Potential Applicants: Please note that the Required Documents section of this RFA has been updated as of June 27, 2012.

Applicants are not required to include the résumés of KIE key personnel in their application.

Before You Apply

HED has an easy new online application submission process for all Requests for Applications (RFAs). For more information, please review the Application Guidance page.

Date Issued: April 20, 2012

Award Amount: $1,080,000 USD


Higher Education for Development (HED), in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development in Rwanda (USAID)/Rwanda, is issuing a Request for Applications (RFA) for women’s leadership in education in Rwanda.

HED expects to make one (1) award of up to $1,080,000 for the period from October 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015 for a higher education partnership between one or more higher education institution(s) in the United States and the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) in Kigali, Rwanda. The partnership’s goal is to support the Government of Rwanda and USAID/Rwanda’s education development goals that promote gender equality and female empowerment.

This partnership is part of a broader new effort known as the Women’s Leadership Program, whose purpose is to support national and local development goals that promote gender equality and female empowerment. Subject to the availability of U.S. government funding, HED anticipates issuing a total of five RFAs for higher education partnerships under the Women’s Leadership Program in Rwanda (2), Paraguay, South Sudan and Armenia.

Note on Required Documents

The documents listed below must be uploaded as part of the online application. Some of these items are HED forms that require completion. Several of the required documents provide guidelines for the material you will need to upload during the application process.

I. Background

A. Higher Education for Development (HED) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Higher Education for Development (HED) mobilizes the expertise and resources of the higher education community to address global development challenges. HED manages a competitive awards process to access expertise within the higher education community. HED operates with the advice and counsel of the nation's six major higher education associations: the American Council on Education (ACE), the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU).

HED receives funding from USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade, Office of Education (EGAT/ED), USAID’s functional and Regional Bureaus and worldwide Missions, and the U.S. Department of State to support higher education partnerships to advance global development, economic growth, good governance, and healthy societies. These partnerships provide training, applied research, academic program development, program evaluation, policy analysis, and program implementation, which are critical to furthering the U.S. government’s (USG) foreign assistance goals. Funding for this activity is provided by EGAT/ED and USAID/Rwanda.

  • For more information on Higher Education for Development, please visit: www.hedprogram.org.
  • For information on USAID and its role in economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide over the past 50 years, please visit www.usaid.gov and www.usaid.gov/rw.

B. The Women’s Leadership Program in Rwanda in Education
The purpose of the Women’s Leadership Program in Rwanda in Education (WLP-Rwanda (Education)) is to support national and local development goals in Rwanda that promote gender equality and female empowerment in education.

HED is working with EGAT/ED and USAID/Rwanda under the Women’s Leadership Program, to support a higher education partnership between the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) and one or more U.S. higher education institution(s).  

The WLP-Rwanda (Education) partnership will contribute to the primary objectives of the overall Women’s Leadership Program framework. These overarching objectives are:

  1. To promote and support the access of women to higher education and advanced degrees
  2. To strengthen institutional capacity in research and education on women's leadership
  3. To promote women's leadership through higher education extension/outreach efforts in underserved communities

C. Program Relationship to USAID Strategy and Policy
USAID’s Education Strategy is premised on the development hypothesis that education is both foundational to human development and critically linked to broad-based economic growth. The 2011-2015 USAID Education Strategy outlines three goals with which all education development projects funded by USAID must align. Projects that HED manages, including the Women’s Leadership Program, contribute to Goal 2 of this strategy – improved ability of tertiary and workforce development programs to generate workforce skills relevant to a country’s development goals. The WLP-Rwanda (Education) will contribute directly to this goal by strengthening the capacity of the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) to advance women’s leadership and prepare graduates who can contribute to promoting gender and women’s economic empowerment.

At the same time, WLP-Rwanda (Education) also integrates key elements of the new USAID Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy into the program. Specifically, the Women’s Leadership Program partnerships are expected to carry out activities that will support USAID efforts related to the Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy and aimed at achieving one or more of the following three overarching outcomes: reduced gender disparities in access to, control over and benefit from resources, wealth, opportunities and services–economic, social, political, and cultural; reduced gender-based violence and mitigate its harmful effects on individuals; and increased capability of women and girls to realize their rights, determine their life outcomes, and influence decision-making in households, communities, and societies.

Further, the WLP-Rwanda (Education) partnership is designed to contribute to USAID/Rwanda and Government of Rwanda’s educational development goals. More specifically, WLP-Rwanda (Education) aligns with USAID/Rwanda’s Basic Education Assistance objective to improve foundational skills that prepare Rwandan children and youth to contribute to the transformation of Rwanda into a knowledge-based economy and in particular to achieve the outcomes of improved literacy and numeracy for boys and girls, improved quality of teaching, and improved availability and use of teaching and learning materials.This objective also aligns with the Government of Rwanda’s gender and family promotion strategic approach of early exposure of Rwandan children to gender issues to instill in them lifelong gender equality values.

KIE and the U.S. higher education institution(s) identified through this RFA will work together to accomplish a set of objectives aligned with, and designed to, include gender-sensitivity and female empowerment into the teacher training curriculum of the KIE-affiliated Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs), which are responsible for preparing teachers to the educate next generation of Rwandan children.

II. Partnership Description

A. Rwanda Country Context
The Government of Rwanda (GOR) has embarked on the complex task of achieving national peace and reconciliation while rebuilding the country's social and physical infrastructure in the post-genocide period. Rwandan policy makers quickly recognized that this transformation must be based on a solid foundation of respect and protection of the basic and fundamental human rights of all its population.

Rwandan government policy reflects a general consensus that women, regardless of ethnic or economic origins, must be economically and socially empowered if the country's development is to be achieved. Rwanda established the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) to promote family, gender and women's empowerment. An important mandate of MIGEPROF is to assist other government agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Education, etc. in mainstreaming gender issues in their work and activities.

MIGEPROF's current priorities are:

  • Family Promotion
  • Economic Security for Women
  • Capacity Building

One mainstreaming strategy that MIGEPROF utilizes is to address gender and family issues together, so that gender issues are understood from a family perspective. Therefore, MIGEPROF places a strong emphasis on the family unit and particularly in instilling gender values in young children that will remain embedded as part of their own social values as the children grow and become active citizens.

The MIGEPROF reports to the Prime Minister and works closely with the Rwanda Gender Monitoring Office (GMO), an independent government body which ensures that gender issues are mainstreamed by all government agencies. In addition, the Ministry of Finance works with all ministries in the development of gender-sensitive budgets. These accomplishments build a receptive environment for the promotion of women's leadership in all sectors.

This higher education partnership will contribute to the Rwandan national goals for advancing family, gender and women's empowerment by addressing these issues in the context of basic education. Rwanda's teacher education system includes eleven (11) Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) charged with preparing teachers who will teach at the primary level in Rwandan schools. The TTC's affiliation was transferred from the Rwanda Education Board to KIE in 2011 to provide expert assistance and oversight for curriculum development and teacher certification. The Faculty of Education at KIE is charged with this oversight responsibility. This partnership will work to develop gender-sensitivity and girls empowerment lessons into the teacher training curriculum of the TTCs.

B. About The Kigali Institute for Education (KIE) (1)
The Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) is a public institution of higher learning in Rwanda, founded in 1999. The establishment and operation of KIE was made possible by combined efforts of the Government of Rwanda, a major stakeholder, and assistance from various donors including the World Bank, African Development Bank, Swiss Cooperation, Belgian Cooperation, DFID, USAID, UNESCO, German Cooperation, Belgian Cooperation, French Cooperation, and the Netherlands. 

Since its establishment, KIE has evolved into a dual-mode institution offering distance and pre-service programs in various disciplinary areas offering diplomas to honors degree. At the master's degree level, a Master of Science/Master of Research in Social and Educational Research Methods has been offered since 2007. KIE, in partnership with the University of South Africa (UNISA), offers programs that range from certificate to Ph.D. 

KIE is composed of four faculties (equivalent to colleges in the U.S. higher education system), one school of postgraduate studies and three academic centers.
The faculties are:

  • The Faculty of Science
  • The Faculty of Arts and Languages
  • The Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies
  • The Faculty of Education

The three academic centers are:

  • The Center for Academic Practice and Development
  • The Center for Open, Distance and e-Learning
  • The Center for Gender, Culture and Development

These faculties and centers are composed of further specialized departments. The contact for this RFA is the director of the KIE Center for Gender, Culture and Development.

Further information on KIE can be found at http://www.kie.ac.rw.

(1) Information provided by the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) in a brochure for the commencement of KIE'S seventh graduation ceremony.

C. WLP-Rwanda (Education) Partnership Framework
Purpose: The purpose of the WLP-Rwanda (Education) partnership is to support USAID/Rwanda's educational development goals that promote gender equality and female empowerment, which is in line with the Government of Rwanda's gender-mainstreaming strategy mentioned above.

Goal: To strengthen the capacity of Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) and KIE-affiliated Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) to equip teacher trainees with skills and knowledge to incorporate gender balance in primary school classrooms.

Discussions with USAID/Rwanda and Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) have resulted in the partnership results framework for the partnership that is outlined below. Applicants should consider how their partnership design will achieve the objectives, outcomes and outputs described in this framework. Activities contributing to the outputs listed in this framework are considered illustrative.

Applicants are encouraged to explore various ways of collaborating with KIE on the desired outputs and achieving the designated objectives. Creative approaches to activities and partnership implementation are encouraged.

Objective 1: Promote and support women's access to the Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) affiliated with the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE).
Outcome 1.1: Increased number of qualified women enrolling in advanced teaching credential programs in primary education.

  • Output 1.1.1: Gender-focused academic outreach and counseling programs to increase awareness of KIE's and TTCs' academic offerings.

    Illustrative activities:

    • Conduct outreach visits to junior high schools to present KIE and TTCs and their programs.
    • Conduct outreach visits to high schools to present KIE's academic programs.
  • Output 1.1.2: Mentoring programs for female in-service teachers seeking advanced qualifications.
    Illustrative activities:
    • Develop a mentorship protocol and criteria for selection of qualified mentors.
    • Identify and vet qualified mentors for in-service female teachers.
    • Pair mentors with female in-service teachers who applied for mentorship program.
  • Output 1.1.3: Flexible delivery options such as distance education courses that make master's coursework accessible to working women and women with family responsibilities.
    Illustrative activities:
    • Review best practices in flexible delivery of academic programs for women that can be applied in the context of Rwanda and KIE.
    • Develop a flexible delivery strategy and implementation plan.
    • Develop a plan to utilize an existing interface of distance learning platform at KIE to offer online classes.

Objective 2: Strengthen the capacity of the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) to make research-based recommendations about gender-sensitive education to the Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs).

Outcome 2.1: The Centre for Gender, Culture and Development Studies at KIE will have increased capacity to conduct research on gender-sensitive teacher preparation.

  • Output 2.1.1: Joint U.S. institution and KIE research initiatives focused on gender-sensitive education.
    Illustrative activities:
    • Identify gender sensitive education research topics and distribute to master's level students associated with the Centre for Gender, Culture and Development Studies for consideration.
    • Involve Master's students affiliated with the Centre for Gender, Culture and Development Studies at KIE in gender-sensitive teacher preparation research.

Outcome 2.2: The Centre for Gender, Culture and Development Studies at KIE will have increased capacity to disseminate research findings on gender-sensitive teacher preparation to the TTCs.

  • Output 2.2.1: A KIE policy for communicating and sharing the research findings of the Centre for Gender, Culture and Development Studies among the TTCs.
    Illustrative activity:
    • Conduct policy review and planning meetings with relevant stakeholders focused on producing communication policy recommendation.

Objective 3: Increase the capacity of the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) to prepare primary school teachers to address gender equity in the classroom through pedagogy, course content and classroom management techniques.

Outcome 3.1: Gender equity is reflected in professional development inputs (course content, curricula, teaching materials, training in pedagogy and classroom management) for TTC instructors, teacher trainees and in-service teachers.

  • Output 3.1.1: New and/or revised teacher education inputs embodying and promoting gender equity in instructional content, pedagogy and classroom management developed and adopted.
    Illustrative activities:
    • Conduct a review of current curriculum.
    • Facilitate negotiation/approval of new or modified courses/modules.
    • Develop multimedia teacher training materials that can be disseminated to pre-service teachers (teacher trainees) and in-service teachers through the online portal of the Rwanda Education Commission and the teacher mentoring system.

III. Partnership Implementation Process

With U.S. government funding, HED provides awards to, and manages innovative, higher education-based partnerships that target development challenges worldwide. Each partnership links a college or university in the United States with an institution of higher learning in a developing nation. In support of USAID's development goals, partners work together to address a wide range of challenges—from public health to entrepreneurship training, and beyond. What sets HED partnerships apart is the focus on sustained impact—building educational and human capacity in a way that sets the stage for ongoing improvement.

To achieve sustained impact, HED has put into place a system for effective results-based monitoring and evaluation to manage partnership activities and demonstrate impact. As part of this system, HED requires from all partners comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plans, including a results framework, partnership management plan (PMP), and a partnership implementation plan. (Please review the M&E guide/glossary.)

However, with decades of experience in higher education partnerships for development, HED has documented the importance of cooperation, reciprocity and joint decision-making among partners to finalize the monitoring and evaluation plans in the early stages of project implementation. Therefore, applicants only are required to submit draft versions of the results framework and partnership implementation plan as part of their application submission. (See Section IV, Application Content for more information.) Only after the partnership award has been made will the selected U.S. and host-country partners finalize these materials. 

Immediately following the announcement of the award and during the first 90 days of project implementation (referred to as the start-up phase), HED will work with the successful applicant and their partners to establish a solid foundation for the partnership by achieving concurrence among all stakeholders on the results framework, standard and custom indicators, and performance targets. The practice of setting aside the first 90 days of the project for these collaborative start-up activities is based on lessons learned from over a decade of higher education partnership management. Managing start-up activities in this manner allows for the implementation process to factor in the realities of a merit-based competitive selection in which an applicant does not have extensive access to the host-country partner institution for joint planning and thorough data collection. The start-up phase provides a platform for the establishment of a collaborative relationship between partner institutions and an opportunity to collect baseline data and validate or revise the strategy proposed by the U.S. institution during the application process. Dedicating adequate time, as well as financial and technical resources, to the start-up phase of project implementation enables implementing partners to ground partnership strategies in the reality of the host-country context.

Immediately following the award, partners will meet in country and will utilize HED standard monitoring and evaluation (M&E) forms and guidelines to develop the partnership management plan, conduct the baseline assessment and review the initial results framework. Results of the baseline study will inform the final results framework, help strengthen the partnership implementation plan and enable all partnership stakeholders to make informed project management decisions.

HED will assist in this process as needed. At the end of the start-up period, the partners may negotiate any necessary modifications to the award based on these planning documents and the findings of baseline assessment. Upon concluding start-up phase activities, partners will be responsible for producing these deliverables within approximately 90 days of the signing of the award agreement:

  • Final results framework
  • Partnership management plan
  • Baseline assessment report with targets for all standard and custom indicators
  • Final partnership implementation plan

IV. Application Content

A. Partnership Approach
In the partnership approach section of the narrative, applicants should describe how they will work collaboratively with the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) to achieve the goal, objectives, and outcomes identified for this WLP-Rwanda (Education) partnership. Each application also should describe anticipated outputs of proposed partnership activities and explain how these outputs would contribute to the partnership’s objectives and expected outcomes. Although applicants should respond to the partnership description outlined above, applicants are encouraged to draw from their expertise and knowledge to propose additional outputs and associated activities through which the partnership objectives and outcomes may be achieved. 

This description should reflect an understanding of the current context for gender equality and issues related to women’s leadership in Rwanda, as well as USAID priorities for Rwanda. Applicants should describe how they will work collaboratively with KIE to achieve the partnership objectives and outcomes. Applicants should demonstrate their ability to address gender issues in education which can be exemplified by technical approach, key personnel as well as institutional capacity.

Applications also should demonstrate the potential for program sustainability by describing a plan for sustainability that identifies strategies for and activities to support partnership goals and objectives beyond the award duration. Applicants should be aware that partners will be expected to more fully develop the sustainability plan during the partnership start-up by identifying additional public and private sector partners with whom to work and/or involve in the partnership. These can include partners in the United States, Rwanda, and/or multi-lateral/global organizations whose expertise and resources support the achievement of the partnership’s long-term capacity building goals. 

Finally, the partnership approach should identify factors outside of the institution that will help or hinder partnership implementation and describe plans to mitigate these factors when appropriate.

B. Institutional Commitment and Management
Applications should propose an effective partnership management and operational strategy that demonstrates a commitment of institutional resources to support the achievement of the partnership goal and objectives. To that end, applicants should discuss any personnel resources, provided by the award or in-kind, and institutional infrastructure at the lead U.S. partner institution to manage the partnership effectively.  

Although applicants should describe the interest of their institution in participating in this partnership, shared leadership and collaborative engagement of both the U.S. and host-country partners are viewed as critical elements of success. Therefore, the applicant should describe the ability of their institution to collaborate across departments and units at its own institution, as well as with the Kigali Institute of Education.

Regarding language competency necessary for partnership communication and management, all official higher education activities in Rwanda are rapidly switching to English as the medium of instruction, as determined by the Government of Rwanda. Some level of competence in French by the U.S. partner team is advisable, though not a requirement.

C. Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy
The application should discuss how the applicant will work together with the host-country partner institutions to ensure partnership success through a results-based management and monitoring approach. Applicants should clearly communicate how the partners will collect and analyze performance data, both quantitative and qualitative, through a systematic process of monitoring and data collection throughout the duration of the partnership. The proposed strategy should ensure the occurrence of a critical reflection process through which both the U.S. and Rwandan partners are enabled to utilize monitoring and evaluation data for critical decision making and course correction. The application also should describe how the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) strategy will increase the capacity of the host-country institution to utilize monitoring and evaluation data and processes to strengthen institutional management. In addition to the narrative section on the M&E strategy, applicants should use the HED M&E tools to develop and submit a draft results framework and draft partnership implementation plan that considers the elements described above. (Please review the M&E tool in the "Required Documents" section and the M&E guide/glossary.)

To comply with M&E requirements, applicants must develop and submit the following key M&E documents:

  • Design, Monitoring and Evaluation Worksheets (DME Worksheets) (Please review the M&E in the "Required Documents" section and the M&E guide/glossary.) consisting of:
    1. Standard Indicators–Higher Education – Applicants should become familiar with a set of required USAID standard higher education indicators included in the first sheet of the DME Worksheets. For each indicator, a definition, methodology of data collection and frequency of data reporting is described.
    2. Standard Indicators–Women's Leadership Program – Applicants should become familiar with a set of required USAID standard WLP-Rwanda (Education) indicators included in the second sheet of the DME Worksheets. For each indicator, a definition, methodology of data collection and frequency of data reporting is described.
    3. Results Framework (RF)–Applications should utilize the logical matrix to develop a rigorous results framework and formulate a coherent and well-designed partnership strategy. The results framework will establish cause and effect relationship within the hierarchy of results and reveal underlying assumptions, and as such, it will form the basis for the development of all M&E related documents.
    4. Partnership Monitoring Plan (PMP)–The Partnership Monitoring Plan will allow applicants to outline a systematic approach to results based management and provide a detailed description of the approach to monitoring partnership performance toward objectives over time. Applicants should use the PMP template which includes both standard/required indicators with detailed definitions, projected end of project targets; a plan and methodology for managing the regular data collection process and responsibilities. Applicants are required to also include custom indicators to be finalized after the negotiation period.
    5. Partnership Implementation Plan (PIP)–Applicants are required to include a detailed listing of partnership activities and implementation schedule. The implementation plan will document a logical sequence of events over time that will allow the partnership to progress towards producing required outputs. Applicants will utilize the enclosed format to define activities and major phases of work that will be undertaken to achieve the desired objectives and corresponding outputs.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Narrative (included in 20-page narrative)
    1. Plan for initial baseline assessment–Applications should include a brief description of the plan and approach for conducting the baseline assessment, proposed schedule and the use of baseline data to refine partnership strategy and finalize targets. HED shares with its partners a set of baseline assessment tools and encourages applicants to review these tools as part of the application process. However, applicants are not required to submit a completed baseline assessment during the application stage. These tools are being provided only for illustrative purposes and will be completed, in close consultation with HED, during the partnership start-up phase. Click here to view the baseline assessment tools.
    2. Plan for utilizing data for results-based partnership management–Briefly describe how the partnership will ensure a management process of critical reflection during which planned indicator targets will be compared and analyzed against actual indicator values. Applicants should describe how knowledge gained through monitoring and evaluation will be used for critical decision making and course correction.
    3. Strategy that shows how progress and results will be communicated and reported to the USAID through HED. Applicants should include a description of project reporting and communication strategy that will ensure timely and accurate reporting of results.

Applicants also should plan to allocate adequate resources to monitoring and evaluation including performance management and assessment.

Please note that the selected U.S. partner institutions and the host-country partners, in close consultation with HED, will be required to review and finalize the DME worksheets after the baseline assessment has been conducted.

D. Expertise of Key Personnel
Applicants should demonstrate their commitment to effectively manage the partnership and fulfill financial and programmatic compliance requirements. Applications should identify and describe credentials and experience of key personnel responsible for:

  1. Technical leadership including subject/regional expertise
  2. Technical leadership related to gender studies, with the skills and knowledge necessary to collaborate with the KIE Center for Gender, Culture and Development on approaches and responses to the identified issues
  3. Monitoring and evaluation management
  4. Administrative and financial management of the HED Award

E. Planning an Equitable and Cost-Effective Budget
Applications should include an equitable and cost-effective budget and budget narrative that supports the proposed partnership approach. Applicants are encouraged to refer to these documents for guidance about creating a partnership budget and budget narrative:

  • General Budget Guidelines
  • Sample Award Budget
  • Sample Budget Narratives
    A budget narrative supporting your budgeted costs, according to the Federal Cost Principles (2 CFR 220 Appendix A), must be submitted with your application. (See the listing of "Required Documents" at the top of this RFA page.) There is no particular format required for the budget narrative; therefore, feel free to submit the budget narrative using a format that most suits your needs. For your convenience, HED provides two samples of budget narratives (short and long versions) that represent commonly used formats.
  • Checklist for Partnership Proposal Budgets

Applicants should use the HED budget form to develop and submit a budget that considers the following elements.  
1. Equitable Budget: HED partnership awards are intended to support capacity development at the overseas partner institution. In formulating the proposed budget, applicants should consider how the proposed costs support the achievement of the results framework described in the RFA. For this RFA, U.S. applicants must provide evidence in the budget and the budget narrative of an emphasis of resources directly benefiting the KIE. The applicant is encouraged to demonstrate in the budget that at least 50 percent of award resources, and/or the benefits thereof, will benefit the KIE.

2. Partnership Activities: The budget should allocate adequate financial resources for the strategic planning and design phase, including an institutional and community assessment; the implementation phase; monitoring and evaluation activities; and an external evaluation. The budget being proposed for the partnership will be considered illustrative, as it may change based on the outcome of the institutional and community assessment.  

3. Cost Share: The minimum suggested total cost share from all U.S. partners is 15 percent of the award amount. Reported cost share must be auditable. Non-auditable contributions may not be used to meet the minimum, but can be indicated separately and attached to the budget detail form. Applicants should itemize all cost sharing and in-kind contributions. Read more on cost-share guidelines.

In-kind contributions may include, but are not limited to: waivers of tuition and fees for students participating in academic exchanges; donation of library and classroom materials to the partner; ICT infrastructure and Internet Service Provider subscription subsidy for the partner and exchange students; faculty salaries; travel and/or per diem for faculty and administrators to participate in professional exchange and development programs; and indirect costs.

Please note that the budget narrative should be appended as an attachment and should not be included as part of the main narrative.

HED is available to answer questions you might have about the budget template, including questions about customizing the template format. Note: The cells on the budget forms are locked, which will prevent you from using some of the MS Excel functions, such as deleting empty rows. If you would like to eliminate blank spaces, add more cells, or feel that your budget requires further customization of the template, please refer such questions to Adriana Lacerda, HED Budget Officer, at alacerda@hedprogram.org. Please allow at least 24 hours for a response to any correspondence or inquiries.

V. Eligibility

HED will only consider applications from regionally accredited, degree granting, U.S. higher education institutions (two- and four-year colleges and universities). U.S. colleges and universities may apply individually or in partnership with other institutions. Consortia applications are welcomed. HED encourages applications from or with the participation of Minority-Serving Institutions. HED will accept only one (1) application from each lead U.S. applicant institution per partnership award. However, U.S. applicant institutions are permitted to participate as secondary institutions in more than one application per partnership award.

In an effort to work with and strengthen local tertiary institutions, HED will engage U.S. institutions of postsecondary education (including universities, colleges, and community colleges) as core development partners in each of the activities funded under the program. Funding will be obligated through the U.S. institution to the cooperating institutions and stakeholders in the target countries in a fair, transparent, and open manner through program investments that will both develop and leverage the capacity of the local institutions to meet the human and institutional capacity needs of their country.

Applicants' budgets should demonstrate that award funds will be managed by the applicant and designated partner institution(s). HED can only negotiate an award agreement with the lead U.S. higher education institution named in the application.

VI. Contact Information

Applicants with questions related to this RFA may contact Fatou Kine Liddell, Senior Program Specialist, Higher Education for Development at kliddell@hedprogram.org.

Applicants wishing to learn more about women’s leadership and education development in Rwanda may contact David Rurangirwa at USAID/Rwanda. His contact information:

David Rurangirwa
ICT/Education Specialist
2657 Avenue de la Gendarmerie
Kigali, Rwanda
Tel: 250 (0) 788-301-267
Email: drurangirwa@usaid.gov
The designated contact for the Kigali Institute of Education is Jolly Rubagiza. Her contact information: 

Jolly Rubagiza  
Acting Director
Centre for Gender, Culture, and Development
Kigali Institute of Education
Tel: +250 (0) 788-405-717
Email: rubagiza@yahoo.com

VII. Application Format and Submission

A. Application Format
Effective March 2012, HED accepts applications through an online RFA system. 

Please review the list of all required documents for this RFA indicated at the top of this RFA web page. Each link in the "Required Documents" section of the RFA either provides an HED form to download and complete or instructions regarding a required document to upload. Applicants must submit all the required documents to complete the RFA application process.

B. How to Submit an Application
Step 1: To begin the online application process, the applicant must click the blue "Apply Now" button on the RFA web page.

Step 2: Applicants must either register as a new user or sign-in using an existing HED username and password. 

Step 3: Complete the requested information on the form. HED’s online application system permits users to save an application in progress and return to complete it during subsequent sessions.

Step 4: When you are ready to submit your application, please click the “Submit” button.

Please Note: The online application system will not allow the submission of the application unless all required fields are complete and required documents have been uploaded. A list of all “Required Documents” can be found at the top of each RFA web page. Applicants must submit all required documents online before the deadline. Faxed or hard-copy applications will not be accepted.

Applicants will receive an email acknowledging receipt of their online application. Once the application has been received, there will be no contact between the applicant and the HED program office until completion of the peer review process. This restriction will be enforced to ensure fairness to all parties concerned.

Questions about this online RFA process should be directed to Fatou Kine Liddell, HED Senior Program Specialist, at kliddell@hedprogram.org.

Applications must be received by 11:30 p.m., EDT on July 9, 2012.

VIII. Application Review Process

A. Review Criteria
Peer reviewers will use the following criteria to evaluate the applications. Reviewers will score each section using the guidance for total points and the questions provided. Expertise and past performance in addressing gender issues in education should be demonstrated in at least the partnership approach and expertise of key personnel.

Partnership Approach = 25 points

  • Does the approach demonstrate an understanding of the current context for gender equality and issues in education?
  • Is the approach feasible to achieving the institutional capacity building, partnership objectives and expected outcomes as listed in the RFA?
  • Does the narrative include a realistic sustainability plan?
  • Does the application adequately identify factors outside of the institution that may affect implementation and include plans to mitigate these factors?

Institutional Commitment and Management = 20 points

  • Does the application provide evidence of an effective program management approach?
  • Does the application reflect that sufficient personnel resources, whether in the award budget or in kind, will be available to implement this partnership successfully?
  • Is there a compelling and strategic interest on the part of the U.S. institution to engage with this partner?
  • Does the application clearly articulate the role of each partner institution in implementation?
  • Is there evidence of sufficient infrastructure at the lead U.S. partner institution to manage the partnership effectively? (e.g. financial management, program management and compliance, logistical support, visa compliance, etc)
  • Does the application indicate that the lead U.S. institution and key personnel will be able to operate seamlessly in a foreign language environment?

Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy = 20 points

  • Is the proposed monitoring and evaluation strategy compatible with a results-based management approach?
  • Does the application articulate a clear understanding of how M&E data will be used to guide program implementation?
  • Does the application outline a process for developing a viable results-based framework and M&E plan in collaboration with the Rwandan partner institution?
  • Are the roles of partners and evaluators in the M&E process clearly articulated in the M&E strategy?
  • Are adequate human resources described to carry out the level of M&E described and required in this activity?

Expertise of Key Personnel = 15 points

  • Do the individuals responsible for managing the partnership have appropriate professional credentials and expertise in addressing gender issues in Education? (Identify and describe the roles of key personnel who will be responsible for technical leadership, monitoring and evaluation, administrative and financial management of the HED Award.)

Equitable and Cost-Effective Budget = 20 points   

  • Does the approach demonstrate cost-effectiveness?
  • Does the budget include cost sharing of no less than 15 percent?
  • Are allocation levels in the application budget reflective of a priority of resources going to the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE)?
  • Does the proposed partnership budget (HED Award and cost share) include adequate funding for the start-up phase?
  • Does the budget include approximately 3 percent of total program costs devoted to performance management, assessment and ongoing monitoring and evaluation costs?

Total = 100 points

B. Peer Review Process
Applications will be peer-reviewed by expert panelists, which include representatives from higher education, international development, and USAID. Awards will be made on the basis of reviewers' recommendations of merit, and final selection by USAID. The peer review of applications is planned to occur in July 2012.

Please note that letters of communication from members of the U.S. Congress in support of an application are discouraged as these may be thought to prejudice the peer-review process. Such letters will not be forwarded to peer reviewers. 

Notification about awards is expected following the completion of peer review. Upon final announcement of awards, the person named in the application as the U.S. partnership director may submit a written request for copies of the peer reviewers' scores for the application. No personal reviews will be granted, and no comparative score tabulations will be shared.

IX. Additional Terms of the Solicitation

A. Execution of Awards
Awards will be executed as sub-agreements between the designated U.S. university, college, community college, or consortium, and the American Council on Education (ACE), through the Higher Education for Development (HED) office, under USAID Cooperative Agreement AEG-A-00-05-00007-00. The institution recommended for award will receive a draft version of the sub-agreement to review. The award recipient will be expected to submit a marking plan related to USAID branding as part of the sub-agreement that clearly indicates the support provided by USAID for activities conducted under the award.

Please note that no award or cost-share funds may be expended prior to a fully executed (i.e., signed by both parties) sub-agreement between ACE and the designated U.S. institution unless pre-award expenses have been approved in writing as a part of the negotiation of the sub-award. Activities are expected to commence immediately after the sub-agreement is executed.

Payment of award funds to designated U.S. university, college, community college, or consortium shall be on a cost-reimbursable basis, according with approved financial expenditure reports accompanied by cost-share reports. These payments are made based on the applicant’s implementation of the work plan, stated budget, and submission to HED of financial, tax, and narrative progress reports. It is the designated U.S. institution’s responsibility to provide reimbursements for its collaborating partner(s) in accordance with the agreed-upon activity schedule and budget.

B. Post Award Briefings
Partnership directors, and/or their designees, are required to participate in two post-award briefings. The first briefing, conducted in a virtual format, will review reporting, monitoring and evaluation requirements. The second briefing via a conference call will address general requirements of the award.

C. TraiNet Requirements
To comply with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of State, and USAID regulations regarding tracking and monitoring of Exchange Visitors, foreign nationals whose costs are paid, fully or partially, directly or indirectly using USAID program funds for training, non-training, and invitational travel, must enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa (non-immigrant Exchange Visitor visa) processed under one of USAID's two program numbers, unless otherwise waived according to the procedure in ADS 252.3. J-2 visa applications for family members who are not supported per USAID policy.

USAID expects that all DS-2019 documents (paperwork needed for J visas) and in-country or third country training be processed through the USAID Training, Results and Information Network (TraiNet) system. For more information about TraiNet, go to http://trainethelp.usaid.gov.

Institutions may not directly access the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to issue DS-2019 documents internally. Information regarding USAID's J-1 visa requirements may be found online at the Participant Training website. Administrators must adhere to the regulations detailed under TraiNet, Visa Compliance System (VCS), the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), and USAID's Automated Directives System (ADS) 252-Visa Compliance for Exchange Visitors, and 253-Training for Development. U.S. institutions should allow a minimum of four months for the processing of visas when planning activities in the United States.

TraiNet management requires a significant commitment of staff time and applicants are encouraged to consider this when developing the program budget.

D. Health and Accident Coverage Insurance
The U.S. institution is responsible for enrolling each participant traveling to the United States or a third country in the institution's Health and Accident Coverage (HAC) insurance program or in other coverage that meets the following requirements:

  1. Coverage must be at a minimum $50,000 per illness or accident;
  2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500;
  3. Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000; and
  4. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

Any company selected must be underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of "A–" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-i" or above, a Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of "A–" or above, a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above, or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify. Please refer to 22 CFR § 62.14(a) for the full description of the applicable insurance requirements.

The cost of HAC for participants must be included in the budget. More information on the USAID HAC program is available online.

E. Reporting

The awardee will be required to submit to HED the following reports.

  • Financial expenditure reports (both grants and cost share) are due at least quarterly with recorded expenditures for the following periods: Jan. 1-March 31, April 1-June 30, July 1-Sept. 30, and Oct. 1-Dec. 31.
  • Progress reports for the following reporting periods are due semi-annually: April 1-Sept. 30 and Oct. 1-March 31.
  • Financial reports and semi-annual progress reports are due within one-month after the corresponding reporting period closes: Jan. 30, April 30, July 30; and fifteen days after the close of the fourth quarter: Oct. 15.
  • Quarterly financial accrual reports are to be submitted within 10 days of the last month of each quarter: Dec. 10, March 10, June 10, and Sept.10.
  • Annual implementation plans and annual budget projections are to be submitted by April 30 of each year.
  • A foreign tax report covering the Oct. 1-Sept. 30 period is due every Dec. 31.
  • A final narrative report, which includes an assessment of program impact, is due 30 days after the conclusion of program activities.
  • Final financial expenditure reports (both grant and cost share) are due no later than 30 days after the sub-agreement closing date.

X. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question 1: Why are there two different Requests For Applications (RFAs) for two different partnerships in the Women’s Leadership Program in Rwanda instead of one combined RFA/partnership?
Answer 1:
The anticipated Women’s Leadership Program (WLP) partnerships in Rwanda will be in two different programmatic sectors namely agriculture and education. Two different and separate host-country institutions have been identified for the WLP in Rwanda: the Faculty of Agriculture at the National University of Rwanda for the agriculture partnership; and the Kigali Institute of Education for the education partnership. The USAID/Rwanda contact persons for these RFAs and the anticipated partnerships are experts in their respective fields and are represented by different units at USAID/Rwanda. For these reasons, HED, in consultation with USAID/Rwanda, decided it would be best to issue two separate RFAs for two distinct partnerships. This also will allow U.S. higher education institutions with expertise in one of these fields, and not the other, to participate in the process while remaining competitive.

Q-2. Do we have to work with the Kigali Institute of Education in Rwanda for this program or can we work with other institutions in Rwanda?
The successful applicant or consortium of applicants will collaborate with the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE), which has been designated by USAID as the primary host-country partner institution to benefit from the capacity strengthening goals of the partnership. KIE oversees the Rwandan Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs), which are responsible for preparing primary school teachers.

Q-3: Will you accept multiple applications to this program from a single institution or do we need to prepare for an internal competition?
HED will accept only one (1) application from each lead U.S. applicant institution per partnership award. However, U.S. applicant institutions are permitted to participate as secondary institutions in more than one application per partnership award. Please refer to section V. Eligibility of the RFA for more details.
Q-4: I am at a large university and I am not sure how to figure out if other departments/faculty will be submitting a proposal?
We encourage you to contact the office of sponsored programs, sponsored research, or grants office at your institution to determine if other departments/faculty are submitting proposals. If your institution does not have a process for the review of applications for external funding, we suggest that you contact your dean, provost or vice president for guidance.

Q-5: Will community colleges be considered for this RFA?
Yes. HED will consider complete applications from any regionally accredited, degree granting, U.S. higher education institutions (two- and four-year and graduate colleges and universities). For more information, review section V. Eligibility of the RFA.

Q-6: Is it acceptable for higher education system’s governing board to submit a proposal as a lead organization for a consortium of its institutions
Yes, a governing board is eligible as an applicant and can serve as the lead institution provided that its individual member institutions meet eligibility requirements.

Q-7: Can applicants subcontract with another university in the United States?
Yes, consortia models including multiple regionally accredited, degree-granting U.S. institutions are allowed. However, applications must be submitted by ONE (1) regionally accredited, degree-granting, U.S. higher education institution that will serve as the lead.

Q-8: Will the Kigali Institute of Education be working on proposals with more than one U.S. higher education institution?
Yes. The Kigali Institute of Education has been asked to treat all applicants equally and to provide the same information to every institution seeking information or collaboration.  

Q-9: Are U.S. universities to make contact with the Kigali Institute of Education during the proposal writing process or should a university contact KIE only after/if it is selected by HED?
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact KIE during the application development stage. Contact information for KIE representatives is provided in the RFA under section VI. Contact Information. To ensure integrity and transparency of the HED selection process, KIE has been asked to treat all applicants equally and to provide the same information to every institution seeking information or collaboration.

Q-10: Is a U.S. applicant allowed to visit the Kigali Institute of Education in Rwanda while working on a proposal for this RFA?
HED is currently working with KIE to determine whether or not they will be able to receive prospective applicants. HED will post a follow up response to this question as soon as this has been clarified.

Q-11: Is it possible to have a non-government organization (NGO) as a partner?
The primary targets for this partnership program and funding are higher education institutions. Funding will be obligated through the lead U.S. institution to the Kigali Institute of Education in a fair, transparent and open manner through program investments that will both develop and leverage the capacity of KIE. Limited funds may be used to support NGO costs provided that these costs have direct connection to the partnership goals of building capacity and advancing women’s leadership at KIE and its affiliated Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs).

Q-12: Based on the RFA, there seems to be no funding allocation for infrastructure or equipment. Is the purchasing of equipment (for vocational and technical training) restricted?
Funding for infrastructure or equipment could be considered. Any purchase of equipment with federal funds that cost $5,000 USD or more must receive prior approval from USAID. Applicants should familiarize themselves with the federal regulations contained in 2 CFR 215.34 regarding equipment approval, procurement and disposal mechanisms. HED advises that applicants consider whether such allocation of funding is critical to achieving the program objectives.

Q-13: What connection does WLP Rwanda (Education) have to HED’s broader Women’s Leadership Program?
The Women's Leadership Program in Rwanda (Education) partnership will be one of five anticipated partnerships comprising the Women's Leadership Program. Subject to the availability of U.S. government funding, HED anticipates issuing a total of five RFAs for higher education partnerships under the Women's Leadership Program in Rwanda (2), Paraguay, South Sudan and Armenia. The purpose of the Women's Leadership Program is to support host-country local and national development goals that promote gender equality and female empowerment. Partnerships in all four countries have similar high-level goals and objectives, but they vary in sector, scope, scale, and implementation model based on the needs of each country context.

Q-14: When will the Women’s Leadership Program RFA for South Sudan be issued?
HED anticipates issuing the RFA for the Women’s Leadership Program in South Sudan sometime in May or June 2012. You may sign up for HED communications and RFA announcements on the homepage of the HED website.

Q-15: Are we able to use grant funds to support a scholarship component of this initiative?
: Although HED partnerships may include a student or faculty exchange component between the U.S. and host-country institutions, the main focus of this specific partnership is to develop gender-sensitivity and girls’ empowerment lessons into the teacher training curriculum of the KIE-affiliated TTCs in Rwanda. It is up to the partners to decide whether a scholarship would be an effective and appropriate mechanism to achieve the goal of the program.

Q-16: In the RFA you refer to “To promote and support the access of women to higher education and advanced degrees” are you referring to access to credentials abroad or domestically, or either?
HED partnerships aim to strengthen the institutional and human capacity of the host-country institutions involved to address local development challenges. A partnership designed to increase women’s access to credentials in Rwanda, particularly at KIE and its affiliated TTCs, will be more likely to contribute to this goal in a strategic and sustainable manner.

Q-17: What is the financial matching requirement for these awards?
As noted in the RFA, there is a minimum expected cost share of 15 percent of the award amount from the U.S. institution. (See section IV. Application Content, E. Planning an Equitable and Cost-Effective Budget, 3 Cost Share) for details on applicable cost sharing.

Q-18: The RFA indicates that the successful application will receive a grant that works on a reimbursement basis, please explain.
Payment of award funds to a designated U.S. university, college, community college, or consortium shall be on a cost-reimbursable basis, in accordance with approved financial expenditure reports and cost-share reports (See section IX. Additional Terms of the Solicitation, A. Execution of Awards). Generally, financial expenditures are reimbursed on a quarterly basis. On a case-by-case basis, partnerships may submit invoices for reimbursement on a more frequent basis. HED does not issue advance payments.

Q-19: Will we get a list of today's participants in order to see if we can partner on a proposal for this RFA?
HED respects the privacy of participants of our online information sessions and therefore does not share the participants’ names. We do however encourage you to utilize HED’s LinkedIn page as a starting point to make those connections. Please note, to ensure fairness and maintain the integrity of the RFA process, HED will not moderate or answer any questions about RFA-related issues via the HED LinkedIn group. All questions about RFAs should be directed to the program specialist indicated on the RFA web page.

Before you can initiate discussions or participate in the HED group discussions, you will need to create a LinkedIn account for yourself at www.linkedin.com or log in to your existing account. Using the search function, type in “Higher Education for Development” and then click on the group. You can follow any prompt thereafter to request to join.

If you are having trouble joining the group, please send your contact information to aschachter@hedprogram.org.

Q-20: Can one institution apply to multiple Women’s Leadership Program RFAs?
Institutions may submit applications to more than one Women's Leadership Program RFA which includes Rwanda (Agriculture), Rwanda (Education), Paraguay, Armenia and South Sudan but they may not submit more than one application to each individual RFA.

Q-21: What is the language of instruction: French or English?
The language of instruction at KIE is English.
Q-22: Will the university that wins this competition be chosen by HED, USAID, and KIE or through some sort of collaboration between these organizations?
HED will convene a peer review panel consisting of external experts and representatives from USAID/Rwanda. KIE will be invited to communicate with USAID/Rwanda during the review of the applications. The HED review panel will make recommendations to USAID/Rwanda for the selection of the winning application. USAID/Rwanda will make the final decision based on these recommendations.

Q-23: If we are working with several universities, can we have Co-PIs, with one institution taking the lead, but the two Co-PIs are from different institutions?
Yes, with any agreement involving several universities, one must take the lead and a principal investigator (PI) must be identified at that university. There can also be Co-PIs at the other partnering institutions. HED encourages collaboration among U.S. institutions. However, one must act as lead for fiduciary and reporting coordinating responsibilities.

Q-24: Should we budget for funds to be allocated to KIE? Is there a maximum or minimum that should be allocated to KIE?
: Yes, please refer to section IV. Application Content, E. Planning an Equitable and Cost-Effective Budget.

Q-25: Will we know who is on the Peer Review Panel?
No, Peer reviewers are kept anonymous. However applicants can receive peer reviewer feedback on their applications upon request.

Q-26: Has KIE identified particular programmatic goals and initiatives that they seek to realize through this grant?
Please refer to section II, C: Partnership Framework for details on programmatic goals and initiatives. In particular, KIE and USAID hope that the program will strengthen the training of pre- and in-service teachers as well as encourage more master’s degree students to continue their education and complete Ph.D.s and research related to gender sensitive education.

Q-27: Would distance education be considered as a means to deliver instruction in the partnership?
KIE currently has a distance education program that works mainly with secondary school teachers, not Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs). The distance education program has focused on working with teachers who did not have the required degree needed to teach in secondary schools. Most TTC teachers already hold the requisite degree to be able to teach, so these programs were not applicable. However, it may be appropriate for distance education to be used for in-service teachers for short or refresher courses.

Q-28: Is the Center for Gender, Culture and Development more interested in building its graduate program or is the emphasis on training of K-12 teachers?
The Center for Gender, Culture, and Development at KIE will be responsible for monitoring the gender aspect of this partnership program while the aspect related to teacher training at the TTCs will be managed by the School of Education. There already exists a strong relationship between the Center for Gender and the School of Education, as the master’s degree program in gender studies offered by the Center for Gender has already begun to complete research projects that have direct relevance to the needs of teacher preparation at the TTCs. This relationship will most likely be reinforced by their further collaboration in the context of this partnership.

Q-29: The RFA puts a strong emphasis on monitoring and evaluation both as a substantive part of the program and to provide oversight of the program. Is assessment the key objective of your program?
Please find the objectives of the RFA in section II Partnership Description; C. WLP-Rwanda (Education) Partnership Framework. M&E is an important component of the partnership process. HED’s M&E processes reflect USAID priorities for results-based management.

The implementation process includes time to be spent on refining an implementation plan and program framework with the support of HED’s Program Quality and Impact team as well as USAID staff.

Q-30: What is the most important outcome to USAID? What would KIE like to see at the end of the grant term?
USAID hopes to develop an environment within which all children regardless of gender can have the opportunity to excel.
Additionally, KIE is looking for a partnership that will address the challenges it currently faces, one being time management. The Center for Gender offers a part-time course which means students have lectures every night and Saturdays. Students consist of bureaucrats, politicians and members of parliament. The challenge is how KIE can assist these students in balancing the demands of work and of the program. Additional challenges include the recent change of the language of education from French to English.

Q-31: Does HED/USAID/KIE have a goal for the number of women or teachers that they hope will be impacted by this initiative?
The number of women or teachers to be affected by this partnership has not been specified at this time. However, the Rwandan constitution states that women should represent at least 50 percent of all positions in the country. KIE hopes to continue that trend in the education sector.  

Q-32: Currently, how many women are enrolled in TTCs?
There are 2,026 female students out of 3,850 students enrolled in nine TTCs.

Q-33: What are some of the factors that cause girls to drop out of primary schools in Rwanda? What incentives are there for retaining girls and/or encouraging them to continue their education through the TTCs?
The primary factor that causes young girls to drop out of primary schools in Rwanda is their involvement in domestic work. Other key factors are poverty and pregnancies, sexual harassment; and other unsafe conditions.

Q-34: In addition to proposals on gender-sensitivity and female empowerment in the teacher training curriculum of the TTCs, is it possible to also consider engendering the whole KIE curriculum, so secondary teachers trained at KIE also go out with some gender sensitivity?
The Centre for Gender, Culture, and Development serves as an ongoing advisory center for revision/inclusion of gender aspect in the curriculum so all students enrolled at KIE have a gender sensitivity aspect to their education. This partnership should allow KIE to continually review and revise its curriculum so not only women, but men taking education courses can be trained in gender sensitive teaching practices.

Q-35: Can you please speak to the access to computers, internet and technology at KIE, TTCs and secondary schools and whether it is likely to increase/improve over the next year?
The issue of access to technology and computers is a larger, national issue. The Rwandan government has a plan to increase access to computing resources and bandwidth to all higher learning institutions. USAID has been supporting connectivity of all TTCs which has enabled them to have access to online resources. KIE’s budget for next year also includes the provision of computers and improvements to technology.

The TTCs have one computer laboratory which is connected to the internet which has not been sufficient and the bandwidth is very low. At KIE there are six laboratories, two of which are connected to the internet. Additionally, all staff offices have a computer with internet connectivity. There is also a wireless connection on campus. For secondary schools it is a very big challenge and very few have access to computing facilities and when they exist they are typically not connected to the internet. With the advent of the submarine fiber-optic cables, the hope is that bandwidth costs will decrease, increasing the amount of secondary schools with connectivity.

Q-36: Can proposals also be specifically linked to broadening the curriculum at the Center for Gender, e.g. supporting women’s leadership academic courses for women parliamentarians, civil society leaders etc.
The Center for Gender is considering less formal ways of providing mentoring for female parliamentarians and civil society leaders and not necessarily through academic curriculum. At the same time, the Center is eager to partner with others and has consulted with other universities in Rwanda on best practices.

Q-37: Does HED envision further support for sustainability beyond this initial award?
This partnership will be awarded under an HED agreement that expires Sept. 30, 2015. As such HED does not envision any continuation through HED. However, USAID may decide to provide additional support based on program accomplishments and progress of the partnership but that would be subject to review and discussion with USAID/Rwanda.

Q-38: Please could you remind me of the name of the presenters from KIE?
The representatives from KIE present at the information session were:

  • Professor Gertrude Fester, Acting Director of the Centre for Gender, Culture and Development
  • Dr. Faustin Habineza, Head of Primary Education Department and Coordinator of the application of TTCs to KIE
  • James Ngoga, Director of Planning

Q-39: To what extent does prior work in the field of education in Rwanda count?
Please refer to the RFA section: V. Eligibility for the criteria for the review of applications. This section will guide the peer reviewers when reviewing applications.

Q-40: Can you please restate the three outcomes for turning Rwanda into a knowledge-based economy or direct me to where I can get the information?
The Government of Rwanda's ambitious Vision 2020 goal of turning Rwanda into a knowledge-based economy requires having a labor force with the skills demanded by the industries that will drive future growth. For any other details on Turning Rwanda into a knowledge-based economy, please refer to Rwanda's Vision 2020 document which is available on the internet upon searching for the keywords “Rwanda Vision 2020.”

Q-41: The RFA mentions letters of support from "partner" institutions and "key collaborating partners." Is the "partner" institution in this case KIE? And would "key collaborating partners" refer to subcontracting non-governmental organizations (NGOs), or does this refer more to third parties who might be supportive of the project generally?
In the case of this RFA, KIE would be considered the partner institution. Other higher education institutions that are written into the proposal, and that would serve as main implementing partners, would be considered secondary partner institutions. “Key collaborating partners” refers to non-higher education institutions, such as NGOs. It also could include other third parties who are generally supportive of the partnership.

Q-42: We were not able to travel to Rwanda to attend the information session that was held on June 6, 2012 on the KIE campus. However we are wondering whether we can gain access to the information shared during that information session.
Below you will find links to the presentations that were made by KIE during the June 6 information session held on the KIE campus in Kigali. Other questions and answers shared during that session aside from these documents have also been added to the list of questions and answers in this section. These presentations contain important and useful information about KIE as a whole and the Center for Gender and Faculty of Education in particular. There is also information on the Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) and their affiliation with KIE. All of the items are in PDF format.

Q-43: Is it mandatory for applicants to use the HED provided templates, such as the Excel budget sheet that are provided within the RFA?
Yes. All applicants are required to adhere to the templates provided within the RFA (with the exception of the suggested budget narrative templates). If you believe that customizing any of the templates is essential to the integrity of your application, please contact HED in advance before taking such a step. If you need to change the budget template, please contact the HED Budget Officer, Adri Lacerda at alacerda@hedprogram.org. For changes to any other documents, please consult the HED contact listed on the upper right hand corner of the RFA.
Applications submitted with customized templates that have not received prior approval from HED will not be considered for funding. Please note that the budget narrative is the sole exception to this guidance, applicants may use our suggested templates or another preferred format. 

Q-44: What is the usual per diem rate that is paid to KIE Rwandan staff when traveling to schools for presentations and workshops?
According to the Director of KIE’s Center for Gender, Culture, and Development, the per diem rates paid to KIE staff follow government of Rwanda rates and vary depending on the traveler’s title, place visited, and whether one spends a night or not.

For staff traveling outside Kigali but returning the same day, per diem rates, range between 15 USD for professors to 9 USD for assistant lecturers, using the exchange rate of June 19, 2012. This amount is for lunch only and excludes transportation which is calculated according to the public transportation rates of the area visited. Public transportation to the farthest town from Kigali is about 10 USD.

Per diem rates when one is spending a night (based on the most expensive districts) range from around 100 USD for Professor to 60 USD for Assistant lecturer. The amount in each case only covers accommodation, breakfast and dinner. Lunch and transportation costs are added to this, following the rates given above.

Please remember that these rates are subject to change by the government and the estimates in US Dollar are subject to exchange rate fluctuations.

Q-45: The RFA asks applicants to use the following templates. Where can I find these templates?

  • Standard Indicators - Results Framework (RF) – Custom
  •  Results Framework Template
  •  Performance Monitoring Plan Template (PMP)
  •  Partnership Implementation Plan (PIP) template

A-45: These templates are provided in the RFA under the section: “Required Documents” under the link: “Monitoring and Evaluation Templates 2012”. The link will take you to one Excel document containing four tabs representing the four templates for which you are looking. The tabs are the following:

  • Standard Indicators
  • Results Framework (RF)
  • Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP)
  • Partnership Implementation Plan (PIP)

Two of these four documents are for informational purposes only: Standard Indicators tab and Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) tab/template. The other two are required and should be completed with relevant information: “Results Framework” tab/template and the “Partnership Implementation Plan” (PIP)tab/template. You should start with inputting information in the Results Framework section. Excel will populate some of that information into the PIP tab. Then you will need to complete the rest of the information requested to finalize the PIP.

Q-46: Would it be possible to provide us an editable budget template so that we can insert and edit the fields we need to accurately reflect the costs associated with the proposal?
HED is unable to share an unprotected budget template due to challenges associated with applicants using different budget formats. If you are having trouble using the budget template, please contact Adriana Lacerda, HED Budget Officer, at alacerda@hedprogram.org for assistance. Please allow at least 24 hours for a response to any correspondence or inquiries.

Q-47: What is the proper protocol for obtaining the necessary documents from KIE? ie: Letter of Support? Should we be sending KIE our draft applications in order to obtain letters of support?
All requests from KIE should be directed to Jolly Rubagiza at rubagiza@yahoo.com. In order to ensure transparency of the application process, applicants are encouraged to contact KIE with specific questions to develop their application and create plans that reflect the needs and interests of KIE aligned with the goal and objectives stated in the RFA. Applicants should not send draft applications in whole or in part to KIE but should collaborate through targeted questions to Jolly Rubagiza.

Q-48: Is KIE interested in pre-service certificates in addition to advanced certificates? If so, how might certificate programs align with the Master of Social Science in Gender & Development and/or the Professional Development Certificate currently offered by the Centre for Gender Culture & Development?
KIE is open to the development and modification of modules for pre-service and in-service teachers. Currently there is minimal linkage between the Master of Social Science in Gender and Development and other KIE teacher education programs. KIE hopes the Women’s Leadership Program in Rwanda (Education) partnership will result in closer collaboration amongst programs. For example, the Master of Social Science in Gender and development covers topics on gender equity in education; these could align with other related courses or modules. The staff at the Centre for Gender could participate in the development of modules and training of KIE students and staff where necessary.

Q-49: What are the goals of KIE and TTC regarding mentoring capacity? How many in-service teachers would there be who would be in the position to benefit from mentoring?
KIE’s Centre for Gender hopes that all staff will participate in training by the end of the program. Every year there are approximately 1200 pre-service trainee teachers from KIE starting their internship programs and working in the secondary schools These do not include trainees from TTCs. KIE has recruited about 300 mentors among the more experienced teachers in schools to follow-up student trainees doing their internship. There are plans to increase the mentors’ capacity, especially through training.

Additionally, information on the demographics of KIE’s students can be found in the answer to FAQ #42.

Q-50:What is the indirect costs at the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE)?
KIE does not have a Negotiated Indirect Cost Agreement Rate with the U.S. government and, therefore, cannot recover indirect costs.

Q-51: Do we need two budget templates (as provided by HED): one for the applicant as lead US institution (with reference to the KIE budget under contractual) and one for KIE?
Yes, each applicant will use the template provided by HED to develop and submit two separate budgets: one budget for the lead U.S. institution and one budget for KIE. Both budgets are required to have the same level of detail. However, on the lead U.S. institution budget, the only reference to KIE’s costs is on a line item under “contractual,” where the applicant will input the lump sum of the annual KIE expenses. The KIE budget will, in turn, provide the breakdown of the total costs you are listing on the lead U.S. institution budget. For example, if you will sub-award $100,000 on FY2013 to KIE, we expect to see a single line item for $100,000 under the contractual category of the lead U.S. institution budget. Then, the FY2013 KIE budget will provide the detailed breakdown of how the $100,000 will be spent by KIE. You should be submitting two separate Excel files using the template provided, which should remain as an Excel file and should not be submitted as a PDF, and one budget narrative for each institution (there is a sample provided but no required template for the budget narrative).

The applicant should be submitting two budgets and two narratives, one for each institution receiving funding.

Q-52: Should the lead U.S. host institution be submitting a budget for the total $1,080,000, including the funds that will be sub-awarded to KIE?
The U.S. lead institution should submit a budget for the entire $1,080,000, including the funds that will be sub-awarded to KIE. Please see the question number 51 for instruction on budget formatting.

Q-53: If the lead U.S. institution intends on working with additional U.S. institutions or organizations, do we also submit a separate budget for these institutions as well?
I strongly advise you to contact your office of sponsored programs to obtain guidance with regards to whether the other organizations will be contractors (as consultants or vendors) or sub-awardees. 

Once again, there is no subcontract in this case as we will not have a contractual relationship with the lead U.S. institution. Although there will be a legal agreement between ACE/HED and the selected U.S. institution, and this legal agreement is a “contract,” the relationship between ACE/HED and the selected recipient will be through a sub-award. There are many differences between a subcontract and a sub-award and your office of sponsored programs will be able to provide you with the necessary guidance to judge how to categorize the relationship. Please keep in mind that for every sub-sub-awardee, institutions the lead U.S. institution will partner with on the initiative, we expect to see a budget in Excel and a budget narrative following the same guidance provided in question 51.

Q-54: The template says “RFA SUBAWARD budget template.” If we do not have any other institutions or organizations aside from KIE that we are working with, do we use that template?
The applicant must use the budget template provided. The title “sub-award” refers to the relationship that the selected applicant of this competition will have with ACE/HED. If your institution is selected by the peer review panel, your institution will be ACE/HED’s sub-awardees.

Q-55: We have two different base salary and fringe benefit rates during the duration of the award, how do we accurately show this in the budget?
You can solve this problem by using two rows for each person–in one row you will use the first salary and under “base” you will clarify the time frame this salary is being used for, and on a different row you use the other salary, again clarifying under the column “base” the timeframe this base is being used for. You can further explain these calculations and assumptions in your budget narrative. If you need additional rows for salaries and benefits, please email your template to Adriana Lacerda, Budget Officer alacerda@hedprogram.org and specify how many additional rows you need.

Q-56: Can we use our form rather than the one provided?
No, using the budget excel template provided is a requirement in this application.

Q-57: Can applicants submit additional appendices with their application?
Please be advised that while the system will allow you to upload the documents within the categories defined in the RFA Required Documents section, the only appendices we will accept are reference lists. Please also refer to the Required Documents section of the RFA for guidelines and information on document limitations.

Q-58: There are only three objectives displayed in the Monitoring and Evaluation Template Excel worksheets. What should I do if I want to display more objectives in addition to these three?
The current worksheet displays only three objectives because only three objective are identified in the WLP-Rwanda (Education) Partnership Framework. If you would like to add additional objectives to work towards, a modified Monitoring and Evaluation Template is available upon request.


For more information:
Higher Education for Development

Online Information Sessions

WLP-Rwanda (Education) Online Information Session

May 07, 2012
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Eastern

HED held a web-based information session on May 7, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. EDT (5 p.m. CAT in Kigali and 8 a.m. PDT). Representatives from the Kigali Institute of Education and USAID/Rwanda were available during the session to discuss this RFA.

Questions and answers from the online information session are available for review in the online RFA announcement.

In-Country Information Session: Rwanda Education

June 06, 2012
8:00 AM - Eastern

An in-country information session June 6, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. Central Africa Time (GMT+2) at Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) will offer applicants who wish to travel to Rwanda a deeper insight into the larger education and gender dynamics in Rwanda.

Please contact Ms. Jolly Rubagiza at rubagiza@yahoo.com if you plan to travel to Rwanda for this information session and are planning to arrange face-to-face meetings with KIE faculty and officials.