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NOFO: Request for Statements of Interest (RSOI) (Closing date: May 15, 2022 )
February 11, 2022

Statement of Interest

Funding Opportunity Title:  U.S. Embassy Dakar Public Affairs Section Request for Statements of Interest

Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-DKR-RSOI-FY22-01

Deadline for Applications:  Applications will be accepted on rolling basis but must be submitted before May 15, 2022.

CFDA Numbers:   19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

19.441 – American Spaces

19.022 and 19.450 – RELO Programs

Total Amount Available: $250,000

Maximum for Each Award:  $50,000

*Exceptional proposals above $50,000 may be granted funds pending availability of funding*

    The U.S. Embassy Dakar Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State announces a Request for Statements of Interest (RSOI) from organizations interested in applying for funding for program proposals that strengthen cultural ties between the United States and Senegal or between the United States and Guinea-Bissau through cultural, educational, capacity building and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. PAS invites organizations interested in potential funding to submit SOI applications outlining program concepts that reflect this goal. Please carefully follow all instructions below.


The submission of a Statement of Interest (SOI) is the first step in a two-part process. Applicants must first submit a SOI, which is a concise concept note (maximum two-pages) designed to clearly communicate a program idea and its objectives before the development of a full proposal application. The purpose of the SOI process is to allow applicants the opportunity to submit program ideas for PAS to evaluate prior to requiring the development of full proposal applications. Upon review of eligible SOIs, PAS will invite selected applicants to expand their ideas into full proposal applications.


Purpose: PAS Dakar invites SOIs for programs that strengthen cultural, educational, or professional ties between the people of Senegal and the United States or between the United States and Guinea-Bissau. Programs must highlight shared values and promote bilateral cooperation. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.  This can also include the involvement of Senegalese or Bissau-Guinean alumni of U.S. government exchange programs.


Examples of PAS-funded programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic and professional lectures, seminars, and speaker programs;
  • Capacity-building workshops and programs;
  • Artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances, and exhibitions;
  • Professional and academic exchanges, partnerships, and programs;
  • Existing American Spaces and those partner institutions that are seeking to establish an American Space.
  • English language programs


Priority program areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Advancing democratic values through the promotion of human rights, civil society, and good governance;
  • Promoting inclusive economic growth through innovation and entrepreneurship: Promote shared economic growth through proposals that reinforce shared values of entrepreneurship and innovation, promote economic opportunities and empowerment of underserved communities and youth, and explore the benefits of expanded trading opportunities between the United States and Senegal and/or the United States and Guinea Bissau.
  • Advancing the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM); promote critical learning through workshops, demonstrations, and hands-on activities aimed at youth ranging between elementary to university level of studies.
  • Increasing opportunities for youth;
  • Promoting awareness of the global climate crisis; including amplifying strong U.S. leadership to increase global climate ambition, and combatting climate change using U.S. models.
  • Promoting women’s empowerment and economic inclusion;
  • Celebrating 60 years of U.S.-Senegalese diplomatic relations: Reinforce U.S. – Senegal shared values through proposals that explore, expand, and reflect on historical and contemporary connections between U.S. and Senegalese cultural and educational institutions and groups


Participants and audiences include, but are not limited to:

  • Youth and Emerging Voices (university and entry-level working professionals)
  • Civil society actors;
  • Local leaders;
  • Journalists;
  • Business leaders and entrepreneurs;
  • Established opinion leaders, including cultural and/or academic institution leadership
  • Residents of underserved communities and regions outside of Dakar.
  • New media professionals including bloggers and social media personalities


The following types of programs are NOT eligible for funding:

  • Programs relating to partisan political activity;
  • Charitable or development activities;
  • Construction programs;
  • Programs that support specific religious activities;
  • Fund-raising campaigns;
  • Lobbying for specific legislation or programs
  • Scientific research;
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization; or
  • Programs that duplicate existing programs;
  • Travel of non-U.S. citizens from the U.S. to Senegal or to Guinea-Bissau;
  • Projects consisting of a single meeting or brief conference;
  • Projects or events that require participants pay for entrance or participation;
  • Projects or events benefitting a for-profit enterprise


**If your project is ineligible, please visit our website to view other U.S. Embassy funding opportunities that may be better suited for your project.

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:

The Statutory Authorities for this program are the Smith-Mundt Act and Hays-Fulbright Act. The source of funding is FY2022 Department of State Public Diplomacy Funding.


Length of performance period: 3 to 12 months

Number of awards anticipated: Number of awards will depend on project proposal amounts and available funding.

Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $50,000

Total expected available funding: $250,000.00

Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2022 Public Diplomacy Funding

Anticipated program start date:  Any date between May 31, 2022, and December 31, 2022

This notice is subject to availability of funding.  All awards must be finalized prior to Sept 30, 2022.

 Funding Instrument Type:  Grant, Cooperative Agreement, Fixed Amount Award, or Individual Grant


  1. Eligible Applicants

The Public Affairs Section accepts applications from only U.S., Senegalese and Bissau Guinean:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
  • Individuals
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions


*For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.  


  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required. 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.

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.


The U.S. Embassy Dakar Public Affairs Section will accept Statements of Interest (SOI) on a rolling basis through May 15, 2022. A grants committee including U.S. Embassy employees will review eligible applications after March 15 and May 15, 2021.  The review and selection process may take up to four months from submission of the proposal. All application materials, the SOI form, and any other supporting documentation must be submitted in English by email to PASmallgrant@state.gov.


All SOIs should ensure that the following requirements are met:

Please follow all instructions below carefully. SOIs that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.


Content of Application

Please ensure:

  • The SOI clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars
  • All pages are numbered
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.


The following documentation is required:

  • Program Statement (not to exceed two pages in Microsoft Word) that includes:
  • A table listing:
  • Name of the organization;
  • The target country/countries;
  • The total amount of funding requested from PAS, total amount of cost-share (if any), and total program amount (PAS funds + cost-share); and,
  • Program length;
  • A synopsis of the program, including a brief statement on how the program will have a demonstrated impact and engage relevant stakeholders;
  • A concise breakdown explicitly identifying the program’s objectives and the activities and expected results that contribute to each objective; and,
  • A brief description of the applicant(s) that demonstrates the applicant(s) expertise and capacity to implement the program and manage a U.S. government award.
  • COVID-19 Mitigation Plan: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its current impact on travel and operations, it is unclear when existing travel restrictions and health advisories will allow for in-person program activities to take place. As such, proposals should include language that demonstrates maximum flexibility, creativity, and rapid response capability for program planning and administration. Applicants should also ensure continuity of services should the current situation continue for an extended period of time. The applicant should present innovative options for virtual activities to augment, and/or substitute for, in-person engagement with all program stakeholders, if travel is not possible.

An organization or individual may submit no more than one SOI per year.


  2. Criteria

Each SOI will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

Quality of Program Idea – 50 points: The SOI is responsive to program framework. The idea is communicated well and is feasible. SOI’s that promote creative approaches to address program objectives are highly encouraged. The proposed timeline is reasonable.

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants –15 points: The SOI should demonstrate the organization’s expertise and previous experience in administering programs. If a local partner is identified the SOI should briefly describe the partner’s role and experience.

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 points: The SOI should clearly articulate proposed program activities and expected results towards achieving program objectives and goal(s).

American Content – 20 points: The SOI should clearly articulate how the project will promote a better understanding of the United States.


  1. Review and Selection Process

A Grants Review Committee will evaluate all eligible SOIs.  All eligible SOIs will be reviewed against the criteria listed above. SOIs are reviewed individually against the criteria and not against competing SOIs. For a balanced review all panelists will review the first page of the SOI up to the page limit and no further. The panel may provide conditions and/or recommendations on SOIs to enhance the proposed program. Conditions must be addressed, and recommendations should be addressed in a full proposal application.

  1. Following the review, any successful SOI applicants will be contacted and instructed to submit full applications. A full application will include:
  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance – organizations) or SF-424-I (Application for Federal Assistance –individuals)
  • SF424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction programs)
  • SF424B (Assurances for Non-Construction programs) for individual or organization exempted from registering in SAM.
  1. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov) (NOTE: This section is required and not optional, except for NOFOs targeting applications only from individuals.)

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.

Organizations are not required to have a valid Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number –formally referred to as DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number- nor active SAM.gov registration to apply at this stage of the solicitation. However, if a SOI is accepted for a full proposal application, the organization must obtain a UEI and have an active SAM.gov registration before submitting its full proposal application. Therefore, we recommend starting the process of obtaining a SAM.gov registration as soon as possible. The process can take several weeks. Please note there is no cost associated with UEI or SAM.gov registration.


  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting the SOI, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply if a full proposal application is requested and awarded, to ensure that they will be able to comply. These include:

2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions which are available at: https://www.state.gov/about-us-office-of-the-procurement-executive/


If you have any questions about the SOI application process, please contact: PASmallgrant@state.gov

*Please note, an invitation to present a full submission does not guarantee funding.*