Request for Proposal for the provision of services on the Development of Training Modules for the Investment Promotion Course

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REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL # RTI-RFP-12-03

USAID Contract No. AID-696-C-14-00002

For the provision of services on The Development of Training Modules for the Investment Promotion Course

 Contracting Entity:

Research Triangle Institute

KG 684 St, No 19

Kacyiru/Kigali

                                                                  

RFP Table of Contents

List of Acronyms

  1. Instructions to Offerors
  • Introduction
  • Offer Deadline
  • Submission of Offers
  • Requirements
  1. Background, Scope of Work, Deliverables, and Deliverables Schedule
  • Background
  • Objective
  • Specific Tasks
  • Deliverables and Timeline
  • Cost Proposal

Annex 1       Cover Letter

Annex 2       Technical Proposal

Annex 3       Proprietary Information Certification

Annex 4       Cost Proposal Template

List ofAcronyms

CFR                                Code of Federal Regulations

CO                                 USAID ContractingOfficer COP         Chiefof Party

COR                               USAID ContractingOfficer’s Representative

CV                                 CurriculumVitae

FAR                                Federal Acquisition Regulations

NAEB                              National Agriculture and Export Board

M&E                              Monitoring and Evaluation

MINAGRI                        Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources

NICRA                            NegotiatedIndirect Cost Rate Agreement

NGO                              Nongovernmental organization

RDB                                 Rwanda Development Board

RFP                                Request for Proposals

RTI                                  Research Triangle Institute

PPD                                 Public Private Dialogue

SAF                                Strategic Activities Fund

USA                               United States

USAID                            U.S. Agency for International Development

USG                               U.S. Government

VAT                               Value Added Tax

1.      Instructions to Offerors

1.1.              Introduction

Research Triangle Institute (RTI), the Buyer, is soliciting proposals from qualified, professional consulting firms to support USAID’s Private Sector Driven Agriculture Growth project (PSDAG) in the provision of services to revise existing and develop new training modules for the Investment Promotion: Policy, Practice and Delivery course to build the capacity of investor-facing staff in the Government of Rwanda (GOR). The course will be reviewed and validated as part of a national continuing professional education certification program in Rwanda.

In early 2017, PSDAG carried out an Institutional Capacity Building Needs Assessment for Rwanda. The study was carried out in cooperation with key GOR institutions mandated to promote private investments in agriculture and agribusiness. They included the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), the National Agriculture Export and Development Board (NAEB), the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the Private Sector Federation (PSF) and some district officials from Musanze and Muhanga. The assessment determined to what extent staff capacity (functional, technical and behavioral) of the measured institutions, in relation to their core mandate of investment promotion, facilitation and development, needed to be enhanced. As a result, PSDAG, in partnership with the Rwanda Management Institute (RMI), developed and piloted a GOR Investment Promotion Capacity Building program. The pilot phase of the training was conducted between May and September 2018 and included four modules: marketing, communication, contracting, and public private dialogue (PPD). At the same time, partner projects under the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and the Boston Consulting Group also developed training curriculum that was delivered in a more ad-hoc manner to RDB staff.

Based on lessons learned and feedback from the pilot phase and ad-hoc training, PSDAG is supporting RMI (now under RDB) to improve and expand the course such that it can be certified as a professional continuing education program in Rwanda according to a set criterion. Criterion for certification require eight modules of 80 hours each. The expanded course will focus on the policy, practice and delivery of investment promotion in Rwanda. The design of the expanded course will draw heavily from the findings of the assessment and the experiences and feedback from the pilot training phase of the capacity building program. The new course will also expand to a broader target audience to include participants from the private sector and other non-GOR institutions. Specifically, the course will have the following modules:

  1. Investment Promotion Policy
  2. Investment Promotion Practice
  3. Investment Actualization and Aftercare
  4. Professional Presenting and Communications
  5. Investment Appraisal (Part 1): Strategy and Partnerships
  6. Investment Appraisal (Part 2): Developing and Assessing a Business Case
  7. Public-Private Dialogue (PPD)
  8. Implementing a Workplace Project (i.e. practicum)

This assignment will therefore build upon the previously piloted modules and training curriculum to prepare eight modules.  The course will be certified and recognized country wide by the GOR and non-state employers. The successful consulting firm will therefore be expected to deliver high grade modules that will fulfill the required certification standards.

1.2.        Offer Deadline

The deadline for receiving proposals is 5 pm EST, Monday, February 18, 2019Offerors shall submit their proposals electronically by email only to procurement@psdag.org

Sample files of existing curriculum as well as received Questions and Answers can be obtained by sending your name and email address to procurement@psdag.org  before February 13, 5 pm EST

Offerors are responsible for ensuring that their offers are received in accordance with the instructions stated herein. Late offers may be considered at the discretion of RTI. RTI cannot guarantee that late offers will be considered.

1.3.        Submission of Offers

The Offeror must submit the proposal electronically with up to 3 attachments (5 MB limit) per email compatible with MSWord, MS Excel, readable format, or Adobe Portable Document (PDF) format in a Microsoft XP environment. Offerors must not submit zipped files. Those pages requiring original manual signatures should be scanned and sent in PDF format as an email attachment.

1.4.        Requirements

To be determined responsive, an offer must include all of documents and sections included in I.4.1 and I.4.2 below:

1.4.1.     General Requirements

RTI anticipates issuing a subcontract to an international or local company or organization that has the ability to fulfill minimum requirements and submit a complete proposal. While RTI will provide the Subcontractor with a letter of invitation, it will be the responsibility of the Subcontractor to obtain all related travel documentations such as visas, vaccinations, etc.

To be considered eligible for consideration in response to this solicitation, the following criteria are considered essential.

  1. Firms operating as commercial companies or other organizations or enterprises (including nonprofit organizations) in which foreign governments or their agents or agencies have a controlling interest are not eligible as suppliers of commodities and services.
  2. Must be a corporation registered in one of the following countries:
    1. USA
    2. Rwanda
    3. One of the developing countries listed at http://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1876/310maa.pdf
    4. Companies not registered in one of these countries will be considered but will require special approval by USAID.

In addition to the above mandatory criteria, RTI also expects the Offeror to have the following profile:

  1. A team of suitably qualified experts which will be responsible for the development of the eight modules and must have prior experience in one or more of the following: business and investment promotion activities, investment marketing, communication, investment appraisal and contracting, and public, private dialogue expertise. Prior experience in agribusiness investment preferred;
  2. The firm must have prior experience in the development of high standard training modules and other capacity building and skills training material especially in investment promotion or related area. This will be demonstrated by examples of the work done and references from clients.
  3. Provide a team of experienced and competent experts who must have prior experience in designing similar capacity building or training materials such as professional project reports, books, journals or other related publications. This will be demonstrated by examples of the work done and references from clients.
  4. Members of proposed project team must have relevant academic qualifications (e.g. Business Administration, Economics, Education, Investment Marketing, Contracting, Investment Analysis, Communication, Public Private Dialogue, or other related courses).
  5. Members of proposed project team must speak, read, and write English fluently. Knowing French will be an added advantage.

1.4.2.      Required Documents

  1. Cover Letter (see Annex 1 for template), which shall include the followinginformation:
  2. Name of the company or organization
  3. Type of company or organization
  4. Address
  5. Telephone
  6. E-mail

 

  1. Technical approach, corporate capabilities, experience, and past performance: Offeror will respond to the requirements of the technical proposal in Annex 2 as an indicator of how the firm would carry out the tasks required. Page limit for this section is 5 pages, not including CVs of proposed personnel.
  2. Proprietary Information Certification (see Annex 3): Offeror shall certify that they have read and accepted the clauses contained therein that state that the information provided by RTI in this RFP is proprietary information and cannot be shared with any other entities.
  3. Cost Proposals: Please submit a budget in Excel according to the template provided in Annex 4. The budget may be accompanied by a narrative that explains the basis for the estimate of each line item. Supporting information should be provided in sufficient detail to allow for a complete analysis of each cost element or line item. RTI reserves the right to request additional cost information if the evaluation committee has concerns of the reasonableness, realism, or completeness of an offeror’s proposed cost.

If it is an offeror’s regular practice to budget indirect rates, e.g. overhead, fringe, G&A, administrative, or other rate, offerors must explain the rates and the rates’ base of application in the budget narrative. RTI reserves the right to request additional information to substantiate an offeror’s indirect rates.

1.4.3.     Deadlines and Validity of Proposal

The following calendar summarizes important dates in the solicitation process. Offerors must strictly follow these deadlines.

RFP published:                                   December 4, 2018

Bidder’s Conference                          December 14, 2018, 11 am - 12 pm Kigali, Rwanda

Online Bidder’s Conference*            December 17, 2018, 4 pm – 5 pm Kigali, Rwanda

Deadline for written questions:        December 18, 2018, 5 pm EST

Proposals initially Due:                     January 4, 2019, 5 pm EST

New deadline for written questions*:     January 31, 2019, 5 pm EST

Extended deadline:                                February 8, 2019, 5 pm EST

New extended deadline                         February 18, 2019, 5 pm EST

 Sample files of existing curriculum as well as received Questions and Answers can be obtained by sending your name and email address to procurement@psdag.org  before February 13, 5 pm EST

The dates above may be modified at the sole discretion of RTI. Any changes will be published in an amendment to this RFP.

Offerors’ proposals must remain valid for 180 calendar days after the proposal deadline.

1.4.4.     Evaluation and Basis for Award

This solicitation will be judged on a best-value analysis, with RTI evaluating Offeror’s proposals in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Technical Approach
  • Corporate Capabilities, Experience, and Past Performance
  • Competitive price.

RTI reserves the right to check additional references not provided by an offeror.

The sections of the technical proposal stated above must respond to the detailed information set out in Section 2 of this RFP, which provides the background, states the scope of work, describes the deliverables, and provides a deliverables schedule.

2.      Background, Scope of Work, Deliverables, and Deliverables Schedule

2.1.   Background

Rwanda Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth (PSDAG) Project is a five year “Feed the Future” project funded by USAID and implemented RTI. The project was created in line with the Government of Rwanda (GOR) with the aim of developing a strategic partnership between the Rwandan public and private sectors to improve conditions for investment mobilization and to create more economic opportunities for smallholder farmers through increased value chain market integration. The project’s principal objectives include:

Objective 1: Assisting the GoR to attract and increase private sector investment; and 

Objective 2: Facilitating the increase of private sector investment by upgrading agricultural value chains.

The Government of Rwanda, with support from RTI, is implementing a capacity building program for investment promotion. The aims of the program, among others, include the following:

  • Strengthening the technical and managerial capacity of the Government of Rwanda (GOR) institutional staff and the private sector, to engage each other effectively and improve the business enabling environment for agriculture investment;
  • Strengthening the capacity of GOR institutions to increase private sector investment in agriculture, and to transform agriculture into a market-oriented, competitive and high value sector by proactively engaging the private sector and providing tailor-made services/information so that private companies can make timely and informed investment decisions

RTI is assisting the GOR to develop training modules for the capacity building course on investment promotion in collaboration with Rwanda Management Institute (RMI). RMI is a reputable national training institute and was identified as a suitable partner and signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) framework for this purpose.

The course is expected to enhance the capacity and skills of the staff of the government institutions which are involved in investment promotion. The course will also be open for the private sector who wish to acquire skills in investment promotion. This course will be certified and recognized by GOR and as well as non-state employers. In line with Vision 2050, it is envisaged that the capacity building course will be a game changer by transforming the country into the investment destination of choice, within the region and even beyond. 

2.2.   Objective

Research Triangle Institute (RTI), the Buyer, is soliciting proposals from qualified, professional consulting firms to support USAID’s Private Sector Driven Agriculture Growth project (PSDAG) in the provision of services to revise existing and develop new training modules for the Investment Promotion: Policy, Practice and Delivery course to build the capacity of investor-facing staff in the Government of Rwanda (GOR). The course will be reviewed and validated as part of a national continuing professional education certification program in Rwanda.  

2.3.   Specific Tasks

The selected vendor will perform the following tasks in preparing the training modules for the GOR capacity building training course on investment promotion:

  1. Review the following categories of documents, among other relevant ones:
  • Local Content – This will comprise of existing reports, investment promotion training materials, policy documents, case studies and other publications specifically focusing on Rwanda to contextualize modules to the local content element on investment promotion. An appropriate list of these will be agreed upon with the client at the launch of this assignment.
  • Universal/International Content – This will include the relevant reports, available investment promotion training materials, policy documents, best practices and other publications on investment promotion globally.
  1. Consult PSDAG and RMI and establish consensus on the appropriate design approach, topic outlines, subtopics, delivery time estimates and sessions of the respective modules in conformity with the preferred participatory delivery methods for the actual training. Design must meet criterion established by RMI and Higher Education Council (HEC) for certification of continuing professional education (See
  2. Organize consultations with the key project stakeholders including, but not limited to the following:

Higher Education Council (HEC)

Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI);

The National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB);

The Rwandan Development Board (RDB);

The Ministry of Trade, Industry (MINICOM);

The Private Sector Federation (PSF);

Selected Districts

Selected Universities (optional)

  1. Prepare the drafts of “stand alone” investment promotion course training modules under the following eight topics:
  2. Investment Promotion Policy
  3. Investment Promotion Practice
  4. Investment Actualization and Aftercare
  • Professional Presenting and Communications
  • Investment Appraisal (Part 1): Strategy and Partnerships
  • Investment Appraisal (Part 2): Developing and assessing a business case
  1. Public-Private Dialogue (PPD)
  • Implementing a Workplace Project (i.e. practicum)

Note that there are existing curriculum to cover some of these topics that have already been piloted that the firm should consult.

  1. Conduct stakeholder validation meetings with RMI, PSDAG, RDB, and independent reviewers to review the draft training modules, including content, scope, case studies, layout, graphics and tables.
  2. Incorporate the input from the stakeholder’s validation meetings, revise the drafts and share with PSDAG and other stakeholders for final review and validation.
  3. Prepare final training modules and validate with USAID, PSDAG and other stakeholders.
  4. Conduct rapid training of trainers (TOT) for RMI, RDB, and other staff. Prepare TOT manuals to accompany the training modules.
  5. Prepare and submit interim reports at each stage, according to deliverables.
  6. Submit final report of the assignment, including observations and recommendations if any, to PSDAG and RMI for endorsement.

2.4.   Deliverables and Expected Timeline

Deliverable:

  1. Inception Report, to include list of material to review, interviewees, and adjusted project plan and timeline (7 working days after signing of contract).
  2. A consolidated DRAFT report of the specified eight “stand alone” training modules for the investment promotion course (21 working days after approval of inception report)
  3. A consolidated FINAL report of the specified eight “stand alone” training modules investment promotion course (7 working days after validation engagement on the draft report)
  4. Conduct rapid TOT and prepare TOT manual (18 days after the final report is submitted)
  5. Final assignment report outlining successes and challenges, recommendations, and guidelines and best practices; include any necessary revisions of the FINAL report and TOT manual (7 working days after approval of final modules).

Timeline:

It is expected that the project will not exceed 2.5 months (60 days level of effort, assumes 6-day work week) from inception. Estimated timeframe of project is April 2019 – May 2019. Offerors must submit a detailed project activity timeline.

2.5.   Cost Proposal

Please submit a budget in Excel according to the template provided in Annex 4. The budget must be accompanied by a narrative that explains the basis for the estimate of each line item. Supporting information should be provided in sufficient detail to allow for a complete analysis of each cost element or line item. RTI reserves the right to request additional cost information if the evaluation committee has concerns of the reasonableness, realism, or completeness of an offeror’s proposed cost.

The maximum that can be charged for indirect rates (overhead, fringe, G&A, administrative, or other rate) is 10% of total direct costs. If an offeror’s proposed daily labor rates exceed published USAID maximum rates, offerors must explain the rates and the rates’ base of application in the budget narrative. RTI reserves the right to request additional information to substantiate an offeror’s indirect and daily labor rates.

Please note that only international companies operating outside Rwanda will be paid in USD. Companies legally registered and operating in Rwanda must be paid in RWF. The budget template provided in Excel has both options.

Annex 1:         Cover Letter

[Offeror: Insert date]

Melanie Bittle

Chief of Party

Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth (PSDAG)

RTI-USAID Contractor

KG 684 St No 19

Kacyiru/Kigali Rwanda

Reference: The Development of Training Modules for the Investment Promotion Course (# RTI-RFP-12-03)

Subject:            [Offeror: Insert name of your organization]’s Technical and Pricing Proposals

Dear NAME:

[Offeror: Insert name of your organization] is pleased to submit its proposal in regard to the above-referenced request for proposals. For this purpose, we are pleased to provide the information furnished below:

Name of Organization’s Representative:       ____________________________________

Name of Offeror:                                 ____________________________________

Type of Organization:                           ____________________________________

Address:                                                ____________________________________

Address:                                                ____________________________________

Telephone:                                            ____________________________________

Fax:                                                       ____________________________________

Email:                                                   ____________________________________

As required by section I, I.7, we confirm that our proposal, including the pricing information will remain valid for180 calendar days after theproposal deadline.

Sincerely yours,

Signature

[Offeror: Insert name of your organization's representative] [Offeror: Insert name of your organization]

Annex 2:         Technical Proposal

 Limit 5 pages, not including CVs of proposed personnel

Technical Approach: This is the approach the firm will use in providing the services requested. The methodology presented must clearly demonstrate that the firm has a clear understanding of the requirements of the system, knowledge of the environment, and has previously executed similar projects. Do not simply restate what is in the statement of work of this RFP. Offerors must include a detailed project activity timeline.

Corporate Capabilities, Experience, and Past Performance: This must include a description/profileof the company and organization, with appropriate reference to any   parent company and subsidiaries.  Additionally, offerors must include three past performance references and descriptions of similar work (under contracts or subcontracts) previously implemented as well as contact information for the companies for which such work was completed. Contact information must include at a minimum: name of point of contact who can speak to the offeror’s performance, name and address of the company for which the work was performed and email and phone number of the point of contact.

Proposed Personnel: Names of key staff and their assigned positions and responsibilities. The qualifications and experience of each key expert must clearly match the services specified in the scope of work. Please attach CVs of proposed personnel.

Annex 3:         Proprietary Information Certification

[Offeror: Insert date]

Melanie Bittle

Chief of Party

Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth (PSDAG)

RTI-USAID Contractor

KG 684 st No 19

Kacyiru/Kigali Rwanda

Reference: The Development of Training Modules for the Investment Promotion Course (# RTI-RFP-12-03)

Subject:            [Offeror: Insert name of your organization]’s Proprietary Information Certification

Dear Melanie Bittle:

[Offeror: Insert name of your organization]certifies that it understands any information contained in Section II of this RFP (to include the scope of work, required services, office locations and numbers, and budget template), are considered proprietary information by Research Triangle Institute and cannot be shared with any other entities, reproduced in any form, or archived in any form after the 180 days of validity for this RFP.

Sincerely yours,

Signature

[Offeror: Insert name of your organization's representative] [Offeror: Insert name of your organization]

 Annex 4:         Cost Proposal Template

Annex 5:         Note on Training Design, Development and Accreditation/Certification by RMI

The design and development of a program to be accredited and certified needs to take into account the requirements of the accrediting or certifying body. Below are some of the basic requirement to be considered if the program is potentially to be certified or accredited by the High Education Council in Rwanda;

  1. a) Basic requirements.
  2. The program must be in line with the credit accumulation and modular scheme as per the Rwanda National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education. The minimum number of credits required for a post-graduate diploma is 120 credits equivalent to 1,200 notional hours and 180 credits for a Master program which is equivalent to 1,800 hours. Based on the fact that  for a module of 10 credits i.e. 100 hours, the contact hours are 48 hours, it means therefore that for a program of 1,200 hours the contact hours should be 1,200 hours X 48/100= 576 hours. You consequently need 7.2 modules of each 80 hours (2 full-time weeks of 8 hours/ day for 5 days) to make 80 hours X 7.2= 576 hours required for a postgraduate program. This means that a post-graduate program should have at least 8 modules of 80 hours each approximately.
  3. The next requirement is the availability of trainers/lecturers with relevant and enough qualifications and experience to deliver the program.
  4. b) The certification and accreditation.

The certification and accreditation can be done through two main routes;

  1. To apply for certification directly to the High Education Council (HEC). There is a process going on which might assign this responsibility to HEC. There is also a process going on to find out whether HEC might certify Continuous Professional Development programs based on the fact that this has been taken care of in the credit accumulation and modular scheme in the Rwanda National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education of HEC.
  2. The other route is to offer the programs jointly with/get them recognized by an already accredited higher learning institution or University.
  3. c) Costing

The average budget to design and develops a post-graduate certificate course will need to be established. This budget covers the expenses for the design and development of the program, the program review, and the program validation.