2022 Evaluation Partner RFP

This opportunity is now closed.

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Please submit all inquiries and questions to FWE@workforce-matters.org.

FAQs are posted below.

Fund for Workforce Equity Seeks Evaluation Partner

Workforce Matters invites proposals from researchers interested in conducting an evaluation of the Fund for Workforce Equity’s first grantmaking cycle. The goals of this evaluation include:

  • Clarify, document, and help to refine the Fund for Workforce Equity’s underlying theory of change.
  • Document the activities and outcomes of the implementation partners, which include:
    • Workforce Matters
    • The Fund for Workforce Equity Advisory Committee
    • Round One grantee partners
    • Fund for Workforce Equity consultants and technical assistance partners
  • Assess the degree to which The Fund makes progress toward advancing the project goals during Round One.
  • Compile key findings into engaging, accessible, and actionable products and assist The Fund with broadly disseminating lessons learned to key stakeholders.

Potential applicants should review the information and instructions in this Request for Proposals and submit their application by August 26, 2022.

FAQs about the Fund for Workforce Equity Evaluation

How many Round 1 grantees do you expect there to be?

Approximately 14-16 grantees.

How many consultants and technical assistance partners will be involved?

Approximately 3-6 partners.

In the grantee RFP, there is a statement about the ownership of intellectual property contained in the RFP submission. Does the same thing apply to the evaluation RFP?

Yes, organizations who submit a response to the Fund for Workforce Equity’s evaluation RFP can expect to maintain ownership of their intellectual property.

Which staff members will work with the evaluation team? How will the Advisory Committee work with the evaluation partner?

Loh-Sze Leung, co-director of Workforce Matters, will be the primary point of contact for the Fund for Workforce Equity. We expect that the evaluators will be invited to observe any Advisory Committee meetings that are held and will provide updates to the Advisory Committee as the work of the evaluation proceeds. We have also identified a subgroup of Advisory Committee that is working more closely with staff to shape the evaluation goals and process.

Does Workforce Matters or the Fund for Workforce Equity have a cap on the indirect cost rate potential evaluators can charge in their budget proposals?

While we have not established a cap on the indirect rate that can be charged, we will be reviewing applications with an eye toward the work that can be accomplished within our budget.

Will the evaluation partner be responsible for supporting the Round One grantees in the development of their evaluation plans and outcomes data collection or only for aggregating the data across all implementation partners? 

We expect there to be very little quantitative data crunching based on the nature of this initiative. However, we would like the evaluator to have initial conversations with all grantees to gain greater clarity on their proposed plans and to provide some guidance as to the type of quantitative and qualitative data collection they might want to set up in order to report on outcomes at the end, based on their goals.

Given that this is a new funding initiative focused on systemic change and the grants will be $50,000-$70,000 and for one year, we were noticing that the anticipated research questions read like the kind used in a summative evaluation. To what degree are you open to different approaches/methodologies that may be better aligned with the phase of work, your focus on equitable evaluation, and your audience and goals?

We are very open to bidders’ suggestions on how to structure the evaluation to best meet our initiative’s learning goals for both funders, grantees, and workers and learners.

Could you provide a bit more context on where you are at in your development of the Fund’s Theory of Change?  Do you believe you already have clarity on what it is and need help in putting it into words and visuals?  Or do you believe you will need a facilitated process to develop one?  If the latter, who do you envision should be participating in this process?

We believe we have a pretty good sense of our theory of change and would welcome assistance refining it and putting it into words and visuals.

Can you provide a bit more context on what the Learning Community might entail? Do you envision there might be an opportunity to connect some facilitated/interactive evaluation-related activities into the learning community agenda?

We anticipate that the learning community will be convened ~four times over the course of the year for virtual meetings that are ~2 hours in length.  One of the four meetings may be held in-person, but we have not decided that yet. We also anticipate providing opportunities for grantees to receive individual coaching.  We would love to find a way to connect the evaluation and learning community components of the initiative!

How are you envisioning your relationship with the evaluation partner who is selected for this opportunity?  Do you wish to hire an evaluation partner that will “do the work for you” or “do the work with you?”

We are looking for an evaluation partner to do the work with us! The initiative’s funders are excited to engage in the learning process and to learn along the way as the initiative is implemented.

How will the Advisory Committee work with the evaluation partner?  And what is the experience level with evaluation and particularly equitable evaluation?

We expect that the evaluators will be invited to observe any Advisory Committee meetings that are held and will provide updates to the Advisory Committee as the work of the evaluation proceeds. We have also identified a subgroup of the Advisory Committee that is working more closely with staff to shape the evaluation goals and process. Our experience with evaluation and equitable evaluation varies across the advisory committee, but we do have a number of members that are more well-versed in the principles and practices of equitable evaluation.

The RFP, due Aug. 26, indicates that the expected project timeline includes evaluation partner notification by early September with research activities beginning in mid-October. Can you please share more information on the decision-making process? Given that a committee of volunteers will be reviewing proposals, a two-week turnaround seems quite aggressive and we are wondering if you have prequalified certain organizations to expedite reviews?

We have not pre-qualified any organizations for this project. We may adjust the timeline for review depending on the number of proposals we receive for this project. If we do, we will notify all applicants and adjust the contract start date and timeline for deliverables accordingly.

In reviewing the RFP, our interpretation of the scope seems out of alignment with the budget range of $100,000 to $150,000. How much flexibility is there in terms of proposing an approach for this evaluation that fits within your budget? What are your main priorities?

We are open to hearing from proposers how they would approach this evaluation given the project scope, timeline, and budget. We understand we may not get everything on our wishlist. Our priorities are: to understand the resources/factors required to expand adaptation and use of effective strategies across all grantees; to better understand the learning and integration of learning across workers/learners, grantees, and funders; and to better understand and learn from the program design processes and approaches that grantees use to engage/center workers and learners of color in workforce program/policy design and implementation.

We are trying to understand the impact of the funding model and focus on grantees. Our funders want to learn what strategies were designed and tested in this first round, which the grantees will be reporting on throughout the grant period in different ways. We are not expecting the evaluator to complete a study or evaluation of each grant or grantee.

Can you provide any insight into how the selection committee will be weighting the different criteria you described in the Selection Process + Criteria section of the Evaluation Partner RFP? 

We have not assigned specific weights for the criteria, but here’s what we would call out as being particularly important:

  • Experience with, expertise in, and/or commitment to racial equity, including Culturally Responsive and Equitable Evaluation practices or related approaches.
  • Experience with, expertise in, and/or commitment to centering worker and learner voices.
  • Efficacy and feasibility of the proposed approach, including the appropriateness of budget and the inclusion of a realistic project timeline.

Should the evaluation team build in expenses for branding, formatting, and messaging around the final report to its budget? Or is this an expense that Workforce Matters is likely to cover separately outside of the evaluation contract?

Workforce Matters is likely to contract with some outside communications support to help share the findings/results of the Fund for Workforce Equity, including findings from the evaluation. This would include overall branding, messaging, etc. That said, the evaluation team should plan to build into its budget tasks like producing a final slide deck/presentation to the Advisory Committee, a formatted final report, etc.