Request for Proposal: Ontario Survey on the Prevalence of Physical Activity of Youth in Schools and the Benefits of Physical Activity in Schools


Request for Proposal:
Ontario Survey on the Prevalence of Physical Activity of Youth in Schools and the Benefits of Physical Activity in Schools
As part of the Healthy Weights Area for Investment in Mission (HW AIM) project
March 2007

1. Background and Project Objectives:

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario (HSFO), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy.
Based on a review of its mission investments, the HSFO Board of Directors approved a new strategy to support the efforts to reduce the prevalence and complications of obesity. Specifically, over the next few years, HSFO will play a significant leadership role to promote healthy weights in Ontario via a) a primary focus on public awareness, advocacy and provincial and regional health partnerships and supported by b) a secondary investment in research to inform and evaluate the overall initiative.
The HSFO Healthy Weights focus is on primary prevention. The overall Healthy Weights plan will include components of Community Engagement, Advocacy, Public Awareness and Research with two specific areas of focus; Physical Activity in Elementary (1-8) Schools and Access to Healthy Food for All.
The initial commitment from the Board is for a two-year plan. In March 2008 the Board will review the successes to date of the investment into the overall Healthy Weights AIM and at that time make a decision on whether or not to continue investing in the initiative.
The intent for years one and two is to support the initial phases of two research studies; a benchmarking study and evaluation support. If a decision is made by the Board to continue the investment in Healthy Weights AIM the subsequent phases of the two research initiatives will proceed and a third research project will also be undertaken.

2. Purpose and Scope of RFP:

This RFP is focusing on the prevalence benchmarking study. The HSFO is seeking a research team to design, implement and analyze a physical activity measurement survey among Ontario youth in schools (1-8) and assess the benefits of physical activity. It is important to note that the data generated by this survey will be owned by the HSFO at the conclusion of this project and will be used to support the Foundation’s advocacy efforts.
Research Project - Prevalence Study - Physical Activity of Youth in Elementary Schools
HSFO would like to explore the level of physical activity of youth in schools (1-8) and the benefits that it may have. This information is expected to enable policy decisions regarding the allocation of resources to support physical activity in schools. We anticipate that the data collection phase would consist of face-to-face researcher interviews with children, a survey of parents and teachers as well as physical measures such as height and weight, performed on study subjects. We acknowledge that elementary school students are also enrolled in extra-curricular physical activities and that physical activity outside of the school environment could act as a confounder when analyzing data.
The following questions should be addressed:
  • What is the level of physical activity of youth in schools (1-8) in Ontario?
  • What are the benefits of physical activity in schools?
  • Is there evidence that students who are more engaged in physical activity are more engaged in other school activities that add to a positive school environment?
  • Is there a correlation between physical activity in schools and academic success?
  • Is there a correlation between a student’s physical activity in schools and their extra-curricular physical activity?

Specific project requirements are as follows:

  • Sampling should include an adequate representation of Ontario youth, as well as appropriate representation by ethnic groups that include South Asian, East Asian, First Nations and African Canadian cultures.
  • Ethnic representation and geographic representation will be important.
  • Initial data gathering will serve as a benchmark study in the first year of funding with a follow-up study to be done dependant on funding availability (HSFO Board approved).
  • Study focuses on youth in elementary schools grades 1-8.
  • Socio-economic status of families and students in the school district should be included to potentially inform participation levels and overweight/obesity rates.
  • Current studies in this area to be leveraged if appropriate.
Project deliverables include:
  • an initial benchmark study first report written by January 2008 detailing survey methods and findings
  • first report should also include data tables and summaries of the surveys’ key conclusions
  • recommendations for a follow-up study and timelines (if funding approved by HSFO Board)
  • a final written report detailing survey methods and findings upon completion of the second study (optimal timing of study to be indicated in proposal)
  • the final report should also provide data tables and summaries of the surveys’ key conclusions, along with a comparison to previous surveys
  • copies of all questionnaires, interviewer manuals, and definition of data variables

3. Processes and Timeline:

Proposals should be submitted by 4:00 pm on Monday, May 14, 2007. Contact information is provided below. The Foundation will notify the successful applicant by end of May 2007. It is assumed that work will begin when successful applicant is notified.

4. Project Budget:

The Foundation has made a $500,000 commitment to this project over five years. It is anticipated that the first benchmarking study would begin in June 2007 with the first report available in January 2008 and would cost approximately $250,000.
Proposal should include budget estimates detailing:
  • budget related to the original benchmarking study to be completed by January 2008
  • budget related to the follow-up benchmarking study to be completed beyond January 2008
  • total budget including both studies
  • Please note that funding for the follow-up benchmarking study beyond January 2008 will be dependent on the HSFO Board’s approval of the Healthy Weights initiative in March 2008.

5. Proposal Format:

Submissions should be no longer than 10 pages. In addition to addressing the requirements above, the submission should include the following:
  • description of the project team undertaking the work, including the CV(common CV if available) of the lead investigator and any sub-contracted suppliers, with the latter not being part of the 10 pages
  • a detailed work plan which must include an outline of the proposed research design
  • brief recap of any similar projects undertaken by the proposed investigator and/or team
  • outline of the proposed budget by major activity (e.g. cost of subject interviews, data collection, data management, project management etc)
  • description of how the applicant would ensure that the study meets standard human research ethical and privacy guidelines
  • outline of the overall approach proposed for this project, including:
    • project timelines
    • sample design and estimate of required sample size
    • proposed data collection methodologies e.g. interviews, surveys, review of documents, subject recruitment methods, data collection techniques (including first language considerations for ethnic populations), and data management procedures (quality control)
    • interviewer selection, training, interview standardization and in-field monitoring techniques

6. Evaluation and Selection

An HSFO Selection Committee composed of key business stakeholders and external scientific experts will evaluate the proposals.
Proposals will be evaluated on the following:
  • Degree to which specific requirements of the RFP are addressed.
  • Extent to which the questions for this study are addressed.
  • Experience and quality of the project team.
  • Ability of the project team to complete the requirements of the proposal.

7. Submission Requirements:

Eight (8) copies of the proposal must be submitted by 4:00 pm on Monday, May 14, 2007 to the address shown below:
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
Attention: Salima Virani
2300 Yonge Street, Suite 1300
P.O. Box 2414
Toronto, Ontario
M4P 1E4
For further information, contact Salima Virani at 416-489-7111 x 422,
Please note that proposals received after the closing time may not be considered and may be returned to the Proponent unopened.

8. Confidentiality and Intellectual Property

Any information, other than information in the public domain, shall be considered as Confidential Information in this request for proposal. Each recipient is entrusted to maintain its confidentiality in the same manner that is used to protect his/her own proprietary materials. Information provided by each recipient will be held in confidence and will be used for the sole purpose of evaluating a potential business relationship with that recipient. Confidential Information includes “personal information”, which is information about an identifiable individual, exclusive of the name, title, and business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization. HSFO and each recipient agree to comply with all applicable privacy laws, which include, without limitation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada).
All data, documentation, information, materials and intellectual property conceived, developed, created, or contributed to pursuant to the completion of the project in this request for proposal shall be owned by HSFO.