Questions and Answers from the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons meeting to provide Information about the 2011 Solicitation: Request for Statements of Interest (SOI)
Q. Who is eligible to apply for funding?
A. U.S.-based non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGO), public international organizations (PIO), foreign NGOs, and universities are eligible to submit SOIs. On a limited basis, for-profit organizations are also eligible to submit SOIs; however, they may not take a profit from grant-funded activities. Foreign governments are not eligible to apply, but governments may be beneficiaries of funded programs, provided that funding does not pay salaries of government agency personnel and that such assistance is not restricted by U.S. law or policy. Some projects may be accomplished by USG implementers through Interagency Agreement.
Q. Are small businesses, as defined by the USG, eligible to apply?
A. Yes, but as for-profit organizations, small businesses may not take a profit from grant funds.
Q. Can organizations that currently receive funds from G/TIP apply for additional funding under this solicitation?
Q. Is there a limit to the number of SOIs that can be submitted by a single applicant?
A. No, there is no limit. Organizations are permitted to submit multiple SOIs; however, we intend to provide funding to a wide range of qualified, capable organizations that do well in the competitive review.
Q. If an applicant proposes a partnership with an NGO, does the partnership agreement have to be finalized or in writing at the time of the SOI application?
A. No, partnerships that are referenced in a SOI do not need to be formal or in writing at the time the SOI is submitted. The Office encourages proposals that demonstrate strong partnerships. Proposed partnerships should be referenced in the SOIs to ensure that they are considered in the review.
Q. Can an organization submit an application that includes a new partnership or must it be an established partnership with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?
A. It is not expected that applicants have established MOUs at this initial stage. We encourage partnerships, whether they are new or old. The specifics of a partnership in a proposal are up to the applicant. Proposed partnerships should be referenced in the SOIs to ensure that they are considered in the review.
Q. Is it required that the public private partnerships are formal? Does it have to involve businesses or could it involve NGOs?
A. At the time of SOI submission, applicants are not required to have formalized partnerships. The specifics of a partnership in a proposal are up to the applicant.
Q. Can an organization submit a proposal that includes non-priority countries?
A. Yes, an applicant can submit a proposal for a project in a country that is not on the 2011 priority country list. It is up to each applicant to determine which country or countries will be the focus of an application.
Q. How much funding does the Office have for FY2011?
A. FY 2011 funds have not yet been appropriated by Congress.
Q. How much money will be allocated to each region or priority country?
A. We did not indicate the amount that would be allocated to a specific region because the final amount allocated for each country and region will depend on the quality of the proposals and the nature of the proposed activities.
Q. In FY2010, how many non-priority countries received funding for a new anti-trafficking project?
A. Our Office funded anti-trafficking projects in five (5) non-priority countries in 2010. In addition, two research/evaluation projects were funded in non-priority countries.
Q. Even though G/TIP has awarded a number of grants to India, I was surprised that it was not listed as a priority country this year. Could you elaborate on your thinking behind this decision?
A. The selection of priority countries is very difficult and the number of countries is a reflection of the limited funding that our Office administers. As indicated in the 2010 TIP Report India has significant human trafficking issues. India has also been the focus of our foreign assistance for several years. Our Office currently has a large amount of 2010 funding that is designated for partnerships within India this year. Thus, it was not identified as a priority for 2011. Finally, I would add that we will accept proposals for any country, not just priority countries. Each year a handful of projects are selected for non-priority countries.
Q. Can an organization work with more than one country?
Q. Does G/TIP have a preference when it comes to Bilateral, Regional, or Global proposals?
A. Most projects that have been funded are focused on the trafficking situation in one country (bilateral projects); but, we are also seeking projects that address cross border and regional trafficking problems, as well as research and evaluation.
Q. Can an organization submit SOIs for both bilateral and regional programs?
Q. Our organization is working within a number of countries on an innovative approach for our industry. Our capacity is strongest in two countries that were not mentioned as priority countries. Should we include these countries in our SOI or would it be best to omit them?
A. Our Office cannot advise you on how to target your application.
Q. Could you please speak to how G/TIP views the importance of measurement?
A. Projects that are successful have a sound project design and indicators that measure effectiveness and impact. This is an important focus of our Office. We are working to establish common indicators for projects and ensuring sound logical frameworks. In addition, we are funding some process and impact evaluations. Our belief is that this is a very young field, and we do not know enough about what really works. When we have limited funding, we have to build our knowledge base through monitoring and evaluation of projects.
Q. There are many examples listed in the solicitation. Must my application propose one of these projects?
A. No. We welcome innovative ideas.
Q. Can an organization submit a letter of intent?
A. Please review the Solicitation carefully to ensure that your application meets the requirements for a SOI, which may not be the same as a Letter of Intent. The Solicitation provides detailed description of what needs to be included in the SOI.
Q. The award ceiling is $750,000 for this solicitation for 36 months. Does this mean $750,000 each year for up to 3 years?
A. No, our Office will award projects that total up to $750,000 for the duration of the project. The amount requested should be consistent with the scope of the project. The maximum duration of a project is 36 months.
Q. Does the award ceiling of $750,000 include indirect costs?
A. Yes. All costs requested, including indirect costs, must be included in this amount.
Q. Do I need to submit a complete budget at the time of submitting the SOI?
A. No, only a total cost estimate is required. If cost share is offered, then a total cost for cost share should also be provided. No budget categories are required or requested for the SOI. The cost figures must be in U.S. dollars. Cost figures in a foreign currency will not meet the technical review requirements.
Q. Is there any difference between submitting applications to www.grantsolutions.gov versus www.grants.gov? Should applicants submit applications to both?
A. Applicants should not submit a SOI to both websites. We are requesting that applicants submit an application to one of the two websites. We encourage applicants to use www.grantsolution.gov. Applicants should be aware that GrantSolutions requires a DUNS number to submit an application, while Grants.gov requires both a DUNS number and a current CCR registration, which takes approximately 3-5 business days to obtain and must be renewed annually. Regardless of the website used, all applicants are encouraged to initiate applications early in the application development process and to submit completed applications early to allow time to address any technical difficulties that may arise.
Q. What should I do if I encounter difficulty in using the GrantSolutions or Grants.gov websites?
A. For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov please contact Customer Support at email@example.com or 1-800-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except for federal holidays. Please note that November 11th is a federal holiday and the help line will be closed.
For assistance with Grants.gov, please contact the Contact Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 (toll charges for international callers). The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except federal holidays. Please note that November 11th is a federal holiday and the help line will be closed.
Q. How many applicants do you expect to invite to submit a full proposal?
A. We are not certain of the number that will be invited to submit full applications in stage two of the process. The decision will be made after the review of the SOIs. In 2010, the Office invited 69 full proposals.
Q. What are the expected funding dates?
A. G/TIP will work to award grand funds to successful application by September 30, 2011.
Q. When do you expect to notify applicants that are requested to submit a full application?
A. We expect to notify applicants in February that their SOI was selected for the second stage of the process. Applicant organizations will have 30 days from notification to submit a full proposal.
Q. How will I know what G/TIP will require for full proposals?
A. The criteria for assessing full proposals are stated in the solicitation. Applicants that are evaluated highly in the first stage of the competitive review (SOI process) and are invited to submit full proposals will receive application information about the second stage of the process.
Q. How does G/TIP decide which proposals to fund?
A. All proposals that pass the technical review are reviewed and ranked by the Embassy in the country where the project would take place. This review is followed by a regional inter-agency review panels consisting of individuals with knowledge and expertise in human trafficking programming and regional expertise. Panel recommendations are reviewed by the Ambassador-at-Large to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Q. How many projects did G/TIP fund in FY 2010?
A. In FY 2010, G/TIP funded a total of 50 projects. G/TIP received a total of 530 SOIs requesting $288 million in funding.
Q. Where can I find specifics regarding previously funded projects?
A. Applicants are encouraged to look to our website, http://www.state.gov/j/tip/c12606.htm for G/TIP-funded projects as well as projects funded by other USG agencies through FY 2009.
Q. Please clarify U.S. Embassies’ involvement in the 2011 grant process.
A. All U.S. Embassies have been informed of the 2011 solicitation and the Embassies in the 34 priority countries have been encouraged to post information about the solicitation on their websites. Embassies will rank and prioritize all proposed bilateral projects that meet the technical requirements. Full proposals will also be shared with the embassy in the country where the work is proposed to take place.
Q. Where can I get additional advice about preparing the SOI or full application?
A. No one from this Office, another Department of State office, including Embassy personnel, is permitted to advise you on the content of your application. Persons with questions about the requirements of the solicitation may contact Mark Forstrom at ForstromMA@state.gov.