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U.S. Department of Agriculture

Foreign Agricultural Service

Office of Capacity Building and Development

Food Assistance Division

McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program


Opportunity Announcement

CFDA Number: 10.608

Issue Date: May 7, 2013

Application Due Date:  August 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time




A. AUTHORITY: The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (McGovern-Dole) is authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, as amended.

B. PURPOSE: The McGovern-Dole program provides for the donation of agricultural commodities and the provision of financial and technical assistance to improve the education, food security and health of school-age children, especially girls, in developing countries. Commodities are made available for donation through agreements with Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs), cooperatives, intergovernmental organizations, and foreign governments.

C.  PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: For this announcement, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is concentrating McGovern-Dole program resources toward improving the education and health of school aged children. To support the achievement of these goals, FAS has developed two results frameworks for the McGovern-Dole program.  Applicants must contribute to the Literacy Results Framework with the highest-level result: “Improved Literacy of School-aged Children.”  Proposals that do not contribute to this highest-level result will not be funded in FY 2014.  The Good Health and Dietary Practices Results Framework shows “Increased Use of Good Health and Dietary Practices” as its highest result.  This result contributes to one of the lower-level results in the Literacy Results Framework.  Applicants are encouraged to contribute to this framework, but are not required.  Applications must provide a target for each result indicator and an explanation supporting the target to be reached.

FAS considers sustaining the benefits made to literacy, attendance, and enrollment of equal importance. Therefore all applications must include a plan to graduate project activities to the host country or other organization that consists of specific activities linked to specific results in the framework and timelines for achieving them.  A matrix of illustrative activities that support sustainability is available on the FAS Web site.  (For more information on these frameworks and how to incorporate them into applications, please see Annex 1 of the Proposal Guidance on the FAS Website at the following address:

Additionally, reducing the incidence of hunger and improving general health continues to be a priority of the McGovern-Dole program.  Applications should address appropriate ration and serving size for all meals provided and provide specific information on the nutritional and micronutrient deficiencies of the targeted beneficiaries.  Applications must also provide information on any proposed food safety, nutrition, and commodity storage, transportation and preparation trainings to be conducted for beneficiaries.  Further, applications should consider the incorporation of de-worming medications and optimal feeding times as these items are instrumental in achieving improved learning outcomes through reduced hunger.

D. PRIORITY COUNTRIES AND REGIONS: FAS will give priority consideration to otherwise acceptable applications that align with its established McGovern-Dole priority countries and regions as listed below.





Cote d'Ivoire

All Regions


Alibori Department (Districts of Godounou, Karimama, Malanville, and Segbana), Borgou Department (District of Kalale), and Atlantique Department (District of So-Ava)


Bui Division of the Northwest Region







Departments of:  Carazo, Chinandega, Chontales, Esteli, Jinotega, Madriz, Leon, Managua, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia, and Rivas


Far-West and Mid-West regions


Northern regions, including Kurigram and Gaibandha districts


Provinces of Luangnamtha, Phongsaly, Saravane, Sekong, Oudumxay, and Attapeu

Burkina Faso

Provinces of Bam and Sanmatenga


Matam Region


Cacheu, Quinera, Oio, Bissau, Biombo, Tombali, and Bolama/Bijagos


For existing projects, FAS expects that proposed projects will build upon existing programming reaching, as much as possible, the same beneficiaries as currently targeted by McGovern-Dole program participants.   Applications must focus on implementing activities that move these projects toward sustainability.  Further, applications must align with the McGovern-Dole frameworks mentioned in Section 1, Part C of this announcement and have a strong literacy focus.  FAS will consider proposals from all organizations, including current program participants and new organizations. For a list of existing McGovern-Dole projects please visit:


A.  TYPE OF AWARD: All awards will be made in the form of competitive grants.

B. ESTIMATED FUNDING: FAS expects to award approximately $170 million in FY 2014. This number may change based on the annual appropriation that FAS receives.

C. AWARD SIZE: Grants provided under the McGovern-Dole program normally average $10-$15 million. 

D. EXPECTED NUMBER OF AWARDS: FAS typically awards 7-10 new McGovern-Dole program grants annually.

E.  ANTICPATED START DATE: Funded projects are anticipated to start in September 2014.

F. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Project implementation is normally 3 years. 



A. ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Applicants must meet eligibility requirements stated in the McGovern-Dole Program Regulations (7 CFR 1599.3) as follows:

(a) An entity will be eligible to become a participant only after FAS determines that the entity has:

(1)    Organizational experience in implementing and managing awards, and the capability and personnel to develop, implement, monitor, report on, and provide accountability for activities in accordance with 7 CFR 1599;

(2)    Experience working in the proposed targeted country;

(3)    An adequate financial framework to implement the activities the entity proposes to carry out under the McGovern-Dole program. In order to determine whether the entity is financially responsible, FAS requires that it submit its most recent audited financial statement to include the A-133 supplemental (if applicable). FAS may also require it to submit corporate policies and other financial materials that have been audited or otherwise reviewed by a third party;

(4)    A person or agent located in the United States with respect to which service of judicial process may be obtained by FAS on behalf of the entity; and

(5)     An operating financial account in the proposed targeted country, or a satisfactory explanation for not having such an account and a description of how a McGovern-Dole program agreement would be administered without such an account.

(b) In determining whether an entity will be eligible to be a participant, FAS may consider the entity's previous compliance or noncompliance with the provisions of 7 CFR 1599 and 7 CFR 1499.  FAS may consider matters such as whether the entity corrected deficiencies in the implementation of an agreement in a timely manner and whether the entity has filed timely and accurate reports and other submissions that are required to be filed with FAS and other agencies of the United States.

B. COST SHARING: Cost sharing is not required but is encouraged.  Applicants must document any cost sharing in their proposal submissions, as per 7 CFR 1599.4(d)(7).

C. SYSTEM FOR AWARD MANAGEMENT: Each applicant must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application.  The applicant must maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application under consideration by an agency.  The applicant must provide its DUNS number in each application it submits.




A. APPLICATION CONTENT: Applications for funding under the McGovern-Dole program must submit the information specified in 7 CFR 1599.4, which includes a completed form SF-424, an introduction that includes strategic analysis, a plan of operation, and a proposed budget.  Additionally, applications must include a completed form AD-3030, past performance records, CV for Chief of Party or Country Director, project-level framework(s), a performance monitoring plan, and an evaluation plan.  Also, if applicable, proposals must include the applicant’s most recent audited financial statement and NICRA determination (if indirect costs are included in the proposed budget).  All attachments must be submitted in PDF format.  Additional guidance on preparing the required proposal components can be found on the FAS Food Aid website at the following address:

B. METHOD OF SUBMISSION: The entire application package must be submitted electronically through the proposal entry module of FAS’s Food Aid Information System (FAIS), located at:  For guidance on entering proposals in FAIS, please see Appendix V of the Proposal Guidance.

C. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: All applications must be submitted to USDA in the FAIS system by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, August 2, 2013.  Applications received after this date will not be considered.  FAS advises applicants to begin the entering application early, to allow time to address any technical difficulties that may arise.  There will be no exceptions to this application deadline.

D. PUBLIC INFORMATION SESSION: USDA will hold a public information session to answer questions related to this announcement.  The public information session will be held on May 21, 2013 in room Hemisphere A (concourse level) of the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW in Washington DC from 8:30 am to 10:00 am.  Applicants who want to participate in the meeting by phone or the internet should send an e-mail to for instructions.  Applicants are encouraged to submit questions to prior to the public information session for USDA to answer at the session.   USDA will post questions and answers related to the solicitation at the following address:



A. CRITERIA: FAS will use the following criteria when reviewing proposals.

1. INITIAL REVIEW CRITERIA:  Prior to a comprehensive merit evaluation, FAS will perform an initial review to determine that:

a)  The applicant is eligible for an award;

b)  All information required by the announcement has been submitted; and

c)  The proposed project addresses the program priorities stated in this announcement.

2. MERIT REVIEW CRITERIA: FAS will evaluate proposals using the following criteria.  It will also take into account negative factors that can reduce an application’s total score.

a)      Introduction and Strategic Analysis (45%)

Explanation of Need and Proposed Response

  1. Does the project design incorporate the solicitation's priority countries and geographic regions?
  2. Does the applicant have a working relationship with and support from the recipient government and did they work together to develop the proposed activities?
  3. Does the application describe what other stakeholders (host government, USG, other donors, private sector, etc.) are already doing to promote primary education & literacy and reduce the incidence of hunger through school feeding? Does the application explain how the proposed project will complement, and not duplicate these activities? 
  4. Does the application explicitly describe its coordination with published USG and host government development strategies?
  5. Does the application explain the need for the proposed activities, taking into account: 1) The country's current school feeding operations and funding resources, if they exist, and the length and sessions of a typical school year; and (2) Teacher training, parent-teacher associations, community infrastructure, and health, nutrition, water and sanitation conditions?
  6. Does the application explain how activities link to specific results within the Project-Level Framework?
  7.  Does the application provide a description of how the project-level framework supports the MGD Program Results Framework?
  8. Does the application explain the need for specific results and the reasoning for including or excluding other results in the McGovern-Dole program-level frameworks, including a justification if new results were added, and a list of critical assumptions for the proposed project?

Sustainability and Graduation

  1. Does the application provide a concrete plan with measurable targets on how the benefits of education, enrollment, and school attendance of children within the target communities will be sustained beyond McGovern-Dole support? 
  2. Does the proposed project work with public, private and/or local partners to sustain the benefits to education, enrollment and school attendance?
  3. Has the applicant successfully graduated any food aid or education projects, including those funded by USG agencies?   If an existing project; will the project carry forward activities with the same beneficiaries towards the same goals as the prior project, building upon previous results showing progression towards sustainability and graduation?
  4. Does the application provide a concrete timeline that shows the progression towards graduation with measurable and achievable targets at each stage?

Local Capacity Building

  1. Does the applicant have established partnerships and support from indigenous institutions / beneficiary groups / local communities; and does the proposed project involve these groups in the development and implementation of activities to foster local capacity building and leadership?

Commitment to Education

  1. Does the application include a statement verifying the commitment of the host government through a national action plan, toward the goals of the World Declaration on Education for All convened in 1990 in Jomtien, Thailand, and the follow-up Dakar Framework for Action of the World Education Forum, convened in 2000?

Organizational Capability and Experience

  1. Does the applicant establish project management capability, including its ability to implement, supervise, and support proposed project activities?
  2. Does the applicant have past experience with implementing food aid projects with particular emphasis on school feeding, education, literacy, health, and nutrition?
  3. Does the applicant have relevant experience working in the targeted country?
  4. Is the applicant registered in country or does it offer a plan to become registered?

Program Administration

  1. Does the application include appropriate positions and management structure for the program and appropriate CVs for key personnel positions?

b)      Commodity Management (15%)

  1. Does the application clearly describe the appropriateness of each type of commodity requested? Does the application clearly describe why each type of commodity was requested?  
  2. Does the application include port, warehouse, and handling capacity in country as it relates to the commodity, tonnage, and packaging?
  3. Does the application address specific country concerns, including customs exemptions, import barriers, tariffs, etc.?
  4. Does the application provide a clear explanation of how the requested commodities and ration size will help address the nutritional needs and micronutrient deficiencies of the intended beneficiaries?
  5. Does the application describe the ration, including serving size, which will be served to the children in school?
  6. Does the application describe the intended (per serving) nutritional contribution from the ration such as calories, protein and other key micronutrients that are age appropriate? 
  7. Does the application explain how the cook and food handlers will be trained in safe food and commodity preparation and other general nutrition education to ensure that each child receives the proper portion of safe food to meet the intended nutritional intake? 
  8. Does the application list all training materials related to the transportation and handling of commodities and ration preparation and portion sizing that were/will be developed using McGovern-Dole funding?

c)       Results and Activities (30%)


  1. Are the proposed results achievable, realistic, and meaningful?
  2. Does the application incorporate results and the corresponding standard and illustrative indicators from the McGovern-Dole results frameworks?
  3. Does the application include results targets for each result indicator listed?
  4. Does the project-level results framework follow the application guidance and effectively illustrate the relationship among activities, results, and strategic objectives? 
  5. Does the application include a performance monitoring plan (PMP) which follows the application guidance and will allow the applicant to effectively measure results?
  6. Does the application present a comprehensive and realistic plan to evaluate the proposed program and its impact, in accordance with FAS’s evaluation policy?


  1. Do the activity descriptions clearly include information on assessments or best practices used to inform project design regarding literacy, school feeding, and other activities that enhance program effectiveness?
  2. Are the activities’ output indicators and targets attainable, realistic, and meaningful?
  3. Do activities’ output indicators accurately capture each activity’s scope, beneficiaries reached, and deliverables?
  4. Does the application provide a full explanation of the target beneficiary population and a sufficient rationale for why they were chosen?
  5. Does the application describe the capacity of all subrecipients and their role in project implementation?
  6. Do the activity Is the number of beneficiaries realistic for the proposed activities?

d)      Budget and Overall Quality (10%)

Other Details

  1. Did the applicant use this section to adequately describe Cash or Non-cash Contributions; Subrecipients; Government and Non-Governmental Agencies; Method of Educating the Public; and the Method of Choosing Beneficiaries, per 7 CFR 1599.4?

Proposed Budget

  1. Does the application contain an adequate budget narrative that justifies the overall cost of the project and each administrative expense type and activity line item?
  2. Is the project cost-effective with regard to the proposed activities, beneficiaries, and results?

Overall Application Quality

  1. Are all sections of the applications consistent?
  2. Is the application clearly and concisely written?

e)      The following negative factors will reduce the application’s total score:

  1. FAS has terminated an agreement with the organization within the past 3 years as a result of a violation of the agreement by the organization.
  2. The organization has failed to pay a single substantial debt, or a number of outstanding debts (not including sums owed the Federal Government under the Internal Revenue Code) owed to any Federal agency or instrumentality, provided the debt is uncontested by the organization or, if contested, provided that the organization's legal and administrative remedies have been exhausted.
  3. The organization has failed to submit to FAS, or has submitted more than 5 business days after the due date, at least two required reports within the past 3 years.  Required documentation includes logmon/semi-annual performance reports, financial reports, evaluation plans, baseline data, interim and final evaluations, A-133 audits, subrecipient agreements and all other documentation required in the organization’s agreement.
  4. The organization has, on at least two occasions within the past 3 years, failed to respond, or responded more than 5 business days late, to an FAS deadline for documents required during a compliance review or during the close-out of an agreement.
  5. The organization has been designated high-risk by FAS, another Federal Government Agency or external auditor within the past three years and/or the organization’s most recent A-133 identifies material weaknesses.
  6. The organization has experienced a significant commodity loss valued at $20,000 or greater for which it was responsible during the past three years and/or the organization failed to notify FAS within 15 days of any commodity loss valued over $1,000 during the past 3 years.


The selection official will consider the following program policy factors in the selection process:

a)      It may be desirable to select projects for award that build upon existing program activities to reach the benefits of graduation and sustainability.

b)      It may be desirable to select projects that collectively represent diverse countries, types of projects, and sizes of applicant organizations.

c)       It may be desirable to select projects for award based on the Applicant’s past Federal Award performance with respect to achieving program results.

While these factors are not indicators of the application’s merit, they may be essential to the process of selecting the application(s) that, individually or collectively, are most likely to achieve the program objectives.  Such factors may be beyond the control of the applicant.  Applicants should recognize that very good applications may not receive an award because they do not fit within a mix of projects which maximizes the probability of achieving FAS’s overall food assistance objectives.


1. REVIEW PROCESS: FAS will review all complete applications that are submitted by the deadline in FAIS. FAS will invite comments from other U.S. governmental agencies on its award recommendations, but FAS will make the final determination about which applications to fund.

2. DISCUSSIONS AND AWARD: Prior to signing the grant agreement, FAS will enter into negotiations with all selected applicants.  These negotiations may include but are not limited to:

a)      The budget is not appropriate or reasonable for the proposed project;

b)      Only a portion of the application is selected for award;

c)       FAS needs additional information to determine that the recipient is capable of complying with the requirements in 7 C.F.R. 1599; and/or

d)      Special terms and conditions are required. 

Failure to resolve satisfactorily the issues identified by FAS will preclude award to applicant.

C. ANTICIPATED NOTICE OF SELECTION AND AWARD DATES: FAS anticipates notifying applicants selected for award around January 2014 and making awards by July 1, 2014.



A.  AWARD NOTICES: FAS will notify each applicant in writing of the final disposition of its application through FAIS.  Once the approved applicant accepts that award, FAS will begin negotiations with the applicant to develop a grant agreement. The agreement will incorporate the details of the project as approved by FAS and in accordance with the McGovern-Dole regulations, 7 C.F.R. part 1599.

B. REPORTING: An organization receiving funding under the McGovern-Dole program will be required to provide semi-annual financial reports, semi-annual performance reports, an evaluation plan, a baseline study, a mid-term evaluation, a final evaluation, and a work plan, highlighting the feeding schedule, as provided in the grant agreement. All reports must be submitted using the FAIS. All organizations receiving funding will be required to report against the indicators in the agreement at each reporting cycle. Changes in the original project timelines and adjustments within project budgets must be approved by FAS prior to their implementation.

C. MONITORING AND EVALUATION: A program participant shall submit to FAS, in the manner specified in the agreement, an annual financial audit in accordance with 7 CFR 1599.13(d). If FAS requires an annual financial audit with respect to a particular agreement, and FAS provides funds for this purpose, the participant shall arrange for such audit and submit it to FAS, in the manner specified in the agreement.  Additionally, a participant shall, as provided in the agreement, submit to FAS an evaluation plan, a baseline study, and an interim and a final evaluation of the agreement implementation. Unless otherwise provided in the agreement, the evaluation plan shall be submitted within 90 days of award date, the baseline study shall be submitted within 6 months of award date, and the evaluations shall be submitted at the mid-point and end-point of the implementation period in accordance with 7 CFR 1599.13(e). The participant shall provide to FAS additional information or reports relating to the agreement if requested by FAS.



Debra Pfaff, Chief

School Feeding and Humanitarian Branch

Food Assistance Division

Office of Capacity Building and Development

Foreign Agricultural Service

U.S Department of Agriculture



1400 Independence Ave, SW, STOP 1034

Washington, DC 20250


Phone: (202) 720-4221

Fax: (202) 690-0251

Email at:





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