Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, no grant applications shall be accepted by the executive office of health and human services under item 4000-0005 of section 2 or by the executive office of education for grants distributed under item 7009-6400 of said section 2 in fiscal year 2013 prior to the competitive selection of an independent program evaluator by each administering agency. The independent evaluator chosen for each program shall provide assistance with the evaluation of grant applications and, to the extent possible, in developing the requirements for grant recipients. The independent evaluator shall be responsible for a multi-year evaluation of each program's implementation and outcomes; provided that the evaluator shall be responsible for evaluation design. Each program shall select an evaluator based on a competitive process. The selected evaluator shall demonstrate: (i) prior experience in evaluating the impact of social programs on low-income urban youth and communities using either random assignment of treatment or regression discontinuity methods; (ii) prior experience in field evaluation; and (iii) demonstrated skill in using quantitative analysis relevant for program evaluation. When selecting an independent evaluator, the administering agency shall consider: (1) a sample of previous similar work; (2) the ability to perform requested services; and (3) a proposed evaluation budget; provided, however, that the administering agency shall give preference to non-profit research organizations. Each administering agency shall develop a request for proposal for program evaluators based on the criteria included in this section not later than August 15, 2012 and shall select an evaluator not later than October 1, 2012. Once selected, evaluators shall assist the administering agency with reviewing, and to the extent possible, developing requests for proposal for grant funds that ensure that grant recipients: (A) fully cooperate with the independent evaluator; (B) commit to seeking the informed consent of program clients and their families to share data relevant to evaluation; and (C) provide access to program and administrative data necessary for evaluation. The evaluators shall provide quarterly progress updates to the house and senate committees on ways and means that shall inform the committees on the progress of implementing the evaluation plan and shall identify in those updates any obstacles encountered in implementing the evaluation plan; provided, however, that the first quarterly report shall detail the evaluation plan for each program, data required for analysis and outcomes measured. The evaluators shall provide an annual report not later than March 15 of each year of the evaluation period to report on relevant findings and analysis.