RFP5-17

Global LEAP-RBF Monitoring and Evaluation SMS Survey Platform in 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 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 customer 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.

The Global LEAP RBF procurement subsidy program requires the following verifications to be carried out for all participating companies:

  1. Visit the company’s warehouse or facility to verify that the off-grid appliances have been purchased and are in the company’s possession;
  2. Verify accuracy of reported end-user data from appliances retailers through a statistically significant sample of surveys conducted through some combination of SMS, phone and in-person. 

These verification activities will be conducted for all fans, Tvs, and refrigerators that participate in the RBF program across Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. A consultant(s) will be tasked with designing the most cost effective, statistically significant methodology to meet the obligatory reporting requirements.

In addition to fulfilling the reporting requirements, CLASP will collect extensive market data for TVs, Fans, and refrigerators currently sold to off-grid customers in East Africa. A select number of these products will be subjected to laboratory testing and will be included in CLASP’s Off-Grid Appliance Database.

CLASP will also collect impact assessments from appliance end users via SMS, phone interviews and in-person surveys. This impact data will be used to validate and improve upon future Global LEAP programing. 

Scope of Work

CLASP seeks to hire a company to set up an online SMS survey platform that has the capability to operate in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. The contractor will be expected to work closely with CLASP and other program partners to develop, implement and deliver the following:

  1. Set up SMS survey capabilities for Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda;
  2. Transfer word document surveys to an online SMS survey platform;
  3. Process to Upload customer data i.e. names, location, mobile phone number;
  4. Develop and provide access to consistent reporting outputs from surveys;

The SMS platform must have the ability to reach at least a 100,000 households. Survey participants will be added to the database over a period of at least 12 months.   

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 East Africa’s off-grid solar market is preferred. 

Reporting and Deliverables

The contractor or contractors will be expected to work closely with CLASP and other program partners to develop the following:

  1. SMS survey functionality in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania;
  2. Reporting templates from SMS survey data

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 customer verification activities will commence in late 2017 or early 2018, and will take place intermittently as SHS/mini-grid companies submit incentive claims. Teams responding to this RFP should anticipate finalizing the M&E SMS Survey setup no more than one month after contracting. Ongoing support is anticipated. 

Information for Potential Applicants

This project will not require travel to East Africa but a presence in the region will be advantageous.

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 online SMS survey platforms in East Africa;
  • Familiarity with off-grid appliance markets, regions and cultures in i.e. Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • 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: RFP5-17

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 activities listed in the Scope of Work section above (i.e. items 1 and 2)

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 activities listed in the Scope of Work section above (i.e. items 1 and 2)

For the purposes of budgeting, timelines, deliverables and milestones, please assume thirty (30) total incentive claim submissions each year with the M&E activities listed in the Scope of Work section above (i.e. items 1 and 2) 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 these M&E activities and the contractor role within the program team.