Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy to Libya invites alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to apply for the 2021 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2021).  Proposals must include teams of at least two alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements.  The most competitive proposals will advance key priorities identified below.  Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2021 should submit proposals with an accompanying budget to LibyaUSAAlumni@state.gov by April 15 for consideration.

AEIF provides alumni of U.S. sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community. 

This year, the U.S. Embassy to Libya is seeking proposals that promote national unity and peace building through positive youth engagement, leadership development, community service, women’s empowerment, inclusion initiatives, and/or civil society strengthening.  Post is also seeking proposals that focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and STEAM initiatives.  U.S. – Libyan ties and/or English language components are also highly desirable.  Project proposals managed by teams of at least two alumni should focus on the following themes:

  • Civic engagement;
  • Entrepreneurship and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics);
  • Promoting national unity through arts and culture.

FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Announcement Posted: January 4, 2021
Deadline to apply: April 15, 2021
Expected size of awards: Between $10,000 to $50,000.
Program Performance Period: Activities should be completed in one year or less.
Application Requirements: Completed application and budget (link) (Selected proposal/s will later require mandatory US Government grants documents later.)

ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

The following individuals are eligible to apply:

  • Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. government-funded exchange program (https://alumni.state.gov/list-exchange-programs) or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program (https://j1visa.state.gov/).
  • Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni.
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project, however, there must be foreign alumni included in the project.
  • Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.  
  • Alumni from virtual exchange programs are also eligible to participate on a team.

Other Eligibility Requirements

If the grant will be processed with an individual, that individual is not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov. However, should the grant be processed with an organization that is a partner in the project, that organization must have a unique entity identifier (Data Universal Numbering System/DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet), as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov

(Organizations must have a commitment to equal opportunity employment practices and to non-discrimination practices with regard to beneficiaries, without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.)

FORMAT AND TIMELINE 

Applications and budgets must be submitted using the official AEIF 2021 proposal and budget forms. Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
  • The proposal addresses all questions in the official AEIF 2021 proposal form;
  • All documents are completed in English;
  • The budget is in U.S. dollars and is submitted using the designated AEIF budget form;
  • All pages are numbered.

The following documents are required:

1 AEIF 2021 Application Template

2 AEIF 2021 Budget Template (with budget narrative justification)

Exchange alumni interested in participating in AEIF 2020 should submit complete proposals to LibyaUSAAlumni@state.gov by April 15, 2021 (23:59 Libyan local time).

REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS

Evaluation Criteria:  The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section will use the criteria outlined below to evaluate all applications. 

  • Advancement of strategic priorities – 30 points
  • Integration of multiple priorities through various project activities – 20 points
  • Novelty, creativity, and high impact for community-based solutions to relevant challenges in Libya – 15 points 
  • Project feasibility for successful implementation – 20 points
  • Inclusion – project encourages geographically diverse participation i.e. engages women, members of minority communities, and/or disabled – 5 points 
  • Sustainability or potential to replicate and scale up effective projects – 5 points
  • U.S. Component and/or linkage with universities or civil society organizations – 5 points

After this initial review, the Public Affairs Section will submit the top proposal from Libya to the global AEIF 2021 competition where they will be reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of regional and exchange program experts located at the Department of State in Washington, D.C.  Panelists will review and evaluate applications based on their relevance to civic engagement, entrepreneurship and STEAM, and promotion of national unity through arts and culture.

AEIF 2021 will provide resources for alumni-led projects around the world that support these identified themes.  Throughout the proposal, applicants will need to demonstrate how your project will advance the selected themes for this year.

When developing the project, applicants should keep in mind the safety of alumni and project beneficiaries, including unintended impacts the project may have on their security.

Purpose and summary, description, and implementation plan:  

When developing the purpose, summary, description, and implementation plan, applicants should aim to make all descriptions clear, concise, and compelling.  Reviewers will judge the proposals based on the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the community where it is undertaken.  Does the project address an important gap of understanding or need?  If the aim of the project is achieved, how will existing knowledge or practice be improved?  What audience do the applicants hope to reach with this project?  How many will participate?  How will they be selected?

Degree of alumni involvement:

Projects must include the involvement of at least two (2) exchange alumni.  More than two alumni may comprise the team; however, the minimum is two.  As the team leaders, the alumni must be closely involved in project planning, implementation, etc.  Applicants should ensure that the proposal includes the following information for each alumni team member: first name, last name, e-mail address, exchange program, country of citizenship, and roles and responsibilities.

Evaluation and Impact of the Project 

A monitoring & evaluation (M&E) plan is pivotal to project implementation and important for tracking progress towards the project’s objectives and goals.  An M&E plan should consider the data needed to effectively monitor progress toward specific outcomes as well as how that data will be collected.  Well-crafted indicators should be used to understand a program’s progress toward the desired results.  An M&E plan should be reviewed for the following: 

  • Completion 
  • Applicability and logic of objectives and indicators 
  • Clear approach to monitoring 
  • Adherence to SMART criteria – meaning that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound
  • Feasibility of baselines and targets 
  • Data quality plan 
  • Capacity to implement plan 

Sustainability: 

Project activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the project.

Communication, media and outreach plan: 

The project should include a clear plan and timeline for how and when the team will share information about the project.  

Budget and budget narrative

The budget and narrative justification are sufficiently detailed. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results.  The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve the proposed activities.  The results and proposed outcomes justify the total cost of the project.  Budget items are reasonable, allowable, and allocable.

Questions about the grant application process should be directed to LibyaUSAAlumni@state.gov.