Request for Proposal: Market analysis and research to inform the development of a business plan for online & blended learning provided by Rainbow Health Ontario

  • Contractor
  • Anywhere

About Sherbourne Health

Sherbourne Health is a dynamic provider of integrated health services, community programs and capacity-building initiatives that enable people and diverse communities to achieve wellness. As an urban health agency in downtown Toronto, Sherbourne provides holistic primary care and chronic disease management, mental health services, health promotion and education, and outreach and social supports. Sherbourne’s doors are open to everyone, with a focus on the LGBT2SQ community, homeless and under-housed people and newcomers to Canada, whose complex needs are often not met by traditional health care. Sherbourne combines high-quality clinical care with responsive, culturally appropriate community development programs that bring low-barrier services to people in the surrounding communities who need it most.

About Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO)

Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) is a province-wide program of Sherbourne Health, and is primarily funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health.  Unique in Canada, RHO creates opportunities for the health care system to better serve LGBT2SQ communities. Designed to respond to a broad range of stakeholders, RHO has four main areas of focus: practice and organizational change, policy and program development, catalyzing research, and knowledge dissemination.

Since its creation at Sherbourne in 2008, RHO has endeavored to improve access to services for LGBT2SQ communities across the province by[1]:

  • Providing training to service providers about LGBT2SQ health.
  • Providing trans specific training, weekly mentorship calls and consultation.
  • Providing consultations to organizations across the province to develop their capacity.
  • Encouraging, promoting and sharing research.
  • Consulting on public policy issues.
  • Hosting online directories of LGBT2SQ affirming service providers, of current research and a researcher database, and of a range of resources.
  • Being a respected source of evidence-based information and resources.
  • Hosting a biennial LGBT2SQ health conference.

Context for a market analysis at Rainbow Health Ontario

Rainbow Health Ontario has been delivering face to face trainings on aspects of LGBT2SQ health for 10 years, and as a result of a program evaluation, is refreshing its approach to supporting health care providers in developing and applying knowledge and skills.  This will entail a shift from focusing on face to face training – with limited support available post-training – to providing online learning and blended learning approaches, with follow up support.  We have developed a clinical competency and cultural safety framework, and have secured a learning management system to host trainings and more.  At present, some of our trainings are offered for continuing medical education (CME) credits, and we intend to offer CME credits for our online and blended learning modules.

Key drivers of the move to online and blended learning are a) the need to find a sustainable approach in the face of increasing demands for training and b) recognition that skills acquisition and application is a process, and that most people do not apply what they learn in a workshop or in online learning without access to ongoing support.

With shifting to a focus on online and blended learning, we see an opportunity make our training and support available outside of Ontario, and to attract investments from a diverse range of sectors.

Scope of Work

Areas for research, analysis, and recommendation for the market analysis and to support the development of a business plan include:

  • A segmented understanding of potential purchasers:
    • why potential purchasers of our services would invest in developing their workforce’s skills / their own skills in relation to LGBT2SQ health,
    • why they might choose to purchase from RHO,
    • what purchasers would value in relation to what we are proposing to offer, or would want instead
    • what purchasers’ support needs might be, including technical trouble shooting and content-related support
    • what they would be prepared to pay
    • what the potential value of the market would be
  • A description of existing Canadian online learning modules regarding LGBT2SQ health, and comparison of adult learning approaches and methodologies to ours
  • An analysis of our competition in Canada and internationally, including in relation to modules that may be provided at no cost by agencies that do not focus on LGBT2SQ health
  • How what we are proposing to offer aligns or is distinct from general trends in online and blended learning

Areas for recommendations:

  • A segmented marketing plan, including how RHO could effectively and efficiently reach potential key partners, develop key messaging, and implement strategies for securing contracts
  • Segmented pricing models
  • A multi-year strategy for successfully operationalizing and potentially scaling up online and blended learning, and associated supports

Data collection approaches:

  • Approximately 20 key informant interviews
  • Environmental scan of competitors, including standalone modules on LGBT2SQ health topics
  • Other methods as proposed by the consultant group

Project Time Frame

All activities and will be completed and deliverables submitted by December 18th, 2019.


  • A detailed workplan outlining methodology, key activities, and time frames
  • A preliminary report outlining market analysis and content to support the development of a business plan, addressing content outlined in the scope statement
  • A hard and electronic copy of a final report
  • A hard and electronic copy of a two-page business case, outlining
    • What we are offering, why this is important, why we would be selected as a vendor, trends in online learning, drivers regarding interest in LGBT2SQ health etc.
  • A presentation of findings and recommendations to key Sherbourne stakeholders

The deliverables will be the property of Sherbourne Health.

Budget Range

We have between $25,000 – $30,000 available for this project.

Responding to the RFP

Responses to the RFP are to be submitted via email.  Incomplete responses will not be considered.

In response to the RFP, we request the following:

  • A detailed description of previous and relevant work experience in market analysis and business case development in a health context
  • Demonstration of the understanding of the possible market, and the health needs of LGBT2SQ communities
  • A proposed plan for engaging in market analysis and research, and business case development
  • A proposed budget, including consultants’ fees, any costs related to the project
  • A description of the members of the proponent team or group, including roles.
  • Reference names and contact information from previous clients.
  • Sherbourne resources needed to support the study.

Evaluation of Proposal

Sherbourne Health will evaluate the proposals considering the following factors:

  • An understanding of the scope and objectives of the project.
  • An overview of the experience of the firm in related projects.
  • The specific consultant(s) proposed and their experience relative to the role for which they are proposed.
  • The proposed approach to the project
  • The daily rate, the total days and associated cost for this project.
  • An indication of the degree of flexibility in the consulting days proposed.
  • References

Sherbourne intends to use a high degree of discretion in its selection decision, guided by the above factors.  Sherbourne may request further information, including an interview, with consultants as part of its decision making.

Submission & Timelines

Proponents should submit their proposals electronically to:

Devon MacFarlane, Director, Rainbow Health Ontario, Sherbourne Health

An email acknowledging receipt will be sent.
Submissions will be accepted until Friday August  30th 2019 at 5 pm.  

[1] Proposing consultants / vendors are encouraged to visit our website at

Download the full RPF (PDF)

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