Request for Proposals: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning – Reconciliation

About the Foundation

The McConnell Foundation is a private Canadian philanthropic foundation whose office sits on ancestral and unceded Indigenous territory, a place known as Tiohtiá:ke in Kanien’kéha and Mooniyang in Anishinaabemowin,  which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst nations.  

The Foundation contributes to diverse and innovative approaches to address community resilience, reconciliation and climate change. We do so through funding and investment partnerships, strengthening capabilities, convening, and collaborating with the public, private and non-profit sectors.

About the Reconciliation Focus Area

The McConnell Foundation’s Reconciliation focus area seeks to fund projects that advance a reconciliation economy where wealth and resources are equitably shared and sustainably stewarded for this generation and those yet to come, in relationship with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.  

The strategies of the Reconciliation focus area are to support:

  1. Indigenous-led solutions to activate the 107 National Indigenous Economy Strategy (NIES) Calls to Economic Prosperity. 
  2. Indigenous-led collaborative funding projects. 

The living legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its 94 Calls to Action, as well as the Philanthropic Community’s Declaration of Action, inform the McConnell Foundation’s work with partners and communities to contribute to a reconciliation economy in relationship with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. 

About the Request for Proposals

Through our commitment to live the principles of the Declaration and Calls to Action, the McConnell Foundation is seeking to lay a foundation for our Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning work that is rooted in the values of the Seven Grandfather Teachings.  

We are seeking innovative ways to not just ‘indigenize’ commonly used Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning frameworks, but rather to set a precedent for meaningful ways that traditional teachings and practices inform reflection, assessment and improvement of our contribution to reconciliatory work with Indigenous Communities. 

This mandate has three main objectives:

Objective 1: Propose a Theory of Change (or other strategic framework) for the Reconciliation focus area, that measures the impact of the 2 sub-strategies and illustrates how this work contributes to a reconciliation economy with clear pathways on how strategies contribute to broader change.  

Objective 2: Develop a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning plan for the Reconciliation focus area based on objective This includes: 

    • Recommendations on approaches to Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning across all aspects of the reconciliation focus area (granting, relationships with partners, and other relevant activities).  
    • Identifying appropriate methods and indicators for continuous program activities and periodic evaluations with a focus on learning, improvement and strategic decision-making. 
    • Ensuring coherence with the Foundation’s data softwares.

Objective 3: Provide guidance and insights to inform the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning framework for the program team as a whole. While theories of change across our focus areas will differ, we are seeking to develop a MEL framework that is coherent across our areas of work, and that allows for common approaches to track and assess our relationships, operations and impact. We are not seeking the consultant to design the framework, but to provide advice on how to improve the framework and approach, aligned with the Reconciliation focus area theory of change and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning plan, and wise practice. The mandate also includes providing ad hoc support during the first three months of implementation of the MEL framework, in early 2025. 

Three Key Deliverables

The Foundation envisions the following elements as critical to a successful process and outcome. We are open to different ideas as long as the approach responds to the three main objectives. 

  • Deliverable 1 – A Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning plan for the Reconciliation focus area.  
  • Deliverable 2 – Guidance and clear actionable recommendations for the improvement of the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning framework for the Program team whose foundation is built upon our reconciliation commitments. 
  • Deliverable 3 – A Theory of Change or other strategic framework that is rooted in Indigenous teachings and is appropriate for internal and external audiences. 

Overall, we expect the term of the mandate to last ten months from the start of the mandate. 

Budget:  Depending on the scope of proposals, the Foundation will allocate up to $50,000 (plus applicable taxes) to be confirmed with the successful consulting firm or consultant.  

Application Process: Please send a proposal of a maximum of 5 pages including: overview of your proposed methodology, deliverables, experience with similar mandates, timeline and budget. (Bios can be annexed).  

Accessibility: We recognize that social, political and financial harms are profound and complex and have been enacted through systematic efforts to erase Indigenous peoples from these lands. Our approach emphasizes the importance of building respectful relationships and we are open to adapting to the cultural realities of applicants, including removing specific barriers or offering accommodation in this Request for Proposal process. Please do not hesitate to contact us by email at: so we can create the necessary conditions so that you can participate fully. All information received in relation to accommodation will be kept confidential.  

Application Deadline

Please send your proposals no later than June 14, 2024, to the Reconciliation team by email at: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We aim to select the consultant(s) in July 2024. 

Expertise of Consultant

In line with the Reconciliation Focus Area Strategy, our funding prioritizes partnering with Indigenous-led consultants/firms. We are seeking a consultant (individuals or a firm) with a track record of successful delivery related to the following competencies: 

    1. Demonstrated knowledge and expertise in monitoring and evaluation methods that are rooted in Indigenous worldviews and teachings.  
    2. Substantial experience working with Indigenous people and communities.  
    3. Proven knowledge of Indigenous social needs, history, law and policy related to Indigenous communities.  
    4. Approach should adhere to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Philanthropic Community’s Declaration of Action, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and OCAP Principles. 
    5. Experience delivering similar mandates specifically in philanthropy and the nonprofit sectors. 

In addition to the essential expertise outlined above, preference will be given to consultants who:  

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the charitable and non-profit sector in Canada. 
  • Demonstrate understanding of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in Canadian philanthropy.  
  • Are Indigenous-led.  

Criteria of evaluation

In reviewing Expressions of Interest, we will consider the following:  

  • Is there a clear path to address each section of the RFP? 
  • Will the approach bring new ways of thinking and creative ideas to the project and the McConnell team? 
  • Is the plan SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely)? 
  • Is the plan to collaborate with the McConnell team effective?  
  • Does the consultant have knowledge and experience engaging effectively and respectfully with Indigenous communities? 

For more information, kindly contact the Reconciliation team at Thank you for your interest in this Request for proposal and the McConnell Foundation. We look forward to hearing from you.