Request for Proposals: Outcome Seller Research and Supporting Tools and Resources Strategy
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 environment, empowering women, and helping consumers save time and money. In alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, CCA is working to achieve universal access to clean cooking by 2030.
CCA seeks to make high-impact clean cooking solutions desirable, affordable, and accessible for consumers and viable for businesses to provide sustainably at scale. It supports companies that design, manufacture, distribute, and retail electric, biomass, ethanol, biogas, and LPG-based clean cooking solutions in addition to more efficient wood and charcoal cookstoves. It also supports technology innovation with the aim to commercialize new technologies such as highly energy-efficient electric cookers for off-grid/mini-grid communities.
CCA’s Clean Cooking Systems Strategy highlighted that at least US$10 billion per year is required to achieve universal access to clean cooking, yet the current level of funding lags far behind at about $130 million annually. In response, CCA has established the Catalytic Finance Accelerator. Its mission is to catalyze significant growth in funding and investment in the sector within three years. It will do so by addressing challenges that lie in the way of high-growth catalytic capital (most notably carbon finance and public funded results-based finance); by leveraging these pools of funding to catalyze larger pools of traditional capital (e.g., guarantees, debt, equity, early-stage equity); and by laying the groundwork to unlock future pools of capital (e.g., social value finance at scale).
The Catalytic Finance Accelerator is organized according to its role in the financing ecosystem:
- Instilling smarter policies, standards, and principles that govern the conduct of actors in clean cooking markets and their adjacent sectors, bridging information gaps and providing certainty and confidence to investors, outcome buyers, and funders.
- Building improved market information, tools, and infrastructure to improve decision-making, reduce transaction costs and increase productivity for investors, outcome buyers, and funders.
- Improving capacity of clean cooking solutions providers to meet the expectations of investors, outcome buyers, and funders for reliability, predictability, and scalability, and impact.
- Attracting and enabling new pools of capital from adjacent sector investors, traditional official development assistance providers and philanthropic funders.
The role of the Catalytic Finance Accelerator in CCA is to position the Clean Cooking Alliance as an influential voice and market facilitator for innovative finance in clean cooking markets.
Clean Cooking Alliance and Carbon Markets
Carbon markets can be game-changer for clean cooking given a 21-fold increase in the volume of carbon finance over the last four years when compared with an annual growth of around 5 percent for commercial capital and negative growth in traditional public funding. Carbon finance is enabling companies to lower cost curves to the consumer, aligning prices of clean cooking solutions to the purchasing power of consumers. These are driving growth in sales, enabling companies can reach scale economies and viability faster. The impact on carbon finance on the top and bottom lines of companies can make clean cooking companies more attractive for traditional banks and investors. Besides its direct role in driving growth in sales (and thus access to clean cooking) and its catalytic role in crowding in other forms of finance, it can also drive improvements above companies and in the sector as a whole. Demands of buyers in carbon markets for high quality carbon credits can incentivize investments in improving the quality of cooking solutions, as well as in the testing and verification regimes to assure confidence among buyers. Similarly, the linking of long-term carbon revenue with sustained use of improved cooking solutions can incentivize companies to invest in constantly improving the value proposition of cooking solutions to the users and in improving policies and services around customer satisfaction and care. Carbon finance can potentially do for clean cooking access what digital money did for financial inclusion, namely disrupting markets, crowding in investors, and transforming markets from single-digit to exponential growth.
Despite the many opportunities of carbon markets potentially offer clean cooking market, it is not altogether certain that these opportunities will necessarily materialize if left on auto-pilot. Lessons from other early-stage markets suggest a need to take a proactive approach to manage risks inherent in fledging, fragmented and thin markets such as the interlinked markets for carbon and clean cooking.
CCA has identified four key risk-areas that need to be managed if opportunities in carbon markets are to be realized. These have been identified based on CCA’s collaboration with standard bodies and registries in both CDM and voluntary markets, it’s selective support to clean cooking companies through project registration and the carbon learning community initiative, and its engagement with key stakeholders through the Catalytic Finance Accelerator and the Clean Cooking Forum. They risk-areas include:
- Integrity and coherence to build market confidence through more transparent and coherent policies, standards and methodologies, especially in narrowing methodological differences across standard bodies in estimating carbon-offset volumes, emissions reductions and co-benefits across different stove/fuel technologies;
- Fairness to enable transparent and equitable distribution of the proceeds of carbon revenue along the carbon value chain;
- Additionality and complementarity to enable carbon finance to complement and catalyze other efforts and forms of finance or at least ‘do no harm’ to these, including optimizing public subsidies that enable the sustainable development of clean cooking markets;
- Level playing field to enable many clean cooking companies to access carbon markets by lowering the costs of market entry and of doing business, which include better integration with the digital economy and improved access to finance for project development, capital investment, and operating expense.
Objectives of the Outcome Seller Research and Strategy
The overall objective of this assignment is to:
Establish a clear strategy to improve the capacity of outcome sellers through programmable support activities and in line with CCA’s strategic direction of creating a level playing field.
Three key areas of research are anticipated to enable this objective:
- The archetypes of clean cooking outcome sellers and partners:
- Generating archetypes of outcome sellers, noting their relative capacity levels to engage in the outcomes marketplace. This should include types and priorities of outcomes they are able to generate, their motivations with associated outcomes, scale of outcomes associated with each archetype, current barriers to engaging with outcome buyers, and their business model and technology preferences.
- Analyzing the decision-journey of the identified groups of outcome sellers ( identifying pain-points, maximizing sale price and stakeholders involved in the sales process). Including conducting an analysis of where, how, and to whom, current outcome sellers’ market and sell various types of outcomes and decisions on sales strategy (retail sales as well as wholesale, B2B, B2C, and other types of sales arrangements).
- Mapping the landscape of resources already available to outcome sellers:
- Mapping of the architecture of support ecosystem around sellers, including but not limited to carbon and identifying capacity at global and regional levels (3 countries shall be specified). With an understanding of what are the barriers to the needed support for sellers and what would remove these barriers.
- Aligning Archetypes and Resource Research with Outcome Buyers:
- Identify any gaps in tools and resources that require adaptation to adequately support outcome sellers in the clean cooking space.
- Facilitate suggestions on how outcome sellers can create confidence and credibility among various categorized outcome buyers in the benefits being generated by clean cooking companies.
Scope of Work and Deliverables
CCA is seeking a qualified firm to carry out this work in partnership with CCA, agreeing on a final list of learning questions to drive the research agenda and ensure critical alignment with other ongoing work at CCA including the Outcome Buyer research.
The successful applicant is anticipated to conduct research and landscape mapping based on the agreed approach, drawing on publicly available information and interviews with clean cooking enterprises and aligned stakeholders.
CCA shall support in co-hosting a workshop of key stakeholders to validate findings and enable input into the final report which should give a clear strategy for capacity development for outcome sellers.
- Deliverable 1: Inception Report covering agreed learning questions in line with discussions with CCA and including insights from Outcome Buyer research and agreed execution of research and landscaping.
- Deliverable 2: Interim Report covering key research areas including:
- Landscape of outcome sellers archetypes and their representative decision journeys.
- Ecosystem mapping of support available to outcome sellers at a global and national level.
- A strategy of critical intervention areas for capacity development based on outcome seller archetypes and a gap analysis with the resources available.
- Deliverable 3: Powerpoint covering an overview of research and strategic planning for utilization at workshop.
- Deliverable 4: Workshop alongside CCA to gain insights from key stakeholders on strategic plan.
- Deliverable 5: Final report (building on interim report) on research findings and strategic plan, including a concise executive summary with key findings and encompassing insights from the workshop.
Unless specified all reporting is anticipated to be in word documents.
Project Period of Performance
This assignment will be performed between April 2023 – June 2023. All final deliverables must be submitted by June 30th, 2023.
Firms should have the following experience:
- Understanding of the clean cooking sector and outcome/impact monetization from the outcome seller standpoint
- Understanding of results-based financing, including carbon finance, development impact bonds, and other innovative financing mechanisms
- Experience collecting and analyzing data
- Experience conducting research in the clean cooking and/or energy sector
- Existing relationships with stakeholders, including enterprises, investors, corporates, and foundations engaged or interested in sustainable development and the clean cooking sector
- Experience authoring innovative and strategic reports for development sector
|02/20/2023||Proposal review and scoring|
|02/28/2023||Consultant(s) selected and notified via email|
|03/02/2023||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). 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 budget should not exceed USD 40,000.
The Clean Cooking Alliance will review all written proposals and may request a phone or in-person interview and/or updated submission to address questions or provide clarification. CCA will use the following criteria in its evaluation.
|Evaluation criteria||Weight||Score (1-5)|
|Approach: e.g the analytical framework and methodology answering the project’s key questions and deliverables||25%|
|Subject matter expertise: e.g experience working with emerging markets and the field of global development||25%|
|Project management: e.g achievable action plan that will deliver the project on time and on budget||25%|
|Capabilities and experience: e.g demonstrated firm experience with similar projects||25%|
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 5 pm EST on February 12, 2023 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 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 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 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 questions.
Please submit any questions and/or proposal materials related to the Request for Proposals to email@example.com with the subject line “Proposals for Outcome Seller Research.”
The deadline for submission is February 12, 2023 at 5 pm EST.