Updated October 31, 2019
This FAQ is a compilation of questions that came out of the request for proposal (RFP) bidders webinar, which took place on October 10, 2019.
Applicants and Selection Process
Q: Can a group of independent consultants apply?
A: Yes, a group of consultants may apply. There should be one lead (for contracting and communications) and a very clear structure that delineates how the consultants will work together (who the consultants are, defined roles/responsibilities, coordination processes, etc.). The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) will also consider the consultants’ prior experience working together. Independent consultants applying together should describe previous projects they have collaborated on.
Q: Can one organization apply for both this role and the content expert roles?
A: Yes, one organization can apply for both roles. We would notify potential applicants if the incumbent grantee will be among the applicants when the RFP is issued.
Q: What is the selection process for the content expert? What competencies and characteristics would that person have that are not reflected in the current RFP?
A: There will be a separate selection process and RFP for the content expert that will be finalized in early 2020. Some of the competencies that are ultimately identified in that RFP process will be influenced by who is selected as the grantee for this RFP. We want to ensure that the grantee and the content expert have complementary skill sets. The grantee selected through this RFP will provide input into the selection process for the content expert.
If the grantee would like to apply for the content expert role, the grantee would not have input into the selection process, owing to a conflict of interest.
The content expert can be characterized as follows:
- Having knowledge of the community health worker/promotor (CHW/P) landscape
- Assuming the role of a neutral entity
We will strive to select a content expert who can demonstrate some level of neutrality. That person should not be involved in the stakeholder group process. All applicants will need to clearly articulate how they will maintain neutrality in the course of developing the report.
All competencies will be clearly outlined in the RFP that will be released in early 2020.
Please email Lauren Vandam if you are interested in receiving the RFP when it is released.
Q: What is meant by a “neutral” facilitator?
A: This means that the facilitator is not perceived by members of the stakeholder group to have a vested interest in the outcome of the project or a bias toward the interests of a particular group of stakeholders over another group of stakeholders.
Q: Is the content consultant part of the content expert RFP?
A: The content consultant is another term for the content expert / report writer. The role will be further detailed in the RFP that will be released in early 2020.
Q: What is the maximum number of pages for the curriculum vitae?
A: There is no page limit for the bio-sketches or curriculum vitae for key team members, and they are not included in the proposal 10-page limit.
Q: Does CHCF have preferences as far as content experts (i.e., working list of candidates)? If applicants have existing partnerships/relationships with good candidates for content expert, should we divulge/share those in the proposal?
A: CHCF will have a separate RFP to select the content expert, and all requirements and competencies will be clearly outlined in the RFP. Anyone who is interested can receive the RFP, and we recommend adding anyone you believe could be a good candidate to the list to receive the RFP when it’s released in early 2020. You should not include any preferences in your proposal. However, if this relationship relates to other aspects of the RFP, including your experience in the California CHW/P landscape or your facilitation background, that could be included in the proposal.
Please email Lauren Vandam at lvandam at chcf.org if you know anyone who is interested in receiving the RFP when it’s released.
Q: When you talk about consistent staffing, what positions would that include, and what staff categories could be considered TBD (i.e., project oversight should be “consistent,” and a logistics coordinator could be TBD)?
A: We strongly recommend that staff with more than 0.5 FTE and/or staff who are identified in a leadership role on the grant remain consistent between the application and the time that the final staff are identified.
Under “Appendices, Section D. References,” instructions say to include two or three references. Is that two or three for our entire team or two or three per person / key personnel?
That is two or three for the entire team.
Q: If we apply for the $600,000 grant and decide to apply for the additional $150,000, and if the application for $150,000 does not meet what CHCF is looking for, does that put our $600,000 proposal in jeopardy?
Q: What is the process for comparing proposals that apply for the additional $150,000? Is that request evaluated separately or together with the $600,000 application?
A: We expect the $600,000 grant to fulfill the core activities and deliverables that are outlined in sections IV and V of the RFP.
The additional $150,000 should add value and create additional benefits to the core activities. The $150,000 budget should be submitted separately and clearly outline the benefits of this additional funding. See the RFP for more details.
Q: Per the Q&A, the budget should not include meeting expenses such as venue and food, correct? The Q&A notes that the grantee supports logistics but does not secure meeting space and pay for it. What is the role, then, that the grantee plays in logistics? Who will secure locations and manage catering?
A: The applicant is responsible for both coordinating and paying for meeting, facilities, and food costs. The applicant needs to manage all the logistics, including securing the facility, maintaining the RSVPs/attendee lists, setting up the room and ensuring materials and meeting support (e.g., name tags, chart pads and pens, meeting packets, etc.) are available, managing the catering, and covering all onsite and day-of logistics.
Q: Is the grantee responsible for paying for participants’ travel expenses to the stakeholder convenings?
A: No. The travel funds are not included in the $600,000 budget. However, the management and facilitation of the reimbursement process are the responsibility of the grantee and are considered part of the core activities.
Q: Is there additional funding for the content expert RFP if we choose to apply to be the content expert / report writer?
A: Yes. The budget is still being determined at this time and will be outlined in the RFP when it is released.
Q: Were ideas about the size of the stakeholder group already formed, and were they considered in determining the estimated funding?
A: We used estimates to develop the funding level. However, we ask that applicants propose a structure that they think best fits the objectives of the RFP. From a practicality standpoint, the primary stakeholder group (not including subgroups) should not exceed 20 people.
Q: Should a separate budget be provided for each activity in addition to the main budget?
A: The budget should provide enough detail to show how the funds would be allocated among the project components. It should include major budget categories, including staff, travel, data collection/analysis, strategic communications, meeting management, partner collaboration, any subcontracts, and indirect costs. Additionally, separate budgets should be submitted for the $600,000 grant and the additional $150,000 grant (if this additional funding is being requested).
Q: Is there a separate fund for travel, translation, and/or stipends that grantees can apply for or draw from, or must those expenses be included in the proposal budget?
A: The travel funds and stipends for the participating stakeholders are not included in the $600,000 budget. However, the management and facilitation of the reimbursement process is the responsibility of the grantee and considered part of the core activities. Any travel, however, for the applicant should be included in the $600,000 budget.
Q: Is it possible that the $150,000 available for the additional budget request can be used to address items outside of this proposal’s scope? Such as the other critical elements listed in Section II. Project Background like “improving the capacity of employers to support and sustain CHW/Ps”?
A: We recommend that the $150,000 additional budget request be used to address and enhance the scope outlined in this RFP.
Q: Can we provide a fully loaded hourly budget instead of a budget for FTE with fringe benefits?
A: Yes, you do not have to separate out fringe benefits and can include a loaded hourly rate.
Q: We are an LLC, not a nonprofit. Is there anything that we should address as such? Are there different requirements for LLC’s applying?
A: No, there are no different requirements for an LLC versus a nonprofit. There are two choices of budget forms that can be found here. Please use the form that is most appropriate for you. For an LLC, that would be the time and materials form.
Q: The RFP seems to indicate that we should budget for travel, but the Q&A says we should not. Can you confirm which is correct? If participant travel is not part of the $600K budget, but the responsibility of reimbursement stays with the grantee, how will that work? Will CHCF award a separate grant just for participant travel?
A: Stakeholder travel for participation in the meetings is not included in the $600,000 budget; however, the travel for the applicant team is included in the budget. The stakeholder travel funds will be separately awarded to stakeholders by CHCF, but the process for requesting funds and reimbursing funds would be managed by the applicant team. CHCF will work with the applicant to determine the best process for how the funds will be allocated.
Q. Is there a separate fund for travel, translation, and/or stipends that grantees can apply for or draw from, or must those expenses be included in the proposal budget?
A: There is a separate pool of funds that cover travel (for all meetings) and hotel costs (for any meetings that span more than one day) for stakeholder participants. There will also be stipends available for CHW/P representatives who participate. Please note that while these funds are held by CHCF, the management and facilitation of the reimbursement process is the responsibility of the grantee and considered part of the core activities. Travel costs for the staff and consultants on the project are included in the core budget.
Additionally, there are grant funds that will be available for grassroots organizations who participate in the stakeholder group. The process for applying for these grant funds has not yet been determined. The applicant will be asked to give input on the process for awarding these grant funds but will not be responsible for managing the process.
Q: Does the funders’ convening focus solely on current funders, or is the selected grantee expected to bring additional funders into the fold?
A: Yes, the funders’ convening does focus on current funders. If additional funders are to be brought in, it would be the responsibility of CHCF to bring them in. The grantee may suggest additional funders, but this is not considered a responsibility of the grantee.
Q: Can you describe what the relationship between the content expert and the primary grantee should be?
A: We expect that the grantee would be responsible for overall project management, for ensuring that timelines and project milestones are met, and that processes are clearly communicated and transparent. There would need to be very close communication with the content expert because the grantee is directly responsible for obtaining endorsement of the report and for ensuring full engagement of stakeholders.
CHCF will issue the contract to the content expert, and there will not be a contractual relationship between the primary grantee and the content expert.
Q: How would the stakeholder group and content expert overlap or collaborate?
A: It is anticipated that the content expert would do the following:
- Collaborate with the grantee to plan the content for stakeholder and funder meetings, particularly the educational content and selection of speakers
- Attend stakeholder and funder meetings
- Collaborate with stakeholders to facilitate the endorsement of the report
Q: Please elaborate on the funder meetings and expectations of the group selected for this work.
A: At this point, the content of funder meetings is to be determined, and we have not included a budget for outside speakers for these meetings. We expect that they would be facilitated by the grantee and the content expert.
Q: Can you give some examples of what you consider to be “strong tools for project management”?
A: Tools for project management include technological tools and systems. The grantee should be adept at managing a project timeline, including tasks and milestones, and at using some kind of technology, which can be Excel. Secondly, the grantee should have systems to ensure that the responsible parties are keeping up with their assigned tasks in the project management tool. The timeline should be a living document that is updated regularly; the primary involved parties should be aware of major shifts in the project timeline and should be held accountable for their tasks.
Q: What you are looking for in the evaluation report?
A: We do not expect there to be a full-scale project evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to ensure that there are intentional mechanisms by which stakeholders are solicited for input and feedback throughout the life of the project and that there is a process to respond to the input, adjust the processes as necessary, and share them with CHCF. The final report noted in the RFP is to be a summary of evaluative lessons learned over the course of the project.
Q: Are there any specific facilitation backgrounds you are looking for?
A: There are none other than what was already stated in the RFP. Please share your facilitation approach in your proposal and share any relevant experience.
Q: Can the content expert attend meetings by WebEx, or must he or she be physically present for stakeholder meetings?
A: We will outline all requirements for the content expert in the RFP that will be released in early 2020.
Q: Have stakeholders been identified? What are the minimum requirements for the number and type of stakeholders? Is there a set number of stakeholders to be engaged in the process?
A: For practical purposes, we believe that the primary stakeholder group (not including subgroups) should not exceed 20 people. However, we ask that applicants propose a structure that they think best fits the objectives of the RFP. CHCF has an initial list of potential stakeholders, and we would ask the grantee to work closely with CHCF to identify the criteria and process for identifying and selecting the stakeholder group and subgroups.
The stakeholder group will include a balance of representatives from CHW/P training programs and institutions, CHW/P advocacy organizations, employers, health centers, hospitals, academic institutions, health plans, and individuals representing the CHW/P workforce.
Q: Can funders serve as stakeholders?
Q: Can you please elaborate on the overall strategy and approach? Specifically, what is the intent of “certification”? Will this project be inclusive of behavioral health peers?
A: The intent of the California Future Health Workforce Commission recommendation is to focus on the training for CHW/Ps and the entities that provide that training. The purpose of the stakeholder process is to provide input on this specific recommendation and is not intended to focus on certification of CHW/Ps or specifically accrediting the organizations that employ CHW/Ps. Additionally, this RFP is not focusing on peer providers for behavioral health.
Please see the California Future Health Workforce Commission recommendation (PDF) (specifically, Recommendation 3.4).
Q: What does CHCF envision input from CHWs to look like (e.g., interpretation involved in advisory meetings/workgroup meetings and on calls)?
A: We recommend incorporating input from CHW/P in a way that honors the American Public Health Association recommendation for CHW/P inclusion. We anticipate that the CHW/P input would be part of the stakeholder group process. This could be as a part of the primary stakeholder group or as a subgroup or both. The applicant should outline the recommendations for overall architecture of the stakeholder group and the process of input as part of their proposal. The applicant can consider other ways to integrate the CHW/P voice into the project (e.g., as expert speakers). We invite grantees to propose creative suggestions for integrating CHW/Ps into the project.
Q: In regard to the microsite, blog posts, and other collateral, are you expecting grantee to have their own designer for these materials, or would we have access to a CHCF designer? If it is CHCF designer, do we need to include design fees in line item budget?
A: Yes, we are expecting the grantee to manage the design of all the communications collateral. As part of the strategic communications approach, the applicant should address what they perceive to be key communications considerations for this project and the tools they might recommend using to effectively execute the communications plan. The microsite could be hosted by CHCF or the applicant, and we will determine how best to manage that together. However, we would expect the applicant to lead the work even if CHCF does host the microsite.
Q: In regard to out-of-state/statewide presentations, do you have things already defined/identified, or is CHCF looking for grantees to find and vet these opportunities?
A: CHCF has not yet identified the specific statewide presentations to be done. The applicant would work in partnership with CHCF to identify statewide and national presentation opportunities. As the entity responsible for communications planning and strategy, the grantee should be prepared to and anticipate identifying opportunities. These may not be apparent at the commencement of the grant, but the grantee will be responsible for identifying strategically aligned speaking and communications opportunities over the course of the project.
Q: Does CHCF have an idea about who it desires for participation in workgroups, or will grantees develop completely?
A: We have not yet identified the participants in the stakeholder group. CHCF has an initial list, and we would ask the grantee to work closely with CHCF to identify the criteria and process for identifying and selecting the stakeholder group and subgroups. Regarding the identification of the structure of the stakeholder and subgroups, we ask that applicants propose a structure that they believe best fits the objectives of the RFP.
Q: Can you expand upon the communications for external audience component and what is envisioned? What goals does the foundation have in mind?
A: There are two goals. One is to strategically disseminate the recommendations once they are complete, and the second is to engage important stakeholders over the course of the project to garner their support and engagement at a level that is aligned with the role they would play in implementation. These stakeholders would include people whose support is integral to effective implementation — for example, policymakers, potential certification bodies, or people who may be responsible for advocating for legislative or policy changes. The proposal should include a budget and staffing (or consulting) plan that aligns with the applicant’s thinking about communications strategies.
Q: Can you confirm that the stakeholder meetings will be closed to the public? Is there any other public component aside from engaging the public via external strategic communications strategies?
A: CHCF would request that the applicant suggest a process for the meetings and communications. This could include a public meeting if the applicant believes that is aligned with their thinking around the strategic communications plan.
For Additional Questions
If you have questions that were not answered here, please contact Lauren Vandam.