The Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) is releasing this solicitation for applications on behalf of the Office of Justice Program’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the State Justice Institute (SJI). This 12-month planning initiative will support individual practitioners or cross-sector teams from the same community or region interested in adopting bold solutions and reimagining how diverse organizations and agencies with different missions can engage with one another to address the persistent challenge of substance use and misuse in rural communities.
The Reaching Rural initiative is designed for rural agency leaders or mid-level professionals working in counties, cities, or tribes as justice, public safety, public health, or behavioral health practitioners. Selected participants will bring a diversity of expertise and experiences, a desire to learn and contribute, and a passion for addressing substance use and misuse in their rural communities.
Applicants may apply to participate in the Reaching Rural initiative as an individual practitioner or as a member of a cross-sector team from the same community or region. All selected participants, whether they participate as an individual or a team, will:
- Assess local or regional opportunities for systemic change.
- Build leadership skills to facilitate cross-sector collaboration.
- Explore the implementation of evidence-informed strategies in diverse rural settings.
- Identify opportunities for different sectors (e.g., law enforcement, child welfare, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation, judges, public health, behavioral health) to effectively align efforts.
- Prioritize opportunities and strategies and commit to action.
- Build a roadmap for local implementation.
- Identify resources to support the implementation of the roadmap.
- Commit to a project or individualized learning opportunity in month 5 of the project and devote focused time during months 6 through 11 to that effort. This portion of the planning initiative will be developed in collaboration with an assigned site coach.
Participation in the planning initiative includes:
- Travel and per diem reimbursement to participate in three in-person meetings: an orientation, a field visit to observe the implementation of evidence-informed practices in a rural setting, and a closing session.
- Monthly mentorship and guidance aimed toward your local needs.
- Monthly assignments that help you apply core concepts to your local community or region.
- Access to a diverse network of peers, innovative rural communities (including the Rural Justice Collaborative’s Innovation Sites), and technical assistance (TA) providers.
- Formal recognition for completing the planning initiative.
All proposed activities supported under this solicitation are designed for rural communities. To determine if your community is defined as “rural,” use the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer, a tool maintained by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). If you believe your community rural but not identified as such by the HRSA tool, you will be asked to provide documentation that your community has been designated rural by an alternative state or federal agency.
We aspire to recruit a diverse group of rural practitioners with different skills and backgrounds committed to learning from others and exchanging ideas. We encourage anyone interested to apply, regardless of their previous level of experience or exposure to this topic. We aim to engage rural practitioners who do not have prior cross-sector strategic planning experience but are enthusiastic about the opportunity to participate in this effort with other practitioners from their community and practitioners from other rural communities.
Please see the solicitation for additional eligibility information.
Full Details of Opportunity
Full details of this opportunity—including additional information about individual and cross-sector team eligibility requirements, the time commitment associated with this initiative, and the selection process—can be found at https://www.cossup.org/Content/Documents/Funding/Reaching_Rural_Advancing_Collaborative_Solutions.pdf.
How to Apply
All application components must be submitted via online application no later than 5:00 p.m., ET, on December 15, 2023.
The cross-sector team application can be found here: http://s.iir.com/d5a7RnpQ
A PDF version of the questions on the cross-sector team application can be found here: http://s.iir.com/6hZdeuBH
The individual application can be found here: http://s.iir.com/XbmG95w7
A PDF version of the questions on the individual application can be found here: http://s.iir.com/TzX9VUQU
Do you want to learn more about this opportunity? BJA hosted an informational webinar on November 14, 2023. The recording is available at https://www.cossapresources.org/Media/Webinar/f9d0a8b8-9c93-460e-a0a5-63d15d886ff4.
A PDF version of the slide deck used during the webinar is available at https://www.cossup.org/Content/Documents/webinar/Reaching_Rural_2_Solicitation_Webinar_111423.pdf
If you have any questions about application process, please email COSSUP@iir.com.