Notice of Funding Opportunity: 2021 YSEALI Seeds for the Future Program

U.S. Mission to ASEAN 

Notice of Funding Opportunity 


Funding Opportunity Title         : 2021 YSEALI Seeds for the Future Program

Funding Opportunity Number   : USMAS-21-YSEALI-001

Deadline for Applications          :July 30, 2020 

CFDA Number                             : 19.040

Total Amount Available              : $300,000 


The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission to ASEAN (USASEAN) announces an open competition for a cooperative agreement to develop and implement the 2021 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Seeds for the Future small grants program. One organization will be selected to manage the program, will provide subgrants up to $15,000 each to 15-20 projects implemented by Southeast Asian youth from all eleven YSEALI countriesThe subgrant recipients will be selected through an open competition designed by the successful organization, and will be given tools and training to implement nine-month projects across the four core YSEALI issue areas. 

 Priority Region:  Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam 

 Program Objectives:  The Seeds for the Future program will allow YSEALI youth to implement public service projects that improve their communities by addressing one or more of the four core YSEALI themes: Civic Engagement, Economic Growth, Educationand Sustainable Development. Multilateral project proposal submissions, that involve more than one country, are encouraged. 

Timeline:  Cooperative agreement period will be approximately 16 months. Design small grants competition, open application, participant selection, and kick-off workshop preparation will take place October-December 2020. A kick-off workshop with in-person attendees from all winning teams will take place in January 2021. Subgrant participants  will implement their projects February-October 2021Subgrant participants’ final reporting and close-out activities will take place in November-December 2021. Due to the nature of the current global situation, please note that timeline dates might change and recipient would need to agree that they will be flexible in adjusting with new dates should it be necessary. 

Background: Launched in 2013, YSEALI is the U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. With nearly 150,000 members, YSEALI builds the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthens ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurtures an ASEAN community. The Seeds for the Future Program is one of YSEALI’s many components and will be entering its 7th year. Since 2015, the program has awarded over $1,700,000 to emerging leaders across ASEAN.  

Participants and Audiences: Registered YSEALI members, aged 18-35, who are citizens of Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.  All participants must be proficient in written and spoken English.   

Program Content Development and Meeting Coordination: Working closely with U.S. Mission to ASEAN and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Office of Public Diplomacy, the Recipient shall develop a robust program for the 2021 YSEALI Seeds for the Future with responsibilities as follow;  

  1. Create an online site to receive and manage subgrant participant applications, and answer questions from applicants. Provide virtual resources (e.g. webinars) to help applicants prepare.  
  2. Collaborate with USASEAN to develop a scoring criteria. Review and score all applications and provide a shortlist of but not limited to 40USASEAN will have substantial involvement in final participant selection. 
  3. Work together with USASEAN to notify winning teams of approved proposals.   
  4. Provide mentoring and support to participants throughout the program. 
  5. Design and execute a 2-day kick-off workshop in January 202for the winning participants, taking ownership of all logistics and programming. Goal of this workshop is to bring together all project participants (2 members per project30 maximum), train them on subgrant expectations (e.g. budgeting, administration, communication, reporting, work plan, digital storytelling, etc.), and allow them to collaborate and improve their work plans. All logistics expenditures and travel costs for participants and trainers must be covered by the overall program budget. (e.g. flights, lodging, per diem, venue, etc.) 
  6. Distribute funds to winning projects  by January 2021 as follows: 60% of funding after submitting a detailed timeline and work plan (including marketing strategy for the project) 35% of funding after submitting mid-term report (including direct and indirect impact metrics, both qualitative and quantitative) 5% of funding after submitting the final report with detailed project results.  
  7. Oversee the implementation of projects and monitor subgrants by actively corresponding with the subgrant participants on at least a weekly basis. Collect monthly, mid-term and final reports. Track budget usage.  
  8. Collect media (photos/videos) and project stories to amplify on YSEALI website and social media. 
  9. Provide USASEAN with quarterly and final program and financial reporting.  The program reports should summarize the progress on the subaward projects, identifying key milestones, successes, and challenges. Include both qualitative and quantitative success metrics to measure the impact of each project on their community. 
  10. Ensure that all program content and media adhere to the YSEALI and Department of State branding guidelines, including US flag and the YSEALI Seeds logo.   
  11. Develop a “lessons learned” for future Seeds programs.



Length of performance period     : 16 months (October 2020 to January 2022)  

Number of awards anticipated     1 award (dependent on amounts) 

Award amounts                            : Up to $300,000, contingent on funding availability  

Total available funding                 : $300,000 

Type of Funding                           : FY20 Public Diplomacy Funding  

Anticipated program start date     : October 2020 

 This notice is subject to availability of funding. 

 Funding Instrument Type:  Cooperative agreement.  

U.S. Mission to ASEAN and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs will have substantial involvement on the workshop content, schedule, and project selection.  

Program Performance PeriodThe initial period of performance of the cooperative agreement will be 16 months, ending in January 2022. The Department of State will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State. 



1. Eligible Applicants

The following U.S. and foreign organizations are eligible to apply:    

  • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations  
  • Public and private educational institutions 
  • Public International Organizations and Governmental institutions 

2. Cost Sharing or Matching 

 Providing cost sharing is not a requirement for this NOFO. However, it may be considered in the merit review to break ties among applications with equivalent scores after evaluation against all other factors.  

 3. Other Eligibility Requirements 

 In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.  



1. Address to Request Application Package 

  • Applicants can find application forms, kits, or other materials needed to apply on,  

2. Content and Form of Application   

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


Content of Application 

For all application documents, please ensure:  

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity 
  • 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 documents are provided in both English and a foreign language, the English language version is the controlling version);  
  • All pages are numbered, including budgets and attachments;  
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper; and,  
  • 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. 


The following documents are required:   

1. Mandatory application forms

Completed and signed SF-424, SF-424A, and SF-424B (unless completed as part of registration), as directed on;   

2.Table of Contents (not to exceed one [1] page in Microsoft Word) that includes a page numbered contents page, including any attachments.  

3. SummaryPage:  Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.The total amount of funding requested and project length; and a statement of work or synopsis of the project, including a concise breakdown of the project’s objectives, activities, and expected results.

4. Proposal(not to exceed fifteen [15] pages in Microsoft Word):The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.   

  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact. 
  • Introduction to the Organization applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies. 
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed 
  • Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable. 
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.  
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.  Include a logic model as appropriate.  
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline:  The proposed timeline for the program activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events. 
  • Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program.  What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?   
  • Program Partners:  List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees. 
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant? 
  • Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.

5. Budget Justification Narrative:  After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail.  See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.

6. Attachments: 

  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program 
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner  
  • If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.   
  • Single program audit, if required of your organization under 2 CFR 200.  
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities

Please note: U.S. Mission to ASEAN retains the right to ask for additional documents not included in this NOFO. Additionally, to ensure all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the U.S. State Department Review Panel will review the first page of the requested section up to the page limit and no further.  

Additional information that successful applicants must submit after notification of intent to make a Federal award, but prior to issuance of a Federal award, may include:  

  • Written responses and any revised application documents addressing any conditions or recommendations from the Review Panel;  
  • 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.  


3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (   

Required Registrations: 

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in thSystem for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge: 

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)  
  • NCAGE/CAGE code  
  • registration  

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)  

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting    

NCAGE application: Application page here:   

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:    

For NCAGE help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423  

For NCAGE help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766  

Email for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.  


Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in by logging onto:  SAM registration must be renewed annually. 

4. Submission Dates and Times : Applications are due no later thaJuly 31, 2020  

5. Funding Restrictions: U.S. Mission to ASEAN will not consider applications that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization. No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance.  

6. Please refer to the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions for both U.S. Based and Foreign Organizations at Submission Requirements  

All application materials must be submitted by email to  



  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. 

 Evaluators will judge each application individually against the following criteria, listed below in order of importance, and not against competing applications.  

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 25 points:  The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.    

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants – 25 points: The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account. 

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 points: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results. 

Budget – 10 points: The budget justification is 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.  

Monitoring and evaluation plan – 15 points: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured. 

Sustainability – 10 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program. 


2. Review and Selection Process 

 A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.   


3. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) 

For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:  

i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);

ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants. 



  1. Federal Award Notices 

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

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

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

Payment Method:  Payments will be made to the Recipient via Electronic Fund Transfer, upon approval of the SF-270 payment request form submitted by the Recipient.  The payment schedule will be negotiated before the award is signed.  


2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements 

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include: 

2 CFR 2002 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.   


3. Reporting 

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. The funds for this cooperative agreement will be disbursed in installments based on project milestones and expenditures.  A financial report for the first installment is required with the request for the second installment. Financial reporting, through the same method, will again be required at the conclusion of the grant period. 

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. 



If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact:  



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% 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.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues. 

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages