Frequently Asked Questions: EHDI Strengthening Communities Grants Program 2010

1.  Question:  Page 6 of the current RFP says that the selected SCG will (1) assist grantees in identifying and clarifying program dimensions including understanding the environment, community involvement in program building and implementation, clarifying needs and community assets, program priorities, and program policy implications; and (2) Work with grantees to map community assets, catalogue local community assets/resources to meet community objectives and focus programs on using assets for program and community improvement.  Which type(s) of grantees are the targeted recipients of this type of assistance?  the planning grantees?  the implementation grantees?  What role will the SCG be expected to play with the planning grantees during their first year?  What types of assistance will the SCG be expected to provide the planning grantees?

Response:  All grantees are the targeted recipients of this assistance.  Implementations grantees (including TANF, Priority Health Area, Priority Health Area Social Determinants) are ready to carry out activities that will reduce the gap in health status in one or more of the eight priority health areas.  Planning grantees are expected to be in the process of developing an action plan for implementation that will include identification of expected outcomes and a plan for evaluation.  The focus of the work with the grantees will be dependent on where the grantees are at in the process of developing or implementing programs that will address health disparities or social determinants of health in their communities.

2.  Question:  The authorizing legislation specifies that the commissioner, in consultation with community partners, shall establish measurable outcomes and that this work must be completed before any funds are distributed.  Question:  Does this mean that grantees will be expected to select applicable outcomes from this list and collect these data? When do you anticipate releasing this list? Do you anticipate that the SCG grantee will assist with the development of this list? 

Response:  The language in the legislation refers to the development of measureable objectives for the Initiative and not grantee level programs.  At this time there is not a list of outcomes that grantees will choose from.  The EHDI Community Grants program does provide a menu of activities that include a goal, objective, and strategy to address broad goals of closing the gap in health status for priority health areas.  Applicants can choose from this menu of activities or document and identify priority health activities that are evidenced based or based on promising practices for their programs.  Grantees will be expected to report on measurable objectives identified through this process along with additional measurable objectives at the Initiative level identified through an evaluation work group on which grantees will be represented.  These objectives should be identified by August 2010.       

3.  Question:  The authorizing legislation specifies that the commission shall enhance current data tools to ensure a statewide assessment of the risk behaviors associated with the healthy disparity priority areas is conducted to establish a baseline to measure thee effect of funded activities.  And, the EHDI RFP specifies that "we [MDH] will provide data and information to interested parties about health disparities in the priority health areas”.  It also specified that MDH has identified priority areas where statewide data is available to indicate disparities exist.  Given the role of MDH in the collection of statewide data, is it expected that local implementation grantees will assess the same outcomes that are applicable to their project?

Response:  Enhancement of current data tools refers to an additional investment in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to be able to better measure disparities.  This measure was recently approved by the legislature and signed into law by the governor.  We do not anticipate that data will be available for several years.  When it is available, grantees and public will have access to the data at the statewide level. 

The EHDI RFP includes data and information for each of the targeted health priority areas by race/ethnicity where available.  THE RFP includes background information, a menu of activities (see prior response), and a list of local and national resources.  The EHDI RFP also includes a Disparities Chart (Appendix C) that indicates priority health areas where statewide data are available to indicate that disparities continue to exist in populations of color and American Indians as compared with whites.  Local implementation grantees will identify a list of outcomes in the application process) and will be expected to report on additional measurable objectives identified in the EHDI evaluation process.  (see response above)

4.  Question:  To what degree is the SCG expected to assist these grantees in assessing their progress and the maintenance of activities (fidelity of implementation) over time? (see page 8 of EHDI RFP).

Response:  The SCG is intended to assist the EHDI grantees in assessing the effectiveness of their programs in addressing health areas and /or social determinants of health in their communities, learning about successful strategies developed by other grantees, and carry out meaningful evaluations of their work.  Among a list of expectations in the Strengthening Communities Grant RFP, the SCG assists grantees in developing program evaluation plans, program logic models indicators, outcomes, data collection methods, etc..  The RFP includes a more complete list of SCG expectations.  The progress and maintenance of activities over time will assessed and monitored over time by program staff and an evaluation work group.  

5.  Question:  Do you require single or double spaced proposals?

Response:  Since we did not specify single or double-space in the RFP, we will accept proposals that are either single or double-spaced.

6.  Question:   Will you allow resumes to be included in an appendix?

Response:  Resumes of key personnel may be included in the appendix of the proposal.

7.  Question:  In the past your office used a data base system for collecting data from past EHDI grantees. Will this database be used going forward?

Response:  We are not sure that the current database will continue to be used in the current round of grants.

8.  Question:  A project deliverable specified is the Final Report which is to include a report on grantee evaluation plans.  Can you tell us if you anticipate that this report will include grantee evaluation results?

Response:  We do anticipate that the report will include evaluation results in some form. 

9.  Question:  Are you asking for the group awarded this RFP to assist grantees to analyze data collected, create evaluation reports and include these data in the Final Report deliverable? Please clarify.

Response:  We anticipate that the group awarded this RFP will provide technical assistance to grantees to analyze their data and create their own evaluation reports.  These data are expected to be included in some form in the Final Report deliverable.

10.  Question:  Will you be posting others questions and your response in a public space that is accessible to all?

Yes, questions and responses will be posted on the OMMH website.

11.  Question:  What is your expectation for sustainability of the web-based forum beyond the one year grant?  Do you want something that the State can continue?  Modify?

Response:  Yes, we would expect that the web-based forum would be usable beyond the first year of the Initiative and that the forum would be administered by State of Minnesota staff.

12.  Question:  How many grants will be issued? Is it possible to narrow down the range of 25 – 68 grants that you list in the RFP, given both the staffing and budget requirements.

Response:  The EHDI grantee RFP indicates that between 20-50 implementation grants and 5-8 planning grants will be awarded.  We have no further information at this time. 

13.  Question:  Is there any conflict of interest if we are working with individual grantees on their evaluation and also submitting a proposal for this RFP?

Response:  We see no conflict of interest at this time. 

14.  Question:  Who is on the EHDI evaluation committee? (Positions/roles are fine; we don’t need names)

Response:  MDH and non-MDH staff will be serving on the evaluation committee.  We expect to include EHDI grantee representation after grantee selection.

15.  Question:  Would the evaluator be working with each type of grantee (planning and implementation; social determinants and priority health area) and if so, what are the expectations for things we’d be doing with each type (to the extent they differ from the broad description provided in the RFP)?

Response:  All grantees are the targeted recipients of this assistance.  Implementations grantees (including TANF, Priority Health Area, Priority Health Area Social Determinants) are ready to carry out activities that will reduce the gap in health status in one or more of the eight priority health areas.  Planning grantees are expected to be in the process of developing an action plan for implementation that will include identification of expected outcomes and a plan for evaluation.  The focus of the work with the grantees will be dependent on where the grantees are at in the process of developing or implementing programs that will address health disparities or social determinants of health in their communities.

Updated Tuesday, 16-Nov-2010 12:31:55 CST