The U. S. Embassy Skopje Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U. S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out its U. S. Speakers’ Program.
The Speakers’ Program brings dynamic U. S. citizen experts to North Macedonia to engage
professional and student audiences throughout the country on topics of strategic importance to the United States and North Macedonia.
Specifically, the program seeks to engage local audiences on rule of law reforms; judicial independence; government accountability and transparency; modern journalism practices; combating disinformation; cybersecurity; climate and security issues; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and advancing women’s economic empowerment through the shared knowledge, expertise, and know-how of U. S. experts.
The program also seeks to establish concrete networking and contact-building opportunities among U. S. experts and local audiences.
Programs may take place in person or virtually (note:
due to COVID travel restrictions, all applications should include a plan for virtual engagement).
We highly recommend potential applicants to collaborate and coordinate with project partners in North Macedonia in order to implement the requested programs successfully.
We expect to select one program implementer for a grant award of up to $30,00 0. U. S. Speakers address strategic policy priorities identified by U. S. Embassy Skopje.
The U. S. Speakers’ Program promotes an understanding of U. S. policies and institutions as well as the political, economic, and social context from which they arise.
Speakers can be programmed with a variety of professional audiences in a wide range of disciplines.
In this regard, the U. S. Speakers’ Program intends to support the overall PAS outreach strategy, which focuses on two defined audiences:
established leaders and emerging leaders.
For more details on the program target audience and their definitions, see below under the “Participants and Audiences” subheading.
North Macedonia Program Objectives:
Potential applicants should propose detailed specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant (SMART) project objectives for their proposed programs.
Potential applicants should develop outcome-based objectives that incorporate measurable outcome indicators and propose methods to measure them.
The selected applicant is expected to suggest a minimum of three appropriate speakers to PAS on particular topics, and also to respond to speaker requests recommended by PAS.
Please note that PAS will make the final decision about the selection of speakers and the selection of audience.
Within the estimated budget, proposals should seek to meet the following goal:
Within one year from the grant start date, conduct between three to five U. S. speaker programs on priority topics listed in the program Description section, not excluding priority topics from emerging current events.
The number of U. S. speaker programs may be higher if they are conducted virtually.
· The U. S. Speaker Program for North Macedonia supports both traveling and virtual speakers, and a combination of both.
Proposals should clearly state whether organizations are requesting to conduct traveling or virtual speaker programs or a combination of both.
Every effort should be made to conduct the program in person, but if, due to circumstances beyond the organization’s control, a majority of programs are virtual, then the organizer should consider increasing the number of programs offered.
o Traveling Programs:
Speaker/expert travels to North Macedonia to present lectures, serve as consultants, or conduct workshops and seminars for appropriate audiences as identified and arranged by the requesting organization.
Organizations may request a single speaker or, funding permitting, a series of speakers to conduct targeted strategic programs.
Programs can take place in one city, or in multiple cities in North Macedonia depending on the target audience.
· Use of Funds Related to the Speaker Programs The implementing organization (grantee) shall use award funds to pay for, among other logistical necessities:
o The speakers’ international travel to and from North Macedonia o The speakers’ domestic travel within North Macedonia o Hotel and accommodations for the speakers in North Macedonia o Venue costs o Interpretation costs Virtual Programs:
Speaker/expert engages foreign audiences in real time through virtual platforms.
U. S. Speakers for virtual programs may conduct the program remotely from a location in or outside the U. S. Virtual engagements may be customized to be point-to-point, multi-point interactions, or some combination thereof, depending on the nature and location of the audience.
Consider the time difference when arranging for a virtual program.
· Charging for U. S. Speaker Events A U. S. Speaker program is not a profit-making opportunity.
Grantees are prohibited from charging fees for speaker events or using them as fundraisers for charitable organizations.
· Fly America Act Restrictions and other flight arrangements:
All Federal Government-financed international air transportation for the U. S. speakers must be accomplished by U. S. Flag air carriers or U. S. code sharing to the extent that service by those carriers is available.
For information on other “open skies” agreements in which the United States has entered, please refer to GSA’s website at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/10319 1. Therefore, consider these restrictions when estimating your speaker’s) travel arrangements.
· Media Engagement Plan Applicants should propose a clear media plan in their proposal.
This plan should include how the organization plans to promote the project, how and how often they plan to share project experiences, activities, and public media appearances with the embassy’s PAS.
Applicants should also detail their willingness to work regularly with the U. S. Embassy to shape and amplify their public messaging through the U. S. Embassy’s public engagement platforms.
Participants and Audiences:
Emerging leaders in business, technology, education, government, and public administration.
They include entrepreneurs and social activists, journalists, teachers, researchers, and civil servants in government positions who have been identified as rising stars.
Established leaders include public figures at the top of their industry (e.g., innovators, tech leaders, academics, researchers, media members, journalists, business owners, government workers, and politicians), and alumni of U. S. government-sponsored exchange programs, who can influence society and policy.
All programs must engage North Macedonia’s audiences.
All programs must include a U. S. element or connection with U. S. experts that will promote increased understanding of U. S. policy and perspectives.
Programs may take place in person or virtually (note:
due to current COVID travel restrictions, all applications should include a plan for virtual engagement).
If you apply from outside of North Macedonia, we highly recommend potential applicants to collaborate and coordinate with project partners in North Macedonia to implement requested programs successfully.
The applicant should budget for interpretation and translation.