Locally Driven Collaborative Research Project  

Request for Proposal

Research Consultant/Team to Develop and Evaluate a Food Literacy Measurement Tool

Name of Project: Measuring Food Literacy

RFP Issue Date:                 January 10, 2018

RFP Due Date:                   January 31, 2018 at 12:00 p.m.

Submittal Location: Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU)

Email proposal to:  


Project Summary:

Poor dietary patterns put us at risk of heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, poor mental health, and hypertension. Dietary patterns are influenced by many factors. Research suggests that developing food literacy may foster healthy eating by supporting healthy food choices, self-efficacy in preparing foods from basic ingredients, and related skills and competencies. Food literacy has been defined as is a set of interconnected attributes organized into the categories of food and nutrition knowledge, skills, self-efficacy/confidence, food decisions, and ecologic factors (i.e., external) such as income security and the food system. Public health practitioners deliver a variety of programs to support food literacy among populations. However, we currently do not have standardized, tested, and evaluated tools to help us measure the success of these programs.

A food literacy measurement tool could contribute to effective public health practice in Ontario by providing a means to:

• Identify, assess, and monitor food literacy in local populations;

• Better understand the relevance of food literacy to dietary patterns and health;

• Tailor, target, and evaluate food literacy programs;

• Identify gaps in programs and services; and,

• Engage in advocacy efforts and appropriately allocate resources.

In 2016, to inform the development of a measurement tool for food literacy, our Locally Driven Collaborative Project (LDCP) team conducted a scoping review to derive a list of key attributes, or characteristics, of food literacy. The identified attributes were grouped into five categories: Food and Nutrition Knowledge; Food Skills (i.e., skills to buy, prepare, handle, and store food); Self-Efficacy/Confidence (i.e., belief that you can use food/nutrition knowledge and skills); Food Decisions (i.e., ability to use your knowledge and skills to make food choices); and Ecologic Factors (i.e., being able to have enough money, food, and places to get healthy and local foods). A Delphi study was then conducted with key stakeholders to obtain input on the relevance and importance of these attributes within a public health context.

To build on this research, our team will collaborate with a Research Consultant/Team to develop and test a food literacy measurement tool, commencing March 2018 until December 2019. Evaluation of the tool will consider facets of validity, reliability, sensitivity to change, and feasibility. We initially aim to test the tool with youth (aged 16 to 19 years) and young parents and pregnant women (aged 16 to 25 years), with the potential for wider testing and implementation in the future.


Key Deliverables:

Development of a draft measurement tool (March to September 2018)

  1. Review prior LDCP food literacy materials to become familiar with the existing literature and the conceptualized attributes of food literacy, as well as the interdependent nature of these attributes.
  2. Complete a detailed literature review to identify and obtain existing tools that include relevant indicators and questions.
  3. Develop a first draft of a food literacy measurement tool by:
    1. Creating an inventory of questions based on existing tools.
    2. Identifying gaps in existing questions in relation to the identified attributes of food literacy, as well as their interconnections.
    3. Obtaining expert opinion on existing questions and the need for and format/wording of additional proposed questions, including their priority for inclusion in a measurement tool.
    4. Organizing questions to create a draft tool.
    5. Identifying response options (e.g., Likert) for questions.
  4. Develop a detailed plan for the evaluation of validity, reliability, sensitivity to change, and feasibility of the measurement tool. This plan should build upon evaluations of similar tools. Relevant tasks include but are not limited to: 
    1. Identifying data collection techniques, sample sizes, and recruitment strategies.
    2. Developing all tools necessary for data collection, including interview and discussion guides and scripts, as needed.
    3. Developing plans for appropriate data analysis.
  5. Assist with ethics application submission and revisions to the University of Waterloo (UoW), including providing draft tools and scripts needed for data collection.

Testing and refining the measurement tool (October 2018 to August 2019)

  1. Assist in the recruitment and training of LDCP staff to support data collection.
  2. Lead assessments of face and content validity and carry out cognitive testing of the draft measurement tool, with both members of the target population and experts. 
  3. Adapt questions and develop new questions as necessary.
  4. Pilot test the revised tool with the target population to assess feasibility.
  5. Adapt questions and develop new questions as necessary.
  6. Assess test-retest reliability with the target population.
  7. Adapt the tool as necessary.

Report/Recommendations and Knowledge Translation and Exchange (KTE) (September to November 2019)

  1. Develop a final report, providing an overview of the development of the tool, the results of the evaluations, recommendations for use, and future research needs.
  2. Assist with the development of at least one manuscript, at least two conference abstracts, and in planning for KTE more broadly. After the project is completed, assist by participating in at least two conferences in 2020, along with other LDCP team members (mileage and registration will be compensated).

Scope of Work:

●       Abide by the terms of ethics submissions approved by the UoW and/or local public health units.

●       Use appropriate and secure technology for all communications, ensuring confidentiality.

●       Store all data in a secure manner, as per ethics and other organizational requirements.

●       Work collaboratively with the LDCP Team through participation in monthly and periodic meetings, as needed, to support tool development, data collection, data analysis, and report/manuscript/abstract development.

●       Work with one or more graduate students or postdoctoral fellows to plan and carry out the development of the tool and its evaluation. Recruitment of said students to be determined.

●       Apply standardized and/or best practices for qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, analytic techniques, and guidelines for interpretation and reporting (e.g., reporting guidelines for the development of manuscripts).

●       Lead the development of the final report, with preliminary drafts to be submitted for review by LDCP Team members.

●       Participate in the development of a manuscript and conference abstracts.

●       Be available for some travel throughout Ontario. 

The LDCP Team will:

●       Provide direction through all phases of the project.

●       Administer and manage funds (responsibility of HKPRDHU, the Lead Health Unit of the LDCP).

●       Submit interim and final reports to PHO to meet reporting requirements.

●       Submit ethics proposals to individual public health units as required (using the content for the UoW ethics submission and draft tools and scripts).

The Research Consultant/Team will work within a maximum research budget remuneration of $44,350 from March to December 2018 and $55,200 from January to November 29, 2019 (including HST). This is a contract position and in lieu of benefits, travel and other expenses related to conferences will be compensated and time for vacation provided. Additional funds will be allocated support data collection (e.g., honorariums/gift cards for participants, transcription services, room rentals/refreshments, promotional material additional personnel for statistical analysis). The Research Consultant/Team will be expected to stay within the prescribed budget. Weekly hours will vary depending on deliverables and timelines.

Candidates will possess the following qualifications and experience:

●       PhD degree preferred, Masters in a relevant field will be considered.

●       Demonstrated and successful collaboration with a variety of stakeholders on an applied research project.

●       Development and evaluation of measurement tools, considering various facets of validity, reliability, sensitivity to change, and feasibility.

●       Conducting applied research in a relevant field, including the collection, analysis, interpretation, statistical analysis, and synthesis of qualitative and quantitative data to reach meaningful conclusions.

●       Development and implantation of training related to data collection, as well as mentoring/supervising practitioners and/or other trainees.

In addition, the successful candidate will be highly proficient in:

●       Communication (oral, active listening, and written);

●       Project management;

●       Time management;

●       Budgeting;

●       Documentation (i.e., ability to follow protocols set out by the College of Dietitians of Ontario and/or other professional/academic College/agency and the lead health unit’s organizational privacy requirements); and,

●       Adherence to principles of ethics, including ethics submission processes and requirements.

The successful candidate/team will be expected to use a home office (or business and/or academic office) to carry out the tasks associated with this project. The candidate/team must have facilities for long distance calls, internet-based work, faxing (or scanning), and data analysis (although there are some funds for software, if required).

Responses to this RFP must be received by email to Elsie Azevedo Perry at no later than January 31, 2018 at 12:00 pm.

Required content for proposal:

●       A letter of interest;

●       A résumé or short CV outlining education and experience relevant to this study;

●       Names and contact information for three references who can be contacted regarding experience relevant to this study;

●       Key samples of previous measurement tools and relevant research projects/works (e.g., reports, publications, or other research outputs) completed and written or co-written by the applicant(s).

The proposal will be evaluated based on:

●       The provision of the required content – Letter of interest, resume/CV, samples of past work, references.

●       The applicant’s experience and qualifications in relation to the requirements of the RFP.


Thank you for your interest in this RFP. Please note that while we appreciate your interest, only those candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.