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Issuance Date:  November 2014  
RFA Clarification Questions Due:  November 25, 2014  2:00P.M. (Local Time)  
Closing Date and Time for Application Submission:  January 21, 2015       2:00P.M. (Local Time)  

Subject: Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-514-14-000004 
Lighting Excitement for Excellency Reading Activity 
Ladies and Gentlemen: 
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) seeking applications for Assistance Agreement from organizations for funding support activity entitled Lighting Excitement for Excellency Reading. The authority for the RFA found the Foreign Assistance Act 1961, amended. Please refer the Funding Opportunity Description Section for complete statement goals and expected results. 
While for-profit firms may participate, pursuant CFR 226.81, USAID policy not award profit under assistance instruments such cooperative agreements. However, all reasonable, allocable, and allowable expenses, both direct and indirect, that are related the implementation the program and are accordance with applicable cost standards (22 CFR 226, OMB Circular A-122 for non-profit organization, OMB Circular A-21 for universities), may paid the Recipient under this award. 
Applicants under consideration for award that have never received funding from USAID will subject pre-award audit determine fiscal responsibility, ensure adequacy financial controls and establish indirect cost rate. 
Subject the availability funds, USAID intends provide approximately $20,000,000 total USAID funding allocated over the five (5) year period. USAID reserves the right fund any none the applications submitted. 
Award will made that responsible applicant whose application best meets the requirements this RFA and the selection criteria contained herein. Issuance this RFA does not constitute award commitment the part the U.S. Government, nor does commit the Government pay for costs incurred the preparation and submission application.  
This RFA and any future amendments can downloaded from Select Find Grant Opportunities, then click Browse Agency, and select the U.S. Agency for International Development and search for the RFA. the event inconsistency between the documents 
comprising this RFA, shall resolved the discretion the Agreement Officer.  
Applicants should also note that the documents listed this RFA under Useful References are intended only sources for background information that may helpful applicants, but are not part this RFA. All guidance included this RFA takes precedence over any reference documents referred the RFA. Any clarification questions concerning this RFA should submitted writing Eyole Luma via email and Omar Trigo the date listed above. there are problems downloading the RFA from the Internet, please contact the help desk 1.800.518.4726 for technical assistance. 
U.S. Agency for International Development  Tel.: (809) 567-7775  
Avenida Repblica Colombia #57, Altos Arroyo Hondo  RNC: 4-30-00171-6  
Santo Domingo, D.N., Dominican Republic, 10605  

Lighting Excitement for Excellency Reading 
For the purposes this RFA, the term "Grant" synonymous with "Cooperative Agreement"; "Grantee" synonymous with "Recipient"; and "Grant Officer" synonymous with "Agreement Officer". 
The applicant must submit applications electronically the following e-mail addresses: 

Applicants are requested submit both technical and cost 
Applications must received the closing date and time indicated the top this cover letter. Late applications will not considered for award. Applications must directly responsive the terms and conditions this RFA. Telegraphic fax applications (entire proposal) are not authorized for this RFA and will not accepted. 
Thank you for your interest this USAID/Dominican Republic program. 

Charis Nastoff Agreement Officer 
Table Contents Page 
SECTION -FUNDINGOPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION................................................................. 4 
BACKGROUND ............................................................................................................................. 
PROGRAM OBJECTIVE AND RESULTS.................................................................................... 
GENERAL PROGRAM PARAMETERS....................................................................................... 
PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS AND STANDARDS........................................................ 
PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION...........................................................24 
SPECIFIED KEY PERSONNEL ..........................................................................................27
SECTION II- AWARD INFORMATION.............................................................................................30 
SECTION III ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION ................................................................................. 31 ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS ............................................................................................................ 31 COST SHARING MATCHING ............................................................................................. 31 
SECTION APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION............................................ 32 
SECTION -APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION ............................................................... 40 CRITERIA ..................................................................................................................................... 40 REVIEW AND SELECTION PROCESS ..................................................................................... 41 
SECTION AWARD AND ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION............................................. 43 AWARD NOTICES....................................................................................................................... 43 REPORTING ................................................................................................................................. 43 
SECTION VII AGENCY CONTACTS................................................................................................ 49 
SECTION VIII -OTHER INFORMATION.......................................................................................... 50 
ATTACHMENTS ..................................................................................................................................... 51 

Lighting Excitement for Excellency Reading (LEER) five year activity with the overall objective increasing the reading skills students targeted areas supporting sustainable best practices education the Dominican Republic. The activity will improve reading skills approximately 200,000 primary school students targeted poor neighborhoods through improved instruction and the use traditional and supplemental reading activities. Reading will also improved through the creation school environments that are inclusive, safe, tolerant, and conducive academic achievement for all students, and increase the availability materials and training that promote tolerance, respect for gender, and that address students with special needs.  
A.1 Development Challenge 
The provision quality public education one the Dominican Republics most fundamental challenges.  Considerable research shows that low primary school completion and attainment rates and low secondary school enrollment rates are significant risk factors for participation gangs and drug trafficking.  Very few young Dominicans have the educational levels needed allow them enter the workforce: 2011, Dominican Ministry Education (MOE) statistics revealed that only 71% boys and 80% girls finished primary school.  Even more alarming, only 39% boys and 55% girls completed secondary school. terms student achievement outcomes, the Dominican Republics education outcomes are well below the expected level for middle-income country. The 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) revealed that only percent Dominican students mathematics, percent reading, and percent science achieved level one, the minimum standard learning that every student should achieve.  The average educational achievement for girls higher than boys. result lower education levels, male young people are disproportionately likely illiterate, constituting between and percent those unable read and write, respectively, depending the age group1. 
Although percent Dominican teachers have the necessary certifications teach, rate higher than countries like Ecuador and Costa Rica, they have not achieved similar education results2. Results from recent teachers examination fill vacant positions revealed that almost 60% the teachers that took 
the test failed. study (Gonzalez, Gonzalez, Tapia, and Dominguez 2007) showed that mathematics teachers selected schools understood only percent the material they were supposed teaching.   Although this may not representative sample, does indicate serious problems with teacher training, and consistent with the finding that there little difference between student performance the public and private schools. Time task another serious issue. the Dominican Republic, the typical school day only hours and minutes long, and although, law students should receive 1,000 hours class per year, reality they only receive 500. public schools with 500 students more (accounting for percent total public school enrollment), the studentteacher ratio can reach high 78:1.  Such overcrowding severely hampers teachers capacity address individual student needs. addition overcrowding, date, poor learning outcomes, lack classrooms, and two school sessions per day contribute high repetition and drop-out rates, resulting more delayed and over-age students each successive grade.  One spark hope the recently introduced tanda extendida (extended school day), which the Dominican government plans lengthen the school dayhaving classes from 8am pm feed the children while school, and build new classrooms allow greater access education.   
Based available statistics over the last few years, result late enrollment, repetition, and temporary desertion, the percentage students who are delayed years behind the corresponding year) are overage years more above the corresponding age for the class level) high. 200809, the proportion these students increased with each subsequent grade, from 17.2 percent being behind and 4.6 percent overage first grade, 19.6 percent remaining behind and 10.6 percent overage the eighth grade. More than percent secondary  students  were  either  behind  overage  for their corresponding  grade level3. 
Aside from the actual physical classroom itself and teachers abilities lack thereof, the learning environment also affected entrenched attitudes and behaviors relating gender roles and behavior. survey administered 382 fifth eighth grade students and teachers discern reference point attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors relating school safety and gender-based violence, results revealed that 60.9% students think normal for boys more aggressive than girls4. Almost 43% students believe normal for students sexually aggressive with one another ("que molesten sexualmente entre si").  Moreover, students have cited the following conditions indicating the insecurity which they live: fights among peers, unwanted sexual propositions, unjust punishments, violencephysical, psychological, and/or sexualperpetrated against the child, and antagonism between teachers and students. order improve the environment which children learn, and extension, their academic attainments, violence and school safety must addressed.  
Inclusiveness education also serious problem the Dominican Republic.  Organizations supporting people with disabilities the Dominican Republic state that education their top priority.  But many, not most, schools the Dominican Republic are not even physically accessible students with special needs.  Regular public school teachers are seldom trained how teach children who have special needs.  Special needs students either attend special schools, they not attend school all. UNESCO study published December 2012 reported that percent children with disability are currently not school. Central Bank: National Labor Force Survey Database, 2nd Semester 2008 Informe sobre las Polticas Nacionales Educacin: Republica Dominicana, OECD, 2008 
A.2. Relationship USAID Policies and Strategies 
The USAID Education Strategy 2011-2015 emphasizes the importance education the foundation human development and catalyst broad-based economic growth and democratic governance. This 
activity will support the strategys Goal One, Improved reading skills for 100 million children primary grades 2015. Activities will aim increase the reading skills children primary schools and provide remedial reading for either out school children.  Implementer(s) must also take into consideration USAIDs Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy, addressing gender sensitivity and competency part Dominican education professionals core professional development plans.  
Diversity and tolerance will promoted and supported all components this activity5. Finally, the activity will support the USAID Disability Policy, providing training teachers identify children with special needs and apply inclusive education methodologies. MINERD. (2010). Boletn indicadores: Ao lectivo 20082009. Safe Schools internal report (unpublished), Effective Schools Program, Dominican Republic, PUCMM, 2013 USAIDs LGBT Vision for Action: Promoting and Supporting the Inclusion Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals important reference that can found the following website: 

A.3. Relationship USAID/DR Country Development Cooperation Strategy and Other 
U.S. Government Programs and Geographic Focus 
This activity will support the USAID/Dominican Republic 2014-2018 Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), Development Objective (DO 1): Crime Prevention Strengthened The USAID/DR CDCS Results Framework presented Annex this document.  Under USAID pursuing tripartite approach crime prevention the Dominican Republic.  The various activities the portfolio aim reducing crime working with at-risk youth the countrys poorest, most violent, and most densely populated urban areas; improving reading skills primary school students and children targeted poor neighborhoods (the focus activities under this activity) through the use traditional and supplemental reading activities; implementing systemic reforms the criminal justice system.  The LEER activity will support Intermediate Result (IR) 1.2, Increased Reading Skills Students Targeted Areas. all supported activities, USAID will promote inclusiveness special needs students, well focus addressing gender concerns, such violence 
against girls, boys learning achievement, gender stereotyping, and intolerant behavior, such bullying.  
Gender concerns education will also focus addressing issues related higher boy drop-out rates and their poorer academic performance.  The logical framework for 1.2 contained Annex    
Activities will geographically focused the urban corridor (Duarte Highway Corridor  see map Annex 2), which runs from Santo Domingo north Puerto Plata. includes six the nations 
provinces, percent the Dominican population, and percent youth.  The cities where crime the highest the Dominican Republic all lie within this Duarte Highway Corridor.  USAID has experience working this corridor education, democracy, governance, disaster assistance, and at-risk youth programming.  USAIDs At-Risk Youth (ARY) program, Alerta Joven, works the Duarte Highway Corridor and has target population, priority, youth aged 11-17 with interventions focused education and health, and those aged 18-24 with interventions focused workforce development, education, and health.  Activities will not restricted only Alerta Joven communities, but implementers are required coordinate with the education work Alerta Joven whenever possible and relevant. USAID/DRs CDCS can found the following website: 

A.4. Relationship Partner Country, Local Stakeholders, and Other Donor Programs 
This opportune moment invest education the Dominican Republic due the recent commitment demonstrated the Government the Dominican Republic (GoDR) greatly increase the priority places education.  The increases education funding made the GoDR the last two years are unprecedented, with the highest levels education funding more than twenty years percentage GDP, percentage government spending, and per capita student funding.  Over the last several years, the Ministry Education (MOE) has taken number critical steps toward improving public education.  For example, since 2010 the MOE has worked with funds from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) well national funds increase the number classrooms the country, lengthen the school day, and improve learning math and language the first four years primary school (the latter being the focus area USAID-supported efforts)7. All these actions are necessary for sustaining access and quality education over the long term.  The commitment shown the GoDR devote urgently needed national resources education necessary first step toward increased sustainability the sector, with the establishment clear quality standards additional essential element which must addressed going forward.  Activities will support further definition standards quality the delivery training and support teachers and students the early grades 
Programa Apoyo Plan Decenal Educacion MINERD-BID, Informe del Ejecutor, Octubre 2013, datos del Banco Central Repblica Dominicana del Ministerio Hacienda, elaboracin con datos del Ministerio Hacienda Oficina Nacional Estadstica 
reading, bringing added focus education for special needs children who are often left out discussions about what needed make education available all. 
Both public and private sector partners have taken important steps the last few years promote transparency, accountability, and concrete improvements the quality education.  The clearest example this the action recently taken Dominican civil society toward ensuring sustainability commitment improving education.  The Coalition for Dignified Education civil society initiative launched 2011 address critical educational issues. The Coalition includes more than 200 civil society organizations that demanded that the government comply with the Education Law, which required increase from two point five four percent GDP invested education.  The Coalition was able obtain public commitment from each the candidates the May 2012 Presidential election comply with the four percent requirement and noted above, the increased funding now reality. response the Coalitions work mobilize education stakeholders, October 2012 the Ministry Education launched the Iniciativa Dominicana por una Educacion Calidiad (Dominican Initiative for Quality Education -IDEC).   IDEC multi-sectoral initiative led the Ministry Education, created space for dialogue and consensus between the GoDR, civil society, international organizations, and the private sector.  Its stated objective identify priority areas for attention and action the education 
sector, ensure that the GoDRs increased investment education achieves increased levels quality.  
IDEC established ten working groups based around priority themes and actions needed help the MOE advance its educational plans through 2016.  IDEC has also created monitoring system track progress toward established goals. August 2013, the Dominican Republics Office the Presidency also launched the Education Pact Pacto Educativo, mechanism for obtaining consensus through broad consultation with civil society key goals the education sector.  The Education Pact is, many ways, outgrowth IDECs work, turning many the proposals identified and discussed under IDEC into agreed-upon areas for 
action.  The Education Pacts foundational document lays out specific areas education for wide public discussion and signals the GoDRs commitment address issues ranging from access and quality primary schooling teacher preparation, vocational training and university-level education8. The Education Pacts website provides updates public consultations held, invites comments for posting the site, and posts specific action proposals for different sub-sectors education under discussion and debate9. addition participation IDEC, several large donors are working education. 2010, the IDB approved four-year $50 million loan (with $10 million local counterpart contribution) the GoDR support the Ministry Educations Ten Year Education Plan10. One component the loan supports in-service teacher training, classroom support, didactic materials, and achievement testing for grades Kindergarten-3 language and mathematics 667 schools more than 500 students each. new IDB loan preparation 2014 with planned funding $50 million plus GoDR counterpart funding.  Teacher training interventions will continue one component the loan, area which will directly complement activities under this activity. See document entitled Pacto Nacional para Reforma Educativa, 

A.5. USAID Basic Education Activities the Dominican Republic 
USAID/DR began its emphasis early grade reading the Dominican Republic 2002, with its participation the USAID Centers for Excellence Teacher Training (CETT) program.  CETT, which ended 2010, was USAID regional program functioning three regions and countries Latin 
See website for copy the Pact and public consultation documents. 
Programa Apoyo Plan Decenal Educacin MINERD-BID, Informe del Ejecutor, Octubre 2013 
America and the Caribbean. 2006, USAID/DR added additional program called the Activities improve the Effectiveness Teachers and Local Governance activity, commonly referred the TEF 
project. TEF was designed improve learning mathematics the first cycle primary education (1st 
 4th grades) and complement the CETT program including literacy component for the fourth grade. school management component was integrated part this program the second year implementation.  The TEF program ended 2009. 
During that same period time, 2006, USAID and the American Chamber Commerce the Dominican Republic (AMCHAMDR) entered into agreement improve the quality public education engaging private sector businesses public-private partnerships. The purpose the Basic Education Program (BEP) was utilize strategic alliances between the public and private sectors, with AMCHAMDRs administrative and technical assistance, improve the quality basic education 139 public schools.  The Program exceeded the target number schools, and instead provided assistance 156 schools, benefited 30,337 students and 1880 teachers and school directors, and engaged private sector businesses.  Additionally, more than 30,000 students received textbooks; and the program leveraged approximately $17 million resources. During the execution the Agreement, which formally ended September 2014, AMCHAMDR signed alliances with different institutions (public and private), including the Ministry Education and EDUCA, promote commitment education.  During 2013  2014 school year, BEP advanced the abcdespaol Program schools, with important results literacy. Initially the intervention was planned for the 1st and 2nd grades, but the deficiencies identified conjunction with the schools teaching staff, forced them extend the reach the 5th grade. the end implementation that school year, more than schools showed interest continuing this methodology with the support their communities, because the results attained. 
The Effective Schools Program (ESP) began 2009 and will end April 2015. The components the program are: Education/School Management; In-Service Teacher Training Literacy and Mathematics and Curriculum Development; and Monitoring and Evaluation. ESP activity components emphasize measurement results through student achievement testing; teacher training and classroom support (including observation and assessment); and training and support for school administrators and school management structures that include parents. The Safe Schools activity was introduced 2013 part the ESP program develop and deliver trainings for teachers, students, parents, and other members the educational community, that they jointly learn define fair processes dealing with school-related gender-based violence and put these processes into action create safe learning 
environment. Also 2013, USAID added component called Inclusive Learning Opportunities for Children with Disabilities the ESP.  The overarching objective the component was work 100 ESP schools build the capacity public schools the Dominican Republic detect, diagnose, treat, and support school-aged children with disabilities.  

A.6. USAID Education Priorities Going Forward 
Under this activity, USAID wishes leverage the success ESP, including components related inclusiveness and safe schools, and expand both scope and quality, focusing improved reading, align with the USAID Education Strategy Goal 2011, the Dominican MOE began concerted effort support early grade reading and mathematics through its Policy Improve Student Learning the First Cycle Primary School Reading, Writing, and Mathematics11. While only one full year implementation has taken place and there has been formal evaluation yet, IDB study 2013 highlights the Effective Schools Programs learning efficiency and effectiveness vis--vis other 
Actions taken implement the MOEs Politica Mejoramiento los Aprendizajes los estudiantes del primer ciclo Lectoescritura Matematica are described the document Linea Base para Sistematizacion, Componente Apoyo los Aprendizajes Lectoescritura Matematica, Programa apoyo Plan Decenal Educacion, MINERD-BID, 2013 
institutional approaches12. The IDB report recommends that the MOE develop basic model going forward that supports activities found global education research have impact learning.  The IDB defines these key activities as: teacher training, classroom support for teachers, provision learning materials for both students and teachers, and evaluationboth formative student assessment the classroom practiced teachers and baseline and end-of-year achievement testing. 
There great need establish performance standards and baseline for student performance, and create system monitoring evaluate performance and results achieved for all the implementing institutions.  Only the ESP has developed the required tools, materials and approaches that the IDB report recommends, and the IDB has found the ESP methodology the most rigorous the three implementing institutions, with all critical areas covered.  There will continued benefit ESP tools and approaches can used establish standards that would applied any organization working improve reading, writing, and math early grades.  The work this activity will support adoption the successful ESP methods standards that can used improve early grade reading and math nationwide, the MOE continues move ahead meeting the needs for quality primary school education the Dominican Republic.  Because the USAID global priority for education reading, USAID will focus its attention reading and writing going forward, and seek non-USAID support for continued development mathematics learning. order promote sustainability, there 15% cost share requirement under this agreement. PROGRAM OBJECTIVE AND RESULTS 
The overall objective this program increase the reading skills 200,000 students targeted areas supporting sustainable best practices education the Dominican Republic.  There are two main purposes:  (1) improve the quality basic reading instruction and (2) create supportive learning environment for students CDCS targeted areas. order achieve these goals, the activity will focus its efforts four results: 
Result Student reading outcomes improved targeted areas Result Supportive learning environment created for students targeted areas Result Sustainable partnerships supporting USAID-targeted education interventions strengthened created Result Knowledge effective reading instruction and education activities generated and shared with key stakeholders 
Cutting across all results, USAID will promote inclusiveness special needs students, well focus addressing gender concerns, such violence against girls, boys learning achievement, gender stereotyping, and intolerant behavior, such bullying.  Gender concerns education will also focus addressing issues related higher boy drop-out rates and their poorer academic performance. GENERAL PROGRAM PARAMETERS 
The recipient shall consider the following parameters undertaking this activity: 
C.1 Geographic coordination  stated above, while this activity will not restricted only Alerta Joven communities, the implementer required coordinate with the education work with Alerta Joven whenever possible and relevant. Alerta Joven communities have challenging urban at-
Op. cit. MINERD-BID, 2013, page 
risk youth issues, credible organizations with tested interventions, and network community/private sector support that may useful and appropriate for this activity.  Annex contains list Alerta Joven areas.    
C.2 Build successful ESP methodologies -Teaching and learning materials and successful teaching methodologies developed under ESP for grades 1-4 shall used the basis for this activity.  Test results show that four times many students whose teachers received one three years USAID training and materials support, performed above the minimum standard, compared students whose teachers were not trained through this USAID-funded program13. The offeror must also demonstrate knowledge evolving global best practice early grade reading. addition, coverage reading interventions will expanded include sixth grade.  Activity design must employ integral package interventions include the following: teacher training; classroom support and mentoring for teachers; provision learning materials for both students and teachers; increased instructional time for reading; and evaluation (both formative student assessment the classroom practiced teachers and baseline and end-of-year achievement testing measure results).  
C.3 Build current momentum education, including private sector involvement  This activity will continue support and expand successful ESP methodologies for early grade reading, extending coverage reading interventions include the sixth grade level. Because reading now the main basic education priority for USAID globally, the implementer encouraged seek non-USAID support for other important interventions such mathematics and school management, for example, that were previously included under the ESP.  This support may come from the GoDR through public financing for education, through private sector contributions support education.  Building current momentum education also includes promoting the capacity local Dominican organizations take active leadership roles LEERs implementation. 
From 2009 2012, USAID/DR funded million grant the Major League Baseball (MLB)  Dominican Development Alliance (DDA), which resulted the leveraging over US$1.9 million from MLB teams, players and fans well various members the DDA. The MLB has expressed interest possibly beginning new phase cooperation with USAID, which the recipient shall explore for potential support LEER. The offeror must demonstrate its technical approach how will involve Dominican organizations build country capacity sustain LEER activities. 
C.4 Promote inclusive education -The creation school environments that are inclusive, safe, tolerant, and conducive academic achievement for all students emphasis area this activity. increase the availability materials and training that promote tolerance and respect and that address students with special needs another targeted outcome. All classroom reading interventions must not only ensure inclusion children with disabilities, but also sensitize educators inclusion challenges and approaches14. Private sector partnerships support these focus areas the program are highly encouraged.  
C.5 Promote gender equality school access and learning outcomes This activity shall address issues equity curriculum and teaching materials, well teaching practices, ensure equitable education outcomes for both boys and girls.  Materials must developed and reviewed through gender lens; this includes ensuring that curricular content and illustrations promote inclusion and not USAID/DR Portfolio Mid-Term Performance Evaluation Basic Education Program, Annex Analysis the Program Database/Anlisis las Bases Datos del Programa, AMEX International DevTech Systems, Inc., January 2013, and Annex contains report the Ministry Educations Direction Special Education with information from recent school survey special needs students: Informe preliminar sobre levantamiento informacin estudiantes con discapacidad las escuelas eficaces, octubre 2013 
reinforce gender stereotypes. Moreover, bullying and harassment schools due gender identity are issues that can addressed line with promoting safe learning environment for children.15 PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS AND STANDARDS


Result Student reading outcomes improved targeted areas 
Under this result, USAID wishes leverage the success the Effective Schools Program and expand both scope and quality, focusing improved reading.  The ESP program has generated learning gains among participating students that are significantly greater than non-participants, and garnered support from the private sector well the GoDR16. This activity will utilize the best practices learned under ESP develop activities that continue improve the quality reading instruction.  The activity will also support the provision adequate learning and reading support materials, including decodable readers for first grade and leveled readers for grades 1-6, for both students and teachers, ensure that adequate materials exist encourage reading development.    
Also under this result, USAID will support development evidence-based supplemental reading programs.  These supplemental reading programs will flexible enough administered trained teacher, technician, NGO trainer, aide after-school program, remedial reading program during regular school hours, during extended after-school program.  The objective improve students basic reading skills. This may include support young people and/or out school who are unable read. This will discussed further under Requirement 1.3 below.  
Requirement 1.1: Primary grade reading instruction improved 
Under this requirement, the recipient shall support expansion proven approaches improve early grade reading the Dominican Republic.  The ESP experience must the starting point for the proposed approach, given that has been acknowledged the most robust methodology currently being practiced the and has shown learning gains among students over time.  While the ESP must the point departure for designing this activity, the offeror encouraged include innovation, experience, and best practices learned the education sector both the Dominican Republic and globally its proposed approach under this requirement.  The recipient will required work partnership with the 
MOE national and local levels, providing technical support needed strengthen the MOEs capacity support early grade reading. 
The offeror shall describe its application how will improve primary grade reading instruction for students least 600 schools.  The ESP covered grades 1-4.  Under this activity, the offeror shall design interventions that extend support for reading include grades and that students moving higher grades continue receive high quality reading support from teachers who are trained successful pedagogical approaches, and results can measured see whether improvements are being maintained. order take advantage the opportunity study the long-term effects ESP methodology the schools where ESP has been working, least 200 the 600 schools  must schools previously covered ESP.  The offeror must describe its application how will specifically address gender concerns such 
USAIDs LGBT Vision for Action: Promoting and Supporting the Inclusion Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals can found the following website: USAID/DR Portfolio Mid-Term Performance Evaluation Basic Education Program, Annex Analysis the Program Database/Anlisis las Bases Datos del Programa, AMEX International DevTech Systems, Inc., January 2013 boys higher drop-out and lower learning achievement, gender stereotyping, and intolerant behavior, such bullying. addition, USAID will support the integration technology into schools and classrooms strengthen student learning, with focus reading.  The recipient shall integrate information technology (IT) into this activity support the goals improving student reading and/or creating supportive learning environment for all students.  Technology integration could ideal activity for cultivating private sector partnerships (supportive partnerships will discussed further under Result below). number private sector organizations the Dominican Republic are working with the MOE train teachers use technology their teaching, for example.  Some are working with community technology centers, training facilitators improve knowledge and skills children and youth their communities. also used many countries supplement face-to-face teacher training, vehicle for delivering additional support and continuous learning from distance.  The offeror shall identify opportunities assist students and teachers with technology usage the primary school level, and propose how technology will integrated into efforts improve student reading supported this activity.  The offeror shall also include its proposed approach the potential for using technology innovative ways reach children with special needs with the goal improving their overall learning and more specifically their reading skills. 
The offeror must demonstrate how the following will addressed the proposed approach: Building best practice approaches the ESP methodology improve reading Working 600 schools that fall within the Duarte Corridor, which fewer than 200 must 
former ESP schools that continued progress students can tracked Training grades 1-6 teachers best practices improve early grade reading skills, active child-centered learning approaches and classroom management Training teachers practice inclusive education and gender-sensitive pedagogical approaches, addressing any identified gender issues with targeted interventions Training and mentoring pedagogical advisors and school directors assist grades 1-6 teachers 
with in-classroom reading practices, including promotion gender sensitivity and inclusion Training grades 1-6 teachers use continuous assessment students reading performance Providing classroom accompaniment (i.e., coaching and mentoring) and support for grades 1-6 
teachers and pedagogical advisors Supporting the Ministry Education when there are curriculum revisions and/or updates for early grade reading Supporting the Ministry Education develop approaches and materials reading for grades and 
10) Working with the Ministry Education policy issues such support for early grade learning, increased instructional time for reading and structured and effective use the extended school day hours 
11) Measuring improved performance teachers through classroom observations 12) Measuring teacher content knowledge improvements 13) Conducting baseline and end-of-year student achievement testing reading grades 1-6 
activity schools 14) Utilizing creatively deliver reading lessons children supported this activity, including those with special needs 15) Utilizing IT, electronic equipment, and interactive technology provide teacher professional development courses and/or mentoring and coaching reading instruction 16) Identifying private sector partnerships, relevant and possible, add value proposed interventions supporting reading 
 Targeted students improve reading skills result improved reading instruction  Targeted teachers trained and mentored improve reading grades 1-6  Targeted teachers receive ongoing classroom-level support  MOE officials receive technical support and training needed serve leadership roles 
activities  Baseline and end-of-year testing conducted annually measure reading achievement 
grades 1-6  Gender issues primary schools addressed through targeted interventions  integration approach designed that suitable for use and has taken into account the 
Dominican context, clearly supporting improved reading achievement targeted primary school students and children with disabilities.  Partnerships and collaboration created with other organizations working the Dominican Republic with education 
Requirement 1.2:  Sufficient didactic reading materials and guides received students and teachers 
Student and teacher support materials are critical for creating the environment necessary for early grade reading take place.  
The offeror must demonstrate how the following will addressed the proposed approach:	 Providing high quality learning materials focused reading for both students and teachers for grades 1-4 (e.g., decodable and leveled readers, textbooks, workbooks, teacher guides, etc.).  The ratio for decodable and levels readers should least titles/child. Developing and distributing new learning materials for both students and teachers support reading for grades and Creating adapting and distributing schools other supportive learning materials such 
posters, big books, leveled readers, etc. Providing classroom libraries schools supported the activity Ensuring that all materials are reviewed that they are free gender bias and reflect inclusive 
education principles and tolerance both content and illustrations  
	 Materials provided and use both students and teachers support reading grades 1-6.  (Materials used include classroom libraries and support materials that have the potential create interest and excitement around the topic reading and help students improve their reading levels.) 
 Clear plan describing how and when materials will distributed activity schools  Clear plan describing what materials will used for home reading practice  Clear plan presented for reviewing all materials ensure that they are free gender other 
biases, promoting tolerance and inclusion.   
Requirement 1.3:  Supplementary reading programs created and implemented least 200 schools benefit 6,000 children per year 
Under this requirement, USAID will support evidence-based supplemental reading programs focused in, but not exclusive to, areas targeted the at-risk youth Alerta Joven Program.  There opportunity present for supplemental programs, with the gradual introduction extended school day some 
schools the country.  The MOEs goal have 80% schools operating with full school day 
2016, although this may ambitious given the current delays reported the IDB infrastructure construction.  Currently, many schools under the extended school day are using the additional hours they see fit, without standardized guidance from the MOE.  Using some the additional hours enrich reading could way provide students with the time-on-task they are not currently getting given the short school day, and could provide opportunity open the school bringing out-of-school students. would also means assist students with special needs who need extra support, time with teachers tutors, and/or adapted methodologies.  Some the current supplemental reading programs the Dominican Republic bring out-of-school students into schools with the goal transitioning them back into the formal system after determined period time17. 
Under this requirement, the offeror shall design and implement supplemental reading programs that will flexible enough administered trained teacher, technician, NGO trainer, aide.  The objective improve basic reading skills targeted children primary school grade level (even though they may over-aged children), creating the potential meet the needs both those who are and out school.  Offerors are encouraged propose flexible and creative programs with improving reading skills the goal.  Programs shall build best practices reading instruction and take into account the needs at-risk children poor communities who are currently not reaching desired levels reading competence and would benefit from extra attention and support. Targets for student progress and corresponding appropriate tools for assessment must established, i.e., the reading fluency beneficiary children within and without the formal school must assessed. Targets for student progress and corresponding appropriate tools for assessment must established.  Requirement 2.4 below requires the recipient address inclusive learning opportunities for children with special needs.  The offeror shall consider its proposed approach how special needs children can benefit from the supplementary programs designed under this requirement.  The approach must describe specific interventions and support systems that the recipient will use improve reading selected special needs children (more detail the special needs target group provided Requirement 2.4 below).  
The offeror must work least 200 schools the Duarte Corridor, estimating approximately children per supplementary session per school, for minimum 6,000 beneficiaries each year the activity.  Priority for selection schools should given whenever possible schools areas targeted the USAID-supported Alerta Joven program list geographic areas where Alerta Joven works included Annex 2), enable collaboration with that program and offer further support at-risk children who have variety academic, social, and economic needs.  Supplemental reading support may offered after-school tutoring program, remedial reading program during regular school hours, part extended school day program. possible opportunity exists enrich use extended school day hours provide extra reading support for children; this would require working closely with schools and relevant local MOE personnel, needed, design and implement such supplemental programs.  The recipient must include its proposed design description how will measure reading progress all children participating the supported supplemental reading programs.    
The offeror must demonstrate how the following will addressed the proposed approach:  Designing and implementing flexible, research-based supplemental reading programs reach  
least 200 schools and 6,000 children per year focused on, but not exclusive to, areas targeted  
the Alerta Joven program  Identifying and designing supplementary reading opportunities meet the needs children  
the primary level the formal schools and/or out-of-school children  Identifying and designing supplementary reading opportunities increase inclusion children  
with special needs example the Espacios para Crecer program which also receives support from the USAID Alerta Joven program. Training teachers, technicians, NGO trainers, and/or aides implement supplemental reading programs Designing system performance measurement and monitoring and evaluation for children, measure reading gains and/or re-entry into school 
 Supplemental reading programs place 200 schools, reaching 6,000 children  Proposed supplemental reading programs designed based evidence-based best practice for improving reading  Performance measurement and monitoring system evaluate childrens reading progress designed  Supplementary reading sessions address needs special needs children 
Result Supportive learning environment created for students targeted areas 
Under this result, USAID wishes ensure that Dominican primary schools have the conditions necessary for student learning take place, emphasizing the key skill reading.  Activities must build upon lessons learned, and where applicable, expand programs that USAID has supported improve school learning environments such Safe Schools, parent involvement activities, and school inclusion efforts addressing special needs children.  New elements, such the use technology support classroom learning, will contribute the creation environment conducive learning.  The emphasis under this result ensure that all students targeted areas have access quality education and that the MOE, parents, and communities have the necessary knowledge and tools help primary school children learn read.  The result supports the creation school environments that are inclusive, safe, tolerant, and conducive academic achievement for all students.  Activities will support increase the availability materials and training that promotes tolerance, respect for gender, and that address students with special needs.  Activities under this result will operate various levels, working directly schools and communities, and higher policy levels supporting civil society activities that increase engagement education reform.  Private sector partnerships for this area the program will cultivated. 
Requirement 2.1:  Community involvement supporting early grade reading increased 
This requirement aims create supportive learning environment for reading targeted primary school students involving both parents and the community educational activities.  Activities will focus improving reading, and also the broader need create the conditions necessary for safe and tolerant learning environment primary schools.  The offeror shall make explicit the rationale and evidence base for design its community and parental involvement approach, demonstrating how proposed activities will lead improved early grade reading.  The recipient required conduct community involvement activities all participating schools covered the activity.  
The offeror must demonstrate how the following will addressed the proposed approach: Training parent associations and school management committees support evidence-based school-level reading activities and generate demand for responsive, quality education Increasing parental involvement supporting childrens reading through work with parent groups schools	 Increasing parental awareness gender and issues tolerance education that learning can 
take place Stimulating community involvement and support for reading Increasing the number parent and community groups supporting supplementary student 
reading programs 
 Clear plan developed for working with parents and communities support student reading  Specific activities events identified increase parental and community awareness and support for the importance children learning read the early grades primary school  Parents and communities trained increase their knowledge gender and tolerance issues primary school education support overall learning and reading particular  Communities and parents mobilized support supplementary reading programs 
Requirement 2.2:  Stakeholders engagement education reform improve reading supported order achieve this activitys goal improved early grade reading, necessary for USAID-supported education activities maintain high profile, drawing attention the need sustain quality improvements and best practices reading that require GoDR and civil society leadership.  For this reason, the recipient must actively involved public discussions and fora about how improve early grade reading, well broader discussions that generate support for primary education general. This requirement aims support the high level activity and momentum that has developed over the last several years the education sector support increased national funding for education and reform various levels. The commitment shown the GoDR devote urgently needed national resources education necessary first step toward increased sustainability the sector, with the establishment clear quality standards additional essential element which must addressed going forward.  Activities under this requirement will support further definition standards quality the delivery training and support students and teachers the early grades reading, bringing added focus special needs children who are often left out discussions about what needed make education available all. The education initiatives taken both civil society and the GoDR provide the opportunity for this activity contribute directly priority areas established Dominican civil society 
and the government, setting the stage for sustainability reading gains when USAIDs assistance 
longer available.  
The offeror must demonstrate how the following will addressed the proposed approach:	 Supporting the IDEC coalition civil society and private sector organizations and the Pacto Educativo provide independent analysis and advocacy for education reform, focusing reading the core skill mastered early grades	 Strengthening MOE planning and teacher training capacity able implement IDEC (or other appropriate civil society monitoring mechanism) recommendations with emphasis early grade reading	 Providing technical support MOE key areas education reform, e.g., strengthened early grade reading instruction, curriculum reform, teacher training policies, inclusive education and standards setting 
 Clear understanding demonstrated current education reform efforts the Dominican Republic with emphasis promoting the importance early grade reading  Opportunities identified for contributing ongoing education policy discussions and promoting the importance reading 
	 Clear strategy for engagement with IDEC (or other appropriate civil society monitoring mechanism) presented that describes how recipient will contribute Pacto Educativo discussions, particular those centered around improving early grade reading, and monitoring and evaluation efforts 
	 Specific technical areas identified for support the MOE implementing IDEC (or other appropriate civil society monitoring mechanism) recommendations for improving reading instruction 
Requirement 2.3:  Safe Schools activity expanded address school security issues 200 schools benefit 4,000 children per year stated above, the overall objective this activity increase the reading skills students targeted areas, supporting sustainable best practices education and reading instruction the Dominican Republic.  While acknowledging reading improvement the overarching goal achieved, USAID recognizes that precarious safety and security conditions many schools the country work against 
childrens ability learn and feel comfortable and safe the school environment.  For this reason, under 
this activity, USAID will support work improve learning conditions for children early grades increasing the safety their school environment and experience.  This will allow them able focus the foundational skill reading and fully benefit from this activitys efforts improve reading outcomes.  This fully line with the USAID Education Strategys Goal Result 1.1 Improved Reading Instruction, particularly since there are strong gender elements associated with school safety 
and reducing barriers learning18. 
Recognizing the prevalence school safety and security issues the Dominican Republic, USAID initiated Safe Schools activity 2013 under the ESP activity.  This began with design survey instruments and materials for teachers, students, and community members select number communities the ESP activity area.  Surveys were conducted and training and activities began the 2013-2014 school year pilot schools.  Under this requirement, the recipient will capture the lessons learned under the pilot, make any needed revisions adaptations the program, and build upon its successes and lessons learned expand reach total 200 schools. The offeror shall take into account relevant work other organizations the Dominican Republic and global best practices when considering how modify the Safe Schools program expands 200 schools and approximately 4,000 children.  The ultimate goal provide the children the Safe Schools program with the opportunity improve their reading skills and benefit from improved quality reading instruction and support removing the insecurity unsafe environment.  
The offeror must demonstrate how the following will addressed the proposed approach: Capturing lessons learned the USAID-supported Safe Schools program and expanding 200 schools (4,000 children) Using the Safe Schools training manual series Abriendo Puertas for students, teachers, and community members, and distributing required materials all participating schools Developing monitoring and evaluation system that measures changes knowledge, attitudes, practices the schools and communities result the activity Training teachers, other school personnel, parents, and community members gender sensitivity and violence part Safe Schools Setting referral systems for victims gender-based violence (GBV) One the illustrative examples improve reading instruction under Goal Result 1.1 Address gender issues and reduce barriers that impact reading levels girls and boys., page 11. Creating awareness campaign the community level around issues school security and creation safe environment for all children Engaging the MOE and the private sector explore funding for expansion the Safe Schools activity 
 Plan presented for expanding Safe Schools activity 200 schools, benefiting 4,000 children  Gender sensitivity training conducted for all stakeholders participating Safe Schools activities  Training workshops school-based violence  System designed and operating for monitoring and evaluating changes resulting from the Safe 
Schools program over time 
Requirement 2.4:  Inclusive learning opportunities for children with special needs created benefit 1,000 children per year  
The USAID Education Strategy clearly supports inclusion learners with disabilities and special needs crosscutting issue that will given serious attention, stating that: 
This strategy will emphasize inclusion schooling marginalized groups, with focus 
removing barriers the inclusion learners with disabilities, including the physical barriers reaching education venues, pedagogical barriers, and the social exclusion that result 
societys negative attitudes towards disability.19 September 2013, USAID/DR added component called Inclusive Learning Opportunities for Children with Disabilities the ESP.  The overarching objective the component was work 100 ESP schools to build the capacity public schools the Dominican Republic detect, diagnose, treat, and support school-aged children with disabilities.  One the main objectives the component was create model, jointly with the Ministry Education staff, identify disabilities children attending public schools the Dominican Republic and make adequate referrals for professional diagnosis and treatment when possible.  Activities include training professionals, teachers, school personnel and community members support children with special educational needs and design inclusive strategies give them better learning opportunities. The Inclusive Education component works closely with the 
MOEs Directorate Special Education (DEE) for capacity building and preparation materials 
benefit children with special education needs, among other activities.  Annex contains preliminary census special needs students conducted the MOE late 2013; ESP work with the MOE refine this information and develop model for identifying needs continuing.    
USAID recognizes that the term special needs encompasses wide range issues, and that this activity will not able provide comprehensive services all potential children identified.  Following the overall objective this activity improve early grade reading, this requirement aims achieve the following results:	 The recipient shall work 200 schools, using the lessons learned the ESP inclusive education component and international best practice, identify and diagnose the needs children with learning challenges those schools.  The recipient shall continue working closely with the MOE (specifically the DEE), was done the ESP project, refine models being developed for diagnosing different types disabilities the school-aged population.  The goal that the model being developed, refined, and field-tested under this activity will have the potential used nationwide. USAID Education Strategy, February 2011,, page	 The recipient shall work with the school, MOE, and community, needed, create referral and support systems the targeted schools and local communities address identified needs resulting from the applied diagnostics. The initial estimate used here that there could approximately special needs children per school, for total 1,000 targeted children, whose particular support needs could identified, and referrals provided, with the help this activity.  The creation referral systems may include the need involve parents and communities, increase their knowledge and support for issues special needs children.	 Some the identified special needs children will able improve their learning teachers and school support personnel learn how modify their teaching styles address particular learning challenges.  The recipient shall provide training targeted teachers the 200 schools both identify disabilities, and able make necessary curricular adaptations for students when their needs are not severe warrant special attention that the school not equipped provide. example, while school may not able meet the needs child with severe cognitive dysfunction and might able assist only with referrals for specialized treatment, there may children with dyslexia, mild autism, audio-visual difficulties, mobility issues whose needs can met teachers and school support personnel are trained make curricular adaptations assist them.  Early grade reading remains the targeted foundational skill:  the recipient shall ensure that targeted teachers and school support personnel acquire skills able adapt their teaching reading address issues special needs children their classrooms and schools.     
The offerors proposed approach this requirement must demonstrate understanding DEE 
structures such the Centros Recursos para Atencin Diversidad (CAD) and aulas apoyo. The approach shall describe how the recipient will make use structures and personnel that are place such the CADs and trained special education specialists, linking these resources directly with schools and communities that special needs children activity schools receive proper diagnosis and teachers and communities are trained able assist them.  
Finally, the offeror shall describe its approach how will seek cultivate collaboration with the private sector, international groups, and/or other non-governmental governmental organizations working the Dominican Republic assist children with disabilities.  Specific examples partnerships explored will strengthen the offerors proposal. The idea make the most existing resources support inclusion children primary school education.     
The offeror must demonstrate how the following will addressed the proposed approach: Strengthening and expanding 200 schools (and approximately 1,000 children) work done the ESP Inclusive Education component, based lessons learned	 Strengthening MOE capacity incorporate children with special needs into public schools, including improving the ability assess students with learning challenges and provide referrals for treatment Training teachers approaches adapt curriculum reach students with different learning styles, emphasizing how adapt the teaching reading skills Supporting the MOE expand the number teachers trained teach students with special 
needs Training teachers inclusive education practices and gender sensitivity and awareness Integrating the work done foundations, private groups NGOs assist persons with
disabilities such that supports this activitys objective create supportive learning 
environment for children primary schools   
 Understanding current DEE efforts support children with special needs demonstrated, and areas for collaboration with the MOE defined  Teachers trained and supported identify and adapt teaching styles accommodate special needs students, emphasizing the teaching early grade reading skills  Areas collaboration identified for supporting special needs children with non-MOE organizations such those the private sector, foundations, NGOs  

Result  Sustainable partnerships supporting USAID reading interventions strengthened created described above, USAID has supported early grade reading the Dominican Republic since 2002.  This new activity further sharpens the reading focus align with USAIDs global Education Strategy.  The increased focus reading means that some previously supported elements USAID/DR education projects, such work mathematics school management, will fall outside this current activity.  The objective under this requirement facilitate sustainability prior USAID investments and capitalize opportunities generate new partnerships that will benefit and/or complement early grade reading.  Identification and cultivation such partnerships need not require large outlay resources.  
The offeror instructed design this requirement (i.e., the creation sustainable partnerships) devoting not more than 10% the overall activity budget its accomplishment. other words, order for USAID maintain its priority focus direct support for early grade reading interventions, the majority the overall activity budget will towards reading-based interventions, and not more than 10% the overall activity budget will support partnership creation for non-reading activities. The recipient encouraged generate much outside funding in-kind support possible  there limit the amount funds that can raised and used support this activityas complementary non-reading interventions continue important for early grade learning, but simply will not financed large part with USAID funds. The 10% limit refers the maximum amount activity funding that can used raise these funds, for example, staff time public outreach costs that would used seek out partner support. participatory workshop held November 2012 and attended representatives private sector companies generated interesting feedback from participants.20 While tight budgets were cited limiting factor for private sector support for education, other factors mentioned were lack awareness the part businesses the value investing education, lack clear policies and initiatives for corporate social responsibility the private sector companies, and mistrust companies how receiving organizations schools would use and manage funds.  Private sector representatives also stated that times they face resistance change the part school management groups, the point where schools sometimes refuse accept funding.  The observation was that schools may afraid being held accountable for funds received, signaling potential lack transparent management capability their part.  The recipient may able address some these issues its activity design, e.g., assisting schools managing private sector funds facilitating private sector-MOE-school linkages.  
Requirement 3.1:  Strategic partners engaged supporting targeted education activities that complement USAID reading activities 
Under this requirement, the recipient shall create working partnerships encourage other organizations provide support that complements and furthers the reading objectives this activity.  The objective encourage sustained investment (through programmatic and financial assistance) primary education 
Taller conversatorio: rol del sector empresarial desarrollo Republica Dominicana traves educacion, Newlink Research, Santo Domingo, Noviembre 2012, USAID BEP Activity 
with emphasis early grade reading, incorporating the assets and resources the private sector, foundations, and non-governmental civil society organizations. The receipients  application  will strengthened including concrete examples potential areas for strategic partner involvement and evidence discussions and/or commitments obtained from identified strategic partners support future work under this activity.  Documented cash in-kind resources provided partner organizations may 
count toward fulfillment the recipients overall 15% cost sharing requirement under this agreement. example potential partnerships that could developed under this requirement, public and/or private entities could support expansion successful primary level mathematics interventions previously supported USAID; this would complement USAID continued support for expansion reading interventions grades 1-6.  Private/public sector support for mathematics, inclusion, Safe Schools programming would complement USAID support for reading.  There may partners who could support production provision learning materials for reading technology usage the classroom.  Engaging multiple actors through partnership ensures buy-in and sustainability.  The commitment quality education programming shown date from organizations such Dominican private sector foundations, multilateral donors, international development banks, and others basis for continued improvement the overall education system and learning environment.  USAID has also worked with American-affiliated groups businesses and major league sports organizations the past support education, and there continued potential for collaboration with these types organizations.  
Illustrative areas that may targeted for partner support could include (but are not limited to) the following: 
 Providing additional support for reading activities 
 Supporting mathematics other subject areas not funded this activity but that are 
complementary primary school childrens learning reading 
 Training teachers, parents, support personnel further improve reading quality 
 Supporting Safe Schools interventions 
 Supporting technology integration for the teaching and learning reading 
 Supporting activities for special needs children 
 Other activities that complement USAIDs principle project activities 
The recipient shall develop clear set guidelines for strategic partner involvement under this activity, which will enable proposed partner demonstrate how its activities will add value complement what USAID trying achieve.  Partnership activities must strategic, not ad-hoc nature; they will 
only considered strategic they truly complement and add value overall activity reading 
objectives.  All partnership activities will need have defined targets and measurable outcomes and results.  This requires the recipient establish strong monitoring and evaluation system for any strategic partner-sponsored interventions, able track performance and measure impact.  Developing clear guidelines for use investments and measuring their effectiveness will increase chances for sustainability private sector and other organizational investments education the future. 
The applicant must demonstrate how the following will addressed the proposed approach: Obtaining commitment from strategic partners support and complement the overall reading goals this activity Developing expectations and guidelines for potential partnerships, showing how proposed partnership investments directly complement USAID reading efforts and are not ad-hoc activities Developing monitoring and evaluation system demonstrate impact all partner-funded activities 
 Clear and transparent processes for creating strategic partnerships defined and implemented  Examples given possible strategic partnerships that will complement USAID goals under this activity  Monitoring and evaluation systems established, allow for measurement results accomplished under partnership activities 

Result Knowledge effective reading instruction and supportive approaches generated and shared with key stakeholders 
USAIDs Education Strategy Result 1.3 Greater engagement, accountability, and transparency communities and the public.  One the illustrative activities support this result Strengthening 
community and education stakeholder access and utilization education data for local decisionmaking21. Result aims facilitate the creation, distribution and use knowledge about successful practices that improve the quality basic reading instruction and create supportive learning environment for students (the two purposes this activity).  Sharing knowledge about best practices and lessons learned means improve the use data for decision making and the scale-up best practices, tools, and models, both the MOE and local organizations and institutions. This result seeks ensure that data and other types information generated through this activity and other actors used inform the planning and implementation USAID, GoDR, and other donor and NGO activities. 
The recipient shall develop plan for capturing information and knowledge about early grade reading and creation supportive learning environments from broad array potential sources, including this activity, the work other donors, universities, NGOs, the private sector, and the MOE, among others.   Making knowledge generation and sharing explicit result gives prominence the importance moving increasingly toward sustainability actions taken date improve primary education the Dominican Republic. stated above, 2013 IDB study found that the ESP had developed the required tools, materials and approaches that are critical sustainable primary education improvement.  There will continued benefit ESP tools and approaches that are being carried forward and refined with this activity can used establish standards that could applied any organization working improve reading, writing, and math early grades.  Devoting some the resources this activity knowledge generation and sharing, public discussion, and practical, focused research activities will help mobilize support for successful methodologies and tools.  
Successful and innovative experiences other projects, activities, and NGO work will also identified and utilized encourage public discussion and debate evidence-based methodologies that can contribute improving primary grade reading and inclusiveness the Dominican Republic. 
Requirement 4.1: Best practices and lessons learned early grade reading and inclusive education the Dominican Republic identified and shared with key stakeholders 
Under this requirement the recipient shall provide policy makers and community members with information, well with the analytical skills and tools required use such information, order improve policy decisions and local planning processes. Knowledge may gleaned from indicator data, activity reports, evaluations, studies, research, perception surveys, rapid assessments, other sources. USAID Education Strategy, February 2011,, page 
Such data and information will collected and packaged easy-to-understand formats part the efforts supporting this result and disseminated through work with the MOE, the media, NGOs and other community stakeholders. stated above, the commitment shown the GoDR devote urgently needed national resources education necessary first step toward increased sustainability the sector, with the establishment clear quality standards additional essential element that must addressed going forward.  Activities under this requirement will support further definition standards quality the delivery training and support students and teachers the early grades reading, well special needs children.  The recipient shall create plan for tracking activity progress and lessons learned and using this information provide the MOE with critical information for policy formation that will support early grade reading, and the creation safe and inclusive primary school environments the Dominican Republic.  
The offeror must demonstrate how the following will addressed the proposed approach:	 Developing plan for capturing information and knowledge about early grade reading and inclusive education practices from broad array potential sources, including this activity, the work other donors, universities, NGOs, the private sector, and the MOE, among others	 Creating system for tracking activity outcomes, results, and lessons learned early grade reading, safe schools, and inclusive education simple, user-friendly formats that allow for public discussion and debate	 Sharing student performance information and best practices early grade reading with key stakeholders include the MOE national, regional, and local levels, well civil society groups such those participating IDEC	 Sharing early grade reading information with communities and parents encourage support for 
childrens learning Sharing knowledge and lessons learned from Safe Schools activities about school and community security with communities involved Providing communities, schools and districts with information gleaned regarding special needs children the local area and developing strategies support them 
 Best practices and lessons learned early grade reading shared and discussed with key stakeholders the MOE, NGOs, training institutions, and communities  System track activity results and present them user-friendly formats for public discussion developed  Discussions held with MOE defining and implementing best practice policies support reading grades 1-6  Communities are aware and take action address issues raised regarding safety and security local primary schools  Communities are aware and take action support the inclusion special needs children primary schools 
Requirement 4.2: Partnerships support reading-related studies and research created 
This requirement aims create space within the activity for studies and research that are relevant the overall reading goals and objectives this activity.  The recipient shall create partnerships with local universities and/or other institutions individuals support research themes relevant reading, and generate new knowledge that will benefit the activity and its specific target geographic areas. The recipient will propose topics studied annual basis starting with Year the activity, and present the proposed list each year the USAID AOR for approval.  The objective generate, validate and disseminate knowledge, distilling information concise and useful way for target populations.  USAID may wish propose particular thematic areas for study  this can discussed during preparation the recipients annual list proposed research and study topics.  
The offeror must demonstrate how the following will addressed the proposed approach: Developing research plan that allows for studies throughout the life the activity reading-
related themes and objectives Submitting illustrative list proposed study research topics for Year Working with partners support  the  printing  and dissemination  original research 
themes such reading improvement, community mobilization, intra-familiar violence and its impact learning, attention special needs students, others Developing plan communicate and discuss findings reading studies with policy makers and other stakeholders the community level, relevant the type study conducted 
The recipient shall include the following topics for Year the activity:  study gender relations and their impact learning primary schools, include teachers, students, and MOE officials  review official primary school textbooks and materials determine whether they are free gender bias and reflect tolerance and inclusiveness 
 Supportive studies and research conducted that contribute knowledge reading themes relevant this activity  Year illustrative research plan submitted that reflects well-selected, topical, and relevant themes for study  culture knowledge generation and use encouraged the Dominican education sector around timely and relevant themes  PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION 
The recipient shall collect data that will monitor performance activities throughout the life the activity using output and outcome indicators. These indicators will track the number people and systems impacted the activity various categories. The indicators must line with the USAID agency standard indicators (required Foreign Assistance Framework indicators are listed under the Performance Monitoring Plan section below) and will used both for ME purposes well USAID internal reporting. All indicators must disaggregated appropriately provide necessary details for proper analysis. All training data must disaggregated gender, type training, geographic location and any other categories required USAID. The recipient shall collect the following data the activity, which will incorporated into the Performance Monitoring Plan: 
	 Student gains regularly administered classroom literacy assessments. The recipient shall conduct student assessments project schools the beginning and end each school year measure progress reading grades 1-6.  Assessments will utilize appropriate monitoring and evaluation tools and focus reading fluency and comprehension, line with USAID global 
goal improved reading skills increases fluency and comprehension reading grade level text.  
	 Percentage teachers demonstrating essential skills teaching reading. This outcome indicator designed measure the impact interventions the performance teachers the 
classroom.  The recipient shall measure teachers ability teach scripted lessons, assess student 
learning, and support student reading practice. Classroom observation data for this indicator will collected through the use classroom observation schedule purposively selected schools regular basis throughout the year. 
Performance Monitoring Plan 
The Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) shall guide key activity activities, indicators achievement, and the associated annual and life-of-activity targets. This plan shall developed the recipient, 
reviewed, and approved the Agreement Officers Representative (AOR). The recipient shall submit 
final PMP later than calendar days after mobilization. expected that the receipient will mobilize within days after award.  The final PMP shall incorporated into the agreement reference. Performance monitoring must take into account the requirements for two levels reporting: (1) the selection indicators consistent with USAID/DRs annual Operational Plan; and (2) the selection indictors for internal, activity-level management. The recipient may utilize separate, additional indicators for each level since some standard indicators may not appropriate for all levels. While the recipient may suggest more relevant indicators better illustrate progress and outcomes the activity, particularly taking into account the Implementation Guidance and Technical Notes the USAID Education Strategy, the AOR will make final indicator selection upon the review and approval the PMP. These indicators will take into account the results, performance requirements, and performance standards. All people-level indicators must sex disaggregated. minimum, the following Foreign Assistance Framework (FAF) and other indicators must included the PMP, with targets specified below: 
Foreign Assistance Framework Indicator  Data source  2014 Target  2015 Target  2016 Target  2017 Target  2018 Target  
3.2.1-3: Number administrators and officials trained  Implementing partner records  1,000  1,000  1,000  1,000  
3.2.1-14: Number learners enrolled USG-supported primary schools equivalent nonschool-based settings  MOE enrollment figures  200,000  200,000  200,000  200,000  
3.2.1-27: Proportion students who, the end two grades primary schooling, demonstrate that they can read and understand the meaning grade level text  Implementing partner records  TBD*  TBD  TBD  TBD  
3.2.1-31: Number teachers/educators/teaching assistants who have successfully completed in-service training received intensive coaching mentoring with USG support  Implementing partner records  7,500  7,500  7,500  7,500  
3.2.1-33: Number textbooks and other teaching and learning materials (TLM) provided with USG assistance  Implementing partner records  20,000  20,000  20,000  20,000  
3.2.1-35: Number learners receiving reading interventions the primary level  Implementing partner records  200,000  200,000  200,000  200,000  
Number learners benefitting from Safe Schools interventions  Implementing partner records  4,000  4,000  4,000  4,000  
Number primary school special needs learners receiving support improve learning  Implementing partner records  1,000  1,000  1,000  1,000 Targets for this indicator will set cooperation with USAID before activity start-up, based the most recent student reading achievement data from the ESP project. addition, the recipient must measure:
  Percentage teachers using improved instructional approaches for reading 
 Percentage teachers using formative assessment
  Number sets decodable and leveled readers provided. 

Finally, the recipient shall consider including its PMP, applicable, indicators from USAIDs Automated Directive System (ADS) Chapter 205, Integrating Gender Equality and Female Empowerment USAIDs Program Cycle22. The following indicator from ADS Chapter 205 may applicable the Safe Schools component this activity, for example: 
	 GNDR-7: Percentage target population that views Gender-Based Violence (GBV) less acceptable after participating being exposed USG programming.  
Other potential indicators are included the Logical Framework Annex this document.  
This activity may selected USAID for external evaluation. this the case, the Recipient will 
required collaborate closely with the Independent Evaluation Unit USAIDs Regional Basic 
Education Project Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) described below. ADS Chapter 205 found website table potential indicators found Section Performance Plans and Reports, page 21. 
Relationship with Independent Evaluation Unit: Under USAID direction, the Evaluation Unit will perform rigorous evaluation the activity well provide technical assistance the Recipient, needed, support successful evaluation. Additionally, the Evaluation Unit will provide technical assistance systematize the intervention, needed.  The Recipient will required cooperate with the Evaluation Unit plan roll-out the intervention order facilitate the rigorous evaluation. This likely include, but not limited to, collaborating with the Evaluation Unit to: develop monitoring instruments; design appropriate record-keeping systems for needed budgetary and programmatic data; collect requested budget and programmatic information; identify treatment and control groups; plan comparative implementation intervention components; measure the impact childrens learning; and other tasks required for rigorous evaluation. Flexibility will required the part the Recipient planning roll out and overall implementation the activity. SPECIFIED KEY PERSONNEL 
The application must include detailed descriptions proposed Key Personnel follows: Chief Party (COP) -The COP will provide overall technical and administrative leadership and serve the primary liaison with USAID/DR management and technical matters.  S/he must education expert with strong leadership skills. minimum, the COP shall have: 
 Masters-level degree education, social sciences, relevant field education programs from accredited university.  least years experience leading and implementing education programs developing countries, preferably the implementation national scale-up. 
	 Demonstrated exemplary management, communication, and interpersonal skills ensure internal cohesion among diverse team members and productive relations with the Government the Dominican Republic (GODR), donors, and the international community. 
 Deep knowledge Dominican cultural, political and economic context.
  Familiarity with and commitment addressing gender equality and disability constraints 

education programming.  
 Previous experience the Dominican Republic Latin America required.
  Fluency Spanish and English. Monitoring and Evaluation (ME) Specialist  The ME Specialist responsible for all project ME and must ensure that all activities are line with the USAID Evaluation Policy23. S/he will the key person responsible for collection and reporting student achievement test results reading.  Additionally, s/he will need ensure that required periodic reports and reporting (oral and written) made USAID. minimum the ME Specialist shall have: 
 Masters-level degree education, social sciences, relevant field education and data collection from accredited university.   least years experience and deep understanding the role data, evaluation, and knowledge management education programming and policy.  least years experience with the collection, interpretation, analysis, and reporting primary education achievement test results. 
	 Demonstrated knowledge database systems and direct experience conducting multiple types evidence collection and evaluation appropriate primary education student achievement, including participatory and qualitative approaches.  
 Previous experience the Dominican Republic Latin America required.
  Fluency Spanish and English and demonstrated ability write reports both languages. Language Coordinator  The Language Coordinator the technical leader responsible for implementation and monitoring reading achievement and language components the activity. minimum, the Language Coordinator shall have: 
 Bachelors-level degree education, social sciences, relevant field education programs from accredited university.  least years experience leading design, management, and implementation reading and language improvement activities for primary school children developing country setting.  Demonstrated experience with the collection, interpretation, analysis, and reporting primary education achievement test results.  Demonstrated ability work with Ministry Education officials, teachers, and students 
conduct reading support activities developing country setting.  
 Previous experience the Dominican Republic Latin America required.
  Fluency Spanish and strong working-level proficiency English.   

Short and longer-term assistance may needed the following areas: 
 Public-Private Partnership and Government Relations
  Safe Schools (gender-based and school-based violence)
  Disabilities /Inclusive Education
Short and long term technical assistance positions, while not considered key personnel subject USAID hiring approval, may need utilized under the project.  Such personnel should mentioned through approved work plan. ensure local ownership and transfer skills and knowledge, the recipient should emphasize Dominican expertise and strive for reasonable and appropriate mix Dominican and non-Dominican staff. ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS SYSTEM	 Definitions:	 
Cash Payment System means payment system that generates any transfer funds through transaction originated cash, check, similar paper instrument.  This includes electronic payments financial institution clearing house that subsequently issues cash, check, similar paper instrument the designated payee.	 
Electronic Payment System means payment system that generates any transfer funds, other than transaction originated cash, check, similar paper instrument that initiated through electronic terminal, telephone, mobile phone, computer, magnetic tape, for the purpose ordering, instructing authorizing financial institution debit credit account. The term includes debit cards, wire transfers, transfers made automatic teller machines, and point-of-sale terminals.	 
The recipient agrees use electronic payment system for any payments under this award beneficiaries, subrecipients, contractors.	 
Exceptions.  Recipients are allowed the following exceptions, provided the recipient documents its files with the appropriate justification:	 
Cash payments made while establishing electronic payment systems, provided that this exception not used for more than six months from the effective date this award.	 
Cash payments made payees where the recipient does not expect make payments the same payee regular, recurring basis, and payment through electronic payment system not reasonably available.	 
Cash payments vendors below $3000, when payment through electronic payment system not reasonably available.	 
The Recipient has received written exception from the Agreement Officer that specific payment all cash payments are authorized based the Recipients written justification, which provides basis and cost analysis for the requested exception.	 
More information about how establish, implement, and manage electronic payment methods available recipients 


USAID expects award one (1) cooperative agreement based this RFA. The anticipated total federal funding amount approximately $20,000,000, subject availability funds. The period performance five (5) years, starting from the date Agreement Officers signature. 
USAID will substantially involved during the implementation this Cooperative Agreement the following ways: 	
Approval the recipients annual work plans, reports, monitoring and evaluation plan, and all modifications that describe the specific activities carried out under the Cooperative Agreement; 	
Approval and any changes specified key personnel; and 	
Agency and recipient collaboration joint participation (collaborative involvement selection advisory committee members, concurrence selection sub-award recipients, and/or the substantive provisions the sub-awards). 

The Government may issue one (1) award resulting from this RFA the responsible applicant whose application conforming this RFA the most responsive the objectives set forth this RFA. The Government may (a) reject any all applications, (b) accept other than the lowest cost application, (c) accept more than one application, (d) accept alternate applications, and (e) waive informalities and minor irregularities applications received. 
The Government may make award the basis initial applications received, without discussions negotiations. Therefore, each initial application shall contain the applicant's best terms from cost and technical standpoint. The Government reserves the right (but not under obligation so), however, enter into discussions with one more applicants order obtain clarifications, additional detail, suggest refinements the program description, budget, other aspects application. 
Neither financial data submitted with application nor representations concerning facilities financing, will form part the resulting agreement(s). 
The Agreement Officer the only individual who may legally commit the Government the expenditure public funds. costs chargeable the proposed award may incurred before receipt either fully executed cooperative agreement specific, written authorization from the Agreement Officer. 

USAID policy encourages competition the award grants and cooperative agreements. response this RFA, any Dominican-based non-governmental organizations, non-for-profit, for-profit entities (Including NGOs, business associations, universities, and academic institutions) are eligible apply. 
Applicants are encouraged visit understand Local Solutions formerly USAID Forward and incorporate these Agency goals appropriately their applications. 
USAID/DR also encourages the submission joint applications between Dominican and based organizations and encourages applications from potential new partners. COST SHARING MATCHING 
The minimum cost share for this RFA 15%. Applications with cost share less than this are non-responsive and will not considered for award.  
This application found the internet CONTENT AND FORM APPLICATION SUBMISSION 
Applications shall submitted two separate parts: (a) technical application management plan with annexes, and (b) cost business application. 
Technical applications shall specific, complete and presented concisely. The applications shall demonstrate the applicant's capabilities and expertise with respect achieving the goals this program.  Technical applications shall take into account requirements the program and evaluation criteria found this RFA. 
The formation manageable and cost effective consortium encouraged. USAID encourages creative partnerships and innovative approaches. Applicants should realistic stating what can achieved given the proposed activities, budget and timeline. 
Technical applications must written English and letter size paper (8.5x 11), single spaced, font size, and have standard one-inch margins (Top, bottom, left, and right sides the paper). All charts, tables and spreadsheets must not less than font size. All files submitted must compatible with Microsoft Office Windows environment and/or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) (Text within the files must accessible and not password protected). 
The Technical Application has strict page limit fifty pages (50) including annexes. Anything above the page limit will not reviewed. The Technical Application must include the following three components: Cover Page; Technical Description; and Annexes. Please note that applicants must address all sub-components.   Please organize the application according the outline below: 
Cover Page (Does not count towards page limit) 
Technical Description Name and address organization; Contact person (lead contact name, telephone number, and e-mail information); Title proposed program; and,  

-Executive Summary (Does not count towards page limit): brief explanation the overall approach the project, major objectives, activities and expected results. Brief explanation any partners and geographical location. 
-Situation analysis and location: brief background the specific development challenge/opportunity addressed the concept paper; include description the target population; and justification for why the applicant the appropriate entity for addressing the identified development challenge effectively and the