RFP3-17

Global LEAP-RBF Warehouse Verification in Bangladesh & East Africa


Introduction

CLASP is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the environmental and energy performance of the appliances and related systems we use every day, lessening their impacts on people and the world around us. CLASP develops and shares transformative policy and market solutions in collaboration with global experts and local stakeholders.

CLASP’s Clean Energy Access program focuses on using energy efficiency to drive and accelerate the affordability, and social and environmental benefits, of access to clean energy throughout the developing world. CLASP serves as the Operating Agent for the several programs of the Global Lighting & Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP), an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) to catalyze and support commercial markets that deliver clean energy access products and services to un- and under-electrified communities throughout the developing world. Global LEAP does this by developing product quality assurance frameworks, promoting demand-side super-efficiency, and encouraging collaboration among donors and other institutions.

The forthcoming second round of the Global LEAP-RBF program will provide results-based financing incentives to encourage off-grid energy companies to purchase and market efficient off-grid appliances.  In support of this program, CLASP is seeking to engage an organization to implement robust, multi-faceted monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities in Bangladesh & East Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. These M&E activities are critically important to the success of the program, and the implementers will be an essential component of an integrated multi-national program team. The warehouse verification is an integral of this M&E process.

Information on the background, scope of work, reporting, and timeframe for implementation of the project is provided below, along with instructions for proposal submission and evaluation.

Background

Distributed (“off-grid”) clean energy technologies – like solar portable lanterns (SPLs) and light kits, solar home systems (SHSs), and renewable mini-/micro-grids – offer cost-effective, high-quality, and reliable modern energy services to the billions of under-electrified consumers at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP). These modern energy services displace dirty, pre-modern fuels such as kerosene and diesel, driving positive global health and environmental impacts, as well as socioeconomic development.

Quality assured, highly energy efficient, and appropriately designed off-grid appliances like light emitting diode (LED) lighting, televisions (TVs), fans, and refrigerators accelerate markets for off-grid clean energy systems like SHSs and mini-grids. High quality off-grid appliances create demand for clean energy systems, while energy efficient appliances reduce energy supply costs and maximize the usefulness of every unit of energy generated. As such, these appliances are essential to the development of off-grid markets.

Despite the potential of appliances to spark off-grid markets and provide enhanced and greater energy services to BoP consumers, the market for these appliances is underdeveloped, disorganized, and difficult for off-grid market actors to access and navigate. Both off-grid energy companies and appliance manufacturers experience challenges related to price sensitivity of BoP consumers, lack of information about products and/or the market itself, and other barriers to market entry. These market failures inhibit the development of an appliance market that meets the needs of the global clean energy access challenge.

To address these and other market failures and help jumpstart a badly needed competitive global market for outstanding off-grid appliances, Global LEAP, Energising Development, the International Finance Corporation and CLASP had collaborated on a multi-year program with four core components.

  1. A series of Global LEAP Awards competitions to identify a pool of high-quality, super-efficient, best-in-class off-grid appliances (fans, televisions, and refrigerators);
  2. Results-based financing (RBF) incentives directed at SHS/mini-grid companies in key off-grid economies (Bangladesh and East African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda) to encourage quick procurement of and clear paths to market for these appliances, as well as to foster productive long-term business relationships between SHS/mini-grid companies and appliance manufacturers;
  3. Industry matchmaking and market development to heighten program engagement and accelerate its outcomes, as well as to address policy, financial, and institutional barriers to market development; and
  4. Monitoring and evaluation to validate RBF incentive payments, track the outcomes of the program, and inform program refinements. 

Scope of Work

M&E requirements for this program are likely to include the following components. This M&E approach will be applicable to each incentive claim submitted by an SHS/mini-grid company. For budgeting purposes, we anticipate as many as sixty (60) claim submissions per year for both Bangladesh & East Africa.

For each incentive claim submitted by a SHS/mini-grid company, M&E contractor will:

(1)  Visit the SHS/mini-grid company’s warehouse or facility to verify that the off-grid appliances have been purchased and are in SHS/mini-grid company’s possession;

(2)  Report all findings in a consistent format to CLASP.

The anticipated run time for the LEAP-RBF program is four years, and CLASP is seeking continuing partnership with an M&E contractor. The team selected must be diligent, detail and task-oriented, and committed to the highest professional ethics and integrity.

Firms or teams with deep experience related to M&E for development, results-based financing, and/or energy access are strongly encouraged to submit proposals. Experience with and access to modern M&E software and technology (i.e. tablet-based software with photography and geo-coding functionality) is preferred. Experience with M&E in both Bangladesh’s and East Africa’s off-grid solar market is preferred. 

Reporting and Deliverables

The M&E contractor will work closely with CLASP and other program partners to develop, implement, and deliver the following:

  • A thorough, scalable protocol for M&E activities that satisfies all programmatic and donor objectives;
  • A consistent reporting template that clearly conveys both aggregate level M&E results; and
  • Timely and accurate reports for the M&E activity (item 1) outlined in the Scope of Work.

The contractor can also expect to provide occasional support to CLASP’s program reporting efforts. 

Timeline

The second round of the program is likely to launch in late fall of 2017 and run through the end of 2018. CLASP hopes to engage a team for the life of the program.

CLASP anticipates that warehouse verification activities will commence in late 2017, and will take place intermittently as appliance-manufacturing companies submit incentive claims. Teams responding to this RFP should anticipate variations in the level of effort required from month to month. 

Information for Potential Applicants

At a minimum, the team should budget for regular trips to districts where SHS/mini-grid sales are common, per item (1) in the Scope of Work.

Evaluation Criteria

A committee will evaluate project and budget proposals received from respondents. Selection of qualified experts will be based upon the following criteria:

Qualifications, including:
  • Familiarity and experience with results-based financing projects and incentive design;
  • Familiarity with off-grid appliance markets, regions and cultures (i.e. Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, etc.);
  • Thorough understanding of off-grid consumers, products, and market characteristics and needs, and of the Global LEAP initiative and affiliated global clean energy access and development stakeholders;
  • A thorough grasp of this program’s scope, objectives and goals (current program documents will be made available upon request)

Cost proposal

Proposals will be evaluated using a Quality and Cost-Based Selection (QCBS) method, with weights of 65 percent towards team and organization experience and qualifications, and 35 percent towards proposed costs. Additional information about CLASP’s selection process is available here.

Submittal

Interested parties should submit separate technical and financial proposals as electronic files. The file should be named as per the following example:  “Contractor Name: RFP3-17

The Project Proposal must include the following elements:
  • Biography or organizational profile
  • Examples of relevant, related work and associated references
  • Evidence of organizational ethics and anti-corruption policies and practices
  • CVs and related summaries of experience and qualifications of applicable staff
  • Detailed proposed timeline of deliverables and milestones for the M&E activity listed in the Scope of Work section above (i.e. items 1)

The Financial Proposal must include the following elements:
  • Detailed budget that includes a breakdown of costs for staff time, expenses, and incidentals for the M&E activity listed in the Scope of Work section above (i.e. items 1)


For the purposes of budgeting, timelines, deliverables and milestones, please assume sixty (60) total incentive claim submissions each year with the M&E activity listed in the Scope of Work section above (i.e. items 1) taking place for each claim. Financial proposals should account for the program’s multi-year timeline, and should account for the possibility of staff pay raises, promotion, and turnover.

If necessary for the selection process, CLASP may request additional information from any applicant.

Proposals should be submitted via the CLASP website using the “Submit Bid” button and filling out all the requested information. The deadline for proposal submission is October 6th 2017. Proposals submitted directly to anyone at CLASP will not be accepted.

All questions may be addressed to Jeff Stottlemyer at jstottlemyer@clasp.ngo. The last date for submission of questions related to this RFP is September 30th 2017. We request all inquiries be made by e-mail and not by phone.  CLASP recommends that interested teams request and read the original program proposal, which provides ample context for this M&E activity and the contractor role within the program team.