2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity – U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund (SSH)

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Funding Opportunity Number: SMZ-500-FY20-01


Funding Opportunity Number: SMZ-500-FY20-01


CFDA Number: 19.345

Length of performance period: 06 to 12 months

Deadline for Applications: May 30, 2020

Anticipated award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000

Total available funding: $50,000

Type of Funding: FY19/20 Economic Support Funds under the Foreign Assistance Act

Anticipated program start date: September 2020

Number of awards anticipated: Five awards (depending on amounts)


The Embassy of the United States of America in Mozambique welcomes the submission of proposals for funding under the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Fund.  The SSH Fund assists Mozambican community organizations and groups to develop lasting, self-sustaining projects that benefit entire communities.

Purpose of Small Grants: In Mozambique, the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) program started in 1988 and allows the Embassy to respond quickly to local requests for small community-based development projects.  The SSH program across Africa received $2 million in 2019 through the Africa Regional Economic Support Fund.

Each project is expected to: 

      • Foster community self-reliance;
      • Have community participation and contribution – volunteer time and labor, donated land, equipment and materials — and the U.S. contribution must be on a one-time basis only;
      • Improve basic economic or social conditions at the local community or village level;
      • Be viable and sustainable in terms of finance, personnel support, necessary expertise and services;
      • Respect environmental norms for small projects; the proposed activity will not adversely affect protected or other sensitive environmental areas nor jeopardize threatened and endangered species and their habitat; and
      • Not exceed twelve months in duration.

Some examples of past SSH grants include: 

      • Water Projects – boreholes, irrigation, or water collection systems, storage tanks;
      • Health & Hygiene – latrines at schools and clinics, community gardens;
      • Environmental Projects – recycling, solar panel systems, organic fertilization production;
      • Education Projects – classrooms, community libraries; and
      • Income Generating Projects – oil press for nuts, maize milling facility, clothing production, carpentry tools, brick making machines.


      • Religious, military, or law enforcement activities;
      • Activities with unmitigated and negative environmental consequences (such as dams or roads through forest lands);
      • Procurement of vehicles;
      • Activities that benefit any employee of the United States Government;
      • Activities related to human rights;
      • Procurement of pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides;
      • Provision of capital to beneficiaries through either loans or grants;
      • Revolving credit schemes;
      • Lobbying for specific legislation or projects;
      • Purchase of alcohol, medicine, school uniforms, school fees, bursaries, or personal expense;
      • Purchase of food and food parcels;
      • Fees or salaries, including those for training, seminars, travel costs, or per diem; and
      • For used equipment – to avoid recurring maintenance and support cost. There is a general policy for financing only new equipment unless it is simple in design and spare parts are available locally.

This notice is subject to availability of funding.


      • Applications must be submitted in English.
      • A copy of the organization’s registration should be included with the proposal.
      • The proposal must not exceed 5 pages (Times New Roman, font size 12 and single line spacing), and must include the following information: o
        • Summary page
        • Name of the organization or group, address and target group o Proposal summary
        • Problem Statement o Project objectives and activities
        • Number of beneficiaries broken down by gender o Project location
        • Work plan for implementation of activities o Monitoring and reporting plan o Detailed budget o Program Partners o Future Funding or Sustainability o Brief description of key personnel



1. Eligible Applicants


The SSH Program will only accept proposals from:

      • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including civil society/non-governmental, organizations headquartered in Mozambique.
      • Established, registered grassroots community-based organizations (CBOs) and Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) headquartered in Mozambique.
      • Applicants must display sound management in the form of financial and administrative procedures that protect against fraud, waste, and abuse.
      • For-profit, commercial entities and individuals are not eligible to apply.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is required in the form of significant “community contributions” through cash, labor, or materials as well as an investment in time and labor to promote a sustainable project outcome.  

3. 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.



1. Address to Request Application Package

Application forms required below are available at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf424family.html or the U.S. Embassy Maputo website at https://mz.usembassy.gov/embassy/maputo/usambassadorsspecialselfhelpsshprogram/.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

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.

Content of Application

Please ensure:

      • The proposal 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.
      • Applicants are strongly encouraged to utilize the proposal template.
      • The following documents are required:
        • Application forms (Word 42KB)
        • SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance)
        • SF424A (Budget)
        • SF424B (Assurances)
        • Copy of organizations registration certificate



Any costs incurred in preparation of your proposal or in advance of an award will not be reimbursed.


Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. Mozambique Time  on May 30, 2020 and must be submitted electronically to: Maputopoleconssh@state.gov.


1. Criteria

Full applications will be evaluated against the evaluation criteria described below.

Organizational experience, capacity, and record on previous grants: The organization has experience and expertise in its stated field and the Community Grants Office is confident of its ability to undertake the proposed project. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.  

Feasibility of Design: Clearly articulates how the activities will lead to overall objectives. Objectives must be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The timeline for the project completion is one year or less.  

Goals and objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated, and project approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results. 

Embassy priorities: Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support the U.S. Embassy priorities stated in this document. The number of people to benefit will be considered when determining if a project can be funded.  

Reasonable and Realistic Budget: The budget justification is detailed. Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.  

Monitoring and evaluation plan: Applicant demonstrates it can measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The project includes output and outcome indicators and shows how and when those will be measured.  

Sustainability & Financial Self Reliance: The project is focused on results building and strengthening the capacity of the community. Include a detailed plan for sustaining the activities beyond the life of the grant. Includes description of community contribution (cash, labor, materials) and their involvement with a plan to continue and build on project results.


2. Review and Selection Process

The Community Grants Office will conduct a preliminary review of all applications to determine completeness. If the proposal does not meet the funding guidelines, the applicant will be informed. If the proposal meets the criteria, the Coordinator may schedule a site visit to discuss the proposal and review the organization’s capacity. All projects eligible for funding are then reviewed by the U.S. Embassy Community Grants Committee, which will evaluate all eligible/complete applications and recommend funding priorities to the Ambassador for his or her final approval. The Community Grants Office will notify each applicant about the status of its proposal.


1. Federal Award Notices

The Grant agreements will be written, signed, and awarded by the Grants Officer and administered by the Grants Officer or Grants Officer Representative. The Grant agreement is the authorizing document and will be provided to the recipient for review prior to signature.  The recipient shall not incur project expenses prior to explicit authorization by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Embassy has no obligation to provide any additional future funding following project completion. Modification of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Embassy.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. Government, nor does it commit the U.S. Government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method: Payments will be made by electronic funds transfer in at least two installments, as needed, to carry out the project activities.  Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.   

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Terms and Conditions: Before applying, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply. These include: 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm.

*Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.  

3. Reporting

Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial and program reports. The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.


If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact the Community Grants Office at Maputopoleconssh@state.gov or call (+258) 21-492797 # 3012.

Note: We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the NOFO. 



Guidelines for Budget Justification 

Personnel: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.   

Equipment: Describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit. Purchase of used equipment is not permitted.  

Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, devices, that are needed for the project. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then include it in the budget under “Equipment.” 

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor. Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.  

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.  

Indirect Costs: These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the project activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  Organizations may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.  

Cost Sharing: Refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy. It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.


The Embassy will notify FINALISTS and may request the following


      • Official permission letters, if required for program activities.
      • A list of Committee/Board members with their names, positions, addresses, and phone numbers.
      • If applicable, a copy of your valid registration certificates issued by related government entity.
      • Primary contact and alternate contact’s CVs
      • A list of all people working in the organization (including all staff and volunteers) with names, positions and starting dates
      • Copies of your most recent bank statements for your organization
      • A copy of the most recent audited financial statement (if applicable)
      • A stamp of approval from a local authority 

FINALISTS must also complete the following:

The registrant or entity is required to register in each of these websites by initially creating a Username and Password in all sites.

Legal Business Name and Address must be precise and MATCH EXACTLY when entering the D&B DUNS, NCAGE, and SAM websites. Legal Business Name and Address given must be the same—this includes spaces, parentheses, capitalization, small letters, punctuation, etc. 


Please apply for the D&B DUNS Number and NCAGE Code (steps 1 and 2 below) at the same time to reduce waiting time of information.


Steps to Register for an organization DUNS number, or retrieve an existing DUNS number:

      • Navigate to http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform
      • Click “Begin DUNS Search”
      • Choose your country and fill out a short form.
      • D&B will list up to 3 matches. If your entity is not listed, choose “request new DUNS” and continue from there.
      • Note: You will need the following information to request a DUNS Number: Name of your organization, Organization address, Phone number of the organization, Name of the CEO/organization owner, Legal structure of the organization (corporation, partnership, proprietorship), Year the organization started, Primary line of business, Total number of employees (full and part time).
      • D&B generally responds to each web form submittal within 24-48 hours.
      • A DUNS Number is 9-digits
      • For assistance, contact: +001 866-705-5711 or +001 855-760-3334 or SAMHELP@dnb.com



Steps to Register for an NCAGE Code:

      • Web browser should be Internet Explorer
      • A foreign registrant must log into: CAGE Code Request at: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx  
      • Once in the NATO Codification Tools website, scroll to the right-hand corner and click the “Magnifying Glass.” The magnifying glass will open a new page.
      • In the next webpage scroll down the right-hand side until you see “Request New CAGE,” click on this link and it will take you to the next page to apply for an NCAGE Code Number.
      • Note: When asked if the entity to be registered is a supranational organization, please click “No” if you are not part of a member state.
      • The Code is a five-character ID number and will take 4-5 business days
      • Validate the newly assigned NCAGE via the Business Identification Number Cross- Reference System (BINCS) https://www.dlis.dla.mil/bincs/begin_search.aspx
      • If the assigned NCAGE is not listed in BINCS, the recipient should call 269-961-4623 or send a message to NCAGE@NSPA.NATO.INT

For help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766 or email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in obtaining an NCAGE code.




      • Web browser should be either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
      • Register in SAM by navigating to https://www.sam.gov
      • Remember, if you had an active record in CCR, you have an active record in SAM. To check, please conduct a “search” for your record by typing in the organization name and/or DUNS Number in SAM. If you are not registered, your organization or entity will not be found.
      • When initially registering with SAM, please create a user account and input all information in the exact manner as you have for the D&B DUNS and NCAGE. Note that new registrations can take an average of 7-10 business days to process in SAM.
      • Note: What about a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)? You only need a TIN if your entity pays U.S. taxes. If you are located outside of the U.S. and do not pay employees within the U.S., you are not required to obtain a federal Tax Identification Number (TIN). When registering in SAM, simply leave the TIN/EIN information blank.

If you encounter any error, please contact the SAM Federal Service Desk to report problem at https://www.fsd.gov/clients. There is a standard (not toll free) number that customers can use: +001 334-206-7828.

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet as well as a SAM registration which are both free of charge.

The U.S. Embassy will verify your SAM.gov registration status before awarding grants.