U.S. Embassy Gaborone, Ambassador's Special Self-Help Fund Program (ASSHF)
The U.S. Embassy Gaborone announces an open competition for organizations to submit proposals to implement community-initiated development projects through the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund (ASSHF) Small Grants Program. Purpose of Small Grants: The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund program is a grass-roots assistance program that funds grants for small development activities that generate public awareness of U.S. foreign assistance efforts that fall outside the structure of other established U.S. assistance projects. This program provides targeted grants to assist small-scale, short term, community-driven projects that improve economic and social conditions at the local level. The ASSHF program is intended to be flexible and allow the Ambassador to respond directly to requests from local communities for assistance with projects that have immediate impact, and further Mission priorities. Equally important, the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund program is structured to encourage communities to be self-reliant and undertake similar activities on their own in the future. Proposed projects must be well planned, ready to be implemented, and easily self-sustaining when the project is completed. The organization must obtain approval from the local development committee, tribal authority, local town and/or district council before submission of the proposal to the U.S. Embassy. Successful applicants should demonstrate strong ties and support from their local community and governmental bodies. Recipient organizations must demonstrate their substantial commitment by either contributing to the project financially or providing labor or supplies (in kind contribution) to carry out the project. Contributions may include labor, materials (bricks, sand, gravel, seeds, etc.), land, buildings, or money to ensure the success of the project. Organizations must be able to demonstrate that they have adequate internal controls and financial monitoring procedures in place. Acceptable project objectives include, but are not limited to the following: Economic diversification, including small business creation and income generation: Generate sustainable income and employment opportunities in local communities; Advance economic diversification at the grassroots level and promote a culture of entrepreneurship; Encourage use of local natural resources for income generation; Purchase of income generating equipment; Improve basic economic or living conditions of a community. Social services to assist disadvantaged populations: Assist populations which may be disadvantaged or at-risk, including people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, the elderly and female heads of household; Construct and/or furnish community-initiated health facilities or clinics; Construct water and sanitation related projects such as latrines, wells, pumps, and bore holes. Community-based natural resource management: Expand effective community ownership and management of natural resources; Preserve and/or expand wildlife corridors; Develop sustainable community-based tourism; Promote conservation of natural resources. Youth and child development: Assist youth to gain knowledge and tools to live positively, set life goals and enhance their own health, safety and security; Purchase of school equipment, furnishings, and books; Construct school rooms or community centers; Create opportunities for youth, including employment. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION: Length of performance period: One (1) year Number of awards anticipated: Five (5) to ten (10) awards (dependent on grant amounts) Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $20,000 Anticipated project start date: October 1, 2022 Funding Instrument Type: Grant. Funding authority rests in Economic Support Funds under the Foreign Assistance Act, U.S. Department of State Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in twelve (12) months or less. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION The following documents are required: a. Mandatory application forms required below are available at: https://www.grants.gov. These forms are ALWAYS FREE OF CHARGE. Fill out the forms, print immediately, sign, and scan all three together into .pdf format document and include in your application package. SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs) SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) b. Summary Coversheet: Coversheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program. c. Proposal (5 pages maximum): Please ensure: The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity All documents are in English All budgets are in U.S. Dollars All pages are numbered All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins. The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below. Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives, description of community contribution and involvement, anticipated impact and the number of female and male beneficiaries. Introduction to the Organization applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies. Problem Statement: Clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed. Program Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve. What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Botswana will be improved? The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable. Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives. Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal. Proposed Program Schedule: The proposed timeline for the program activities. Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events. Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program? Program Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees, if any. Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the timeframe of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant? Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable. d. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. e. Required attachments: Please see Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for other requirements. Submission Dates and Times Applications may be submitted for consideration at any time, but will not be considered after July 29, 2022 for this funding cycle. Applications received by the U.S. Embassy after the closing date will not be considered. Complete proposals can be: Emailed to: SSHBotswana@state.gov Mailed to: U.S. Embassy, ATTN: Small Grants Coordinator, Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund Program, P.O. Box 90, Gaborone Hand delivered to: U.S. Embassy, Government Enclave, Gaborone, ATTN: Small Grants Coordinator. Review and Selection Process The Small Grants Office will conduct a preliminary review of all applications to determine completeness and technical eligibility. If the proposal meets the criteria, the Coordinator will schedule a site visit or meeting to discuss the proposal and review the organization’s capacity. All projects eligible for funding are then reviewed by the U.S. Embassy Small Grants Committee, which will evaluate all eligible/complete applications and recommend funding priorities to the Ambassador for his final approval. The Small Grants Office will notify each applicant about the status of his/her proposal. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION The Grant agreements will be written, signed, and awarded by the Grants Officer and administered by the Grants Officer or his/her Representative. The Grant agreement is the authorizing document and will be provided to the recipient for review by email before being invited to sign. The recipient may only start incurring project expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer. 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. Payments will be made by electronic funds transfer in at least two advances, as needed to carry out the project activities and based of agreed milestones. Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email. Administrative and National Policy Requirements Terms and Conditions: 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: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive. *Note the U.S. Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions. If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact the Small Grants Office at: SSHBotswana@state.gov or call (+267) 373-2325. OTHER INFORMATION: Please see Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for full details.