Deadline: 31 May 2020
Public diplomacy programming strengthens cultural ties between the U.S. and Benin through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes 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.
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Proposals must explicitly address one or more of the Public Diplomacy Section’s priority objectives listed below:
- Entrepreneurship: Provide training to support and promote entrepreneurship, especially through sustained mentorship activities for women and youth, or to mentor entrepreneurs about how to identify additional training, funding, and programmatic opportunities to build the skills of young Beninese entrepreneurs; encourage entrepreneurship and enhance essential business skills, soft skills, and professional English skills among Beninese youth and underprivileged or marginalized groups. Support and expand access to and use of information technology.
- Women and underserved communities: non-profit activities, based on American culture and values or educational methods, to help prepare Beninese youth for competitive selection into U.S. government exchange programs and educational opportunities, including academic pursuits as well as extracurricular activities such as English clubs, leadership training, public speaking, problem solving, soft skills, critical thinking, computer literacy, and STEM. Promote American values such as religious freedom, inclusiveness and support for women and girls, people with disabilities, LGBT rights, ethnic minorities, victims of human trafficking, or underprivileged youth. Promote the leadership capabilities, professional development, educational opportunities, mentoring and economic prosperity of women.
- Media Literacy and Professional Journalism: activities that promote media literacy and critical thinking, or support the development of professional journalism, especially through community radio. Promoting freedom of expression, press, association, and religion through public dialogue and events.
- Alumni: strengthening of connections and cooperation among exchange program alumni, building public awareness of alumni efforts to support Benin achievement of the country’s sustainable development goals using skills developed directly as a result of their exchange program in the United States, recruiting new Beninese participants for U.S. government educational and cultural exchange programs.
Priority Program Areas
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Project proposals submitted through this APS should address one of the following Priority Program Areas:
- Media Literacy and Professional Journalism: activities that promote media literacy and critical thinking, or support the development of professional journalism, especially through community radio.
- Mentorship for Entrepreneurs: activities that provide sustained mentorship, based on American business practices and values, to entrepreneurs, and especially those that expand economic opportunities for women and underserved populations.
- Central and Northern Benin: activities that focus on or include an element of American cultural exchange or provide English language learning opportunities in the Collines, Donga, Atacora, Borgou, Alibori, and other areas without an established American Center or American Corner.
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- Total Amount Available: Approximately $90,000.00 anticipated, subject to availability of funds;
- Anticipated Award Amount: Generally, up to a maximum of $20,000. Minimum of $7,500;
- Anticipated Award Period: 12 months.
Activities and expenses that will not be funded include, but are not limited to:
- The purchase or long-term lease of space or buildings in support of program activities;
- Construction projects;
- For-profit activities;
- Individual travel to conferences;
- Scholarships to support educational opportunities or study for individuals;
- Funding ongoing projects, which would otherwise be funded through other means;
- Financial support for fundraising or fund development projects, including for charity;
- Projects that are inherently political in nature or that contain the appearance of
- Partisanship/support with an individual or single party in electoral campaigns;
- Political party and lobbying activities;
- Projects that support specific religious activities;
- Projects that are inherently development in nature, or that primarily consist of procuring
- Equipment or goods that will be given to an organization or individual;
- Microloans/microfinance projects, distribution of seed money for enterprises, and legal/land rights-focused programs are not allowable;
- Cash prizes for competitions;
- Business-class travel;
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Activities will only be funded within Benin. Geographic diversity within Benin may be considered in the merit review to break ties among applications with equivalent scores after evaluation against all other factors, with preference given to projects that focus the majority of activities outside of Cotonou.
Participants and Audiences
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PAS Cotonou requests that all applicants for awards stipulate who their target audience is (age/gender/geographic break down) and estimate the expected audience reach through direct contact and if possible, through indirect contact (via social media or traditional media).
- Eligibility is open to all individuals; non-profits, and non-governmental organizations who have at least one year of experience working on programs directly impacting Beninese populations. Organizations may sub-contract with other entities, but only one non-profit or non-governmental entity can be the prime recipient of the award. When sub-contracting with other entities, the responsibilities of each entity must be clearly defined in the proposal. U.S.-based organizations should submit a copy of their IRS determination letter. Benin-based organizations should submit a copy of their certificate of registration from the appropriate government organization.
- For-profit entities are not eligible to be the prime recipient of an award under this APS.
How to Apply
Applicants must ensure:
- All documents are in English;
- The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity;
- All budgets are in U.S. dollars;
- All pages are numbered and should not exceed ten (10) pages;
- All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.
All application materials must be submitted electronically at the address given on the website.
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