Eligible Applicants:
The following individuals are eligible to apply:
- Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. government-funded or sponsored exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (https://j1visa.state.gov/).
- Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni.
- Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project.
- Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.
- Applications must be submitted by exchange alumni or alumni associations of USG exchange alumni. Not-for-profit, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions are not eligible to apply in the name of the organization but can serve as partners for implementing project activities.
2. Cost Sharing
Inclusion of cost share is not a requirement of this opportunity.
3. Grant Program Area:
Proposals must address Economic Empowerment and/or Bridging the Education to Employment Gap. Proposals that do not address the theme as outlined in the program objectives will be deemed ineligible. All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories.
4. Other Eligibility Requirements
If the grant will be processed with an individual, that individual is not required to have a UEI (Unique Entity ID) number or be registered in SAM.gov. However, should the grant be processed with an organization that is a partner in the project, that organization must have a UEI, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and to non-discrimination practices with regard to beneficiaries, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal.
D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
- Address to Request Application Package
Application and budget templates are available at Grants.gov
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
Applications and budgets must be submitted using the official AEIF 2023 application and budget forms.
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 proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
- The proposal addresses all questions in the official AEIF 2023 application form;
- All documents are in English;
- The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEIF 2023 budget form;
- All pages are numbered.
The following documents and information are required:
1.Mandatory application forms
a. SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals) at Grants.gov
b. SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) at Grants.gov
c. SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) at Grants.gov
2. Project Team Information: At least two exchange alumni team members are required for a project to be considered for funding. Applications need to provide the name and contact information, describe the role each team member will have in the project, and their experience, qualifications, and ability to carry out that role. Applicants need to indicate what proportion of the team member’s time will be used in support of the project.
3. Proposal Summary: A short narrative which outlines the proposed project, including challenge/s to be addressed, project objectives, and anticipated impact.
4. Project Goals and Objectives: The goal/s of the proposed project need to describe what the project is intended to achieve and include the objectives which support the goal/s. Objectives should be specific, measurable, and realistically achievable in a set time frame.
5. Project Methods, Design, and Timeline: A description of how the project is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal/s. This should include a description of the project’s direct and indirect beneficiaries as well as a plan on how to continue the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable. The proposed timeline for the project activities should include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events. Applicants may also submit proposed workshop or training agendas and materials.
6. Local Project Partners: A list of partners who will support the proposed project, if applicable.
7. Communication Plan: The communication plan should include a communication and outreach strategy for promoting the proposed project. It may include social media, websites, print news, or other forms of media intended to use to share information about the project to beneficiaries and the public. Communications should include AEIF 2023, Exchange Alumni, and U.S. Embassy branding.
8. Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: The Monitoring and Evaluation component of the proposal should outline in detail how the proposal’s activities will advance the program’s goals and objectives. This should include any outcomes showing a change in knowledge, awareness, and attitudes; improved quality of services; increased capacity at a school, group; etc. Proposals should also include how the grantee will measure the impact of planned activities.
9. Budget Justification Narrative: Applicants must submit a detailed budget and budget narrative justification utilizing the template provided. Line-item expenditures should be listed in the greatest possible detail. Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.
Budget Restrictions: AEIF 2023 does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible:
- Any airfare to/from the United States and its territories
- Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
- Staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses
- Large items of durable equipment or construction programs
- Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments not integral to the project, or entertainment
- Academic or scientific research
- Charitable or development activities
- Provision of direct social services to a population
- Individual scholarships
- Social travel/visits
- Gifts or prizes
- Duplication of existing programs
- Institutional development of an organization
- Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in project
- Support for specific religious activities
- Fund-raising campaigns
- Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation
All prime organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration with the SAM.gov before submitting an application. DRL may not review applications from or make awards to applicants that have not completed all applicable UEI and SAM.gov requirements. A UEI is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards.
Note: As of April 2022, a DUNS number is no longer required for federal assistance applications.
The 2 CFR 200 requires that sub-grantees obtain a UEI number. Please note the UEI for sub-grantees is not required at the time of application but will be required before the award is processed and/or directed to a sub-grantee.
Note: The process of obtaining or renewing a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.
- Organizations based in the United States or that pay employees within the United States will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code, and a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
- Organizations based outside of the United States and that do not pay employees within the United States do not need an EIN from the IRS, but do need a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov. Please note that as of December 2022, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO CAGE (NCAGE) code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. If an applicant organization is mid-registration and wishes to remove an NCAGE code from their sam.gov registration, the applicant should submit a help desk ticket (“incident”) with the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online at www.fsd.gov to seek guidance on how to do so.
All prime organizations must also continue to maintain active SAM.gov registration with current information at all times during which they have an active Federal award or application under consideration by a Federal award agency. SAM.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov and to maintain that active registration. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements at the time of application, the applicant may be deemed technically ineligible to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.
Please refer to 2 CFR 25.200 for additional information.
Note: SAM.gov is not the same as SAMS Domestic. It is free of charge to register in both systems, but the registration processes are different.
Information is included on the SAM.gov website to help international registrations, including “Quick Start Guide for International Registrations” and “Helpful Hints.” Navigate to www.SAM.gov, click “HELP” in the top navigation bar, then click, “Explore” and “New to SAM.gov?” for general information. Please note, guidance on SAM.gov and the guidance on GSA’s website about requirement for registering in SAM.gov is subject to change. Applicants should review the website for the most up-to-date guidance.
10. Submission Dates and Times
Applications are due no later than March 12, 2023, 5:00 p.m. EET (Amman time).
11. Funding Restrictions
- Fees and travel cost to attend conferences in the United States
- Ongoing salary costs (e.g., standing up or maintaining the operation of an organization)
- Office equipment
- Paying to complete activities begun with other funds
- Refreshments (exception: expenses for coffee breaks and working lunches which are essential to the realization of the program might be funded)
- Costs of alcoholic beverages
Furthermore award funds cannot be used for construction projects, vehicle purchases, real estate purchases or other similar purposes or for costs which are determined as unallowable in 2 CFR 200.
E. REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS
Evaluation Criteria: The U.S. embassy or consulate Public Affairs Sections will use the criteria outlined below to evaluate all applications. The proposals will be reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of regional and exchange program experts located at the Department of State in Washington, DC. Panelists will use the criteria below to review and evaluate applications.
|Relevance to Application Theme
The proposal provides sufficient information on how the activities will support the theme(s) of the competition. The narrative explains any relevant local context the D.C. Selection Committee may not be aware of in relation to this project. Proposed project ideas must be public diplomacy in nature (i.e. not development or military).
|Purpose and Summary, Description, and Implementation Plan
When developing the purpose, summary, description, and implementation plan, applicants should aim to make all descriptions clear, concise, and compelling. Reviewers will judge the proposals based on the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the community where it is undertaken. Does the project address an important gap of understanding or need? If the aim of the project is achieved, how will existing knowledge or practice be improved? What audience do the applicants hope to reach with this project? How many will participate? How will they be selected?
|Degree of Alumni Involvement
Projects must include the involvement of at least two (2) exchange alumni. They may be the project team leaders or collaborate directly with PAS in formulating the project. More than two alumni may comprise the team, however, the minimum is two. As the team leaders, the alumni must be closely involved in project planning, implementation, etc. Applicants should ensure that the proposal includes the following information for each alumni team member: first name, last name, e-mail address, exchange program, country of citizenship, and roles and responsibilities.
|Participation and Support from Local Partners
The proposal demonstrates buy-in and support from the community where the project will take place. Local partner involvement is a strong sign that there is community support and that the project will engage a broad array of experts, such as subject matter experts, community centers, academic institutions, businesses, local/national government, non-governmental organizations, American Spaces, etc.
|Evaluation and Impact of the Project
A monitoring & evaluation (M&E) plan is pivotal to project implementation and important tracking progress towards the project’s objectives and goals. An M&E plan should consider the data needed to effectively monitor progress toward specific outputs and outcomes as well as how that data collection will be accomplished. Well-crafted indicators should be used to understand a program’s progress toward the desired results. An M&E plan should be reviewed for the following:
• Applicability and logic of objectives and indicators
• Clear approach to monitoring
• Adherence to SMART criteria
• Feasibility of baselines and targets
• Data quality plan
• Capacity to implement plan
|Communication, Media, and Outreach Plan
The project should include a clear plan and timeline for how and when the team will share information about the project. It is important to ensure that the U.S. Embassy gets recognition throughout the process, if circumstances permit.
|Budget and Budget Narrative
The budget and narrative justification are sufficiently 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. The results and proposed outcomes justify the total cost of the project. Budget items are reasonable, allowable, and allocable.
Disclaimer: This notice is subject to availability of funding. U.S. Embassy Jordan does not guarantee availability of funding by receiving applications under this announcement. Only successful applicants will be contacted.
F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
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.
Payment Method: SF270 request for advance or reimbursement. Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.
- Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply. These include:
2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit quarterly financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted. As appropriate, performance reports should communicate progress toward achieving program objectives in a measurable way, referencing specific objectives indicators and activities. Reports should share lessons learned, information on improving program outcomes, and how to foster the adoption of promising practices. Reports should contain a comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives of the federal award established for the period. This should include information on how costs are tied to accomplishments. The reasons why established goals were not met, and additional pertinent information including an analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs. Reports should include images and links of any social media features of the program.
G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
Questions about the grant application process should be directed to: JordanAlumni@state.gov
You can download the supporting files here: