Funding Opportunity Announcement
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Washington, DC
January 9, 2018


Request for Concept Notes Number: SPRG0001004

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

Announcement issuance date: Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Proposal submission deadline: Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. noon EST Concept Notes submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

**ADVISORY: All applicants must submit concept notes through the website Grants.gov (not SAMS Domestic). Applications that are submitted through SAMS Domestic in response to this funding opportunity will be disqualified. PRM strongly recommends submitting your concept note early to allow time to address any technical difficulties that may arise on the Grants.gov website.**

If you are new to PRM funding, the Grants.gov registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “Application Process” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher.

Full Text of Notice of Funding Opportunity

  1. Project Description

Summary: This solicitation is the first step in a two-part process. After reviewing concept notes, PRM will invite selected organizations to expand their submissions into full single-year (15 page) or multi-year (20 page) proposals with objectives, indicators, and detailed budgets for each year of the project. Selected organizations will have 30 calendar days after they are notified of their selection to complete their full proposals. Organizations may apply as partners or consortia; however, one organization must be designated as the lead applicant at both the concept note and full proposal stage.

This announcement references PRM’s General NGO Guidelines which contain additional information on PRM’s priorities and NGO funding strategy with which selected organizations must comply. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that your concept note submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements and that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities. Concept note submissions that do not reflect the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

(a) Concept note activities should primarily support registered refugees in Pakistan and/or registered refugee returnees in Afghanistan in high-return districts. PRM’s mandate to provide protection, assistance, and sustainable solutions for refugees and victims of conflict, PRM will consider funding only those projects that include a target beneficiary base in Pakistan of at least 50 percent registered refugees in Pakistan or in Afghanistan registered refugee returnees in high-return districts.

(b) Concept notes must focus on one or more of the following sectors (see PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for sector descriptions):

In Afghanistan:

  1. Protection
  2. Child protection
  3. Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response
  4. Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)
  5. Education
    1. Priority will be given to programs that are coordinated with the Afghan formal education system;
    2. Priority will be given to programs designed to support enrolment of recent returnees into Afghan formal schools at the age-appropriate grade level, such as accelerated learning programs.
  6. Livelihoods

In Pakistan:

  1. Protection
    1. Priority will be given to programs designed to reduce tensions and improve social cohesion with host communities, including programs that use less traditional approaches such as sport related activities;
    2. Priority will be given to child-protection activities that promote psychosocial well-being.
  2. Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response
    1. Priority will be given to programs designed to raise public awareness about Gender-Based Violence, its prevention, and existing response services in the form of mass media.
  3. Education
    1. Priority will be given to programs that support enrollment and retention of Afghan refugee children, especially girls, and those which facilitate access to board exams and completion certificates in Pakistani government schools.
    2. Priority will be given to programs that prevent overlap and coordinate with other developmental education programs, if any in the intervention area.
  4. Livelihoods
  1. Priority will be given to specialized programs that build professional skills, create employment and market opportunities and where possible partner with and utilize Pakistani government approved training institutions.

(c) Organizations may submit a maximum of two concept notes per country only. Any subsequent submissions received will be disqualified.

Country-specific Provisions:

  1. Pakistan: To be eligible, international NGO applicants must have applied for registration in Pakistan at the time of proposal submission.
  2. Afghanistan: Programs should take place in high refugee-return areas.
  1. Federal Award Information

Proposed project start dates: September 1, 2018

Duration of Activity:

  1. Pakistan: Concept notes for 12 months will be considered.
  2. Afghanistan: Concept notes for 24 months will be considered.

Funding Limits: Summary budgets for each year of the program must not be less than $500,000 and not more than $1 million or they will be disqualified. Livelihoods projects are encouraged to be multi-year.

  1. Eligibility Information
  1. Eligible Applicants: (1) Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; (2) Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; and (3) International Organizations. International multilateral organizations, such as United Nations agencies, should not submit concept notes through Grants.gov in response to this Notice of Funding Opportunity. Multilateral organizations that are seeking funding for projects relevant to this announcement should contact the PRM Program Officer (as listed below) on or before the closing date of the funding announcement.
  1. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not a requirement of an application in response to this funding announcement.
  1. Other:

(a) Concept notes and eventually full proposals must encompass relevant international standards for humanitarian assistance, especially Sphere Standards. See PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for a complete list of sector-specific standards including new guidance on proposals for projects in urban areas.

(b) PRM strongly encourages projects that target the needs of vulnerable and underserved groups among the beneficiary population (women; children; adolescents; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) individuals; older persons; the sick; persons with disabilities; and other minorities) and can demonstrate what steps have been taken to meet the specific and unique protection and assistance needs of these vulnerable groups effectively.

(c) PRM will accept concept notes from any NGO working in the above mentioned sectors although, given budgetary constraints, priority will be given to concept notes from organizations that can demonstrate:

  • a working relationship with UNHCR;
  • a proven track record in providing proposed assistance both in the sector and specified location;
  • evidence of coordination with international organizations (IOs) and other NGOs working in the same area or sector as well as – where possible – local authorities;
  • an emphasis on the outcome or impact of project activities. Full objective and indicator tables will only be required if the applicant is invited to submit a full proposal; however, the concept note must generally demonstrate the ability to deliver impact.
  • where applicable, adherence to PRM’s Principles for Refugee Protection in Urban Areas.
  • an understanding of and sensitivity to conflict dynamics in the project location.
  1. Application and Submission Instructions
  1. Address to Request Application Package:

(a) Application packages may be downloaded from the website www.Grants.gov.

  1. Content and Form of Application:

(a) Organizations may submit a maximum of two concept notes per country only. Any subsequent submissions received will be disqualified.

(b) Concept notes must be no more than 3 pages in length submitted in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF, using Times New Roman, 12 point font, with one inch margins on all sides. Concept notes that are longer than 3 pages will be automatically disqualified. There is no separate template for concept note submissions. Submissions may be in any format as long as they include all information and conform to all formatting guidelines in this announcement.

(c) Concept notes must include the following categories.

  1. Brief problem statement, description of target population with beneficiary numbers, and vulnerability criteria used to identify beneficiaries
  2. Project description, location, and duration
  3. Proposed measurable outcomes and impact of the project
  4. Summary of the organization and experience doing similar work
  5. Organizational point(s) of contact

(d) Summary budgets must be attached to the concept note and do not fall within the 3-page limit. Summary budgets must include the following categories:

  1. Personnel allowances
  2. Benefits
  3. Travel
  4. Program equipment
  5. Supplies
  6. Contractual
  7. Construction
  8. Other direct costs
  9. Indirect costs
  10. Total amount requested

(e) There should be no attachments, other than the budget, to the initial concept note submission.For selected organizations, PRM will request fully developed, 15-page/20-page, single-year/multi-year proposals with objectives, indicators, and detailed budgets for each year of the project. Organizations that are invited to submit full proposals may attach work plans, activity calendars, and/or logical frameworks as addendums to their full-length proposal at that stage.

(f) To be considered for PRM funding, organizations must submit a complete application package including:

  • Three-page concept note with one-page summary budget attached for the project period.
  • Signed completed SF-424 (note: this document is in addition to the concept note and budget and not within the 3 page limit).

(g) Consortia. Organizations may apply to this call as individual organizations or consortia; however, one organization must be designated as the lead applicant at both the concept note and full proposal stage. If the applicant is applying as a consortium or partnership, a description of how the partnership will be organized and how lines of authority and decision-making will be managed across all team members and between the lead applicant and associate awardees should be included in the concept note. The concept note should discuss the governance structure of the partnership, the role of each organization, and how each partner will be utilized in implementing the overall project.

3. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM)

(a) Each applicant is required to: (i) be registered in SAM at (www.sam.gov) before submitting its application; (ii) provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active PRM award or an application or plan under consideration by PRM. No federal award may be made to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the PRM award is ready to be made, PRM may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a PRM award and use that determination as a basis for making a PRM award to another applicant.

(b) Concept notes must be submitted via Grants.gov (not via SAMS Domestic). Grants.gov registration requires a DUNS number and active SAM.gov registration. If you are new to PRM funding, the Grants.gov registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “New to PRM Funding” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher. Applicants may also refer to the “For Applicants” page on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements.

(c) Do not wait until the deadline to submit your application on 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 receive required registration numbers). We also 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. PRM partners must maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which they have an active federal award or an application under consideration by PRM or any federal agency.

(d) When registering with Grants.gov, organizations must designate points of contact and Authorized Organization Representatives (AORs). Organizations based outside the United States must also request and receive an NCAGE (https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx) code prior to registering with SAM.gov. Applicants experiencing technical difficulties with the SAM registration process should contact the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online or at 1-866-606-8220 (U.S.) and 1-334-206-7828 (International).

(e) Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.

(f) 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 to the Grants.gov help desk, received a case number, and had a service request opened to research the problem, should contact the relevant PRM Program Officer to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

(g) It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure the appropriate registrations are in place and active. Failure to have the appropriate organizational registrations in place is not considered a technical difficulty and is not justification for an alternate means of submission.

(h) Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), the 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 is available upon request by emailing PRMNGOCoordinator@state.gov with the subject line, “PRM NGO Templates”. (Do not add quotation marks into the subject line.)

  1. Submission Dates and Times

Announcement issuance date: Monday, January 9, 2018

Proposal submission deadline: Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. noon EST. Concept Notes submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

This solicitation is the first step in a two-part process. After reviewing concept notes, PRM will invite selected organizations to expand their submissions into full-length proposals with detailed budgets. Selected organizations will have 30 calendar days after they are notified of their selection to complete their full proposals.

  1. Intergovernmental Review – Not Applicable.
  1. Funding Restrictions. Federal awards will not allow reimbursement of Federal Award costs without prior authorization by PRM.
  1. Other Submission Requirements

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

RECIPIENT PERFORMANCE IN A DESIGNATED AREA OF COMBAT OPERATIONS (IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN)

(Revised March 2015)

Federal Assistance Awards deploying personnel under an assistance award, in a designated area of combat operations or future contingency operation, over $150,000 or performance over 30 calendar days, must be registered in the Department of Defense maintained Synchronized Pre-deployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT) system.

For Federal Assistance Awards deploying personnel in a designated area of combat operations or future contingency operation that do not involve personnel performing security functions or needing access to government installations, the Grants Officer or his/her designee should account for personnel within the SPOT system anonymously through the use of the aggregate count functionality, reporting all personnel (U.S. Citizens, Third Country Nationals, and Local Nationals) on a quarterly basis.

For assistance awards that meet the aggregate count functionality criteria, the Grants Officer or the recipient SPOT administrator should send total numbers of individuals working under a grant on a quarterly basis to the SPOT program office. Further guidance on the formatting of SPOT reporting will be provided in the Federal Assistance Award document. The SPOT program office will load these numbers on behalf of the Grants officer and the recipient to the SPOT administrator. The SPOT program office can be reached at AQMOps@state.gov.

Assistance Awards deploying personnel in a designated area of combat operations or future contingency operation that utilize personnel who are performing a private security function; or require access to U.S. facilities, services, or support, the Grants Officer or his/her designee must have personnel funded under that award entered into SPOT individually with all required personal information. Recipients utilizing armed private security personnel, whether employed directly or via contract, are required to adhere to post policies and procedures regarding private security contractors.

(b) Applicant Vetting as a Condition of Award: Applicants are advised that successful passing of vetting to evaluate the risk that funds may benefit terrorists or their supporters is a condition of award. Applicants may be asked to submit information required by DS Form 4184, Risk Analysis Information about their company and its principal personnel. Vetting information is also required for all subaward performance on assistance awards identified by DOS as presenting a risk of terrorist financing. When vetting information is requested by the Grants Officer, information may be submitted on the secure web portal at https://ramportal.state.gov, via email to RAM@state.gov, or hardcopy to the Grants Officer. Questions about the form may be emailed to RAM@state.gov. Failure to submit information when requested, or failure to pass vetting, may be grounds for rejecting your proposal. The following clause shall be included in Section 9, Special Award Conditions, or as an addendum to the solicitation, whenever assistance is awarded after vetting:

  • Recipient Vetting After Award: Recipients shall advise the Grants Officer of any changes in personnel listed in the DS Form 4184, Risk Analysis Information, and shall provide vetting information on new individuals. The government reserves the right to vet these personnel changes and to terminate assistance awards for convenience based on vetting results.

(c) Branding and Marking Strategy: Unless exceptions have been approved by the designated bureau Authorizing Official as described in the proposal templates that are available upon email request from PRM’s NGO Coordinator, at a minimum, the following provision will be included whenever assistance is awarded:

  • As a condition of receipt of this assistance award, all materials produced pursuant to the award, including training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under this agreement, including but not limited to invitations to events, press materials, event backdrops, podium signs, etc. must be marked appropriately with the standard U.S. flag in a size and prominence equal to (or greater than) any other logo or identity.
    • Subrecipients and subsequent tier sub-award agreements are subject to the marking requirements and the recipient shall include a provision in the subrecipient agreement indicating that the standard, rectangular U.S. flag is a requirement. In the event the recipient does not comply with the marking requirements as established in the approved assistance agreement, the Grants Officer Representative and the Grants Officer must initiate corrective action.
  1. Application Review Information
  1. Criteria: Eligible submissions will be those that comply with the criteria and requirements included in this announcement. In addition, the review panel will evaluate the concept notes based on the following criteria:
  1. Quality of project idea
  2. Appropriate identification of beneficiary population, including vulnerable populations
  3. Project feasibility/ability to achieve objectives
  4. Organization’s experience and capacity
  5. Cost effectiveness
  1. PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all concept notes submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel of at least three people will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced programmatic criteria and PRM priorities in the context of available funding.
  2. After reviewing the concept notes, selected organizations will be invited to submit full proposals. PRM will provide formal notifications to NGOs of final decisions within 90 days after the closing date of this announcement. Selected organizations will have 30 calendar days from notification to submit full proposals, with detailed budgets, and attachments as applicable (refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for general proposal formatting and submission guidance for single-year/multi-year projects).
  1. Federal Award Administration Information
  1. Federal Award Administration. A successful applicant can expect to receive a separate notice from PRM stating that an application has been selected before PRM actually makes the federal award. That notice is not an authorization to begin performance. Only the notice of award signed by the grants officer is the authorizing document. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified following completion of the selection and award process.
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements.PRM awards are made consistent with the following provisions in the following order of precedence: (a) applicable laws and statutes of the United States, including any specific legislative provisions mandated in the statutory authority for the award; (b) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR); (c) Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions of the award; (d) the award’s specific requirements; and (e) other documents and attachments to the award.
  3. Reporting

Successful applicants will be required to submit:

(a) Project Reports: PRM requires project reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. A project 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 project report is due ninety (90) days following the end of the agreement. The submission dates for project reports will be written into the cooperative agreement. Partners receiving multi-year awards should follow this same reporting schedule and should still submit a final project report at the end of each year that summarizes the NGO’s performance during the previous year.

The Performance Progress Report (SF-PPR) is an optional cover sheet used by recipients for progress reporting on awards. Previously this form was mandatory, but has since been removed from OMB’s list of approved forms and currently is an optional form. The Bureau suggests that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended quarterly project report template and, if also choosing to use the SF-PPR, reference this template as being attached in block 10 at “Other.” The suggested PRM NGO reporting template is designed to ease the reporting requirements while ensuring that all required elements are addressed. The Quarterly Project Report Template, along with the optional SF-PPR, can be requested by sending an email with only the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” (without the quotation marks) in the subject line, to PRMNGOCoordinator@state.gov.

(b) 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 sixty (60) days of the finalization of the applicable negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA).

Reports reflecting expenditures for the recipient’s overseas and United States offices should be completed in accordance with the Federal Financial Report (FFR SF-425) and submitted electronically in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Payment Management System (HHS/PMS) and in accordance with other award specific requirements. Detailed information pertaining to the Federal Financial Report including due dates, instruction manuals and access forms, is provided on the HHS/PMS website.

(c) Audit Reports: When a recipient-contracted audit is not required because the Federal award amount is less than the $750,000 threshold, the Department may determine that an audit must be performed and the audit report must be submitted to the responsible grants office(r) for review, dissemination, and resolution as appropriate. The cost of audits required under this policy may be charged either as an allowable direct cost to the award, or included in the organizations established indirect costs in the award’s detailed budget.

  1. PRM Contacts

(a) Applicants with technical questions related to this announcement should contact the PRM staff listed below prior to submission. Please note that responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the project discussed.

PRM Program Officer: Email to: PRM-ECA-API@state.gov

**Disclaimer: External websites linked above may not be supported or accessible by all web browsers. If you are unable to link to a referenced website, please try using a different browser or update to a more recent one. If you continue to experience difficulties to reach external resources, please contact the PRMNGOCoordinator.

U.S. Department of State

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