Request for Proposals (RFP) for Evaluation Services for AAPD Summer Internship Program

Submission Deadline: 5:00pm EST, Thursday, December 9, 2021

Invitation

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is seeking proposals from qualified individuals or firms to conduct a mixed evaluation of its Summer Internship Program. Proposals are to be delivered by email to programs@aapd.com. Proposals must be received by 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, December 9, 2021, to be considered a responsive proposal. AAPD will be reviewing proposals as they are received. AAPD reserves the right to extend or close the deadline early by providing a written addendum to the RFP.

The RFP can be downloaded as a PDF.

Term of Contract

The term of the contract will begin January 10, 2022, with an ideal end date of July 31, 2022, but is flexible through September 30, 2022.

Background

Founded in 1995, AAPD is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As one of the leading national cross-disability civil rights organizations, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the over 61 million Americans with disabilities by promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation.

Summer Internship Program

Established in 2002, the Summer Internship Program aims to address the lack of access and support for youth with disabilities and promote successful higher education and employment outcomes. Non-disabled students report that the work experience gained during internships is critical to forming professional and personal networks that lead to positive employment outcomes post-college. The comprehensive AAPD Summer Internship Program provides students and recent graduates with disabilities an opportunity to advance their career goals, gain leadership skills, and be a part of a supportive cohort and community. To minimize any barriers during recruitment, AAPD covers the cost of travel and housing and provides a living stipend to make this program truly accessible for all students and recent graduates with disabilities.

The traditional Summer Internship Program brings undergraduate, graduate, and law students, and recent graduates across the country to Washington, DC. Interns participate in 10-week full-time, high-level, paid internship opportunities in Capitol Hill, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit agencies. Since the Summer Internship Program only recruits people with disabilities, it may be the first time our intern experiences disclosing their disability in a workplace and/or going through the accommodations process. Internship placements are determined with feedback from each intern and placement supervisor’s interests. AAPD has the final discretion of all placement sites.

AAPD also provides several professional development and networking opportunities to complement their internship experiences, build their leadership skills, and increase community connections. Examples can include the annual National Council on Independent Living conference, bringing in guest speakers to discuss topics of interest, hosting professional development workshops such as resume building and understanding each job sector, various disability community events in DC such as the Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary, and more. 

In addition to participating in the Summer Internship Program, each intern is matched with a mentor. The match is determined by the mentee’s interests, career goals, and demographic preferences. Mentors and mentees meet at least four times throughout the summer for 30-minutes. 

For many of our interns, the Summer Internship Program is their first introduction to the disability community and disability pride. During the summer, they can experience their first time being in a group of youth and young adults with all types of disabilities. They may also learn about disability pride. By fostering a community among a cohort of 20-25 interns, they create a bond and supportive network among each other that lasts a lifetime. Interns also have the opportunity to see disabled people in various leadership positions through professional development and networking opportunities that serve as role models for them.

In 2021, AAPD hosted our first-ever fully remote Summer Internship Program with success, including orientation, professional development, and community activities. In 2022, AAPD plans to host a hybrid model where interns can participate in person in Washington, DC, or remotely across the country. 

Learn more about the AAPD Summer Internship Program on AAPD’s website, including an annual report which reports on some evaluation data.

Current Data Collection Activities

AAPD collects data throughout the summer informally and formally. The evaluation process and questions have changed throughout the years since its inception. 

For interns, AAPD currently has four evaluation touchpoints: 

  1. Informal feedback at least three times throughout the 10-week period via multiple avenues (e.g., email, in-person, learning platform)
  2. Anonymous midterm evaluation that includes questions about their internship, cohort, and mentorship
  3. Final evaluation of the Summer Internship Program reflecting on the entire program’s goals and objectives and includes testimonials and future suggestions
  4. Two check-ins with AAPD’s Programs Manager and Program Coordinator at midway through the program and at the end of summer

At the end of the Summer Internship Program, AAPD also sends an evaluation to placement supervisors and mentors regarding their experiences.

Description of Need

AAPD is seeking a summative and formative evaluation of its Summer Internship Program to assess program effectiveness and guide continued program improvement, including program expansion. The evaluation approach should be culturally responsive, developmental, and systems-oriented. Proposals including randomized controlled trials will not be considered. 

In 2022, AAPD will celebrate 20 years of the Summer Internship Program. We aim to share an impact report with our community in recognition of the milestone year.

The Evaluator shall:

  1. Demonstrate prior experience conducting similar evaluations related to participants with disabilities, employment, and leadership;
  2. Demonstrate expertise in both qualitative and quantitative data analysis and program evaluation of the same or similar grant projects;
  3. In cooperation with AAPD and our partners, develop a logic model to track short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term outcomes;
  4. In cooperation with AAPD and our partners, design benchmarks and targets with respect to short-term project outcomes of interns, placement supervisors, and mentors;
  5. In cooperation with AAPD and our partners, design benchmarks and targets with respect to long-term project outcomes of alumni, placement supervisors, and mentors;
  6. Finalize proposed evaluation design for annual implementation evaluation;
  7. Manage all data collection processes, including stakeholder calls and surveys;
  8. Conduct surveys and focus groups of participant experiences;
  9. Provide bi-weekly (twice a month) updates on status of all evaluation work;
  10. Provide a formative report with summative findings and recommendations. The report ideally will be completed before the end of July 2022, but no later than September 2022.

AAPD strongly prefers an evaluator who will also recommend dissemination strategies and can develop infographics to ensure the information is relayed back to the disability community and relevant stakeholders.

Description of Desired Outcomes

Through this, AAPD seeks to:

  1. Develop a current logic model that will guide short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term benchmarks and targets;
  2. Understand what the impact the program has had on participants;
  3. Determine whether the program has been implemented as designed;
  4. Understand the perspective of internal and external stakeholders about our work; and
  5. Obtain recommendations for program improvement.

Proposal Content

Proposals shall include the information outlined in this section. Our ability to interpret and apply your proposal to these questions will factor into our decisions.

  1. Name of principal contact, voice telephone, and e-mail address;
  2. A brief description of the firm including capacity, qualifications, and relevant experience delivering the specified services outlined in the “Project Requirements Section”;
  3. Short biographies and resumes of each identified team member for this project;
  4. A brief description of content knowledge and experience in conducting evaluation related to disability, youth, employment, and leadership;
  5. A brief description sharing your organization’s strategic efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion, emphasizing efforts around inclusion of people with disabilities;
  6. A brief description highlighting past experience working with the disability community and/or disability organizations;
  7. A brief description sharing how you incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion in your evaluation approach;
  8. Project description, approach, and detailed evaluation activities timeline (see timeline table for activities), including any value added services offered, to providing the specific services outlined above in the “Project Requirements” section,
  9. Three (3) references for similarly contracted services within the last ten (10) years including name, address, phone number, email, scope of services provided and length of service;
  10. Two (2) sample work products of similarly conducted evaluation reports; and
  11. The budget (see next section).

Budget

Please complete the Budget Template in the PDF and submit it as an attachment with your proposal. Pricing shall be inclusive of all costs. No travel is required. AAPD has a maximum budget of $80,000.

Timeline

The contract will begin January 10, 2022, and end no later than September 30, 2022. The following timeline outlines key events related to the RFP process and evaluation activities. All dates, including evaluation activities, will be subject to negotiation during the final contracting process.

DateEvent
11/18/21RFP issued
12/09/21Proposal due
December 2021 / January 2022Awardee Notified
01/22/22Contract benchmarks and targets developed
01/22/22Evaluation Activities:
– Stakeholder calls
– Develop questions
– Logic Model
– Dissemination of surveys
– Analysis
– Dissemination of results
07/08/22Ideal date for final report
09/30/22Final Report due

Questions

Any questions regarding this RFP shall be submitted electronically to programs@aapd.com. Please title your email “Summer Internship Evaluation Proposal.”

Selection Criteria

To be considered for further evaluation, a proposal must meet the minimum criteria of including all items listed in the “Proposal Content” and “Budget” sections above. AAPD will use the following criteria, as a guideline when reviewing proposals that meet the minimum criteria. These will include, but not be limited, to the following:

  • Qualification and experience of the entity, including capability and experience of key personnel and experience with other public or private agencies to provide these services and meet required timelines and other requirements;
  • Adequate staff and resources to perform the specified tasks required to meet the services as outlined;
  • Prior experience working with disability organizations;
  • Demonstrated efforts of disability inclusion;
  • Demonstrated expertise in both qualitative and quantitative data analysis of similar projects;
  • Demonstrated expertise in topics and areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, disability, employment, and youth;
  • Proposed approach, including demonstrated understanding of work to be performed and a realistic timeline;
  • Reasonability of pricing for the services described by this RFP;
  • Claims and violations against you or your organization; and,
  • Other value added services to be performed.

Process

Bids are due on the date specified above. All bids will be reviewed on a rolling basis to make sure they meet all requirements and are responsive. Top bidders may be contacted for a phone or video-conference interview as deemed appropriate by AAPD. When selection is complete, the evaluation committee will award the partnership opportunity for evaluation services to the firm that submits the most advantageous proposal. The winning bidder, if any, will be selected solely by the judgment of AAPD potentially before the due date, and is expected to enter contract award within two (2) weeks of award notification.

Right to No Award

AAPD reserves the right to reject all proposals, reject portions of any proposals, or accept proposals deemed most advantageous to AAPD.

Preparation Costs

All costs incurred in the preparation of the RFP shall be wholly absorbed by the applicant. All documents submitted will become the property of AAPD.

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