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REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: PILOT EVALUATION SERVICES

SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND

Choices for Youth (CFY) is currently accepting proposals to develop, design, implement, and manage an evaluation process for a community-based pilot program across two non-profit agencies and provincial government partners.


This Request for Proposal (RFP) aims to solicit proposals from various vendors, conduct a fair and extensive evaluation based on the criteria listed herein, and select the vendor who best represents the ability to deliver on the objectives identified.



1. PROPOSAL GUIDELINES

This Request for Proposal represents the requirements for an open and competitive process. Proposals will be accepted until 11:59pm Newfoundland Standard Time (NST), Friday, May 5, 2023. Any proposals received after this date and time will be returned to the sender. All proposals must be signed by an official agent or representative of the company submitting the proposal.


If the organization submitting a proposal must outsource or contract any work to meet the requirements contained herein, this must be clearly stated in the proposal. Additionally, all costs included in the proposals must be all-inclusive to include any outsourced or contracted work. Any proposal which call for outsourcing or contracting work must include a name and description of the agency being contracted.


All costs must be itemized to include an explanation of all fees and costs.


Contract terms and conditions will be negotiated upon selection of the winning bid. All contractual terms and conditions will be subject to review by Choices for Youth and will include scope, budget, schedule, and other necessary items pertaining to the project.



2. PROJECT PURPOSE AND DESCRIPTION

The Employment Stability Pilot is being undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development (CSSD), the Department of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills (IPGS), Stella’s Circle and Choices for Youth. This pilot is testing new and enhanced initiatives and supports intended to assist people receiving Income Support to increase labour market attachment and promote self-reliance.


Background

Through a collaborative approach, CSSD, IPGS, Stella’s Circle and Choices for Youth, have developed initiatives and supports believed to address identified systemic barriers faced by those receiving Income Support to join or rejoin the work force as well as to maintain their attachment and increase their earnings. The Pilot has been operating since April 2022 and will run for three years in total. Research participants will be followed as they enter the workforce to test the impact that these initiatives and supports have on increasing labour market attachment and self-reliance. Participants are people receiving Income Support.


Existing Evaluation Design

Beginning on April 1, 2022, in its initial development and planning phase, pilot partners contracted some preliminary evaluation work to design a pilot evaluation matrix, logic model and pre-intervention survey/interview questions. Currently, there are approximately 115 participants involved with the initiative with a target group of 200. These individuals will be followed for three years from April 2022 to March 31st, 2025.


Purpose

To evaluate the effectiveness of new and enhanced initiatives introduced by Income Support and enhanced case management from Stella’s Circle and Choices for Youth in reducing barriers to employment and encouraging increased labour market attachment for people receiving Income Support.


Benefits of the research and benefits to participants

The evaluation of this pilot will assist project partners to determine which incentives and supports contributed to the broad pilot outcomes of increased employment and/or greater employment stability. These results will inform consideration of which elements should be expanded to benefit other people receiving Income Support. During the pilot period, these new initiatives will: 1) allow participants to keep more of their earned income resulting in a higher net monthly income; 2) allow participants to remain attached to Income Support longer as they earn a higher monthly income; 3) provide work continuation bonuses when certain milestones are reached; 4) provide additional emergency supports to help participants to remain attached to the work force; 5) ensure an easier re-entry into Income Support should participants’ employment be interrupted/end; and 6) provide enhanced financial literacy/counselling supports.


Project Partners

Choices for Youth and Stella’s Circle are two established non-profit agencies in the St. John’s metro area. Both organizations focus on assisting vulnerable people in our communities through a variety of programs and services. This joint project will provide evaluation design and implementation for a pilot project in coordination with the provincial government that focuses on supporting individuals currently availing of the Income Support system while transitioning to part-time and/or full-time employment. The purpose of the project is to understand the journey of both youth (Choices for Youth) and adults (Stella’s Circle) when supports and financial interventions are adjusted and synchronized.


Project Description

Choices for Youth is seeking a consultant to provide and manage an evaluation strategy for a pilot project over the remaining two-year timeline for project partners. The vendor will develop and deliver a coordinated evaluation approach that is user-friendly, simple to use, supportive, person-centered, and demonstrates accepted privacy, confidentiality, and ethics principles in the collection and storage of personal information. The consultant will be working within the ARMS Client Management System and may choose to identify, recommend, and incorporate other tools as appropriate.


This project requires working directly with staff at Choices for Youth, Stella’s Circle, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.


The evaluation, implementation, analysis, and reporting are inclusive in the scope of work. This will involve a person-centered design approach and employ a trauma-informed lens. As the scope of work includes direct evaluation with vulnerable participants, it is important that the vendor has experience


working in a trauma-informed environment and has a staff team with the appropriate skills and qualifications.


Additionally, the design and third-party implementation must be done with deep collaboration with staff teams to ensure the outcomes, indicators, approaches, and methodologies are clearly mapped with feedback from all parties.



3. PROJECT SCOPE

The scope of this project includes all evaluation design and development, including the incorporation of existing pilot data and existing evaluation tools, third-party implementation, analysis, and reporting for this pilot program.


The selected bidder will be responsible for planning, collaborating, designing, coordinating the evaluation strategy with assistance from Choices for Youth, Stella’s Circle, and provincial government staff.


The following criteria must be met to achieve a successful project:

● Clearly articulated evaluation methodology with appropriate ethical considerations.

● Consideration of existing data, pilot evaluation documents and their incorporation into the broader evaluation methodology as solicited in this RFP.

● Outline and approach for partner and research participant engagement.

● Appropriate expertise and experience working in evaluation with vulnerable populations.

● Proposed project plan with articulated milestones.

● Demonstrate an approach to evaluation that aligns with best practices in evaluation.

● Demonstrate competencies in privacy, confidentiality, and data management.


Submission Requirements

To be considered, all proposals must include:

• A detailed plan on how you intend to develop and implement your evaluation methodology and evaluation framework.

• A list of roles and responsibilities of your team members on the project, and your experience delivering, including resumes.

• A timeline of expected milestones and a breakdown of expected costs.

• Your fee structure for any fixes or net new requests if any are to arise beyond the 3-year agreement outlined in this document.

• Examples of past work and references.



4. REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL AND PROJECT TIMELINE


Request for Proposal Timeline:

All proposals in response to this RFP are due no later than 11:59pm (NST), Fri, May 5, 2023. Any proposals received after this date and time will be returned to the sender. All proposals must be signed by an official agent or representative of the company submitting the proposal.


Evaluation of proposals will be conducted from Fri, May 8 – Mon, May 15, 2023. If additional information or discussions are needed with any bidders during this window, the bidder(s) will be notified.


The selection decision for the winning bidder will be made no later than May 15, 2023.


Upon notification, the contract negotiation with the winning bidder will begin immediately. Contract negotiations will be completed by May 22, 2023.


Notifications to bidders who were not selected will be completed by May 26, 2023.


Project Timeline:

The evaluation must be fully implemented by June 30, 2023. Project planning phase must be completed by September 15, 2023. Project planning phase will determine the timeline/schedule for the remaining phases of the project.


The first of four evaluation reports should be delivered by the end of September 2023. The successful consultant will be expected to deliver two evaluation reports annually (September 2023, February 2024, and September 2024), and a final report upon agreement completion (March 31, 2025).



5. BUDGET

All proposals must include proposed costs to complete the tasks described in the project scope. Pricing should be listed for each of the following items in accordance with the terms below:

• The total project cost should not exceed $125,000 (including tax)

• The budget must encompass evaluation methodologies and an evaluation framework of the project (or how you would incorporate existing into your plan)

• All costs and fees must be clearly described in each proposal.



6. BIDDER QUALIFICATIONS

Bidders should provide the following items as part of their proposal for consideration:

• Description of experience in evaluation with vulnerable populations

• Examples of work in evaluation

• Anticipated resources you will assign to this project (total number, role, title, experience)

• Time frame for completion of the project

• Project management methodology

• Evaluation methodology

• Commitment to ethics, client confidentiality, privacy, and data management

• Detailed budget



7. PROPOSAL EVALUATION CRITERIA

To be considered, all proposals must include:

• 50% - A detailed plan & timeline on how you intend to implement your evaluation methodology and evaluation framework, including the existing evaluation framework and existing available program data.

• 40% - A list of roles and responsibilities of your team members on the project, and your experience delivering.

• 10% - Your fee structure for any fixes or net new requests if any are to arise beyond the 3-year agreement outlined in this document.


Choices for Youth and Stella’s Circle will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria. To ensure consideration for this Request for Proposal, your proposal should be complete and include all the following criteria:

• Overall proposal suitability: proposed solution(s) must meet the scope and needs included herein and be presented in a clear and organized manner

• Experience: Bidders will be evaluated on their experience as it pertains to the scope of this project

• Value and cost: Bidders will be evaluated on the cost of their solution(s) based on the work to be performed in accordance with the scope of this project

• Technical expertise and experience: Bidders must provide descriptions and documentation of staff technical expertise and experience


Each bidder must submit an electronic copy in PDF format of their proposal to Jen Crowe, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Choices for Youth, by 11:59pm on Fri, May 5, 2023. Please include “Employment Stability Pilot RFP” in the subject line.



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