Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Amman PAS Annual Program Statement

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY AMMAN, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

Funding Opportunity Title:                U.S. Embassy Amman PAS Annual Program Statement

Funding Opportunity Number:         PAS-JOR-FY24-001

Deadline for Applications:                      January 25, 2024 (Cycle A); May 2, 2024 (Cycle B)

CFDA Number:                                    19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

Total Amount Available:                         $1,000,000, subject to confirmation of availability of funds

Maximum for Each Award:                     $500,000

Minimum for Each Award:                $50,000

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy in Amman Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This is an Annual Program Statement, outlining our funding priorities, our thematic priorities, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024.  Please carefully follow all instructions below. There will be two rounds for proposal submissions with the following deadlines:

  • January 25, 2024 (Cycle A) and
  • May 2, 2024 (Cycle B)

 Awards will be made to successful applicants subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

Purpose of Grants: PAS Amman invites proposals from U.S. and Jordanian not-for-profit civil society organizations, think tanks, cultural and arts organizations, government institutions, and academic institutions for programs that strengthen cultural ties between the U.S. and Jordan through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.  Particular consideration will be given to programs with strategic and sustained activities for a duration of 12-18 months, as well as to applications that integrate multiple aspects of U.S. public diplomacy (e.g. American Spaces, Regional English Language Office, youth and opinion leaders, alumni outreach, etc.)

Examples of PAS Grants Program programs include, but are not limited to: Academic and professional lectures, seminars and speaker programs;

  • Artistic and cultural workshops, performances, exhibitions, or activities to develop the creative economy and film industry in Jordan;
  • Workshops, training, and competitions to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Jordan and promote inclusive economic growth;
  • Sports workshops, joint athletic competitions, or sports management training;
  • Programs that encourage skills building or technology education for youth – particularly with new and emerging information and communications technology;
  • Professional and academic exchanges and programs;
  • Activities that build digital literacy and counter misinformation/disinformation among Jordanian audiences;
  • Workshops or training focused on English language learning or training for teachers of English;
  • Training, professional opportunities, or educational activities that promote climate awareness, conservation, or climate action – especially in water security;

Priority Program Areas:

Priority will be given to proposals that address one or more of the following program areas:

 

  1. U.S.-Jordan Bilateral Relationship – Programs that seek to promote a greater understanding of U.S. policies, culture, and society to Jordanian audiences; activities that promote shared values and interests between the American and Jordanian people; and projects that build people-to-people ties. Particular consideration will be given to activities that promote that 75th anniversary of U.S.-Jordanian bilateral relations.
  2. Regional Security – Programs that address issues of regional security and enhanced stability, strengthen community resilience to extremism and/or provide opportunities to vulnerable communities (especially women and youth), or increase public understanding of the U.S.-Jordan security partnership.
  3. Inclusive Economic Growth – Programs related to skill building and upskilling Jordan’s large, tech-savvy youth workforce through entrepreneurship and economic training and education, vocational skills building, education to employment training, and experiential learning activities that promote innovation-driven economic growth and inclusion of Jordanian women and youth in the country’s workforce and leadership.
  4. Diversity and Inclusion – Programs that promote civic engagement and volunteerism, encourage a deepened understanding of diversity and inclusion in Jordan, and support tolerance and equity of others through inclusive, constructive, public discourse.
  5. Climate Action — Programs that increase awareness of the destabilizing impacts of climate change (especially water scarcity) and that encourage climate education and mitigation.
  6. Higher Education – Programs that promote study in the United States, the building of linkages between American and Jordanian academic institutions, and training opportunities for Jordanian students or faculty.
  7. Countering Disinformation/Misinformation– Programs that build media and digital literacy, promote resilience among the Jordanian audiences against disinformation, and raise awareness of the importance of countering mis/disinformation.

 Participants and Audiences:

All programs should target audiences in Jordan.  Proposals should describe both the primary and secondary audiences for the program, including age, gender, geographic location, and numbers anticipated to be reached.  Primary audiences are those who will participate directly in the program, and secondary audiences include those reached indirectly – for example, via social media or traditional media.

Specific audiences are considered a priority for awards funded under this APS include:

  • Young leaders who are 18-35 years-old;
  • Women and girls;
  • Minority, peripheral, and/or underrepresented communities (including persons with disabilities);
  • Entrepreneurs and those involved in strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem, such as the film industry, the tourism sector, and the creative economy in Jordan;
  • Changemakers across Jordan’s 12 governorates (especially audiences residing outside of Amman);
  • Emerging Jordanian voices in non-traditional fields;
  • English language educators (primary, secondary, and tertiary levels).

The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:

  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Programs that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs;
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization;
  • Projects seeking funds for personal use; or
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs.

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:

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

B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: Performance periods are based on the needs of the project, although proposed programs should generally be completed in 12 to 18 months.

Number of awards anticipated: 3-10 awards (dependent on amounts)

Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $500,000

Total available funding: $500,000, pending availability of funds

Type of funding:  Fiscal Year 2024 Public Diplomacy Funding

Anticipated program start date:  March 1, 2024 – October 1, 2024

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Fixed Amount Award (FAAs), or Cooperative agreement. Cooperative agreements and some FAAs are different from grants in that PAS staff are more actively involved in the grant implementation (“Substantial Involvement”).

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed within 12 to 18 months.

C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

  1. Eligible Applicants

The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from U.S. and Jordanian:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience.
  • Individuals: Individuals can apply for up to $150,000
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions

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

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing is not required.
  2. Other Eligibility Requirements

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization.  If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.

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

D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

  1. Forms for Application Package: Application forms required below are available at gov.
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Content of Application

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars
  • All pages are numbered

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms

      For Individuals:

  • SF-424I (Application for Federal Assistance – Individuals)
  • SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs)
  • SF-424B (Assurances for Non-Construction Programs)

For Organizations:

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – Organizations)
  • SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs)
  • SF-424B (Assurances for Non-Construction Programs) *

*If an organization has an active registration in SAM.gov that was either created or updated on or after 2/2/2019, then the applicant does NOT need to submit the SF-424B because their registration or recertification will have included the necessary information.  Individuals are required to submit the SF-424B (Assurances forNon-Construction Programs) form.

  1. Summary Coversheet: 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.
  2. Proposal: The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. We strongly encourage applicants to use the PAS proposal template. 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 all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies. To be considered for funding under this opportunity, applicants MUST have demonstrable previous experience working in Jordan. This should be addressed within the project narrative.
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed.
  • Program Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Jordan will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals.  Program objectives should be “SMART”:
      • Specific -What are the specific objectives of the program activities and how will those objectives achieve the intended program impact?
      • Measurable -What are the quantifiable results that determine achievement of each objectives?
      • Achievable -Can the program meet the objectives within time and/or resource constraints?
      • Relevant -How will success of the objectives contribute to the program’s overarching goal?
      • Time-Bound -Is it clear how long the program has to achieve the objectives and the point at which success will be measured?
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
  • Proposed Program Schedule: The proposed timeline for the program activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
  • Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Media Outreach Plan: A plan that takes into consideration primary and secondary audiences of the program, the organization’s partnership with the U.S. Embassy, details on promotional materials that includes U.S. branding, and information on anticipated cooperation with PAS Amman on amplification.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame 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?
  • Risk Analysis: All programs inherently contain both internal and external risks. However, with proper identification and management, risks can be prepared for, minimized or mitigated. The purpose of a risk analysis is to identify the internal and external risks associated with the proposed program in the application, rate the likelihood of the risks, rate the potential impact of the risks on the program, and identify actions that could help mitigate the risks. Applicants should include all assumptions and external factors identified in the logic model in the risk analysis. Applicants should rate the likelihood of a risk and potential impact of the risk as “High,” “Medium,” or “Low.” Note: PAS Amman requires organizations to conduct adequate risk analysis and remediation throughout the life of a program and provide revisions to risk analysis documents and processes as necessary.
  • Logic Model: Applicants should provide a logic model or theory of change to demonstrate how the proposed project (including activities, the project design, and the surrounding context) will achieve the stated objectives. The logic model or theory of change statements can be generated using the template. NOTE: Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the same format as found in the sample. If the applicant does not use the template, the applicant must ensure that their submission includes all elements outlined in the sample.
  • Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  1. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate file to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.

NOTE: Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the same format as provided in the template, and to submit a budget summary and detailed line-item budgets in Excel form, and the Budget Narrative as either a PDF or Word file. If the applicant does not use the template, the applicant must ensure that their submission includes all elements outlined in the sample.

  1. Attachments:
  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program;
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner (if applicable);
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities;
  • Documentation of non-profit or non-commercial status;
  • Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov) registration.
  1. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

Required Registrations:

All 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. 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.  Registration for a UEI is free of charge.

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 an award is processed and/or directed to a sub-grantee.  The UEI registration requirement does not apply to individuals.  However, the UEI registration requirement does apply to U.S. and foreign organizations (including non-profit and educational institutions), and it does apply to Foreign Public Entities, Public International Organizations, and foreign governments.

 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), and a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
  • Organizations based outside of the United States and that do not pay employees within the United States do not need an EIN from the IRS but do need a UEI number prior to registering in SAM.gov.
  • Please note that as of November 2022 and February 2022 respectively, organizations based outside of the United States that do not intend to apply for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awards are no longer required to have a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code or CAGE code to apply for non-DoD foreign assistance funding opportunities. If an applicant organization is mid-registration and wishes to remove a CAGE or NCAGE code from their SAM.gov registration, the applicant should submit a help desk ticket (“incident”) with the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online at fsd.gov using the following language: “I do not intend to seek financial assistance from the Department of Defense. I do not wish to obtain a CAGE or NCAGE code. I understand that I will need to submit my registration after this incident is resolved in order to have my registration activated.”

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

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

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

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

NCAGE Homepage:

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

NCAGE Code Request Tool (NCRT):

Exemptions

An exemption from the UEI and sam.gov registration requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

  • An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.
  • For an applicant, if the Federal awarding agency makes a determination that there are exigent circumstances that prohibit the applicant from receiving a unique entity identifier and completing SAM registration prior to receiving a Federal award. In these instances, Federal awarding agencies must require the recipient to obtain a unique entity identifier and complete SAM registration within 30 days of the Federal award date.

Organizations requesting exemption from UEI or SAM.gov requirements must email the point of contact listed in the NOFO at least two weeks prior to the deadline in the NOFO providing a justification of their request. Approval for a SAM.gov exemption must come from the warranted Grants Officer before the application can be deemed eligible for review.

  1. Submission Dates and Times

The Public Affairs Section will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals according to the following schedule.  Please note that while the deadlines for submission of applications are firm, all of the review and response dates are approximate and are subject to change, based on availability of funds.  All funding decisions are also subject to availability of funds at all times.

Cycle A: Proposals for Cycle A are due January 25, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. Amman local time (EEST).  Proposals received from the date when the APS is published on Grants.gov to January 25, 2024 will be reviewed by February 15, 2024 with responses going out by March 7, 2024.

Cycle B: Proposals for Cycle B are due May 2, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. Amman local time (EEST).  Proposals received from January 26, 2024 to May 2, 2024 will be reviewed by June 6, 2024 with responses going out by June 20, 2024.

Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time before the closing date of May 2, 2024.  No applications will be accepted after that date.

  1. Funding Restrictions

Funding may not be used for the following:

  • Fees and travel costs to attend conferences in the United States, unless the travel is part of a program/project and will tie directly to activities in Jordan
  • 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 may 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.

  1. Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to AmmanGrants@state.gov.

Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible. 

E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.

Embassy priorities: The organization has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support PAS Amman’s priority areas or target audiences, as described in Section A.  The organization has also clearly identified the American component to be included in the program.

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: 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 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 clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

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 plan: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.

Media outreach plan: The organization describes a clear plan for how the program will be shared with secondary audiences through traditional and/or social media.  The organization describes clearly how the partnership with the U.S. government will be made visible to the participants and to secondary audiences.  (Note: Branding waivers will only be granted on a rare basis and with a strong justification of why one is needed in order for the project to be successful.)

Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.

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

For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold over the period of performance (see §200.01 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants that:

i. 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 U.S. government designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM.gov (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);

ii. An applicant, at its option, may review and comment on any information about itself in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM that a Federal awarding agency previously entered;

iii. 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 or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method: Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.  Payment schedules will be determined by the Grants Officer and specified in the award document, according to the program’s milestones and as needed to carry out the project activities.

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

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include:  2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at:  https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Note the U.S. Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

  1. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS at: AmmanGrants@state.gov.

Note:  We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.

H. OTHER INFORMATION

Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.