NOFO for Ethiopia Hacks


U.S. EMBASSY, Addis Ababa

Notice of Funding Opportunity


Funding Opportunity Title:             Ethiopia Hacks

Funding Opportunity Number:      PAS-NOFO-19-05

Deadline for Applications:               September 16, 2018

CFDA Number:                                19.040

Total Amount Available:                 $39,060


The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa announces an open competition for non-governmental and non- profit organizations as well as individuals to submit applications to organize and execute 7 hackathons over the course of FY19 entitled: Ethiopia Hacks.

The goal of this project is to increase technological engagement with Ethiopian Youth with coding and software development experience and work with them to find practical, technological solutions to challenges in their communities.  Through the program, they will be introduced to U.S. Public Affairs platforms and resources such as American Spaces and the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Network.

The U.S. Embassy seeks a collaborative partner to organize and execute 7 hackathons over the course of FY19, with four in the capital Addis Ababa and three at regional American Corners in Jimma, Bahir Dar, and Dire Dawa.  Topics will be selected to complement key U.S. goals and initiatives, and publicized on regional and national media.

Each event will consist of two days engaging up to 100 young developers in a hackathon, with winners receiving prizes and awards.

A Grant Committee will select the implementing partner based on the merits of each proposal, assessing organizational capacity, and prior grant experience.  The selected implementing partner will be announced in the Second week of September 2018.

Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Priority Region: 

The program will be implemented in in the capital Addis Ababa and three at regional American Corners in Jimma, Bahir Dar, and Dire Dawa.

Program Objectives:

Ethiopia is the second most-populous country in Africa with more than 70% of its population under the age of 35. This population of youth faces enormous challenges in terms of education, employment, access to technology, and opportunities to create and innovate. Hackathon participants are between the age of 18-25 thus hosting a Hackathon at our American Spaces allows PAS Addis to better understand how best to inspire Ethiopian youth to imagine, plan, compose, invent, create, innovate, build  and  construct.

Collaborate with the U.S. Embassy to organize and execute 7 hackathons over the course of the one-year grant period, with four quarterly events in Addis Ababa and three at regional American Corners in Jimma, Bahir Dar, and Dire Dawa.  Topics will be provided by the Embassy in coordination with the implementing partner.

Participants and Audiences:

Hackathon participants are between the age of 18-25 thus hosting a Hackathon at our American Spaces allows PAS Addis to better understand how best to inspire Ethiopian youth to imagine, plan, compose, invent, create, innovate, build  and  construct.


Length of performance period: Post would organize and execute 7 hackathons over the course of a one year period beginning in October 2018, with four in the capital and three at regional American Corners in Jimma, Bahir Dar, and Dire Dawa.  Topics will be selected in accordance with Mission Integrated Country Strategy Goals, and publicized heavily on regional and national media.

Number of awards anticipated: One award (dependent on amounts)

Award amounts: awards may reach a maximum of $39,060

Total available funding: $39,060

Type of Funding:  FY19-Public Diplomacy Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds

Anticipated program start date:  October 2018

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: This grant is a Cooperative Agreement that requires the involvement of the Public Affairs Section of the embassy.  The Embassy will be involved in coordinating and planning the schedule of the training and its implementation.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in one year, four quarterly in the Capital Addis Ababa and three at regional American Corners in Jimma, Bahir Dar, and Dire Dawa.



  1. Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to apply

  • Nonprofit and or non-governmental organizations working in the area of technological development and communication
  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required from the implementing partner.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a unique entity identifier as well as well valid license from the concerned government entity. Applicants are required to have a solid experience and proven record in implementing media related projects.


Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Content of Application

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 documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required:

  1. Summary Page: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
  2. Proposal: 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 and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual 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.  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.  Include a logic model as appropriate.
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline:  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.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the time-frame 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.
  1. 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. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.
  2. Attachments:
  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities
  1. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (

Required Registrations:

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

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique entity identifier from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

DUNS application: Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet. If your organization does not have one already, you may obtain one by calling 1-866-705-5711 or visiting

NCAGE application: Application page here:

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

For NCAGE help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For NCAGE help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Email for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in by logging onto:  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

  1. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications are due no later than September 16, 2018

  1. Funding Restrictions:


  1. Submission of Proposal:

Proposals must be sent to on or before September 16, 2018.



  1. Criteria

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 25 points:  The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants – 25 points: The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 points: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Budget – 10 points: The budget justification is detailed.  Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.

Monitoring and evaluation plan – 15 points: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when those will be measured.

Sustainability – 10 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa will evaluate all eligible applications.

  1. Federal Awardee Performance & Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)

For any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity, if the Federal awarding agency anticipates that the total Federal share will be greater than the simplified acquisition threshold on any Federal award under a notice of funding opportunity may include, over the period of performance (see §200.88 Simplified Acquisition Threshold), this section must also inform applicants:

  1. That the Federal awarding agency, prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);
  2. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;

iii. That the Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.



  1. Federal Award Notices

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program 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.

Payment Method:  Payment will be effected on installment bases. First installment will be effected once grant agreement is signed and the second installment will be effected in the middle of the project.

  1. 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:

Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

  1. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.

Grantee is required to submit program and financial reports within 30 days of completion of the training program.


If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section at:


Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.