REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR CONSULTANCY SERVICES FOR MAPPING STUDY FOR THE MONITORING, EVALUATION AND LEARNING FUNCTION
Overview of the AAS
The African Academy of Sciences (the AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan African organisation whose headquarters are in Kenya. The AAS vision is to see transformed lives on the African continent through science, while its mission is to leverage resources through research excellence and thought leadership for sustainable development. The AAS’ tripartite mandate is recognising excellence through the AAS’ highly prestigious Fellowship, Affiliates and Award schemes, providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping Africa’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) strategies and policies and implementing key Science, Technology and Innovation programmes addressing Africa’s developmental challenges.
Statement of work
In the past two years, the AAS has witnessed tremendous growth in the number and breadth of our initiatives and projects. This growth is projected to accelerate in the coming years and will be coupled with an increased need to assess progress and identify lessons around whether, why and how all AAS facets are achieving their goals. In anticipation of this, AAS has assigned priority to ensuring that our Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team is fully supported to adequately handle these increasing responsibilities. As part of a wholesome approach to identify the type of support and intervention timelines, we are inviting proposals from qualified consultants to carry out a mapping study that will detail out:
(a) Past & Current: Review of existing MEL structures, how they have served our programmes in the past and how they are positioned to support programme delivery at present
(b) Future: Assessment of projected programmatic work and determination of the type and level of MEL support required over the next 1-5 years
(c) Next steps: Clear recommendations on how The AAS can move forward to fill in any gaps and ensure we are well prepared to handle all MEL responsibilities that come hand in hand with anticipated growth.
The outcomes of the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning mapping study will form the implementation blueprint for AAS MEL activities from 2020 onwards. The successful proponent will work directly with the Strategy and Evaluation Manager on the execution of deliverables, which fall into the three key elements below:
(a) Past & Current: Review of MEL function at AAS:
This will include a situational gap analysis indicating what is working well and what can be improved; key considerations at this point may include but not be limited to:
- Review of key challenges and opportunities from a structural, process and staffing perspective
- Review of key capabilities and any gaps
- Review of changes in MEL landscape, key actors in the science technology and innovation (STI) space, key interactions of all stakeholders and implications of all these to AAS’ goals.
(b) Future: Recommendations on optimal positioning to address AAS’ MEL demands over the next 1-5 years:
This will include a strategic assessment of MEL requirements based on AAS growth projections and potential for impact. This may include but not be limited to:
- Recommendations on best practice structures, processes and staffing based on robust evidence collected through benchmarking, landscape scans, insights from engagement with partners and staff, etc. and aligned to existing AAS strategy.
(c) Next steps: Process sequencing and operationalization
Recommendations on how the MEL function can prioritize and sequence the recommendations provided in a manner that will maximize improvement and sustain high performance. This includes an operationalization roadmap for the structural, process and staffing set up of AAS’ MEL function over the short, medium and long term. Specifics included in the roadmap may include but not be limited to:
- Identification and mapping of key processes and workflows for MEL function across key categories such as theories of change, indicator measurement, data collection methodology, monitoring and verification systems, reporting frameworks, feedback mechanisms, impact evaluations, critical risks, etc.
- Recommendations on staffing needs for the MEL function mapped to key processes and workflows and including job descriptions for the different roles
- Development and/or updates to MEL templates, tools and operating policies and procedures to reflect all improvements made / recommended over the course of the project
- Facilitation of a staff workshop and training session to hand over all tools developed and explain optimal processes for effective MEL function and the role of AAS colleagues in enhancing effectiveness and efficiency.
(a) AAS MEL Mapping report divided into three key sections, each delivered as milestones within the project:
i. Situational assessment – outlining the current MEL set up at AAS from a structural, process and staffing perspective
ii. Best practice review – charting the positioning and implication of AAS’ MEL function in comparison to similar and peer organizations
iii. Operationalization plan - documenting key staffing roles, procedures, policies, workflows and process maps required to position AAS MEL function for success in the next 1-5 years
(b) Training session for all staff on their role in the operationalization of improved MEL function
The consultant we are looking for should fulfil the following requirements:
(a) Deep knowledge of tools and approaches for designing and embedding monitoring, evaluation and learning as a core part of programme design with an aim of generating robust evidence to inform decisions.
(b) Broad understanding of current trends, standards and best practice guidelines for the conduct of monitoring, evaluation and learning especially for science, technology and innovation.
(c) Excellent project management skills in an international work environment. (d) Excellent skills in conducting high level stakeholder meetings.
Proposals from bidders should include the following elements:
a) A cover letter introducing the submission;
b) An overview of the consultant, including similar past experience, names, bios and detailed CVs of the consultant(s) who will be involved in this project, outlining the relevant skills and experience;
c) Three references from organizations with whom you’ve worked on similar projects outlining these past project deliverables and results;
d) An overview of the consultant’s understanding of this engagement;
e) Overview of the consultant’s proposed project plan, deliverables, timelines, milestones and outcomes;
f) Overview of the methodology to be used for MEL review, assessment and recommendations;
g) Proposed budget for the provision of the services, broken down by deliverable and timeline. The Prices quoted should be inclusive of all taxes and delivery costs, must be in USD and shall remain valid for (120) days from the closing date of the tender;
h) Consultant(s) are encouraged to include any additional information they believe demonstrates added value for the AAS within the scope of this assignment.
Responses to this RFP will be evaluated based on the following criteria. Successful consultants will be shortlisted and invited to an interview.
Clarity and adequacy of proposed project plan, deliverables, timelines,
milestones and outcomes
Clarity of methodology used for review, assessment and recommendations
Related project experience and qualifications of key staff proposed (provide staff profiles as well as evidence of having undertaken similar assignments in the last 5 years)
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 supplier's 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.
Where appropriate, any costs for travel and subsistence must be clearly shown in the proposal.
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.