1. Invitation

FoodShare Toronto is inviting qualified consultants with experience in community development and food systems and an in-depth knowledge of program planning and evaluation to evaluate two of FoodShare’s food support programs: Good Food Program and Urban Agriculture program.

2. Background

FoodShare is a non-profit organization that works with communities and schools to deliver healthy food and food education. We believe everyone deserves access to affordable high-quality fresh food. Since 1985, FoodShare has modeled a food system that is sustainable and accessible to everyone. FoodShare has pioneered innovative programs such as the Good Food Box, impacted what kids eat in school, and improved the way people eat and grow food across Toronto every day. All programs support a variety of healthy, economic, environmental, community, and social benefits, and seek to improve food access for people and communities currently underserved by the food system.

FoodShare Vision: Good Healthy Food for All

FoodShare Mission: Increasing Access to, Knowledge of and Consumption of Vegetables and Fruits through Community-led Projects

3. The Purpose of this Project

This project is funded through the Local Poverty Reduction Fund with the purpose to understand the impacts of community-led food initiatives in alleviating poverty. This project will evaluate two existing food support programs – the Good Food Program and Urban Agriculture Program. The programs help people living in low-income communities improve their access to affordable vegetables and fruit.

This project will measure whether food programs can demonstrate measureable evidence to make people’s lives better. This project is interested in using both quantitative and qualitative research design to provide solid evidence in terms of program impacts and outcomes.

The findings of this research will also be used to inform decision-making in program re-design and sustainability planning inside FoodShare and will also lead to recommendations on best practices in food programs to be shared with the provincial government and other stakeholders.

4. Scope of Work

The Successful Consultant will work with the Project Manager and the Evaluation Facilitator at FoodShare to conduct evaluation on two existing food support programs: Good Food Program and Urban Agriculture program.  With support from FoodShare staff and the Project’s Academic and Policy Advisory Group, the Successful Consultant will design a rigorous evaluation plan, including defining the evaluation questions, identifying the indicators and data sources, identifying data collection methods and timelines, reporting formats, etc.

The Successful Consultant will work closely with the Evaluation Facilitator to update the existing international literature review on food insecurity and community interventions, including research on the Good Food and Urban Agriculture Programs and similar food access and growing programs from around the world.

The Successful Consultant will engage in interviews and/or focus group discussions with FoodShare’s program participants to understand their needs and the impacts of our programs. FoodShare will generate a list of program participants for each project in collaboration with the Successful Consultant.

Based on the understanding supported through conducting interviews and focus groups, the Successful Consultant will support the design of questionnaires and on-line or paper-based surveys as needed and as required.

The Successful Consultant will support the Project Manager and Evaluation Facilitator in data analysis, preparing evaluation reports and delivering the final project report.

5. Deliverables

6. Timelines:

February 2016 – March 2017

7. Consultant Roles and Relationship with FoodShare staff

The Successful Consultant will report directly to the LPRF Project Manger, who has the direct management responsibility for this project. Staff at FoodShare will provide support and guidance to the Consultant for the duration of this project. The Consultant will meet with the Project Manager and the Evaluation Facilitator on predetermined dates and as required to provide updates and progress on this project.

8. Consultant Qualifications and Considerations

9. Proposal Requirements

10. Budget           

The budget for this project is $25, 000, excluding HST.

11. Application Deadline

Please submit one (1) electronic copy of your complete proposal (including scheduling, hours needed, and project budget) before 5pm on February 3rd, 2016 to:

Debbie Field
Executive Director
FoodShare Toronto
90 Croatia Street
Toronto, ON, M6H 1K9
Email: debbie@foodshare.net

12. Questions/Inquiries

Please contact Aijuan Chen at aijuan@foodshare.net or (416) 3636441, ext.241 if you have any questions regarding this RFP.

Download a PDF version of this RFP

13. FAQs for the RFP for the Local Poverty Reduction Fund Project

FoodShare has recently received the following questions from potential consultants. We are posting our answers for the information of any potential consultant(s).

Q: Does this RFP opportunity is open to consultants outside Ontario?

A: This Call for Proposals does not require applicants and their businesses to physically be in the Province of Ontario. Any qualified individual or firm in North America is welcome to submit a proposal.

However, it is the consultants’ responsibility to assess the business feasibility, cost and other risks associated with providing consulting service in a remote model. In addition, understanding of the dynamic Toronto (and similar North American Metropolitan) communities and social service in the area is favorably considered.

Q: Is there another 3rd party evaluator already working with you on this project that the successful applicant would be partnering/collaborating with? Or – would the successful applicant be considered the 3rd – party evaluator?

A: A third-party evaluator was not identified in our original application. So, in our case the successful applicant will be considered as the 3rd – party evaluator.

Q: Do you have a sense of timelines for key deliverables in the early stages of the project? I’m aware that there is a key deliverable for many of the LPRF funded projects (final evaluation plan) due to OTF on Mar 4. Does your project follow this same schedule? Are there other key deadlines/deliverables that you could share with me to help in scoping our work plan?

A: In general, project schedules are expected to align with all OTF’s deadline and other requirements.  The successful consultant is expected to develop a detailed workplan in the project initiation phase and the workplan should be agreed by the FoodShare Project Manager. It is projected that most of the work will occur in 2016.

Q: The proposal requirements suggest the workplan and detailed pricing breakdown should be separate. We typically produce a detailed workplan with pricing associated with each line of the workplan. Would it be acceptable for the budget and pricing to be amalgamated with the Workplan in the proposal, or would you like us to separate the two?

A: It’s ok to amalgamate them in the proposal. The format of workplan and pricing breakdown is not strictly fettered. However, sub tasks, work schedule and pricing breakdown should be presented appropriately.

Q:  Are consulting teams with one lead assigned to your organization allowed?

A: Yes. Any qualified individual or firm is welcome to submit a proposal.

Q: Are there plan documents and Theories of Change for one or both of the projects to be evaluated or any other background documents relating to the purpose and scope of the projects that are available to prospective proponents?

A: Yes. Please check our website for past evaluation reports and other resources.

Q: I am unclear on the role of the LPRF project manager:  is this evaluation commissioned by her/him and as funder, are you already reporting on a set of indicators?

A: The LPRF project manager is FoodShare staff who will lead/monitor and manage this project to ensure the project move smoothly and all deadlines are met. This project is funded through Provincial Local Poverty Reduction Fund; and administrated by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). The OTF will provide reporting templates to ensure the project is conducted successfully.

Q: Are you referring by Good Food Program and Urban Agriculture Program to any specific program such as Good Food Box and the Academy (series of urban agriculture workshops)?

A: Good Food Program is an umbrella program with various initiatives, including Good Food Box, Good Food Markets, Mobile Market and Bulk produce projects. Similarly the Urban Agriculture Program includes community gardens, balcony gardens, the Sunshine Garden, and composting projects and various types of training and workshops. For the Good Food Program and Urban Agriculture programs, no specific projects under each Program have been selected yet at this stage. One or more projects under each Program are expected to be evaluated. The FoodShare Project Manager will work with the successful consultant on selecting projects.

Q: Are there previous impact/outcome evaluations of those programs? Are you interested in evaluating a particular period?

A: A number of projects under each Program have been evaluated. The successful consultant is expected to work with the FoodShare Project Manager and Evaluation Facilitator to improve and develop methodology and deliverables.

Q: Has there been any previous evaluation work on these programs – such as the development of a logic model, theory of change, impact indicators and/or deliverables, objectives & metrics related to program funding?  If so, may we see this work?

A: A number of projects have been evaluated. All available evaluation reports and other resources will be transferred to the successful consultant.

Q: What is the training and information workshop? Who is the intended audience? What outcomes do you wish to achieve at the workshop?

A: The successful consultant is expected to work with the FoodShare Project Manager on methodology and deliverables, including facilitating training and information workshops for staff and relevant organizations.

Q: What organizational resources do you have to support the questionnaire, survey, focus groups and other work?  Or in our response should we budget for these items (ex. survey tools, venue & materials for focus groups, etc.)?

A: The successful consultant will play a lead role in evaluation design, survey design and data analysis; FoodShare evaluation team will take a lead on data collection with support from the consultant on hosting a number of focus groups at the beginning stage.

Q: In general, are we correct in assuming that the Project Manager & Evaluation Facilitator are the leads on LPRF project, responsible for coordinating the outreach to focus group participants, implementing the questionnaires & surveys, and writing the final report?  And that is the responsibility of the consultant to develop & design these research tools and to support the analysis of this research?

A: The Successful consultant is expected to take a lead role in multiple tasks, such as survey design, data analysis, and drafting a significant portion of evaluation reports.

Q: Timeline for the Project – Is March 2017 the projected length of time needed for the projected outcomes, or the final possible date that is allowed, with consideration being given to those proposals suggesting a shorter projected length?

A: It is projected that most of the work will occur in 2016.