Completing the Application
AIHA periodically solicits proposals to establish new partnerships and/or other health systems strengthening projects. While each Request for Proposals has specific requirements based on the needs of the specific partnership/project for which applications are being requested, there are some basic eligibility criteria and application guidelines common to all announcements. This guidance is being provided to assist your organization(s) in making the necessary preparations for submitting a proposal to us in response to future solicitation announcements.
If you have questions about AIHA’s solicitation process or about a specific Request for Proposals, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If your questions are about a specific Request for Proposals, please include the solicitation name in the subject line of your message.
AIHA generally seeks applications from an organization or group of organizations that has the institutional capacity to meet the goals of the partnership program as set forth in the solicitation. Applications are encouraged from institutions that have not traditionally been involved in international development and technical assistance programs. Unlike traditional consultancy approaches, AIHA partnerships are voluntary, peer-based technical assistance programs, with an emphasis on professional exchanges, voluntary contributions of professional time and expertise, and significant leveraging private-sector funds.
Based on the scope of the partnership/project for which applications are being requested, applicants are expected to demonstrate the requisite institutional capacity to meet project needs. If the applicant proposes a consortium of participating institutions, the proposal should demonstrate how the resources of the other relevant institutions will be brought to bear in the partnership/project. In the case of a consortium application, a lead institution must be clearly designated in order to provide effective coordination and assure fiscal accountability.
The following are key requirements and expectations of successful applicants:
- Applicants are required to demonstrate their willingness to undertake the commitments of a partner required under AIHA’s partnership model, including significant in-kind contributions, travel to the partnership/project site, hosting partners during exchanges to the United States, reporting on partnership activities and outcomes, and attending partnership orientations, workshops, and conferences. Partner institutions are expected to contribute the human resource component of partnership-related activities and forego customary institutional indirect charges.
- Applicants must agree to adhere to AIHA’s objective-setting and results-oriented approach, including the HIV?AIDS Twinning Center’s quarterly programmatic and monthly financial reporting and its accountability procedures and requirements. Partner institutions must also participate in program monitoring and evaluation activities to assess partnership progress and achievements.
- Applicants are expected to be flexible and responsive to changing needs of the partnership/project.
- Applicants must be willing to share information openly and participate fully in AIHA’s efforts to exchange information with other partnerships through our website and through dissemination conferences and seminars.
- Applicants must be willing to brief and debrief with donor organizations, ministry of health and other government officials in the host country, and other stakeholders as needed.
- In keeping with AIHA’s partnership model, lead partners are expected to work with their counterparts as equals and peers, jointly developing partnership work plans and implementing programs that are demand-driven and locally sustainable.
- The lead partner institution is required to designate a partnership coordinator whose role is to oversee the programmatic and administrative activities in support of the partnership and to serve as the point person in relations with AIHA. A partnership coordinator is typically an existing employee at the lead partner institution and serves in the position on a voluntary basis. AIHA provides partners with a detailed description of the partnership coordinator role and responsibilities which include:
- overseeing and guiding development of partnership workplans
- identifying and recruiting volunteers to participate in the partnership
- coordinating partnership exchanges, trainings, and other activities
- monitoring progress of the partnership against stated objectives
- submitting progress reports and other required paperwork to AIHA
- managing partnership budgets
- representing the partnership at official functions, conferences, and meetings
Partnership activities are centered on training exchanges between the partnership institution sites. Additional travel may need to be undertaken for partnership orientations, study tours, and collaborative partnership workshops and conferences.
The following key factors are usually considered in selecting successful applicants (specific criteria may be different depending on the specific partnership/project for which solicitation announcements are made).
- Clear and strong support of senior leadership and board(s) of directors of lead institution and any other institutions involved in the application
- Clear understanding of and commitment to voluntary nature of partnership program
Institutional Capability and Past Performance:
- Evidence of strong project management capability
- Evidence of strong financial management capability and internal controls
- Potential for sustainable relationship beyond AIHA funding
- Demonstrated understanding of the partnership methodology, particularly the collaborative and peer-to-peer aspects.
- Adequacy of proposed approaches to project components and related institutional experience and capacity to address these components.
- Sound and realistic approaches and timeline for meeting programmatic goals within the partnership timeframe.
- Clearly articulated approaches to gathering information and conducting assessments related to identified project components.
- Proposed approach to monitoring and evaluation (M&E), evidence of experience in measuring program outcomes, and a willingness to participate in AIHA’s M&E activities.
- Approaches to maintaining partnership communications and progress between exchange visits.
- Clearly stated commitment to participate in AIHA activities outside of grant activities, including annual conferences, publications, evaluations, etc.
- Demonstrated willingness to work collaboratively with other related programs and organizations, as well as with government ministries and other local entities.
- Potential for meeting long-term needs of the overall partnership program by working with other institutions and by conveying lessons learned in the partnership (discussion of mechanisms for dissemination of partnership successes).
Personnel Capability and Experience:
- Clear description of how the partnership will be coordinated and managed, with an identified partnership coordinator and mechanisms for communication among key partners.
- Appropriate qualifications and relevant experience of partnership coordinator and other key individuals involved in managing the partnership; adequacy of partnership coordinator’s skills in technical and managerial areas, including consensus building, necessary to provide guidance and oversight to the partnership.
- Range and extent of technical expertise available to contribute to accomplishing project goals.
- Significant in-kind contribution of resources, including human resources.
- Clear commitment or plan to generate additional in-kind resources, such as equipment, supplies, housing for visiting partners, etc.
- Foregone institutional overhead and other indirect costs.
- Level of funding required for partnership coordination and administrative support.
Completing the Application
The following section provides general instructions for formatting and organizing a grant application. A clearly written and easy-to-read proposal should be the goal of every applicant because the outcome of the review process depends on the reviewers’ understanding of the information provided. Reviewers will use only the information presented in your application to assess your responsiveness to the review criteria.
The narrative section of the proposal must be written in English and not exceed five pages (8 ½ x 11 paper size, easily readable typeface, 11-point font, single-spaced with one-inch margins).
Note that the cover page, in-kind contribution/financial section, Financial Certification Form, P.L. 108 Certification, and any other attachments WILL NOT count toward the page limit.
All applicants must submit a completed Financial Certification Form (which is included as part of any solicitation announcement) signed by the applicant institution’s chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or an authorized contracts officer. This form will not count toward the attachment limit of 15 pages.
The final proposal must include the following sections:
- Cover sheet (1 page)
- Description of institutional/organizational and personnel capacity (no page limit)
- Narrative section (not to exceed five  pages)
- In-kind contribution/financial (no page limit)
- Required Forms and Certifications:
- Financial Certification Form (Risk Assessment Questionnaire for US Institutions)
- P.L. 108-25 Form (compliance form or letter of certification regarding “prostitution and related activities”)
Indicate title of the proposal, institutional identification, and contact information (name, title, address, telephone, fax number, and e-mail of primary contact person) of the proposed lead partner and all other expected partnership institutions, including specific department/division, as appropriate.
Description of Institutional and Personnel Capacity
Institutional Capacity and Past Performance: Provide a brief description, including legal or registration status, of the institution(s) to be involved in the partnership and their existing relationship with one another. Describe how the strengths of the institution(s) match up with the priority needs of the program and the identified needs for the Ethiopian institution. Describe applicant’s previous activities and concrete results that are pertinent to the proposed partnership.
Personnel Capability and Experience: This section should cover both partnership management and technical resource capabilities. Information on key personnel, including for each key person a short description of experience and capacity relevant to the project description, and indication of level of effort each will dedicate to the proposed activities and the roles and responsibilities of each. Clearly identify the proposed Partnership Coordinator and describe his/her program management skills.
AIHA does not require a traditional technical proposal because the actual partnership work plan detailing objectives and activities will be developed jointly with the Ethiopian partners based on assessed needs and available resources. However, based on information contained in this Request for Proposals, the applicant is asked to:
1) Describe possible approaches and technical resources available to meet the program goals outlined in the Request for Proposals;
2) Set forth a timeline for implementing proposed approaches and meeting programmatic goals within the initial partnership time frame of 12 months;
3) Describe approaches for maintaining partnership communications and progress between exchange visits;
4) Detail approaches to monitoring and evaluation of programmatic activities using relevant PEPFAR (or other donor as applicable) indicators as described in the Request for Proposals; and
5) Describe a viable strategy for ensuring sustainability of partnership activities beyond the funding period.
In-kind Contributions/Financial Section
Describe the applicant’s commitment to provide voluntary resources and its plan to generate and leverage in-kind contributions from its community and the private sector. If possible, please indicate the value of in-kind time, goods and services expected to be contributed to the partnership. With regard to administrative support and coordination costs, applicants should clearly indicate whether financial support from AIHA will be necessary for administrative support and coordination of partnership activities and estimate the level of funding that will be required.
Required Forms and Certifications
All applicants are required to complete and submit with their application, the following forms/certifications:
- Financial Certification Form (Risk Assessment Questionnaire for US Institutions).
- P.L. 108-25 (compliance form or letter of certification regarding “prostitution and related activities”).
These forms/certifications, which may be downloaded from the following section, must be signed by an individual in the organization who is authorized to legally bind the organization. This is generally the Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer, President, Chief Financial Officer, or an authorized contracts officer.
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Forms and Templates
This section provides links to key forms required to complete your proposal application, as well as templates for other important documents, including a partnership work plan and quarterly report.
Financial Certification of US Partner Institutions (MS Word)
Sample Compliance Letter, PL 108-25 (MS Word)
The following forms are not required as part of the proposal process. Applicants may, however, find them useful and illustrative of the AIHA Twinning Center’s programmatic and monitoring and evaluation strategies.