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Alive and Thrive (A&T) Ethiopia Request for Proposals (RFP)

ALIVE & THRIVE

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Issued on:        April 28, 2019

For: Assessment on the Ministry of Agriculture nutrition-sensitive agriculture data capturing system and data use

Anticipated Period of Performance: June 01, 2019 to August 31, 2019

Proposal Submission Date: May 14, 2019

Background

Alive and Thrive (A&T) Ethiopia 3.0: Accelerating Improvements in maternal, infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN) is a 5-year initiative that seeks to support the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) in achieving the targets and objectives of its National Nutrition Program (NNP) II and National Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Strategy (NNSAS). The project also strives to achieve the objectives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Ethiopia Integrated Health Plan (EIHP). It aims to provide greater analytical, technical, and systems-building support for the implementation of GOE’s plans by strengthening the capacity of national, regional, and zonal health and agriculture/food systems to deliver effective deliver comprehensive, high quality, and geographically-tailored nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs and policies that contribute to positive MIYCN outcomes.

In the current investment period (2017–2022), A&T Ethiopia 3.0 plans to work at the federal level and in six regions (Amhara, Afar, Oromia, Somali, SNNP, and Tigray). The project aims to achieve three outcomes: 1) Sustained capacity at national level and among Regional Health Bureaus (RHBs) to support woredas in planning, budgeting, implementing and using data to achieve MIYCN targets in the NNP II; 2) Sustained capacity at national level and among Regional Agriculture Bureaus (RAB) to improve women’s and children’s dietary diversity, and access to safe, affordable and nutritious foods; and 3) Knowledge and learning generated and tools and lessons learned disseminated in priority technical areas for improved MIYCN at scale. A&T Ethiopia 3.0 strategies and approaches will be guided by national initiatives that address the multi-faceted causes of undernutrition.

Rationale for the Assessment

A major barrier to improved nutrition coverage and implementation in Ethiopia is limited capacity and resources to collect and use nutrition data including NSA in an accurate and timely manner.  The current Ministry of Agriculture information system does not specifically include unique NSA indicators. The lack of data contributes to low visibility and low prioritization of NSA and nutrition within the Ministry.

One pillar of A&T Ethiopia 3.0 focuses on increased data use related to NSA at all levels of government, and to support the existing NSA data capturing system at the regional agriculture bureaus, so that the government can use NSA data for informed decision-making to achieve NNSAS targets.

A&T wishes to assess the NSA data capturing system existing in federal and regional bureaus of agriculture, as well as zonal and woreda offices to identify the gaps and recommend possible solutions to improve NSA data capturing and reporting systems. A&T Ethiopia 3.0 will use the findings from the assessment to propose approaches to develop joint action plans with federal and regional agriculture bureaus in the areas of NSA data capture and data use for decision-making.

Objective of the Assessment

The objective of this assessment is to assess the entire data capturing system of the Ministry’s agriculture and livestock sectors, including NSA indicators currently being tracked, reporting flows and timing at the federal, regional, zonal, and woreda levels, as well as data use for decision-making at all levels.

Specific Objectives

•        Assess the existing information system in the agriculture sector including the data capturing, report flows and timing, and feedback loops as well as data use at different level.  

•        Gather information on the agriculture information systems being used to capture NSA-related data at national, regional, zonal and woreda and community levels, including NSA indicators, data flows and reporting time, quality assurance, feedback loops and interoperability.

•        Map the nutrition-sensitive indicators (including the definition of indicators) routinely captured by the agriculture sector, and indicators that are required for monitoring and evaluating NSA interventions being implemented in the country but not captured by the current agriculture information system. 

•        Review globally recommended list of indicators for monitoring and evaluation of NSA interventions.

•        Assess the NSA information needs at the national, regional, woreda, and community levels.

•        Assess current NSA data use (routine program monitoring, evaluations, surveys and research), and sharing mechanisms of different stakeholders (NNP II signatories, universities, research institutes and nutrition development partners).

•        Assess the NSA related indicators integrated into the agriculture sector’s joint supportive supervision checklists.

•        Recommend a feasible strategy to address the identified gaps and strengthen the NSA data capturing system.

Scope of the Assessment

Sector: The assessment will target national, regional, zonal, woreda, and kebele level agriculture bureaus and offices.

Geographic scope: The assessment will be conducted at the federal level and in six regions – Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, and SNNP, where A&T Ethiopia 3.0 currently operates.

Methodology

This study will employ qualitative study approaches. A mix of qualitative investigation tools will be used to explore in-depth information. The methods to be used are described below:

Desk Review: Review different monitoring tools and document (annual plans, reports and other documents) at federal, Regional, zonal and woreda level for better understanding of agriculture data/ information system.

In-depth interviews of experts: In-depth interviews will be conducted with Ministry of Agriculture M&E and Planning Directorate officers, Regional Agriculture Bureau M&E Section officers, and zonal and woreda nutrition focal persons, among others.

The firm shall propose the sampling methodology for selecting zones and woredas to be included in the study from each region.

The firm shall conduct the following tasks:

 A. Desk review

Review different documents (project documents, annual plans, reports and other documents) to better understand the agriculture information system of the nation.

B.     Develop the assessment protocol

       The protocol should include a background and rationale section, the objectives of the assessment, the study design, the sampling procedures, the data collection methods, data analysis methodology, the study tools and the field logistics.

       Prepare all the documents for national ethical clearance and/or support letter from the regional Agriculture Bureaus.  Obtain the national ethical clearance and/or support letters from the regional Bureaus.

       Share protocol with Ministry of Agriculture (Planning and programing directorate and FNCO) nutrition team and A&T for their feedback.

       Incorporate comments into final protocol.

       Share final proposal with A&T and government stakeholders.

C.     Conduct the assessment

       Recruit and hire experienced research assistants in qualitative and quantitative data collection.

       Conduct a 1-day training for interviewers.

       Provide interviewers with audio recording equipment and supplies to record interviews.

       Transcribe all audio recordings in English.

       Provide a write-up of any deviations from the protocol.

D. Analysis and report writing

       Organize all the data and conduct the analysis.

       Submit all the audio recordings, summary report and transcriptions.

       Provide reports

       Develop a PowerPoint that summarizes findings.

Project Management

The firm will provide a detailed description of the proposed assessment team composition including the assessment lead, supervisors and interviewers. Please provide CVs of key personnel.

Anticipated key deliverables and timeline.

Deliverables will be reviewed and approved in writing by A&T. All deliverables will be submitted to A&T Ethiopia Country Programs Director. All payments are contingent upon timely submission and acceptance and approval of the deliverables. The selected firm is expected to deliver the following deliverables

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Submission of Proposal Requirements

The RFP is open to firms, organizations and consultants with team expertise. The proposal shall contain the following:

The firm’s ability to perform the above-mentioned tasks will be assessed based on its experience and the CVs of its employees. The firm needs to show proof of the following:

         Profile of the firm and its previous experience in Assessing the entire data capturing system of the Ministry’s agriculture and livestock sectors, including nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) indicators currently being tracked, reporting flows and timing at the federal, regional, zonal, and woreda levels, as well as data use for decision-making at all levels

         CVs of employees/contractors/technical experts that the firm is planning to recruit to assess the entire data capturing system. 

Proposed Team: Expertise and Experiences of Team Members

The firm is expected to identify the structure and composition of its team, which will be assigned to complete this scope of work; list the main components of the assignment, the key expert responsible and proposed technical and support staff along with their curriculum vitae (CVs).  The firm should highlight similar assignments completed by the proposed team members.

Team Composition and Tasks Assigned. Please provide the details using the table below:

Alive and Thrive Timelines and Level of Effort

The program will be undertaken over a 3 months period. The assignment requires the assigned team to be based in Addis Ababa for this assignment.

Technical Proposal Submission Requirements

The technical proposal should have the following sections which will be rated independently.

A.         Capability and Experience Statements and Proposed Approach:

1.         Timeline outlining the steps of the entire data capturing system

2.         Brief background of the team members including related past experiences in working around assessing the entire NSA data capturing system

3.         Three references including contact information of past clients for which similar work has been performed.

 

Annexes: Detailed CVs of the proposed team members, sample of related previous work and letters of recommendation.

B.         Budget: Content of the Financial Proposal

As part of the proposal, the firm is expected to provide a clear presentation of the budget required to undertake the project activities separately. The budget breakdown should fulfil the following requirements:

•           All proposed budget must be submitted in local Ethiopian currency (ETB).

•           It must be developed and prepared in the excel sheet template provided by FHI with formulas included. The bidders can request the Budget template through mentioned email address.

•           Detailed budget breakdown (daily fees of the personnel, duration to be spent by the personnel, and estimated costs for all activities proposed in the application with a unit cost and quantity included).

•           A detailed budget narrative should describe and justify the cost assumptions for each category and line item in the budget spreadsheet.  The budget should be broken down by labor costs (please identify personnel who will perform the work), include fringe benefit costs in accordance to your company’s compensation policies, supplies, any other direct costs necessary to perform a category of work, and indirect costs. In the cost proposal, please provide the best value and indicate how cost efficiencies are being obtained.

If included, indirect costs must be clearly stated including the basis on which they will be applied. Indirect costs are administrative expenses related to overall general operations and are shared among projects and/or functions. Examples include executive oversight, accounting, grants management, legal expenses, utilities, and facility maintenance. In so far as possible, identifiable (allocable) costs should be noted and justified in the proposal as direct costs, including those for dedicated ongoing project management, facilities and support.

            To the extent that indirect costs are applicable, they are subject to the following limits:

•           0% for government agencies and other private foundations.

•           up to 10% for U.S. universities and other academic institutions

•           Up to 15% for all other non-U.S. academic institutions and all private voluntary and non-government organizations, regardless of location, and for-profit organizations.

Indirect cost rates (and the limitations) apply both to the primary applicant organization and any sub-grantees and/or sub-contractors that are part of the proposal.

If the organization has lower indirect rates, the lower rates should be used.  Please include VAT and any applicable taxes into the cost proposal as FHI SOLUTIONS is not VAT or tax exempt.

C.         Contact Information:

The email address where Alive & Thrive may send a confirmation of receipt of your submission.

CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION

A&T Ethiopia 3.0 will assign a team composed of leadership and technical staff to evaluate the proposals submitted by the applicants. This team will evaluate the bidding documents based on the criteria set below. A best value selection will be made based on the following weighted categories:

Alive and Thrive

NOTE:  FHI SOLUTIONS will not compensate the company for its preparation of response to this RFP nor is the issuing of this RFP a guarantee that FHI SOLUTIONS will award a contract. 

 Anticipated Contractual Mechanisms

FHI anticipates issuing a firm fixed-price Purchase order. The purchase order will be issued in local currency (ETB) to the responsive offer that is selected as the highest scorer on a best value basis. Once an award is issued, it will include a schedule of fixed price payments based on timely completion and approval of deliverables in the scope of work.

Application Instructions and Deadline

Responses to this RFP should be submitted by email to the A&T office email address: <[email protected]> with cc: to Ms. Tika Jaishi-Neupane at email [email protected] no later than May 14, 2019 at 5 p.m. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia time. 

Any explanation desired by a prospective offeror regarding the meaning or interpretation of this solicitation must be requested in writing only.  Questions should be submitted via email to <[email protected]> with cc: to Ms. Tika Jaishi-Neupane at email <[email protected]> no later than May 07, 2019 by 5 p.m. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia time.

Withdrawal of Proposals

Proposals may be withdrawn by written notice, email or facsimile received at any time before award.

The solicitation can be accessed through the main procurement page at

https://www.aliveandthrive.org/procurement-solicitation/

False Statements in Offer

Offerors must provide full, accurate and complete information as required by this solicitation and its attachments.

Proposals become property of FHI SOLUTIONS.

DISCLAIMERS AND FHI SOLUTIONS PROTECTION CLAUSES

•           FHI SOLUTIONS may cancel the solicitation and not make an award

•           FHI SOLUTIONS may reject any or all responses received

•           Issuance of a solicitation does not constitute an award commitment by FHI Solutions

•           FHI SOLUTIONS reserves the right to disqualify any offer based on offeror failure to follow solicitation instructions

•           FHI SOLUTIONS will not compensate offers for response to solicitation

•           FHI SOLUTIONS reserves the right to issue an award based on initial evaluation of offers without further discussion

•           FHI SOLUTIONS may choose to award only part of the activities in the solicitation, or

issue multiple awards based on the solicitation activities

•           FHI SOLUTIONS may request from short-listed offerors a second or third round of either oral presentation or written response to a more specific and detailed scope of work that is based on a general scope of work in the original RFP.

•           FHI SOLUTIONS has the right to rescind an RFP or rescind an award prior to the signing of a subcontract due to any unforeseen changes in the direction of FHI SOLUTIONS’s client, be it funding or programmatic.

•           FHI SOLUTIONS reserves the right to waive minor proposal deficiencies that can be

corrected prior to award determination to promote competition

•           FHI SOLUTIONS will be contacting offerors to confirm contact person, address and that bid was submitted for this solicitation.

END OF RFP******