Ambassadors Fund For Cultural Preservation (Large Grants)

Funding Opportunity Description

The U.S. Mission to Nigeria of the U.S. Department of State is is accepting project applications for the 2020 Large Grants Program of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). Administration of this program will be subject to the availability of funds for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The deadline for submitting project abstracts to the Center is December 1, 2019. For abstracts that advance to Round 2, the submission deadline for full project applications is February 1, 2020.

Purpose of the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) and Background:  The AFCP Large Grants Program supports the preservation of major ancient archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, and major museum collections that are accessible to the public and protected by law in the host country.

Cultural heritage endures as a reminder of the contributions and historical experiences of humanity.  By taking a leading role in efforts to preserve cultural heritage, the U.S. demonstrates its respect for other cultures.  AFCP projects strengthen civil society, encourage good governance, and promote political and economic stability around the world.

The Department of State established the AFCP at the request of the Congress, reflected in the Conference Report on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2001 (P. L. 106-553).

  1. Award Information 

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant

Floor on Amount of Individual Awards:  US $200,000 per project

Ceiling on Amount of Individual Awards: US $800,000 per project

Funding Areas:  The Department of State supports projects to preserve cultural heritage in the following three areas

  1. Preventive conservation (addressing conditions that damage or threaten the site)
  2. Stabilization (reducing the physical disturbance [settling, collapse, etc.] of a site)
  3. Conservation (addressing damage or deterioration to a collection or sites)
  4. Consolidation (connecting or reconnecting elements of a site)
  5. Anastylosis (reassembling a site from its original parts)
  6. Restoration (replacing missing elements to recreate the original appearance of a site, usually appropriate only with fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings)

Funding Priorities:  The AFCP will recommend for funding those proposals that include project activities in adherence to the following guidelines and to international standards for the preservation of cultural heritage. These activities may include:

  1. Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations, such as cultural

property protection agreements;

  1. S. Embassy Integrated Country Strategy (ICS) goals
  2. Disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage in seismically active and other disaster-prone areas
  3. Post-disaster cultural heritage recovery
  4. Preserve World Heritage sites
  5. Partner, connect with or feed into other ECA programs

Sites and Objects that have a Religious Connection: The establishment clause of the U.S.

Constitution permits the government to include religious objects and sites within an aid program under certain conditions. For example, an item with a religious connection (including a place of worship) may be the subject of a cultural preservation grant if the item derives its primary significance and is nominated solely on the basis of architectural, artistic, historical, or other cultural (not religious) criteria.

Cost Sharing and Other Forms of Cost Participation: There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required for this competition. When an applicant offers cost sharing, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its application and later included in an approved agreement. The applicant will be responsible for tracking and reporting on any cost share or outside funding, which is subject to audit per 2 CFR 200. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs.

  • Eligibility Information:

Eligible project applicants include reputable and accountable non-commercial entities, such as non-governmental organizations, museums, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations that are able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage.  All applicants must register for a DUNS number which is a unique nine-digit identification number.  DUNS Number assignment is free for organizations required to register with the federal government for grants. Begin the process here: https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm.  Registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) is also required: https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/

AFCP will NOT support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of the activities or costs below will be deemed ineligible:

  1. Preservation or purchase of privately or commercially owned cultural objects, collections, or real property, including those whose transfer from private or commercial to public ownership is envisioned, planned, or in process but not complete at the time of application
  2. Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.)
  3. Preservation of hominid or human remains
  4. Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.)
  5. Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.)
  6. Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use
  7. Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes
  8. Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project
  9. Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums
  10. Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example)
  11. Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes
  12. Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances
  13. Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist
  14. Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another
  15. Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason
  16. Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation or documentation effort
  17. Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies
  18. Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds (funds must be expended within the award period [up to five years] and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund)
  19. Costs of fund-raising campaigns
  20. Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees
  21. Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the Grants Officer
  22. International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project
  23. Travel or study outside the host country for professional development
  24. Individual projects costing less than $200,000
  25. Independent U.S. projects overseas

AFCP does not award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or to embassies or past award recipients which have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards. 

  1. Application Submission and Deadline

The application process for the AFCP Large Grants Program takes place in two rounds: Project Abstract (Round 1) and Full Application (Round 2). Applicants shall submit completed Round 1 abstracts electronically on behalf of applicants through the Embassy website or grants.gov

All Round 1 project abstracts must be submitted electronically via e-mail on or before December 1, 2019, 11:59p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST).  Applications submitted after 11:59p.m. will be ineligible for consideration.

Proposals should be submitted online to the U.S. Mission to Nigeria at the following email address:  PASAbujaGrants@State.gov.  Applications are accepted in English only.  Final grant agreements will be concluded in English. 

ROUND ONE PROJECT ABSTRACT REQUIREMENTS (DEADLINE: December 1, 2019): The project abstract must include the following items:

  1. Full and complete Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424), including Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424A), Assurances for Non-Construction Programs (SF-424B), and, if applicable, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL) – all available at grants.gov
  2. Project basics, including title, project dates, location, and site
  3. Project applicant information, including contact information, DUNS Number (https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm), and SAM registration status (https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/)
  4. Special designations (national monument, World Heritage Site, etc.)
  5. Law(s) protecting the site or collection (citations only)
  6. Project purpose that summarizes the project objectives and desired results
  7. Statement of importance highlighting the historic, architectural, artistic, or cultural (non-religious) values of the site or collection
  8. Statement of urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now
  9. At a minimum and required, five (5) high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site or collection and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, water damage, etc.)

 

Note: Applicants must have a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code, and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting full applications.  It is mandatory for applicants to have a DUNS and SAM.gov registration unless they meet one of the exemptions specified in the Federal Assistance Directive (https://usdos.sharepoint.com/sites/A-OPE/FA/SitePages/Policy.aspx).  The DUNS/NCAGE/SAM.gov process can take weeks/months, especially for non-U.S. applicants.  Applicants may acquire DUNs numbers at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free DUNs number request line at 1-866-705-5711 or by requesting a number online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.  Non-U.S. based applicants may request a NCAGE code at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx.  SAM is the official, free on-line registration database for the U.S. government.  SAM.gov replaced the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) in July 2012.  SAM.gov collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of federal agency acquisition and grant award missions.  Registration in SAM is free: http://sam.gov

 

ROUND TWO FULL APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS (DEADLINE: February 1, 2020): The applications must fully satisfy the program objectives, funding areas and priorities, and the eligibility requirements specified above. Furthermore, to be considered complete, applicants must include:

  1. Revised project abstract, if applicable
  2. Revised SF-424, if applicable
  3. Proof of official permission to undertake the project from the office, agency, or organization that either owns or is otherwise responsible for the preservation and protection of the site or collection
  4. Project activities description and timeframe that present the project tasks in chronological order and list the major milestones with target dates for achieving them (Note: Applicants may propose project periods of up to 60 months [five years])
  5. Resumes or CVs of the proposed project director and key project participants
  6. Detailed project budget, demarcated in one-year budget periods (2020, 2020, 2021, etc.), that lists all costs in separate categories (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel [including Per Diem], Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Other Direct Costs, Indirect Costs); indicates funds from other sources; and gives a justification for any anticipated international travel costs
  7. Budget narrative explaining how the costs were estimated (e.g., quantity x unit cost, annual salary x percentage of time spent on project) and any large budget line items
  8. Implementer Public Awareness Plan describing how the applicant intends to highlight and amplify AFCP-supported activities through print, electronic, and social media platforms
  9. Statement of urgency indicating the severity of the situation and explaining why the project must take place now. Statement of sustainability outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain the site or collection in good condition after the AFCP-supported project is complete.
  10. Maintenance plan outlining the steps or measures that will be taken to maintain the site, object, or collection in good condition after the AFCP-supported project is complete; or, in the case of forms of traditional cultural expression, to preserve and disseminate the documentation, knowledge, or skills gained from the project
  11. Relevant supporting documentation, such as historic structure reports, restoration plans and studies, conservation needs assessments and recommendations, architectural and engineering records, etc., compiled in preparation for the proposed project Ten (10) or more high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site or museum collection and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (collapsing walls, extensive water damage, etc.)
  12. As requested by the AFCP Program Office or as appropriate, additional high quality digital images (JPEGs) or audiovisual files that convey the nature and condition of the site or museum collection and show the urgency or need for the proposed project (e.g., collapsing walls, extensive water damage

The U.S. Mission to Nigeria and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State will not consider proposals that do not include the above components.

There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required for this competition. When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved agreement. The applicant will be responsible for tracking and reporting on any cost share or outside funding, which is subject to audit per 2 CFR 200. Cost sharing may be in the form of allowable direct or indirect costs.

  1. Review and Selection Process

The U.S. Mission to Nigeria will assess all applications based on the program funding priorities; the comprehensiveness of the proposed project and budget; the urgency of the proposed project; and the quality of the statement of pupose and importance.  The Mission will then make a recommendaedtion to the ECA Cultural Heritage Center.

The Center will conduct a review process throughout the spring of 2020.  It will review and select Round 1 project abstracts and full project applications (Round 2) in consultation with the regional bureaus and taking into consideration the program objectives, funding areas and priorities, ineligible activities and unallowable costs, and other application requirements.  The Center may deem abstracts and applications ineligible if the project abstracts or the full project applications do not fully adhere to AFCP 2020 Large Grants Program objectives, requirements, and other criteria stated herein.

  1. Project Abstract Screening (Round 1): The Center will screen all project abstracts for technical eligibility based on the objectives, priorities, requirements, ineligible activities, and unallowable costs contained in this funding opportunity.  It will forward the technically eligible abstracts to the relevant regional bureaus for comment.  The Center may forward project abstracts for advisory peer review to other federal agency personnel with relevant experience.  On or around January 10, 2020, the Center will notify embassies of the Round 1 results and invite a subset to submit full applications.
  2. Full Application Review and Selection (Round 2): The Center will convene a technical advisory panel of subject matter experts from elsewhere within the U.S. government to review the applications and provide comment.  It will also forward the applications to the relevant regional bureaus for comment.  ECA will submit a comprehensive funding recommendation to the Department’s Bureau of Budget and Planning (BP) and request that BP make funds available to the embassies through the Department’s regional bureaus for the recommended AFCP projects.  ECA may consult with the Senate Committee on Appropriations prior to making the funding recommendation.
  1. Award Administration 

Award Announcement  ECA will announce the results of the AFCP 2020 Large Grants Program

via cables once the Department’s FY 2020 funding levels are known and a spend plan is approved.  It will send a second cable describing the process for executing AFCP awards.  Note: These cables are not authorization to begin performance.

Award Administration Information:  ECA will submit a comprehensive funding recommendation to the Department’s Bureau of Budget and Planning (BP) and request that BP make funds available to the embassies through the Department’s regional bureaus for the recommended AFCP projects.  Only a warranted Grants Officer can negotiate and sign AFCP awards.  If the proposed project budget exceeds the Post Grants Officer’s warrant level, A/OPE/AQM/IP can provide a Grants Officer.  A/OPE/AQM/IP charges the embassy a fee of 1.25 percent of the total award amount for this service.  Embassies should include the 1.25 percent fee in its Statement of Assurance if it chooses to use A/OPE/AQM/IP’s services.  Embassies must obligate the AFCP project funds by the end of FY 2020, September 30, 2020.

Administrative and National Policy Requirements:  Notices of Award for AFCP projects incorporate terms and conditions subject to OMB Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200): Cost Principles, Audit, and Administrative Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR Chapter I, Chapter II, Part 200, et al.).  All applicants should familiarize themselves with these requirements.  Other requirements and guidance will appear as program-specific provisions or be incorporated by reference in the Notice of Award.

Period of Performance:  The period of performance begins upon the Grants Officer’s signature and the awardee’s countersignature on a Notice of Award.  A Notice of Award notifies an award recipient that an award has been made and that funds are available for use during the specified award period.  Failure to produce a complete Notice of Award package may result in the nullification of the award.

Performance and Deliverable:  AFCP 2020 award recipients must submit performance progress, federal financial status reports, and final reports on time as specified in the Notice of Award.  AFCP will compile this information in a report to Congress, as required, and in a published annual report of completed projects. The Center may compile this information into reports to Congress and other documents.  The survey will ask the following questions:

  1. a) What is the most important or significant contribution that this AFCP project made to your embassy’s diplomatic efforts (public or private)?
  2. b) What were the most significant activities that occurred during the project that contributed to the diplomatic impact you identified?
  3. c) What impact has this AFCP project had on the public, key stakeholders, or other targets of your diplomatic efforts?
  4. d) What were the reactions of the public or key groups in response to the project? What did they learn about the United States that they may not have known before? e) What follow-up activities are you planning?