Q: Who is eligible to apply for funding?
A: The TIP Office welcomes applications in response to this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) from:
1. U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profits /non-government organizations (NGOs), including faith-based organizations.
2. Public international organizations (PIOs).
3. Private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and
4. For-profit entities.
The TIP Office’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited. For-profit entities should be aware that their applications may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process, and that the Department of State prohibits profit (any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs) to for-profit or commercial organizations under its assistance awards.
Q: May an organization apply to this NOFO if the organization is not physically present in Cote d’Ivoire?
A: Yes, an organization may apply for this NOFO if they do not have a physical presence in Cote d’Ivoire. However, the TIP Office’s STRONG preference is that applicants should have existing active partnerships with in-country partners, entities, and relevant stakeholders, including government interlocutors, private sector actors, and local civil society organizations and/or non-governmental organizations. Applicants should have demonstrable experience in administering successful projects, preferably in child trafficking in Cote d’Ivoire.
Q. Does the TIP Office allow for local providers whose parent agency is headquartered outside of Cote d’Ivoire to apply? For example, the organization is headquartered in the U.S., however, it has a regional headquarters/office in Cote d’Ivoire where it is registered as an agency.
A: Organizations with a parent agency headquartered outside of Cote d’Ivoire are welcome to apply to the solicitation.
Q: Are United Nations (UN) agencies allowed to submit proposals as the prime applicant?
Q: Is it possible for a public cooperation agency to apply?
A: By the U.S. definition a public agency is typically a government-affiliated organization. The applicant must make the final determination whether their organization is a government affiliated entity, and/or if any subaward partners are included that are classified as a public agency or a government entity. If so, the applicant and/or its partners may not be eligible for funding.
Q: What are the minimum and maximum funding amounts for this NOFO?
A: The lowest funding threshold for this award is $1,000,000, with a ceiling of $9,300,000 million. All awards under this announcement are pending the availability of funds.
Q: What is the maximum number of awards?
A: The number of awards depends on the availability of funds and the number of quality applications received.
Q: Is there a maximum and/or minimum program duration?
A: Applicants should develop proposals that cover the entire funding amount they propose for a multi-year program, with the maximum award amount permitted for a project set at $9,300,000 (USD) up to five (5) years, understanding that the final budget and proposal narrative will reflect implementation plan activities agreed to by the two partner governments, as well as findings and recommendations from a prevalence study that will be conducted simultaneously within the first year of the partnership. Strong proposals will include a confirmation that the applicant will work closely with the organization(s) conducting the prevalence study to inform program design.
Q: Could you please provide more clarity regarding proposal duration? NOFO mentions 1st year up to $5M and up to 2 non-competitive continuations. Can these all be included in one proposal, or do they need to be separate?
A: We are expecting proposals that are up to $9M in funding. The base year means that during the first year of the project, up to $5M will be available. The additional $4M, which will be awarded as non-competitive continuations, will be available in year 2 and 3 of the project. The purpose of this language is to allow for the funding to be provided over the life of the project, but for all applications/proposals, we are expecting to see a full budget up to the full amount for the full life of the project.
Q: Do you need to spend the first 5 million in the first year?
Q: What are the minimum and maximum amounts of funding required per objective?
A: There are no minimum or maximum amounts of funding associated with any of the CPC objectives. Applicants should include a budget that commensurate with the project activities and approach proposed.
Q: What percent of the budget is dedicated to project personnel and activities?
A: There is no certain percentage which must be applied to personnel or any other budget category.
Q: Where can I find the Notice of Funding Opportunity?
A: The funding opportunity is available on Grants.gov. The funding opportunity is also available on SAMS-Domestic. If you are unable to view the funding opportunity, you should email JTIPGrants@state.gov to be linked to the NOFO. In SAMS-Domestic you will be able to view the opportunity, the accompanying templates, and the Guidelines document.
Q: What are the expected funding dates?
A: Subject to available funds, the TIP Office expects to award the funds to successful applicant(s) no later than September 2023.
Q: Is there a limit to the number of proposals that can be submitted by a single applicant?
A: Applicants may only submit one proposal in response to this NOFO.
Q: Can you speak to any expectations (or potential opportunities) for the organization which is eventually awarded the prevalence study grant and the organization(s) awarded grants under the implementation partnership NOFO?
A: We expect the research implementer to work closely with both government and project implementer groups to ensure that the research can support the subsequent programs and be useful for those on the ground. There will be communication and coordination facilitated by J/TIP to ensure that the research and implementation awardees are working together towards the common CPC goals and objectives.
Q: Can the assistance cover both internal and international trafficking/ Ivorian and foreign victims?
Q: Can you clarify about the page limit and character limit for the Narrative?
A: Please refer to the NOFO regarding the character limit for the Narrative. (Applicants are required to use the Narrative Template provided within SAMS-D, which also limits the number of characters. NOTE: Applicants MUST type within the grey box found in the template).
Q: May applicants submit additional documents to the project narrative, in addition to the required templates and documents outlined in the NOFO?
A: No, applicants may only submit required annexes, as well as the project narrative. Any additional documents uploaded outside of what is specified in the NOFO will result in failure of the organization during technical review.
Q: How are the use of graphics (e.g., flow charts) in the Narrative counted against the overall character limit?
A: All charts, tables, and graphics count towards the character limit in the narrative. Any graphics should be produced in Word or Excel. Please do not produce graphics outside of these platforms as your proposal will be disqualified.
Q: May an applicant include footnotes in the project narrative?
A: Yes, an applicant may include footnotes within the project narrative. However, the footnotes will be included within the character count limit.
Q: Will there be acknowledgement of successful on-time submission by the TIP Office?
A: Successful submission acknowledgments will be received via SAMS-D. You will not receive an acknowledgement directly from the TIP Office.
Q: Is SAMS-D the same as “SAM” or “SAMS” for organizations outside the US?
A: Applications for this funding opportunity must be submitted via SAMS Domestic (SAMS-D) (https://mygrants.service-now.com/grants) by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Monday, February 20, 2023, to be eligible for consideration. The System for Award Management (SAM.gov) is not required for submission of an application on SAMS Domestic; however, a valid Unique Entity Identifier number is required for organizations selected for an award. See section 3. under Application and Submission Information for more details.
SAMS Domestic is the system for applying to federal assistance, countersigning awards, and managing post-award documentation with the Department of State.
SAM.gov is used to register organizations with the U.S. government. Registration makes organizations eligible to receive federal assistance.
Q: How do I unlock my SAMS-Domestic account or change my SAMS-Domestic password? What should I do if I encounter difficulty using the SAMS-Domestic website?
A: Unfortunately, the TIP Office is unable to unlock SAMS-Domestic account or reset passwords. For assistance with SAMS-Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com/grants) contact the ILMS Support Desk at 1-888-313-4567 (toll free for international callers) or submit a ticket using the ILMS Self Service Portal (https://afsitsm.service-now.com/ilms/home). Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing JTIPGrants@state.gov.
Q: Who should be listed as the authorized certifying official on the SF-424B?
A: The “certifying official” is the person within your organization who can / will sign the award if an award is made. This could be the organization’s director, a project manager, or grants coordinator, for example. This is also the only point of contact who will receive information regarding the status of the application from the TIP Office.
Q: If an applicant proposes a partnership with government, civil society, another NGO, or a PIO does the partnership agreement have to be finalized or in writing at the time of the application?
A: Yes. All applicants must describe existing or proposed partnerships with anti-trafficking and other related stakeholders that illustrate the organization’s past performance in Cote d’Ivoire and demonstrate their ability to work with the U.S. Government and the Government of Cote d’Ivoire. In cases where an applicant has not partnered with a local organization or institution in the past, does not consider it feasible to do so, or does not consider it in the organization’s best interest, the application must clearly explain why. Applicants are encouraged to highlight past work that was conducted with survivor-led organizations as sub-grantees or partners. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that reflect partnerships among organizations and are expected to work collaboratively with relevant regional government ministries and local authorities to coordinate with related activities supported by other donors. Applicants are strongly encouraged to form consortia in order to bring together organizations with varied expertise to propose a comprehensive project in one proposal.
Q: Can you provide more details on partnerships? Are you referring to national NGOs and CSOs?
A: Applicants are welcome to demonstrate their past work partnering with NGO’s, CSO’s, academia, and other actors, including the government, that show they are well suited to work with the U.S. Government and the Government of Cote d’Ivoire to develop and execute an implementation plan for the CPC Partnership.
Q: Can you provide more guidance on partnerships v. subawards and what is required?
A: For the purposes of this funding opportunity, a partner organization is any organization that the applicant has partnered with in the past on programs related to human trafficking, specifically child trafficking, in Cote d’Ivoire. If an applicant anticipates a sub-award to a partner organization, the following types of organizations are allowable: any U.S. or foreign-based nongovernmental organization; public international organization (PIO); college or university; or for-profit organization.
Q: Is there any restriction with regard to the cost share (e.g., max. amount)?
A: No, there is no cap on cost share, but applicants must be able to clearly justify the quantity of funding they plan to allocate and explain why that funding is being allocated. Cost share is not required.
Q: Are organizations eligible to receive indirect funds?
A: Regarding indirect costs, organizations without a Negotiated Indirect Cost Recovery Agreement (NICRA) agreement may account for a maximum of ten percent (10%) of these expenses as indirect costs when submitting a budget; please note this 10% de minumus rate is in accordance with 2 CFR 200.414(f). For organizations that do not have a NICRA and elect not to use the de minumus rate, identified “overhead costs” must be charged as direct costs. Organizations with NICRA agreements may account for indirect costs as a lump sum for the relevant percentage of funding as permitted by the NICRA.
Q: What types of costs fall under the indirect category and do we need to provide a breakdown of the different costs within that ten percent?
A: If you are using the 10% de minimis rate, then 2 CFR 200 provides a breakdown of what can be charged and how it is calculated. Should the applicant be selected for funding, a breakdown of the different costs within that ten percent will be provided in the budget narrative and line-item budget after the CPC Partnership Implementation Plan is developed.
Is a separate budget and budget narrative required for sub-grantees?
A: A separate budget and budget narrative for sub-grantees is not required at this time. Once applicant(s) are selected and the implementation plan is finalized, selected applicant(s) will submit a revision to their award that includes updated project narrative and budget summaries to reflect the planned activities under the implementation plan. Additional documents that may be included in the award revision/amendment may include, but are not limited to: monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL) plans; timelines; risk mitigation and contingency plans; a line-item budget; and a budget narrative.
Q: Does the sub-award include the ten percent?
A: The 10% de minimis rate can be used by any organization that doesn’t have a current negotiated rate (NICRA). However, no budgets should be submitted for sub-grantees under this NOFO. Once applicant(s) are selected and the implementation plan is finalized, selected applicant(s) will submit a revision to their award that includes updated project narrative and budget summaries to reflect the planned activities under the implementation plan, including the activities to be conducted by sub-grantees, if relevant.
Q: Can you further clarify when Letters of Intent to Cooperate are required and from whom?
A: Letters of Agreement or Letters of Intent to Cooperate in Partnership (from the government or civil society) are required for this NOFO. These letters should be obtained in advance of an organization receiving an award.
Q: What does an application include?
A: To ensure fairness, all applicants will have an equal chance to describe their proposed project. Detailed information on formatting requirements and more can be found in the NOFO and Guidelines/Program Design Standards.
Q: How do we request a DUNS number?
A: Please note that organizations no longer work with Dun and Bradstreet to obtain a DUNS number. Organizations must directly request a UEI number instead, upon registration in SAM.GOV.
Q: If an organization proposes a partnership with another organization, do all parties need to obtain a valid UEI number, or only the applicant?
A: For the purpose of filling out the SF 424s and submitting an application, the only UEI number required is that of the applicant – the principle organization which is requesting funding.
Organizations proposing partnership or sub-award agreements in their proposals are advised that their partners may obtain a valid UEI number in anticipation of selection for funding, as this information may be required for sub-award agreements.
Q: Can multiple organizations submit one application?
A: Under this funding opportunity, applicants are encouraged to form a consortia and partner with other organizations to demonstrate both their individual and shared past experience addressing child trafficking in Cote d’Ivoire. Applicants partnering with other organizations must clearly identify ONE lead applicant, and the applicant may designate one or more partner organizations as sub-recipients.
Q: Aside from the SAMS-D and SAMS.gov platform, are there any other systems or platforms on which we need to be registered or have accounts going forward?
A: If accepted for funding, the Payment Management System would be another platform that you would need to register with. The TIP Office will provide more information at a later time for this system.
Q: Are applicants required to submit a hard copy original signature with their proposal via mail?
A: No, only an electronic signature submitted via SAMS-Domestic is required. No applications or supplemental documents are permitted to be submitted or will be accepted via mail – only the items listed in the instructions on the solicitation which must be submitted via SAMS-Domestic.
Q: Can you speak more to the key personnel expectations. Are you looking for organizations to propose number of key personnel and positions ourselves?
A: Please follow the instructions within the Guidelines document. Each organization should have a few positions designated as key; if these positions are not filled at the time of application, this is ok, but you should be able to share SOWs for those particular positions.
Q: Can you confirm that we do NOT need to include all 4 objectives in an application?
A: Yes, that is correct.
Q: Can the same organization be as a prime applicant in one application, and sub-recipient in another application?
A: The TIP Office does not have any restrictions that would prevent an applicant from also being an implementing partner in another proposal under the same funding opportunity.
Q: Is it possible to apply in a consortium?
A: Yes, it is possible to apply in a consortium of organizations to this Funding Opportunity, but one prime recipient must be identified to submit the application and receive any awarded funds.
Q: Do we have to apply during each of the 5 years of the Partnership?
A: No, only one application will be necessary to implement activities under this CPC.
Q: How does the TIP Office decide which proposal(s) to fund?
A: Following the submission, all proposals will be screened to determine whether they meet the technical requirements stated in this announcement. As a reminder, the TIP Office will only consider proposals that meet the very specific requirements outlined in the NOFO and Guidelines. Following the technical review, a formal content review of each full proposal that passes the technical review will commence. An intra- and interagency panel will review proposals for funding consideration. The panel will consider each proposal’s merits as well as applicable limitations on U.S. foreign assistance. Panel recommendations will be presented for consideration to the TIP Office’s Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons or Senior Official, who will make the final funding decision.
Q: Where may I find additional advice about preparing the full proposal application?
A: The TIP Office must ensure a fair, transparent, competitive grants process. No one from the TIP Office or other Department of State personnel, including Embassy personnel, may advise applicants on the content of its application. Persons with additional questions about the requirements of the solicitation may contact JTIPGrants@state.gov.
Q: How many grants will be issued?
A: We cannot provide an answer to this question. This is dependent upon the application submissions and funding availability.
Q: Is there a formal Q&A process throughout the full proposal process? If so, what is the deadline, where do we submit questions, and where will answers be posted?
A: We receive questions via the JTIPGrants@state.gov email.
Q: Can you confirm the age range of the target populations?
A: CPC Partnerships focus specifically on children, which is considered anyone under the age of 18.
Q: Can you please explain more thoroughly the difference between the two NOFOs (prevalence study and implementing partner) and do we have to answer this call for proposals if we answered the previous one?
A: The prevalence study and implementing partner NOFOs are two different opportunities, and therefore organizations can apply to both. The organization selected for the prevalence study will conduct qualitative research to inform programming activities, though this opportunity has already closed. The organizations selected for the implementing partner NOFO will focus on programming activities across the 4P’s taking into account findings from the prevalence research.
Q: Can you clarify if we can add other activities to those already suggested in the NOFO?
A: Yes, an organization can include additional activities. However, we encourage that organizations focus on the illustrative activities that have been identified by the TIP office and the Ivorian Government during the negotiation of the partnership.
Q: Can we provide direct support to stakeholders especially government agencies, including funding?
A: No, this is not allowable. Ivoirian government ministries or personnel cannot be paid for under this award as a subaward or a subcontract. While such ministries or personnel can be beneficiaries of assistance (such as in attending trainings, conferences, and being partners in other activities) you would not be allowed to enter into a direct funding relationship.
Q: Are we able to provide equipment to government agencies such as motorcycles or computers?
A: This may or may not be an allowable cost. Please note that if Equipment costs are included in an application, the organization must retain ownership of all Equipment obtained throughout the lifetime of the federal award, which makes providing any items of Equipment to government agencies or police dependent upon the proposal and the decision of the Grants Officer. Supplies may be allowable, which have different requirements under U.S. federal regulations than Equipment costs.
Q: Can an Ivorian NGO partner with an international NGO?
A: Yes, Ivorian NGOs may form partnerships with international NGOs or other entities listed in the “Funding Eligibility” section of the NOFO.