Funding Opportunity Announcement
November 4, 2011


U.S. Department of State

Program Office: Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, International Programs
Opportunity Title: G/TIP FY 2012 International Programs to Combat Trafficking in Persons
Announcement Type: Request for Statements of Interest (RSOI) for Anti-Trafficking Projects in Thailand
Funding Opportunity Number: AT-ATC-12-003
Deadline for Applications: Friday, December 16, 2011 5:00p.m. EST

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Due to the extensive flooding in recent weeks in Thailand, the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (the Office) is announcing a special limited solicitation for applications for fiscal year 2012 funding of projects to combat trafficking in persons in Thailand. The first stage of competition for projects in Thailand begins with this solicitation for two-page Statements of Interest (SOI) from organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that address recommendations for Thailand published in the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report. In the second stage, the Office will invite applicants whose Statements of Interest are reviewed favorably to submit proposals that expand on their SOI. Statements of Interest and proposals will be reviewed by a panel for consideration of funding. U.S.-based and foreign non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGO), public international organizations (PIO), and institutions of higher education are encouraged to apply by submitting a Statement of Interest. Pending fiscal year 2012 appropriations, the Office anticipates awarding grants of up to $750,000 per project. All SOIs must be submitted via www.grantsolutions.gov OR www.grants.gov by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Friday, December 16, 2011.

Background

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-386), as amended (TVPA), authorized the establishment of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (the Office) in the U.S. Department of State. The Office provides leadership and coordination within the U.S. government and seeks partnerships with foreign governments, civil society, and multilateral organizations to combat modern slavery utilizing the “3 Ps” strategy: preventing trafficking in persons, protecting and assisting trafficking victims, and prosecuting traffickers. Through targeted foreign assistance the Office funds programs that address human trafficking: the act of obtaining or maintaining another person in compelled service. This includes forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor and child soldiers.

The TVPA requires that the Department of State submit an annual assessment of “severe forms of trafficking in persons” and governments’ efforts to address them. The State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report), published in June each year, is an important diplomatic tool in the Department’s dialogue with other governments and also serves as the guide for U.S. foreign assistance to governments and NGOs in countries working to eradicate trafficking. The 2011 TIP Report, available at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2011/index.htm, includes Tier rankings and country-specific recommendations for 181 countries and territories.

The 2011 TIP Report noted that throughout the decade since the UN’s Palermo Protocol and the TVPA 142 countries have become parties to the Protocol, and most have passed laws criminalizing all forms of human trafficking and have begun to develop victim assistance mechanisms. However, the numbers of victims identified and assisted and traffickers convicted remain alarmingly low. The challenge of the next decade is for governments to fully implement the legal and programmatic frameworks that have been created.

Through this solicitation and in keeping with the priorities identified in the TIP Report, the Office seeks to fund programs that assist foreign governments to enforce laws to combat human trafficking and expand victim assistance services, demonstrate model approaches to combating human trafficking, and add to our knowledge and understanding of how best to eradicate this form of modern slavery through research and evaluation.

For information on the USG’s international anti-trafficking efforts (projects previously funded by this Office and other USG agencies) please go to: http://www.state.gov/j/tip/response/grants/index.htm.

2012 grant Competition Overview

The Office will allocate most of its 2012 foreign assistance funds through an open two-stage competitive process that was initiated with publication of the Request for Statements of Interest on October 14, 2011, on www.Grantsolutions.gov and www.Grants.gov. The deadline for applications for that announcement is November 18, 2011.

Due to the devastating impact of the recent flooding on organizations and agencies that work to combat human trafficking in Thailand, the Office is announcing this focused solicitation to provide more time to applicants that are interested in submitting proposals for bilateral, regional or global projects with activities in Thailand. Applications that do not focus on Thailand will not be eligible for funding under this announcement which closes December 16, 2011.

This solicitation announces the first stage of the 2012 grant competition for projects in Thailand only. Applicants may submit a Statement of Interest (SOI), a two-page summary of a proposed project that includes the information described below. Following a technical review and a competitive review panel, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal that expands on their SOI. These second-stage proposals will then be reviewed and considered for funding.

The global trends and country-specific recommendations listed in the country narratives of the 2011 TIP Report serve as a diagnostic tool and will guide anti-trafficking programming under this announcement. Applicants are urged to review these recommendations before developing and submitting an application for funding.

Proposed projects are not required to address all TIP Report recommendations for a target country, but should be designed to capitalize on the qualifications and strengths of the applicant and partner organizations.

Pending the appropriation and subsequent availability of fiscal year 2012 funds, the Office anticipates awarding grants of up to $750,000 for project periods of up to 36 months to organizations that are successful in the second stage of this competition.
U.S.-based and foreign non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGO), public international organizations (PIO), and universities are eligible and encouraged to submit SOIs. For-profit organizations are also eligible to submit SOIs and may be awarded grants on a limited basis; however, they may not generate a profit from grant-funded activities.

funding PRIORITIES AND PROJECT EXAMPLES

Generally, the Office prioritizes foreign assistance in countries ranked as Tier 3, Tier 2 Watch List, and in some cases, Tier 2, where governments have the political will to improve the response to trafficking, but lack the economic resources and trafficking expertise to address the problem.

Given the limited funding planned, the Office identified 32 countries and three regions as priorities for this solicitation based on a review of the TIP Report Tier rankings over the past two years, consultation with other offices in the Department, and consideration of recent anti-trafficking program funding from this Office, other USG agencies, or other donors. The Office identified Thailand as a priority country for fiscal year 2012 funding.

Under this announcement, the Office is only interested in SOIs for projects that are focused in Thailand.

Project Focus
The country-specific recommendations listed in the country narratives of the 2011 TIP Report will guide anti-trafficking program decisions under this announcement. The Office is especially interested in proposals that will assist governments to enforce anti-trafficking legislation and to develop a broad range of assistance for victims of human trafficking. Strong partnerships involving NGOs and multilateral organizations and government agencies that promote sustainable institutional development and ongoing structural impact are encouraged. In addition, the Office seeks proposals for projects that demonstrate model approaches to combating human trafficking and research and evaluation to add to our knowledge and understanding of how best to eradicate this form of modern slavery.

The following serve as examples of the types of projects that the Office seeks to fund through this competitive grant process. This is not an exhaustive list.

  • Technical support and training of law enforcement, including designated TIP units, prosecutors, and the judiciary in victim-centered investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases;
  • Building cooperative efforts between NGOs and government agencies;
  • Improving policies and practices for law enforcement, immigration, and other agencies to proactively identify and assist victims of trafficking;
  • Development or enhancement of aftercare services for trafficking victims, especially those that provide alternatives to detention or deportation-based responses;
  • Expert consultation to draft or improve anti-trafficking legislation and promote its implementation;
  • Prevention activities that are designed to meet specific local or national needs or that reduce the demand for commercial sex or slavery-tainted goods; and
  • Research and evaluation activities that enable policy makers and practitioners to focus limited anti-TIP resources most effectively.

APPLICANT ORGANIZATION CRITERIA

U.S.-based and foreign NGOs, PIOs, institutions of higher education, and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Some projects may be accomplished by USG implementers through Interagency Agreements. For-profit organizations, including small and disadvantaged businesses, may apply, but such organizations may not generate a profit from activities funded by the Office. Foreign governments are not eligible to apply but governments may be beneficiaries of funded programs, provided that funding does not pay salaries of government agency personnel and that such assistance is not restricted by U.S. law or policy.

Organizations are permitted to submit multiple applications; however, the Office intends to provide funding to a wide range of qualified, capable organizations that do well in the competitive review.

The Office recognizes the important role of civil society leadership in combating human trafficking and thus encourages U.S.-based NGOs and institutions of higher education to partner with NGOs and academic counterparts abroad that have a significant role in improving the response to human trafficking. Community, women’s, and faith-based NGOs, as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities are encouraged to apply. Applicant organizations should have demonstrated experience administering successful projects, preferably in the target country and/or region, and in human trafficking or in similarly challenging program areas.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SOI SUBMISSIONS

All SOIs will be screened to determine whether they meet the Technical Requirements listed below. SOIs that do not meet the Technical Requirements will not be considered for funding.

Technical Requirements: Statements of Interest (SOI) Applications MUST include these two parts. Do not submit additional documents. No additional documents will be reviewed.

  1. The SF-424 and SF-424B forms;
  2. A two-page document written in English in Times New Roman or Arial 12-point font with the amount requested in U.S. dollars. This proposed project must advance anti-trafficking efforts Thailand.

Note: The font-size requirement is designed to ensure that all applicants have an equal opportunity to present their ideas in the SOI. Thus, the entire SOI must be in a 12-point font, including charts. Organization logos, headers, footnotes, and other wording in small fonts that do not meet the 12 point font requirement should not be included. Please double check your submission to ensure the font size is correct.

Instructions for completing the SF-424 and SF-424B forms
Complete the SF-424 and SF-424B forms as described in the instructions provided through www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov. GrantSolutions.gov SF424 forms can be filled out directly through the website, whereas Grants.gov SF424 forms must be printed, manually filled out and uploaded to the website.

In addition, the following specific information may be helpful when completing the fields of the SF-424.

1 .Type of Submission: Application
2. Type of Application: New
3. Date Received: Leave blank. This will automatically be assigned.
4. Applicant Identifier: Leave blank
5a. Federal Entity Identifier: Leave blank
5b. Federal Award Identifier: Leave blank
6. Date Received by State: Leave blank. This will automatically be assigned
7. State Application Identified: Leave blank. This will automatically be assigned
8a. Enter the legal name of the applicant organization. Do NOT list abbreviations or acronyms unless they are part of the organization’s legal name.
8b. Employer/Taxpayer ID Number: Non-U.S. organizations enter 44-4444444
8c. Enter organizational DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System). Organizations can request a DUNS number at
http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform
8d. Enter the address of the applicant
8e. Enter the name of the primary organizational unit (and department or division, if applicable) that will undertake the assistance activity, if applicable
8f. Enter the name, title, and all contact information of the person to be contacted on matters involving this application
9. Select an applicant type (type of organization)
10. Enter: Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
11. Select: 19.019
12. Enter the Funding Opportunity Number and title. This number will already be entered on electronic applications.
13. Enter the Competition Identification Number and title. This number will already be entered on electronic applications.
14. Areas Affected by Project: List the country or countries where project activities will take place in alphabetical order; for projects that will take place in more than one region enter “Global”
15. Enter the title of your proposed project (if necessary, delete pre-printed wording)
16. Congressional districts of Applicant and Program: Applicant if based in the U.S. please enter congressional district; if unknown or a foreign applicant please enter “90.” In box 16(b) for congressional district of program please enter “90.”
17. Enter the start date of September 30, 2012 and your projected end date
18. (18a) Enter the amount requested for the project described in the SOI under “Federal”; (18b) enter any cost-share under “Applicant”. Otherwise, use zeros.
19. Enter “c”
20. Select the appropriate box. If you answer “yes” to this question you will be required to provide an explanation.
21. Enter the name, title, and all contact information of the individual authorized to sign for the application on behalf of the applicant organization.

Statement of Interest Content:
The two-page Statement of Interest document should include the following information.

1. Brief description of the applicant organization and partner or partners, previous work in Thailand and previous work to combat human trafficking. Information should clearly demonstrate the organization’s record and capacity and may include previous grant management experience. A general organizational history is not required.
2. Description of how the project meets the Office’s priorities for Thailand, as described in this announcement.
3. Project description, including goals and objectives, and duration.
4. Project outcomes, deliverables, and performance indicators.
5. The amount of funding requested in U.S. dollars. If cost sharing is proposed, include the amount of the proposed cost share in U.S. dollars. No other budget figures are requested or required.

THE COMPETITIVE REVIEW PROCESS

All SOIs will be screened to determine whether they meet the technical requirements stated in this announcement. Applications that do not focus on anti-trafficking efforts in Thailand will not be reviewed. SOIs that do not meet the technical review requirements listed above will not be considered for funding.
Those SOIs that pass the technical review will be reviewed and rated by a panel comprised of individuals with knowledge and experience in human trafficking programming and regional expertise. The assessment will be based on how well the proposed project meets the priorities outlined in this announcement and addresses the information outlined in the Content section above. Following this panel review, the Office will invite highly rated applicants to submit full proposals that expand on the SOI; this is the second stage of the competitive grant process. Once notified, applicants will have 30 days to submit a full proposal under a limited competitive announcement.

Full proposals will also be subjected to a competitive review panel. Panel results will be reviewed by the Ambassador-at-Large to Combat Trafficking in Persons, who, before making final recommendations, will consider bilateral, regional, and global factors, as well as any policies, restrictions, or limitations on U.S assistance that may apply to each country or region involved. The Ambassador’s recommendations will be forwarded to the Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance; final approval and Congressional Notification must take place before each grant, cooperative agreement, or Interagency Agreement is awarded.
The review panels will use the following criteria when rating SOIs.

-- Organizational Capability and Record of Performance
The Office will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the potential of new applicants. Strong knowledge of TIP issues and the trafficking context in the country where the project would take place should be demonstrated. Applicants should describe key partnerships that will be employed to achieve proposed goals and objectives.
-- Quality of Project Idea
The SOI should be responsive to country-based needs identified in the TIP Report, identified regional or global needs, or otherwise represent a unique project that merits funding.
-- Program Goals/Objectives
The SOI should demonstrate a logical approach and present project objectives that are measurable and achievable during the project period.
-- Project Outcomes, Deliverables, and Performance Indicators
Output and outcome indicators should be clearly linked to project goals and objectives. The SOI should describe the potential impact on the TIP situation in the target country or region.
-- Requested Amount and Cost Share
Cost effectiveness as it relates to the scope of the proposed project will be assessed. Cost share is considered a positive as it can enhance the potential scope and impact of the project beyond Federal funding.

DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

All SOIs must be submitted via www.grantsolutions.gov OR www.grants.gov by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Friday, December 16, 2011. The Office will not accept proposals submitted via email, fax, the postal system, delivery companies or couriers. Applicants may submit more than one application; however, each application should be submitted only once.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to initiate electronic applications early in the application development process, and to submit before the due date or early on the due date. This will aid in addressing any problems with submissions prior to the application deadline. No exceptions will be made for organizations that have not completed the necessary steps to submit applications on www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov.

GrantSolutions.gov Applications
Applicants are encouraged to submit applications via www.grantsolutions.gov. This website is available to all applicants, but the Office encourages foreign NGOs and PIOs to submit proposals through this web site.

Interested organizations using GrantSolutions.gov for the first time should register on the www.grantsolutions.gov site to create a New Applicant account as soon as possible. This process must be completed before an application can be submitted. To register with GrantSolutions.gov, follow the “First Time Applicants” link and complete the “GrantSolutions.gov New Applicant Sign Up” application form. Organizations that have previously used www.grantsolutions.gov do not need to register again. If an organization that has previously used GrantSolutions.gov is not able to access the system, please contact Customer Support for help in gaining access: help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771.

A valid DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number IS required for submission of an application on grantsolutions.gov. Organizations should verify that they have a DUNS number or take the steps needed to obtain one as soon as possible. Instructions for obtaining a DUNS number can be found at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.
A CCR (Central Contractor Registration) number IS NOT required prior to submitting an application via GrantSolutions.gov.

Electronic applications submitted via GrantSolutions.gov must contain the SF-424 online forms (completed) and the SOI document (Project Narrative) specified in the application kit. No additional documents should be uploaded. The preferred document formats for the uploaded SOI are .doc or .docx. Applicants should wait until the upload shows the status as Successful before moving to the next part of the application kit.

Upon completion of a successful electronic application submission, the GrantSolutions system will provide the applicant with a confirmation page indicating the date and time (Eastern Time) of the electronic application submission as well as an official Application Number. This confirmation page will also provide a listing of all items that constitute the final application submission. Please print this page for your records.

For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays.

Grants.gov Applications
Applicants who do not submit applications via GrantSolutions.gov may submit via www.grants.gov.

A valid DUNS number AND a CCR (Central Contractor Registration) number ARE BOTH required prior to submitting an application via Grants.gov.

Organizations should verify that they have a DUNS number or take the steps needed to obtain one as soon as possible. Instructions for obtaining a DUNS number can be found at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.

Instructions for registering with CCR can be found at https://www.bpn.gov/ccr/default.aspx. An organization must wait approximately 3-5 business days after registering with the CCR before the organization may obtain a username and password for Grants.gov. This may delay the organization’s ability to submit a Statement of Interest through www.grants.gov. In addition, CCR registration must be updated annually to maintain a valid registration.

Electronic applications submitted via the Grants.gov must contain the three parts listed as mandatory forms in the application package, including the SOI document (Project Narrative). Upon completion of a successful electronic application submission on Grants.gov, the applicant will receive an email confirmation that the application has been successfully submitted and is in the process of verification. The applicant will then receive another email confirming that the application has been verified. Both emails are provided by grants.gov to verify that an application was received. Please print these emails for your records.

For assistance with Grants.gov, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This call for Statements of Interest for projects in Thailand will appear on www.grantsolutions.gov, www.grants.gov, and the Office’s website, www.state.gov/j/tip, as well as the website of U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

Anticipated Time to Award: The Office will work to award grant funds to successful applicants by September 30, 2012.

Reporting and Monitoring Requirements: Applicants selected for an award must meet the following reporting and policy requirements:

1. Reporting Requirements: Grantees are required to submit program progress reports and quarterly financial reports throughout the project period and final reports 90 days after the close of the project period. Access to funds may be suspended if reports are late or incomplete.

2. Grant Monitoring: The Office places emphasis on monitoring and evaluation of all funded projects. Grantees should expect to have their programs visited and reviewed by a grants and/or program officer. On-site reviews include assessment of program and administrative effectiveness.

Anti-Prostitution Policy and Requirements: The U.S. Government is opposed to prostitution and related activities, which are inherently harmful and dehumanizing, and contribute to the phenomenon of trafficking in persons. Consistent with the TVPA, grantees are required to agree to the following special conditions prior to a grant being awarded:

1. None of the funds made available herein may be used to promote, support, or advocate the legalization or practice of prostitution. Nothing in the preceding sentence shall be construed to preclude assistance designed to combat trafficking in persons, including programs for prevention, protection of victims, and prosecution of traffickers and others who profit from trafficking in persons, by ameliorating the suffering of, or health risks to, victims while they are being trafficked or after they are out of the situation that resulted from such victims being trafficked. The recipient shall insert this provision in all sub-agreements under this award. TVPA sec. 113(g)(1) (P.L. 108-193).

2. An organization receiving funds for any program targeting victims of severe forms of trafficking must affirmatively state one of the following conditions, and shall also insert one of these provisions in all sub-agreements under an award. TVPA sec. 113(g)(2) (P.L. 108-193). Either:

  • “That it does not promote, support, or advocate the legalization or practice of prostitution and will not promote, support, or advocate the legalization or the practice of prostitution during the term of this grant.”
    Or:
  • “That it has no policy on prostitution and will remain neutral during the term of this grant.” See 149 Cong. Rec. H10287 (Daily Ed. November 4, 2003).

TVPA Requirement for Training of Trafficking Victim Assistance Personnel: Any applicant seeking funding under this solicitation must be prepared to make the following certification in its full proposal:

  • Applicant hereby certifies that, to the extent practicable, persons or entities providing legal services, social services, health services, or other assistance have completed, or will complete, training in connection with trafficking in persons. TVPA sec. 107A(b)(1) (P.L. 110-457).

Bidders’ Conference

The Office hosted a “Bidders’ Conference” on October 17, and a web chat on October 15, 2011 at the Department of State in Washington, DC, to provide an opportunity for organizations interested in applying for funding to hear about this request for Statements of Interest (SOI). Presentations and frequently asked questions from these sessions are available on the Office’s website (www.state.gov/j/tip).

Contact Information

A. Please direct questions about the requirements of this Request for Statements of Interest to Elizabeth Norris at NorrisE@state.gov or Betsy Bramon at BramonB@state.gov .
B. For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays. Please note that November 11, 2011, is a federal holiday and the help desk will be closed.
C. For assistance with Grants.gov, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.