Funding Opportunity: Brazil: Design and Implementation of Beyond Access Alumni Program

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July 26, 2019


Announcement Type:  Cooperative Agreement with funds from the U.S. Cooperating Agency for Global Access Programs, FHI360

Funding Amount: Up to $20,000 per project

Deadline for Applications: Open until September 1, 2019

Program: Beyond Access Alumni Program

Project Location(s): Belém, Brasília, Manaus, Recife, and Salvador

Program Office: Regional English Language Office, U.S. Embassy Brasilia, Brazil



The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) is a learner-centered program that provides a foundation of English language skills to participants from economically disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive sessions. Access gives participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Participants also gain the ability to compete for and participate in future exchanges and study in the United States. Originally conceived for teenagers from non-elite communities, the Access Program has provided scholarships to over 188,000 students in 89 countries since its inception in 2004.

The Regional English Language Office (RELO) and Public Affairs Sections of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil have hosted Access Programs since 2008, and more than 2,500 students have received scholarships. The Regional English Language Office (RELO) of the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia oversees these programs, which are implemented by local partners.

This call seeks innovative program proposals for the creation and implementation of Beyond Access Alumni Programs for former Access students (2008-2019).

Beyond Access Alumni Program description:

The U.S. Embassy in Brasilia requests proposals from non-profit and/or educational organizations with English language teaching program capacity to create and implement one or more Beyond Access Alumni Programs for Brazilian Access Program Alumni (2008-2019).

The goal of the Beyond Access Alumni Program is twofold: 1) to provide an opportunity to gather a cross-section of Access Program alumni in the cities of Belém, Brasília, Manaus, Recife, and Salvador for additional engagement and learning, and 2) to evaluate the impact of the program on youth and young adults in those communities. Beyond Access Alumni Programs should focus on alumni of the English learning program from multiple cohorts and provide those alumni with a learning opportunity that provides a language learning experience incorporated with one or more of the following themes: community service, leadership, innovation, storytelling, or social entrepreneurship. The aim of these Beyond Access Alumni Programs is to re-engage program alumni in an activity that provides additional learning and also to track and record how the program has affected their trajectories since graduating from the Access Program.

Selected participants must be Access Program alumni who successfully completed the program and should represent a cross-section of program years.

The structure of alumni program must include the following two components:

  1. Alumni engagement (face-to-face program)

The Beyond Access Alumni Program must deliver at least one face-to-face component. Depending on the theme chosen, the program should provide an opportunity for learning and networking. Some ideas for the face-to-face portion of the program might include a summit for 3-4 days, a six-month course for local alumni, a monthly program for alumni on various themes over the course of a year, a week-long immersion, etc. Other innovations are welcome. All face-to-face portions should provide opportunities to interact in English and develop additional language skills in addition to focusing on a theme or project (see potential themes, above). Programs can take place any time in the 2020 calendar year, depending on the availability of the alumni recruited and the proposal of the hosting institution.

The provider is encouraged to be creative in planning and budgeting for these alumni programs. Funds for transportation, accommodation, and food should be present in the budget.  We encourage creativity (and fun) in approaching immersion sessions, and it is possible to work with the RELO office to include English Language Fellows, Fulbright English Teaching Assistants, or alumni of other U.S. Embassy programs.

  1. Impact stories (data collection and presentation)

The Beyond Access Alumni Program must aggregate quantitative and qualitative data on the impact of the Access Program on alumni. Providers should propose concrete plans for reaching at least 60% of program alumni in that site/city, gathering data, and collecting stories. Potential surveys or interviews should include (but not be limited to) information such as the Access alumnus’s current job or university status, current use of English or other languages, participation in other U.S. government exchanges, etc. The Provider should present a culminating product that illustrates the data collected and the various impacts on alumni’s personal and professional trajectories after finishing the Access Program. Creativity is encouraged in considering ways to reach alumni and presenting data effectively through a written report with optional supplementary videos, infographics, and other digital media.

In-country educational service provider: roles and responsibilities

Proposal eligibility requirements:

Proposals may be submitted by Brazilian or U.S.-based non-profit or educational organizations who can receive international wire transfers from our U.S.-based Cooperating Agency FHI360.

Number of providers:

The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to split the project between two or more providers based on location and capacity to administer the program.

Program implementation location:

The U.S. Embassy is soliciting proposals from the cities of Manaus, Belém, Recife, Brasília and Salvador.  The proposal should cover the sites where the Provider is confident it can deliver a safe space with a qualified administrative and teaching staff selected upon final approval of the RELO office, over the duration of the program.

Program calendar:

The start date of the program will depend largely on the length of the negotiation, contract finalization, and alumni selection phases.  The face-to-face program and data collection could begin as early as January 2020 and should last no longer than 12 months, but could be as short as 2-3 months.  Providers must prepare themselves to be as flexible as possible with regard to start dates due to issues that may occur before an agreement is signed and alumni are located and recruited for the program.

Technical and infrastructure requirements:

The provider must specify the location(s) of the Beyond Alumni Access Program and space that will be used for the activities. The provider must either provide verification that the space belongs to the grantee or a written agreement with the holder of the space. Providers are also encouraged to share any other unique learning spaces on the premises that are accessible to the program and that add to the overall experience (theater, garden, sports facility, etc.).

Providers must have capacity to receive an international write transfer from our U.S.-based Cooperating Agency, FHI360.

Functional requirements:

  1. The provider is responsible for setting criteria for and identifying Access Program alumni to be enrolled in the program in collaboration with the RELO office. Final program participant selection to be made by the RELO office or a U.S. Embassy or Consulate representative.
  2. The provider is responsible for creating a highly effective and innovative method for identifying and recruiting highly competent facilitators and/or instructors.
  3. The provider is required to produce frequent reports (usually quarterly) and substantial final performance and financial reports for the event as well as a final report on the impact of the program on alumni.
  4. The provider will submit 1-3 paragraph highlights with photos, based on criteria to be provided, for an internal U.S. Embassy and Department of State audience.
  5. Maintain records on participants that will be updated in to the U.S. Embassy’s Alumni database in order to include in follow-on programming.

Assumptions and agreements:

The Provider should design a project that can serve alumni in a specific geographic area, depending on the Provider’s capability, infrastructure, and geographic spread.  The budget per Beyond Access Alumni Program should be no more than $20,000.  The Embassy recommends that the interested Provider find creative ways of extending the quality and quantity of the students’ learning experience for this amount as opposed to compete based on a lower cost per student.  All possible costs for participants – including tuition (overhead, teachers’ salaries, administration), materials, enhancement activities, off-site immersion sessions, and, where relevant, transportation for the alumni – should be covered.

The Provider’s instructors for this program should have a minimum of three years of teaching full-time in any institution.  The instructors should be comfortable and fluent in English, with at least a C1 (CEFR) level, and have some cross-cultural experience, preferably with U.S. culture. The instructors should have progressive views about methodology, employing learning-centered approaches that focus on tasks and projects that lead to interactive classes.  The instructor should be adept at integrating modern technology into the classroom, and at creating a linguistic risk-taking atmosphere that allows students to learn in a comfortable and fostering environment.  We encourage the selection of instructors among U.S. Embassy professional development program alumni of FLTA, E-teacher, PSTDP, BRITE, and others.

We recommend coordination with local stakeholders from the educational and non-profit communities in planning the program.

Submission information:

The proposals should be submitted to the Regional English Language Office, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Brasilia electronically to RELOBrazil@state.govThe deadline for submission is midnight, September 1, 2019.

Basis for award:

The grantee should be an established non-profit institution or a non-governmental organization (NGO) with at least 3 years of experience in administering educational programs and/or teaching English, preferably to the target age group. The grantee must have access to an established core of English instructors willing to commit their time to this project. The grantee must identify the location(s) and venue(s) that will be used for this program (verified with a document/preliminary agreement) and will be responsible for recruiting students and, in consultation with the Regional English Language Office at the U.S. Embassy, developing the curriculum. Organizations with previous experience and a capacity of working with educational institutions on a national level will be given priority.

Format of the proposal:

  • Narrative: A narrative document, no longer than ten pages, that describes the program in detail is required. This document should include a description of: 1) the grantee organization, including relevant resumes and previous experience; 2) the face-to-face activities and timeline proposed; 3) alumni location and recruitment plan; 4) plan for gathering, analyzing, and publishing impact data from alumni; 5) program evaluation plan, 6) instructor(s) profile; 7) branding plan, and 8) Beyond Access Alumni Program location(s).
  • Line-item budget:

The budget spreadsheet should include all program costs with a breakdown for the following categories:

1) instruction (teacher/facilitator salaries)

2) books/materials (textbooks, supplementary materials)

3) enhancement activities (special supplies for a specific activity proposed)

4) transportation (for alumni and teachers/facilitators, if necessary, to get to and from activities, etc.)

5) administration (program administration directly related to the Access program)

6) food (requires a justification but can be used for events or special outings)

7) accommodation (for off-site events and immersive sessions only)

The budget should also include the total number of alumni to be included in the event, the start and end dates for activities, and the number of hours of instruction alumni will receive in the program.

Off-site immersion sessions must be listed as a separate row of the Budget Spreadsheet, with a complete cost breakdown in the same categories as those listed above.  A breakdown of any cost-sharing by the grantee should be submitted in a separate spreadsheet.

Deadline for Receipt of Questions:  August 18, 2019

All questions will be answered via DVC or Google Hangout o/a August 21, 2019 (Please make sure to submit your questions by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on August 18, so that the Regional English Language Office can be prepared to answer questions accordingly).

Additional information:

For additional information or clarification, please contact the Regional English Language Office of the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section by writing to