The Selection Process
A total of 16 selection committee members were assigned up to 20 applications each to review as a primary or secondary reviewer in the Provide or Educate category. Each category had at least one person per state included in the review. Three of the committee members were National Harm Reduction Coalition staff members who had deep experience in the region and/or in grantmaking. Selection committee members were provided their assignments and a scoring guide to complete per application over the course of two weeks prior to the in-person grant review.
In early September, the selection committee and team members of National Harm Reduction Coalition met in Louisville, Kentucky for a 2-day grant review process. The grant review was facilitated by two National Harm Reduction Coalition team members who offered an orientation to the project, the portfolio of grants, values elicited from consultations, and the approach for decision-making. The selection committee met in separate groups (Provide & Educate) and then re-convened as the larger group to discuss the proposed grants to be awarded. By the end of Day 2, the review committee had made final selections on proposals to be funded, and guidance to National Harm Reduction Coalition on a framework to finalize outstanding modifications to budgets for proposals that were funded at levels lower than requested. All applicants were notified whether or not they received the award the following week. National Harm Reduction Coalitions’ Grant Manager and Regional Director began the process of connecting with grantees to begin the contracting and technical assistance assessment process.
“Going into the selection committee process, I was nervous, excited, felt a little bit of imposter syndrome, but was eager to learn from the participatory process… walking out of the selection process, I felt touched by the experiences that were shared by people in the room and full of hope for the future of harm reduction as a movement and as a practice.” — Selection Committee Member on their experience