U.S. EMBASSY SARAJEVO, PUBLIC DIPLOMACY SECTION NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY
Funding Opportunity Title: DEMOCRACY COMMISSION SMALL
Funding Opportunity Number: BH-001- FY2023
Deadline for Application: Friday, March 3, 2023
Assistance Listing Number: 19.900
A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The United States Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, through the Public Diplomacy Section, is pleased to announce a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program.
DEMOCRACY COMMISSION SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM
The objective of the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program is to develop a viable civil society in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to support NGO efforts to enhance citizen engagement in developing grassroots democracy and advocating for accountable governance, freedom of information, and an inclusive society.
Proposals that go beyond awareness building to promote action or create behavior change or institutional change will be particularly competitive.
Projects should address one of the following themes:
- Anti-corruption, in particular projects that engage citizens in anti- corruption advocacy initiatives, encourage corruption-exposing investigative journalism, expand corruption reporting mechanisms, or seek to improve legislation related to corruption.
- Democratic political processes, in particular projects that advocate for more transparent and accountable institutions and more involvement by citizens in civic life, with special attention paid to projects that focus on the 14 key priorities for EU membership.
- Countering misinformation and promoting moderate voices, in particular projects that encourage fact-based citizen and media dialogue on priority social and political issues; improve media literacy and the ability of BiH citizens to detect misinformation in traditional media and on social media; and counter hate speech and extremist rhetoric in public discourse.
- Supporting vulnerable and marginalized populations in BiH, in particular projects that promote the rights and inclusion in society of migrants/refugees/displaced persons, the Roma community, people with disabilities, the LGBTQI+ community, and other minority groups.
PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: This program aims to strengthen civil society in BiH and to improve transparency and accountability in government, expand citizen participation in fighting corruption, increase respect for human rights, support independent media, and promote Euro-Atlantic integration.
PARTICIPANTS AND AUDIENCES: Civil society, media organizations, government, moderate voices in politics, religious communities, marginalized groups, youth, independent media, investigative journalists, the public, etc. We especially encourage civil society organizations from smaller and remote communities to apply for this program.
B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Length of Performance Period: 12 months* (*In certain circumstances, we will consider proposals that incorporate evaluation activities that take place more than a
year after the initial grant award. Such plans should be included in the monitoring and evaluation plan of the proposal.)
Number of Awards Anticipated: 10-15
Award Amounts: Awards may range from USD 1,000 to USD 50,000
Total Available Funding: USD 500,000
Type of Funding: FY22/23 Assistance to Europe,
Eurasia and Central Asia (AEECA) under the Foreign Assistance Act
Anticipated Award Date: June/July 2023
Funding Instrument Type: Grant, Fixed Amount Award (FAA),
This notice is subject to availability of funding.
PROJECT PERFORMANCE PERIOD
The budget for single project proposals for the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program should not exceed USD 50,000 and program activities are envisioned to take place no sooner than July 2023. Please note that the precise timeframe in which grant money will be received cannot be guaranteed. Grantees should design projects that can be implemented if money is received after July 2023.
C. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
C1. Who can apply: non-governmental, non-profit organizations (including think tanks, civil society organizations), educational institutions and independent media organizations that are based and legally registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina are eligible to apply. American or other donor country organizations and individuals are not eligible for grants under this program. Grants are generally awarded only to organizations. Organizations may only submit one proposal per program.
C2. Other eligibility requirements: In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section E. for more information.
D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
D1. Mandatory application forms: Your application cannot be reviewed without all the below elements. All forms and instructions are available on our website, under Application Forms on the top of the grants programs page.
Please note: Obtaining the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and registering in the SAM system can take up to one month. We strongly encourage you to start this process as soon as possible.
- SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations). Please make sure to include your UEI in the application.
- SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
- Project Proposal (6 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do.
D2. General Guidelines: Please read all instructions carefully – proposals that do not meet the requirements listed here will not be considered for funding.
- All proposals must be written and submitted in English.
- Proposals may not exceed 6 pages in length (including budget and checklist) in Times New Roman size 12 font.
- All fields in the grant application form and checklist must be completed and sent via email as one document.
- In general, project duration may not exceed 12 months, but under certain circumstances we will accept projects that build in a longer evaluation period after project activities are complete that would be longer than 12 months total.
- Grants are normally made on a one-time basis and reiterations of past programs usually do not receive funding. If you are requesting support to fund a repetition of a project you previously implemented, you must include a very strong justification as to why the repetition is necessary.
- Please submit your filled-in application to the following email address: DemcomBiH@state.gov.
The deadline for submission of the Democracy Commission Small Grants proposals /supporting documentation is Friday, March 3, 2023, at 17:00 (GMT + 1).
Upon submission, please request a confirmation of receipt of your application. If you don’t receive the confirmation, we encourage you to give us a call. Sometimes it happens that we do not receive your proposal within the required deadline due to some technical issues.
D3. Budget Guidelines: Any application not meeting the budget requirements below will not be considered for funding.
- Detailed budget should be written in USD. Award amount may be up to a maximum of $50,000, although the majority of award amounts may be smaller.
- Budget should NOT include VAT expenses; organizations need to ask for VAT return based on bilateral agreements signed between the U.S. government and BiH government.
- Budget costs should be grouped into the following categories:
- Personnel costs (salaries for staff who already work for your organization, fees for project manager, project coordinator/assistant, and or accountant);
- Fringe (social and pension insurance contributions);
- Travel (transportation costs, lodging, meals, and incidentals);
- Supplies (office supplies, computer devices and other materials needed for project implementation);
- Contractual (fees for trainers, moderators, experts, and educators, who do NOT normally work for your organization but who are engaged to implement certain project activities, printing of promotional materials, renting of space/equipment, broadcasting of TV and radio shows, website development, and other contractual services needed for project implementation); and
- Other direct costs: (please describe other costs directly associated with the project, which do not fit in the other categories. For example:
office rent, utilities, phone/fax/internet, office supplies, bank charges, etc.).
- Costs for food or drink should not exceed 10% of the total award amount. This includes expenses associated with individual per diems for grant-related activities.
- Alcohol, entertainment, or “miscellaneous” expenses are not allowed.
- Costs incurred before the grant period start date will not be reimbursed.
Grant funds may not be used for the following:
- Long-term infrastructure needs
- Travel to the United States (Projects involving regional travel will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must have a clear justification outlining why the travel is integral to the project.)
- Provision of direct social services to a population
- Vocational training (For example, teaching participants welding, electrical work, sewing, beekeeping, etc.)
- Partisan political activity (Note: non-partisan election education and public information activities are allowable.)
- Funding of charitable activity and humanitarian aid, commercial projects, or fund-raising campaigns
D4. Application Instructions: Please read carefully and complete each question as instructed. Omitting any of the requested information will delay the review of your proposal and may result in it being eliminated from consideration.
Program Type: Please indicate which program you are applying for (Democracy Commission).
1. Applicant’s Contact Information:
- Implementing organization: Specify the officially registered name of the organization.
- Contact person and title: Name and the title of the person who is authorized to sign official documents, if different from the Project Coordinator. You may state the name of the Project Coordinator too.
- Address/Postal Code and City
- Phone number
- E-mail: Please include both the general email address for your organization and the email address of the project coordinator or person who is authorized to sign official documents.
2. Basic Information about the Proposal:
- Project title:
- Amount requested (USD)/Amount of cost share (USD)/Total cost (USD): Please list the amount of funding requested from the Embassy. If there is a cost share (another organization covering part of the total cost of the project), please list the amount here. Please list the total cost of the project which you get when you add the amount you request from U.S. Embassy and amount of cost-share.
- Elevator pitch: In 50 words or less, describe what your project is designed to accomplish and why it should receive support from the U.S. Embassy.
- Definition of situation: Clearly identify the problem your project will address. Please explain what causes the problem, and what aspect of the problem you are addressing. For example: A particular office/agency has procurement processes that leave them open to corruption. The problem is that speed is prioritized over cost and only one person must sign off on purchases.
- Project outcomes: Please explain how you want to solve this problem by explaining the outcomes of your project. Outcome is defined as the impact or
change in a participant’s knowledge, skills and/or attitudes as well as the longer- term effect on their organization or community. For example, the project will result in a new procurement process for the office, or the project will result in an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the procurement process.
- Description of project activities: Explain the activities you plan to implement as part of the project to reach the outcome.
- Activity locations: List the cities/towns/communities where the project activities will take place.
- Project beneficiaries: Describe the anticipated beneficiaries of your project, including estimated number, age range, and profile.
- Project schedule and timeline: Note your project duration in months and give an overview of the schedule. If you have a specific timeframe, please list the dates, and explain why your project must take place within that timeframe. Please note that grant money could be received any time between July and September 2023, depending on the U.S. budget cycle.
- Project partners: If you are implementing your project jointly with any other organizations, please list the names and type of involvement of those partner organizations. A partner organization is an organization with which you work to develop and implement the project. Partner organizations also need to obtain UEI number.) Please note that contractors you engage to deliver goods or services, such as trainers, web developers, or suppliers are NOT partner organizations.
- Anticipated outputs of the project: Output is defined as the direct and tangible results of the project activities (number of people trained, number of workshops held, number of public advocacy campaigns conducted, number of media articles or social media posts about corruption, etc.)
- Monitoring and evaluation plan: The proposal should outline in detail how project success and impact will be determined. Please include how you intend to measure the success of the project – this should involve pre- and post-project surveys of participants; it could also include evidence that your project led to observable change. In certain circumstances, we will consider proposals that incorporate evaluation activities that take place more than a year after the initial grant award. We encourage you to consider the following examples of indicators to use when evaluating your project:
- Participant satisfaction with the program.
- Participant learning, such as increased knowledge, aptitude, skills, and changed understanding and attitude. Learning includes both substantive (subject-specific) learning and mutual understanding.
- Participant attitudes and perceptions of a particular issue, as measured through pre- and post-project surveys.
- Participant behavior, such as concrete actions to apply knowledge in work or community; greater participation and responsibility in civic organizations; interpretation and explanation of experiences and new knowledge gained; continued contacts between participants, community members, and others.
- Institutional changes, such as increased collaboration and partnerships, policy reforms, new programming, and organizational improvements.
- Please note: Consideration should be given to the appropriate timing of data collection for each level of outcome. For example, satisfaction is usually captured as a short-term outcome, whereas behavior and institutional changes are normally considered longer-term outcomes. In certain circumstances, we will consider proposals that incorporate evaluation activities that take place more than a year after the initial grant award. Such plans should be included in the monitoring and evaluation plan of the proposal.
- Project publicity: Please describe if and how you plan to publicize the project through traditional media and/or social media. If your plans include inviting U.S. Embassy representatives to attend or media to cover one or more project activities, please describe those plans.
- Project sustainability: Please explain your plans for follow-up activities after the grant period ends to ensure project impact continues. Example: “After the workshop series, the participants will continue to meet and serve as a support
network to each other, as well as mentor other young people.”
- Background of implementing organization: Briefly explain the mission of the organization, date of registration, number of employees, their work experience, number of volunteers, past and current programs implemented, as well as its technical and management capacity. Please briefly explain what internal controls procedures you have put in place to manage grant funds.
- Key personnel: List the names, titles and roles of key personnel involved in the project, including organization staff and any experts or trainers you will engage to implement the project. Give a brief overview (1-2 sentences) of their experience/qualifications. What proportion of their time will be used in support of your project?
- Previous U.S. government funding: Indicate whether the implementing organization has received previous funding from the U.S. government. If so, please state the name of the project, the year, and the amount of funding for each project.
- Detailed budget: Present the budget in the form of a spreadsheet, in USD amounts, dividing the budget into the categories delineated in the application. Ensure that your stated project activities are properly budgeted based on reasonable market price for personnel, fringe, travel, contractual services, supplies, and other direct costs. The ratio between administrative costs (personnel, fringe, and other direct costs) and program costs (travel, supplies and contractual) will be a factor in the evaluation of the proposal. Cost sharing is not required, and the absence of cost sharing will not in any way impact evaluation of the project. However, if the Recipient includes cost sharing in the project proposal, then the Recipient is accountable for providing it. In the event the Recipient does not provide the minimum amount of cost sharing as stipulated in the Recipient’s approved budget, the government contribution may be reduced in kind. The Recipient may present cost sharing on voluntary basis including in-kind contributions.
- Budget narrative: Please explain your budget in narrative form, detail personnel duties, list names of trainers/moderators/experts and project staff and break down travel and lodging costs (i.e., how many people, how many overnights, cost per person per day).
E. HOW TO APPLY FOR REQUIRED REGISTRATIONS
All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain the following registration which is free of charge:
- www.SAM.gov registration which will generate a UEI
Any applicant with an exclusion in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189)
and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.”
The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards. SAM.gov is the Federal government's primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements. OMB designated
SAM.gov as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial
assistance. Under the law, it is mandatory to register in SAM.gov.
The UEI will be assigned when an organization registers or renews its SAM registration. To access SAM.gov an organization is required to have a Login.gov account. Organization can create an account at https://login.gov/. As a reminder, organizations need to renew its sam.gov registration annually.
www.sam.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year to maintain an active registration status in SAM.gov. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov.
If an organization plans to issue a sub-contract or sub-award, those sub-awardees must also have a unique entity identifier (UEI number). Those entities can register for a UEI only at SAM.gov.
If an organization does not have an active registration in SAM.gov the grant will not be signed with that organization. If you experience difficulties in registering in SAM during the process of applying, you may send us the screenshot as the proof that you already started the SAM registering process. All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations, the latter are free of charge.
However, if you experience any problem in registering in SAM.gov use the following link to register for live chat, so the SAM administrators can answer your questions. Working hours for this service are from Monday through Friday after 14:00.
IMPORTANT: Please be informed that DUNS was replaced by UEI which will be assigned by sam.gov.
A CAGE/NCAGE number is no longer needed to register in SAM.gov! *
*Only organizations which plan to do business with the Department of Defense (DOD) will be issued a CAGE code or be required to obtain an NCAGE number. When registering in SAM.gov, organization must self-select whether it plans to submit proposals to DOD. Only if an organization indicates “yes” will it be issued a CAGE code or be prompted to enter its NCAGE number.
If you are planning to respond to this call, please carefully follow instructions how to register in SAM and select “NO” if asked whether you plan to submit proposal to Department of Defense (DOD.)
F.5. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
All proposals will be evaluated by the Democracy Commission review panel on the below criteria.
- Quality and feasibility of the project idea: The proposal is well developed, innovative and offers creative solutions with all necessary details about how project activities will be carried out (location, number of participants, events to organize, media coverage, etc.)
- Outcomes: Project clearly identifies goals and objectives of the project and is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving proposed results.
- Organizational capacity and record on previous grants: The organization demonstrates expertise and the ability to perform the proposed activities.
- Budget: Budget and narrative justification are completed and reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results.
- Monitoring and evaluation: The proposal outlines in detail how project success and impact will be determined. This will include methods to measure project impact and/or indicators/milestones to indicate project progress towards achieving the outcomes outlined in the proposal. This should include pre- and post-project surveys of participants
- Sustainability: The proposal needs to contain information about
sustainability of the project. Project activities should continue to have a positive impact after the end of the project. Proposals should explain this future impact and/or sustainability of the project.
- Geographic diversity: The proposal includes participants and audiences from smaller communities outside the major cities of BiH
G. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
- Federal Award Notices
The grant award will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer and the grants management team. The Recipient may only start incurring project expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document
signed by the Grant Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document, and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email.
Funding decisions are contingent on the availability of funds. Total amount for this program may not exceed 500,000 USD. The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to cancel this Notice of Funding Opportunity at any time without any commitment to any applicant.
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.
Payment Method: The payment of the award amount will be effected in two or three installments. A certain percentage of the total award amount up to 50% of the total award amount will be paid immediately after signing the grant and submission of the valid bank account by Recipient. However, if the project implementation requires a percentage of advance payment higher than 50%, the Public Diplomacy Section will make a payment based on the Recipient’s justification. The rest will be paid upon submission of the interim and final program and financial reports by Recipient. Each award document will contain detailed payment information. The USG holds the right to retain the last payment up to 10% of the award amount until all project activities are completed and the final program and financial reports submitted by the Recipient are approved by the Grant Officer and the Grant Officer Representative.
G2. Terms and Conditions
Before submitting an application, applicants may wish to review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply. These include:
- 2 CFR 170 – REPORTING SUBAWARD AND EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION INFORMATION
- 2 CFR 175 – AWARD TERM FOR TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
- 2 CFR 182 – GOVERNMENTWIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR DRUG- FREE WORKPLACE (FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE)
- 2 CFR 183 – NEVER CONTRACT WITH THE ENEMY
- 2 CFR 600 – DEPARTMENT OF STATE REQUIREMENTS
- U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS
In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following: NOTE:
- Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of FederalRegulations (2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register’s 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:
- Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR part 200.205),
- Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115— 232) (2 CFR part 200.216),
- Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (§§ 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341),
- Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR part 200.322), and
- Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR part 200.340).
G3. Reporting Requirements
Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify the forms and how often these reports must be submitted.
FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
The U.S. Embassy receives hundreds of proposals and takes time to carefully review each application. We expect to inform applicants of the status of their proposals approximately 3-6 months from the closing date of this Notice of Funding Opportunity. Funding decisions are contingent on the availability of funds. The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to cancel this Notice of Funding Opportunity at any time without any commitment to any applicant.
For more information, please contact us by phone: + 387 33 704-344, 704-285, 704-300, fax: + 387 33 704-432 or email DemcomBiH@state.gov