Concerns Aired over Junior-Level Post Cuts, Insufficient Geographic Diversity among Workforce, as Fifth Committee Debates Human Resource Management

Staff members were the United Nations main asset, but greater efforts must be made to bring more women into the Organization’s ranks and to tackle long-standing concerns over geographical underrepresentation, speakers said today as the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) turned its attention to human resources management issues.

They took the floor as the Secretariat introduced reports that put the number of staff members at 39,651 as of 31 December 2016, down 4 per cent from June 2013, with female staff accounting for 35.1 per cent of the total, up slightly from 33.9 per cent.  The number of Member States whose representation in the Secretariat was deemed to be desirable, or “within range”, declined from 125 in June 2013 to 102 in December 2016.  Twenty-nine Member States were deemed to have been overrepresented, 44 underrepresented and 18 not represented at all in the Organization.

Ecuador’s representative, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, expressed concern that the largest number of appointments to posts subject to geographical distribution were of staff from overrepresented countries, an ongoing trend since 2013, while the number of Member States in the unrepresented and underrepresented categories was inversely increasing.  She also noted that the overall number of women in senior positions remained less than 50 per cent, and asked how many of them were from developing countries.

In the same vein, the representative of the United States — emphasizing that the Secretariat could do a lot more to improve the Organization’s human resources management system in an era when talented people enjoyed many employment options — said more could and should be done to increase the number of women staff members and to address the continuing challenge of underrepresentation, “including our own”.

Angola’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the African Group, noted with concern the persistent issue of the ever-increasing number of high-level posts, saying that contradicted the Organization’s objective of being more agile and field-oriented.  He said the Group also looked forward to hearing the reasons why the Secretariat had been unable to comply with guidance from the General Assembly to fill vacant posts within 120 days.  On disciplinary matters, the Group urged the Secretary-General to take more substantive steps to address allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse within the Organization.

The representative of Singapore, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said both gender and geographical equity principles must advance together.  He encouraged the Secretary-General to ensure a more refined performance management system, particularly at the managerial and leadership levels, along with continuous assessment and evaluation of those changes.

Japan’s representative, meanwhile, voiced concern that the average age of United Nations staff had continued to increase slightly over the past five reporting periods, from 43.4 years to 44.8 years.  He called for efforts to facilitate an influx of young, diverse talent, and give them opportunities to develop their abilities and rejuvenate the workforce of the Secretariat.  Creating a modern organization and global workforce took commitment, he said, looking forward to an updated human resources management framework at the General Assembly’s seventy-third session.

Martha Helena Lopez, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management, introduced the Secretary-General’s reports titled “Composition of the Secretariat:  staff demographics”, “Practice of the Secretary-General in disciplinary matters and cases of possible criminal behaviour, 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017” and “Amendments to the Staff Regulations and Rules”, with Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, introduced that body’s corresponding report.

The report on disciplinary matters, covering the period from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, informed Member States about all actions taken in cases of established misconduct and/or criminal behaviour and the ensuing disciplinary and legal action, while the report on amendments to the Staff Regulations and changes notably addressed necessary changes to reflect the General Assembly’s decision to increase to 65 the mandatory separation age for staff members appointed before 1 January 2014.

Ian Richards, representative of the United Nations Secretariat staff, supported the proposed change in the Staff Regulations that would enable all staff on board on 1 January 2018 to work until 65 years of age.  On the Secretariat’s gender strategy, he stressed the importance of tackling trends such as the departure of women mid-career, which would require addressing issues such as child care, shared and extended parental leave and increased outreach and leadership training.  It was also time to update the policy on sexual harassment, he said, expressing concern as well about a long-term trend which had resulted in fewer junior posts and an increase of senior posts.  He also drew attention to a number of departments that were still not granting five-year, fixed-term contracts to qualified staff members, saying it had led to a two-track system within the Organization.

Michel Tommo Monthe (Cameroon), Committee Chair, made a brief statement, saying the diversity of the world and gender equality should be reflected in the Organization’s make-up.  That might be an old matter, he said, but it could be looked at with a fresh point of view.  He also encouraged delegations to aim to complete the Committee’s work according to the agreed schedule.

Also speaking today were representatives of Kuwait and Pakistan, as well as the European Union.

The Fifth Committee will meet again at 10 a.m., on Wednesday, 1 November, to consider the proposed 2018‑2019 programme budget as it relates to the seismic mitigation retrofit and life-cycle replacements project at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific premises in Bangkok.

Composition of the Secretariat and other reports

MARTHA HELENA LOPEZ, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management, introduced the Secretary-General’s reports titled “Composition of the Secretariat:  staff demographics” covering the reporting period from 1 July 2016 to 31 December 2016 (document A/72/123), “Practice of the Secretary-General in disciplinary matters and cases of possible criminal behaviour, 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017” (document A/72/209) and “Amendments to the Staff Regulations and Rules” (document A/72/129/Rev.1).

On the composition of the Secretariat, she said the total number of staff members on 31 December 2016 stood at 39,651, down 480 or 1.2 per cent from 30 June 2016, reflecting a decrease of staff for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and 45 other entities as well as no change or an increase of staff at 52 entities.  Over the last five reporting periods, or four and a half years, Secretariat staff had decreased by 4 per cent.  The percentage of staff holding a permanent or continuing appointment rose from 18 per cent in June 2013 to 25 per cent in December 2016, while that of staff on fixed-term appointments fell from 78 per cent to 67 per cent.  The ratios of female staff to total staff increased slightly from 33.9 per cent to 35.1 per cent over the same five reporting periods, while the average age of staff increased slightly from 43.4 to 44.8 years.  With regard to representation, the number of Member States “within range” decreased from 125 to 102 from June 2013 to December 2016.

On the report titled Amendments to the Staff Regulations and Rules, she said it contained amendments required to implement an increase to 65 the mandatory age of separation for staff members appointed before 1 January 2014, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 70/244.  It also contained amendments required to implement a revised education grant scheme, approved by the Assembly through the same resolution.  She said that, in addition to setting a new mandatory separation age, a new rule was being proposed to reflect, where applicable, staff members’ acquired right to separate at their normal retirement age — 60 or 62 — as defined under the Regulations of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund.  That proposed change would be implemented from 1 January 2018.

Changes to the revised education grant scheme would include a single-currency maximum grant amount, set in United States dollars, as opposed to the current scheme based on 15 currency/country zones, she said.  A streamlined list of admissible expenses would be applied, comprising tuition, mother-tongue tuition and enrolment-related fees, while the grant would be payable up to the end of the school year in which a child completed four years of post-secondary studies, or attained a first post-secondary degree, whichever came first, subject to an upper age limit of 25 years.  The proposed amendments would be implemented as of the school year in progress on 1 January 2018.

Turning to the report on disciplinary matters, she said it provided summaries of individual cases where the Secretary-General imposed disciplinary measures during the reporting period, as well as statistics on the numbers and types of cases received by the Office of Human Resources Management, the number of cases completed and the disposition of completed cases.  With respect to the summaries of cases, she said the report sought to better explain some of the considerations taken into account by the Secretary-General when deciding the measures to impose in a particular case.  That was a delicate task as it was important that information provided did not breach the right to confidentiality for the staff members involved.

CARLOS RUIZ MASSIEU, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, introduced its report on Human resources management (document A/72/558), recalling the Advisory Committee’s previous recommendations regarding the analytical quality of the Secretary-General’s report on the Secretariat’s composition and the need to understand the underlying causes of several trends with a view to developing corrective measures and policy enhancements.  Specifically, the Advisory Committee noted with concern that since 2013, the number of Member States in the unrepresented and underrepresented categories was increasing and reiterated its recommendations that greater efforts were needed to address that trend.  The Advisory Committee also noted no progress had been achieved regarding the growth in senior-level appointments and the “top heaviness” of the Secretariat, and it remained concerned about the upward shift in the grade structure and resulting fragmentation of leadership responsibilities.  The Advisory Committee was concerned that the administrative instruction on investigations and the disciplinary process was still under internal review and stressed that it must be promulgated as a matter of priority.  Also needed was greater clarity in the amendments proposed under the staff rule relating to administrative leave.

IAN RICHARDS, representative of the United Nations Secretariat staff, supported the proposed change in the Staff Regulations that would enable all staff on board on 1 January 2018 to work until 65 years of age.  He took note of the decision to pause and review the mobility policy which in two years of operation had only generated moves for 22 of the 241 staff that wanted a new assignment, representing a 9 per cent success rate.  He expressed concern over the proposed Global Service Delivery Model which would eliminate the current competitive market for administrative services and replace it with a monopoly provider with no incentive to improve costs and standards or innovate.  On the gender strategy, he stressed the importance of tackling trends such as the departure of women mid-career, which would require addressing issues such as child care, shared and extended parental leave and increased outreach and leadership training.  It was also time to update the policy on sexual harassment.  He went on to express concern about the long-term trend which had resulted in fewer junior posts, while the number of senior posts increased.  He also drew attention to a number of departments that were still not granting five-year, fixed-term contracts to qualified staff members, which had led to a two-track system within the United Nations.

AMÉRICA LOURDES PEREIRA SOTOMAYOR (Ecuador), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said that it was vital that the Office of Human Resources Management implement the United Nations mandates in an environment that exemplified diversity, flexibility and dynamism.  The Group noted with concern that the largest number of appointments to posts subject to geographical distribution were of staff from overrepresented countries, an ongoing trend since 2013, while the number of Member States in the unrepresented and underrepresented categories was inversely increasing.  The Group noted the increase in the number of female staff members in the Secretariat to 35.1 per cent, although the overall number of women in senior positions was still less than 50 per cent.  The Group was interested in knowing how many of the women in senior positions were from developing countries.

The Group noted the increase in the average age of the Secretariat staff and emphasized the need to recruit young staff members to ensure the smooth transfer of institutional knowledge and to build capacity in the wake of retirement and other forms of separation, she said.  The Group noted the reported improvements in the responsiveness of investigating entities and the enhanced quality of investigation reports, although it was concerned that the information contained in the Secretary-General’s report on disciplinary matters and cases of possible criminal behaviour did not provide a comprehensive overview of all the cases related to allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse within the Organization.  The Group was concerned about the increased number of days to fill vacant posts and reiterated that the Staff Rules must comply with the Staff Regulations, whereby the latter could not be overruled or changed by the former.

DANIEL WANG (Singapore), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and associating himself with the Group of 77, said that given the increasingly complex global environment within which the United Nations must operate, a dynamic and motivated workforce was crucial.  To that end, ASEAN emphasised the need for more balanced gender and geographical representation in the United Nations system.  He was specifically concerned with the lack of equitable gender and geographical representation in the Secretariat, especially at senior levels.  But both gender and geographical equity principles must advance together, he said.

ASEAN encouraged the Secretary-General to ensure a more refined performance management system, particularly at the managerial and leadership levels, along with continuous assessment and evaluation of those changes, he said.  He noted the Joint Inspection Unit’s report on knowledge management and agreed it should be a strategic priority in all United Nations systems.  In closing, he urged the Secretary-General to deal with all cases of staff misconduct in a timely fashion and with appropriate disciplinary action.

MARCIO SANDRO ALEIXO PEREIRA BURITY (Angola), speaking on behalf of the African Group and associating himself with the Group of 77, stressed that an equitable geographic representation in the Secretariat remained a priority for the Group.  He noted with serious concern that the number of Member States within the desirable range for representation in geographical posts had decreased by 18 per cent from 125 to 102.  Moreover, the largest number of appointments to posts subject to geographical distribution were for staff of overrepresented countries.  The Group was interested in learning more about the reasons for that and sought more information on the progress in implementing the General Assembly decision on the desirable ranges system set up to address the issue of geographical representation.

The Group also noted with concern the persistent issue of the ever-increasing number of high-level posts, which contradicted the objective of the Organization to be more agile and field-oriented, he said.  The Group also expected to receive clarification from the Secretariat on the reasons for the continuing delay in implementing the 120-day guidance provided by the General Assembly to fill vacant posts, as well as the apparent lack of effort to rejuvenate the Organization.  On disciplinary matters, the Group urged the Secretary-General to take more substantive actions to address allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse.  The Group also emphasized that proposals to amend the Staff Regulations and Rules must follow decisions of the General Assembly as well as the Administrative Tribunals, and in that context, the Group would carefully examine the amendments related to the staff separation age and the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse.

JAN DE PRETER, European Union, describing staff members as the Organization’s main asset, welcomed the Secretary-General’s intention to improve human resources management.  The European Union also welcomed simplified human resource policies and procedures, improved workforce planning, better recruitment procedures, personnel mobility and enhanced performance management.  “The right-sizing of the Secretary should be a priority,” he said, expressing concern however that gender imbalance remained a persistent issue, especially at the senior level and in field operations.  He added that, during the current session, the focus should be on time-bound issues and other urgent business at hand, allowing sufficient time for the Secretary-General to further develop his proposals and get back to the Advisory Committee.

ALI ABDULLATIF ALI ALYAHYA (Kuwait), associating himself with the Group of 77, said his country supported the Secretary-General’s efforts to reform the United Nations, particularly regarding management reform.  Better management of human resources was essential to achieving progress.  Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals would require a great deal of effort, and in that context, he emphasized the importance of ensuring all United Nations offices, particularly those away from headquarters, were properly staffed to make the fulfilment of the Goals possible.  He went on to underscore that his delegation would like to see Kuwait better-represented across the Organization, while also pointing to the need for better geographical representation overall in all United Nations bodies.

CHERITH A. NORMAN CHALET (United States) said the Secretariat could do a lot more to improve the Organization’s human resources management system.  With talented people having many employment options, the United Nations must move faster in its recruitment efforts to remain a viable option for many candidates.  At the same time, the Organization must do more to recognize and reward outstanding performance and address under-performance.  In that regard, strong and empowered leadership was essential.  More could and should be done as well to increase the number of women staff members and to address the continuing challenge of under-representation, “including our own”.  She went on to ask that the Organization’s leadership carefully and continually review the resources at its disposal to ensure that they were optimally configured for mandate delivery.  That was among many ways in which it could act now to ensure that it remained relevant, she said.

KEISUKE FUKUDA (Japan), stressing that diversity was one of the defining features of the Organization, welcomed the Secretary-General’s initiative to launch a system-wide strategy on gender parity.  Expressing concern that the average age of the United Nations staff had continued to increase slightly over the past five reporting periods, he called for efforts to facilitate an influx of young, diverse talent, and give them opportunities to develop their abilities and rejuvenate the workforce of the Secretariat.  Creating a modern organization and global workforce took commitment, he said, looking forward to receiving an updated human resources management framework at the seventy-third session of the General Assembly.

HASEEB GOHAR (Pakistan), associating himself with the Group of 77, reiterated his country’s support for continuing human resources reforms, while also pointing out the necessity of regularly evaluating their impact in order to refine and improve them.  It was regrettable that, since 2013, the largest number of appointments to posts subject to geographical distribution was of staff members from overrepresented countries, he said, calling for enhanced representation of Member States which were either unrepresented or underrepresented.  There was merit in considering contributions to peacekeeping when revising any system of desirable ranges in terms of adequate representation, he observed, calling for the creation of a new paradigm to reduce disparities prevalent in the Organization.

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Africa: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): DRL Labor Programs to Combat Slavery in West Africa

October 31, 2017


This is the announcement of funding opportunity number DRLA-DRLAQM-18-015

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.345

Application Deadline: January 12, 2018

For new application submission instructions, see Section D below.

A. Project Description

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support to combat slavery and assist the reintegration of former slaves into society in West Africa.

Program activities should focus in at least one of these countries and may include, but are not limited to, increasing collaboration among civil society organizations working to promote the rights of current and former slaves; engaging with former slaves, advocates, and civil society organizations to assist former slaves in claiming their rights under existing laws; conducting public awareness campaigns focused on combatting slavery; improving the capacity of legal and judicial professionals to hold slaveholders to account; engaging with key stakeholders to increase non-discriminatory access to services and to vocational training critical to the reintegration of current and former slaves; strengthening advocacy efforts to increase respect for human rights and to expand former slaves’ public and political participation and access to formal identification cards; and supporting civil society organizations working to combat the practice of forced begging, particularly among the talibé population.

DRL intends to support at least two programs with this funding; therefore, proposed budgets should not exceed $1m. Countries may include, but are not limited to, Mauritania, Niger, Mali, and/or Senegal. Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of relevant ongoing USG-funded programs in the countries they are proposing to work, and explain how a new program will build on existing efforts.

Projects should aim to have impact that leads to democratic reforms, and should have the potential for sustainability beyond DRL resources. DRL’s preference is to avoid duplicating past efforts by supporting new and creative approaches. This does not exclude from consideration projects that improve upon or expand existing successful projects in a new and complementary way.

Where appropriate, competitive proposals may include:

  • Systematic follow up with trainees at specific intervals (3 months, 6 months, etc.) after the completion of trainings to track how beneficiaries are retaining new knowledge as well as applying their new skills.
  • Opportunities for trainees to apply their new knowledge and skills in practical efforts.
  • Solicitation of feedback and suggestions from beneficiaries when developing trainings and activities in order to strengthen the sustainability of labor programs and participant ownership of project outcomes.
  • Input from participants on sustainability plans and systematic review of the plans throughout the life of the project with adjustments made as necessary.
  • Inclusion of vulnerable populations in needs and/or rapid assessments in order to identify challenges, gaps, and opportunities among these groups.
  • Joint identification and definition of key concepts with relevant stakeholders and stakeholder input into project activities.

To maximize the impact and sustainability of the award(s) that result(s) from this NOFO, DRL reserves the right to execute a non-competitive continuation amendment(s). The total duration of any award, including a potential non-competitive continuation amendment(s), shall not exceed 60 months or five years. Any non-competitive continuation is contingent on performance and availability of funds. A non-competitive continuation is not guaranteed; the Department of State reserves the right to exercise or not exercise the option to issue non-competitive continuation amendment(s).

Activities that are not typically considered competitive include, but are not limited to:

  • The provision of large amounts of humanitarian assistance;
  • English language instruction;
  • Development of high-tech computer or communications software and/or hardware;
  • Purely academic exchanges or fellowships;
  • External exchanges or fellowships lasting longer than six months;
  • Off-shore activities that are not clearly linked to in-country initiatives and impact or are not necessary for security concerns;
  • Theoretical explorations of human rights or democracy issues, including projects aimed primarily at research and evaluation that do not incorporate training or capacity-building for local civil society;
  • Micro-loans or similar small business development initiatives;
  • Initiatives directed towards a diaspora community rather than current residents of targeted countries.

DRL may ask successful applicant(s) to incorporate coordination of an implementer and stakeholder meeting into the Scope of Work of the final project. DRL will discuss this possibility with particular applicant(s) during the proposal negotiation phase.

B. Federal Award Information

DRL anticipates having approximately 2,000,000 of HRDF available to support approximately two successful applications submitted in response to this NOFO, subject to the availability of funding. Applicants can submit one application in response to the NOFO.

Applicants should not request less than $500,000 and no more than $1,000.000. Applicants should include an anticipated start date between June 2018 – September 2018 and the period of performance should be between 24 months to 36 months.

The U.S. government may (a) reject any or all applications, (b) accept other than the lowest cost application, (c) accept more than one application, and (d) waive informalities and minor irregularities in applications received.

The U.S. government may make award(s) on the basis of initial applications received, without discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each initial application should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint. The U.S. government reserves the right (though it is not under obligation to do so), however, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional detail, or to suggest refinements in the project description, budget, or other aspects of an application.

DRL anticipates awarding either a grant or cooperative agreement depending on the needs and risk factors of the program. The final determination on mechanism will be made by the Grants Officer. The distinction between grants and cooperative agreements revolves around the existence of “substantial involvement.” Cooperative agreements require greater Federal government participation in the project. If a cooperative agreement is awarded, DRL will undertake reasonable and programmatically necessary substantial involvement. Examples of substantial involvement can include, but are not limited to:

  1. Active participation or collaboration with the recipient in the implementation of the award.
  2. Review and approval of one stage of work before another can begin.
  3. Review and approval of substantive provisions of proposed subawards or contracts.
  4. Approval of the recipient’s budget or plan of work prior to the award.

For projects of $150,000 or less, DRL expects to provide a fixed amount (fixed price) award. Fixed amount awards are generally used when the work to be performed can be priced with a reasonable degree of certainty, the grantee can reliably predict costs based on similar types of work, or the grantee can easily obtain bids or quotes. Appropriate activities for fixed amount awards generally include, but are not limited to: conferences, workshops, surveys, studies, and technical assistance when costs can be separated by milestone. Fixed amount awards should be based upon milestones, which outline a verifiable product, task, deliverable, or goal. Milestones generally include three components: (1) a description of the product, task, deliverable, or goal to be accomplished; (2) a description of how the recipient will document the completion of the product, task, deliverable, or goal (e.g. survey submission, submitting training materials, toolkits or reports); and (3) the amount that DRL will pay the recipient for the deliverable. Accountability is based primarily on performance and meeting milestones. While it is possible to provide flexibility within the milestone timing, the period of performance for fixed amount awards cannot be modified.

The authority for this funding opportunity is found in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA).

C. Eligibility Information

For application information, please see the proposal submission instructions on our website.

C.1 Eligible Applicants

DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be some occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.

Applications submitted by for-profit entities may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process. Additionally, the Department of State generally prohibits profit to for-profit or commercial organizations under its assistance awards. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs. The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR 30, Cost Accounting Standards Administration, and 48 CFR 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.

Please see 2 CFR 200.307 for regulations regarding program income.

C.2 Cost Sharing or Matching

Providing cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not an eligibility factor or requirement for this NOFO, and providing cost share will not result in a more favorable competitive ranking.

C.3 Other

Applicants should have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with thematic or in-country partners, entities and relevant stakeholders, including private sector partners and NGOs, and have demonstrable experience in administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL encourages applications from foreign-based NGOs headquartered in the geographic regions/countries relevant to this NOFO. Applicants may form consortia and submit a combined application. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant with the other members as sub-award partners. DRL 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.

DRL is committed to an anti-discrimination policy in all of its projects and activities. DRL welcomes applications irrespective of race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other status.

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM)(www.sam.gov) 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 Excluded Parties List System in SAM.gov can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List System in SAM.gov to ensure that no ineligible entity is included in their application.

D. Application and Submission Information

D.1 Address to Request Application Package

Applicants can find application forms, kits, or other materials needed to apply on www.grants.gov and SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com) under the announcement title “DRL Labor Program to Combat Slavery in West Africa” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-18-015” Please contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if requesting reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or for security reasons. Please note: reasonable accommodations do not include deadline extensions.

** Applications will be accepted in either grants.gov or SAMS Domestic. However, please note that applicants seeking to submit through SAMS Domestic can only do so after December 8, 2017 on (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Applicants seeking to submit their application on or prior to December 8, 2017 must do so through grants.gov. **

D.2 Content and Form of Application Submission

For all application documents, please ensure:

  1. All documents are in English and all costs are in U.S. dollars. If an original document within the application is in another language, an English translation must be provided (please note: the Department of State, as indicated in 2 CFR 200.111, requires that English is the official language of all award documents. If any document is provided in both English and a foreign language, the English language version is the controlling version);
  2. All pages are numbered, including budgets and attachments;
  3. All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper; and,
  4. All documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins. Captions and footnotes may be 10 point Times New Roman font. Font sizes in charts and tables, including the budget, can be reformatted to fit within 1 page width.

D.2.1 Application Requirements

Complete applications must include the following:

  1. Completed and signed SF-424, SF-424A, and SF-424B forms.
  1. If your organization engages in lobbying the U.S. government including Congress, or pays for another entity to lobby on your behalf, the SF-LLL “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” form is also required.
  1. Cover Page (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word) that includes a table with the name of the organization, project title, target country/countries, thematic area, project synopsis, and name and contact information for the application’s main point of contact.
  1. Executive Summary (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word) that outlines project goals, objectives, and activities.
  1. Table of Contents (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word) listing all documents and attachments, with page numbers.
  1. Proposal Narrative (not to exceed ten [10] pages, preferably in Microsoft Word). Please note the ten page limit does not include the Table of Contents, Cover Page, Attachments, Detailed Budget, Budget Narrative, or Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). Applicants are encouraged to combine multiple documents in a single Word Document or PDF (i.e., Cover Page, Table of Contents, Executive Summary, and Proposal Narrative in one file).
  1. Budget (preferably as an Excel workbook) that includes three [3] columns containing the request to DRL, any cost sharing contribution, and the total budget. A summary budget should also be included using the OMB-approved budget categories (see SF-424A as a sample) in a separate tab. Costs must be in U.S. dollars. Detailed line-item budgets for subgrantees should be included as additional tabs within the Excel workbook (if available at the time of submission).
  1. Budget Narrative (preferably as a Word Document) that includes substantive explanations and justifications for each line-item in the detailed budget spreadsheet, as well as the source and a description of all cost-share offered.
  1. Your organization’s most recent A-133 audit (if applicable), F Audit, or standard audit. Please see Audit section 2F below for more information.
  1. Logic Model (not to exceed two [2] pages, preferably in Microsoft Word).
  1. Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative (not to exceed two [2] pages).
  1. Monitoring and Evaluation Performance Indicator Table (not to exceed four [4] pages in Microsoft Word).
  1. Risk Analysis (not to exceed one [1] page, preferably in Microsoft Word).
  1. Key Personnel (not to exceed one [1] page total, preferably as a Word Document): Please include short bios that demonstrate relevant professional experience. Given the limited space, CVs are not recommended for submission.
  1. Timeline (not to exceed one [1] page): The timeline of the overall proposal should include activities, evaluation efforts, and program closeout.
  2. Security Plan: if applicable; please refer to the NOFO to see if this is required.

Applications that do not include the elements listed above will be deemed technically ineligible.

D.2.2 Additional Application Documents

Strong applications will also contain the following:

  • Individual Letters of Support and/or Memorandum of Understanding. Letters of support and MOUs must be specific to the project implementation (e.g. from proposed partners or sub-award recipients) and will not count towards the page limit.

Please refer to the Proposal Submission Instructions on DRL’s website for detailed guidance on the documents above: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/275216.pdf. For an application checklist and sample templates please see the Resources page on DRL’s website:http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c72333.htm. The sample templates provided on the DRL website are suggested, but not mandatory.

DRL reserves the right to request additional documents not included in this NOFO. Additionally, to ensure that all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the DRL Review Panel will review from the first page of each section up to the page limit and no further.

Note: If ultimately provided with a notification of non-binding intent to make a Federal award, applicants typically have two to three weeks to provide additional information and documents requested in the notification of intent. The deadlines may vary in each notification of intent and applicants must adhere to the stated deadline in the notification of intent.

D.2.3 Additional Information Requested For Those Receiving Notification of Intent

Successful applicants must submit after notification of intent to make a Federal award, but prior to issuance of a Federal award:

  • Written responses and revised application documents addressing conditions and recommendations from the DRL Review Panel;
  • If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA as a PDF file.
  • Completion of the Department’s Financial Management Survey, if receiving DRL funding for the first time;
  • Submission of required documents to register in the Payment Management System managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, if receiving DRL funding for the first time (unless an exemption is provided);
  • Other requested information or documents included in the notification of intent to make a Federal award or subsequent communications prior to issuance of a Federal award.

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

All organizations, whether based in the United States or in another country, must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), formerly referred to as DUNS, and an active registration with the SAM.gov before submitting an application. DRL may not review applications from or make awards to applicants that have not completed all applicable UEI and SAM.gov requirements. A UEI is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards.

Note: The process of obtaining a SAM.gov registration may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Please begin your registration as early as possible.

  • If you are based in the United States or pay employees within the United States, prior to registering in SAM.gov you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code.
  • If you are based outside of the United States and do not pay employees within the United States, you do not need an EIN from the IRS. However, you will need a NATO CAGE (NCAGE) code before you can have an active registration in SAM.gov.

All organizations must also continue to maintain active SAM.gov registration with current information at all times during which they have an active Federal award or application under consideration by a Federal award agency. SAM.gov requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM.gov and to maintain that active registration. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements at the time of application, the applicant may be deemed unqualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.

For further guidance on the registration process, please see the SAM.gov Registration Guide on DRL’s website: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c72333.htm. Please refer to 2 CFR 25.200 for additional information.

Please note the registration process for SAM.gov is free.

In October 2017, new information was added to the www.SAM.gov website to help international registrations, including “Quick Start Guide for International Registrations” and “Helpful Hints”. Navigate to SAM.gov, click HELP in the top navigation bar, then click International Registrants in the left navigation panel.

D.3.1 Exemptions

An exemption from these requirements may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

  • An applicant’s identity must be protected due to potential endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.

* Organizations requesting exemption from SAM.gov, NCAGE, and UEI should email the point of contact in the NOFO. If establishing your SAM.gov account as private rather than public view, please notify DRL at the time of submission.

Note: Foreign organizations will be required to register with the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) to receive a NCAGE code in order to register in SAM.gov. NSPA will forward your registration request to the applicable National Codification Bureau (NCB) if your organization is located in a NATO or Tier 2 Sponsored Non-NATO Nation. As of March 2016, NATO nations included Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States of America; and Tier 2 nations included Australia, Austria, Brazil, Finland, Israel, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Serbia, and Singapore.

NSPA and/or the appropriate NCB forwards all NCAGE code information to all Allied Committee 135 (AC/135) nations, which as of March 2016 also included Afghanistan, Argentina, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Montenegro, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. All organizations are strongly advised to take this into consideration when assessing whether registration may result in possible endangerment.

D.4 Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), on January 12, 2018 on www.grants.gov or SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com) under the announcement title “DRL Labor Programs to Combat Slavery in West Africa” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-18-015.”

** Applications will be accepted in either grants.gov or SAMS Domestic. However, please note that applicants seeking to submit through SAMS Domestic can only do so after December 8, 2017 on (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Applicants seeking to submit their application on or prior to December 8, 2017 must do so through grants.gov. **

Grants.gov and SAMS Domestic automatically log the date and time an application submission is made, and the Department of State will use this information to determine whether an application has been submitted on time. Late applications are neither reviewed nor considered unless the DRL point of contact listed in section G is contacted prior to the deadline and is provided with evidence of system errors caused by www.grants.gov or SAMS Domestic that is outside of the applicant’s control and is the sole reason for a late submission. Applicants should not expect a notification upon DRL receiving their application.

D.5 Funding Restrictions

DRL will not consider applications that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization.

Project activities whose direct beneficiaries are foreign militaries or paramilitary groups or individuals will not be considered for DRL funding given purpose limitations on funding.

The Leahy Law prohibits Department foreign assistance funds from supporting foreign security force units if the Secretary of State has credible information that the unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. Per 22 USC §2378d(a) (2015), “No assistance shall be furnished under this chapter [FOREIGN ASSISTANCE] or the Arms Export Control Act [22 USC 2751 et seq.] to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.” Restrictions may apply to any proposed assistance to police or other law enforcement. Among these, pursuant to section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA), no assistance provided through this funding opportunity may be furnished to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country when there is credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. In accordance with the requirements of section 620M of the FAA, also known as the Leahy law, project beneficiaries or participants from a foreign government’s security forces may need to be vetted by the Department before the provision of any assistance.

If a proposed grant or cooperative agreement will provide assistance to foreign security forces or personnel, compliance with the Leahy Law is required. Federal awards generally will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs; however, the Grants Officer may approve pre-award costs on a case-by-case basis. Generally, construction costs are not allowed under DRL awards. For additional information, please see the DRL Proposal Submission Instructions for Applications using SAMS Domestic Updated October 2017: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/275216.pdf

D.6 Application Submission

All application submissions must be made electronically via www.grants.gov or SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Both systems require registration by the applying organization. Please note: the Grants.gov registration process can take 10 business days or longer, even if all registration steps are completed in a timely manner.

** Applications will be accepted in either grants.gov or SAMS Domestic. However, please note that applicants seeking to submit through SAMS Domestic can only do so after December 8, 2017 on (https://mygrants.service-now.com). Applicants seeking to submit their application on or prior to December 8, 2017 must do so through grants.gov. **

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that it has an active registration in SAMS Domestic or Grants.gov. Applicants are required to document that the application has been received by SAMS Domestic or Grants.gov in its entirety. DRL bears no responsibility for disqualification that result from applicants not being registered before the due date, for system errors in either SAMS Domestic or Grants.gov, or other errors in the application process. Additionally you must save a screen shot of the checklist showing all documents submitted in case any document fails to upload successfully.

Faxed, couriered, or emailed documents will not be accepted. Reasonable accommodations may, in appropriate circumstances, be provided to applicants with disabilities or for security reasons. Applicants must follow all formatting instructions in the applicable NOFO and these instructions.

DRL encourages organizations to submit applications during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00AM – 5:00PM Eastern Time). If an applicant experiences technical difficulties and has contacted the appropriate helpdesk but is not receiving timely assistance (e.g. if you have not received a response within 48 hours of contacting the helpdesk), you may contact the DRL point of contact listed in the NOFO in section G. The point of contact may assist in contacting the appropriate helpdesk, but an applicant should also document their efforts in contacting the helpdesk. Applicants may also contact the DRL point of contact listed in the NOFO if experiencing technical issues with grants.gov or SAMS Domestic that may result in a late submission.

Applicants experiencing technical difficulties should follow these three steps:

  1. Contact the helpdesk for either Grants.gov or SAMS Domestic immediately.
  2. Document (including screenshots) technical issues AND efforts to contact the helpdesk.
  3. Submit all of the required documents to the DRL point of contact listed in the NOFO before the deadline.

Note: The Procurement Office/Grant Office will determine technical eligibility of all applications.

SAMS Domestic Applications:

All applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications via SAMS Domestic (https://mygrants.service-now.com) after December 8, 2017.

Applicants using SAMS Domestic for the first time should complete their “New Organization Registration.” To register with SAMS Domestic, click “Login to https://mygrants.service-now.com” and follow the “create an account” link.

Organizations must remember to save a screen shot of the checklist showing all documents submitted in case any document fails to upload successfully.

SAMS Domestic Help Desk:
For assistance with SAMS Domestic accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact the ILMS help desk by phone at 1-888-313-4567 (toll charges for international callers) or through the Self Service online portal that can be accessed from https://afsitsm.service-now.com/ilms. Customer Support is available 24/7/365.

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

Please be advised that completing all the necessary registration steps for obtaining a username and password from Grants.gov can take more than two weeks.

Please refer to the Grants.gov website for definitions of various “application statuses” and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from Grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days. Additionally you must remember to save a screenshot of the checklist showing all documents submitted in case any document fails to upload successfully.

Grants.gov Helpdesk:

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

See https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/ for a list of federal holidays.

E. Application Review Information

E.1 Proposal Review Criteria

The DRL Review Panel will evaluate each application individually against the following criteria, listed below in order of importance, and not against competing applications. Please use the below criteria as a reference but do not structure your application according to the sub-sections.

Quality of Project Idea

Applications should be responsive to the program framework and policy objectives identified in the NOFO, appropriate in the country/regional context, and should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to DRL’s mission of promoting human rights and democracy. Projects should have the potential to have an immediate impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms. DRL prefers new approaches that do not duplicate efforts by other entities. This does not exclude from consideration projects that improve upon or expand existing successful projects in a new and complementary way. In countries where similar activities are already taking place, an explanation should be provided as to how new activities will not duplicate or merely add to existing activities and how these efforts will be coordinated. Proposals that promote creative approaches to recognized ongoing challenges are highly encouraged. DRL prioritizes project proposals with inclusive approaches for advancing these rights.

Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives

A strong application will include a clear articulation of how the proposed project activities contribute to the overall project objectives, and each activity will be clearly developed and detailed. A comprehensive monthly work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and the logistical capacity of the organization. Objectives should be ambitious yet measurable, results-focused and achievable in a reasonable time frame. A complete application must include a logic model to demonstrate how the project activities will have an impact on its proposed objectives. The logic model should match the objectives, outcomes, key activities and outputs described in the narrative. Applications should address how the project will engage relevant stakeholders and should identify local partners as appropriate.

If local partners have been identified, DRL strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from proposed in-country partners. Additionally, applicants should describe the division of labor among the direct applicant and any local partners. If applicable, applications should identify target geographic areas for activities, target participant groups or selection criteria for participants, and the specific roles of sub-awardees, among other pertinent details.

DRL recognizes that all programs have some level of risk due to internal/external variables that have the potential to adversely affect a program. Risk management should address how the program design incorporates the identification, assessment, and management of key risk factors. DRL will review the risk analysis based on the organization’s ability to identify risks that could have an impact on the overall program as well as how the organization will manage these risks.

Institution’s Record and Capacity

DRL will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Applications should demonstrate an institutional record of successful democracy and human rights programs, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives. Projects should have potential for continued funding beyond DRL resources.

Inclusivity of Marginalized Populations

DRL strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of all persons. The Bureau requests an inclusive programming approach, which should encompass marginalized populations, especially those facing discrimination and violence that undermines society’s collective security. To the extent possible, applicants should identify and support marginalized populations in all proposed project activities and objectives, and should provide specific analysis, measures, and corresponding targets to include them as appropriate. It assumes that interventions will not affect all segments of society in the same way. It requires stakeholders to identify and address the difference between the opportunities and barriers to equality and to design programs in a way that does not perpetuate inequality.

Cost Effectiveness

DRL strongly encourages applicants to clearly demonstrate project cost-effectiveness in their application, including examples of leveraging institutional and other resources. However, cost-sharing or other examples of leveraging other resources are not required. Inclusion of cost-sharing in the budget does not result in additional points awarded during the review process. Budgets should have low and/or reasonable overhead and administration costs, and applicants should provide clear explanations and justifications for these costs in relation to the work involved. All budget items should be clearly explained and justified to demonstrate necessity, appropriateness, and connection to the project objectives.

Please note: If cost-share is included in the budget, the recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs that are claimed as its contribution to cost-share, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. In the event the recipient does not meet the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the recipient’s budget, DRL’s contribution may be reduced in proportion to the recipient’s contribution.

Multiplier Effect/Sustainability

Applications should clearly delineate how elements of the project will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect will have an impact beyond the direct beneficiaries of the grant (e.g. participants trained under a grant go on to train other people; workshop participants use skills from a workshop to enhance a national level election that affects the entire populace). A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating continuing impact beyond the life of a project or garnering other donor support after DRL funding ceases.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Complete applications will include a detailed M&E Narrative and M&E Plan, which detail how the project’s progress will be monitored and evaluated. Incorporating well-designed monitoring and evaluation processes into a project is an efficient method for documenting the change (intended and unintended) that a project seeks. Applications should demonstrate the capacity to provide objectives with measurable outputs and outcomes.

The quality of the M&E sections will be judged on the narrative explaining how both monitoring and evaluation will be carried out and who will be responsible for those related activities. The M&E Narrative should explain how an external evaluation will be incorporated into the project implementation plan or how the project will be systematically assessed in the absence of one. Please see the section on Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative in the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for more information on what is required in the narrative.

The output and outcome-based performance indicators should not only be separated by project objectives but also should match the objectives, outcomes, and outputs detailed in the logic model and proposal narrative. Performance indicators should be clearly defined (i.e., explained how the indicators will be measured and reported) either within the table or with a separate Performance Indicator Reference Sheet (PIRS). For each performance indicator, the table should also include baselines and quarterly and cumulative targets, data collection tools, data sources, types of data disaggregation, and frequency of monitoring and evaluation. There should also be metrics to capture how project activities target those discriminated against or marginalized populations or addresses their concerns, where applicable. Please see the section on Monitoring and Evaluation Plan in the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for more information on what is required in the plan.

E.2 Review and Selection Process

DRL strives to ensure that each application receives a balanced evaluation by a DRL Review Panel. The Department’s Office of Acquisitions Management (AQM) will determine technical eligibility for all applications. All technically eligible applications for a given NOFO are reviewed against the same seven criteria, which include quality of project idea, project planning/ability to achieve objectives, institutional record and capacity, inclusive programming, cost effectiveness, multiplier effect/sustainability, and project monitoring and evaluation.

Additionally, the DRL Review Panel will evaluate how the application addresses the NOFO request, U.S. foreign policy goals, and the priority needs of DRL overall. DRL may also take into consideration the balance of the current portfolio of active projects, including geographic or thematic diversity, if needed.

In most cases, the DRL Review Panel includes representatives from DRL, the appropriate Department of State regional bureau (to include feedback from U.S. embassies), and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (to include feedback from USAID missions). In some cases, additional panelists may participate, including from other Department of State bureaus or offices, U.S. government departments, agencies, or boards, representatives from partner governments, or representatives from entities that are in a public-private partnership with DRL. At the end of the panel’s discussion about an application, the Panel votes on recommending the application for approval by the DRL Assistant Secretary. If more applications are ultimately recommended for approval than DRL can fund, the Panel will rank the recommended applications in priority order for consideration by the DRL Assistant Secretary. The Grants Officer Representative (GOR) for the eventual award does not vote on the panel. All Panelists must sign non-disclosure agreements and conflicts of interest agreements.

DRL Review Panels may provide conditions and recommendations on applications to enhance the proposed project, which must be addressed by the applicant before further consideration of the award. To ensure effective use of DRL funds, conditions or recommendations may include requests to increase, decrease, clarify, and/or justify costs and project activities.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

F.1 Federal Award Notices

DRL will provide a separate notification to applicants on the result of their applications. Successful applicants will receive a letter electronically via email requesting that the applicant respond to Panel conditions and recommendations. This notification is not an authorization to begin activities and does not constitute formal approval or a funding commitment.

Final approval is contingent on the applicant successfully responding to the Panel’s conditions and recommendations, being registered in required systems, including the U.S. government’s Payment Management System (PMS), unless an exemption is provided, and completing and providing any additional documentation requested by DRL or AQM. Final approval is also contingent on Congressional notification requirements being met and final review and approval by the Department’s warranted Grants Officer.

The notice of Federal award signed by the Department’s warranted Grants Officers is the sole authorizing document. If awarded, the notice of Federal award will be provided to the applicant’s designated Authorizing Official via SAMS Domestic to be electronically counter-signed in the system.

F.2 Administrative and National Policy Requirements

The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards set forth in 2 CFR Chapter 200 (Sub-Chapters A through F) shall apply to all non-Federal entities, except for assistance awards to Individuals and Foreign Public Entities. Sub-Chapters A through E shall apply to all foreign organizations, and Sub-Chapters A through D shall apply to all U.S. and foreign for-profit entities.

The applicant/recipient of the award and any sub-recipient under the award must comply with all applicable terms and conditions, in addition to the assurance and certifications made part of the Notice of Award. The Department’s Standard Terms and Conditions can be viewed at https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm.

F.3 Reporting

Applicants should be aware that DRL awards will require that all reports (financial and progress) are uploaded to the grant file in SAMS Domestic on a quarterly basis. The Federal Financial Report (FFR or SF-425) is the required form for the financial reports and must be submitted in PMS as well as a copy from PMS then uploaded to the grant file in SAMS Domestic. The progress reports uploaded to the grant file in SAMS Domestic must a narrative as described below; and Project Indicators (or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the Grants Officer) for the F Framework indicators.

Narrative progress reports should reflect the focus on measuring the project’s impact on the overarching objectives and should be compiled according to the objectives, outcomes, and outputs as outlined in the award’s Scope of Work (SOW) and in the Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative. An assessment of the overall project’s impact should be included in each progress report. Where relevant, progress reports should include the following sections:

  • Relevant contextual information (limited);
  • Explanation and evaluation of significant activities of the reporting period and how the activities reflect progress toward achieving objectives, including meeting benchmarks/targets as set in the M&E plan. In addition, attach the M&E plan, comparing the target and actual numbers for the indicators;
  • Any tangible impact or success stories from the project, when possible;
  • Copy of mid-term and/or final evaluation report(s) conducted by an external evaluator; if applicable;
  • Relevant supporting documentation or products related to the project activities (such as articles, meeting lists and agendas, participant surveys, photos, manuals, etc.) as separate attachments;
  • Description of how the Recipient is pursuing sustainability, including looking for sources of follow-on funding;
  • Any problems/challenges in implementing the project and a corrective action plan with an updated timeline of activities;
  • Reasons why established goals were not met;
  • Data for the required F Framework indicator(s) for the quarter as well as aggregate data by fiscal year: Program Indicators or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the Grants Officer.
  • Proposed activities for the next quarter;
  • Additional pertinent information, including analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs, if applicable.

A final narrative and financial report must also be submitted within 90 days after the expiration of the award.

Please note: Delays in reporting may result in delays of payment approvals and failure to provide required reports may jeopardize the recipient’s’ ability to receive future U.S. government funds.

DRL reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial project information during the award period.

G. Contact Information

For technical submission questions related to this NOFO, please contact the DRLLaborGrants@state.gov inbox.

For assistance with SAMS Domestic accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact the ILMS help desk by phone at 1-888-313-4567 (toll charges for international callers) or through the Self Service online portal that can be accessed from https://afsitsm.service-now.com/ilms. Customer Support is available 24/7/365.

Please note, establishing an account in SAMS Domestic may require the use of smartphone for multi-factor authentication (MFA). If an applicant does not have accessibility to a smartphone during the time of creating an account, please contact the helpdesk and request and instructions on MFA for Windows PC.

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

For a list of federal holidays visit:

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/

With the exception of technical submission questions, during the NOFO period U.S. Department of State staff in Washington and overseas shall not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process has been completed and rejection and approval letters have been transmitted.

H. Other Information

Applicants should be aware that DRL understands that some information contained in applications may be considered sensitive or proprietary and will make appropriate efforts to protect such information. However, applicants are advised that DRL cannot guarantee that such information will not be disclosed, including pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or other similar statutes.

The information in this NOFO and “DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions for Applications using SAMS Domestic Updated October 2017” is binding and may not be modified by any DRL representative. Explanatory information provided by DRL that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the NOFO and negotiation of applications does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government. DRL reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets.

This NOFO will appear on www.grants.gov, SAMS Domestic (after December 8, 2017), and DRL’s website http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.

Background Information on DRL and general DRL funding

DRL has the mission of promoting democracy and protecting human rights globally. DRL supports projects that uphold democratic principles, support and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights, prevent atrocities, combat and prevent violent extremism, and build civil society around the world. DRL typically focuses its work in countries with egregious human rights violations, where democracy and human rights advocates are under pressure and where governments are undemocratic or in transition.

Additional background information on DRL and its efforts can be found on www.state.gov/j/drl.



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