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Administrative Support of American Corners in Turkmenistan

ID: PDS-ASHGABAT-CA-FY24-006 • Type: Posted

Description

Executive Summary

The U.S. Embassy Ashgabat, Turkmenistan announces an open competition to implement a program to operate three (3) American Corners in Turkmenistan in Dashoguz, Mary and Turkmenabat. Other American Corners may be developed at the direction of the Public Diplomacy Section. American Spaces in Turkmenistan is a network of PD-funded cultural centers, which are a global network of over 600 State Department-sponsored cultural centers. The American Spaces in Turkmenistan conduct youth-oriented cultural and experiential learning programs to improve skills in English, STEM, entrepreneurship, and climate change awareness. The primary audience for these programs will be Turkmen youth, including girls and women, school and university students, teachers, young professionals, especially from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and USG alumni. The award recipient will be responsible for overseeing administrative aspects of the American Spaces program, to include staffing of selected corners, training logistics, and equipment and facility maintenance. The recipient will also assist in implementing American Spaces programming with significant Public Diplomacy Section input and assistance to ensure the programming meets Mission goals and objectives. Potential implementor will also be responsible for planning, executing, closing, and monitoring and evaluation of all the activities and programs conducted at the American Corners.

The expected date range for implementation of this project is May 1, 2025 to April 30, 2026. Please follow the instructions below for the application.

Background

American Spaces are the premier public diplomacy platform of the U.S. Embassy Ashgabat in Turkmenistan that has been strengthening mutual understanding and friendship between the people of Turkmenistan and the United States of America for almost 20 years. American Spaces are located in Ashgabat, Dashoguz, Mary and Turkmenabat and offer English resources and development opportunities to meet interests of diverse audiences, while also serving as gateways for the Turkmen citizens to learn about American society, culture and education. The American Spaces are well known in the community for their regular English-language activities, such as conversation groups with native speakers, workshops with visiting specialists, and regular presentations by Americans on U.S. life and culture. American Spaces also partner with international and local organizations (e.g., the Smithsonian Institution) to conduct highly impactful programs, such as the Academy for Women Entrepreneurship in partnership with Arizona State University's School of Global Management, a variety of STEM programs to introduce local youth to web design and app development, as well as book festivals and eco festivals.

Project Audiences

The primary audiences for American Spaces in Turkmenistan are:

a. School and university students

b. School and university teachers

c. Young professionals, such as current/aspiring entrepreneurs

d. Girls and women

e. Civil society representatives

f. USG programs alumni

Project Goal

To deepen mutual understanding, foster collaboration and cultivate partnerships between the people of the United States and Turkmenistan through free-of-charge cultural and experiential learning programs conducted at American Corners in all the regions of Turkmenistan: Dashoguz, Mary and Turkmenabat.

Project Objectives

Objective 1. Oversee and administer American Corners operations within the allocated budget over a 12-month period, demonstrated by implementation of innovative solutions to technical and logistical challenges, maintenance of staff's high professional standards, and cost-efficient maintenance of spaces, while maintaining the modern aesthetic and accessibility standards of American Spaces.

The implementer will maintain the American Corners' physical space in safe, accessible, and welcoming and inspiring environment that is designed in accordance with modern American Spaces branding recommendations; provide logistical support with procurement, shipping and technical and Internet service to meet the Corners' programming needs; and constantly seek opportunities to reduce the cost of rent; hire and retain top talent to work at American Corners, provide professional development to staff; and ensure publicity of Corner offerings and programs via social/print media.

The American Spaces standards mandate that all American Corners maintain collections of books, magazines, computer workstations, and an area for programs. All materials at the American Corners to include internet access must be free and open to the public. American Corners may vary in size, but have the following minimum characteristics:

Secure location with public access;

Minimum size of approximately 100 square meters;

Library containing a minimum of 500 English books selected and provided by the U.S. Mission;

Program venue to accommodate 20 people;

Open and accessible to women and girls;

Accessible to people with disabilities;

Furniture, such as:

o 15 20 chairs

o 2 3 reading tables

o 5 8 computer desks

o 2 office desks with chair

Equipment, such as:

o 1 printer

o 1 copier

o 1 scanner

o 1 digital camera

o 1 2 gas heaters as required

o 1 air conditioner as required

o 5 10 computer workstations

o 5 8 uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units

o 1 laptop

o 5-10 iPads

o 1 projector & screen

o 1 sound system (speakers + mic for public programs)

o 3D Printer

o MakerSpace robotic and technology materials

The three existing American Corners in Dashoguz, Mary and Turkmenabat already have the equipment and furniture mentioned above, which will be made available for the new implementing partner.

Objective 2. Design and execute a range of diverse programming activities across six core areas of American Spaces (explained below) in alignment with Mission goals, demonstrated by sustained participation and increases in participant turnout.

American Spaces operate based on the global standards of the American Spaces program. These standards mandate that every American Corner offer programming in six core areas free of charge for all the participants:

1. English language teaching and learning: Increase English language proficiency and instructional skills of English language learners and English language teachers, particularly for underserved audiences by facilitating a wide range of programs that build the skills of English language teachers and promote English language learning. American Corners provide access to English language speakers and professional development/teacher training resources provided by the State Department.

2. Information about the United States: Increase awareness and understanding of our primary audiences about American history, culture, and society through people-people diplomacy. American Corners also offer collections of English books, videos, newspapers, magazines, photo galleries, and Internet access and ensure these collections remain accurate, up to date, and audience appropriate.

3. Educational advising: Increase the knowledge and skills of high-school students on higher education opportunities in the United States by providing accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date guidance on applying to U.S. colleges and universities.

4. Alumni engagement: Support continuing engagement with alumni of U.S. exchange programs and cultural enrichment programs, connecting them to local audiences by sharing their U.S. experience and expertise to benefit the local communities.

5. Skills Building: Develop skills and increase capacity of the Turkmen population to meet global challenges, mitigate crises, increase trade, support inclusive and sustainable economic growth and opportunity and strengthen resilience to economic, technological, environmental and other global challenges. American Corners continue offering programs to meet interests of diverse audiences in the regions especially by organizing projects that promote English language, innovation, entrepreneurship, environmental protection, and gender equality in STEM, as well as teach skills such as critical thinking and media literacy, resume writing and job promotion, how to launch entrepreneurial or social development projects, how to use makerspace equipment to conduct projects.

6. Strategic Cultural Programs: Foster people-to-people connections, increase understanding and build respect towards the United States with Turkmenistan audiences through cultural programs, that can include visual and performing arts, film, literature, health, food culture/cuisine, sports, science and technology, volunteerism, makerspace activities, environment, civil society, and entrepreneurship introducing Turkmen audiences to virtually any aspect of culture, from an American perspective. American Corners are encouraged to take advantage of the full scope of cultural programming resources offered by the State Department, including arts, sports, and science envoys; speaker programs; films; the GLOBE program (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment); Model UN programs; and print and digital offerings developed by the State Department and the Smithsonian Institution.

Objective 3. Establish sustained partnerships with local organizations to curate and implement cultural and experiential learning initiatives for local communities, demonstrated by increased number of joint outreach efforts. Examples of those public engagement initiatives can include joint Book Festivals, Cultural Concerts, Eco Festivals, film screenings, and regional and national competitions.

Objective 4. Increase participation of primary audiences from the regions in U.S. Embassy programs by facilitating access to exchange programs, training opportunities, and study tours, demonstrated by the increase in qualified applicants from the regions.

Background
The U.S. Embassy Ashgabat, Turkmenistan is seeking an implementing partner to operate and oversee three American Corners in Turkmenistan, with the potential for additional corners to be developed. The American Corners are part of a network of PD-funded cultural centers that conduct youth-oriented cultural and experiential learning programs to improve skills in English, STEM, entrepreneurship, and climate change awareness. The primary audience for these programs includes Turkmen youth, girls and women, school and university students, teachers, young professionals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and USG alumni.

Grant Details
The award recipient will be responsible for overseeing administrative aspects of the American Spaces program, staffing selected corners, training logistics, equipment and facility maintenance, planning and executing diverse programming activities across six core areas of American Spaces (English language teaching and learning, information about the United States, educational advising, alumni engagement, skills building, strategic cultural programs), establishing sustained partnerships with local organizations to curate and implement cultural and experiential learning initiatives for local communities, and increasing participation of primary audiences from the regions in U.S. Embassy programs.

Eligibility Requirements
Eligible applicants must have experience in program management and administration, as well as a demonstrated ability to engage with diverse audiences. Preference may be given to organizations with a proven track record in implementing similar cultural and educational programs.

Period of Performance
The expected date range for implementation of this project is May 1, 2025 to April 30, 2026.

Place of Performance
The specific locations for performance include Dashoguz, Mary and Turkmenabat in Turkmenistan.

Overview

Category of Funding
Other (see text field entitled "Explanation of Other Category of Funding Activity" for clarification)
Funding Instruments
Cooperative Agreement
Grant Category
Discretionary
Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement
False
Source
On 3/20/24 the Department of State posted grant opportunity PDS-ASHGABAT-CA-FY24-006 for Administrative Support of American Corners in Turkmenistan. The grant will be issued under grant program 19.040 Public Diplomacy Programs.

Timing

Posted Date
March 20, 2024, 12:00 a.m. EDT
Closing Date
May 20, 2024, 12:00 a.m. EDT Due in 30 Days
Last Updated
March 20, 2024, 7:48 a.m. EDT
Version
1
Archive Date
June 19, 2024

Eligibility

Eligible Applicants
Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification)
Additional Info
The following organizations are eligible to apply: • Not-for-profit organizations • Civil society/non-governmental organizations For-profit entities are not eligible to apply for this NOFO. Organizations may sub-contract with other entities, but only one, non-profit, 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.

Award Sizing

Ceiling
$250,000
Floor
$200,000
Estimated Program Funding
Not Provided
Estimated Number of Grants
Not Listed

Contacts

Contact
Maysa Nepesova Grantor
Contact Phone
99361025342

Documents

Posted documents for PDS-ASHGABAT-CA-FY24-006

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