Department of State- US Mission to Turkmenistan Program Office:
The Public Affairs Section of the U. S. Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan Funding Opportunity Title:
Cultural Exchange Program for Capacity Building in Music Education Announcement Type:
Grant or Cooperative Agreement –
Initial Funding Opportunity Number:
Deadline for Applications:
September 14, 2015 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time CFDA 1 9. 040 ELIGIBILITY Eligibility is limited to not-for-profit organizations subject to 501 (c) (3) of the tax code.
Direct funding for non-U. S. entities is not available under this announcement.
The Department encourages organizations that have not previously received international program funding from the U. S. Government to apply under this announcement.
New applicants must have a demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following subject areas:
international cultural exchange, capacity building in music and arts education, music training, and the ability to develop and implement a program.
Expertise and established relationships with cultural institutions and/or local officials in Turkmenistan, where the program will be conducted, will be considered favorably.
Cost Sharing or Matching This program does nor require cost sharing.
Other Special Eligibility Criteria Not Applicable.
CONTACT INFORMATION A) For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-472 6. B) For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, please contact:
Maren Payne-Holmes, Cultural Affairs Officer, The Public Affairs Section of the U. S. Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, at:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Preferred method of communication) Phone:
225 Or Maya Meredova, Cultural Affairs Specialist, The Public Affairs Section of the U. S. Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, at:
email@example.com (Preferred method of communication) Phone:
237 IMPORTANT NOTE All application materials must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov.
Applications materials submitted via other means such as email will not be accepted.
Authorization to submit proposals through www.grants.gov is a multi-step process that requires prior successful registration with DUNS, NCAGE, SAM, and www.grants.gov.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Public Affairs Section of the U. S. Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (PAS Ashgabat) is pleased to announce an open competition for a grant agreement award through this Request for Proposals (RFP).
PAS Ashgabat invites U. S. non-profit/non-governmental organizations to submit cultural exchange in music education concept papers.
Non-governmental organizations, specializing in international cultural exchange are encouraged to apply.
The Public Affairs will have approximately $25,000 to $65,000 available to award one grant.
BACKGROUND PAS seeks to advance universal values through capacity development, teaching reforms, and accountable governance.
One of PAS’s highest strategic priorities in Turkmenistan is broadenings access to information and educational opportunities to boost human capacity across government and society at large.
PAS has successfully programmed a wide range of performances and workshops in a variety of American music genres and instruments in Turkmenistan.
These programs have generated interest at the National Conservatory of Turkmenistan and the Turkmen State Institute of Culture, which requested Embassy to organize a teaching exchange program, through which Turkmen students and faculty will have a chance to work and learn from American music teachers/professionals in a series of master-classes.
PAS proposes two to three consecutive 7-day programs that include two to four American teachers of music coming to Turkmenistan to conduct music classes for the students of both the Turkmen National Conservatory and the Turkmen State Institute of Culture.
The programs will take place during the academic year 2015-2016 and will be spread throughout the second half of 2015 and the first half of 2016 to allow sufficient time for the American music experts to work with aspiring young musicians.
Most of the students will become teachers of music at various music schools in Turkmenistan, thus this program has a multiplier long term impact for Turkmenistan.
Objectives The proposed program will directly meet PAS’s strategic goals and objectives.
Music and training programs address the following goal and objectives, specified in Post’s latest Integrated Country Strategy:
Advanced universal values through capacity development, reforms, and accountable governance.
Objective 3. 1:
Broadened access to information and educational opportunities boost human capacity across government and society at large.
Sub-Objective 3. 1. 1:
Expanded access to information and exchanges contribute to a better informed, more productive, integrated, and stable society.
Other public diplomacy goals to be addressed include:
1. Strengthening people to people ties between the United States and Turkmenistan.
2. Strengthening local partners to build long-term, self-sustaining relationships and Institutional linkages between U. S. and Turkmenistani producers, artists and organizations.
3. Showcase American values and counter anti-Americanism.
Funding Priorities PAS seeks to fund cultural and educational projects in Turkmenistan that specifically contribute to the Post’ Integrated Country Strategy.
Please note that no application will be favorably considered if it fails to address the PAS’s goals and objectives.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS Eligibility is limited to not-for-profit organizations subject to 501 (c) (3) of the tax code.
Direct funding for non-U. S. institutions is not available under this announcement.
The Department encourages organizations that have not previously received international program funding from the USG to apply under this announcement (see “Eligibility” on page 1).
Applicants are not required to include funding from other donors.
However, applications that include additional in-kind and/or cash contributions from non-U. S. Government sources will be more competitive, since cost-sharing demonstrates a strong commitment to the planned activities and will be considered to show great cost effectiveness.
APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION Award Period:
12-24 months Award Amount:
$25,000 to $65,000 is available for this grant program.
One award will be granted, with a maximum amount of $65,00 0. Application Submission Process:
Applicants must submit concept papers electronically using Grants.gov.
Thorough instructions on the Grants.gov application process are available at http://www.grants.gov.
For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-472 6. For questions about this solicitation, contact Maren Payne-Holmes, Cultural Affairs Officer, The Public Affairs Section of the U. S. Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, at:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Preferred method of communication) Phone:
225 Application Deadline:
All applications must be submitted on or before September 14, 2015, 11:59 p.m.
Applications submitted after 11:59 p.m.
will be ineligible for consideration.
Begin the application process early, as this will allow time to address any technical difficulties that may arise in advance of the deadline.
There will be no exceptions to this application deadline.
All applicants must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application.
Registering with Grants.gov is a one-time process; however, it could take as long as two weeks to have the registration validated and confirmed.
Please begin the registration process immediately to ensure that the process is completed before the deadline for applications.
Until that process is complete, you will not be issued a user password for Grants.gov, which is required for application submission.
There are four steps that you must complete before you are able to register:
(1) Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet (if your organization does not have one already) by calling 1-866-705-5711; (2) Register with Central Contractor Registry (CCR); (3) Register yourself as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (4) Be authorized as an AOR by your organization.
For more information, go to www.grants.gov.
Please note that your CCR registration must be annually renewed.
Failure to renew your CCR registration may prohibit submission of a grant application through Grants.gov.
Applicants must follow the RFP instructions and conditions contained herein and supply all information required.
Failure to furnish all information or comply with stated requirements will result in disqualification from the competition.
Applicants must set forth full, accurate, and complete information as required by this RFP.
The penalty for making false statements in proposals to the USG is prescribed on 18 U.S.C.100 1. The concept papers may not exceed 8 double-spaced pages in 12-point, Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins.
This requirement excludes the allowable appendices, which are identified in Section 6 below.
Organizations are permitted to submit multiple concept papers, but should be aware that PAS seeks to provide opportunities to as many organizations as possible.
The proposal must consist of the following:
Section 1 - Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424):
This form can be found on-line at:
Section 2 - Abstract:
The abstract is limited to 300 words in length.
It must provide a summary of the identified need, proposed activities, and expected results.
Section 3 - Problem Statement:
The problem statement must describe the need for the project, concerning the need for the western-style music education to build human capacity in Turkmenistan.
Section 4 – Project Goals/Implementation Plan:
The applicant must specify the goals and objectives of the project, relative to the problem statement.
The proposed activities should be described in sufficient detail to show how objectives and goals will be met.
This section should also describe how success will be measured via performance indicators.
Finally, this section must include a time-task plan that clearly identifies the objectives and major activities.
Section 5 - Organizational Capability:
Applications must include a clear description of the applicant’s management structure, previous experience with performing arts, training workshops and outreach activities.
Besides information about the organization as a whole, this section must also identify the proposed management structure and staffing plan for the proposed project.
Section 6 - Appendices:
The concept paper submission must include two appendices, with a third, optional appendix to be submitted at the discretion of the applicant.
Only the appendices listed below may be included as part of the application:
(a) Budget (Required) – the budget must identify the total amount of funding requested, with a breakdown of amounts to be spent in the following budget categories:
personnel; fringe benefits; travel; equipment; supplies; consultants/contracts; other direct costs; and indirect costs.
The budget may not exceed 1 page in length, and may include an estimated cost for continuation activities, which will be considered for successful applicants to this RFP in future fiscal years based on performance and the availability of funds.
(b) Resume (Required) – a resume, not to exceed 1 page in length, must be included for the proposed key staff person, such as the Project Director.
If an individual for this type of position has not been identified, the applicant may submit a 1-page position description, identifying the qualifications and skills required for that position, in lieu of a resume.
(c) Letters of Intent (Optional) – if local partners have been identified, letters of intent should be included with the concept paper.
The letters must identify the type of relationship to be entered into (formal or informal), the roles and responsibilities of each partner in relation to the proposed project activities, and the expected result of the partnership.
Please note that these are not letters of support, and should only be included for those organizations that will play an active role in the project, including those that receive financial support through the project budget.
The individual letters cannot exceed 1 page in length, and applicants are limited to submitting up to 5 letters per concept paper.
AWARD SELECTION CRITERIA Consistent with the federal grant regulations, the Department reserves the right to give priority for its funds to conduct Music Teaching Program to those organizations working on key USG objectives (whether in the areas of youth engagement, strengthening people to people ties, showcasing American values) that are and have been supportive, in policy and programs, of USG policies on culture and education.
Applicants should note that the following criteria (1) serve as a standard against which all proposals will be evaluated, and (2) serve to identify the significant matters that should be addressed in all proposals.
PAS will award grants to the applicants whose offers represent the best value to the USG on the basis of technical merit and cost.
Each application will be evaluated by a peer review committee of PAS staff and other experts, as deemed appropriate.
The evaluation criteria have been tailored to the requirements of this RFP.
• Problem Statement (25 points):
This section should identify the importance and relevance of the applicant’s proposal to the PAS’s policy objectives as well as relevance to the program objectives of the Department of State as described under the first two Sections of this solicitation.
• Project Goals/Implementation Plan (40 points):
Applicants should describe what they propose to do and how they will do it.
The proposed activities must directly relate to meeting the goals and objectives, and applicants should include information on how they will measure activities’ effectiveness.
The review panel will be viewing the implementation plan in terms of how well it addresses the problem statement, relevance of the goals and objectives, feasibility of the proposed activities and their timeline for completion, and the extent to which the impact of the project will continue beyond the conclusion of the funding period.
• Organizational Capability (20 points):
Proposals should demonstrate the ability to develop and implement programs in the area of performing arts, training workshops and outreach activities.
Applicants must demonstrate how their resources, capabilities, and experience will enable them to achieve the stated goals and objectives.
• Appendices (15 points):
Costs shall be evaluated for realism, control practices, and efficiency.
The Department of State must determine that the costs paid for this award are reasonable, allowable, and allocable to the proposed project activities.
This will consist of a review of the Budget to determine if the overall costs are realistic for the work to be performed, if the costs reflect the applicant’s understanding of the allowable cost principles established by OMB Circular A-122, and if the costs are consistent with the program narrative.
The review panel will consider the appropriateness of the selected project director, in view of the role and responsibility that person will play in guiding the project through implementation to completion.
Position descriptions submitted in lieu of the resume will be reviewed for the appropriateness of the qualifications and skills identified.
o Letters of Intent:
While submission of Letters of Intent is optional, and applications without will not be penalized, the review panel will favorably view their inclusion.
AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION Award Notices:
The grant award shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer.
The Grants Officer is the Government official delegated the authority by the U. S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants and cooperative agreements.
Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified in writing.
Anticipated Time to Award:
Applicants should expect to be notified of the proposal selection within 2 days after the submission deadline.
PAS staff will request additional information if necessary.
Issuance of this RFP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government, nor does it commit the Government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals.
Further, the Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.
• Reporting Requirements:
Grantees are required to submit program progress and financial reports upon completion of each visit to Turkmenistan.
Progress and financial reports are due 30 days after the reporting period.
Final programmatic and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.
Progress reports at a minimum should be submitted via electronic mail to an address to be provided in the award.
DISCLAIMER If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award.
Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department of State.