Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Support Partner for Service Design and Delivery Initiative
The Support Partner for Service Design and Delivery Initiative aims to engage a partner that will provide servant leadership for a network of organizations that are working together to support institutions in pursuing equitable value and success for Black, Latino/a/x, and Indigenous students and students from low-income backgrounds in higher education.
The Initiative is seeking an entity to provide leadership, guidance, coordination, and support to a diverse set of programmatic partners: Solution Network Intermediaries (SNIs), Intermediaries for Scale (IFS), Pathways, and Capacities Providers. SD&D members spent the past three years engaging in testing and learning processes during which trusted relationships were developed, a set of learning tracks were developed and staffed, and initial shared perspectives were articulated (including a set of quality dimensions and indicators for service asks and delivery, racial equity principles, perspectives on integrated frameworks, and needs assessments).
The selected entity will serve as the Community of Practice backbone organization to guide and support our SD&D initiative moving forward. The entity will be responsible for creating a seamless approach to accomplishing the SD&D goals. This includes being comfortable and flexible with ambiguity as the approach continues to be refined to institutional transformation at scale. The backbone organization may subcontract with others to provide one or more of the functions or may provide these functions through dedicated staffing.
The backbone leader will provide the functions listed below:
1. Support implementation of the initiative’s strategy and vision:
a. Ensure all members are aligned with the goals and vision of the ecosystem
b. Understand what each community group (IFS, SNIs, Pathways, and Capacities Providers) and individual partner brings to the table in terms of vision alignment, roles, perspectives, assets, and constraints
c. Facilitate the active engagement of ecosystem members to achieve the initiative’s goals and vision
2. Work with the different communities to articulate a shared learning agenda:
a. Facilitate conversations across each community group and the full ecosystem (which is comprised of all the community groups) to articulate critical learning questions
b. Coordinate and prioritize learning agenda topics with Steering Committee and Learning Track Leaders for the broader ecosystem’s learning
c. Coordinate learning agenda topics for each community group with connections to the full ecosystem’s learning agenda
d. Produce a learning agenda that supports each community group’s coordination, learning, and cohesion as well as the broader ecosystem’s continuous learning agenda
3. Facilitate shared capability building opportunities:
a. Work with each community group in the ecosystem to identify individual community and broader ecosystem capability building opportunities; these opportunities should complement the shared learning agenda
b. Engage community groups, Steering Committee, and other members (e.g., Learning Track leads) in scope development and refinement as well as capability building partner selection
c. Scope and oversee processes for contracting, reporting, and oversight of shared capability building opportunities
4. Act as an advocate for the needs and perspectives of each community and the broader ecosystem:
a. Understand and articulate growth milestones that each community group and the broader ecosystem experience and provide recommendations for how the foundation may support this growth
b. Support, when needed/appropriate, in raising partners’ concerns to the foundation
c. Ensure effective communication flow between foundation relationship managers and community groups
d. Work with the foundation’s evaluation partner(s) to support further learning and better support community groups and the broader ecosystem
5. Enable active engagement of all ecosystem members:
a. Serve as an ecosystem convener and facilitate effective dialogue and discussion to support aligned action among initiative members. Key elements include:
Work with community groups and Steering Committee to identify aligned activities to further network goals and refine/establish Learning Tracks to implement the activitiesOnboard new ecosystem members and offboard exiting members (if/when needed)Build a culture that fosters relationships, trust, and respect across participants and one that supports aligned actionEnsure coordination of Learning Tracks by managing workflows, ensuring alignment with network goals, and supporting Learning Track members in reaching their agreed-upon deliverablesWork with initiative members to establish shared measurement practicesFacilitate and support (the development, launch, and evaluation) of the bi-annual ecosystem-wide convenings
Amount: The proposed budget should not exceed $1,000,000. If an applicant must exceed $1,000,000 to successfully execute the work, then the applicant must provide a rationale. The scope of work will be for a 26-month period, beginning in May 2022 and ending in July 2024.
Eligibility: Required Qualifications:
Deep understanding of the U.S. higher education landscapeRacial and socioeconomic equity expertise within the context of U.S. higher education landscape Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as evidenced by representative leadership, project staffing, and other organizational leadership (i.e., board or an advisory group)Comfort with ambiguity and ability to be agile as the strategy continues to evolveAbility to build an inclusive network of diverse partners so that they can achieve equitable outcomes for Black, Latino/a/x, Indigenous students, and students from low-income backgrounds Knowledge of network theory, best practices, and network management Ability to foster and maintain an action-oriented mindset among network membersThe ability to create a culture of, and structures to support, continuous learning of network members and knowledge sharingConvening design, logistics, and facilitation in support of productive and learning-forward member dialogueExperience developing a learning agendaExperience scoping and overseeing technical assistance providers Highly effective skills as a communicator, listener, negotiator, problem solver, advocator, and relationship and consensus builder
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