Television Cooperative Program

2020 Television Cooperative Program

 

U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia
Program Office:  Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia
Opportunity Number: DOS-GEO-20-CA-001-040220
Funding Opportunity Title:  2020 TV CO-OP 
Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement

Deadline for Applications: May 29, 2020

 

ELIGIBILITY 

Eligibility is limited to U.S. media organizations, film studios, production companies, and non-profit/non-governmental organizations. Direct funding for non-U.S. entities is not available under this announcement.

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia encourages U.S. organizations to apply for the 2020 Television Cooperative Program (TV CO-OP) to assist a Georgian television company in producing feature stories or/and a documentary under the generic working title Emergency Preparedness and Response. PAS suggests the Program focus on 1. (primary theme) the U.S. Government’s rapid response mechanisms to emergencies; and 2. (secondary theme) the Government’s policy for mitigating cybersecurity threats. PAS will nominate a Georgian television company for participation. Applicants must have demonstrated expertise in developing and implementing assignments related to planning and carrying-out short-term filming tours in the United States for foreign television crews. The call for applicants envisages the submission of a proposal describing how the grant recipient organization could connect a Georgian television crew with relevant subject matter experts from government, NGO‘s and other interlocutors, who would then be interviewed on camera. Applicants should also be able to facilitate location scouting, shooting logistics, and provide all necessary logistical support.

An applicant’s expertise and established relationships with indigenous media organizations in Georgia will be considered favorably.

Cost Sharing or Matching

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

CONTACT INFORMATION

  1. For questions relating to Grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726.
  2. For assistance with the program and technical requirements of this solicitation, e-mail: TbilisiGrants@state.gov


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia encourages U.S. organizations to apply for the 2020 Television Cooperative Program (TV CO-OP) to assist a Georgian television company in producing feature stories or/and a documentary under the generic working title ‘Emergency Preparedness and Response.’ PAS suggests the Program focus on 1. (primary theme) the U.S. Government’s rapid response mechanisms to emergencies; 2. (secondary theme) the Government’s policy for mitigating cybersecurity threats,  as malicious cyber activities not only threaten the economy but also the very functioning of Georgia’s democracy, freedom, and values.  As an add-on to the themes, it is desirable that the Program also highlights the role of the media in covering the events connected to the identified themes.  PAS will nominate a Georgian television company for participation. The call for applicants envisages the submission of a proposal describing how the grant recipient organization could connect a Georgian television crew with relevant subject matter experts from government, academia, NGO‘s and other interlocutors., who would then be interviewed on camera   The applicants should also be able to facilitate location scouting, shooting logistics, and provide all necessary logistical support.

PAS expects the selected Georgian TV crew to produce either two 15-minute feature stories or a documentary upon their return to Georgia. The Georgian TV crew – one journalist and one cameraman – will provide all necessary filming equipment, work on post-production, and air the final product. The grant recipient organization is expected to coordinate all logistics and the program development plan – to include a shooting schedule, a list of interviews, a U.S. domestic travel itinerary, and other related details, in coordination with PAS. The recipient’s involvement in production/post-production is not required but desirable. A PAS staffer will escort the crew to the United States and provide interpretation as necessary.

The project will award up to $50,000 to cover the costs of a two-week intensive filming tour for the Georgian crew, including one journalist and one cameraman.  Applicants’ proposals should include provisions that facilitate filming at different locations, taping interviews with officials including disaster response officers, subject matter experts, and other relevant stakeholders in the United States. The locations and shooting plan will be worked out together with PAS and the grant recipient organization.

BACKGROUND

Georgia is a transitional democracy undergoing major political, social and economic reforms, including reforms in emergency preparedness and the establishment of a system of cybersecurity.  Georgian media is also in the midst of a significant transformation process, aimed at improving its efficiency and effectiveness in order to increase its connection to audiences, and in doing so live up to the highest professional and ethical standards.

The United States’ experience in coping with COVID -19 pandemic, in facing and seeking ways to overcome its challenges (dispatching the USNS Comfort to NYC harbor, for example) will help Georgian viewers to better realize and appreciate the role of governments and their civic responsibilities. Viewers will also learn about the role and functions of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as well as 911 services.  The filming plan will be identified in detail in coordination between the grantee, the Georgian broadcaster, and PAS.

Cybersecurity is a major issue in Georgia today.  Last October, a cyberattack believed to have been perpetrated by the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) affected several thousand government and privately-run websites in Georgia and disrupted the operation of two national broadcasters. Such attacks, if repeated, could inflict severe blows to Georgia’s economic potential and democratic development. “These operations aim to sow division, create insecurity, and undermine democratic institutions. The United States calls on Russia to cease this behavior in Georgia and elsewhere.  The stability of cyberspace depends on the responsible behavior of nations,” read a statement by the U.S. State Department. The cyber-attacks against Georgia have emphasized the need for updating the current Cyber Security National Strategy and corresponding legislation.

III. GOAL AND OBJECTIVES

The TV CO-OP’s primary goal is to highlight ways to plan and coordinate emergency preparedness and response, to mitigate the damage inflicted by cyberattacks, and to better understand the media’s role and responsibilities in reporting on these topics. The selected Georgian media outlet will commit to placing the information in a Georgian context to facilitate the enhancement of this TV CO-OP’s influence on viewers.

The CO-OP has two objectives: 1) raise Georgian public awareness about America’s approach to emergency response, the limitation of cybersecurity risks, and media ethics in covering these issues – all to be reflected in the final cut of a television product, and 1) support the professional development of the participating Georgian journalists. The project will award up to $50,000 to cover the costs of a two-week intensive filming tour for a Georgian crew, including one journalist and one cameraman.

The U.S. Embassy attaches great significance to the established goals and objectives. Sharing an American experience and placing it in a Georgian context will help Georgian viewers to better realize the value of the objectives outlined above, all of which aim at informing and engaging citizens to be active members of society, at helping the government to reflect on the U.S. and Georgian success stories and lessons to learn in emergencies (pandemics, cyber attacks, etc.) and at reminding Georgian journalists of ethical norms necessary for their credibility and professionalism.

This TV CO-OP project is built on the U.S. Embassy’s intrinsic interest in seeing Georgia succeed as an independent, economically viable country, well-prepared to function effectively to mitigate any emergency be it natural or caused by cyber-attacks. Therefore, PAS envisages two feature stories with two storylines highlighted in the CO-OP’s final broadcast products: emergency preparedness/response and cybersecurity threat mitigation, with elements on media ethics in both.  All this will be conducive to efficient government performance, higher civic responsibility, and the improvement of media’s ethical standards. Optionally, these themes may also be addressed in a single documentary film, with two respective thematic arcs, and an add-on theme on media ethics.   PAS also expects the selected Georgian television company to use different social media channels to multiply the reach and the effect of the program.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Award Period: Six months
Award Amount: $50,000
Application Submission Process:  Applicants must submit proposals electronically using Grants.gov.

Application Deadline: All applications must be submitted on or before May 29, 2020, 11:59 p.m. eastern time. Applications submitted after 11:59 p.m. will not be eligible for consideration.  If the applicant does not receive confirmation of receipt of their application within two days, they may contact TbilisiGrants@state.gov.

Telegraphic or faxed applications are not authorized for this NOFO and will not be accepted. The total size of each attachment should not exceed 3 MB. Each 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 format. All attached files should be printable on U.S. letter-size paper (8½ x11”). Files of the .rar type are not acceptable.

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 described in 18 U.S.C.1001.

Following documents are required:

Section 1 – Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424): 
This form can be found online at:
https://usdos.sharepoint.com/sites/A-OPE/SitePages/OPEHome.aspx
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.html

Mandatory application forms

  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations)  
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)  
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) 

Section 2 – Executive Summary:  (maximum 2 pages)

The executive summary is limited to 300 words in length. It must provide a summary of the identified need, proposed activities, and expected results.

Section 3 – Project Goals/Implementation Plan (maximum 5 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 the objectives and goals will be met. The narrative should be brief, concise, and provide a clear description of what the applicant proposes to do: where, why, when, how, and by whom.

Section 4 – Organizational Capability (maximum 2 pages):

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

Section 5 – Appendices:

The proposal must include the appendices listed below. Only the appendices listed below may be included as part of the application:

  • Budget – the budget must identify the total amount of funding requested, with a breakdown of amounts to be spent in the following categories: personnel; fringe benefits, if any; international and domestic U.S. travel; supplies (miscellaneous production expenses); travel allowance (lodging, M&IE allowances, temporary health insurance, “I” visa fee, etc.); ground transportation; other direct and indirect costs. It should include a budget with an accompanying narrative, which provides, in detail, the total costs for the implementation of the program the 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 online at:

https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.html

After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail.

Applicants that have a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement with the U.S. Government should submit the latest copy.

  • Resume – a resume, not to exceed two pages in length, must be included for proposed key staff members, such as the Project Director and Television Producer. 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.
  • Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov) – a copy of SAM.gov registration.

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
  • www.SAM.gov 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 http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

NCAGE application: Application page here: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf

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 NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto

https://www.sam.gov.  SAM registration must be renewed annually.

AWARD SELECTION CRITERIA

Evaluation Criteria:  Applicants should note that the following criteria (1) serve as a standard against which all proposals will be evaluated, and (2) serve to identify the significant matters that should be addressed in all proposals. The USG will award grants to the applicants whose offers represent the best value to the USG on the basis of technical merit and cost.

Each application will be evaluated by a peer review committee of the Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, and other experts, as deemed appropriate. The evaluation criteria have been tailored to the requirements of this NOFO.

  • Project Strategy, Approach, and Implementation Plan (55 points): Applicants should demonstrate:  

(a) a good understanding of the issue; clear definitions of the program and a vision of what will be accomplished at the end the agreement; clarity of expected achievements/outcomes of the project;

(b) clearly proposed objectives;

(c) technical soundness in their approach, including clarity in scope and focus of activities to be carried out; feasibility of achieving results and objectives;

(d) a detailed analysis of potential obstacles, risks, and problems that could be encountered during the project implementation.

The review panel will be viewing the implementation plan in terms of how well it addresses the overall relevance of the goals and objectives, the feasibility of the proposed activities, and the proposed timeline for their completion.

  • Organizational Capability (30 points): Proposals should demonstrate the ability to develop and implement the 2020 Television Cooperative Program (TV CO-OP). Applicants must demonstrate how their resources, capabilities, and experience will enable them to achieve the stated goals and objectives. In addition, applicants should describe how they will collaborate with PAS to meet the project goals.
  • Appendices (15 points):
  • Budget:  Costs shall be evaluated for practicality, control practices, and efficiency. The review committee must determine that the costs paid for this award are reasonable, allowable, and allocable to the proposed project activities. This will consist of a review of the budget to determine if the overall costs are realistic for the work to be performed if the costs reflect the applicant’s understanding of the allowable cost principles established by OMB Circular A-21 and if the costs are consistent with the program narrative.
  • Resume: The review panel will consider the appropriateness of the selected project director/producer, in view of the role and responsibility that person will play in guiding the project through implementation to completion. Position descriptions submitted in lieu of a resume will be reviewed for the appropriateness of the qualifications and skills identified.

AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

Award Notices:  The co-operative 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. Organizations whose applications are not chosen for funding will also be notified in writing.

Anticipated Time to Award:  Applicants should expect to be notified of the selected proposal within 60 days of 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 grant agreement, which may include revisions to the activities. The final agreement 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 applications are submitted and the time the awards are made. Successful applicants may expect to receive their first tranche of grant funds no later than September 2020. This delay is primarily due to the extensive clearance process that grant awards must undergo before being made.

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.

  • Reporting Requirements:  Grantees are required to submit final programmatic and financial reports within 90 days of the close of the project period.  

VII. DISCLAIMER

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State 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 discretion of the Department of State. The Department of State reserves the right to award more or less than the funding indicated, as is deemed in the best interest of the U.S. Government.

VIII. OTHER INFORMATION 


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, and participants/beneficiaries. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Contractual: Describe any goods and services 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. 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.