Background & Context
Communities United (CU) is a neighbourhood-based strategy to reduce poverty that focuses on five core neighbourhoods: Bannerman, Clareview Town Centre, Fraser, Hairsine, and Kirkness.
CU is an asset-based initiative that builds on the strengths of local communities. It is an evolving initiative, finding ways to support the bright ideas that emerge from the community to permanently move people out of poverty. The initiative is funded by United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, City of Edmonton, and the Edmonton Community Foundation.
CU is not a client serving agency but a community initiative that brokers connections among different stakeholders within the community (individuals, organizations, businesses, local changemakers, and the sector). This initiative is unique in that Communities United holds a neutral space amongst local stakeholders and can bring multiple partners together around community identified interests and opportunities. CU brings partners together to focus on opportunities and initiatives that require collaboration, diverse involvement, and the leveraging of strengths and resources. Communities United is in a unique position to broker existing resources to identified, unidentified, and unengaged potential within the community.
Over the past year, CU has made significant progress developing a number of strong relationships and supporting a range of collaborative initiatives. Most activities and steps align with a number of CU’s four priority areas which emerged out of strategic engagement sessions and reflect community interests, needs, and aspirations. These priorities are as follows:
● Thriving Youth: Creating Healthy, vibrant communities where youth are engaged, inspired, and empowered to reach their full potential in school, community, recreation, and work.
● Boosting Household Income: Financial security is a key to family and individual well being. Families deserve access to economic and employment opportunities that allow them to meet their basic needs and invest in their futures.
● Local Economic Development: Local investment, community participation, and stronger connections can lead to better employment opportunities, diverse and sustainable economic development, and a higher quality of life for community residents.
● Community Connections: Connected communities are places where individuals, businesses, organizations, families, and groups know each other, work together, and celebrate their diversity. Communities that actively embrace and nurture their strengths make for exciting places to live, work, and play.
Purpose and Scope
The purpose of CU’s evaluation plan is to systematically monitor the successes and challenges encountered in accomplishing the goals of our strategic plan and to understand the factors that influence our ability to accomplish our mission. The evaluation will be used to prioritize reflective practice throughout, and to support a process of continuous learning and development. Findings will be used to inform future organizational development and improvement, as well as demonstrating effectiveness to current and potential funders.
The purpose of this call for proposals is to select an Evaluator to work with the CU Evaluation Sub-committee to:
● develop evaluation methodology, tools, and processes to complement our existing theory of change and draft evaluation plan,
● review and streamline existing data collection methods and tools,
● develop new data collection methods and tools,
● collect new data,
● analyse and articulate findings,
● work collaboratively with the Evaluation Sub-Committee to interpret findings, and
● mobilize learning.
The evaluation will be developmental in nature, will be used to communicate with funders and community stakeholders, and will also inform improvements in ongoing work. The intention is that regular data collection, analysis, and feedback will provide points of reflection and dialogue for CU staff, CU Steering Committee and partners. This information will be used to inform decision making for the effectiveness and continued success of the initiative as well as the evolution of the evaluation work over time. Both outcome and process elements are incorporated.
● Affirm the scope of the CU Evaluation plan, methodology, and tools (September-October 2019) The Evaluator will work with the Evaluation Sub-Committee to develop and finalize the scope, methodology and tools associated with the evaluation plan. Meetings will be scheduled to review and discuss the existing evaluation focus, scope and plan, review existing data sources and collection opportunities, and develop new evaluation methodologies and tools.
● Develop Full Evaluation Plan (Fall 2019). Using existing evaluation documents (draft plan, theory of change, and logic model) and input from the Evaluation Sub-Committee develop a full evaluation plan which describes overarching purpose, questions, methodology and tools to complete the evaluation.
● Collect & Analyze Data (Winter 2019- Summer 2020). Based on the methodology described in the Evaluation Plan data will be collected, analyzed and used to continue to inform project planning, using iterative cycles.
● Document evaluation results (Fall 2020). After the evaluation data has been collected and analyzed this information will be presented in a Draft Evaluation Report for review, interpretation and approval by the CU Evaluation Sub-Committee, staff, and Steering Committee. In addition to answering the evaluation questions, the Report will identify recommendations and opportunities for improving the ongoing efforts of Communities United.
● Quote to be received by September 9 , 2019
● Candidate selection –Mid September 2019
● Draft Evaluation Plan – October 15, 2019
● Final Evaluation Plan – November 4, 2019
● Data Collection – Fall/Winter 2019- Summer 2020
● Interim Reports – December 2019 & April 2020
● Draft Evaluation Report, approximately by August 2020
● Final Evaluation Report with revisions, no later than mid September 2020
*While the timeline for delivery of the Interim and Final Evaluation Report is firm, other project timelines are flexible dependant on availability of key informants and support staff.
Building Phase (Sept – Dec 2019)
● Meet with CU staff and Evaluation Sub-Committee and develop an outline for evaluation plan
● Review administrative data that CU staff already capture
● Develop, review, and finalize evaluation plan and support the development and implementation of evaluation tools.
● Begin initial data collection
● Follow up with CU staff and subcommittee on evaluation findings and activities
● Create interim report (Dec 2019)
Data Collection & Iterative Learning (Jan–August 2020)
● Gather data from various sources
● Follow up with CU staff and subcommittee on evaluation findings and activities
● Create interim report (April 2020)
● Full draft of evaluation report (August 2020)
Mobilizing Collective Learning (August - September 2020)
● Complete final edits of Evaluation Report.
The proposal should not exceed $40,000 (including applicable taxes) over the time frame
1. Meeting with client
2. Creation of Evaluation Plan
3. Collect and analyze data
4. Provide feedback and results for project shaping, and interim reports
5. Document evaluation results in a final report
6. Presentation of final report to CU Steering Committee/Evaluation Sub-Committee
This project is looking for a developmental/adaptive focused evaluation, including some summative data collection and reporting. CU frontline staff are currently collecting some forms of data to support short-term and some intermediate outcomes. We anticipate this data will be incorporated into the evaluation. Vendor will be required to develop a sampling plan to collect additional data from CU participants and partners to be incorporated with existing data to inform the evaluation of progress toward medium term outcomes. There may also be existing data from service providers to inform the long term outcome. It is preferred if the Evaluator has experience with the ‘Most Significant Change Method’ as well as ‘Outcome Harvesting’.
Please provide a brief proposal including:
● Three examples of previous written work, including at least one framework and one report
● Client references
● Summary of experience with projects of a similar scope and profile
● Budget and time considerations
At the conclusion of the evaluation process, the awarding of this contract to the best overall vendor will be based on the Communities United Evaluation Sub-committee’s choosing, in its sole discretion, and by evaluating the proposals received.
By responding to this brief you are acknowledging that you are able to provide project deliverables within suggested budget and timeline.
Deadline: September 9, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time
Submissions received after this time will not be considered.
Method: Please submit proposals via email ONLY
(including relevant samples of your work)
Attention: Communities United Evaluation Subcommittee, ℅ Matthew Taylor
Questions regarding this competitive process may be submitted no later than September 6, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time to:
Attention: Matthew Taylor, Coordinator, Communities United