P3 Proposal Development Toolkit

This P3 Proposal Development Guide provides key resources aligned with the P3 proposal selection criteria to help you draft a strong proposal. The selection criteria outlined below is the exact language used in the round two solicitation.

The Forum will play no role in the site selection process, and our knowledge of that process is limited to what has been released to the general public.

Absolute Priorities

Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth.

Overviews about What Works for Disconnected Youth

Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth in Rural Communities.

Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth in Tribal Communities.
Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth in Communities that Have Recently Experienced Civil Unrest.  

Competitive Priorities

Improving Outcomes for Youth Who Are Unemployed and Out of School (Up to 5 points)

Projects that serve those disconnect youth who are neither employed nor enrolled in education and who also face significant barriers to accessing education and employment. Significant barriers could include disconnected youth:

  • With a disability
  • Living in a neighborhood with high concentration of poverty
  • Involved with the justice system 

Work-Based Learning Opportunities (0 or 3 points)

Projects that provide all disconnected youth served by the project with paid work-based learning opportunities that are intergraded with academic and technical instruction

Promise Zones (0 or 2 points)

Projects that are designed to serve and coordinate with a federally designated Promise Zone. 

  • To receive these competitive priority points, you need to provide a HUD Form 50153 (Certification of Consistency with Promise Zone Goals and Implementation) that has been signed by an authorized Promise Zone official. Note that the proposed project only needs to include a portion of a Promise Zone boundary, or even to simply provide specific and definable services or benefits that will be delivered within the Promise Zone or to Promise Zone residents.
  • Promise Zone Designees, Finalists, and Applicants

Site-Specific Evaluation (Up to 10 points)

Applicants that plan to conduct independent impact evaluations of at least one service-delivery or operational component of their pilots (site-specific evaluations) 

  • J-PAL North America provides free technical assistance to help sites conduct randomized control trials.

Invitational Priorities

Improving Outcomes for Homeless Youth

To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that—

(1) will serve disconnected youth who are homeless youth (as defined in this notice); and

(2) is likely to result in significantly better educational or employment outcomes for such youth


Resources on Homeless Youth

Homeless Youth Action Plans

Improving Outcomes for Youth Involved in the Justice System.

To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that—

(1) will serve disconnected youth who are involved in the justice system; and

(2) is likely to result in significantly better educational or employment outcomes for such youth

Selection Criteria

Need for Project

In determining the need for the proposed project, we will consider the magnitude of the need of the target population, as evidenced by the applicant's analysis of data, including data from a comprehensive needs assessment conducted or updated in the past three years using representative data on youth from the jurisdiction(s) proposing the pilot, that demonstrates how the target population lags behind other groups in achieving positive outcomes and the specific risk factors for this population (5 points).

Note: Applicants are encouraged to disaggregate these data according to relevant demographic factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability status and involvement in systems such as foster care or juvenile justice, status as pregnant or parenting, and other key factors selected by the applicant. If disaggregated data specific to the local population are not available, applicants may refer to disaggregated data available through research, studies, or other sources that describe similarly situated populations as the one the applicant is targeting with its pilot.

Note: Applicants do not need to include a copy of the needs assessment but should identify when it was conducted or updated.

Places to Find Data on Disconnected Youth in Your Jurisdiction

  • The Opportunity Index measures 16 indicators, including rates of disconnected youth, in every state, Washington, D.C., and more than 2,600 counties. Hint: Go to measure “young people in school or working.” http://opportunityindex.org/
  • Measure of America has compiled rates of youth disconnection for 98 of the most populous metro areas and by congressional districts, including racial and ethnic breakdowns.  http://www.measureofamerica.org/youth-disconnection-2015/
  • Check if you are in one of the 35 cities that participate in the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership. If so, you can get access to even more data mapped down to the most granular neighborhood level. http://www.neighborhoodindicators.org/partners/profiles

Need for Requested Flexibility, Including Blending of Funds and Other Waivers

1. The strength and clarity of the applicant's justification that each of the specified Federal requirements identified in Table 2 for which the applicant is seeking flexibility hinders implementation of the proposed pilot (10 points); and

2. The strength and quality of the applicant's justification of how each request for flexibility identified in Table 2 (i.e., blending funds and waivers) will increase efficiency or access to services and produce significantly better outcomes for the target population(s) (10 points).


Lists of Barriers
In these publications the Forum compiled sample sets of federal barriers:
Barriers to Serving Youth in Multiple Systems
Barriers to Serving Youth in Residential Care

Lists of Federal Programs
The discretionary funds that are eligible for round two can come from the department of education, department of labor, department of health and human services, the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences - as long using the funds in a pilot would not deny or restrict an individual’s eligibility to services, and would not adversely affect vulnerable populations that receive services from that program.

Lists of programs serving disconnected youth can be found here:

Tools to map your funding streams

Information about Blending and Braiding Funding

The Forum for Youth Investment also provides related services to selected communities: policy scans, resource mapping and facilitated planning retreats. (Contact Elizabeth Gaines at elizabeth@forumfyi.org  for more information).

Project Design

1. The strength and logic of the proposed project design in addressing the gaps and the disparities identified in the response to Selection Criterion (a) (Need for Project) and the barriers identified in the response to Selection Criterion (b) (Need for Requested Flexibility, Including Blending of Funds and Other Waivers). This includes the clarity of the applicant's plan and how the plan differs from current practices. Scoring will account for the strength of both the applicant's narrative and the logic model (10 points);

Note: The applicant's narrative should describe how the proposed project will use and coordinate resources, including building on participation in any complementary Federal initiatives or efforts.

2. The strength of the evidence supporting the pilot design and whether the applicant proposes the effective use of interventions based on evidence and evidence-informed interventions (as defined in this notice), as documented by citations to the relevant evidence that informed the applicant's design (5 points);

Note: Applicants should cite the studies on interventions and system reforms that informed their pilot design and explain the relevance of the cited evidence to the proposed project in terms of subject matter and evaluation evidence. Applicants proposing reforms on which there are not yet evaluations (such as innovations that have not been formally tested or tested only on a small scale) should document how evidence or practice knowledge informed the proposed pilot design.

3. The strength of the applicant's evidence that the project design, including any protections and safeguards that will be established, ensures that the consequences or impacts of the changes from current practices in serving youth through the proposed funding streams:

A. Will not result in denying or restricting the eligibility of individuals for services that (in whole or in part) are otherwise funded by these programs; and

B. Based on the best available information, will not otherwise adversely affect vulnerable populations that are the recipients of those services (5 points).

Summaries of What Works

Lists of Evidence-Based and Evidence-Informed Interventions

Work Plan and Project Management

In determining the strength of the work plan and project management, we will consider the strength and completeness of the work plan and project management approach and their likelihood of achieving the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, based on:

1. Clearly defined and appropriate responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks;

2. The qualifications of project personnel to ensure proper management of all project activities;

3. How any existing or anticipated barriers to implementation will be overcome (10 points).

Note: If the program manager or other key personnel are already on staff, the applicant should provide this person's resume or curriculum vitae.

Note: Evaluation activities may be included in the timelines provided as part of the work plan.


Partnership Capacity

In determining the strength and capacity of the proposed pilot partnership, we will consider the following factors:

1. How well the applicant demonstrates that it has an effective governance structure in which partners that are necessary to implement the pilot successfully are represented and have the necessary authority, resources, expertise, and incentives to achieve the pilot's goals and resolve unforeseen issues, including by demonstrating the extent to which, and how, participating partners have successfully collaborated to improve outcomes for disconnected youth in the past (10 points);

2. How well the applicant demonstrates that its proposal was designed with substantive input from all relevant stakeholders, including disconnected youth and other community partners (5 points).

Note: Where the project design includes job training strategies, the extent of employer input and engagement in the identification of skills and competencies needed by employers, the development of the curriculum, and the offering of work-based learning opportunities, including pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship, will be considered.

Resources for Building Partnership Capacity and Effectiveness

Resources for Youth Stakeholder Engagement

Data and Performance Management Capacity

In determining the strength of the applicant's data and performance management capacity, we will consider the following factors:

1. The applicant's capacity to collect, analyze, and use data for decision-making, learning, continuous improvement, and accountability, and the strength of the applicant's plan to bridge any gaps in its ability to do so. This capacity includes the extent to which the applicant and partner organizations have tracked and shared data about program participants, services, and outcomes, including the execution of data-sharing agreements that comport with Federal, State, and other privacy laws and requirements, and will continue to do so (10 points);

2. How well the proposed outcome measures, interim indicators, and measurement methodologies specified in Table 4 of the application appropriately and sufficiently gauge results achieved for the target population under the pilot (10 points); and

3. How well the data sources specified in Table 4 of the application can be appropriately accessed and used to reliably measure the proposed outcome measures and interim indicators (5 points).

Resources for Aligning Interagency Data Systems

Budget and Budget Narrative

In determining the adequacy of the resources that will be committed to support the project, we will consider the appropriateness of expenses within the budget with regards to cost and to implementing the pilot successfully. We will consider the entirety of funds the applicant will use to support its pilot including start-up grant funds, blended and braided funds included in Table 5, and non-Federal funds including in-kind contributions (5 points).



Please contact Sara Matthew at sara@forumfyi.org for additional information on P3 resources and with any questions or feedback.
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