Request for Concept Notes for NGO Projects Benefiting Urban Refugees in South Africa

Filed under: REGIONAL |

 

Funding Opportunity Announcement

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration

March 13, 2018

 

Request for Concept Notes Number: SFOP0004221

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.517 – Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Africa

Announcement issuance date: Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Proposal submission deadline: Thursday, April, 12 2018 at 12:00 p.m. noon EDT. Concept Notes submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

**ADVISORY: All applicants must submit concept notes through the website Grants.gov (not SAMS Domestic). Applications that are submitted through SAMS Domestic in response to this funding opportunity will be disqualified. PRM strongly recommends submitting your concept note early to allow time to address any technical difficulties that may arise on the Grants.gov website.**

If you are new to PRM funding, the Grants.gov registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “Application Process” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher.

Full Text of Notice of Funding Opportunity

A. Project Description

Summary: This solicitation is the first step in a two-part process. After reviewing concept notes, PRM will invite selected organizations to expand their submissions into full single-year (15 page) or multi-year (20 page) proposals with objectives, indicators, and detailed budgets for each year of the project. Selected organizations will have 30 calendar days after they are notified of their selection to complete their full proposals. Organizations may apply as partners or consortia; however, one organization must be designated as the lead applicant at both the concept note and full proposal stage.

This announcement references PRM’s General NGO Guidelines which contain additional information on PRM’s priorities and NGO funding strategy with which selected organizations must comply. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that your concept note submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements and that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities. Concept note submissions that do not reflect the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

(a) Concept note activities should support refugees and asylum seekers residing in South Africa with priority areas being urban centers in Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, and North West provinces. Programs should build capacity of national organizations and within communities to address refugee and asylum seeker needs and promote self-reliance. They should also, where relevant, include efforts to identify and reach out to “hidden” refugees, identify and build upon existing services (including government services), provide information about and referrals to existing services, establish a clear method and criteria for identifying and assisting the most vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers, adopt a community-based approach that takes into account host community needs, and avoid creating refugee-specific parallel services to what already exists in the community. Because of PRM’s mandate to provide protection, assistance, and sustainable solutions for refugees and victims of conflict, PRM will consider funding only those projects that include a target beneficiary base of at least 50 percent refugees and asylum seekers.

(b) Concept notes must focus on advocacy and support for refugee protection and access to basic social services in urban settings in one or more of the following sectors (see PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for sector descriptions):

  • Protection: Proposal should bear in mind existing refugee protection mechanisms including formal laws and policies designed to protect refugees and asylum seekers as well as informal community-based protection efforts. Proposals should be designed to support and strengthen existing protection mechanisms rather than develop parallel systems that may not be sustainable over time. Key components of protection programs may include: (1) legal assistance and counseling, (2) community-based prevention and response to xenophobia, (3) prevention and response to gender-based violence, (4) child protection, and/ or (5) dissemination of information to promote enhanced refugee access to protection mechanisms and programs.
  • Health, Education, and/or Shelter: Proposals should focus on increasing refugee and asylum seeker access to existing government- and community-based social services rather than developing parallel services, with a focus on (a) health care (including mental health care and sexual and reproductive health services), (b) education and vocational training, and/ or (c) housing and shelter. Proposals should enhance local capacity to address refugee and asylum seeker needs and may include support to host communities who are assisting and protecting refugees and asylum seekers provided at least 50 percent of the beneficiaries are refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Livelihoods: Proposals should be based on market assessments and should be designed to foster self-reliance among refugees and asylum seekers in urban areas. Components may include (a) training in language, literacy and vocational skills linked to local markets, (b) job-placement, and/ or (c) legal support for businesses. Proposals should include plans to measure the impact of proposed activities on achieving self-reliance, or in the case of continuation applications, describe the impacts of previous livelihoods activities and include indicators of self-reliance. Programs may include host-community beneficiaries provided that at least 50 percent of the beneficiaries are refugees and asylum seekers.

(c) Organizations may submit a maximum of one concept note. Any subsequent submissions received will be disqualified.

B. Federal Award Information

Proposed project start dates: August 1– September 15, 2019

Duration of Activity: Concept notes for one to three years will be considered.

Funding Limits: Summary budgets must not be less than $200,000 per year and not more than $500,000 per year, or they will be disqualified. Livelihoods projects are encouraged to be multi-year.

C. Eligibility Information

  1. Eligible Applicants: (1) Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; (2) Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) status with IRS, other than institutions of higher education; and (3) International Organizations. International multilateral organizations, such as United Nations agencies, should not submit concept notes through Grants.gov in response to this Notice of Funding Opportunity. Multilateral organizations that are seeking funding for projects relevant to this announcement should contact the PRM Program Officer (as listed below) on or before the closing date of the funding announcement.
  2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not a requirement of an application in response to this funding announcement.
  3. Other:

(a) Concept notes and eventually full proposals must encompass relevant international standards for humanitarian assistance, especially Sphere Standards. See PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for a complete list of sector-specific standards including new guidance on proposals for projects in urban areas.

(b) PRM strongly encourages projects that target the needs of vulnerable and underserved groups among the beneficiary population (women; children; adolescents; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) individuals; older persons; the sick; persons with disabilities; and other minorities) and can demonstrate what steps have been taken to meet the specific and unique protection and assistance needs of these vulnerable groups effectively.

(c) PRM will accept concept notes from any NGO working in the above mentioned sectors although, given budgetary constraints, priority will be given to concept notes from organizations that can demonstrate:

  • a working relationship with UNHCR;
  • a proven track record in providing proposed assistance both in the sector and specified location;
  • evidence of coordination with international organizations (IOs) and other NGOs working in the same area or sector as well as local authorities;
  • an emphasis on the outcome or impact of project activities. Full objective and indicator tables will only be required if the applicant is invited to submit a full proposal; however, the concept note must generally demonstrate the ability to deliver impact.
  • where applicable, adherence to PRM’s Principles for Refugee Protection in Urban Areas.
  • an understanding of and sensitivity to conflict dynamics in the project location.

D. Application and Submission Instructions

  1. Address to Request Application Package:

(a) Application packages may be downloaded from the website www.Grants.gov.

  1. Content and Form of Application:

(a) Organizations may submit a maximum of one concept note. Any subsequent submissions received will be disqualified.

(b) Concept notes must be no more than 3 pages in length submitted in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF, using Times New Roman, 12 point font, with one inch margins on all sides. Concept notes that are longer than 3 pages will be automatically disqualified. There is no separate template for concept note submissions.

(c) Concept notes must include the following categories, in any arrangement.

(i) Brief problem statement, description of target population with beneficiary numbers, and vulnerability criteria used to identify beneficiaries

(ii) Project description, location, and duration

(iii) Proposed measurable outcomes and impact of the project

(iv) Summary of the organization and experience doing similar work

(v) Organizational point(s) of contact

(d) Summary budgets must be attached to the concept note and do not fall within the 3-page limit. Summary budgets must clearly indicate costs per year. Summary budgets are a separate document from the SF-424A, and must include the following categories:

(i) Personnel allowances

(ii) Benefits

(iii) Travel

(iv) Program equipment

(v) Supplies

(vi) Contractual

(vii) Construction

(viii) Other direct costs

(ix) Indirect costs

(x) Total amount requested

(e) There should be no attachments, other than the budget, to the initial concept note submission. For selected organizations, PRM will request fully developed, 15-page/20-page, single-year/multi-year proposals with objectives, indicators, and detailed budgets for each year of the project. Organizations that are invited to submit full proposals may attach work plans, activity calendars, and/or logical frameworks as addendums to their full-length proposal at that stage.

(f) To be considered for PRM funding, organizations must submit a complete application package including:

  • 3-page concept note plus one-page summary budget clearly indicating costs per year attached for the project period.
  • Signed completed SF-424, SF-424 A, and SF-424 B (note: these documents are additional, separate documents from the 3-page concept note and one-page budget and not within the 3 page limit)

(g) Consortia. Organizations may apply to this call as individual organizations or consortia; however, one organization must be designated as the lead applicant at both the concept note and full proposal stage. If the applicant is applying as a consortium or partnership, a description of how the partnership will be organized and how lines of authority and decision-making will be managed across all team members and between the lead applicant and associate awardees should be included in the concept note. The concept note should discuss the governance structure of the partnership, the role of each organization, and how each partner will be utilized in implementing the overall project.

3. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM)

(a) Each applicant is required to: (i) be registered in SAM at (www.sam.gov) before submitting its application; (ii) provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active PRM award or an application or plan under consideration by PRM. No federal award may be made to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the PRM award is ready to be made, PRM may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a PRM award and use that determination as a basis for making a PRM award to another applicant.

(b) Concept notes must be submitted via Grants.gov (not via SAMS Domestic). Grants.gov registration requires a DUNS number and active SAM.gov registration. If you are new to PRM funding, the Grants.gov registration process can be complicated. We urge you to refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines “Application Process” section for information and resources to help ensure that the application process runs smoothly. PRM also strongly encourages organizations that have received funding from PRM in the past to read this section as a refresher. Applicants may also refer to the “For Applicants” page on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements.

(c) Do not wait until the deadline to submit your application on Grants.gov. Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should register well in advance of the deadline as it can take up to two weeks to finalize registration (sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to receive required registration numbers). We also recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via Grants.gov no later than one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in an application not being considered. PRM partners must maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which they have an active federal award or an application under consideration by PRM or any federal agency.

(d) When registering with Grants.gov, organizations must designate points of contact and Authorized Organization Representatives (AORs). Organizations based outside the United States must also request and receive an NCAGE (https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx) code prior to registering with SAM.gov. Applicants experiencing technical difficulties with the SAM registration process should contact the Federal Service Desk (FSD) online or at 1866-606-8220 (U.S.) and 1-334-206-7828 (International).

(e) Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.

(f) If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at support@grants.gov or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via Grants.gov due to Grants.gov technical difficulties and who have reported the problem to the Grants.gov help desk, received a case number, and had a service request opened to research the problem, should contact the relevant PRM Program Officer to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

(g) It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure the appropriate registrations are in place and active. Failure to have the appropriate organizational registrations in place is not considered a technical difficulty and is not justification for an alternate means of submission.

(h) Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), the Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances is available upon request by emailing PRMNGOCoordinator@state.gov with the subject line, “PRM NGO Templates”. (Do not add quotation marks into the subject line.)

4. Submission Dates and Times

Announcement issuance date: Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Proposal submission deadline: Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. noon EDT. Concept Notes submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

This solicitation is the first step in a two-part process. After reviewing concept notes, PRM will invite selected organizations to expand their submissions into full-length proposals with detailed budgets. Selected organizations will have 30 calendar days after they are notified of their selection to complete their full proposals.

5. Intergovernmental Review – Not Applicable.

6. Funding Restrictions. Federal awards will not allow reimbursement of Federal Award costs without prior authorization by PRM.

7. Other Submission Requirements

Branding and Marking Strategy: Unless exceptions have been approved by the designated bureau Authorizing Official as described in the proposal templates that are available upon email request from PRM’s NGO Coordinator, at a minimum, the following provision will be included whenever assistance is awarded:

  • As a condition of receipt of this assistance award, all materials produced pursuant to the award, including training materials, materials for recipients or materials to communicate or promote with foreign audiences a program, event, project, or some other activity under this agreement, including but not limited to invitations to events, press materials, event backdrops, podium signs, etc. must be marked appropriately with the standard U.S. flag in a size and prominence equal to (or greater than) any other logo or identity.

o Subrecipients and subsequent tier sub-award agreements are subject to the marking requirements and the recipient shall include a provision in the subrecipient agreement indicating that the standard, rectangular U.S. flag is a requirement. In the event the recipient does not comply with the marking requirements as established in the approved assistance agreement, the Grants Officer Representative and the Grants Officer must initiate corrective action.

E. Application Review Information

  1. Criteria: Eligible submissions will be those that comply with the criteria and requirements included in this announcement. In addition, the review panel will evaluate the concept notes based on the following criteria:

(i) Quality of project idea

(ii) Appropriate identification of beneficiary population, including vulnerable populations

(iii) Project feasibility/ability to achieve objectives

(iv) Organization’s experience and capacity

(v) Cost effectiveness

  1. PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all concept notes submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel of at least three people will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced programmatic criteria and PRM priorities in the context of available funding.
  2. After reviewing the concept notes, selected organizations will be invited to submit full proposals. PRM will provide formal notifications to NGOs of final decisions within 90 days after the closing date of this announcement. Selected organizations will have 30 calendar days from notification to submit full proposals, with detailed budgets, and attachments as applicable (refer to PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for general proposal formatting and submission guidance for single-year/multi-year projects).

F. Federal Award Administration Information

  1. Federal Award Administration. A successful applicant can expect to receive a separate notice from PRM stating that an application has been selected before PRM actually makes the federal award. That notice is not an authorization to begin performance. Only the notice of award signed by the grants officer is the authorizing document. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified following completion of the selection and award process.
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements. PRM awards are made consistent with the following provisions in the following order of precedence: (a) applicable laws and statutes of the United States, including any specific legislative provisions mandated in the statutory authority for the award; (b) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR); (c) Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions of the award; (d) the award’s specific requirements; and (e) other documents and attachments to the award.
  3. Reporting

Successful applicants will be required to submit:

(a) Project Reports: PRM requires project reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. A project report is required within thirty (30) days following the end of each three month period of performance during the validity period of the agreement. The final project report is due ninety (90) days following the end of the agreement. The submission dates for project reports will be written into the cooperative agreement. Partners receiving multi-year awards should follow this same reporting schedule and should still submit a final project report at the end of each year that summarizes the NGO’s performance during the previous year.

The Performance Progress Report (SF-PPR) is an optional cover sheet used by recipients for progress reporting on awards. Previously this form was mandatory, but has since been removed from OMB’s list of approved forms and currently is an optional form. The Bureau suggests that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended quarterly project report template and, if also choosing to use the SF-PPR, reference this template as being attached in block 10 at “Other.” The suggested PRM NGO reporting template is designed to ease the reporting requirements while ensuring that all required elements are addressed. The Quarterly Project Report Template, along with the optional SF-PPR, can be requested by sending an email with only the phrase “PRM NGO Templates” (without the quotation marks) in the subject line, to PRMNGOCoordinator@state.gov.

(b) Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement (January 30th, April 30th, July 30th, October 30th). The final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement. For agreements containing indirect costs, final financial reports are due within sixty (60) days of the finalization of the applicable negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA).

Reports reflecting expenditures for the recipient’s overseas and United States offices should be completed in accordance with the Federal Financial Report (FFR SF-425) and submitted electronically in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Payment Management System (HHS/PMS) and in accordance with other award specific requirements. Detailed information pertaining to the Federal Financial Report including due dates, instruction manuals and access forms, is provided on the HHS/PMS website.

(c) Audit Reports: When a recipient-contracted audit is not required because the Federal award amount is less than the $750,000 threshold, the Department may determine that an audit must be performed and the audit report must be submitted to the responsible grants office(r) for review, dissemination, and resolution as appropriate. The cost of audits required under this policy may be charged either as an allowable direct cost to the award, or included in the organizations established indirect costs in the award’s detailed budget.

G. PRM Contacts

(a) Applicants with technical questions related to this announcement should contact the PRM staff listed below prior to submission. Please note that responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the project discussed.

PRM Program Officer: Chris Upchurch, upchurchcm@state.gov, +1-202-453-9307, Washington, D.C.

**Disclaimer: External websites linked above may not be supported or accessible by all web browsers. If you are unable to link to a referenced website, please try using a different browser or update to a more recent one. If you continue to experience difficulties to reach external resources, please contact the PRMNGOCoordinator.

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