Funding Opportunity: Media Development Program

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy announces an open competition for assistance awards through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for one or a series of programs to support the Moldovan media sector.

The objective of the project is to strengthen and develop the local production capacity of Moldovan media in the interests of providing a plurality of views, supporting editorial independence, and increasing the quality of domestically produced media in Moldova.  It also aims to improve Moldovans’s ability to critically assess mass media and social media, and to support qualified organizations that can increase the level of professionalism of Moldovan journalists and media outlets.

Proposals may cover all types of media tools and channels – social interaction and social media as well as mass media.  Proposals are free to target any audience within Moldova, but should not be targeted at the whole of Moldova.  Successful proposals will identify and target a specific subset of the population and should clearly explain why targeting that demographic group is important.

The Embassy invites applicants to identify and extend existing good practices and to include in theiri proposals a discussion of how the proposal does not duplicate existing activities undertaken by other entities. 

Proposals need to include detailed and realistic implementation plan on reaching the objectives and proposed priorities, including specific activities.

Priority Region:  Priority will be given to organizations that also include audiences outside Chisinau.

Program Objectives: This proposal plans to fund a diverse range of programs.

Media development Programs aim to increase the level of professionalism among journalists through:

  • Training programs;
  • Study tours, internships or other exposure to quality, professional media practitioners in Moldova, nearby countries, and/or the United States;
  • The willingness and ability of media outlets to work together, formally or informally.

Media Literacy Programs aim to encourage Media Literacy as a building block of a healthy democracy by:

  • Empowering people to spot and defend themselves from political propaganda and disinformation efforts both foreign and domestic.

Media Sustainability Programs aim to:

  • Support independent news and information media outlets (broadcast, online, or print) that are committed to factual, objective and thorough reporting on issues relevant to Moldova’s economic and political development;
  • Develop the institutional capacity, competitiveness, and sustainability of independent media outlets;
  • Support innovative approaches to using technology, including alternative delivery platforms, to more effectively inform Moldovan audiences on issues relevant to Moldova’s economic and political development;
  • Upgrade media outlets’ online presences, including improved security and resilience against hacking and other threats;
  • Develop and strengthen media outlets on the regional and local level in the Republic of Moldova.

Participants and Audiences:

 

Successful proposals should include an assessment and sustainability plan, along with feasible solutions to current issues in the media market.

Interested organizations shall develop a plan that would fit the above stated priorities into a comprehensive development strategy.

This funding opportunity is authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

Data collection  

Award recipients may be required to track and report quarterly on a list of standard output and outcome indicators which will be specified in the award specifics.   

  

FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: 12 to 36 months

Number of awards anticipated: 20+ awards (dependent on amounts)

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $500,000

Total available funding: $3,175,000

Type of Funding: FY21/22 AEECA Funds under the Foreign Assistance Act

Anticipated program start date:  March 01, 2022

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

 

Funding Instrument Type:  Grants

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 36 months or less.

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

 

1. Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to apply

  • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations
  • Mass media registered as Limited Liability Companies.

The Public Diplomacy Section reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

Please note: The Department of State prohibits profit under its assistance awards to for-profit or commercial organizations.  No funds will be paid as profit to any recipient.  Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs.  The permissibility of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR Part 31, Cost Accounting Standards, and Part 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.  Program income earned by the recipient must be deducted from the total project or program allowable cost in determining the net allowable costs on which the federal share of costs is based.

 2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Applicants are not required to include funding from other donors. 

3. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations. 

Organizations with active grants from the U.S. Embassy are eligible to apply for new grants.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

1. Address to Request Application Package

All Application forms and formats required below are available for download on the Related Documents tab on Grants.gov opportunity page.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission 

A complete application must contain the following mandatory elements:

  • Application Formatin MS Word format (available for download)
  • Detailed Budget inMS Excel format (available for download)
  • Initial Research to note existing programs and avoid duplication of existing efforts.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (including indicators, baselines, targets).
  • CVs of the Implementation Team

The applicants selected for consideration will submit the following standard forms (The U.S. Embassy will assist applicants in filling these out):

  • SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance
  • SF-424A Budget Information for Non-Construction programs
  • SF-424B Assurances for Non-Construction programs (for organizations not registered in SAM.gov)

Unsolicited attachments will not be read and should not be submitted for this award.

Do not archive/compress documents. The documents should be attached as individual files and sent in one email before the deadline. Do not send the application package more than once.

Please send the application electronically to moldovagrants@state.gov and a copy to moldovagrants@gmail.com including the Funding opportunity Number and Name of the Organization in the subject of your email.  

Example:  PDS-CHISINAU-FY22-10 Asociatia Noastra

It is the responsibility of all applicants to ensure that proposals have been submitted on time to the specified email. The U.S. Embassy bears no responsibility for data errors during the transmission or conversion processes.

We encourage the applicants to use the downloadable application format.  If Internet access is limited, please contact us to arrange an alternative way of receiving the application package.

Please use only Microsoft Word to fill out the Application format. If you do not have Microsoft Office software, feel free to use the computers at the America House (find address on the Embassy’s website) or any other public access center (e.g., Novateca’s nationwide library network, Internet cafés, etc.).

Please contact us if you experience technical problems or are unable to submit an electronic version of the application.

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

Successful applicants will be required to register in SAM.GOV (System for Award

Management) before an award can be made. You should consider starting the registration process early to avoid any delays if your grant is selected for funding. Registration is free of charge.

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally, no entity listed on the EPLS can participate in any activities under an award.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the EPLS in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

Be Aware:

 

SAM.gov is a free government-managed website; applicants do not need to pay to have their organization registered. A/OPE receives frequent reports that recipients are contacted by organizations posing as SAM.gov and threatening to cut off registration unless a fee is paid for registration or renewal. These emails are not coming from SAM.gov.

Please read the available information before registering: Useful Information for International Registrants: Click to Download

To register:

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number (Click to Apply)

Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet.

Step 2: Apply for an NCAGE number (Click to Apply)

Instructions for the NCAGE application process 

Phone:1-888-227-2423 (within the U.S.) or 1-269-961-7766 (outside of the U.S.)

Email: NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil 

Step 3: Register for SAM (Click to Apply)

After you have received your NCAGE Code, you may register in SAM. SAM registration must be renewed annually.

Please do not contact the U.S. Embassy regarding the registration process.

4. Submission Dates and Times

 

Submission Deadline: January 10, 2022 18:00

 

5. Funding Restrictions

The Grants Program cannot fund:

  • Organizations with affiliation to elected officials, political parties, or religious groups;
  • Humanitarian or charitable activities, including direct social services to populations;
  • Fundraising campaigns;
  • Career development;
  • Political or partisan activities;
  • Scientific research;
  • Individual trips abroad;
  • Trade activities;
  • Health projects;
  • Construction costs;
  • Pre-award costs.

6. Other Submission Requirements

Applicants should conduct research to determine currently existing programs as they related to the proposed scope of activities, while advising how the proposed program will build on rather than duplicate those efforts.

APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

The Program will fund proposals that best address the Program’s themes and that reflect the values of the United States and the mandate of the Embassy of the United States of America.  Successful proposals will contain accurate and well-developed implementation plans and clear explanations of how the project goals will be achieved.

Project selection is competitive. 

1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea (20 points)

The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.  

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants (20 points)

The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives (15 points)

Goals and objectives are clearly stated, and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Budget (10 points)

The budget justification is detailed.  Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.

Initial Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (15 points)

Applicant demonstrates awareness of existing programming, highlights how it will avoid duplication or build on existing efforts by other organizations, measures program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.

Sustainability (10 points)

Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

Support of Equity and Underserved Communities  (10 points) 

Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the program will support and advance equity and engage underserved communities in program administration, design, and implementation. 

2. Review and Selection Process

The Program Review Committee is made up of heads of sections or their delegates of the U.S. Embassy in Moldova.  The panel members have at least 10 working days to read the projects and then convene to review and discuss the project proposals and recommend selected projects for funding.

The selected awards of the committee are confirmed by the Front Office of the U.S. Embassy and submitted to the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC for final approval.

 

Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)

For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

i. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);

ii. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.206 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

1. Federal Award Notices

Applicants will be notified electronically about selection results.  An email message will be sent to the email addresses included in the application (authorized representative and a carbon copy to the project contact person). Grants Program Staff might also contact the applicant to request additional information or to clarify certain aspects of the application documents; therefore, it is important to provide accurate contact information.

Unsuccessful program applicants will receive an email notification.  Grants Program Staff can provide a signed rejection letter upon request; however, the Grants Program will not provide specific reasons for rejection. 

Successful program applicants must sign a Notice of Award (grant agreement) before receiving the funds.  The grant or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The Notice of Federal Award signed by the grants officer is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the award document signed by the Grants Officer.  

 

No costs should be incurred by the applicant prior to signing a Notice of Award.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.  These include:

In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following:  NOTE:

  • Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register’s 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:
    • Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR part 200.205),
    • Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115—232) (2 CFR part 200.216),
    • Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (§§ 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341),
    • Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR part 200.322), and
    • Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law, if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR part 200.340).

3. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports in English.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

(a) Program Reports:  U.S. Embassy Chisinau requires program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement.  A program report is required within 30 days following the end of each three-month period of performance during the validity period of the agreement.  The final program report is due 120 days following the end of the agreement. Monthly progress briefs may also be required.

(b) Financial Reports:  Financial reports are required within 30 days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement (January 30th, April 30th, July 30th, October 30th).  The final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within 120 days after the expiration date of the agreement. 

Reports reflecting expenditures should be completed in accordance with the Federal Financial Report SF-425 (click to download) and in accordance with other award specific requirements. 

The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to contract certified auditors to conduct program and financial audits of the projects funded under this Notice of Funding Opportunity.

Foreign Assistance Data Review: As required by Congress, the Department of State must make progress in its efforts to improve tracking and reporting of foreign assistance data through the Foreign Assistance Data Review (FADR). The FADR requires tracking of foreign assistance activity data from budgeting, planning, and allocation through obligation and disbursement.  Successful applicants will be required to report and draw down federal funding based on the appropriate FADR Data Elements, indicated within their award documentation.  In cases of more than one FADR Data Element, typically program or sector and/or regions or country, the successful applicant will be required to maintain separate accounting records.

FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACT(S)

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact:

Grants Program

Moldovagrants@state.gov

OTHER INFORMATION

Disclaimer

Organizations that submit applications in response to this announcement acknowledge and accept all of the requirements contained herein. This announcement serves as notice to select interested parties to have equal opportunity to submit project proposals for funding consideration. All submissions in response to this announcement are voluntary and do not obligate the Department of State to fund any proposal or proposal preparation costs.

Issuance of this Request for Proposals does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government, nor does it commit the Government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received. If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department of State.

Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68. 

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.

 

 

NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY

Opportunity Title:  

Media Development Program

Opportunity Number: 

PDS-CHISINAU-FY22-10

Assistance Listing Number: 

19.900

Assistance Listing Title:

AEECA PD Programs

Assistance Program: 

Media Development Program

Announcement Type:

Open Competition

Announcement Date:

November 9, 2021

Submission Deadline:

January 10, 2022 18:00

Anticipated Award Date: 

March 15, 2022

 

 

 

Check the following link for Standard Application Forms: 

https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=336475

 

 


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