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FY 2011 Funding Opportunity Announcement for NGO programs benefiting returning refugees in Afghanistan - Countrywide Announcement


Funding Opportunity Announcement
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
March 10, 2011

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Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-ECA-11-CA-SA-03102011-AFGHANS

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.519 - Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Near East and South Asia

Announcement issuance date: Thursday, March 10, 2011

Proposal submission deadline: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

ADVISORY: Grants.gov expects to experience a continued high volume of activity. PRM strongly recommends submitting proposals early.

Proposed Program Start Dates: June 1 – September 30, 2011.

Duration of Activity: Program plans from 12 to 36 months will be considered. Actual awards will not exceed 12 months in duration. See guidance below.

The Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) objective with respect to refugees, returnees and IDP’s is to efficiently manage the voluntary return of refugees and IDPs and their reintegration into productive participation in society. As part of PRM’s support of ANDS goals, PRM intends for activities and programs to transition to locally available services, early recovery and/or development programs, or to self-reliance.

Actual awards will not exceed 12 months in duration. Applicants with multi-year programs may submit multi-year applications with proposals that include multi-year strategies that present activities and projected budgets in 12-month time periods not to exceed 36 months from the proposed start date. See guidance below.

Multi-year applications may be submitted with proposals to facilitate the transition of PRM-funded activities to locally available services, early recovery and/or development programs, or to self-reliance. The proposals should demonstrate that the conclusion of PRM-funded activities would result in this successful transition.

Multi-year applications selected for funding by PRM will be funded in 12-month increments based on the proposals submitted in the competing application and as approved by PRM. Continued funding after the initial 12-month award requires the submission of a noncompeting continuation application as detailed in the Noncompeting Application Requirements section below and will be contingent upon available funding, strong performance, and continuing need. NGOs receiving awards under these terms will be required to submit continuation applications at least three months in advance of the end of each 12-month period of activities. Please see the “Proposal Content, Formatting, and Templates” section for additional guidance.

PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years and encourages applicants to seek a wide array of donors to ensure long-term and diverse funding sources.

Current Funding Priorities for Returning Refugees in Afghanistan:

In FY2011, PRM priorities include emergency humanitarian assistance to and reintegration of recent refugee returnees and the protection and assistance needs of refugees who returned less recently, but who have not fully reintegrated into Afghan society. For all programs, PRM prioritizes activities for extremely vulnerable individuals such as women and girls.

More than 5.6 million Afghans have returned to Afghanistan since 2002. UNHCR assisted almost 113,000 refugee returnees during 2010. The Bureau supports durable resettlement and reintegration of returnees, especially extremely vulnerable individuals, through promotion of sustainable livelihoods and life-saving activities. Program proposals should address needs and regions not covered by UNHCR or other international organizations.

More emphasis will be placed on integrated approaches to reintegration activities by UNHCR in 2011. This intends to ensure close coordination of assistance and programs provided to beneficiaries by different actors to tackle the overall well-being of the population groups concerned, ensure sustainability of return and pave the way for a longer-term development. In 2011, a number of specific areas/regions will be identified throughout the country where pilot models of sustainable reintegration will be developed with the aim to further extend to other locations.

PRM will accept proposals from any NGO providing humanitarian and reintegration assistance, and priority will be given to proposals from organizations that demonstrate:

  • a working relationship with UNHCR, current UNHCR funding, and/or a letter of support from UNHCR for the proposed activities and/or overall country program (this letter should highlight the gap in services the proposed program addresses and demonstrated knowledge of UNHCR’s 2011 integrated approach)
  • a proven track record of assistance in the proposed sector(s) and location(s)
  • evidence of coordination and transition planning to early recovery and/or development activities with international organizations (IOs), other NGOs and local governmental authorities
  • a concrete implementation plan with well-conceived objectives and indicators that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and reliable, time-bound and trackable (SMART), have established baselines, and have at least one outcome or impact indicator per objective
  • an appropriate budget for the objectives including co-funding by non-U.S. government sources
  • appropriate targeting of beneficiaries, especially extremely vulnerable individuals, in coordination with UNHCR and other relevant organizations
  • adherence to international standards for humanitarian assistance. See General PRM NGO Guidelines for a complete list of sector-specific standards

Country Specific Instructions:

Activities can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Cross border programs to facilitate successful reintegration of refugee returnees
  2. Income-generating activities, including micro-finance programs and vocational training in marketable skills and professional tool sets, linked to existing markets [Note: Stand alone vocational training and cash-for-work programs not linked to income-generating activities or job placement will not be considered.]
  3. Prevention of and response to gender-based violence (GBV)
  4. Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) education and systems improvement
  5. Community-based interventions that support emergency needs of recent returnees
  6. Projects that improve relations between returnee and host communities, such as addressing governance challenges and land dispute resolution

For extremely vulnerable populations such as recent returnees, less recent returnees who have not successfully reintegrated, and women and children, PRM will also consider programs focused in the following areas:

  1. Provision of or improved access to basic health services, including maternal/child health care and reproductive health services, combined with capacity building or such as health care worker training and provision of supplies and equipment
  2. Primary school education, combined with capacity building or sustainability such as teacher training and provision of materials and equipment

Multi-sectoral programs are encouraged. Although PRM anticipates the majority of awards will provide support for Afghan returnees, submissions may include activities which cover emergency needs of Pakistani refugees in Afghanistan.

Transition Strategy/Coordination Requirements:

All programs must include a detailed description of how activities will transition to locally available services, early recovery and/or development programs, or to self-reliance. Each program objective should contain an outcome or impact indicators that capture transition activities and outcomes.

PRM will prioritize projects that either coordinate with, or are already incorporated in the Afghanistan Consolidated Appeal (CAP) 2011, the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), and/or the National Solidarity Programme (NSP). All projects indicators must disaggregate by gender, age, and location (i.e. supply GPS coordinates or districts where activities occur). Programs addressing needs of women should align with the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAWPA) 2008 – 2018.

Funding Limits:

PRM will consider projects with budgets ranging from $250,000 to $2,000,000 for one year.

PRM looks favorably on cost-sharing and seeks to support projects with a diverse donor base and/or resources from the submitting organization.

Proposal Submission Requirements:

See “How to Apply” (http://www.grants.gov/applicants/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements, and note the following highlights:

  • Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov. Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should register well in advance of the April 11, 2011 deadline. To register with Grants.gov, organizations must first receive a DUNS number and register with the Central Contract Registry (CCR) which can take weeks or months. See “Applicant FAQs” section on Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/help/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) for complete details on registering.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Applicants who have done so in the past and experienced technical difficulties were not able to meet the deadline. PRM strongly recommends submitting proposals early.
  • If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at support@grants.gov or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via Grants.gov due to Grants.gov technical difficulties, have reported the problem(s) to the Grants.gov help desk, received a case number, and had a service request opened to research the problem(s), should contact PRM Program Officer Diane Whitten via email at Whittendl@state.gov for further information.
  • Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps avoid technical problems.
  • Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found at: http://fa.statebuy.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=161&menu_id=68 )
  • NGOs that have not received PRM funding prior to the U.S. Government fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 must demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. Government by submitting copies of 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) non-profit tax status under IRS 501 (c)(3), 3) a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and 4) an Employer ID (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification number.
  • International Organizations (IOs) that are engaged in programs relevant to the assistance addressed by this PRM funding announcement should ensure that these programs are made known to PRM on or before the closing date of this funding announcement so that PRM can evaluate all IO and NGO programs for funding consideration.

Proposal Content, Formatting and Templates:

PRM strongly encourages organizations applying for PRM funding to use the PRM recommended proposal and budget templates. Templates can be requested by sending an email to PRM's NGO Coordinator. You must type “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line to receive an automated reply containing the template.

In addition to referencing the “Proposal Submission and Review Process” section in the General PRM NGO Guidelines, applicants proposing multi-year programs should adhere to the following additional guidance.

Applicants may submit proposals that include multi-year strategies presented in 12-month cycles for a period not to exceed 36 months from the proposed start date. Fully developed programs with detailed budgets, objectives and indicators are required for the first 12-months of activities. PRM expects all multi-year program plans to broadly outline the necessary out-year activities for the successful transition and cessation of PRM-funding of the program. Multi-year strategies should include notional budgets (budget summaries only) for out-year activities. Objectives and indicators for out-year 12-month program cycles are not required as part of the initial proposal and will be requested with continuation applications.

Following are examples that are appropriate and encouraged for the second and third 12-month program cycles:

  • Plans to conduct a process evaluation to determine whether program design during the initial 12 months was effective;
  • Activities that build on foundations developed during the initial 12-month phase (e.g. job placement activities in year two to build on vocational skills programs conducted in year one)
  • Activities that will transition to other programs or funding sources at the end of the project period (e.g. NGO payment of teachers in year one, with plans to transition responsibility for payment to government in the following school year)

PLEASE TAKE SPECIAL NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED IN THE PRM’s FY2011 NGO GUIDELINES:

This announcement is designed to accompany the General PRM NGO Guidelines, which contain additional administrative information and explain in detail PRM’s NGO funding strategy and priorities. Please use both the guidelines and this announcement to ensure that proposed activities align with PRM’s priorities and that your proposal submission complies with requirements. Proposal submissions that do not meet all of the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

  • Proposals should specify how the NGO will acknowledge PRM funding.
  • All project data must disaggregate by gender, age, and location (i.e. supply GPS coordinates or districts where activities occur).
  • Each objective should have at least one outcome or impact indicator. Baselines should be established before the start of the project. At least one objective must be devoted to transition of activities to locally available services, early recovery and/or development programs, or to self-reliance.
  • Budgets must include a specific breakdown of funds provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization (where applicable). PRM strongly encourages multi-lateral support for humanitarian programs.
  • Organizations that received PRM funding or no-cost extensions in FY 2010 for activities that are being proposed for funding under this announcement must include the most recent quarterly progress report outlined in the cooperative agreement. A progress update is recommended for organizations whose quarterly reports were sent more than six weeks prior to the current submission.

Reports and Reporting Requirements:

Program reporting: PRM requires quarterly and final program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken. NGOs receiving PRM funding should use the recommended program report template. To request this template, send an email with the phrase “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line to PRM's NGO Coordinator. PRM’s Afghan refugee programs are subject to a number of reports and audits by Congressional, interagency, and State entities. Organizations awarded funding by PRM should expect to receive onsite monitoring by PRM or outside entities reviewing PRM’s oversight of NGO programs. Project results and data reported in required quarterly and final program reports may be provided by PRM to other USG entities evaluating assistance in Afghanistan. PRM will safeguard information on individual beneficiaries and staff, but NGOs should be aware that their organization’s name, project locations, and other data may be made available to the public as part of these reports and audits.

Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement; a final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement and/or finalized negotiated indirect cost rate agreement.

Noncompeting Application Requirements

Multi-year applications selected for funding by PRM will be funded in 12 month increments based on the proposals submitted in the competing application and as approved by PRM. Continued funding after the initial 12 month award requires the submission of a noncompeting continuation application as follows:

  • Continuation applications must be submitted not later than 90 days than the proposed start date of the award( e.g., if funding the next budget period is to begin on September 1, submit your application by June 1. Late applications will jeopardize continued funding.
  • Applications must be signed by the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization on the submitted SF-424.
  • Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found at: http://fa.statebuy.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=161&menu_id=68 )
  • Proposal Content, Formatting and Templates: Please refer to the guidance contained within and in the PRM NGO Guidelines. The total budget should not exceed the amount which is listed on the current Federal Assistance Award. You must submit a complete application including:
    • Signed completed SF-424.
    • Proposal reflecting objectives and indicators for the continuation period.
    • Budget for the continuation period.
    • Budget narrative.
    • Most recent Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), if applicable.
    • Information on the amount of unexpended funds to include a statement of the estimated cumulative total dollar amount taking into consideration the actual expenditures shown on the Financial Status Report. Note that funds are available for expenditure only during the period in which they are awarded.

Assistance Award Provision - SPOT

The following provisions will be included in the Bureau specific component of the Notice of Award for performance in a designated combat area (currently Iraq and Afghanistan). Recipients are required to include this provision in any sub-grant awards or agreements.

 

SPECIAL PROVISION FOR PERFORMANCE IN A DESIGNATED COMBAT AREA (CURRENTLY IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN)\
(Revised January 2011)

All recipient personnel deploying to areas of combat operations, as designated by the Secretary of Defense (currently Iraq and Afghanistan), under grants over $100,000 or performance over 30 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 is available from your Grants Officer or Grants Officer Representative.

Recipients must enter all U.S. and Third Country National (TCN) personnel into SPOT. If the Recipient has concerns about the safety of locally hired Iraqi or Afghan personnel because of personal data entered into SPOT, arrangements may be made with the Grants Officer or the Grants Officer Representative to report anonymous aggregate data.

Locally-hired Iraqi or Afghan personnel can be added anonymously through the use of the aggregate count template except as noted in the following paragraph.

Recipients utilizing personnel who are performing a private security function; are performing duties as a translator or interpreter; require access to U.S. facilities, services, or support; or desire consideration for refugee or special immigrant status under the Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act of 2007 (subtitle C of title XII of Public Law 110–181) must be entered into SPOT individually with all required personal information. If a locally-hired Iraqi or Afghan national falls into one of these categories, the Recipient must enter all of the required identification data into SPOT.

When the Grantee is ready to enter locally-hired individuals using the Aggregate Count method, the Grantee will notify the Grants Officer who will contact the Department SPOT Program Manager (A/LM/AQM) to obtain the “Aggregate Count” template. The Grantee will complete the “Aggregate Count” template and return to the SPOT Program Manager who will ensure that aggregate counts are loaded into SPOT. The Grantee SPOT Administrator is responsible for updating the aggregate locally hired national count on a quarterly basis by providing updated information via the “Aggregate Count” As template to the GOR/GO for each award who will forward to the Department SPOT Program Manager for SPOT entry.

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. In a designated area of combat operations, the term PSC includes any personnel providing protection of the personnel, facilities, property of a grantee or subgrantee at any level, or performing any other activity for which personnel are required to carry weapons in the performance of their duties.

As specific COM policies and procedures may differ in scope and applicability, recipients of federal assistance awards are advised to review post policies and procedures carefully in this regard and direct any questions to the Embassy Regional Security Office (RSO) via the Grants Officer Representative (GOR). Any exclusion to these policies must be granted by the COM via the RSO. COM policies and procedures may be obtained from the RSO via the GOR. Recipients of federal assistance awards are also advised that these policies and procedures may be amended from time to time at the post in response to changing circumstances.

Recipients of federal assistance awards are advised that adherence to these policies and procedures are considered to be a material requirement of their grant.

Recipients of federal assistance awards are reminded that only the Grants Officer has the authority to modify the Notice of Award. Recipients shall proceed with any security guidance provided by the RSO, but shall advise the Grants Officer and the GOR of the guidance received and any potential cost or schedule impact.

For more details regarding PRM’s reporting requirements please see General PRM NGO Guidelines.

Proposal Review Process:

PRM will conduct a formal review of all submitted proposals submitted. A review panel will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced criteria and priorities in the context of available funding.

PRM will inform applicants of the panel’s decision to recommend or not recommend funding proposed activities, and may request revised proposals and/or budgets based on feedback from the panel. PRM will formally notify NGOs of final decisions by Bureau management.

PRM Points of Contact:

Should you have technical questions related to this announcement, please contact the staff listed below prior to proposal submission. (Note: Responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund programs.):

PRM Program Officer: Diane Whitten (Whittendl@state.gov), Washington, D.C.

Kabul Regional Refugee Coordinator: Carolyn Coberly (CoberlyCH@state.gov), U.S. Embassy Refugee and Migration Affairs, Kabul, Afghanistan.



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