Civic and Tech through English Language (CTEL) Program

Civic and Tech through English Language (CTEL) Program

U.S. EMBASSY IN TBILISI, GEORGIA

Program Office:   Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia
Funding Opportunity Title: Civic and Tech through English Language (CTEL)
Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement
Funding Opportunity Number: DOSGEO-17-GR-004-GEO-041017

Deadline for Applications: May 19, 2017

ESF/AECCA 495,000.00

ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility is limited to U.S. non-profit/non-governmental organizations subject to 501 (c) (3) of the tax code, U.S. and Georgian educational institutes, and Georgian non-profit/non-governmental organizations.

Applicants must have a demonstrated expertise in English as a Foreign Language (EFL), programming and activities including content-based instructions in such areas as civic education and technologies.  Expertise and established relationships with educational organizations in Georgia will be favorably considered.  The applicant should work closely with Public Affairs Section (PAS) and the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia (MES) throughout the grant period to identify public schools and individual participants.

Funding Opportunity

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi will award approximately up to $500,000 in FY 2017 for this two-year project, with a possible expansion of the program activities in 2018, subject to the availability of funds and the concurrence of PAS.

PAS plans to award one cooperative agreement pursuant to this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to the applicant whose proposal is the most responsive to the objectives set forth in this NOFO and which offers the greatest value to the U.S. Government.  PAS reserves the right to fund any or none of the proposals submitted.  PAS may make an award on the basis of the initial proposals received without discussion or negotiation.  Therefore, each initial proposal should contain the applicant’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint.  PAS reserves the right, but is under no obligation, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional details, or to suggest refinements in the program description, budget, or other aspects of a proposal.

The U.S. Embassy Tbilisi Public Affairs Section (PAS) involvement

The U.S. Embassy Tbilisi Public Affairs Section (PAS) anticipates a close working relationship with the implementing partner for this Agreement.  PAS will exercise substantial involvement in the following areas:

  • Review and approval of the Implementation Plan;
  • Review and approval of recipient’s key personnel, and any changes in key personnel;
  • Review and approval of the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan;
  • Review and concurrence with selection of any sub-grant or sub-award recipients, if any, for grants over $25,000 made under this award;
  • PAS monitoring to permit specified kinds of direction or redirection because of interrelationships with other projects.

A full-time local staff person in PAS will serve as program coordinator for this project to liaise with the implementer, beneficiaries, and stakeholders.  This PAS staff member, who will report to the Cultural Affairs Officer and Public Affairs Officer, will be able to coordinate day-to-day activities in Georgia, as PAS currently does for the Fulbright and English Language Fellow programs.

Cost Sharing or Matching

This program does not require cost sharing, however in-kind financial contributions will be favorably considered.

Other Special Eligibility Criteria

Not Applicable.

CONTACT INFORMATION

  1. For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726.
  1. On program requirements of this solicitation, contact Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, at E-mail: TbilisiExchanges@state.gov

Please, note the funding opportunity title – Civic and Tech through English Language – in the subject line of the e-mail.

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Description

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia is pleased to announce an open competition for the administration of the Civic and Tech through English Language II (CTEL II) program.  U.S. and Georgian non-profit/non-governmental organizations and educational institutions may submit proposals to provide English language training courses aimed to improve English language command among Civic Education and Internet and Computer Technologies (ICT) teachers and to promote and improve integrated teaching and learning in the following three disciplines: English language, Civic Education and ICT in the public schools of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Shida Kartli regions. PAS will award $500,000 for the two-year project.

Background

Georgia is a transitional democracy undergoing major political and economic reforms, and increasingly engaging with European institutions and international community. Introducing students to computer programming, especially girls, will promote awareness STEM degrees and careers that they will need later in life. Based on the embassy-wide tech innovation focus for 2017, PAS recommends that basic code and internet skills activities be introduced to CTEL for 2017. Use of web technology will also strengthen civic engagement, and strengthen democratic structures in Georgia.

Project Overview

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia announces an open competition for the administration of the Civic and Tech through English Language II (CTEL II) program. The program is expected to fund two-year long training courses for English Language, Civic Education and ICT public school teachers in the two regions of Georgia: Samtskhe-Javakheti and Shida Kartli.  The program should consist of two main stages. At the first stage it will provide English language courses to improve English language command among Civic Education and ICT teachers in the public schools of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Shida Kartli. PAS funded ELCE I/II and ICTE I/II program alumni can be considered for fulfilling the first stage of the program. The second stage will involve English Language teachers and will have the training component on integrated learning/teaching. Teacher Trainers from the U.S. will be invited to design the curriculum for the program and conduct training sessions for teacher participants of the three subjects.

In 2011-2016 PAS Tbilisi awarded several grants to PH International to implement and administer the English Language through Civic Education (ELCE I and II) and Intensive Course for Teachers of English (ICTE I and II) Programs. In the first phase of the English Language through Civic Education program (ELCE I), PH, in partnership with Georgetown University and the English Teachers Association of Georgia (ETAG), worked with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi and MES to develop a core training program for practicing English teachers and over two years increased the capacity of 378 Georgian English teachers in seven regions. ELCE I brought in American English Language Teacher Trainers (ELTTs) who worked with a core set of Georgian English teachers in each region on an intensive program to develop content based, student focused teaching skills that use civic and cultural themes as a means of mobilizing student engagement and participation in English language learning. In 2014 the ELCE II program was expanded to more regions of Georgia targeted on 100 practicing and 40 pre-service teachers. As part of the ICTE I and ICTE II programs 52 most successful ELCE I and ELCE II alumni from different regions of Georgia received the qualifications of teacher trainers in the U.S.-based Training of Trainers Summer Institute (TOTSI); 36 less experienced teachers from across the country were trained in modern learner-centered teaching techniques for language learning and combining the language learning with cultural instruction in a Georgia-based Teacher Training Summer Camp (TTSC). Apart from this, 100 students (grades 7-12) participated in the English language immersion summer camps and improved their language skills as well as developed leadership qualities and interpersonal skills.

Objectives  

The purpose of this project is to enhance the English-language skills of Georgian regional Civic Education and ICT teachers and to improve integrated teaching and learning among English Language, ICT and Civic Education teachers.

Specific objectives include: 1) Provide Georgian regional Civic Education and ICT teachers with English language classes at no cost, thus enabling them to be fully involved in the second stage of the program. 2) Train regional English Language, ICT and Civic Education teachers to conduct integrated lessons focused on different topics from their respective disciplines.

Expected results

After the completion of the program, regional English Language, ICT and Civic Education teachers from Samtskhe-Javakheti and Shida Kartli will have developed proficiency in English language sufficient to conduct integrated lessons.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Application Submission Process:  Applicants must submit proposals electronically using Grants.gov. Instructions on the Grants.gov application process are available at http://www.grants.gov.  For questions relating to Grants.gov, please e-mail: TbilisiGrants@state.gov

Application Content:  Applicants must follow the NOFO instructions and conditions contained herein and supply all information required.  Failure to furnish all information or comply with stated requirements will result in disqualification from the competition.  Applicants must set forth full, accurate, and complete information as required by this NOFO.  The penalty for making false statements in proposals to the USG is prescribed on 18 U.S.C.1001.

The proposal must consist of the following:

Section 1 – Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424):

Please see the attached information and application form under the Category “Additional Resources” 

Section 2 – Project Goals/Implementation Plan (maximum 10 pages):  

The applicant must specify the goals and objectives of the project, relative to the announced project statement. The proposed activities should be described in sufficient detail to show how objectives and goals will be met. This section should include a structured monitoring and evaluation plan or matrix that will demonstrate how success will be measured via performance indicators by defining objectively verifiable indicators. The matrix should also include: sources/means for verification, risks and assumptions for goals and objectives, and expected results and activities. Finally, this section must include a time-task plan that clearly identifies the objectives and major activities.

Section 3 – Organizational Capability (maximum 2 pages):

Applications must include a clear description of the applicant’s organizational and management structure, and previous experience with similar Educational projects as these relate to the proposed activities.  Besides information about the organization as a whole, this section must also identify the proposed management structure and staffing plan for the proposed project.

  1. Resume – a resume, not to exceed 2 pages in length, must be included for the proposed key staff person, such as the Project Director.  If an individual for this type of position has not been identified, the applicant may submit a one-page position description, identifying the qualifications and skills required for that position, in lieu of a resume.
  2. Letters of Intent (optional) – Public Affairs Section (PAS) recommends that the applicants identify in advance the local partners in Georgia and requires including the letters of intent with the proposal. The letters must identify the type of relationship to be entered into (formal or informal), the roles and responsibilities of each partner in relation to the proposed project activities, and the expected result of the partnership.  Please note that these are not letters of support, and should only be included for those organizations that will play an active role in the project, including those that receive financial support through the project budget. The individual letters cannot exceed 1 page in length, and applicants are limited to submitting up to 5 letters per proposal.

Section 4 – Budget:

The budget must identify the total amount of funding requested, with a breakdown of amounts to be spent in the following budget categories: personnel (salary, wages, honoraria); fringe benefits if any; materials; equipment, if any; supplies; office /classroom rental; other direct and indirect costs, etc.. Include a budget with an accompanying budget narrative which provides in detail the total costs for implementation of the program your organization is proposing. Detailed budget notes and supporting justification of all proposed budget line items should be included.  In addition, a summary of the budget must be submitted using Standard Form SF-424A. This form can be found:

Please see the attached information and application form under the Category “Additional Resources” 

EVALUATION CRITERIA

Consistent with the federal grant regulations, the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia reserves the right to give priority for its funds to the organization which best meets most of the objectives stated at the program announcement. Proposals will be evaluated on:

1) Project goals and proposed activities (60 points):  Applicant should describe what they propose to do and how they will do it. The proposed activities must directly relate to meeting the goals and objectives. The review panel will be viewing proposed activities in terms how well they address the problem statement, relevance of the goals and objectives, feasibility of the proposed activities and the extent to which the impact of the project will continue beyond the conclusion of the funding period.

2) Organizational Capacity (25 points):  Proposals should demonstrate the ability to develop and implement the program. Applicants must demonstrate how their resources, capabilities and experience will enable them to achieve the stated goals and objectives.  Provide the CVs of key project implementation team members, if available.

3) Budget Outline (15 points):  Review committee must determine that the costs paid for this award are reasonable, and allowable for proposed project activities. This will consist of a review of the budget outline to determine if the overall costs are realistic for the work to be performed.

PROGRAM DEADLINE

Application Deadline: All applications must be submitted in electronic form to TbilisiExchanges@state.gov on or before May 19, 2017 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard time. Applications submitted after 11:59 p.m. will not be eligible for consideration.

Please, note the funding opportunity title – Civic and Tech through English Language II in the subject line of the e-mail. Every page of the proposal must be numbered.  The application must have a table of contents.  Large graphic files are discouraged.  The format of any attachments must be in Microsoft Word, Excel or PDF.  Attached files should be printable on U.S. letter size paper (8½ x11”).

AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

Award Notices  

The cooperative agreement shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer.  The Grants Officer is the Government official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants and cooperative agreements.  The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the Recipient through either mail or facsimile transmission.

Anticipated Time to Award

Applicants should expect to be notified of the selected proposal within 90 days after the submission deadline.  Following this the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia staff will provide information at the point of notification about the requirements for the final application, which may include revisions to the activities.  The final applications will not be subject to further competition, but must incorporate any suggested changes made by the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Applicants should be aware that there may be a delay between the time that applications are submitted and awards are made.  Successful applicants can expect to sign the award no later than September 30, 2017.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. Embassy, nor does it commit the U.S. Embassy to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Disclaimer  

If a proposal is selected for funding, the U.S. Embassy has no obligation to provide any additional future funding in connection with the award.  Renewal of an award to extend the period of performance is at the total discretion of the Department of State.