U.S. Mission to ASEAN
Public Affairs Section
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
2022 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF)
Funding Opportunity Title : Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2022)
Funding Opportunity Number : PASNOFO-USASEAN-22-01
Deadline for Applications : April 11, 2022
CFDA Number : 19.040
Total Amount Available : $10,000 – $40,000
The U.S Mission to ASEAN announces an open competition for past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored programs administered by the U.S. Mission to ASEAN to submit applications to the 2022 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2022). We seek proposals from teams of at least two alumni from at least two ASEAN member states and Timor-Leste that meet all program eligibility requirements below. Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2022 should submit proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for the application is April 11, 2022.
A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
AEIF provides alumni of U.S. sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community. Since its inception in 2011, AEIF has funded nearly 500 alumni-led projects around the world through a competitive global competition.
The U.S. Mission to ASEAN will accept public service projects proposed and managed by teams of at least two (2) alumni from at least two (2) ASEAN members states and Timor-Leste that supports themes such as:
- Promotion of democratic rights, including press and disinformation
- Improving the workplace environment, including women’s opportunities
- Public health
- Addressing global climate change
B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Announcement posted: March 1, 2022
Closing date for applications: April 11, 2022
Funding type: Small grant awards
Decision date: No later than June 30, 2022 (subject to change by the funding office)
Expected size of individual awards: Between $10,000 to $40,000.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months timeframe or less.
C. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
1. Eligible Applicants:
The following individuals are eligible to apply:
- Applicants must be alumni of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored programs administered by the U.S. Mission to ASEAN. Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni from at least two (2) countries in ASEAN member states and Timor-Leste
- Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project (the team must have at least two non-U.S. citizen exchange program alumni).
- Alumni teams may be composed of alumni of any USG exchange programs, but the team leader must be an alumna/us under a U.S.-ASEAN administered program.
- Applications must be submitted by exchange program alumni. Not-for-profit, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and academic institutions are not eligible to apply in the name of the organization but can serve as partners for implementing project activities.
2. Cost Sharing
Inclusion of cost share is not a requirement of this opportunity.
3. Grant Program Area:
Proposals must be framed into the broad themes stated above. The project must impact at least two (2) Southeast Asian countries. Proposals that do not address the theme as outlined in the program objectives will be deemed ineligible. All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories.
4. Other Eligibility Requirements
If the grant will be processed with an individual, that individual is not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov. However, should the grant be processed with an organization that is a partner in the project, that organization must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid
registration on www.SAM.gov. Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and to non-discrimination practices with regard to beneficiaries, without regard to sex, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.
Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal. If more than one proposal is submitted, all proposals from that alumni team will be considered ineligible for funding.
D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
1. Address to Request Application Package
Application and budget templates are available here:
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
Applications and budgets must be submitted using the official AEIF 2022 application and budget forms.
Follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.
- The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
- The proposal addresses all questions in the official AEIF 2022 application form
- All documents are in English
- The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEIF 2022 budget form
- All pages are numbered.
The following documents and information are required:
1) Mandatory application forms
- AEIF 2022 Proposal Form
- AEIF 2022 Budget Form
- SF424_4_0-V4.0 (.pdf) (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF424_Individual_2_0-V2.0 (Application for Federal Assistance – individuals)
- SF424A-V1.0 (.pdf) (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
- SF424B-V1.1 (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)
A short narrative which outlines the proposed project, including challenge/s to be addressed, project objectives, and anticipated impact.
Project Team Information
At least two exchange alumni team members from at least two different Southeast Asian countries are required for a project to be considered for funding. Applications need to provide the name and contact information, describe the role each team member will have in the project, and their experience, qualifications, and ability to carry out that role. Applicants need to indicate what proportion of the team member’s time will be used in support of the project.
Clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed project is needed.
Project Goals and Objectives
The goal/s of the proposed project need to describe what the project is intended to achieve and include the objectives which support the goal/s. Objectives should be specific, measurable, and realistically achievable in a set time frame.
Project Methods, Design, and Timeline
A description of how the project is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal/s. This should include a description of the project’s direct and indirect beneficiaries as well as a plan on how to continue the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable. The proposed timeline for the project activities should include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events. Applicants may also submit proposed workshop or training agendas and materials.
Local Project Partners
A list of partners who will support the proposed project, if applicable.
The communication plan should include a communication and outreach strategy for promoting the proposed project. The communication plan may include social media, websites, print news, or other forms of media intended to use to share information about the project to beneficiaries and the public. Communications should include AEIF 2022, exchange alumni, and U.S. Embassy branding.
Project Monitoring and Evaluation Plan
The monitoring and evaluation component of the proposal should outline in detail how the proposal’s activities will advance the program’s goals and objectives. This should include any outcomes showing a change in knowledge, awareness, and attitudes; improved quality of services; increased capacity at a school, group; etc. Proposals should also include how the grantee will measure the impact of planned activities. A strong proposal will include:
- Any outcomes the grantee expects to occur because of their program. Outcomes could include: change in knowledge, awareness, and attitudes; improved quality of services; increased capacity at a school, group; etc. Proposals should also include how the grantee will know those outcomes are occurring (surveys, interviews, observations, etc.)
- For example: If the program expects that a teacher-training program will improve the skills of a teacher, a proposal may explain the skills the teacher would gain and plan to perform a survey before the program and a survey following the program that would show a change in understanding due to the program.
- A plan to include the grantee’s reflection of how their program contributed to the program’s goals. As applicable, a strong final report would include success stories, behaviors changed, lessons learned, and results obtained.
Budget Justification Narrative
Applicants must submit a detailed budget and budget narrative justification utilizing the template provided. Line-item expenditures should be listed in the greatest possible detail. Budgets shall be submitted in U.S. dollars and final grant agreements will be conducted in U.S. dollars.
Supported Activities and Costs
AEIF 2022 can support the following budget items:
- Intra-regional or in-country transportation
- Rental of venues for project activities
- PPE and sanitizing equipment
- Meals/refreshments integral to the project (e.g., working lunch for a meeting)
- Reasonable costs to support virtual programming (e.g., subscription to Zoom, WebEx, camera/microphones for virtual meetings, mailing services)
- Trainer or speaker honoraria expenses (e.g., maximum $200/day fee, travel, lodging, per diem)
- Reasonable equipment and materials
- Communications and publicity materials, such as manuals or project advertisements
AEIF 2022 does not support the following activities or costs, and the selection committee will deem applications involving any of these activities or costs ineligible:
- Any airfare to/from the United States and its territories
- Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
- Staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses
- Large items of durable equipment or construction programs
- Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments or entertainment
- Academic or scientific research
- Charitable or development activities
- Provision of direct social services to a population
- Individual scholarships
- Social travel/visits
- Gifts or prizes
- Duplication of existing programs
- Institutional development of an organization
- Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in project
- Support for specific religious activities
- Fund-raising campaigns
- Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation
E. REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS
Evaluation Criteria: The U.S. Mission to ASEAN Public Affairs Sections will use the criteria outlined below to evaluate all applications. The proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee made up of regional and exchange program experts located at the Department of State in Washington, DC. Panelists will use the criteria below to review and evaluate applications.
|Relevance to Application Theme
The proposal provides sufficient information on how the activities will support the theme(s) of the competition. The narrative explains any relevant local context the D.C. Selection Committee may not be aware of in relation to this project. Proposed project ideas must be public diplomacy in nature (i.e. not development or military).
|Purpose and Summary, Description, and Implementation Plan
When developing the purpose, summary, description, and implementation plan, applicants should aim to make all descriptions clear, concise, and compelling. Reviewers will judge the proposals based on the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the community where it is undertaken. Does the project address an important gap of understanding or need? If the aim of the project is achieved, how will existing knowledge or practice be improved? What audience do the applicants hope to reach with this project? How many will participate? How will they be selected?
|Degree of Alumni Involvement
Projects must include the involvement of at least two (2) exchange alumni. They may be the project team leaders or collaborate directly with PAS in formulating the project. More than two alumni may comprise the team, however, the minimum is two. As the team leaders, the alumni must be closely involved in project planning, implementation, etc. Applicants should ensure that the proposal includes the following information for each alumni team member: first name, last name, e-mail address, exchange program, country of citizenship, and roles and responsibilities.
|Participation and Support from Local Partners
The proposal demonstrates buy-in and support from the community where the project will take place. Local partner involvement is a strong sign that there is community support and that the project will engage a broad array of experts, such as subject matter experts, community centers, academic institutions, businesses, local/national government, non-governmental organizations, American Spaces, etc.
|Evaluation and Impact of the Project
A monitoring & evaluation (M&E) plan is pivotal to project implementation and important tracking progress towards the project’s objectives and goals. An M&E plan should consider the data needed to effectively monitor progress toward specific outputs and outcomes as well as how that data collection will be accomplished. Well-crafted indicators should be used to understand a program’s progress toward the desired results. An M&E plan should be reviewed for the following:• Completion
• Applicability and logic of objectives and indicators
• Clear approach to monitoring
• Adherence to SMART criteria
• Feasibility of baselines and targets
• Data quality plan
• Capacity to implement plan
Have the applicants considered how the project will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.
|Communication, Media, and Outreach Plan
The project should include a clear plan and timeline for how and when the team will share information about the project. It is important to ensure that the U.S. Embassy gets recognition throughout the process, if circumstances permit.
|Budget and Budget Narrative
The budget and narrative justification are sufficiently detailed. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities. The results and proposed outcomes justify the total cost of the project. Budget items are reasonable, allowable, and allocable.
Disclaimer: This notice is subject to availability of funding. U.S. Mission to ASEAN does not guarantee availability of funding by receiving applications under this announcement. The Mission will only contact successful applicants.
F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
The grant award will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by a Mission grants officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and the Mission will provide the agreement to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.
If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.
Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does this NOFO commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.
Payments schedule will be determined in consultation with the grant officer and based on a risk assessment and requirements of the program. Organizations must request payment using the standard SF-270 which will be provided to Grantees for completion.
Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted. Closing reports are due within 120 days of the grant’s end date.
Applicants should be aware of the post award reporting requirements reflected in 2 CFR 200 Appendix XII—Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.
G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
Questions about the grant application process should be directed to: email@example.com.
H. OTHER INFORMATION
Guidelines for Budget Justification
- Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.
- Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.
- Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.
- Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.
- Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor. Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.
- Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.
- Indirect Costs: These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating. If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10 percent of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.
- “Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy. Cost sharing also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.
- Alcoholic Beverages: Note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.