Web Chat on FY 2014 Solicitations for Cooperative Agreement Applications
Date: Monday May 20, 2014
TimeL 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. EST
The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) will host a web chat on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. (EST) to answer questions about the Solicitations for Cooperative Agreement Applications (SCAs) published in April 2014. The web chat, which is text only, will include a discussion (questions and answers) of the following SCAs:
- SCA 14-04: Project to Reduce Child Labor and Improve Labor Rights in Honduras
- SCA 14-05: Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce (CLEAR II) Child Labor
How to Participate
- Enter your question directly into the live chat window found on the interactive page.
9:31 Moderator: Our SCA chat with USDOL staff will begin at 10:00 a.m. EST. You can submit questions at any time, but you will only see the questions in the chat window when they are answered. This is a text-only chat. There won't be any audio or video. The transcript of the web chat will be available on http://www.dol.gov/dol/chat... and the ILAB website after the session ends.
Welcome to the web chat! Today's discussion will focus on ILAB's open solicitations: SCA 14-04: Project to Reduce Child Labor and Improve Labor Rights in Honduras and SCA 14-05: Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce (CLEAR II) Child Labor. All SCAs and related materials are available on Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) and ILAB’s web page (http://www.dol.gov/ilab/gra...).
The staff in the room will try to respond to as many of your questions as possible. Please note that we will only be able to answer questions submitted in English. For questions that are not answered during the web chat, we will try to do so and include the response along with the full list of responses to be published on http://www.dol.gov/dol/chat... and the ILAB web page http://www.dol.gov/ilab/gra....
10:07 Comment From Kitty: Hello, we are wondering what is the scope of the program for Ethiopia (worst forms of child labour)
| Moderator: Hello, Kitty. As noted in the opening statement, today's discussion will focus on ILAB's open solicitations: SCA 14-04: Project to Reduce Child Labor and Improve Labor Rights in Honduras and SCA 14-05: Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce (CLEAR II) Child Labor.|
And as stated in the Notice of Intent for Ethiopia, organizations interested in further information about this grant opportunity will need to wait for the posting of the SCA.
10:13 Comment From Nick: SCA-14-05 Can USDOL confirm that a list of acronyms does not count toward the page limit?
|ILAB: Technical Proposals must be no more than 50 single-sided, double-spaced pages (8-1/2” x 11” with 1” margins). Font size must be no less than 12-point Times New Roman. The Abstract, Table of Contents and required annexes to the Technical Proposal do not count toward the page limit. This includes acronyms as part of the annex.|
10:17 Comment From Linda Chambers: For SCA 14-04: Project to Reduce Child Labor and Improve Labor Rights in Honduras-Do we need to work in Valle de Sula or just San Pedro Sula
|ILAB: As cited on page 7 of the SCA under the Targets Section D, applicants must work in the department of Choluteca and at least one of the following departments: Valle, El Paraiso, Intibuca and/or La Paz (Southern Honduras); and in the San Pedro Sula area, not just in the city of San Pedro Sula.|
10:19 Comment From Nick: SCA-14-05 On page 17, the SCA identifies applicants must cover all sections of SOW, but in the subsequent list leaves out section 4 of SOW. Can USDOL confirm whether or not it intends applicants to include Section 4: Evaluation and Collection of Reliable Data on Child Labor in the Scope of Work section of applications?
|ILAB: Yes, DOL confirms. It intends for applicants to include Section 4: Evaluation and Collection of Reliable Data on Child Labor in the Scope of Work section of applications.|
10:23 Comment From Gerry: Hi, thanks for hosting this chat. To what extent does DOL expect a full engagement from the GoH at the proposal stage?
| ILAB: As cited on page 22, Section C, Host Government Consultations, applicants must consult with the Government of Honduras to ensure that their proposed strategies are relevant to the country’s needs and supportive of the Government’s efforts to reduce child labor and improve working conditions and respect for Labor Rights in agricultural areas of southern Honduras and in the San Pedro Sula area.|
Also, as cited on page 33, Section 2 Presence and Host Government Support, applicants must submit supporting documentation, which demonstrates country presence and outreach to the host government (including the Ministry of Labor and any ministries from which the host government requires approval to implement technical cooperation efforts related to this solicitation).
10:23 Comment From Mark: Does DOL expect the applicant to embed staff within the government (STSS) as part of capacity development activities?
|ILAB: As cited on page 7 of the SCA under Section D Targets, applicants must work with STSS inspectorates, but the SCA does not require staff to be embedded in the STSS.|
10:26 Comment From Ann: The SCA for Honduras notes that DOL may fund one or more awards. How will DOL determine the number of awards? If DOL decides to fund two awards, will funding be split between objectives or geographic areas, or both?
| ILAB: DOL will assess all proposals deemed responsive to the SCA and consider them in line with the criteria outlined in the SCA. Applicants must respond fully to the project objectives and expected outcomes outlined in the SCA.|
As stated on Page 1 of the SCA: DOL intends to fund one or more cooperative agreement(s) to fund a technical assistance project(s) in Honduras to address child labor and improve labor rights and working conditions in Honduras, particularly in the agricultural areas of southern Honduras and in the San Pedro Sula area.
10:32 Comment From Linda Chambers: SCA 14-04:Page 6 requires increased understanding of the causes of the worst forms of child labor in Honduras as a result of targeted research. How many research topics do you want to be proposed?
|ILAB: The SCA does not specify how many research topics should be proposed.|
10:35 Comment From Nick: SCA-14-05 Page 13 identifies the key personnel must live in the country where the project is being implemented. As there will be eight countries, and only one Project Director, please clarify USDOL’s expectations.
10:36 Comment From Mary: SCA 14-05 CLEAR II. Under Section I. Required Staffing; 1. Key Personnel, the SCA indicates that “Key personnel must allocate 100% of their time to the project and live in the country where the project is being implemented.” Does this mean that the entire team must live in either Burkina Faso or Nepal? Can the key personnel be stationed in another country?
| ILAB: Thank you Nick and Mary,|
Given the multi country nature of this project, key personnel will not be required to live where the project is being implemented. Please note that ILAB will be publishing an amendment to this SCA clarifying this issue.
10:36 Comment From Mary: SCA 14-04 Honduras Can some of the positions – if the estimated workload so permits – in the “other professional personnel”, be combined? E.g. could the education and training specialist be merged into one post with responsibility for both areas, or would this type of solution make the bid “non-responsive” to the SCA?
|ILAB: The SCA does not state restrictions on the combination of “other professional personnel.” However, as noted on page 27 of the SCA, applicants must identify professional staff who meet qualifications covering all four “other professional personnel” positions listed.|
10:36 Comment From Gerry: Another question is - how critical is it for proposals to be aligned/coordinated with other youth employment/employability programs funded by the USG (namely USAID)?
| ILAB: As cited on Page 8 Section E. Partners:|
Efforts must be made to avoid duplication and to build upon previous relevant ILAB-funded activities and other current initiatives targeting youth in Honduras. Applicants must also demonstrate efforts to coordinate with other relevant projects and initiatives funded by U.S. Government agencies. Applicants must include a brief description of the consultative process undertaken in preparing their proposal.
10:39 Comment From Nick: SCA-14-05 On page 23, the cost proposal instructions require that 8% of the $7,000,000 be dedicated to M&E ($560,000). On page 24, the SCA notes that $70,000 should be used to support external interim and final implementation evaluations. Is the evaluation amount of $70,000 included in the 8%, or is this an additional set aside?
|ILAB: The SCA states that at least 8% percent of the $7 Million be dedicated to monitoring and evaluation. The $70,000 for external, interim, and final implementation evaluation is included in the at least 8% requirement.|
10:40 Comment From Nick: SCA-14-05 On page 23, the cost proposal, instructions note that “allocations associated with monitoring and evaluation must include: the development of and implementation of a Direct Beneficiary Monitoring System; Regular collection and processing of monitoring data for project beneficiaries at the household level, including any necessary travel to monitor the work status of each beneficiary.” As the scope of the project does not include direct beneficiaries or households, can USDOL clarify whether a DBMS and accompanying budget for DBMS are required?
|ILAB: The requirement for the Direct Beneficiary Monitoring System needs to be removed and the SCA will be amended.|
10:42 Comment From Mark: Are Applicants allowed to budget for appropriate security costs given the particular security concerns where this program will be implemented?
|ILAB: Applicants may budget for security costs in their proposal. They should clarify their justification and specific needs for this in their proposal.|
10:45 Comment From Gustavo Lujan: In view of the scope and magnitude of the program, it appears that there ought to be collaboration among two or more groups, is there any previous antecedent to this grant or one like it?
| ILAB: Please note that this SCA represents a new grant opportunity. |
As stated on Page 32 under the Organizational Capacity section:
For this SCA, the Applicant must describe their experience and ability to carry out both Objective 1 and Objective 2. Applicants may demonstrate this either independently or through a relationship with proposed subgrantees and/or subcontractors that will be directly involved in project implementation.
10:51 Comment From Nick: SCA-14-05 On page 18, the SCA states that applicants must use sub-contractors to conduct baseline and follow-up surveys. On page 19, the SCA states that applicants “must propose how they will develop and utilize a pre- and post-situational analysis of reports to inform and evaluate final activities at the country level.” Does USDOL expect both a baseline and follow-up survey on child labor in every country as part of CLEAR activities, or can we assume that the pre- and post-situational analysis serves the same purpose as the baseline and follow-up survey?
|ILAB: DOL considers the pre and post-situational analysis as serving the same purpose as the baseline and follow-up survey for each country and as meeting the requirements of the SCA.|
10:52 Comment From Mary: 1) SCA 14-04 Honduras Can some of the positions – if the estimated workload so permits – in the “other professional personnel”, be combined? E.g. could the education and training specialist be merged into one post with responsibility for both areas, or would this type of solution make the bid “non-responsive” to the SCA? 2) SCA 14-04 Honduras Is it strictly necessary to set aside the full 8% of the budget for M&E, if the budgeting process reveals that through the use of already established systems in the organization the real cost of compliance with the requirements of the SCA is below the 8% indicated? 3) SCA 14-05 CLEAR II. Under Section I. Required Staffing; 1. Key Personnel, the SCA indicates that “Key personnel must allocate 100% of their time to the project and live in the country where the project is being implemented.” Does this mean that the entire team must live in either Burkina Faso or Nepal? Can the key personnel be stationed in another country?
| ILAB: The responses to your three questions are provided below:|
1)The SCA does not state restrictions on the combination of “other professional personnel.” However, as noted on page 27 of the SCA, applicants must identify professional staff who meet qualifications covering all four “other professional personnel” positions listed.
2) As required by the SCA on page 37, 8% of the project budget must be set aside for M&E.
3) Given the multi country nature of this project, key personnel will not be required to live where the project is being implemented. Please note that ILAB will be publishing an amendment to this SCA clarifying this issue.
10:54 Comment From Guest: A couple of M&E Questions: On page 12, the SCA says that the applicants must agree to work with the external M&E experts, and support them in their data collection (baseline and end line data, as well as interim and final ‘implementation evaluations’). The second paragraph under Section 5, says that grantees must ‘engage in a number of data collection activities’, but will the grantee pay for them out of the budget? This is clarified a bit on the bottom of page 31 where it says that we can use our ‘own staff, a partner organization, or a sub-contractor’ for the M&E activities, except for the baseline and follow up surveys where we have to ‘use a sub-contractor’. The budget notes help a bit more (pp. 37/8) where it says we will pay for the baseline and one other survey (presumably to an external sub-contractor), but that DOL will (most likely) pay for the evaluations, and we’ll cover logistical costs (transport, translation, stakeholder meeting, etc.). Can you confirm with the DOL whether we should or should not include data collection costs for the evaluations? The technical program reports (TPR) are to be submitted every 6 months (page 23). Should they be in English?
| ILAB: As cited on page 37, Section 2 Project M&E, all USDOL funded projects must allocate funds to cover the costs associated with project M&E activities. Projects must set aside at least 8 percent of the project budget to cover the costs associated with project monitoring and evaluation activities. This 8 percent should be included as its own line item/category within the outputs-based budget. On the SF-424A, this amount can be included in the category “6h-other.” M&E costs associated with monitoring and evaluation are listed in the SCA and include:|
• Regular collection and processing of monitoring data for project beneficiaries at the child and the household level, including any necessary travel to monitor the work status of each beneficiary.
• At least $70,000 to support the external interim and final implementation evaluations. Resources permitting, USDOL will directly contract the external evaluators to design and implement the evaluations. However, the project will be responsible for certain support costs for each evaluation such as translation of the evaluation report from English into the local language, providing ground transportation for the external evaluator, hosting an evaluation stakeholders meeting, and in-country transportation and accommodation costs for staff and other stakeholders’ participation in the meeting.
In response to your second question, yes, the TPRs should be in English. As cited on page 25, paragraph 3, Grantees assume full responsibility for ensuring that all key personnel have a clear and thorough understanding of USDOL policies, procedures, and requirements and that all documents submitted to USDOL are in fluent English.
10:57 Comment From Nick: SCA-14-05 On page 23, regarding the M&E budget expectations, the SCA includes the development of a DBMS, regular collection and processing of monitoring data for project beneficiaries and a baseline, follow-up and needs assessment of school conditions, all within the 8% set aside for M&E. As these are not included in the M&E SOW, can USDOL clarify if these are expected M&E activities under CLEAR II?
| ILAB: The development of a DBMS, regular collection and processing of monitoring data for project beneficiaries and needs assessment of school conditions will not be required for M&E activities.|
DOL will be publishing an amendment to clarify the requirements of monitoring and evaluation of this project.
10:58 Comment From Sue: SCA-14-04: Are the "other professional personnel" listed on page 27 required to serve 100% time on the project?
|ILAB: The SCA does not include a requirement for other professional personnel to serve 100% of their time on the project. However, as stated on page 24, key personnel must allocated 100% of their time to the project.|
10:59 Comment From Chris: 2. SCA-14-04 for Honduras does not specify a required age range for working and at-risk beneficiary children, though it has a requirement for a youth employment and entrepreneurship component. Does DOL have a preference or requirement for an age range of children to be targeted by the project, or may the applicant decide?
|ILAB: As cited on page 51 of the SCA, Definitions: A “Child” or “children” are individuals under the age of 18 years. For the purposes of this solicitation, the term “youth” will be used for older children who are age 15-18 years.|
11:02 Moderator: Thank you for participating in today's web chat. An archive of this chat as well as USDOL responses to technical questions will be available on our website and on Grants.gov.
We appreciate your interest in applying for USDOL funding to combat child labor and address other labor rights issues. Below are the deadlines for submission of technical questions, which should be submitted to Lloyd Sabino and Helen Williams in USDOL's Office of Procurement Services at Ops.firstname.lastname@example.org
• SCA 14-04: Project to Reduce Child Labor and Improve Labor Rights in Honduras. Technical questions deadline: June 6, 2014
• SCA 14-05: Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce (CLEAR II) Child Labor. Technical questions deadline: June 6, 2014
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