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(RFP) -Embedded Technical Advisor to a Commercial Bank

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To: Offerors

Date: July 29, 2020

From: USAID Nguriza Nshore Activity (Implemented by DAI Global LLC)

Subject: Request for Proposals (RFP) – Embedded Technical Advisor to a Commercial Ban

Due: August 29, 2020, 5:00PM Central Africa Time (CAT)

Dear Offerors:

 It is our pleasure to release a Request for Proposal (RFP) to support the implementation of DAI’s Nguriza Nshore Activity funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). DAI invites companies or individual consultants to submit a proposal in support of our partner financial institution based in Rwanda—a commercial bank that seeks an embedded technical advisor to support the Commercial Directorate and SME department.

I.    RFP Process and deadlines. This solicitation will result in the award of single Fixed Price Contract (FPC) or Individual Consulting Agreement (ICA).

a)    Submission of Questions. Questions must be submitted no later than 1:00 pm CAT, August 22, 2020 via email to

b)    Submission of Proposals. Proposals must be submitted no later than 5:00 pm

CAT, August 29, 2020 via email to NgurizaNshore_Responses@dai.comThe subject line of the email must include your organization or consultant name, followed by “Submission under RFP NgurizaNshore, “Embedded Technical Advisor to a Commercial Bank.”  In your email submission, certify a validity period of 60 days for the price provided and include your organization’s DUNS number if registered as a business. Limit file submissions to 10 megabytes or less.

II. Proposal Composition: Proposals must include the following submission documents. The Technical Proposal and Cost/Financial Proposal must be prepared as separate files for independent evaluation as follows. 

a)    Technical proposals must be submitted as a PowerPoint or PDF presentation in Times New Roman font.

b)    Cost/Financial Proposals must be submitted in Excel format in Arial font.

 Part 1: Technical Proposal

Technical proposals must be no more than ten (10) slides. The technical proposal must include the following three (3) sections: 

1. Technical Approach. Offerors must detail their approach to fulfill the accompanying Scope of Work. The approach must clearly indicate how the proposed activities will result in the successful completion of all deliverables and milestones.  

2. Organizational or Consultant Capacity. Offerors must provide details about their experience, expertise, and capacity to successfully undertake the proposed approach and complete the Scope of Work as described, including past performance information in similar contexts.

3. Management Plan/Staffing Structure. Offerors must include details of personnel who will be assigned to the activities described in the technical approach, as well as a clear management plan in narrative form for the development, review, and submission of all associated deliverables, including a milestone schedule and clear responsibilities of each team member. Offerors are permitted to engage in partnering arrangements if it will aid in providing the best value to USAID, regardless of whether organizations are based within or outside Rwanda. If a partnering arrangement is being proposed, please describe the nature of the arrangement, the specific technical value contributed by each member of the team, and the appropriate management controls to ensure successful delivery.

In addition to the requirements above, include the following information within the presentation. 

  • One (1) to two (2) examples of past performance relevant to this activity (limited to

one (1) slide/page per example);

  • CV(s) of any individuals proposed in the staffing plan to conduct this activity

(limited to two (2) slides/pages per individual).

Note: the cover slide will not be counted in the ten (10) slide/page total, should offerors choose to include one. No additional annexes or documentation are requested at the release of this RFP for the Offeror’s technical proposal.

 Part 2: Cost Proposal 

The contract type will be either a Fixed Price Contract or an Individual Consulting Agreement depending on the whether a business or individual is selected.

The cost proposal must propose a fixed price including cost details for associated deliverables. Offerors must also include a cost breakdown of the hourly rates for proposed personnel, any direct costs, indirect costs, and fees if applicable with a build-up to the total proposed price. Cost breakdowns included will be utilized to determine price reasonableness. Offerors must use the attached cost/budget template; limit file submissions to 10 megabytes or less.

Proposal Evaluation. DAI will use the best value determination for the award of this

RFP. A best value determination means that, in DAI’s estimation, the selected offer will provide the greatest overall benefit to USAID in response to the requirements stated in this RFP. DAI may also exclude an offer from consideration if it determines that an Offeror is "not responsible,” i.e., the Offeror does not have the management, technical and financial capabilities necessary to perform the work required or should the Offeror not follow the requirements of this RFP. Proposals will be evaluated against a stated number of factors, including the overall proposed approach, past performance, specific qualifications in the identified sector, and other evidence substantiating the Offeror’s ability to deliver, including budget and timeframe considerations. Specific preference will be given to an Offeror with at least five years of experience working with commercial banks and/or providing consulting services to SME-focused commercial banks. Knowledge of financial technology (FinTech) especially in delivery of financial services is required. Moreover, Offerors that have a demonstrable and verifiable track record in all the following areas will be given primary consideration:

  • Proven experience working in numerous business banking segments (business lines, channel management, loan underwriting, fintech, etc.) and operations.
  • Previous experience in product development and research and consumer behavior for commercial banks.
  • Solid experience in developing and driving business development strategies to ensure achievement of targets by increasing brand awareness through improved and targeted marketing techniques/campaigns, expanding market share, improving financial performance, etc.
  • Previous experience in creating, managing, and implementing new business development budgets ensuring increasing ROI.
  • Demonstrated experience staff capacity building and skills transfer creating the conditions for declining external support from Nguriza Nshore overtime.
  • It is critical for the lead consultant to spend a predominant amount of his time at the bank to facilitate this as well as fruitful collaboration with the team on a day to day basis.

1. Technical Proposal. The Technical Proposal will be scored and evaluated separately

from the cost proposal. Technical panel reviewers will evaluate offers on the following factors.

a. Technical Approach (30 points).  Points for this section will be awarded based

on the information presented in the technical approach. Points will be awarded to

approaches that best address the Scope of Work (SOW). Responses will be scored based on the Offeror’s response to the SOW which must demonstrate a clear, concise, and succinct understanding of the requirements for this specific activity, incorporating the Offeror’s competencies and past performance. Furthermore, the technical approach must clearly demonstrate the Offeror’s knowledge, understanding of financial institutions and the ability to prepare required timebound deliverables, develop a strategy, implement the plan, and build the capacity of bank.

b. Institutional/Consultant Capacity and Past Performance (70 points Points for this section will be based on information presented in the technical approach. Preference will be given to firms and/or individuals that have successfully completed assignments in similar contexts including but not limited to: similar services and/or relevant experience in implementing commercial bank SME finance strategies, building bank capacity to increase lending, enhancing the capacity of staff working across related bank products, services, and consumer segments in the sub-Saharan context. Knowledge and experience with the Rwandan commercial banking industry as well as the SME industry in Rwanda is required.

2. Cost Proposal. The cost proposal will be evaluated separately from the technical approach, with strict consideration for realism, price reasonableness, and allowability consistent with

US government cost principles. Evaluation for this section will be dependent upon all information presented by the Offeror in their deliverable table, budget with cost breakdowns, and any relevant supporting cost information, as well as its alignment with the proposed technical approach.

 III. Offeror’s Agreement with Terms and Conditions. The completion of all RFrequirements must in accordance with the instructions contained in this RFP. Submission to DAI on the technical and cost proposals will constitute an offer and indicates the Offeror’s

agreement to the terms and conditions set forth in this RFP. DAI is not required to accept and/or evaluate proposals that do not conform to the instructions of this RFP and, in addition, DAI may reject all proposals and not make an award. DAI reserves the right to make an award without discussion and/or negotiation; however, DAI also reserves the right to conduct discussions and/or negotiations, which among other things may require an Offeror to revise its proposal (technical and/or cost). By submitting an offer, Offerors agree to comply with the general terms and conditions for an award, including Representations and Certifications compliance. Offerors must provide full, accurate, and complete information in response to this solicitation. By submitting an offer, Offerors certify that they have not and will not attempt to bribe or make any payment to DAI employees in return for preference.

In addition, Offerors are strictly forbidden to contact the commercial bank of this RFP should its identify be known to the Offeror. Offerors in violation of this requirement will be disqualified.

 Issuance of this RFP in no way obligates DAI to render an award, nor does it commit

DAI to pay any costs incurred by the Offeror to prepare and submit a proposal. DAI reserves the right to award a FPC or ICA to one organization or consultant or to issue multiple awards based on the results of our evaluation.  


 USAID Nguriza Nshore Activity

 Annex A: Scope of Work


Commercial Bank XYZ is a leading commercial bank in Rwanda with over USD 200 million in total assets and an extensive network of 27 branches throughout the country. The Bank has developed a five-year strategic plan to expand its Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) lending, and it now seeks an Embedded Technical Advisor to support the implementation of the SME Finance Strategy and directly assist the Commercial Directorate and SME department. The ambitious SME Finance Strategy addresses growth impediments, identifies process pain points across the end-to-end loan lifecycle and it develops a holistic customer relationship management (CRM) strategy.

The commercial Bank seeks to become the leading financial and business partner for SMEs within Rwanda market by focusing on SMEs in high-priority growth sectors where the bank has existing knowledge and capabilities. Target sectors include construction materials and services; hardware shops; stationery and electronics shops; retail groceries and supermarkets; pharmacies; exporters and traders of FFV; agro-processing; freight transporters and logistic companies; and, knowledge service providers (training, consulting, auditing). To successfully penetrate the SME market, the bank seeks to optimize its SME lending processes, mitigate credit risk by growing capacity in SME underwriting through initially targeting and de-risking high priority sectors, developing partnerships along specific agriculture value and supply chains and leveraging technology to improve operational efficiency and client delivery while reducing costs and improving financial performance/ROI.

The two past decades have been a landmark for the bank’s financial stability, improved management performance, better governance, and compliance with the National Bank of Rwanda’s rules, regulations, and supervisory standards. The bank’s consistent growth and increased financial performance is supported by a robust liquidity and profitability as well as growing numbers of new clientele incorporate, SMEs, financial technology (fintech) banking services and retail customers.

Commercial Bank XYZ sees a particularly strong opportunity in the SME finance market segment and it wants to strengthen its capacity to grow and prudently manage the expansion of its SME portfolio through new product/service development. The bank seeks to deploy digital SME banking solutions that will offer products/services in a more effective, affordable, and convenient manner. It also intends to adapt its business model by implementing robust risk management processes, deploying credit monitoring and collection systems, as well as automated SME credit scoring. The bank will also explore additional support services for financed SMEs to improve their probability of on-time repayment.

Scope of Work

The embedded technical advisor will effectively operationalize the SME Finance Strategy delivering on its core technical elements working under the direction of the Commercial Directorate and SME department as a seconded advisor in the bank on a full-time basis for a one-year period.

The priorities and critical success components necessary for the successful implementation of its SME Finance Strategy. The advisor, working together with the bank and under its supervision, could identify additional workstreams and deliverables that will become part of the advisor’s daily, weekly, and monthly workflow and production schedule. The items below are not listed in any order since they will be agreed upon in conjunction with the bank and incorporated into the advisor’s support and are subject to change as the embedded consultancy develops overtime.

Key illustrative work streams and deliverables:

  1. Strengthened Portfolio Analysis
  • Support the bank to develop a more in-depth and detailed understanding of its current loan books (SME and corporate) by improving segmentation and data analysis.
  • Assist the bank to segment and analyze its portfolio data to determine concentrations by sector, legal form, and geographies, etc. to better understand opportunities and financial performance necessary to animate expansion plans.


  • Portfolio segmentation and analysis management reports designed, institutionalized, and operationalized.
  • SME portfolio managers and related personnel capacity assessment report, accompanied by a timebound training plan addressing key skills and know-how gaps.
  • Customized training developed and delivered to staff.
  1. Consumer Behavior and Attendant Marketing Strategy/Plan
  • Develop an SME consumer behavior model to better understand how entrepreneurs and business owners make purchasing decisions (loans), their needs/wants, and, then, how to present bank products/services to its current and prospective clientele—identifying opportunities not currently met.
  • Create a marketing/promotion plan for the SME product line using the consumer behavior output model. Note: after the model is developed and data analyzed Nguriza Nshore might source a specialized creative agency or firm through a separate procurement to undertake this work stream since it will most likely fall outside the scope of the advisor’s technical banking/finance skillset.


  • Consumer behavior model.
  • Marketing/plan or Scope of Work to source specialized consultancy.
  1. Loan Underwriting Process Review and Credit Management Enhancement
  • Develop a written assessment of the bank’s underwriting processes and credit management practices.
  • Adapt current underwriting and credit management manuals (policies, procedures, etc.).
  • Create a training plan and deliver training for employees.


  • Written assessment of underwriting processes and credit management practices.
  • Updated manual(s). Align employee job descriptions with enhanced system upgrades, including compensation/incentive schemes.
  • Training plan and training delivery.

Deliverables: Refer to the table below.

 Annex B: Cost/Budget Template

 Note: The advisor is expected to work 40 hours per week—52 weeks—for an approximate total of 2,080 hours. Bidders are expected to include detailed associated—fully loaded—costs based their own human resource policies and procedures and other mark-ups. Also, should the bidder not have a physical presence in Rwanda, include travel, temporary and long-term lodging expenses. During negotiations with the successful bidder, DAI will review the firm’s HR policies to determine compliance and reasonableness with USAID rules and regulations. The advisor will have dual reporting channels: (1) bank management and (2) Nguriza Nshore personnel (the technical team lead and the monitoring and evaluation director). The technical team lead will oversee contract implementation and quality control; while, the M&E director will oversee results reporting for USAID compliance.

Item Number

Service & Description

Number of Days (LoE)

Price per Day

Unit Price

(in USD or RWF)

Total Price

(in USD or RWF)


Monthly Workplan and report (progress against monthly plan)

The advisor will prepare and submit two reports detailing his/her: (1) monthly work plan with key deliverables expected or in-process and (2) progress against the plan with successes, challenges and lessons learning in addition to any deliverables underway, produced and finalized)

The advisor will also work closely with Nguriza Nshore’s monitoring and evaluation team reporting on key outputs such as the value of SME loans dispersed disaggregated by the client, a number of loans dispersed disaggregated by the client, etc.






Management/supervisory support and additional technical expertise

Detail management supervisory support intended or foreseen as necessary to support the advisor and ensure successful delivery. Should additional technical resources be required, add additional rows (e.g. 3, 4, 5) in sequence below.





Sub/Total (in USD or RWF)




VAT, taxes, etc. (in USD or RWF)







  • Insert the table above into an Excel Spreadsheet using Ariel font.
  • For each item number, indicate the proposed employee/consultant names.