The Ambassador’s Self Help Program
We wish to inform the public that the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program is now accepting applications for the 2021 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, 2021
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 231-777-958-072/0776-777-272 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.
Public Affairs Small Grants Opportunities
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY MONROVIA, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Monrovia PAS Annual Program Statement
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-MON-FY21-01
Deadline for Applications: July 15, 2021
CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Maximum for Each Award: $20,000, subject to funds availability
- PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The U.S. Embassy Monrovia Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This Annual Program Statement outlines our funding priorities, the strategic themes we focus on, and the procedures for submitting requests for funding. Please carefully follow all instructions below.
PAS Monrovia is soliciting proposals from Liberian non-profit institutions, non-governmental organizations, or non-profit private or public academic institutions for funding to support programs that strengthen U.S.-Liberian ties. These proposals must focus on one or more of the priority areas specified below.
Purpose of Small Grants
PAS Monrovia invites proposals for programs that strengthen cultural ties between the U.S. and Liberia through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. society, culture and policies.
Examples of PAS Small Grants Program programs include, but are not limited to:
- Academic and professional lectures, seminars, and speaker programs
- Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances, and exhibitions
- Cultural heritage conservation and preservation programs
- Professional and academic exchanges and programs
- Programs developed by alumni of a U.S. Government-sponsored educational or professional exchange program
- Programs that expand PAS American Spaces activities
- Roundtables, panels, and workshops
- Media training
Note: These programs may take place virtually and/or in-person with public health protocols in place.
Priority Program Areas
Effective rule of law and human rights protections
Program topic examples:
- increasing access to justice
- improving community dispute resolution mechanisms
- reducing sexual- and gender-based violence
- leading anti-corruption efforts
- increasing transparency in the public sector
- promoting democratic values and governance
- professionalization of media
- increasing media literacy
- encouraging volunteerism
- improving citizen engagement
Inclusive economic development and mutually beneficial trade and investment
Program topic examples:
- promoting entrepreneurship
- enabling investment environment
- encouraging sustainable development
- increasing expertise in SME business owners
Program topic examples:
- increasing access to education for all
- improving reading and math comprehension among youth
- creating opportunities for teacher training
- creating opportunities for academic exchange
- developing leadership and life skills
Participants and Audiences
Programs may target a variety of audiences, depending on the topic, though generally PAS Monrovia’s intended participants and target audiences are emerging leaders in high schools and university as well as government, business, and civil society professionals in Liberia. Proposals will be evaluated on a well-reasoned strategy for the intended audience, as well as appropriate inclusivity, whether based on gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, or disability.
The following types of programs are not eligible for funding:
- Programs relating to partisan political activity
- Charitable or development activities
- Construction programs
- Programs that support specific religious activities
- Fundraising campaigns
- Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
- Scientific research
- Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization
- Programs that duplicate existing programs
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.
- FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
Length of performance period: 1 – 12 months
Number of awards anticipated: Up to 10 awards (dependent on amounts)
Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $2,000 to a maximum of $20,000. Applications are encouraged to include sub-grants that develop the capacity of local implementing partners who have not previously directly benefitted from U.S. Embassy grant programs. The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy reserves the right to award less or more than the amount of funds requested in each application or under such other circumstances as they may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. government.
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, Fixed Amount Award, or awards to individuals.
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less.
- ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION
PAS Monrovia encourages applications from the United States and Liberia, although all activities must take place in Liberia:
- Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
- Individuals, including alumni of U.S. Department of State exchange programs
- Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
- Non-profit media organizations
- Professional trade organizations
For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
Cost-Sharing or Matching
Cost-sharing is not required.
Other Eligibility Requirements
Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding
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.
- 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. Proposals 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-family.html.
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.
(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 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. What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Liberia will be improved? 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.
- Proposed Program Schedule: 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.
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
Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)
All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:
- Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
- NCAGE/CAGE code
- SAM.gov registration
Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)
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.
The application page can be found at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx. Instructions can be found at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf.
For help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423
For 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 by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov. SAM registration must be renewed annually.
Submission Dates and Times
The Public Affairs Section will accept proposals throughout the year and will review proposals according to the following schedule:
- Proposals received between January 1 and March 31 will be reviewed by April 15, with responses going out by April 30
- Proposals received between April 1 and July 15 will be reviewed by July 31, with responses going out by August 15
All application materials must be submitted by email to MonroviaPD@state.gov.
- 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.
Organizational capacity: The organization 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 program idea: The program idea is well developed with details about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated, and the program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals 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.
Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.
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:
- 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);
- 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;
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.