International Agricultural Education Fellowship Program (CR)
OVERVIEWThe International Agricultural Education Fellowship Program (IAEFP), in coordination with4H and FFA, will provide opportunities to eligible U.S. citizens to assist developing countries in establishing school-based agricultural education and youth extension programs under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, PL 115-334, Sec. 3307, 7 USC § 3295. Eligible U.S. citizens must possess at least a bachelor’s degree, and ideally will have agricultural experience, including teaching agricultural skills, and curriculum and/or program development. FAS will consider program proposals from all eligible organizations, including current recipients and new organizations.The IAEFP’s purpose is to connect American agricultural professionals to the demand for experiential, school-based agricultural education in developing countries. The IAEFP was first implemented in Ghana and Uganda during calendar year 2021-2022. The IAEFP, affords United States agriculturalists to develop a global mindset, collaboratively meet the food and fiber needs of the domestic population of eligible countries, and strengthen and enhance trade linkages between eligible countries and the United States agricultural industry.OBJECTIVESIAEFP emphasizes agricultural skill transfer to youth in priority country secondary schools and encourages community-based extension and teacher training, as well as development of 4H clubs for strong sustainability of the program. Proposal submission should include, but is not limited to, classroom instruction, field demonstrations, entrepreneurship projects, and leadership development. The proposal should address priority country’s receptiveness of the IAEFP and what, if any, country policies and procedures will be necessary to incorporate into the project work plan for strong program implementation and sustainability. Host country’s government, agriculture community, and local authorities should demonstrate support and commitment to collaborate on the implementation and execution of the IAEFP.PRIORITIESFor this announcement, IAEFP will focus on any low to middle income country as defined by The World Bank. The recipient should provide a suggested curriculum to all Fellows that is tailored to the needs of the priority country. Fellow’s training topics should align with USDA and the priority country’s agricultural policy, development, and extension goals. Topics should also promote bilateral agricultural trade between the priority country and the United States and should address priorities on Climate Smart Agricultural practices. For additional recipient requirements, please see the Performance Expectations in Section F. Applicants must submit a draft evaluation plan as an attachment. Each evaluation plan should include a comprehensive approach to monitoring and evaluating the project’s performance and impact. This includes specific performance goals, an activity-level results framework, performance indicators with targets for each program activity, and plans for baseline and program-related data collection.USDA anticipates issuing up to 2 awards in this program cycle. Each award is expected to support up to nine (9) Fellows. The Fellowship is expected to last 8-9 months in concurrence with the priority country’s academic year. United States Fellows participating under IAEFP must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in an agriculture-related field and understand U.S. school-based agricultural education and youth extension programs. After selection, recipients will be expected to identify Fellows through an organized recruitment process including a request for applications and accompanying candidate selection process. In addition, the National FFA Organization (FFA) and the National 4-H Council (4-H) must be consulted on U.S. Fellow selections. Applicants are expected to identify their respective 4-H and FFA selection SME panel representatives within thirty days following negotiations. All final Fellow selections must be submitted to the USDA for final concurrence.Although each Fellow should be assigned to a specific site within the proposed country, they are expected to participate as a cohesive cohort. All proposal submissions must demonstrate that security considerations have been assessed and address all measures that would be implemented to ensure the safety and security of participating U.S. Fellows. Additionally, Fellows should be provided with adequate and safe living accommodations. Examples of safe living accommodations include but are not limited to: schools’ dorms with a security guard, host family accommodations, private transportation arrangements, etc. Living arrangements ought to be considered in coordination with the priority country’s U.S. Embassy Regional Security Officer recommendations. Applicants should also include in their orientation a safety and security self-defense training. Award recipients will be required to work with USDA/FAS IAEFP Team, and, if necessary, relevant FAS overseas offices and/or appropriate U.S. Embassy personnel on all programmatic issues, including but not limited to target country partnerships, Fellow placements, and security measures. Additionally, a strong social media presence displaying the ongoing activities of the IAEFP is encouraged. Finally, regular updates on program implementation should also be provided to USDA/FAS Washington, D.C. and FAS overseas office representatives.PLACE OF PERFORMANCEIAEFP will focus on any low to middle income country as defined by The World Bank. Applicants may submit multiple applications for different countries; and all will be considered. All proposals must address the safety and security situation in proposed country(ies) and the regions within the country(ies) where Fellows will be placed. All proposals must address where the IAEFP can work in conjunction with the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program, the Cochran Fellowship Program, the Food for Progress Program, the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program, the Local and Regional Procurement Program, Peace Corps, and/or USAID or other USG programming. All proposals should recognize and demonstrate incorporation of any priority country government requirements to allow for smooth implementation of this program. Program implementation must be focused on program sustainability and collaboration with the host government to help build/enhance the country’s agricultural education curriculum.Issuance of this funding opportunity does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of the United States Government (USG) to make awards, nor does it commit the USG to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a concept note or full application.Each proposal must be country-specific and tailored to the context of that country. Depending on ever-changing on the ground security situations, the USDA selecting official may elect not to award or fund proposals for a country(ies). In addition, USDA may elect to make amendments to agreements. The USDA selecting official may also select applications out of rank order in consideration of strategic program priorities, such as geographical distribution, incorporation of minority-serving institutions, congressional directive, or other documented considerations. These determinations are final and cannot be appealed.