Ambassadors Fund For Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2018

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce that we are now accepting project proposals for the 2018 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). The AFCP is one of many ways that we partner with Albania to preserve its unique cultural heritage.  Project proposals may be submitted to: CultureandEducationTirana@State.gov

Project proposals are due on December 10, 2017 and must strictly comply with the requirements and guidelines described below.  If you have questions about this program, please contact us at CultureandEducationTirana@State.gov

FUNDING AREAS:  Through the AFCP Program, the Department of State supports projects to preserve cultural heritage in the following three areas:

  • CULTURAL SITES such as, but not limited to, historic buildings and archaeological sites;
  • CULTURAL OBJECTS AND COLLECTIONS from a museum, site, or similar institution—that include, but are not limited to, archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, and general museum conservation needs; and,
  • FORMS OF TRADITIONAL CULTURAL EXPRESSION such as traditional music, indigenous languages, and crafts.

FUNDING PRIORITIES — GENERAL:  AFCP will recommend for funding those proposals that include project activities in adherence to the following guidelines and to international standards for the preservation of cultural heritage. These activities may include:

  • CULTURAL SITES: conservation of an ancient or historic building, preservation of an archaeological site, or documentation of cultural sites in a region for preservation purposes.
  • CULTURAL OBJECTS AND COLLECTIONS: conservation treatment for an object or collection of objects; needs assessment of a collection with respect to its condition and strategies for improving its state of conservation; inventory of a collection for conservation and protection purposes; the creation of safe environments for storage or display of collections; or specialized training in the care and preservation of collections.
  • FORMS OF TRADITIONAL CULTURAL EXPRESSION: documentation and audiovisual recording of traditional music and dance forms for broad dissemination as the means of teaching and further preserving them, or support for training in the preservation of traditional applied arts or crafts in danger of extinction.

 FUNDING PRIORITIES—SPECIFIC TO THE AFCP 2018 ANNUAL

COMPETITION: Proposals for projects that meet one or more of the following criteria will receive consideration in FY 2018:

  • Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations, such as cultural property protection agreements;
  • Support the preservation of inscribed World Heritage sites;
  • Support risk reduction and disaster preparedness for cultural sites and collections in seismically active and other disaster-prone areas; and
  • Engage women, youth, or under-served communities.

Special Note Regarding Sites and Objects That Have a Religious Connection:  The establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution permits the government to include religious objects and sites within an aid program under certain conditions.  For example, an item with a religious connection (including a place of worship) may be the subject of a cultural preservation grant if the item derives its primary significance and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria.

ELIGIBLE COUNTRIES: The AFCP 2018 Competition is open to U.S. ambassadors serving in countries which have been determined to be eligible to participate in the program based on the country’s rank in the 2016 U.N. Human Development Index.  Albania is one of the eligible countries for the AFCP 2018 Competition.

ELIGIBLE PROJECT APPLICANTS: The Center defines eligible project applicants as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities, such as non-governmental organizations, or similar institutions and organizations that are able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage. Embassies must vet applicants for eligibility, suitability, and reputable performance in cultural preservation or similar activities. The Center requests that embassies determine whether any country-specific sanctions should be taken into consideration before submitting proposals. Embassies must ensure the applicants are able to receive support from the U.S. Government and AFCP grants in accordance with AFCP program policies.

INELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES AND UNALLOWABLE COSTS: AFCP will NOT support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of the activities or costs below will be deemed ineligible:

  • Preservation or purchase of privately or commercially owned cultural objects, collections, or real property, including those whose transfer from private or commercial to public ownership is envisioned, planned, or in process but not complete at the time of application;
  • Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.);
  • Preservation of hominid or human remains;
  • Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.);
  • Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
  • Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
  • Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes;
  • Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  • Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums;
  • Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example);
  • Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes;
  • Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;
  • Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist;
  • Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another;
  • Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason;
  • Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation or documentation effort;
  • Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies;
  • Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds (funds must be expended within the award period [up to five years] and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund);
  • Costs of fund-raising campaigns;
  • Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees;
  • Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the grants officer;
  • International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  • Travel or study outside the host country for professional development;
  • Individual projects costing less than $10,000;
  • Independent U.S. projects overseas.

INELIGIBLE PROJECT APPLICANTS: AFCP does not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or to embassies or past award recipients which have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards.

AWARD INFORMATION: Funding Instrument Type: Grant (Program Authority: Fulbright Hays Section 102(b)(5), as amended). Floor on Amount of Individual Awards: US $10,000 per project. Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: $200,000 per project.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:

All documents must be submitted in English in the required format (PDF 231 KB).

  • Project Basics, including title, project dates, and AFCP focus area;
  • Project Applicant information, including contact information, DUNS Number, and SAM registration status (see Section 19 below);
  • Project Location;
  • Proof of Official Permission to undertake the project;
  • Project Purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results;
  • Project Activities Description that presents the project tasks in chronological order;
  • Project Time Frame or Schedule that lists the major project phases and milestones with target dates for achieving them (NOTE: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months [five years]; projects must begin before September 30, 2018, and conclude no later than September 30, 2023);
  • Project Participant Information, specifically an estimated number of non-US and US participants and estimated number of primary and secondary participants, as well as resumes of the proposed project director and other primary project participants;
  • Statement of Importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the cultural site, collection, or form of traditional expression;
  • Statement of Urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now;
  • Statement of Sustainability outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain the site, object, or collection in good condition after the AFCP-supported project is complete; or, in the case of forms of traditional cultural expression, to preserve and disseminate the documentation, knowledge, or skills gained from the project;

Detailed Project Budget (to request the excel copy of the budget, please send an e-mail to CultureandEducationTirana@State.gov), demarcated in one-year budget periods (2018, 2019, 2020 etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel [including Per Diem], Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Other Direct Costs, Indirect Costs, Cost Sharing); indicates funds from other sources; and gives a justification for any anticipated international travel costs (templates available upon request from the Center);

Budget Narrative explaining line by line how costs are estimated (quantity x unit cost, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project, etc.) and unique budget line items; (budget format attached)

Attachments and Supporting Documents including, at a minimum and REQUIRED, five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site, object, or form of expression and, in the case of a site or object, show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing wall, water damage, worn fabric, broken handle, etc.), any historic structure reports, conservation needs assessments, and other planning documents compiled in preparation for the proposed project;

COST SHARING AND OTHER FORMS OF COST PARTICIPATION: There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required for this competition. When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved agreement.  The applicant will be responsible for tracking and reporting on any cost share or outside funding, which is subject to audit per 2 CFR 200.  Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs.

DUNS NUMBER AND SAM REGISTRATION: Applicants requesting $25,000 or more in federal assistance must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting applications. NOTE:  This process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.  Applicants may acquire DUNs numbers at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNs number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by requesting a number online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx. SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. Government. SAM.gov replaced the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in July 2012. SAM.gov collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of federal agency acquisition and grant award mission. Registration in SAM is free: https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/

APPLICATION SCREENING CRITERIA: The Center will first screen all proposals for technical eligibility based on the criteria contained in this request for grant proposals. The Center will also screen proposals against the lists of AFCP program-specific ineligible activities, costs, and applicants (see relevant sections above).

APPLICATION RATING CRITERIA: Using a point-based system (below), the Center will rate all applications based on the program funding priorities; the quality, soundness, and comprehensiveness of the proposed project and budget; the urgency of the proposed project; the rationale for U.S. support of the project supplied by the applying U.S. embassy; the quality and quantity of supporting materials, such as resumes of the key project participants, images of the resource, and notices of official permission from the responsible resource steward, such as a ministry of culture.

AFCP POINT-BASED RATING SYSTEM: Proposals will be rated as follows:

  • Purpose and Summary, Description, Time Frame, Importance: 20 points max
  • Urgency: 10 points max
  • Sustainability: 10 points max
  • Rationale for U.S. Support: 15 points max
  • Media and Outreach Plan: 15 points max
  • Budget and Budget Narrative: 15 points max
  • Supporting Materials: 15 points max

Once the Center has completed its screening and rating, it will forward the technically eligible and favorably rated proposals to the Public Diplomacy sections in the respective regional bureaus in the State Department for ranking. Once the proposals are ranked, the Center will convene a panel to recommend proposals for funding. The Center may deem proposals ineligible if they do not fully adhere to AFCP 2018 Competition objectives, requirements, and other criteria stated herein.

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE OF AFCP 2018 GRANTS: The period of performance begins upon the Grants Officer’s signature and the grantee’s countersignature of a Department Standard Notice of Award. A complete Notice of Award consists of:

  • DS-1909 Award Cover Sheet;
  • Award Provisions;
  • Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions.

The three combined constitute the legal document issued to notify an award recipient that an award has been made and that funds are available for use during the specified award period. Failure to produce a complete DOS Notice of Award may result in the nullification of the award.

PERFORMANCE AND DELIVERABLES: AFCP 2018 award recipients must submit performance progress, federal financial status reports, and final reports on time as specified in the Notice of Award. Embassies are also encouraged to document AFCP milestones via cable and on the Mission Activity Tracker (http://pdmat.state.gov). The Center will compile this information in a report to Congress, as required, and in a published annual report of completed projects.

DISCLAIMER: Explanatory information provided by the Center/U.S. Embassy that contradicts published language is not binding. Issuance of this Notice of Funding Opportunity does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. Government. The Center/U.S. Embassy reserves the right to waive program formalities and to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements as specified above and in the Notice of Award.