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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FY2020 Teen Pregnancy Prevention (Tier 1) – Optimally Changing the Map for Teen Pregnancy (AH-TP1-20-001)

*Note that FAQs will be updated to include additional questions on a weekly basis.

General Questions

I subscribed to the Funding Opportunity Announcement: Optimally Changing the Map for Teen Pregnancy Prevention (Tier 1) Opportunity Number: AH-TP1-20-001 on Grants.gov and I noticed that there was an amendment on March 23, 2020. What changes were included on the amendment?

The Funding Opportunity Announcement: Optimally Changing the Map for Teen Pregnancy Prevention (Tier 1) Opportunity Number: AH-TP1-20-001, was amended on March 23, 2020. The amendment includes the following changes:

  • The application due date has been changed from Monday, April 13, 2020 to Monday, April 27, 2020
  • Page 34 – edited the Program Narrative requirements to specify MOUs/LOAs may be submitted and to describe what the applicant should include to describe partnerships where they are not able to obtain an MOU/LOA by the application due date.
  • Page 48 – edited to say that MOUs may be included
  • Page 61 – revised the scoring criteria to indicate inclusion of MOUs/LOAs when possible.
Please check https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=324365 for updates and a copy of the amended FOA.

Can the same organization submit separate applications to both TPP Tier 1 Optimally Change the Map of Teen Pregnancy through Replication of Programs Proven (Optimally Changing the Map of Teen Pregnancy Prevention – Tier 1), TPP Tier 2 Innovation and Impact Network Grants: Achieving Optimal Health and Preventing Teen Pregnancy in Key Priority Areas and TPP Tier 2 Phase 2 FOAs?

Yes. An organization can submit an application to more than one funding opportunity announcement (FOA). Each FOA is different and organizations should check the eligibility and expectations of each individual FOA to determine whether or not to apply. HHS/OASH/OGM will deem each application submitted by an entity eligible according to the eligibility information included in the specific FOA.

Can an individual submit a grant application?

Grants are awarded to organizations rather than individuals. An application may be submitted by an individual authorized to act/sign for an organization and to assume the obligations imposed by the legislation and any additional conditions of the grant. However, the award will not go directly to an individual but to the organization which the individual represents.

How does this opportunity relate to previous TPP funding opportunities?

The current Funding Opportunity Number AH-TP1-20-001 is different from previous FOAs. Your application should adhere to the requirements noted in Funding Opportunity AH-TP1-20-001.

Will special consideration be given to organizations that have previously received TPP funding?

No.

Can we submit the same proposal from fiscal year (FY) 19?

The current announcement is different from the 2019 announcement with different requirements and criteria. You should carefully review the current announcement and base your application narrative and materials on the new announcement.

Can an organization submit more than one application to the same FOA?

If an applicant submits more than one application with the same content (for example, you submit your application and then make an update and submit the updated application at a later time), we will only review the last application received by the deadline. If an individual organization submits more than one application for different projects (for example, different content, different programs, different communities), all submitted applications will be reviewed if the project described is unique.

How can I get help registering for Grants.gov?

Refer to https://www.grants.gov or contact the Grants.gov Contact Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (excluding Federal holidays) at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov.

Does the funding announcement require a letter of intent?

No. The current funding announcement does not require a Letter of Intent.

Who should the Letter of Intent be sent to?

Letters of Intent are not required as part of this FOA.

I saw that that this funding opportunity has been posted to grants.gov. I see that this FOA is for the discretionary category. Do you know if a State TPP program FOA will be released as well?

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program, under the Office of Population Affairs (OPA), forecasted and released the three FOAs included below. For eligibility of who can apply, please review each FOA. At this time, no additional funding opportunities are forecasted for the OPA TPP Program.

  1. Optimally Changing the Map for Teen Pregnancy Prevention (AH-TP1-20-001)
  2. Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Tier 2 Phase II: Rigorous Evaluation of Promising Interventions (AH-TP2-20-001)
  3. Tier 2 Innovation and Impact Network Grants: Achieving Optimal Health and Preventing Teen Pregnancy in Key Priority Areas (AH-TP2-20-002)

We received a notification that OASH has posted a modification for solicitation AH-TP1-20-001, Optimally Changing the Map for Teen Pregnancy Prevention – Tier 1 Synopsis 7. Would OASH please confirm if there have been any changes made to this announcement? If yes, would it be possible to receive a document outlining or pointing to the revisions?

The Funding Opportunity number has changed from PA-TP1-20-001 to AH-TP1-20-001, as of February 24, 2020. Nothing else has changed except the prefix as mention here.

We updated the grants.gov website and changed the prefix of the announcement number to allow for proper application submission. If applying for the FOA, you should apply using the currently posted FOA – Opportunity No. AH-TP1-20-001 when applying. You must first register an account before applying for a funding opportunity announcement within Grants.gov. We highly encourage you to subscribe to grants.gov communication for alerts when creating your profile. Doing so, will alert you about important message updates or system changes.

Can nonprofits without a 501(c)(3) can apply for this funding?

Any public or private entity, including faith-based, community-based, and Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations are eligible to apply (p. 26 of the FOA). This includes nonprofits without a 501 c 3. See more information below on eligibility of nonprofit organizations.

Nonprofit Organizations

  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

Thank you for putting on the webinar yesterday for the funding opportunity: Optimally Changing the Map of Teen Pregnancy Prevention – Tier 1. Could you possibly share the slides from the webinar and/or the information for the supplemental webinars that are planned for the beginning of March?

Slides and recordings for the FOA TA webinar and supplement webinars (Webinar Series: Key Concepts Related to FY2020 Teen Pregnancy Prevention FOAs and Webinar Series: Showcasing Promising TPP Tier 2 Interventions and Innovations) have been posted on the OPA website: https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/grant-programs/funding-opportunities/index.html.

On the lobbying form, SF-LLL we do not engage in any paid lobbying. Should we mark the boxes related to the name and address of Lobbying Registrant and Individuals Performing Services as “N/A” or “none” – in the required fields? I’m not able to find any specific instructions for this form other than it is required.

Applicants must provide a response for all questions in the FOA and complete required forms, if you did not engage in any paid lobbying then you may respond with either “not applicable or none”.

I’m having issues with the workspace/submitting my package in Grants.gov. Please help.

For any issues setting up the workspace for your organization’s application submission, please contact the Grants.gov Help support center at support@grants.gov or call 1-800-518-4726.

Workspace is the standard way for organizations or individuals to apply for federal grants in Grants.gov. Workspace allows a grant team to simultaneously access and edit different forms within an application. Plus, the forms can be filled out online or offline—your choice. Workspace is the standard way for organizations or individuals to apply for federal grants in Grants.gov. Workspace allows a grant team to simultaneously access and edit different forms within an application. Plus, the forms can be filled out online or offline—your choice.

Are we allowed to use color in our charts? Are we allowed to turn the layout for larger charts or graphics (i.e. org chart or work plan)?

There is no language in the FOA that addresses the use of color so or the orientation (portrait/landscape) for charts and graphics. However, please note that you should be submitting your application in a format/layout that can be easily read and reviewed during the review and selection process.

I understand the requirement for including the abstract and citation for EBP studies in the Appendices, but I do not see the following information in the FOA in regards to the citations list for studies noted in the narrative (data sources, studies relevant to rationale for approach, etc.):

  1. Where should this be placed in the application?
  2. Does it count towards page limits?
  3. Do Citations list need to conform to double spacing?

When submitting, the information should be uploaded with the appendix portion of the application. Please reference the Application Elements section of the FOA (pp. 77-78).

Your Appendices should include any specific documents outlined in Section D.2.iii., under the heading “Appendices” in the Application Content section of this funding opportunity announcement (p. 48-50). Your documents should be easy to read. You should use the same formatting specified for the Project Narrative. However, documents such as résumés/CVs, organizational charts, tables, or letters of commitment may use formatting common to those documents, but the pages must be easy to read. All of your appendices must be uploaded as a single, consolidated file in the Attachments section of your Grants.gov application.

The Project Narrative, and total application including appendices, must adhere to the page limit indicated in Application Disqualification Criteria listed in Section C (i.e. 100 pages – see FOA,  p. 27). The page limit does not include the Budget Narrative (including budget tables), required forms, assurances, and certifications as described in the Application Disqualification Criteria. (FOA, p. 28)

Programming Questions

What programs are eligible for replication under this FOA? Is there a list of programs proven effective through rigorous evaluation that we can use?

Applicants are free to replicate any program that meets the criteria as stated in the FOA on pages 15 -16. OPA does not currently have an existing list of proven effective programs. Applicants will need to demonstrate the program(s) they are selecting for replication meets criteria on pages 15-16 of this FOA.

For this FOA, do we need to select an effective program listed on the Administration for Children & Families’ (ACF) Family & Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) website?

Applicants are free to replicate any program that meets the criteria as stated in the FOA on pages 15 -16. There is not a single list of programs proven effective that applicants must select from nor OPA does currently have an existing list of proven effective programs. Applicants will need to demonstrate the program(s) they are selecting for replication meets criteria on pages 15-16 of this FOA.

We are considering using a model that has been the subject of a randomized control study. However, this study will not be published before grant submission. Can we still use this curriculum if we have the unpublished abstract to reference?

The FOA states on pages 15-16 that when selecting effective program(s) for replication under this FOA, the following criteria must be met:
  • The program model has been proven effective through a rigorous experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation study to reduce teenage pregnancy, behavioral risk factors underlying teenage pregnancy, or associated risks;
  • Rigorous evaluation of the program model demonstrates at least one statistically significant positive outcome on a relevant behavioral outcome, and no statistically significant negative outcomes, from a study (or studies) that meets the definition of rigorous evaluation;
  • The research has been published in a peer reviewed medium such as an academic journal, published Federal government report, published evidence review clearinghouse, or a National Institutes of Medicine report;
  • The research was conducted by an independent evaluator who was/is neither part of the publishing team, nor an author of the curriculum; and,
  • The research report must be no older than twenty years.

Does the program that we select for replication have to show impacts on sexual activity or sexual risk?

Successful applications will need to demonstrate that the program(s) selected for replication meet the criteria included on pages 15-16 of the FOA, including showing that the program model has been proven effective through a rigorous experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation study to reduce teenage pregnancy, behavioral risk factors underlying teenage pregnancy, or associated risks; and that rigorous evaluation of the program model demonstrates at least one statistically significant positive outcome on a relevant behavioral outcome, and no statistically significant negative outcomes, from a study (or studies) that meets the definition of rigorous evaluation. (FOA, pp.15-16)

What evidence do I need to provide to show that the program I propose to replicate in my application meets the criteria on pages 15-16 of the FOA?

For each effective program proposed for replication, provide a summary in your application confirming that at least one research study of the program meets the criteria outlined on pages 15-16 of the FOA. The study citation and abstract are included in the application appendices and confirm the summary provided. (FOA, pp. 32-33, 49)

What is optimal health?

Optimal health is a dynamic balance of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health. Lifestyle change can be facilitated through a combination of learning experiences that enhance awareness, increase motivation, and build skills and, most important, through the creation of opportunities that open access to environments that make positive health practices the easiest choice. (FOA, p. 84)

What is the optimal health model?

The optimal health model prioritizes prevention through policies following a series of steps based on the principles of optimal health. These steps include (1) Identify the health concern; (2) Identify the risk factors that influence that health concern; (3) Respond with an intervention that promotes the best possible health outcome for the population; and (4) Encourage individuals to make appropriate changes that will lead them towards a position of increasingly lower risk. (FOA, p. 84)

What types of programs can we implement using an optimal health approach?

The optimal health model can be applied to a broad range of programs proven effective at preventing teen pregnancy and associated risk behaviors, including positive youth development, sex education, abstinence education, and programs designed for diverse populations and settings. (FOA, p.8)

What does OPA consider “communities with the greatest need”?

It is up to the applicant to demonstrate that the community to be served is of the greatest need by providing the information requested on pages 30-31 of the FOA.

The intent of targeting limited resources to serving communities with the greatest need is to ensure equity and improve health outcomes. The target population for funded projects should be adolescents 19 years of age or under at the time of program entry. OPA is especially interested in projects that will focus on those specific populations inordinately impacted by teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), behavioral risk factors underlying teen pregnancy, or other associated risk factors (e.g., exposure to violence, substance abuse, and mental health). This includes youth with juvenile justice involvement, youth in the child welfare system/foster care, youth experiencing homelessness, and/or expectant and parenting youth. (FOA, pp. 10-11).

All eligible applications will be assessed according to the criteria found on pages 55-61 which includes the extent to which applicants “Demonstrates that the community and populations to be served by the project are in need of the services to be provided and are inordinately impacted by teen pregnancy, STIs, behavioral risk factors underlying teenage pregnancy, or other associated risk factors.”

Can applicants propose to work in multiple communities?

Applicants may propose, within a single application, serving a single community, multiple communities, or specific population(s) within a defined community that demonstrate the greatest need for resources. Multiple communities could include communities within the same state, communities across states, etc. (FOA, p. 10)

Will OPA fund more than one grantee to serve the same community?

The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs will provide recommendations for funding to the Grants Management Officer to conduct risk analysis. In providing these recommendations, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs will take into consideration:

  • Equitable geographic distribution of awards across the country.
  • Equitable representation of project sites in communities of varying sizes, including rural, suburban, and urban communities.
  • The current teen birth rate and current rates of STIs among 15 – 19 year olds for the community and/or population to be served.

(FOA, p. 62)

What do you mean by “saturate each community and/or population served”?

To have the largest impact possible, recipients are expected to saturate their communities by replicating effective programs with as many youth and families as possible. OPA expects that, at a minimum, recipients will replicate effective programs with at least 25 percent of the adolescents within the defined geographic area(s) and/or population(s) within the defined geographic area on an annual basis. For the purposes of this FOA, saturation is the percentage of participants from the community and/or population who receive effective programs relative to the number of those from the community and/or population who could have received programs. (FOA, p.13)

What do you mean by “understand the system?”

To ensure equity and improve outcomes within communities and populations with the greatest need, applicants need to understand where the greatest need is, what the specific needs and resources are, who the key stakeholders are, and the relationship between all of these components. Applicants are expected to gather data on the community and/or population to be served to ensure that they understand the systems within which they will be working to prevent teen pregnancy. (FOA, p.11)

What are leverage points?

Leverage points are the places within a system where we can apply pressure to move the drive for change forward or reduce the barriers to change. The multiple leverage points selected by applicants should have the potential to have a significant impact on improving optimal health and preventing teen pregnancy and STIs in the systems, communities, and populations served. (FOA, p.12)

Do we have a planning period for this grant?

It is assumed that recipients will use the first several months at the start of the project as a planning period to revisit the community assessments and engage in piloting to ensure that all programs proposed to replication are the best fit to address the needs and demand identified, the implementation setting, the capacity of the implementing organization, and the intended outcomes. The duration of the planning period is contingent upon each recipient’s demonstrated readiness, but will not exceed six months. (FOA, p.16)

Who is the applicant expected to provide signed MOUs from in the application?

MOUs may be included, when possible, for all organizations and entities that have been specifically named as a subrecipient or partner to carry out any aspect of the project. MOUs will not be required until prior to award. (FOA, p. 48)

Who should the applicant provide Letters of Support from in the application?

The application should include Letters of Support from key decision makers, youth-serving organizations, and community stakeholders. Letters of support are letters that are general in nature that speak to the writer’s belief in the capability of an applicant to accomplish a goal/task and/or demonstrate a demand for the project within the community. Letters of support also may indicate an intent or interest to work together in the future, but they lack specificity. (FOA, p. 49)

Can you please explain more about the Common Set of Performance Measures?

All recipients are expected to collect a common set of performance measures to assess project implementation, make improvements, and learn. Recipients must collect all performance measures and report to OPA on a semi-annual basis (pending OMB approval). Final performance measures will be provided to recipients during the first six months of funding and may include measures on reach, dosage (i.e., “how much” of the program a participant received), implementation quality, sustainability, partnerships, trainings, and dissemination. (FOA, p. 22)

We want to serve the general student population through the grant but also serve an identified special population who will receive priority status. Through this grant, are we required to serve a minimum of 25% of the entire student population or are we required to serve a minimum of 25% of the identified special population?

OPA expects that, at a minimum, recipients will replicate effective programs with at least 25% of the adolescents within the defined geographic area(s) and/or population(s) within the defined geographic area on an annual basis. For the purposes of this question, the important point to note in the language of the FOA is the “and/or” – if you are planning on serving both the general population and an identified special population, the expectation is that you would serve at least 25% of the defined geographic area and 25% of the special population within the defined geographic area.

Is the saturation of 25% across all populations chosen or if you choose multiple populations, it is 25% for each population?

On page 13 of the FOA, “OPA expects that, at a minimum, recipients will replicate effective programs with at least 25% of the adolescents within the defined geographic area(s) and/or population(s) within the defined geographic area on an annual basis.” Your application will be assessed based on the degree to which it (among many other items), clearly describes the community or communities that will be served and/or the specific population(s) to be targeted and for each community/population served, clearly defining the geographic boundaries used.” (FOA, p. 57) This clarity is needed to then also clearly demonstrate you will replicate effective programs and services, with fidelity and quality, with at least 25% of the adolescents within the defined geographic area(s) and/or population(s) (FOA, p. 59).

Is the 25% saturation rate requirement an annual percentage or 25% over the 3 years of the project?

The saturation rate requirement is to be achieved annually. Please see page 33 of the FOA, “applicants should describe in detail how your project will meet the purpose and expectations of this FOA, specifically addressing how you will: How will your approach result in at least 25% of the defined geographic area(s) and/or population(s) receiving culturally appropriate, age appropriate, medically accurate, and trauma-informed effective programs on an annual basis?” Also, see page 59 of the FOA, applications will be assessed based on the degree to which it “clearly demonstrates it will replicate effective programs and services, with fidelity and quality, with at least 25% of the adolescents within the defined geographic area(s) and/or population(s), as referenced under “Serving Communities and/or Populations with Greatest Need”, on an annual basis (for more information see Section B.2 of the FOA).

The Appendix D does not appear to be included in the FOA

On March 3, 2020, the FOA was revised to include Appendix D - Example Work plan Templates. Please note, however, that you can use any format for your work plan and an example template was provided simply for convenience; use of such a template is not required.

How are you defining "relevant behavioral outcome"?

Relevant behavioral outcome is not defined in the FOA, successful applications will need to demonstrate that the program(s) selected for replication meet the criteria included on pages 15-16 of the FOA, including showing that the program model has been proven effective through a rigorous experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation study to reduce teenage pregnancy, behavioral risk factors underlying teenage pregnancy, or associated risks; and that rigorous evaluation of the program model demonstrates at least one statistically significant positive outcome on a relevant behavioral outcome, and no statistically significant negative outcomes, from a study (or studies) that meets the definition of rigorous evaluation. (FOA, pp.15-16)

Does the published research have to include the significant positive outcome on a relevant behavioral outcome? Or can the published research describe the program and the study itself?

Successful applications will need to demonstrate that the program(s) selected for replication meet the criteria included on pages 15-16 of the FOA, including showing that the program model has been proven effective through a rigorous experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation study to reduce teenage pregnancy, behavioral risk factors underlying teenage pregnancy, or associated risks; and that rigorous evaluation of the program model demonstrates at least one statistically significant positive outcome on a relevant behavioral outcome, and no statistically significant negative outcomes, from a study (or studies) that meets the definition of rigorous evaluation. (FOA, pp.15-16)

What does "associated risks" mean in this criterion?: "The program model has been proven effective through a rigorous experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation study to reduce teenage pregnancy, behavioral risk factors underlying teenage pregnancy, or associated risks."?

“Associated risks” is referenced throughout the FOA and an actual example of associated risks is provided on page 6 of the FOA: “OPA is especially interested in targeting resources to populations and communities of young people inordinately impacted by teen pregnancy and STIs, behavioral risk factors underlying teen pregnancy, or other associated risk factors (e.g., exposure to violence, substance abuse).”

Are we required to select a program for replication from the previous selected evidence-based replication models, or can we identify another evidence-based model?

Applicants are free to replicate any program that meets the criteria as stated in the FOA on pages 15 -16. OPA does not currently have an existing list of proven effective programs. Applicants will need to demonstrate the program(s) they are selecting for replication meets criteria on pages 15-16 of this FOA.

Do you expect fidelity to the identified model or can we enhance the model based on community need?

The FOA notes on page 14 that “slight modifications or adaptations may be made to the effective program if such changes are aimed at improving the fit and relevancy of the program to the community and population served and do not compromise fidelity integrity (i.e., compromise the underlying elements/components of the program).”

Does the grant require recipients to conduct a rigorous evaluation involving experimental or quasi-experimental methods?

Under the Tier 1 Funding Announcement, programs selected for replication are those that have already been proven effective through rigorous evaluation to reduce teenage pregnancy, behavioral risk factors underlying teenage pregnancy, or other associated risk factors. Recipients are expected to apply information gained from implementation research and science to ensure replication of effective programs are of the highest quality and implemented with fidelity. Further, for each effective program proposed for replication, applicants should provide a summary confirming that at least one research study of the program meets the criteria outlined in Section B.2 of the FOA for rigorous evaluation.

How long do participants need to be followed? Is there a maximum or minimum amount of time? (Such as three months?)

There is no requirement for participant follow-up as described in the Tier 1 FOA.

What is the smallest area that can be served? Is it possible to limit it to zip codes?

To have the largest impact possible, recipients are expected to saturate their communities by replicating effective programs with as many youth and families as possible. The goal of this FOA is to have a significant impact on improving the optimal health of adolescents and reducing rates of teen pregnancy and STIs through saturation of communities with the greatest needs and disparities with effective programs and supportive services utilizing a systems thinking approach. Applicants may propose serving a single community, multiple communities, or specific population(s) within a defined community that demonstrate the greatest need for resources.

Would this RFP be appropriate for an evidence-based abstinence only curriculum?

Applicants must adhere to the requirements listed on pages 15-16 of the FOA that note that when selecting program(s) for replication under this FOA, the following criteria must be met:

  • The program model has been proven effective through a rigorous experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation study to reduce teenage pregnancy, behavioral risk factors underlying teenage pregnancy, or associated risks;
  • Rigorous evaluation of the program model demonstrates at least one statistically significant positive outcome on a relevant behavioral outcome, and no statistically significant negative outcomes, from a study (or studies) that meets the definition of rigorous evaluation;
  • The research has been published in a peer reviewed medium such as an academic journal, published Federal Government report, published evidence review clearinghouse, or a National Institutes of Medicine report;
  • The research was conducted by an independent evaluator who was/is neither part of the publishing team, nor an author of the curriculum; and
  • The research is no older than twenty (20) years.

May we include six months to a year of internal capacity/skills building and training in our work plan?

Awardees will be given up to six months of the first budget period to engage in a planning period. The duration of the planning period is contingent upon demonstrated readiness, but will not exceed six months. It is assumed that work is already underway with the submission of this application and therefore the planning period is the time in which recipients are checking the assumptions made in the application, refining their plan for the project, and getting ready for implementation (which may include professional development activities for project staff). (FOA, p. 16)

Can you define learning agenda again?

The term Learning Agenda is described in the Glossary of Terms (FOA Appendix B – p. 83) as a set of broad questions directly related to the work that an organization conducts that, when answered, enables the organization to work more effectively and efficiently. Once the questions are identified, a learning agenda also prioritizes and establishes a plan to answer short- and long-term questions of the highest value across relevant program and policy areas.

Can you explain more about what is meant by reaching 25% of the population of adolescents?

To have the largest impact possible, recipients are expected to saturate their communities by replicating effective programs with as many youth and families as possible. OPA expects that, at a minimum, recipients will replicate effective programs with at least 25 percent of the adolescents within the defined geographic area(s) and/or population(s) within the defined geographic area on an annual basis. For the purposes of this FOA, saturation is the percentage of participants from the community and/or population who receive effective programs relative to the number of those from the community and/or population who could have received programs. (FOA, p.13)

We have been using an evidence-based curricula for the past three years, we also have a promising practice that was adapted from the evidence-based program for grades 9-12. The adapted curricula is going through IRB approval, can we use both for this FOA?

Applicants must adhere to the requirements listed on pages 15-16 of the FOA that note that when selecting program(s) for replication under this FOA, the following criteria must be met:

  • The program model has been proven effective through a rigorous experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation study to reduce teenage pregnancy, behavioral risk factors underlying teenage pregnancy, or associated risks;
  • Rigorous evaluation of the program model demonstrates at least one statistically significant positive outcome on a relevant behavioral outcome, and no statistically significant negative outcomes, from a study (or studies) that meets the definition of rigorous evaluation;
  • The research has been published in a peer reviewed medium such as an academic journal, published Federal Government report, published evidence review clearinghouse, or a National Institutes of Medicine report;
  • The research was conducted by an independent evaluator who was/is neither part of the publishing team, nor an author of the curriculum; and
  • The research is no older than twenty (20) years.

Does the needs assessment need to be original data, or can it be a synthesis of existing data collected by other organizations?

The FOA notes on pages 11-12 that applicants are expected to gather data on the community and/or population to be served within the defined geographic area(s) through various means that will ensure they understand the systems within which they will be working to prevent teen pregnancy. At a minimum, applicants are expected to use data at the geographically defined level to:

  • Identify the needs of the community related to teen pregnancy, teen births, prevalence of STIs including HIV among youth, sexual risk behaviors, and existing disparities;
  • Identify areas of elevated need within the community;
  • Provide data on social determinants of health and co-occurring risk behaviors that impact teen pregnancy, STIs, and sexual risk taking; and
  • Describe resources currently available in the community to prevent teen pregnancy. Prove the community wants a solution to promote optimal health for all adolescents (including preventing teen pregnancy and STIs) and believes that these issues (teen pregnancy and STIs) are a priority for their community (i.e., demonstrated demand).

Note that the information collected through assessments is critical for applications, however, such assessments are expected to occur on a frequent basis throughout the life of the project and not be limited to this one occurrence.

Can parent engagement be part of the program activities?

Yes. Recipients are expected to engage partners to provide a network of cohesive services that support the needs of adolescents, parents/caregivers, and the community in order to achieve optimal health and prevent teen pregnancy and STIs (FOA, p. 16). Further, recipients are expected to engage youth, parents/caregivers, and the community in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the project to ensure effective programs and supportive services are of the highest quality and best fit for the community(ies) and population(s) to be served (FOA, p. 20).

The FOA says “research was conducted by an independent evaluator who was/is neither part of the publishing team, nor an author of the curriculum.” Does this mean that the program developer is not part of the publishing team or that the independent evaluator is not part of the publishing team?

The independent evaluator was or is neither part of the team that published the proven effective program nor an author of the proven effective program.

What is meant by “Prove the community wants a solution to promote health for all adolescents and believes these issues are a priority for their community”?

Applicants are expected to gather data on the community and/or population to be served as well as describe resources currently available in the community to prevent teen pregnancy. Applicants should provide a clear description that demonstrates that the target community is in need of and supports a solution to promote preventing teen pregnancy and STIs for all adolescents (FOA, p. 31).

Can you please confirm whether applicants will need to obtain an agreement with the developer of their curriculum for the application, especially if they plan to make modifications to it?

The FOA does not state that an agreement with the developer of their curriculum for the application is required. Please note on page 24 of the FOA, however, that this is a cooperative agreement which allows for substantial involvement between OPA and the recipient during the project period which includes, “Review and approval of programs selected for replication, implementation plans prior to replication, and proposed adaptations to effective programs.”

Is it possible to access a past approved proposal to review as a model?

We are unable to share past (funded) grant applications. Please feel free, however, to visit our website where you can review summaries of our current grantees. Each grantee listed includes contact information for the project, so you may feel free to contact any of those represented as you wish. https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/grant-programs/teen-pregnancy-prevention-program-tpp/index.html

Good afternoon, our grant writing team had a question in regards to the community health needs assessment requirement for the Tier 1 funding opportunity. A plan was in place to conduct community assessments but due to COVID-19 we have been placed on restrictions. How would you suggest we move forward with the community needs assessment portion of the grant?

Unfortunately, OPA is not able to provide specific guidance on how to accomplish activities to meet the expectations within the FOA. We understand that COVID19 is presenting real challenges for applicants and at this time. Applicants may want to consider utilizing data that are online and may be used for such an assessment. You may want to also consider engaging stakeholders virtually.

Does an applicant have to use an outside evaluator given that the focus of the funding opportunity is on intervention and delivery, NOT evaluation?

As mentioned on page 21 of the Funding Opportunity: Optimally Changing the Map for Teen Pregnancy Prevention (Tier 1) Opportunity Number: PA-TP1-20-001 Funding Announcement, recipients are expected to Monitor, evaluate, and improve the project using key performance measure to document the project. Recipients are expected to have a Monitoring, Evaluation and Improvement Plan for the project. The plan should reflect how the recipient will continuously monitor, evaluate and improve the project and include a learning agenda for the overall project. The Monitoring, Evaluation, and Improvement Plan should reflect a team approach in which an evaluator or evaluation staff is/are an integral member along with staff reflecting implementation of programs and services; such a partnership is critical to the success of the plan and project overall. (p. 22) However, the FOA does not state that an outside evaluator is required for the purposes of meeting this expectation.

Can you please clarify the federal evaluation requirements which are briefly described on pages 22-23 of the FOA (excerpted below)? |
Further, as a condition of the award, all successful recipients will be required to participate in any OPA-directed Federal evaluation, if selected, and if funding for such an evaluation becomes available. Any costs associated with evaluation data collection for the Federal evaluation will be paid for by the Federal evaluation contractor.

If funding for an OPA-directed Federal evaluation becomes available, recipients selected to participate will be given further instructions which will include requirements of their participation.

Please advise if you have a list of systems thinking approach curriculums on promoting and preventing teen pregnancy and STIs.

Applicants are free to replicate any program that meets the criteria as stated in the FOA on pages 15 -16. OPA does not currently have an existing list of proven effective programs. Applicants will need to demonstrate the program(s) they are selecting for replication meets criteria on pages 15-16 of this FOA.

Is the inclusion of two evidence-based replication models in my Teen Pregnancy Prevention project acceptable?

The funding announcement does not address the number of models that may be implemented as part of a program. What is important is that the model(s) chosen must adhere to the FOA requirements for implementing evidence-based programming (FOA, pp.15-16), regardless of the intended audience.

We are working on our application and are mindful of the current – and potentially continuing – impact of COVID-19 on face-to-face service delivery models, and would like to propose a distance-learning modification to our proven effective program. Would this modification disqualify our application, as it is not in strict adherence to the original model’s fidelity, or would this be permissible as responsive to the realities of the day? If it is not permissible, is your guidance to all applicants to submit with the assumption of “business as usual?”

While applying for this FOA, applicants are to submit with the understanding of “business as usual.” If you are proposing a permanent adaptation, page 15 of the FOA states, “Slight modifications or adaptations may be made to the effective program if such changes are aimed at improving the fit and relevancy of the program to the community and population served and do not compromise fidelity integrity (i.e., compromise the underlying elements/components of the program).”

The FOA refers to serving youth as well as parents/caregivers. Is it acceptable to propose an evidence-based program that is designed to deliver services to youth only? In other words, does an applicant have to serve parents/caregivers, in addition to youth?

“OPA expects that, at a minimum, recipients will replicate effective programs with at least 25% of the adolescents within the defined geographic area(s) and/or population(s) within the defined geographic area on an annual basis” (p. 13) – meaning that youth are the target of effective programming either directly or indirectly (for example, if someone is implementing an effective program with parents – youth are the indirect audience). Therefore, parents/caregivers do not need to be served with an effective program. However, please note there are several references to parents/caregivers throughout other FOA expectations including, “Recipients are expected to engage youth, parents/caregivers, and the community in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the project to ensure effective programs and supportive services are of the highest quality and best fit for the community(ies) and population(s) to be served.” (FOA, p. 20)

Applicants are also expected to “Utilize a systems thinking approach to identify multiple leverage points to maximize impact on promoting optimal health and preventing teen pregnancy and STIs… Examples of leverage points include organizational policies and procedures, coordination among multiple partners working in a community, programming for youth, programming for parents and caregivers, training for youth-serving professionals, coordination and referral to support services, etc.” (FOA, p. 12)

Does curriculum/programming for parents have to meet the research-based criteria?

If the plan is to implement a curriculum/program for parents for the purpose of counting towards reach and saturation, than the curriculum/program must meet the criteria in the FOA found on page 16. If the plan is to provide this curriculum/program as a way to engage parents, than it does not have to meet the effective programming criteria, but could not count as part of reach and saturation.

Is it allowable to use the first six months of the grant period to decide on which research-based programs constitute the "best fit" for our organization? In other words, we would identify a few curated options in our grant application, and then actually decide during the first six months of the project which is best.

On page 16 of the FOA it states, “While selecting programs is important, it is assumed that recipients will use the first several months at the start of the project as a planning period to revisit the community assessments and engage in piloting to ensure that all programs proposed for replication are the best fit to address the needs and demand identified, the implementation setting, the capacity of implementing organization, and the intended outcomes. It is assumed that the work is already underway with the submission of this application and therefore the planning period is the time which recipients are checking the assumptions made in the application, refining their plan for the project, and getting ready for implementation.” The purpose of the planning period is to affirm the selection made in the application and only change programs if reassessment deems the original program is not the best fit.

We would like to replicate a program that is implemented in grades 1-6 with proven long-term impacts into adolescents and adulthood. Does proposing this program in grades 1-6 meet age-related grant requirements?

The FOA notes that the target population for funded projects should be adolescents 19 years of age or under at the time of program entry. OPA is especially interested in projects that will focus on those specific populations inordinately impacted by teen pregnancy and STIs, behavioral risk factors underlying teen pregnancy, or other associated risk factors (for example,  exposure to violence, substance abuse, and mental health).

We are vetting our chosen intervention against the FOA criteria pages 14-16. The criterion that we are unsure how to interpret states "Rigorous evaluation of the program model demonstrates no statistically significant negative outcomes, from a study (or studies) that meets the definition of rigorous evaluation". Can you tell us if this means:

  1. The chosen study must not show a statistically significant difference on a negative behavioral outcome? OR Does this mean that the study must show only positive statistically significant results with no non-statistically significant results?
  2. Based on your first response, does this pertain to the study that we have chosen? OR Does this pertain to all available literature for the intervention?

To the first question, the FOA states on page 16, “Rigorous evaluation of the program model demonstrates at least one statistically significant positive outcome on a relevant behavioral outcome, and no statistically significant negative outcomes, from a study (or studies) that meets the definition of rigorous evaluation” this is to be interpreted as there are no negative impacts (harm) on participants in the study or studies selected for the intervention. Therefore it is acceptable to have a negative impact on measures that should have a negative impact (i.e. unprotected sex should be a negative change, number of partners should change in the negative direction), even though these are considered “positive” outcomes. The study(ies) should indicate the program had no harm (i.e., oral sex increased, use of condoms decreased, etc.).

As to the second question, the FOA states on page 32, “For each effective program proposed for replication, provide a summary confirming at least one research study of the program that meets the criteria outlined in Section B.2 of the FOA for rigorous evaluation. The study citation and abstract for each study are included in the application and confirm the applicant’s summary.”

Is a learning agenda a required component for the Changing the Map for Teen Pregnancy Prevention (Tier 1) application, or is this something which is required post-award?

As mentioned on page 21 of the Funding Opportunity: Optimally Changing the Map for Teen Pregnancy Prevention (Tier 1) Opportunity Number: PA-TP1-20-001 Funding Announcement, recipients are expected to have a plan in place that will reflect how they continuously monitor, evaluate and improve the project as well as include a learning agenda for the overall project. The FOA also asks that an applicant does the following in their project narrative (FOA, p. 35):

Describe your Monitoring, Evaluation, and Improvement Plan for the project. Describe the data you will collect and use to ensure programs and services are of the highest quality and that activities are meeting their intended outcomes. Describe how you will collect your data, including performance measure data, and how you will overcome any potential obstacles to data collection. Describe how you will use the data collected for continuous monitoring and improvement of the project?

And so, while the FOA does note a planning period (see page 16) which is where recipients will check assumptions and finalize such plans, the expectation is that work on the “Monitoring, Evaluation, and Improvement Plan” will have started as part of the application submission.

We have several partners who need to sign a MOU. Can we have one comprehensive MOU document that details the specific role and resources that will be provided by each partner; demonstrates the current commitment from each of the partners; and describes each partner’s expertise, experience and access to the selected populations?

There is nothing in the FOA that explicitly states whether an MOU is needed for each partner or if one can encompass all partners involved. The FOA does, however, provide expectations on what the MOU should cover which includes describing how the partner will contribute to the project with clearly outlines commitment, roles, responsibilities, expectations, and readiness to support the project (FOA, p. 17 and p. 34).

Budget Questions

Will agencies that apply for TPP funding be able to use the funds to provide funding through contracts or grants to other organizations to support program implementation or evaluation?

Yes. The applicant can provide funding to other organizations through contracts or grants to assist in program implementation or evaluation. The applicant should clearly describe the role of all partners in the project narrative and the funding that will be provided to partners in the budget narrative. (FOA, pp. 42 - 43)

Can TPP grantees include the cost of curricula and educational materials in their grants?

Yes. Applicants may budget for the use of grant funds to cover the cost of program materials. OPA recommends that grantees wait to purchase any materials until after funding awards have been made and grantees have consulted with OPA on the selection of the effective programs to be implemented. (FOA, p. 24)

Can TPP projects include the cost of staff training in their grants?

Yes. Applicants can budget grant funds for training and technical assistance (TA).

Do applicants need to submit a budget narrative for all three years of the grant in the application, or just for the first year of the grant?

The FOA states that applicants should provide a budget justification, which includes explanatory text and line-item detail, for the first year of the proposed project. For subsequent budget years, applicants should provide a summary narrative and line item budget. For categories or items that differ significantly from the first budget year, provide a detailed justification explaining these changes. Note, do not include costs beyond the first budget year in the object class budget in box 6 of the SF- 424A or box 18 of the SF-424; the amounts entered in these sections should only reflect the first budget year. As a reminder, the Budget Narrative does not count toward your total application page limit. (FOA, p. 38)

In the FOA regarding the budget, it indicates that the budget narrative should “Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.” Do we have to show reasonableness for all costs or is reasonableness for higher priced items, computers, equipment, capital costs, etc.? Can you provide an example? To what extent to we have to show necessity for costs in the budget narrative? How should be indicate the necessity of items requested in the budget? Can you provide an example?

Your budget narrative should discuss the necessity, reasonableness and allocation, for all cost included with the submitted budget and not just for higher priced items. While preparing the budget narrative portion of your application for submission, please continue to review the budget narrative guidance of the FOA pages 38 through 47. For further assistance, please review the guidance provided on page 38 of the FOA under Object Class Description and Required Justification. When completing each cost category of the budget narrative such as Personnel, Fringe, Supplies, Equipment … etc., follow the descriptions under each category for assistance with writing the needed justification to support the each cost.

Can you please confirm that the budget narrative will not count towards the total page limit for the application?

The Project Narrative, and total application including appendices, must adhere to the page limit indicated in Application Disqualification Criteria listed in Section C (i.e., Project Narrative must not exceed 50 pages and the total application including Project Narrative and appendices must not exceed 100 pages total). The page limit does not include the Budget Narrative (including budget tables), required forms, assurances, and certifications as described in the Application Disqualification Criteria. (FOA, p. 28)

Is there a certain funding level associated with a certain reach number? For example, reaching 5,000 youth annually equals a certain amount of funding dollars.

No. Under this funding announcement, funding levels are not contingent upon the anticipated annual reach of participants. However, to have the largest impact possible, recipients are expected to saturate their communities by replicating effective programs with as many youth and families as possible. Also note that your budget narrative should justify the overall cost of the project as well as the proposed cost per activity, service delivered, and/or product. For example, the budget narrative should define the amount of work you have planned and expect to perform, what it will cost, and an explanation of how the result is cost effective (FOA, p. 39).

Is there a maximum percentage of the annual budget that is allowable for evaluation expenses?

No set minimum or maximum percentage exist in the annual allowable amount allocated toward evaluation expenses.

Where can I find information regarding unallowable costs?

Please check within the FOA and you can look under the guidance within GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR SELECTED ITEMS OF COST and through the following link: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2016-title45-vol1/pdf/CFR-2016-title45-vol1-part75-subpartE-subjectgroup-id702.pdf

Can youth be provided incentives for program participation or those who participate on a youth advisor panel or program review?

Yes, youth can be provided incentives for program participation. The program participation cost and or activities must be in support of the goals and objectives of the FOA. Please see 45 CFR §75.456 Participant support costs for more information.

Please Note: You must include a plan for oversight of federal award funds which describes: For any program incentives proposed, the specific internal controls that will be used to ensure only qualified participants will receive them and how they will be tracked.

Can students who serve as advisors be provided with stipends?

As specified in the policy referenced below, cost incurred by advisory councils or committees are unallowable.

45 CFR §75.422 Advisory councils. Costs incurred by advisory councils or committees are unallowable unless authorized by statute, the HHS awarding agency or as an indirect cost where allocable to Federal awards. See §75.444, applicable to states, local governments and Indian tribes.

However, if the applicant organization establishes a youth advisory board and/or community advisory board to provide guidance solely on the applicant’s program planning, implementation and evaluation activities under the TPP project, the costs may be allocable to the TPP and charged directly to the award. The scope of work and related budget narrative must describe the youth advisory board and/or community advisory board’s membership, functions, and costs and explain why the youth advisory board and/or community advisory board is necessary to carry out the TPP funded project.

Where should the Plan for Oversight if Federal Award Funds (see Section F / 3. Application Content / c. Plan for Oversight if Federal Award Funds of the FOA) be placed in the application? And does it count towards page limits?

Your written “plan for oversight of federal award funds,” should be uploaded and included with the submission of the Budget Narrative portion of the application. The submitted document will not count towards your overall page count.

I have a question about the Key Contacts form located in Workspace but not mentioned in the FOA - is this required? And if so, does it count towards page limits?

Please disregard completion of the Key Contacts form located in Workspace. It’s not required and will not count towards your page limit.

Are stipends for students (such as for a summer leadership development program) an allowable cost under this grant?

Yes and this may be considered as an allowable cost for the students as a participant support cost in connection with conferences or training projects. Please itemize this cost within your budget and provide detail information which supports the stipend reimbursement cost.

Also, ensure you provide additional information which includes the specific internal controls that will be used to ensure only qualified participants will receive stipends and how they will be tracked.

It is stated that the floor is $500K and ceiling is $1.5M per year for a period of three years. I want clarification in the following example, if I submit a detailed budget each year for $1.5M; totaling $4.5M for three years, is that within the allowable range or it should be no more than $1.5M total for the three years?

Yes and it would be allowable to submit a detailed budget each year for $1.5M per year. Also, you’re correct and the total cumulative amount for the three year project period would equals $4.5M.

We have a question on construction/renovations. We have a room that needs minor alterations so it may be used for office space. Are renovations allowed under this funding opportunity?

The cost for construction is not allowable, but cost associated with minor alteration and renovation may be allowable as long as the proposed cost is specifically to support the Federal award as a direct cost with the prior approval of the HHS awarding. If the cost is considered necessary for the performance of the Federal award, and the cost is reasonable.

 

Content created by Office of Population Affairs
Content last reviewed on April 14, 2020