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(EOI) Enabling the Future of E-Commerce Capacity Building and Support for Goods/services Sellers (SMEs)

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Expression of Interest (EOI) Enabling the Future of E-Commerce Capacity building and support for goods/services sellers (SMEs)

Introduction

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federally owned international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations. GIZ has worked in Rwanda for over 30 years. The primary objectives between the Government of Rwanda and the Federal Republic of Germany are poverty reduction and promotion of sustainable development. To achieve these objectives, GIZ Rwanda is active in the sectors of Decentralization and Good Governance, Economic Development and Employment Promotion, Energy, and ICT (Information and Communications Technology).

1.       Context

GIZ is a German Government-owned enterprise and entrusted with executing some of the German Government’s international cooperation activities. GIZ has been operating in Rwanda for more than 40 years, where it is currently active in sustainable economic development and employment promotion, decentralization, good governance, energy, and ICT.

Under the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation (Invest for Jobs), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) put together a package of measures to support private sector investments with a high impact on employment in Africa. Invest for Jobs is operated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and currently active in seven African countries including Rwanda. In Rwanda, Invest for Jobs identifies, develops, and promotes business and investment opportunities for domestic, German, and other international companies. GIZ Invest for Jobs is commissioning this assignment on behalf of BMZ and will subsequently be the contracting partner of the successful contractor.

Rwanda is seeking to become a regional leader in ICT and its Government has been implementing corresponding strategies and programmes with the support of international partners. The utilization of ICT and E-Commerce amongst Rwandan enterprises has improved in recent years, but much remains to be done. Available E-Commerce services in Rwanda include marketplaces and portals, digital marketing, and e-payments—to name but a few. In 2018, for example, the Government of Rwanda and the Alibaba Group officially launched the Electronic World Trade Platform with the objective of making it easier for Rwandan companies to participate in global trade.

To add thrust to these developments, the Rwandan Government has mandated the GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme with the implementation of the sub-project: Rwanda: Enabling the Future of E-Commerce (hereafter referred to as E-Commerce project). The aim of the e-commerce project is to set up infrastructures and supportive mechanisms for Rwandan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to sell goods via an online business to consumer (B2C) e-commerce marketplace for trading products and to a lesser extent services both domestically and cross-border. Sellers are exclusively Rwandan SMEs which may themselves produce some or all of the goods and services they trade. GIZ defines e-commerce as the purchase or sale of goods or services online. Payment and the ultimate delivery of the goods or services do not have to be conducted online.

The project’s cooperation partners are the Rwandan Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) and others from the Rwandan government (e.g. Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT), the Rwandan Development Board (RDB), and the National Post Office (iPOSITA), the Rwandan ICT Chamber, as well as international courier services providers. In early 2020, the implementing responsibility for this project was transferred internally in GIZ to the Invest for Jobs Programme, with the mandate by MINICOM to support the Rwandan Government in achieving the following two key objectives:

  • Developing a future-proof business model for the sustained operations of an E-Commerce PPP and subsequently deploying and operating the PPP as guided by the model. The model shall include, inter alia, a PPP agreement, a revenue model, E-Commerce marketplaces for domestic and international sales, specifications for operating up to seven E-Commerce Service Centres located throughout Rwanda, agreements with fulfillment partners to provide services, and consignment agreements with goods/services sellers, the vast majority of them being SMEs.
  • Completing, deploying, and operating the Odoo software suite for business which shall comprehensively support all business activities of the E-Commerce PPP. This includes operations of two E-Commerce marketplaces and all its associated ERP support systems (e.g. accounting, invoicing, payments, warehousing) at the back-offices of the E-Commerce Service Centres, its fulfillment partners, goods/services sellers, and possibly selected buyers.

To achieve these objectives, GIZ Invest for Jobs requires the services of a consultancy firm to provide capacity building and support services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) interested in selling goods/services via two e-commerce marketplaces, as further described in chapter 3 of this document.

Strategic Steering Committee and an Operational Committee have been set up to govern and coordinate the project’s work. Both must be closely consulted throughout the implementation of the project.

2.       Tasks to be performed by the contractor

The contractor is responsible for achieving the objective as per its indicators and the outputs and work packages described in this section of the EoI.

The E-Commerce Initiative is not a project by itself, but part of the GIZ Rwanda Invest for Jobs Programme and subsumed under the following Output: The capacities of Rwandan SMEs with growth potential have improved. Invest for Jobs will be the commissioning and controlling party of the contractor. We shall still occasionally refer to E-Commerce Initiative as project throughout this document as it encompasses the characteristics of a project, such as being a temporary organization created for the purpose of delivering business and technical products to an agreed business case.

The objective of this assignment: Identity, register, and support up to 600 Rwandan small and medium-sized enterprises as goods/services sellers on the two online e-commerce marketplaces goods/services marketplaces set up by the E-Commerce initiative: Rwanda: Enabling the Future of E-Commerce.

Objective indicators:

  • 600 Rwandan SMEs have registered goods or services on the E-Commerce marketplaces;
  • 300 Rwandan SMEs have successfully sold goods or services through at least one of the two marketplaces

Output 1: Rwandan small and medium-sized enterprises from within and outside of Kigali successfully sell goods/services via the two e-commerce marketplaces of the E-Commerce Project

Output indicators:

  • At least 100 SMEs registered as goods/services sellers by the end of February 2021
  • At least 300 SMEs registered as goods/services sellers by the end of July 2021
  • At least 600 SMEs registered as goods/services sellers by the end of December 2022

 Work Package 1.1: Register at least 100 SMEs for the online sale of goods/services (Months 1 – 3)

To date, GIZ and its implementing partners have identified 170 SMEs across various sectors with an active interest in registering as goods/services sellers on the two e-commerce marketplaces created by the E-Commerce Project. As part of work package 1.1, the contractor is expected to register at least 100 of these 170 SMEs on the two e-commerce marketplaces by the end of February 2021. To achieve this objective, the contractor is expected to hold (i) a one-day workshop to introduce SMEs to the e-commerce project, as well as (ii) a series of SME clinics to register SMEs on the platform.

SME Workshops:

Each SME workshop is expected to last one day and should include, as a minimum, the following inputs/modules:

  • Introduction to the E-Commerce Project (1 hour)
  • Demo session on the two online e-commerce marketplaces (2 hours): this demo session will be conducted by the project’s E-Commerce IT expert. This expert is contracted directly by the GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme and does not have to be sourced/budgeted by the contractor.
  • Introduction to Consignment Agreement (1 hour): This session will be facilitated by a lawyer / legal advisor. This lawyer will also be responsible for developing the DRAFT Consignment Agreement to be used during this session, tailor the Agreement to the specific needs of goods/services sellers (SMEs), and facilitate the signing of the Consignment Agreements. The legal advisor will be contacted directly by the GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme and does not have to be sourced and budgeted by the contractor.
  • Training session: “Introduction to E-Commerce” (4 hours): This introductory session should include modules on, e.g.: business management & strategy; product listing; branding; customer services; incoterms; online marketplaces, and returns management, amongst others. The contractor is expected to develop all necessary training materials and submit these to the GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme for review and approval. When preparing the training materials, the contractor is expected to make use of and thoroughly review all existing training material of the project. Where required, the contractor is expected to update the existing training material, prior to the first workshop. All amendments/updates made to the training material need to be approved in writing by the GIZ Invest for Jobs programme prior to use.

At the end of the workshop, the contractor should establish how many SMEs remain interested in registering as sellers on the two e-commerce marketplaces.

SME Clinics

After each workshop, those SMEs who signed Consignment Agreements need to be registered on the e-commerce marketplaces. In addition, digitized material (e.g. photos and descriptions of goods/services to be sold) has to be uploaded to the e-commerce marketplaces to support online sales. To achieve this, the contractor is expected to facilitate a series of SME clinics to register interested SMEs on the two e-commerce marketplaces and assist SMEs in digitizing and uploading an initial set of products on the marketplaces. During the SME clinics, the contractor should offer two sessions in parallel:

Digitization session: during this session, each SME should benefit from a photo session with a professional photographer to take photos of his / her products to be sold via the online marketplaces, as well as an editing session with the SME support team to develop/edit product descriptions. For the photo sessions, two (2) photographers and two (2) SME support officers should be engaged by the contractor to allow for two digitization sessions to take place at the same time. The editing sessions should be conducted with support from an (online) marketing specialist. The online marketing specialist will be contacted directly by the GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme and does not have to be sourced and budgeted by the contractor. The contractor is merely supposed to closely integrate this expert in the digitization sessions.

Consignment Agreement session: To facilitate the registration of SMEs on the two e-commerce marketplaces, an additional session should be facilitated with support from a lawyer / legal advisor to tailor the consignment agreement to the specific needs of goods/services sellers (SMEs), and facilitate the signing of the SME-specific consignment agreements. The legal advisor will be contacted directly by the GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme and does not have to be sourced and budgeted by the contractor. As with the digitization sessions, two consignment agreement sessions should be run throughout the day.

To prevent SMEs from waiting for their respective digitization/consignment agreement session, each SME should be invited separately for their own sessions. It is estimated that each digitization session will take 2 hours, on average, while the consignment agreement sessions should only take one hour per SME.

Assuming that the contractor can facilitate two digitization and two consignment agreement sessions in parallel, it should be possible to register up to 10 SMEs per working day. To register a total of 100 SMEs, the contractor should thus plan at least 10 SME Clinics during work package 1.1.

Workshops and SME Clinics should take place at the E-Commerce Service Centre Kigali, whose exact location will be provided to the successful contractor after contract signature. Costs for the workshop venue, workshop equipment, catering, per diems / transport allowances for participants, etc. will be handled directly by GIZ Invest for Jobs, and do not have to be budgeted by the contractor. The contractor should therefore only budget for the required expertise, except for positions covered directly by GIZ (see above, as well as chapter 6).

Logistical requirements, due to Covid-19

Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the maximum number of workshop participants will be determined by the Covid-19 regulations issued by the Rwandan Government and GIZ applicable at the time of hosting the relevant workshop. For financial planning purposes, the contractor should budget with a maximum nr. of 20 participants per workshop (one representative per SME). Should it be possible to include a higher number of participants in the workshops at the time of project implementation, this will be considered at this time, and the budget would then be revised downwards accordingly.

Thus, in order to register 100 SMEs, a total of five 1-day workshops should be planned for, followed by the required digitization/consignment agreement sessions. As only 10 SME clinics can be conducted per working day, the contractor should plan to conduct five 3-day training cycles, as follows:

Cycle

Nr. of SMEs

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

1

1 – 20

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

2

21 – 40

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

3

41 – 60

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

4

61 – 80

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

5

81 – 100

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

All workshops and SME Clinics for the first 100 SMEs are expected to be concluded latest by the end of February 2021. If possible, however, the contractor should try to organize additional workshops / SME Clinics by the end of February 2021, with the objective to register all 170 SMEs with an active interest in selling goods/services via the online marketplaces. This would require an additional 3 workshop / SME Clinic cycles.

As noted in the workshop outline above, the contractor is expected to work closely with the following experts:

  • The project’s E-Commerce IT expert for the demo sessions on the functionality of the online e-commerce marketplaces; and
  • The project’s legal advisor/lawyer for the facilitation of the session on Consignment Agreements.

Uploading digital material to e-commerce marketplaces

Following the SME Clinics, the contractor is expected to support the upload of digitized material to the two e-commerce marketplaces. This process will be assisted by the technical team in charge of technical platform management and maintenance. However, the contractor is expected to actively contribute to the process of uploading of digitized material (e.g. photos; product/service descriptions, etc.). By the end of February 2021, it is expected that a minimum of 100 goods/services sellers (SMEs) are registered and have uploaded goods/services to the e-commerce marketplaces.

Milestones for work package 1.1

Delivery date/period (months 1 – 3)

The concept for SME workshops and SME Clinics developed and approved by GIZ

Month 1

All training/facilitation material for the SME workshops and SME clinics developed and approved by GIZ

Month 2

At least five (5) cycles of 1-day SME workshops and accompanying SME Clinics conducted, for a minimum of 100 SMEs

 

 

 

Month 3

Consignment Agreements signed with at least 100 SMEs

E-Commerce marketplaces populated with goods and services from at least 100 SMEs

Monthly project reports submitted

5th day of every new month (apart from month 1 of project implementation)

Work Package 1.2: Support registered goods/services sellers in selling goods/services via online marketplaces, register up to 200 additional SMEs from within and outside Kigali on the e-commerce marketplaces, and support SME survey in six secondary cities (Months 4 – 9)

Before the official public launch of the two e-commerce marketplaces, the project aims to run an initial 6-months pilot phase. During this phase, all front-end and back-end functions of the two e-commerce marketplaces will be thoroughly tested, errors and/or technical bugs fixed, and additional functionalities added if required. This should be accomplished with a limited number of users, e.g. those SMEs registered for the sale of goods/services through the initial SME workshops and clinics (see work package 1.1). In addition, the six months pilot phase should be used to register additional goods /services sellers, with the objective to populate the e-commerce marketplaces with goods and services from at least 300 SMEs by the end of the pilot phase.

 Under work package 1.2, the contractor will be expected to carry out the following tasks:

1.2.1: Provide continuous support to registered goods/services sellers to sell products/services via the two e-commerce marketplaces: It is expected that the successful contractor will present a range of suitable communications and capacity building formats in support of goods/services sellers. Formats should include, but should not be limited, the following:

  • Monthly SME support clinics for registered users of the e-commerce marketplaces, e.g. for the digitization of additional products/services, creating and posting of advertisements and promotional banners on the e-commerce marketplaces, additional capacity building on e-commerce, etc.: In support of this, the contractor should avail the services of the SME support team and a professional photographer. In addition, the monthly SME support clinics will be supported by the project’s (online) marketing specialist. The online marketing specialist will, however, be contacted directly by the GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme and does not have to be sourced and budgeted by the contractor.
  • Continuous SME support via suitable social media channels;
  • Information / Capacity Building sessions on specific e-commerce topics, e.g.: accreditation and certification; regulatory issues; export of goods/services to regional/international markets, etc.

Successful contractors are expected to build upon these formats for the continuous engagement of goods/services sellers. Specific SME support measures should be outlined in detail in the proposal. This should include information on whether support will be provided on-site or virtually. During the pilot phase, on-site sessions for registered users of the e-commerce marketplaces should be conducted within the E-Commerce Service Centre in Kigali.

1.2.2: Support the Management Unit of the E-Commerce PPP in establishing the first two of up to six regional E-Commerce Service Centres in Rwanda’s secondary cities through an SME survey and capacity-building measures

Support organization and implementation of SME Survey

To date, the e-commerce project has established an E-Commerce Service Centre in Kigali, which also functions as the project’s central hub of operations. By the end of the project, it is foreseen that up to six additional e-commerce service centres shall be opened in Rwanda’s secondary cities Musanze; Rubavu; Rusizi; Muhanga; Huye; and Nyagatare. By the end of the six months pilot phase, it is expected that the first two of these regional ECSCs have taken up operations.

In order to determine where best to open the first two regional ECSCs, GIZ Invest for Jobs, together with its implementing partners, aims to carry out a survey in all six secondary cities to collect and analyze data on:

  • the number of SMEs within these secondary cities with an active interest in selling goods/services via the two e-commerce marketplaces;
  • the specific goods/services to be sold by these SMEs online; and
  • the demand for the goods/services to be offered by the SMEs online.

The outcome of this survey will assist the Management Unit of the E-Commerce PPP in taking a decision on where best to set up the first two regional ECSCs from a strategic point of view.

The survey will be conducted with the support of a team of data enumerators financed directly by the GIZ Invest for Jobs programme, in close collaboration with the Management Unit of the E-Commerce PPP. The task of the contractor will be limited to the development of the data collection tools for the SME survey, the management/oversight of the enumerator team during the phase of data collection and data cleaning, and to assist with evaluation and reporting. The support should be provided through the two SME support officers (see chapter 5).

1.2.3: Capacity building for regional E-Commerce Service Centres

The regional E-commerce Service Centres shall offer support functions to goods/services sellers (SMEs) operating out of the catchment area of the respective ECSC. This should include, amongst others, introducing interested SMEs to the two e-commerce marketplaces, provide SMEs with introductory e-commerce training, and facilitate the digitization of products and services for sale on the e-commerce marketplaces (SME Clinics).

The contractor will be tasked to prepare the regional ECSCs for these tasks by conducting a training of trainers (ToT) for a core team of regional ECSC staff members. As part of work package 1.2, one 2-day ToT workshop should be planned and budgeted, for participants from up to two selected regional ECSCs.

1.2.4: Register additional SMEs as goods/services sellers on the two e-commerce marketplaces

By the end of the six months pilot phase, it is expected that the two e-commerce marketplaces are populated with goods/services from at least 300 goods/services sellers (SMEs), including the 100 SMEs registered under work package 1.1. Under work package 1.2, the contractor will thus be tasked to register up to 200 additional SMEs on the two e-commerce marketplaces, depending on how many SMEs were successfully registered during the initial three months of the contract (see work package 1.1.). To achieve this, the contractor is expected to:

  • Source up to 200 additional SMEs from within and outside Kigali with an active interest in selling goods/services via the two e-commerce marketplaces of the project;
  • Conduct additional SME registration workshops and SME Clinics to register up to 200 additional SMEs as goods/services sellers on the two e-commerce marketplaces.

The additional workshops and SME clinics should be conducted at the E-Commerce Service Centre in Kigali and should follow the SME workshop / SME clinic outline described under work package 1.1, with a maximum of 20 participants (1 participant per SME) per workshop, and at least 10 SMEs participating in SME Clinics per day. As shown for work package 1.1, SMEs should be registered in 3-day cycles, each cycle including a 1-day workshop for up to 20 SMEs, followed by the SME Clinics. As up to 200 SMEs should be registered under work package 1.2, a total of ten cycles may be required to accomplish this task, as follows:

Cycle

Nr. of SMEs

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

1

1 – 20

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

2

21 – 40

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

3

41 – 60

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

4

61 – 80

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

5

81 – 100

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

6

101 – 120

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

7

221 – 140

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

8

141 – 160

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

9

161 – 180

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

10

181 – 200

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

Milestones for work package 1.2

Delivery date/period (months 4 – 9)

At least four innovative capacity building formats for the continued support of goods/services sellers developed and approved by GIZ Invest for Jobs

 

Month 4

 

Continuous capacity building and support for registered goods/services sellers (SMEs)

Continuous

SME survey conducted in 6 secondary cities and results disseminated

Months 4 – 6

Up to ten additional cycles of SME workshops / SME Clinics conducted, as per the requirements shown above

Months 4 – 9

Consignment Agreements signed with up to 200 additional goods/services sellers (SMEs)

 

 

 

Month 9

E-Commerce marketplaces populated with goods/services from up to 200 additional goods/services sellers (SMEs)

Core team of at least two regional ECSCs trained as SME trainers

Monthly project reports submitted

5th day of every new month (apart from month 1 of project implementation)

 Work Package 1.3: Continued support for registered goods/services sellers (SMEs); Registration of up to 300 additional SMEs from within and outside Kigali as goods/services sellers; Support with the establishment of up to 4 additional regional ECSCs (Months 10 – 24)

During the remaining period of the contract, the contractor will be tasked to (i) provide continued support for registered goods/services sellers (SMEs); (ii) identify and register up to 300 additional SMEs as goods/services sellers; and (iii) support with the establishment of up to four (4) additional regional ECSCs.

1.3.1: Continued support for registered goods/services sellers (SMEs)

The contractor will be charged with the provision of continued support services for all SMEs registered as goods/services sellers on the two e-commerce marketplaces. As outlined under work package 1.2, this should include, amongst others, monthly SME support clinics, remote support via suitable social media channelsand information/capacity building sessions on specific e-commerce topics. Additional capacity building formats should be presented in the contractor’s technical proposal.

1.3.2: Registration of up to 300 additional SMEs as goods/services sellers

The project aims to register up to 600 SMEs as goods/services sellers on the two e-commerce marketplaces by the end of 2022. In order to achieve this objective, the contractor will be tasked to support the identification and registration of up to 300 additional SMEs as goods/services sellers under work package 1.3. To achieve this, the contractor is expected to:

  • Source up to 300 additional SMEs from within and outside Kigali with an active interest in selling goods/services via the two e-commerce marketplaces of the project;
  • Conduct additional SME registration workshops and SME Clinics to register up to 200 additional SMEs as goods/services sellers on the two e-commerce marketplaces.

The additional workshops / SME Clinics should be conducted at the E-Commerce Service Centre in Kigali and should follow the SME workshop / SME clinic outline described under work package 1.1, with a maximum of 20 participants (1 participant per SME) per workshop, unless otherwise conditioned by the then applicable Covid-19 regulations, and at least 10 SMEs participating in SME Clinics per day. As shown for work package 1.1, SMEs should be registered in 3-day cycles, each cycle including a 1-day workshop for up to 20 SMEs, followed by the SME Clinics. As up to 300 SMEs should be registered under work package 1.3, a total of fifteen (15) cycles may be required to accomplish this task, as follows:

Cycle

Nr. of SMEs

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

1

1 – 20

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

2

21 – 40

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

3

41 – 60

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

4

61 – 80

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

5

81 – 100

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

6

101 – 120

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

7

221 – 140

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

8

141 – 160

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

9

161 – 180

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

10

181 – 200

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

11

201 - 220

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

12

221 - 240

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

13

241 – 260

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

14

261 – 280

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

15

281 – 300

SME Workshop

SME Clinics

1.3.3: Support the establishment of up to four additional regional ECSCs

Should the SME survey conducted under work package 1.2 lead to the conclusion that more than two (2) regional ECSCs can be opened, then this process should be supported by the contractor through a training of trainers (ToT) for the remaining regional ECSC staff (core teams) on how to provide SME support to new / registered goods/services sellers (SMEs). As part of work package 1.3, up to two 2-day ToT workshops should be planned/budgeted, one workshop each for the core teams of up to two regional ECSCs.

Milestones for work package 1.3

Delivery date/period (months 10 – 24)

Up to fifteen additional cycles of SME workshops / SME Clinics conducted, for up to 300 additional goods/services sellers (SMEs), as per the requirements shown above

 

Months 10 – 20

Consignment Agreements signed with up to 300 additional goods/services sellers (SMEs)

Month 20

E-Commerce marketplaces populated with goods and services from up to 300 additional goods/services sellers (SMEs)

Core team of up to four additional regional ECSCs trained as SME trainers via up to four ToT workshops.

Continuous capacity building and support for registered goods/services sellers (SMEs)

Continuous

Monthly project reports submitted

5th day of every new month (apart from month 1 of project implementation)

Work Package 1.4: Reporting, Monitoring, and Communications

The contractor will be tasked to submit brief monthly project reports to the Management Unit of the E-Commerce PPP and the GIZ Invest for Jobs programme, based on a template to be agreed upon with the project prior to the submission of the first report. In addition, the contractor is required to submit a final project report within 1 month of completing the assignment.

In addition, the contractor is required to work closely with the M&E team of the GIZ Invest for Jobs programme to document the success of registering SMEs as goods/services sellers on the two e-commerce marketplaces, as well as the range and quantity of goods/services sold by the registered SMEs via the two e-commerce marketplaces. This should be accomplished, amongst others, through monthly M&E updates on the nr. of registered goods/services sellers as well as data on the products/services sold via the website. The data should be generated with the support of the project’s technical platform management and maintenance team.

Finally, the contractor will be tasked to prepare at least twelve (12) SME success stories over the duration of the project. The format of these success stories should be agreed upon with the GIZ Invest for Jobs programme at the outset of the contact and should include narrative, statistical, and photographic and video content. To the extent possible, success stories should be provided in a publishable format, and it should be assessed, together with the GIZ Invest for Jobs team, whether success stories can be published via relevant GIZ-internal and external communications channels. Any publication material developed must receive the prior written approval by the GIZ Invest for Jobs programme prior to use.

Rights of use / Documentation of work results

To the extent that the contractor is engaged in the development of publishable PR / marketing/communications material, any such development is governed by the clauses on the rights of use/documentation of work results, as contained in the general terms and conditions governing contracts signed between GIZ and third-party service providers. This includes, amongst others, the transfer of all developer, user, distribution, and reproduction rights for any development works conducted by the contractor as part of this contract. The contractor, on the other hand, will not be permitted to use, distribute, or reproduce any of the development/communication works without the prior written approval of GIZ.

Milestones for work package 1.4

Delivery date/period

Monthly project reports submitted

5th day of every new month (apart from month 1 of project implementation)

Final project report submitted

4 weeks upon completion of the contract

M&E data submitted to GIZ Invest for Jobs on a monthly basis

5th day of every new month (apart from month 1 of project implementation)

At least 12 SME success stories published through GIZ-internal / external communications channels

At least 6 success stories per calendar year (2021 / 2022)

3.       Estimate the level of effort

The following table summarizes the distribution of level of effort over the duration of the project. The detailed milestones are presented in the preceding section 3 above.

Estimated Level of Effort

Milestones as defined in section 3 above

Principal SME Advisor

SME Support Officer

The short term expert: Photographer 1

The short term expert: Photographer 2

Short term expert pool for capacity building sessions on specific topics

Work package 1.1 (Months 1 – 3)

 

 

Milestones for the period (Jan 2021 – March 2021)

Up to 66 days

Up to 66 days

Up to 10

Up to 10

Up to 9 days

Work package 1.2 (Months 4 – 9)

 

 

Milestones for months period (April 2021 – September 2021)

Up to 132 days

Up to 132 days

Up to 32 days

Up to 20 days

Up to 18 days

Work package 1.3 (Months 10 - 24)

 

 

Milestones for months 10 – 24 (October 2021 – December 2022)

Up to 330 days

N/A

Up to 50 days

Up to 30 days

Up to 28 days

Reporting, Monitoring, and Communications

As required / to be accommodated through days allocated to work packages 1.1 – 1.3

N/A

N/A

N/A

The assignment shall be conducted between 01st January 2021 – 31st December 2022 with up to 932 expert days in total as specified in the table above:

4.       Concept

In the technical proposal, the contractor is required to show how the objectives defined in Chapter 3 are to be achieved, if applicable under consideration of further specific method-related requirements (technical-methodological concept). In addition, the contractor must describe the project management system for service provision.

Technical-methodological concept

Strategy: The contractor is required to consider the tasks to be performed with reference to the objectives of the services put out to compete for (see chapters 2 and 3). Following this, the contractor presents and justifies the strategy with which he intends to provide the services for which he is responsible (see Chapter 3).

Cooperation: The contractor is required to present the actors/stakeholders relevant for the services for which he is responsible and describe the cooperation with them. Specifically, the contractors are required to explain their approach to coordinate the different stakeholders (private sector and GIZ) during the project.

Steering: The contractor is required to present and explain its approach to steering the measures with the project partners and its contribution to the results-based monitoring system. The contractor is expected to take note of the fact that the e-commerce initiative “Rwanda: Enabling the Future of E-Commerce” is implemented by the GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme, with oversight from a multi-stakeholder Steering Committee chaired by MINICOM. GIZ is implementing the progamme in collaboration with various implementing partners, including an international consulting company tasked with the day to day management of the e-commerce project. It is expected that the successful contractor closely coordinates its work with the GIZ Invest for Jobs programme and the international consulting firm in charge of the day to day operations, as well as all other key implementing and fulfillment partners of the project.

Processes: The contractor is required to describe the key processes for the services for which he is responsible and create a schedule that describes how the services according to Chapter 3 are to be provided. In particular, the contractor is required to describe the necessary work steps and, if applicable, take account of the milestones and contributions of other actors in accordance with Chapter 3.

Learning & Innovation: The contractor is required to describe its contribution to knowledge management for the partner and GIZ and promote scaling-up effects (learning and innovation).

Project management of the contractor

  • The contractor is responsible for selecting, preparing, training, and steering the experts (short and long term) assigned to perform the advisory tasks listed in this EoI, except for those experts contracted directly by the GIZ Invest for Jobs programme.
  • The contractor makes available equipment and supplies (consumables) and assumes the associated operating and administrative costs, as required.
  • The contractor manages costs and expenditures, accounting processes, and invoicing in line with the requirements of GIZ.
  • The contractor reports on the project’s progress as part of monthly progress reports.

Personnel Assignment Plan: The contractor is required to draw up a personnel assignment plan with explanatory notes that list all the experts proposed in the technical proposal. The plan includes information on assignment dates (duration and expert days) and locations of the individual members of the team complete with the allocation of work steps as set out in the schedule.

Backstopping

The contractor is required to describe its backstopping concept. The following services are part of the standard backstopping package, which (like ancillary personnel costs) must be factored into the fee schedules of the staff listed in the technical proposal:

  • Service-delivery control
  • Managing adaptations to changing conditions
  • Ensuring the flow of information between GIZ and field staff
  • Contractor’s responsibility for seconded personnel
  • Process-oriented technical-conceptual steering of the consultancy inputs
  • Securing the administrative conclusion of the project
  • Ensuring compliance with reporting requirements
  • Providing specialist support for the on-site team by staff at company headquarters
  • Sharing the lessons learned by the contractor and leveraging the value of lessons learned on-site

5.       Personnel concept

The contractor is required to provide personnel who are suited to filling the positions described, based on their CVs, the range of tasks involved, and the required qualifications.

The below-specified qualifications represent the requirements to reach the maximum number of points.

The contractor is expected to provide a team of long- and short-term experts, as described below. All experts should be based in Kigali, Rwanda. Mobilization costs for experts will not be covered by the project.

Long-term experts (full-time):

  • Principal SME Support Officer (Key Expert 1; full-time, Months 1 – 24, whereby one full expert month is equivalent to 22 working days, on average), who will be responsible for the attainment of the scope of work, as detailed in chapter 3 of this EoI, by managing the execution of the described work packages jointly with the Management Unit and the operational staff of the E-Commerce PPP, and in close cooperation with GIZ Invest for Jobs, the designated Team Leader of the E-Commerce Project, the Rwandan Government, and key implementing partners and stakeholders;
  • One additional SME support officer (full-time, Months 1 – 9, whereby one full expert month is equivalent to 22 working days, on average): Expert 2 will support the principal SME support officer during the first 9 months of the assignment in attaining the described scope of work, as detailed below. (From months 10, the principal SME support officer will be supported by one of the SME support officers of the E-commerce PPP, who will grow into his / her role during the first 9 months of this assignment.)

Short-term experts (part-time):

  • Two professional photographers
  • Pool of additional short-term experts to provide for specific capacity building sessions, as outlined in chapter 3, under work package 1.2 (see page 9 of EoI).

Principal SME Support Officer (key Expert 1; full-time: Months 1 – 24, whereby one full expert month is equivalent to 22 working days, on average)

A statement of availability for this expert must be attached to the technical proposal as an annex.

Tasks of the principal SME Support Officer

  • Overall responsibility for the attainment of the Eoi’s objectives, under the direction of the designated team leader of the E-Commerce Project, the Management Unit of the E-Commerce PPP, and in close cooperation with GIZ Invest for Jobs, the Rwandan Government and selected key implementing partners/stakeholders;
  • Managing project financials in consultation with the E-Commerce Project team leader, and the GIZ Invest for Jobs liaison officer;
  • Managing and supervising the contractor’s experts for short-term assignments;
  • Managing output delivery on time, within budget and to stated functionality and quality, as detailed in chapter 3 of these Terms of Reference;
  • Supervising the design, implementation, and evaluation of capacity development measures for goods/services sellers (SMEs) and regional E-Commerce Service Centres (Training of Trainers), as detailed in chapter 3 of this EoI;
  • Responsible for reporting and Monitoring & Evaluation;
  • Managing communications, risks, configuration, quality, and change.
  • Capacity building for E-Commerce PPP staff, as required, specifically in the area of SME support services.

Qualifications of the Principal SME Support Officer (Expert 1)

  • Qualifications (2.2.1 in assessment grid): University degree (bachelor’s/master’s) in Business Management, Information Technologies/Management, or other related degrees if complemented by relevant professional experience;
  • Languages (2.2.2 in assessment grid): Excellent written and oral knowledge of English and Kinyarwanda; Knowledge of French language considered an asset;
  • General professional experience (2.2.3 in assessment grid): 10 years of professional experience in SME / entrepreneurship development;
  • Specific professional experience (2.2.4 in assessment grid): 3 years of professional experience in E-Commerce;
  • Leadership/management experience (2.2.5 in assessment grid): 5 years of management experience as a project team leader or manager, preferably in an e-Business;
  • Regional experience (2.2.6 in assessment grid): 3 years of work experience in Rwanda;
  • Development cooperation (DC) experience (2.2.7 in assessment grid): 3 years of experience cooperating with development cooperation agencies;
  • Other (2.2.8 in assessment grid): Experience in M&E, survey design, etc. with proven experience in planning and implementing SME surveys

Expert 2: SME Support Officer (full-time: Months 1 – 9, whereby one full expert month is equivalent to 22 working days, on average)

Tasks of expert 2: short-term SME support officer (full-time):

  • Support Principal SME Support Officer in preparing and implementing SME engagement / capacity-building concept, including innovative SME engagement tools (e.g. SME skills session; Remote support via social media; Capacity building sessions on specific topics, etc.);
  • Updating support and learning resources (curricula materials) and integrating them into a digital learning platform;
  • Support principal SME Support Officer in the preparation and implementation of SME workshops / SME Clinics, as detailed in under work packages 1.1 and 1.2 in chapter 3, under the supervision of the Principal SME Support Officer and the project’s overall team leader, and in close coordination with the project’s E-Commerce IT expert, the project’s E-Commerce Operations Officers, and the legal advisor of the project.
  • Support principal SME Support Officer in the provision of continuous SME support, e.g. through monthly M&E clinics, remote support, and the organization of capacity development events on specific E-Commerce topics, as outlined in chapter 3 of this EoI;
  • Support preparation of data collection tools for the SME Survey in Rwanda’s six secondary cities, including selection, onboarding, and supervision of the enumerator team; management/oversight of data collection phase; data evaluation; report writing; and presentation of survey findings to Management Unit of the E-Commerce PPP and GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme;
  • Together with the Principal SME Support Officer, develop training of trainers (ToT) module for ToT for regional ECSCs; Conduct ToT for up to two regional ECSCs, as detailed in chapter 3 of this EoI, under work package 1.2;
  • User Management: Assist Principal SME Support Officer in identifying and registering SMEs as goods/services sellers, as detailed in chapter 3 of this EoI;
  • Content management: Assist Principal SME Support Officer and project’s technical support team in digitizing, uploading and maintaining digital content of e-commerce marketplaces, as detailed in chapter 3 of this EoI;
  • Knowledge management: development and maintenance of SME database on all registered goods/services sellers (SMEs), including goods/services sold by SMEs; M&E; Development of publishable success stories.

Qualifications of expert 2 (SME Support Officer)

  • Qualifications (see 2.3.1 in assessment grid): University degree (bachelor’s/master’s) in Business Management, Information Technologies or other related degrees if complemented by relevant professional experience;
  • Languages (see 2.3.2 in assessment grid): Excellent written and oral knowledge of English and Kinyarwanda;
  • General professional experience (see 2.3.3 in assessment grid): 5 years of professional experience in SME / entrepreneurship development;
  • Specific professional experience (see 2.3.4 in assessment grid): 2 years of professional experience in capacity building for SMEs in E-Commerce;
  • Leadership/management experience (see 2.3.5 in assessment grid): N/A
  • Regional experience (see 2.3.6 in assessment grid): 2 years of work experience in Rwanda
  • Development cooperation (DC) experience (see 2.3.7 in assessment grid): not applicable;
  • Other (see 2.3.8 in assessment grid): 2 years of experience in setting up E-Commerce marketplaces; Proven experience with SME surveys; Proven experience in Communications / Knowledge Management

Experts 3 + 4: Professional Photographers (short-term)

To support the digitization of products/services of goods/services sellers, the contractor should sub-contract two professional photographers on a needs-basis, as outlined in chapter 3.

Tasks of professional photographers:

  • Take photos of goods/services to be sold by goods/services sellers (SMEs) on e-commerce marketplaces during SME Clinics and provide these photos to Principal SME Support Officer in high resolution for the upload to the e-commerce marketplaces, as required by the Scope of Work of the Contractor (see chapter 3).
  • Provide professional photography services for product digitization on a needs basis during monthly SME clinics
  • Manage all data protection/copyright issues as related to the photos taken from goods/services sellers

Qualifications of experts 3 + 4: Professional Photographers (short-term)

  • Qualifications (see 2.4.1 in assessment grid): University degree (bachelor’s/master’s) / Professional Training in professional photography, or other related degrees if complemented by relevant professional experience;
  • Languages Qualifications (see 2.4.2 in assessment grid): Excellent written and oral knowledge of English and Kinyarwanda;
  • General professional experience (see 2.4.3 in assessment grid): 10 years of working experience as a professional photographer
  • Specific professional experience (see 2.4.4 in assessment grid): 5 years of professional experience in documenting commercial products, of which 2 years of professional experience in preparing professional photo material of commercial products for e-commerce websites;
  • Leadership/management experienc(see 2.4.5 in assessment grid)e: N/A
  • Regional experience (see 2.4.6 in assessment grid): 5 years of professional experience in Rwanda
  • Development cooperation (DC) experience (see 2.4.7 in assessment grid): not applicable;
  • Other (see 2.4.8 in assessment grid): N/A

Short-term expert pool for specific capacity building session:

Tasks of expert pool 1:

As part of the provision of continuous support to registered goods/services sellers, it is expected that the successful contractor will present a range of suitable communications and capacity building formats in support of goods/services sellers. As detailed in chapter 3, under work package 1.2, formats should include Information / Capacity Building sessions on specific e-commerce topics, e.g.: accreditation and certification; regulatory issues; export of goods/services to regional/international markets.

To allow for this, contractors are expected to provide for a pool of short-term experts with the required expertise to provide such sessions. It is expected that one specific information session is offered per calendar month, from the 3rd month of project implementation (i.e. months 3 – 24). The expert(s) contracted for this activity should be offered two expert days to prepare the information session, as well as one expert day to deliver the session (see chapter 6).

Qualifications of expert Pool 1

  • Qualifications (2.6.1 in assessment grid): University degree (bachelor’s/master’s) in Business Management, e-Commerce/e-Business, Information Technologies/Management, or other related degrees;
  • Languages (2.6.2 in assessment grid): Excellent oral and written knowledge of English;
  • General professional experience (2.6.3 in assessment grid): 5 years of professional experience in business management and/or private sector/entrepreneurship development;
  • Specific professional experience (2.6.4 in assessment grid): 3 years of professional experience in specific e-commerce related topics, e.g. accreditation and certification; regulatory issues; export of goods/services to regional/international markets, etc.
  • Leadership/management experience (2.6.5 in assessment grid): not applicable;
  • Regional experience (2.6.6 in assessment grid): not applicable;
  • Development cooperation (DC) experience (2.6.7 in assessment grid): not applicable;
  • Other (2.6.8 in assessment grid): not applicable

The contractor’s ability to provide the pool of experts required here will be assessed on the basis of sample CVs.

6.       Costing requirements

Assignment of personnel

Key Expert 1: Principal SME support officer: up to 24 expert months, full-time, in Rwanda (equivalent to up to 528 expert days or up to 22 expert days per month)

Expert 2: SME support officer: up to 9 expert months, full-time, in Rwanda (equivalent to up to 198 expert days or up to 22 expert days per month)

Experts 3 + 4: Professional photographers: up to 152 working days, as follows:

Each of the photographers is expected to work one full day per SME Clinic to assist SMEs with digitizing products to be sold on the online marketplaces. For each clinic, one additional day is provided to edit photos. As up to 30 SME Clinics are foreseen, this translates into 60 working days for each photographer.

In addition, one photographer may be contracted for up to 2 working days per month for 16 months (months 4 – 19 of the contract period). During these days, the photographer should offer photo services to SMEs on a needs-basis.

 Short-term expert pool for specific capacity building sessions: Up to 54 expert days

To allow for monthly information/capacity building sessions on specific e-commerce topics, e.g.: accreditation and certification; regulatory issues; export of goods/services to regional/international markets, contractors should provide for a pool of experts that prepare and deliver such sessions. Sessions should be conducted on a monthly basis, over a period of 18 implementation months (months 3 – 20 of project implementation). Per session, experts should be provided with up to two expert days to prepare the session, and with one expert day to conduct the session (i.e. 3 expert days per session). This translates into a total of 54 expert days for this activity/task.

Travel

N/A – to the extent that regional travel may be required in Rwanda (e.g. for visits of E-Commerce Service Centres outside of Kigali, such travel costs would be borne directly by the GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme). Any such duty trip must be approved in writing by the GIZ Invest for Jobs programme prior to the initiation of the trip.

Workshops / Trainings

Budget for workshops and trainings: N/A – all costs for the organization of workshops/workshops logistics, payments of per diems, transport allowances, overnight allowances of workshop participants, consumables, etc., will be borne directly by the GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme. GIZ Invest for Jobs will also assist the contractor with the planning and implementation of the workshop logistics.

For all SME workshops / SME Clinics, the venue of the ECSC in Kigali should be utilized. The venue (ECSC Kigali) will be provided free of charge by the GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme / the E-commerce PPP. Venue rental costs should therefore not be budgeted by the contractors. Costs for the rental of other venues by the contractor will NOT be reimbursed and should thus not be considered.

All workshop costs are to be spent in accordance with GIZ rules and regulations on the procurement of goods and services, directly by GIZ. The contractor is not permitted to advance any such costs, and will not be reimbursed any workshop costs, should he choose to disregard this condition.

Compliance with Rwanda- and GIZ-specific Covid-19 regulations, as applicable at the time of the assignment, will be required at all times.

Flexible remuneration item

Not applicable

Equipment and consumables

Not applicable: The GIZ Invest for Jobs Programme will provide working stations (desks, chairs, as well as IT equipment) for experts 1 and 2 (Principal SME advisor and SME support officer).

Experts 3 and 4 (professional photographers) are expected to work with their own equipment. GIZ will neither provide nor fund the purchase of photographic equipment.

Office running costs and consumables, including consumables for workshops/trainings, will be covered directly by GIZ, as per the requirements of the overall e-commerce project, and should not be budgeted as part of this assignment.

7.       Inputs of GIZ or other actors

GIZ is expected to make the following available:

  • Provide access to political stakeholders and the relevant partner network of the e-commerce project.

8.       Application of the EU General Data Protection Regulation

Any personal data included in this agreement shall be processed pursuant to the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation/GDPR) to the extent this law is applicable. Such data shall be processed solely for the purposes of the performance, management, and monitoring of this agreement.

9.1             Obligation of Data Confidentiality

In particular, the Parties acknowledge that - when establishing any joint works, personal data from the other Party might be disclosed, such as for instance address lists. In the case of any such disclosure of personal data, the Parties undertake to maintain data confidentiality according to Art. 5 General Data Protection Regulation, against everyone. The Parties will extend these obligations also to their employees to the extent dictated by law. Parties will therefore ensure that their own employees do not forward any personal data to third parties or otherwise use them for purposes that are not in accordance with this agreement. The aforementioned principles also apply in the event that a Party subcontracts third parties with their task fulfillment.

The obligations to maintain data confidentiality and data protection are essential duties of this agreement; they continue to exist indefinitely after completion of any joint work.

9.2             Freedom from third-party data protection rights

The contractor warrants that any data transmitted to GIZ has been processed in accordance with the applying data protection laws, in particular, the General Data Protection Regulation, and are free from any third party rights that would prejudice the use of this data within the purpose of this agreement. The contractor indemnifies GIZ against all claims arising from the violation of data protection laws or fines imposed by governmental agencies and shall reimburse GIZ for all costs incurred in connection with its corresponding legal defense.

10.   Requirements and submission of EoI

Only consultancy firm registered in Rwanda are eligible to apply to this assignment, no individual consultant will be accepted.

EoI will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Company or individual profile,
  • Relevant experience,
  • Company strategies to assure agility, flexibility, and responsiveness,
  • Personnel and,
  • Financial offer.

For Technical Proposal:

The structure of the technical proposal must correspond to the structure of the EoI. The detailed structure of the concept (Chapter 4) should be followed in the preparation of the technical proposal and will be marked in accordance with weighted criteria. It must be legible (font size 11 or larger) and clearly formulated. The technical proposal should be drawn up in the English language.

The complete technical proposal shall not exceed 15 pages (excluding CVs).

The CVs must clearly show the position and job the proposed person held in the reference project and for how long. The CVs of the personnel proposed structure must correspond to the structure of the EoI and each CV should not exceed 4 pages

If one of the maximum page lengths is exceeded, the content appearing after the cut-off point will not be included in the assessment.

  • A cover letter expressing interest in this assignment.
  • Company registration certificate (RDB)
  • VAT registration certificate if available.
  • Proof of successful completion of related assignments.
  • Latest tax clearance certificate of the 2020 year

For the Financial Proposal:

The Financial Proposal indicates the all-inclusive total contract price, supported by a breakdown of all costs by following the instruction in chapter 6 “costing requirement”. The cost must be in RWF and VAT excluded. Please calculate your financial offer based on expert daily cost, don’t use monthly cost. “ please use the format attached for your calculation and submission of the financial proposal”

Please submit your EoI documents in two separate envelopes (1 for technical offer and 1 for a financial offer) until latest Wednesday 25 November 2020 at 4:00 pm, at the front desk of:

 

GIZ Office Kigali/Rwanda

KN 41 Street / Nr.17 – Kiyovu

B.P 59 Kigali – Rwanda

GIZ reserves all rights