Funding Opportunity Description
Pending availability of funding, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Tirana accepts applications from Albanian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Albanian cultural/ educational organizations for proposals that promote understanding of the United States, advance U.S. foreign policy objectives, or foster exchange between the United States and Albania.
The Public Affairs Section of the U.S Embassy in Tirana is particularly interested in projects that:
Support the development of civil society and further its role in the democratic processes in Albania;
Promote cultural and professional U.S. – Albania exchanges through the arts (music, dance, theater, visual arts, photography, music, and film, arts education and management) or sports;
Expand knowledge and develop English language skills and/or advance professional development of English language teachers, and promote exchange between Albania and the United States; and
Safeguard the democratic ideals of freedom of expression, freedom of the press and intellectual freedom.
Proposals should foster cultural or educational exchange. The Embassy gives consideration to a wide range and diversity of Albanian organizations, and seeks to target geographically and demographically diverse audiences in Albania.
Preference is given to Albanian (or in specific cases U.S.) organizations and individuals with a proven track record of executing superior cultural and educational events and programs. New grantees will generally be given priority over previous grantees. Preference will be given to proposals that demonstrate the long-term sustainability of the project, and also to those organizations that are able to provide significant cost sharing.
Activities that are typically funded include, but are not limited to:
- Proposals to expand U.S.- Albania cultural exchanges;
- Projects that promote civil society and its role in furthering democratic processes in Albania;
- English language programs
- Projects that promote free and professional media
Activities that are not typically funded include, but are not limited to:
- Projects that provide direct social services to populations
- Paying to complete activities begun with other funds;
- Providing for long-term infrastructural needs
- Paying for construction costs
- Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of partisanship/support an individual politician, or single party electoral campaigns;
- International travel, unless specifically justified within the project;
- Citizen exchange programs with foreign countries;
- Political party activities; and,
- Projects that support specific religious activities.
Funding Instrument Type: Grant, Cooperative Agreement, Fixed Amount Award, and Award to Individual
Floor of Individual Award Amounts: US$ 500
Ceiling of Individual Award Amounts: US$ 10,000.00
The Embassy reserves the right to award grants in amounts greater or less than these amounts as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. government.
Project and Budget Periods: Generally local grants projects must be completed in one year or less. The Public Affairs Section will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards, beyond the initial budget period, on a noncompetitive basis, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory progress of the applicants, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the Department of State.
Eligibility Information: Unrestricted
The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Tirana encourages applications from all sectors: non-governmental organizations, think tanks, academic institutions, and individuals. Applications may also be accepted from U.S. organizations and individuals.
Applicants are encouraged to provide cost-sharing from additional sources in support of this project. The Embassy also encourages projects that use highly skilled volunteers as an element of cost-sharing. Applications should explain clearly other likely sources of funding and how the volunteers will be used.
III. Application Submission and Deadline
Proposals should be submitted online via email to the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission in Tirana at the following email addresses:
For civil society related proposals: PDGrantsTirana@state.gov
For cultural and education related proposals: CultureandEducationTirana@State.gov
For media related proposals: PASTirana@state.gov
Applications will be accepted in English only, and final grant agreements will be concluded in English.
All Proposals should include the following documents to be considered:
SF-424: Application For Federal Assistance, which is available, along with guidance for completing this form (PDF 16 KB).
SF-424B: Assurances (to be signed)
Project Narrative and budget breakdown: Provide a summary of the project description with reference to the amount and duration of the funding request. This should include the specific goals of the project in terms of messages delivered to audiences, desired changes in behavior, etc. Provide an itemized spreadsheet of costs, including unit costs, quantities and any other relevant information that may impact total cost of project. (Application Form – PDF 203KB)
Monitoring Plan: Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished.
Pending on the availability of funds proposals will be considered in three separate cycles of funding. The deadlines for proposal submissions are: January 31, 2018, March 30, 2018, and June 29, 2018.
Proposals can be submitted at any time and will be reviewed with all the submissions received for that cycle of funding. All applicants are typically contacted 3-4 weeks after the deadline for each funding cycle and informed whether or not their proposal was selected.
December 19, 2017 Publication of Annual Program Statement
January 31, 2018 Deadline for proposal submissions
February 12-28, 2018 Revision of Proposals by Grantee Committee
March 16, 2018 Notification of approved and unapproved proposals
March 30, 2018 Deadline for proposal submissions
April 16-27, 2018 Revision of Proposals by Grantee Committee
May 14, 2018 Notification of approved and unapproved proposals
June 29, 2018 Deadline for proposal submissions
July 16-27, 2018 Revision of Proposals by Grantee Committee
August 13, 2018 Notification of approved and unapproved proposals
There is no need to contact the Mission to ask about the status of your proposal once you have received the confirmation e-mail acknowledging receipt of your proposal.
Review and Selection Process
Each application submitted under this announcement will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the following evaluation criteria. The criteria are designed to assess the quality of the proposed project, and to determine the likelihood of its success. The criteria are closely related and are considered as a whole in judging the overall quality of an application. Applications will be reviewed on the basis of their fullness, coherence, clarity, and attention to detail. Points are awarded only to applications that are responsive within the context of this program announcement.
Application Evaluation Criteria:
Goals and Objectives – The project is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results and the organization. Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provide milestones to indicate progress toward Public Affairs Section goals.
Strengths and Innovation – Applicant clearly describes how its proposal will address the requested program within the proposed time frame and articulates an innovative strategy or plan. The project builds civil society leadership and capacity, and demonstrates sustainable capacity building.
Budget and Budget Justification – The budget and narrative justification are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results and the plan for services is realistic.
Award Notices: The grant award or cooperative agreement shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The Grants Officer is the U.S. government official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants and cooperative agreements. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient. Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via e-mail.
Reporting Requirements: All awards issued under this announcement will require both program and financial reports on a frequency specified in the award agreement. The disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner. All other details related to award administration will be specified in award agreement as well.