Ākonga Youth Development Community Fund

The Ministry of Youth Development (MYD) - Te Mānatu Whakahiato Taiohi, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, has launched the Ākonga Youth Development Community Fund – Strengthening Ākonga Resilience to Achieve Better Education Outcomes (the Fund).

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some Frequently asked Questions (FAQs) about the Fund. If we receive any questions not already covered in these FAQs, we will provide an answer to those queries, and update this page and the Government Electronic Tender Service on a weekly basis, to ensure everyone has access to the same information.

Section 1: Background

1.1 What is the purpose of the Ākonga Youth Development Community Fund (the Fund)?

To support ākonga/learners (aged 12 to 21 years) who have been adversely affected by the impact of COVID-19 pandemic to stay engaged in their education journey.

1.2 Why is the Fund needed?

We know there are ākonga who have had their learning impacted as a result of COVID-19 (including Alert Level changes) and are either already disengaged, or are at risk of disengaging, from their education.

1.3 How does this Fund align to the Government's Youth Plan?

The Youth Plan sets out the actions that government will take, in partnership with others, to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 for rangatahi. In line with the Youth Plan, the Fund will also have a particular focus on the following groups of young people:

  • Rangatahi Māori
  • Pacific young people
  • Rainbow young people
  • Disabled young people.

1.4 How will the Fund do this?

  • This Fund will support community-based programmes that will help ākonga to re-engage in their learning journey.
  • The community-based programmes we are seeking are those that use a strength-based youth development approach, providing holistic support to ākonga and, working with their whānau, and the wider community, including education providers.

1.5 Who is administering the Fund?

  • MYD will administer the Fund.
  • This Fund is a partnership initiative between MYD and the Ministry of Education (MoE).

1.6 When does the Request for Proposal (RFP) open?

The RFP is available on the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) and on MYD's website from Monday 16 November 2020.

1.7 When can a response to the RFP be submitted?

SmartyGrants is open for responses to the RFP now. Access the SmartyGrants link here.

1.8 When does the RFP close?

  • The RFP will close at 12 noon, Tuesday 12 January 2021.
  • All responses must be completed on SmartyGrants.
  • Incomplete or late responses will not be accepted.

    Section 2: Request for Proposal

    2.1 Who is this Fund for?

    To support Iwi and community-based youth development programmes delivered outside of traditional education settings (e.g. schools/kura) to support ākonga (aged 12 to 21 years) who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to stay engaged in their education journey.

    2.2 What outcomes will this Fund achieve?

    Ākonga who participate in the programmes supported through this Fund will:

    • have an increased level of engagement in their learning and aspiration for their future or will have transitioned to further training or employment
    • have stronger connections with their community (e.g. youth and support services).

    However, the measure of success for ākonga will be different and dependent on the level of support needed, their engagement in the programme, and their aspirations.

    2.3 Who should consider applying?

    Responses are being sought from Iwi and community-based youth development providers who:

    • have a proven history of national/regional/local programme delivery to at risk communities
    • are skilled at connecting with disengaged ākonga and/or ākonga at risk of disengaging, and their whānau
    • can identify the needs of local ākonga who are at risk of disengaging from education, due to the impact of COVID-19 and provide a way to address these needs.

    Collaborative applications from community and education providers/practitioners are encouraged to ensure ākonga and their whānau build positive relationships with community and education providers/practitioners, and receive the right information and support to help them on their education journey.

    2.4 Are there any pre-conditions that must be met?

    Yes. Iwi and community-based youth development providers must be legally recognised organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand.

    2.5 What programmes are eligible for funding?

    Programmes (including programme delivery) must satisfy all the points below:

    • be no less than ten weeks per year, and
    • commence in Term 1 of the 2021 academic year, and
    • satisfy 1 to 3 below.

    1. Include holistic support to ākonga through building self-esteem, belonging and identity, mental wellbeing and healthy relationships, all of which support ākonga to engage in their education. For example,

    • support ākonga who have shown increases in anxiety, mental distress, verbal and/or physically aggressive and or challenging (violent, truant or anti-social) behaviour since lockdown, and/or
    • develop pathways for ākonga, with high levels of anxiety as a result of COVID-19, to re-enter into education.

    2. Work with ākonga, their whānau, and the wider community, including education providers (e.g. schools, alternative education, education training providers, kura) to:

    • identify additional engagement barriers for individual ākonga, and
    • help build/strengthen the following protective factors for individual ākonga:
      • quality relationships (ākonga engaged for at least ten weeks) and/or
      • support ākonga to develop/learn skills and experience success with aspirational goals and/or
      • strengthen community connections, mana and sense of identity for ākonga.

    3. Support ākonga through a strengths-based youth development approach to stay in education and/or support transitions to further training or employment to leverage off other initiatives that support the All of Government recovery response to COVID-19.

    2.6 What other things will you take into consideration?

    Due consideration will be given to programmes that satisfy one or more of the following:

    • innovative in the approach used to meet local needs of ākonga who are engaged or at risk of disengaging as a result of the impact of COVID-19 (e.g. collaborative partnerships, programme design and delivery, new programme or component meets an existing gap and need within the community etc.)
    • readily available, or able to start operating or expand quickly to ensure that ākonga receive the support as soon as possible to meet immediate demand
    • have the ability to connect to other government-funded initiatives to support ākonga (aged 16 to 21 years) to transition to further training and or employment
    • are being delivered in areas where the numbers of ākonga who are disengaged and/or at risk of disengaging are high as a result of the impact of COVID-19
    • are targeted at rangatahi Maori, Pacific young people, rainbow young people and disabled young people.

    2.7 How much funding is available?

    Funding is time limited.

    A total of approximately $7.8 million will be distributed through the Fund to support delivery for two academic years only (i.e. 2021 and 2022).

    Depending on the scale and reach of each programme, a range of 50% to 100% of programme costs will be considered.

    2.8 Is there a template for this RFP?

    There is no programme design and delivery template. A response to the RFP must be provided through SmartyGrants (please see FAQs section 4). SmartyGrants will open for responses to the RFP on Monday 23 November 2020. The link will be available on this webpage.

    2.9 Is a provider able to provide both holistic supports plus educational opportunity/environment if suitably qualified to do so?

    We are seeking proposals from suitably competent and experienced community-based providers that demonstrate a strengths-based youth development approach (see Section 1 of the FAQs and the RFP).

    2.10 Are you able to advise what measurable KPI's you have in mind, as well as the volume/numbers of Ākonga requiring assistance in each region?

    The outcomes for this fund are described in section 2 of the FAQs. There are no formal KPIs. The measure of success for ākonga will be different and dependent on the level of support needed, their engagement in the programme, and their aspirations. Respondents to the RFP are expected to be able to identify local ākonga at risk of disengaging from education, due to the impact of COVID-19.

    2.11 What is the number of ākonga that MYD would consider as ‘a minimum number’ to participate in a development programme per year?

    There are no set numbers of ākonga per programme per year. The number of ākonga will vary from locality to locality and depend on identified needs, evidence and programme costs (see also Section 2.3 of the FAQs).

    2.12 Are we able to access data from the Ministry of Education that highlights the ākonga population size and the region where ākonga have been most impacted?

    The Ministry of Education website has a wide range of statistical information and reports about education and learning, including regional profiles. Local and regional services (e.g. local schools and eductaion providers, Iwi, social services, government agencies) will also have some information that can help inform local evidence-gathering.

    2.13 How much funding is available?

    A total of approximately $7.8 million will be distributed through the Fund to support delivery for two academic years only (i.e. 2021 and 2022).

    Point of clarification for the above answer:

    This means a total of approximately $3.9 million per year will be distributed to successful respondents via two-year contracts.

    2.14 We are a national organisation with independent regional entities. Do we have to put in one proposal for the National funding category or can each branch apply separately?

    Independent legal entities can submit one proposal for the Fund.

    2.15 Is there support available to help providers to apply for the Fund? Similar to what was offered through the Provincial Growth Fund?

    MYD is providing a series of regional Ākonga Youth Development Community Fund hui and Zoom hui (zhui) over two weeks to give all interested providers an opportunity to seek clarification or additional information.

    2.16 How does this Fund intend to address equity?

    The Fund was established as a targeted support for ākonga who have had their learning adversely affected by the impact of the COVID-19 to stay engaged in their education journey.

    2.17 Is there a cap on how much you can apply for?

    No. However, depending on the scale and reach of each programme, a range of 50% to 100% of programme costs will be considered.

    2.18 We are a group of separate legal entities with reach in more than two regions. Can we apply through the National funding category?

    Yes. Collaborative proposals that meet the requirements of the RFP are encouraged. Collaborative proposals must be led by one provider adhering to the funding categories conditions.

    2.19 Our organisation has two programmes that we think meet the requirements of the RFP. Can we put in two proposals?

    No. Respondents can only submit one Proposal.

    2.20 Is the premise behind the new Fund to create new programmes that align with the funding guidelines or to support programmes that are already making an impact and engage young people in the community/nationwide?

    The purpose of the Fund is to support ākonga (aged 12 to 21 years) who have been adversely affected by the impact of COVID-19, to support them to stay engaged in their education journey. We are seeking innovative community-based programmes that will help ākonga to re-engage in their learning jorney. Collaborative partnerships, new components or programme design and delivery changes may all meet this need.

    2.21 How often do you need to report on this funding? Can this be built into the reporting timeline that your organisation already adheres to? Most charities have multiple funders and reporting is an onerous part of the job which is not the main reason we do what we do.

    The RFP (available on GETS and on the MYD website) includes an indicative Outcomes Agreement to ensure all interested respondents are aware of the terms and conditions of the Agreement.

    2.22 Why are NEETs excluded from this Fund?

    Not all NEETs are excluded from the Fund. Ākonga who are enrolled in the Ministry of Social Development Youth Service NEET programmes are already receiving support and funding.

    Section 3: Post-Assessment

    3.1 Who will assess the proposals?

    A joint MYD and MoE assessment panel will be established to assess the open tender contestable fund.

    3.2 When will I know if my proposal has been successful?

    A decision regarding successful proposals will be made no later than February 2021.

    Successful proposals will be negotiated no later than February 2021 and delivery must commence in Term 1 of the 2021 Academic year.

    Successful proposals must have, or are applying for, Level 3, 2 or 1 Social Service Accreditation prior to be contracted.

    3.3 When will the funding be available?

    All successful proposals must have the appropriate level of Social Service Accreditation prior to being contracted. Funding will be made vailable on completion of a signed contract.

    3.4 When will I be able to access information about successful proposals?

    A list of successful applicants, including funding amount will be posted on the MYD and/or MoE website/s following completion of the open tender contestable funding round no later than March 2021.

    3.5 If my application is unsuccessful in this round, will there be other funding rounds?

    The fund is time limited. If the fund is not fully committed, MYD may undertake a further funding round in March 2021.

    3.6 When will we know if we are successful?

    A decision regarding successful proposals will be made no later than February 2021 (see FAQs). Unsuccessful respondents will be notified no later than March 2021 (see RFP).

    Section 4: SmartyGrants

    4.1 What is SmartyGrants?

    SmartyGrants is an online platform. MYD uses SmartyGrants to support responses/applications for any contestable funding rounds that it administers.

    4.2 How do I access SmartyGrants?

    Access the SmartyGrants link here.

    4.3 Who can help me if I have any problems with SmartyGrants?

    Please email Akonga_Fund@myd.govt.nz if you need help.

    Section 5: General

    5.1 Who can I contact for help?

    Please email Akonga_Fund@myd.govt.nz if you need help.

    5.2 Where can I access a downloadable version of these FAQs and will they be available anywhere else?

    Download the FAQs as a Word Document or PDF. A set of FAQs will also be posted along with the RFP document and draft Outcomes Agreement on the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS).

    5.3 What if I have a question not covered in these FAQs?

    You can send your question/s to Akonga_Fund@myd.govt.nz. We will endeavour to respond to all questions within 48 hours of receipt. Alternatively, you can attend an information hui or Zoom hui (zhui). Details are posted below.

    5.4 Can I send my response in via email or hard copy?

    No. Responses will only be accepted through SmartyGrants.

    Information Hui/Zhui

    The regional hui details are shown in the table below.

    Date

    Time

    Regional location

    16/11/20

    6.00pm -8.00pm

    Belleknowes, Dunedin

    17/11/20

    4.00pm – 6.00pm

    Christchurch Central

    18/11/20

    1.00pm – 3.00pm

    Porirua, Wellington

    18/11/20

    6.00pm – 8.00pm

    Lower Hutt, Wellington

    19/11/20

    6.00pm – 8.00pm

    Palmerston North

    20/11/20

    1.00pm – 3.00pm

    Henderson, Auckland (TBC)

    23/11/20

    6.00pm – 8.00pm

    Manukau, Auckland

    24/11/20

    6.00pm – 8.00pm

    Maunu, Whangarei

    25/11/20

    6.00pm – 8.00pm

    Hamilton

    26/11/20

    6.00pm – 8.00pm

    Victoria, Rotorua

    We have limited capacity and will be accepting RSVPs on a first come, first served basis, with one representative accepted from each organisation. All venues have mobility access.

    If you or a representative from your organisation would like to join us, please email Monique at Akonga_Fund@myd.govt.nz at least three days before the hui with the following information:

    • Name:
    • Contact Mobile Number:
    • Contact Email:
    • Organisation name:
    • Hui location:

    Please put Ākonga Youth Development Community Fund Engagement Hui in the subject heading.

    Zhui

    For those of you unable to attend one of the regional hui, zhui have been arranged for these dates;

    • Saturday 21 November; 12 noon - 2.40pm 
    • Saturday 28 November 2020; 12 noon - 2.40pm

    Please respond to Monique at Akonga_Fund@MYD.govt.nz with the preferred date you wish to participate via zhui and your name and contact email. There will be three zhui sessions for each date, with each zhui session limited to 20 participants.

    The Ākonga Team will confirm your registration and send you a Zhui invite link confirming which of the three sessions you have been placed into for that date.

    If you are feeling unwell please register for a zhui rather than a face-to-face hui.

    MYD reserves the right to change a hui to a zhui, and to cancel an event if registration numbers are less than 20 or due to health and safety reasons in relation to COVID-19.