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FY 2012 Funding Opportunity Announcement for Research Projects to Strengthen Evidence-Based Humanitarian Decision Making by PRM and its Partners Worldwide.


Funding Opportunity Announcement
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
April 5, 2012

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Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-PRP-12-CA-04022012

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.522 - Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Protection Priorities.

Announcement issuance date: Thursday, April 5, 2012

Proposal submission deadline: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

ADVISORY: PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address any difficulties that may arise.

Proposed Program Start Dates: July-September 2012

Duration of Activity: No more than 12 months. In funding a project one year, 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 funding possibilities.

Current Funding Priorities: PRM will prioritize funding for projects involving research, assessment, formative evaluation, and the development of tools, operational guidance, and/or best practices to strengthen evidence-based humanitarian decision-making concerning one or more of the following topics/research questions:

1. Partnerships with local NGOs: What are best practices for engagement with local NGOs in urban areas and protracted refugee situations? In instances where multilateral organizations and international NGOs have successfully built the capacity of local NGOs (i.e., local NGOs secured funding from host governments or other sources to continue programmatic activities after international partners left), what were the most effective modes of assistance and program design?

2. Sustaining returns: What specific factors are most likely to lead to sustainable returns with an emphasis on controllable factors that determine whether people stay or leave? Given the rural-to-urban migration patterns in many countries of high refugee/IDP return, how can humanitarian programs assist returnees most effectively?

3. Education as Protection: What is the protection impact of education on refugees and their host communities? Specifically, how can humanitarian actors measure protection dividends in the provision of education? Can education be considered life-saving? Does the impact of education vary based on when education is provided during displacement – i.e., whether refugees access education at the onset of an emergency or in the medium- to longer-term? Note: Research may consider both primary and secondary education. If the proposal includes research on both primary and secondary education, disaggregated data on each level is preferred.

4. Comparing modes of assistance: What are the impacts and costs of different modes of assistance to displaced populations in camp, non-camp rural, and urban settings? How do the costs and impacts of cash assistance and/or food vouchers compare to those of in-kind assistance?

5. Impacts of statelessness on women and children: What are the impacts of statelessness on women and children – specifically, how does statelessness impact family unity, access to basic education, health care and social security benefits, and protection against gender-based violence and exploitation, including trafficking? What is the scope of statelessness as a result of nationality laws that discriminate against women? In what instances does State practice diverge from the text of nationality laws and cause statelessness at birth or among women? How have recently amended nationality laws, which grant women equal rights, been implemented in practice and what impact has this had on the reduction of statelessness?

6. Capacity to care for refugees with significant medical conditions: What capacity do U.S. states, local communities, and resettlement partners have in place to handle refugees arriving with significant or complex medical conditions? What is the cost of resettling such refugees? How does a state’s health infrastructure affect services for refugees with such medical conditions? Are there models which provide the greatest benefit in terms of reducing the impact on the resettlement community while providing appropriate care?


(a) PRM will accept proposals that include multiple countries/ populations/ regions and include analysis across different cases. PRM will also accept proposals that are country or population-specific; however, these projects should aim to draw general conclusions that can be applied beyond the specific country or population. PRM will prioritize funding for proposals that aim to produce practical policy or programmatic recommendations that are applicable to more than just one specific population or country.

(b) All final reports should include tools, data, findings, and actionable recommendations for policy and program implementation.

(c) All proposals must include a strategy for how the findings, recommendations, guidance, reports, and/or tools from the research project will be disseminated to relevant operational partners and the public.

(d) All proposals should clearly demonstrate how the proposed research builds on previous bodies of work and advances the knowledge base on global humanitarian policies and programs.

(e) PRM strongly recommends that applicants use PRM’s research proposal and budget templates for all proposal submissions. Please email PRM's NGO Coordinator for a copy of the recommended proposal templates, and see below for more information.

(f) PRM will accept proposals from non-governmental organizations, universities, and research institutes proposing to work in the above mentioned areas. To ensure that research findings inform policy and programs, PRM encourages academic institutions seeking funding to identify operational partners to formulate and conduct the research and to inform programmatic recommendations. Priority will be given to proposals from organizations that can demonstrate:

· Knowledge of UNHCR operations and findings from relevant UNHCR research and evaluations;

· Collaboration with UNHCR and/or other relevant international or host governmental partners for the project being proposed;

· A proven track record in conducting such research in the past, with a focus on the research and evaluation of humanitarian assistance programs and policies related to refugees, stateless persons, vulnerable migrants, and/or conflict victims;

· Evidence of subject-matter expertise and familiarity with current and past research and activities in the proposed areas;

· Evidence of coordination with donor governments, other policy and research institutes, international organizations (IOs), and other organizations working on research and/or activities for the project being proposed;

· A concrete data collection and research implementation plan, project objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, and well-conceived linkages between research findings and recommendations for PRM metrics, policy, and/or programs; and

· A budget that is appropriate for meeting the proposal’s objectives.

International Organizations (IOs) that are engaged in programs relevant to 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.

Funding Limits: PRM will consider project proposals submitted with budgets up to $250,000. PRM anticipates the total amount available for programming under this announcement may be up to $1.5 million. As stated in the PRM General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance, PRM looks favorably on cost-sharing efforts 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 deadline as it can take up to two weeks to finalize registration (sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to get the required registration numbers). To register with Grants.gov, organizations must first receive a DUNS number and register with the Central Contract Registry (CCR) which can take weeks and sometimes months. See “Applicant FAQs” section on Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/help/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) for complete details on registering.

· PRM strongly recommends that applicants use PRM’s research proposal and budget templates for all proposal submissions. Please email PRM's NGO Coordinator for a copy of the recommended proposal templates, which include the following key sections:

o Background: Describe the gaps in humanitarian knowledge that the research project aims to address. How will this research inform humanitarian programs and/or policies? What specific tools might be developed as a result of this research, and how and by whom would they be used?

o Literature Review: Detail the current evidence base and how the proposed research project will build upon rather than duplicate existing knowledge, tools, and other resources.

o Research Locations: Describe rationale for the proposed research locations and any specific concerns about gaining access and/or permission to conduct research. Briefly describe the security environment in the area of operation and how the researchers would respond to a deterioration of the security situation. Please identify any alternative sites that might be considered, should problems arise with the proposed research locations.

o Methodology: Describe the rationale for quantitative and qualitative methods selected, noting the strengths and limitations of each. Address any ethical issues pertaining to the methodology. Will this proposal be IRB reviewed? If not, what specific steps will be taken to protect human subjects and their confidentiality?

o Coordination: To what extent will the design, implementation, and dissemination of this research project be coordinated with UNHCR, other IO/NGOs, and host governments or institutions (e.g, universities)?

o Researchers: Identify members of the research team. Please provide bios, backgrounds, and credentials for carrying out the proposed research project. If your organization has not yet identified a research team or a lead researcher, please explain where you are in the process and indicate the criteria you will use to select members of the research team.

o Objectives and Indicators: Please outline the objectives for this project and highlight the key indicators that you will use to measure progress toward each objective. The types of indicators are input, output, outcome, and impact, and the number of each type will vary depending on the project design. Where possible, include baseline data for each indicator.

o Dissemination Plan: Identify the final products of this research project and describe how the result of the research will be disseminated to the broader international humanitarian community, including UNHCR, other IOs/NGOs, and donors.

o Sub-Contracts: List the exact name of all sub-contractors/sub-grantees with whom you plan to fund through this project including, for each, the Legal Name, Organizational DUNS, Address, and Full Name of Organizational Representative. Describe how you have vetted these organizations to comply with U.S. Executive Order and law which prohibits transactions with and the provision of support to organizations associated with terrorism.

o PRM Recognition: Describe how your organization will recognize the U.S. government’s financial support, provided through PRM, for the proposed project/activities (e.g. in publications, press releases, etc., and at the project site) in accordance with the General NGO Guidelines.

· 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 and who have reported the problem(s) to the Grants.gov help desk and received a case number and had a service request opened to research the problem(s), should contact PRM Policy Officer Bryan Schaaf at 202-453-9220 or Schaafbj@state.gov whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

· 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 your proposal early to avoid submission delays. We recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via Grants.gov no later than one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in an application not being considered.

· Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible 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 since the U.S. Government fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 must be prepared to 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) proof of non-profit tax status including under IRS 501 (c)(3), as applicable, 3) a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and 4) an Employer ID (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification number.

Proposal Content, Formatting and Template:


This call for proposals is open to a variety of projects to strengthen humanitarian evidence-based decision making through research. PRM has developed a standard template specific to research proposals and will prioritize proposals using this template. Please email PRM's NGO Coordinator to receive the standard research template as well as the budget template.

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

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

· Proposals should outline how the organization will acknowledge PRM funding. If an organization believes that publicly acknowledging the receipt of USG funding for a particular PRM-funded project could potentially endanger the lives of the beneficiaries and/or the organization staff, invite suspicion about the organization's motives, or alienate the organization from the population it is trying to help, it must provide a brief explanation in its proposal as to why it should be exempted from this requirement.

· Budget must include a specific breakdown of funds being provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization (where applicable).

Reports and Reporting Requirements:

Program reporting: PRM requires quarterly and final program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. It is highly suggested that organizations receiving PRM funding use the PRM 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.

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.

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

Proposal Review Process:

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

In order to provide organizations with timely feedback, 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 follow up with formal notifications to organizations of final decisions taken by Bureau management.

PRM Points of Contact:

Should NGOs have technical questions related to this announcement, they should contact the PRM officer listed below prior to proposal submission. (Note: Responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed.)

PRM Policy Officer: Bryan Schaaf at Schaafbj@state.gov or 202-453-9220, Washington D.C.



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