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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Office of Direct Service and Contracting Tribes

Project Narrative Criteria

The project narrative should be organized as described in the Format Guidelines and must address the following criteria. These criteria also constitute the evaluation criteria for the reviewing and scoring of applications. Weights assigned to each section are noted in parentheses.

PART I - Introduction and Need for Assistance (20 points)

  1. Describe the Tribe's/Tribal organization's current health operation. Include what programs and services are currently provided (i.e., Federally funded, State funded, etc.), information regarding technologies currently used (i.e., hardware, software, services, etc.), and identify the source(s) of technical support for those technologies (i.e., Tribal staff, Area Office, vendor, etc.). Include information regarding whether the Tribe/Tribal organization has a health department and/or health board and how long it has been operating.
  2. Describe the population to be served by the proposed project. Include a description of the number of IHS eligible beneficiaries who currently use services.
  3. Describe the geographical location of the proposed project including any geographic barriers to health care users in the area to be served.
  4. Identify all TMGs received since FY 2008, dates of funding, and summary of project accomplishments. State how previous TMG funds facilitated the progression of health development relative to the current proposed TMG project. (Copies of reports will not be accepted.)
  5. Identify the eligible project type and priority group of the applicant.
  6. Explain the reason for your proposed project by identifying specific gaps or weaknesses in services or infrastructure that will be addressed by the proposed project. Explain how these gaps/weaknesses were discovered. If proposed project includes information technology (i.e., hardware, software, etc.), provide further information regarding measures taken, or to be taken to ensure the proposed project will not create other gaps in service or infrastructure (i.e. IHS interface capability, Government Performance and Result Act requirements, contract reporting requirements, Information Technology (IT) compatibility, etc.).
  7. Describe the effect of the proposed project on current programs (i.e., Federally funded, state funded, etc.) and, if applicable, on current equipment (i.e., hardware, software, services, etc.). Include the effect of the proposed project on planned/anticipated programs and/or equipment.
  8. Address how the proposed project relates to the purpose of the TMG Program by addressing the appropriate description below:
    • Identify if the Tribe/Tribal organization is an IHS Title I contractor. Address if the self-determination contract is a master contract of several programs or if individual contracts are used for each program. Include information regarding whether or not the Tribe participates in a consortium contract (i.e., more than one Tribe participating in the contract). Address what programs are currently provided through those contracts and how the proposed project will enhance the organization's capacity to manage the contracts currently in place.
    • Identify if the Tribe/Tribal organizations is an IHS Title V compactor. Address when the Tribe or Tribal organization entered into the compact and how the proposed project will further enhance the organization's management capabilities.
    • Identify if the Tribe/Tribal organization is not a Title I or Title V organization. Address how the proposed project will enhance the organization's management capabilities, what programs and services the organization is currently seeking to contract, and an anticipated date for contract.

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PART II - Project Objective(s), Approach, and Results/Benefits (40 points)

  1. Identify the proposed project objective(s) addressing the following:
    • Measurable and (if applicable) quantifiable.
    • Result oriented.
    • Time-limited.

    • Example: The Tribe will increase the number of bills processed by 15 percent by installing new software by the end of 12 months.
  2. Address how the proposed project will result in change or improvement in program operations or processes for each proposed project objective. Also address what tangible products are expected from the project (i.e., policies and procedures manual, health plan, etc.)
  3. Address the extent to which the proposed project will build the local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the needs of the target population.
  4. Submit a workplan in the appendix which includes the following information:
    • Provide the action steps on a timeline for accomplishing the proposed project objective(s).
    • Identify who will perform the action steps.
    • Identify who will supervise the action steps taken.
    • Identify who will accept and/or approve work products at the end of the proposed project.
    • Include any training that will take place during the proposed project and who will be attending the training.
    • Include evaluation activities planned.
  5. If consultants or contractors will be used during the proposed project, please include the following information in their scope of work (or note if consultants/contractors will not be used):
    • Educational requirements.
    • Desired qualifications and work experience.
    • Expected work products to be delivered on a timeline.
    • If a potential consultant/contractor has already been identified, please include a resume in the appendix.
  6. Describe what updates (i.e., revision of policies/procedures, upgrades, technical support, etc.) will be required for the continued success of the proposed project. Include when these updates are anticipated and where funds will come from to conduct the update and/or maintenance.

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PART III - Project Evaluation (15 points)

Describe the proposed plan to evaluate both outcomes and process. Outcome evaluation relates to the results identified in the objectives, and process evaluation relates to the workplan and activities of the project.

  1. For outcome evaluation, describe:
    • What will the criteria be for determining success of each objective?
    • What data will be collected to determine whether the objective was met?
    • At what intervals will data be collected?
    • Who will collect the data and their qualifications?
    • How will the data be analyzed?
    • How will the results be used?
  2. For process evaluation, describe:
    • How will the project be monitored and assessed for potential problems and needed quality improvements?
    • Who will be responsible for monitoring and managing project improvements based on results of ongoing process improvements and their qualifications.
    • How will ongoing monitoring be used to improve the project?
    • Any products, such as manuals or policies, that might be developed and how they might lead themselves to replication by others.
    • How will the project document what is learned throughout the project period?
  3. Describe any evaluation efforts that are planned to occur after the grant period ends.
  4. Describe the ultimate benefit to the Tribe that is expected to result from this project. An example of this might be the ability of the Tribe to expand preventive health services because of increased billing and third party payments.

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PART IV - Organization Capabilities and Qualifications (15 points)

  1. Describe the organizational structure of the Tribe / Tribal organization beyond health care activities.
  2. Provide information regarding plans to obtain management systems if the Tribe/Tribal organization does not have an established management system currently in place that complies with 25 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 900, Subpart F, "Standards for Tribal Management Systems" (See Appendix). (If management systems are already in place, simply note it.)
  3. Describe the ability of the organization to manage the proposed project. Include information regarding similarly sized projects in scope and financial assistance as well as other grants and projects successfully completed.
  4. Describe what equipment (i.e., fax machine, phone, computer, etc.) and facility space (i.e., office space) will be available for use during the proposed project. Include information about any equipment not currently available that will be purchased through the grant.
  5. List key personnel who will work on the project. Include title used in workplan. In the appendix, include position descriptions and resumes for all key personnel. Position descriptions should clearly describe each position and duties, indicating desired qualifications and experience requirements related to the proposed project. Resumes must indicate that the proposed staff member is qualified to carry out the proposed project activities. If the position is to be filled, indicate that information on the proposed position description.
  6. If the project requires additional personnel (i.e., IT support, etc.), address how the Tribe/Tribal organization will sustain the position(s) after the grant expires. (If there is no need for additional personnel, simply note it.)

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PART V - Categorical Budget and Budget Justification (10 points)

  1. Provide a categorical budget for each of the 12 month budget periods requested.
  2. If indirect costs are claimed, indicate and apply the current negotiated rate to the budget. Include a copy of the rate agreement in the appendix.
  3. Provide a narrative justification explaining why each budget line item is necessary/relevant to the proposed project. Include sufficient cost and other details to facilitate the determination of cost allowability (i.e., equipment specifications, etc.)


Multi-Year Projects

The Project Narrative which is limited to 14 pages, should be the information regarding only the first year of funding. For projects requiring a second and/or third year include only year 2 and/or year 3 narrative sections (objectives, evaluation components and work plan) that differ from those in year 1. To request a second and/or third year of funding, applicants must include a program narrative, categorical budget and budget justifications for each additional year of funding. 

For every project year include a full budget justification and detailed, itemized categorical budget showing calculation methodologies for each item. The same weights and criteria as noted in Section V. Application Review Information that are used to evaluate a one-year project or the first year of a multi-year project will be applied when evaluating the second and third years of a multi-year application. Refer to Section V - Application Review Information. A weak second and/or third year submission could negatively impact the overall score of an application and result in elimination of the proposed second and/or third years with a recommendation for only one-year award.

Appendix items:

  • Year 2 and/or Year 3 Project Narratives, Categorical Budget, & Budget Justification (if applicable)
  • Resumes of key staff
  • Position descriptions for key staff - please use descriptions that would be used to advertise the position
  • Consultant proposed scope of work (as described above)
  • Indirect cost agreement
  • Current approved organizational chart (optional)
  • Workplan for proposed objectives.


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