CNCS Evaluation Technical Assistance

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CNCS contracts with an evaluation firm, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, to provide two levels of evaluation technical assistance, both of which are provided at no cost to AmeriCorps State and National grantees and subgrantees:

Ongoing one-on-one technical assistance is provided to a small group of large grantees and subgrantees each year.  This TA is focused on refining the program’s evaluation plan to ensure that that the evaluation plan meets CNCS requirements for approval and that the recipients are on track to conduct high quality evaluations.  If you have been identified for this type of technical assistance for your grant, you will be contacted by NORC, and CNCS Program Officers and State Commission staff receive summary reports of TA provided to these grantees and subgrantees.

Ad hoc technical assistance is provided to competitively funded grantees and subgrantees when requested through the TA portal. 

The TA Portal is available at: https://americorpsevaluationta.norc.org.

Examples of the types of requests that may be made through the TA Portal include:

  • Answering questions on evaluation design and approach
  • Providing feedback on evaluation materials and data collection tools
  • Advising on data collection and/or analysis procedures
  • Discussing approaches for identifying an external evaluator
  • Requesting assistance with evaluation plans that have not yet met CNCS requirements for approval

Ad hoc TA eligibility requirements include:

  • Grantees and subgrantees must currently be competitively funded by CNCS
  • Grantees and subgrantees conducting external evaluations may only submit requests after consulting with their external evaluator
  • State subgrantees may only submit requests after consulting with their State Commission
  • State Commissions receiving Commission Investment Funds to support evaluation TA should attempt to resolve TA requests with CIF resources, if applicable, before advising subgrantees to request assistance through the TA Portal

Requests may be submitted at any time during the grant cycle, are not limited by funding amount, and will not affect current or future awards.  Grantees are not limited in the number of requests they can make and are encouraged to seek assistance proactively. CNCS Program Officers and State Commission staff receive summary reports of TA provided to grantees and subgrantees.

All questions about CNCS evaluation requirements, Alternative Evaluation Approach request procedures, and other CNCS evaluation policies should be directed to your Program Officer. Please consult the Alternative Evaluation Approach guidance document available on the Evaluation page at nationalservice.gov (https://www.nationalservice.gov/resources/evaluation/cncs-evaluation-policies)

Other CNCS Support
CNCS periodically offers staff-led evaluation training and technical assistance opportunities including:

  • Bi-monthly evaluation calls for Commission Investment Fund grantees (open to all commissions and CIF evaluation consultants by invitation of the Commission)
  • Occasional ASN Evaluation webinars for national grantees, Commission staff and state subgrantees by invitation of the Commission
  • Online evaluation resources available on the CNCS website and LMS page: cncsonlinecourses.litmos.com/
  • Training at the AmeriCorps Symposium, regional conferences and other special events

State Commission Evaluation Policies and Procedures
State Commissions determine evaluation requirements for formula grantees in their states and may provide additional evaluation training and technical assistance to formula and competitive subgrantees.  State subgrantees with evaluation questions should consult with their state Commission before requesting help through the TA Portal, but Commissions are strongly encouraged to advise subgrantees to take advantage of CNCS technical assistance when appropriate.

Published Date: 
March 21, 2017
Grantee Type: 
State Commission
National Direct
Tribe
Subject/Category: 
Evaluation
TTA
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