2021 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2021)

Notice of Funding Opportunity:

The Embassy of the United States in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, together with the Consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran, announce an open competition for past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded exchange programs to submit applications to the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2021).  We seek proposals from teams of at least two alumni that meet all program eligibility requirements below.

  • Applicants must be alumni of a U.S. government-funded exchange program or a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program.
  • Projects teams must include teams of at least two (2) alumni.
  • Alumni who are U.S. citizens may not submit proposals, but U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project.
  • Alumni teams may be comprised of alumni from different exchange programs and different countries.

Program Description:

The Embassy of the United States in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, together with the Consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran, announce an open competition for past participants (“alumni”) of U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to submit applications to the 2021 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF 2021).  Exchange alumni interested in participating should submit proposals to MangoldAR@state.gov and EssaMK2@state.gov by midnight on Thursday, June 17, 2021.  The Embassy will select the most competitive proposals to apply for review by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC.

  1. Proposal Form
  2. Budget Form

Please carefully follow all instructions below.

Program Objectives:  

AEIF provides alumni of U.S. sponsored and facilitated exchange programs with funding to expand on skills gained during their exchange experience to design and implement innovative solutions to global challenges facing their community. Since its inception in 2011, AEIF has funded nearly 500 alumni-led projects around the world through a competitive global competition. This year, AEIF 2021 will foster developing in-country and regional needs by supporting public service projects designed and led by posts and USG exchange alumni United States’ commitment to working with our partners around the world.

The U.S. Embassy Riyadh will accept projects proposed and managed by teams of at least two (2) alumni that support themes such as:

  • Engaging youth in rural areas through community service/ volunteerism.
  • Youth engagement in the promotion of economic prosperity through tourism and recreation.
  • Engagement that promotes business ownership by women or greater access to capital for women.
  • Engagement that promotes greater access to educational opportunities for under- represented groups.

Federal Award Information:

Closing date for applications: June 17, 2020

Expected size of individual awards:  Between below $10,000 or above $50,000.

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant Awards

Proposals may request funds from $10,000 to $50,000 U.S. Dollars.

See below for guidance on completing the budget:

Venue Costs

Reasonable costs based on local environment for renting space for project-related activities. Consider negotiating deals to include coffee breaks, lunch, equipment, or modest supplies, and include this information in the budget justification.

Promotional Items and Advertising

Promotional items that you will use to amplify the project.  Break down promotion and advertising, clearly indicating what you will get in return for costs incurred (i.e. number of ads, on which platforms, and at which times).  Consider cost share or free online tools for graphic design work.  Funding for the creation of websites will need to be strongly justified.

Meals & Beverages
Reasonable requests for snacks and meals if essential to the program (i.e. a working lunch is acceptable, but a cocktail reception is not).  Break down the cost per person per meal per day.  This section should not include per diem meals for travel days.
Speaker Honorarium or Trainer Fees
Speaker:  Maximum of US$200 per day for a full day of programming (in-person or virtual).Trainer:  Maximum US$200 per full day or $25 per hour.  Preparation and follow-up costs are acceptable and should be itemized at the same rate.  Consider asking your fellow alumni to provide their expertise as in-kind support for the project (i.e. cost share).
Lodging and Per Diem
In-country and intraregional meals and lodging.  Indicate if lodging is single or dual occupancy and the duration of stay.  Explain if meal costs cover an entire day or partial day.
In-country and intraregional airfare or local travel costs (via car, bus, train, etc.).  Specify the mode of transportation, who will travel, destination/arrival points, and if the cost covers roundtrip or one-way travel.  Travel to/from the U.S. (including speaker travel) will not be covered as all projects must take place outside of the U.S.
Supplies, Materials, and Equipment
General office supplies, software, fuel, small equipment such as laptops, projector, etc., and expendable material (i.e. paint or paper).  When possible, rent rather than purchase equipment.  Indicate what you will do with purchased equipment after the project concludes.
List any items that do not apply to the categories above.  Be specific!  Commonly cited items are administrative costs and monitoring and evaluation, which require details and cost breakdown.  Indirect costs incurred for the benefit of the project (such as administrative and overhead costs) should not exceed 10% of the total proposed budget.


AEIF 2021
Monitoring and Evaluation Resource Guide

Social impact initiatives, like Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) projects, are designed to influence change in behavior, attitudes, and knowledge.  A strong project plan incorporates methods to track and measure these changes.  This Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) resource guide will help get you started on developing a strong M&E plan for your project.  Please note the following examples are not prescriptive and should be used to guide you through the development of your own indicators, questions, and data metrics.

  1. Key Terms and Definitions: Below are the definitions of common key Monitoring and Evaluation See more definitions linked here.


Term Definition
Monitoring Tracks a program’s progress against established goals and objectives through ongoing data collection.
Evaluation A formal study of a program. A systematic and objective assessment of an ongoing or completed activity, project, program, or policy.
Goal The most significant change a program seeks to achieve.
Objective The changes a program seeks to achieve to reach the goal.
Activities Program or project actions or tasks that are implemented to achieve targeted outcomes.
Baseline The value of an indicator before the implementation of a program.
Indicator An observable or measurable characteristic that indicates the extent to which a program objective is being achieved.
Output The immediate results from an activity.
Outcome Change that has occurred as a result of activities implemented.
Results Any product or change that occurs due to the program activities. A program’s outputs, outcomes, and/or impact.


  1. Developing Your Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: Using the following sample guiding questions, indicators, and data collection methods, you can start putting together an M&E plan:
Baseline Indicator Data type / Method

● Existing levels of knowledge and services and how they apply to target group/ program participants

● Measurable rate of desired change in knowledge, attitudes, and practices to be achieved by the project over defined time

● Quantitative: Data from surveys and research on the topic in the context of target community or direct beneficiaries


● Qualitative: Focus groups and interviews

Project Implementation Phase
How will you know if you have selected the right participants?  Are project beneficiaries and community members engaged and responding to project topics?  Did you choose the right type of activities for your project?  What needs to change to ensure the activities result in desired outcomes?
Output Indicator Data type / Method

● Number of engagements with local media

● Number of beneficiaries who demonstrate new knowledge or skills

● Amount of time beneficiaries, alumni team, volunteers, and U.S. Embassy team spends on carrying out project activities

● Number of new toolkits, campaign guide, curriculum, or products produced

● Number of users engaging with/sharing online content and resources on project’s digital platforms

● Number of radio/TV audience, social media followers, or website users increased

● Quantitative: Number of participants, workshops, social media following, radio and TV shows or ads, blogs

● Qualitative:  Testimonials, focus groups, and interviews

End of Project
Did your project meet or exceed your stated goals?  Did your project influence change in knowledge, attitudes and practices?  Is it possible to replicate and/or scale your project?
Outcome Indicators Data type / Method

● Number of beneficiaries who demonstrate new and/or increased knowledge or skills

● Number of people who take action as result of awareness campaign or training

● Number of new partnerships and audiences for alumni organizations and U.S. Embassy

● Project receives in-kind funding to support future activities

● Number of new businesses or income-generating activities

● Number of beneficiaries who register to vote, successfully apply for a job, increase English language skills, etc.

● Quantitative: Survey (stakeholder and beneficiaries), statistics from public and civil society organizations, and/or number of services provided by stakeholders including schools, health providers, business tech hubs, etc.

● Qualitative: Interviews, focus groups, testimonials from beneficiaries, service providers, teachers, volunteers, etc.

Social Impact
What is the long-term impact of your project?  What broader changes within the community, organization, society, or environment occurred as result of program outcomes?
Social Impact Indicators Data type / Method

● Change in policy, new legislation, issue reframing

● Partners, beneficiaries, and communities continue associated activities 6 months/1 year after the project

● Average increase in household income, number of new businesses registered, etc. after x-months/year

● Community reports decrease in violence, teen pregnancy rates, or spread of disease x-months/ year later

● Number of schools and vocational institutes reporting increase of female students pursuing STEM degrees x-month/year later

● Percentage of registered voters/candidates who are women at the end of the project

● Quantitative:  Surveys of community, public institutions, NGO reports

● Qualitative:  Follow up interview with participants, community members, and stakeholders



Reporting provides you with an outstanding opportunity to understand the impact of the project. ECA requires a final report be submitted upon completion of the project.


  1. 3. Additional Resources (Articles and Videos):

Here is a curated list of helpful online resources on M&E, both videos and articles: