Notice of Funding Opportunity for 2019 Comprehensive Media Capacity Building Project

NOFO 2019


U.S. Embassy, Addis Ababa

Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title: Comprehensive Media Capacity Building Project

Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-NOFO-02

Deadline for Applications: August 1, 2019

CFDA Number: 19.040

Total Amount Available: $320,000


The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa announces an open competition for non-governmental and non- profit organizations to submit applications for a project that seeks to support both state- and private media in Ethiopia entitled: Comprehensive Media Capacity Building Project. The selected partner is required to design a series of comprehensive week-long media trainings for journalists both from state and private media throughout the country, up to 25 trainings in total. Based on feedback from and in close collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, the partner will implement these trainings nation-wide for hundreds of public and private media actors leading up to the 2020 elections. The content of media trainings will vary based on local and regional needs but will fundamentally address the media’s roles and responsibilities in preparing for credible elections in 2020.

The goal of this project is to enhance the professional capacity of both state and private media through needs-based and focused trainings. Programs can include American speakers with relevant expertise and should encourage understanding of the vital role the media play in facilitating democratic processes and sharing examples from the United States. Applicants are encouraged to explore creative approaches to ensure trainees get hands-on practice in organizing non-biased debates and producing non-biased content across media platforms.

Proposals will be evaluated by a committee comprised of U.S. Embassy officials. The selected implementing partner will be announced no later than mid-September 2019 with an estimated start date of October –December 2019.

Priority Region:

The project will target both state- run and private media operating in Addis Ababa and throughout the nine regional states.

Program Objectives:

The project seeks to enhance the skill sets of journalists and strengthen the institutional capacity of Ethiopian media organizations with the overarching goal of improving the quality of information available to the Ethiopian public in the run up to the 2020 national elections. The program will empower local media actors to play a critical role in providing accurate, balanced and quality information leading to the 2020 elections. It further aims to support Ethiopia’s effort to transform its media environment and improve the quality of information available to the Ethiopian public.

The successful partner for this project should demonstrate a capacity to conduct needs assessments, develop relevant content for focused trainings, deliver trainings, and evaluate training outcomes. The selected partner proposal should also facilitate procurement, manage travel, contract training venues, and supply of training materials. Grant funds will cover these costs as well as administrative costs and monitoring and evaluation.

Participants and Audiences:

The target audiences are journalists from both the state and private media throughout the country.


Length of performance period: We target a start date of September 30, 2019 and ends in September 2020.

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

Award amounts: awards may reach a maximum of $320,000

Total available funding: $ 320,000

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

Anticipated program start date: September 30, 2019

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 appraising and selection of the proposals.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 26 weeks-time.



  1. Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to apply:

 Media associations,

 Nonprofit and or non-governmental organizations working in the area of media development and communication

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching


  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. Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.


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. Mandatory application forms

Please note that only selected implementing partner is required to fill in the below mandatory forms:

SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)

SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)

SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs)

  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)


 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 August 1, 2019.  

  1. Funding Restrictions:


  1. Submission of Proposal:

Proposals must be sent to on or before August 1, 2019.



  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.