In response to requests from Congress and the Corporation's Chief of Staff, we conducted an evaluation of the Corporation's 2010 Social Innovation Fund (SIF) Grant Application Review Process (GARP).
We determined that the GARP policies and procedures applied to the new SIF program generally appeared to be fair and objective, particularly with respect to the first two stages of the review process (the blended, or expert stage; and the evaluation stage). However, for the third late stage review, in which final grant award funding decisions were made, the Corporation was unable to provide us with sufficiently detailed documentation to allow us to evaluate the fairness and objectivity of that particular stage. In some cases, the Corporation deviated from its existing process in ways that were not consistent with established procedures used for other grant award programs. These deviations were attributed by Corporation officials to the fact that SIF was a new program which required an application review and award protocol that differed from those used with the Corporation's other long-established service programs.