RFP: Evaluation and Communications Consultant

Job
eeBLUE, NAAEE, and NOAA logos

Deadline to Apply:

Thursday, December 15, 2022, 5:00pm

Organization: 

Address:

United States

Job Category:

Contractor/Consultant

Job Type:

Other

Overview:

About the opportunity

The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) is seeking an external evaluator to assess the final reports of the eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy Mini-Grants Program and communicate program outcomes to diverse audience groups. This pilot program provided small grants to ten aquaculture literacy projects to form partnerships between informal learning institutions (e.g., aquariums and museums), the aquaculture industry (e.g., seafood farmers and organizations), and NOAA offices or programs (e.g., NOAA Fisheries regional office, Sea Grant programs).

This Request for Proposals (RFP) outlines the background of the eeBLUE program, the aquaculture literacy mini-grants program, the program's draft intended outcomes, expected deliverables from the evaluator, and proposal instructions.

Background

NAAEE is building partnerships that support the mutual science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education goals of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Department of Education through an exciting collaboration called eeBLUE. eeBLUE is a $5 million, five-year partnership agreement between NOAA and NAAEE to help create a more environmentally literate society with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to conserve our natural resources and build more resilient communities across the country. It also strengthens professional networks, supports high-quality STEM education, and provides education and outreach for educators and other audiences.

In 2021, NAAEE offered organizations an opportunity to apply to the eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy Mini-Grant program. These mini-grants provide informal learning institutions (e.g., aquariums), aquaculture industry (e.g., shellfish, finfish, seaweed farmers), and NOAA partners with support for the co-development of innovative educational experiences that explore aquaculture—the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of animals and plants in all types of water environments—topics. Successful applicants received up to $15,000 to develop aquaculture education, communications, and outreach programming. This pilot program was funded by NOAA Fisheries and the National Sea Grant Office, and awards are collaboratively managed by the NOAA Office of Education and the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).

Project activities commenced in 2021 and will be completed by December 31, 2022. Projects span audiences from K–12 formal educators to aquarium staff and professional chefs. Project activities include cooking classes, career training programs, aquarium exhibits, and grade school curricula. For a summary of all projects, and updates from the grantees themselves, visit this web page.

Work Statement

This RFP is intended to identify an evaluator to assess the outcomes of this cross-sectoral pilot program. Specifically, we seek an evaluator that can disseminate the information reported by grantees about project implementation and program outcomes in their final project report (due from grantees February 1, 2023, and link to form). Evaluation questions include:

  • What can the information reported by grantees about project implementation and results tell us about program outcomes?
  • How can the information reported by grantees about project outcomes be synthesized into best practices for community engagement with aquaculture literacy discussions?
  • What can the information reported by grantees about project partnerships tell us about cross-sectoral collaborations to reach diverse audience groups?

Evaluation findings will be used to produce best practices and lessons learned for the field around promising strategies for inspiring and engaging various audience groups in sustainable aquaculture conversations. The consultant will have the opportunity to attend at least one conference to present this work.

The total amount available for this RFP is $10,000, which includes travel expenses for at least one conference.

Intended outcomes

Through this RFP, a consultant will be selected to work collaboratively with NAAEE and NOAA to assess the mini-grant outcomes in project communities, emphasizing what the grantee's final reports can tell us about best practices and lessons learned. We will also request that the evaluator folds key takeaways into (1) a formalized logic model and (2) recommendations for changes or improvements to future implementation. The consultant will also support aquaculture literacy program wrap-up activities, including a virtual grantee symposium in February 2023 and a virtual resource collection of grantee deliverables. Below are more details and a timeline for consultant responsibilities, which will be refined in collaboration with the evaluation consultant.

Culturally responsive evaluation

Culturally responsive evaluation should be considered to ensure that the evaluation is sensitive and inclusive of the diversity of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences of the participating grantees and their communities.

Responsibilities of the evaluator include:

  • Participation in a kick-off meeting with key NAAEE and NOAA staff to review program activities, goals, and objectives, as well as to discuss the grantee final report template, answer any questions, and plan for a detailed timeline.
  • Participation in monthly coordination calls with NAAEE and NOAA staff.
  • Development of a final evaluation report that assesses the program’s implementation and intended outcomes.
  • A summary report incorporating findings from data collection and analysis from pilot program implementation with formal presentation of findings to program team and lead partners.
  • Creation of a programmatic logic model to guide future iterations of this program.
  • Presentation of findings to NAAEE program team and partners (NOAA, mini-grant partners, etc.) and at one conference.
  • Support for grantee end-of-project symposium (logistical support during the event).
  • Lead development of a resource collection, created with grantee deliverables (curricula, educational videos, exhibit designs, and best practices) and hosted on NAAEE and NOAA web pages. 
  • Preparation of digital media communications (web content, social media posts, etc., to promote the grantee symposium and resource collection).

Evaluation Timeline:

Due Date* and Milestone

January 2023: Consultant selected

Within two weeks of the consultant selection: Kickoff meeting

February 1st, 2023: Final report data collection ends (implemented by NAAEE and NOAA)

January - February 2023: Assistance with virtual grantee symposium

February 2023: Attendance at virtual grantee symposium

May, 2023: Submission of draft cumulative evaluation report

No later than August, 2023: Final cumulative evaluation report and summary presentation

TBD, 2023: Presentation at a conference

*Please note that these dates are time sensitive because of the conclusion of the eeBLUE partnership on July 31, 2023.

Additional information

Applicants should review the following eeBLUE aquaculture literacy mini-grant program RFP and mid-project report information when preparing their proposal.

How to Apply:

Proposal instructions: Proposals should include your CV/resume and a maximum 3-page scope of work (SOW) outlining how you would synthesize the information in the final grantee report form (e.g., responsibilities and deliverables). The proposal should also cover relevant experience and skills and the proposed budget. The proposal should include at least two references for similar projects you or your organization produce. Please include references who speak toward end product satisfaction and project management experience (1-page limit).

Please send proposals and supportive documents to eeBLUE@naaee.org by December 15, 2022:

  1. A three-page SOW that includes:
    1. narrative of evaluation approach
    2. tasks
    3. deliverables
    4. project timeline
  2. CV/Resume
  3. Filled out budget template
  4. Contact information for two references for similar projects

Proposals will be evaluated based on experience, proposal, and proposed budget. Each submission will be reviewed for how well the proposal meets the project's goals and the goals of the eeBLUE program.

If you are an individual with a disability, you may request a reasonable accommodation if you are unable or limited in your ability to apply for this job on this site as a result of your disability. You can request reasonable accommodations by contacting eeblue@naaee.org.