UPDATE: This solicitation deadline has been extended to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 5, 2021.
Project Evaluation, Alaska Native Education Program
Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska is partnering with Arctic Slope Community Foundation on an Alaska Native Education Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Project Learn: Educational & Cultural Enrichment for Alaska Native Youth. The project is anticipated to run from October 2021 – September 2024, Federal Fiscal Years 2021-2023.
- Minimum 5-years experience in research and evaluation in Alaska.
- Experience working with Alaska Native tribal governments and organizations.
- Experience working with schools and/or school districts in Alaska on projects that involve data sharing agreements between schools and out-of-school programs, including Boys & Girls Clubs.
- Experience in working with rural and remote communities in Alaska.
- Experience in the field of education and qualified to provide technical assistance in curriculum development and other aspects of the educational project.
- A successful bid will require an Alaska business license, IRS W-9 Form, and proof of insurance with Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska named as additional insured. A contract cannot be awarded to a business/entity that has been suspended or barred from doing business with the U.S. Government. Proposals should acknowledge this requirement, but documentation will only be required of a successful bid prior executing a contract.
The solicitation opens September 1, 2021. Proposals must be received via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org by 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Tuesday, October 5, 2021.
Proposals should include:
- A statement describing how the proposed evaluator meets the experience requirements detailed above.
- A description of proposed approach to evaluation for the project.
- A general budget for the evaluation project. Travel expenses are an expected element of evaluation design with this project, even as we move through the pandemic era. Travel should be a distinct element of the cost proposal with the expectation the contractor will be reimbursed for actual expenses.
- The resumes of the principal investigator with three references. The resumes of other investigators, as appropriate.
A page limit is not being set for the proposal or attachments.
If you intend to submit a proposal, please e-mail William Hurr, Dir. of Grants & Community Partnerships, email@example.com. Responses to questions and updates about the solicitation will be provided via e-mail and may not necessarily be posted on the agency website. Other questions about the solicitation may also be directed to Mr. Hurr.
The U.S. Dept. of Education has not yet awarded grants under the FFY2021-2023 Alaska Native Education Program solicitation. The application period ended May 3, 2021. Award announcements are anticipated some time before September 30, 2021. The project is moving forward with the solicitation for an evaluator in anticipation of funding with the understanding that neither the project or evaluation will move forward without funding from the Department. The solicitation is underway before an award to secure an evaluation contract as early in the project’s process as is practical.
Please note: This is an open solicitation required by the U.S. Dept. of Education. An open solicitation not only good practice, it allows for a strong exchange of ideas in tackling complex issues and, at times, results in more economical solutions. The attached project narrative that was submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Education includes the name of the evaluator from the FFY2018-2020 project under the same partnership. All parties are aware the project the project would go out to bid. This is not a pro forma exercise. Alaska is too small and the work for our children and communities is too important.
Questions Regarding the Solicitation
Question #1 (9/22/21): Based on the grant narrative, it looks like this project has been data-driven and that process and outcome evaluation have been integrated from the beginning. I’m curious if the evaluation you’ve incorporated has led to the project goals/scope shifting from the FFY18-20 and FFY21-23 cycles or if this new application was an extension with much of the same scope as the original proposal?
Possessing a deep understanding of the prior history of the project is not a requirement of the solicitation.
With respect to the project, we are hoping to receive a third round of funding. There have been significant changes from FFY14-17 to FFY18-20 and now headed into FFY21-23. Most of them have been efforts to focus the scope of work and focus data collection. By honing the effort down to literacy rather than a host of educational support activities, we hope to have stronger measurable change. The focus with the Weikart Centers Youth Program Quality Initiative on staff practice as a key staff development piece helps focus the work from planning to evaluation.
One of the hurdles with the Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP) grant has been the U.S. Dept. of Education outcome measurement requirements tied to student achievement. The data required has been the data collected through PEAKS and its predecessor. Over the course of the last two rounds of funding, local and state level through school districts and the Alaska Dept. of Education and Early Development has been either missing or unreliable for the last several years. In its most recent ANEP solicitation, the U.S. Dept. of Education has finally moved away from requiring that data and opened the door for projects to have a strong, approved plan that demonstrates student outcomes.
The pandemic has also had an influence. Educational enrichment efforts that connect Boys & Girls Club activities with parents and other caregivers as well as stronger participation in community activities have been difficult to implement during the pandemic with COVID mitigation plans in place. Overt goals and measures in prior rounds tied to these efforts in the past have had to be reconsidered for the FFY21-23 proposal. Ties to family, community, and culture are couched in the context of the literacy and youth program quality goals of the project.