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The Project

This website is a tool that allows users to sign up and receive notifications when Post Allowance (COLA) rates change for a given post. The app monitors COLA rates found at aoprals.state.gov. Users can subscribe to one or more posts and will receive email notifications when the COLA rates change.

This web app was created as a VSFS project in collaboration with the US Embassy Gaborone in Botswana. For more information on the VSFS program, see VSFS.


Frequently Asked Questions

Templates are draft Management Notices in MS Word (.doc or .docx) format. The templates are updated when COLA rates change and emailed to subscribers.

When creating a new subscription to a post COLA rate, users may choose a default template or upload a customized template.

What should my customized template look like?

A sample template can be viewed here.

Uploaded templates should be MS Word (.doc or .docx) format. Prior to sending email to subscriber, the app will update various fields in the template. Dynamic fields are shown below. Each field must be wrapped in curly braces (eg {field}) in uploaded template file.

Field File syntax
Old COLA rate {old_cola}
New COLA rate {new_cola}
Effective date {effective_date}
Current date {current_date}
Country name {country}
Post name {post}

No. You do not have to upload a template to use this tool. We have provided a default template you may use. However, we encourage you to use a custom template that matches your post's Management Notice style.

Yes! After uploading a template on the subscriptions page (while creating a new subscription), we will save this template and you will then be able to use it for future subscriptions.

If you just created an account, you first need to verify your email before you can login. A vericiation email was automatically sent to the email provided while creating an account. It may take a few minutes for this email to arrive. Also, don't forget to check your spam folder. If needed, resend verification code email.

If you have forgotten your password, reset password.

Please checkout our GitHub repository.