RFP: DEI Review and Assessment (CCA)
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP): DEI REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT
The United Nations Foundation’s Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) is accepting proposals for a comprehensive review and assessment of CCA’s integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion practices, both internally and externally, to assist CCA in becoming a more equitable and inclusive organization.
Background of Organization
The Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) works with a global network of partners to build an inclusive industry that makes clean cooking accessible to the three billion people who live each day without it. Established in 2010, CCA is driving consumer demand, mobilizing investment to build a pipeline of scalable businesses, and fostering an enabling environment that allows the sector to thrive. Clean cooking transforms lives by improving health, protecting the climate and the environment, empowering women, and helping families save time and money.
While CCA is an initiative of the United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation), CCA has internally governed operations that complement broader UN Foundation policies and procedures. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CCA consists of 35 staff members spread across the United States, Europe, Africa, and Nepal. Additional information about CCA is available upon request to those intending to submit a proposal.
The objective of this assessment is to identify strengths and weaknesses of CCA’s current approach to diversity, equity and inclusion, and determine opportunities to improve CCA’s internal and external engagement policies and practices.
Scope of Work and Deliverables
The scope of work for this assessment will include, but is not limited to, the following:
Internal (CCA Organization and Practices)
- Assessment of inclusivity and support for employees (specific attention to non-American and non-US based staff regardless of consultant/staff status) regarding race, ethnicity, religious observance, gender and gender identity, and other identities.
- Review of CCA’s strategy (Theory of Change and other documentation) and measurement approach (M&E Framework) through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
- Assessment of organizational structure, organizational policies, decision-making, and internal communications (ensuring all voices are heard).
- Assessment of hiring practices and retention patterns
- Assessment of internal cultural norms through a DEI lens
- Other areas of focus suggested by the Consultant
- Review of how grant and contract awards are made, including selection criteria, through a DEI lens.
- Categorization of current distribution of grant and contract awards across metrics such as, but not limited to:
- Locally owned businesses
- Women-led businesses
- Researchers located in the countries in which CCA-supported research is being conducted
- Inclusion of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
- Assessment of external communications
- Other areas of focus suggested by the Consultant
The primary deliverable for this work will be a comprehensive assessment report, which will include an assessment of CCA’s DEI approach, suggestions for areas of improvement, and specific action items and/or a workplan for implementing improved DEI practices. If the firm has expertise in implementing improved DEI practices or providing relevant trainings, please describe those capabilities in the proposal.
Project Period of Performance
This work is intended to take place between May and November 2022. If the period of performance needs to be adjusted to account for the firm’s assessment timeline, please state that in your proposal.
|Feb 10, 2022||Questions due|
|March 1, 2022||Proposals due
|March 15, 2022||Calls with applicants and follow up questions|
|March 30, 2022||Consultant(s) selected and notified via email|
|May 1, 2022||Kickoff meeting with selected Consultant(s)|
A detailed budget in US Dollars must be submitted with the proposal. Budget should include both pre-tax and net of tax values. The budget should include direct costs (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel, Sub-Agreements, Equipment, Supplies, etc.), as well as indirect costs (overhead).
If your proposal includes supplemental or optional trainings, please also include those costs in your submitted budget, noting where they are optional add-on costs.
If a bid has a mathematical discrepancy, CCA may correct the discrepancy and notify the Consultant of the adjustment. In such circumstances, the Consultant may choose to withdraw their bid.
CCA will review all written proposals and may request a virtual interview and/or updated submission to address questions or provide clarification. CCA will use the following criteria in our evaluation.
|Evaluation criteria||Score (1-5)|
|Approach: e.g. the assessment methodology answering the project’s key questions and deliverables|
|Subject matter expertise: e.g. experience working with organizational equity assessments|
|Project management: e.g. achievable action plan that will deliver the project on time and on budget|
|Capabilities and experience: e.g. demonstrated firm experience with similar projects|
|Value for money: the proposed pricing demonstrates a competitive price and good value for the money|
Intent and disclaimer
This RFP is made with the intent to identify a Consultant to deliver results as described in this RFP. The UN Foundation/CCA will rely on the Consultant’s representations to be truthful and as described. CCA it can be confident in the Consultant’s ability to deliver the product(s) and/or service(s) proposed in response to this RFP.
If CCA amends the RFP, copies of any such amendments will be sent to all respondents to the proposal.
Proposal Guidelines and Requirements
- This RFP is open to multiple partners and is a competitive process.
- Proposals received after 11:59pm EST on March 1, 2022 will not be considered.
- The price provided should be in US dollars, and should contain both pre-tax and net of tax values. If the process excludes certain fees or charges, the applicant must provide a detailed list of excluded fees with a complete explanation of the nature of those fees.
- CCA prefers a single point of contact who manages deliverables. If the execution of work to be performed by the Consultant requires the hiring of sub-contractors, the Consultant must clearly state this in the proposal. Sub-contractors must be identified and the work they will perform must be defined. Subcontractors are subject to vetting and approval of UNF/CCA.
- CCA will not refuse a proposal based upon the use of subcontractors; however, we retain the right to refuse the sub-contractors you have selected.
- Provisions of this RFP and the contents of the successful responses are considered available for inclusion in final contractual obligations.
Contracting and Compliance
The Clean Cooking Alliance will negotiate contract terms upon selection. A copy of the contract terms and conditions will be provided upon selection. All contracts are subject to review by the UN Foundation’s Business Services and Budget Reporting team. The project will start upon the complete execution of the contract. The contract will outline terms and conditions, scope, budget, and applicable flow down terms. Selected recipient(s) must comply with CCA, United Nations Foundation, and funder compliance requirements. The selected recipient(s) must also undergo detailed legal, financial, and commercial due diligence.
The Consultant understands that the Clean Cooking Alliance has chosen to solicit an RFP for consulting services, and that the Consultant’s response does not guarantee that the Clean Cooking Alliance will enter into a new contract with the Consultant or continue any current contract(s) with the Consultant.
The Consultant agrees that Clean Cooking Alliance may, at its sole discretion:
- Amend or cancel the RFP, in whole or in part, at any time
- Extend the deadline for submitting responses
- Determine whether a response does or does not substantially comply with the requirements of the RFP
- Waive any minor irregularity, informality or nonconformance with the provisions or procedures of the RFP
- Negotiate with all Consultants UNF deems acceptable
- Issue multiple awards
- Photocopy the responses for evaluation/review
This RFP is not an offer to contract. The Clean Cooking Alliance assumes no responsibility for the Consultant’s cost to respond to this RFP. All responses become the property of the Clean Cooking Alliance.
The Consultant, by submitting a response to this RFP, waives all right to protest or seek any legal remedies whatsoever regarding any aspect of this RFP.
The Consultant represents that it has responded to the RFP with complete honesty and accuracy. If facts provided in the Consultant’s response change, the Consultant agrees to supplement its response in writing with any deletions, additions, or changes within ten (10) days of the changes. The Consultant will do this, as necessary, throughout the selection process.
The Consultant understands it may receive proprietary and confidential information from the Clean Cooking Alliance during the RFP process (“Confidential Information”). The Consultant and CCA agree to not use Confidential Information for any purpose other than the Consultant’s participation in the RFP process, and to not reveal Confidential Information directly or indirectly to any other person, entity, or organization without the prior written consent of the other party. The Consultant and the CCA further agree to exercise all reasonable precautions to maintain the proprietary and confidential nature of Confidential Information where it can best demonstrate its value and capacity to delivery ecosystem-wide, meaningful value.
Grounds for Exclusion
Material misrepresentations, including omissions, may disqualify the Consultant from a contract award.
Submissions will be rejected in the Clean Cooking Alliance’s sole discretion if it finds that the Consultant has engaged in any illegal or corrupt practices in connection with the award.
The Consultant will be excluded from participation for the reasons below. By submitting a proposal in response to the RFP, the Consultant confirms that none of the below circumstances apply:
- The Consultant is bankrupt or being wound up, is having their affairs administered by the courts, has entered into an arrangement with creditors, has suspended business activities, is subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations.
- The Consultant or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a final judgment.
- The Consultant has been found guilty of grave professional misconduct; proven by any means which CCA can justify.
- The Consultant has not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established, or within the United States of America, or those of the country where the contract is to be performed.
- The Consultant or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been convicted for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organization or money laundering by a final judgment.
- The Consultant makes use of child labor or forced labor and/or practice discrimination, and/or do not respect the right to freedom of association and the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining pursuant to the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Principal Point of Contact
For all questions related to this RFP please contact Elisa Derby (EDerby@cleancooking.org) and Kenny Pankey (KPankey@cleancookingalliance.org). Questions are due by February 10, and responses will be posted by February 15, 2022 on the CCA website.
Please also contact them for additional staff details about CCA that will support the development of proposals for this RFP.
All proposals should be submitted to Elisa Derby (EDerby@cleancookingallinace.org) and Kenny Pankey (KPankey@cleancookingalliance.org) by 11:59pm EST on March 1, 2022. Proposals should be delivered in a single PDF document.
CCA received several broad categories of questions, which have been consolidated below:
1. CCA’s DEI experience
What is prompting this assessment now? What is CCA’s current approach to DEI? How does CCA measure equity and inclusion, against what goals? What DEI work has the Cooking Alliance done thus far, if at all? Have there been any efforts to integrate DEI into CCA’s internal policies and practice? Does CCA have or plan to assemble a DEI Working Group or Taskforce to champion this work? Has CCA undertaken any previous internal or consultant-led efforts related to DEI practices? What roles / positions within CCA are primarily responsible for overseeing the implementation of the DEI review, assessment, and any resulting findings?
CCA is one of many initiatives that exist under the UNF umbrella. While CCA staff have held leadership roles in UNF’s DEI team; CCA’s own DEI task force is new. CCA hired a DEI expert consultant in 2020-2021 to provide training to staff, and thereafter (April 2021) formed a DEI task force, which now includes 8 staff members. The DEI task force identified the need for a DEI assessment as an early action, resulting in this RFP, as CCA has not undertaken systematic DEI reflection/assessment to date. Rather, DEI-related approaches (e.g. blind screening of CVs) have been informal and inconsistent across the organization, or much higher-level, performed by UNF People and Culture staff (e.g. paygrade analysis). The DEI task force leaders will manage the relationship with the Consultant performing the review, and the associated activities.
2. Data available
Does CCA maintain demographic data for internal and external stakeholders (staff, consultants, awardees, etc)? Will this be made available to the selected consultant? What data have you collected regarding hiring, retention, and promotion statistics, if at all? When was your current Theory of Change created? Might you have any hypotheses on how it needs to change?
CCA will share with the selected Consultant demographic data on staff, consultants and partners who received funding from CCA. As CCA is a hosted organization at UNF, our hiring, promotion, and retention information is centrally managed by UNF. We will need to work with UNF to provide hiring, promotion, and retention data. During the kickoff phase a consolidated list of internal statistics can be requested through UNF People and Culture.
CCA’s Theory of Change was developed in 2019, and will be revised this year; inputs from this scope of work can be included in that revision.
In addition, all potential Consultants who have expressed interest in this scope of work have been sent the following documents:
Does CCA anticipate travel or in-person engagement with global staff to fulfill the requirements of this proposal? Is there a requirement or preference on working environment for consultants in this effort? Does CCA anticipate any travel is necessary outside of the Washington, DC area based on staff locations?
No travel is required for this scope of work, but if CCA holds a staff retreat, tentatively scheduled for the first week in May in DC (COVID-pending), we would invite the Consultant to attend and present an overview of the scope of work, and do some in-person consultations. All other consultations can be done virtually.
Is there an estimate of budget or timeline that your team has in mind for the project? This will help us put together proposed pricing options. Did you have a budget ballpark for this work or a not-to-exceed amount? Is there an estimated level of effort in terms of budget and/or number of staff hours for this effort?
As this is CCA’s first opportunity to engage a DEI consultant, we are looking to the consultant candidates to propose a budget that they feel best suits the needs of our organization. A firm budget has not been set for this project. All budgets will be reviewed as a component of the overall proposal, with the expectation that budget adjustments and clarification will be made during the interview and assessment phase.
The expected timeline for this work was included in RFP: “This work is intended to take place between May and November 2022. If the period of performance needs to be adjusted to account for the firm’s assessment timeline, please state that in your proposal.”
Would CCA consider accepting a pricing proposal based on hourly loaded labor weights in lieu of a breakdown, provided the offeror can validate that these rates were deemed reasonable by prior commercial, non-profit, or government entities?
Does CCA expect non-English language capabilities to fulfill this RFP’s requirements?
Fluency in English (but not additional languages) is required to fulfill this scope of work.
When you say assessment of external communications, do you mean language, reach, engagement, or something else? If language, are you looking for our guidance on inclusive use of language based on a guide we agree to as a part of our process?
This may refer to who CCA communicates with, in what ways, at what times, for what reasons, as well as the language of these communications itself.
Are all evaluation criteria weighted equally with one another?
Each of the evaluation criteria (Approach, Subject matter expertise, Project management, Capabilities and experience, and Value for money) will be scored from 1-5, and each will comprise 20% of the total score.
Will the inclusion of any optional trainings impact the evaluation of the value of the proposal?
Proposals without any optional trainings will not be penalized. Proposals that do include optional trainings may be prioritized over proposals with similar scores that do not include optional trainings.