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Diplomacy in Action

General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
February 15, 2011


This document contains the following sections:





Introduction and Key New Elements

These guidelines provide an overview of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration’s (PRM; also referred to in these guidelines as the “Bureau”) mission and overall priorities and are meant to augment regional and/or issue-specific guidance provided in funding opportunity announcements that are released throughout the year.

PRM has primary responsibility within the U.S. Government for formulating policies on population, refugees, and migration, and for administering U.S. refugee assistance and admissions programs. PRM’s mission is to provide protection, ease suffering, and resolve the plight of persecuted and uprooted people around the world on behalf of the American people by providing life-sustaining assistance, working through multilateral systems to build global partnerships, promoting best practices in humanitarian response, and ensuring that humanitarian principles are thoroughly integrated into U.S. foreign and national security policy.

PRM’s primary activities support the efforts of the key multilateral humanitarian organizations responsible for refugees, conflict victims, stateless persons, and vulnerable migrants, including the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The Bureau collaborates closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to ensure our efforts are mutually reinforcing. PRM funds non-governmental organization (NGO) programs that are coordinated with the multilateral system and fill critical gaps. PRM does not provide overseas assistance through for-profit organizations.

The work of NGOs is instrumental to ensuring that the Bureau achieves its humanitarian objectives and fulfills its overall mandate. PRM funds NGO programs designed to fill critical gaps in humanitarian assistance and protection programs. We rely on the fast, flexible, and targeted response of NGOs in emergencies as well as their continued commitment to assist refugee and other populations in protracted situations. Not only are NGOs crucial for assistance delivery, they also provide critical information and analysis for policy development and advocacy.

The most significant new aspect to these guidelines is that, based on specific program requirements, PRM may issue Funding Opportunity Announcements that can result in a Cooperative Agreements for an initial 12-month period and follow-on awards for up to two additional 12-month periods contingent upon continuing need, performance, and availability of funding. See the Funding Timeframes section for additional detail.


Policy Priorities


Coordination: PRM places a high priority on coordination and collaboration in project design and implementation. A proposal should demonstrate the extent to which an organization coordinates and cooperates with the national and local host government, UN agencies (especially UNHCR), relevant international organizations (IO), other USG agencies, other donors, and other NGOs. Projects should target critical gaps identified and agreed upon through this coordination effort.

Vulnerable and Underserved Refugees and other Persons of Concern: Because of PRM’s mandate to provide protection, assistance, and sustainable solutions for refugees and victims of conflict, PRM only considers funding NGO projects that include a target beneficiary base of at least 50% refugees, returnees, and/or other persons of concern as described in the relevant request for proposals. PRM focuses on meeting the needs of vulnerable and underserved populations. Vulnerable groups may include women, children, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) individuals, the elderly, the sick, the disabled, and other minorities. PRM strongly promotes women’s equal access to resources and their participation in managing those resources.

Codes of Conduct: PRM strongly supports the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s (IASC) Plan of Action to protect beneficiaries of humanitarian assistance from sexual exploitation and abuse. PRM partners must have Codes of Conduct consistent with the IASC’s six core principles signed and implemented within their organizations. Applicants should include codes of conduct as an attachment to the proposal application. (IASC’s core principles document can be found at:

PRM further encourages NGO partners to develop clearly articulated policies to both respond to and prevent this type of abuse.

Minimum Humanitarian Standards: Proposals should use the Sphere Minimum Standards in Disaster Response as the basis for design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation in emergency settings, including proposed objectives and indicators. The Sphere handbook is available at When attaining minimum standards is not possible, an explanation should be provided as to why this is the case. For non-emergency and/or urban settings, proposals should refer to relevant international standards, including Sphere, and the following sector-specific standards, guidelines, or best practices:

· Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH): See Sphere Handbook. NGOs should design intervention with a focus on maintenance by local communities in the longer-term by water user committees that include both men and women. For all water interventions, NGOs must provide information about water quality testing procedures, including the timing of testing as appropriate during rainy seasons. In refugee reintegration settings, PRM will not typically fund water points that require maintenance parts that are not available in the local market. The exception to this is when NGOs can provide compelling justification for using such infrastructure in emergency situations or if the NGO can demonstrate that they can establish a supply chain for parts not currently available in the local market. Hygiene programs should ensure refugees receive the Sphere minimum standard of soap for bathing and for laundry (as opposed to washing hands with ash, for example)

· Health: See Sphere Handbook. To avoid establishing parallel systems, health strategies should be designed to use national treatment and prevention protocols where possible, and to adhere to international standards where host government capacity is limited. Wherever feasible, interventions should be coordinated with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and, if applicable, coordination mechanisms such as the Health Cluster Lead, such as the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO). Any health infrastructure built with PRM funding must conform to national MoH guidelines. PRM supported health partners must report data to the UNHCR’s Health Information System, if functional in country. Crude Mortality Rates (CMR) and Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) survey data should be shared with the UNHCR Public Health and HIV Section and the Complex Emergency Database at the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters ( In refugee reintegration settings, PRM-funded NGOs providing health services should obtain a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with local or national MoH officials. The MoU should acknowledge the NGO’s presence and work, and should include a plan that details the process and timeline for eventual handover of health services to the MoH and other relevant actors, including if/when health staff currently being paid by the NGO will be added to MoH payrolls. Proposals for reproductive health interventions should adhere to the Interagency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations. PRM supports the use of the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) in emergency settings.

NGO partners implementing tuberculosis (TB) programs with refugee populations are expected to use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s TB Monitoring and Evaluation toolkit at least once per fiscal year in order to evaluate and improve program quality. The tool evaluates four components of TB programming: (1) Laboratory; (2) Clinical Case Management and Treatment; (3) Health Education; and (4) Data Management and Logistics. It is available at: NGO partners should send results of evaluations to the relevant PRM Regional Program Officer and copy PRM’s Health Officer Bryan Schaaf at

· Education: The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies Minimum Standards Handbook is available at: To avoid establishing parallel systems, curricula should be designed to comply with national curriculum standards issued by the national Ministry of Education (MoE) of the refugee hosting country and/or the refugee-generating country, wherever possible. Educational programs should be coordinated through the local or national MoE, where feasible. Any schools built with PRM funding must conform to applicable national MoE guidelines regarding school infrastructure. In refugee reintegration settings, PRM-funded NGOs providing education should obtain a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with local or national Ministry of Education (MoE) officials. The MoU should acknowledge the NGO’s presence and work, and should include a plan that details the process and timeline for eventual handover of educational services to the MoE, including if/when teachers currently paid by the NGO will be added to MoE payrolls.

· Livelihoods: The Women’s Refugee Commission Building Livelihoods Manual is available at:, and the Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards is available at: NGOs should conduct a market analysis before proposing an intervention so that programs and trainings offered to beneficiaries promote skills that support livelihoods in the current market conditions and/or in future locations, as in the case of refugee return/reintegration programs.

· Psychosocial: The Inter-Agency Standing Committee Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings is available at: Proposals should focus on the psychosocial needs of populations at greatest risk and emphasize the participation of beneficiaries. Stand alone programs should be avoided, and programs should be integrated whenever possible into wider systems such as existing community support mechanisms, social service, general health/mental health services, etc.

Safety and Security: When implementing any PRM award, the implementing organization is responsible for ensuring that adequate measures are taken for the security and safety of the organization’s personnel and any PRM-funded property, equipment, and vehicles. It is essential for every organization to possess well-defined security concepts and consistently applied operational security policies and procedures. Proposals should include a security plan and protocol that is designed specifically for the local operating environment based on a security assessment. A generic, organization-wide plan is not acceptable. PRM strongly recommends that organizations adhere to the UN’s security guidelines in any given location and use InterAction’s Security Planning Guidelines. PRM will consider requests to fund security requirements. Failure to maintain adequate security precautions may result in suspension of PRM funding.

Cost-sharing: PRM looks favorably on cost-sharing efforts and seeks to support projects with a diverse donor base and/or resources from the submitting organization. Please refer to the Cost Proposal section of this Guidance for treatment of cost-sharing in budgets and PRM awards.

Technology: PRM encourages the innovative use of mobile technology in programs, including the use of mobile phones to support program implementation and monitoring. More information on mobile technology in humanitarian assistance programs can be found at:

Funding Timeframes and Acknowledgement of PRM Funding

PRM will define the timeframe and duration of activities in each unique Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Beginning with issuance of these guidelines, PRM will have the option of issuing Funding Opportunity Announcements that more explicitly recognize a multi-year approach and can result in Cooperative Agreements for an initial 12-month period that provisionally assume follow-on awards for up to two additional 12-month periods. Each unique Funding Opportunity Announcements issued by PRM will clearly specify whether the Bureau will make use of this option. NGOs receiving awards under these terms will receive an initial 12-month award to conduct proposed activities for the first 12-month cycle. The NGO will be required to submit continuation applications at least three months in advance of the end of each 12-month period of activities.

For cooperative agreements awarded on this basis, follow-on awards will be made based on annual continuation applications for each additional 12-month period, and the actual award will be contingent upon continuing need, available funding, submission of an abbreviated proposal detailing follow-on activities and performance measures (at the request of and in the format determined by PRM), and a review of the performance of the partner. Eligibility criteria for continued funding beyond the initial 12-month cooperative agreement will be defined in the relevant Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Applicants should understand that receipt of prior funding for the same or similar projects in a given location is not a pre-condition for and does not guarantee continued PRM funding. PRM retains the right to re-compete projects at any point in time.

Acknowledgement of PRM funding: Organizations receiving overseas assistance from the Bureau are required to acknowledge publicly the projects and activities funded with that assistance. Applicants must include in their proposals a plan for recognizing projects and activities financed with PRM funding in all appropriate publications and printed descriptions, including press releases, annual reports and financial statements; and at the project site. At the project site, acknowledgement should be in the form of a graphic of the U.S. flag accompanied by one of the following two phrases based on the level of PRM funding:

  1. Fully funded with PRM contribution: ‘Gift of the United States Government’
  2. Partially funded with PRM contribution: ‘Funding provided by the United States Government’

For an electronic copy of the approved U.S. flag logo please contact PRM’s NGO Coordinator at

Updates of action taken related to fulfilling this requirement must be included in quarterly program reports to PRM.

An organization may request exemption from this requirement if it believes that public acknowledgment of USG funding might endanger the lives of the beneficiaries and/or the organization’s staff, invite suspicion about the organization’s motives or alienate the organization from the beneficiary population. To request PRM consideration of an exemption to this requirement, the organization must provide an explanation of the relevant factors in its proposal.

Proposal Submission and Review Process

The Bureau routinely announces specific priorities and solicits proposals within a limited period of time. All such announcements are listed on as well as on the Bureau’s website: To receive PRM’s funding announcements via email, go to the Bureau’s website and subscribe to PRM’s listserv.


PRM conducts formal internal competitive reviews of all proposal submissions based on the proposal evaluation criteria and PRM’s priorities.

PRM accepts unsolicited proposals at any time; however, due to limited funding, priority will be given to proposals responding to PRM-issued Funding Opportunity Announcements.

Proposal Format:

PRM recommends that applicants requesting PRM overseas assistance funds use the suggested templates available from PRM’s NGO Coordinator for the proposal narrative, budget summary and budget narrative. If NGOs choose not to use the PRM templates, proposals must include the sections outlined below.

PRM templates are not locked and can be edited by multiple users. However, if an NGO is using PRM’s template, proposals must not be more than 20 pages in length (including instructions). If an NGO is not using the PRM template, then proposals must not be more than 15 pages in length. All proposals must use Times New Roman 12 point font. Organizations may choose to attach work plans, activity calendars, and/or logical frameworks as addendums/appendices to the proposal. These attachments do not count toward the page limit total.

To request copies of the PRM-recommended templates, send an email with the phrase “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line, to You will receive an automated email reply containing the templates mentioned above (proposal template, budget summary and budget detail templates) as well as the quarterly program report template discussed later in these guidelines.

Please use the following guidelines to address each section of the proposal:

  • Summary of Project: Complete the table on the first page of the template.
  • Problem Analysis: This section should provide the rationale and justification for the proposal.


  • Background - Describe the current or anticipated elements of the humanitarian situation that this project seeks to address.
  • Analysis - Provide a summary of assessments that have been conducted and other relevant background information collected to identify the needs of the target population. Indicate dates, sources of information, and describe the most critical needs, vulnerabilities, or capacities that were identified.
  • Profile of the Target Population – What are the demographic characteristics and size of the target beneficiary population? What, if anything, distinguishes them from others in the location? Where relevant, include numbers of refugees, IDPs, returnees, host country nationals, etc., as well as locations, gender, age, and any other unique factors. Explain how the program will target direct beneficiaries. Use the most recent data available and cite sources. PRM understands that many NGO projects will focus on mixed communities composed of refugees (or returnees), IDPs, and members of the local population. Nevertheless, a project receiving PRM funding must demonstrate that refugees, returnees, and/or other persons of concern as described in the relevant request for proposals constitute at least 50% of its beneficiary population. List the specific locations – including camps, provinces, districts, villages, neighborhoods, temporary accommodation centers, etc. – of proposed activities. Provide GPS coordinates, where available. If the locations are not yet known, please explain how the sites will be chosen. Additional detail may be offered in an annex, if necessary.
  • Need –How does this proposal fill a gap in current assistance efforts, including those being undertaken by the host country, UNHCR, other IOs and/or NGOs?


  • Program Description - This is the core of a proposal. It should clearly and concisely outline the implementation plan for each objective, including locations, key activities, any implementing partners, and key outputs. Identify the target population, any goods or services to be provided, and the standard of delivery used (i.e. Sphere). If the standard of delivery differs from an accepted international standard, provide justification for the variance. While there is limited space for narrative in the template, separate work plans, logical frameworks, and/or activity calendars may be attached to provide additional detail.
  • Objectives and Indicators – Outline the objectives for the project and highlight the key indicators proposed to measure progress toward each objective. The types and the number of indicators will vary depending on the project design. For PRM’s purposes, an indicator should include a target, not merely a measurement category. Identify each indicator as an input, output, outcome or impact indicator. The following definitions are taken from the Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance’s “Glossary of Evaluation Terms” available at:


  • Indicator: Quantitative or qualitative variable that provides reliable means to measure a particular phenomenon or attribute.
  • Inputs: Resources provided for program implementation. Examples are money, staff, time, facilities, equipment, etc.

Example of Input Indicator: 5 health education sessions conducted in schools targeting a total of 2,000 students

  • Outputs: The products, goods, and services which result from an intervention.

Example for Output Indicator: 2,000 students complete 3 hours of hygiene education

  • Outcome: A result or effect that is caused by or attributable to the project, program or policy. Outcome is often used to refer to more immediate and intended effects. Related terms: result, effect.

Example of an Outcome Indicator: 75% of children enrolled in school demonstrate a 50% knowledge gain on proper hygiene methods, as demonstrated in pre- and post-test scores

  • Impact: A result or effect that is caused by or attributable to a project or program. Impact is often used to refer to higher level effects of a program that occur in the medium or long-term, and can be intended or unintended and positive or negative.

Example of an Impact Indicator: Rate of diarrhea among student population decreases by 30% (baseline 40% - target 10%)

Outcome and impact indicators are the strongest measurement of a program’s effect on beneficiaries. PRM suggests focusing on outcome and impact indicators where possible, although, depending on the situation or program, it may only be feasible to measure impact over multiple years. Each objective should have at least one outcome or impact indicator that can be measured in a twelve-month timeframe.

Selection of indicators should be informed by data gathered in baseline surveys by the NGO or another IO or NGO operating in the area. PRM encourages the sharing of survey/assessment data among its partners. Additionally, the Bureau strongly encourages NGOs to share information with humanitarian response coordination bodies, such as OCHA, in the field. For those rare projects without baseline data available at the time of proposal submission, NGOs are required to obtain baseline data within the first month of project period if the project is approved for funding by PRM. Using baseline data, establish expected performance targets for each indicator and objective in order to measure and evaluate progress and outcomes. Also include details on how indicators will be measured, including the data collection methodology, frequency of measurements, and how progress will be documented. PRM requires a minimum of one objective and recommends highlighting five indicators or fewer for each objective, although this will vary depending on the type of project.

For each indicator, identify both the targeted population (e.g. entire camp or refugee population vs. a sub-set of the population such as women or adolescents) and the population totals. Clear identification of the population and its size is necessary to establish data collection techniques and to calculate percentages and measure change over time for indicators that include percentages.

  • Example Indicator: 30% increase in new mothers who breastfeed


  • Target population – new mothers (approximately 500/month)
  • Baseline – 100 new mothers breastfeed on average currently
  • Target – 30 new mothers breastfeed (30% of 100, so 130 new mothers breastfeed in total)

Projects with a health and/or nutrition component are strongly encouraged to measure the Crude Mortality Rate (CMR) for the population and Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) in children under age five – two core indicators of the impact of humanitarian assistance. PRM requires that, in addition to required program reports, partners share survey data on CMR and GAM with the UNHCR Public Health and HIV Section, including through the UNHCR’s Health Information System (HIS) where available, and with the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) for inclusion in the online Complex Emergencies Database (CE-DAT) by emailing it to

Objectives and indicators will be formally written into the cooperative agreement for proposals that are selected for PRM funding. Accordingly, proposed objectives and indicators should be strategic milestones of program performance. More detailed plans of program inputs and/or activities can be submitted in annexes such as logical frameworks and activity calendars. Objectives and indicators will be used by PRM to monitor and evaluate the project. Quarterly reports submitted to PRM should track progress against each of these indicators. Consultations with PRM may be necessary in order to arrive at a final set of agreed upon objectives and indicators.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation Plan – Describe the monitoring and evaluation plan. Work plans, logframes, activity calendars, etc., may be attached to illustrate how the organization will track and measure progress. Include, at a minimum, the following elements in the description and/or attached documents:


  • A timeline to track the program’s progress;
  • Details on how indicators will be measured, including frequency of the measurements, units of measure, target dates when indicators will be met, etc. Note which monitoring and evaluation tools will be used (such as clinic records, rapid assessment surveys, site visits, key stakeholder interviews, focus group discussions, interview logs, timelines, progress reports, etc.);
  • Describe how problems identified during monitoring will be addressed;
  • Organizations that received PRM funding in the previous fiscal year must include an assessment of their programs’ success in meeting goals and objectives with an up-to-date, cumulative progress report against indicators as outlined in the cooperative agreement. Organizations should describe problems encountered and explain how they were addressed.


  • Beneficiary Interaction and Capacity Building – Explain how the activity enhances the existing capacities of the beneficiary population or the capacities of the host government to provide services for refugees/returnees and their host community. The proposal should also explain how the organization will draw upon and support traditional coping mechanisms and involve the targeted population in program design and implementation. Why is the program appropriate for the target population? How is the target population involved in program design and implementation? Are there appropriate types of assistance that can be provided to host populations?
  • Coordination – How does the organization coordinate with the host government (national and/or local), UNHCR, other IOs, and NGOs to ensure complementarity, prevent duplication and to maximize resources? For programs targeting refugees or other populations for which international assistance is being coordinated by UNHCR, provide a letter of support from UNHCR that clearly identifies the gap in services the proposed activity is designed to fill. Describe what other NGOs and IOs are doing in the same region. Identify any links between these existing programs and the proposed activities, explaining how these activities will be coordinated. Describe any possible regional (cross-border) implications.
  • Transition – Where appropriate (e.g. protracted and return/reintegration situations), organizations should explain how their projects will be concluded, handed over to another organization (either local/national government or NGO), or financed by other means after PRM funding ends. PRM will prioritize proposals that show evidence of coordination with other organizations and that demonstrate a well designed transition strategy.
  • Management – Provide details on the organization’s management structure and how it will contribute to achieving the stated objectives. Provide examples of past performance that demonstrate the organization’s success in implementing similar programs in this sector and/or country.
  • Security – Briefly describe the security environment in the area of operation, how the organization locally manages risk to its international and national staff, and how the program would respond to a deterioration of the security situation. PRM strongly recommends that NGOs adhere to UN’s security protocols for specific locations and use InterAction’s Security Planning Guidelines. PRM will consider requests to fund security requirements. All security incidents or threats involving NGO staff should be promptly reported to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the U.N. Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), and to the relevant U.S. Embassy. If insecurity impacts the project implementation, NGOs should immediately inform PRM’s Regional Refugee Coordinator. Failure to maintain adequate security precautions may result in suspension of PRM funding.
  • Sub-Contracts/Sub-Recipients – List the full and exact name of any sub-contractors or sub-recipients the organization plans to fund through the proposed project. Identify sub-grantees including, for each, the Legal Name, Organizational DUNS, Address, and Name of Organizational Representative. Describe how these organizations were vetted to comply with U.S. Executive Order and law, which prohibits transactions with and the provision of support to organizations associated with terrorism.

Cost Proposal:

PRM recommends NGOs requesting overseas assistance use the recommended budget template. PRM has also developed instructions for completing the Budget Detail and the Budget Narrative. To request copies of these documents, send an email with “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line, to

The Cost Proposal should include the following items:

  1. Application for Federal Assistance - SF 424 Version 02, that shows an expiration date of January 31, 2009 at the top right corner;
  2. Budget Summary;
  3. Budget Detail;
  4. Budget Narrative;
  5. Organizational Chart for award recipient and sub-recipient(s), if applicable; and
  6. Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), if applicable.


  • Budget Summary - The Budget Summary should indicate the anticipated aggregate dollar amount for the major object class categories, to include, personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, contractual, construction, other direct costs, and indirect charges. Please round each line-item cost to the nearest dollar. The Budget Summary must also break out the overall budget by sector (estimates are fine). NGOs must select one or more from among the following sectors: Education, Food, Health, Nutrition, Protection, Gender-based Violence, Shelter and Infrastructure, Water and Sanitation, and Livelihoods.

Definitions for Sector Activities:

Definitions for activities related to the sectors of Food, Health, Nutrition, Protection, Shelter and Infrastructure, Water and Sanitation, and Livelihoods can be found on pp. 82-83 of the “Supplemental Reference: Foreign Assistance Standardized Program Structure and Definitions” developed by the Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance. This document is available at the following link:

The IASC Guidelines on Gender-based Violence (GBV) Interventions in Humanitarian Settings define GBV as “an umbrella term for any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person’s will, and that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences between males and females. The nature and extent of specific types of GBV vary across cultures, countries, and regions.” Within this definition, PRM includes violence based on gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Subject to parameters outlined in specific Funding Opportunity Announcements, PRM considers activities that fall under the Gender-based Violence (GBV) sector to include: provision of health and psychosocial care, livelihoods interventions, legal assistance or other activities that directly address GBV; public information and rights awareness campaigns among returnees and refugees; and, activities designed to create local capacity to respond to GBV in a competent and timely manner such as training for local staff or refugees themselves in prevention, recognition, and treatment of GBV (including victim counseling), or activities to enhance the timeliness of response to GBV. GBV prevention and response programs can target women, men, children, youth, and LGBT individuals.

Subject to parameters outlined in specific Funding Opportunity Announcements, PRM considers activities that fall under the Education sector to be those designed to improve early childhood education, primary education, and secondary education. Activities may be delivered in formal or non-formal settings.


  • Budget Detail - The Budget Detail should include descriptive line-items that support each cost listed within each object class category. Please round each line-item cost to the nearest dollar.
  • Budget Narrative - The Budget Narrative should include sufficient detail to enable the reviewer to obtain the same reasonable determination of cost. For example, the description for the line item for “Training Materials” within the object class category “Supplies” could read, “includes the cost of expendable supplies, such as, paper, notebooks, folders, pens, and pencils with an estimated cost of $5 per participant. $5 X 1,000 participants = $5,000.”
  • Organizational Chart - The Organizational Chart should enable PRM to evaluate the structure and determine the allocation of personnel costs for single and across multiple federal assistance awards. For example, if one full-time Regional Program Coordinator has responsibility that is divided equally for each of ten (10) federally-funded projects, the salary for this position should be allocated across all awards in such a manner as to equal 100% of the time available for this position. This salary should not be 30% on each award. The cost of staffing needs associated with each proposal should only reflect the staffing required to carry out the required activities. Since PRM awards do not fund contingencies, budgets should avoid using the category of “back-stopping”.
  • NICRA - Recipients of PRM assistance awards may be reimbursed for applicable indirect costs only if they have a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA) established by the Recipients “cognizant” agency. The cognizant agency for non-profit organizations is determined by calculating which Federal agency provides the most grant funding. If the Recipient has executed an indirect cost rate agreement with a cognizant agency other than the Department of State, PRM will use that negotiated agreement as the basis for determining indirect cost reimbursement. In cases where no cognizant agency has been designated or the recipient organization does not have an established negotiated indirect cost rate agreement with any Federal agency, PRM will refer the recipient to the Department of State office responsible for negotiation and approval of an indirect cost rate. Under PRM awards, no indirect costs may be reimbursed without an executed NICRA.

The Cost Proposal should also include the Recipient’s Share of Cost in addition to the dollar amount requested from PRM. The Budget Summary and Budget Detail should include the dollar amount(s) anticipated or received from other sources (including the organization’s own funds and support from other donors) and the dollar amount of any in-kind contributions. Be sure to indicate the funding source for each line-item to include (1) the contribution to be made by the applicant; (2) the contribution to be made by other agencies or organizations (specifying each donor and amount); and (3) the amount of cash and in-kind contributions to be made from all other sources (specifying each donor and amount). Applicants should specify which, if any, of these “Recipient Share of Cost” amounts are to be subject to formal cost sharing requirements under the award which includes the following standard cost sharing provision:

For awards to an overseas organization, the following standard cost sharing provision would be applicable:

When awarding to an overseas organization, use the following provision: It is understood and agreed that the Recipient must provide the minimum amount of cost sharing or in-kind contributions as stipulated in the Recipient's budget approved by the Grants Officer. Not providing the minimum amount of cost sharing or in-kind contribution as stipulated in the Recipient's approved budget may result in questioned costs and the Department of State contribution reduced in proportion to the amount of the questioned costs. The Recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs claimed as being its contribution to cost participation, as well as costs to be paid by the Department of State. Such records are subject to audit. The recipient must report the amount of cost sharing contributed under the award in its financial status reports.


For awards to a U.S. organization, the following standard cost sharing provision would be applicable:

It is understood and agreed that the Recipient must provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the Recipient's budget approved by the Grants Officer. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs. The Recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs which are claimed as being its contribution to cost participation, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal Government. Such records are subject to audit. The basis for determining the value of cash and in-kind contributions must be in accordance with 22 CFR 145 (OMB Circular A-110 (Revised), Subpart C. Section 23 Cost Sharing and Matching). In the event the Recipient does not provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the Recipient's approved budget, the DOS's contribution will be reduced in proportion to the Recipient's contribution.

If applicable, the Cost Proposal and Budget Summary, Budget Detail, and Budget Narrative should specifically identify sub-grantees including, for each, the Legal Name, Organizational DUNS, Address, and Name of Organizational Representative. The Cost Proposal guidance provided above is recommended for use by sub-recipient(s) when preparing their budget documents.

Grants.Gov Application Process

PRM posts all funding opportunities on (, PRM’s website, and in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). PRM's CFDA numbers are:


  • 19.018 – Overseas Processing Entities (OPEs) for U.S. Refugee Resettlement
  • 19.510 - U.S. Reception and Placement Program
  • 19.511 - Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for East Asia
  • 19.517 - Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Africa
  • 19.518 - Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Western Hemisphere
  • 19.519 - Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Near East and South Asia
  • 19.520 - Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Europe
  • 19.522 - Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Strategic Global Priorities

Proposals in response to PRM Funding Opportunity Announcements must be submitted via Applicants who are unable to submit via due to technical difficulties should report the problem to the Help Desk at 1-800-518-4726 or at least one week prior to the deadline identified in the funding opportunity announcement. will assign a case number and open a service request to research the problem(s). Applicants should then contact the PRM point of contact identified in the respective funding opportunity announcement to document that the applicant has experienced problems and is seeking to resolve them, and to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

When responding to a PRM funding announcement, start early to avoid missing the submission deadline. Organizations that have waited to submit proposals until the day of the deadline have experienced difficulties causing them to miss deadlines; and, as a result, their proposals were not considered for funding. Because of the time it takes proposal submissions, once submitted to, to be registered and validated by, PRM recommends that you consider submitting your proposal at least a week before the deadline listed in the respective funding announcement. guidance notes that it can take 48 hours, and sometimes longer, for a proposal to be validated as received by the system.

If your organization is not registered with the government-wide Central Contractor Registry (CCR) and/or does not have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number the organization will need to obtain a DUNS number and then register with CCR before submitting a proposal through Note that CCR registration must be updated annually. The CCR and DUNS registration process may take several weeks so organizations should plan accordingly. PRM strongly recommends that organizations complete these registration processes as early in the fiscal year as possible in order to avoid potential difficulties when calls for proposals are issued.

Organizations can obtain a DUNS number anytime, and do not need a U.S. Government grant to obtain a FREE Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) number.

Domestic Organizations

Organizations located in the U.S. that apply for or receive Federal assistance can request a DUNS number free of charge by contacting D&B through either a web-form or telephone. The web-form is available at For organizations located in the U.S., D&B can be contacted at 1-866-705-5711. Registration typically takes five to ten minutes by phone and up to 24 hours via the web-form.

Foreign Organizations

Organizations located outside the U.S. that apply for or receive Federal assistance can request a DUNS number free of charge by contacting D&B through either a web-form or telephone. The web-form is available at Internationally, a foreign organization can request a DUNS number from the local D&B office via the telephone. The list of international offices is available at, organized by region and/or country.

Preparing to apply via is a three-step process which can take several weeks for U.S. NGOs and considerably longer for non-U.S. NGOs. (See for timelines for each process:;

Applicants must:

  1. Register with the government-wide Central Contractor Registry (CCR) at 1-888-227-2423 or at; NOTE: To register with CCR, the organization must have a DUNS number. For DUNS assistance, please call 1-866-705-5711 or go to;
  2. become authenticated through Credential Provider to receive a user name and password; and
  3. register with as an Authorized Official Representative (AOR).

NGOs that have never received U.S. Government funding must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. Government by providing copies of the following with their funding application:

  • the most recent external financial audit;
  • proof of non-profit tax status including under IRS 501 (c)(3), as applicable;
  • Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number; and
  • Employer ID number (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification Number (if a U.S. organization).

International Organizations (IOs) such as U.N. agencies and other Public International Organizations (PIOs) should not submit proposals to PRM via IOs that are engaged in programs relevant to the assistance addressed by PRM funding announcements should ensure that these programs are made known to PRM on or before the closing date of the relevant funding announcement so that PRM can evaluate all IO and NGO programs for funding consideration.

In addition, each official submission to PRM must include the Standard Form (SF) 424 Version 02 that shows an expiration date of January 31, 2009 at the top right corner. PRM also requires that Box 21 of the SF 424 Version 02 be checked. The SF 424 Version 02 can be found at

The SF 424 Version 02 can also be accessed directly at:

PRM Administrative Requirements

All submissions must include the following:

  • Completed proposal narrative and budget; PRM recommends using the Bureau’s suggested templates
  • Copy of the organization’s U.S. Government Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), if applicable
  • Completed SF-424 Version 02 showing 1/31/09 expiration date (
  • Please note that 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:
  • Information in support of any cost-sharing/cost-matching arrangements
  • Information detailing the source of any in-kind contributions
  • Details on any sub-agreements associated with the program (should be part of the budget submission as noted above)
  • Copy of the organization’s Code of Conduct, which should be consistent with the IASC’s six core principles, and an explanation of how the codes of conduct will be reflected in project implementation. PRM encourages applicants to attach a separate document or include a narrative with the organization's procedures for responding to allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries by staff. For assistance in this regard, contact PRM’s NGO Coordinator at
  • If the organization has not received funding from PRM since the USG fiscal year ending September 30, 2004, copies of 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) proof of non-profit tax status including under IRS 501 (c)(3), as applicable, 3) DUNS Number, and 4) Employer ID number (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification Number (if a U.S. organization).

Please integrate this documentation into as few files as possible.

Pay careful attention to’s guidance for file naming conventions( may reject the proposals that fail to follow these guidelines.

A few tips on naming files:

  • Limit file attachment name. File attachment names longer than approximately 50 characters can cause problems in
  • Use numbers to indicate correct sequence. ( example, 1_proposal.doc; 2_budgetnarrative.doc)
  • Do not use any special characters (example: %, /, #) or spacing in the file name or for word separation. The exception is an underscore. (example: my_Attached_File.pdf)


Reporting Requirements


  • Program Reports
  • Financial Reports
  • PRM’s Reporting Points of Contact

Program Reports: PRM requires program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. A program report is required within thirty (30) days following the end of each three month period of performance during the validity period of the agreement. The final program report is due ninety (90) days following the end of the agreement. The submission dates for program reports will be written into the cooperative agreement.

The Performance Progress Report (SF-PPR) is a standard, government-wide performance reporting format available at: . Recipients of PRM funding must submit the signed SF-PPR cover page with each program report. In addition, the Bureau suggests that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended program report template and reference this template as being attached in block 10 of the SF-PPR. This template is designed to ease the reporting requirements while ensuring that all required elements are addressed.

The following guidance is designed to accompany the recommended reporting template:

  • Cover Page – Complete the chart on the first page.
  • Progress on Objectives and Indicators – Include the objectives and indicators from the cooperative agreement and describe progress on each indicator during the reporting period as well as cumulative progress to date. Use the table provided in the template.
  • Analysis of Progress – For any indicator that the project is not on track to meet, analyze why and indicate the steps being taken to meet the target.
  • Collaboration/Coordination –Describe efforts to coordinate the project activities with projects and services provided by the national or local government, other NGOs, UNHCR, other IOs, and other bilateral donors. Describe significant gaps in assistance to the beneficiary population.
  • New Developments – Are there any issues or developments in the project design and/or areas of operation during the reporting period that the organization did not initially anticipate? If so, describe the impact that these have had on project implementation and how the organization has responded.
  • Challenges – Describe any security, financial, and/or personnel management issues during the reporting period. Describe the impact that these challenges have had on the project and how the organization has responded to these issues.
  • Other – Provide any additional information about the project, current trends, or other related issues that are important to note. This section might also include success stories that the organization would like to highlight to PRM.
  • Acknowledgement of PRM funding: Complete the section on PRM Funding. For acknowledgement plans that were outlined in the proposal but which have not occurred or are not being met, provide an explanation and indicate the steps being taken to comply with this contractual obligation.

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 (January 30th, April 30th, July 30th, October 30th). The final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement. For agreements containing indirect costs, final financial reports are due within 60 days of the finalization of the applicable negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA).

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has consolidated and replaced four existing financial reporting forms (SF–269, SF–269A, SF–272, and SF–272A) with a single Federal Financial Report (FFR SF-425). The purpose of the FFR is to give recipients of grants and cooperative agreements a standard format for reporting the financial status of their grants and cooperative agreements. The FFR was developed as part of the implementation of the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999.

The new FFR format consolidates two financial reports, the Financial Status Report (SF–269/SF–269A) and the Federal Cash Transaction Report (SF–272/SF–272A), into a single form. The FFR has 2 major components (1) Cash Management Report (former SF-272) and (2) Financial Status Reports (former SF-269). This requirement applies to domestic Payment Management System (PMS) recipients, domestic non-PMS recipients and overseas recipients.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make an electronic version of the FFR available for use in PMS that includes both components of the FFR. In order to be in compliance with OMB guidelines, DOS requires that all PMS recipients electronically fill out both portions of the SF-425 report in PMS.

PRM’s Reporting Point of Contact

Recipients of PRM funding must submit all required reports to the Office of the Comptroller to the electronic mailbox address:

The subject line of the electronic mail transmission must include the following information: Organization Name, Agreement Number, Report Type, and Reporting Period.

Contacting PRM

Each funding announcement will identify a specific point of contact, typically a program officer in Washington, and, as applicable, a field-based PRM Refugee Coordinator. PRM recommends that organizations submitting proposals notify the designated point of contact once the proposal has been successfully submitted via

Applicants may address general questions about PRM’s overseas assistance to NGOs and send unsolicited proposals to PRM’s NGO Coordinator:

Guy Lawson
NGO Coordinator
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
2025 E ST NW
8th floor
Washington, DC 20522-0908

Phone: (202) 453-9362
Fax: (202) 453-9394

If sending an unsolicited proposal by email please include the phrase “unsolicited proposal” in the subject line.

Feedback on PRM’s recommended templates

PRM is interested in our partners’ feedback on the recommended templates. To provide feedback to PRM on its proposal, budget and report templates, please contact:

Emily Bruno


Fruzsina Csaszar

To provide feedback anonymously, you can write to:

Emily Bruno
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
2025 E ST NW
8th floor
Washington, DC 20522-0908

Appendix A: Budget Detail Instructions

The following provides guidance for the preparation of a proposal’s budget detail using PRM’s recommended budget template.

The budget detail template includes columns reflecting the Bureau’s (federal) and other (non-federal) funding sources as well as the total funding need broken down by sector and/or objective. The Bureau anticipates that an organization will include each of the budget categories listed below when preparing an estimate of expenses for carrying out a proposed project whether the project is 100% funded or jointly funded with multiple donors.

The use of the PRM budget detail template is highly recommended and estimates should be rounded to the nearest dollar. (Note: Information included in the budget detail should correspond to and be overviewed in the budget summary and be explained in greater detail in the budget narrative.)

To request copies of the PRM-recommended budget detail template please send an email, with the phrase “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line, to PRM’s NGO Coordinator ( You will receive an automated email reply containing four templates (proposal template, budget summary and budget detail templates, and quarterly report template).



  1. This category includes annual salaries/wages, stipends, consultant fees, allowances, differentials, bonuses or extra month’s salary and any anticipated termination/severance pay for any personnel to be charged to the proposed agreement.
  2. All positions listed should indicate the amount of time (expressed as a percent), the rate of pay, and the associated unit measurement (hour/month/year) anticipated to fulfill project implementation. For consultants, the proposed daily rate to be paid as compensation and the number of consultant days that are anticipated to be paid must be shown.
  3. The Bureau will not authorize personnel positions to be charged based on a flat monthly fee that includes salaries, benefits, travel costs, etc.
  4. If your organization anticipates the payment of employee termination and/or severance pay during the proposed funding period, the Bureau will consider such costs an allowable charge to the agreement to the extent of the Bureau's responsibility in accordance with each employee's direct relation to the Bureau's funded activities. For example, an employee charged to Bureau activities for one-half of their employment with the organization shall have only one half of their termination or severance costs charged to the agreement.
  5. Other types of allowances such as housing and education or differentials must be shown separately and identified against the position to be charged. They should be based on established policies and should be made available to all employees of the organization in similar situations or positions, not just to employees funded by the U.S. Government. The Bureau's policy is to limit the payment of allowances to amounts which do not exceed the rates approved for Government employees in similar situations.


This category should identify the various fringe benefits offered to employees for which the Bureau will be charged under the agreement. While the cost of individual benefits need not be specified, the total cost, including the percentage of salaries, if appropriate, should be shown. The benefits must be consistent with the organization's established personnel policies and practices for all of its employees, not just for those employees who may be funded by the Government.


  1. List travel for all employees and consultants. Travel must be identified as U.S. Domestic, In-country, and International. Indicate the per diem rate for each city of travel. All anticipated trips must be listed and are subject to Bureau approval. Any travel not included in the requested budget and not approved by the Bureau may not be charged to the agreement.
  2. It is the Bureau's policy not to reimburse organizations for per diem allowances, both overseas and domestic, which exceed the rates approved for Government employees. Updates to this document can be ordered by subscription from the U.S. Government Printing Office.


  1. This category must include a complete and detailed listing of all non-expendable equipment anticipated to be purchased for program activities and to be charged to the agreement. Non-expendable equipment is that which has: 1) a useful life of one year or more and an acquisition cost of $5000 or more per unit. However, consistent with your policy, lower limits may be used. Your budget must identify which of the above is followed and must be consistently applied to all U.S. Government funding arrangements. The Office of the Comptroller (PRM/C) must be informed, in writing, of recipient’s policy and the threshold amount if less than $5,000. Any equipment that may be determined, after the initial budget approval, to be required to meet the program objectives must be specifically approved by the Bureau in writing prior to the purchase. Equipment not included in the approved budget or subsequently approved by the Bureau will be considered an unallowable cost under the agreement.
  2. List all equipment that will be leased, including vehicles.1/
  3. For organizations that have not previously received Bureau funding: Include a summary description of your property management procedures that are currently in place. This will be incorporated into the Bureau's funding arrangements with your organization.


Show all tangible personal property by appropriate category (office supplies, classroom supplies, medical supplies, etc.) that may be purchased and charged under the agreement. The budget narrative should describe the types of items included in each of the categories and the proposed use.


List all proposed sub-contracts or sub-recipients that are anticipated to carry out the proposed program, i.e., security guards, additional personnel, sub-agreements with an implementing partners etc. These agreements are subject to the regulations set forth in 22 CFR 145.


Any other direct cost not clearly covered herein. Examples are computer use, telephone (telex, fax, long distance international and local in-country costs must be listed separately), postage, space rental (list projected rental items), audit fees, insurance 2/, utilities, etc. Each item must be listed separately showing an estimated cost.


Show the amount of indirect costs and the base amount on which it is determined. It should be indicated whether the rate has been approved by a Government cognizant agency and the type of rate (provisional, predetermined or fixed). A copy of the current Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement must be submitted for the recipient and sub-recipient(s), if applicable. (The Bureau does not recognize indirect costs unless they have been determined by an audit and formally approved by the U.S. Government cognizant agency).


1/ For each new vehicle to be purchased and charged to the agreement, please state the purpose for which it will be used and indicate whether the vehicle will be assigned to a motor pool or to an individual. Also, please list separately any vehicle that may currently be owned or leased that is expected to be charged to the agreement. Bureau policy prohibits the use of project vehicles and drivers for personal use, which includes commuting between home and place of employment. Any non-direct program or unofficial use of a vehicle must be reimbursed at the appropriate Government rate.

2/ For guidance in determining allowable insurance costs, please refer to 2 CFR 215. The Bureau will no longer allow charges to its agreements for costs of insuring equipment purchased with project funds against loss or damage, except for unique or high expense items. The Bureau will allow charges for automobile liability and comprehensive insurance coverage.

Appendix B: Budget Narrative Instructions


The purpose of the budget narrative is to explain the costs that PRM expects an organization to include in each Budget category when preparing an estimate of expenses for carrying out a proposed project whether the project is 100% funded or jointly funded with multiple donors. The budget narrative should include the following:


  1. Identify each position and indicate its support of the project and/or sector(s). If not provided in the Budget Detail, indicate the numerical justification for the total cost.

For example, Director of Assistance Programs – This individual is responsible for the overall management of the project. He/she insures compliance with all the terms and conditions of the agreement including implementation, program and financial reporting. $85,000/year x 10% of time = $8,500.

  1. Identify consultants, separately, from other permanent staff. If possible, include anticipated position title(s), the proposed daily rate to be paid as compensation, and the number of consultant days that are anticipated.


  1. If an established NICRA includes a rate for Fringe Benefits, please ensure that you utilize and/or adjust the rate appropriately.
  2. If the Fringe Benefit rate is not included in the NICRA, please provide a copy of the company policy and/or rates (as a percentage) that are being charged per category of benefits.


  1. All Headquarters and/or project employees’ travel must be identified via mode of travel, departure and arrival city, purpose, unit of measurement, and duration of trip. Please note that the movement of project participants and supplies is a separate transportation line item.

For example, 10 in-country trips via air transportation will be conducted to implement workshops and training sessions. Roundtrip airfare from Khartoum to Juba for 5 employees is anticipated. Each trip will include 5 days of per diem per employee.

In-country Airfare – 10 trips x 5 employees x $200 = $10,000
Lodging - 10 trips x 5 employees x 5 days x $161/day = $40,250
Per diem - 10 trips x 5 employees x 5 days x $57 = $14,250


  1. Include a detailed listing of all non-expendable equipment anticipated to be purchased for program activities including justification.

Land Rover – Due to the challenging road conditions, inclement weather, terrain conditions, and geographical location(s) of project sites, it is deemed reasonable and necessary to purchase a new vehicle. Vehicle x 1 quantity = $40,000


General Office supplies include the following items: pens; pencils; notebooks; printer paper; ink cartridges etc.

12 months x $100/month x 3 project offices = $3,600

Due to the opening of a new project office to support Sector “X” activities, Project supplies include the following items: 2 laptop computers, 3 desktop computers, 2 printers etc.

2 laptop computers x $700 = $1,400
3 desktop computers x $1,200 = $3,600
2 printers x $400 = $800


ABC Organization will serve as a partner to assist with implementing Sector “X” activities; $75,000 Detailed Budget is attached.

XYZ Organization will provide security services via a contract; $50,000 Detailed Budget is attached.


The following direct project expenses are related to the implementation of all sector activity and are proportionate based on actual use.

Rent of Office space in three locations - 12 months x 3 offices x $400 = $14,400
Utilities - 12 months x 3 offices x $100 = $3,600
Postage - 12 months x 3 offices x $50 = $1,800
Courier – 25 trips x 2 offices x $25 = $1,250
Communication (phone, fax, internet) = 12 months x 3 offices x $200 = $7,200
Transportation cost of medical supplies via ground freight =
2 trips x $3,000 = $6,000


Show the amount of indirect costs and the base amount on which it is determined. A copy of the current Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement must be submitted for recipient and sub-recipient(s). The Bureau does not recognize indirect costs unless they have been determined by an audit and formally approved by the U.S. Government cognizant agency.

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