Project Officers Preparing for a Site Visit
The Program Operations Branch (POB) project officers are the primary point of contact between CDC and immunization awardees. The purpose of the site visit is to provide the project officer with an opportunity to:
- Gain a thorough understanding of the grantee's program (using a site visit questionnaire developed for this purpose) by discussing grant requirements and program updates since previous site visit and assessing progress toward implementing recommendations made during the previous site visit
- Meet awardee staff, address any questions and concerns from the most recent grant application or any other grant or program-related issues, and make additional recommendations on intervention strategies to improve program performance
- Provide technical assistance with preparing for and meeting the next grant application requirements
- Discuss any additional topics needing urgent attention and response.
Site visits are conducted annually and before grant applications are submitted. More frequent visits may be required in the following circumstances:
- New program managers
- Programs with new initiatives
- Situations that can adversely affect operations or funding.
In the absence of unusual or emergency situations, site visits are planned several weeks or months in advance. This enables the awardee to schedule time for meetings with key staff. Prior to the site visit, the project officer will provide the program manager with information that describes the areas to be covered during the site visit; the project officer will also review the following documents prior to the visit:
- Grant application and technical review
- Annual Progress Reports, previous site visit reports and recommendations
- NIS data
- BRFSS data
- Perinatal Hepatitis B data
- Evaluation plan
- Most current VFC Management Survey
- Cost and Affordability Tool (CAT).
An agenda for the site visit will be developed in collaboration with the program manager prior to the site visit. Awardees should be prepared to discuss:
- Funding guidelines (including timeframe for redirections)
- Method for monitoring how grant funds are spent (be prepared to provide examples of monitoring tools)
- Method for budget planning and adjustments in terms of FTE allocation, program objectives, and contracts once final annual budget amount is known
- Grant application and progress made on planned activities and objectives by grant component area (with telephone participation from IIS Consultant and Evaluation Team member for their respective areas).
The project officer will meet with immunization program staff working in each component area of the program and conduct the visit to accomplish the goals and objectives outlined in the site visit agenda. Awardees should not prepare formal presentations for the site visit but are encouraged to provide handouts or other tools for discussion, as warranted. Project officers have been asked by POB leadership to observe a VFC compliance site visit during their 2012 site visits.
A site visit report will be sent to the designated project official that includes a review of the findings of the visit along with any recommendations for the program to implement. The report is to be mailed within one month of the site visit.
The awardee must provide a written response to the project officer’s recommendations within 30 days of the date of the site visit report, using the template provided.
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