April 9, 2020

Request for Proposals: External Evaluation

Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network

Questions pertaining to this RFP may be directed in writing by e-mail to: shafez@nafc.ca and gmushyirahamwe@nafc.ca


  1. Organization Background

The UAKN is a community driven research network with a focus on urban Indigenous issues. Our goal is to contribute to a better quality of life for Indigenous peoples living in cities and towns by filling the current knowledge gap in urban Indigenous research, programming and public policy. The UAKN is a national, interdisciplinary network involving universities, community, and government partners for research, scholarship and knowledge mobilization.

The UAKN’s national network provides a different kind of partnership by developing stronger research relationships, through a community driven process. Our governance brings together urban Indigenous communities, academics, governments and other stakeholders in pursuit of knowledge creation, mobilization and transfer.

The UAKN has grown to include over 80 formal partners with over 80 regional research projects funded. A priority area of the UAKN is to ensure training of new and emerging scholars, especially Indigenous scholars. To date 30 graduate and undergraduate students have been involved in various capacities. The UAKN also supports communities as they build their own research capacity through this process. We look forward to more opportunities to expand our network as we move forward.


  1. Project Summary

The UAKN requires the services of an evaluation firm or consultant, preferably Indigenous-owned or with Indigenous employees in key positions, to work with the existing UAKN to develop and implement an evaluation of the UAKN’s research, governance structure and overall effectiveness and successes of the network.

The evaluation will require the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data from a variety of sources using methods that include but are not limited to, existing program data, key informant interviews, focus groups, surveys, testimonials, and community engagement strategies.


  1. Project Requirements

The successful candidate will draw upon internal expertise, collective knowledge, literature and SSHRC guidelines and reporting requirements to identify common standardized indicators that would be meaningful from both regional and local contexts.

3.1 Evaluation Components

The evaluation will include several components that utilize a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The process component will evaluate the UAKN as a whole. The iterative component will include the annual reporting and identification of wise practices, and challenges and recommendations on how to address those challenges. The formative component will examine the development of the UAKN and its governance. The final component is the summative, which will result in the final report.

3.2 Quantitative Methodologies

The UAKN collects a variety of data as part of the existing reporting process and this data can be used as the main information source for quantifying the Network’s successes at the local level. In addition to capturing the UAKN in any given year it provides an opportunity to measure increases and decreases in Network participation and outcomes. Using existing data also reduces the cost of carrying out an evaluation as this work can be done by existing UAKN staff.

3.3 Qualitative Methodologies

The inclusion of qualitative data in the evaluation is key to ensuring that program successes and challenges are appropriately contextualized. Qualitative data provides an opportunity to better understand network impacts, it provides opportunities to identify and address Network challenges and adopt quality assurance measures, and it ensures community participation in the evaluation process.

Supporting documentation in UAKN’s possession will be provided to the successful firm/consultant. The firm/consultant may need to do independent research for additional documentation.


4. Project Deliverables

The deliverables include:

  • An evaluation work plan, with a timeline and budget, that is developed in partnership with the UAKN, consistent with Indigenous ways of knowing and doing, utilizes methodologies that incorporate capacity building and support, and is flexible to ensure compatibility with the varying levels of capacity that exist across the Network;
  • An evaluation framework that includes goals and objectives, and identifies the relationships between factors key to the Network’s activities as well as the internal and external elements that may potentially affect the Network’s success;
  • A participatory approach to identify qualitative and quantitative indicators for each party involved in the implementation of the Network’s research and activities across the country;
  • A methodology / process for joint analysis and interpretation of the data;
  • Communications plan (recruitment, dissemination, etc.);
  • Ethical protocols (i.e., informed consent, confidentiality considerations, data ownership, etc.);
  • Key informant interview schedule, questionnaires, data analysis methods;
  • A draft report and;
  • A final report.
  1. Contractor Experience and Qualifications

Applicants will demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of:

  • The unique and diverse issues concerning urban Indigenous populations, communities, and organizations, including, but not limited to, the ongoing impacts of colonization and those related to sex, gender, age, identity, and geographic location;
  • The importance of research ethics and culturally safe approaches to working with Indigenous communities and peoples.

In addition, applicants will describe their:

  • Awareness of and experience with Indigenous approaches to evaluation;
  • Demonstrated experience working with Indigenous communities in program evaluation.
  • Experiences in academic, government and public sector research and network evaluation.

Experience working with the Friendship Centre Movement will be considered an asset.


6. Contract Parameters

6.1 Value

Applicants will provide a quote for work as described, inclusive of all taxes and fees, but inclusive of any travel that may be required. The UAKN assumes no responsibility for third party relationships entered into by the successful firm/consultant. The UAKN reserves the right to choose the applicant that will best serve the needs of the organization, which may not be the applicant with the lowest quote.

6.2 Deadline

The final report is due August 1st, 2020. However, due to the current circumstances, the submission date may be subject to change.

6.3 Workplace

The contractor will be required to work from their usual place of work and provide their own work equipment and workplace infrastructure to complete the work required under this project, including office, computer/laptop, phone/cell phone/fax machine, printer, internet access, and all other materials required to complete this project.

6.4 Intellectual Property

All information, documents or resource materials developed as part of this contract and work related to this project will remain the intellectual property of the UAKN.

6.5 Responsibilities

The UAKN will provide all background and other materials and information to the Contractor required to complete the project deliverables.

The Contractor will provide staff support throughout all stages of this contract and project, for direction and clarity of objectives.

The Contractor will provide updates on the progress of the project as deliverables are completed and as requested by the UAKN.

6.6 Contractor Requirements

The Contractor will be required to meet all the project activities and deliverables described in this RFP to the satisfaction of the UAKN.

The Contractor will be required to take direction and feedback from the UAKN as provided to complete the project deliverables.

6.7 Payment Terms

Payment will be made by Trent University on behalf of the UAKN upon receipt of an invoice from the Contractor upon successful completion of the project deliverables.


7. Requirements for responding to this RFP

Individuals/firms interested in responding to this RFP are required to provide the following to the UAKN:

  • Comprehensive proposal with quote, methodology, general proposed approach and timeline;
  • Candidates will highlight how their experiences and qualifications meet the needs of this Request for Proposals;
  • Any ethical considerations in their proposals as well as potential risks and how they will mitigate those risks;
  • Short biographies on any proposed team members.
  • List of 3 references for previous work completed;
  • Examples of previous work with the Friendship Centre Movement, urban Indigenous peoples or research project evaluations if any.
  • Statement of Indigenous ownership or control.


8. Closing Date/Time:

The closing date for this RFP is May 1s, 2020.

Proposals must be received by 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) and be addressed to the attention of the (UAKN Secretariat or David Newhouse

Submissions can be provided in hard copy, or in electronic format by e-mail to shafez@nafc.ca and gmushyirahamwe@nafc.ca

The UAKN bears no responsibility for misdirected or misaddressed proposals or for proposals that may be incomplete on receipt and review.