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Contents

Purpose of Guidelines
Online Forms: Standard Forms 424, 424A, and 424B
SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance)
SF-424A
SF-424B
Full Proposal Narrative

1. Background (required)
2. Problem Statement (required)
3. Project Description (required)
Project Goal (required)
Project Objectives (required)
Project Activities (required)
Gender Integration (optional)
Sustainability (required)
Local Partnerships (required)
Coordination with Other Anti-Trafficking Stakeholders (required)
Security, Risk Mitigation, and Contingency Planning (required)
Monitoring and Evaluation (required)
Considerations

Proposal Narrative Annexes
Annex A: Results Performance Monitoring Plan (required)
Annex B: Budget Summary by Project Year
Annex C: Line-Item Budget
Optional Annex: Chart or Graph Annex (Optional)
The following documents should not be submitted with the initial application. Only applications selected for funding should submit the following document upon request. Submission of these documents with the initial application will result in failure of the technical review.
Annex D: Performance Monitoring Work Plan
Annex E: Monitoring and Evaluation Plan Narrative
Annex F: Budget Narrative
Annex G: Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA)*
Annex H: Resumes/CVs for Key Personnel (5 pages per resume maximum)
Annex I: Certification of Training Requirement for Victim Assistance Personnel
Annex J: Letters of Agreement or Letters of Intent to Cooperate*
Program Design Standards:

Section I: Should the TIP Office and its implementers work on an issue?
Section II: What change on the issue does the TIP Office and its implementers seek through this project/program?
Section III: Is the change pathway likely to be effective?
Section IV: Are the activities likely to bring about the desired changes?
Section V: Are we planning for risk appropriately?


Purpose of Guidelines

These guidelines are intended to support organizations in preparing proposed project documents for consideration for funding. Applicants should review the funding opportunity, required application templates, and the following guidelines on preparing applications.

To be considered under this funding announcement, applications must include the following documents in the required templates (on SAMS Domestic):

  • Online Forms – SF 424, SF 424A, and SF 424B.
  • Project Narrative – Required template available on SAMS Domestic (This has template 27,000 character limit).
  • Annex A: Results Performance Monitoring Plan – Required template available on SAMS Domestic (formerly known as the logical framework).
  • Annex B: Budget Summary – Required template on SAMS Domestic.
  • Annex C: Line-item Budget – Required template on SAMS Domestic.
  • Optional Annex: Chart of Graphs Submitted in One Page (Optional)
    • Due to the format restrictions, applicants may submit an optional one-page annex to the project narrative for charts or graphs.

Applicants are not allowed to submit additional documents at this time. Any additional documents submitted will result in the failure of the technical review process and applications that submitted additional documents will not be reviewed programmatically. If selected for funding and upon request from the TIP Office, applicants will be required to submit additional documents, including, but not limited to, a project performance monitoring workplan, project budget narrative, project common performance indicators, resumes/CVs for key personnel of the project, letters of intent to cooperate on project activities (if applicable), certification of training requirement for victim assistance personnel (if applicable), and NICRA (if applicable).

Online Forms: Standard Forms 424, 424A, and 424B

There are three mandatory application forms that must be completed through SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com/grants ):

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance)
  • SF-424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF-424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)

When completing these forms, please use the below guidance to fill in all fields except where noted as “Leave Blank.”

SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance)

1. Type of Submission: Application
2. Type of Application: New
3. Date Received: This will be assigned automatically.
4. Applicant Identifier: Leave blank.
5a. Federal Entity Identifier: Leave blank.
5b. Federal Award Identifier: Leave blank.
6. Date Received by State: Leave blank. This will be assigned automatically.
7. State Application Identified: Leave blank. This will be assigned automatically.
8a. Enter the legal name of the applicant organization: Do NOT list abbreviations or acronyms unless they are part of the organization’s legal name.
8b. Employer/Taxpayer ID Number: Non-U.S. organizations enter 44-4444444.
8c. Enter organizational Unique Entity Identifier number (UEI). Organizations can request a UEI number at: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Enter “0000000000” for organizations that do not yet have a UEI number.
8d. Enter the headquarters address of the applicant.
8e. Enter the name of the primary organizational unit (and department or division) that will undertake the assistance activity as applicable.
8f. Enter the name, title, and all contact information of the person to be contacted on matters involving this application.
9. Select an applicant type(type of organization).
10. Enter: Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
11. Enter: 19.019. This should be automatically entered.
12. Enter the Funding Opportunity Number and title. This number will already be entered on electronic applications.
13. Enter the Competition Identification Number and title. This number will already be entered on electronic applications.
14. Areas Affected by Project: Enter country or region.
15. Enter the title of proposed project: Enter project title.
16. (16a) Congressional districts of Applicant: Applicants based in the U.S. should enter congressional district. Foreign applicants should enter “90.” 16(b) All applicants should enter “90.”
17. Enter start date February 1, 2021and projected end date.
18. (18a) Enter the amount requested for the project described in the full proposal under “Federal”; (18b) enter any cost-share under “Applicant.” If not proposing cost-share, enter zeros.
19. Select “c. Program is not covered by E.O 12372.”
20. Select the appropriate box. If the answer is “yes” to this question, provide an explanation.
21. Enter the name, title, and all contact information of the individual authorized to sign for the application on behalf of the applicant organization.

SF-424A — Applicants often say this form is confusing. Please review the detailed instructions below BEFORE completing this form online.

Section A – Budget Summary – Complete Tab 1

a. Enter: Anti-Trafficking Program (This is the only grant program that needs to be entered). Click Save to refresh the page.
b. Click the Anti-Trafficking Program link and enter: 19.019.
c-d. Leave these fields blank.
e. Enter the amount of federal funds requested for this project.
f. Enter the amount of any other funds the applicant will receive towards this project.
g. The total cost of this project will automatically be calculated. Click Save & Return

Section B – Budget Categories – Complete Tab 2 – Enter total project costs in each category in Column 1 as described below. In Column 5 the form should automatically show the sum. Columns 2, 3, and 4 leave blank.

a-h. Click into each category to enter the amount for each object class category (Include cost sharing).
i. Enter the sum of 6a-6h.
j. Enter any indirect charges.
k. Enter the sum of 6i and 6j.

Program Income. Enter any program income that will be earned as a result of the project. If none, leave this section blank.

Section C – Non-Federal Resources – Complete Tab 3 – (Only complete this section if the proposal includes funds from other sources)

1. Click into Anti-Trafficking Program.
2. Enter cost share amount in the Applicant field, if applicable.
3. Leave the State field blank.
4. Enter the amount of any other funding sources for this project.
5. The total amount for all non-federal resources should automatically be calculated.

Section D – Forecasted Cash Needs – Complete Tab 4

1. In the first column, enter the total amount of federal funds requested for the project. Forecasted cash needs by quarter are not required.
2. In the first column, enter the total amount of non-federal funds you expect to expend during the project. Please list total cost share in this column. Forecasted cash needs by quarter are not required.
3. The form should automatically calculate the sum. Forecasted cash needs by quarter are not required.

Section E – Budget Estimates of Federal Funds Needed for Balance of the Project – Complete Tab 5

1. Click Anti-Trafficking Program.
2. Enter the amount of federal funds to be expended in year one of the project. Click Save.
3. Enter the amount of federal funds to be expended in year two of the project (if applicable).
4. Enter the amount of federal funds to be expended in year three of the project (if applicable).

Section F – Other Budget Information – Complete Tab 6

1. Enter: Direct Charges– Leave Blank.
2. Enter: Indirect Charges – If Indirect Charges are shown in Tab 2 (Budget Categories), enter the type of Indirect Rate used (Provisional, Predetermined, Final, or Fixed).
3. Enter any comments.

SF-424B

This form must be signed online in SAMS Domestic. Please note, the SF-424B is now required only for those applicants who have not registered in SAM.gov or recertified their registration in SAM.gov since February 2, 2019 and completed the online representations and certifications.

Full Proposal Narrative

Key Information

Applicants are required to use the project narrative template on SAMS-Domestic, which is set to a 27,000 character limit (including spaces, footnotes, graphs, and charts) with 12 Times New Roman font.  Any application that does not submit the required template or submits documents other than those required will fail the technical review. The template automatically complies with the character limit and black-colored, Times New Roman font.

The project narrative must list the following key information in the cover page:

  • Country or countries that the project will benefit
  • Project Title
  • Name of applicant organization
  • Name and email address of point of contact for the application (this should be the same contact that is listed on the SF-424 in 8f)
  • Funding amount requested in U.S. dollars. If applicants include a cost share it should also be in U.S. dollars. No other figures are requested at this time.
  • Project duration in months

The remaining area of this section will make up the foundation of the project narrative.

Project Narrative

The project narrative should include the following components:

1. Background (required)

The background serves as an opportunity for the applicant to demonstrate their breadth of knowledge (including but not limited to knowledge of the country’s institutions and organizational structures, laws/policies around anti-trafficking issues, etc.) in the selected sector based on prior experience and/or institutional and experiential knowledge, as well as their understanding of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first component of the background section should briefly describe the country/ies context describing information that may directly tie into the rest of the proposal. This could include information about the geographical positioning, population demographics, security concerns (if any) and should include an overview of trafficking in persons (TIP) issues in the country/ies.

The second component should be the main focus of the background section and describe the impact of COVID-19 on human trafficking trends in the country/ies. This announcement is specifically focused on addressing short-term, targeted needs related to COVID-19 and human trafficking. This may include the increase of general vulnerabilities, but should go beyond the increase in vulnerabilities to clearly articulate specific impacts to the identified country/ies as it relates to geographic areas and populations.

The third component of the background section should describe ongoing anti-trafficking efforts conducted by governments and other anti-trafficking stakeholders and organizations, relevant previous and/or ongoing anti-trafficking work implemented by these entities, and the impact the COVID-19 has had on these anti-trafficking efforts.

The fourth and final component of the background section should demonstrate institutional record and capacity by describing relevant ongoing and prior anti-trafficking projects and efforts implemented by the organization, and the results of these efforts. Applicants should describe their relevant programming experience and human trafficking expertise, if any. If preferred, the applicant can weave this section into the first three sections of the background. If an applicant does not have prior anti-trafficking experience, this section should also include details on why the applicant proposes to work on this issue and how they will build their knowledge on human trafficking.

2. Problem Statement (required)

Building off the background, and to the extent possible, the problem statement should narrow the focus to describe the specific problem(s) that this project will address beyond general increased vulnerabilities, including but not limited to: the problem’s causes, magnitude, and impact; who or what is being impacted by the problem; relevant conditions (e.g., economic, political, social, environmental, etc.) affecting the problem; and why the problem(s) need to be resolved. The problem statement provides applicants the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the specific problem(s) they will tackle, and their understanding of how resolving the identified problem(s) contribute and/or align to TIP Office priorities, national, and international conventions, strategies, and/or policies. The problem statement should clearly articulate the anticipated duration of the problem as it relates to the impacts of COVID-19. This announcement is specifically focused on addressing short-term, targeted needs related to COVID-19 and human trafficking.

3. Project Description (required)

Based on the pre-gap analysis and the specific problem(s) that will be addressed through the project, clearly state the proposed solutions and a clear rationale for the solutions. Provide a clear narrative of your project’s goal, objective(s), and the activities you are proposing to undertake to accomplish your objective(s). This information should be directly related to your Performance Results Monitoring Plan (Annex A) and. In some cases, the problem statement may require longer a longer intervention that the proposed project can offer. Therefore, applicants should also provide detail on why the proposed timeline was chosen and how it relates to the anticipated timeline of the problem.

Project Goal (required)

A project goal is the highest level outcome to be advanced and/or achieved through the project. The goal specifies the change the project will bring or contribute to bringing about. The goal statement should be clear: it should state specific accomplishments, define ambiguous terms, and define the target population. To develop the project goal, consider the problem statement and ask, “What is the overall intent or purpose of the project that will address this problem?” The goal becomes the response to that question and is the desired end state of what success for the project would look like.

Words like “increase,” “strengthen,” “improve,” and “enhance” should be avoided or clearly defined. When describing “training or capacity building,” describe the concrete knowledge and skills the project will impart.

The stated goal should also be possible to reach in the given context with the allotted time and resources within the period of performance of the award.

Project Objectives (required)

Project objectives are the most ambitious results that the project will materially affect and be held accountable to demonstrate impact within the period of performance. The objectives are the steps that will guide the project in the attainment of the goal. Be certain each objective is clear and concise; measurable; feasible considering program funding, time, human capital, and other resources; is relevant to the project goal; and can be achieved within the timeframe of the project. Ask, “can I measure this objective in the final assessment?” Objectives are concrete and viewed as targets under the general goal. Objectives should also be written as changes and not as activities.

Project Activities (required)

Provide descriptions of the activities the applicant will undertake to achieve each objective. Note the main activities that will need to occur to achieve each objective. Provide evidence why that kind of activity is likely to bring about the desired change, and how often the activity will be conducted. Identify who has power to support or block reaching relevant objectives and discuss how the activities will engage those people. If you have committed cost share to this award, activities you report should include what is undertaken by both J/TIP and cost share funds. The hiring and training of key personnel do not need to be articulated as activities.

Gender Integration (optional)

The TIP Office encourages that project activities fully address gender considerations, ensuring that all individuals benefit from support where applicable, and that gender awareness is a built-in component of project activities.

Gender integration entails the identification and subsequent treatment of gender differences and gender inequalities around human trafficking issues during project design. Where applicable, this should be documented in the project narrative, specifically by addressing any relevant gender gaps and ways the proposed project activities will address those gaps. Applicants who choose to respond to gender integration should demonstrate how addressing relevant gender gaps will enhance the project’s goals and objectives. The purpose of including gender integration at the application stage is to assess the applicant’s awareness of gender integration in project design. This component of the proposal narrative is optional. Applicants will not be evaluated for gender integration.

On their own, applicants are encouraged to conduct a gender analysis to identify, understand, and describe gender differences and the impact of gender inequalities in human trafficking at a country or project level. Gender analysis examines the different roles, rights, and opportunities of individuals, as well as relations between them. It identifies disparities, examines why such disparities exist, determines whether they are a concern, and determines to what extent these disparities can be addressed in the project design. A gender analysis should focus on the following (as relevant and applicable to the project):

  • Do all genders have equal access to resources and services?
  • How will anticipated outcomes affect genders differently?
  • Do gender stereotypes function as either a facilitator or a barrier?

To answer these questions, the applicant may do the following (as applicable):

  • Search for recent gender assessments or sectoral gender analysis that have been conducted in the country/project location
  • Consult with gender experts at NGOs, donor, and other organizations who may be able to outline key gender issues in the country/project location
  • Consult with partners and other anti-trafficking stakeholders on the ground to inquire about any gender issues they may have integrated into prior programming
  • Incorporate experiential knowledge

Sustainability (required)

Sustainability may be relevant for some project proposals as it relates to the impacts of COVID-19 and TIP =. Sustainability explains how the project’s specific outcomes will be sustained after the project ends. Sustainability is the ability of a local system to produce desired outcomes over time. Discrete projects contribute to sustainability when they strengthen the system’s ability to produce valued results and its ability to be both resilient and adaptive in the face of changing circumstances. In the project narrative, and to the extent possible (and as relevant), briefly describe how the project specific outcomes will be sustained after the project ends. Consider describing the following elements of sustainability:

  • Replacement Resources: how will the applicant identify resources to replace project resources to continue implementation of activities to sustain outcomes? Sources of replacement resources could include government budgets, funding from NGOs, etc.
  • Ownership and Political Will: how will the applicant identify or demonstrate a high level of commitment from government partners to sustain project outcomes?
  • Capacity: how will the applicant use the project to build the capacity of the organization/government to ensure outcomes are sustained?
  • Institutional Linkages/Partnerships: how will the applicant create links between project partners and beneficiaries and public or private institutions?
  • Project Integration within Existing Systems: how will the applicant integrate the project within existing systems, structures, policies, or laws?
  • Addressing Felt Needs: how will the applicant ensure that the project is addressing real or felt needs of project partners and beneficiaries?

In a number of project proposals that respond to short-term urgent needs, the objectives/outcomes may not need to be sustained. In that case, explain why sustainability of these components should not be built into the project’s design.

*Sustainability language does not mean using the word sustainability. Sustainability language refers to writing objectives/outcomes in a way that measures sustainability such as linkages with resource organizations or markets or skills and capacities needed to sustain outcomes once the project ends.

**Replacement resources should be sustainable, such as government or private centers that can provide capacity building.

In a limited number of cases, the goal/objectives/outcomes need not be sustainable. In that case, explain why sustainability of those components should not be built into the project’s design. If you are proposing additional analysis before finalizing project design, describe how you anticipate that information will inform potential revisions to the design, and timelines for the analysis and for the incorporation of the analysis in project design.

Local Partnerships (required)

Public International Organizations and/or applicants not based in the proposed region should describe existing or proposed partnerships with either government or civil society in-country stakeholders. Applications must demonstrate a clear understanding of the role that local organizations and institutions play in combating human trafficking and describe how they will coordinate with local partners to increase sustainability and to ensure programming is context appropriate. In cases where an applicant chooses not to partner with a local organization or local governmental stakeholder, the application must clearly explain why.

Applicants may partner with other organizations in submitting proposals. Each application must clearly identify the applicant, and the applicant may designate one or more partner organizations as sub-recipients. If an applicant applies for an award under this funding opportunity with partner organizations, this section must demonstrate a partnership approach that clearly delineates the respective roles and responsibilities of the applicant and of each partner. Applicants should submit a copy of any signed partnership agreements. All letters of partnership from intended sub-recipients must be submitted in English. Other letters of endorsement may be submitted in a foreign language with an informal English translation.

Coordination with Other Anti-Trafficking Stakeholders (required)

The TIP Office encourages coordination among donors and implementers. The application should identify related projects or activities that the applicant may already be implementing or planning. Information shall include a brief description of the programming, information on its funder, and a description of how the proposed project would complement and avoid duplicating current or planned activities. In cases where an applicant chooses not to coordinate with other anti-trafficking stakeholders, the application must clearly explain why.

Security, Risk Mitigation, and Contingency Planning (required)

To the extent possible, identify those facts about the operating environment that are true at the time of the proposal and will need to stay true for the project’s logic to remain valid. How likely is it that each will remain true? What are the implications if they do not? Based on that analysis, how risky is the project from the perspective of whether it will meet its goal?

Separately, describe how the project could cause inadvertent harm and how the project and implementation strategy are designed to mitigate that risk. If applicable, describe the safety and security risk to personnel involved in implementing the project and how that risk will be mitigated.

Applicants are highly encouraged to use the table below as a tool to identify, analyze and plan for risk on their own. For the purpose of this application, a written summary of the security, risk mitigation, and contingency planning should be included in the project narrative. If the table is included in the project narrative, the table contents will count towards the overall character limit

Risk Factor Consequence Likelihood and Timeline Risk Mitigation Plan

EXAMPLE:

Natural disaster

EXAMPLE:

Complete hold on project implementation

EXAMPLE:

High, especially during raining seasons

EXAMPLE:

Tolerate the risk without further treatment

EXAMPLE:

Partners not willing to share training needs with organization

EXAMPLE:

Will impact project design and could cause a delay in training start dates

EXAMPLE:

First and third quarter

EXAMPLE:

Begin building relationships with partners prior to project start, create agreements that clearly outline roles and expectations of each party throughout the project cycle

Monitoring and Evaluation (required)

The project narrative should summarize illustrative monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities (e.g., data collection, data analysis, and data reporting for the Results Performance Monitoring [RPM] Plan), how M&E activities will be carried out, and who will be responsible for carrying them out. Include sample indicators developed in the RPM, including Common Performance Indicators (CPIs). All awards as per the Foreign Assistance Directive (FAD) require a final assessment. The TIP Office will provide guidance on final assessment expectations to successful applicants within 120 days of award. The project narrative should also briefly describe M&E costs (ideally 3-5% of total budget, however this can vary greatly depending on the technical approach of the application).

If M&E costs are below 3% of the project’s total budget, provide a justification for why M&E costs fall below 3% of total budget. If costs for M&E are over 5% of the project’s budget, provide a justification for these costs.

Considerations

Applicants are expected to submit proposals that reflect an understanding of victim-centered, trauma-informed, and survivor-informed approaches to anti-trafficking activities. This means incorporating these approaches into the proposed activities, rather than simply stating these considerations will be factored into the project implementation.

Victim-Centered Approach

Placing the crime victim’s priorities, needs, and interests at the center of the work with the victim; providing nonjudgmental assistance, with an emphasis on self-determination, and assisting victims in making informed choices; ensuring that restoring victims’ feelings of safety and security are a priority and safeguarding against policies and practices that may inadvertently re-traumatize victims. A victim-centered approach should also incorporate a trauma-informed, survivor-informed, and culturally competent approach.

Trauma-Informed Approach

A trauma-informed approach recognizes signs of trauma in individuals and the professionals who help them and responds by integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, practices, and settings. This approach includes an understanding of the vulnerabilities and experiences of trauma survivors, including the prevalence and physical, social, and emotional impact of trauma. A trauma-informed approach places priority on restoring the survivor’s feelings of safety, choice, and control. Programs, services, agencies, and communities can be trauma-informed.

Survivor-Informed Approach

A program, policy, intervention, or product that is designed, implemented, and evaluated with intentional leadership, expertise and input from a diverse community of survivors to ensure that the program, policy, intervention, or product accurately represents their needs, interests, and perceptions.

Proposal Narrative Annexes

All applicants are required to submit the following illustrative annexes, completed to the extent possible. Panel members will use the annexes (unless noted otherwise) along with the project narrative to evaluate applications.

Annex A: Results Performance Monitoring Plan (required)

*This document was formerly known as the logical framework.

All applicants are required to submit a Results Performance Monitoring Plan. (RPM). Select successful applicants will be asked to work with their TIP Office Program Officer to input the RPM within the SAMS-D RPM module, and will be asked to report indicator results on a quarterly basis within the SAMS-D system.

The Results Performance Monitoring (RPM) Plan will list collectible indicators for each objective, developed by the applicant. Indicators in the RPM will be used to measure project outputs and short-term and medium-term outcomes. Outputs and outcomes listed should have indicators assigned (as relevant/appropriate) to measure progress towards the objective.

The purpose of including indicators at this stage is to assess the applicants’ monitoring capacity. Please include illustrative, collectible indicators in the RPM. Successful applicants will have an opportunity to revise indicators upon award. The RPM provides the TIP Office with an understanding of how the applicant intends to measure progress toward the project’s stated objectives, as well as the details of each indicator.

What is an indicator? An indicator is a particular characteristic or dimension used to measure intended changes. Indicators are used to observe progress and measure actual results compared with expected results. Indicators answer “how” or “whether” a project is progressing toward objectives. Indicators can be expressed quantitatively and should be objective and measurable (e.g., numeric value, percentages, indices). Although indicators are mainly expressed in quantitative terms, the methods used to collect data can often be qualitative in nature (e.g., qualitative survey questions, observation).

Examples of indicators include: number of trafficking survivors provided social support services and percent change in knowledge about investigative journalism from workshop participants.

To the extent possible, indicators must be SMART:

  • Specific: The indicator clearly and directly relates to the objective. It is described without ambiguities. The indicator is written in concrete and clear terms such that anyone reading it should interpret it in the same way.
  • Measurable: Can be evaluated and/or assessed against some standard such that it is possible to know when the objective is met. The indicator has the capacity to be counted, observed, analyzed, tested, or challenged. If one cannot measure an indicator, then progress cannot be determined. How will one know if the outcome has been achieved? Once an indicator is clear and specific, it can be measured in numerous ways; almost any indicator is in one way or another, measurable.
  • Achievable: The indicator is attainable within allotted time and resources. The indicator is achievable if the performance target accurately specifies the amount or level of what is to be measured in order to meet the objective. The indicator should be achievable both as a result of the project activities and as a measure of realism. The target attached to the indicator should be achievable.
  • Relevant: Linked to achieving the program objective and goal. An indicator should be a valid measure of the result/outcome and be linked through research and professional expertise. The best way to think about relevance is to ensure that there is a relationship between what the indicator measures and the theories that help create the outcomes.
  • Time-Bound: Indicators must be timely in several aspects. First, they must be timely in terms of the time spent in data collection. This relates to the resources that are available – staff and partner time being critical. Second, indicators must reflect the timing of collection. Finally, the time-lag between output delivery and the expected change in outcome and impact indicators must also be reflected in the indicators that are chosen.

The RPM contains details for each indicator used to measure progress towards objectives in the third tab, including: a definition; the indicator type (e.g., output, outcome; CPI, custom); data source(s); how data will be disaggregated; the frequency of measurement; those responsible for data collection, analysis and reporting; and baselines (if available) and targets for indicators. To the extent possible, complete the RPM (third tab in the excel workbook) with a few indicator examples you intend to track over the course of the project, including Common Performance Indicators (CPI’s [as relevant and appropriate for the project]) listed in the first tab.

Results Performance Monitoring (RPM) Plan – Components and Definitions

Goal (Row 4): The goal should be a brief statement of the change the project will bring about. The goal statement should be clear: it should state specific accomplishments, define ambiguous terms, and define the target population. Use the goal you identified for the project in the logic model and project narrative.

Objectives (Row 5 and throughout, as necessary): A statement that describes the intended results or incremental changes that a project intends to achieve by implementing specific activities. Objectives are concrete and viewed as targets under the general goal. Objectives should also be written as changes and not as activities. Use the objectives you identified for the project in the logic model and project narrative.

Activity (Column B): A specific action or process undertaken over a period of time to convert resources to products or services to achieve results. If you have committed cost share to this award, activities you report should include what is undertaken by both the TIP Office and cost share funds. Use the activities you identified for the project in the logic model and project narrative.

Indicator (Column C): A characteristic or dimension used to measure intended changes. Indicators are used to observe progress and measure actual results compared with expected results. Indicators answer “how” or “whether” a project is progressing toward objectives. Indicators can be expressed quantitatively and should be objective and measurable (e.g., numeric value, percentages, or indices). Although indicators are mainly expressed in quantitative terms, the methods used to collect data can often be qualitative in nature (e.g., qualitative survey questions, observation).

Examples of indicators include: number of trafficking survivors provided social support services, and percent change in knowledge about investigative journalism from workshop participants. The components and definitions below should be included within an applicant’s RPM.

Target (Column D): Targets indicate what you would like to achieve (e.g., training 20 prosecutors, organizing three workshops). When setting targets, please remember it is fine if you do not always reach these figures or milestones during implementation. Targets are set to provide an indication of what you would like to achieve. Targets may be updated after submission of the full gap analysis/needs assessment, and they may be updated throughout the project cycle as context changes on the ground. Target updates must be approved by the Grants Officer Representative (GOR) and Program Officer.

Applicants must set targets for each indicator in the RPM. Successful applicants will be able to revise indicators and targets during project implementation, when relevant. If a target cannot be set until a baseline is complete, the applicant must clarify what date the target will be set.

Baseline (Column E): Outlines the starting point for your project. The baseline for projects that have been implemented for some time (e.g., cost amendments, subsequent phases of a project) would include previous project figures (the number of individuals previously trained or supported). If your data source includes government administrative records, you can include data from the previous year or period prior to project implementation. Baselines for training sessions or workshops are generally zero. Please specify the data source for the baseline, and how many years/months of data are included in the figure. If data sources are unavailable, the baseline may be N/A. The TIP Office may ask successful awardees to conduct a baseline assessment for certain indicators, depending on the feasibility, timeliness, and level of effort required to obtain data.

Progress (Column F): Report on the quarterly and cumulative progress of this indicator here. If there has been no progress on this indicator during this quarter, mark zero.

Indicator Definition and Unit of Measure (Column G): Define how the indicator will be measured to ensure it is reliably calculated throughout the life of the project. Terms within the definition should be defined. For example, if your project is providing training, the applicant should define what constitutes a full training cycle. Ambiguous terms often included in the RPM, but which should be further defined, include: ‘appropriate’ ‘sufficient’, ‘increased capacity’, ‘stakeholders’. The unit of measure defines what you are measuring (e.g., prosecutors, civil society organizations, recommendations incorporated into law or policy). Within this section, you can also include data collection methods.

Indicator Type and Source (Column H): Define the level of expected change (e.g., input, output, or outcome). If using CPIs, please include the CPI number (the CPI number is listed in the first tab). For non-CPI indicators that an applicant develops, please write ‘custom’.

  • Input / Process Indicators: measure activities or the necessary components for an activity to occur. These are often represented as milestones, with measurement ending when the process is completed. Milestones are often used to progress toward enabling factors or significant tasks (i.e., would the project progress in the same way if these activities, events, or decisions did not take place). Often, rather than using a specific quantity as a target, milestones are reported as “yes or no,” “will be met/will not be met,” “meets target/does not meet target.” This is useful if the quantity is one (i.e., one product is developed; one set of curricula is developed). Examples of project inputs or processes, as well as potential milestones, include: training curriculum developed, product developed, working group established, recommendations drafted by working group.
  • Output Indicators: are products and services delivered from the project activities, often stated as an amount. Output indicators track the delivery of these products and services. Output data show the scope or size of project activities, but they cannot replace information about progress toward the project’s outcomes or impact. Examples of project outputs include: 100 paralegals trained in providing legal assistance to labor trafficking victims, and 60 radio programs produced.
  • Outcome Indicators: represent the specific, realistic results of a project and are often measured as a degree of change. Outcomes may include progress toward expected project objectives or other results of the project. Outcome indicators measure the degrees of change. For example, a project’s objective could be to increase the number of victims identified at a port of entry. One outcome of the project would be that after receiving training on victim identification, there is a 40% increase in the number of victims identified at that port.

Data Source (Column I): Indicates where data come from. Data can be sourced from project materials (e.g., training attendance sheets) or external sources (e.g., government administrative records).

Disaggregation (Column I): Disaggregates are various levels of analysis. If the unit of analysis is training participants, project staff will generally disaggregate by gender or role. Other units of analysis may include age, actual victim of trafficking versus potential victim of trafficking, and type of trafficking (i.e., sex or labor).

Timing, Frequency or Schedule (J): This section details the frequency or timing of data collection, analysis and reporting. The frequency should meet the needs of project staff, to allow them to make program management decisions and report both internally and externally.

Responsibility (Column K): Outline those who are responsible for data collection, analysis and reporting. Data may be collected or analyzed by in-country staff, an organization’s M&E Specialist, or program staff and managers.

Known Data Limitations (Column L): Measures often include limitations, such as: self-reporting bias, obtaining follow-up surveys (low response rates), or determining demographic information from administrative files that are inconsistent in a country. Outlining limitations helps to understand the feasibility in collecting and measuring data and controlling for data quality.

Developing Indicators

Performance Indicators: Performance indicators measure degrees of progress and show whether a project is on track. Each indicator measures a characteristic of a project. Indicators are included to measure actual results compared with expected results (targets). Indicators should connect to the activities, objectives, and goal of the project. Output-level performance indicators should measure a tangible, immediate and intended product or service from a proposed project activity (e.g., number of awareness-raising efforts, number of reports disseminated, number of prosecutors trained). Outcome-level performance indicators should measure the short-, medium-, or long-term results or benefits of one or a combination of outputs (e.g., number of investigations started, number of victims identified).

Applicants should also separately track (disaggregate) participant data by demographic categories relevant to the project—e.g., gender, age, type of trafficking. Grantees are encouraged to find responsible and ethical ways to collect this type of data (e.g., voluntary self-identification forms), in ways that do not limit project participation, retraumatize victims and survivors or infringe upon privacy or security.

When developing indicators, it is important to understand that the indicator will depend on the project scope, operating environment, and budget. This will influence the type of indicators selected.

Performance Indicator Types

Indicator Type Definition Usually measures Example
Quantitative Measure numeric or statistical results; represented as #s, %s, or other amounts. Outputs # of police trained in investigative techniques
Qualitative Represent attitudes, perceptions or behaviors; can be articulated as #s or %s, but also as narrative. Outcomes % of people with decreased stigma towards victims of trafficking
Direct Provides a direct measure of an intended result. Outputs/ Outcomes % of beneficiaries with increased awareness of how to obtain legal assistance [by surveying target communities]
Indirect / Proxy Often used when the most direct indicator is not practical (e.g. data collection is too costly; project is being implemented in a closed society or conflict zone). Outputs/ Outcomes Number of new shelters opened [Assumption: physical access to shelters is inhibiting access]
Common Common Performance Indicators

Outputs/

Outcomes

Number of protection trainings and number of calls to a trafficking hotline
Custom Project specific indicators used to capture progress toward a project’s specific objectives. Outputs/ Outcomes Number of case management systems implemented; number of laws, policies or procedures stalled, revised or changed.

Indicator Design Strategies

Determine if indicator data would provide useful information: The TIP Office would like applicants to focus on useful indicators (see below for our checklist on determining if indicators are beneficial). If the indicator does not provide useful information—i.e., if staff or the TIP Office cannot use it for program management or it does not provide an indication of performance—then the applicant should reconsider its inclusion in the RPM.

Emphasize quality over quantity: Including more indicators within the RPM does not necessarily make the plan better, especially if those indicators are not useful to project staff, your organization, or the TIP Office. It is fine to have just a few indicators under each objective, if those indicators are relevant and useful.

Cost vs. benefit: Applicants should consider how they plan to collect the data and the amount of time it would take for project staff to collect, analyze and report on indicator data. Determine if it is possible to collect the data and whether the cost and time are worth the level of information generated by the proposed indicators.

RPMs can change: RPMs should be considered working documents. Grantees should aim to not change indicators frequently, in order to measure change throughout the life of the project. However, a grantee may find that, after project implementation has begun, a certain indicator is not providing useful data. If that is the case, it is fine to replace or delete the indicator.

What might need to be changed within the RPM? Grantees can modify an indicator, or the RPM as a whole, if it is not providing useful information. Generally, indicators will be deleted, or indicator components (e.g., definition, target, frequency of reporting, data collection methods) will be modified.

How can grantees modify their RPM? This is a relatively easy process. Grantees should speak to their TIP Office Program Officer first. After the grantee and the Program Officer agree on changes to the RPM, the grantee must then upload the revised RPM to SAMS Domestic.

RPM Tips:

  • Output Indicators: Do not rely predominantly on CPIs and output indicators.
  • Outcome Indicators: Both output- and outcome-level indicators are necessary for reporting results. However, outcome indicators generally measure higher-level effects and can be paired with additional narrative to tell a project’s story.
  • Setting Baselines: Baselines are frequently zero (0) for new projects but can also be “to be determined” (TBD). If participants have not yet attended training, the baseline would be TBD within the RPM until their pre-training knowledge was measured with a pre-test.
  • Setting Targets: Targets should be ambitious yet achievable, considering available resources, the project timeframe, achievements from similar projects, and the operating environment.
  • Are indicators “SMART”? Are they: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound?

Checklist: Performance Indicators

Performance indicators should be identified and defined carefully, as it takes time and resources to collect, analyze and report on data. Applicants should review indicators carefully when establishing a project RPM; this can eliminate unnecessary reporting burdens and make the most of project resources.

While outputs can be measured with one indicator, outcomes may need to be measured with several to show that project activities are contributing to the achievement of project objectives. If a particular indicator does not provide the data an organization needs, there are several options, including:

1. developing a set of indicators to measure one condition;
2. revising the indicator to improve its quality;
3. deciding that this indicator represents the best option available, and noting its limitations;
4. identifying a new indicator; or,
5. considering whether it is necessary to have an indicator and whether the activity or result could be evaluated using other methods (e.g., case studies, Most Significant Change).

Indicators are not perfect. If limitations exist within the performance indicators selected for a project, applicants should document these in the project RPM (in the ‘Known Data Limitations’ column).

Applicants are highly encouraged to use the table below as a tool to help design indicators on their own, but should not incorporate the table in the project narrative. For the purpose of this application, indicators should be included in the RPM, and a sample list of indicators should be included in the project narrative.

Criteria Rating
(Yes/ Somewhat/ No)
Comments
Specific
Is the indicator defined so that it is clear what is being measured? Have disaggregates been specified?
Measurable
Would two or more project staff members measure it in the same way? For percentages, are the numerator and denominator defined? Can data be collected to report on the indicator?
Achievable
Are indicator targets achievable, given the time and resources for the project?
Relevant
After collecting data, does it give an indication of whether progress has been made toward activities, outputs, outcomes, and objectives? Will the data be used for decision-making?
Time-bound
Has the frequency for data collection, reporting and analysis been set? Are targets set on a quarterly basis or other time-frames (e.g., fiscal year, cumulative project)?

Annex B: Summary Budget and Annex C: Line-Item Budget

Applicants should use the required templates for each budget on SAMS Domestic. The budgets must be presented in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel with black-colored, Times New Roman font.

The budget must be presented in the two separate formats described below: Budget Summary and Line-Item Budget. The two budget formats must be submitted in separate documents to be considered for funding. If your application has voluntary cost share, please be sure to list it in the appropriate columns as demonstrated below.

Applicants submitting a summary budget and line-item budget must specify the total amount of funding requested and the amount spent per year and must be in U.S. dollars. The budget narrative is not required at this stage, however if selected for further funding an applicant must submit this upon request.

Annex B: Budget Summary by Project Year

Provide a summary budget showing totals for the categories listed below for each year of the project. Only include the cost-share column if the requested budget includes voluntary cost-share.

For your convenience, a sample is listed below.

Budget Summary Categories Year XX Year XX

Cost Share

(if applicable)

Total Federal Funds Requested

Total Cost of Project

(includes cost-share, if applicable)

1. Personnel
2. Fringe Benefits
3. Travel
4. Equipment
5. Supplies
6. Contractual
7. Construction
8. Other Direct Costs
9. Total Direct Costs (lines 1-8)
10. Indirect Costs
11. Total Costs (lines 9-10)

Annex C: Line-Item Budget

A breakdown or spreadsheet showing costs in each of the budget categories listed below, with detailed calculations showing estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar detail per project year. Any cost-share presented must be broken down according to line items.

Applicants must address the following line-items:

Personnel – For each staff person, provide information such as job title, time commitment to the project as a percentage of full-time equivalent, annual salary (or wage rate), and salary from grant funds.

Fringe Benefits – Provide one fringe line item per one employee.

Travel – Identify staff and participant travel, including international airfare, in-country travel, domestic travel in the U.S., and per diem/maintenance (includes lodging, meals, and incidentals for both participant and staff travel). Rates of maximum allowance for U.S. and foreign travel are available at www.fedtravel.com. Per diem rates may not exceed the published USG allowance rates, but applicants may use lower per diem rates.

Equipment – For each type of equipment requested, describe the equipment, the cost per unit, the number of units, and the total cost. Equipment is defined as tangible property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per item.

Supplies – List items separately using unit costs (and the percentage of each unit cost being charged to the grant) for items such as photocopying, postage, telephone/fax, printing, and office supplies.

Contractual – Provide the costs of all contracts for services and goods, except for those that belong under other categories (such as equipment, supplies, construction, etc.). For each sub-award or contract known at the time of application, provide a detailed line-item breakdown explaining specific costs and services. If consultants will be used in the grant, provide all costs related to their activities, including travel and per diem costs.

Construction – Construction costs are defined as non-major costs for rearrangement and alteration or reconversion or renovation of facilities. This includes normal alterations to modify any buildings or grounds, such as replacing doors or painting. Please refer to the funding restrictions on construction under Section 5 “Funding Restrictions”.

Other Direct Costs – (These will vary depending on the nature of the grant.) Provide computations for all other costs. These costs, where applicable and appropriate, may include but are not limited to insurance, food, professional services, space and equipment rentals, stipends, telephone and electricity.

Indirect Charges – Indirect charges are costs that have been incurred for common or joint objectives of an organization and cannot be readily identified with a particular cost objective. These costs are determined by the recipient’s accounting system’s definition. Generally, a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA) is not warranted unless an organization has many U.S. government awards at one time. If applicants do not have a NICRA they can include a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). (Please note, the MTDC base excludes equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each sub-award in excess of $25,000). Organizations that do not have a NICRA will not be disqualified or penalized.

Optional Annex: Chart or Graph Annex (Optional)

Applicants may submit a one-page optional annex to the project narrative to include any charts, graphs, and/or logos that could not be included in the project narrative template. For example, applicants may choose to submit a theory of change chart in this additional annex. The submission of an additional annex longer than one page will result in the failure of the technical review.

The following documents should not be submitted with the initial application. Only applications selected for funding should submit the following document upon request. Submission of these documents with the initial application will result in failure of the technical review.

Common Performance Indicators (CPI)

Projects require data collection and reporting on specific performance measurement indicators – some of these may be considered by CPIs by the TIP Office. CPIs are a collection of common activity measures that can be aggregated across many awards to provide an overview of the TIP Office’s portfolio of funded projects. CPIs are not designed to capture every activity an awardee intends to complete or be measured against. For some projects, many activity measures will be reported as CPIs; for others, only one CPI will be reported. It is important to note that the value of your organization’s project is not based on the number of CPIs that you report, and that you select only the most relevant/appropriate CPIs to report on.

Targets for the CPIs can be set in the first tab of the M&E Workbook. The CPI target-setting tab will assist applicants with initial project design and if selected the TIP Office will provide an updated spreadsheet each quarter which includes data reported from previous quarters. The targets set in the CPI should match the targets set in the RPM if the CPI is the source of the indicator. Definitions of the key terms in the CPIs can be found in the second tab of the M&E Workbook.

The following examples illustrate the type of data to collect and report on quarterly in the CPI spreadsheet during program activities:

  • Projects designed to raise awareness must be able to estimate the number of people in the target population that are reached and be able to measure changes in awareness among that population. Data must be disaggregated by sex and age – minor (18 or under) or adult.
  • Projects designed to systematize victim-centered investigations and prosecutions of trafficking cases by governments through training and technical assistance should collect pre- and post-test data on learning outcomes if relevant in the RPM. Projects should also collect data at defined intervals following the intervention that measure changes in individual behavior and institutional performance as the result of the training or technical assistance. Data on training participants must be disaggregated by sex, type of personnel, and type of training received.
  • Projects designed to help governments strengthen trafficking-related laws, policies, and national referral mechanisms must report on the number of changes being made and the changes to institutional performance that result from the intervention.
  • Projects designed to improve victim services must collect data on the number of trafficking victims served, disaggregated by sex, age – minor (18 or under) or adult, and the type of victimization (labor or sex trafficking).

Annex D: Performance Monitoring Work Plan

Applicants must provide the Performance Monitoring Work Plan (an activities timeline) in the form of a Gantt chart to demonstrate the relationship between planned activities such as marshalling other donor resources, conducting open and competitive competitions for grant funding, and conducting timely implementation of sub-awards.

Applicants who choose to use the attached template may need to make adjustments to tailor the listed duration and number of listed activities to match those of proposed projects:

  • Applicants should rename “Project Title” and “Organization Name.”
  • Applicants should rename “Activity 1,” “Activity 2,” etc., as needed to match the proposed project activities and listed the individual responsible for each activity.
  • Applicants should fill in the proposed start dates for each activity in Column B, and fill in the columns to reflect the amount of time to be spent on the activity.

Annex E: Monitoring and Evaluation Plan Narrative

The Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (MEP) narrative is a tool to integrate and guide the process of monitoring, evaluating, learning, and reporting on progress toward achieving intended results and outcomes, and to inform and support project management and implementation, management decisions, and mid-term corrections. This document is meant to be supplemental to the RPM, and it further describes the applicant’s plans to collect and verify data, assess project progress, and plan for the mid-term and final assessment. The document should promote a strong link between project monitoring and evaluation, and should establish timelines for these activities so that they inform and build on one another and provide a full feedback loop to learn and adapt. For the TIP Office, it ensures adequate information and resources are available for activity monitoring, ensures that data collection is consistent and accurate, and ensures continuous learning from project activity outputs and outcomes.

For the applicant, the MEP is intended to help identify:

  • Who will be responsible for M&E activities?
  • Will the responsible staff actually carry out M&E activities, or will they provide oversight, and if the latter, to how many subordinates?
  • What will be monitored and evaluated?
  • What indicators and methods will be used?
  • How will project stakeholders be involved?
  • Have adequate resources been set aside to cover the costs of carrying out M&E activities?
  • What is the schedule of M&E activities?
  • How will the project encourage a culture of learning and adapting?

The applicant is expected to vigorously monitor the performance of their activities in the context in which they operate.

Successful applicants are expected to submit a final MEP within 90 days of the award. The MEP cannot exceed four pages.

The guidance below will help applicants complete each component of the MEP.

Successful applicants must find responsible and ethical approaches to carry out M&E activities, in ways that do not limit project participation, retraumatize victims and survivors or infringe upon privacy or security. Successful applicants should also select the most appropriate, realistic, and feasible M&E activities for their project.

Monitoring and Evaluation Plan Purpose

Briefly describe the purpose of the MEP in relation to your proposal idea. Include the following: who developed the MEP, for which audience was it developed, and why/how it will be used by the applicant to track and manage monitoring and evaluation activities. Provide clear and precise descriptions of the staff responsible for the MEP.

Examples of MEP purposes include:

  • Allows our organization/team to work more effectively and efficiently together towards achieving our program goals and objectives.
  • Is a communication tool that outlines various roles and responsibilities regarding monitoring and evaluation for a project or organization.
  • Organizes plans for data collection, analysis, use, and data quality, and addressing data limitation issues (e.g., collecting baseline data, creating targets, identifying data sources, etc.).
  • Outlines specific strategies and tools to encourage informed decision-making.
  • Organizes the numerous M&E activities that the organization will undertake e in order for M&E to be truly successful in helping us understand the effectiveness of the project design.
  • Engages a wider body of people in an organization so that M&E is integrated as a part of everyone’s job.

Data Quality Management:

Briefly describe the procedures you anticipate to use to verify and validate data collected for the indicators in the RPM. To the extent possible, provide clear and precise descriptions of the staff responsible for this component of the MEP. As feasible and appropriate, applicants are encouraged to think through the following data quality components:

Validity

  • Is there a direct relationship between the data and what is being measured?
  • Can the result be plausibly attributed to USG assistance?
  • Are the people collecting data qualified and properly supervised?
  • Are steps taken to correct known data errors?
  • Were known data collection problems appropriately assessed?
  • What steps will be taken to limit transcription error?
  • How will data quality problems be clearly defined in the quarterly reports?

Reliability

  • How will you plan to ensure a consistent data collection process is used from year to year, location to location, data source to data source?
  • Are procedures in place for periodic review of data collection and maintenance?
  • How will data quality problems clearly described in reports?

Timeliness

  • Is a regularized schedule of data collection in place to meet program management needs?
  • Is data properly stored and readily available?

Precision

  • Is there a method for detecting duplicate data?
  • Is there a method for detecting missing data?

Integrity

  • Are proper safeguards in place to prevent unauthorized changes to data?
  • Is there a need for an independent review of results reported?

Data Collection and Storage

To the extent possible, briefly describe the systems (e.g., excel database, word database, online database) and formats (e.g., surveys, questionnaires, etc.) in which data will be collected and stored. Discuss the types of technologies (e.g., online survey tools) you plan to use to collect and store data. Provide clear and precise descriptions of the staff responsible for this component of the MEP.

Final Assessments

The TIP Office requires applicants submit a final assessment as per the Foreign Assistance Directive (FAD) requirements. The applicant is expected to briefly discuss their final assessment plans in the project narrative and in the MEP. The TIP Office will provide successful applicants guidance on the final assessment expectations within 120 days of award.

A final assessment should address questions that focus on whether planned results and targets were achieved, as well as whether activities had unintended consequences. To the extent possible, they should consider results at all levels of the logic model, whether outputs were produced, to what degree the objectives and goal were achieved, and whether any change in the status of the goal could be detected.

Final assessments are due within 120 days of the end of the award. Performance data (as per the RPM) should be available to inform the assessment.

When planning for the final assessment, consider the following:

What types of efforts are required to conduct a final assessment (this may include a range of developing and administering quantitative and qualitative methods such as surveys, tracking of third-party indicators, direct observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, expert panels, administrative record keeping, review of project performance data throughout the project cycle against the intended outputs/outcomes, etc.)?

A final assessment should consider the following questions (where applicable):

  • How well did the program work?
  • Did the program produce or contribute to the intended outcomes in the short, medium and long term?
  • For whom, in what ways and in what circumstances? What unintended outcomes (positive and negative) were produced?
  • To what extent can changes be attributed to the program?
  • What were the particular features of the program and context that made a difference?
  • What was the influence of other factors?
  • To what extent were the targets, outcomes, and objectives met? If some targets, outcomes, and objectives were not met, why not?
  • Describe lessons learned about the project, the target population, and the context in which the project was implemented.

Other Planning, Learning, and M&E Related Activities

Sometimes applicants may choose to conduct other planning, learning, and M&E related activities to help inform project activities and strategies, measure project baseline values, and help set indicator targets and measure results. M&E-related activities may include: direct participant surveys, Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions (KAP) studies, institutional studies, gap analysis, needs assessments, situational analysis, baseline assessments, etc. These studies are to inform project design, strategies, baselines and targets, and to some extent, project results. Should the applicant decide they may need to conduct other planning, learning, and M&E activities throughout the project cycle, the timing for each of these components should be included in the M&E activities timetable.

Other planning, learning, and M&E related activities can be useful when attempting to generate, analyze, and synthesize project design and learning throughout the period of performance. There are several types of activities, including but not limited to:

  • Situational analyses, including political economy, sustainability, conflict, etc., as well as special studies
  • Process and Performance evaluations
  • Literature reviews or syntheses of existing research.
  • Generating and capturing tacit and experiential knowledge through facilitated dialogues and other participatory methods, and regular reflection exercises.
    • Qualitative data gathering (e.g., focus groups, key informant interviews, etc.)

Applicants are encouraged to (but not required to) determine what mix of planning, learning, and other M&E activities could best help monitor and learn about the project’s results throughout the period of performance. In determining priority monitoring and learning activities, consider when learning is needed to make decisions (and at what frequency) to support project results.

The applicant may include learning activities that go beyond traditional M&E and beyond the requirements (e.g. quarterly performance reports, RPM, gap-analysis, mid-term assessment, final assessment), but are not required to.

M&E Activities Timetable

Should the applicant decide to undertake any additional planning, learning, and M&E activities outside of the required deliverables (e.g., quarterly performance reports, RPM, gap-analysis, mid-term assessment, and final assessment), please insert them in the M&E activities timetable.

Annex F: Budget Narrative

The budget narrative must be presented in Microsoft Word with black-colored, Times New Roman font.

This section is a brief, two-to-three sentence explanation of each line item that justifies identified costs.

Please expand on the line-items listed below in the budget narrative.

Personnel – Identify staffing requirements by each position title with a brief description of duties, percentage of time dedicated to the project(s), work locations and other justifications for these costs as they relate to the project.

Fringe Benefits – Provide a breakdown of the amounts and percentages that comprise fringe benefit costs for employees, including health insurance, FICA, retirement insurance and taxes. List fringe benefit costs separately from salary costs and explain how benefits are computed for each category of employee.

Travel – Provide a description of travel costs, including the purpose of the travel, how the travel relates to the project, and who will be traveling under these costs.

Equipment – Provide justification for any planned equipment purchase/rental for the project. Note that equipment is defined as tangible property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more.

Supplies – Describe general categories of supplies and their direct use for the project.

Contractual – Describe each contractual or consultant cost and outline the necessity of each for the project.

Construction – Describe each of the construction costs as anticipated during the course of the grant. Please refer to the funding restrictions on construction under Section 5 “Funding Restrictions”.

Other Direct Costs – Provide a narrative description and a justification for each cost under this category and describe how the costs specifically relate to this project.

Indirect Charges – Describe the cost rate used to calculate indirect charges.

Annex G: Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA)*

This is not applicable to all applicants and is only required for those applicants that have a NICRA.

A Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) is a document published to reflect an estimate of indirect cost rate negotiated between the Federal Government and a grantee organization, which reflects the indirect costs (facilities and administrative costs) and fringe benefit expenses incurred by the organization that will be the same across all of the agencies of the United States.

Applicants that have a NICRA must submit a copy of the current NICRA between their organization and the relevant U.S. government agency. It should clearly indicate the type of Indirect Rate used (e.g., Provisional, Predetermined, Final, or Fixed).

Not all organizations may have a NICRA and organizations that do not have a NICRA will not be disqualified or penalized. Applicants that do not have a NICRA can include a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC).

Annex H: Resumes/CVs for Key Personnel (5 pages per resume maximum)

Resumes and CVs must be presented in Microsoft Word with black-colored, Times New Roman font. Each resume or CV may be no longer than five pages.

If key personnel have already been identified for the proposed project, applicants must submit the relevant individuals’ resume/CVs. Key personnel include the individual position(s) necessary to implement the project, such as a program director or program manager.

Each resume/CV shall include the individual’s educational background, current employment status, and previous work experience, including position title, duties performed, dates in position, and employing organizations. The resume should highlight skills relevant to managing the program, including donor coordination, grants management, and anti-trafficking-in-persons expertise.

If the key personnel selected to work on the proposed program will also be working on another TIP Office program or project that is already being funded, please provide the time commitments for both the existing program and proposed program.

Annex I: Certification of Training Requirement for Victim Assistance Personnel

This is not applicable to all applicants and is only required for those applicants that provide assistance to trafficking victims. The certification, if applicable, must be presented in Microsoft Word with black-colored, Times New Roman font.

This is a requirement for programs that provide assistance to trafficking victims, per Section 107A(b)(1) of the TVPA.

Applicants must submit an attachment that contains the following statement undersigned by an official authorized to submit the proposal:

The applicant hereby certifies that, to the extent practicable, persons or entities providing legal services, social services, health services, or other assistance have completed, or will complete, training in connection with trafficking in persons.

An authorized official is a supervisor that oversees and manages the staff working with victim assistance in the country and/or region.

Please note, the selected recipient of a TIP Office award is responsible for ensuring the Certification of Training requirement for all sub-awards, if applicable.

Annex J: Letters of Agreement or Letters of Intent to Cooperate*

This is not applicable to all applicants and is only required for those applicants who propose to partner with one or more stakeholders. The letters should be presented in Microsoft Word or PDF with black-colored, Times New Roman font.

Applicants that propose one or more partnerships between NGOs, and universities, private sector entities, or governments should submit letters of intent to cooperate, in English, from the entity or entities that indicate their willingness to form a partnership for the purposes of the program.

Any letters of intent to cooperate from governments may be in another language with an informal translated copy. Proposals should also highlight letters of commitment of related public or private donor funding as applicable.

Program Design Standards: An Effectiveness Checklist

Introduction:

The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) is adopting these program design standards to standardize the office’s approach to developing the highest-impact interventions possible. Implementing partners should incorporate these standards into any program or project design documents that are part of proposals for TIP Office funding.

Broadly, the design process should answer five basic questions:

(1) should the TIP Office work on a particular issue;
(2) what is the specific change within the specified issue that the TIP Office and its implementers seek to create through the project/program;
(3) is the project/program’s theory of change (i.e., goal and objectives) likely to be effective;
(4) are the activities likely to bring about the changes sought in the goal and objectives; and
(5) does the project/program plan for risk appropriately?

This document explains the concepts and provides examples to illustrate what meeting and not meeting each standard looks like. The examples are not trafficking in persons specific. They relate to the criminal justice system in general and illustrate the concepts the standards are aiming for.

The Design Standards are:

  • Alignment: The project/program fits within the TIP Office policy, strategies, and/or earmarks.
  • Relevance: The goal addresses a significant need and the activities are likely to bring about the desired changes.
  • Change: The goal and objectives are desired end states, external to the TIP Office and their implementers, not activities.
  • Clarity: All involved have a similar understanding of what the project/program seeks to accomplish and how.
  • Plausibility: It is reasonable to think that the program/project will achieve the stated goal because: the change pathway or theory of change is feasible; the objectives are necessary and sufficient to achieve the goal; the activities touch enough people for enough time to bring about the desired change (dosage), and; the risk of failing to meet the goal has been considered and/or mitigated.
  • One Concept: Objectives articulate one concept each.
  • Target Population: Objectives state the target population central to achieving change and activities engage those with the power to support/prevent the change. Note: target populations could be any defined group including particular police or prosecutor units, a community, a city, or women in X country between the ages of 18-25, etc.

Section I: Should the TIP Office and its implementers work on an issue?

Checklist Questions & Associated Standard

1. Does the goal align with TIP Office policy? (Alignment)

2. Is the goal relevant? (Relevance)

Alignment:

The program goal fits within the TIP Office policy and/or area of responsibility. TIP Office programming priorities can be found here.

Example of What Meeting this Standard Looks Like Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like
Goal: Police conduct complex TIP investigations. Goal: Freedonia reforms tort law.
Explanation
Freedonia might really need tort law reform. That is just not what we do.

Relevance – Goal to the Context:

The relevance standard applies at two levels: is the goal relevant to the context and are the activities relevant to the objectives. When trying to determine if the TIP Office should work on a particular issue, it is the first kind of relevance that matters and is discussed here. Activities’ relevance to their objectives is discussed in the fourth section on activity effectiveness.

Reaching the goal needs to matter. Of all the problems the TIP Office could work to solve, which should we pick? Our focus is necessarily on the problem that, if solved, would make the biggest difference and is feasible to achieve. (Recall the plausibility-relevance tension.) Remember to consider the ripple effect of changes in one part of the criminal justice or other government system throughout the full system when considering what might make the biggest difference. Also factor in ongoing host-government and other-donor initiatives. Even if an important problem still exists, if others are actively working on it and there is reason to believe they will resolve it, the TIP Office and its implementers should not focus on the same problem.

Example of What Meeting this Standard Looks Like Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like

Goal: Freedonia regulates cash purchases of real estate.

(Context: Per Global Financial Integrity’s 2018 annual report, the majority of illicit money in Freedonia is laundered through the real estate market.)

Relevance of the goal to the context:

Goal: Freedonia regulates cash purchases of cars.

(Context: There was one very high-profile case in which money was laundered through a used-car business. The majority of illicit money in Freedonia is laundered through real estate, however, and this remains unregulated.)

Explanation
It is not that tightening up regulations that would have prevented laundering the money through the used-car business is a bad thing to do. It is just not the thing that will have the biggest bang for our buck.

Section II: What change on the issue does the TIP Office and its implementers seek through this project/program?

Checklist Questions & Associated Standard

3. Is the goal a change? (Change)

4. Are all the objectives changes? (Change)

5. Is the goal clear? (Clarity)

6. Are all the objectives clear? (Clarity)

Change:

The TIP Office and its implementers’ projects and programs articulate their goals and objectives as change statements, not activities. A change is a difference (created and or maintained), external to the TIP Office and our implementing partners. An activity is what we do to try and bring about that change. For example, running a training is an activity. The new information or skills participants learn and utilize in practice, is the change. In most cases, the TIP Office and its implementers are seeking to make something true that is not yet true, such as in the below example. In some cases, however, the goal is maintenance. For example, if we want the international community to be guided on an issue by a certain convention and other countries were seeking to update it, maintaining that convention as the guiding document on an issue would count as a “change” because it requires the TIP Office and/or its implementers to convince others to support our position. The defining aspect of this standard is whether it is entirely in the TIP Office and its implementers’ control or not that something happens.

Example of What Meeting this Standard Looks Like Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like

Police conduct complex TIP investigations.

(Context: police do not conduct TIP complex investigations at the start of the program for a variety of reasons including )

Train 50 police officers in complex TIP investigation techniques.
Explanation
Training is an activity. Just because we offer a training doesn’t mean attendees will learn anything, much less change the way they do their jobs. Learning and modifying behavior are changes because they are outside the TIP Office and its implementer’s direct control. (Note: changes to knowledge and skills are usually necessary but not sufficient to cause behavior changes. For example, building police capacity to conduct complex TIP investigations where they did not originally have it would be a change. But, in most contexts, other aspects of their environment would need to change too before they would adjust behavior. See the necessary and sufficient section in the plausibility standard below.)

Clarity:

Everyone involved in the program has a similar understanding of what the project is trying to accomplish and how it will go about doing so. Define terms. Be concrete about the desired changes, avoiding ambiguous terms like “improve” and “strengthen.” If you do use an ambiguous term, provide a definition as shown below with the asterisk after the word “robust.”

Example of What Meeting this Standard this Looks Like Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like

Goal: Freedonia signs robust* legislation criminalizing money laundering into law.

*Robust legislation includes a clear statement of all necessary and sufficient elements of the crime, the basis for civil and criminal asset forfeiture, the basis for all necessary and appropriate investigative and prosecutorial techniques, procedures for adjudication, the institution and empowerment of a financial intelligence unit, and any and all provisions and procedures necessary for the investigation and prosecution of all modern forms of TOC.

Goal: increase Freedonia’s capacity to counter money laundering.
Explanation
We want everyone to be on the same page. The first goal is pretty clear – we don’t just want better legislation drafted, we want it enacted; we don’t just want “effective legislation,” we explain what legislation would need to include to be effective. The second goal is not clear. Once Freedonian capacity to counter money laundering is increased, what exactly does that look like?

Target Population:

The most important element of this standard pertains to the effectiveness of activities and is discussed in detail in Section IV below. This section addresses how to describe those in whom changes are sought. For example, the TIP Office and our implementing partners might interpret broad terms like “police leadership” differently. Part of being clear is being specific in how to describe the actors in each objective.

Example of What Meeting this Standard this Looks Like Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like
Objective: Police investigators in the Complex Crime Unit know how to collect evidence to prove each element of a crime. Objective: Police know how to collect evidence to prove each element of a crime.
Explanation
The first example specifies which police within the larger police organization we want to learn this skill. The second leaves open the possibility we want all police in the organization to know this. Note: if your project/program only ever works with police in one unit, you can specify this once and do not need to do so in each objective.

Section III: Is the change pathway likely to be effective?

Checklist Questions & Associated Standard

8. Is the goal feasible? (Plausibility)

9. Does each objective contain just one concept? (One concept)

10. Are the objectives necessary and sufficient? (Plausibility)

11. Do some of the objectives target systemic changes? (Maximize contribution)

Plausibility (Part I – Feasibility, Necessary and Sufficient Changes):

It is reasonable to believe the TIP Offices’ implementer can bring about the change necessary to meet the project/program goal. When weighing if something is reasonable, consider the following:

Feasibility: The goal is the desired end state we expect to reach by the end of the project/program. It is not aspirational or a vision statement (which interventions can also have but should be separate from the goal). One way to help ensure this is to keep each objective to one concept, described in the One Concept standard later in this section.

Example of What Meeting this Standard Looks Like Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like

Goal: Freedonian police to establish a Complex Crime Unit by the end of CY 2020. Establishing such a unit includes reassigning staff to it, training reassigned police investigators in complex crime investigation techniques, and including a budget for it in out-year budget requests.

Context: the political will to take these steps exists.

Goal: Rid Freedonia of the scourge of organized crime.

Context: While the political will to address organized crime exists, the criminal organizations are so strong and Freedonia’s institutions are so weak there is no chance Freedonia can do this by the end of the project in 2020.

Explanation
Reaching the first goal is conceivable. There is simply no chance of reaching the second goal given the circumstances.

Necessary and Sufficient: An important part of any assessment is the identification of the primary reasons problems exist. In the design phase, the project/program uses this information develop objectives. Overall, the project/program addresses enough of the reasons the goal is not already a true statement that it is reasonable to expect to create change. Remember to consider possible causes of a problem outside the sector your intervention is targeting. For example, though pretrial detention manifests as a problem in prisons, its causes likely involve police and/or courts. The example in the chart below focuses on the necessary and sufficient aspect of plausibility. Note that the information after the asterisks provides definitions and additional context to understand the concept and example.

Example of What Meeting this Standard Looks Like Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like

Goal: Complex Crime Investigation Unit conducts complex investigations*.

*A complex investigation is one where police suspect a single act constituted two or more felonies and requires investigatory techniques beyond searching, interviewing, and evidence collection/preservation. These investigations use investigatory practices such as forensic, scientific, and/or digital techniques.

Objective 1: police have the capacity* to conduct complex investigations.

*Capacity is knowledge and skills.

Objective 2: bureaucratic incentives (e.g., promotion criteria) support conducting complex investigations.

Objective 3: police use equipment for electronic data extraction/analysis.

(Context: police are not conducting complex investigations because they do not know how and are bureaucratically not set up to do so. There is relatively low job-turn over so those we train are likely to remain in place. The above would not meet the necessary and sufficient threshold in a context where police did not conduct complex investigations because they are collaborating with criminal networks. If that were one of the reasons the police were not conducting complex investigations, the objectives would need to address that.)

Goal: Complex Crime Investigation Unit conducts complex investigations. A complex investigation is one where police suspect a single act constituted two or more felonies.

Objective 1: police have the knowledge and skills to conduct complex investigations.

(Context: police are not conducting complex investigations because they do not know how and are bureaucratically not set up to do so.)

Explanation
In this case, there are multiple reasons investigators are not conducting complex investigations. To have a shot of reaching our goal, we need to address the main reasons they are not doing these investigations now, not just one of the reasons. If you learned to do something but were dis-incentivized from applying that knowledge in your job, would you change your behavior?

Note: plausibility and relevance serve as counterbalances to each other. It is plausible we will reach easy goals. To merit being our goal, however, they must be both plausible and relevant.

One Concept:

Objectives articulate one concept each. (This standard will not always apply at the goal level.) This supports both clarity and plausibility.

Example of What Meeting this Standard Looks Like Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like
Objective: Police conduct complex investigations.

Real goal statement from unnamed implementer:

We aim at “contributing to the legal, judiciary, administrative and policy frameworks for the socio-economic stability, reconstruction, stabilization and peace of the country and its populations, through a systematic reinforcement of the Governmental Rule-of-Law and the promotion of inter-relations between the national Authorities, at central and decentralized levels, and its population, leading to an increased participatory role within a democratic, conducive and peaceful environment, with a dynamic local and national economic, social and cultural development, opened to a global economy, with a pivotal role in” the region.

Explanation
There are so many changes included in the second statement, it is unclear what the project is really trying to get done. It is also pretty unlikely getting all of that done is feasible.

Section IV: Are the activities likely to bring about the desired changes?

Checklist Questions & Associated Standard

12. Are the activities relevant to the objectives? (Relevance)

13. Is the project’s/program’s dosage right? (Plausibility)

14. Do activities engage the people who have the power to support or block reaching the goal? (Target Population)

Relevance – Activities to Objectives:

There needs to be a logical (or evidence-based) connection between the program or project activities we conduct and the change we seek. If the objective is for the target population to learn skills, hands on trainings are more effective than lecture-based trainings. Where there is evidence that informs decisions about what activities to conduct or how to approach them, reference it. Where there is no evidence, note that gap and explain why you think it is logical. This helps inform decisions later about where to focus monitoring and/or evaluation resources.

Example of What Meeting this Standard Looks Like: Relevance of Activities to Objectives Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like

Objective: Corrections officers have defensive tactics skills.

Activity: Training in which officers physically practice the tactics in conditions similar to those in which they work.

Objective: Corrections officials have defensive tactics skills.

Activity: PowerPoint based training.

Explanation
There needs to be a logical connection between the kinds of change we are trying to create and how we go about doing it. Solely reading about how to do something physical is not the same as trying it out yourself.

Plausibility – Part II (Dosage):

The number of people the implementer’s intervention touches and the intensity of that touch should be sufficient to bring about the degree of change sought. This is called dosage. For example, to change how a police unit with 500 investigators operates, how many investigators need to be trained? How in-depth of a training is necessary for the unit as a whole to change how it conducts investigations?

Example of What Meeting this Standard Looks Like Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like

Objective: Police in the Complex Crime Unit conduct effective complex investigations. Effective means: (1) police dedicate appropriate resources to crimes of significance to the community; (2) police make strategic decisions about how best to address the crimes, including whether to be proactive or reactive and whether to handle them as individual cases or as part of a system; (3) police select the investigative tools most appropriate to that strategy; and (4) police use the tools lawfully to generate admissible evidence.

Activity: Provide 400 hours of training to 45 police in the unit.

Context: There are 50 police in the unit. They have decent foundational skills but no exposure to complex crime investigation techniques.

Objective: Police in the Complex Crime Unit conduct effective complex investigations. Effective means: (1) police dedicate appropriate resources to crimes of significance to the community; (2) police make strategic decisions about how best to address the crimes, including whether to be proactive or reactive and whether to handle them as individual cases or as part of a system; (3) police select the investigative tools most appropriate to that strategy; and (4) police use the tools lawfully to generate admissible evidence.

Activity: Train police in complex crime.

Context: There are 50 police in the unit. They have decent foundational skills but no exposure to complex crime investigation techniques.

Explanation
The first example lets you know the universe of people who will need to operate differently and how many the training seeks to touch. In this case, the design assumes it will not be possible to train all of them but that if 85 percent know the new techniques that will be enough to establish new norms for how investigations work in the unit. This example also specifies how much training we think they will need. The second example does not give you the information needed to judge if the project’s dosage is right or not.

Target Population:

Objectives state the target population central to achieving change and activities engage those with the power to support/prevent the change.

Example of What Meeting this Standard this Looks Like Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like

Goal: Investigators in Complex Crime Investigation Unit conduct complex investigations.

Objective: Budget and HR Directors know investigating complex crimes is a priority for the Police Commissioner.

Activities: Engage the Police Commissioner and X, Y, and Z individuals known to influence her decision-making to convince them of the need for their police to prioritize tackling complex crime.

Note: these activities are not a comprehensive list of everything needed to bring about the change of police conducting complex investigations. Rather, they highlight that, in a context where police are not conducting such investigations because they lack the resources and are not incentivized to do so, reaching the goal will require convincing those who hold the purse strings its worth reaching the goal.

Goal: Police conduct complex investigations.

Activities: bring police (detectives or otherwise) on study tours (without other activities that engage the decision makers).

Explanation
We need to understand who has the power to support/block the change we are seeking. This is linked to the analysis of what is causing the problem. In a context where the main impediment to police conducting complex investigations was their own belief such crimes were not the priority, the project would need to change that perception and police detectives would be the right target for that change. But, in a context where their behavior is driven primarily by bureaucratic incentives, those conducting the investigations are not the only targets. We also need to engage the people who set those bureaucratic incentives.

Section V: Are we planning for risk appropriately?

Checklist Questions & Associated Standard

15. How likely is it we will fail to meet our goal? Are we comfortable with that level of risk? (Plausibility)

16. Has the project/program considered how it might cause inadvertent harm and are appropriate mitigations built into the design? (Minimize Risk)

Plausibility – Part III (Risk of not achieving our goal):

There are different kinds of risk. Auditors sometimes ask how we assess and mitigate risk related to achieving our objectives. There is also the risk of inadvertently causing harm. Plausibility can help us think through the former in the design stage. (Note: GAO recommends addressing this kind of risk in monitoring.)

A design is not plausible or implausible on its own – it is always in relation to the context in which the project/program will run, and those contexts change. In a context in which the U.S. government is the main donor, it may be reasonable to assume we might be able to leverage that into applying pressure on a government to undertake necessary reforms. If another donor, particularly with competing policy objectives, were to become active that would change the context and could change whether a project/program remained plausible. Would we still have the influence necessary to motivate the government to reform? When assessing the risk of achieving objectives, articulate what is true at the start of the project that needs to stay true for the design to stay plausible. Then determine how likely it is those factors will remain unchanged. If the context is unstable and those factors likely will change, the design is higher risk.

Example of Assessing and Mitigating Risk

If our program had been asked to develop an emergency response capacity in a country without nation-wide phone coverage but with credible plans to create coverage, starting an emergency response program would be risky. If the country does not install the envisioned cell towers, the investment might be wasted. There might be valid reasons for wanting to take this risk, however. If this were a priority for the country, partnering with them on it could be valuable for the overall bilateral relationship. Consider how likely it is the government will keep expanding phone coverage and how beneficial the potential return on investment would be vice how detrimental a wasted investment would be.

Questions such as the following can help in assessing the likelihood and consequence of possible failure: Does the government tend to follow through on commitments? Have they completed early steps in the process such as securing the budget? If the cell towers never materialize, what would become of the equipment we donated? If it would be largely wasted, what are the consequences of that?

Minimize Risk: Do no harm

Projects/programs should consider the ways in which they might inadvertently cause harm. Specifically, consider:

  • Will participants be at risk or in danger because of their involvement in the program?
  • Could this program undercut other U.S. policy priorities in the bilateral relationship or otherwise harm U.S. national security interests?
  • Could equipment/resources be diverted from their intended purpose? What, if any, impact might this have on ongoing violence/corruption?
  • How does the allocation of assistance map along conflict lines? If one party to a conflict will receive more resources, what, if any, impact will that have on the broader conflict?
  • Will the program promote new people/groups into leadership roles? If so, what impact do we think that will have, including how do we think they will use their new power?
  • Is the assistance such a large percent of the local economy that we need to understand how we are affecting local and informal markets?

If you think there is a risk the program might cause inadvertent harm, are there steps you can take to prevent the harm? For example, if you were concerned a host government might react to an anticorruption program by accusing the embassy of taking sides in internal politics, you might invest more time to educate diverse stakeholders on the criteria the anticorruption agency will use when deciding where to direct investigation resources. Or, if you are particularly concerned donated vehicles might become personal perks, you might plan from the outset to have some form of public accountability for how the police use the cars. For potential risks where there is no change you would make to the program design to mitigate it, you can address those through monitoring.

Example of What Meeting this Standard Looks Like – Minimize Risk Example of What Not Meeting this Standard Looks Like – Minimize Risk

Objective: Freedonian police use wiretaps to build cases against criminals.

Activity: We provide wiretap technology, training, and support to develop accompanying policies and procedures for use and oversight. We sequence this such that the policies are in place before we procure the equipment and ensure the implementer understands the importance of this.

Context: Freedonia wants to use wiretaps to go after bad guys. It is unclear if that’s all their leaders would use them for.

Goal: Police conduct complex investigations.

Activity: We provide intense training and mentoring to a select group of police who will begin taking on the biggest organized crime cases in the country. It is such a successful program, we post about it on Facebook (including great trainee action shots).

Explanation
In the first example, we identify a risk and builds mitigation plans into how we conduct the activities. In the second example, we needlessly make it easier for bad guys to target our partners.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future