Expressions of Interest: Technical Support to the Digital Innovation Challenge Acceleration Phase
The United Nations Foundation’s (UNF) Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) is accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from firms or individuals capable of delivering technical support to support selected enterprises as part of the acceleration phase of The Digital Innovations Challenge.
The Acceleration Phase aims to support traction of the selected solutions following from the Digital Innovation Bootcamp, held in Nairobi 19-21 June 2023, and in line with their work plans prior to potential scale up support in 2024. The overall aim of the Acceleration Phase is to support investment readiness of the digital innovation solutions.
CCA intends to select technical partner(s) (firms or individuals) for the Accelerator Phase who will work alongside CCA and its partner, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), to deliver the Acceleration Phase. The consultants will provide technical assistance directly to enterprises, with technical experts needed for the following areas of support:
Business Model Enhancement through Pilot Design and Implementation:
- Collaborating with the enterprise, CCA and UNCDF to effectively design pilots and associated metrics (KPIs) to create appropriate insights based on business model assumptions.
- Supporting the enterprise in implementation and iteration of a pilot and addressing problems and bottlenecks arising, including innovation pathway design and clear go/no-go decision tracking.
- Ensuring tracking and analysis of pilot metrics, insights and lessons learned by enterprise.
- Supporting updates to the business model based on insights gained in preparation for project documentation for the scale up phase.
Capacity Building on Carbon Markets:
- Developing strategies for the enterprises to access global carbon markets and buyers, and national-level programs where applicable (for example, connecting with buyers and creating a pipeline, aggregation opportunities and requirements, aligning with Article 6.2).
- Providing direct technical expertise and advice to assist companies with the technical understanding and integration of knowledge on carbon methodologies and carbon financing into their business models and product roadmaps.
- Supporting the development and coaching of founders and enterprise teams in the context of understanding carbon markets and aligning the company’s strategy to carbon finance opportunities and risks.
- Developing up to three online sessions (masterclass, webinar) regarding carbon markets and accounting, carbon methodologies, and carbon finance with a focus on project development for clean cooking companies.
Pipeline and Investment Readiness:
- Supporting the understanding and development of pipeline, incl. pipeline assessment and impact potential, of buyers, investors and clean cooking enterprises (as required for solution) for deployment of the solution during the 2-3 year Go to Market Phase.
- Providing pre-due diligence support as required to identify areas of support and improvement for alignment with investment opportunities (as arising) for digital solution providers.
- Providing technical investment guidance on data requirements to enable standalone and aggregated investment in clean cooking enterprises.
Regulatory Advice and Support:
- Supporting the assessment of the regulatory environments for new currencies and technologies, such as blockchain, crypto assets, tokenization, and data security and ownership for select markets including but not limited to Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Kenya.
- Advising enterprises on the feasibility of solution implementation based on current market regulatory environment (and future direction).
- Advising enterprises on governance requirements to align with associated regulatory environments.
Scale Up Phase Preparation Support:
- Supporting the alignment on insights from the Acceleration Phase into updated business model and project documentation for application of Scale Up Phase of the Digital Innovation Challenge.
Any firm or individual(s) with the experience and technical capability to provide support in either the capacity building or programmatic support areas (or both) identified above may register their interest with CCA as described below.
2. Background of Organization
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.
3. The Digital Innovations Challenge
The Global Partnership to Accelerate Finance for Clean Cooking between the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) was initiated in 2022 to address financing needs for clean cooking markets. The Global Partnership launched an inaugural Digital Innovations Challenge to support private sector enterprises working to address data and information barriers that will increase finance for clean cooking companies and their consumers. This focuses on digital innovations that reduce the time and cost for data and information management and facilitate faster access to financing opportunities, such as from carbon markets or results-based financing (RBF). These digital innovations include but are not limited to providing monitoring devices, platforms and infrastructure solutions (i.e., cloud services, software, data centres, mobile internet connectivity) for improved tracking of results associated with clean cooking (including but not limited to climate, health, environment and women’s economic empowerment) and linking these to finance opportunities and solutions that enable investors, lenders, project developers, and other funders to have required information on clean cooking companies.
The overall goal of the Digital Innovations Challenge is to:
- Develop innovations to ease access to finance (including from publicly funded output-based), through both increasing the availability and amount of this financing and reducing the associated costs. This is anticipated to be achieved through reducing the time, effort, and operational costs of information management (including collecting, processing, analyzing, verifying, and storing transactional data) between clean cooking companies and financing opportunities.
- Improve transparency and accuracy of data across the clean cooking supply chain including financial decision-making, with a focus of moving towards more quality products and standardized KPIs for the sector.
The Digital Innovations Challenge approach takes into consideration the need for incremental involvement to ensure maximum crowding in of innovations and interested companies (irrespective of their present size and scale) and providing them with customised technical support based on the type of project they have submitted (concept, prototype, market entry, scaling up, etc.). To minimize the inherent risks involved in implementing unproven initiatives and to create the ecosystem to support the success of such initiatives, it is imperative to have a gradual support mechanism in phases. The Digital Innovations Challenge includes three stages of support: Bootcamp Phase, Acceleration Phase and Scale-Up Phase. The Bootcamp Phase took place in Nairobi 19-21st June 2023, selecting four enterprises for entry into the Acceleration Phase.
The winners of the Bootcamp Phase who have been selected for the Acceleration Phase will develop an acceleration work plan and interim outputs and outcomes that they would be achieving in the 6 months, with technical support from CCA, UNCDF and its network of experts. This acceleration period will be more focused on exploring, testing and addressing variables/negative externalities that may arise during full-fledged implementation, including refinement and acceptability with all project ecosystem partners established and human resources (HR) and operational plans updated. During the Acceleration Phase, the winners of the Bootcamp Phase will be expected to improve their business model and business plan through developing market or feasibility assessments, brokering partnerships to pilot certain aspects of their business model, and integrating carbon methodologies into their product and services. As opportunities arise, the enterprises may also go through pre-due diligence for select investment opportunities, with guidance and support from Digital Innovations Challenge experts. The end result will be an updated project document (business plan, work plan and budget for 2-3 years scale up), which can be considered for additional funding in the final phase of the Challenge.
4. Qualification Requirements
Respondents should outline their technical expertise, experience, tools and methods in the area(s) of proposed support you would like to be considered for (listed under Section 1 of this document).
Please submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) which succinctly outlines the following:
- Aspects of this EOI call for which you would like to be considered to support (see above in Section 1 of this document).
- Your qualifications and experience in relation to the area of support.
- Your understanding, knowledge, and experience related to the area of support and clean cooking (i.e., clean cooking fuels/technologies, carbon finance and markets, business model development, pilot design, mentoring for business model project documentation.).
- A few examples of companies you have supported and their operating context.
- Anything you would like to share in terms of your usual or preferred approach, process, methods and/or tools.
- Profiles/CVs of the key people who would be involved in providing support to the program (please include this in the appendix).
- Your standard daily consulting rate for an aligned assignment.
Responses to this EOI should not exceed three pages with an additional provision for attaching biographies/CVs of the proposed delivery team in an appendix.
5. Consultant Selection Timeline
This EOI will be open until July 23, 2023 17:00 UTC. CCA, with UNCDF, will review submissions on a rolling basis and respond to all submissions of interest. Shortlisted respondents will be invited to make brief, formal proposals against a finalised scope of work and communication in that regard will be made directly to shortlisted respondents. The firm(s) or individual(s) with the successful proposal(s) will begin the contracting process soon after the decision is communicated to them.
6. Intent and Disclaimer
This EOI is made with the intent to identify consultant(s) to deliver results as described in this EOI. UNF/CCA will rely on the consultant’s representations to be truthful and as described. CCA assumes it can be confident in the consultant’s ability to deliver the product(s) and/or service(s) proposed in response to this EOI.
7. Guidance for Respondents
Format for Expressions of Interest
Responses must include the applicant’s signature as well as the full legal name of the applicant, as well as legal formation and ownership structure (e.g., incorporation certification, tax status and ID, etc.). Responses are to be submitted in PDF form.
Contracting and Compliance
CCA will negotiate contract terms upon selection as outlined in Clause 5. A copy of the contract terms and conditions will be provided upon selection. All contracts are subject to review by the United Nations 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 CCA has chosen to solicit an EOI for consulting services, and that the consultant’s response does not guarantee that CCA will enter a new contract with the consultant or continue any current contract(s) with the consultant.
The consultant agrees that CCA may, at its sole discretion:
- Amend or cancel the EOI, 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 EOI
- Waive any minor irregularity, informality or nonconformance with the provisions or procedures of the EOI
- Negotiate with all consultants UNF deems acceptable
- Issue multiple awards
- Photocopy the responses for evaluation/review
This EOI is not an offer to contract. CCA assumes no responsibility for consultant’s cost to respond to this EOI. All responses become the property of CCA.
The consultant, by submitting a response to this EOI, waives all right to protest or seek any legal remedies whatsoever regarding any aspect of this EOI.
The consultant represents that it has responded to the EOI 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 CCA during the EOI process (“Confidential Information”). The consultant and CCA agree to not use Confidential Information for any purpose other than the consultant’s participation in the EOI 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 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 CCA’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 EOI, 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 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
Rose Atkinson is the primary point of contact for this assignment. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org email address with any clarification questions.
Please address your submission to: email@example.com
Subject Line: EOI Submission – Digital Innovation Challenge Technical Support
Deadline: July 23, 2023 – 17.00 UTC