Television Cooperative Program

2021 Television Cooperative Program

 

Program Office: Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia
Opportunity Number: DOS-GEO-21-CA-004-081021
Funding Opportunity Title: 2021 TV CO-OP
Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement

Deadline for Applications: September 10, 2021


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 2021 Television Cooperative Program (TV CO-OP) to assist a Georgian television company in filming feature stories or/and a documentary under the generic working title The U.S. Energy Policy and Regulations. 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 interviewees from government, academia, NGOs and other interlocutors. 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

CONTENTS

Executive Summary

Background

  • Goals and Objectives
  • Application and Submission Information
  • Award Selection Criteria
  • Award Administration Information
  • Disclaimer
  • Other Information

Executive Summary

The Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia encourages U.S. organizations to apply for the 2022 Television Cooperative Program (TV CO-OP) to assist a Georgian television company in filming three feature stories/or a documentary under the generic working title, “U.S. Energy Policy and Regulations on Renewable Energy.” PDS suggests that the Program focus on the following primary and secondary themes: 1. U.S. hydroelectric power resource policy, regulatory bodies, and mechanisms for oversight 2. Raising awareness among local community about the benefits of renewable energy and public engagement in the process of developing hydro-energy projects. This TV CO-OP should also highlight the media’s role in covering the themes of the program.

PDS will nominate a Georgian television company to participate in the program. Applicants should submit a proposal describing how the grant recipient organization could connect a Georgian television crew with relevant subject matter interviewees from government, academia, NGOs and other interlocutors in the United States.  The applicants should also be able to facilitate location scouting, shooting logistics, and provide all necessary logistical support.

PDS expects the selected Georgian TV crew to produce three 10-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 a program development plan – i.e. shooting schedule, list of interviews, U.S. domestic travel itinerary, and other related details in coordination with PDS. The recipient’s involvement in production/post-production is not required but desirable. A PDS staffer will escort the crew to the United States and provide interpretation as necessary.

The applicants’ proposals should include provisions that facilitate filming at different locations, taping interviews with officials, subject matter experts, and other relevant stakeholders in the United States. The locations and shooting plan will be worked out together with PDS and the grant recipient organization.

BACKGROUND

Georgia is a transitional democracy undergoing major political, social and economic reforms, including reforms in the energy sector in compliance with an Association Agreement signed with the European Union, under which Georgia made a commitment to follow EU directives in the energy sector.

The Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission – the regulatory body for the energy sector – is entitled to issue generation, transmission, dispatching and distribution licenses.  Its strategic goals include fostering energy, market liberalization, advancing quality of service, facilitating implementation of the investment projects, offering modern and simplified remote services to the customers, increasing awareness of the customers on their rights and duties, promoting green energy and energy efficiency.  While utilization of Georgia’s hydro energy resources could contribute to the country’s energy independence and boost the economy, the Government of Georgia lacks sufficient regulatory mechanisms to ensure environmental protection; it fails to raise public awareness to hydropower benefits; and it falls short of fully engaging the public in the decision-making process.  These shortcomings have triggered massive public outcry against hydro power facilities.  Most recently, the Namakhvani Hydro Power Plant (HPP) project revealed loopholes in Georgia’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan following large scale protest rallies against the HPP.   Georgia has also witnessed longstanding public resistance to other HPPs, including: Khudoni, Nenskra, Khadori, Oni 1, Lajanuri, Shuakhevi and Kamara.

III. GOAL AND OBJECTIVES

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.  PDS envisages three feature stories with three storylines highlighted in the CO-OP’s final broadcast products: featuring the U.S. as an example of secure and reliable energy focused on public health and the environment.  The stories will also show how the USG addresses public concerns about possible environmental hazards caused by HPPs, ways of active public awareness campaigns, including the benefits of renewable energy.  The stories will show the work of energy regulatory bodies in the United States to demonstrate their role in designing efficient mechanisms for streamlining energy sector efficiency.

The CO-OP has two objectives:

  1. a) Raise Georgian public awareness about America’s approach to renewable energy, regulatory mechanisms and mitigating environmental challenges; and
  2. b) 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 set goal and the objectives. Placing an American experience in a Georgian context will help Georgian viewers better realize the value of the objectives outlined above, but above all, should inform, engage, and persuade viewers that the U.S.—Georgian partnership is robust and built for the long term.

Expected result: PDS expects the selected Georgian TV crew to produce three 10-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 a program development plan – i.e. shooting schedule, list of interviews, U.S. domestic travel itinerary, and other related details in coordination with PDS. The recipient’s involvement in production/post-production is not required but desirable. A PDS staffer will escort the crew to the United States and provide interpretation as necessary.

The applicants’ proposals should include provisions that facilitate filming at different locations, taping interviews with officials, subject matter experts, and other relevant stakeholders in the United States. The locations and shooting plan will be worked out together with PDS and the grant recipient organization.

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Award Period: 12 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 September 10, 2021, 11:59 p.m. eastern time. Applications submitted after 11:59 p.m. will not be eligible for consideration.  If you do not receive confirmation of receipt of your application within two days, please 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”). Do NOT send .rar files.

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.

The following documents are required: 

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

This form can be found on-line at:

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) and Budget Narrative Attachment
  • 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 should 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 budget categories: personnel (salary, wages, honoraria); fringe benefits, if any; international and domestic U.S. travel; supplies, if any; travel allowance (lodging, M&IE allowances, temporary health insurance, “I” visa fee, ); ground transportation; miscellaneous production expenses; other direct and indirect costs, etc. Include a budget with an accompanying narrative which provides, in detail, the total costs for the 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 on-line 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 the 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) – 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
  • 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) a clarity of 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 2021 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 30 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 that applications are submitted and awards are made. Successful applicants may expect to receive their first tranche of grant funds no later than September 2019. 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.