Lower Mekong Initiative Grant Opportunity

Lower Mekong Initiative Grant Opportunity - Full NOFO

This is the initial announcement of this funding opportunity, 2015-LMI-05112016

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.124

Application Deadline:  May 11, 2016

Project Description

The U.S. Embassy Bangkok announces a competition for organizations in the Lower Mekong area (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam) interested in projects that fall under one of the Lower Mekong Initiative’s (LMI) six pillars: Agriculture and Food Security, Connectivity, Education, Energy Security, Environment and Water, Health, or the cross-cutting areas of the nexus of water, energy, and food security development challenges and gender equality and women’s empowerment. Programs must work toward the goal of equitable, sustainable, and inclusive growth among the five LMI partner countries by collaboratively addressing regional trans-boundary development and policy challenges.

Fund Size/Deadline: The total in FY 2015 ESF available for these Embassy Regional Grants is $200,000.  The deadline for receipt of grant proposals from posts applying for regional grants is May 11, 2016.  Grant proposals may be various sizes and should involve work with more than one LMI country.  Grants should be between $5,000 and $50,000 but larger request will be considered.  To be considered for funding, a project’s period of performance must be no longer than two years.  Requests for extension within the last 60 days of the period of performance of the grant are strongly discouraged.

Grant Scope: All projects must fall under one of the six LMI pillars (Agriculture and Food Security, Connectivity, Education, Energy Security, Environment and Water, and Health) or cross-cutting areas of the nexus of water, energy, and food security development challenges and gender equality and women’s empowerment. Programs must work toward the goal of equitable, sustainable, and inclusive growth among the five LMI partner countries by collaboratively addressing regional trans-boundary development and policy challenges. Successful applicants will address regional development challenges by implementing capacity building projects that respond to LMI government priorities.  Preference will be given to projects that:  1) are multinational or regional in nature, (bilateral proposals with high potential for replicability in the region may also be considered); 2) lend themselves more readily to public diplomacy campaigns, or that have some high visibility to the local public and the international community; and 3) otherwise support ASEAN integration efforts.  Extra points will be awarded to projects that support the two cross-cutting themes of the nexus and women’s empowerment. Given that these grants are intended to support areas otherwise lacking in funds or attention, they should not be directed towards existing multi-donor or larger scale projects, unless there is a critical, small gap that we could fill with a regional grant.  Proposals in which a foreign government (including regional, municipal, or other local-level government) is a grantee or intended beneficiary of the award will not be considered.

Applicant Guidelines: Applicants should demonstrate relevant experience by including, in their proposals, information about key personnel who have appropriate background in subject areas.  Proposals should also demonstrate cost effectiveness of the proposed project – including, when possible, a cost share or an in-kind contribution by the applicant or potential partners.  We will also examine whether the project has managed to attract other contributions or moved towards becoming self-sustaining.  To be considered for funding, a project’s period of performance must be no longer than two years.  Requests for extension within the last 60 days of the period of performance of the grant are strongly discouraged.

Monitoring and Evaluation: Complete applications will include a detailed plan (both a narrative and table) of how the project’s progress and impact will be monitored and evaluated throughout the project. Incorporating a well-designed monitoring and evaluation component into a project is one of the most efficient methods of documenting the progress and results (intended and unintended) of a project.  Applications should demonstrate the capacity to provide objectives with measurable outputs and outcomes and engage in robust monitoring and assessment of project activities.  The quality of the M&E plan will be judged on the narrative explaining how both monitoring and evaluation will be carried out, and who will be responsible for those related activities.

Reporting Requirements: At a minimum, all grantees must provide semi-annual and final reports on grant activities, including all expenditures.  In order to facilitate compliance with Departmental monitoring responsibilities, these reports should include SF-425 Financial Reporting Form and performance progress reporting outlined below:

a-     An assessment of progress/achievements and whether the program is meeting/has met pre-established objectives;
b-     Identification of staffing or programmatic problems, if any; and
c-     Success stories.  Final reports must also include an accounting of all funds provided to the grantee; this financial data is required for grant close-out.

Application: The application for this grant is available in an Word document.  For any questions about this funding opportunity, please contact the Regional Environment Office in Bangkok by email at [email protected]  Please complete the application form and SF424 package, and submit your application to [email protected] no later than May 11, 2016.

Attachment
File 12_apr_lmi_grant_proposal_application_instructions.doc
File 12_apr_sf424-_organizations_application_form.doc