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Archived Requests for Funding Opportunities

Request for Letters of Intent: Information Technology and Information Management (IM/IT) Training & Support Network for the Voluntary Sector
1. BACKGROUND

The Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI) is a joint undertaking between the voluntary sector and the Government of Canada. It is a unique opportunity to focus on the voluntary sector as one of the three pillars of Canadian society, equal in importance to the public and private sectors. The VSI had six Joint Tables and four working groups. One of the Joint Table was the Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT) Joint Table. [Appendix 1 provides further background information about the VSI and the IM/IT Joint Table.]

In 2002, the IM/IT Joint Table completed its work on identifying ways of building the capacity of the voluntary sector through the application of information management and information technology. The IM/IT Joint Table Report identified access to training and technology support as one of the needs of the voluntary sector. Recommendation 2 reads as follow:

Help voluntary organizations make more efficient and effective use of technology by linking existing community-based networks together, providing a central access point to the networks...

To achieve this deliverable, the IM/IT Secretariat is launching this Letter of Intent (LOI) process.

2. PROJECT SUMMARY

Through this Letter of Intent (LOI), the IM/IT Secretariat of the Voluntary Sector Initiative wishes to identify organizations that would be interested in establishing a Canada-wide IM/IT training and support network for Canadian voluntary organizations. LOIs are expected to describe an organization's interest in participating in this project and to become part of an IM/IT training and support network for a region in Canada.

This LOI aims at identifying organizations that:

  1. already provide IM/IT training and support to voluntary organizations on a cost recovery basis, within an region; services should include, but may not be restricted to, a call center or phone-based technical support, on-site services, online training or other information services, or workshops;

  2. are willing to work cooperatively with other organizations to create/participate in a Canada-wide network to facilitate access to IM/IT training and support to voluntary sector organizations;

  3. are sustainable now and have a business-like approach to sustaining their new network without federal funding;

  4. are providing services in a unique geographic region and to at least 3 fields of activity of the voluntary sector, e.g. arts & culture, environment, faith, health, international development, justice, social services, sport & recreation.

LOIs received will be evaluated by the IM/IT Advisory Group. This group consists of voluntary sector members as well as government representatives. The IM/IT Advisory Group will evaluate incoming LOIs and make recommendations to Industry Canada. Selected LOIs will result in an invitation to participate in a meeting between Industry Canada, the IM/IT Advisory Group members and chosen parties.

The objective of that meeting is to work with selected organizations on how to create/develop the Canada-wide training and support network. The meeting will also be used to clarify issues such as variance in the delivery of training and technical support, how to create similarities, the spectrum of training provided, how to create missing components, how the network will work, the best operational models for support, what basic curriculum should be mandatory for training, how best to cover all regions of Canada, the provision of services in both official languages, what resources are needed to make it work, what "seed" monies are required to make it happen, how the network can be auto-financed and made sustainable. All or part of the expenses pertaining to this meeting will be covered by the IM/IT Secretariat.

A maximum of $1.5 million has been allocated to this project. Organizations may receive funding to enhance their existing delivery system (as opposed to creating one) in order to allow more organizations to work together in serving most of voluntary sector organizations across Canada.

Following the meeting, organizations that have submitted an LOI and that are still interested in participating in the Canada-wide network project will be required to complete a Request For Proposal (RFP). The IM/IT Advisory Group will evaluate the RFPs and make its recommendations to Industry Canada that will enter into a contribution agreement with the approved organizations.

3. THE VISION OF THE NETWORK

Expand existing IM/IT training & support services such that these services could be available to all voluntary sector organizations across Canada. Organizations working cooperatively in concert with partner organizations would be able to provide following services:

A. Support

  • Provide a call-center or phone-based service to assist in IM/IT support.
  • Assist voluntary sector organizations throughout their region in acquiring and upgrading equipment.
  • Ensure two-way communication allowing voluntary sector organizations to share information on technology.

B. Training

  • Provide on-site training and support where feasible and/or necessary.
  • Cooperate in developing a curriculum and support materials to assist voluntary sector organizations in sound and effective IM/IT planning. Provide online training materials and relevant resources.
  • Provide IM/IT workshops appropriate to a range of voluntary sector organizations in their region.

C. Network Building

  • Enlarge the network of voluntary sector organizations being served regionally through effective promotion of the network and its goals and objectives.
  • Collect and share information pertaining to IM/IT training and support for voluntary sector organizations in your region. This may include, but is not restricted to, maintaining calendars of IM/IT training events, collection and sharing of course description information, creating regional IM/IT training and support contact lists, etc.
  • Provide regular communications about regional activities, lessons learned, new resources, expert advice, and other relevant communications via Canada-wide voluntary sector electronic mailing lists.
4. PROCESS AND BASIS OF SELECTION

The LOI will provide Industry Canada with a list of lead organizations that are interested in establishing a Canada-wide IM/IT training and support network for Canadian voluntary organizations

The IM/IT Advisory Group will evaluate all LOIs and submit its recommendation to Industry Canada.

The selected organizations will be invited to a meeting to create/develop the Canada-wide training and support network. Following this meeting, Industry Canada will finalize an implementation strategy and use a Request for Proposals (RFPs) process to select organizations to implement the network. Organizations that have submitted an LOI and that are still interested in participating in the Canada-wide network project will be required to complete an RFP. The IM/IT Advisory Group will evaluate the RFPs and submit its recommendations to Industry Canada that will enter into a contribution agreement with the approved organizations

Priority for the selection of organizations will be given to voluntary sector organizations as opposed to private sector organizations depending on the reach, volume, region, diversity in services provided, clienteles and strength of the delivery model and quality of the training. Private sector organizations could strengthen their LOI by partnering with several voluntary sector organizations. Eligible applicants may be one voluntary sector organization or a consortium. A consortium may include a private organization but lead organization must be from the voluntary sector.

5. EVALUATION CRITERIA

The IM/IT Advisory Group will evaluate each LOI based on the information provided below, taking into consideration the quality of response to each of the criterium. They will make their recommendations to Industry Canada as to which LOI should be accepted.

No LOI will be accepted if the information required below is incomplete or if the LOI was received after the deadline.

All the information required is mandatory. All fields must be completed otherwise the LOI will not be evaluated.

LOIs must include the following:

  • Descriptive information for the lead organization (see Section A).
  • A document that addresses on a point-by-point basis all of the requirements (see Section B).

Bidders are requested to follow the order of information as provided.

A. DESCRIPTIVE INFORMATION

  1. Lead Organization: Official Organization Name
  2. Addresses (street and/or mailing address)
  3. Contact Person(s)
  4. Telephone Number(s)
  5. Fax Number(s)
  6. Email Address(es)
  7. Url (if available)
  8. Description of the Mission of Organization
  9. Incorporation Or Charity Number
  10. Years in Operation
  11. Type of Organization (please choose all that apply).
    1. Not-For-Profit:
      Identify fields of activity: (e.g. arts & culture, environment, faith, health, international development, justice, social services, sport & recreation)

    2. For Profit:
      Identify fields of activity: (e.g. ISP, consulting firms - should specify field of expertise...)

B. ELIGIBILITY

The following information will help the IM/IT Advisory Group determine if an organization should be invited to the meeting.

  1. A short description of the method(s) that your organization(s) use to deliver IM/IT training and support to clients.
  2. A detailed list of topics, workshops, training packages, or other evidence of IM/IT services you and your partners already provide (specify who does what).
  3. Description of the territory you serve and approximative size of the region and the types of voluntary sector organizations that use your services (size, fields of activity, etc.)
  4. Short description of partnerships (if any) that you have developed with other organizations or businesses to serve your clientèle.
  5. Actual costs to deliver training and support to voluntary organizations versus your revenue structure for same.
  6. Description of your present sustainability model.
  7. Description of how you provide services in both official languages.
  8. Description of how you provide services in rural regions, if applicable.
  9. Description of how services are provided to individuals or organizations with accessibility challenges.
6. PROTECTION OF INFORMATION

All personal information provided in the LOI is protected under the provisions of the federal Privacy Act. However, if an organization enters into a contribution agreement with Industry Canada afterward, the organization should be aware that the data on the number of staff, the objectives and activities of the organization and financial data are not protected under the Privacy Act and may be made accessible to anyone who would request them through the Access to Information Act.

7. DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF LETTERS OF INTENT

LOIs will be accepted up to April 25, 2003 at midnight.

8. SUBMISSION OF LETTERS OF INTENT

The IM/IT Secretariat will accept only LOIs submitted electronically, in either PDF, Microsoft Word or WordPerfect format, sent to: imit@ic.gc.ca

If you need more information, please contact:
Bernard Chabot, Manager
IM/IT Secretariat, Industry Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West, 2nd Floor, Ottawa ON K1A 0C8
or at: chabot.bernard@ic.gc.ca

Should you have any questions, please call (613) 990-7233.

APPENDIX 1: BACKGROUND

The Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI) is a joint undertaking between the voluntary sector and the Government of Canada. It is a unique opportunity to focus on the voluntary sector as one of the three pillars of Canadian society, equal in importance to the public and private sectors.

The long-term objective of the VSI is to strengthen the voluntary sector's capacity to meet the challenges of the future, and to enhance the relationship between the sector and the federal government and their ability to serve Canadians.

In 2002, the IM/IT Joint Table completed its work on identifying ways of building the capacity of the voluntary sector through the application of Information Management/Information Technology. The Joint Table submitted its report with program recommendations to the Minister of Industry and to the VSI Joint Coordinating Committee. The IM/IT Secretariat at Industry Canada is tasked with project management of this program with actual implementation being shared with the sector.

The IM/IT Joint Table strategy involves five main recommendations:

  1. Campaign targeting funders: Encouraging funders to change their policies and procedures to permit IM/IT investments.

  2. Access to IT planning, hardware and software, training and technical support: Giving sector organizations ongoing access to IT planning, expert advice, current hardware and software, training and technical support.

  3. Voluntary sector website/portal: An on-line location for the exchange of information and best practices for voluntary sector organizations and funders.

  4. Funding exchange: A web-based interactive funding service for both funders and organizations seeking funding.

  5. Technology awareness campaign: A campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of adopting and using technology effectively.

This LOI addresses part of the recommendation # 2.

The IM/IT Joint Table Report identified that one of the needs of the voluntary sector is to have access to training and technology support. The recommendation reads as follow:

    Help voluntary organizations make more efficient and effective use of technology by linking existing community-based networks together, providing a central access point to the networks...

To answer this recommendation, Industry Canada is seeking organizations that will participate in establishing a Canada-wide IM/IT Training & Support Network for the voluntary sector.

The strategy is designed to help voluntary organizations use technology to develop more cost-effective ways for carrying out activities essential to their mission. It also supports the sector as a whole to develop a greater capacity to play its role as one of the pillars of Canadian society alongside the public and private sectors. Additional information is available on the VSI website at: www.vsi-isbc.ca

 
 
  
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Last Updated: 2019-08-21