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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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ILAB Web Chat on FY 2013 Solicitations for Grant Applications

Thursday, June 6, 2013 from at 9:30 a.m. EDT - live chat.

How to Participate

  • Enter your question directly into the live chat window found on the interactive page.

9:21 ILAB: Our SCA chat with USDOL staff will begin at 9:30 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/chat-ilab-ocft-20130606.htm and the ILAB website after the session ends.

Welcome to the web chat! Today's discussion will focus on ILAB’s open solicitations: SCA 13-03: Project to Reduce Child Labor and Improve Labor Rights and Working Conditions in the Dominican Republic; SCA 13-04: Project to Combat Child Labor in the Tea Sector in Rwanda; SCA 13-05: Global Research to Expand the Knowledge Base on Child Labor Globally; SCA 12-06: Project to Reduce Child Labor in Colombia. All SCAs and related materials are available on Grants.gov, http://www.grants.gov and the ILAB website http://www.dol.gov/ilab/grants/main.htm.

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. If we cannot answer your question during the web chat, we will publish a response on http://www.dol.gov/dol/chat/chat-ilab-ocft-20130606.htm and the ILAB website as soon as possible.

9:35 Comment From Marcio: I'd like to ask a question related to eligility. Both the announcement and the solicitation state country presence and local registration can be demonstrated either by the prime applicant or the consortium (a local partner). Please confirm this requirement can be fulfilled through a local partner.

9:35 Comment From Katie: Regarding SCA 13-04 (Rwanda), please confirm that the submission deadline for questions is not until June 27, 2013. a. Will USDOL consider responding to questions received on a rolling basis so applicants have sufficient time to incorporate guidance into their proposal by the July 12 deadline? b. Does USDOL have an anticipated response date to questions? If so, please share the date with applicants.

9:36 ILAB: Please include the SGA number with your questions to make it easier to get you the right answers.

9:37 Comment From Katie: Please advise whether applicants are permitted to propose a project duration that is less than 4 years.

9:37 ILAB: As stated on page three of the SCA, “the duration of the project(s) funded by this solicitation is four
(4) years”.

9:41 ILAB: Hello Marcio, thank you for your question. Yes, you can demonstrate country presence through the prime applicant or a local partner. For example, as indicated on page 19 of the Colombia SCA no. 1306, “Applicants must also demonstrate in-country presence -either independently or through a relationship with another organization with country presence (i.e., a subgrantee or subcontractor) enabling them to initiate program activities upon award of the cooperative agreement (see Section IV. Application and Submission Information).”

9:41 Comment From Katie: Regarding SCA 13-04 (Rwanda), USDOL notes that “the required annexes to the Technical Proposal do not count toward the page limit” (p. 23, SCA). Can DOL clarify which of the following are required annexes and do not count toward the page limit? a. Documents demonstrating country presence and corroborating host government support (p. 25). b. Audit findings (p. 26) c. A past performance table (p. 25 and 46) d. Results framework (p. 24) e. Project management organization chart (p. 25) f. Signed letters of commitment from all proposed key personnel (p. 26) g. 1-page personnel descriptions (p. 26)

9:42 Comment From Katie: Regarding SCA 13-04 (Rwanda), the last bullet of the evaluation criteria for the Organizational Capacity section of the Technical proposal is “Implementer(s) for the Workers’ Rights Centers component meet or exceed the requirements outlined in Section I.4.B” (p. 34, SCA). Workers’ Rights Centers are not mentioned elsewhere in the SCA. Can DOL clarify this requirement?

9:42 ILAB: Per the SCA, the submission deadline for questions is June 27, 2013. USDOL will respond to questions on a rolling basis. USDOL does not have a predetermined response date , but will work as quickly as possible to respond to all questions.

9:44 Comment From Kolan: When do you expect the remaining procurements to be released, specifically Afghanistan and the two Morocco ones?

9:44 ILAB: We do not have a specific publication date for the release of the remaining SCAs, however, please continue to monitor www.grants.gov and http://www.dol.gov/ilab/grants/main.htm for future SCA releases.

9:46 Comment From Guest: Page 2: Applicants are required to propose geographic areas of interventions and project beneficiaries in their application. Page 6: The geographic areas must include at least one of the following 5 departments: Antioquia, Boyacá, Chocó, Cundinamarca and Tolima. Applicants must also either select an additional target department from among the previous five or propose targeting one of the following departments: Bolívar, Norte de Santander and Santander as a geographic area of intervention. From this I understand that any proposal must include at least 2 departments. If we fulfill this requirement (eg. We propose to work in at least 2 of the departments specified, for example, Chocó and Cundinamarca), could we also include another department not specified by the call? (Eg. Cauca, that also has problems with mining). Or can we only propose working in the departments specified by the call?

9:46 ILAB: Thank you for your question. You may only propose departments specified in the solicitation on page 6. The SCA states, “Applicants must propose to work in at least two (2) geographic areas of intervention (e.g., artisanal mining communities) where at least one (1) of the following mining sub-sectors is predominant: coal, gold, emeralds, and quarried products. The geographic areas must include at least one (1) of the following five (5) Departments: Antioquia, Boyacá, Chocó, Cundinamarca, and Tolima. Applicants must also either select an additional target Department from among the previous five (5), or propose targeting one of the following Departments: Bolívar, Norte de Santander, and Santander as a geographic area of intervention.”

9:50 Comment From Bridget Bucardo Rivera: In SCA 13-03 p. 30, the SCA states that an abstract is required for the technical proposal. Should the abstract be double-spaced or single-spaced?

9:50 ILAB: Thank you for your question. The abstract should be double spaced.

9:52 Comment From Katie: Regarding SCA 13-04 (Rwanda), Pages 28 and 34 refer to work plan, but the application instructions do not provide specific guidance on the inclusion of a work plan. a. Please confirm if a work plan is required. If a work plan is requested: b. Should the Applicant provide a work plan for the first year, full Life of Program or other designated length of time? c. Can the work plan be included as an annex? d. Should the Applicant submit the work plan as part of the technical or cost application?

9:52 ILAB: Yes, Applicants should include a work plan for the full life of the project. The work plan must be submitted as an annex and does not count towards the 50 page limit for technical proposals.

9:59 Comment From Ann: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC SCA 13-03 1. About the past performance table required for Annex C: the SCA says we should include references of all “applicants and subawardees providing services related to the project intervention strategies”. The past performance table should list no more than six projects from prime, subgrantees and subcontracts. If there are more than six subcontractors/subgrantees, can we list more than 6 so that there is at least one per subcontractor/subgrantee. 2. IV B. Content and form of application submission: “all required documents (including annexes) must be submitted in English, although a certified translation is not required”. Does this also count for letters of support? 3. Is there any document that requires a certified translation at the time of submission of the proposal? 4. Can the bid proposal specify a project duration of more than 48 months as long as it is less than 60 months? GLOBAL RESEARCH SCA 13-05 Concerning Component B: Updates to country-level child work and education statistics ‘The project will involve updating statistics for core child work and education indicators for approximately 100 countries for which new data sets are available during the period of reference…’ Does this mean 100 countries or 100 data sets?

9:59 ILAB: SCA 13-03
Thank you for your questions.
1) The SCA asks for no more than a total of 6 references per applicant. Applicants should prioritize references for the primary applicant(s) and their primary subawardees engaged in providing intervention services. The SCA states the following in section IV.B.1.d:
“Applicants must describe any experience they have with implementing projects relevant to the Funding Opportunity Description stated objective of this SCA and provide references for past performance (no more than a total of six (6) references/projects, see Appendices for a sample format).
Applicants should prioritize submission of references related to the objectives of the project. References should be included for all the Applicants and subawardees providing services related to project intervention strategies (see Section I.D.). Projects included in the table must have been active within five years of the issuance date of the SCA.”
2) Yes, this includes letters of support. The SCA states in section IV.B.1: “All required documents (including annexes) must be submitted in English, although a certified translation is not required.”
3) No.
4) The SCA states in section I: “The duration of the project(s) funded by this solicitation is four (4) years,” which means not more than 48 months.
SCA 13-05
Component B will be conducted for up to 100 countries.

10:00 Comment From Bridget Bucardo Ri: 2. Can DOL confirm that tables and text boxes can be single-spaced and can use a font size smaller than 12 point Times New Roman?

10:00 ILAB: Thank you for your question. Yes, tables and text boxes can be single-spaced and use a font smaller than 12 point Times New Roman.

10:02 Comment From Marcio: Regarding SCA-13-06 (Colombia), a pre-application consultation/assessment is required, are applicants expected to obtain Letter of Commitment/Collaboration from Government Agencies, Local Organizations, and other stakeholders? If so, are these letters to be included in the proposal?

10:02 ILAB: Thank you for your question. On page 13 the SCA states, “Applicants must consult with the GoC 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 promote safe mining in Colombia, including through mine formalization, and with a focus on artisanal, non-formal mining.” Also note on page 23 the SCA states, “Any documents that demonstrate country presence and corroborate host government support may be included as an Annex to the Technical Proposal.” However, the SCA does not require demonstration of support by government agencies to be in the form of a letter of commitment or collaboration.

10:02 Comment From Kelly: Regarding SCA 13-03 for the Dominican Republic, the budget instructions state that applicants need to submit the budget according to Ouputs. The SCA, however, refers to 9 Outcomes. Can applicants create a budget that is based on the Outcomes, rather than Outputs?

10:03 ILAB: No, the budget should be based on specific outputs rather than the broader outcomes.

10:05 Comment From Katie: For SCA 13-04 and SCA 13-06, may the Results Framework be included as an Annex to the Technical Proposal?

10:05 Comment From Katie W: For SCA 13-04 (Rwanda): Please provide expected page limitations for various sections of the technical narrative (i.e for Background and Problem Statement, etc).

10:05 ILAB: Yes, the results framework, project management organization chart, draft work plan, signed letters of commitment, audit report(s), resumes, and personnel descriptions must be submitted as annexes and do not count towards the 50 page limit for technical proposals. USDOL will be publishing an amendment to the SCAs clarifying which sections of the technical proposals, including those noted above, are to be submitted as annexes and do not count towards the 50 page limit for technical proposals.

10:05 ILAB: Per page 23 of the SCA, the “Applicants’ Technical Proposal must be no more than 50 single-sided, double-spaced pages … The Abstract, Table of Contents and required annexes to the Technical Proposal do not count toward the page limit.” Page limits for individual sections of the Technical Proposal are listed in each section on pages 23-25.

10:06 Comment From Bridget Bucardo Rivera: For SCA 13-03, can DOL provide a list the required annexes for the technical and cost proposals?

10:06 ILAB: Yes, the results framework, project management organization chart, draft work plan, signed letters of commitment, audit report(s), resumes, and personnel descriptions must be submitted as annexes and do not count towards the 50 page limit for technical proposals. USDOL will be publishing an amendment to the SCAs clarifying which sections of the technical proposals, including those noted above, are to be submitted as annexes and do not count towards the 50 page limit for technical proposals.

10:06 Comment From Katie W: For SCA-13-04 (Rwanda): Please clarify whether the Results Framework (pg 24) and the project management organizational chart (pg 25) count towards the 50 page limit of the technical proposal or whether they should be included as an annex?

10:06 ILAB: Yes, the results framework, project management organization chart, draft work plan, signed letters of commitment, audit report(s), resumes, and personnel descriptions must be submitted as annexes and do not count towards the 50 page limit for technical proposals. USDOL will be publishing an amendment to the SCAs clarifying which sections of the technical proposals, including those noted above, are to be submitted as annexes and do not count towards the 50 page limit for technical proposals.

10:08 Comment From Bridget Bucardo Ri: 1. There is a great deal of information required in the Background and Problem Statement section. However, the project design requirements (p. 30) state that this section must not exceed 3 pages. Can DOL clarify whether this is 3 double-spaced pages or 3 single-spaced pages (and therefore 6 double-spaced pages)?

10:08 ILAB: Per the SCAs, the “Applicants’ Technical Proposal must be no more than 50 single-sided, double-spaced pages.”

10:10 Comment From Scott: SCA 13-03 requires applicants to conduct consultations with and work with the Dominican Government, industry, and other stakeholders to further identify priority areas of intervention. Does USDOL require conducting these consultations in the proposal design process or in post-award?

10:10 ILAB: Applicants should conduct consultations in the proposal design process to develop their applications.

10:16 Comment From Bridget Bucardo Ri: 8. What types of assessments would DOL like to see conducted to inform the technical proposal?

10:16 ILAB: As indicated in the SCA, applicants’ proposals should demonstrate knowledge of the child labor situation in the country, factors contributing to child labor, and the relative benefit of proposed strategies for achieving the overall goal of the project. Please note that the SCA includes specific requirements for assessment related to the various strategies called for in this SCA.

10:19 Comment From Bridget Bucardo Ri: 20. Appendix D (p. 59) states that a SAM registration is required. Can DOL clarify what this is?

10:19 Comment From Bridget: SCA 13-03 in Appendix D (p. 59) states that a SAM registration is required. Can DOL clarify what this is?

10:19 ILAB: Thank you Bridget for your questions. Yes, SAM registration is required. Page 34 of the Dominican Republic SCA No. 13-02 states, “A DUNS number is required to register with the System for Award Management (SAM), a new website that consolidates government procurement systems. If the Applicant has previously registered with the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and has an active record, the Applicant will have an active record in SAM. If the Applicant(s) needs to update or renew its record(s) in SAM, it will need to create a SAM user account and link it to the migrated Applicant record(s). Online registration for SAM is available through its home page http://1.usa.gov/XH7cyD. For additional information about DUNS number and SAM, please consult the Federal Desk Service at http://1.usa.gov/UxywPd.”

10:19 Comment From Bridget Bucardo Ri: 21. The SCA states (p. 6) that applicants must develop a proposal that presents a clear strategy to reduce the worst forms of child labor and improve labor rights and working conditions in the agricultural sector of the Dominican Republic, including in sugarcane producing areas and in production supply chains. Can DOL clarify further what types of strategies or interventions it desires for the production supply chain?

10:19 ILAB: Applicants must propose strategies that focus on reducing child labor and improving labor rights and working conditions in the target areas. Applicants must also use an area-based approach. See the section on Social Compliance that more specifically addresses supply chains.

10:21 Comment From Kim McClain: Hello DOL team. In Section IV, B. 1. d) (2) Country Presence and Host Government Support (page 22) and in Appendix D: Documents Required for Application Submission (page 45), submission of documentation to support country presence, including registration, MOUs with government ministries, letters of support are expected of the Applicant. Can you confirm, based on the eligible criteria for applicants stated in Section III. A. Eligible Applicants (page 19), and the statement there that “Applicants must also demonstrate in-country presence –either independently or through a relationship with another organization with country presence (ie., a subgrantee or subcontractor) enabling them to initiate program activities upon award of the cooperative agreement…”, that submission of documentation supporting a subgrantee’s or subcontractor’s in-country presence, and the written commitment to a consortium (subgrantee relationship) with the prime Applicant will meet the application requirements?

10:21 ILAB: Yes, submission of documentation supporting a subgrantee’s or subcontractor’s in-country presence, and the written commitment to a consortium (subgrantee relationship) with the prime Applicant will meet the application requirements.

10:21 Comment From Diane: Regarding SCA 12-06 for Colombia, the SCA mentions addressing the worker safety of adults that aids to prevent accidents and injuries of adult miners with children at risk of entering work to offset the lost wages of injured parents. While a focus on adult workers is specifically mentioned in the Colombia SCA, do you consider this reasonable for other SCAs that has a focus on a particular industry sector or commodity where adult workers with children at-risk exists?

10:21 ILAB: Please refer to the specific requirements outlined for each SCA. If the Applicant seeks to propose a strategy that involves interventions for adult workers, the applicant must clearly demonstrate how the proposed approach is directly linked to reducing the worst forms of child labor in the country or sector covered by the SCA.

10:22 Comment From Sasha: Question regarding Rwanda grant (SCA 13-04), In the case that applicant asks for less founding then per RFP's maximum would you consider giving/splitting award between two different applicants?

10:22 ILAB: Yes, USDOL would consider proposals for less than the full amount. As stated in the SCA, the USDOL ILAB will award up to $5 million for one or more cooperative agreement(s) to fund the technical assistance project.

10:22 Comment From Katie: For SCA 13-04 and SCA 13-06, may the CVs and personnel descriptions for Key Personnel and other professional personnel be included as an Annex to the Technical Proposal?

10:22 ILAB: Yes, the results framework, project management organization chart, draft work plan, signed letters of commitment, audit report(s), resumes, and personnel descriptions must be submitted as annexes and do not count towards the 50 page limit for technical proposals. USDOL will be publishing an amendment to the SCAs clarifying which sections of the technical proposals, including those noted above, are to be submitted as annexes and do not count towards the 50 page limit for technical proposals.

10:22 Comment From Katie: Regarding SCA 13-04 (Rwanda), For the M&E budget detailed on pages 28 and 29, the SCA requires applicants to set aside at least 3% of the project budget to cover the costs associated with project monitoring activities. For a $5M budget this amounts to at least $150,000. a. Please confirm that an additional minimum of $250,000 should be set aside for baseline/endline research and specific studies? b. Please confirm that an additional minimum of $70,000 should be set aside to support the external interim and final implementation evaluation costs?

10:22 ILAB: Per page 28 of the SCA, Applicants must “Set aside at least three percent (3%) of the project budget to cover the costs associated with project monitoring activities.” If more than 3 percent is needed to address the sub-bullets on pages 28-29, then the Applicant should take this into consideration. As stated on page 29 of the SCA, Applicants must “Allocate a minimum of $250,000 for conducting a baseline and an endline survey on child labor prevalence in all tea producing regions of Rwanda” and other required studies. On page 29, the SCA states that Applicants must allocate “at least $70,000 to support the external interim and final implementation evaluations.”

10:25 Comment From Katie W: For SGA 13-04 (Rwanda): The proposed scope of the Rwanda project (11 districts, more than 30 sectors affected by tea) seems quite large compared to the available budget of $5 million, especially when using an integrated area-based approach. Please clarify DOL priority areas within this scope.

10:26 ILAB: As stated in Section I(C)(1) on page 7 of the SCA, “Applicants must target the
districts of Nyaruguru, Huye, and Nyamagabe in the South Province, the districts of Karongi, Ngororero, Rubavu, Rutsiro, Rusizi, and Nyamasheke in the West Province, and the districts of Rulindo and Gicumbi in the North Province.”

10:26 Comment From Katie: For all solicitations, may applicants include an Acronyms & Abbreviations page that is not counted towards the 50 page limit?

10:26 ILAB: If the applicant submits an Acronyms and Abbreviations page, this page does count towards the 50 page limit.

10:27 Comment From Guest: Regarding Colombia SCA-13-06, Page 18 mentions that Local Coordinators should be hired, are these local coordinators expected to be embedded in local/regional government agencies? Thanks

10:27 ILAB: Thank you for your question. Local coordinators are not expected to be embedded in local/regional government agencies. They will work closely with government agencies to perform the activities described in the SCA on pages 18-19. In addition, the OCFT Management Procedures and Guidelines states on pages 26-27, “USDOL funds are not intended to duplicate existing foreign government efforts or substitute for activities that are the responsibility of such governments.”

10:27 Comment From Guest: Regarding SCA 13-03 for the Dominican Republic, are the Outputs in the budget template to be considered illustrative to the template as well or are those the outputs that should be linked to the results framework and work plan?

10:27 ILAB: The template is only intended as an example of how to format the information. The detailed Outputs-Based Budget must present costs in a manner that is linked to the specific activities, objectives, and outputs reflected in the applicant’s project design narrative, work plan, and results framework and demonstrate cost-effective allocation of project funds.

10:29 Comment From Katie W: For SCA-13-04 (Rwanda): The proposed scope of the Rwanda project (11 districts, more than 30 sectors affected by tea) seems quite large compared to the available budget of $5 million, especially when using an integrated area-based approach. Please clarify DOL priority areas within this scope.

10:29 ILAB: As stated in Section I(C)(1) on page 7 of the SCA, “Applicants must target the
districts of Nyaruguru, Huye, and Nyamagabe in the South Province, the districts of Karongi, Ngororero, Rubavu, Rutsiro, Rusizi, and Nyamasheke in the West Province, and the districts of Rulindo and Gicumbi in the North Province.”

10:30 Comment From Ana: Related to Marcio question, how and where do you expect us to include the support of GoC and other stake holders? do we need to mention them in the technical document and then in an anex we put the letters of commitment?

10:30 ILAB: Thank you for your question. The letters of support should be included as an annex to the technical proposal.

10:30 ILAB: Thank you for participating in today's web chat.

There were many questions on the logistics of completing the application. We will post responses to these questions in the near future.

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. Below are the deadlines for submission of technical questions, which should be submitted to Cassandra Mitchell and Brenda White in USDOL's Office of Procurement Services at Ops.grantoffice@dol.gov:

• SCA 13-03: Project to Reduce Child Labor and Improve Labor Rights and Working Conditions in the Dominican Republic. Technical questions deadline: June 27, 2013.
• SCA 13-04: Project to Combat Child Labor in the Tea Sector in Rwanda. Technical questions deadline: June 27, 2013.
• SCA 13-05: Global Research to expand the knowledge base on child labor globally. Technical questions deadline: June 27, 2013.
• SCA 12-06: Project to Reduce Child Labor in Colombia. Technical questions deadline: July 8, 2013.

Please continue to monitor our website and Grants.gov for information about these and future solicitations.

Thank you again for participating.

10:31 :

 

 

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