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River Watch RFP for Independent Program Evaluators

By October 30, 2014No Comments

River Watch Request for Program-Evaluation Proposals – oct 2014

Request for Program-Evaluation Proposals

Background:  Every year, Austin Youth River Watch transforms the lives of 120 high-school students through holistic, youth-development activities that focus on environmental stewardship and academic success. In our after-school and summer programs, our students learn how to monitor water quality at stream and river sites throughout the Austin area, submitting their data to LCRA and the City of Austin. We use this fun, real-world work as a tool to help our “River Watchers” become more interested in school. By engaging with our primarily underserved students over the course of months and years, we can help them grow and succeed, both personally and academically. This year, in addition to our core program that focuses on water-quality monitoring, we are launching a new program, in which our students will plan and execute week-long stream-improvement projects.
We have hired third-party evaluators to conduct our annual program assessments for over 20 years. With the launch of our new program, we are seeking a new partner that can help us improve our current assessment protocol and expand it to include our new program. We are especially interested in partners who can demonstrate expertise in one or more of our areas of focus:  youth development among underserved teens, STEM programming, service-learning activities, drop-out prevention, and environmental science.
Current evaluation methods:  To better understand our protocol, please see our recent assessment reports, posted on our website here: Note that we do not have evaluations from the last two years posted to our website. A small part of your job, initially, will be to help us get “caught up” on our reports, based on student evaluations, school-district statistics, and other data that we (or our previous evaluators) have already collected.

  1. For program years 2010-2011 through 2013-2014, use data that the organization has already collected to write Annual Program Evaluation reports that match the structure of our previous reports.
  2. Work with organizational staff, particularly the Program Director, to develop a new evaluation protocol and reporting structure, to be used moving forward.
  3. Implement the new protocol and, at the end of the 2014-2015 program year (August, 2015), submit an Annual Program Evaluation to the organization.

Compensation:  For your reference, our previous evaluators charged approximately $3,500 per year to complete our Annual Program Evaluation and write their report.
What to include in your proposal: At a minimum, please include information about your experience and qualifications, your initial thoughts about your approach to this project, and your estimated cost.
Contact information:  Please submit Proposals to Elisabeth Welsh, Program Director, via email at Please direct any questions to the same email address.
Deadline:  Proposals should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 30th.

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