Public Affairs Section Request for Grant Proposals: Investigative Journalism Training Program in the Baltics
Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement
Application Deadline: August 31, 2015
Total Funding: $500,000
Anticipated Award Date: September 25, 2015
Anticipated Project Completion Date: November 30, 2016
Eligible Applicants: Applications may be submitted by public and private non-profit organizations and institutions meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3).
The U.S. Embassies in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia aim to offer a 12-month innovative, multi-phased investigative journalism training program for early and mid-career journalists working in the Baltic states, who report in local languages or Russian. Media organizations in all three countries need the skills and tools to produce fact-based, credible news reporting. The program will build a more mature, independent and proactive 21st century media landscape in all three countries. While the program will include journalists from all three Baltic states and all three U.S. Embassies will take part in the planning and coordination, U.S. Embassy Vilnius is overseeing this NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY (NOFO).
FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION:
The ideal program will cover a 12-month period and include in-country training/workshops in all three countries, cash reporting awards for journalists with realistic investigative reporting project ideas and opportunities to pursue them, and study trips to the United States to visit newsrooms, journalism schools and new models for funding and delivering quality journalism (such as Pro Publica) in the digital age. The successful program should also include a method or methods for connecting alumni of the program and ongoing networking both among the three countries and with U.S. trainers/experts/contacts for project help as well as source and audience development. The program should allow flexibility of focus, needs and activities in each country. Programs that include local partners in any or all of the Baltic countries are also welcome.
GOALS OF NOFO:
The goals of this funding opportunity are to:
1. Improve investigative journalism skills across the Baltic states, by tailoring training and tools to increase journalists’ ability to report with critical thinking skills and fact-based, objective analysis of information.
2. Provide ongoing virtual networking and mentoring for journalists as they pursue investigative projects and assistance with continued and new source and audience development.
3. Develop alumni and train-the-trainer opportunities and components to spread the strengths of the program beyond the 12-month period.
The level of funding available for this program is a maximum of $500,000. The available funding is to be used to support the program and for administrative costs necessary to implement the program as described in this solicitation. Please submit a comprehensive line item budget, broken down according to the budget line items in the SF-424A: Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel, Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Construction, Other Direct Costs; and Indirect. Indicate how costs are calculated (for example, staff salary x percentage of time worked x number of months worked).
Suggested program costs include, but are not limited to, the following:
Staff local travel and per diem
Materials and supplies
American Speaker/Expert/Instructor and foreign journalist travel (international, domestic, ground transportation, passport and visa fees)
Meeting and workshop costs
Other justifiable expenses directly related to supporting program activities
Budget should NOT include VAT expenses.
Collaboration with the Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Embassies in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Recipient will be responsible for administering, running and reporting on the program in consultation with all three embassies to ensure the needs of each are being met and appropriate media are targeted and included. Additionally, Embassy staff should be invited to participate in various in-country program activities. Schedules and speaker details should be shared with and vetted by the Embassies for their individual country programs and U.S. visits.
Applications may be submitted by U.S. and foreign-based public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3). Applicants may submit proposals that rely on local partners to administer components of the program.
The U.S. Embassy, Vilnius will review all proposals for technical eligibility as well as program design. Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:
1. Quality of the Program Idea: Objectives should be reasonable, feasible and flexible. The proposal should clearly demonstrate how the institution will meet the program’s objectives and plan. The proposed program should be creative, respond to the design outlined in the solicitation and demonstrate originality. It should be clearly and accurately written, substantive and with sufficient detail.
2. Program planning: A detailed work plan should clearly demonstrate how project objectives would be achieved.
3. Institutional Capacity, Track Record and Ability to Operate in Host Country: Proposed personnel and institutional resources in the United States and foreign based should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program goals.
4. Program Monitoring and Evaluation: The proposal should include a plan to evaluate the program’s success in meeting its goals, both as the activities unfold and after they have been completed. The proposal should include a draft survey questionnaire or other technique, plus a description of a methodology to link outcomes to original project objectives. The award recipient will be expected to submit intermediate reports after each project component is concluded.
Applicant organizations are required to have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to apply for a grant or cooperative agreement from the U.S. Government. This number is a nine-digit identification number, which uniquely identifies business entities. Obtaining a DUNS number is easy and there is no charge. To obtain a DUNS number, access http://www.dunandbradstreet.com or call 1-866-705-5711. Please ensure that your DUNS number is included in the appropriate box of the SF – 424 which is part of the formal application package.
All federal award recipients must maintain current registrations in the System for Award Management (SAM) database. Recipients must maintain accurate and up-to-date information in www.SAM.gov until all program and financial activity and reporting have been completed. Recipients must review and update the information at least annually after the initial registration and more frequently if required information changes or another award is granted. Failure to register in SAM will render applicants ineligible to receive funding.
You must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application.
Administrative and National Policy Requirements:
Terms and Conditions for the Administration of this program include the following:
1) New federal assistance regulations at 2 CFR 200 titled Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance).
2) U.S. Department of State Terms and Conditions
The deadline for submission of proposals is August 31, 2015
All proposals must be completed in English
The grant application must include a summary, narrative statement and a proposed budget.
Project duration not to exceed twelve (12) months.