Research and development of First Nations-specific Results Framework and Evaluation Strategy for Early Learning and Child Care


The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern.  The AFN hosts two Assemblies a year where mandates and directives for the organization are established through resolutions directed and supported by the First Nations in Assembly (elected Chiefs or proxies from member First Nations).

In addition to the direction provided by Chiefs of each member First Nation, the AFN is guided by an Executive Committee consisting of an elected National Chief and Regional Chiefs from each province and territory. Representatives from five national councils (Knowledge Keepers, Youth, Veterans, 2SLGBTQQIA+ and Women) support and guide the decisions of the Executive Committee.

The AFN is seeking proposals from qualified bidders to conduct research to support the development of a First Nations Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) results framework and evaluation strategy. The results framework should identify outcomes, indicators, and data and OCAP® principles utilization based on primary and secondary research. The evaluation strategy must include regional engagements on First Nations’ evaluation priorities to inform the development of the evaluation framework.


The objective of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to select a bidder to provide a high quality of professionalism, integrity and confidentiality for the development of a First Nations-specific results framework and evaluation strategy for ELCC. The project is anticipated to start in April 2024 and last until February 2025.

Submissions will be reviewed by an internal panel within the Social Development Sector and will be assessed according to the criteria provided in the “Evaluation Criteria” section of this RFP. Proposals are due to the AFN no later than 5:00pm EST on Friday, March 1, 2024.


In 2016, First Nations-in-Assembly passed AFN Resolution 39/2016, First Nations Working Group on Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC), establishing the creation of the National Expert Working Group (NEWG) on First Nations ELCC to develop a national First Nations ELCC Policy Framework. In 2017, First Nations-in-Assembly passed AFN Resolution 83/2017, Support for the National First Nations Early Learning and Child Care Policy Framework, that validated the National First Nations ELCC Policy Framework vision, principles and goals for First Nations ELCC programs and services. The Framework’s vision is for happy and healthy First Nations children and families through regionally driven ELCC systems, rooted in Indigenous languages and cultures, governed by First Nations. A key strategic action identified by the NEWG in the Framework is the development of a results framework and evaluation strategy to collect useful information and data on First Nations ELCC to monitor outcomes of investments in childcare and inform future advocacy.

In 2018, the Government of Canada committed $1.02 billion in new funding over 10 years to strengthen ELCC programs for First Nations children. In Budget 2022, the Government of Canada made further investments in First Nations ELCC, including programs, services, governance and infrastructure. Existing program-based funding and the recent budget investments rely on Terms and Conditions to outline reporting requirements used to evaluate the efficacy of these investments. The indicators and processes used are not First Nations-determined, and do not reflect the goals and priorities for First Nations ELCC. To support true transformation and First Nations determination over ELCC, it is critical to evaluate and understand results from a First Nations perspective.


The successful proponent will work with the AFN to:

Project Requirements

  • Undertake research to identify the current results and evaluation frameworks used by First Nations in other programs specific to children.
  • Conduct a scan of priorities for First Nations ELCC outcomes, including through review of national and regional reports, discussions with National Expert Working Group (NEWG) on First Nations ELCC members, and other avenues identified by the proponent.
  • Develop a results framework to evaluate progress and achievement of outcomes for First Nations ELCC.
  • Develop an evaluation strategy for First Nations ELCC that considers and responds to regional and national First Nations priorities.
  • Provide an interim report and updates to the NEWG for validation and direction as required.
  • Provide a final report and presentation that provides a summary of the key findings and recommendations.
  • Ensure all work is compliant with OCAP® principles.

Project Timeline


Expected Date

Initial project meeting and regular virtual meetings with AFN Social Development Sector

April 2024 and ongoing

Development of a detailed workplan and timeline

April 2024

Update meetings and engagement with the NEWG, virtually and in-person


Interim report

August 2024

Knowledge translation and information/communications materials support, including participation in a dialogue session at AFN’s 2024 Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa, ON

September – December 2024

Final report

February 2025


All proposals shall be received by the AFN no later than Friday, March 1, 2024 at 5:00pm EST.

Only electronic submissions will be accepted, submitted via email as a PDF document to the Director of Social Development. All proposals must clearly identify the name of the proponent and the note “RFP for First Nations Early Learning and Child Care Results Framework and Evaluation Strategy” in the subject line. Proposals may be sent by e-mail to Stephanie Wellman, Director of Social Development, at [email protected]. Submissions by mail or fax will not be accepted.

Late submissions will not be accepted, without exception.


All proposals should include the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. A summary outlining the background of the proponent’s company, the proposal contents, and any specific exceptions to the stated requirements.
  4. A description of the proponent’s qualifications, capabilities and experience specifically related to the Request for Proposals, including demonstrated experience and qualifications related to OCAP®.
  5. A description of the physical and human resources required to complete the activities outlined in the Request for Proposals, including identification of the project team members, if any, and their roles and experience.
  6. A proposed timeline and methodology that identifies the time and resources required to complete the proposed work.
  7. A cost breakdown for the proposed services, in Canadian dollars and inclusive of HST.
  8. The name, title and contact information for three (3) references that have used the services of the proponent.


The AFN reserves the right to:

  1. Reject any or all proposals received in response to this Request for Proposals;
  2. Enter into negotiation with one or more bidders on any or all aspects of their respective proposals;
  3. Accept any proposal in whole, or in part;
  4. Cancel and/or re-issue the modified version of a given RFP requirement at any time;
  5. Award one or more contracts;
  6. Verify all information provided with respect to a given RFP requirement, including the right to request a confirmation of the bidder’s legal status and signed documentation; and
  7. Award contracts without competition for follow-up work, if any, to the selected bidder for a given project requirement.


The AFN will select the Proponent(s) which, in the AFN’s sole discretion, best serves the needs of the AFN. The following is a summary of the general considerations that will be used to determine the Proponent(s) that will be selected:


Expertise of firm/organization submitting the proposal, including relevance of the proponent’s experience for the project content



Experience working with First Nations and First Nations organizations



Proposed work plan and approach, including allocation of time to tasks and activities identified in the proposal



Total price associated with proposed tasks and activities



Overall impressions of the proposal


Indigenous organization or individual





The following dates are set forth for informational and planning purposes and may be changed at the AFN’s sole discretion.

RFP released/posted

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Deadline for Questions

Friday, February 23, 2024

Deadline for proposal submission

Friday, March 1, 2024

Completion of proposal evaluations

Friday, March 8, 2024

Final selection

Friday, March 22, 2024

Expected contract start date

Monday, April 1, 2024

Expected contract end date

Friday, February 28, 2025

The timetable is tentative only and may be changed by the AFN, in its sole discretion, at any time prior to the Proposal Submission Deadline.



Contractors must provide a firm fixed price, including administrative fees, travel, material costs, translation, printing of draft concepts and HST.


Responses to this RFP will be considered as confidential information by the AFN and will be used solely for the purposes of selecting the successful bidder.


Requests for clarification and/or questions regarding this RFP must be received by 5:00pm EST on Friday, February 23, 2024 and should be sent by email to Stephanie Wellman, Director of Social Development, at [email protected].


All on-time proposals will be acknowledged. Only those submissions that meet the deadline will be considered. Responses to this RFP must be received by 5:00pm EST on Friday, March 1, 2024.

Responses must be sent by e-mail to Stephanie Wellman, Director of Social Development, at [email protected].