The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

ELIGIBILITY Eligibility is limited to not-for-profit organizations subject to 501 (c) (3) of the tax code and to individuals who teach circus arts (specifically aerial arts, acrobatic and ground arts, and clown/pantomime arts).

Direct funding for non-U. S. entities is not available under this

announcement.

The Department encourages organizations and individuals that have not previously received international program funding from the U. S. Government (USG) to apply under this announcement.

New applicants must have a demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following subject areas:
international cultural exchange, circus arts, capacity building in circus and arts education, and/or the ability to develop and implement a cultural exchange 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 not 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:
Hannah Weinstein, Acting Cultural Affairs Officer, The Public Affairs Section of the U. S. Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, at:
Email:
weinsteinhstdy@state.gov (Preferred method of communication) Phone:
+99312473503 ext.

225 Or Maya Meredova, Cultural Affairs Specialist, The Public Affairs Section of the U. S. Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, at:
Email:
meredovama@state.gov (Preferred method of communication) Phone:
+99312473503 ext.

237 IMPORTANT NOTE All application materials must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov.

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.

*If downloading the application though Grants.gov cannot be completed, application materials and attachments should be submitted via email to the addresses indicated above along with certification of registration with DUNS, NCAGE, SAM, and www.grants.gov.

CONTENTS Executive Summary………………………………………………………………...

3 Background………………………………………………………………………… 3 Eligibility Requirements…………………………………………………………….5 Application and Submission Information…………………………………………..

5 Award Selection Criteria…………………………………………………………… 8 Award Administration………………………………………………………………9 Disclaimer…………………………………………………………………………..

10 I.

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 and individuals who are experts in circus arts (specifically, aerial arts, acrobatic and ground arts and clown/pantomime arts) to submit a proposal for a cultural exchange through circus arts concept papers.

The Public Affairs will have approximately $45,000 to $80,000 available to award one grant for a multiphase cultural project.

II.

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 broadening 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/film/theatre genres in Turkmenistan.

These programs have generated interest from the Turkmen State Institute of Culture in furthering the exchange opportunities provided by the U. S. Embassy.

Through this program, Turkmen students and faculty of the Circus Arts Department will have a chance to work and learn from American professionals in a series of master-classes.

PAS proposes two to three consecutive seven day programs that include sending two to four American teachers of circus arts to Turkmenistan to conduct aerial arts, acrobatic and ground arts and clown/pantomime arts classes for the students of the circus department of the Turkmen State Institute of Culture, students of the Circus School and circus professionals at the State Circus of Turkmenistan.

The programs will take place during the academic year 2016-2017 and 2017-201 8. The stages of the program will be spread throughout the first half of 2017 and the second half of 2017 to allow sufficient time for the American circus experts to work with current and aspiring circus professionals.

Most of the students from the Circus Arts department of the Institute of Culture will go on to become teachers at the same Institute or will be employed by the State Circus of Turkmenistan, thus this program will have a long-term impact for Turkmenistan.

Objectives The proposed program will directly meet PAS’s strategic goals and objectives.

Cultural exchange training programs address the following goal and objectives, specified in Post’s latest Integrated Country Strategy:
Goal 3:
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 Turkmenistan 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 considered favorably if it fails to address the PAS’s goals and objectives.

III.

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 cost effectiveness.

IV.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION Award Period:
12-24 months Award Amount:
$45,000 to $80,000 is available for this grant program.

One award will be granted, with a maximum amount of $80,00 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 Hannah Weinstein, Acting Cultural Affairs Officer, The Public Affairs Section of the U. S. Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, at:
Email:
weinstenhstdy@state.gov (Preferred method of communication) Phone:
+99312473503 ext.

225 *If downloading the application though Grants.gov cannot be completed, application materials and attachments should be submitted via email to the addresses indicated above along with certification of registration with DUNS, NCAGE, SAM and www.grants.gov.

Application Deadline:
All applications must be submitted on or before August 31, 2016, 11:59 p.m.

EDT.

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.

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.

Application Content:
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:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants/forms.html.

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 circus arts 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 circus 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.

V.

AWARD SELECTION CRITERIA Consistent with the federal grant regulations, the Department reserves the right to give priority for its funds to conduct Circus Arts Teaching Program to those organizations working on key USG objectives (whether in the areas of youth engagement, strengthening people to people ties, or showcasing American values) that are and have been supportive, in policy and programs, of USG policies on culture and education.

Evaluation Criteria:
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 the goals and objectives, and applicants should include information on how they will measure effectiveness of the activities.

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 circus 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):
o Budget:
Costs will 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.

o Resume:
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 from 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.

VI.

AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION Award Notices:
The grant award or co-operative agreement 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.

The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document, and it will be provided to the Recipient through either mail or facsimile transmission.

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 10 days after the submission deadline.

PAS staff will request additional information if necessary that may include revisions to the activities.

Issuance of this RFP does not constitute
Related Programs

Public Diplomacy Programs

Department of State


Agency: Department of State

Office: U.S. Mission to Turkmenistan

Estimated Funding: $60,000


Who's Eligible





Obtain Full Opportunity Text:
Not Available

Additional Information of Eligibility:
Individuals who teach circus arts (specifically aerial arts, acrobatic and ground arts, and clown/pantomime arts)

Full Opportunity Web Address:


Contact:
Hannah Weinstein,Acting Cultural Affairs Officer, The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Agency Email Description:
Work email

Agency Email:
weinsteinhstdy@state.gov

Date Posted:
2016-08-05

Application Due Date:
2016-08-31

Archive Date:
2016-09-30




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