A New Procurement Model for Human Services
In 2019, recognizing the transformative potential of the federal Comprehensive Child Welfare Information Systems (CCWIS) program, the Annie E. Casey Foundation funded work to develop a model CCWIS request for proposals that states and tribes could draw on freely in creating their own procurements. Created by a team of seasoned human service professionals, and with valuable input from the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), the CCWIS Model RFP and its companion Guide lay out a new approach to human service technology procurement that begins with program and policy objectives and places child welfare outcomes at the center of the CCWIS effort.
A key element of the approach is the move away from detailed formal requirements and toward a more goal-driven framework, in keeping with the spirit of CCWIS. Rather than ask bidders to respond to hundreds of detailed requirements, the RFP provides a clear statement of the agency’s programmatic goals for each functional area, provides solution guideposts in the form of any preferences or best practices it would like bidders to consider, and documents any specific constraints the winning bidder will be subject to. Given these Goals, Guideposts and Constraints, the bidder is asked to propose a technically sound, innovative and responsive solution that illustrates its understanding of the domain and the agency’s priorities.
The CCWIS Model RFP and Guide, which are free for all to use and borrow from while building their own procurement documents, are the best illustration of the power of this new approach, whose value extends beyond child welfare into other human service and government domains. As primary authors of the Model RFP and Guide, the Human Services Technology Circle team can help procurement groups create tailored RFPs that build on the model documents while adapting their provisions to meet the specific, programmatic goals of the child welfare agency and its sister organizations. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.