Request for Proposals - Consultant for North York Community House’s Journeys to Active Citizenship Project

Organization name: 
North York Community House - NYCH
Deadline date: 
Monday, February 8, 2021 - 11:00pm
Deadline: 
Fixed date
RFP status: 
Active

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

1.0 Background

For 30 years, North York Community House (“NYCH”) has been working with new immigrants and residents in northwest Toronto, providing the resources and opportunities they need to achieve their goals. We believe that everyone has the potential to lead a successful life in Canada and can play a role in building strong, resilient neighbourhoods – they just need the skills, confidence and opportunities to do so. This is the support North York Community House provides; this is where community lives.

NYCH’s new Journeys to Active Citizenship project is an exciting new collaborative initiative with project partners – the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and Ryerson University’s Democratic Engagement Exchange, immigrant and refugee-serving organizations across the province, immigrants and refugees and other stakeholders. The five-year project is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and will contribute to the development of a more inclusive democracy where immigrant and refugee voices play a greater role in shaping Canada. Specifically, the initiative will:

  1. Engage stakeholders across the spectrum of formal and informal civic engagement systems, settlement program delivery, policy, academia, and newcomers themselves to co-develop the initiative and the products and resources,
  2. Contribute to the knowledge base on the varied journeys to active citizenship for a diverse range of immigrants and refugees. This will include sharing research/evaluation findings on the assets they leverage, the barriers they face, as well as the current state/promising practices of programs and services available to support them,
  3. Develop, prototype, pilot and share standardized, evidence-based and outcomes-driven tools, products, curriculum, program and evaluation resources to meaningfully engage newcomers so they can develop the skills, knowledge, confidence and connections they need to play a strong, active role in civic areas and are active participants in building a future Canada that reflects their aspirations,
  4. Build staff and organizational capacity to implement stand-alone Active Citizenship programs as well as to embed key elements into existing settlement programs (such as language classes).

This initiative is grounded in a newcomer-centric approach – engaging immigrants and refugees and those that work with them – in the project and creating products that build on their assets and reflect the realities of diverse newcomers, including youth, women, refugees, seniors, Francophone communities. We are bringing diverse stakeholder and expert perspectives to bear at all stages and building a national community of practice to support the development and implementation of Active Citizenship. Evaluation, learning and co-design is integrated as a meaningful and core part of every

aspect of the initiative – program innovation and product development, stakeholder engagement, and cycles of testing/learning through prototyping and piloting.

NYCH is looking for a consultant who can work with the project team/project partners (OCASI and Ryerson University) to lead refinement and further development of an evaluation framework and related guiding project documents and tools that will be used throughout the project and beyond project completion. The initiative began in the Spring of 2020 and it will continue to build on the work of the project partners and consultants that has been done to date.

SCOPE OF WORK

2.0 General Purpose

This RFP is a search for a consultant who can lead/support the Active Citizenship team through the process of designing a comprehensive evaluation framework (building on work done to date) and related tools and refining the draft Theory of Change as a result; supporting the integration of the evaluation framework and Theory of Change into all project activities for the course of the project; engaging in capacity building and training for project staff; and enabling early implementation of the evaluation framework and related tools.

The evaluation framework should build upon and be aligned with work done to date by the project partners and other consultants, including a literature review and research in the field of active citizenship and civic engagement, feedback from stakeholders in the immigrant and refugee serving sector, and the development of key project documents. The deliverables will continue to seek guidance from sector staff with experience in running civic engagement programming, immigrants and refugees, and other stakeholders, in partnership with project staff. The framework will feed into the project’s Theory of Change, and will include specific evaluation tools (e.g. standard definitions, indicators, sample survey questions, capacity building tools and recommendations for project staff). The consultant will then make revisions to the existing draft Theory of Change.

Project funding has been secured until 2025, and the consultant successful in this process may be invited to continue with the project throughout the remainder of the project.

2.1 Activities

  • Facilitate project initiation meetings with the project team and develop a workplan
  • Work closely with Active Citizenship (AC) Manager, AC team, and project partners to review/understand key project documents, data gathered to date from stakeholders, academic/grey literature review of existing research in field of active citizenship, evaluation activities to date, and the project’s Theory of Change
  • Facilitate meetings and work with project staff and other stakeholders to implement any additional data gathering activities that may be needed and design an evaluation framework, related tools and revise/update the Theory of Change
  • Engage in training and capacity building activities to support project staff in implementation of the evaluation framework and related tools

2.2 Project Timeframe

This work begins in February 2021 with a target completion date of June 30, 2021.

  • Project initiation meetings – February 2021
  • Draft of proposed evaluation framework and tools (i.e. items listed in section 2.3) created and sent to project team – May 16th, 2021
  • Feedback on evaluation framework and tools (i.e. items listed in section 2.3) from Active Citizenship project team – by May 31st , 2021
  • All final deliverables outlined in section 2.3 delivered to project team – June 30th, 2021

Upon successful completion of work, the consultant may be renewed for the remainder of the project (I.e. July 2021 – March 2025) – focusing on providing strategic guidance and advice throughout the remainder of the project, as well as supporting the ongoing implementation of the evaluation framework, Theory of Change and related tools and their integration into all aspects of the project. This will include leading processes and further building the capacity of the partners/project team to carry out data gathering, analysis, co-learning and co-design activities, as well as further refining standard definitions, terms and measures.

2.3 Deliverables

The consultant will develop a final document that includes the Evaluation Framework, related tools, an updated Theory of Change, and a report on evaluation activities. The document will include the following deliverables:

  1. Evaluation Framework: Providing a complete and robust evaluation framework for the Journeys to Active Citizenship The framework should:
    1. Build on project work done to date by project staff and consultants
    2. Be grounded in existing academic and grey literature in the field of active citizenship/civic engagement
    3. Include proposed standard definitions, indicators (developmental, performance, outcome), metrics, baselines, etc. that can be used for evaluation, tracking and reporting purposes. The consultant will outline how to establish a baseline on active citizenship and civic engagement amongst immigrants and refugees in Ontario, as well as a baseline of existing programs and sector staff/organizational capacity to deliver civic engagement programming for immigrants and refugees in
    4. Be aligned with the stated project goals and approaches as outlined above, including sharing data/knowledge with all stakeholders, and enabling collective learning, co- creation, and ongoing refinement and improvement of all project deliverables/activities
    5. Recommendations for project staff and partners on how to implement the framework and build the capacity of project staff as well as other agency staff involved in the prototype/pilot phases
  1. Development of Evaluation tools: The development of evaluation tools for use online and in- person, including but not limited to:
    1. survey tools for project staff and sector staff participating in the pilot and prototyping phase (to test the active citizenship curriculum, program models and related tools)
    2. facilitation questions and guides for group sessions/focus groups/co-design sessions
    3. interview guidelines and questions for stakeholder interviews
    4. data gathering/sharing/analysis tools to be used by project staff and pilot/prototype agency staff
    5. tools for project staff regarding collective learning and embedding evaluation into all project activities, )
  2. Theory of Change Revisions: Include in the final report/document, revisions to the Theory of Change as needed, as a result of the evaluation framework and related activities

In addition to delivering a final report, the Consultant will also participate in capacity building of project staff around implementing the evaluation framework. This will involve participating in project meetings over the course of the engagement to train, coach, and provide guidance to project staff to understand the framework and how to implement it. It will also include guiding early implementation of the framework/Theory of Change and use of the tools developed.

2.4 Budget

Consultants are to propose a project budget including the number of working days required to achieve deliverables and provide a daily consulting rate(s) for the work. This will create a budget for the project which should not exceed $25,000.

SELECTION OF APPLICANTS

3.0 Evaluation of Applicants

All applicants will be reviewed by the Active Citizenship Project Team. The Team is not obliged to accept the lowest, or any, bid.

Consultants will be evaluated on the following criteria. These criteria will be the basis for review of the written proposals and interview session:

  • Understanding of the immigrant and refugee-serving sector, project context and activities outlined above
  • Project understanding and proposed approach
  • Primary Consultant and Consultant Firm’s Experience

3.1 Qualifications of Applicant

To accomplish the scope requested, the consultant will need to possess the following

  • Proven track record of and experience in completing evaluation and/or large scale collaborative projects similar in scope and context
  • Experience in designing evaluation frameworks, Theories of Change, and tools for data collection and analysis in non-profit, government-funded contexts that are community- based/focused
  • Proven experience in community-based evaluation projects that incorporate both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, use developmental evaluation approaches, and incorporate co-creation, co-design and/or inclusive/community-based approaches to evaluation, learning and project design
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of civic engagement, community development, and immigrant & refugee serving organizations in Ontario and Canada
  • Excellent facilitation and report-writing skills

3.2 Proposal Elements

A: Overall submission

Letter of Introduction including an executive summary that demonstrates an understanding of the scope and requirements of the project

B: Organization and Staff Experience and Abilities

  • Profile of Consultant (Experience and Qualifications)
  • Proposed Staff Team (Resumes recommended)
  • Experience with similar projects and two (2) References

C: Work Plan and Resource

  • Work Plan including clear breakdown of the tasks, timelines and deliverables
  • Description of how consultants plan to achieve the goals. In the case of more than one consultant, identify the principal and anticipated division of
  • Identification of any expected challenges
  • A brief description of how you would work with the Active Citizenship project team

D: Total Fixed Price

  • Estimate of hours/days of work
  • Hourly/Daily rate(s) of consultant(s)
  • Total cost plus HST
  • The total price quoted must include all labour, other overhead, materials, equipment, travel, communication and delivery costs, staff time, disbursements.

3.3 Proposal Submission

Submissions should be sent by email to: Seher Shafiq, sshafiq@nych.ca

The deadline for proposals is Monday, February 8th, 2021 by 11:00pm EST.

Incomplete proposals will be rejected. Proposals that are delivered late will not be considered.