Funding Opportunity Announcement
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
April 1, 2009


Announcement issuance date: Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Proposal submission deadline: Thursday, April 30, 2009, at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.


ADVISORY: Grants.gov is expected to experience higher than normal volume of activity in the near future. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address issues that may arise due to system delays.


Proposed Program Start Dates: June 1 – September 29, 2009.
NGOs which have never been funded by PRM or which have not been funded since 2004 must use a program start date of August or September.


Duration of Activity: No more than 12 months.
Applicants with multi-year programs must continue to re-compete for PRM funding each year. Furthermore, in funding a project one year, PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years and encourages applicants to seek a wide array of donors to ensure long-term funding possibilities.


Current Funding Priorities for: Returning Refugees in Afghanistan
PRM will prioritize currently available funding for proposed non-governmental organization (NGO) activities that best meet the Bureau’s priorities in Afghanistan as identified below:


Since 2002, more than five million Afghans have returned to Afghanistan, including some 275,000 in 2008. Approximately 2.7 million Afghan refugees remain in countries of asylum. The Bureau will continue to focus on supporting the sustainable reintegration of returning refugees in Afghanistan.

PRM will consider proposals from NGOs with proven track records in implementing refugee and returnee assistance programs. Higher consideration will be given to organizations that have well-established operations in Afghanistan.

International Organizations (IOs) that are engaged in programs relevant to the assistance addressed by this PRM funding announcement should ensure that these programs are made known to PRM on or before the closing date of this funding announcement so that PRM can evaluate all IO and NGO programs for funding consideration.

PRM generally supports activities in the areas of:


  • sustainable livelihoods (programs that can match returnees with job opportunities or improve household income will be given higher consideration than those which focus solely on vocational training);
  • basic and maternal/child healthcare, combined with capacity building or sustainability measures such as health care worker training and provision of supplies and equipment;
  • primary school construction or rehabilitation, combined with capacity building or sustainability measures such as teacher training and provision of materials and equipment;
  • shelter construction for returnees to their places of origin or at Land Allocation Scheme (LAS) sites;
  • prevention of and response to gender-based violence (GBV);
  • water and sanitation systems creation, rehabilitation, and repair, especially if in conjunction with previously mentioned livelihoods, education, and/or shelter programs.

The following activities are priority areas for PRM in FY09:


  1. Create sustainable livelihoods opportunities.
  2. Provide or improve access to basic and maternal/child healthcare.
  3. Provide access to primary education for boys and girls. Educational programs may include teacher training and rehabilitation of existing school facilities.
  4. Create, repair, or rehabilitate water and sanitation systems.

NGOs are encouraged to propose programs that include a mix of elements. PRM will consider a broad range of activities, but priority will be given to programs that include one or more of the elements from the above categories. It is important to have an effective and practicable exit/transition strategy as it is unlikely that follow-on funding will be available.

Geographic preferences:
Although PRM will consider all submissions, preference will be given to proposals that focus on the following geographic locations and/or Land Allocation Scheme sites that have been ratified by the Oversight Committee:

Provinces of anticipated high return 2009-2010
Farah
Herat
Kabul
Kandahar
Kunar
Kunduz
Nangarhar
Paktia
Parwan
Takhar

Land Allocation Scheme (LAS) sites ratified by Oversight Committee
Barik Ab (Kabul Province)
Beni Warsak (Parwan Province)
Taqi Naqi (Herat Province)
Sheikh Misri (Nangarhar Province)
Gorjee (Farah Province)
Robat (Paktia Province)

PRM will accept proposals from any NGO working within the above mentioned sectors and geographic locations, although, given budgetary constraints, priority will be given to proposals from organizations that can demonstrate:

  • a working relationship with UNHCR and 2008/2009 UNHCR funding and/or support for the proposed activities and/or overall country program;

  • a proven track record in providing proposed assistance both in the sector and specified location;

  • evidence of coordination with international organizations (IOs) and other NGOs working in the same area or sector as well as – if applicable – local authorities;

  • a concrete implementation plan with well-conceived objectives and indicators that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and reliable, time-bound and trackable (SMART), have established baselines, and at least one impact indicator per objective;

  • a budget that is appropriate for meeting the objectives and demonstrates co-funding by non-US government sources;

  • appropriate targeting of beneficiaries in coordination with UNHCR and other relevant organizations. Because of PRM's mandate to provide protection, assistance, and sustainable solutions for refugees and victims of conflict, PRM only considers funding projects that include a target beneficiary base of at least 50% refugees.

Transition Strategy/Coordination preferences:
Programs must include a description of how program activities will fit into a phased transition strategy to locally available services or to self-reliance strategies. Programs should also include clear and effective plans for moving from relief to early recovery under local or national structures. PRM will give particular consideration to NGOs that may be able to present projects that either coordinate with or fit into the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), particularly the Refugees, Returnees, and IDPs (RRI) Sector Strategy, and/or National Solidarity Program (NSP). All projects should seek to address the particular needs of women and children and indicators should disaggregated by gender and age group when possible. Although PRM anticipates the majority of awards will be provided for Afghan returnee support, submissions may include activities which cover Pakistani refugee needs.


To ensure PRM-funded NGO programs are coordinated with UNHCR on refugee return programming, NGOs are encouraged to request comments from UNHCR on planned activities supporting refugee returns in Afghanistan. Applicants may send their draft proposals via e-mail to the following UNHCR Afghanistan Points of Contact: Country Representative Ewen Macleod at Macleod@unhcr.org and Senior Program Officer Arman Harutyunyan at harutyun@unhcr.org. Applicants are encouraged to reference these communications with UNHCR either within the narrative or attached as an annex to the proposal so that panel review members are aware of efforts being made on coordination.

Funding Limits:
PRM will consider projects submitted with budgets in the range of $400,000 to $2,000,000 in PRM-requested funding. In FY 2009 larger project proposals with solid and compelling justifications will be considered. As stated in the FY 2009 General PRM NGO Guidelines, PRM looks favorably on cost-sharing efforts and seeks to support projects with a diverse donor base and/or resources from the submitting organization.

Proposal Submission Requirements:
See “How to Apply” section at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements, and note the following highlights below.

Proposal Content, Formatting and Template: Please refer to the “Proposal Submission and Review Process” section in the FY 2009 General PRM NGO Guidelines. PRM strongly encourages organizations applying for PRM funding to use the PRM recommended proposal and budget templates. Templates can be requested by sending an email to PRM's NGO Coordinator. Please include “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line.


PLEASE TAKE SPECIAL NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED IN THE GENERAL PRM NGO GUIDELINES:


  • PRM’s CFDA number for Refugee Assistance Programs for Afghan refugees is 19.519.

  • Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov. Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should sign up well in advance of the April 30, 2009, deadline as it can take up to two weeks for a registration to be finalized (and sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to get the required registration numbers).

  • Please do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Applicants who have done so in the past and experienced technical difficulties were not able to meet the deadline. Please note: Grants.gov is expected to experience high than normal volume of activity in the near future. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to avoid submission delays. We recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via Grants.gov no later than one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in an application not being considered.

  • If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at support@grants.gov or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via Grants.gov due to Grants.gov technical difficulties and who have reported the problem(s) to the Grants.gov help desk and received a case number and had a service request opened to research the problem(s), should contact PRM Program Officer Amy Wendt at (202) 663-3622 (WendtAR@State.gov) or Norman Hastings at (202) 663-3683, (HastingsNS@State.gov) immediately to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

  • Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.

  • NGOs that have not received PRM funding prior to the U.S. Government fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. Government by submitting copies of 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) non-profit tax status under IRS 501 (c)(3), 3) a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and 4) an Employer ID (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification number.

  • Focus on impact indicators as much as possible. At a minimum, each objective must have one impact indicator.

  • Budget must include a specific breakdown of funds being provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization (where applicable). PRM places great value on multi-lateral support for humanitarian programs. As noted above to receive copies of PRM's recommended templates please send an email with "PRM NGO Templates" in the subject line to PRMNGOCoordinator@state.gov.

Reports and Reporting Requirements:


Program reporting: PRM requires quarterly and final program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. It is highly suggested that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended program report template. To request the PRM-recommended program report template send an email, with the phrase “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line, to PRM's NGO Coordinator.

Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement; a final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement.

For more details regarding PRM’s reporting requirements please see FY 2009 General PRM NGO Guidelines.

  • Organizations that received PRM funding in FY 2008 for activities that are being proposed for funding again must include the most recent quarterly progress report against indicators outlined in the cooperative agreement. If an organization’s last quarterly report was submitted more than six weeks prior to the submission of a proposal in response to this funding announcement, the organization must include, with its most recent quarterly report, updates that show any significant progress made on objectives since the last report.

  • This announcement is designed to accompany PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance, which contain additional administrative information and explain in detail PRM’s NGO funding strategy and priorities. Please use both the General NGO guidelines and this announcement to ensure that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities and that your proposal submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements. Proposal submissions that do not meet all of the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered. PRM recommends using the proposal and budget templates that are available on the Bureau’s website.

  • This announcement is designed to accompany the FY 2009 General PRM NGO Guidelines, which contain additional administrative information and explain in detail PRM’s NGO funding strategy and priorities. Please use both the FY 2009 General PRM NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities and that your proposal submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements. Proposal submissions that do not meet all of the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered. PRM recommends using the proposal and budget templates that are available upon email request from PRM's NGO Coordinator. Please send an email, with the phrase “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line, to PRM's NGO Coordinator.

  • If an organization believes that publicly acknowledging the receipt of USG funding for a particular PRM-funded project could potentially endanger the lives of the beneficiaries and the organization staff, invite suspicion about the organization's motives or alienate the organization from the population it is trying to help, it must provide a brief explanation in its proposal, for PRM's consideration, as to why it should be exempted from this requirement.

Proposal Review Process: PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all proposals submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced proposal evaluation criteria and PRM priorities in the context of available funding.


In order to provide NGOs with timely feedback, PRM will inform applicants of the panel’s decision to recommend or not recommend funding proposed activities, and may request revised proposals and/or budgets based on feedback from the panel. PRM will follow up with formal notifications to NGOs of final decisions taken by Bureau management.

PRM Points of Contact:
Should NGOs have technical questions related to this announcement, they should contact the PRM staff listed below prior to proposal submission. (Note: Answers to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed. End note.)


- Program Officer Amy Wendt (WendtAR@State.gov) in Washington DC
- Program Officer Norman Hastings (HastingsNS@State.gov) in Washington, DC
- Regional Refugee Coordinator Carmela Conroy (ConroyCA@State.gov) in Kabul, Afghanistan