Request for Proposal: Evaluation of Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario’s Healthy Weights Area for Investment in Mission (HW AIM) Initiative

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Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
Request for Proposal:
Evaluation of Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario’s Healthy Weights Area for Investment in Mission (HW AIM) Initiative
June 2007

1. Background and Project Objectives

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (HSFO), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.
Based on a review of its mission investments to achieve the above, the HSFO Board of Directors approved a new strategy to support the efforts to reduce the prevalence and complications of obesity.  Specifically, over the next five years, HSFO will play a significant leadership role to promote healthy weights in Ontario via a primary focus on public awareness, advocacy, and provincial and regional health partnerships, and supported by an investment in research.  This RFP addresses the evaluation of the overall initiative.
The focus of the HSFO’s overall Healthy Weights Area for Investment in Mission (HW AIM) is twofold; awareness and prevention.   The overall Healthy Weights initiative includes components of Community Engagement, Advocacy, Public Awareness, and Research with two specific areas of focus; Physical Activity in Elementary (grades 1-8) Schools and Access to Healthy Food for All.
More specifically, elements of the HSFO Healthy Weights Strategy include:
  • Shift current public awareness and attitudes on healthy weights
  • Influence policy in areas of physical activity in schools and equitable access to food
  • Increase physical activity in youth in schools - grades 1 to 8 
  • Community Advocacy Fund grants
  • Advocacy workshops
  • Advocacy in pre-election and post-election  periods
  • Mission Specialists building partnerships within communities
  • Knowledge transfer and exchange
  • Provincial partnerships
  • Public Awareness
  • Research 
The initial commitment from the Board is for a two-year implementation plan which began in 2006. In March 2008, the Board will review the successes to date of the overall Healthy Weights strategy and at that time make a decision on whether or not to continue investing in the initiative. An important part of that decision will be demonstrating to the Board that there is an appropriate evaluation plan in place. To date some baseline measures have been established and gathered and these measures will be made available to the successful team of this RFP.   The investment in evaluation of the Healthy Weights initiative is approximately 10% of the total investment into HW AIM.
Years one and two of the Healthy Weights initiative included the following components: community engagement; community advocacy workshops and grants; public awareness and the development of an etool. In addition to the evaluation support outlined in this RFP, a previous RFP has been released that focuses on the prevalence of physical activity of youth in schools and the benefits of physical activity in schools.  Each RFP has two phases.  If a decision is made by the Board to continue the investment in HW AIM, the second phase of each RFP will proceed and a third research project may also be undertaken. Community engagement, advocacy and public awareness will similarly proceed. 

2. Purpose and Scope of RFP

This RFP is directed to the overall evaluation of the HW AIM initiative.  The HSFO is seeking a research team (or individual) to design and implement an evaluation framework that addresses all components of the investment.  
Project – Evaluation of Healthy Weights AIM 
There are a number of components of the HW AIM initiative that will be evaluated over the next five years.  We are seeking a research team to design and conduct an outcome evaluation that addresses all components of the Healthy Weights AIM, as well as shows and quantifies collective impact of the overall initiative. The team will serve as a resource on evaluation in this arena more generally in order that HSFO’s contribution is effectively positioned within the context of the work of other major health organizations and government
Purpose of the HW AIM Evaluation: 
It is the intent of the HSFO to use the outcomes of the HW AIM initiative to inform policy and also to be a major contributor to broader efforts to address these issues, therefore a broader evaluation beyond the HSFO initiative will need to be considered.
There are three major areas of evaluation focus:
  1. Monitoring – information gathered through process measures and will serve to monitor whether the program is being implemented as planned, to document obstacles encountered in program implementation, and improve ongoing implementation efforts.   These process measures will be collected and analyzed by the HSFO internal Evaluation Specialist throughout the implementation of the HW AIM initiative.  The HSFO Evaluation Specialist will work in close collaboration with the successful research team.
  2. Outcomes – information gathered through outputs and end results will provide an overall assessment of the initiative’s effectiveness and achievements.  It will also help inform future planning and decision-making.
  3. Broader Focus beyond HSFO – information gathered on the context and across the collective efforts will inform a systematic approach to healthy eating and active living in Ontario, including HSFO’s role in the bigger picture and how we are positioned to influence policy and partner with other organizations and governments.
This evaluation initiative will be delivered in two phases:
Phase 1:  Evaluation Design and Planning
Timeline: September 2007 to January 2008
Deliverables include:
  1. Developing an overall evaluation plan that includes ethical considerations, a list of stakeholders, the key process and outcome questions that will be answered by the evaluation design, an outline of the evaluation methods, recommendations of the tools that will be used, and duration, phasing, and timing considerations. Evaluation plan will also include the setting of objectives and indicators for both process and outcome areas.
  2. Developing a logic model that can be used as a management tool to identify progress of planned activities, and the relationships between planned activities and anticipated outcomes.
  3. Developing an evaluation framework that matches each of the planned short-term and intermediate outcomes of the HW AIM with relevant indicators, methods of data collection, and data sources.
  4. Develop, identify and/or adapt existing data collection tools, data analysis techniques, and a reporting framework. 
  5. Submitting a report summarizing above deliverables to HSFO by January 2008.
Phase 2: Evaluation Implementation and Reporting
Timeline:  March 2008 to 2013
Deliverables include:
  • Performing data collection and analysis phases of the evaluation, including but not limited to; proposing sampling techniques, collecting data, analyzing data, and reporting.
  • Providing raw data files to HSFO in an acceptable format. (SPSS and/or excel)
  • Providing reports on progress/results. (minimum requirement will be annually) 
(Please note: Funding for the implementation of evaluation beyond January 2008 will be dependent on the HSFO Board’s approval of the HW AIM in March 2008. The successful team of this RFP will be given preferred status for the implementation of evaluation beyond January 2008.) 

3. Project Budget

The Foundation has made a $1 million commitment to the evaluation of the HW AIM project over five years.   It is anticipated that Phase 1 would cost approximately $100K.  
If the Board approves the continuation of the HW AIM initiative an additional $100K will be available from March 2008 to August 2008 to begin the implementation of the evaluation plan.  Thereafter up to $250K per year will be available for the continued implementation of the evaluation plan for the duration of the projected number of years, to a maximum of $1 million.  
Proposal should include budget estimates detailing:
  • budget  breakdown related to Phase 1 (deliverables to be completed by January 2008)
  • describe approach to budget related to Phase 2, implementation of the evaluation plan beyond January 2008 (if possible please provide budget breakdown)
  • estimate of total budget including both Phases given the proposed work 

4. Processes and Timeline

Proposals should be submitted by 4:00 pm on Monday, September 10, 2007. Contact information is provided below.  The Foundation will notify all applicants by end of September 2007. It is assumed that the work will begin when successful applicant is notified unless otherwise negotiated.
HSFO is anticipating the schedule for evaluation and selection to be as set out below. 
  • RFP Issued - June 2007
  • Deadline for written questions (answers to all questions will be posted on our website by end of July 2007) - July 13, 2007
  • Deadline for Proposals - September 10, 2007
  • Evaluation of Proposals - September 2007
  • Selection/notification to vendor - End of September 2007
5. Proposal Format
Submissions should be no longer than 10 pages, single spaced.  In addition to addressing the requirements above, the submission should include the following:
  • description of the project team undertaking the work, including the CV (common CV if available) of the lead investigator and any sub-contracted suppliers. (CVs should be included in the Appendix and not part of the 10 pages)
  • a detailed work plan for Phase 1 and March to August 2008 of Phase 2
  • a description of work to be completed beyond August 2008 (if needed a more detailed work plan will be requested from the successful team)
  • brief recap of any similar projects undertaken by the proposed investigator and/or team (one relating to Phase 1 and one relating to Phase 2)
  • outline of the proposed budget detailing deliverables of each Phase
  • annual budget description as it relates to Phase 2 of this initiative
  • outline of the overall approach proposed for this project, including:
    • project timelines
    • specifics relating to Phase 1 and Phase 2
  • References and samples of similar work ( 3 to 5 to be included in the Appendix) 

6. Evaluation and Selection

An HSFO Selection Committee comprised of key business stakeholders and external experts will evaluate the proposals.
Proposals will be evaluated on the following:
  • Degree to which specific requirements of the RFP are addressed.
  • Degree to which the proposed methodology addresses the needs of HW AIM evaluation.
  • Experience and quality of the project team.
  • Ability of the project team to complete the requirements of the proposal.

7. Submission Requirements

Eight (8) copies of the proposal must be submitted by 4:00 pm on Monday, September 10, 2007 to the address shown below:
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
Attention:  Salima Virani
2300 Yonge Street, Suite 1300
P.O. Box 2414
Toronto, Ontario
M4P 1E4
For further information, contact Salima Virani at 416-489-7111 x 422
Please submit questions to:
Please note that proposals received after the closing time may not be considered and may be returned to the Proponent unopened.

8. Confidentiality, Intellectual Property and Information Ownership

Any information, other than information in the public domain, shall be considered as Confidential Information in this request for proposal.  Each recipient is entrusted to maintain its confidentiality in the same manner that is used to protect his/her own proprietary materials.  Information provided by each recipient will be held in confidence and will be used for the sole purpose of evaluating a potential business relationship with that recipient.  Confidential Information includes “personal information”, which is information about an identifiable individual, exclusive of the name, title, and business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization.  HSFO and each recipient agree to comply with all applicable privacy laws, which include, without limitation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada).
All data, documentation, information, materials, tools and intellectual property conceived, developed, created, or contributed to pursuant to the completion of the project in this request for proposal shall be owned by HSFO and will be used to support and inform the Healthy Weights strategy going forward.