CanHepC Prairie Region Roadmap RFP

Request for Proposals

Development of the Prairie Region Hepatitis C Elimination Roadmap 

Issuing Organization

The waniska Centre

104 Clinic Place

Saskatoon, SK

S7N 2Z4.

Partnering Organizations

Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC)

Nine Circles Community Health Centre

Manitoba Collective Impact Network (CIN)

Manitoba Harm Reduction Network

Two-Spirited People of Manitoba

Additional organizations may be included

Deadline for Submissions: Open until filled

Budget: $30,000 maximum

Introduction

Following the momentum created from the national Blueprint to inform hepatitis C elimination efforts in Canada, the Canadian Network on Hepatitis C, or CanHepC, has initiated regionally led multi-stakeholder processes to inform hepatitis C elimination efforts across Canada. Priority recommendations and potential actions will be sought through consensus for each region. CanHepC has created the following regions: 1) British Columbia; 2) Prairie region (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba); 3) Ontario; 4) Québec; 5) Atlantic (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island); 6) Northern region (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon). Additionally, a national Indigenous-specific group will address strengths and challenges associated with Indigenous peoples and hepatitis C. Each region, including the National Indigenous hub, is lead by Indigenous, provincial and territorial vested parties with expertise in the area. 

The waniska Centre, under the direction of Alexandra King and in partnership with Carrielynn Lund from the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, will lead the creation of the Prairie Regional Roadmap. The waniska Centre is a team led by dedicated Indigenous researchers and Knowledge Holders, launched in 2021, to specifically address the inequities of HIV/HCV/STBBI in Indigenous communities of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It aims to develop innovative methods via etuaptmumk (a Two-eyed Seeing approach) grounded in Indigenous philosophies and methodologies to achieve its goals.

Background

Canada supports the World Health Organization’s Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis from 2016. The goal was to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. CanHepC, funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research, released the Blueprint to inform heptatitis C elimination efforts in Canada (Blueprint) in 2019. This guidance document offers a policy framework for evidence-based action achieving the elimination of hepatitis C in Canada. The document has been informed by an extensive national consultation processes involving vested parties from research, policy, community and clinical backgrounds. It is to be used as a resource and tool for the regions and national Indigenous hub to develop regionally-specific hepatitis C elimination plans. The Blueprint identifies six priority populations, that often overlap and intersect, that are at greater risk of contracting or carrying the hepatitis C virus:

  • People who inject drugs (PWID).
  • Indigenous persons (First Nations, Inuit, Métis).
  • Persons who have experience in the prison system.
  • Gay, bisexual, men who have sex with men (gbMSM).
  • Immigrants and newcomers.
  • Older adults (1945-1975 birth cohort).

Canada’s colonial history and the continued health and social inequities experienced by Indigenous peoples contribute to their susceptibility to and overrepresentation in the burden of hepatitis C. Modeled estimates of HCV’s prevalence in Canada have shown about a three-fold higher prevalence among Indigenous people than non-Indigenous Canadians, although there is a scarcity of robust population-based data on HCV infection in Indigenous populations. 

Goals of the Project

The main goal of the Prairie Region Roadmap hub is to attain consensus on priority recommentations to inform heptatitis C elimination planning efforts. This process requires the involvement of multiple collaborators. The identification of potential actions to be used in policy and program creation is a priority. The goals of the CanHepC Prairie Region Roadmap is the following: 

  • Work with representatives of the six priority populations outlined in the Blueprint to draw out elements relevant to Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba contexts, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous realities.
  • Respectfully engage with Indigenous people, honouring and elevating Indigenous worldviews, methods of research and consultation processes when appropriate.
  • Lay the groundwork for action.
  • Modeling the pathway to elimination.
  • Plan actions through the identification of key challenges and barriers.
  • Identify the tools and supports required.
  • Define the way forward for the elimination of hepatitis C in the prairie provinces.

Implementation of the planned coordinated actions is essential. The inclusion and participation of public health officials and government program and policy developers is paramount. 

Theoretical Frameworks and Methodologies

Indigenous-derived theoretical frameworks and Indigenous methodologies are foundational tenets for the waniska Centre to accomplish goals and objectives. These frameworks draw upon the Indigenous Wholistic Theory and etuaptmumk (Two-eyed Seeing). Etuaptmumk is a philosophical, theoretical and methodological approach that recognizes the need for both Western and Indigenous paradigms and methods in research, knowledge translation and program planning, development and implementation. It draws on the strengths of both theoretical constructs to build and establish meaningful relationships with all people that promote a sense of belonging to achieve results beneficial to all. 

The waniska Centre also mobilizes Indigenous research methodologies through a Culturally Responsive Framework (CRF)[1]and restores Indigenous Ways of Knowing. Indigenous research methodologies map seamlessly onto the three strategic objectives of CRF, which are: restoring First Nations community-based health and wellness systems; creating an ethical space for engagement between mainstream and First Nations systems and worldviews; and transforming mainstream health service delivery to be culturally responsive. Using these frameworks and methodologies, the waniska Centre researchers adopt an implementation and program science approach, which has emerged via global efforts in HIV/HCV/STBBI research to promote systematic contextualization and adaptation of research to a complex and changing environment.

Approach

The successful application will have knowledge of Indigenous ways, including the understanding of protocol, reciprocality and respectful consultation processes. The successful applicant will adopt an approach to consultation grounded in Indigenous principles when working with Indigenous populations. They must understand Indigenous people’s trauma resulting from historical and current colonialist systems and policies when appropriate. 

Additionally, the applicant will have high political acuity to navigate the relationships between First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. 

Scope

This RFP is an open call for consultants to provide a comprehensive proposal for the creation of a CanHepC Roadmap for the elimination of Hepatitis C for the Prairie region. The proposal must include the following elements: 

  • Context.
  • Objectives and goals.
  • Proposed tools.
  • Roles and responsibilities.
  • Plan of action and schedule. 
  • Cost breakdown and specific budget lines for activities.
  • Other elements considered necessary. 

Specifications

  • Spearhead processes and planning and develop the vision/scope/framework to attain a consensus on the priority recommendations and actions towards hepatitis C elimination efforts in the Prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) that also includes an Indigenous context and approach when working with Indigenous groups. 
  • Define an approach and processes (through meetings, focus groups/sharing circles, interviews, surveys, consultations, etc.) required for appropriate engagement of relevant parties throughout. 
  • Write and revise an elimination recommendation plan report (see outcomes below) for the Prairie Region team to present the main results at a national elimination progress meeting.
  • Lead a multiple vested-party[2] process to reach consensus on priority recommendations towards elimination efforts and mobilize partners around shared priorities and actions to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030. Broadly this includes:
  • Assessing the current status of the hepatitis C care cascade in the region/population, including where the gaps are and the progress towards elimination.
  • Addressing specific challenges and barriers (including COVID-19 impact, stigma, etc.) to hepatitis C elimination efforts, including tools to implement effective ways of working and communicating to maximize efforts.

In addition, the successful applicant will be required to: 

  • Participate in the project meetings and teleconferences as appropriate. 
  • Provide regular progress updates and analytics on an ongoing basis to enable cross-sectoral exchange. 
  • Submit all final project documents upon completion of the contract. 

The proposals shall be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Cost breakdown.
  • Relevance to the team’s goals and objectives.  
  • Consensus-building process with multiple vested parties.
  • Schedule.
  • Originality.
  • Feasibility.

Outcomes

The main outcomes are the following: 

  • Identify recommendations reflecting consensus from a multiple party process. 
  • Identify possible actions that can be adopted by policy and program makers in the development of a hepatitis C elimination plan.
  • Outline the Prairie Region Roadmap to guide implementation. This roadmap will include a method of tracking progress on elimination efforts, informed by the Blueprint. The objectives, targets, indicators and metrics to measure processes provided in the Blueprint can be used as a basic framework to track progress. 

Timelines

  • Deadline for submissions: Open until filled
  • Contract ends: March 31, 2022

Waniska’s Roles and Responsibilities

The primary contact at the waniska Centre for this project is Rebecca Zagozewski, Research Manager (r.zagozewski@usask.ca). The Centre commits to providing the information and materials necessary and facilitating meetings, both physically and virtually, with all Prairie Region team members.

Confidentiality, Privacy, and Copyright

The successful applicant shall not disclose to any party any confidential information gained or resulting from activities undertaken under this project, nor shall the applicant disclose any information concerning waniska or CanHepC or their affairs where such information is obtained through this project.

Waniska and the successful applicant will agree to publicly and mutually acknowledge and accord appropriate credit for each other’s contribution in this project, including any products, developed and disseminated as a result. Both parties will agree on how credit is attributed, depending on the nature and degree of each organization’s contribution. 

It is understood that waniska and CanHepC retains ownership of all materials and intellectual property created, designed, or produced as a result of activities undertaken by the successful applicant when awarded this project. 

Proposal Instructions

  • Applicants must submit their company name and confirm their incorporation, references and portfolio.
  • Submit by email to r.zagozewski@usask.ca in Word or PDF format.
  • Estimates/budgets must remain firm until proposal is reviewed and accepted.
  • No payment will be made for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a proposal in response to this RFP.
  • No costs incurred before receipt of a signed contract can be charged to the proposed contract. 
  • Travel that may be required will be separate from this scope of work budget; the waniska Centre reserves the right not to award a contract as a result of this RFP.

Budget

The proposal must:

  • Include a detailed and specific budget that demonstrates that the objectives and deliverables for the project can be met.
  • Indicate the billing rate and specific budget lines.
  • List any other expenses that might be applicable.
  • Total bid must include appropriate taxes.

Rights of the Organization

Waniska reserves the right to: 

  • Enter into negotiations with one or more bidders on any or all aspects of this proposal. 
  • Accept any proposal in whole or in part. 
  • Cancel or re-issue this requirement at any time. 
  • Award one or more contracts. 
  • Verify any or all information provided by the bidder concerning this RFP. 

Contact Information

Please direct the application to:

Rebecca Zagozewski

Research Manager

The waniska Centre

[Address]

M: 306-220-3834 

E: r.zagozewski@usask.ca

W: waniskacentre.ca


[1] Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN). (2013). Cultural Responsiveness Framework.

Retrieved from http://allnationshope.ca/userdata/files/187/CRF%20-

%20Final%20Copy.pdf.

[2] Multiple vested-party is defined as a key stakeholder responding to hepatitis C in their region which can include but is not limited to: program planners, government policy and decision makers, healthcare providers, public health practitioners, researchers, community stakeholders, and people with lived experience of hepatitis C.