Sligo Social Services: Request for Tender - Homeless Research Project

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REQUEST FOR TENDER FOR HOMELESS RESEARCH PROJECT

Overview

Sligo Social Service Council is a leading non-profit organisation in the North-West working with a wide variety of service users. Founded in 1969, the organisation has a long-standing track record of providing services to socially excluded and vulnerable groups. We provide a range of services to children and families, older people and to people out-of-home or at risk of becoming homeless.

All our services respond to a broad range of needs and issues which cause difficulties in people’s lives. Sligo Social Services have been working in partnership with Sligo County Council and the HSE to provide Homeless Services in Sligo for over 30 years. Throughout this time Sligo Social Services have responded to identified needs and has developed its range of services and interventions to the point that we now offer an integrated service with the service user at the centre of the service provision.

Sligo Social Services is currently inviting tenders from suitably qualified candidates to conduct research into homelessness in Sligo.

Objective

To deliver high quality independent research which identifies the emergent issues in homelessness and the key lessons for preventing and reducing homelessness in Sligo. It will consider the policy and service responses in place and how these can be developed to ensure that the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are met.

Consideration will be given to how measures introduced in response to COVID 19 have impacted on homelessness; both on individuals who were homeless and associated services. It will look at what if any impact the removal of the COVID 19 temporary measures has or may have, identifying what can be learned from the response to homelessness during the pandemic and how this could be used in the longer–term to meet the needs of people who are homeless in Sligo.

Background

Sligo Social Services is the primary provider of homeless services in Sligo and commenced providing Housing First in the Northwest at the outset of COVID 19. Our Services include.

  • Emergency Accommodation
  • Short-term Temporary Accommodation
  • Substance Misuse Service
  • Housing Liaison
  • Housing First

We are an active member of the Sligo Homeless Action Team and the Northwest Joint Homelessness Consultative Forum. Sligo Social Services has a close working relationship with various agencies and services who are involved with homelessness in Sligo.

The absence of up to date, relevant research in homelessness in the region is a significant barrier to ensuring the most appropriate and effective service responses are provided to meet the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The last Homeless Action Plan for the Northwest Region ended in 2018. This was the first and last plan homeless plan in the region. Gaps in service provision and recommendations for future service development have not been identified for many years, with the result that it is unclear whether services continue to be fit for purpose and what gaps there are in service provision in the area. COVID 19 has introduced new challenges. We would hope that this research will give voice to the needs of people who are homeless and influence the decisions made regarding how their needs might be best met in the longer term. It will provide an opportunity to create a dialogue regarding homeless in the Northwest and how statutory and voluntary organisations can respond to homelessness in Sligo.

Sligo Social Services are seeking tender proposals from suitably qualified tenderers who wish to be considered to provide the research service outlined below. Tenderers should have a strong track record of providing the required research services and have the required knowledge of homelessness, housing policy and service responses in Ireland as well as sociological research skills.

Research Project Requirements

The successful tenderer is required to provide a research report into homelessness in Sligo and the overall effectiveness of the policy and service responses available to support people who are homeless in the area.

At a minimum the following issues should be addressed in the research:

  • Profiles and identifies the pathways into homelessness of individuals and families in Sligo
  • Identifies what is working well and identify any areas of refinement in service delivery and/or development
  • Explore the impact of COVD 19 and the responses to the pandemic on homelessness in Ireland
  • Explore the national and international evidence base for service delivery approach(es) and models in relation to homelessness.

We are proposing a mixed methods approach including consultation with service users, key stakeholders, staff and experts.

Format of tenders

Selection of a researcher or research team to carry out the evaluation will be made at the discretion of Sligo Social Services. Applicants should submit a tender document which addresses the points listed below in the order given. The tender document should be no more than 3,000 words (excluding CVs, which should be added as appendices). Please find the information headings to be addressed in the tender document below.

General information

  • Name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the applicant, who should be the principal investigator or leader of the research team.
  • Name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the person who will act as administrative contact, if not the same as the applicant.
  • Name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of any third parties, partners or collaborators involved in the tender, along with a description of their role or the element of the contract that they will fulfil.
  • Confirmation of acceptance by the applicant and any third parties of the conditions of the tendering process as set out.
  • A copy of the applicant’s Tax Clearance certificate, or, in the case of a non-resident applicant, a statement from the Revenue Commissioners confirming suitability on tax grounds.

Previous relevant experience and expertise

  • Outline of the qualifications and relevant professional experience of each member of the evaluation team. Please add a summary CV of each member of the research team as an appendix to the tender document. Each CV must not exceed two A4 pages.
  • Please describe how the team’s expertise and competencies relate to the area of work described in the tender, substantiated with evidence such as published work if possible.
  • Provide evidence to demonstrate the team’s knowledge of current relevant national and international policy and practice.
  • Outline your understanding of data protection legislation including Sligo Social Services to data access requests, sharing of information etc.

Research methodology

  • Outline how the research would be tackled. This should start with a 200-word overview of your proposed approach, and then outline your approach to the following areas:
    • Formulation of research questions.
    • Identification of key stakeholders, staff and experts who should be consulted for this research.
    • Methods to be used to investigate research questions.
    • Types of data to be gathered.
    • Instruments to be used to gather data.
    • Methods for analysis of data.
    • Ethical issues to be addressed before, during and after the research process.

Timetable

  • Proposal for a calendar/timetable of activities from start to finish.

Schedule of costs

  • Quote costs in euro (€).
  • The value of the tender should not exceed €15,000 exclusive of VAT.
  • The budget must show the total costs of the research project, including any expenditure to third parties, collaborators, or subcontractors.
  • Use the following as main headings for the breakdown of costs, subdivided as required.
    • Salaries (include details for each person involved and note their role or position in relation to the project).
    • Data collection and processing costs, including IT.
    • Administration (explain the basis of apportionment of costs).
    • Overheads (give details of cost headings for overheads and explain the basis of apportionment of costs).
    • Other costs appropriate to a project of this nature (which must be specified and defined).

Requests for further information or clarification

Requests for further information or clarification of any aspect of this process or expectations for this evaluation can be made by email to christina@sligosocialservices.ie. To ensure equitable treatment of prospective tenderers, where such additional information or clarification is provided, Sligo Social Services will seek to make relevant information available to all. Therefore, please provide a contact email address with your tender to facilitate this information-sharing.

Terms and conditions

Ownership

Sligo Social Services will remain the sole owner of all end-products including, but not limited to, research data, reports, manuals or other documentation, programmes, information, etc., irrespective of whether the project is completed. The contractor’s work shall be acknowledged by Sligo Social Services in materials produced and disseminated based on work completed under this contract. Proposals for scholarly/academic publishing under the name(s) of the researcher(s) arising from this research can be discussed with Sligo Social Services, as owner of the data and other products of the research and may be agreed to subject to prior approval in writing from Sligo Social Services.

Conflict of interest

Any registered interest involving the contractor and Sligo Social Services, their staff or relatives must be fully disclosed in the response to this Invitation to Tender or should be communicated to Sligo Social Services immediately upon such information becoming known to the contractor. In any case, such information must be made available prior to the award of the contract. The terms "Registered Interest" and "Relative" shall be interpreted as per Section 2 of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995. Failure to disclose a conflict of interest may disqualify a tenderer or invalidate an award of contract, depending on when the conflict of interest comes to light.

Garda clearance

All researchers who may be required to work directly with children and families throughout this research process will be subject to Garda clearance. If any such researcher has been living or working outside Ireland in the past three years, Sligo Social Services may also require equivalent clearance.

Freedom of information

Information supplied in respect of this tender may be disclosed by Sligo Social Services under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, unless it is exempt from Disclosure under that Act (e.g., personal information or commercially sensitive information where the public interest in non-disclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure). Tenderers are invited to indicate if they consider any information supplied to be sensitive. Under Section 29 of the Act, any tenderer must be consulted by Sligo Social Services before any decision to disclose such information.

Changes to invitation to tender

Sligo Social Services reserves the right to update or alter the information contained in this document at any time, but not later than seven days before the closing date for the receipt of tenders. Participating tenderers will be informed as the need arises. There is no obligation on Sligo Social Services to accept the lowest cost or any tender, and it may be decided, following the review of the tenders, not to proceed or to proceed with a new invitation to tender or an amended version of the proposed research.

Submission of tenders

Tenders should be submitted by email attachment as a single PDF or Microsoft Word document (with researcher CVs as appendices) to christina@sligosocialservices.ie.

The deadline for the receipt of tenders is close of business on January 17th, 2022. The tendering organisation is fully responsible for safe timely delivery of the tender. Incomplete tenders, tenders that do not follow the format prescribed above, or tenders received after the closing date will not be considered.

Assessment of tenders and selection of researcher(s)

All tenders will be evaluated against set criteria as outlined below:

  • Overall alignment with research brief.
  • Experience of conducting similar research studies, preferably using mixed methods.
  • Knowledge and experience of the subject area, specifically research with families and children, homelessness and interventions offered to families and children.
  • Budget and value for money.
  • Proposed timeframe and evidence of ability to meet deadlines.
  • Capacity for project management, administration, and to develop and maintain relationships with the various stakeholders.
  • Ethics and ethos.

Sligo Social Services reserves the right to seek additional information and/or interview tenderers in connection with its assessment of their tenders. The principal investigator and other key members of the research team should be available to attend the interview. Sligo Social Services will not be held liable for any costs incurred by tenderers in relation to the tender submission or the assessment/interview process. Sligo Social Services reserves the right not to award the contract if no tender is found to be suitable.

General Info

Date Entered/Updated
20th Dec, 2021
Region
Sligo
Expiry Date
17th Jan, 2022