Alumni Opportunities – 2020 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: 2020 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund

The Embassy of the United States in Nur-Sultan and the Consulate General of the United States in Almaty announces an open competition for past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to submit applications to the 2020 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2020). We seek proposals from teams of at least two alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements below. Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2020 should submit proposals to KazakhstanAlumni@state.gov  by February 14, 2020, 18:00 Nur-Sultan time.

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  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

AEIF provides alumni of U.S. sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community. Since its inception in 2011, AEIF has funded nearly 500 alumni-led projects around the world through a competitive global competition. This year, AEIF 2020 will support United States’ commitment to working with our partners around the world to advance the essential role of women in peace, security, and governance.

The U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan will accept public service projects proposed and managed by teams of at least two (2) alumni that support themes such as:

  • Strengthen the role of women in peace, security, and governance;
  • Engage women as partners in preventing terrorism and countering radicalization and recruitment;
  • Promote protection of women and girls from violence, abuse, and exploitation; or
  • Support women’s political and civic participation
  1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Announcement posted:  December 23, 2019
Closing date for applications:  February 14, 2020
Funding type:  Small grant awards
Decision date: no later than July 31, 2020

Expected size of individual awards:  Between $5,000 to $25,000

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less.

  1. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION 
  2. Eligible Applicants:

The following individuals are eligible to apply:

  • Applicants must be alumni of a S. government-funded exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (https://j1visa.state.gov/).
  • Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni.
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project.
  • Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.
  • Applications must be submitted by exchange alumni. Not-for-profit, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions are not eligible to apply in the name of the organization but can serve as partners for implementing project activities.
  1. Cost Sharing

Inclusion of cost share is not a requirement of this opportunity

  1. Grant Program Area:

Proposals must address women in peace, security, and governance. Proposals that do not address the theme as outlined in the program objectives will be deemed ineligible. All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

If the grant will be processed with an individual, that individual is not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.  However, should the grant be processed with an organization that is a partner in the project, that organization must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and to non-discrimination practices with regard to beneficiaries, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal. If more than one proposal is submitted, all proposals from that alumni team will be considered ineligible for funding.

  1. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION 
  2. Address to Request Application Package

Application and budget templates are available at kz.usembassy.gov

  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications and budgets must be submitted using the official AEIF 2020 proposal and budget forms.

Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
  • The proposal addresses all questions in the official AEIF 2020 proposal form;
  • All documents are in English;
  • The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEIF budget form;
  • All pages are numbered.

The following documents are required:

  1. Proposal: The proposal should contain enough information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the alumni team wants to do.

Proposals include the following.

Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed project, including project objectives and anticipated impact.

Alumni Team Information: There must be at least two exchange alumni team members for a project to be considered for funding.  Along with the name and contact information, describe the role each team member will have in the project and their experience, qualifications, and ability to carry out that role.  Indicate what proportion of their time will be used in support of the project.

Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed project is needed.

Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the project is intended to achieve.  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.

Local Program Partners:  List partners who will support your project.  Please note if you have an existing relationship with your partner organization(s) and describe their role in the project. If you do not have an existing relationship, explain how you anticipate establishing a partnership with the organization(s).

Program Methods and Design: A description of how the project is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.

Proposed Project Schedule and Timeline:  The proposed timeline for the project activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: The Monitoring and Evaluation component of the proposal will outline in detail how the proposal’s activities will advance the program’s goals and objectives (listed above). A strong proposal will include:

  • Any outcomes the grantee expects to occur because of their program. Outcomes could include: change in knowledge, awareness, and attitudes; improved quality of services; increased capacity at a school, group; etc.  Proposals should also include how the grantee will know those outcomes are occurring (surveys, interviews, observations, etc.)
  • For example: If the program expects that a teacher-training program will improve the skills of a teacher, a proposal may explain the skills the teacher would gain and plan to perform a survey before the program and a survey following the program that would show a change in understanding due to the program.
  • A plan to include the grantee’s reflection of how their program contributed to the program’s goals. As applicable, a strong final report would include success stories, behaviors changed, lessons learned, and results obtained.

Sustainability: Explain how you plan to continue the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

Communication Plan:  Explain how you will promote your project.  Include social media, websites, print news, or other forms of media you intend to use to share information about your project to beneficiaries and the public.  Communications should include AEIF 2020 and U.S. Embassy branding.  These include training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under an agreement.  Note: Exceptions to the branding requirement are allowable under certain conditions. If an applicant is notified that their award has been chosen for funding, the Grants Officer will determine, in consultation with the applicant, if an exception is applicable especially in the case where branding would adversely affect the safety and security of the beneficiaries.

  1. Budget Justification Narrative: Applicants must submit a detailed budget and budget narrative justification utilizing the template provided. Line item expenditures should be listed in the greatest possible detail. Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.

Budget Restrictions: AEIF 2020 does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible:

  • Airfare to or from the United States and its territories
  • Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
  • Sustained staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses exceeding 10% of total operational costs
  • Large items of durable equipment or construction programs
  • Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments, or entertainment
  • Academic or scientific research
  • Charitable or development activities or the provision of direct social services to a population
  • Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation or programs
  • Programs that support specific religious activities
  • Fund-raising campaigns
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization
  • Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in the project
  • Individual scholarships
  • Personal development
  • Social travel/visits
  • Gifts or prizes
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs
  1. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

The grant award will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.   

DISCLAIMER: This notice is subject to availability of funding. The U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan does not guarantee availability of funding by receiving applications under this announcement. Only successful applicants will be contacted.

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