Funding Opportunity Announcement
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
March 2, 2012


Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-ECA-12-CA-SA-03022012-AFGHANS

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.519 - Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Near East and South Asia

Announcement issuance date: Friday, March 2, 2012

Proposal submission deadline: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

ADVISORY: PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address any difficulties that may arise.

Proposed Program Start Dates: May 1 - September 30, 2012

Duration of Activity: No more than 12 months. 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 Afghan Returnees and Refugees: PRM will prioritize funding for proposed NGO activities that best meet the Bureau’s priorities for Afghan returnees and refugees in Afghanistan and Pakistan as identified below.

(a) Proposed activities should primarily support Afghan returnees in Afghanistan and registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Because of PRM’s mandate to provide protection, assistance, and durable solutions for refugees and conflict victims, PRM will only consider funding projects that include a direct beneficiary base of at least 50% Afghan returnees and/or registered refugees. PRM will consider proposals for activities in either country as well as proposals that are cross-border in nature.

(b) Proposals for projects within Afghanistan: PRM’s priorities in Afghanistan are guided by the Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) sector strategy of the 2008-2013 Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), which aims to “provide safe, voluntary, gradual and sustainable reintegration possibilities for all Afghan refugees, returnees and IDPs choosing to return. This vision supports the rights of all Afghans to return to their homes, repossess property and enjoy all constitutional and human rights. Greater attention to protection of the vulnerable groups among refugees and IDPs, including children and women is an important part of this vision.” Partners may submit proposals to work in any part of Afghanistan, including in Land Allocation Sites. PRM is specifically interested in activities in urban areas and slums, provided that returnees comprise at least 50% of the beneficiary population.

PRM intends to fund proposals that improve beneficiaries’ self-reliance; promote welfare, legal, and social parity among returnees and the communities in which they live; and increase the capacity of Afghan institutions (government entities or local NGOs) to provide basic services to address returnee needs. Proposals should focus on one or more of the following sectors (not listed by priority) and must demonstrate a clear need to undertake proposed interventions in order for returnees to achieve such parity with local communities:

· Income-generating activities, including micro-finance programs and vocational training (including literacy training) in marketable skills, and provision of professional tool sets. Standalone vocational training not linked to placement of jobs/income-generating activities and sustainable cash-for-work programs will not be considered for funding. Partners must conduct basic market and income surveys before initiating training/livelihoods activities to identify marketable skills and establish baseline household income levels. Surveys must be endorsed by relevant government ministries/departments (e.g. Department of Education or the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs, and Disabled (MOLSA)). All vocational training must be provided through an Afghan training center and/or be officially endorsed by the relevant Afghan Ministry. (Note: For example, MOLSA’s Department of National Skills Development Program has a standard curriculum for many vocations; the Ministry of Education has standard curriculum for teaching methodology; and the Ministry of Public Health has a standard curriculum for nursing.) Vocational training in partnership with private enterprises that have identified the need to hire workers with specific skill sets is encouraged. Proposals for livelihoods activities should include components to measure actual increased income. Proposals from PRM partners who implemented PRM-funded livelihoods programs in FY 2011 must include information on previous program beneficiaries’ income and employment status.

· Protection, including access to basic services, assistance in land dispute resolution, gender equality and protection of women (such as combating gender-based violence (GBV), working inclusively with men and boys, economic empowerment and livelihoods for women, etc.), and activities to support extremely vulnerable individuals. Partners should demonstrate how they will train their staff to meet the specific protection and assistance needs of these vulnerable groups effectively.

· Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) education and systems improvement, using guidelines from the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development and in accordance with internationally recognized standards. All proposals working in this sector must demonstrate how WASH systems will be maintained by the community beyond the 12-month project timeline.

· Capacity building of Afghan providers of health, education, and/or livelihoods services, especially government line departments (but also local NGOs). Partners’ role should also be to increase access to existing services by linking beneficiary communities to available services through advocacy with providers.

Proposals should address needs and regions not covered by UNHCR or other international organizations (IOs). Proposals must identify a gap that, if filled, will result in increased self-sufficiency of returnees or improved capacity of Afghan institutions to provide services to returnees. Proposals should identify how projects complement existing humanitarian, development, government, or private investment programs.

All proposals must include partnerships with local community leaders (utilizing Community Development Councils formed under the National Solidarity Program or shuras where possible); relevant Afghan government authorities at the national, provincial, and/or district level; and/or UNHCR and other IOs as relevant. Capacity building elements for Afghan government entities or local NGOs should be designed so that those institutions can assume responsibility for future services that are currently provided through international NGOs with PRM funding. All proposals budgets must demonstrate a significant in-kind, financial, or combined contribution from the beneficiary community and/or government entities.

(c) Proposals for projects within Pakistan: PRM’s priorities in Pakistan are guided by the Government of Pakistan’s (GOP) Afghan Management and Repatriation Strategy (AMRS) as well as by the spirit of the joint United Nations-GOP Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) initiative, which aims to improve livelihoods, rehabilitate the

environment, and enhance social cohesion between refugee and host communities through community-based small- and medium-scale interventions. Partners may submit proposals to work in any part of Pakistan, provided that registered Afghan refugees comprise at least 50% of the beneficiary population.

PRM is seeking transitional strategies for the registered Afghan refugee population in Pakistan and intends to fund proposals that improve refugees’ self-reliance. Proposals should focus on one or more of the following sectors (not listed by priority):

· Income-generating activities, including micro-finance programs and vocational training (including literacy training) in marketable skills and provision of professional tool sets. Standalone vocational training not linked to placement of jobs/income-generating activities and sustainable cash-for-work programs will not be considered for funding in FY 2012. Partners must conduct basic market and income surveys before initiating training/livelihoods activities to identify marketable skills and to establish baseline household income levels. All vocational training must be provided through a Pakistani training center and/or be officially endorsed by the relevant Afghan Ministry (often through the Afghan Consulates in Pakistan) or the relevant GOP Ministry. Proposals for livelihoods activities should include components to measure actual increased income. Proposals from PRM partners who implemented PRM-funded livelihoods programs in FY 2011 must include information on previous program beneficiaries’ income and employment status.

· Capacity building of, or partnerships with, Pakistani healthcare providers (such as Provincial Departments of Health, the Project Directorate of Health in the Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees (CAR), the People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative, local NGOs, etc.) to achieve parity of health services for registered Afghan refugees with those available to local communities. All proposals must demonstrate a clear shift from direct service provision to capacity building of government or local institutions to provide services, or transition of services to government, development, local NGO, or community management. Partners may propose continuing to provide basic health services, including comprehensive reproductive health and maternal/child healthcare, as long as proposals demonstrate a clear plan for transition away from direct service provision with benchmarks that show concrete progress by the end of the project period. Partners’ role should also be to increase/ensure access to existing services by linking beneficiary communities to available services through advocacy with service providers, UNHCR, the World Health Organization, CAR, and government health authorities.

· Protection, including increasing registered refugees’ access to basic services, legal assistance and rights awareness-raising activities, gender equality and protection of women (such as combating GBV, working inclusively with men and boys, economic empowerment and livelihoods for women, etc.), and activities to support extremely vulnerable individuals. Partners are encouraged to demonstrate how they will train their staff to meet the specific protection and assistance needs of these vulnerable groups effectively and achieve tangible, measureable results.

· Provision of or improved access to quality primary and secondary education services. Projects should focus on enrolment of out-of-school refugee children and strengthening of School Management Committees and/or Parent-Teacher Councils as a step to ensure community involvement, particularly in the maintenance and repair of the schools, and sustainability. Coursework should support eventual repatriation/reintegration in Afghanistan (e.g. proficiency in Dari, curriculum coordinated with and educational credentials certified by the Afghan Ministry of Education, etc.) or that will help beneficiaries earn a livelihood in Pakistan (e.g. education credentials certified by the Pakistani Ministry of Education).

Proposals should address needs and regions not covered by UNHCR or other IOs. Proposals should identify a gap that, if filled, will result in increased self-sufficiency of registered refugees as well as increased incorporation of refugee needs into planning by government service providers and development actors. PRM will prioritize projects that complement existing humanitarian, development, government, or private investment programs.

All proposals must include partnerships with local community leaders (utilizing shuras or existing Community Organizations where possible); relevant Pakistani government authorities at the national, provincial, and/or district level; the Afghan Government (through the Afghan Embassy and Consulates in Pakistan); and/or UNHCR and other IOs as relevant. Capacity building elements for Pakistani healthcare providers should be designed so that those institutions assume responsibility for services currently provided through international NGOs with PRM funding. Proposals that are modeled on the RAHA initiative and/or those that can demonstrate a significant in-kind, financial, or combined contribution from the beneficiary community (refugee and host community) and/or local, GOP, or development entities will be prioritized.

(d) Proposals for cross-border projects: PRM intends to fund livelihoods-oriented cross-border projects that meet the following criteria:

· Projects should facilitate the successful reintegration of recent returnees (defined as registered refugees who return through UNHCR’s voluntary repatriation process) through income-generating activities, including micro-finance programs and vocational training (including literacy training) in marketable skills in Afghanistan, and provision of professional tool sets. Standalone vocational training not linked to placement of jobs/income-generating activities and sustainable cash-for-work programs will not be considered.

· Partners must conduct basic market and income surveys before initiating training/livelihoods activities to identify marketable skills in Afghanistan and to establish baseline household income levels.

· Proposals should identify beneficiaries in Pakistan who intend to repatriate through UNHCR’s voluntary repatriation program, and then provide vocational training, skills development, and job placement in Afghanistan after repatriation. Vocational training must be provided through an Afghan training center and/or be officially endorsed by the relevant Afghan Ministry. (Note: For example, MOLSA’s Department of National Skills Development Program has a standard curriculum for many vocations; the Ministry of Education has standard curriculum for teaching methodology; and the Ministry of Public Health has a standard curriculum for nursing.)

· Proposals for livelihoods activities should include components to measure actual increased income. Proposals from PRM partners who implemented PRM-funded livelihoods programs in FY 2011 must include information on previous program beneficiaries’ income and employment status.

Proposals should address needs and regions not covered by UNHCR or other IOs and should identify how projects complement existing humanitarian, development, government, or private investment programs. All proposals must include partnerships with relevant Afghan government authorities at the national, provincial, and/or district level and with UNHCR or other IOs as relevant.

(e) All proposals should adhere to the following guidance:

· All projects should seek to address the particular needs of women and children and indicators should disaggregate by gender, age, and location (i.e. supply GPS coordinates or districts where activities occur).

· Proposals must include a thoroughly developed transition strategy that outlines a clear and effective plan for moving project activities and services to local, regional, or national governance structures, to local organizations, to development organizations, or to self-reliance strategies. Components of the transition strategy may include, inter alia, building the capacity of local, district, and provincial government entities (in coordination with UNHCR) or local NGOs to provide services to returnees and refugees; working with beneficiary communities to develop innovative ways to ensure access to services; documented engagement with government officials and local organizations in planning for project handover; and fostering better relations between host communities and returnees/refugees.

NGOs may present phased transitional approaches, but all transitional strategies must demonstrate tangible progress on transition as defined above and a clear communication strategy to beneficiaries on planned changes. Proposals that include service provision or capacity building must include an objective and corresponding indicators that measure steps to phase out direct NGO provision of services and/or transition of management of facilities and services. Proposals must include an effective and practicable exit/transition strategy since follow-on funding is not guaranteed. The transition component of proposals is required in order to be considered for funding.

· In proposals for follow-on activities for FY 2011 PRM-funded projects, NGOs should demonstrate the application of lessons learned and changes necessitated by the dynamic social and economic situation of Afghan refugees/returnees in the region. NGOs should assess the effectiveness of the assistance they currently provide, highlighting best practices developed and programmatic adjustments in follow-on activities.

· All NGOs must participate in UNHCR-designed and -managed refugee assistance information systems where applicable and must meet at least quarterly to coordinate with UNHCR.

· All proposals should describe security arrangements for international and local staff, including contingency planning for deteriorating security conditions.

(f) PRM will accept proposals from any NGO working in the above mentioned sectors although, given budgetary constraints, priority will be given to proposals from organizations that can demonstrate:

· Proposals should include documentation of current collaboration with UNHCR, current UNHCR funding, or for NGOs that are not currently receiving funding from either UNHCR or PRM, a letter of support from UNHCR for the proposed activities. (this letter should highlight the gap in services the proposed program is designed to address);a proven track record in providing proposed assistance both in the sector and specified location;

· Evidence of adequate Country Office and Headquarters-level monitoring and oversight of project activities in the field and coordination with international organizations (IOs) and other NGOs working in the same area or sector as well as local government 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 include at least one outcome or impact indicator per objective; objectives should be clearly linked to the sectors in the RFP;

· All proposals must include strong transition plans that detail specific benchmarks and/or a timeline for transitioning activities/services to government entities, local NGOs, development organizations, or to the community by the end of the 12-month period;

· 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.

· Adherence to relevant international standards for humanitarian assistance. See PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for a complete list of sector-specific standards.

International Organizations

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.

Funding Limits:

PRM will consider projects submitted with budgets up to $1,000,000 for one-year projects in Pakistan and up to $1,500,000 for one-year projects in Afghanistan or cross-border proposals. As stated in the General 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” (http://www.grants.gov/applicants/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements, and note the following highlights:

· Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov. Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should register well in advance of the deadline as it can take up to two weeks to finalize registration (sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to get the required registration numbers). To register with Grants.gov, organizations must first receive a DUNS number and register with the Central Contract Registry (CCR) which can take weeks and sometimes months. See “Applicant FAQs” section on Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/help/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) for complete details on registering.

· 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 Diane Whitten at (202) 453-9282or WhittenDL@state.gov or Michelle Monsegur at (202) 453-9283 or MonsegurM@state.gov to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

· 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. 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.

· 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.

· Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found at: http://fa.statebuy.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=161&menu_id=68 )

· NGOs that have not received PRM funding since 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.


Proposal Content, Formatting and Template:

Please refer to the “Proposal Submission and Review Process” section in PRM’s General 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. You must type “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line to receive an automated reply containing the template.

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

This announcement is designed to accompany PRM’s General NGO Guidelines, 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 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.

· Proposals should outline how the NGO will acknowledge PRM funding. 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/or 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 as to why it should be exempted from this requirement.

· Focus on outcome or impact indicators. At a minimum, each objective should have one outcome or impact indicator. Baselines should be established before the start of the project.

· To increase PRM’s ability to track the impact of PRM funding, include specific information on locations of projects and beneficiaries. Any project involving the building or maintenance of physical infrastructure must include coordinates of site locations (place name, P-Code, latitude and longitude coordinates).

· Budget must include a specific breakdown of funds being provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization. PRM strongly encourages multi-lateral support for humanitarian programs.

· Organizations that received PRM funding in FY 2011 for activities that are being proposed for funding under this announcement 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.

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 this 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 reporting requirements please see PRM’s General NGO Guidelines.

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.

PRM may request revised proposals and/or budgets based on feedback from the panel. PRM will provide formal notifications to NGOs of final decisions taken by Bureau management.

Assistance Award Provision - SPOT

The following provisions will be included in the Bureau specific component of the Notice of Award for performance in a designated combat area (currently Iraq and Afghanistan). Recipients are required to include this provision in any sub-grant awards or agreements.

SPECIAL PROVISION FOR PERFORMANCE IN A DESIGNATED COMBAT AREA (CURRENTLY IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN)

(Revised January 2011)

All recipient personnel deploying to areas of combat operations, as designated by the Secretary of Defense (currently Iraq and Afghanistan), under grants over $100,000 or performance over 30 days must register in the Department of Defense maintained Synchronized Pre-deployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT) system. Recipients of federal assistance awards shall register in SPOT before deployment, or if already in the designated operational area, register upon becoming an employee under the assistance award and maintain current data in SPOT. Information on how to register in SPOT is available from your Grants Officer or Grants Officer Representative.

Recipients must enter all U.S. and Third Country National (TCN) personnel into SPOT. If the Recipient has concerns about the safety of locally hired Iraqi or Afghan personnel because of personal data entered into SPOT, arrangements may be made with the Grants Officer or the Grants Officer Representative to report anonymous aggregate data.

Locally-hired Iraqi or Afghan personnel can be added anonymously through the use of the aggregate count template except as noted in the following paragraph.

Recipients utilizing personnel who are performing a private security function; are performing duties as a translator or interpreter; require access to U.S. facilities, services, or support; or desire consideration for refugee or special immigrant status under the Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act of 2007 (subtitle C of title XII of Public Law 110–181) must be entered into SPOT individually with all required personal information. If a locally-hired Iraqi or Afghan national falls into one of these categories, the Recipient must enter all of the required identification data into SPOT.

When the Grantee is ready to enter locally-hired individuals using the Aggregate Count method, the Grantee will notify the Grants Officer who will contact the Department SPOT Program Manager (A/LM/AQM) to obtain the “Aggregate Count” template. The Grantee will complete the “Aggregate Count” template and return to the SPOT Program Manager who will ensure that aggregate counts are loaded into SPOT. The Grantee SPOT Administrator is responsible for updating the aggregate locally hired national count on a quarterly basis by providing updated information via the “Aggregate Count” As template to the GOR/GO for each award who will forward to the Department SPOT Program Manager for SPOT entry.

Recipient performance may require the use of armed private security personnel. To the extent that such private security contractors (PSCs) are required, grantees are required to ensure they adhere to Chief of Mission (COM) policies and procedures regarding the operation, oversight, and accountability of PSCs. In a designated area of combat operations, the term PSC includes any personnel providing protection of the personnel, facilities, property of a grantee or subgrantee at any level, or performing any other activity for which personnel are required to carry weapons in the performance of their duties.

As specific COM policies and procedures may differ in scope and applicability, recipients of federal assistance awards are advised to review post policies and procedures carefully in this regard and direct any questions to the Embassy Regional Security Office (RSO) via the Grants Officer Representative (GOR). Any exclusion to these policies must be granted by the COM via the RSO. COM policies and procedures may be obtained from the RSO via the GOR. Recipients of federal assistance awards are also advised that these policies and procedures may be amended from time to time at the post in response to changing circumstances.

Recipients of federal assistance awards are advised that adherence to these policies and procedures are considered to be a material requirement of their grant.

Recipients of federal assistance awards are reminded that only the Grants Officer has the authority to modify the Notice of Award. Recipients shall proceed with any security guidance provided by the RSO, but shall advise the Grants Officer and the GOR of the guidance received and any potential cost or schedule impact.

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: Responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed.)

PRM Program Officers Diane Whitten (WhittenDL@state.gov; 202-453-9282) or Michelle Monsegur (MonsegurM@state.gov; 202-453-9283), Washington, D.C.

Kabul Refugee Coordinator Ted Jasik (JasikT@state.gov), U.S. Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan.

Islamabad Refugee Coordinator Simone Jackson (GravesSL@state.gov), U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan.