Request for Bids — Evaluation Services

Purpose

School District is seeking bids from qualified evaluation firms, colleges and universities, or consultants to conduct formative, summative, and outcome evaluations for the district’s state and federal grant programs during the five-year period 2009 through 2013. The District reserves the right to extend the bid period beyond five years if the district and the selected vendor(s) mutually agree to the terms. School District has been involved in a variety of state and federal grant development over the last five years and wishes to develop a comprehensive, district-wide grants program that will include: (a) identifying, (b) writing, (c) and administering grants, and (d) evaluation services. This Request for Bids focuses on the evaluation component of the comprehensive program being created by the District.

The District reserves the right to select one or multiple evaluation consultants or firms and then contract with each firm or consultant on a case-by-case basis according to their specialty, experience, and the District’s evaluation needs. For example, the district may be awarded a healthcare grant by the state or federal government that will require the services of a professional who has evaluation experience and education in the area of healthcare. In an afterschool grant, the District may utilize a second, different evaluation firm or consultant that has experience in that particular area. Thus, the District may use the services of multiple evaluation firms, organizations, or consultants simultaneously because it anticipates a variety of different grants being applied for and implemented at the same time.

Scope of Services

All quotes must meet or exceed the requirements of this Request for Bids (RFB). Any responses that do not meet the requirements will be rejected. Once the bid is awarded, the District will require the assistance of a qualified evaluation firm(s) or consultant(s) to: (1) assist in reviewing grant proposals before they are submitted to ensure that the proposal reflects solid evaluation strategies, (2) meet with key informants once the grant is awarded to mutually discuss how the evaluation will be conducted, (3) make on-site visits to collect and analyze evaluation data, (4) monitor grant activities according to the grant proposal, (5) conduct data collection through such methods as focus groups, interviews, observations, surveys, and statistical analysis, (6) prepare for and assist in program audits and on-site technical visits, (7) complete evaluation reports as required by the government, and (8) provide ongoing feedback to key program staff to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Contact

Any questions regarding this RFB should be directed by e-mail only to: XXXX

Bid Opening

Sealed bids for grant evaluation services will be entertained through (DATE) by 3 PM at which time the award will be made to one or more firms or consultants. Any bids received after this date and time will not be entertained. Send all bids by registered or certified mail that requires a receipt to: XXX or hand deliver to the receptionist at the district office located on XXXX. No telephone calls, please.

Qualifications for Vendor

It is anticipated that there may be varying levels of bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D.-holding staff involved in this project. However, the professional who oversees each evaluation must have a Ph.D. from an accredited college or university and a minimum of five years of qualified evaluation experience.

Rating of Proposals

The following criteria will be used to rate each response to this RFB.

  1. Years the consultant or firm has been evaluating grants (up to 20 points). The District is most interested in working with a firm, organization, or consultant that has been conducting grant evaluations for at least five years and has a solid history in this field. Please outline your history of conducting evaluations as a consultant or firm (limit to no more than one single-spaced page). Include any websites that describe your history, services, and other related information that will be helpful in evaluating your experience.
  2. Number of grants the firm or consultant has evaluated (up to 20 points). The District seeks to engage firms or consultants that have significant experience in evaluating grant programs. It is the District’s hypothesis that the more grants a consultant or firm has evaluated, the higher the quality the evaluations and services will be in the future for the District. Include a list of grants for which your organization or consultant served as the principal evaluator or assistant evaluator. Separate the grant programs into two lists: those instances where the firm or you as a consultant served as the principal evaluator and those instances where the evaluator assisted in the evaluation of grant programs. (Limit to no more than five pages).
  3. Experience in evaluating educational and school district grant proposals (up to 15 points). The District is most interested in working with a consultant or firm that has significant experience and knowledge about how school districts and schools operate. Bidders should include at least three letters of reference from school principals, district office assistant superintendents, or superintendents where the evaluator has conducted evaluations of educational programs (not to exceed three pages).
  4. Formal education and other experience of evaluation staff (up to 15 points). Please attach résumés for each evaluation staff member who will work with the District on evaluation projects (not to exceed five professionals. Limit to no more than fifteen pages). The District understands that staff may vary for each project.
  5. Cost of evaluation (up to 10 points). Though quality is our primary focus, we also want to be cost-conscious. Our goal is to secure the highest quality of services at a reasonable price. Responders may indicate per hour fees or a certain percentage of the grant funds that they will charge for evaluations. Please outline any other additional costs such as travel, supplies, long distance, indirect costs, etc. that the evaluation firm may charge the District. While not required, the District is most interested in seeing this information as a set fee for grants (if at all possible) so the District clearly knows the billing methods for any consultant or organization. The District understands that evaluation fees may vary according to the complexity of the grant, number of schools and coalition districts that are involved in the program, evaluation requirements, reporting mandates, quality of staff involved in the project, etc. If indirect costs will be included in the proposal, include a federally approved indirect cost summary sheet and add the costs into the overall bid. List all costs (i.e., salaries, fringe, supplies, equipment, travel, etc.) associated with conducting an evaluation, although it is not required that responders list a dollar value for each category. (Maximum length of this section shall not exceed three pages).
  6. Description of the firm’s or consultant’s philosophy of evaluation (up to 25 points). Please describe the consultant’s or organization’s philosophy on: how a quality evaluation should be conducted during the stages of grants development; creating the evaluation section of the grant proposal; how the grant writer and evaluator should work together in the grant proposal stage; preparing for early meetings with key stakeholders and decision-makers; providing ongoing communications with the project director and other key informants (such as task forces, committees, and district or school personnel); how the firm will provide guidance for course corrections when the program is deviating from the original grant proposal; how evaluation reports will be developed in collaboration with key decision-makers prior to submission to the funding source; the methods the firm uses to resolve problems; filtering problems or concerns observed to key decision-makers; sharing of practices of excellence; minimum requirements for visits and documentation; sustainability of the program; concluding the program’s evaluation activities; and other relevant information.
  7. Contact Information: Include the legal and authorized name of the consultant, organization, or firm submitting this bid. Also list the name and title of the person who can sign a contract with the District. Name the person who should be contacted for clarification on this bid for services. Contact information should include telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, and best times to contact the parties.