U.S. Embassy Cotonou PDS Request for Statements of Interest: Annual Program Statement


Funding Opportunity ID: 331324
Opportunity Number: AFBEN-21-01
Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassy Cotonou PDS Request for Statements of Interest: Annual Program Statement
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Category of Funding Activity: Other (see text field entitled “Explanation of Other Category of Funding Activity” for clarification)
Category Explanation: Public Diplomacy
CFDA Number(s): 19.040
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility: The Public Diplomacy Section encourages applications from U.S. and Beninese: • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience; • Individuals; • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions; • Governmental institutions.
Agency Code: DOS-BEN
Agency Name: Department of State
U.S. Mission to Benin
Posted Date: Feb 08, 2021
Close Date: Jun 25, 2021
Last Updated Date: Feb 04, 2021
Award Ceiling: $20,000
Award Floor: $5,000
Estimated Total Program Funding: $128,000
Expected Number of Awards: 7
Description: The U.S. Embassy Cotonou Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Department of State announces a Request for Statements of Interest (RSOI) from organizations interested in applying for funding for program proposals that strengthen cultural ties between the United States and Benin through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. PDS invites organizations interested in potential funding to submit SOI applications outlining program concepts that reflect this goal. The submission of a SOI is the first step in a two-part process. Applicants must first submit a SOI, which is a concise, one to two page concept note designed to clearly communicate a program idea and its objectives before the development of a full proposal application. The purpose of the SOI process is to allow applicants the opportunity to submit program ideas for PDS to evaluate prior to requiring the development of full proposal applications. Upon review of eligible SOIs, PDS will invite selected applicants to expand their ideas into full proposal applications. Purpose: PDS Cotonou invites SOIs for programs that strengthen cultural ties between the United States and Benin through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives. Priority Program Objectives and Audiences : Project proposals submitted through this APS should address one of the following Priority Program Objectives: Shared Democratic Values: Activities that promote better understanding of the value and function of democratic tools to improve people’s lives, drawing on examples from Benin and the United States, in order to build support for and encourage greater participation in democratic governance. Target audiences include: motivated community leaders who lack formal civics education due to linguistic, literacy, or schooling barriers; primary and secondary school students; religious and community leaders in small towns and rural areas; and/or youth and young adults in northeastern Benin. (Up to three awards anticipated, maximum $20,000 each). Investigative Journalism: Activities to strengthen and encourage the use of recognized fact-checking platforms, and/or competitive recognition of journalists producing high-quality reporting on topics of shared U.S.-Beninese interest (e.g. effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance programs, diversity visa scams, wildlife and human trafficking), in order to strengthen free press and journalism as an institution in Benin. Target audience: journalists. (One to two awards anticipated, maximum $20,000 each). U.S.-Benin Partnership: Activities featuring popular American and/or Beninese artists, musicians, cultural figures, and other influencers in order to promote a deeper understanding of the United States’ long support for improving health and prosperity in Benin, as well as living habits that lead to healthier and more prosperous lives (e.g. anti-malarial campaigns, COVID-19 prevention, promoting U.S.-Benin trade, etc.). Target audiences include: youth and young adults who use social media or listen to radio as their primary source of information; and/or educated urban adults unaware of U.S. initiatives to support Benin’s development. (One to three awards anticipated, maximum $15,000 each). Skills for Success: Activities to strengthen Benin’s English Club network and promote learning American English, or workshops in French or English to build soft skills (such as resume writing, digital communications, basic financial literacy, public speaking, entrepreneurial skills) using American and Beninese examples, in order to encourage successful participation in the formal economy. Target audiences include: underemployed and unemployed youth who will soon complete or have completed formal education; female microentrepreneurs; and/or educators and community leaders working with at-risk youth populations, especially in northeastern Benin. (One to three awards anticipated, $15,000 each). The following types of programs are not eligible for funding: · Programs relating to partisan political activity; · Charitable or development activities; · Construction programs; · Programs that support specific religious activities; · Fund-raising campaigns; · Lobbying for specific legislation or programs; · Scientific research; · Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization; or · Programs that duplicate existing programs. Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding: The Statutory Authority for this program is the Smith-Mundt Act. The source of funding is FY2021 Public Diplomacy Funding. Funding Instrument Type: Grant, Fixed Amount Award, or Cooperative agreement.
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