Consumer Assessment to Support the Adoption of Electric Cooking in Nepal
The United Nations Foundation’s Clean Cooking Alliance (the Alliance) is accepting proposals for a Consumer Assessment to Support the Adoption of Electric Cooking in Nepal.
Recently, the Government of Nepal (GoN) announced the years 2018 to 2028 as the ‘Decade of Energy and Hydropower’ to realize the dream of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali.’ In line with the vision, the GoN has set specific targets in the energy sector. By 2022, the GoN intends to provide 100 percent electricity access for all in Nepal.1 This Request for Proposals (RFP) will launch a comprehensive consumer assessment to support the adoption of electric cooking in Nepal.
Background of Organization
The Clean Cooking Alliance 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, the Alliance 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.
The Alliance is issuing this RFP to conduct a comprehensive consumer assessment to support the adoption of electric cooking in Nepal. The objectives of this assessment are to:
- Identify early adopter segments in the next five years for electric cooking in Nepal;
- Gather insights into demand related drivers that can be translated into the design of demand enhancing activities; and
- Develop a detailed profile of each early adopter segment and recommendations for demand enhancing strategies for addressing each.
This RFP is part of a series of assessments planned to support the Alliance’s activities in Nepal. Recently, the Alliance has released two RFPs titled, “Landscape Analysis of the Cookstove Sector in Nepal” and “Assessment on the Readiness for Widespread Adoption of Electric Cooking in Nepal.” Applicants are eligible to apply to more than one RFP in this series.
Scope of Work and Deliverables
The GoN has prioritized energy access as a vital step to improve population welfare, economic prosperity, and energy sovereignty for the country. Recently, the GoN announced the years 2018 to 2028 as the ‘Decade of Energy and Hydropower’ to realize the dream of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali.’ In line with the vision, the GoN has set specific targets in the energy sector. By 2022, the GoN intends to provide 100 percent electricity access for all in Nepal. The government also plans to initiate an
‘electric stove in every household’ program.1
Scaled adoption of electric cooking in Nepal requires a comprehensive understanding of consumers’ cooking preferences, as well as their broader electricity usage and needs. Understanding current cooking habits, cultural barriers, purchasing trends, and willingness to pay, and how each of these differs by gender, provides key insights to demand related drivers and barriers to adoption. Additional consideration of consumers’ perspectives on electric stoves vs. other stove and fuel preferences, desired features, and price points are also critical information towards understanding consumers’ demand. Such insights into consumers in Nepal will assist in creating effective marketing strategies and awareness-raising campaigns to promote electric cooking. Assessment of consumers will also aid in building suitable distribution and consumer finance models, and support in promoting electric cooking devices that are socioculturally acceptable and meet consumers’ needs.
In Nepal, the Alliance has completed small-scale efforts to date, including a Health Demonstration Project in the Kavre region, and moving forward will be undertaking foundational research toward developing additional plans in Nepal. These plans will not only serve as the Alliance’s roadmap and strategy for long-term engagement in Nepal in the coming years but are also intended to highlight and inform the roles of various stakeholders within the ecosystem, including where gaps exist and where new players may be needed. The Alliance is working actively with partners like Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) to conduct extensive foundational research throughout the country and create a strategy to build a strong cookstoves and fuels market in Nepal. In support of developing additional plans in Nepal and the GoN’s vision for electricity-based cooking in every household in Nepal, the selected Consultant will undertake the following activities:
Analysis of consumer segments in Nepal and identification of potential early
adopters of electric cooking.
The segmentation will closely examine all of the existing broad consumer segments (delineated by variables such as income, age, family size, fuel use and expenditure, ecological region, urban/peri-urban/rural, access to electricity, and other categories) in three selected provinces in Nepal, and identify those with the greatest potential to adopt electric cooking. The team will then, through analysis of existing data and additional primary research as necessary, identify three to four early adopter segments of electric cooking. The selected Consultant should justify the three provinces they select in the
Development of a detailed profile of each early adopter segment and
identification of demand enhancing strategies for addressing each.
Once target segments have been identified, the Consultant will undertake primary research to understand each early adopter segment’s relationship with cookstoves and fuels, as well as their motivations and reservations about purchasing and adopting electric cooking devices. The Consultant should examine each ‘P’ of the 4Ps mix (product, price, place, and promotion), considering cultural influences, gender dynamics, and other contextual factors such as location, climate, etc.
Product: This will include identifying key technologies (e.g., rice cookers, induction stoves, electric pressure cookers, electric kettles, etc.), and key operating features (e.g., minimal smoke, turn-down ease, etc.) favored for each early adopter segment. The practice of stacking via multiple stoves and fuel types should be examined as applicable, including drivers such as affordability, seasonality, etc. Additionally, best practices seen in other products that have successfully been purchased and adopted by the consumer segments should be examined, including lessons learned in driving interest to new products and improving existing products to better suit consumer needs.
Price: The Consultant should examine costs associated with current stoves and fuels used (including for collected fuel), changes in price and availability, and willingness to pay for new technologies. The Consultant should also study different payment models used for cooking and other goods.
Place: This will include addressing how to best reach the identified early adopter segments, including current and potential distribution channels that could be utilized for electric cooking devices. Business models currently being applied successfully to reach consumers for cookstoves and other related products should be assessed.
Promotion: The Consultant should identify marketing and awareness-raising techniques most effective for promoting electric cooking usage for each early adopter segment. The Consultant should also study techniques that have proven effective with these segments for other products in Nepal and other relevant countries.
Below are specific topics to be explored in the research. For all the topics evaluated, the Consultant will also evaluate the role of gender. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and the Alliance would be interested in hearing from applicants what additional information they think would be valuable to collect and/or analyze in order to meet the identified objectives.
- Cookstoves and fuels currently being used and/or purchased by each segment (note: multiple cookstoves or fuel use within a single household should be noted, and primary technology used should be identified);
- Reasons for using and/or purchasing their current cookstove and fuel combination including likes/dislikes and aspirations to upgrade from the current combination;
- Reasons for not using and/or purchasing other types of cookstoves and fuels, especially electric cooking devices;
- Cooking habits and needs (e.g., cooking styles, types, and sizes of cooking pots utilized, etc.);
- Perceived suitability of local dishes for different types of electric cooking devices;
- Awareness levels of clean stoves and fuels including awareness of impacts of traditional cooking methods, cleaner technology options, and benefits of cleaner technologies;
- Cost of the currently used cookstoves and fuels (both upfront and ongoing);
- Willingness to pay for electric cooking devices;
- Current access to financial networks in general, consumer financing or other means of purchasing household products, and attitudes toward them;
- Purchase channels used for current cookstoves and fuels (or fuel collection practices);
- Currently utilized distribution channels reaching the segment, for cookstoves and other household products, including the size and weight of products;
- Marketing messages, techniques, and channels currently being used, including which have been documented as most effective;
- Messaging and techniques that could be effective in promoting electric cooking devices (including testing of various content, wording, etc.);
- Interaction with the community (e.g., social groups, health workers, etc.);
- Exposure to media (e.g., radio, TV, etc.);
- Information about aspirational goods, including where motivation originated and actions, are taken to save for or purchase them;
- Other buying habits and information, such as who makes the purchasing decisions within a household and how, what factors are taken into account, where and when goods are purchased, and how they are financed;
- Non-tangible drivers of product purchase, such as social or cultural factors that could motivate a consumer to purchase and/or adopt a product;
- Active cookstove and fuel stakeholders trying to reach this segment, including their scale, their main challenges, and their main factors of success;
- Current electricity access and usage in the household, perceptions about cost and priorities for electricity use in a scenario of increased access;
- Knowledge regarding safe (i.e., grounding requirement) electricity use; and
- Current household wiring and upgrade needed to support safe electric cooking.
Project Period of Performance
This assessment is planned to begin in early June 2020 and take about four months to complete. The following deliverables are expected throughout and at the end of the research period. All deliverables will be in English. This assessment must include a clear gender-lens within and across all outputs/deliverables that will be produced.
- Detailed work plan along with methodologies, clear timeline of activities, and budget to be delivered within ten business days of the start of the contract;
- Interim report outlining segmentation hypothesis and early adopter segments to be targeted in primary research;
- Data collection tools (e.g., selection criteria, consent forms, focus group guides, observation forms, and survey questionnaires, etc.);
- Executive summary of the report in PowerPoint format;
- Written report including detailed data collection method, analysis, detailed profile of each of the early adopter segments and recommended steps for most effectively targeting each consumer segment; and
- Kick-off and final meetings with local stakeholders to present plans and validate results.
The selected Consultant should start with desk research of all existing data, including studies conducted by the Alliance and others. This Consultant will coordinate with the Consultants conducting the Landscape Analysis of Cookstove Sector in Nepal and Assessment on the Readiness for Widespread Adoption of Electric Cooking in Nepal to leverage the available data and findings. The selected Consultant will also be expected to coordinate closely with MECS funded winner on a related scope of work.
The selected Consultant should also plan to conduct primary research with consumers and stakeholders, which could include, but is not limited to, expert interviews, in-depth interviews with households, focus groups, ethnographies, household surveys, and product demonstrations. All Consultants submitting proposals should specify the methodologies they plan to use to gather the required information.
Consultant proposals should specifically address how uncertainties relating to the current COVID-19 situation will impact the implementation of this work, and how those can be potentially mitigated.
|5/11/20 – 5/14/20||Virtual meetings/interview process|
|5/19/20||Consultant(s) selected and notified via email|
|6/17/20||Kick-off meeting with the selected Consultant(s)|
A detailed budget in US Dollars must be submitted with the proposal. The 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). For indirect costs, please indicate a list of expenses covered by the indirect rate. For all direct costs, please include assumptions that were made to arrive at line item costs (e.g. 2 trips @ $1,500/trip = $3,000 or 20
staff hours @ $40/hour = $800).
If a bid has a mathematical discrepancy, the Alliance may correct the discrepancy and notify the Consultant of the adjustment. In such circumstances, the Consultant may choose to withdraw their bid.
The Clean Cooking Alliance will review all written proposals and may request a phone interview and/or updated submission to address questions or provide clarification. The Alliance will use the following criteria in our evaluation.
|Approach: the analytical framework and methodology answering the
project’s key questions and deliverables
|Subject matter expertise: relevant experience in the cookstove sector|
|Project management: an achievable action plan that will deliver the
project on time and on budget
|Capabilities and experience: demonstrated experience with similar
|Cost: the proposed pricing is within budget|
|Value: 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. UNF/the Clean Cooking Alliance will rely on the consultant’s representations to be truthful and as described. The Clean Cooking Alliance assumes 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 the Clean Cooking Alliance 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 [4/29/20 at 11:59 pm EST] 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.
- The Alliance prefers a single point of contact who manages deliverables. If the execution of work to be performed by the consultant requires the hiring of subcontractors, the consultant must clearly state this in the proposal. Subcontractors must be identified, and the work they will perform must be defined. Subcontractors are subject to vetting and approval of UNF/the Alliance.
- The Alliance 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.
Format for Proposals
Proposals must include applicant signature as well as a signed declaration form. Proposals must include the full legal name of the applicant, as well as the legal formation and ownership structure (e.g., incorporation certification, tax status, and ID, etc.). Submitted proposals should be a maximum of ten pages, 12-point font, and single-spaced.
Contracting and Compliance
The 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 the Alliance, 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
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 the Alliance 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 Alliance
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 the Alliance 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
Questions should be sent by email to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by April 8, 2020. Responses will be posted to the Alliance’s website by April 14, 2020.
The application should be submitted as a PDF to the Alliance by email with the subject line ‘Consumer Assessment in Nepal RFP Proposal – [Consultant name]’ to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org no later than
April 29, 2020, 11:59 pm EDT.
1Government of Nepal, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation. 2018. Current Status and the Roadmap for the Future. White Paper. Kathmandu.