Request for Proposals: Market Systems Learning Partner (CCA)
The United Nations Foundation’s (UNF) Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) is accepting proposals to support the learning objectives of its Market Strengthening Program, and to use innovative methods to measure the effectiveness of market strengthening interventions in the clean cooking sector.
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, CCA is driving consumer demand, mobilizing investment to build a pipeline of scalable enterprises, 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.
Market Strengthening Program
The Market Strengthening Program aims to accelerate markets for clean cooking through a systems approach that incorporates activities focused on supply, demand, and the enabling environment. The Venture Catalyst component aims to develop a stronger pipeline of investible clean cooking companies, the Demand Catalyst aims to develop more robust demand for clean cooking solutions, and the Market Catalyst aims to build the market ecosystem that enables clean cooking companies to be profitable and achieve impact at scale. The program seeks to engage, support, and influence the ecosystem of enterprises, policymakers, and funders at the level of individual clean cooking companies, country ecosystems, and the global market ecosystem through the use of grant funding, access to technical assistance, development of research and market intelligence, and advocating for the development of improved policies for clean cooking and increased capital flows into the industry.
The Market Strengthening Program is a 5-year, $13 million program funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The program team consists of approximately 9 FTEs located in the US, UK, Kenya, and South Africa. Focus countries for the program are Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Ghana. The program supports a portfolio of approximately 30 clean cooking companies located primarily in these focus countries. Further information on the program and its activities can be found via the latest Market Strengthening Work Plan, which is available here: https://aidstream.org/files/documents/Clean-Cooking-Alliance-Year-2-Work-Plan-23Feb2021-20210315030329.pdf
Objectives of the Consultancy
- Support Learning Objectives of the Market Strengthening Program
The Market Strengthening Team seeks a partner who will support the program’s learning objectives of informing programmatic adaptations and pivots, and contributing to knowledge products targeting clean cooking enterprises, funders, policymakers, and other stakeholders. It is envisioned that this learning program will be highly collaborative and will engage the Market Strengthening Team, the Market Strengthening Research and Learning Manager, other CCA teams, companies in CCA’s Venture Catalyst portfolio, third-party technical assistance providers, policy makers, funders, users of clean cooking solutions and other key stakeholder groups to inform learning products as well as activity pivots.
CCA expects to work with a partner that has demonstrated a track record and expertise in designing and implementing participatory and adaptive learning approaches that embed learning in programs and processes in real time, focused on activities in low- and middle-income countries that are intentionally designed to impact underserved markets, preferably including clean cooking, energy access, climate, health, or gender. The successful partner will also have a track record of designing and implementing organizational learning systems and engaging in action learning with small organizations and stakeholders across in multiple countries, utilizing a variety of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis techniques, tools and approaches, and the ability to identify and engage local in-country data collection partners where necessary. The successful partner will bring a strong theoretical and empirical foundation on how firms and markets for underserved communities and for social goods emerge, transition and scale; and have experience in drawing insights for market support programs and policies, at the firm, market and program-levels. The partner will be able to help the Market Strengthening team leverage these insights to improve on their firm and market development frameworks and use these to inform the Market Strengthening program’s design.
- Use Innovative Methods to Measure the Effectiveness of Market Strengthening Interventions
Accelerating the market for clean cooking requires interventions that are highly integrated, constantly evolving, and which are responsive to a complex and dynamic market environment. The clean cooking market is continuously changing based on technology and business model innovations, public policy changes at country and global market levels, emerging insights on users and their preferences, and levels and sources of financing with varying preferences for social and financial performance.
Understanding what works and what doesn’t in such a dynamic context may require innovative approaches to learning, new indicators to measure progress towards healthy markets for clean cooking, and new methods to share these approaches and insights within CCA and across the sector. CCA is seeking to identify a partner that can contribute to building this shared knowledge base on how to measure the progress and effectiveness of market acceleration programs and can contribute to thought leadership and innovation in learning systems. The successful partner will have experience of developing the frontier of knowledge on ecosystems building, market development, small and growing business development and systems thinking.
Scope of Work and Deliverables
The scope of the activities covered in submitted proposals should include:
- Support Learning Objectives of the Market Strengthening Program
- Work with the Market Strengthening Leadership Team and the Market Strengthening Research and Learning Manager to update the program’s learning agenda in line with the current program workplan and ensure alignment with the CCA’s learning objectives and agenda.
- Work with the Market Strengthening Leadership Team and the Research and Learning Manager to identify a prioritized set of learning activities that will maximize learning and insight on what is working and not working both at the market level and at the Market Strengthening program level, and design appropriate data/information collection and analysis approaches to support this learning.
- Facilitate and document learning sessions with CCA staff and partners.
- Collect and analyze data/information at the firm, market, and program levels, and develop and document recommendations for activity adaptations or pivots.
- Develop knowledge products that incorporate insights and lessons captured from the program’s activities. Knowledge products may include case studies, articles, lessons learned documents, webinars and presentations.
- Design new learning activities across the program, incorporate new evaluation tools and update the learning agenda as necessary.
- Provide ongoing advice to the Market Strengthening Leadership Team on how to adapt and enhance the Market Strengthening Program to more effectively and efficiently achieve its goals of accelerating the development of the clean cooking industry.
- Provide advice on integrating the Market Strengthening project’s learning activities with CCA’s forthcoming organization wide Learning Agenda
- Develop Innovative Methods to Measure the Effectiveness of Market Strengthening Interventions
- Engage with CCA’s Evidence & Impact team to:
- Review the Market Strengthening project’s Theory of Change and Results Framework.
- Review the Market Strengthening project’s indicators and their data collection sources and methods.
- Propose and implement innovative methods to obtain qualitative and quantitative data to measure the Market Strengthening project’s interventions.
- Provide inputs on the Market Strengthening project’s role in CCA’s organizational Theory of Change (which is going to be revised).
- Provide inputs on developing CCA’s Standard Indicators (pertaining to the Market Strengthening project) after the revision of CCA’s organizational Theory of Change.
Project Period of Performance
The activity should start on or around May 9, 2022, and will conclude in December, 2023 Extensions beyond this date will be considered depending on future program funding.
- Proposals that outline participatory, agile and adaptive learning approaches (such as developmental evaluation) suitable for market strengthening activities and processes;
- Proven experience in developing frontier knowledge on ecosystem building, market development, small and growing business development and systems thinking;
- Proposals that demonstrate an effective approach to the design and implementation of embedded organizational learning systems, innovative learning methods and adaptive learning tools and processes in small organizations;
- Proven experience working in low- and middle-income countries and evaluating market-based interventions targeting underserved communities, preferably in clean cooking, energy access, health, climate, gender or related fields;
- Demonstrated experience developing and maintaining effective working relationships with people, internally and externally, from a wide variety of types of organizations, cultural backgrounds, and functional expertise;
- Direct capability to conduct data collection in-country, or a strong network of partners that can provide this capacity; and
- Ability to travel.
Dates and Deliverables:
- Proposals due: April 3, 2022
- As applicable, calls with applicants and follow up questions: April 4-8, 2022
- Consultant selected and notified via email: April 15, 2022
- Kickoff meeting with selected Consultant: May 9, 2022
A detailed budget not exceeding $150,000 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 cost, 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, CCA 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 an interview and/or updated submission to address questions or provide clarifications. CCA will use the following criteria in our evaluation.
Weight and Evaluation Criteria:
- Approach, 40%: e.g. the framework and methodology answering the project’s key questions and outlining expected timeline and deliverables
- Expertise, 30%: e.g. expertise conducting developmental evaluations of market-based approaches in low- and middle-income countries
- Project management 10%: e.g. achievable action plan that will deliver the project on time and on budget
- Capabilities and experience, 20%: e.g. demonstrated experience with similar projects
Intent and Disclaimer
This RFP is made with the intent to identify a Consultant to deliver results as described in this RFP. UNF/CCA 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 April 3, 2022 at 11:59pm 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.
- 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.
Format for Proposals
Proposals must include applicant signature as well as a signed declaration form. Proposals must include the full legal name of applicant, as well as legal formation and ownership structure (e.g. incorporation certification, tax status and ID, etc.).
Contracting and Compliance
CCA 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 UNF’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 must comply with CCA, UNF, and funder compliance requirements. The selected recipient 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 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 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 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 Labor Organization (ILO).
Principal Point of Contact
Any questions about this RFP should be directed to Colm Fay firstname.lastname@example.org
Please email proposals to Colm Fay email@example.com no later than 11:59PM EST on April 3, 2022. Proposals should be submitted as a single PDF file.