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Qualitative Inquiry Methods to Understand Issues in HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment in the US

Solicitation Number: 2013-56974
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Location: Procurement and Grants Office (Atlanta)
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Sources Sought
Added: Apr 08, 2013 11:36 am
This is a Small Business Sources Sought notice. This is NOT a solicitation for proposals, proposal abstracts, or quotations. The purpose of this notice is to obtain information regarding: (1) the availability and capability of qualified small business sources; (2) whether they are small businesses; HUBZone small businesses; service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses; 8(a) small businesses; veteran-owned small businesses; woman-owned small businesses; or small disadvantaged businesses; and (3) their size classification relative to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for the proposed acquisition. Your responses to the information requested will assist the Government in determining the appropriate acquisition method, including whether a set-aside is possible. An organization that is not considered a small business under the applicable NAICS code should not submit a response to this notice.

Background. This procurement is entitled "Qualitative Inquiry Methods to Understand Issues in HIV Prevention, Care, and Treatment in the United States". Thirty years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, many advances have been made in HIV prevention, care, and treatment. Great strides have been made in the development of faster and more efficient HIV testing and screening technologies, and in medical treatments that allow HIV-positive persons to live long and productive lives. Yet despite these efforts, approximately 50,000 Americans are infected with HIV each year, and the overwhelming majority of these new infections remain among minority and vulnerable communities, such as racial and ethnic minorities, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender persons, and youth (aged 13-29). This health disparity in the HIV epidemic is anchored in long-standing social issues, such as racism, discrimination, stigma, poverty, incarceration, and healthcare inequity.

In July, 2010, President Barack Obama unveiled the first National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) for the United States, a coordinated national response to reduce the burden of HIV in the U.S. by 2015. The strategy outlined 3 major goals: (1) reduce the number of people who become infected with HIV; (2) increase access to care and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV; and (3) reduce HIV-related health disparities. The strategy emphasizes focusing efforts in communities where HIV is highly concentrated, and by addressing HIV in these communities, lowering the collective HIV risk of all Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) provides leadership in helping to control the HIV epidemic. To continue these efforts and in alignment with NHAS, DHAP requires the support of an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to (1) conduct qualitative inquiry methods to help answer timely questions related to HIV prevention, and (2) to use the findings to strengthen existing and future HIV prevention efforts. It is increasingly important to understand the issues, behaviors, barriers and facilitators experienced by those at greatest risk for HIV to better focus prevention programs and successfully reduce the number of persons infected with HIV, especially in vulnerable communities, and increase access to HIV treatment and care for all HIV-positive persons.

Purpose and Objectives. The purpose of the IDIQ contract is to provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an ‘as needed' mechanism with rapid turnaround to obtain required services related to understanding issues impacting HIV prevention. These services could include, but are not limited to, collecting in-depth qualitative data, summarizing and analyzing existing qualitative data, and developing both technical documents and publishable manuscripts to add to the generalizable current state of knowledge regarding issues, barriers and facilitators to HIV prevention, care, and treatment. Located within the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) is responsible for providing national leadership and support for HIV epidemiologic research and surveillance of the behaviors and determinants of HIV transmission and disease progression, and for prevention research and the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based HIV prevention programs serving persons affected by or at risk for HIV infection.

These programs are authorized under the Public Health Service Act sections: 317 (42 U.S.C. 241(a) and 247b); 301 (42 U.S.C. 241); 311 (42 U.S.C. 243), as amended. Some general objectives of this effort shall include, but are not limited to:

1. Use qualitative research methods to understand issues impacting HIV prevention, care, and treatment in at risk communities, such as among:
a. Racial and ethnic minorities
b. Men who have sex with men (MSM)
c. Persons living with HIV (PLWH)
d. HIV care providers and physicians;

2. Collect quantitative data on behaviors, knowledge, skills, beliefs, and attitudes;

3. Conduct standardized qualitative data collection procedures;

4. Conduct rigorous data analysis procedures:
a. Use software packages to assist in data management and analysis
b. Achieve inter- and intra-coder agreement
c. Document all analysis activities;

5. Implement small-, medium-, or large-scale qualitative research projects as identified by the Task Order;

6. Use observation methods of physical environments and behaviors when appropriate;

7. Conduct reviews of organizational policies and procedures documents when appropriate;

8. Conduct patient medical chart reviews when appropriate;

9. Conduct mixed-method qualitative and quantitative data collection when appropriate;

10. Conduct rapid assessment procedures when appropriate.

It is expected that, at the completion of each individual Task Order, a complete electronic copy of the data set with a codebook, and a report of findings will be provided to CDC DHAP. If the Task Order dictates, a manuscript suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal may be required.

All work must be of sufficient quality for potential presentation at national conferences with peer-reviewed abstracts and for publication in high-impact, peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Project requirements.

Scope of Work.  Independently, and not as an agent of the Government, the Contractor shall furnish all necessary personnel, facilities, supplies, and equipment and seek all necessary research and administrative approvals, collect all data, analyze all findings, and produce all reports, papers, or other deliverables as specified by each Task Order issued. Unless otherwise specified, each Task Order is expected to produce, at a minimum, a complete electronic copy of the data set with a codebook, a technical report suitable for use by DHAP decision makers, and a manuscript suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Technical Requirements -
For all Task Order proposals, the Contractor shall:
1. Conduct qualitative research addressing sensitive behavioral issues with hard-to-reach populations in the United States.
2. Identify and recruit key informants and gatekeepers in agencies, communities, and populations of interest, and a strategy for enrolling participants, including HIV service providers, physicians, and at-risk or traditionally hard-to-reach persons as appropriate.
3. Maintain experienced and appropriately trained staff for collecting qualitative data.
4. Provide expertise analyzing qualitative data, creating codebooks and using data analysis software.
5. Collect and handle all data in accordance with federal human subjects' regulations, privacy and confidentiality protections, and data security protocols.

All tasks shall adhere to the following:

• Unless otherwise indicated, data shall be collected from one or more sites or geographic regions in the United States with demonstrated burden of HIV infection or risk for HIV infection.
• A memorandum of agreement shall be provided for all recruitment sites.
• In-depth interviews, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, or other appropriate and agreed upon qualitative and quantitative data collection methods shall be used.
• Participants shall receive appropriate incentives for participation.
• Other data sources may be used, and include existing epidemiological studies, national survey data, and U.S. census data.
• Whenever possible, data shall be triangulated.
• Data shall be collected and analyzed by the Contractor.
• The Contractor is responsible for creating a secure data system to store study data and protect participant confidentiality.
• Data shall be analyzed using appropriate existing qualitative data analysis software.
• A final report and dataset shall be provided to CDC.
• The Contractor is responsible for seeking IRB approval for all data collection activities.
• The Contractor is responsible for developing the Information Collection Request (ICR) documentation for OMB approval.
• The Contractor and the Contracting Officer's Representative shall establish administrative responsibilities including planning for initial project meeting, project conference calls, timelines for monitoring reports, and submission of data sets to CDC through a secure data network.

All tasks shall be subject to the both the Base Period and Option Years and fall within one or more of the following task areas:

Task Area 1.0. Small-scale qualitative studies:
• The contractor shall recruit and enroll a sample of 30 participants.
• All data shall be collected within one month from IRB and OMB approval.

Task Area 2.0. Medium-scale qualitative studies:
• The contractor shall recruit a sample of 100 participants.
• All data shall be collected within two months from IRB and OMB approval.

Task Area 3.0. Large-scale qualitative studies:
• The contractor shall recruit and enroll a sample of 200 or more participants.
• All data shall be collected within three months from IRB and OMB approval.

Anticipated period of performance.
Base Period: 9/1/2013 - 8/31/2014
Option Period 1: 9/1/2014 - 8/31/2015
Option Period 2: 9/1/2015 - 8/31/2016
Option Period 3: 9/1/2016 - 8/31/2017
Option Period 4: 9/1/2017 - 8/31/2018

Other important considerations. None.

Capability statement /information sought. All respondents must provide, as part of their responses, a capability statement. The capability statement must include the following:

1. Technical and Business Content:

a. Information regarding respondents': (a) staff expertise, including their availability, experience, and formal and other training; (b) current in-house capability and capacity to perform the work; (c) prior completed projects of similar nature; (d) corporate experience and management capability; and (e) examples of prior completed Government contracts, references, and other related information; and

b. Technical and business content shall not exceed 10 pages.

2. Cover Page and Table of Content:

a. Information regarding respondents' DUNS number, organization name, address, point of contact including names, titles, addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses , and size and type of business (e.g., 8(a), HUBZone, etc.) pursuant to the applicable NAICS code; and

b. Cover Page and Table of Contents shall not exceed 2 pages

3. Formatting and Delivery Instructions:

a. Information shall be provided electronically only (telephone and facsimile responses will NOT be accepted);

b. Information should be provided in Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe PDF, font size must be greater than 10 pitch, paper size must be 8 ½ X 11, margins must be greater than 1.0, spacing should be single or double space; and

c. One copy of the response is required;

Disclaimer and Important Notes. This notice does not obligate the Government to award a contract or otherwise pay for the information provided in response. The Government reserves the right to use information provided by respondents for any purpose deemed necessary and legally appropriate. Any organization responding to this notice should ensure that its response is complete and sufficiently detailed to allow the Government to determine the organization's qualifications to perform the work. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. After a review of the responses received, a pre-solicitation synopsis and solicitation may be published in Federal Business Opportunities. However, responses to this notice will not be considered adequate responses to a solicitation.

Confidentiality. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).

Added: Apr 15, 2013 2:50 pm
Under the Section entitled "Capability statement /information sought" 3.c. is changed to include the additional Delivery Instructions:

All Capability Statements must be delivered via email to the Contracting Officer, Wikiki Henton.  Ms. Henton's email address is .  The Notice number (2013-56974) shall be in the email Subject Line.
2920 Brandywine Road, Room 3000
Atlanta, Georgia 30341-4146
Contractor's Facility

United States
Phone: 7704882621