Africa: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): DRL Labor Programs to Combat Slavery in West Africa

This is the announcement of funding opportunity number DRLA-DRLAQM-18-015

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.345

Application Deadline: January 12, 2018

For new application submission instructions, see Section D below.

A. Project Description

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support to combat slavery and assist the reintegration of former slaves into society in West Africa.

Program activities should focus in at least one of these countries and may include, but are not limited to, increasing collaboration among civil society organizations working to promote the rights of current and former slaves; engaging with former slaves, advocates, and civil society organizations to assist former slaves in claiming their rights under existing laws; conducting public awareness campaigns focused on combatting slavery; improving the capacity of legal and judicial professionals to hold slaveholders to account; engaging with key stakeholders to increase non-discriminatory access to services and to vocational training critical to the reintegration of current and former slaves; strengthening advocacy efforts to increase respect for human rights and to expand former slaves’ public and political participation and access to formal identification cards; and supporting civil society organizations working to combat the practice of forced begging, particularly among the talibé population.

DRL intends to support at least two programs with this funding; therefore, proposed budgets should not exceed $1m. Countries may include, but are not limited to, Mauritania, Niger, Mali, and/or Senegal. Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of relevant ongoing USG-funded programs in the countries they are proposing to work, and explain how a new program will build on existing efforts.

Projects should aim to have impact that leads to democratic reforms, and should have the potential for sustainability beyond DRL resources. DRL’s preference is to avoid duplicating past efforts by supporting new and creative approaches. This does not exclude from consideration projects that improve upon or expand existing successful projects in a new and complementary way.

Where appropriate, competitive proposals may include:

  • Systematic follow up with trainees at specific intervals (3 months, 6 months, etc.) after the completion of trainings to track how beneficiaries are retaining new knowledge as well as applying their new skills.
  • Opportunities for trainees to apply their new knowledge and skills in practical efforts.
  • Solicitation of feedback and suggestions from beneficiaries when developing trainings and activities in order to strengthen the sustainability of labor programs and participant ownership of project outcomes.
  • Input from participants on sustainability plans and systematic review of the plans throughout the life of the project with adjustments made as necessary.
  • Inclusion of vulnerable populations in needs and/or rapid assessments in order to identify challenges, gaps, and opportunities among these groups.
  • Joint identification and definition of key concepts with relevant stakeholders and stakeholder input into project activities.

To maximize the impact and sustainability of the award(s) that result(s) from this NOFO, DRL reserves the right to execute a non-competitive continuation amendment(s). The total duration of any award, including a potential non-competitive continuation amendment(s), shall not exceed 60 months or five years. Any non-competitive continuation is contingent on performance and availability of funds. A non-competitive continuation is not guaranteed; the Department of State reserves the right to exercise or not exercise the option to issue non-competitive continuation amendment(s).

Activities that are not typically considered competitive include, but are not limited to:

  • The provision of large amounts of humanitarian assistance;
  • English language instruction;
  • Development of high-tech computer or communications software and/or hardware;
  • Purely academic exchanges or fellowships;
  • External exchanges or fellowships lasting longer than six months;
  • Off-shore activities that are not clearly linked to in-country initiatives and impact or are not necessary for security concerns;
  • Theoretical explorations of human rights or democracy issues, including projects aimed primarily at research and evaluation that do not incorporate training or capacity-building for local civil society;
  • Micro-loans or similar small business development initiatives;
  • Initiatives directed towards a diaspora community rather than current residents of targeted countries.

DRL may ask successful applicant(s) to incorporate coordination of an implementer and stakeholder meeting into the Scope of Work of the final project. DRL will discuss this possibility with particular applicant(s) during the proposal negotiation phase.

B. Federal Award Information

DRL anticipates having approximately 2,000,000 of HRDF available to support approximately two successful applications submitted in response to this NOFO, subject to the availability of funding. Applicants can submit one application in response to the NOFO.

Applicants should not request less than $500,000 and no more than $1,000.000. Applicants should include an anticipated start date between June 2018 – September 2018 and the period of performance should be between 24 months to 36 months.

The U.S. government may (a) reject any or all applications, (b) accept other than the lowest cost application, (c) accept more than one application, and (d) waive informalities and minor irregularities in applications received.

The U.S. government may make award(s) on the basis of initial applications received, without discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each initial application should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint. The U.S. government reserves the right (though it is not under obligation to do so), however, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional detail, or to suggest refinements in the project description, budget, or other aspects of an application.

DRL anticipates awarding either a grant or cooperative agreement depending on the needs and risk factors of the program. The final determination on mechanism will be made by the Grants Officer. The distinction between grants and cooperative agreements revolves around the existence of “substantial involvement.” Cooperative agreements require greater Federal government participation in the project. If a cooperative agreement is awarded, DRL will undertake reasonable and programmatically necessary substantial involvement. Examples of substantial involvement can include, but are not limited to:

  1. Active participation or collaboration with the recipient in the implementation of the award.
  2. Review and approval of one stage of work before another can begin.
  3. Review and approval of substantive provisions of proposed subawards or contracts.
  4. Approval of the recipient’s budget or plan of work prior to the award.

For projects of $150,000 or less, DRL expects to provide a fixed amount (fixed price) award. Fixed amount awards are generally used when the work to be performed can be priced with a reasonable degree of certainty, the grantee can reliably predict costs based on similar types of work, or the grantee can easily obtain bids or quotes. Appropriate activities for fixed amount awards generally include, but are not limited to: conferences, workshops, surveys, studies, and technical assistance when costs can be separated by milestone. Fixed amount awards should be based upon milestones, which outline a verifiable product, task, deliverable, or goal. Milestones generally include three components: (1) a description of the product, task, deliverable, or goal to be accomplished; (2) a description of how the recipient will document the completion of the product, task, deliverable, or goal (e.g. survey submission, submitting training materials, toolkits or reports); and (3) the amount that DRL will pay the recipient for the deliverable. Accountability is based primarily on performance and meeting milestones. While it is possible to provide flexibility within the milestone timing, the period of performance for fixed amount awards cannot be modified.

The authority for this funding opportunity is found in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA).

C. Eligibility Information

For application information, please see the proposal submission instructions on our website.

C.1 Eligible Applicants

DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be some occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.

Applications submitted by for-profit entities may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process. Additionally, the Department of State generally prohibits profit to for-profit or commercial organizations under its assistance awards. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs. The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR 30, Cost Accounting Standards Administration, and 48 CFR 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.

Please see 2 CFR 200.307 for regulations regarding program income.

C.2 Cost Sharing or Matching

Providing cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not an eligibility factor or requirement for this NOFO, and providing cost share will not result in a more favorable competitive ranking.

C.3 Other

Applicants should have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with thematic or in-country partners, entities and relevant stakeholders, including private sector partners and NGOs, and have demonstrable experience in administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL encourages applications from foreign-based NGOs headquartered in the geographic regions/countries relevant to this NOFO. Applicants may form consortia and submit a combined application. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant with the other members as sub-award partners. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

DRL is committed to an anti-discrimination policy in all of its projects and activities. DRL welcomes applications irrespective of race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other status.

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM)(www.sam.gov) 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.” Additionally no entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM.gov can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List System in SAM.gov to ensure that no ineligible entity is included in their application.

D. Application and Submission Information

D.1 Address to Request Application Package

Applicants can find application forms, kits, or other materials needed to apply on www.grants.gov and SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com) under the announcement title “DRL Labor Program to Combat Slavery in West Africa” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-18-015” Please contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if requesting reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or for security reasons. Please note: reasonable accommodations do not include deadline extensions.

** Applications will be accepted in either grants.gov or SAMS Domestic. However, please note that applicants seeking to submit through SAMS Domestic can only do so after December 8, 2017 on (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Applicants seeking to submit their application on or prior to December 8, 2017 must do so through grants.gov. **

D.2 Content and Form of Application Submission

For all application documents, please ensure:

  1. All documents are in English and all costs are in U.S. dollars. If an original document within the application is in another language, an English translation must be provided (please note: the Department of State, as indicated in 2 CFR 200.111, requires that English is the official language of all award documents. If any document is provided in both English and a foreign language, the English language version is the controlling version);
  2. All pages are numbered, including budgets and attachments;
  3. All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper; and,
  4. All documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins. Captions and footnotes may be 10 point Times New Roman font. Font sizes in charts and tables, including the budget, can be reformatted to fit within 1 page width.

D.2.1 Application Requirements

Complete applications must include the following:

  1. Completed and signed SF-424, SF-424A, and SF-424B forms.
  1. If your organization engages in lobbying the U.S. government including Congress, or pays for another entity to lobby on your behalf, the SF-LLL “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” form is also required.
  1. Cover Page (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word) that includes a table with the name of the organization, project title, target country/countries, thematic area, project synopsis, and name and contact information for the application’s main point of contact.
  1. Executive Summary (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word) that outlines project goals, objectives, and activities.
  1. Table of Contents (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word) listing all documents and attachments, with page numbers.
  1. Proposal Narrative (not to exceed ten [10] pages, preferably in Microsoft Word). Please note the ten page limit does not include the Table of Contents, Cover Page, Attachments, Detailed Budget, Budget Narrative, or Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). Applicants are encouraged to combine multiple documents in a single Word Document or PDF (i.e., Cover Page, Table of Contents, Executive Summary, and Proposal Narrative in one file).
  1. Budget (preferably as an Excel workbook) that includes three [3] columns containing the request to DRL, any cost sharing contribution, and the total budget. A summary budget should also be included using the OMB-approved budget categories (see SF-424A as a sample) in a separate tab. Costs must be in U.S. dollars. Detailed line-item budgets for subgrantees should be included as additional tabs within the Excel workbook (if available at the time of submission).
  1. Budget Narrative (preferably as a Word Document) that includes substantive explanations and justifications for each line-item in the detailed budget spreadsheet, as well as the source and a description of all cost-share offered.
  1. Your organization’s most recent A-133 audit (if applicable), F Audit, or standard audit. Please see Audit section 2F below for more information.
  1. Logic Model (not to exceed two [2] pages, preferably in Microsoft Word).
  1. Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative (not to exceed two [2] pages).
  1. Monitoring and Evaluation Performance Indicator Table (not to exceed four [4] pages in Microsoft Word).
  1. Risk Analysis (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word).
  1. Key Personnel (not to exceed one [1] page total, preferably as a Word Document): Please include short bios that demonstrate relevant professional experience. Given the limited space, CVs are not recommended for submission.
  1. Timeline (not to exceed one [1] page): The timeline of the overall proposal should include activities, evaluation efforts, and program closeout.
  2. Security Plan: if applicable; please refer to the NOFO to see if this is required.

Applications that do not include the elements listed above will be deemed technically ineligible.

D.2.2 Additional Application Documents

Strong applications will also contain the following:

  • Individual Letters of Support and/or Memorandum of Understanding. Letters of support and MOUs must be specific to the project implementation (e.g. from proposed partners or sub-award recipients) and will not count towards the page limit.

Please refer to the Proposal Submission Instructions on DRL’s website for detailed guidance on the documents above: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/275216.pdf. For an application checklist and sample templates please see the Resources page on DRL’s website:http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c72333.htm. The sample templates provided on the DRL website are suggested, but not mandatory.

DRL reserves the right to request additional documents not included in this NOFO. Additionally, to ensure that all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the DRL Review Panel will review from the first page of each section up to the page limit and no further.

Note: If ultimately provided with a notification of non-binding intent to make a Federal award, applicants typically have two to three weeks to provide additional information and documents requested in the notification of intent. The deadlines may vary in each notification of intent and applicants must adhere to the stated deadline in the notification of intent.

D.2.3 Additional Information Requested For Those Receiving Notification of Intent

Successful applicants must submit after notification of intent to make a Federal award, but prior to issuance of a Federal award:

  • Written responses and revised application documents addressing conditions and recommendations from the DRL Review Panel;
  • If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA as a PDF file.
  • Completion of the Department’s Financial Management Survey, if receiving DRL funding for the first time;
  • Submission of required documents to register in the Payment Management System managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, if receiving DRL funding for the first time (unless an exemption is provided);
  • Other requested information or documents included in the notification of intent to make a Federal award or subsequent communications prior to issuance of a Federal award.

D.3 Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

All organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), formerly referred to as DUNS, and an active registration with the SAM.gov before submitting an application. DRL may not review applications from or make awards to applicants that have not completed all applicable UEI and SAM.gov requirements. A 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.

Note: The process of obtaining a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.

  • If you are based in the United States or pay employees within the United States, prior to registering in SAM.gov you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code.
  • If you are based outside of the United States and do not pay employees within the United States, you do not need an EIN from the IRS. However, you will need a NATO CAGE (NCAGE) code before you can have an active registration in SAM.gov.

All organizations must also continue to maintain active SAM.gov registration with current information at all times during which they have an active Federal award or application under consideration by a Federal award agency. SAM.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov and to maintain that active registration. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements at the time of application, the applicant may be deemed unqualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.

For further guidance on the registration process, please see the SAM.gov Registration Guide on DRL’s website: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c72333.htm. Please refer to 2 CFR 25.200 for additional information.

Please note the registration process for SAM.gov is free.

In October 2017, new information was added to the www.SAM.gov website to help international registrations, including “Quick Start Guide for International Registrations” and “Helpful Hints”. Navigate to SAM.gov, click HELP in the top navigation bar, then click International Registrants in the left navigation panel.

D.3.1 Exemptions

An exemption from these requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

  • An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.

* Organizations requesting exemption from SAM.gov, NCAGE, and UEI should email the point of contact in the NOFO. If establishing your SAM.gov account as private rather than public view, please notify DRL at the time of submission.

Note: Foreign organizations will be required to register with the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) to receive a NCAGE code in order to register in SAM.gov. NSPA will forward your registration request to the applicable National Codification Bureau (NCB) if your organization is located in a NATO or Tier 2 Sponsored Non-NATO Nation. As of March 2016, NATO nations included Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States of America; and Tier 2 nations included Australia, Austria, Brazil, Finland, Israel, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Serbia, and Singapore.

NSPA and/or the appropriate NCB forwards all NCAGE code information to all Allied Committee 135 (AC/135) nations, which as of March 2016 also included Afghanistan, Argentina, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Montenegro, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. All organizations are strongly advised to take this into consideration when assessing whether registration may result in possible endangerment.

D.4 Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), on January 12, 2018 on www.grants.gov or SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com) under the announcement title “DRL Labor Programs to Combat Slavery in West Africa” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-18-015.”

** Applications will be accepted in either grants.gov or SAMS Domestic. However, please note that applicants seeking to submit through SAMS Domestic can only do so after December 8, 2017 on (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Applicants seeking to submit their application on or prior to December 8, 2017 must do so through grants.gov. **

Grants.gov and SAMS Domestic automatically log the date and time an application submission is made, and the Department of State will use this information to determine whether an application has been submitted on time. Late applications are neither reviewed nor considered unless the DRL point of contact listed in section G is contacted prior to the deadline and is provided with evidence of system errors caused by www.grants.gov or SAMS Domestic that is outside of the applicant’s control and is the sole reason for a late submission. Applicants should not expect a notification upon DRL receiving their application.

D.5 Funding Restrictions

DRL will not consider applications that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization.

Project activities whose direct beneficiaries are foreign militaries or paramilitary groups or individuals will not be considered for DRL funding given purpose limitations on funding.

The Leahy Law prohibits Department foreign assistance funds from supporting foreign security force units if the Secretary of State has credible information that the unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. Per 22 USC §2378d(a) (2015), “No assistance shall be furnished under this chapter [FOREIGN ASSISTANCE] or the Arms Export Control Act [22 USC 2751 et seq.] to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.” Restrictions may apply to any proposed assistance to police or other law enforcement. Among these, pursuant to section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA), no assistance provided through this funding opportunity may be furnished to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country when there is credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. In accordance with the requirements of section 620M of the FAA, also known as the Leahy law, project beneficiaries or participants from a foreign government’s security forces may need to be vetted by the Department before the provision of any assistance.

If a proposed grant or cooperative agreement will provide assistance to foreign security forces or personnel, compliance with the Leahy Law is required. Federal awards generally will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs; however, the Grants Officer may approve pre-award costs on a case-by-case basis. Generally, construction costs are not allowed under DRL awards. For additional information, please see the DRL Proposal Submission Instructions for Applications using SAMS Domestic Updated October 2017: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/275216.pdf

D.6 Application Submission

All application submissions must be made electronically via www.grants.gov or SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Both systems require registration by the applying organization. Please note: the Grants.gov registration process can take 10 business days or longer, even if all registration steps are completed in a timely manner.

** Applications will be accepted in either grants.gov or SAMS Domestic. However, please note that applicants seeking to submit through SAMS Domestic can only do so after December 8, 2017 on (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Applicants seeking to submit their application on or prior to December 8, 2017 must do so through grants.gov. **

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that it has an active registration in SAMS Domestic or Grants.gov. Applicants are required to document that the application has been received by SAMS Domestic or Grants.gov in its entirety. DRL bears no responsibility for disqualification that result from applicants not being registered before the due date, for system errors in either SAMS Domestic or Grants.gov, or other errors in the application process. Additionally you must save a screen shot of the checklist showing all documents submitted in case any document fails to upload successfully.

Faxed, couriered, or emailed documents will not be accepted. Reasonable accommodations may, in appropriate circumstances, be provided to applicants with disabilities or for security reasons. Applicants must follow all formatting instructions in the applicable NOFO and these instructions.

DRL encourages organizations to submit applications during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00AM – 5:00PM Eastern Time). If an applicant experiences technical difficulties and has contacted the appropriate helpdesk but is not receiving timely assistance (e.g. if you have not received a response within 48 hours of contacting the helpdesk), you may contact the DRL point of contact listed in the NOFO in section G. The point of contact may assist in contacting the appropriate helpdesk, but an applicant should also document their efforts in contacting the helpdesk. Applicants may also contact the DRL point of contact listed in the NOFO if experiencing technical issues with grants.gov or SAMS Domestic that may result in a late submission.

Applicants experiencing technical difficulties should follow these three steps:

  1. Contact the helpdesk for either Grants.gov or SAMS Domestic immediately.
  2. Document (including screenshots) technical issues AND efforts to contact the helpdesk.
  3. Submit all of the required documents to the DRL point of contact listed in the NOFO before the deadline.

Note: The Procurement Office/Grant Office will determine technical eligibility of all applications.

SAMS Domestic Applications:

All applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications via SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com) after December 8, 2017.

Applicants using SAMS Domestic for the first time should complete their “New Organization Registration.” To register with SAMS Domestic, click “Login to https://mygrants.service-now.com” and follow the “create an account” link.

Organizations must remember to save a screen shot of the checklist showing all documents submitted in case any document fails to upload successfully.

SAMS Domestic Help Desk: For assistance with SAMS Domestic accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact the ILMS help desk 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.service-now.com/ilms. Customer Support is available 24/7/365.

Grants.gov Applications Applicants who do not submit applications via SAMS Domestic may submit via www.grants.gov.

Please be advised that completing all the necessary registration steps for obtaining a username and password from Grants.gov can take more than two weeks.

Please refer to the Grants.gov website for definitions of various “application statuses” and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from Grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Additionally you must remember to save a screenshot of the checklist showing all documents submitted in case any document fails to upload successfully.

Grants.gov Helpdesk:

For assistance with Grants.gov, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

See https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/ for a list of federal holidays.

E. Application Review Information

E.1 Proposal Review Criteria

The DRL Review Panel will evaluate each application individually against the following criteria, listed below in order of importance, and not against competing applications. Please use the below criteria as a reference but do not structure your application according to the sub-sections.

Quality of Project Idea

Applications should be responsive to the program framework and policy objectives identified in the NOFO, appropriate in the country/regional context, and should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to DRL’s mission of promoting human rights and democracy. Projects should have the potential to have an immediate impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms. DRL prefers new approaches that do not duplicate efforts by other entities. This does not exclude from consideration projects that improve upon or expand existing successful projects in a new and complementary way. In countries where similar activities are already taking place, an explanation should be provided as to how new activities will not duplicate or merely add to existing activities and how these efforts will be coordinated. Proposals that promote creative approaches to recognized ongoing challenges are highly encouraged. DRL prioritizes project proposals with inclusive approaches for advancing these rights.

Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives

A strong application will include a clear articulation of how the proposed project activities contribute to the overall project objectives, and each activity will be clearly developed and detailed. A comprehensive monthly work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and the logistical capacity of the organization. Objectives should be ambitious yet measurable, results-focused and achievable in a reasonable time frame. A complete application must include a logic model to demonstrate how the project activities will have an impact on its proposed objectives. The logic model should match the objectives, outcomes, key activities and outputs described in the narrative. Applications should address how the project will engage relevant stakeholders and should identify local partners as appropriate.

If local partners have been identified, DRL strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from proposed in-country partners. Additionally, applicants should describe the division of labor among the direct applicant and any local partners. If applicable, applications should identify target geographic areas for activities, target participant groups or selection criteria for participants, and the specific roles of sub-awardees, among other pertinent details.

DRL recognizes that all programs have some level of risk due to internal/external variables that have the potential to adversely affect a program. Risk management should address how the program design incorporates the identification, assessment, and management of key risk factors. DRL will review the risk analysis based on the organization’s ability to identify risks that could have an impact on the overall program as well as how the organization will manage these risks.

Institution’s Record and Capacity

DRL will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Applications should demonstrate an institutional record of successful democracy and human rights programs, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives. Projects should have potential for continued funding beyond DRL resources.

Inclusivity of Marginalized Populations

DRL strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of all persons. The Bureau requests an inclusive programming approach, which should encompass marginalized populations, especially those facing discrimination and violence that undermines society’s collective security. To the extent possible, applicants should identify and support marginalized populations in all proposed project activities and objectives, and should provide specific analysis, measures, and corresponding targets to include them as appropriate. It assumes that interventions will not affect all segments of society in the same way. It requires stakeholders to identify and address the difference between the opportunities and barriers to equality and to design programs in a way that does not perpetuate inequality.

Cost Effectiveness

DRL strongly encourages applicants to clearly demonstrate project cost-effectiveness in their application, including examples of leveraging institutional and other resources. However, cost-sharing or other examples of leveraging other resources are not required. Inclusion of cost-sharing in the budget does not result in additional points awarded during the review process. Budgets should have low and/or reasonable overhead and administration costs, and applicants should provide clear explanations and justifications for these costs in relation to the work involved. All budget items should be clearly explained and justified to demonstrate necessity, appropriateness, and connection to the project objectives.

Please note: If cost-share is included in the budget, the recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs that are claimed as its contribution to cost-share, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. In the event the recipient does not meet the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the recipient’s budget, DRL’s contribution may be reduced in proportion to the recipient’s contribution.

Multiplier Effect/Sustainability

Applications should clearly delineate how elements of the project will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect will have an impact beyond the direct beneficiaries of the grant (e.g. participants trained under a grant go on to train other people; workshop participants use skills from a workshop to enhance a national level election that affects the entire populace). A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating continuing impact beyond the life of a project or garnering other donor support after DRL funding ceases.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Complete applications will include a detailed M&E Narrative and M&E Plan, which detail how the project’s progress will be monitored and evaluated. Incorporating well-designed monitoring and evaluation processes into a project is an efficient method for documenting the change (intended and unintended) that a project seeks. Applications should demonstrate the capacity to provide objectives with measurable outputs and outcomes.

The quality of the M&E sections will be judged on the narrative explaining how both monitoring and evaluation will be carried out and who will be responsible for those related activities. The M&E Narrative should explain how an external evaluation will be incorporated into the project implementation plan or how the project will be systematically assessed in the absence of one. Please see the section on Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative in the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for more information on what is required in the narrative.

The output and outcome-based performance indicators should not only be separated by project objectives but also should match the objectives, outcomes, and outputs detailed in the logic model and proposal narrative. Performance indicators should be clearly defined (i.e., explained how the indicators will be measured and reported) either within the table or with a separate Performance Indicator Reference Sheet (PIRS). For each performance indicator, the table should also include baselines and quarterly and cumulative targets, data collection tools, data sources, types of data disaggregation, and frequency of monitoring and evaluation. There should also be metrics to capture how project activities target those discriminated against or marginalized populations or addresses their concerns, where applicable. Please see the section on Monitoring and Evaluation Plan in the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for more information on what is required in the plan.

E.2 Review and Selection Process

DRL strives to ensure that each application receives a balanced evaluation by a DRL Review Panel. The Department’s Office of Acquisitions Management (AQM) will determine technical eligibility for all applications. All technically eligible applications for a given NOFO are reviewed against the same seven criteria, which include quality of project idea, project planning/ability to achieve objectives, institutional record and capacity, inclusive programming, cost effectiveness, multiplier effect/sustainability, and project monitoring and evaluation.

Additionally, the DRL Review Panel will evaluate how the application addresses the NOFO request, U.S. foreign policy goals, and the priority needs of DRL overall. DRL may also take into consideration the balance of the current portfolio of active projects, including geographic or thematic diversity, if needed.

In most cases, the DRL Review Panel includes representatives from DRL, the appropriate Department of State regional bureau (to include feedback from U.S. embassies), and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (to include feedback from USAID missions). In some cases, additional panelists may participate, including from other Department of State bureaus or offices, U.S. government departments, agencies, or boards, representatives from partner governments, or representatives from entities that are in a public-private partnership with DRL. At the end of the panel’s discussion about an application, the Panel votes on recommending the application for approval by the DRL Assistant Secretary. If more applications are ultimately recommended for approval than DRL can fund, the Panel will rank the recommended applications in priority order for consideration by the DRL Assistant Secretary. The Grants Officer Representative (GOR) for the eventual award does not vote on the panel. All Panelists must sign non-disclosure agreements and conflicts of interest agreements.

DRL Review Panels may provide conditions and recommendations on applications to enhance the proposed project, which must be addressed by the applicant before further consideration of the award. To ensure effective use of DRL funds, conditions or recommendations may include requests to increase, decrease, clarify, and/or justify costs and project activities.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

F.1 Federal Award Notices

DRL will provide a separate notification to applicants on the result of their applications. Successful applicants will receive a letter electronically via email requesting that the applicant respond to Panel conditions and recommendations. This notification is not an authorization to begin activities and does not constitute formal approval or a funding commitment.

Final approval is contingent on the applicant successfully responding to the Panel’s conditions and recommendations, being registered in required systems, including the U.S. government’s Payment Management System (PMS), unless an exemption is provided, and completing and providing any additional documentation requested by DRL or AQM. Final approval is also contingent on Congressional notification requirements being met and final review and approval by the Department’s warranted Grants Officer.

The notice of Federal award signed by the Department’s warranted Grants Officers is the sole authorizing document. If awarded, the notice of Federal award will be provided to the applicant’s designated Authorizing Official via SAMS Domestic to be electronically counter-signed in the system.

F.2 Administrative and National Policy Requirements

The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards set forth in 2 CFR Chapter 200 (Sub-Chapters A through F) shall apply to all non-Federal entities, except for assistance awards to Individuals and Foreign Public Entities. Sub-Chapters A through E shall apply to all foreign organizations, and Sub-Chapters A through D shall apply to all U.S. and foreign for-profit entities.

The applicant/recipient of the award and any sub-recipient under the award must comply with all applicable terms and conditions, in addition to the assurance and certifications made part of the Notice of Award. The Department’s Standard Terms and Conditions can be viewed at https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm.

F.3 Reporting

Applicants should be aware that DRL awards will require that all reports (financial and progress) are uploaded to the grant file in SAMS Domestic on a quarterly basis. The Federal Financial Report (FFR or SF-425) is the required form for the financial reports and must be submitted in PMS as well as a copy from PMS then uploaded to the grant file in SAMS Domestic. The progress reports uploaded to the grant file in SAMS Domestic must a narrative as described below; and Project Indicators (or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the Grants Officer) for the F Framework indicators.

Narrative progress reports should reflect the focus on measuring the project’s impact on the overarching objectives and should be compiled according to the objectives, outcomes, and outputs as outlined in the award’s Scope of Work (SOW) and in the Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative. An assessment of the overall project’s impact should be included in each progress report. Where relevant, progress reports should include the following sections:

  • Relevant contextual information (limited);
  • Explanation and evaluation of significant activities of the reporting period and how the activities reflect progress toward achieving objectives, including meeting benchmarks/targets as set in the M&E plan. In addition, attach the M&E plan, comparing the target and actual numbers for the indicators;
  • Any tangible impact or success stories from the project, when possible;
  • Copy of mid-term and/or final evaluation report(s) conducted by an external evaluator; if applicable;
  • Relevant supporting documentation or products related to the project activities (such as articles, meeting lists and agendas, participant surveys, photos, manuals, etc.) as separate attachments;
  • Description of how the Recipient is pursuing sustainability, including looking for sources of follow-on funding;
  • Any problems/challenges in implementing the project and a corrective action plan with an updated timeline of activities;
  • Reasons why established goals were not met;
  • Data for the required F Framework indicator(s) for the quarter as well as aggregate data by fiscal year: Program Indicators or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the Grants Officer.
  • Proposed activities for the next quarter;
  • Additional pertinent information, including analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs, if applicable.

A final narrative and financial report must also be submitted within 90 days after the expiration of the award.

Please note: Delays in reporting may result in delays of payment approvals and failure to provide required reports may jeopardize the recipient’s’ ability to receive future U.S. government funds.

DRL reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial project information during the award period.

G. Contact Information

For technical submission questions related to this NOFO, please contact the DRLLaborGrants@state.gov inbox.

For assistance with SAMS Domestic accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact the ILMS help desk 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.service-now.com/ilms. Customer Support is available 24/7/365.

Please note, establishing an account in SAMS Domestic may require the use of smartphone for multi-factor authentication (MFA). If an applicant does not have accessibility to a smartphone during the time of creating an account, please contact the helpdesk and request and instructions on MFA for Windows PC.

For assistance with Grants.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

For a list of federal holidays visit:

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/

With the exception of technical submission questions, during the NOFO period U.S. Department of State staff in Washington and overseas shall not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process has been completed and rejection and approval letters have been transmitted.

H. Other Information

Applicants should be aware that DRL understands that some information contained in applications may be considered sensitive or proprietary and will make appropriate efforts to protect such information. However, applicants are advised that DRL cannot guarantee that such information will not be disclosed, including pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or other similar statutes.

The information in this NOFO and “DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions for Applications using SAMS Domestic Updated October 2017” is binding and may not be modified by any DRL representative. Explanatory information provided by DRL that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the NOFO and negotiation of applications does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government. DRL reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets.

This NOFO will appear on www.grants.gov, SAMS Domestic (after December 8, 2017), and DRL’s website http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.

Background Information on DRL and general DRL funding

DRL has the mission of promoting democracy and protecting human rights globally. DRL supports projects that uphold democratic principles, support and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights, prevent atrocities, combat and prevent violent extremism, and build civil society around the world. DRL typically focuses its work in countries with egregious human rights violations, where democracy and human rights advocates are under pressure and where governments are undemocratic or in transition.

Additional background information on DRL and its efforts can be found on www.state.gov/j/drl.

Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): DRL Labor Programs to Combat Slavery in West Africa

This is the announcement of funding opportunity number DRLA-DRLAQM-18-015

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.345

Application Deadline: January 12, 2018

For new application submission instructions, see Section D below.

A. Project Description

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support to combat slavery and assist the reintegration of former slaves into society in West Africa.

Program activities should focus in at least one of these countries and may include, but are not limited to, increasing collaboration among civil society organizations working to promote the rights of current and former slaves; engaging with former slaves, advocates, and civil society organizations to assist former slaves in claiming their rights under existing laws; conducting public awareness campaigns focused on combatting slavery; improving the capacity of legal and judicial professionals to hold slaveholders to account; engaging with key stakeholders to increase non-discriminatory access to services and to vocational training critical to the reintegration of current and former slaves; strengthening advocacy efforts to increase respect for human rights and to expand former slaves’ public and political participation and access to formal identification cards; and supporting civil society organizations working to combat the practice of forced begging, particularly among the talibé population.

DRL intends to support at least two programs with this funding; therefore, proposed budgets should not exceed $1m. Countries may include, but are not limited to, Mauritania, Niger, Mali, and/or Senegal. Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of relevant ongoing USG-funded programs in the countries they are proposing to work, and explain how a new program will build on existing efforts.

Projects should aim to have impact that leads to democratic reforms, and should have the potential for sustainability beyond DRL resources. DRL’s preference is to avoid duplicating past efforts by supporting new and creative approaches. This does not exclude from consideration projects that improve upon or expand existing successful projects in a new and complementary way.

Where appropriate, competitive proposals may include:

  • Systematic follow up with trainees at specific intervals (3 months, 6 months, etc.) after the completion of trainings to track how beneficiaries are retaining new knowledge as well as applying their new skills.
  • Opportunities for trainees to apply their new knowledge and skills in practical efforts.
  • Solicitation of feedback and suggestions from beneficiaries when developing trainings and activities in order to strengthen the sustainability of labor programs and participant ownership of project outcomes.
  • Input from participants on sustainability plans and systematic review of the plans throughout the life of the project with adjustments made as necessary.
  • Inclusion of vulnerable populations in needs and/or rapid assessments in order to identify challenges, gaps, and opportunities among these groups.
  • Joint identification and definition of key concepts with relevant stakeholders and stakeholder input into project activities.

To maximize the impact and sustainability of the award(s) that result(s) from this NOFO, DRL reserves the right to execute a non-competitive continuation amendment(s). The total duration of any award, including a potential non-competitive continuation amendment(s), shall not exceed 60 months or five years. Any non-competitive continuation is contingent on performance and availability of funds. A non-competitive continuation is not guaranteed; the Department of State reserves the right to exercise or not exercise the option to issue non-competitive continuation amendment(s).

Activities that are not typically considered competitive include, but are not limited to:

  • The provision of large amounts of humanitarian assistance;
  • English language instruction;
  • Development of high-tech computer or communications software and/or hardware;
  • Purely academic exchanges or fellowships;
  • External exchanges or fellowships lasting longer than six months;
  • Off-shore activities that are not clearly linked to in-country initiatives and impact or are not necessary for security concerns;
  • Theoretical explorations of human rights or democracy issues, including projects aimed primarily at research and evaluation that do not incorporate training or capacity-building for local civil society;
  • Micro-loans or similar small business development initiatives;
  • Initiatives directed towards a diaspora community rather than current residents of targeted countries.

DRL may ask successful applicant(s) to incorporate coordination of an implementer and stakeholder meeting into the Scope of Work of the final project. DRL will discuss this possibility with particular applicant(s) during the proposal negotiation phase.

B. Federal Award Information

DRL anticipates having approximately 2,000,000 of HRDF available to support approximately two successful applications submitted in response to this NOFO, subject to the availability of funding. Applicants can submit one application in response to the NOFO.

Applicants should not request less than $500,000 and no more than $1,000.000. Applicants should include an anticipated start date between June 2018 – September 2018 and the period of performance should be between 24 months to 36 months.

The U.S. government may (a) reject any or all applications, (b) accept other than the lowest cost application, (c) accept more than one application, and (d) waive informalities and minor irregularities in applications received.

The U.S. government may make award(s) on the basis of initial applications received, without discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each initial application should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint. The U.S. government reserves the right (though it is not under obligation to do so), however, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional detail, or to suggest refinements in the project description, budget, or other aspects of an application.

DRL anticipates awarding either a grant or cooperative agreement depending on the needs and risk factors of the program. The final determination on mechanism will be made by the Grants Officer. The distinction between grants and cooperative agreements revolves around the existence of “substantial involvement.” Cooperative agreements require greater Federal government participation in the project. If a cooperative agreement is awarded, DRL will undertake reasonable and programmatically necessary substantial involvement. Examples of substantial involvement can include, but are not limited to:

  1. Active participation or collaboration with the recipient in the implementation of the award.
  2. Review and approval of one stage of work before another can begin.
  3. Review and approval of substantive provisions of proposed subawards or contracts.
  4. Approval of the recipient’s budget or plan of work prior to the award.

For projects of $150,000 or less, DRL expects to provide a fixed amount (fixed price) award. Fixed amount awards are generally used when the work to be performed can be priced with a reasonable degree of certainty, the grantee can reliably predict costs based on similar types of work, or the grantee can easily obtain bids or quotes. Appropriate activities for fixed amount awards generally include, but are not limited to: conferences, workshops, surveys, studies, and technical assistance when costs can be separated by milestone. Fixed amount awards should be based upon milestones, which outline a verifiable product, task, deliverable, or goal. Milestones generally include three components: (1) a description of the product, task, deliverable, or goal to be accomplished; (2) a description of how the recipient will document the completion of the product, task, deliverable, or goal (e.g. survey submission, submitting training materials, toolkits or reports); and (3) the amount that DRL will pay the recipient for the deliverable. Accountability is based primarily on performance and meeting milestones. While it is possible to provide flexibility within the milestone timing, the period of performance for fixed amount awards cannot be modified.

The authority for this funding opportunity is found in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA).

C. Eligibility Information

For application information, please see the proposal submission instructions on our website.

C.1 Eligible Applicants

DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be some occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.

Applications submitted by for-profit entities may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process. Additionally, the Department of State generally prohibits profit to for-profit or commercial organizations under its assistance awards. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs. The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR 30, Cost Accounting Standards Administration, and 48 CFR 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.

Please see 2 CFR 200.307 for regulations regarding program income.

C.2 Cost Sharing or Matching

Providing cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not an eligibility factor or requirement for this NOFO, and providing cost share will not result in a more favorable competitive ranking.

C.3 Other

Applicants should have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with thematic or in-country partners, entities and relevant stakeholders, including private sector partners and NGOs, and have demonstrable experience in administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL encourages applications from foreign-based NGOs headquartered in the geographic regions/countries relevant to this NOFO. Applicants may form consortia and submit a combined application. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant with the other members as sub-award partners. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

DRL is committed to an anti-discrimination policy in all of its projects and activities. DRL welcomes applications irrespective of race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other status.

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM)(www.sam.gov) 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.” Additionally no entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM.gov can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List System in SAM.gov to ensure that no ineligible entity is included in their application.

D. Application and Submission Information

D.1 Address to Request Application Package

Applicants can find application forms, kits, or other materials needed to apply on www.grants.gov and SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com) under the announcement title “DRL Labor Program to Combat Slavery in West Africa” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-18-015” Please contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if requesting reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or for security reasons. Please note: reasonable accommodations do not include deadline extensions.

** Applications will be accepted in either grants.gov or SAMS Domestic. However, please note that applicants seeking to submit through SAMS Domestic can only do so after December 8, 2017 on (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Applicants seeking to submit their application on or prior to December 8, 2017 must do so through grants.gov. **

D.2 Content and Form of Application Submission

For all application documents, please ensure:

  1. All documents are in English and all costs are in U.S. dollars. If an original document within the application is in another language, an English translation must be provided (please note: the Department of State, as indicated in 2 CFR 200.111, requires that English is the official language of all award documents. If any document is provided in both English and a foreign language, the English language version is the controlling version);
  2. All pages are numbered, including budgets and attachments;
  3. All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper; and,
  4. All documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins. Captions and footnotes may be 10 point Times New Roman font. Font sizes in charts and tables, including the budget, can be reformatted to fit within 1 page width.

D.2.1 Application Requirements

Complete applications must include the following:

  1. Completed and signed SF-424, SF-424A, and SF-424B forms.
  1. If your organization engages in lobbying the U.S. government including Congress, or pays for another entity to lobby on your behalf, the SF-LLL “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” form is also required.
  1. Cover Page (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word) that includes a table with the name of the organization, project title, target country/countries, thematic area, project synopsis, and name and contact information for the application’s main point of contact.
  1. Executive Summary (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word) that outlines project goals, objectives, and activities.
  1. Table of Contents (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word) listing all documents and attachments, with page numbers.
  1. Proposal Narrative (not to exceed ten [10] pages, preferably in Microsoft Word). Please note the ten page limit does not include the Table of Contents, Cover Page, Attachments, Detailed Budget, Budget Narrative, or Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). Applicants are encouraged to combine multiple documents in a single Word Document or PDF (i.e., Cover Page, Table of Contents, Executive Summary, and Proposal Narrative in one file).
  1. Budget (preferably as an Excel workbook) that includes three [3] columns containing the request to DRL, any cost sharing contribution, and the total budget. A summary budget should also be included using the OMB-approved budget categories (see SF-424A as a sample) in a separate tab. Costs must be in U.S. dollars. Detailed line-item budgets for subgrantees should be included as additional tabs within the Excel workbook (if available at the time of submission).
  1. Budget Narrative (preferably as a Word Document) that includes substantive explanations and justifications for each line-item in the detailed budget spreadsheet, as well as the source and a description of all cost-share offered.
  1. Your organization’s most recent A-133 audit (if applicable), F Audit, or standard audit. Please see Audit section 2F below for more information.
  1. Logic Model (not to exceed two [2] pages, preferably in Microsoft Word).
  1. Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative (not to exceed two [2] pages).
  1. Monitoring and Evaluation Performance Indicator Table (not to exceed four [4] pages in Microsoft Word).
  1. Risk Analysis (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word).
  1. Key Personnel (not to exceed one [1] page total, preferably as a Word Document): Please include short bios that demonstrate relevant professional experience. Given the limited space, CVs are not recommended for submission.
  1. Timeline (not to exceed one [1] page): The timeline of the overall proposal should include activities, evaluation efforts, and program closeout.
  2. Security Plan: if applicable; please refer to the NOFO to see if this is required.

Applications that do not include the elements listed above will be deemed technically ineligible.

D.2.2 Additional Application Documents

Strong applications will also contain the following:

  • Individual Letters of Support and/or Memorandum of Understanding. Letters of support and MOUs must be specific to the project implementation (e.g. from proposed partners or sub-award recipients) and will not count towards the page limit.

Please refer to the Proposal Submission Instructions on DRL’s website for detailed guidance on the documents above: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/275216.pdf. For an application checklist and sample templates please see the Resources page on DRL’s website:http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c72333.htm. The sample templates provided on the DRL website are suggested, but not mandatory.

DRL reserves the right to request additional documents not included in this NOFO. Additionally, to ensure that all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the DRL Review Panel will review from the first page of each section up to the page limit and no further.

Note: If ultimately provided with a notification of non-binding intent to make a Federal award, applicants typically have two to three weeks to provide additional information and documents requested in the notification of intent. The deadlines may vary in each notification of intent and applicants must adhere to the stated deadline in the notification of intent.

D.2.3 Additional Information Requested For Those Receiving Notification of Intent

Successful applicants must submit after notification of intent to make a Federal award, but prior to issuance of a Federal award:

  • Written responses and revised application documents addressing conditions and recommendations from the DRL Review Panel;
  • If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA as a PDF file.
  • Completion of the Department’s Financial Management Survey, if receiving DRL funding for the first time;
  • Submission of required documents to register in the Payment Management System managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, if receiving DRL funding for the first time (unless an exemption is provided);
  • Other requested information or documents included in the notification of intent to make a Federal award or subsequent communications prior to issuance of a Federal award.

D.3 Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

All organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), formerly referred to as DUNS, and an active registration with the SAM.gov before submitting an application. DRL may not review applications from or make awards to applicants that have not completed all applicable UEI and SAM.gov requirements. A 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.

Note: The process of obtaining a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.

  • If you are based in the United States or pay employees within the United States, prior to registering in SAM.gov you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code.
  • If you are based outside of the United States and do not pay employees within the United States, you do not need an EIN from the IRS. However, you will need a NATO CAGE (NCAGE) code before you can have an active registration in SAM.gov.

All organizations must also continue to maintain active SAM.gov registration with current information at all times during which they have an active Federal award or application under consideration by a Federal award agency. SAM.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov and to maintain that active registration. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements at the time of application, the applicant may be deemed unqualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.

For further guidance on the registration process, please see the SAM.gov Registration Guide on DRL’s website: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c72333.htm. Please refer to 2 CFR 25.200 for additional information.

Please note the registration process for SAM.gov is free.

In October 2017, new information was added to the www.SAM.gov website to help international registrations, including “Quick Start Guide for International Registrations” and “Helpful Hints”. Navigate to SAM.gov, click HELP in the top navigation bar, then click International Registrants in the left navigation panel.

D.3.1 Exemptions

An exemption from these requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

  • An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.

* Organizations requesting exemption from SAM.gov, NCAGE, and UEI should email the point of contact in the NOFO. If establishing your SAM.gov account as private rather than public view, please notify DRL at the time of submission.

Note: Foreign organizations will be required to register with the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) to receive a NCAGE code in order to register in SAM.gov. NSPA will forward your registration request to the applicable National Codification Bureau (NCB) if your organization is located in a NATO or Tier 2 Sponsored Non-NATO Nation. As of March 2016, NATO nations included Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States of America; and Tier 2 nations included Australia, Austria, Brazil, Finland, Israel, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Serbia, and Singapore.

NSPA and/or the appropriate NCB forwards all NCAGE code information to all Allied Committee 135 (AC/135) nations, which as of March 2016 also included Afghanistan, Argentina, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Montenegro, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. All organizations are strongly advised to take this into consideration when assessing whether registration may result in possible endangerment.

D.4 Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), on January 12, 2018 on www.grants.gov or SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com) under the announcement title “DRL Labor Programs to Combat Slavery in West Africa” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-18-015.”

** Applications will be accepted in either grants.gov or SAMS Domestic. However, please note that applicants seeking to submit through SAMS Domestic can only do so after December 8, 2017 on (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Applicants seeking to submit their application on or prior to December 8, 2017 must do so through grants.gov. **

Grants.gov and SAMS Domestic automatically log the date and time an application submission is made, and the Department of State will use this information to determine whether an application has been submitted on time. Late applications are neither reviewed nor considered unless the DRL point of contact listed in section G is contacted prior to the deadline and is provided with evidence of system errors caused by www.grants.gov or SAMS Domestic that is outside of the applicant’s control and is the sole reason for a late submission. Applicants should not expect a notification upon DRL receiving their application.

D.5 Funding Restrictions

DRL will not consider applications that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization.

Project activities whose direct beneficiaries are foreign militaries or paramilitary groups or individuals will not be considered for DRL funding given purpose limitations on funding.

The Leahy Law prohibits Department foreign assistance funds from supporting foreign security force units if the Secretary of State has credible information that the unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. Per 22 USC §2378d(a) (2015), “No assistance shall be furnished under this chapter [FOREIGN ASSISTANCE] or the Arms Export Control Act [22 USC 2751 et seq.] to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.” Restrictions may apply to any proposed assistance to police or other law enforcement. Among these, pursuant to section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA), no assistance provided through this funding opportunity may be furnished to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country when there is credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. In accordance with the requirements of section 620M of the FAA, also known as the Leahy law, project beneficiaries or participants from a foreign government’s security forces may need to be vetted by the Department before the provision of any assistance.

If a proposed grant or cooperative agreement will provide assistance to foreign security forces or personnel, compliance with the Leahy Law is required. Federal awards generally will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs; however, the Grants Officer may approve pre-award costs on a case-by-case basis. Generally, construction costs are not allowed under DRL awards. For additional information, please see the DRL Proposal Submission Instructions for Applications using SAMS Domestic Updated October 2017: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/275216.pdf

D.6 Application Submission

All application submissions must be made electronically via www.grants.gov or SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Both systems require registration by the applying organization. Please note: the Grants.gov registration process can take 10 business days or longer, even if all registration steps are completed in a timely manner.

** Applications will be accepted in either grants.gov or SAMS Domestic. However, please note that applicants seeking to submit through SAMS Domestic can only do so after December 8, 2017 on (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Applicants seeking to submit their application on or prior to December 8, 2017 must do so through grants.gov. **

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that it has an active registration in SAMS Domestic or Grants.gov. Applicants are required to document that the application has been received by SAMS Domestic or Grants.gov in its entirety. DRL bears no responsibility for disqualification that result from applicants not being registered before the due date, for system errors in either SAMS Domestic or Grants.gov, or other errors in the application process. Additionally you must save a screen shot of the checklist showing all documents submitted in case any document fails to upload successfully.

Faxed, couriered, or emailed documents will not be accepted. Reasonable accommodations may, in appropriate circumstances, be provided to applicants with disabilities or for security reasons. Applicants must follow all formatting instructions in the applicable NOFO and these instructions.

DRL encourages organizations to submit applications during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00AM – 5:00PM Eastern Time). If an applicant experiences technical difficulties and has contacted the appropriate helpdesk but is not receiving timely assistance (e.g. if you have not received a response within 48 hours of contacting the helpdesk), you may contact the DRL point of contact listed in the NOFO in section G. The point of contact may assist in contacting the appropriate helpdesk, but an applicant should also document their efforts in contacting the helpdesk. Applicants may also contact the DRL point of contact listed in the NOFO if experiencing technical issues with grants.gov or SAMS Domestic that may result in a late submission.

Applicants experiencing technical difficulties should follow these three steps:

  1. Contact the helpdesk for either Grants.gov or SAMS Domestic immediately.
  2. Document (including screenshots) technical issues AND efforts to contact the helpdesk.
  3. Submit all of the required documents to the DRL point of contact listed in the NOFO before the deadline.

Note: The Procurement Office/Grant Office will determine technical eligibility of all applications.

SAMS Domestic Applications:

All applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications via SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com) after December 8, 2017.

Applicants using SAMS Domestic for the first time should complete their “New Organization Registration.” To register with SAMS Domestic, click “Login to https://mygrants.service-now.com” and follow the “create an account” link.

Organizations must remember to save a screen shot of the checklist showing all documents submitted in case any document fails to upload successfully.

SAMS Domestic Help Desk: For assistance with SAMS Domestic accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact the ILMS help desk 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.service-now.com/ilms. Customer Support is available 24/7/365.

Grants.gov Applications Applicants who do not submit applications via SAMS Domestic may submit via www.grants.gov.

Please be advised that completing all the necessary registration steps for obtaining a username and password from Grants.gov can take more than two weeks.

Please refer to the Grants.gov website for definitions of various “application statuses” and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from Grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Additionally you must remember to save a screenshot of the checklist showing all documents submitted in case any document fails to upload successfully.

Grants.gov Helpdesk:

For assistance with Grants.gov, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

See https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/ for a list of federal holidays.

E. Application Review Information

E.1 Proposal Review Criteria

The DRL Review Panel will evaluate each application individually against the following criteria, listed below in order of importance, and not against competing applications. Please use the below criteria as a reference but do not structure your application according to the sub-sections.

Quality of Project Idea

Applications should be responsive to the program framework and policy objectives identified in the NOFO, appropriate in the country/regional context, and should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to DRL’s mission of promoting human rights and democracy. Projects should have the potential to have an immediate impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms. DRL prefers new approaches that do not duplicate efforts by other entities. This does not exclude from consideration projects that improve upon or expand existing successful projects in a new and complementary way. In countries where similar activities are already taking place, an explanation should be provided as to how new activities will not duplicate or merely add to existing activities and how these efforts will be coordinated. Proposals that promote creative approaches to recognized ongoing challenges are highly encouraged. DRL prioritizes project proposals with inclusive approaches for advancing these rights.

Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives

A strong application will include a clear articulation of how the proposed project activities contribute to the overall project objectives, and each activity will be clearly developed and detailed. A comprehensive monthly work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and the logistical capacity of the organization. Objectives should be ambitious yet measurable, results-focused and achievable in a reasonable time frame. A complete application must include a logic model to demonstrate how the project activities will have an impact on its proposed objectives. The logic model should match the objectives, outcomes, key activities and outputs described in the narrative. Applications should address how the project will engage relevant stakeholders and should identify local partners as appropriate.

If local partners have been identified, DRL strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from proposed in-country partners. Additionally, applicants should describe the division of labor among the direct applicant and any local partners. If applicable, applications should identify target geographic areas for activities, target participant groups or selection criteria for participants, and the specific roles of sub-awardees, among other pertinent details.

DRL recognizes that all programs have some level of risk due to internal/external variables that have the potential to adversely affect a program. Risk management should address how the program design incorporates the identification, assessment, and management of key risk factors. DRL will review the risk analysis based on the organization’s ability to identify risks that could have an impact on the overall program as well as how the organization will manage these risks.

Institution’s Record and Capacity

DRL will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Applications should demonstrate an institutional record of successful democracy and human rights programs, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives. Projects should have potential for continued funding beyond DRL resources.

Inclusivity of Marginalized Populations

DRL strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of all persons. The Bureau requests an inclusive programming approach, which should encompass marginalized populations, especially those facing discrimination and violence that undermines society’s collective security. To the extent possible, applicants should identify and support marginalized populations in all proposed project activities and objectives, and should provide specific analysis, measures, and corresponding targets to include them as appropriate. It assumes that interventions will not affect all segments of society in the same way. It requires stakeholders to identify and address the difference between the opportunities and barriers to equality and to design programs in a way that does not perpetuate inequality.

Cost Effectiveness

DRL strongly encourages applicants to clearly demonstrate project cost-effectiveness in their application, including examples of leveraging institutional and other resources. However, cost-sharing or other examples of leveraging other resources are not required. Inclusion of cost-sharing in the budget does not result in additional points awarded during the review process. Budgets should have low and/or reasonable overhead and administration costs, and applicants should provide clear explanations and justifications for these costs in relation to the work involved. All budget items should be clearly explained and justified to demonstrate necessity, appropriateness, and connection to the project objectives.

Please note: If cost-share is included in the budget, the recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs that are claimed as its contribution to cost-share, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. In the event the recipient does not meet the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the recipient’s budget, DRL’s contribution may be reduced in proportion to the recipient’s contribution.

Multiplier Effect/Sustainability

Applications should clearly delineate how elements of the project will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect will have an impact beyond the direct beneficiaries of the grant (e.g. participants trained under a grant go on to train other people; workshop participants use skills from a workshop to enhance a national level election that affects the entire populace). A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating continuing impact beyond the life of a project or garnering other donor support after DRL funding ceases.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Complete applications will include a detailed M&E Narrative and M&E Plan, which detail how the project’s progress will be monitored and evaluated. Incorporating well-designed monitoring and evaluation processes into a project is an efficient method for documenting the change (intended and unintended) that a project seeks. Applications should demonstrate the capacity to provide objectives with measurable outputs and outcomes.

The quality of the M&E sections will be judged on the narrative explaining how both monitoring and evaluation will be carried out and who will be responsible for those related activities. The M&E Narrative should explain how an external evaluation will be incorporated into the project implementation plan or how the project will be systematically assessed in the absence of one. Please see the section on Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative in the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for more information on what is required in the narrative.

The output and outcome-based performance indicators should not only be separated by project objectives but also should match the objectives, outcomes, and outputs detailed in the logic model and proposal narrative. Performance indicators should be clearly defined (i.e., explained how the indicators will be measured and reported) either within the table or with a separate Performance Indicator Reference Sheet (PIRS). For each performance indicator, the table should also include baselines and quarterly and cumulative targets, data collection tools, data sources, types of data disaggregation, and frequency of monitoring and evaluation. There should also be metrics to capture how project activities target those discriminated against or marginalized populations or addresses their concerns, where applicable. Please see the section on Monitoring and Evaluation Plan in the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for more information on what is required in the plan.

E.2 Review and Selection Process

DRL strives to ensure that each application receives a balanced evaluation by a DRL Review Panel. The Department’s Office of Acquisitions Management (AQM) will determine technical eligibility for all applications. All technically eligible applications for a given NOFO are reviewed against the same seven criteria, which include quality of project idea, project planning/ability to achieve objectives, institutional record and capacity, inclusive programming, cost effectiveness, multiplier effect/sustainability, and project monitoring and evaluation.

Additionally, the DRL Review Panel will evaluate how the application addresses the NOFO request, U.S. foreign policy goals, and the priority needs of DRL overall. DRL may also take into consideration the balance of the current portfolio of active projects, including geographic or thematic diversity, if needed.

In most cases, the DRL Review Panel includes representatives from DRL, the appropriate Department of State regional bureau (to include feedback from U.S. embassies), and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (to include feedback from USAID missions). In some cases, additional panelists may participate, including from other Department of State bureaus or offices, U.S. government departments, agencies, or boards, representatives from partner governments, or representatives from entities that are in a public-private partnership with DRL. At the end of the panel’s discussion about an application, the Panel votes on recommending the application for approval by the DRL Assistant Secretary. If more applications are ultimately recommended for approval than DRL can fund, the Panel will rank the recommended applications in priority order for consideration by the DRL Assistant Secretary. The Grants Officer Representative (GOR) for the eventual award does not vote on the panel. All Panelists must sign non-disclosure agreements and conflicts of interest agreements.

DRL Review Panels may provide conditions and recommendations on applications to enhance the proposed project, which must be addressed by the applicant before further consideration of the award. To ensure effective use of DRL funds, conditions or recommendations may include requests to increase, decrease, clarify, and/or justify costs and project activities.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

F.1 Federal Award Notices

DRL will provide a separate notification to applicants on the result of their applications. Successful applicants will receive a letter electronically via email requesting that the applicant respond to Panel conditions and recommendations. This notification is not an authorization to begin activities and does not constitute formal approval or a funding commitment.

Final approval is contingent on the applicant successfully responding to the Panel’s conditions and recommendations, being registered in required systems, including the U.S. government’s Payment Management System (PMS), unless an exemption is provided, and completing and providing any additional documentation requested by DRL or AQM. Final approval is also contingent on Congressional notification requirements being met and final review and approval by the Department’s warranted Grants Officer.

The notice of Federal award signed by the Department’s warranted Grants Officers is the sole authorizing document. If awarded, the notice of Federal award will be provided to the applicant’s designated Authorizing Official via SAMS Domestic to be electronically counter-signed in the system.

F.2 Administrative and National Policy Requirements

The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards set forth in 2 CFR Chapter 200 (Sub-Chapters A through F) shall apply to all non-Federal entities, except for assistance awards to Individuals and Foreign Public Entities. Sub-Chapters A through E shall apply to all foreign organizations, and Sub-Chapters A through D shall apply to all U.S. and foreign for-profit entities.

The applicant/recipient of the award and any sub-recipient under the award must comply with all applicable terms and conditions, in addition to the assurance and certifications made part of the Notice of Award. The Department’s Standard Terms and Conditions can be viewed at https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm.

F.3 Reporting

Applicants should be aware that DRL awards will require that all reports (financial and progress) are uploaded to the grant file in SAMS Domestic on a quarterly basis. The Federal Financial Report (FFR or SF-425) is the required form for the financial reports and must be submitted in PMS as well as a copy from PMS then uploaded to the grant file in SAMS Domestic. The progress reports uploaded to the grant file in SAMS Domestic must a narrative as described below; and Project Indicators (or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the Grants Officer) for the F Framework indicators.

Narrative progress reports should reflect the focus on measuring the project’s impact on the overarching objectives and should be compiled according to the objectives, outcomes, and outputs as outlined in the award’s Scope of Work (SOW) and in the Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative. An assessment of the overall project’s impact should be included in each progress report. Where relevant, progress reports should include the following sections:

  • Relevant contextual information (limited);
  • Explanation and evaluation of significant activities of the reporting period and how the activities reflect progress toward achieving objectives, including meeting benchmarks/targets as set in the M&E plan. In addition, attach the M&E plan, comparing the target and actual numbers for the indicators;
  • Any tangible impact or success stories from the project, when possible;
  • Copy of mid-term and/or final evaluation report(s) conducted by an external evaluator; if applicable;
  • Relevant supporting documentation or products related to the project activities (such as articles, meeting lists and agendas, participant surveys, photos, manuals, etc.) as separate attachments;
  • Description of how the Recipient is pursuing sustainability, including looking for sources of follow-on funding;
  • Any problems/challenges in implementing the project and a corrective action plan with an updated timeline of activities;
  • Reasons why established goals were not met;
  • Data for the required F Framework indicator(s) for the quarter as well as aggregate data by fiscal year: Program Indicators or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the Grants Officer.
  • Proposed activities for the next quarter;
  • Additional pertinent information, including analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs, if applicable.

A final narrative and financial report must also be submitted within 90 days after the expiration of the award.

Please note: Delays in reporting may result in delays of payment approvals and failure to provide required reports may jeopardize the recipient’s’ ability to receive future U.S. government funds.

DRL reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial project information during the award period.

G. Contact Information

For technical submission questions related to this NOFO, please contact the DRLLaborGrants@state.gov inbox.

For assistance with SAMS Domestic accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact the ILMS help desk 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.service-now.com/ilms. Customer Support is available 24/7/365.

Please note, establishing an account in SAMS Domestic may require the use of smartphone for multi-factor authentication (MFA). If an applicant does not have accessibility to a smartphone during the time of creating an account, please contact the helpdesk and request and instructions on MFA for Windows PC.

For assistance with Grants.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

For a list of federal holidays visit:

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/

With the exception of technical submission questions, during the NOFO period U.S. Department of State staff in Washington and overseas shall not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process has been completed and rejection and approval letters have been transmitted.

H. Other Information

Applicants should be aware that DRL understands that some information contained in applications may be considered sensitive or proprietary and will make appropriate efforts to protect such information. However, applicants are advised that DRL cannot guarantee that such information will not be disclosed, including pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or other similar statutes.

The information in this NOFO and “DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions for Applications using SAMS Domestic Updated October 2017” is binding and may not be modified by any DRL representative. Explanatory information provided by DRL that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the NOFO and negotiation of applications does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government. DRL reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets.

This NOFO will appear on www.grants.gov, SAMS Domestic (after December 8, 2017), and DRL’s website http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.

Background Information on DRL and general DRL funding

DRL has the mission of promoting democracy and protecting human rights globally. DRL supports projects that uphold democratic principles, support and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights, prevent atrocities, combat and prevent violent extremism, and build civil society around the world. DRL typically focuses its work in countries with egregious human rights violations, where democracy and human rights advocates are under pressure and where governments are undemocratic or in transition.

Additional background information on DRL and its efforts can be found on www.state.gov/j/drl.

Smithfield Foods and Northwestern Selecta Donate More Than 12,000 Pounds of Protein to Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Efforts

SMITHFIELD, Va., Oct. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Smithfield Foods Inc. has partnered with Northwestern Selecta, Puerto Rico’s leading importer and distributer of frozen and refrigerated foods, to donate more than 12,000 pounds of protein to support The Salvation Army’s ongoing disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico. The donation was part of Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes® initiative, a program committed to alleviating hunger and helping individuals become more food secure.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/39d7bc1e-9c74-4888-91cf-fb5f07d86615“We are proud to partner with Smithfield to help our communities recover and rebuild,” said Maria Fuster, a representative for Northwestern Selecta. “With help from Smithfield, we’re able to make a positive difference during the island’s recovery. This donation of food, one of the most essential needs during extreme conditions, will provide nourishment to our neighbors in desperate need.”According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) more than one-fourth of the island’s residents are without running water, under 20 percent have electricity, and many roadways remain inaccessible. These factors prevent the 3.4 million residents impacted by the recent hurricanes from acquiring basic essentials, including proper nutrition.“Puerto Rico is still in an unbelievable state of emergency,” said Dennis Pittman, senior director of hunger relief for Smithfield Foods. “As a global food company, we understand the immediate need for nutritious protein, and recognize all donations during this time can be life-changing.”Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes® initiative works to fight hunger by donating protein to disaster relief and community outreach programs, food banks and school nutrition programs across the country. Since 2011, Smithfield Foods has provided more than 80 million servings of protein to hunger-relief organizations coast-to-coast through this initiative. For more information about Smithfield Foods’ Helping Hungry Homes® initiative, visit helpinghungryhomes.com.About Smithfield Foods Inc.
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield, Eckrich, Nathan’s Famous, Farmland, Armour, John Morrell, Cook’s, Kretschmar, Gwaltney, Curly’s, Margherita, Carando, Healthy Ones, Krakus, Morliny and Berlinki. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.
About Northwestern Selecta
Northwestern Selecta is Puerto Rico’s leading meat and seafood importer. Northwestern Selecta is dedicated to the importation and distribution of frozen and refrigerated foods to retailers and foodservice operators in Puerto Rico. It is the mission of Northwestern Selecta to be the preferred food supplier to customers through the most effective levels of importing, processing, and distribution. Visit www.northwesternselecta.com or call 787-781-1950 to learn more.
Media Contacts:

Project Hercules Gets Stronger

With Phase I results cleared, Phase II trials now in company’s sights

LAWRENCE, MA, USA, October 31, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Today Rubix LS announces that the initial study results of the Phase I trials for Project Hercules has now been accepted by the FDA to move towards Phase II trials. Project Hercules, the flagship product for Rubix LS, is an amalgamation of merging a physical bio-absorbable implantable device with macro-protein compound fibrous nano-matrix tissue to spurn regeneration from tissue and bone cavitation.

Compared to traditional surgical osteogenesis techniques, Project Hercules has yielded a heralding 98% patient yield in the regeneration of bone cavitation stemmed from per-trochanteric & intertrochanteric hip fractures. With the current osteogenic procedures needing plates, screws, nails and accessories; Project Hercules has proven to mitigate the need for multi-assembly procedures and any adverse re-insertions. Under patient interaction, Project Hercules has decreased time the time for normal human factor function by 110 days.

“We’re absolutely amazed how far Project Hercules has transitioned to a patient interface by way of a Department of Defense Innovation Fund. To know that the impact that this combination device can make, for future patients so that we can move toward a world where everyone will walk normally is astounding,” said Reginald Swift, Founder & CEO of Rubix LS. “Our humble beginnings and vision will help to permeate the vision we’ve been looking for”

Stacy Arrazcaeta
Rubix LS
978-655-6770
email us here

7 Days to go until Global MilSatCom 2017

Register now at www.globalmilsatcom.com/EIN

Register now at www.globalmilsatcom.com/EIN

Europe’s leading event for defence and military satellite professionals will take place on 7-9 November at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM, October 31, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — SMi Group’s 19th Global MilSatCom Conference & Exhibition will open doors next week, with an expected attendance of over 500 delegates from nations and organisations including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA and more.

Military attendees are at an all-time high, with nearly 150 representatives from a global audience of armed forces.

Featuring the show’s best-to-date agenda, the three-day conference will provide delegates with over 40 presentations from leading commercial players as well as military and government personnel. An expert speaker list of over 50 industry movers and shakers will host exclusive presentations on core developing themes for MilSatCom this year, including GovSatCom, Wideband AoA, and ground segment innovations.

This year’s programme is inarguably the best and most international in the event’s history,” SMi Managing Director Dale Butler said. “Delegate numbers are up by 30% and the event is looking to attract around 500 attendees this year, which will be a new record for the conference series.”

Described as “the best networking event” by its audience, delegates will also have the opportunity to meet and network with the Who’s Who of the global milsatcom landscape through dedicated networking sessions hosted by SES, Airbus, Lockheed Martin and Eutelsat.

The full roster of speakers and presentations can be found on www.globalmilsatcom.com/ein.

For those interested to attend, there is still a limited number of spaces left. Registration information can be found on the website.

19th Global MilSatCom Conference and Exhibition
7-9 November 2017
Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, London, UK

—ENDS—
Contact Information:
For queries on military bookings, contact James Hitchen on jhitchen@smi-online.co.uk. For sponsorship and exhibition details, contact Alia Malick on amalick@smi-online.co.uk. For media enquiries contact Honey de Gracia on hdegracia@smi-online.co.uk.

About SMi Group:

Established since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the world’s most forward thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at http://www.smi-online.co.uk

Honey de Gracia
SMi Group Ltd
+44 (0)20 7827 6102
email us here

New Vitae Wellness Foundation Hosts Complimentary Training on ‘Recovering from Military Trauma’ for Veterans

PR Urgent - Press Release News Wire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date and time: November 13 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Location: Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Auditorium, 1200 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Allentown, PA 18103

Details: New Vitae Wellness Foundation, in partnership with Lehigh Valley Health Network, Marywood University, Shamrock Reins, and New Vitae Wellness and Recovery, invites veterans and advocates to a free program on Nov. 13, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The presentation will address treatment and support for veterans, emphasizing the recovery process after military service trauma.

Guest speakers include Dr. Kelly Lewis, Dr. Jacqueline Panellas, and Dr. David Richards. A panel discussion will be moderated by Eric Johnson, Lehigh Valley Health Network Veteran Health Officer.

The program is open to all veterans, their families and allies, social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, community members, and other advocates. Two continuing education credits through NASW-PA are available and the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) has approved this presentation for two hours.

Seating is limited. Click here to learn more or call New Vitae Wellness Foundation at 610-928-0173.

About New Vitae Wellness Foundation: New Vitae Wellness Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization established to provide educational and other life supports to improve the health and well-being of our community. The foundation offers a variety of low- or no-cost healthcare services contracted through the New Vitae Wellness and Recovery Center, including holistic supports, individual and group therapies, and other behavioral health and substance use services. Educational supports, including tutoring and professional development programs are available free of charge to promote health and wellness in various life domains. Service to Veterans, young adults, and the local community is of particular importance in order to promote health, wellness, and hope.

Airborne Technologies GmbH: SMi’s Latest sponsor for Maritime Reconnaissance & Surveillance Technology 2018

SMi reports: SMi’s latest sponsor for Maritime Reconnaissance & Surveillance Technology 2018 is Airborne Technologies GmbH

LONDON, ENGLAND, October 31, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — SMi reports: SMi’s latest sponsor for Maritime Reconnaissance & Surveillance Technology 2018 is Airborne Technologies GmbH

Airborne Technologies GmbH is the latest sponsor for SMi’s Maritime Reconnaissance & Surveillance Technology conference 2018. The organisation will be presenting an exclusive session on day 1 of the event. Presentation details to follow. SMi offer sponsorship, exhibition, advertising and branding packages, uniquely tailored to complement your company’s marketing strategy. Prime networking opportunities exist to entertain, enhance and expand your client base within the context of an independent discussion specific to your industry. Should you wish to join the increasing number of companies benefiting from sponsoring our conferences please call Sadia Malick on +44 (0) 20 7827 6748 or email: smalick@smi-online.co.uk

The conference taking place in January promises to be the biggest yet, featuring focused discussions of emerging technologies, informative presentations and networking opportunities. With the aim of delivering clear and accurate maritime situational awareness, the conference will provide an unrivalled insight into the activity and priorities of military fleets, maritime authorities and industry experts that are at the forefront of innovation in the marine domain.

On day two of the conference there will be an interactive panel discussion which will provide an overview of “Enhancing Maritime Intelligence Sharing Amongst Nations and Naval Agencies Involved in the Mediterranean”. The discussion will cover how interoperability in the Mediterranean environment can be improved, challenges to effective sharing of information and how to remedy them, gathering maritime intelligence from space and updates and lessons from 2017. The session will be led by Rear Admiral Anthony Rix, Former Flag Officer Sea Training, Royal Navy; Rear Admiral Piero Pelizzari, Head of ICT and Monitoring Systems, Italian Coast Guard Headquarters; Captain Stefano Calvetti, Head of the Intelligence Office, Italian Navy; Mr Guy Thomas, President, C-SIGMA, Multinational Maritime Security Centre of Excellence.

Alongside the two-day event there will be a pre-conference workshop held on 29th January 2018. The workshop will be hosted, once again, with space technology leader C-SIGMA to deliver an exclusive session. Guy Thomas, Director of C-SIGMA will be hosting the workshop on “Improving International Collaboration in Space to Enhance Maritime Situational Awareness”.

For further information and to register visit: http://www.maritime-recon.com/einpresswire

3rd Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology
30th – 31st January 2018
Crowne Plaza Rome St. Peter’s Hotel & Spa, Rome, Italy

Media: Contact Natasha Boumediene on nboumediene@smi-online.co.uk
Booking: Contact James Hitchen on jhitchen@smi-online.co.uk

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About SMi Group:

Established since 1993, the SMi Group is a global event-production company that specializes in Business-to-Business Conferences, Workshops, Masterclasses and online Communities. We create and deliver events in the Defence, Security, Energy, Utilities, Finance and Pharmaceutical industries. We pride ourselves on having access to the world’s most forward thinking opinion leaders and visionaries, allowing us to bring our communities together to Learn, Engage, Share and Network. More information can be found at http://www.smi-online.co.uk

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SMi Group
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Army staff upgrade tactical skills

Cuimba, ANGOLA, October 31 – Angolan Armed Forces (FAA)’s 52nd infantry brigade staff in the Northern Military Region (RMN), Zaire province, conducted a tactical exercise on Monday aimed at upgrading their military skills. ,

The military drill held at the advanced post of the 52nd brigade located 12 kilometres east of Cuimba village, was headed by the deputy commander of the RMN’s 2nd infantry division, lt.-general Domingos Filipe Quicongo.

The Northern Military Region covers the provinces of Zaire and Uíge.

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Veterans Law Conference Recognizes the Military Service of Women and LGBT Veterans

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Golden Gate University School of Law will hold its fifth Veterans Law Conference on November 3 in an ongoing effort to raise awareness of the legal, health, and employment issues veterans may face.
Under the theme, “Recognizing the Military Service of Women and LGBT Veterans:
Promoting Achievements & Solving Challenges,” legal experts and veteran advocates will discuss the unique issues facing populations that have often been marginalized in, and historically excluded from, military service.  The conference comes at a time of firsts: the first woman has completed the rigorous Army Ranger training, and West Point selected the first African-American woman cadet for the coveted first captain position. However, women and LGBT service members and veterans continue to face issues of discrimination.
In their keynote speeches, Colonel Linda Strite Murnane, United States Air Force (retired) and Chair of the American Bar Association Judicial Division, and Heliana Ramirez, PhD, LISW, Lead LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, will discuss the history of women and LGBT veterans in the military, the progress that’s been made, and the obstacles that remain, including recent proposals that have reignited the debate about allowing transgender soldiers to serve.Tickets are still available. Visit the event website for details and registration.GGU, which has a proud tradition of expanding access to legal education, is the first law school in Northern California to have a Veterans Clinic on campus.EVENT DETAILS:
Friday, November 3, 2017
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Fifth Annual Veterans Law Conference
Recognizing the Military Service of Women and LGBT Veterans: Promoting Achievements & Solving Challenges
Honorable Lee D. Baxter Courtroom – Room 2203
Golden Gate University School of Law (GGU Law)
536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA  94105
Registration is required and includes breakfast and three hours of MCLE credit.
To register, visit: https://alumni.ggu.edu/fifth-annual-veterans-conference
Military veterans – no charge
Students – $10
Individual tickets – $20
Paula Murphy
415-999-7241
paula@swoopcommunications.com

Park Electrochemical Corp. Announces Election of Mark Esquivel as Senior Vice President-Aerospace

MELVILLE, N.Y., Oct. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Park Electrochemical Corp. (NYSE:PKE) announced the election of Mark Esquivel as Senior Vice President-Aerospace of the Company.  Mr. Esquivel also serves as President of the Company’s Park Aerospace Technologies Corp. aerospace materials, parts and assemblies manufacturing and design business unit located in Newton, Kansas and President of the Company’s Tin City Aircraft Works, Inc. aerospace design and development subsidiary also located in Newton, Kansas.  In these positions, Mr. Esquivel reports to Brian Shore, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Park Electrochemical Corp. 
Mr. Esquivel served as Vice President of Aerospace Composite Parts of Park Aerospace Technologies Corp. from March 2012 to April 2015 and President of Park Aerospace Technologies Corp. from June 2010 to March 2012.  From September 2008 to June 2010, Mr. Esquivel was Vice President and General Manager of Neltec, Inc., Park’s high-technology circuitry materials business unit located in Tempe, Arizona.  He served as Manufacturing Manager of Neltec from August 2004 to September 2008 and as Materials Manager from February 2001 to August 2004.  Mr. Esquivel started at Neltec in 1994 as a metal stamper in the Finishing Department and worked his way up from there.  Mr. Esquivel put himself through college while working at Neltec and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Management from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.  Mr. Esquivel is now responsible for all of Park Electrochemical’s aerospace operations and sales and marketing and technology activities.Park Electrochemical Corp. is a global advanced materials company which develops and manufactures advanced composite materials, primary and secondary structures and assemblies and low-volume tooling for the aerospace markets and high-technology digital and RF/microwave printed circuit materials principally for the telecommunications and internet infrastructure, enterprise and military markets. The Company’s manufacturing facilities are located in Kansas, Singapore, France, Arizona and California. The Company also maintains R & D facilities in Arizona, Kansas and Singapore.   Additional corporate information is available on the Company’s web site at www.parkelectro.com.Martina Bar Kochva
48 South Service Road
Melville, NY 11747
(631) 465-3600