(CLOSED) SFOP0006869 Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs Telecommunications Training

Sponsor Name: 
Department of State
Description of the Award: 

The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) announces a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to conduct a series of training engagements and workshops on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policy, Internet and telecommunications regulation, digital trade, and digital economy policy to appropriate developing country government officials. These officials will be in positions that enable, regulate, and oversee the telecommunications sector and digital economy in their countries, including for example, telecommunication regulators, trade ministers, and policymakers responsible for communications infrastructure and other relevant policy and regulatory functions.


The purpose of this training program is to: promote U.S. models of ICT and digital economy management; promote the growth and expansion of open, interoperable, reliable and secure communications networks; encourage the adoption digital trade and ICT policies that support long-term, sustainable growth, private sector investment, and developing country self-reliance; improve the resilience and security of communications infrastructure; and create opportunities for increase trade for U.S. businesses.

This training program is part of the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership (DCCP). The DCCP is a multi-year, global initiative that provides credible alternatives to top-down, authoritarian approaches to internet governance, promotes the deployment of secure, next generation information and telecommunications technology (ICT) infrastructure, and builds the cybersecurity capacity of our partners in order to enable nations to realize the tremendous economic benefits of the digital economy.

This training program will provide specialized, technical ICT training to designated officials primarily from developing countries who enable, regulate, and oversee their national communications infrastructure and are responsible for managing and regulating the digital economy. This training program will serve to introduce and explain important concepts in ICT policy and regulation that impact the digital economy of those countries. The training program will be designed to clearly articulate to these officials the benefits of the fundamental pillars of U.S. international information policy: open, interoperable, reliable, and secure communications infrastructure connectivity; multi-stakeholder models of internet governance; pro-competitive, and light touch regulatory frameworks for telecommunications services; open data flows across borders; and risk-based approaches to cybersecurity.

These trainings will cover policy and technical topics including, but not limited to: (a) wireless technology and opportunities, including 5G; (b) spectrum management and policy; (c) national broadband or ICT plans; (d) national cybersecurity strategies; (e) pro-competitive, pro-investment regulatory frameworks that advance the growth of telecommunications and internet services, applications, and networks; (f) cloud service technologies and policy; (g) emergency communications plans; (h) infrastructure policies that accelerate internet expansion, (i) emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), and blockchain along with others.

This training program will be designed to develop a cadre of current and future leaders in the relevant ministries that cover these topics, as to advance the U.S. policy interests.

Project’s Goals

Provide targeted training by relevant experts from the private sector, U.S. government, and academia to build the institutional capacity of partner countries’ relevant government officials and representatives. This training program is meant to encourage participant government officials to adopt policy and regulatory environments that advance, or are aligned with, U.S. policy priorities to expand America’s vision of an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet. The training is also meant to provide government officials with a common lexicon and foundation for engagement with partners or in multilateral fora, such as at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Project’s Description

The Recipient will need to demonstrate dedication, commitment, and a successful track record of developing and providing high-quality training to professionals, government leaders, or industry on a broad range of technology, telecommunications, regulatory, internet-related, or other similarly complex policy topics. Courses must be taught by experts in the areas of policy listed above and should strive to provide a well-rounded perspective that includes industry, government, and academic perspectives. Courses must be taught at state-of-the-art, high-tech facilities, suitable to the course subject matter.

This training program is intended to take place in the United States and in other countries, depending upon partner country interest. While the training is for participants from every region of the globe, priority countries may include: Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Ukraine, Estonia, Poland, Bangladesh, India, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.

The Recipient will need to demonstrate a willingness to work closely with EB on all program requirements, including close coordination regarding participant selection and training format. The Recipient will need to have the capacity to conduct training on a global scale, with a priority placed on in-person training, and the ability to conduct online training or alternative training methods.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jun 12, 2020
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 


nterested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_SFOP0006869_2020 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Letter (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

2. Project Description (no more than two pages, pdf) and identify the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations.

3. 2-page CV's of Investigators

Formatting Guidelines:

Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)
Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 4:00pm
Krishna Jayakar (Bellasario College of Comm.)