A. Program Description The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Panama is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This is a Notice of Funding Opportunity describing the purpose of this program, the parameters of the projects it seeks to support, and the requirements and procedures for submitting proposals. Please carefully follow all instructions below. Purpose: The Public Affairs Section invites proposals for programs that further U.S. foreign policy and public diplomacy interests in Panama in one of the five categories below. All programs must include an American cultural element, or connection with American expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives. 1. Promote more open and sustainable economic growth in Panama through activities that encourage or strengthen local entrepreneurship The U.S. Embassy seeks to expand the reach of economic opportunity to all levels of society and areas of Panama. As people struggle to adapt to and recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses, must also acquire new skills and resources. Support for entrepreneurship improves not only the lives of individuals and communities but also prospects for greater integration of economic activities between the U.S. and Panama. The U.S. Embassy will give particular consideration to projects addressing social entrepreneurship, in which the focus of work serves the public interest and the local community. Activities in this category may include entrepreneur-focused training, workshops, or presentations; the development of tools, material, or resources for public benefit; or the establishment of networks or consortia to promote beneficial policies or collaboration with U.S.-based partners. 2. Encourage the development of a strong civil society that upholds the values of transparency, accountability, and good governance The U.S. Embassy seeks to support Panama’s expansion of mechanisms for promoting transparent and independent institutions, while addressing official corruption and responding responsibly in identified cases of concern. Projects in this area may focus on: a. Freedom of the press A free and independent press is essential to the maintenance of a democratic society. Media outlets require external support to resist undue pressure, and to build their commitment to providing fair and balanced media coverage. Social media’s rise in popularity is due, in part, to perceptions of bias within dominant media outlets. The Embassy, therefore, seeks to advocate for increased press freedoms and access. Activities in this category may focus on broader systemic or regulatory issues, facilitating greater appreciation among state and local actors of the benefits of an independent media and publicizing their critical role in the maintenance of a healthy democracy. Activities may also provide support on the individual or organizational level, building the capacity of media professionals to conduct objective, high-quality investigative reporting through training, workshops, or even the development of new tools and platforms to support their work. b. Civil society support The Embassy is committed to the development and institutionalization of a vibrant Panamanian civil society. However, Panama’s civil society suffers from significant marginalization and is largely unable to leverage its influence to spur governmental action towards transparency, democratic institutionalization, and accountability. Civil society organizations suffer from weak institutional development and minimal funding, significantly limiting their efforts. Moreover, the majority of civil society organizations are lightning rods for political controversy, which hinders their ability to establish effective, long-term partnerships with the government. Activities in this category may provide support to civil society organizations, establish networks of organizations, or directly address some of the systemic challenges those organizations encounter. c. Countering disinformation Disinformation, or the manipulation and dissemination of information to adversely influence public perceptions and behaviors, has emerged as a major destabilizing force in the global information space. These sophisticated threats weaken state credibility, perpetuate destabilizing narratives about national identity and values, and, most dangerously, erode public confidence in democratic institutions. Activities in this category may include educational exchange and training programs that focus on building resilience to disinformation effects through media literacy, capacity building, and content support for local independent media outlets and successor generation outreach initiatives. d. Cybersecurity The increasingly digital nature of modern society offers the potential for immense progress while also posing considerable new challenges. From data privacy to human rights and freedom of expression, cybersecurity is both the lock and the key to ensuring security for future generations. Through cyber capacity building initiatives, the United States promotes cybersecurity best practices through a common vision of an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet that encourages investment, education, and the protection of our shared values. Activities in this category may range from specific efforts to improve cybersecurity regulation, education, or resources to general skill-building, tech camps, and public awareness campaigns. 3. Improve the quality of or access to English and STEAM education for young people in marginalized communities The U.S. Embassy seeks to improve the quality and availability of English and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education in Panama. Science, technology, and innovation are an important linkage between the U.S. and Panama and represent an opportunity for both economic growth and closer cooperation. To promote equitable distribution of opportunities and resources, the U.S. Embassy will prioritize projects that engage young people in marginalized communities. Activities in this category may include educational programs like workshops or training programs; the development of educational tools or resources; joint activities with U.S. public school students; and efforts to integrate English into existing curricula. 4. Promote sustainable development through responsible management of Panama’s environmental resources The U.S. Embassy seeks to promote sustainable development by encouraging Panama to focus on strengthening environmental protection. Environmental stewardship is integral to U.S. policies concerning economic growth, energy, industry, health, and international trade. As Panama’s number one trading partner and as a close neighbor in the Americas, the United States has an interest in supporting effective environmental protection. a. Climate Change Panama is a carbon negative country, has an enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution that is in-line with the 2030 Paris Agreement target to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and is focused on reforestation and decreasing energy emissions, and has moved forward with several environmental initiatives, including enacting new laws and taking action to protect 30% of its marine territory. However, Panama is experiencing the impact of climate change, including drought. Communities particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change include those in the western province of Chiriqui and indigenous groups in the Guna Yala islands, which are barely above sea level. The U.S. Embassy is seeking ways to bolster the government of Panama’s actions on climate, particularly in areas related to low-carbon economic growth, deforestation, and clean energy and energy efficiency. Activities in this category may include educational programs, the development of community networks incorporating U.S. counterparts or resources, or the development of innovative tools to guide climate change practices. b. Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing does not respect rules adopted at either the national or international level. It threatens economic growth, food security, and ocean ecosystems in Panama by undermining sustainable fisheries and the law-abiding fishers and communities that depend on them. The U.S. Embassy seeks to improve Panama’s capacity to manage domestic fisheries and to combat IUU fishing. Activities in this category may include outreach, education, and awareness campaigns, or capacity-building and technical assistance workshops that leverage U.S.-sourced tools, resources, information, and experts to solve IUU issues, combat IUU fishing, and promote sustainable fishing practices. 5. Facilitate U.S. representation at major festivals and other widely attended arts or cultural events. The U.S. Embassy seeks to promote closer ties with Panama through cultural exchange and the promotion of shared values and has an interest in maintaining a high level of visibility in the cultural sphere, reaching a broad public audience through major festivals and other widely attended arts or cultural events. The Public Affairs Section will fund U.S. representation in high-visibility public activities through the inclusion of U.S. participants, branding, content, and/or intellectual property. Proposals should clearly identify what the U.S. components are and how they further U.S. public diplomacy with Panama. · Where the U.S. component is in the form of a person or persons from the United States, their participation must be visible and substantive, as in the case of an athlete, performer, artist, or other professional-level participant, except in the case where the engagement is intended for the cultural or educational exchange between young people. · Where the U.S. component is in the form of content or intellectual property such as music, films, art, or dance, the work should have a recognizable association with the United States or be presented in such a way as to highlight its origin. · Funds may be used for performer compensation commensurate with their going rate, at a level not to exceed a total of 10% of the award funds. The compensation cap does not include the cost of travel or per diem allocations for the funded individual. For amounts that exceed this level, or for other expenses that exceed the funds available through the award, the grant recipient may provide the additional funds in the form of cost-share or in-kind contributions, which should be clearly stated in the budget. Funds may also be used to pay royalties for the use of content or other intellectual property such as films, music, or visual art, that may be incorporated as the U.S. component. · U.S.-funded elements of the event (performances, lectures, screenings) must generally be accessible to the public free of charge. In cases where this is impractical due to blanket admission costs for events involving other performers, arrangements may be made, in consultation with the U.S. Embassy, for the portion of the revenue deemed to have been generated by the U.S.-funded component to be reinvested into the project or used to offset the cost of its implementation, serving essentially as cost-share. Proposals should explicitly address this issue, if applicable. The Public Affairs Section will prioritize projects that: · Encourage inclusion and diversity through engagement with marginalized populations, women, at-risk youth, and minorities to reduce economic inequality · Apply innovative, environmental, or technological solutions to support entrepreneurship · Address provincial or rural audiences outside of Panama City · Promote U.S. culture, including music, history, sports, tourism, or the English language · Support multiple U.S. foreign policy priorities, including but not limited to education, transparency, civil society, human rights, regional security, journalistic standards, intellectual property rights, environmental protection, and market access for U.S. business.
Categories: Humanities (see "Cultural Affairs" in CFDA).
Categories: Humanities (see "Cultural Affairs" in CFDA).