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Unsolicited Proposals

I have a great idea – can I submit a proposal to USAID?

USAID generally works by developing direct programs with host countries and through competitive procedures for selection of contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants. This approach ensures that all activities are concentrated on pre-defined objectives to maximize impact; and that they are consistent, mutually reinforcing and draw services from the best available sources.

While unsolicited proposals will continue to be received and reviewed for funding, potential offerors should be aware that only in highly exceptional cases are such proposals likely to be approved for funding.

A valid unsolicited proposal or application must:

  • Be innovative and unique;
  • Be independently originated and developed by the offeror;
  • Be prepared without US government supervision, endorsement, direction, or direct Government involvement;
  • Include sufficient detail to permit a determination that USAID support could be worthwhile and the proposed work could benefit USAID’s research and development or other responsibilities;
  • Not be an advance proposal for a known USAID requirement that can or will be acquired by competitive methods
  • Unsolicited proposals and applications must contain the following:

  • Names and contact information of offeror;
  • Type of organization;
  • Date of submission;
  • Signature of authorized representative of the offeror, authorized to contractually obligate the offeror;
  • Proposed funding or total estimated cost;
  • Cost estimate or budget for proposal sufficiently detailed by elements of costs for meaningful evaluation;
  • Type of agreement contemplated (contract, grant, cooperative agreement, etc);
  • Period of time for which proposal or application is valid. (Note: unsolicited proposals should be submitted well in advance of the proposed start-up; a minimum of 6 months is recommended.)
  • Letters of support, as available;
  • Brief description of offeror’s previous work and experience, both functionally and geographically;
  • Facilities to be utilized for the work; and
  • The names and phone numbers of USAID technical or other personnel already contacted regarding the proposal.
  • In evaluating an unsolicited proposal or application, USAID/Madagascar will consider:

  • Unique, innovative, or proprietary methods, approaches, or ideas assembled;
  • Overall merit of the proposed effort or activity;
  • Potential contribution which the proposed effort may be expected to make to USAID’s objectives and goals if pursued at this time;
  • Capabilities (including financial planning and management capability), related experience (both technical and in the geographic region), facilities, or techniques of the offeror which are considered to be integral factors for achieving the objective(s) of the proposal;
  • Qualifications, capabilities, and experience of the proposed investigator, leaders, or other offeror personnel;
  • Clear definition of the region, oblast, or geographic area where the project will be implemented;
  • The realism of the proposed cost; and
  • Sustainability and replicability of the project as well as complementarity to existing or planned programs in the region.

A favorable comprehensive evaluation of an unsolicited proposal is not, in itself, sufficient justification for negotiating on a noncompetitive basis with the offeror. Any unsolicited proposal may be rejected by USAID/Madagascar. If so, the offeror will be notified by a letter with the reasons for the rejection. USAID may not use any unique and innovative unsolicited proposal or application as the basis for, or as a portion of, negotiations with another party unless the original offeror is notified and agrees to the requested use.

Decisions to proceed with the award of a noncompetitive contract on the basis of an unsolicited proposal shall be made in accordance with the requirements of Subpart 15.6 of the FAR (48 CFR Subpart 715.5). Decisions to proceed with the award of a noncompetitive grant or cooperative agreement on the basis of an unsolicited application shall be made in accordance with the requirements of USAID Automated Directives System (ADS) Chapter 303 – “Grants and Cooperative Agreements to Non-Governmental Organizations”. If it is determined that the subject matter of any unsolicited proposal is acceptable for funding on a noncompetitive basis, the unsolicited proposal or application will serve as the basis for negotiation. USAID’s contracting or grant officer may require, and request, additional supplemental information for the offeror, as necessary.

Last updated: August 19, 2014

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