MEPI Small Grants Program

US Embassy Manama invites applicants to submit proposals that will increase civil society’s representation of the needs of citizens through collective action on the local level; and increase youth engagement in meaningful economic and civil activities.

Proposals should outline activities that successfully address a specific social or economic issue and increase civil awareness. Proposals should also describe how local youth leadership will be leveraged and how they will pursue partnerships with local governments, private entities, and non-governmental institutions to support the objective of their economic and/or civil activities. Proposals should include a one-page summary with the following details :  Project description, project objective,  cost and timeframe.

Estimated Award Ceiling: $250,000

All applicants should meet the following eligibility requirements, in addition to specific eligibility requirements detailed per country in Section 1:

  1. Location Requirement: Only organizations that have an established local office in the country they propose to implement their project will be eligible to apply. Awards will be issued to the local office and not any partner or affiliate office that may be located outside of the country of implementation.

 

  1. Formal Registration: Only organizations that formally operate in the country for which they are applying will be eligible.

 

  1. Organizational Capacity: Applicants must be able to demonstrate meeting the following criteria:
  • Established for at least one (1) year; and
  • Managed at least one (1) project/initiative with donor funding (governmental, private, etc.).
  • NEA/AC will consider the following special considerations when reviewing applications:

The following activities and costs are NOT ALLOWED under this announcement:

  • Job training that does not lead to an internship or job placement opportunities;
  • Scholarships and student exchange projects;
  • Development of mobile applications (apps);
  • Cash awards/prizes;
  • Paying to complete activities begun with other funds;
  • Foreign travel, unless specifically justified within the project;
  • Social welfare and healthcare projects;
  • Activities that appear partisan or that support individual or party electoral campaigns (e.g., specific political party activities);
  • Agriculture;
  • Polling/surveying;
  • Handicrafts;
  • Academic or analytical research (if not necessary as part of a larger project);
  • One-time events, such as stand-alone conferences and one-off roundtables;
  • Medical and psychological research and clinical studies;
  • Projects of a commercial or profit-making nature;
  • Cultural presentations, cultural clubs, festivals, etc.;
  • Costs related to renovation, remodeling, or purchase or lease of real-estate beyond usual office rent;
  • Purchase of office décor;
  • Purchase of equipment (tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and is $5,000 or more per unit);
  • Language training courses; and
  • Entertainment costs (receptions, social activities, alcoholic beverages, cocktail parties, guided tours).

Applications that include any of these activities or costs above may be eliminated at the Technical Eligibility Review stage and will not advance to the Merit Review Panel.

 

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

To apply for NEA/AC (Federal) funding, organizations, whether based in or outside the U.S., must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number, currently referred to as a DUNS number, and an active account with the System for Award Management (SAM). This applies to BOTH prime applicants and any local partners receiving federally funded sub-awards. Applicants who do not meet all registration requirements are NOT eligible for funding under the opportunity.

UEI Number

The UEI number is a nine-digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.

All applicants must have a UEI number. To obtain a UEI number, please follow the steps below:

Go to http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/pages/CCRSearch.jsp

Select the country or territory where your organization is physically located. Complete and submit the form. Organizations will need to provide basic information, including physical and mailing addresses, name and title of the chief executive, primary Standard Industrial Code (SIC), and annual revenue.

For technical difficulties in obtaining this number, please contact D&B at: govt@dnb.com

Required Documents

  1. Federal Assistance Application Forms: Applicants must complete the following three forms online to be considered for funding.
  2. SF-424
  3. SF-424a
  4. SF-424b (if applicable*)

Guidance on how to complete the SF-424 and SF424a is provided in Appendix 3. A signature is required on the Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424).

* Note: The SF-424B is required only for those applicants who have not registered in SAM.gov or recertified their registration in SAM.gov since February 2, 2019 and completed the online representations and certifications.

  1. Project Narrative Application: The Project Narrative Application describes the efforts the applicant will undertake to address the objectives and goals of this announcement. A template of the application can be found in Appendix 1.
  2. Budget & Budget Narrative Submission: Applicants must provide the following three elements as part of their budget submission:
  3. Summary Budget
  4. Detailed Line Item Budget
  5. Budget Narrative

 

A sample fillable budget and budget narrative template can be found in Appendix 2. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review Appendix 2 before preparing the Project Narrative Application. The Appendix 2 template includes three tabs:

  1. The first tab includes written guidance on preparing the Budget Narrative. Applicants are strongly encouraged to create their Budget Narrative in Word and submit as either a Word Doc or PDF file. Please note that the Budget Narrative should include designations of who is considered Key Personnel for this project.
  2. The second tab has the template for the Summary Budget. This tab will auto-fill as you complete the Detailed Line Item Budget, which can be found on the third tab.
  3. The third tab is where you can fill in the template for the Detailed Line Item Budget as stated above. NOTE: Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the same format as provided in the template, and to submit summary and detailed line item budgets in Excel form, and the Budget Narrative as either a PDF or Word file. If the applicant does not use the template, the applicant must ensure that their submission includes all elements outlined in the sample.

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  1. Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement: Applicants proposing indirect costs in the Budget greater than the 10% de minimis must provide a copy of their Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) if applicable.
  2. APPLICATION FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS

The required font is 12-point, Times New Roman. All application documents must be single spaced, with all margins (left, right, top, and bottom) of at least one inch each. Also, applicants should ensure all pages in the application package are numbered consecutively and meet the page limit requirements outlined in Section A.1 above. The Standard Forms 424 (SF-424, SF-424a, and SF-424b) are excluded from the page numbering.

It is strongly recommended that applicants submit grant applications using Microsoft Office. If applicants do not have access to Microsoft Office products, Adobe PDF files may be submitted.

 

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applicants must submit their complete application materials electronically through Grants.gov or via email to NEA-Grants@state.gov by 5:00PM on May 21, 2019. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all material submitted in the grant application package is complete, accurate, and current. MEPI strongly encourages all applicants to submit their materials before the designated due date to ensure that the application has been received and is complete.

Applicants who do not advance to the Technical Review stage will be notified 30 business days after the closing of the announcement. The authorized representative and program point of contact listed on the SF-424 will receive the notification via email. If an applicant does not receive such a notification, their submission was put forward for review.

The application process is not complete until the applicant receives notification that its application has been validated and forwarded to the granting agency (NEA/AC). Please allow sufficient time for entering the application into these systems. It is the responsibility of the applicant to monitor its application to ensure that it is successfully received and validated.

 

APPLICATION REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS

Applications should address the evaluation criteria outlined below. Merit Review Panel

will evaluate each application individually against the following criteria and not against competing applications:

 

  1. APPLICATION EVALUATION CRITERIA

Approach and Responsiveness (25 points)

  • The applicant explains how the proposed activities respond to one of the goals listed in the NOFO.
  • The proposed project activities target the priority geographic regions and/or thematic focus stated in the applicable country.
  • The application addresses how the project will engage or obtain buy-in and support from relevant stakeholders.

Project Design & Ability to Achieve Objectives (40 points)

  • The applicant provides a clear articulation of how the proposed activities will contribute to the proposed project objective(s).
  • The applicant describes realistic results to be accomplished within the timeframe of the proposed award.
  • The applicant clearly identifies the anticipated beneficiaries and explains how the project’s objectives will positively affect them, and explains how participants will be selected.
  • The applicant proposes activities that are feasible, practical, and/or experiential in nature to encourage innovation.
  • The applicant acknowledges if activities similar to those proposed are already taking or have taken place previously, and provides an explanation as to how proposed new activities will not duplicate or merely add to existing/recent activities.
  • The applicant articulates programming assumptions and potential challenges to project implementation and proposes contingency plans.
  • If applicable, the application describes the division of labor among the applicant and any partners.

Organizational Capacity (25 points)

  • A description of the roles of each person or position on the project – whether staff, partner, consultant, or volunteer – demonstrates that the project will be adequately but efficiently staffed, avoiding redundancy or duplication of effort.
  • A job description, including hiring criteria, is provided for each open key position.
  • Pre-identified key staff members – including volunteers – demonstrate experience and knowledge in the proposed content area.

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  • The applicant proposes adequate staffing and demonstrates the capacity to manage the proposed project.
  • The applicant demonstrates capacity for responsible fiscal management of donor funding (e.g., successful management of a previous sub-award or grant).
  • The applicant sufficiently meets/addresses the specific eligibility requirement(s), if any, for the applicable country.

 

MEPI Alumni Connection (10 points if applicable)

  • The applicant demonstrates one of the following:
  • That associated individuals are former participants of MEPI exchange programs; OR
  • That the organization or associated individuals are beneficiaries in previous MEPI training programs lasting more than five weeks; OR
  • That the organization is a previous recipient of a MEPI Local Grant.

 

Budget & Budget Narrative (Acceptable or Not Acceptable)

  • The costs proposed are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results, which are clearly explained in the budget narrative.
  • The budget provides details of calculations, including estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated.
  • The preponderance of the budget is spent on supporting the project participants/activities in country.
  • Adequate travel costs are proposed.
  • The budget demonstrates a reasonable cost per participant.