The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund
We wish to inform the public that the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program is now accepting applications for the 2022 cycle.
The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Fund is a grassroots assistance program that began in Togo in 1964 as an experimental and modest self-help program but has grown significantly since. The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund allows the Ambassador to respond directly to requests from communities for small-scale, community-based development projects that promise to have immediate impact.
The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund (SSH) assists community groups in Liberia to develop lasting, self-sustaining projects that benefit entire communities. Since 2004, SSH grants have contributed to agricultural modernization, economic development, improving sanitation, empowering vulnerable populations (women, youth, and persons with disabilities), improving learning conditions, and expanding access to clean water, health services, and education. Each year, the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund supports approximately twelve to fifteen projects.
Funding Instrument: Grant
Floor of Individual award: $1,000
Ceiling of Individual award: $10,000
The average range for grant awards is from $5000.
The goal of this program is to encourage community involvement and the use of local resources and expertise to improve the basic economic and social conditions at the local community level.
The concept of self-help is one in which the people achieve a development goal using their own available resources, with material assistance as necessary, from the Self-Help Fund. These activities should be community based with the communities taking the lead and managing their own activities
The program will continue to support construction projects, short term skills development initiatives, provision of school furniture and textbooks, as well as supporting income generation activities like producing vegetables, cassava, pineapple, peanuts, and plantains, animal husbandry and fishponds. Other income generation activities include provision of small-scale agricultural machines, farming tools and seeds. The program also supports health and sanitation activities including construction of hand pumps and clinics and well as maintaining clean environment.
Application Evaluation Criteria:
SUSTAINABILITY: The organization demonstrates a clear plan for sustainable activity or impact of the activity after the grant period of performance
BENEFICIARY CONTRIBUTION: Beneficiary contribution is very important to the program as the name “Self Help” suggests and beneficiaries are expected to contribute significantly to their project. The contribution may include labor, local materials (sand, wood, rocks and bricks) land, cash, etc.
IMPACT: The project benefits the greatest number of people possible or has significant community effect.
ACHIEVABLE WITHIN SSH PROGRAM CYCLE: The application demonstrates the activity can be implemented within twelve months.
CAPACITY OF GRANTEE: The grantee has expertise and demonstrates the ability to perform the proposed activities.
Project Review and Selection Process
Each year applications submitted from across the country are reviewed by a committee. The committee selects projects based on set criteria including the level of community support and involvement, as well as the potential for sustainability. The SSH coordinator conducts site visits and meets with organizations to learn more about the proposed projects. The projects are reviewed by the committee for final selection and recommendation to the Ambassador. Agreements are prepared for each selected project and a signing ceremony is organized. Once the project is completed, a dedication ceremony is held to mark the completion of each project.
Application deadline for this cycle: April 30, 2022
GENERAL GUIDELINES: The following guidelines have been established to assist in preparing a project proposal.
- The Ambassador’s Self-Help Fund is designed to provide a flexible” one-shot” type of assistance (i.e. no recurring obligations of U.S. funds). Therefore, once assistance has been provided to a project through the Self-Help Fund, no additional funds can be provided to the same project. The potential for sustainability is a high priority in identifying projects to be funded.
- Self-Help assistance is provided only for projects that have the genuine support of the benefiting communities. The people must contribute a significant portion of the project’s total cost through labor, material, land, cash, etc.
- United States Government contributions through the Self-Help Fund are made only to development projects. Typical self-help projects are short term skills development initiatives, provision of school furniture, textbooks, as well as supporting income generation activities like vegetable, cassava, plantain farming, and animal husbandry and fishponds. Other income generation activities include provision of small-scale agricultures machines, farming tools and seeds. These are economic development projects that increase the community’s financial resources for undertaking other self-help projects on their own. Small scale construction projects (not more than 10,000 sq. ft.) like latrines, clinics, schools, hand pumps etc., remain a major aspect and the most visible part of Self Help Fund. Recently funded projects include construction of clinics, schools, hand pumps, latrines and rice mills and a business cooperative for women (processing cassava into farina/gari).
- Examples of types of projects that can NOT be funded through the Self-Help Fund are scholarships, workshops, or seminars (except training as part of implementation of specific projects) athletic or recreational projects. Self-Help Funds cannot be used to fund political, religious, military activities or provide support to government agencies. Unskilled labor, administrative or personnel costs, consumable items, vehicles, computers, copiers, and items which are non-essential to actual construction like floor tiles, trim, etc. are not eligible for funding.
- All projects must be completed in one year.
- Application forms are available at the main gate of the U.S. Embassy compound on Benson Street or can be downloaded here (PDF 916KB).
For additional information, contact the Self Help Coordinator at +231 (0) 77 691-4410 / (0) 77 756-7045 or via email MonroviaSelfHelp@state.gov
Call for Proposals for Climate & Clean Energy Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia | The Private Financial Advisory Network (PFAN)
PFAN has launched a call for proposals for climate and clean energy projects and businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Selected projects will receive no-cost coaching by professional consultants and, once they are investment-ready, benefit from PFAN’s Investment Facilitation services. Entrepreneurs looking to initiate or scale-up clean energy or other climate change-related projects and seeking an investment of up to $50 million are invited to apply. This is an open-ended call for proposals without a deadline.
Moving Forward Together Radio Program Producer
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY MONROVIA, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Funding Opportunity Title: Moving Forward Together Radio Program Producer
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-MON-FY21-04
Deadline for Applications: August 8, 2021
CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available: $40,000, subject to funds availability
A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The U.S. Embassy Monrovia Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for individuals or small teams to submit applications to design and produce a bi-weekly (every two weeks) radio program in conjunction with PAS that explains and provides insights into the U.S. Embassy’s unique and diverse partnerships with the Liberian government and society. This grant provides funding for 14 radio programs in a 6-month period starting in September 2021. Please carefully follow all instructions below.
The program is an extension of the Moving Forward Together (MFT) radio project. MFT is a weekly, 45-minute radio program hosted on ECOWAS Radio that showcases collaborative projects and topics important to both the U.S. Mission to Liberia and the Liberian public. The new format will alternate between typically live interview shows that feature U.S. Embassy staff speaking with their Liberian counterparts on ECOWAS Radio and pre-recorded shows that feature Liberians who were beneficiaries or participants in U.S. Embassy projects or programs. The grantee will be responsible for most production aspects, logistical arrangements, and distribution of the pre-recorded shows. PAS will lead the live interview shows. Applicants should describe how they will demonstrate Embassy impact in radio format, including how they will design, record, and edit each 45-minute program. In addition, applicants should describe how they will distribute the program to rural community stations and track number of times broadcast and rough estimate of listenership.
The program supports the Embassy’s strategic goal of building on the foundation of historic ties and shared values between the United States and Liberia. It also supports the professionalization of local media. Ideal applicants are journalists and radio producers with some experience in radio production who have access to their own equipment. Professionals interested in building their portfolio are encouraged to apply.
The program implementer will independently track down leads provided by PAS, arrange recording logistics, conduct interviews, edit recordings to create an engaging narrative, distribute the final product to radio stations, and track broadcast instances. Distribution should target at least 25 radio stations with a priority placed on rural community stations.
The objectives of the program will include:
- Communicate to the Liberian audience the impact of the myriad U.S. Embassy programs and projects implemented each year.
- Highlight Liberian individuals and organizations who are making a positive impact on Liberian society through their own work that is or was supported by the U.S. Embassy.
- Demonstrate the historic and ongoing relationship between the United States and Liberia that is based on shared values.
- Create a platform for individuals and communities who are not typically represented on Liberian radio.
Participants and Audiences
The priority audience for this project is the Liberian public radio audience, especially those in rural areas who may not receive regular exposure to U.S. Embassy activities.
Authorizing legislation, type, and year of funding
Funding authority rests in the Smith-Mundt and Fulbright-Hayes Acts. The source of funding is FY2021 Public Diplomacy Funding.
B. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Length of performance period: 9 months
Number of awards anticipated: 1 primary award
Award amounts: $40,000 maximum
Type of Funding: Fiscal Year 2021 Public Diplomacy Funding
Anticipated program start date: On or before September 30, 2021
This notice is subject to availability of funding and can be withdrawn at the discretion of the U.S. Embassy Monrovia.
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Program Performance Period: 9 months
C. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
PAS Monrovia encourages applications from professional journalists or non-profit media organizations interested in radio production.
For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
Cost-Sharing or Matching
Cost-sharing is not required.
Other Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations. Individuals are not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.
D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
Address to Request Application Package Application forms required below are available at www.grants.gov.
Content and Form of Application Submission
Please follow all instructions below carefully. Applications that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.
Content of Application
- The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
- All documents are in English
- All budgets are in U.S. dollars
- All pages are numbered
- All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
- All documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.
The following documents are required:
Mandatory application forms
SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance – individuals)
SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)
These forms can be found at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-individual-family.html
Cover sheet stating the applicant name(s), proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
(7 pages maximum) The proposal should contain sufficient information such that non-specialists can understand exactly what the applicant intends 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 or Individual applying: A description of past and present projects, showing ability to carry out the project, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
- Production Plan Description: Describe a typical show production plan and how it will address the program objectives.
- 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.
- Distribution Plan: Describe how the show will be distributed to community radio stations, including the cost of placement, the frequency of plays, and the location and listening audience of stations.
- 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?
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.
Attachments (suggested examples)
- 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
- Official permission letters, if required for program activities
- Examples of previous radio productions
Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System 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
- www.SAM.gov 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 http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform
NCAGE application: Application page here: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx
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 NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.
Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov. SAM registration must be renewed annually.
Submission Dates and Times
Applications are due no later than May 30, 2021.
All application materials must be submitted by email to MonroviaPD@state.gov.
E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below. The criteria listed are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application.
Individual(s) capacity: The individual(s) has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
Quality and feasibility of the production plan: The production plan is well developed with details about how production activities will be carried out.
Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how the production plan are related to and support U.S. Embassy Monrovia’s priority areas or target audiences.
Budget: 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: Applicant demonstrates it can measure program success against key indicators and provide 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.
Review and Selection Process
A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications.
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.
F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
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 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 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 in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.
Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.
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 the 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/. Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following: NOTE:
- President’s September 2, 2020 memorandum, entitled Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds that Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities;
- Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence (E.O. 13933); and
- Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register’s 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:
- Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR part 200.205),
- Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115—232) (2 CFR part 200.216),
- Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (§§ 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341),
- Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR part 200.322), and
- Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law, if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR part 200.340).
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.
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.
Foreign Assistance Data Review: As required by Congress, the Department of State must make progress in its efforts to improve tracking and reporting of foreign assistance data through the Foreign Assistance Data Review (FADR). The FADR requires tracking of foreign assistance activity data from budgeting, planning, and allocation through obligation and disbursement. Successful applicants will be required to report and draw down federal funding based on the appropriate FADR Data Elements, indicated within their award documentation. In cases of more than one FADR Data Element, typically program or sector and/or regions or country, the successful applicant will be required to maintain separate accounting records.
G. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS
If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS Monrovia at MonroviaPD@state.gov.
Note: We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. Once an application has been submitted, State Department officials and staff — both in the Department and at embassies overseas — may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.
H. OTHER INFORMATION
Guidelines for Budget Justification
Personnel: 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. 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 budg
Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.
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.