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Request for Proposals for Development of a Guidance Document and Tools on Community and Public Engagement (CPE) for Researchers and Research Leadership Capacity Strengthening in Africa

Tender Details

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Development of a Guidance Document and Tools on Community and Public Engagement for Research Leadership Capacity Strengthening in Africa
Project title: Development of a Guidance Document and Tools on Community and Public Engagement for Research Leadership Capacity Strengthening in Africa 
Purpose: Conduct a scoping exercise to assess the nature of existing resources in community and public engagement and use this evidence to develop an engagement guidance document and accompanying tools for research leadership capacity strengthening initiatives in Africa.
Expected fee: To be negotiated with the consultant and commensurate with proposed scope of work. 
Location:  Remote. The consultant will be expected to work and conduct field work remotely from their current location/s. No travel is envisaged due to covid19 restrictions.
Expected duration: The consultancy is expected to involve approximately 90 workdays. The submission deadline for the guidance document and tools is April 30, 2021

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan-African organisation. The vision of the AAS is transformed lives through science, while its mission is to leverage resources for Science Technology and Innovation (STI) through excellence and thought leadership for Africa’s development. Our tripartite mandate is recognising excellence through the AAS’s highly prestigious fellowship, affiliates membership and award schemes; providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping Africa’s STI strategies and policies; and implementing key STI programmes addressing Africa’s developmental challenges. The AAS implements STI programmes through the programmatic platform, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) created through an African Union General Assembly Resolution, and implemented jointly by the AUDA-NEPAD and AAS, hosted by the AAS, and funded by Wellcome, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and UK Foreign and Common Wealth Development Office(DCFO, formerly DFID), in addition to other funders. 

Background to the AESA CPE Programme 
AAS/AESA recognises that for research to achieve real-life impact, enhanced societal engagement by researchers through community, public, media and policy activities is crucial. The AESA CPE programme was set up to provide leadership, advice, development opportunities and resources to enable research initiatives across Africa to develop high quality, ethical, and creative CPE activities with the ultimate goal of bridging the gap between science and society.  Guided by a four-tier strategy with two broad objectives; the programme among other aims seeks to strengthen African researchers and research leaders’ capacity to embed engagement within research institutional systems/structures and research initiatives. One approach to achieve this, is through providing CPE resources. 

Request for proposals
Consultants are invited to submit a proposal to conduct a scoping exercise to assess existing CPE resources targeting researchers and research leaders in Africa. The evidence generated will be used to develop a guidance document on CPE and accompanying tools for researchers and research leaders in Africa. 

Scope of Work 

  • Characterise the current state of CPE resources for researchers and research leaders in Africa. 
  • Characterise researchers and research leaders’ CPE resource needs and critical gaps that require interventions  
  • Apply evidence generated to develop a CPE guidance document and accompanying tools for researchers and research leadership capacity strengthening initiatives in Africa 

Methodological overview
The consultant should provide details of the methodology they will use to address this scope of work. The methodological overview should include, but not necessarily be limited to, details of how the consultant will conduct:

  • Secondary data analysis: including details of how existing data will be identified, accessed, extracted and analysed.  
  •  Empirical research and analysis of DELTAS Africa researchers and research leaders’ CPE resources priorities, including: 
    • Collecting data using qualitative and possibly mixed-method techniques and virtual approaches, for example from individual interviews  
    • Data analysis using established approaches such a thematic analysis.


  • Inception report, including detailed methodology and work plan
  • Dataset. The consultant will be expected to provide complete deidentified and translated (to English, as applicable) dataset to the AAS for future use.
  • The final CPE guidance document and accompanying tools. 

Consultancy Team Profile 
The consultant/cy team should: 

  • Possess methodological and analytical experience to match data collection and analysis requirements of the consultancy. 
  • Possess a PhD in a Social Science, Humanities & Arts (SSH&A) discipline.
  • Be an African citizen and/or non-African based in an African country.
  • Knowledge of the current situation of community and public engagement in research in Africa.
  • Demonstrable experience conducting similar consultancies.
  • Excellent written and oral English language proficiency. All consultancy outputs must be provided in English language.
  • Professionalism and cross-cultural competencies.

Proposals will be technically evaluated, and only successful consultants will be shortlisted and invited to interview.

The following is a summary of the rated criteria and weightings for the technical evaluation of proposals. Individuals/firms who do not meet the minimum threshold score on technical capacity will not proceed to the next stage of the evaluation. Successful consultants will be shortlisted and invited for interview upon which the recommendations for award shall be made. Only successful bidder will be contacted for negotiations on scope of work and cost. 

Response will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Criteria  Score
Technical Evaluation  
Adequacy of the proposed work plan, methodology and deliverables, in responding to the terms of reference 40%
Specific experience and skills of the consultant/cy team related to the assignment 30%
Qualifications and competence of the key staff for the assignment 30%
Total 100%


Activity End date
Deadline for response to RFP 15/12/2020
Assessment and Award to Successful bidder/Contract signing 15/01/2021
Inception meeting 25/01/2021
Inception report 31/01/2021
Draft guidance document and tools (for comment) 15/04/2021
Final guidance document and tools 30/04/2021


Proposals from bidders should include a technical proposal and financial proposal and must include the following elements:   
a. A covering letter introducing the submission.
b. An executive summary providing an overview of your response to the scope of work citing previous experience and expertise.
c. A methodological proposal.
d. A financial proposal (i.e. budget) in USD. This should be inclusive of all taxes and delivery costs and shall remain valid for (120) days from the closing date of the tender. 
e. Detailed CVs of applicant (s) outlining the relevant skills and experience (not exceeding 3 pages per team member). 
f. Current business licenses where applicable.
g. Valid VAT and PIN Certificate where applicable.
k. Bidders are encouraged to include any additional information they believe demonstrates added value for the AAS within the scope of this project.

This document is the property of the AAS and contains proprietary and confidential information. Recipients may use or reproduce the information detailed within this document and any other supporting information only to provide a response to this RFP. 
The AAS makes no commitment to any consultant/service provider unless a contract has been awarded and signed by both parties. The AAS reserves the right to cease this exercise at any time. During the period of this activity, no contact should occur between any members of the consultants’ staff and any member of the AAS staff in relation to this exercise other than through the designated contact points as detailed within this RFP. It is however recognized that pre-existing relationships if any, shall be respected.

The Consultant is required to observe the AAS procurement ethical code of conduct which includes but is not limited to observing the highest standard of ethics regarding corruption, collusion, conflict of interest and fraud. If the Consultant does not observe confidentiality or ethical practices, they shall be disqualified from any further work with the AAS. 

Where appropriate, any costs for travel and subsistence must be clearly shown in the proposal. However, it is expected that this assignment would be largely virtual.

Consultants should be aware that inappropriate publicity could have a serious effect upon the AAS’s business. The information contained within this document or subsequently made available to the consultant is deemed confidential and must not be disclosed without the prior written consent of the AAS unless required by law. 

By submission of a proposal, the consultant warrants that the prices in the proposal have been arrived at independently, without consultation, communication, agreement or understanding for the purpose of restricting competition, as to any matter relating to such prices, with any other potential consultant or with any competitor. 

It should be noted that this document relates to a Request for Proposal only and not a firm commitment from the AAS to enter into a contractual agreement. In addition, the AAS will not be held responsible for any costs associated with the production of a response to this Request for Proposal.