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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration > What We Are Saying > Fact Sheets and Newsletters > 2004
Fact Sheet
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Washington, DC
January 13, 2004

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Guidelines for Non-Governmental Organizations: FY 2004


The mission of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) is to provide protection, life-sustaining relief, and durable solutions for refugees and conflict victims, and promote the interests of the American taxpayer by working multilaterally to achieve operational productivity and burden-sharing.

Successful humanitarian action now and in the future rests on effective U.S. support for multilateral assistance efforts. PRMís primary activities are to support financially and diplomatically the efforts of the key humanitarian organizations that deal with displaced people, conflict victims, and migrants, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

PRM values its cooperation with non-governmental organization (NGO) partners for the implementation of humanitarian assistance activities worldwide. We traditionally fund NGO programs directly, to fill critical gaps and support the multilateral system. In carrying out these activities, we collaborate closely with colleagues at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to ensure that our respective efforts are mutually reinforcing and make the best use of our respective advantages.

PRMís primary refugee assistance and admissions goals relate to protection and the achievement of durable solutions. With respect to assistance that may be required in the pursuit of these two broad goals, PRMís main objective is to help ensure that refugees have access to basic life-sustaining resources in ways that meet internationally accepted standards of care in shelter, food supply, nutrition, water supply, sanitation, and public health. PRMís program priorities include the promotion of womenís equal access to resources -- and their participation in managing those resources -- especially the distribution of food and other relief items. PRM also focuses considerable attention on meeting the special needs of refugee and returnee children. Security and neutrality of refugee camps and humanitarian structures is also a key concern.

NGO Proposals

PRM welcomes the receipt of NGO proposals at any time. However, for some regions and issues (e.g. Balkans, Afghanistan, North Caucasus, Iraq, Sexual and Gender-based Violence), the Bureau issues specific policy and program priorities and invites NGOs to submit proposals within a limited period of time for review. Other regions and cross-sectoral issues are handled on a ďrollingĒ basis, that is, NGOs may submit proposals to fill a need as it arises with Bureau consideration granted shortly thereafter.

These guidelines are intended to help NGOs to prepare proposals that target PRMís current funding priorities and follow the required proposal format. NGOs are encouraged to review PRMís FY 2004 Congressional Presentation Document on the PRM website -- www.state.gov/g/prm -- for a snapshot of PRMís regional and functional priority areas for funding. NGO representatives are also encouraged to communicate directly with PRM program officers regarding priorities and funding timelines. NGOs that have never received PRM funding must be prepared to demonstrate that their organizations meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. Government before they can be eligible to receive PRM funding. Proposals that are not consistent with the guidance herein may be rejected without review.

Policy Priorities

Minimum Humanitarian Standards
NGO proposals should clearly use SPHERE standards as the basis for design, implementation, and evaluation, including proposed objectives and indicators.

One of PRMís primary programming concerns in some unstable parts of the world is that humanitarian workers not be exposed to undue risks. The U.S. Government strongly recommends that NGOs adhere to the UNís security guidelines in any given location. NGOs are encouraged to use InterActionís Security Planning Guidelines. If applicable, PRM also recommends reading the U.S. Embassyís travel advisory to the particular region concerning security at
http://travel.state.gov. All proposals should attach a copy of the written security protocols that will be followed in the project area and country. PRM will consider requests to fund security requirements on a case-by-case basis. We suggest that NGO personnel complete training in personal security. Proposals should describe the roles assigned to local staff and how programs can operate during times of extreme security threat. All security incidents or threats involving NGO staff should be promptly reported to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Office of the UN Security Coordinator (UNSECOORD), in addition to the relevant U.S. embassy. Failure to maintain adequate security precautions may result in PRM funding suspension.

Coordination with UN Agencies, Other NGOs, Donors
PRM places high priority on the extent to which NGO partners coordinate and collaborate closely with UN agencies, other NGOs, other USG agencies, and other donors in the project design and implementation of activities. Proposals should demonstrate the extent to which an NGO already coordinates and cooperates with the relevant UN agencies and other NGOs in its sector. Proposals are encouraged from NGOs that are experienced UN implementing partners since they will be able to demonstrate easily how their project fits into the activities planned by UN agencies and other NGOs. Projects must target critical gaps in UN/IO programs.

Codes of Conduct
PRM strongly supports the Inter-Agency Standing Committeeís Plan of Action to protect beneficiaries of humanitarian assistance from sexual exploitation and abuse, including the commitment to adopt codes of conduct embodying six principles. As a result, PRM partners must have Codes of Conduct (which should reflect the IASCís six core principles) signed and implemented within their respective organizations in order to benefit from PRM funding.

Sectoral Priorities
Underlying PRMís support for humanitarian assistance -- including water, sanitation, health, food and nutrition, shelter, self-sufficiency, education, and other relief interventions -- is a commitment to protection, targeted support to women and vulnerable individuals, coordination, sustainability of programming, and capacity building. NGOs in search of PRM funding would do well to address these specific areas in any proposals sent for funding.

Submitting Proposals

Each official submission to PRM must include a signed, dated cover letter on NGO letterhead, and the three USG-required certifications mentioned below (available on PRMís website at www.state.gov/g/prm. Organizations should submit their proposals to PRM Washington (after appropriate consultation with PRM field staff, if applicable). Proposals should be no more than 10 pages in length (not including budget, budget narrative, SF 424, SF 424A, SF424B, and required signed certifications). Proposals should provide information on the NGOís experience in the particular region in past years. PRM will fund no more than a 12 month program, but is willing to consider supporting multi-year programs in principle. The budget for the proposed program should identify not only the PRM request, but also those portions funded by the NGO itself, UNHCR, or other UN/IO agencies, USAID, or other donors. The proposal should include a budget narrative with sufficient detail by sector and objective. Applicants should mail submissions from their Headquarters to PRM Washington and send an electronic copy of the proposal by e-mail. Unless the proposal is in response to specific regional or cross-cutting issue guidelines,

NGO should submit proposals no later than June 30 for current fiscal year funding to:

Ms. Nicole Gaertner
NGO Coordinator
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
2401 E. St., NW
Suite L505, SA-1
Washington, DC 20522-0105
(202)663-1481 (phone)
(202)663-1002 (fax)

Proposal Format

Proposals submitted to PRM must be written according to the following format.

I.  Executive Summary


The executive summary should include the following information and be limited to one page:


  • Name of organization;
  • Contact information (headquarters and in-country);
  • Point of contact, titles;
  • Project title;
  • Countries/regions targeted by project;
  • Number and description of beneficiaries;
  • Proposed period of activity;
  • Total dollar amount of project -- include a breakdown of the dollar amount requested from PRM, the dollar amount provided through other sources, and the dollar amount of in-kind contributions;
  • Budget summary;
  • Brief project description -- in one succinct paragraph describe the problem and how it will be addressed. Also state the goal and expected results of the project.

II.  Problem Analysis


This section should provide the rationale and justification for the proposal as follows:


A.      Background

Describe the anticipated and/or known elements of the humanitarian emergency and/or problem, but only as they relate to the proposed project. Do not provide a general description of the humanitarian situation.


B.      Analysis
Provide a synthesis of assessments or other descriptive and analytical efforts that have been conducted to determine the nature of the problem. Indicate dates, sources of information, and describe the most critical needs, vulnerabilities, or capacities that were identified.


C.      Profile of the Target Population
At-risk populations should be qualified by number, current location, health status, length of time they have been in country of first asylum, percentage of beneficiaries who are refugees, IDPs, returnees, etc., and demographic characteristics including gender, age, and ethnicity (where political circumstances allow), and any other unique or germane factors distinguishing the population. Please explain, where appropriate, the relationships between direct and indirect beneficiaries. Please cite information sources.


D.      Need
Show how this proposal fills a gap in UNHCR or another IOís coverage of the beneficiary population.


III.  Program Goals and Objectives


A.      Program Goal
Define the goal, objectives and assumptions of the program. Organize the proposal based on the stated objectives that, in turn, should be distinct, quantifiable and measurable.


B.      Indicators
Provide measurable indicators for assessing progress toward achievement of each objective and explain how they are to be measured. SPHERE Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response should be used in developing indicators. For health projects, NGOs should use Crude Mortality Rate and Nutritional Status Under Five indicators for their programs.


IV.  Program Description


This is the core of a proposal. It should clearly and concisely outline the implementation plan for each objective including those elements described below, as appropriate. It should reflect a thorough understanding of the problem described in Section II.


A.      Implementation Plan
For each objective, provide a detailed implementation plan. Identify the targeted population. Describe any goods and services to be provided, and the standard of delivery used (i.e. SPHERE). If the standard of delivery differs from an accepted international standard, provide justification for the variance.


B.      Suggested Elements:

1.       Context-Specific Programming

         Ensure that the proposal reflects an understanding of the particular characteristics of the humanitarian emergency context.

2.       Beneficiary Interaction and Capacity Building

         Explain how the activity fits within, and enhances, the existing capacities of the beneficiary population. Indicate how the program draws upon and supports traditional coping mechanisms and involves the targeted population in its design and implementation.

3.       Coordination Efforts

         Indicate if this program will stand alone, or if it is part of a larger country program. Describe how the program fits into the broader country program, if applicable. Explain efforts to coordinate with UNHCR and other international organizations or NGOs to prevent overlap and duplication. Explain how the program will interface with and complement these programs, as applicable.

         Describe what other NGOs are doing in the same region, identify any links between their programs and yours, and explain how your activities are coordinated.

         Describe the proposed initiativeís possible regional (cross-border) implications.

4.        Codes of Conduct

         Proposals must include a copy of the NGOís Codes of Conduct (which should reflect the IASCís six core principles), and a discussion of how the codes of conduct will be reflected in project implementation.

5.       Management and Security

A.      Program management.  Provide details on the following areas of the programís management:

1.       Describe the organizationís management structure. Describe how this structure will be used to achieve the stated objectives.

2.       Provide examples of past performance that demonstrate the organizationís success in implementing similar programs.

B.      Security

1.       Describe the current security situation in the region of the programís operation.

2.       Provide details on the organizationís ability to achieve program objectives given the current level of insecurity. Describe how the program will respond to a deterioration of the security situation.

3.       Identify indicators that will be used to assess when program objectives cannot be met, and when the program would be suspended, due to security concerns.

4.       State whether or not your organization and its Board of Directors have adopted the InterAction Security Planning Guidelines. If not, explain. 


V.  Monitoring and Performance Measurement


A.      Monitoring Plan

Describe your monitoring plan. Include, at a minimum, the following elements in the description:

1.       A time line to help PRM track the programís progress.

2.       Indicators and details on how they will be measured, including frequency of the measurements, units of measure, dates when indicators will be met, etc.

3.       Monitoring tools such as clinic records, rapid assessment surveys, etc.

4.       Organizations that received FY 2003 funding from PRM should also include an assessment of their programsí success in meeting their goals.


B.      Performance measurement

Establish, where possible, baseline and expected performance targets for each objective.


VI.  Budget


Include a detailed budget that is broken down by each objective of the proposed program. Where possible, also break out budget by sector of activity (this should be facilitated by submission of SF 424, SF 424A, and SF424B).  Staffing and office needs often cannot be easily allotted to specific objectives/sectors and can be given for the whole program, if more appropriate. Be sure the budget also includes a breakdown of the dollar amount requested from PRM, the dollar amount(s) coming from other sources (including your own organization) and the dollar amount of in-kind contributions. Indicate clearly the funding source for each activity. The budget must also be accompanied by a summary budget of the major line items and a budget narrative. Identify subgrantees, if applicable, and in the case of health/family planning activities, whether those subgrantees are foreign-based.


Administrative Requirements


All submissions must include the following:

         Original proposal in triplicate

       Copy of the organizationís U.S. Government Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), if applicable.

         The following U.S. Government Certifications, signed and dated:

1.       Certification Regarding Lobbying

2.       Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters

3.       Certification Regarding Drug-free Workplace Requirements

          Completed Standard Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance; Standard Form 424-A, Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs; and Standard Form 424-B, Assurances for Non-Construction Programs

         Information in support of any cost-sharing/cost-matching arrangements

         Information detailing the source of any in-kind contributions

       Details on any sub-agreements associated with the program (should be part of the budget submission as noted above)

         Copy of the organizationís Code of Conduct, which should reflect the IASCís six core principles

       If the organization has not previously received funding from PRM, copies of 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) incorporation papers and 3) confirmation of non-profit tax status.  

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