OVC Human Trafficking Program – Writing a Comprehensive Semiannual Report
This recorded webinar is for Human Trafficking victim service providers and Enhanced Collaborative Model task forces funded by OVC in FY 2020 and forward. It provides information on the how collected quantitative performance measure data will inform semiannual narrative responses, shares new semiannual performance reporting tips and tricks, and shows grantees how examining their own grant performance measure data can build stories based on grant activity for their semiannual report responses. View the webinar presentation slides.
TINA DIMACHKIEH: Thank you all for joining us for the OVC Human Trafficking program, Writing a Comprehensive Semiannual Narrative training. I'm Tina Dimachkieh. I'm a Training and Technical Assistance Specialist. I provide contractor support to OVC as part of the Performance Management Team that is joining us today.
For today's session, we have a few objectives for you here. So, during the session today, participants will gain an understanding of how the collected quantitative performance measure data will inform your semiannual narrative responses. You'll also be learning about some tips and tricks around semiannual reports and the PRs. You'll also be able to examine performance measure data and the questions themselves based on certain stories that I will share with you from grantees and really be able to base stories on your own grant activity for your next semiannual report. At the end of the session, you'll also be receiving information on how to locate the resources that are available to you on our webpage and helpdesk information for additional support that you might need.
To get started, I did want to talk a little bit about performance management and how you can use your data to benefit your semiannual narrative responses, but also in a larger picture, how you can use your data and why performance management is so important for you all as grantees and for your organization. Performance management: A piece of it is performance measures and that is where you would collect data every quarter for your OVC award and really capture what is going on every quarter based on the performance measures that OVC has dedicated for your specific award. Once that data is collected, you then would move on to creating larger reports, and those are the semiannual reports.
It might be a little difficult on the screen, here, in this graphic, to see that next to the report, there's a rest stop. This is what we're focusing on today. But again, to speak to the larger picture, when creating these reports, if you're thinking of a performance management approach, these reports will be guiding you with identifying any issues that you're experiencing, any challenges, any improvements, and opportunities for improvement within your award, but also, within your organization and activity that your organization is engaging in.
So, even though OVC requires the reporting to take place for your award, you can use those reports to benefit your organization. They are beneficial outside of just reporting. And if you are thinking from a performance management approach, if you have a performance management plan in place, you can use our OVC reporting requirements to benefit your performance plan for your organization. You can use these reports and the data that's collected to apply for future funding, to evaluate sustainability of certain programs within your organization, and not only to satisfy the requirement of OVC.
As you see on the screen, here, you can analyze your progress, you can analyze your work at a larger level aside from your OVC grant, so, this is really important. And having a comprehensive semiannual narrative and comprehensive responses will only enhance your performance management plan and help you down the road to ensure that you are able to speak to the work that you're doing and you're able to receive additional funding, you're able to explain to your Grant Manager and to OVC, the work that you're doing in a stronger way. A lot of our grantees don't really know where you can start when you are drafting a narrative response. We do get this question a lot at our helpdesk. And okay, these are a requirement. This set of questions is a requirement. How can I start? I don't know how to begin writing. It's very similar to writing an essay, right?
Once you're starting, once you get started, you're good to go. But before you get started, you're really just stuck, trying to figure out what exactly are they looking for. The great way to start is looking at your question sets on your performance measures. Question sets are where you collect quantitative data, so those numbers that you would be collecting for OVC on a quarterly report. On the screen, here, we have all the questions sets that would apply to the Human Trafficking program. Your award falls under a specific solicitation and, based on that solicitation, some of these question sets may not apply to you, so you would just select the ones that do apply to you and you would focus on those.
Starting with what data are you collecting on the quantitative level, what data are you entering into the reporting system, which is the PMT, the Performance Measurement Tool, and speaking to that. That's a great way to start, because you're focusing on what OVC specifies for your award, but also it's a great place to start because that data does tell a story about your grant activity and there is a way for you to go through the data and to see if there are any increases or decreases in the data that you've entered on a quarterly level and be able to speak to that to get you started with reporting. Another way to get started is to focus on these six different boxes on the screen here.
The narrative questions do guide you in how to respond and they are pretty specific, so, you can use those. However, we will be talking about those questions momentarily. We'll plan on going through every question in this training today. But if you look at the screen, here, just keeping in mind that you are speaking to the status of your programmatic goals and objectives. Those are very important. I will tell you where to find those, if you are a new grantee and are unable to locate them. But speaking to what exactly is your award for and talking about the status of where you are, whether it's in the start of your award, whether you're closing out an award, or right in the middle in completing goals and objectives.
You also can let OVC know if you are on track to completing your fiscal and programmatic goals within the timeframe and the budget. You can speak to the timeline of your award; for a 3 year award, you could let OVC know where exactly you are in that timeline, if you are on track to what you expected to have completed by the reporting month that you're reporting on, and you can also speak to the fiscal side, and where you are versus the finances that you've spent, and all of that.
You also should be thinking about the next upcoming 6 months. If your award is just starting and you're reporting January 2023 for this new award cycle, you are going to be thinking of what are we going to do in the next 6 months? You will not have too much to speak about because you're just starting. If you're in the middle of an award, you will speak to what happened in the prior 6 months of grant activity and what is upcoming. Speaking to those and talking about the plans that are coming will help you fill in the report but will also help OVC understand where your award is headed.
You also should be thinking, when you're thinking of the semiannual questions, what can I ask OVC of? Is there any assistance that they could provide to me? Is there anything that our organization can receive from OVC to improve the grant activity or to improve our progress on our award? And any significant development is always great to share. I'll speak to that a little bit more, but you'll hear me throughout the session talking about bragging about the incredible work that you do. Bragging about client stories that you can share with OVC, things that have happened at the local level within your community that OVC and your Grant Managers would not hear of, or know of, unless you share in these reports.
You also should be thinking about sustainability. This is a very big piece. Sustainability of grant activity once the federal funding is no longer available.
If you keep these six in mind as you're starting to think of how am I going to fill up my narrative, how am I going to provide a comprehensive response to OVC, four to eight questions in the narrative, that will be a great way to get you started. So, let's talk a little bit about some tips and tricks.
The narrative questions for our human trafficking grantees with awards starting in FY 2020 and forward, are located in the JustGrants platform. Within JustGrants, for your performance measure requirements, you have a performance report. You'll see a performance report every 6 months. There's a due date next to it and every 6 months, so semiannually, you are required to go into JustGrants and to submit your performance report, which is also a PR. The JustGrants team, which is not our PMT team, they have created a great resource to help you locate the question sets and to help you submit your performance reports. The link, here, in the screen will be shared with you after the session and is also located in the slides.
These two screenshots in front of you, here, have been taken from that resource directly. It is a step-by-step guide on how to locate your performance reports, how to locate the question sets for the narratives, and how to begin completing them, and how to submit them as well. Please do take a look at that, especially if this is your first time in JustGrants or if this is your first time reporting on narrative questions directly in JustGrants.
The narrative reports, as I said, cover the previous 6 months of activity and the upcoming 6 months of activity. So, they are not speaking to the entirety of the award. Grantees will not be providing information on the entire award, unless it is a final report. So, you're only thinking about two quarters prior and then the two upcoming quarters, so, 6 months back and 6 months forward. This is really important to note because it will help you or it would help your Grant Managers to understand what exactly, what month and what quarter, you're referring to, when you are responding to the narrative questions.
So, including information and language such as, "In FY 2021 Q3 and Q4, we completed such and such. In the upcoming reporting period, we anticipate to complete X, Y, and Z." It's important to really help your Grant Managers understand when the activity took place and being as specific as possible, and also explaining what you're looking at completing in the coming 6 months. Please know that you are supposed to answer the questions based on what you know today.
The next reporting period will be different. Things that you may have anticipated completing might change. If you might run into some challenges, some hurdles, some staffing things might happen where you no longer are doing what you had anticipated you would do 6 months ago and nobody is held to anything that they wrote in their report if it changes in the next 6 months. So, try to answer to the best of your ability with what you know of your grant today. You also should only include work that was conducted with OVC award funding for that specific OVC award that you are reporting on, not other sources of funding. What this means is, as you all know, organizations are working on so many different things, especially in the victim services field. And there are so many different hats that they wear and functions that they do.
OVC is only looking for what was completed with award funds, so, what grant activity took place with the funding that was provided by OVC for that specific award.
This is important because they are evaluating their awards. They are looking at funding and would be able to advocate for additional funding and additional resources for the victim services field. If you are specific in speaking to your award and your award only. Also, if you have multiple OVC awards, be sure to only speak to that specific award that you are completing reporting for. The narrative should always be written by the primary grantee and not any subgrantees. So, the prime is the one that is responsible for completing the narrative. The prime grantee is the only one that has access to JustGrants for that award and is the only one that can complete those performance reports in JustGrants.
Every question needs to be answered. Like I said, there is a set of eight questions. "N/A" is not an acceptable answer, so "Not Applicable" is not an answer. These questions were designed for OVC grantees. So, every question, out of the eight questions should be applicable and there should be a response for each question. Grant Monitors or Grant Managers now have the ability to return a report or change request a report if sufficient details are not provided in every question. So, they can return it back to the organization asking for additional information.
So, if you do submit something that's just a yes or no, not applicable, you will get that report sent back to you to provide additional information to your Grant Manager. A great tip that I always used to use as a grantee was developing my responses in a Word document, so other staff members in my organization that are working with me on grant activity for that award can also review my responses and we can work together on editing the responses. My leadership can review my responses and approve my responses before I submit them in the platform directly. You can certainly do that. Just use the Word document, finalize your answers. And then once you're done, you will just copy and paste each response to a question directly into JustGrants.
Be sure to use plain text only. Graphics or bullet points or any special characters could mess up the text in your response in JustGrants or might delete some of the response that you wanted to share with OVC. So, please be mindful of that. Also, be sure to save your responses frequently. This is something I think we've all learned from any essays we're writing for school or college. Losing that information, especially if you're writing a long narrative, can be extremely frustrating. So, be mindful of that, whether you're working in the Word document or directly in JustGrants, be sure to frequently save your responses, so you do not lose any of the writing that you spent a lot of time contributing to.
Also, I wanted to talk a little bit about the process in JustGrants and the requirements in JustGrants. So, for your semiannual report, again, you will be locating the performance report, which is a PR and has a number next to it, and you will be completing those narrative question sets. In addition to that, grantees are required to also submit an attachment with their semiannual report. That attachment is a document that includes your performance measurement tool data. So that quantitative data that you're entering every quarter for OVC, is an attachment that would be included in your JustGrants performance report. That attachment is generated directly in the PMT, so the system does generate that attachment for you. It includes two quarters of data. You don't need to merge any numbers or do anything. All you would need to do as a grantee, is go into the PMT and into the report tab in the PMT, locate the current reporting period's semiannual PDF, and download it to your computer. Once you have that, you will then need to attach it to your performance report in JustGrants.
So, it's really a two-step process. You are attaching your quarterly reports from the PMT, that one PDF document, and you are completing the narrative questions, and then you would submit, and that would fulfill your requirements. Also, if you have any additional supporting documents in Word or PDF form that you would like to include in your semiannual report, think of any resources that you've created, any information that you've received from a subgrantee, any agendas for meetings, or anything that you'd like to share with OVC. You can attach those documents as well. You should be thinking of the performance report as a repository of all the work that was accomplished during the last 6 months.
One big tip that I would like to give you is that, if you were to get audited within 3 years, whether it's an OVC audit or any other sort of an audit, this should be a great place for you to go and get any historical information about your award, and be able to just pull that information out because it's all there readily available for you.
Okay. So, let's go into the different questions. So again, there are eight different questions. This is our first question. It says, describe the status of each goal and objective from your OVC-approved grant award. For those new with us, with OVC, locating your goals and objectives, you could locate them either in your solicitation, you could go to the solicitation document and the goals and objectives could be there, or they would be in your original narrative that your organization has submitted to OVC when they applied for the funding. Where would you locate that information? So, if you're unfamiliar with JustGrants, or a new staff member, where you would locate that information is in the Award Documents tab in JustGrants. Only authorized individuals that are listed in JustGrants have access to this information. Only people that have accounts in JustGrants have access to this information. So, please be mindful of that.
You may need to work with other staff members in your organization to locate that information, but it would all be in the Award Documents tab in JustGrants for you. So, for this question, it's very straightforward. It's asking you about each goal and objective from your OVC-approved grant award. So, you want to speak to every single one. But what you don't want to do is address every single one, every reporting period, because that just takes up time and then you are just repeating yourself, and we don't want to do that.
So, just focus on exactly what award or objectives or goals did you focus on in the past 6 months? So the past two quarters of reporting, what grant activity was dedicated to what goal or objective? You can talk about some successes for your goals and objectives. You could talk about the timeline of where you are in your goals and objectives: if you are on time, if you're behind, if you think you're ahead. You should also note that you want to be as comprehensive as possible. So, do explain to OVC what your terms mean when you say, "it's in progress" or "not yet started." Explain what and why the status of these awards is where it is.
What you should also do, let's say, you are in the beginning of your award, this is your first time completing a narrative for this award. Obviously, you're going to be in probably goal one, objective one. If you've only had 3 to 6 months of reporting, you would let OVC know that we've worked towards objective one. We, let's say an example would be, created a team. We've had our kickoff meeting, we've finalized our budget, and we're moving forward with staffing hires. So, objective one has been completed.
Objective two, we're now working on, complete, or providing services. Then you have five more objectives that you have not even touched because you're brand new. You would just say, the five other objectives will be reported on in upcoming reporting periods, just so OVC can understand where you are in that timeline. Likewise, if you're in the middle of a grant and you're on objective five of seven, you can say, please review other reporting periods to learn about the completed objectives one through four, or one through whatever has been completed. So, this will save you time and at least you're not repeating yourself when you are providing narrative responses to your Grant Manager.
Also, I do want to let you know that copying and pasting a response from a previous reporting period is also unacceptable. And your Grant Manager will change request that report back to you if you are just copying and pasting, because it's a very long period for things to remain the same. If you're reporting every 6 months, there must be some grant activity or if there is a lack of grant activity, you should be able to explain to your OVC Grant Manager why that is. This leads us right into our next question, which asks the grantee to describe any problems, delays, or adverse conditions that you encountered that affected your ability to reach your goals or objectives. This is a very important question and this is where being honest and transparent with OVC will be extremely helpful for your Grant Managers.
You should be thinking of listing any internal challenges within your organization, any external problems or delays related to your larger community or the victim services field in your area that are affecting your project implementation. And please know that challenges are normal and they are expected, and sharing those with OVC is very appreciated because it helps your Grant Manager understand what is going on with your award and what is going on at the local level, so they can better advocate for you and so they can better assist you where they can and provide resources.
A lot of examples that I can provide from different reports that we have reviewed is around organization turnover, around staff, hiring delays around budget delays, and really internal and external issues such as issues with partners, tension across partners, certain issues of certain groups of demographics of clientele that the organization is having a challenging time reaching or how all those issues can impact the project work. We've also heard a lot about staff turnover in the victim services field during COVID, and a lot of delays from government offices at the state and local level, and even the federal level due to COVID closures as well. So, this is not anything new. Challenges are expected. And often enough, we can connect you with other grantees that are experiencing the same thing. And it's nice to know that you're not alone. And we know that. But you do need to share that information with us, so we can better assist you and better understand what is going on with the funding and how to advocate for resources and more funding.
For questions three and four, those are yes or no questions. Depending on your response to each question, you would need to provide additional information. So, if you responded "yes" to question three, and I'll go into that in a moment, but if you responded yes to question three, the system will ask you to explain further. And if you responded "no" to question four, the system will ask you to explain further. So, please be mindful of that. And again, if you respond "yes" and you put "N/A" or "Not applicable" or don't provide a response, your Grant Manager will request that you open that report back up and provide more clarification on your responses.
Asking for TA is not a bad thing at all. We encourage our grantees to be, again, open and transparent, and to let OVC know when there is a need for any technical assistance that OVC can help you with. An example that I can share with you from a grantee, that I recently read is where a grantee explained that individuals being served in this grant, regularly request additional supportive services that are not available through this grant. This response, though we really appreciate that they expressed this response to us, but it's really not telling much. We don't know what the services are, we don't know what is not available, and we don't know if this issue has been brought up to your Grant Manager, and if your Grant Manager is working with you on that issue or how to support you. So, this is where it's very important to explain in greater detail and airing on the side of additional detail is safer than not providing enough information, where OVC has to reach out and ask for additional information.
Then we have question five. Oh, I did want to go back to question four. So, this one asks you about if you are on track, fiscal and programmatically, to complete your program in the time and in the budget specified in your grant. Again, being transparent and being honest will go a long way here. If you are on track or if you are not on track and you express that to OVC, this is an opportunity where, let's say, if you are towards the end of your award and you know that you have not been able to complete certain objectives or you know that you have additional funding that you would like to use, this is your opportunity to share with OVC that you would like to request an extension for example. Or you can share with OVC that you are having difficulty sticking to the timeline that you initially had in mind when you submitted your original proposal for this award. And they can help you come up with creative ideas and ways to complete the work or they can discuss doing some sort of a GAM to make changes to your goals and objectives, so you can both be in agreement on how to move forward. And it is, again, not a bad thing, but we understand that things happen.
We understand that we have a lot of expectations when we're writing a proposal and then when we're actually doing the work, things change. And COVID was a great example of that for a lot of our grantees that had great ideas and plans for their 2020 awards, and then all of a sudden, things shifted and changed, and we had to work together to come up with creative ways to help them achieve their goals and objectives or tailor their goals and objectives to what is achievable with the parameters that COVID had created.
Now, we can go on to question five. So, question five is actually my favorite question and I say this all the time to grantees because it really is my favorite question. The question asks you to describe any significant developments related to your project during the reporting period that you did not share above, being that you did not share in questions one through four This is your chance to brag about your organization's work on this award. This is your chance to share stories from your client's anonymous stories, redacting any personal identifying information. But this is where you can share with OVC, the incredible work that you are doing and really explain what has been going on in the past 6 months and highlight any stories, successes, but also, this is your chance to explain more of anything that you'd like to share with OVC that you were not able to explain in the previous questions above, because they were more tailored to specific responses.
If you feel that, hey, there's no significant development you would like to share. Think of anything that's going on in your community that you think would impact the victim services field, that could impact your award, your delivery of your award, and impact your goals and objectives, and share that here. I know our Grant Managers always tell us, they love to hear from the field. Again, they are at the federal level, they are not at the local level with you all doing the great work that you're doing. So any information you share with them, they love to hear it and they love to know more about it from the local level. And this is what this question is for.
Then there's question six which asks you about the next 6 months. So, it says if there are any progress in goals and objectives anticipated for the next 6 months, unless your grant is scheduled to end, prior to the next reporting period, which is 6 months later. This question, I mentioned earlier, you are supposed to be thinking of what is coming up for us in the next 6 months? So what resources are we going to be completing? What goals and objectives are we checking off in the upcoming 6 months? Again, you are only answering to what you know today.
You don't need to answer or your answer doesn't need to be a hundred percent accurate in 6 months, because things will change. I'm not going to say things can change, because we all know things will change within 6 months from what we're hoping to accomplish and what actually gets accomplished. You can talk about any items that your team has started working on, any items that you have been meeting about but you have not started implementing or putting into practice yet. You can also mention anything at the larger community level or with your partners that may affect the project work in the future for you. You can talk about any laws that are going to be put into place or any policies that your organization is implementing that would impact your award.
Then we have question seven, which is a very important question, asking if your agency will be able to sustain the program efforts after federal funding under this award has ended. This question is very important because it's something you should be thinking about as a grantee from when you accept your award. Sustainability is huge and it's very difficult in the victim services field. We all know that and we all advocate and fight for it, for continuation of the work, even without specific funding streams.
So, you need to be as honest as possible with what you know today of how to respond about sustainability for the work that you're completing. Your answer may change in the future and that is okay. You may start saying, there is just no way we can sustain these efforts and explaining to OVC why you think that is. Maybe you don't have leadership buy-in at your organization or within your local community or maybe we just don't have the funding because say your organization or your city just cannot afford to do this work without the specific funding from OVC.
Explaining that and then seeing how that changes over time would be phenomenal. An example that I can provide where we saw over a 3-year period, a shift in a grantee where initially, they had a victim advocate based in a police department that was 100 percent funded by an OVC funding. And initially, the victim advocate completing these reports would explain in her reports to that there is just no way her position would be funded once the grant ends because the police department does not have the budget for it and they are struggling to have local officers or first line officers hired because of funding or because of budgetary issues.
Two years into the award period, her response changed because she was able to show her chief and leadership how important her work had been at the organization within her law enforcement agency. And they decided that they would add funding for her and be able to sustain the work long term, and they made it a permanent position that was not funded by a federal grant and it became part of their budget from their city leadership. So, that's just incredible. But that also shows how what you know today might be different 2 years from now and it is really fascinating to see that over the life of a project.
And so, we encourage you to be as detailed as possible here, so we can see the changes over time. Again, this is a success story. It's a great story, but I understand that's not always the case. And OVC knows that. So, you might have high hopes of sustaining the work in the beginning and that changes over time. Again, being open and transparent, so your Grant Managers can understand what is going on and advocate for your organization and for the work that you're doing, will really go a long way.
Okay, question eight. This is the last question in the narrative report. And this question asks, if the federal award is shared with other entities or subgrantees to implement grant-approved activities. So again, I do want to insert this again, grant-approved activities. So, this report, all these eight questions and any other reporting for OVC, are on performance measures. You are only reporting on that specific grant, not on your organization's work. You're only reporting on grant activity that has been completed with grant funding.
So, for this one specifically, if you do not have any subrecipients or subgrantees that are within your award, you would just answer "No," and that is an acceptable answer for this question only. However, if you do have other subgrantees that are completing work with you, in this question you would list out who those subgrantees are. That might change over time; you might have a subgrantee that's only signed on for the first year of the award or for a specific timeframe within the award. So, you would explain that information here, whether contracts are signed, for how long, who these organizations are, and why they are a part of your award. You also are encouraged by OVC to collect narrative responses.
Those eight questions that we just went over, you should be collecting those from your subgrantee on a regular basis. This is a great practice for monitoring your subgrantees and your subrecipients as the prime on an award. This also will help you collect information from them the way that OVC collects it from you. And then you can also share with OVC, the work that they are doing and how that is benefiting your grant-approved activities.
If you choose to collect narrative responses from your subgrantees and you'd like to share those responses with OVC, they would not be in this document at all and they would not be in your report at all, but you can attach them as an additional attachment, like I had mentioned earlier in this presentation. Any information or resources that you think would be important to be shared with OVC, that's another item that you can attach as an attachment and then it would be there for your records in that repository for that award. So, if you'd like more information on that, we can certainly assist you with the subgrantee data collection piece.
Your Grant Manager will not see any of the subgrantee responses unless you share that information with them as an attachment. And again, that is not a requirement, but if you choose to do so, that is an option for you.
Okay, so we're going to move on to doing a quick wrap up and a summary, and then I will provide some additional information around semiannual reporting to you. And please if you do have any questions, put those in the Q&A box, and if you have any comments about what I'm saying, you can also put those in the Chat directly.
Okay. So, if you don't know where to start, if you're having a difficult time putting things on virtual paper as you're writing your narrative responses, a great place to start is using your performance measures and including those in sentences to get you started. This is a way to make your report comprehensive and this is a way to speak to grant activity that took place over the 6 months.
You don't need to be detailed in the numbers, you don't need to list out percentages and specific numbers. You don't need to get too much in the weeds on that, but it would be helpful to get you started, if you report on certain activities that increased or decreased over time as you're reviewing and analyzing your quantitative responses that you've entered into the PMT for the reporting period. A few examples here to get you started would be a response such as, "although, we reported zero strategic planning deliverables this quarter, we hope to do this, this, and that." And you can get started and get going, or "we hope to achieve this objective one by having a meeting with certain partners and completing these certain deliverables."
Another example would be, "our team wrote a new plan to coordinate our performance measure data collection in our organization as listed in objective four and these are the steps." So, again, you can see how comprehensive that is, it explains what objective you're referring to and it provides steps on how you plan on completing this. Again, looking at the PMT data and seeing where you can, basically, tell your Grant Manager a story about the data: "So, if you see the first quarter, we reported deliverables such as..., and then in the second quarter that changed."
So, you're showing a notable change or you're showing the impact of the work and explaining what happened between quarter one and quarter two or what happened between the first year of your award and the second year of your award, and how it's impacted your grant, and how it impacted the field, and your organization due to the work that was completed and the grant activity that took place with the funding provided by OVC. So again, considering impact, as I said in a previous slide, think of how your grant is impacted and how it's impacting your community and your organization, and that would be a great way to start reporting to OVC.
Speaking of PMT data, again, another example would be, "a few weeks after the May 2021 outreach event, we noticed more people asking about...," and you can refer to the certain resources that you've created or certain services that your organization provides that you can use OVC funding for. You can also talk about partnerships and how you're working with different partners, within your community, such as that second example, saying that the high school principal asked to see if we can meet and plan to work together. We'd love to hear about partnerships created in collaboration and coordination within your community, and within different providers in your community.
The next one would be talking about, also, a success where, you see, "we have included the addition of a part time social worker who helped expand our reach." So, this is sort of a success story on any new activities that you were able to implement based on the grant funding. So, to summarize, just three quick points here. Semiannual reports, again, they cover the previous 6 months of grant activity and the upcoming 6 months of grant activity. And so be thinking of what happened in the past and what's happening in the upcoming 6 months as well. You should be as specific as possible, explain the terms that you're using to your Grant Manager, whether it's around status, as you see on the screen, here, and progress--what does that mean?-- but also around any terms that your organization uses that are either specific to your geographic location, specific to your organization, to a certain community that you serve.
Making sure that you explain all of that, so your Grant Manager can really understand what your response means and how it's impacting your grant. Also, be sure to explore our resources online on our performance measurement webpage. I will have some information on that in upcoming slides, but be sure to go on there and look at our different performance measure resources and encourage your teammates to do so as well and hold each other and yourself accountable to ensuring that you are reporting accurately, that you are being transparent and honest, and that you are using the resources, and asking for assistance from OVC where you can, so you can better complete your grant goals and objectives and so you can maximize the use of the funding, and so you can succeed in your award and your award activity.
I wanted to go over the different reports with you before we conclude our session.
The summary of all the reports: So, we have the quarterly performance measure report. I've referred to this one quite a bit. This is where you enter data on a quarterly basis, you enter your quantitative data, so you enter numbers on grantee activities in the PMT system, the Performance Measurement Tool, and this happens every 3 months. We use the federal fiscal year. There are four quarters in the fiscal year. So, you do this four times a year where you respond to what grant activity took place in the previous 6 months.
Then you have your semiannual report. This is the progress report that you would complete in JustGrants. This includes the narrative questions that we spoke about, but it also includes that semiannual PDF that is generated in the PMT that includes the two quarters of data, the quantitative numbers, and you would upload that as an attachment to your PR, your progress report or performance report in JustGrants when completing the narrative piece.
So, then you have a closeout in a final report. This final report, just keep it in mind. A final report is a requirement once you complete grant activity, once you've expended all your funding, if you're terminating a grant early, there's a closeout and a final report. This final report aggregates the quantitative and qualitative data over the life of the award.
You would use PMT, that's where you would indicate that you are reporting on your final report for the quantitative piece. And then you would also use JustGrants. So, it requires both platforms. Again, there's a note at the bottom, here, to report on grant activity, proposed activity implemented or executed with OVC grant funds. So, saying the impact on the funding, talking about the funds and the work that was completed with that specific awards fund is what we're looking for.
I also wanted to give you the timeline for the performance report and the semiannual responses. So, your first report would be due January 30th. That report encompasses grant activity from July 1st to December 31st. Your second report is due July 30th, so 6 months later. And that encompasses grant activity from January 1st to June 30. But again, I do want to note that the January 30th report encompasses activity from July 1st to December 31st, but you also are talking about future work. So, you're also projecting on what will happen from January 1st to June 30. And vice versa, in July, you're talking about what's going to happen from June to December; you're projecting. So, be sure to keep that in mind. It's a cycle and it keeps going.
So, you're thinking of the previous 6 months and the upcoming 6 months. And again, you're answering those narrative questions and you also have to export that PDF from the PMT and upload it to JustGrants as an attachment to your performance report.
I wanted to let you know that we are here to help. We would love to hear from you. We love hearing from our grantees, whether it's through scheduling a welcome to performance management, to performance measures for any of your new staff members or having a team training session for your organization. You would just need to reach out to us, connect with me as a TTA specialist to schedule time and call them one-on-one coaching sessions.
These can be 30-minute sessions, an hour-long session, or they could be about a specific question that you have. We include our data analysts in those sessions and our research associates, so you can get as much information as you need and you can ask any questions that you need. Some of our calls are sometimes, 10, 15 minutes long just answering one specific question that's easier to respond to verbally than going back and forth with email. But we also have our helpdesk to assist you.
You can call or email the helpdesk directly if you have any specific questions about a specific measure or don't have time to schedule a session with us and just wanted to connect by email.
I do want you to be mindful that there are two different helpdesks. There's the PMT Tier Four Helpdesk. This is the team that I am a part of. This is the team that you can schedule one-on-one sessions to talk about performance measures and requirements with. We are responsible for creating new user accounts in the PMT, for navigating any error messages in the PMT, and for performance measures in PMT and in JustGrants. But there's also the JustGrants Helpdesk. They are a separate team than us, and they are responsible for all things related to the JustGrants platform on the tech side. So, they would help you with creating accounts, with any password resets, roles, onboarding for JustGrants. They help you navigate any errors in JustGrants and uploading attachments if you're having difficulty doing so.
I also want to let you know that they do have a lot of resources on the JustGrants side to help you navigate the platform. And a lot of them are very short, quick recorded videos or step-by-step resource documents, PDFs, that you can just scroll through like the one I shared with you earlier in this presentation.
Here is the information for both helpdesks. Again, for calling or emailing, we're all available to assist you, to help you complete your reports, and to alleviate any frustrations that you have around performance reporting. And we, again, would love to hear from you.
I do want to also let you know that if you do reach out to the helpdesk, please be sure to include your award number so we can better assist you and we can look into your issue right away. Other than that, this is all I have for today. So, thank you all so much for joining us today. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about performance reporting and about the narrative responses.
If you had any questions that were not answered, please feel free to reach out to us and we can connect with you after the session. And like I said, you'll be receiving a follow-up email with these slides, so you can have access to them and share them with your staff members. We will remain on the line, so we can go through some questions and answer them. So, if you did not have a question answered, please do put it in a Q&A or in the Chat. But thank you all, and if you had your questions answered, you can go ahead and hop and jump off. Thank you.
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