Equitable Poverty Prevention Plan

City of Dubuque

Dubuque, IA

The Equitable Poverty Prevention Plan will consist of multiple components including addressing the issue of poverty, developing strategies to implement the community action plan, engaging community leaders, collecting residents' input, conducting research and data analysis, exploring best practices and current trends as well as developing programs to address poverty. All analyses and aspects of this plan will include the use of uniform data throughout the plan so there are no discrepancies. To the greatest extent possible, this plan will utilize disaggregated data by race and ethnicity, and other factors to assist with examining poverty in Dubuque with an equity lens.

The plan will begin with an underlying analysis of the root causes and factors of the nature of poverty in Dubuque. The analysis should examine what poverty looks like in Dubuque, as well as why Dubuque has a higher poverty rate than other comparable cities and on the state level Cross-level analysis will be conducted to identify barriers by examining multiple factors including size of economy, size of population, workforce and unemployment rate, level of education and so forth to identify barriers, draw correlations and links between concepts.

The plan will assess the current models of measuring poverty, namely the federal poverty threshold. The analysis should similarly examine whether the current definition of poverty and the usage of the federal poverty line are suitable, adequate and relevant for measuring poverty level. The analysis should further address whether alternative models, namely the living wage, is more appropriate, holistic and equitable approach to adopt moving forward.

The plan will identify and explore current successful trends in the field, addressing the issue of poverty and best practices adopted by other entities. It will draw on these elements and incorporate successful items in developing the implementation strategy. These items will be drafted and tailored accordingly to the needs of the community in Dubuque.

The consultant will be responsible for compiling research, analysis, evaluation and recommendations regarding of the challenge of poverty, current trends and best practices, programs and initiatives, poverty threshold measures, and the poverty narrative with a focus on the Dubuque community. The plan will include designing, creating and implementing strategies to develop initiatives that will address socio-economic, educational, cultural and training programs to reduce, alleviate, and prevent poverty. The programs should be designed to be equitable, diverse and inclusive addressing the following areas at a minimum.

This list is not exhaustive and is only intended to guide consultants. To avoid duplication, consultants are encouraged to review the existing programs for each goal area, suggest new initiatives and/or improve on the current programs.

  • Self-sufficiency, economic and employment programs
  • Soft and hard skills development
  • Internet and computer training programs
  • Affordable, equitable, accessible housing
  • Nutrition and children's meal programs
  • Living wages for low-income families
  • Access to affordable, quality childcare
  • Increase transportation access and availability
  • Address hunger and food insecurity
  • Access to affordable health insurance
  • Availability of universal Pre-K education
  • Equitable, diverse, sustainable community

Consultants should also consider the 2019 MIT report: https://www.dbqfoundation.org/publication/mit-workforce-report-051319

A complete, comprehensive list of Dubuque community programs and initiatives related to poverty is not available, so consultants should consider the following resources:

Therefore, project deliverables will be for the consultant to create a list or matrix of community initiatives, entities, programs, projects, and services related to poverty, with contact information and descriptions. The consultant also will be responsible for identifying overlaps and gaps in the above list or matrix, and recommending opportunities to improve efficiency, effectiveness and service delivery to persons living in poverty.

Community engagement represents an extensive portion of the project. Time is of the essence for community engagement as part of this RFP. Therefore, a community engagement plan reflecting the two stages and other considerations described below is a required part of the proposal submitted in response to this RFP.

The selected consultant will be responsible for developing and implementing a robust, creative, and inclusive plan for community engagement. The process, much like the Plan document, must be creative, interesting, meaningful and relevant to residents and stakeholders. The community engagement plan should consider informing residents and stakeholders of the purpose of the plan, why it is important, and how poverty effects Dubuque residents in their everyday lives (see Poverty Narrative section). The consultant will develop a schedule of events and input opportunities which at a minimum address the channels for public engagement and communication. The consultant will be responsible for designing and facilitating the events and public input instruments, facilitating the events and collecting and distilling all information for use in the plan document.

It is particularly important that community members who are part of our equity target populations be engaged in telling the story behind the data, and that the implementation strategy include some efforts that can be carried out by community members in addition to efforts appropriate for institutions. Thus, community engagement in the Equitable Poverty Prevention Plan should be designed to further two goals:

  1. to supplement the quantitative data with qualitative data from individuals who are living the experience of poverty in our community;
  2. to identify ways to involve the community, particularly those most by poverty, in the implementation strategy.

Moreover, the City of Dubuque is striving to avoid engagement fatigue by designing community engagement in the Plan in a manner that also meets the engagement needs of the of these community efforts related to poverty and equity that will be underway concurrently:

  • City of Dubuque's 2021-2025 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Consolidated Plan and Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing. https://www.cityofdubuque.org/831/Consolidated-Plan
  • · Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque's update of the 2015 Community Equity Profile. www.inclusivedbq.org
  • · Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque's first Greater Dubuque Community Indicators report.

Part 1 Community Engagement should refer directly to the City of Dubuque's 2014 Citizen Participation Plan as a guide for types of community engagement for the 2021-2025 CDBG Consolidated Plan and the Analysis of Impediments. The Part 1 Community Engagement collection and analysis should conclude by October 31, 2019.

Part 2 Community Engagement should buimpactedild on the Part 1 results and process, reach out to additional resources, and coordinate with the CFGD in their update of the 2015 Community Equity Profile and creation of the Greater Dubuque Community Indicators report through data sharing and process coordination. The consultant should actively engage residents, members of the community, businesses, government, non-profit, philanthropist, faith organizations and school leaders. The community input, particularly those experiencing poverty, must be sought through different avenues in ways that are comfortable, respectful of culture, and meet people where they are. Channels of communication may include surveys, focus groups and personal interviews. The Part 2 Community Engagement collection and analysis must conclude by December 31, 2019.

The community engagement plan should be designed considering the City of Dubuque's Guiding Principles for Community Engagement and Guiding Principles for Advancing Racial Equity. The engagement process must be creative, inclusive, meaningful and relevant to residents. At a minimum, community engagement shall:

  • be designed with a variety of relevant and comfortable channels of communication and venues for engagement, including diverse and sometimes tailored approaches towards engagement;
  • include interesting activities, dialogue, and creative opportunities to provide information independent of structured and facilitated events;
  • anticipate and take steps to remove, or identify resources needed to remove, potential barriers to engagement;
  • engage community members from our equity target populations as co-facilitators, invitation carriers, and hosts for community engagement events, paying them for their time;
  • focus on engaging equity target populations and include efforts to reach non-English speaking persons, persons with disabilities, and persons residing in assisted housing;
  • include community-based organizations that represent equity target populations;
  • include public and private agencies that address housing, health, employment, education, transportation, safety/victim services, and arts/cultural needs and interests of low-income individuals and families, (particularly those serving equity target populations)
  • involve participants in activities around the quantitative data, capturing their reactions to the data and the issues that are most important;
  • capture the lived experiences participants are relaying regarding the interpretation of the data and its impact;
  • gather information on what would make resources in the community more effective for people from a variety of backgrounds, including information on the level of awareness regarding available to resources, barriers to accessing available resources, and ways in which the design and delivery of services are or are not working for equity target groups;
  • collect demographics of participants in engagement activities, paying attention to adjusting the engagement plan as needed along the way to ensure that each equity target population is represented at a rate at least double their representation in the community overall.

The plan will avoid the traditional poverty narratives. These narratives include implicit racial and gender stereotypes, victimizing and blaming people in poverty, politicizing the issue of poverty. The Plan will not draw on the 'us vs. them' assumptions when analyzing the poverty narrative, identifying barriers and developing strategies. The plan will utilize an equitable, respectful, and culturally sensitive approach when developing solutions.

Consideration should be given to the way the analysis is presented in the plan, with incorporating real people, introducing low/moderate-income people and persons living in poverty to those who are different than them, and sharing the perspective of an individual or a family without the label of "poverty". An example is StoryCorps, whose mission is to share people's stories to strengthen and build connections between people. (https://storycorps.org)

In addition to the Equitable Poverty Prevention Plan, the consultant should provide an executive summary in user-friendly, graphic format that can be easily distributed to residents and stakeholders.

The maximum budget for the project is $75,000. Proposal are due by Noon CDT on August 16, 2019. Please see the entire RFP for specific requirements.

Request Type
Friday, August 16, 2019

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