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Request for Proposal for Evaluation of Stevens Initiative Virtual Exchange Programs in Morocco and the United Arab Emirates

The Stevens Initiative (SI) requests applications from firms to serve as an independent evaluator and assess the performance of its grantees based in Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

Contact: Alanoud Alown and Manal Elattir at StevensInitiative@aspeninstitute.org.

RFP Issue Date: July 15, 2020

Proposal Deadline: August 10, 2020

Submission Details: Submit your proposal to Alanoud Alown and Manal Elattir at StevensInitiative@aspeninstitute.org. Please include “Evaluation RFP” in the subject line.           

Project Period: September 2020 to September 2022

Background

The Stevens Initiative is an international effort to build global competence and career readiness skills for young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa by growing and enhancing the field of virtual exchange.

Created in 2015, the Initiative is committed to helping expand the virtual exchange field through three pillars of work: investing in promising programs, sharing knowledge and resources, and advocating for virtual exchange adoption. The Stevens Initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government, and is administered by the Aspen Institute. It is also supported by the Bezos Family Foundation and the governments of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. Learn more about the Initiative’s vision and approach.

The Stevens Initiative builds on the pioneering work of the virtual exchange community, which uses technology to connect young people across continents and cultures. Through virtual exchange, youth have access to a substantive international exchange experience by collaborating and learning with their peers abroad without having to leave their communities. Recognizing the impact that virtual exchange promises, and capitalizing on advances in technology, the aim is to make life-changing, cross-cultural experiences available to all young people.

More information about the Stevens Initiative can be found here: www.stevensinitiative.org

Proposal Expectations and Scope of Work

The Stevens Initiative (SI) requests applications from firms to serve as an independent evaluator and assess the performance of its grantees based in Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. The main deliverables include two reports per year that will evaluate the effectiveness of virtual exchange programming between the United States and Morocco and the United States and the United Arab Emirates. These reports will also outline methods to enhance and improve virtual exchange programs.

  1. The application should detail the evaluation plan for SI programs. Evaluation efforts will be conducted between the periods of September 2020 and September 2022.
  2. The plan should explain how the evaluator will work with the Stevens Initiative, its partners, and other stakeholders to measure the effect of virtual exchange participation on key intended outcomes, such as global competencies and related knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  3. The scope of work will include the following the evaluation of five virtual exchange programs
      1. Connected Classrooms is a virtual exchange program that connects higher-education institutions; 10 institutions within the first year.
      2. Design with a Partner includes three distinct virtual exchange programs.

 

Stevens Initiative Track Country # of implementing organizations Estimated # of participants Level Location Period of performance
Connected Classrooms

 

UAE 3 Year 1: 160 students

Year 2: 160 students

 

Higher Ed Abu Dhabi/Dubai/Sharjah two-year program starting Fall 2020

 

Morocco 3

 

Year 1: 160 students

Year 2: 170

Higher Ed Beni Mellal, Casablanca, Bengrir
USA 4 Year 1: 300

Year 2: 300

Higher Ed Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Georgia
Design with a Partner Morocco 1 100 students Higher Ed Casablanca two-year program starting Fall 2020
USA 1 100 students Higher Ed Georgia
We would like to see a proposal that includes a cost add-on for these two projects.
Design with a Partner Morocco 1 250 students K-12 Bengrir two-year program starting Fall 2020
USA 1 250 students Arizona
Design with a Partner Morocco 1 275 students Higher Ed Bengrir two-year program starting Fall 2020
USA 1 325 students Texas

 

  1. The plan should include activities to evaluate SI programs, including:
      1. Providing technical assistance to areas of weakness to help program implementors improve their work.
      2. Conduct calls with program implementors to orient programs to the evaluation.
      3. Set each program up with a license in SurveyGizmo and design/review/edit pre and post-program surveys, including both English and Arabic versions. Provide basic technical assistance and troubleshooting with SurveyGizmo (e.g., questions about email campaigns, accessing data, etc.)
      4. Conducting at least one site visit, either in person or virtually, for each program during the period of program is being run.
      5. Conduct one-on-one interviews with faculty/program coordinators/youth participants regarding the program.
  2. Report Expectations:
      1. Evaluator is expected to share a complete draft of each report at an agreed upon deadline. The Stevens Initiative will review and respond with questions and comments for revision before the final version is submitted.
      2. Two reports per year. One following the Fall term, should be a very brief summary (no longer than five pages) of demographic, survey, and site visit data, conveying only the most essential and significant points. The second report, following the Spring term, should be approximately 8 to 12 pages and should include demographic, survey, and site visit data from the Spring term as well as a brief synthesis of common challenges and promising practices. Appendices for either report may be acceptable but should be kept to an approachable length. All reports should be written in a way that can be easily excerpted or adapted for a general audience that is aware of virtual exchange but not expert on evaluation.
      3. Qualitative and quantitative findings should be clearly presented in short reports that can be used for other SI purposes (website/social media/blog posts etc.).
      4. Reports should be written in English.

Timeline

The application should propose evaluating the work of the Initiative’s programs in Morocco and the UAE from September 2020 to September 2022 and include a small amount of additional time to produce the final report.

Proposal length

The proposal should be no longer than 20 pages, not counting the additional attachments below.

Attachments

In addition to the proposal requested above, please attach these documents to the proposal:

  1. A timeline, including major areas of activity and all milestones and deliverables;
  2. Budget and budget narrative, including international and domestic site visits;
  3. CVs of the team at your firm who will be working on this project.

 

 

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