Campus Climate Action Corps Request for Proposals | Evaluator

Introduction & Background
Campus Compact is a coalition of colleges and universities committed to advancing the public purpose of higher education - to improve community life and educate students for civic and social responsibility. We take a comprehensive approach to support the whole institution—senior leaders, faculty, staff, and students—to build knowledge, skills, and capacity for community and civic engagement. Campus Compact is a 501(c)(3) headquartered in Boston, MA, with a nationally distributed staff. We serve public and private, two-year and four-year, higher education institutions across the country.

Campus Compact launched the Campus Climate Action Corps (CCAC) in August 2023. CCAC is a 3-year AmeriCorps program centered on mobilizing higher education to advance environmental stewardship in their local communities through national service. The program goals are to:

  1. Increase individual knowledge and behavioral change for improved climate action (i.e., energy efficiency);
  2. Lower greenhouse gas emissions and increase cost savings for disadvantaged
  3. communities through our home energy assessments, low-tech interventions, and government referral navigator initiative;
  4. Improve at-risk ecosystems through direct service projects that focus on land, water, and biodiversity health; and
  5. Increase training opportunities and green career development resources that generate workforce pathways for our AmeriCorps Members and underserved populations in the community.

Each year, the CCAC will engage a corps of 100+ AmeriCorps Members at 10-20 higher education institutions and campus-based organizations (aka “host sites”) across the country. Our host sites will partner with communities and support a variety of public-private partnerships and governmental collaborations to address local environmental challenges through service. CCAC is based on the former Maine Energy AmeriCorps Program (MEAP) and there are opportunities to learn from and build upon practices established by that project.

Objective
The selected Program Evaluator will be responsible for creating a robust evaluation framework that measures the performance, impact, and efficiency of the CCAC program. The evaluation plan should address the following key objectives:

  • Assess the effectiveness of CCAC program activities in increasing individual knowledge and promoting behavioral change of members and program beneficiaries related to climate action, specifically energy efficiency.
  • Evaluate the impact of CCAC initiatives on lowering greenhouse gas emissions and increasing cost savings for disadvantaged communities through home energy assessments, low-tech interventions, and the government referral navigator initiative.
  • Measure the success of CCAC in improving at-risk ecosystems through direct service projects focusing on land, water, and biodiversity health.
  • Evaluate CCAC’s AmeriCorps member experience including their training and professional development that leads to high levels of engagement, retention, and program completion.
  • Evaluate the outcomes of CCAC's efforts to increase training opportunities and green career development resources for AmeriCorps Members and underserved populations in the community.

Scope of Work
The Program Evaluator's scope of work should include, but not be limited to, the following tasks:

  • Collaborate with CCAC leadership to understand program goals, priority action areas, and desired outcomes as well as MEAP’s historical program evaluation practices.
  • Develop a comprehensive evaluation plan that includes quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection, analysis, and reporting.
  • Design and implement surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other data collection tools to gather information from AmeriCorps Members, community partners, and program beneficiaries on their experiences
  • Assess the impact of CCAC program activities in the five priority action areas:
    ○ Campus & Community Partnerships
    ○ Environmental Education Events
    ○ Improving Household Energy Efficiency
    ○ Improving At-Risk Ecosystems
    ○ Support and Improve Green Job Pathways
  • Provide recommendations for program improvement based on evaluation findings.

In addition, the contractor is expected to regularly meet with CCAC program staff to ensure the evaluation process is in accordance with the program’s outlined goals and AmeriCorps progress monitoring and compliance procedures and policies.

Key Deliverables
The evaluation plan should include:

  1. Evaluation Framework. In partnership with the CCAC team and existing program information, plans and resources, the contractor will contribute to the CCAC evaluation framework that outlines the objectives, goals, and criteria for the program evaluation.
  2. Data Collection Plan. The contractor will create a plan to gather relevant programmatic data through various methods such as surveys, interviews, observations, and documentation analysis.
  3. Performance Metrics. In accordance with AmeriCorps performance measures and progress monitoring, the contractor will assist in documenting specific performance indicators and metrics to measure success or progress toward CCAC program goals.
  4. Evaluation Tools and Instruments. The contractor will develop tools and instruments required for data collection and analysis, such as surveys, questionnaires, interview protocols, or observation rubrics.
  5. Data Analysis Plan. The contractor will outline the methods and procedures for analyzing the collected data. This will involve statistical analyses, qualitative coding, thematic analysis, and other appropriate methods based on the nature of the data.
  6. Monitoring and Follow-Up Plan. The contractor will help create a plan to monitor the implementation of recommendations and follow-up assessments to track changes and improvements over time. This helps ensure that the evaluation leads to tangible enhancements in the CCAC program.
  7. Education and Training. The contractor will educate and train CCAC staff and the AmeriCorps members in the data collection and analysis methodologies deployed and how to operationalize the CCAC evaluation plan.
  8. Documentation and Archive: The contractor is expected to archive all evaluation-related documents, reports, data, and methodologies for future reference, audits, or continuous improvement purposes.

Contract Period
The contract will start on February 26, 2024, and run through July 31, 2024. If funding is successful for years 2 and 3 of the project, the selected evaluator may receive future contracts to implement the evaluation plan.

Contract Changes
The contract can be amended at any time in writing and agreed upon by the parties. There will be an option to cancel the contract with 30 days written notice.

Budget and Payment Information
The maximum budget for the contract for final approved services will be $25,000. Payments will be dispersed based upon an agreed-upon schedule that corresponds to the consultant's work and completion of key deliverables.

Proposal Submission:
Interested consultants or consulting firms are invited to submit a comprehensive proposal addressing the following:

  • Cover Letter: Introduce the individual or firm, highlighting relevant experience in program evaluation, particularly in environmental, AmeriCorps, and/or federal funding programs. Please also describe your experience measuring behavioral change and/or assessing environmental interventions.
  • Approach and Methodology: Outline the proposed approach to evaluating the CCAC program, including the methods and tools that will be employed.
  • Qualifications: Provide information on the qualifications, expertise, and experience of the individual or team members who will be involved in the evaluation.
  • Budget: Provide a detailed budget outlining the costs associated with the evaluation, including fees and other expenses.
  • Timeline: Present a realistic timeline for completing the evaluation, including key milestones and deliverables.

Submission Deadline and Contact Information:
Proposals must be submitted by February 12, 2024, at 5:00 EST to Sally Slovenski at sally@mainecompact.org. Any inquiries or clarification requests regarding the call for proposals should also be directed to the same contact person.

Evaluation and Selection Process:
Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Qualifications and experience of the consultant or consulting firm, including experience with qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis; academic/professional training and experience; and instrument/systems design.
  • Clarity and comprehensiveness of the proposed approach.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage diverse stakeholders in the program evaluation planning process.
  • Cost-effectiveness of the proposed budget.
  • References and past performance.
    Shortlisted firms may be invited for an interview or presentation to further assess their suitability for the project.

Timeline

  • Release of RFP: 1/30/2024
  • Submission Deadline: 2/16/2024
  • Consultant Selection: 2/23/2024
  • Project Commencement: 3/1/2024
  • Project Completion: 7/31/2024

This timeline is subject to change based on programmatic requirements and constraints.

Confidentiality
All information provided in response to this RFP shall be treated as confidential and used solely for the purpose of evaluating proposals.

Campus Compact reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received, to negotiate with any qualified consultant, or to cancel this RFP at any time without liability.

Thank you for considering this RFP. We look forward to receiving your proposals and working together to shape the future of Campus Compact.