Applications are now open for the Stevens Initiative Coronavirus Response Fund.
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Through this response, the Stevens Initiative aims to engage anyone interested in bringing virtual exchange to youth in their community.
The Stevens Initiative is providing resources to help education, exchange, and non-profit organizations in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa conduct virtual exchange programs to engage young people and educators affected by the coronavirus crisis.
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The Initiative views virtual exchange as programs that: use online technology to connect individuals and small groups between countries; are based on a curriculum or activity plan; involve qualified facilitators (such as educators or others); and involve sustained communication and collaboration synchronously (in real-time) or asynchronously over a period of time.
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- Proposed projects are encouraged to focus on the following topics:
- Technology and computing
- World affairs and global studies
- Business and entrepreneurship
- Language learning and practice
- Public health and/or the coronavirus pandemic
- The Stevens Initiative is committed to reaching young people whose access to exchange programs has been limited, and to reaching diverse participants, including:
- Women and girls
- Underserved youth whose access to international exchange has been limited
- People with disabilities
- Minority groups
Anticipated Grant Size Range: $20,000 to $100,000.
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Maximum Grant Duration: June 1 – August 31, 2020.
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Activities must be conducted in the United States and in one or more of the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, the Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Programs involving refugees from these countries who are currently in countries not listed above are also eligible.
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Types of Grants
Applicants may submit a proposal for a grant supporting one of the following activities:
- Adapt (or develop a new variant of) and conduct an existing in-person exchange or education program into a summer virtual exchange;
- Adapt and conduct an existing virtual exchange program to the current global conditions (for example, finding ways to accommodate young people learning from home, engaging parents or guardians as facilitators or co-participants, or overhauling curricula), or offset unanticipated costs for a virtual exchange program caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
- Prepare those who conduct education or exchange programs to design, prepare for, and facilitate future virtual exchange programming.
Applying organizations must be based in the United States or in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Applicants based in the United States must be tax-exempt non-profit organizations, including educational institutions. Grant recipients must be registered to conduct proposed activities in the countries where the activities would take place, if applicable.
- Applicants based in the Middle East or North Africa must be non-profit organizations, including educational institutions, that can demonstrate current in country registration. Other organizations are not eligible to apply, though they may be included as sub-grantees or contract recipients. Staff should be proficient in English, able to file reports and conduct evaluations in English as well as in Arabic or French as appropriate.
- Organizations may submit more than one proposal (for the same or different grant types) if the proposed programs are distinct and do not involve any overlap in staff, curriculum, participants, etc.
- Participants should be young people in the age range that corresponds to the elementary school, middle school, high school, undergraduate, and graduate education levels, and young professionals under the age of 35.
- Past and current recipients of Stevens Initiative grants or U.S. Department of State funds are eligible to submit applications. These applications must be for programs that are different from these previously or currently funded activities and do not involve any overlap in staff, curriculum, participants, etc.
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- Need: The proposal clearly demonstrates the timeliness and relevance of the program during this time of crisis. The proposal outlines what participants will learn from the program, and why these outcomes are important. If the applicant proposes to conduct virtual exchange programming during the period of performance (grant types 1 and 2), the proposal outlines a clear value proposition for participants in both the United States and the Middle East and North Africa.
- Feasibility: The proposal demonstrates the feasibility of implementing the program activities – particularly in crisis conditions – as well as feasibility of the achieving the program’s stated learning goals.
- Cost-Effectiveness: The Stevens Initiative prioritizes helping organizations adapt to crisis conditions to reach a wide number of young people through virtual exchange. For applicants proposing to conduct a virtual exchange (grant types 1 and 2), the Initiative prioritizes funding proposals that demonstrate using existing resources well so that Stevens Initiative funding augments and improves plans and/or existing programs rather than using Stevens Initiative support as the main resource for a program. For applicants proposing to conduct preparations for future virtual exchange (grant type 3), the Stevens Initiative prioritizes funding proposals in which costs are suitable and appropriate given the projected number of beneficiaries when the virtual exchange is launched.
- Program Administration: The proposal demonstrates the organization’s capacity and knowledge to conduct the program and contains clear staffing and partnership plan; applicants proposing to conduct a virtual exchange (grant types 1 and 2) should also outline adequate and appropriate plans for program facilitation and technology.
- Content and Plan for Activities: The applicant presents a compelling, valuable, and appropriate program for the intended participants; proposed activities are clear. For applicants proposing to conduct a virtual exchange (grant types 1 and 2), preference will be given to proposals that address an Initiative priority topic.
- Equity of Access: Whether in proposed (grant types 1 and 2) or future (grant type 3) programming, the intended participants are clear, the participants’ needs and interests are well-matched to the program, and the proposed program contains a practical plan to prioritize reaching populations most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
For more information, visit https://www.stevensinitiative.org/pandemic-response-2020/