FNSSP Proposal Evaluation Guide

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Introduction

The First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP) is designed to support First Nation educators on reserve (Kindergarten to grade 12) in their ongoing efforts to meet their students' needs and to improve student and school results by funding three interrelated types of activities: school success plans, student learning assessments and performance measurement. In particular, the Program's components will help First Nation educators to plan and make improvements in the three priority areas of literacy, numeracy and student retention.

Proposals for early literacy activities should address improving literacy outcomes of First Nation students in Kindergarten to Grade 3, and should complement the existing literacy strategies included in the school success planning component of an existing First Nation Student Success Program proposal. Activities may be one-on-one or group interventions and literacy assessments.

The purpose of this FNSSP Proposal Evaluation Guide is to explain the criteria for evaluating proposals. The FNSSP Proposal Evaluation Worksheet is a separate document for use by all reviewers to capture the results of their assessment, the scores they assign to the point-rated criteria and their comments on the strengths and weaknesses of each aspect of the proposal.

Scoring Criteria

The proposal will be evaluated in accordance with a 5 point scoring system in each section and sub-section of the evaluation. Detailed scoring level criteria have been identified in each of the sections and are provided to guide the reviewer in objectively identifying the appropriate score. The relevant sections of the proposal that should be reviewed to evaluate each of the criteria are also indicated to assist the reviewer.

Proposal Requirement Sections and Evaluation Weight:

  1. Statement of Need - 10%
    • 1.1 Current State / Statement of Need
  2. Capability - 7%
    • 2.1 Applicant Capability
    • 2.2 Project Lead Capability
  3. Consultation and Commitment - 8%
    • 3.1 Extent of and Approach to Community Consultation Planned
  4. Implementation Activities and Project Costs - 60%
    • 4.1 School Success Plans (mandatory component)
      • Activities Planned
      • Expected Results
      • Activity Expenses/Proposed Budget
    • 4.2 Student Learning Assessments (mandatory component)
      • Activities Planned
      • Expected Results
      • Activity Expenses/Proposed Budget
    • 4.3 Performance Measurement (mandatory component)
      • Activities Planned
      • Expected Results
      • Activity Expenses/Proposed Budget
    • 4.4 Early Literacy Initiatives (optional component)
      • Activities Planned
      • Expected Results
      • Activity Expenses/Proposed Budget
  5. Project Management - 10%
    • 5.1 Project Governance
    • 5.2 Human Resources Management
    • 5.3 Project Monitoring, Reporting, and Evaluation
    • 5.2 Risk Management
  6. Overall - 5%
    • 6.1 Overall Assessment of the Proposal

1. Current State/Statement of Need:

Describe the background and context for the project, what issues are to be addressed and the drivers leading to the request. Returning applicants are instructed to use this section to provide a general description of their initial three-year project.

Total Weight - 10%

Demonstrated through the Current State/Statement of Need, Project Goals, and Project Approach.

Rating Level 1 – Score 0-1 point:

The current state of school success planning, improvement interventions, student learning assessments and performance measurement used is not described (i.e., in terms of what schools are doing and what the applicant's role is in these areas) and the gaps, needs, goals and approaches are unclear or not documented.

Rating Level 2 – Score 2-3 points:

The current state of school success planning, improvement interventions, student learning assessments and performance measurement used is described but only at a high level (i.e., in terms of what schools are doing and what the applicant's role is in these areas) and gaps, needs, goals and approaches are documented but only at a high level.

Rating Level 3 – Score 4-5 points:

The current state of school success planning, improvement interventions, student learning assessments and performance measurement used is clearly and fully described in terms of what is currently being undertaken, the applicant's role in them, resources used, sources of funding and the results of those efforts to date. An assessment of the extent to which these results currently meet the new FNSSP requirements is also included. Detailed information is also provided about what the gaps, needs, goals and approaches are.

2. Capability

The experience and capacity of the recipient and identified project leader to manage the implementation of activities within their proposal and complete the project in a timely manner.

Total Weight - 7%

Demonstrated through the Organization Assessment section of the Proposal

2.1 Applicant Capability

Sub-Weight - 5%

Rating Level 1 – Score 0-1 point:

  • The applicant organization has been minimal involvement (eg., less than 2 years) in the delivery of programs or services related to some of the FNSSP program components and they have yet to demonstrate their track record (i.e. impact and effectiveness) ; OR
  • It appears that the applicant organization has been involved in the delivery of some or all of the three program components for more than two years but the description provided lacks adequate detail to understand what they have done or to determine their track record.

Rating Level 2 – Score 2-3 points:

The applicant organization has moderate experience (eg., 2-5 years) in the delivery of some or all of the FNSSP components; the current management framework provides good support for this programming and they have a demonstrated track record.

Rating Level 3 – Score 4-5 points:

The applicant has extensive involvement (eg., more than 5 years) in the delivery of some or all of the FNSSP components; the current management framework provides excellent support for this programming and they have a well demonstrated track record.

2.2 Project Leader Capability

Sub-Weight - 2%

Note: Comparable scope is to be assessed in terms of the similarity of the subject matter, budget, duration, number of team members involved, and whether or not the project was a community-level project involving multiple stakeholders (e.g., teachers, school principals, band council members, FN organization representatives, consultants or professional services providers, IT suppliers, provincial representatives).

Rating Level 1 – Score 0-1 point:

The assigned Project Leader has less that two years experience within the last five leading projects; or has more than two years experience leading projects but the scope of the projects was less than what will be involved with the activities outlined in the proposal.

Rating Level 2 – Score 2-3 points:

The assigned Project Leader has two to five years of experience within the last five leading projects, at least one of which was of comparable scope to the FNSSP proposal, was at the community-level involving multiple stakeholders, and was delivered on time and on budget.

Rating Level 3 – Score 4-5 points:

The assigned Project Leader has more than five years experience leading project(s) of similar scope to the FNSSP proposal; projects were at the community-level involving multiple stakeholders, were highly successful, delivered on time and on budget and the project leader is recognized as having played a key role in the success of the project(s).

3. Commitment and Consultation

The extent to which the proposal has the support of the community; and the extent of, and approach to, community consultation for the implementation of the three Program components.

Total Weight - 8%

Demonstrated through the Community Consultation.

Extent of and Approach to Community Consultation:

Note: Community consultation refers to the frequency and types of engagement that are planned with communities (Band Councils, Directors of Education, principals, etc) on topics related to FNSSP program components to discuss plans and priorities, and to exchange information about the project, progress being made, what's working well, what can be improved, etc.

Rating Level 1 – Score 0-1 point:

There is no evidence of community engagement planned for the next three years or community engagement is very limited: i.e., plans for community engagement include less than 15% of communities, less than 15% of stakeholders (Band Councils, Directors of Education, School principals, parents, etc.) and/or involve a limited number of activities and two-way communication.

Rating Level 2 – Score 2-3 points:

Plans for community engagement are documented and include 16-50% of communities and stakeholders, and appear adequate in terms of creating ways for on-going two-way communication to understand the status of activities planned, to exchange updates on the project status and results being achieved, and to discuss and update plans and priorities.

Rating Level 3 – Score 4-5 points:

Plans for community engagement are documented and include more than 50% of communities and stakeholders, and look like they will be very effective at creating ways for on-going two-way communication to understand the status of activities planned, to exchange updates on the project status and results being achieved, and to discuss and update plans and priorities.

4. Implementation Activities/Project Costs

The extent to which the proposal aligns with the eligible activities for the three mandatory components of the FNSSP and meets Program objectives. The assessment process will consider timelines, cost effectiveness, the degree to which the activities will result in the intended outcomes, a demonstration of a realistic assessment of estimated total costs and a justification of the level of the FNSSP funding required.

For each of these sections the following elements will be assessed:

  1. Activities Planned
  2. Expected Results
  3. Activity Expenses/Proposed Budget

i) Activities Planned:

Degree to which each of the proposed activities:

  • Are described in sufficient detail and are coherent and logical
  • Are relevant to the objectives of FNSSP program guidelines
  • Are feasible to be undertaken and completed as proposed
  • Would have a tangible impact on First Nation student achievement

Rating level 1 - Score 0-1 point:

  • Descriptions of proposed activities have a low level of detail and/or coherence
  • Proposed activities are not related/relevant to the program objectives
  • Proposed activities are not feasible (i.e. not realistic, no clear implementation plan, unlikely to meet stated objectives and outcome within stated timeframe, etc.)

Rating level 2 - Score 2-3 points:

  • Descriptions of proposed activities have an acceptable level of detail and/or coherence
  • Proposed activities are sufficiently related/relevant to the program objectives
  • Proposed activities are relatively feasible (i.e. are largely realistic and achievable, mostly clear implementation plan, will likely meet stated objectives and outcome within stated timeframe, etc.)

Rating level 3 - Score 3-4 points:

  • Descriptions of proposed activities have a high level of detail and/or coherence
  • Proposed activities are directly related/relevant to the program objectives
  • Proposed activities are very feasible (i.e. are realistic, very clear implementation plan, will meet stated objectives and outcome within stated timeframe, etc.)

ii) Expected Results:

Degree to which expected results:

  • Are described in sufficient detail and are coherent and logical
  • Are a likely outcome of the proposed activities
  • Contribute to First Nation Student Achievement

Rating level 1 - Score 0-1 point:

  • Descriptions of expected results have a low level of detail and/or coherence
  • Expected results are not a likely outcome of the proposed activities
  • Expected results would have little positive impact on First Nation student achievement (i.e. no anecdotal or empirical evidence is presented)

Rating level 2 - Score 2-3 points:

  • Descriptions of expected results have an acceptable level of detail and/or coherence
  • Expected results are a somewhat likely outcome of the proposed activities
  • Expected results would have a somewhat positive impact on First Nation student achievement (i.e. some anecdotal or empirical evidence is presented)

Rating level 3 - Score 3-4 points:

  • Descriptions of expected results have a high level of detail and/or coherence
  • The expected results are a very likely outcome of the proposed activities
  • Expected results would have a strong positive impact on First Nation student achievement (i.e. strong anecdotal or empirical evidence is presented)

iii) Activity Expenses/Proposed Budget:

Degree to which individual expenses for each activity:

  • Are eligible
  • Are described in sufficient detail with a clear justification for the budget in terms of linkages to proposed activities, the number of schools and students impacted, and other factors affecting costs
  • Are clearly linked to the components of the proposed activities
  • Are reasonable and well justified, as well as cost-effective with economies of scale maximized

As well as the degree to which proposed budget of the activity as a whole is reasonable and well justified in relation to the goals, design, and potential impact of the activities.

Rating level 1 - Score 0-1 point:

  • Description of expenses have a low level of detail and/or coherence
  • Expenses are not linked to the components of the proposed activities
  • Expenses are ineligible, unreasonable, and unjustified
  • Proposed budget of the activity as a whole is unreasonable and unjustified relative to the number of schools and students affected

Rating level 2 - Score 2-3 points:

  • Description of expenses have a sufficient level of detail and/or coherence
  • Expenses are somewhat linked to the components of the proposed activities
  • Expenses are sufficiently reasonable and justified
  • Proposed budget of the activity as a whole is somewhat reasonable and justified relative to the number of schools and students affected

Rating level 3 - Score 3-4 points:

  • Description of expenses have a high level of detail and/or coherence
  • Expenses are directly linked to the components of the proposed activities
  • Expenses are very reasonable and justified
  • Proposed budget of the activity as a whole is reasonable and justified relative to the number of schools and students affected

Total Weight - 60%

Demonstrated through the Activities Planned and Expected Results, Proposed Budget (Please note that the information in this section is a summary of the project budget activities listed in the "Activities Planned and Expected Results" section and is automatically populated) and Project Partners (if applicable, applicants were asked to identify any organizations expected to provide funding or in-kind contributions to assist with this project).

4.1 School Success Planning:

Sub-Weight - 15%

  1. Activities – 5%
  2. Results – 5%
  3. Costs – 5%

Consider the objectives of the School Success Planning component of the program when assessing this section:

  • to implement a consistent and comprehensive school success planning process;
  • to develop and implement activities outlined within the school success plans that will lead to improving literacy, numeracy and student retention.

4.2 Student Learning Assessments:

Sub-Weight - 15%

  1. Activities – 5%
  2. Results – 5%
  3. Costs – 5%

Consider the objectives of the Student Learning Assessments component of the program when assessing this section:

  • to implement standardized testing across all schools, using standardized tests recognized by the provincial Ministry of Education;
  • to develop and implement processes for tabulating, aggregating and communicating the results at community, provincial and national levels to measure and report on progress and outcomes; and
  • to use the results to identify areas to be targeted for improvement.

4.3 Performance Measurement:

Sub-Weight - 15%

  1. Activities – 5%
  2. Results – 5%
  3. Costs – 5%

Consider the objectives of the Performance Measurement component of the program when assessing this section:

  • Identification and definition of performance indicators to measure success and progress toward program goals
  • Tracking student performance improvement goals and targets as identified in school success plans
  • Implementation/enhancement of school data systems
  • Establishment/enhancement of data analysis and reporting functions

4.4 Early Literacy Initiatives (optional component):

Sub-Weight - 15%

  1. Activities – 5%
  2. Results – 5%
  3. Costs – 5%

Consider the objectives of the Early Literacy Initiatives component of the program when assessing this section:

  • to develop and implement activities/strategies that will lead to improving early literacy (kindergarten to grade 3); and
  • to implement early years assessments and use the results to identify areas to be targeted for improvement.

Please note that this component is optional. In the event that an applicant chooses not to apply their overall score will not be affected. The three mandatory components sub-weights will change from 15% to 20% each to reflect this.

5. Project Management

How the project will be managed, including project governance, human resources, risk management, and project monitoring, control and reporting.

Total Weight - 10%

Demonstrated through the Project Governance, Human Resource Management, Project Monitoring, Reporting, and Evaluation, and Risk Management.

5.1 Project Governance:

Sub-Weight - 10%

Rating Level 1 – Score 0-1 point:

Descriptions of the organization structure, roles and responsibilities and governance are vague or absent in some areas, and/or approaches described do not appear that they will provide the governance structures needed to support successful project outcomes.

Rating Level 2 – Score 2-3 points:

Organization structures, roles and responsibilities and governance are clearly described and approaches appear adequate to support successful project outcomes.

Rating Level 3 – Score 4-5 points:

Organization structures, roles and responsibilities and governance structures are described in detail. Comprehensive, best practice approaches in governance are planned, including things such as strong linkages with principals, school staff and other external organizations.

5.2 Human Resource Management:

Sub-Weight - 2%

Rating Level 1 – Score 0-1 point:

The description of the staffing required for the project is missing more than 50% of the elements requested; or the HR strategy and staffing plan do not appear to be adequate to achieve the goals of the project.

Rating Level 2 – Score 2-3 points:

The HR strategy and staffing plan for the project include 50-75% of the elements requested and appear to be adequate to achieve the goals of the project.

Rating Level 3 – Score 4-5 points:

The HR strategy and staffing plan for the project include 75-100% of the elements requested, and is very comprehensive in that it addresses the need for things such as in-service support for teachers, the need for appropriate skilled project team members and efficient use of resources.

5.3 Project Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation:

Sub-Weight - 2%

Rating Level 1 – Score 0-1 point:

Descriptions are vague or missing in two or more key areas (monitoring, reporting and evaluation), and approaches do not appear that they will ensure adequate two-way communication with key stakeholders (e.g., schools, communities, project team members, project sponsors and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) or the required support for project governance (decision making, risk management and action planning).

Rating Level 2 – Score 2-3 points:

Descriptions are included for two or three of the key areas (monitoring, reporting and evaluation), and approaches appear that they will ensure adequate two-way communication with most key stakeholders (e.g., schools, communities, project team members, project sponsors and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) and the required support for project governance (decision making, risk management and action planning).

Rating Level 3 – Score 4-5 points:

Detailed descriptions have been included for all three key areas (monitoring, reporting and evaluation), and approaches appear to be very comprehensive in terms of ensuring adequate two-way communication with key stakeholders (e.g., schools, communities, project team members, project sponsors and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) and the required support for project governance (decision making, risk management and action planning).

5.4 Risk Management:

Sub-Weight - 3%

Rating Level 1 – Score 0-1 point:

A risk management plan is not included in the proposal.

Rating Level 2 – Score 2-3 points:

A risk management plan is included and identifies some potential risks and strategies.

Rating Level 3 – Score 4-5 points:

The risk management plan is comprehensive and the mitigation strategies are well thought out.

6. Overall:

The reviewer's overall assessment of the proposal and its potential impact on student success.

Total Weight - 5%

Demonstrated throughout the entire proposal.

Rating Level 1 – Score 0-1 point:

The overall project is poorly detailed and the strategies that it includes do not appear to be feasible. The project's objectives, activities and outcomes are vague and do not appear to lead to improved student outcomes.

Rating Level 2 – Score 2-3 points:

The overall project has sufficient details and the strategies that it includes appear feasible. The project's objectives, activities and outcomes are clear and are aimed at improving student outcomes.

Rating Level 3 – Score 4-5 points:

The overall project is very detailed, strategic and well thought out. The project's objectives, activities and outcomes are very clear and are strongly aimed at improving student outcomes. This could be a model proposal.

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