Women’s Empowerment Small Grants Program

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2020 Women’s Empowerment Small Grants Program.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

U.S. EMBASSY SARAJEVO, OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY 

 

Funding Opportunity Title:              WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM

Funding Opportunity Number:       002-FY2020

Deadline for Application:                Friday, January 17, 2020

CFDA Number:                                 19.900

Length of Performance Period:      12 months

Number of Awards Anticipated:    At least 10 depending on amount of each grant

Award Amounts:                              Awards may range from USD 1,000 to USD 50,000.

Total Available Funding:                 USD 300,000

Type of Funding:                             FY19/20 Assistance to Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia (AEECA) under the Foreign Assistance Act

Anticipated Award Date:                 May/June 2020

Funding Instrument Type:              Grant, Fixed Amount Award (FAA), Cooperative Agreement

The United States Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, through the Office of Public Affairs, is pleased to announce a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Women’s Empowerment Small Grants Program.

 

WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM

This program supports NGO efforts to promote women’s leadership and the political, economic, and social advancement of women across Bosnia and Herzegovina.  We particularly welcome proposals for projects that equip women who have leadership potential with the skills and knowledge to advocate effectively for their rights and to become opinion leaders, successful communicators and businesswomen.

PROJECT THEMES

Projects should deal with one of the following themes:

  • Economic empowerment of women and girls (proposals may not include vocational training)
  • Promotion of women’s engagement in politics as voters, advocates and candidates
  • Amplification of women’s voices and leadership on issues that affect all citizens of BiH
  • Empowerment of girls and young women to become leaders in their schools, communities and country
  • Prevention of gender-based violence
  • Public awareness of women’s health issues

PROJECT PERFORMANCE PERIOD

The budget for single project proposals for the Women’s Empowerment Small Grants Program should not exceed $50,000 and program activities are envisioned to take place between May/June 2020 and April/May 2021. Please note that the precise timeframe in which grant money will be received cannot be guaranteed.  Grantees should design projects that can be implemented if money is received after May/June 2020.

ELIGIBILITY

C1. Who can apply:  Non-government, non-profit organizations (including think tanks, civil society organizations), educational institutions and independent media that are based and legally registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina are eligible to apply. American or other donor country organizations and individuals are not eligible for grants under this program. Grants are generally awarded only to organizations.

C2. Other eligibility requirements: All organizations must have a DUNS number unique entity identifier and a valid registration on SAM.gov before their project proposals can be funded. Organization must obtain a DUNS number and SAM registration in order to receive funding. Please see Section E for information on how to obtain these registrations.

C3. Proposals from prior grantees:  Organizations may only submit one proposal per program. Organizations that have received a grant from the Women’s Empowerment Small Grants Program in a previous cycle and have not completed their projects are not eligible to apply for another Women’s Empowerment grant until they have submitted their final reports, but may still apply for grants from the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program or the Interethnic Reconciliation and Youth Small Grants Program.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

D1.  Mandatory application forms:  Your application cannot be reviewed without all of the below elements.  All forms and instructions are available under Application Package on the top of this page.  

Please note:  Obtaining the DUNS number and registering in the SAM system can take up to one month.  We strongly encourage you to start this process as soon as possible.

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations).  Please make sure to include your DUNS number in the application.
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)  
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) is required only for those applicants who registered or renewed registration in SAM.gov before February 2, 2019.
  • Project Proposal (6 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do.

D2. General Guidelines: Please read all instructions carefully – proposals that do not meet the requirements listed here will not be considered for funding.

  • All proposals must be written and submitted in English.
  • Proposals may not exceed 6 pages in length (including budget and checklist) in Times New Roman Size 12 font.
  • All fields in the grant application form and check list must be completed and sent via email as one document.
  • Project duration may not exceed 12 months.
  • Grants are normally made on a one-time basis and reiterations of past programs usually do not receive funding.  If you are requesting support to fund a repetition of a project you previously implemented, you must include a very strong justification as to why the repetition is necessary.
  • Please submit your filled-in application to the following e-mail address: WomenBiH@state.gov 

The deadline for submission of the Women’s Empowerment Small Grants proposals /supporting documentation is Friday, January 17, 2020 by COB (close of business) 17:00.

Upon submission, please request a confirmation of the receipt of your application.  

D3. Budget GuidelinesAny application not meeting the budget requirements below will not be considered for funding.

  • Detailed budget should be written in USD, with a maximum amount of $50,000.
  • Budget should NOT include VAT expenses.
  • Budget costs should be grouped into the following categories:
    • Personnel costs (salaries for staff who already work for your organization, fees for project manager, project coordinator/assistant, and or accountant)
    • Fringe (social and pension insurance contributions)
    • Travel (transportation costs, lodging, meals and incidentals)
    • Supplies (office supplies and other materials for project implementation)
    • Contractual (fees for trainers, moderators, experts, and educators, who do NOT normally work for your organization but who are engaged to implement certain project activities, printing of promotional materials, renting of space/equipment, broadcasting of TV and radio shows, web site development, and other contractual services needed for project implementation.)
    • Other direct costs: (office rent, utilities, phone/fax/internet, office supplies, bank charges, etc.)
  • Alcohol, entertainment, or “miscellaneous” expenses are not allowed.
  • Costs incurred before the grant period start date will not be reimbursed.   

Grant funds may not be used for the following:·

  • Long-term infrastructure needs
  • Funds may not be used to pay for travel to the United States or for travel grants. Projects involving regional travel will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and must have a clear justification outlining why the travel is integral to the project.
  • Provision of direct social services to a population
  • Vocational training, for example teaching participants to weld, perform electrical work, sew, raises bees, etc.
  • Partisan political activity (Note: non-partisan election education and public information activities are allowable.)
  • Funding of charitable activity and humanitarian aid, commercial projects, or fund-raising campaigns

D4.  Review criteria:  All proposals will be evaluated by the Women’s Empowerment review panel on the below criteria.

  • Quality and feasibility of the project idea. The proposal is well developed, innovative and offers creative solutions with all necessary details about how project activities will be carried out (location, number of participants, events to organize, media coverage etc.) (25 points)
  • Project goals and objectives. Project clearly identifies goals and objectives of the project and is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving proposed results. (15 points)
  • Organizational capacity and record on previous grants. The organization demonstrates expertise and the ability to perform the proposed activities. (25 points)
  • Budget and narrative justification are completed and reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. (10 points)
  • Monitoring and evaluation. The proposal outlines in detail how project success and impact will be determined. Be sure that applicant demonstrated its ability to measure project impact and provides milestones to indicate project progress towards goals/objectives outlined in the proposal. (15 points)
  • Sustainability. The proposal needs to contain information about sustainability of the project. Project activities should continue to have a positive impact after the end of the project. Proposals should explain this future impact and/or sustainability of the project. (10 points)

D5. Application Instructions: Please read carefully and complete each question as instructed.  Omitting any of the requested information will delay the review of your proposal and may result in it being eliminated from consideration.

Program TypePlease indicate which program you are applying for.

  • Women’s Empowerment

Applicant’s Contact Information:

  • Implementing organization:  Specify the officially registered name of the organization.
  • Contact person and title: Name and the title of the Project Coordinator, or the person who is authorized to sign official documents, if different from the Project Coordinator. You may state the name of the Project Coordinator too or person who is authorized to sign official documents.
  • Address/Postal Code and City
  • Phone number
  • E-mail: Please include both the general email address for your organization and the email address of the project coordinator.                                    

Basic Information about the Proposal:

  • Project title:
  • Amount requested (USD)/Amount of cost share (USD)/Total cost (USD): Please list the amount of funding requested from the Embassy.  If there is a cost share (another organization covering part of the total cost of the project), please list the amount here.  Please list the total cost of the project which you get when you sum the amount you request from U.S. Embassy and amount of co-share.
  • Elevator pitchIn 50 words or less, describe what your project is about and why it should receive support from the U.S. Embassy.
  • Problem statementClearly identify the problem your project will address, including brief background information for context, if necessary.  For example, “Although women in BiH are actively involved in politics, the number of elected women candidates is much smaller than the number of their male colleagues. Political participation of women in decision-making processes at all levels is not satisfactory   Although majority of the political  parties respect election quota to put enough female candidates on the lists, the problem arises after elections when women do not get enough votes from electorate or political parties give preference to male candidates for certain positions.”
  • Project goals and objectivesPlease explain how you want to solve this problem by explaining the goals and objectives of your project.  Following the above example, the project goal might be “Strengthen the role of women in political and public life” The objective of the project define how are you going to achieve the goal(s) of the project and might be addressed as follows: “To equip female politicians with skills and knowledge to   successfully run for office” or “To raise public awareness about greater participation of women in politics and public life” or  “To train female politicians in negotiation skills to ensure better positions for themselves within their political parties.” 
     
  • Description of project activities: Explain the activities you plan to implement in the scope of your project and how those activities will achieve the project goals you described above.  If you are planning workshops, please explain how many workshops, what will be taught and how many participants will take part.  Example: “We are planning to hold 5 workshops for total number of 30 female politicians. The educational program will include the following topics gender responsible budgeting, effective communication with electorate, media appearance, advocacy skills, negotiation skills etc.) Please clearly define project outputs in this section number of workshops, state the topics of the workshops, number of participants for each workshop etc.
  • Activity locationsList the cities/towns/communities where the project activities will take place.
  • Project beneficiariesDescribe the anticipated beneficiaries of your project, including estimated number and age range, i.e., “approximately 50 unemployed women in Capljina, ages 25-40” or “about 100 high school students in Rogatica.”
  • Project schedule and timelineNote your project duration in months and give an overview of the schedule.  If you have a specific timeframe, please list the dates and explain why your project must take place within that timeframe. Please note that grant money could be received any time between April and August 2020, depending on the U.S. budget cycle.
  • Project partners: If you are implementing your project jointly with any other organizations, please list the names and type of involvement of those partner organizations.  A partner organization is an organization with which you work to develop and implement the project. Partner organizations also need to obtain DUNS numbers.  Please note: contractors you engage to deliver goods or services such as trainers, web developers or suppliers are NOT partner organizations.
  • Key personnel: List the names, titles and roles of key personnel involved in the project, including organization staff and any experts or trainers you will engage to implement the project.  Give a brief overview (1-2 sentences) of their experience/qualifications. What proportion of their time will be used in support for your project?
  • Anticipated outcomes of projectExplain the outcomes you hope to achieve and how you will measure whether the project has succeeded.  It is important to make a distinction between the project output and outcome.  Example of the project output is: “30 female politicians participated in the training program,” which does not necessarily illustrate the impact of such participation. Outcome is defined as the longer-term impact or change in individual participants’ knowledge, skills and/or attitudes as well as the longer-term effect on their communities. For example, “After completing the training program female politicians will be equipped with knowledge and skills on how effectively run for office and negotiate better positions for themselves in their political parties. To measure the success of the program I will carry out the survey before and after the program to see how much their knowledge has increased and did, they gain confidence in their intention to run for office.  I will also report how many female politicians gained public positions or managed to advance their careers a year after project is concluded.
  • Project sustainability: Please explain your plans for follow-on activities after the grant period to ensure project impact continues.  Example: “After the workshop series, the participants will continue to meet and serve as a support network to each other, as well as mentor other female artisans and entrepreneurs.”
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: The proposal should outline in detail how project success and impact will be determined.  Be sure that you demonstrated your ability to measure project impact and provide milestones to indicate project progress towards goals/objectives outlined in the proposal.
  • Background of implementing organization: Briefly explain the mission of the organization, date of registration, number of employees, their work experience, number of volunteers, past and current programs implemented, as well as its technical and management capacity. Please briefly explain what internal controls procedures you have put in place to manage grant funds.
  • Previous U.S. Government fundingIndicate whether the implementing organization has received previous funding from the U.S. Government.  If so, please state the name of the project, the year and the amount of funding for each project. 

Detailed budget:

Present the budget in the form of a spreadsheet, in USD amounts, dividing the budget into the categories delineated in the application. Ensure that your stated project activities are properly budgeted based on reasonable market price for personnel, fringe, travel, contractual services, supplies, and other direct costs.  The ratio between administrative costs (personnel, fringe and other direct costs) and program costs (travel, supplies and contractual) will have impact to project evaluation. Cost sharing is not required. However, the Recipient may present cost-sharing on voluntary basis including in-kind contributions. The absence of cost sharing will not in any way impact evaluation of the project. However, if the Recipient includes cost sharing in the project proposal, then the Recipient is accountable for providing it. In the event the Recipient does not provide the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the Recipient’s approved budget, the government contribution may be reduced in kind.

Budget narrative:

Please explain your budget in narrative form, detail personnel duties, list names of trainers/moderators/experts and project staff and break down travel and lodging costs (i.e., how many people, how many overnights, cost per person per day).

HOW TO APPLY FOR REQUIRED REGISTRATIONS

E1. Who must apply?  All organizations applying for grants must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • www.SAM.gov registration

E2.  First, get your DUNS Number

Please use the link to obtain your DUNS number.

This system is set up to be user-friendly and we encourage you to use it to obtain your DUNS number for yourself.  However, if you experience problems, you may seek further assistance from:

Zlata Mulać

Bisnode BH Director

Bisnode BH, Skenderpašina br. 1, 71000 Sarajevo

zlata.mulac@bisnode.com

Tel:  +387 61 896 753

www.bisnode.ba

Please be aware that Bisnode charges a fee for this service.

E3.  Next, get your NCAGE/CAGE code

  • To apply, go to CAGE/NCAGE Code Request page
  • Instructions for the NCAGE application process are available here.
  • 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.

E4.  After you receive your NCAGE code, complete your SAM.gov registration

  • To register in the SAM system, go to their web site.
  • Please read the quick guide for grants registration attachment which is the part of the application package that is posted on the Embassy web site.
  • SAM registration must be renewed annually, so even if you are already registered in SAM from a previous grant, please check to see if your registration is still valid.
  • Entities registering in SAM must submit a letter appointing their authorized Entity Administrator. Please check the template of the letter which is the part of the application package.

However, if you experience any problem in registering in SAM.gov use the following link to register for live chat, so the SAM administrators can answer your questions. Working hours for this service are from Monday through Friday after 14:00.

FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

F1. Federal Award Notices

The grant award will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer and the grants management team. The Recipient may only start incurring project expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grant Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email.

Funding decisions are contingent on the availability of funds.  Total amount for this program may not exceed 300,000 USD.  The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to cancel this Notice of Funding Opportunity at any time without any commitment to any applicant.

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: The payment of the award amount will be effected in two or three installments.  Certain percentage of the total award amount up to 50 % of the total award amount will be paid immediately after signing the grant and submission of the valid bank account by Recipient.  However, if the project implementation requires a higher percentage of advance payment than 50 %, the Office of Public Affairs will make a payment based on the Recipient’s justification.  The rest will be paid upon submission of the interim and final program financial reports by Recipient.  Each award document will contain detailed payment information.  The USG holds the right to retain the last payment up to 10 % of the award amount until all project activities are completed and the final program and financial reports submitted by the Recipient and approved by the Grant Officer and the Grant Officer Representative.

F2. Terms and Conditions

Before submitting an application, applicants may wish to 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: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available here.

F.3. Reporting Requirements

Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify the forms and how often these reports must be submitted.

FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

The U.S. Embassy receives hundreds of proposals and takes time to carefully review each application.  We expect to inform applicants of the status of their proposals approximately 4-6 months from the closing date of this Notice of Funding Opportunity.  Funding decisions are contingent on the availability of funds.  The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to cancel this Notice of Funding Opportunity at any time without any commitment to any applicant.

For more information, please contact us by phone: + 387 33 704-344, 704-285, 704-300, fax:  + 387 33 704-432 or e-mail WomenBiH@state.gov