Procuring Research and Evaluation Services

Research Report

Procuring Research and Evaluation Services

A Guide for CCDF Lead Agencies and Researchers



Every Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Lead Agency can use research and evaluation services. Even if your agency has an internal research department, sometimes you may need to procure (i.e., contract out) specialized research or evaluation services. You can be more successful in getting the research and evaluation services you need if you have some understanding of the procurement process in your state.


This guide aims to help CCDF Lead Agencies understand some basics about procurement. It defines key procurement terms and suggests where to look for your state’s procurement requirements. The guide walks you through key steps for procuring research and evaluation services. It also provides a checklist and glossary for easy reference. Resources are linked throughout the document where you can access more information on each topic.

Key Findings and Highlights

Navigating state procurement requirements may be challenging at first. States vary in their specific procurement procedures, and procurement has its own vocabulary.

To procure research and evaluation services, here are some steps you need to take:

  • determine what you need,
  • learn the procurement requirements in your state,
  • write up and advertise what you need, and
  • review proposals and select who will do the work.

Many steps in the process will require your team to seek help from other state agencies. Give yourself some lead time to figure out all the required steps and approvals.


Derrick-Mills, Teresa, Travis Reginal, and Julia Isaacs (2020). Procuring Research and Evaluation Services: A Guide for CCDF Lead Agencies and Researchers, OPRE Report #2020-89, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services.

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