Clarifying Questions and Answers for Tobacco Prevention and Control Program: Request for Application (RFA)

Community Interventions Funding Opportunity - Clarifying Answers

State Fiscal Year 2021

Answers below are in response to questions received following the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) Funding Opportunity webinar held on August 14, 2019. View original questions from August 14 funding opportunity webinar.

Alliances Addressing Tobacco-Related Disparities Questions and Answers

Q. Can someone from a county apply for the RFA and then a catalyst apply for the same county as well? If they can, how would Wisconsin Wins (WI Wins) be completed? Can the counties that a lead agency includes in their Alliance grant application apply for a catalyst grant at the same time the lead agency applies for the Alliance grant in the event that the lead agency does not receive the Alliance grant?

A. An agency can apply for a TPC Alliance that covers a specific county and another agency can apply for a Catalyst Alliance that covers a specific portion of that same county. The WI Wins allocation will be made once all awards have been determined to assure coverage of the whole state.

Q. If applying for multiple counties but the one county has a high need in one area and another county has a high need in both areas can the one county just focus on the one disparity?

A. A TPC Alliance must address two or more populations of focus. If an Alliance covers multiple counties, one of the counties in the Alliance can focus on just one population disparately impacted by tobacco as long as there is a focus on at least one other population disparately impacted by tobacco in the Alliance coverage area.

Q. Do we need to show multiple partners per county?

A. If an Alliance covers multiple counties, it must show partners throughout the coverage area but there is no requirement for the number of partners in each county.

Q. Can you write an Alliance grant for just one city?

A. Yes, an Alliance grant can be submitted for just one city.

Q. Can an agency apply for a TCP Alliance in Milwaukee for $125,000 if it is not considering being included under the TPC Alliance in the City of Milwaukee for $500,000?

A. One TPC Alliance will be funded in the City of Milwaukee for $500,000. No additional TPC Alliances will be funded in the City of Milwaukee.

Q. How will all of the WI Wins checks in the state be covered? If you apply for 1-3 counties, can you be contracted for additional WI Wins checks? If counties are left unfunded, will WI WINS compliance checks still need to be conducted? Who will be doing that work?

A. The WI Wins allocation will be made once all awards have been determined. In counties that are not part of any type of Alliance, local health departments will be offered the WI Wins funding. This will ensure WI Wins activities are conducted in each county. TPC and Catalyst Alliances might be asked to contract for additional WI Wins checks to ensure statewide WI Wins coverage.

Q. What is the amount that can be subcontracted out? Is it 10%? Are there any restrictions for subcontracting (percent of funding that can go to subcontracting)?

A. There is no limit on the amount that can be subcontracted.

Q. What happens to the funding after two years? Will there be another RFA?

A. Funding is based on General Purpose Revenue dollars allocated to TPCP each state biennial budget cycle. It has not been determined when a new RFA will be announced.

Q. If a coalition/county does not receive funding during this cycle, can they apply during the second year?

A. No new agencies will be awarded funding the second year of this grant cycle.

Q. Are there any directions/requirements for coalition structure for the TPC alliance?

A. There are not requirements for the coalition structure for TPC Alliances. Applicants can propose the structure they feel will best help them build a community coalition and achieve the outcomes of their proposal.

Q. What do you mean by a solely tobacco focused coalition (develop and maintain a local tobacco prevention and control coalition; TPC alliance will focus solely on tobacco prevention and control activities)?

A. TPC Alliances are coalitions structured around tobacco prevention and control initiatives. Activities funded by TPCP must solely focus on tobacco prevention and control.

Q. The budget template with the RFA for the Community Interventions funding is a one year (2020-2021) template. The RFA is a two year proposal. Do you want a one year budget or a two year budget? Given this is a request for two years of commitment, I expected a two year budget. Please clarify how the budget will be agreed to in the 2021-2022 year.

A. It is stated in the RFA that two one year contracts will be funded based on performance and availability of funds. The Department of Health Services’ protocol is to negotiate budgets one year at a time.

Q. When we fill out the budget do we just add the WI Wins amount for what we are applying for?

A. WI Wins allocations will be determined after contracts are awarded. WI Wins should not be included in the proposed budget.

Q. Can an agency/organization apply for both a Catalyst Alliance and a TPC Alliance grant?

A. Agencies can submit one application for a Catalyst Alliance contract and one application for a TPC Alliance contract. Each application will be reviewed and considered separately as the requirements are unique for each Alliance. Agencies can only be awarded one contract – either as a Catalyst Alliance or as a TPC Alliance. An agency cannot be awarded as both a Catalyst Alliance and a TPC Alliance. There is also a chance that the agency will not be awarded either contract.

Q. Page 8 – Staff Support – “Catalyst Alliance: TPCP grant funds should support a dedicated part-time staff…..” Can the dedicated staff position be combined with other PT responsibilities to make a 1FTE position, eg. a staff person who works 50% on the Alliance and 50% on another grant project?

A. Yes, the dedicated staff position can have other funding and organizational responsibilities beyond the TPCP funding.

Q. For the Milwaukee TPC Alliance, is the expectation that $50,000.00 be set aside for evaluation?

A. Yes, 10% of all grants will be required to be used for evaluation activities.

Q. What is required for evaluation? How are evaluation dollars expected to be utilized in the first year of a one year renewable program? Can you define what specific activities are allowable as “evaluation activities?” Can you please define what is meant by evaluation activities?

A. Applicants should propose evaluation activities they feel will best help them to better understand the disparate populations of focus and/or that will help them achieve the outcomes they will be working toward. TPCP will work with agencies awarded funding to finalize evaluation activities during the negotiation process.

Q. Does the evaluation portion of the RFA mean research or evaluation of programs or policy? For example could we partner with University of La Crosse to complete research based projects?

A. Evaluation activities can include evaluation of programs or policy. Partnerships with universities and other agencies to complete research based projects can be discussed during the negotiation process.

Q. Can any unused evaluation dollars be rolled over into year two or used to support network implementation?

A. Funding must be used during the grant period and cannot be carried over. The 10% of evaluation funding must directly support evaluation staffing and activities. These funds cannot be used to support Alliance implementation.

Q. The budget requires that 10% of the community intervention award must go toward evaluation. Can in-kind technical support from academic partners, local public health departments, interns, and network members be used to cover all or part of the 10% set aside for evaluation?

A. Yes, in-kind technical support from academic partners, local public health departments, interns and Alliance members may be used to cover all or part of the 10% set aside for evaluation. Details regarding evaluation activities and funding will be finalized during the negotiation process.

Q. Can part of the 10% lead agency indirect cost be used to cover the evaluation requirement?

A. Yes, the agency can use indirect costs to cover the evaluation requirement.

Q. Applicants are required to identify at least two populations from the list extracted from the RFA. Can the applicant select one group from the combined racial and ethnic group or do they need to cover all racial and ethnic groups listed in the first option? If the applicant selects 2-3 groups listed in the first category, do they still need to select a second category from the list to satisfy the grant requirements?

A. TPC Alliances are required to partner with at least 2 population groups disparately impacted by tobacco and Catalyst Alliances are required to partner with at least 1 population group disparately impacted by tobacco. Agencies can identify any population group that is disparately impacted by tobacco use, including but not limited to racial and ethnic groups. The populations can include, but are not limited to any of the example population groups mentioned in the RFA. The population must be identified by the applicant as a group that is impacted by tobacco in their planned coverage area.

Q. Does a tobacco disparity exist among Hispanics/Latinos in Wisconsin? According to Table 1.10 of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Year 3 Evaluation Report, the average adult rate for smoking cigarettes was 18.2% and for Latinos and Hispanics the rate was below the state average at 17.2%.

A. According to the CDC, nationally, Hispanic/Latino adults generally have lower prevalence of cigarette smoking and other tobacco use than other racial/ethnic groups, with the exception of Asian Americans. However, tobacco prevalence and patterns of use varies among sub-groups within the Hispanic population, specifically among Puerto Rican, Cuban and Mexican subgroups, and among LGBTQ, pregnant women, and behavioral health subpopulations.

Q. "Promote the Treatment of Nicotine Dependence" is a priority area highlighted in the RFA. Does this mean that applicants can promote, but not provide tobacco cessation services and programming? Can smoking cessation in public housing be provided as part of efforts to support systems change? Is the priority on promoting the Quit Line or are other options possible in addition to promoting the Quit Line?

A. Applicants should promote, but not provide direct tobacco cessation services, including in public housing environments. The Quit Line is free to all Wisconsin residents and is funded by the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program; however, other evidence-based tobacco cessation services can be promoted to help individuals quit tobacco.

Q. A minimum .75 staff position is required by the RFA. Is this a dedicated coordinator position or can the .75 be spread out among coordinators working on the grant across member organizations? If this is a dedicated position, is the lead agency required to support the position or can it be supported by a member organization?

A. The dedicated .75 staff position is required to be one coordinator for the TPC Alliance. The .75 dedicated coordinator position can be supported by the lead agency or a member organization. The lead agency is responsible for meeting all contract requirements.

Q. Can evaluation activities be part of the .75 staff position and therefore the 10% for evaluation activities be included in the salary for this position as time spent conducting evaluation activities?

A. In addition to the .75 of the coordinator position, a portion of the coordinator position can be funded through the 10% of the grant dedicated to evaluation if specific evaluation responsibilities for the coordinator are proposed. Details for the time, activities and amount of funding will be agreed upon during the negotiation process.

Q. Can an Alliance have more than one coordinator?

A. A TPC Alliance can have more than one coordinator. These details would be finalized during the negotiation process.

Q. Is the Milwaukee Tobacco Prevention and Control Alliance allowed to support Milwaukee-area FACT groups, outside of the City of Milwaukee?

A. FACT groups for the City of Milwaukee TPC Alliance must be located in the City of Milwaukee.

Q. Can existing Milwaukee suburban FACT groups that might not be included in other grant applications pursue a Catalyst Grant?

A. Existing coalitions can apply for a Catalyst Alliance grant and include an existing FACT group in their application. FACT groups cannot apply to be a Catalyst Alliance without a supporting coalition.

Q. Will WRAP be conducted under this new grant? Are there any expectations of funded Alliances relative to WRAP?

A. Details about the Wisconsin Retailer Assessment Project (WRAP) have not been determined for State Fiscal Year 21 (SFY21) and SFY22. Proposals being submitted are not expected to include WRAP.

Q. Do we need to budget evaluation activities as a separate line item? For example, if we submit a budget of $125,000, do we need to have a separate line item for evaluation activities at $12,500? Does the budget have to specifically call out where the 10% evaluation is going to be spent?

A. The budget should reflect evaluation expenses. Justification could be provided in the proposal when describing partnerships and/or activity outcomes. Evaluation expenses and activities will be finalized during the negotiation process.

Q. What specific activities are we evaluating? Are we doing a process evaluation, outcome evaluation, or both?

A. Both process and outcome evaluation can be proposed as evaluation activities in the application.

Q. Is TPCP determining the evaluation measures or will grantees be responsible for determining evaluation measures? Will there be standardized evaluation metrics and activities conducted by all grantees?

A. Applicants can propose evaluation activities in their proposals. If TPCP requires any specific, standardized metrics and activities, those will be shared during the negotiation process.

Q. Can you explain the difference between the expectations of grantees to conduct evaluation activities and the role of TPCP to provide overall TA and evaluation?

A. TPCP conducts and releases statewide-level surveillance and evaluation data. Alliances should propose evaluation activities that are specific to achieving outcomes at the local level. Any data collection and evaluation at a sub-state level (e.g. county/municipality/tribal/city) will be conducted by Alliances but technical assistance from TPCP will be available.

Q. How will the evaluation data be used by TPCP and disseminated to grantees?

A. Evaluation activities proposed should be specific to achieving outcomes at a local level. Data will only be disseminated to other Alliances, statewide agencies, Centers for Disease Control, etc. if useful.

Q. Should the fiscal agent/the organization submitting an application to the RFA write their own letter of commitment too along with the partner agencies and others?

A. Letters of commitment are used to demonstrate support for applying agencies. A letter of commitment can be submitted from the fiscal agent but is not required.

Q. Who should letters of support be addressed to?

A. Letters of Support can be addressed to the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.

Q. In the Letters of Commitment section, can you please define ‘all collaborating agencies’? The description seems to indicate these can be the same as the ‘at least three….whose cooperation and collaboration is …necessary for the success of the work’.

A. Letters of commitment should be included from, but not limited to, agencies that support the populations of focus that will be prioritized by the Alliance.

Q. The letters of commitment just to clarify: Do at least three from any of the following groups listed meet the requirement: three representatives of local government, decision makers, local health departments, foundations, nonprofits, community groups or individuals whose cooperation and collaboration is appropriate, relevant, and necessary for the success of the work, or three from government and then any additional collaborative partners?

A. The letters of commitment can be from any of the groups listed as long as they support the populations of focus that will be prioritized by the Alliance.

Q. Do the population of focus we pick (2 or more) apply to FACT? In other words, do the FACT groups we select have to be the same populations that we select for our populations of focus?

A. FACT groups are not required to align with the populations of focus selected by the Alliance.

Q. On page 11, it states that there is a maximum of 10 pages for the application. It is unclear what this all includes (cover sheet with applicant info and the budget template or just the questions 1-8). Can you please define what must be included in the 10-page maximum? Does the 10-page limit include the budget and letters of support? Is an outline required to be included in the 10-page limit? Is a cover page be included in the 10 page limit?

A. Answers to the applications are what must be included in the 10-page maximum. The cover sheet, outline, budget, letters of support, etc. are not included in the maximum 10-page requirement.

Q. Is Addendum A (Agency Requirements) included in the 10 page limit and does the addendum need a signature?

A. Addendum A is not included in the 10-page limit. By checking the box on the Addendum, the agency submitting the application is acknowledging they have reviewed and commit to the requirements outlined in the document.

Q. Does the RFA have a number example (# G1670-DPH-BC)>?

A. No, the RFA does not have a number associated with it.

Q. Are there any other restrictions on formatting than what is listed in the RFA?

A. Formatting requirements are listed in the RFA. There are no other formatting restrictions than those listed on page 11 of the RFA.

Q. Page 11 instructions in the RFA reference font and margin but do not reference single or double spaced formatting. Is there a preference or instruction for that?

A. The RFA did not outline a requirement for line spacing; however, double spacing is recommended.

Q. Is there any formatting we should consider for the letters? Otherwise we planned to follow the 12 point font and .75 inch margins directions.

A. Letter of support formatting does not need to follow the guidelines outlined in the RFA.

Q. Do we have to restate the grant application questions and italicized description before each answer and does that have to be included within the 10-page maximum?

A. The application questions must be listed with the answer; however, the italicized description listed in the RFA does not need to be included.

Q. Are there explicit review criteria that we should be aware of? Page 13 states “The committee will use the review criteria described in this RFA when making their recommendations.” Or is the “review criteria” embedded in the introduction/background and it is up to the applicant to interpret what that is?

A. The review criteria is provided in italics under each question in the RFA.

Q. This RFA was introduced as a way to eliminate disparities by “addressing their root causes in order for true positive change to occur.” For the populations we work with (behavioral health and pregnant moms), often the biggest issue is poverty that leads to the greatest disparities in our community. Does this RFA allow grantees to work on these broader social issues (minimum wage policy, etc.) or must the policy and systems change be directly tied to tobacco prevention and control (smoke-free air, e-cig regulations, tobacco-free schools)?

A. TPC Alliances are coalitions structured around tobacco prevention and control initiatives. Catalyst Alliances will integrate tobacco prevention and control initiatives into an existing coalition which could be focused on minimum wage, sexual violence, suicide, etc. Required tobacco prevention and control activities are listed on pages 5-7 of the RFA. Additional activities can be proposed in the application and will be discussed during the negotiation process.

Q. The RFA states that TPCP will fund the alliances for two one-year contracts based on availability of funding and performance of scope of work and accountability. Has the funding source defined/explained the accountability it is seeking? The application does not describe this item.

A. Accountability will be discussed with and technical assistance provided to funded agencies so that agencies are best positioned to be refunded in year 2 of the grant cycle if funding is available.

Q. The funding application states that one lead agency will be funded in the City of Milwaukee to focus on reducing existing tobacco-related disparities. This agency will be required to provide fiscal support to and collaborate coordination among community agencies to facilitate community engagement. Will the lead agency be able to contract with other agencies it intends to partner with? Is it expected to contract with each partnering agency?

A. The lead agency for the City of Milwaukee TPC Alliance can, but is not required to subcontract with partnering agencies.

Q. Although subcontracting is permitted but requires prior approval, can the lead agency of the TPC Alliance in Milwaukee write the agencies into the grant that it intends to subcontract with?

A. Yes, agencies that a lead agency intends to partner with can be written into the grant without prior approval from TPCP. Subcontracts will be approved during the negotiation process.

Q. For Wisconsin Wins, can the lead Agency in Milwaukee write in the subcontracting agencies it intends to partner with as part of the grant?

A. Yes, agencies that a lead agency intends to partner with for WI Wins can be written into the grant without prior approval from TPCP. Subcontracts will be approved during the negotiation process.

Q. Would the subcontracting work meet the requirements of Subrecipients as defined in 2CFR 200.330 (a)? If so, since a system of accountability will need to be written in to monitor work of subcontractors, would that meet the requirements of 2CFR 200.331 (d-f)

A. This RFA is funded through state general purpose revenue (GPR) dollars. CFR 200.330 applies to regulations for federal awards. Audit requirements will be shared with funded agencies.

Q. Regarding grant activities, African Americans, American Indian and Alaska Natives, multi-racial, and Hispanic/Latinos have been grouped together. Can a lead agency select from two of these focus groups and meet the disparity focus or would that group count as one and the agency must select from at least another focus from the list provided?

A. Disparity populations listed have been grouped together as a reference. The lead agency does not need to choose all of the populations in the list and can select any one of the listed populations as their population of focus. TPC Alliances must choose at least 2 populations of focus and Catalyst Alliances must choose at least 1 population of focus.

Q. Under community engagement, can you define/explain Tobacco Focused Coalition?

A. The coalition must be focused solely on tobacco prevention and control activities and achieving outcomes that reduce tobacco-related disparities.

Q. Under community engagement, can you define/explain action based coalition meetings?

A. Action based coalition meetings are designed to have an action that leads to an outcome. All coalition members should be engaged in the development and decision making associated with coalition meetings and activities. Examples include event planning, trainings, writing a letter to the editor, etc.

Q. Under tobacco-free schools, can you define/explain School Assessment?

A. The school assessment is a tool used to identify schools that have a tobacco-free policy and determine if the policy is comprehensive. The assessment is one of the resources that will be provided to funded agencies.

Q. On page 2 of the RFP, its states that it is expected that Alliances will include community members directly affected by the health inequity addressed through this initiative. What percentage of the Alliance membership should be represented from those community members directly affected?

A. Alliance membership should have representation from the populations of focus, but there is no requirement as to what percentage of the Alliance membership should be representative of the prioritized populations.

Q. On page 3, under Tobacco Prevention and Control Alliance, it states that the TPC Alliances will focus solely on tobacco prevention and control activities to decrease tobacco-related disparities. Can you explain or define tobacco prevention and control activities?

A. Tobacco prevention and control activities are listed on pages 5-7 of the RFA. Additional activities can be proposed in the application and will be discussed during the negotiation process.

Q. Please clarify that aerosol refers to all vaping and e-cigarette products.

A. Aerosol refers to all vaping, e-cigarette products and electronic smoking devices.

Q. Since cessation programs are not funded through this grant, it could be challenging to measure success if the activity is ONLY to PROMOTE treatment and not actually provide the treatment. Some tribes are participating in the GHWIC program through mini-grants; they may be providing cessation programs. Can we use enrollment into those programs as a measure of our success in promoting treatment, even though this grant does not directly fund treatment?

A. Enrollment into a tobacco cessation program is an acceptable evaluation measure because it is a result of the education and awareness about quitting tobacco provided to the population of focus. Cessation program specific outcomes (quit attempts, quit success, etc.) are not acceptable evaluation measures. Social media and marketing education outreach are additional acceptable evaluation measures of treatment promotion.

Q. Please clarify the bullet item "Communities will have stronger capacity to address health equity issues." Capacity can be defined in many ways, e.g. amount of funding available, number of health care workers, more skilled staff, additional training in particular areas, etc. Please define capacity or give examples of what the DHS expects to see in communities with STRONGER CAPACITY.

A. In order to decrease tobacco-related disparities, the population of focus should be engaged in the coalition so that information, ideas and resources can be exchanged. This will build a stronger capacity for the coalition to understand and respond to the beliefs, values, needs, barriers, etc. of the population disparately impacted by tobacco.

Q. Under the WI Wins requirement, activities are required in the municipality/county covered by each Alliance. Wisconsin tribes are distributed across many counties. Also, Tribes are sovereign nations. Are WI Wins activities required for all tribes?

A. All tribes are not required to complete WI Wins activities. WI Wins will be negotiated with the lead agency awarded the TPC American Indian Alliance if the agency is interested in completing WI Wins activities.

Q. GLITC and most Wisconsin tribes have a procurement policy. We may not know who the subcontractor(s) will be until we receive the grant and submit our own RFPs for the contractors. Can TPCP approve the subcontract after the award has been approved but before the contract is signed with a subcontractor?

A. Applicants should propose the tribes/agency with whom they plan to partner. TPCP can approve the subcontract after the applicant has been awarded but before the contract is signed with the subcontractor. Subcontracts will be approved during the negotiation process.

Last Revised: February 11, 2020