Learning Solutions

NeighborWorks® America Grant Review Services

Market: Housing & Community Development, Grants Management

Start Year: 2016

Role: Prime

Client: NeighborWorks® America

Services Provided: Grant Application Review

In October 2016, Econometrica was contracted by NeighborWorks® America to support the review and evaluation of applications received under Project Reinvest, a series of three competitive grant programs designed by NeighborWorks and funded by the $122.5 million U.S. Department of Justice settlement with Bank of America. NeighborWorks developed the three funding opportunities to support these programs, each designed with a specific focus:

  • Homeownership Grants – Provide down payment lending to low- and moderate-income individuals.
  • Neighborhood Grants – Promote stabilization and revitalization in areas hit hard by foreclosure.
  • Financial Capability Grants – Assist individuals in stabilizing their finances, rebuilding credit, and establishing savings.

Econometrica managed the grant review process following the initial threshold review through the technical panel review and award recommendations.

For each program, Econometrica:

  • Established grant reviewer qualifications; managed recruitment and selection of reviewers.
  • Developed methodology for application reviewer assignment to avoid conflict of interest and balanced workload.
  • Designed and delivered grant reviewer training.
  • Analyzed, tested, and revised grant application scoring rubrics and the instructions to grant reviewers.
  • Drafted scoring guidance material, including guidance and technical assistance to reviewers on the use of NeighborWorks online grants portal.
  • Managed assignment of applications to reviewers and reviewer progress in grants portal.
  • Analyzed reviewers’ data and provided data management support to the NeighborWorks project managers to confirm the completeness, quality, and objectivity of the reviews.
  • Provided help desk support to reviewers throughout the review process and coordinated the development and release of reviewer FAQs.
  • Convened consensus review panels.
  • Prepared the rank order list of applications for each program.