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Call for Proposals: Training Modules

The Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) project is soliciting proposals for the development of a series of exemplary Training Modules as a part of Component 1 of the project (see www.meas-extension.org for more information about all components of the project).

To ensure the inclusion of the broadest possible range of cases a principle of “first come, first served” will be adopted as part of the selection and approval process proposals, such that accepted proposals will eliminate the need for additional Training Modules that address the same topic.  The list of in-progress and completed Training Modules is posted at http://www.meas-extension.org/meas-offers/training. Overall, it is anticipated that authors have previous experience and similar materials to draw upon in preparing and delivering the Training Modules that they propose.

There is no deadline for submission of proposals; proposals will be accepted and reviewed bi-monthly throughout the life of the project until all project funds for this activity are committed (see review dates below). 


Training Modules

The overarching goal of Component 1 of the MEAS project is to user-friendly materials for dissemination as well as training programs that promote new strategies and approaches to rural extension and advisory service delivery. The materials orient and encourage extension officials to pursue new, proven, practical extension strategies and train field staff in how to facilitate limited-resource farm households in increasing their incomes and improving livelihoods.

The MEAS project focuses on the processes of delivering extension and advisory services to various stakeholders, constituents and farmers in the developing countries. Content that addresses the technical part of producing and marketing food products is not part of Component 1 for the time being.[1]  Specific topics for which proposals are being solicited from prospective authors will be posted at http://www.meas-extension.org/meas-offers/training .

Prospective authors need to use the “TEMPLATE for MEAS MODULE  Proposal” to submit their proposals. Send the completed document in MS Word format (not as pdf) by email to R. Kirby Barrick at kbarrick@ufl.edu.

The completed Training Module must:

1.       Be submitted to the PMU as a stand-alone document or set of documents, with sufficient information and detail that a qualified person could use the module to teach the content without further development.

2.       Include well-described learning activities to be used to engage learners in their own learning.

3.       Be sufficiently thorough as to provide 20-25 hours of instructional content and technique.

4.       Include a list of all references used in the development of the module.

5.       Indicate the planned completion date, which should be no later than six months after the date of submission of the proposal.


Funding

The MEAS project provides financial incentives to authors for developing Training Modules. A typical module will consist of 20-25 hours of instructional content and technique. For such a typical module a benchmark remuneration of $10,000 is offered. For shorter modules an adequate amount will be negotiated.

How the stipend is disbursed to the author(s) depends on the contractual agreement that MEAS can set up with them:

  •  Authors who are employed by a MEAS partner institution must be compensated in accordance with that institution’s policies and procedures. Examples of possible arrangements for compensating authors are: summer salary, lump-sum in excess payments, or buy-out models. This means that in addition to the agreed upon stipend, fringe benefits may have to be added and the module will cost the project the agreed upon stipend amount, fringe benefits as well as indirect costs.  Expenses incurred by the MEAS partner institution will be invoiced to the Lead institution, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under the terms of the MEAS sub-award contract between the two institutions.
  • Authors who are not employed by one of the MEAS partners will be compensated on the basis of a personal services contract, usually with the University of Florida, for the agreed upon amount, i.e.,  typically a $10,000 honorarium. The author will be responsible for fulfilling and tax and related obligations arising from this income. The University of Florida will invoice the stipend amount as well as the indirect costs to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
At the tim of acceptance of a proposal two specific items will be agreed upon between the author and the MEAS Project Management Unit:

    1. the amount of the stipend, and, if applicable, the fringe benefits that will be added.
    2. the definite delivery date.

Proposal Review Process

All Training Module proposals will be reviewed by the MEAS PMU.  As needed, external reviewers may be contacted to assist with the review process.

The decision of PMU in selecting Training Module proposals is final. In some instances, authors may be asked to revise a proposal for re-submission. The final product, i.e., the completed Training Module package, will also be reviewed for acceptance by the executive committee before the stipend is paid.

Review Dates

Training Module proposals will be accepted as submitted and will be reviewed by the MEAS PMU on the following dates:


September 6, 2011*

November 1, 2011

January 3, 2012

March 6, 2012

May 1, 2012

 

*Proposals for Training Modules to be included in the Year 2 work plan will need to be submitted by 31 August, 2011.

 

Distribution, Copyright, and Licensing

MEAS obtains the right to use and distribute the Training Module. The package will initially be made available to users in hardcopy and as digitally downloadable files. In order to achieve wider use and distribution it is anticipated that many modules will be converted to e-learning courses. This conversion will be done in consultation with the authors.

Please refer to the copyright and licensing agreement in the “TEMPLATE for MEAS MODULE  Proposal”. No royalty payments will be made to authors since the material created will be made available for free to the clients and stakeholders in MEAS worldwide.

Upon acceptance of the Training Module material the author(s) will be asked to record, assisted by University of Illinois staff, a 5-10 minute video that introduces the module. This video will be posted on the MEAS ALL Platform (https://all.extension.illinois.edu/MEAS).  As mentioned, each module should include assessment tools, at least one of which must be a short multiple choice quiz. This quiz will be administered online through the ALL platform and is to be taken by the participants upon completion of the course. This will allow MEAS to establish a database of participants in MEAS courses.

Authors who, at a future point in time, engage in the delivery of the training material they developed, may be compensated under separate contract.

Questions?

Questions may be submitted to Dr. Barrick at kbarrick@ufl.edu or by telephone (+1(352) 273-2587).



[1] In the words of Gary Alex, email 12/28/2010: “Training modules and technical notes should provide information/ approaches to help extension services (public, NGO, or private) develop extension programs – i.e., “how to design a horticultural extension program”, not “how to plant tomatoes”.

 

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Andrea Bohn,
Aug 26, 2011, 12:01 PM