The Department of State and USAID have launched the COVID-19 Private Sector Engagement & Partnership Fund with an additional $10 million in new assistance funds. The Fund has been established to strengthen the efforts of the private sector and bolster ongoing response efforts, helping the world’s most vulnerable overcome the devastation inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Find the latest frequently asked questions and answers with this online discussion hosted by the Office of Global Partnership’s Managing Director, Thomas Debass, and Director for Private Sector Engagement, Jim Thompson:
What is the purpose of the Fund?
1) To create a formal and transparent process to surface the most innovative private sector solutions to mitigating the secondary impacts of COVID-19 in developing countries, and 2) to seed-fund the most promising of these solutions within the context of State and USAID global programming.
Who qualifies to apply?
U.S. and overseas private and commercial entities, U.S. and overseas-based non-profit/non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and institutions of higher education, are encouraged to apply.
What we’re looking for:
The Department is looking for concept papers that will enable people around the world to mitigate the detrimental economic effects of COVID-19 on their societies. The Department encourages creativity and innovation from the private sector.
How to apply:
The application is a two-step process. Applicants must first submit a concise (5-page) concept paper to PPPCovid19Fund@state.gov. The concept paper should not go to the Embassy, consulate or USAID Missions. The concept paper should be designed to clearly communicate their program idea and objectives. After merit review of eligible concept papers, selected applicants will be invited to expand on their program idea(s) by submitting a full proposal application. Full proposals will go through a second merit review before a final funding decision is made.
Applicants can find application forms and other materials needed to submit a full proposal on SAMS Domestic and on Grants.gov by searching for “COVID-19 Private Sector Engagement & Partnership Fund.” Applications may be submitted online.
What is the award amount?
The anticipated award amount is $50,000 to $1,000,000, however, concept papers over this amount will be considered.
Dates & Deadlines:
Concept papers will be accepted beginning August 5, 2020 and be reviewed on a rolling basis through 11:59PM Eastern Time on May 30, 2021. Please note that projects will be funded on a rolling basis. The Department reserves the right to close this announcement sooner than the given date if the available amount of funding has been exhausted.
Questions can be submitted to PPPCovid19Fund@state.gov.
1. Can non-U.S. companies/organizations apply to the fund?
Eligible organizations include: U.S. non-profit/non-governmental organizations (NGOs) having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, overseas-based non-profit/non-governmental organizations, U.S. and overseas private/state institutions of higher education, and U.S. and non-U.S. for-profit and commercial firms.
2. Are activities to take place in the United States?
All activities must take place outside of the United States.
3. Can the leveraged resources contain other government funding?
The Department is looking to leverage its resources with the private sector. “Leverage” is defined by the DOS as: Significant resources mobilized from non-U.S. Government sources. DOS seeks the mobilization of resources of other actors on a 1:1 or greater basis (i.e., 50 percent of the proposed value of the award). DOS anticipates a leveraged average of 1:4 in total over the life of all awards made under this program. Leveraged resources may include grants/awards from non-U.S. Government organizations and other donor governments. Leveraged resources are not subject to audit and are counted as aspirational resources. Recipients failing to meet proposed leverage may not be considered for additional funding.
4. What is the funding source?
Funds have been made available through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental that the U.S. Congress has appropriated for the overseas response to the COVID19 virus.
5. Must the grant application focus on COVID-19 response?
The Fund is intended to prepare for, mitigate and address second order economic, security, stabilization impacts of COVID-19 and prevent development backsliding.
6. Where can I find the Annual Program Statement?
The Annual Program Statement is available online.
7. How does my organization obtain a SAMS account?
Applicants using SAMS Domestic for the first time should complete their “New Organization Registration.” Register with SAMS Domestic by following the “create an account” link. Users will then complete the form with the requested information and click “submit.” A confirmation email will be sent once the account has been created. If users are experiencing difficulties obtaining a user login and completing the registration process, please contact ILMS Support.
ILMS Support (SAMS Domestic Help Desk): For assistance with SAMS Domestic accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact the ILMS Support by phone at 1-888-313-4567 (toll charges for international callers) or through the Self Service online portal that can be accessed from https://afsitsm.servicenow.com/ilms/home. Customer Support is available 24/7/365.
8. Are the documents available in other languages and what language is required for submission of a concept paper?
All documents are available only in English and responses must be in English.
9. What is the difference between cost share and leverage?
USAID’s infographic explains the difference between cost share and leverage.
10. Can you explain how a 1:1 leverage is required but that the USG expects a 1:4 leverage over time?
A minimum of 1:1 is required to be considered for a grant. The USG anticipates receiving some applications that will be above that amount and that in the aggregate the overall leverage will be approximately 1:4.
11. Is leverage required at the start of the grant?
The full leverage amount is not required at the beginning of the grant but is expected over the life of the program. Keep in mind that leverage is an important consideration and it is anticipated that this will be highly competitive program.