Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
September 4, 2008


Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
United States Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520

Office of Admissions
(Issued September 3, 2008)

Deadline: November 5th at 5pm EDT

This document contains the following sections:

  1. Background and Purpose
  2. Program Objectives
  3. Eligible Applicants
  4. Funding Procedures
  5. Proposal Evaluation Process
  6. Refugee Caseload Assignment
  7. Proposal Requirements and Format

I. Background and Purpose

The Cultural Orientation (CO) Technical Assistance Program is managed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State (hereinafter referred to as the "Bureau"). The purpose of the CO Technical Assistance Program is to strengthen linkages between overseas cultural orientation programs for refugees approved for admission to the United States and reception and placement activities conducted upon their arrival.

Overseas cultural orientation is typically conducted in three to twenty hours over a period of one to five days, and addresses (at a minimum) the following subjects essential to processing, travel, and resettlement:

  • Pre-Departure Processing
  • Travel
  • Role of the Resettlement Agency
  • Rights and Responsibilities of Refugees
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Employment
  • Cultural Adjustment
  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Money Management

This program serves to complement the Reception and Placement Program, the purpose of which is to promote the effective resettlement of all persons who are admitted to the United States under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, including assisting refugees to achieve economic self-sufficiency through employment as quickly as possible.

II. Program Objectives

The Bureau has established the following CO Technical Assistance Program objectives and activities for 2009:

  1. To strengthen linkages between overseas CO programs and reception and placement activities:

1. Maintain and manage the CO website and listserve;
2. Provide technical support to the CO working group;
3. On request, participate in national and/or regional refugee resettlement-related conferences, and/or conduct presentations regarding cultural orientation;
4. Facilitate overseas and domestic CO trainer exchanges; and
5. If requested by the Bureau, provide coordination and/or facilitation of special forums or workshops.

  1. To provide information and materials to overseas CO programs and to domestic refugee service providers:

1. Compile fact sheets and other documents to be posted on the CO website;
2. Identify, locate, and distribute specific materials requested by overseas CO programs;
3. Handle bulk distribution of Bureau-produced materials to overseas CO providers and domestic reception and placement affiliates;
4. Produce new translations, reproduce copies, and maintain and store an adequate inventory of the Welcome to the United States guidebooks, videos, and DVDs as directed by the Bureau.

  1. To provide support and technical assistance to overseas CO programs on request;
  2. To provide feedback to overseas CO programs as needed with input from the CO Working Group and guidance from the Bureau;
  3. To provide other technical assistance requested by the Bureau, subject to availability of funds and adequate staffing levels to perform assigned tasks.

III. Eligible Applicants

The Bureau intends to award one Cooperative Agreement in FY 2009 to a well-qualified non-profit organization with the required technical expertise in cultural orientation program activities. This will include agencies that have demonstrated satisfactory performance under previous agreements with the Bureau and/or agencies that meet the selection criteria described below and have demonstrated the capacity to provide required services. Applicants should understand that receipt of prior funding for the CO Technical Assistance Program is not a pre-condition for and does not guarantee continued participation in FY 2009.

In order to be considered for participation in the program, applicants must:

  1. demonstrate knowledge and experience in cultural orientation curriculum and materials development, in educational program implementation, and in adult teaching and learning methodology;
  2. demonstrate experience working in a refugee context or with other migrant populations in the United States; and
  3. demonstrate financial stability and provide documentation of at least three full years of operation in a 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

Failure to satisfy any of the three required qualifications above will preclude further consideration for participation in the program.

IV. Funding Procedures

The Bureau will enter into one Cooperative Agreement for an initial period beginning January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2009, subject to the availability of funds. Through the Cooperative Agreement, the Bureau will provide full financial support to the selected organization, based on the proposal submitted in response to this request. This financial support may be renewable for up to two additional years based upon budget submissions on an annual basis, as long as there remains a need for the program and the organization conducting the program provides satisfactory service, and subject to the availability of funds. At the end of three years, if the need for the program continues, the Bureau will re-compete the project, and the recipient of this award may participate in that process.

V. Proposal Evaluation Process

The Bureau will establish a panel to evaluate each proposal and may request revisions before an agreement is finalized. The panel will evaluate the proposals to determine whether and to what extent the organization’s capacity to provide technical assistance in cultural orientation will meet the Bureau’s goals and objectives for the technical assistance program. Proposals that are incomplete and/or fail to respond to all required elements of this program announcement may not be validated by the Grants.gov. In the event that an applicant’s proposal is not validated, the applicant must revise and resubmit the proposal. Applicants should be aware that the time required for this process must be taken prior to the closing date and time/deadline of this request for proposals. Proposals that are incomplete or that do not include all attachments required may not be considered as responsive. Also note that if the Bureau requests revisions or amendments to the proposal post-submission, these documents will become part of the Cooperative Agreement.

The panel will evaluate eligible proposals according to the following ranking factors (100 points possible):

  1. Documented organizational capacity to manage and administer a cultural orientation technical assistance program, including demonstrated knowledge, experience, and fiscal responsibility. (25 points)
  2. Proposed plan of work, including access to language translation services, experience and capacity to develop CO training materials and curricula, experience and capacity to conduct trainings, ability to manage an international list serve and maintain a website, expertise to create new resources, and ability to store and distribute materials. (30 points)
  3. Documented capacity to manage activities in accordance with established program requirements and performance standards, including accountability for outcomes. (25 points)
  4. Detailed and cost-effective budget and demonstrated fiscal responsibility. (20 points)

The panel will present its recommendations to the Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, who will make the final award determinations.

VI. Proposal Requirements and Format

It is the intention of the Bureau to enter into Cooperative Agreements effective January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. Agencies should report all data in terms of the calendar year unless the instructions for an appendix or attachment specify another time period.

Each organization requesting consideration for the CO Technical Assistance Program through a Cooperative Agreement with the Bureau must submit all information requested in the Proposal Submission Instructions.

PROPOSAL DUE DATES

Proposals must be received and validated by Grants.gov by 5:00 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, November 5, 2008. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.

Applicants should adhere to the following guidelines when preparing proposals:

  • All documents in the proposal should be submitted electronically on 8.5 inch by 11 inch pages with one-inch margins.
  • All documents in the proposal must be in 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • All pages of the proposal must be numbered. Page numbers should restart at “page 1” for each separate file/attachment (Excel or Word Document) that is submitted. Applicants must adhere to page limitations as described in the Proposal Submission Instructions.
  • Sections within each narrative should be sequential as directed in the Proposal Submission Instructions.

The Bureau prefers that applicants submit via Grants.gov. In extreme circumstances, the Bureau has the discretion to accept proposals via e-mail or in hardcopy. The Bureau will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants who are unable to submit via Grants.gov due to technical difficulties should contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov at least one week prior to deadline to secure a trouble ticket. Applicants should then immediately contact the specific PRM point of contact identified in the respective funding opportunity announcement in order to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

Once submitted, Grants.gov will send applicants via e-mail a notice of receipt of proposal documents. If correctly and completely submitted, an additional notification “validating” receipt or rejecting (with errors noted) of the proposal will be e-mailed to the applicant. Once a proposal is downloaded by the Bureau, an applicant will receive a final notification of receipt by the Agency from Grants.gov. An applicant who has not received either the first or second Grants.gov validation within 48 hours of submitting the proposal should immediately notify the Admissions Office at 202-663-1052.


Proposal Submission Instructions


The Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (hereinafter referred to as the "Bureau") welcomes the submission of proposals for the 2009 Cultural Orientation (CO) Technical Assistance Program, overseen by the Bureau. The deadline for submission of proposals is November 5, 2008 at 5:00p.m. EDT.

The goals of the Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program administered by the Bureau are:

  1. to strengthen linkages between overseas cultural orientation programs and reception and placement activities;
  2. to provide information and materials to overseas cultural orientation programs and to domestic refugee service providers;
  3. to provide support and technical assistance to overseas cultural orientation programs on request; and
  4. with input from the Cultural Orientation Working Group and guidance from the Bureau, to provide feedback to overseas cultural orientation programs as needed; and
  5. to provide other technical assistance requested by the Bureau, subject to availability of funds and adequate staffing levels to perform assigned tasks.

The Bureau prefers that applicants submit via Grants.gov. In extreme circumstances, the Bureau has the discretion to accept proposals via e-mail or in hardcopy. The Bureau will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. Proposals must be received by 5:00 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, November 5, 2008. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.

Applicants who are unable to submit via Grants.gov due to technical difficulties should contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov at least one week prior to deadline to secure a trouble ticket. Applicants should then immediately contact the specific PRM point of contact identified in the respective funding opportunity announcement in order to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

Once submitted, Grants.gov will send applicants via e-mail a notice of receipt of proposal documents. If correctly and completely submitted, an additional notification “validating” receipt or rejecting (with errors noted) of the proposal will be e-mailed to the applicant. Once received by the Bureau, an applicant will receive a final notification of receipt by the Agency from Grants.gov. An applicant who has not received Grants.gov validation within 48 hours of submitting the proposal should immediately notify the Admissions Office at 202-663-1052.

Applicants should adhere to the following guidelines when preparing proposals:

  • All documents in the proposal should be submitted electronically on 8.5 inch by 11 inch pages with one-inch margins.
  • All documents in the proposal must be in 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • All pages of the proposal must be numbered. Page numbers should restart at “page 1” for each separate file/attachment (Excel or Word Document) that is submitted. Applicants must adhere to page limitations as described in the detailed instructions below.
  • Sections within each narrative should be sequential as directed in the detailed instructions below.

Required Information

Required Forms (Instructions accompany each form in the electronic Grant Application Package):

  1. OMB Standard Form 424 (Version 02)-- Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424 02 form can be found at: http://www.grants.gov/techlib/424_20090131.doc)
  2. OMB Standard Form 424 A -- Budget Information - Non Construction Programs
  3. OMB Standard Form 424 B -- Assurances - Non Construction Programs

Other Required Information (Instructions are detailed below):


A. Project Narrative
B. Budget
C. Budget Narrative
D. Organization and Program Key Staff
E. Current U.S.G. Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA)
F. If the organization has not received funding from PRM prior to the U.S.G. fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. government by providing copies of the following: 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) non-profit tax status under IRS 501 (c)(3), 3) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number, and 4) Employer ID number (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification

Sample Attachment Formats:

Sample formats of the following documents are available as online attachments to these instructions. Please note that the format used in each of these samples is suggested, not mandatory. Submissions in alternate formats are acceptable provided all required information is provided.

  • Budget, 2009
  • Organization and Program Key Staff

A. PROJECT NARRATIVE

Organizations interested in entering into a Cooperative Agreement with the Bureau for Fiscal Year 2009 must submit a Project Narrative containing the information specified below. Each section I – V of the Project Narrative should be subtitled and numbered to correspond with the required information sections below. If any individual section of information is not applicable, that fact should be specifically stated. Each portion of the narrative should not exceed the number of pages indicated in the corresponding parentheses below. Please note that page numbers should be sequential for the entirety of the Project Narrative and should not restart with each section of required information. Submit the Project Narrative as an attachment by selecting the “Project Narrative Attachment Form” in the Grant Application Package.

I. Organizational Structure (Maximum 2 pages)

Each organization should describe its organizational structure, including the number of staff assigned to the Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program and how it will manage CO Technical Assistance Program activities.

II. Project Management and Implementation (Maximum 8 pages)

Organizational Capacity and History

All organizations should include a narrative describing the history and development of the organization; its background in cultural orientation or similar activities and its experience in developing cultural orientation or similar materials, particularly as pertains to refugee populations; and its experience and capacity to provide technical assistance related to the provision of cultural orientation or similar topics. Organizations must be sure to include a detailed organizational staffing plan that describes the CO Technical Assistance management function that each individual will perform.

Proposals should also include evidence of at least three years of operation in a non-profit 501(c)(3) status.

Training Capacity

Organizations must describe their experience, ability, and capacity to provide training and CO technical assistance in:

  • Presenting at meetings, public fora, conferences, and workshops;
  • Conducting workshops and training on teaching methodology and curriculum development;
  • Facilitating the exchange of best practices among programs;
  • Facilitating international travel for staff exchange programs.

Technical Expertise in Development of Resource Materials

Organizations must illustrate their experience and describe their ability to:

  • Administer the CO electronic discussion list;
  • Distribute materials to overseas and domestic CO service providers and reception and placement agencies and store existing CO materials prior to distribution;
  • Develop online CO resources and maintain the CO website;
  • Develop background papers or fact sheets on refugee populations, as determined in collaboration with the Bureau;
  • Provide translations of the Welcome to the United States refugee orientation set, which includes the book, the VHS, and the DVD; and
  • Update trainer support materials to accompany the Welcome to the United States orientation video, including the Trainers Guide.

Plan of Work

All proposals should contain a detailed plan of work, including a timeline for activities and projected outcomes. It is recommended that objectives and activities be submitted in SMART format.

B. BUDGET

The sample budget format enclosed includes columns reflecting the Bureau (federal) and other (non-federal) funding sources as well as the total funding need. The budget summary requires each applicant to provide a breakdown of sources of any non-federal funding and the amounts. This breakdown should correspond to the amount of non-federal funding included in the budget.

The following provides guidance for the preparation of budget submissions using the sample Excel format provided. Please note that in the sample summary format some basic program information is requested in addition to the summary budget figures (on two separate tabs in the sample Excel workbook). Note that budget information is required by quarter, and agencies should provide real quarterly budgets, factoring in activities such as trainings and events.
The 2009 Request for Grant Proposals (RFGP) for the Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program includes the requirement that each proposing organization submit a line item budget for calendar year 2009 costs by quarter, following the instructions below.

Personnel and Fringe Benefits

This section of the budget should list individuals whose responsibility is to provide technical assistance in cultural orientation, or to conduct cultural orientation-related activities as specified in the full announcement. Costs should include salaries and benefits of full-time and part-time program and administrative personnel associated with providing or supervising the provision of CO technical assistance. Provide salary and Full-time Equivalent (FTE) for each individual. Fringe benefits should be provided as a single line item, representing total cost for all CO staff listed. Personnel whose costs are included in an agency's overhead base may not be included here.

If an employee works 100% of the time on the CO Technical Assistance Program, that employee should be listed as 1.0 FTE. If an employee works less than 100% of the time on the CO Technical Assistance Program, the FTE and funding level for the employee should be prorated appropriately. Organizations are reminded that any employee charged directly to the CO Technical Assistance Program must complete time sheets demonstrating that the claimed amount of time was actually devoted to working on the CO Technical Assistance Program versus other responsibilities.

Travel

This section of the budget should include travel costs related to the CO Technical Assistance Program for the purposes of conducting trainings, presenting at national and/or regional conferences, and participation at other relevant Bureau meetings such as the CO Working Group Provide a brief description of the travel in the comments section (for example, number of trips for what purpose at a cost of $xx per trip). Provide details regarding proposed expenditures for conference travel. Travel costs listed should include local taxi fares, POV mileage, airfares, and per diem (when required for overnight trips). For each trip, include departure and arrival cities, number of travelers, and duration of trip/number of days.

Equipment/Furniture

This section of the budget should include equipment costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program.. Provide separate estimates for expendable and nonexpendable equipment and furnishings, with explanation in the comments section.

Office Supplies

This section of the budget should include supply costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program.. Items listed in this section would include (as examples) stationery, copier paper, envelopes, paper clips, pens, pencils, file folders, or other small items generally used within one (1) year or less.

Professional Fees

This section of the budget should include contractual costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program. . Provide the information according to appropriate category (e.g. computer or program consultants, services of certified public accountants whose work is directly related to CO). Applicants are reminded that contracts not dedicated entirely to the CO Technical Assistance Program may not be charged to the program.

Space/Utilities

This section of the budget should include space and utilities costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program. Provide estimated costs for such items as rental or lease of office space, telephone service, postage and courier service, electricity, heat, water, and custodial and maintenance services – all for the appropriate share of the agency’s costs in these categories devoted to the CO Technical Assistance Program.

Other

This section of the budget should include costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program not covered by any of the previous categories. Such costs must be individually itemized and explained. Some examples of costs that might appear in this section include subscriptions, briefing and orientation materials, and conference registrations.

Overhead

This section should include only those charges resulting from the application of a Government (U.S.G) approved indirect cost rate to recover an appropriate portion of an organization’s indirect costs. Organizations with an approved negotiated indirect cost rate should submit via PDF attachment a copy of the most recent approved U.S.G. negotiated indirect cost rate agreement to support the rate reflected in this category. Organizations are reminded that headquarters costs not dedicated entirely to the CO Technical Assistance Program may not be charged to the program.

C. BUDGET NARRATIVE (Maximum 4 pages.)

The Budget Narrative should describe in full detail each of the above mentioned items included in the Budget for calendar year 2009. The Budget Narrative should thoroughly and clearly describe each item, correspond with the information and figures provided on the Excel budget format, be easy to follow and understand, demonstrate cost reasonableness and that calculations are mathematically correct, and comply with guidelines and limitations.

D. CO PROGRAM STAFF

Applicants should submit information on proposed Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program staff and other involved staff, including their proposed responsibilities, using the sample format that is provided. List on this attachment all staff members working on the CO Technical Assistance Program, including the hours per week each will spend performing CO Technical Assistance Program tasks, and a description of the duties performed.

If you have any general questions about the proposal submission, please contact:

Barbara Day
202-663-1052
daybj@state.gov

Office of Admissions
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
U.S. Department of State
2401 E Street, NW, Ste. L505
Washington, DC 20522