Funding Opportunity Title: Design And Implementation Of The English Access Microscholarship Program For Palestinian Students, 2022-2024

Announcement Type: Sub-Award for Cooperative Agreement with FHI360

Deadline for Applications: October 5, 2022

Total Amount Available: Tentative Amount up to $1,850,000. To be finalized at a later date

Assistance Listing Number: 19.040

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: 

The Public Diplomacy Section (PD) of the U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs (U.S. OPA) announces an open competition for a grant through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). In order to build stronger cultural links between the U.S. and host countries around the globe, the U.S. Department of State created the English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) in 2004. Access provides youth from economically disadvantaged communities with English language and other global citizenship skills that improve educational and employment prospects, build stronger self-esteem, and provide a deeper multi-cultural understanding. The program serves as a viable educational model for communities with components in leadership, creative and critical thinking, information technology, and civic outreach. Participants, usually between the ages of 13-20, are expected to play active roles in their country’s socio-economic development and have greater opportunities to engage in a dialogue to resolve local and global challenges. Since its inception in 2004, over 203,500 students in more than 75 countries have participated in the Access Program. There are more than 14,000 Palestinian Access alumni, many of whom are studying at, or have graduated from, top-tier universities throughout the country and abroad.

Priority Region: East Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza

Program Objectives:

All proposed projects must aim to advance the U.S. Department of State goals stated above, contain a substantive American element, and achieve the following specific objectives:

· provide a foundation of English language skills to bright, economically-disadvantaged Palestinian students that improves their future academic and employment prospects while exposing them to U.S. culture and values;

· introduce participants to critical thinking and problem solving skills and promotes access to information in English; improves their potential to fully contribute to the socio-economic development of their countries and their own 21st century jobs;

· increases their ability to compete for and participate in U.S. exchange and study programs; and

· include enhancement and off-site immersion activities as well as civic outreach activities.

The Access Program must deliver a minimum of 360 hours of total instruction. The various aspects of the Access Program are:

· after-school/weekend instruction;

· enhancement activities;

· intensive sessions; and

· teacher professional development.

Please see full announcement for more information.

Technical and infrastructure requirements:

The provider must specify the location(s) of the Access Program and space that will be used for the classes and activities. The provider must either provide verification that the space belongs to the grantee or a written agreement with the holder of the space. The space must have seating for 20 students; it must have a blackboard/whiteboard, power outlet, and minimal sanitary requisites. The space should also have Internet capability (or the grantee should consider providing for this separately). Providers are also encouraged to share any other unique learning spaces on the premises that are accessible to the program and that add to the overall experience (theater, garden, sports facility, etc.).

Functional requirements:

In consultation with U.S. Embassy Jerusalem’s Office of Palestinian Affairs and the Regional English Language Office (RELO) Jerusalem, the provider is responsible for setting criteria for and identifying “economically disadvantaged youth” to be enrolled in the program.

The provider is responsible for identifying and recruiting qualified teachers.

The provider is required to produce frequent reports (usually quarterly) and a substantial final performance report. The provider should monitor students’ attendance and performance.

The provider will submit regular highlights, with photos, based on criteria provided later.

The provider will monitor classes and activities to ensure quality of the program. It is therefore recommended that providers have a staff member with a background in education or English language instruction.

The provider will maintain records on graduates that will be added to the U.S. Embassy PAU Alumni database in order to include them in follow-on programming.

Assumptions and agreements:

Providers can craft proposals of varying size with a budget ceiling of $1,850,000, depending on the Provider’s capability, infrastructure, and geographic spread. The Office of Palestinian Affairs reserves the right to split the project between two or more providers and may request providers to adjust their final proposals and budgets as necessary. All possible costs for parents – instruction, books/materials, transportation, enhancement activities, administration, food and accommodation – should be covered.

It is preferable that teachers have degrees or diplomas in English language teaching or education and a minimum of two years’ experience teaching English full-time. The instructors should be comfortable and fluent in English and have some cross-cultural experience; preferably with U.S. culture (familiarity with the culture is stressed over actually having visited the U.S.). Teachers should have progressive views about methodology, employing learning-centered approaches that focus on tasks and projects that lead to interactive classes. Teachers should be adept at integrating modern technology into the classroom, and at creating a comfortable risk-taking atmosphere that allows students to learn in a non-competitive and intellectually stimulating environment.

Special consideration will be given to proposals that demonstrate how the program advances equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or disability.

Participants and Audiences:

Palestinian Access program participants are typically entering 9th or 10th grade at the start of the 2-year program. The age range of students in a class should not be more than two years, e.g., 14-16, 15-17, etc. Ideally, students should finish the program before they commence studies for the Tawjihi exam, as they will have little extra time to focus. Proposals targeting other ages, such as university students or young professionals, will be considered.

1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: up to 24 months

Number of awards anticipated: To be determined based on the number and amount of awards funded under this NOFO. No more than two proposals per organization will be considered.

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $100,000 to a maximum of $1,850,000.00

Total available funding: $ 1,850,000

Type of Funding: FY22 Smith-Mundt Act Public Diplomacy Funds

Anticipated program start date: December 2022

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Sub-Award Agreement with FHI 360

Program Performance Period: Proposed projects should be completed in 24 months or less, noting that at least the last 1 -3 month(s) of the period of performance — after the end of the substantive project activity — should be dedicated to short and medium term measurement and evaluation of project success to determine if goals and objectives have been met.

ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible primary applicants for grant funding must be not-for-profit Palestinian and/or American organizations working with Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and/or Gaza.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost share is allowed but not required and will not factor into the merit review process.

3. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via www.SAM.gov as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov. Please see Section D.3 for more information. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in SAM.gov.

Proposals must be submitted in English; proposals submitted in Arabic or other languages will not be considered.

Organizations wishing to submit proposals to the Public Affairs Section should click this link to review the documents and forms: https://www.grants.gov/forms/sf-424-family.html