The due date for January to June 2020 Discretionary Program progress reports remains July 30, 2020. However, the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and the Violence Against Women Act Measuring Effectiveness Initiative (VAWA MEI) understand that grantees may be hindered in reporting complete and accurate information due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially if they or their project partners do not have access to files. Therefore, we recommend that grantees complete progress reports to the best of their abilities and submit them before the deadline. Every progress report form includes a narrative field where grantees can provide additional information about the data (the last narrative question of the form). Use that space to explain any incomplete or missing data. We encourage you to also use other narrative fields to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on grant support activities.
We recommend that grantees do not report estimates for numbers of victims served, demographics, training participants, or any other numerical fields. Any numbers reported should have adequate source documentation, meaning records to support reported information. For instance, an employee’s timesheet is source documentation to support the number of hours the employee worked. A technical assistance log that tracks TA requests and their responses is another example of source documentation. Make sure to communicate this with your OVW Program Specialist by using the narrative fields to explain any missing data and to describe activities that you’re not able to quantify or report right now.
No. Per normal reporting guidance, do not use a future reporting period’s progress report to report activities that took place during the current reporting period. If data becomes available after you have submitted your progress report, you have two options:
- If data changes need to be made and your progress report has not yet been approved in the Grants Management System (GMS), contact your OVW Program Specialist to request changes through the change-request process in the GMS.
- If your progress report has been approved in the Grants Management System (GMS), reach out to your OVW Program Specialist and, if needed, VAWA MEI can make the data changes when we receive the data.
In some cases a field can be left blank and the reporting form will still validate successfully. However, there are also cases where the form will not validate successfully if there is missing data or the data that has been entered is causing a validation error. In these cases, we recommend that you use “dummy data” and enter a number like 1 when the field cannot remain blank. Then, go to the last narrative question on the form (where you are asked to discuss the data submitted) and explain, “We entered 1 in question 26 in order to validate the form. The number in question 26 should be deleted.” This way, you will be able to validate the form and submit the data by the deadline and, using your description, VAWA MEI can correct the data.
We recommend that grantees include words like “COVID-19” and “pandemic” when describing COVID-19 related adjustments to programming or when explaining any incomplete or missing data. This will enable your OVW Program Specialist and VAWA MEI analysts to retrieve and review this data.