Food for Peace hopes to explore the strengths and weaknesses of the development RFA process and improve it based on your ideas and brainstorming.
On August 7, TOPS hosted a consultation with members of the implementer community on possible changes to the content of the FY 2016 request for applications (RFA), award process (with the introduction of a technical presentation for apparently successful applicants), and shifts/changes to actual activity implementation for FY 2016. The impetus to hold this discussion came from feedback you’ve provided over the years -- during the comment periods, from interactions you’ve had with the Agreement Officer’s Representatives (AORs), from field exchanges and more. Questions discussed during the consultation included:
- What would an abbreviated proposal look like? What components would be least harmful to the integrity of the process to remove?
- Should there be milestone/benchmarks to document/validate the refinement period/process? What would these be?
- How would the PREP (Pipeline and Resource Estimate Proposal) at the end of year one be different? What would it look like?
- Considering the revised time frame, what proposed timing of the midterm and final evaluation makes the most sense?
Specific changes that were proposed by FFP at the consultation and being considered for FY 2016 include:
- a refinement period at the beginning of a project in which partners could undertake further analysis, refine their theory of change, engage the communities, wrap up the baseline evaluation and finalize partnerships to prepare for implementation. The refinement period could be approximately six to twelve months in length depending on progress and key implementation factors
- after the refinement period, a "check-in" between awardees and FFP to ensure that the theory of change is sound and the project planning is on track before full implementation move ahead
- at the mid-term, a "check-in" between awardees and FFP to consider whether FFP will approve an extension of the award beyond the typical five years in length (for example, up to seven to ten years).
What are your thoughts and feedback on these proposed changes or on the questions raised by FFP above?
(Any comments shared before September 26, 2014 will be shared directly with FFP.)