Support implementation of a monitoring, evaluation, and reporting project for orphans and vulnerable children in Mozambique

Palladium is seeking the services of a southern Africa-based research organization to support implementation of a household survey. The survey will be conducted among beneficiaries of a United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-supported project that aims to improve the well-being of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Mozambique.

 

1. Instructions for Bidders

This is a USAID activity funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Thus, all bidders are required to follow USAID Procurement Regulations and Laws including the Procurement Integrity Act 41 U.S.C. §423. All bidder details will be kept confidential.

Any Proposal received by Palladium will be on the basis that all terms and conditions in this Proposal document and the briefing guidelines are understood and accepted by the bidder.

Proposals must be received no later than February 27, 2017 [5:00 PM EST], on the closing date and at the address designated below. Late submissions will not be considered. The proposal shall be submitted as a MS Word or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) document in English. The electronic copy offer should be submitted to:

Jenifer Chapman
Palladium International, LLC
Jenifer.chapman@thepalladiumgroup.com

When submitting Proposals, please indicate in the subject line: RFP 217630-4MZ-001.

Palladium is not bound or required to accept the lowest priced proposal or any proposal. A proposal will not be deemed to be accepted unless and until such time as a formal contract is negotiated and executed by both Palladium and the successful bidder. Palladium reserves the right to enter into negotiation with any other bidder if contract negotiations cannot be concluded with the preferred bidder. Submission of Questions: Questions regarding any aspects of this RFP may be submitted via email to Jenifer.chapman@thepalladiumgroup.com no later than February 27, 2017 at 5:00pm EST, via e-mail only. Please indicate in the subject line: Questions for RFP 217630-4MZ-001. No questions will be answered over the telephone or in person.

Palladium reserves the right to ask questions of clarification and/or request best and final offers from all or some of the Offeror, in response to proposals.

2. Terms of Reference

Background

Palladium is seeking the services of a southern Africa-based research organization to support implementation of a household survey. The survey will be conducted among beneficiaries of a United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-supported project that aims to improve the well-being of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Mozambique. The survey will measure project outcomes using a standardized methodology that has been developed for application across multiple countries. Information on this methodology can be found in the MEASURE Evaluation PEPFAR Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting (MER) Supplement, located at http://www.cpc.unc.edu/measure/our-work/ovc/ovc-program-evaluation-tool-kit.

Palladium is seeking a sub-contractor research organization to assist with data collection in Mozambique, data management, and data analysis for this survey. The selected research organization will work in coordination with the Palladium team based in Mozambique and the United States.

Qualified candidate organizations will have:

•Experience in conducting large household surveys in Mozambique preferably on topics related to OVC and with the methodologies outlined in the PEPFAR MER Supplement (http://www.cpc.unc.edu/measure/publications/ms-14-90);

•Skills and experience in research ethics and best practices in child protection in the context of household-level data collection;

•Ability to recruit and train qualified data collectors;

•Proven capacity to plan and manage survey operations and logistics

•Demonstrated knowledge and application of data quality assurance practices;

•Data management skills and experience including electronic data file preparation for analysis;

•Survey data analysis expertise;

•Sound human resource and financial management systems for timekeeping, invoicing, financial forecasting, management and payment of staff for field data collection

•Ability to work as part of a larger multidisciplinary team and with multiple stakeholders; and

•Capacity to work under a tight schedule and to meet deadlines.

Scope of Work

The scope of work includes the following key tasks:

Task 1: Review information about the PEPFAR MER Survey procedures and information about the project whose beneficiaries will be surveyed; review the draft study protocol and assist with obtaining buy-in from Government stakeholders; review methodology resource materials http://www.cpc.unc.edu/measure/our-work/ovc/ovc-program-evaluation-tool-kit. Note that the protocol is expected to be IRB-approved by the time of subcontracting.

Task 2: Participate in a one-day capacity assessment and in-briefing. This is expected to include all staff that will work on this activity. This does not include data collectors.

Task 3: Translate the survey questionnaires into local languages.

Task 4: Recruit data collectors.

Task 5: Verify the sampling lists, by conducting a spot check in 3-4 communities using MEASURE Evaluation’s community trace and verify methodology. This will involve visiting 20 households in each community to verify location information. No further data will be collected at this time.1 Work with Palladium to develop the plan for this field test and liaise with the project on the ground.

Task 5: Draft the study operations manual and the field logistics plan. Finalize the plan in consultation with Palladium.

Task 6: Pre-test data collection tools and processes and support the Palladium project team to finalize them. During piloting, assess the accuracy of the sampling listing in accordance with Palladium guidance and methodology. Take detailed notes during the piloting and prepare a field report on the accuracy of the sampling procedures, accuracy of translations, use of tablets and any unusual events that may affect the results of the survey.

Task 7: Train data collectors together with Palladium according to the MEASURE Evaluation MER outcomes monitoring training curriculum. This is a 3-day training.

Task 8: Conduct the household survey using electronic data capture2 in the field and according to the survey protocol. Troubleshoot and resolve problems that may arise during data collection. Data collectors will survey 680 caregivers in 30-35 different communities. The survey will take between 30-60 minutes to administer.

Task 9: With the Palladium project team, perform edit checks and clean the data. Create analysis files in agreed upon format with Palladium.
Task 10: Analyze the collected data in collaboration with Palladium, according to the agreed analysis plan.

Task 11: Participate in drafting the survey report, according to the agreed report outline.

Task 12: Participate in a second one-day capacity assessment and team debriefing. This will include all staff who worked on the activity.

For the purposes of developing a proposal, offerors should assume the survey will use cluster sampling of 30-35 project sites located in the following nine districts: Manica, Chimoio, Gondola, Nhamatanda, Dondo, Beira, Namacurra, Nicoadala, and Quelimane. The total survey sample size is 680 households, i.e., 34 communities x 20 households per community (clusters).

Palladium will provide overall management of the project and technical assistance for these tasks as needed.

Staffing

This scope of work calls for the following functional positions. If the contractor wishes to combine some of these positons, that is acceptable, as long as the function are fulfilled with staff with appropriate expertise and experience. All staff must be fluent in Portuguese. The Project Manager must be fluent in English. All staff must be based in Maputo.

•Project Manager/Study Coordinator. Responsible for the successful implementation of the project and will be the primary liaison with the Palladium team. The Project Manager is responsible for ensuring the quality of deliverables and submitting them on schedule and within budget. He or she will stay abreast of all day-to-day project activities and resolve problems that arise. This person is also ultimately responsible for contractual and financial issues. The proposed candidate will have a Masters level or higher university degree in public health or a related field with at least five years’ of survey experience in southern Africa, preferably in Mozambique. This person must speak English.

•Lead Researcher. Has technical leadership for the study. Develops the Operations Manual, training materials, leads the training, oversees the pilot test, and the survey fieldwork. This person is expected to be present throughout field work supervising data collection and ensuring data quality.This person will support data analysis and will prepare the draft report on study findings according to an agreed outline.

•Field Manager. Develops data collection plans and schedules, working with the Project manager and the Palladium team. Assumes lead responsibility for survey scheduling and logistics, plays a lead role in data collection training and pilot testing. Works in the field during data collection to provide overall management of data collection teams to ensure survey operations follow protocols and stay on schedule. Serves as frontline liaison with OVC project staff in the field and with survey communities. Troubleshoots and resolves emerging issues in consultation with the Project manager and Palladium. The proposed candidate will have a university degree in public health or a related field, experience managing similar field teams for large surveys, such as the Demographic and Heath Surveys, preferably in Mozambique.

•Data Collection Supervisors: Manage teams of data collectors in the field and participate in data collection and pilot testing. Participate in the data collection training and lead team building exercises with their teams. In the field, work closely with the Field Manager to ensure data are collected according to protocol. Proposed candidates will have a university degree and experience in survey data collection at the community level. They will be fluent in Portuguese and local languages,demonstrate strong research ethics and child protection principles, and be cognizant and respectful of the socio-cultural characteristics of the survey population.

•Data Collectors: Collect data for the survey working with other members of their team and under the direction of their supervisors. Participate in the data collection training. Proposed data collectors will have prior experience in collecting household survey data and will have completed university – or be currently enrolled. They will be fluent in Portuguese and local languages, demonstrate strong
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research ethics and child protection principles, and be cognizant and respectful of the socio-cultural characteristics of the survey population.

•Data entry clerks: In the event of tablet failure, the subcontractor will be responsible for hiring data entry clerks to enter any paper-based questionnaires. Data entry clerks will be responsible for electronically keying data from the paper questionnaires following a double-keying protocol and correcting files as needed to correct data entry errors. Proposed candidates should have prior experience in survey data entry.

•Data manager: Responsible for the management of data from the point of field collection to the creation of analysis files. Oversees the data cleaning process and ensures that the survey files are prepared and cleaned according to an agreed format and that the data editing process is thoroughly documented. Prepares the final analysis file and its documentation. The proposed candidate will have a university degree and prior experience as a data manager for a large survey.

•Data Analyst. This person will be responsible for conducting preliminary data analyses in line with an agreed data analysis plan.

•Financial/operations manager: Manages all operational and financial tasks to fulfill subcontract requirements. This includes among other responsibilities oversight of staff timekeeping system;managing procurement of goods and services; facilitating timely payment of staff and vendors for their labor, travel, per diems, services, etc.; preparing financial projections and submitting invoices to Palladium; and responding to Palladium requests for financial information/documentation, as needed. The proposed candidate will have experience working with the Offeror’s organization and be familiar with its financial and contractual policies as well as experience with U.S. government financial and contractual requirements.


•Human Resources. This person will be responsible for recruiting translators and data collectors.

Deliverables

The Terms of Reference include the following deliverables. Details for each deliverable are included.

 

Deliverable

Description

1

Participation in capacity assessment

Participation in a one day in-briefing and capacity assessment event.

2

Translated questionnaires

Questionnaires translated into relevant local languages. These translations will be validated during the pilot test.

3

List (and CVs) of data collectors

Final list of named data collectors with their CVs

4

Report of the community trace and verify activity to verify the sampling lists

Brief report outlining the procedures and results of the community trace and verify activity according to an agreed outline.

5

Operations Manual

Detailed description of 1) procedures for greeting local staff and local leaders, 2) recruitment procedures including procedures for locating households; 3) data collection procedures including obtaining informed consent and administering the questionnaire; 4) field work control sheets, 5) quality assurance and field team management; 6) data management including electronic processing, edit checks, and 7) roles and responsibilities.

6

Field logistics plan

Survey schedule/logistics plan and team assignments. This logistics plan must take into account any security concerns.

7

Data collection training materials and report

Agenda, data collection training curriculum and tools, and a report that summarizes outcomes of the training and the list of participants.

8

Pilot-test results and report

Description of the pilot test(s) performed, list of recommendations for revisions to the process/questionnaire/tools and additional training, as needed; revisions to the Operations Manual, as needed. The pilot test will be conducted during the training. The contractor is expected to include a translator in the training to enable the finalization of translated questionnaires.

9

Field data collection reports

Detailed weekly summaries of implementation and outcomes of the field data collection with documentation of any deviations from the Operations Manual.

10

Cleaned data file with data dictionary, frequency counts, and other meta data

Format will be in MS Excel or other standard, agreed upon format. Data dictionary will include variable names, variable labels, and value labels. Meta data will include data checks performed, results, and decision rules for editing.

11

Draft survey report sections/tables, as agreed

The survey report will describe survey methods and implementation, data analysis results (with tables) for the MER indicators, and key findings. Palladium will provide a data analysis plan and a report outline. The contractor will be responsible for developing tables, drafting some sections, and reviewing the final report.

12

Participation in capacity assessment

Participation in a one-day debriefing and team assessment event.

Data Protection and Ownership

Data collected by the Subcontractor under this Agreement shall be treated as sensitive data and protected with adequate security measures and according to the study protocol and security guidance provided by Palladium, and in accordance with Mozambique government regulations. During the period of performance of the subcontract, the Subcontractor is prohibited from using, analyzing, distributing/sharing, or publishing the data collected under this Agreement without prior approval from Palladium. The Subcontractor acknowledges that it will comply with Government of Mozambique, USAID, and Palladium data sharing agreements and requirements. The Subcontractor shall, after the completion of the tasks, handover the raw data and data prepared for analysis with agreed upon format and documentations to Palladium.

3. Conditions of Proposal

Eligibility and Proposal Format

Those eligible to compete for this subcontract include non-governmental organizations, research institutions, and private companies based in southern Africa. Only one proposal per organization will be accepted.

Proposals should be no more than 12 pages, excluding table of contents, the three template attachments, budget, CVs, and a cover letter. The proposal must contain the following:

a) Qualifications and past performance
b) Technical approach
c) Timeline
d) Staffing and management plan
e) Budget

A checklist of required materials is given in Section 5, Template 1.

Offeror Qualifications and Past Performance

In narrative format, please describe the Offeror’s experience in implementing and managing donor-supported data collection/research projects. Of particular relevance is current or previous experience with projects requiring field teams to collect data at multiple sites while maintaining data quality. Describe the Offeror’s experience in conducting quantitative research, particularly survey work in community-based settings.

Experience with Government of Mozambique, USAID, and/or PEPFAR programs and an understanding of the importance of data quality are particularly relevant. Please highlight experience with survey research or evaluation studies related to programs serving orphans and vulnerable children, household/family well-being, and HIV programs. Additionally, please complete the template provided (Section 5, Template 2) for a minimum of three, and up to five recently completed projects.

Technical Approach

In narrative format, please describe the approach the Offeror will use to carry out the 12 Tasks under the Scope of Work and fulfill the 12 deliverables. Please present this information by Task. The approach should demonstrate understanding of the PEPFAR OVC MER survey objectives and methodology, and clearly identify how the Offeror proposes to implement this methodology. Describe steps the Offeror will take to ensure high quality data are collected in the field and the data quality assurance steps that will be undertaken throughout the data management and analysis phases. Please also include in an illustrative timeline for all Tasks and Deliverables. A Gantt Chart could be used for that purpose.

Staffing and Management Plan

In narrative format, please present a staffing plan for the project and include an organogram for the project team and how it relates to the larger organization. Please provide position titles, outline the roles and responsibilities of each position, and note how many individuals will hold each position (e.g. number of data collectors). Using the template provided (Section 5, Template 3), list the names of all proposed staff, their proposed positions on the project, their key qualifications for the assigned positions, and their proposed level of effort on this project. Also include CVs for all named staff (maximum length of 2 pages per CV). If staff recruitment is planned for some of the positions, please indicate which ones and describe the recruitment process.

Please describe the management strategies that will be established and implemented to ensure the work is of highest quality and completed within the agreed upon timeframe. This description should include a proposed communications plan (internally, and with the Palladium project team and project stakeholders) and quality assurance measures. Please outline anticipated management challenges based on past experience and how these challenges would be addressed (i.e., prevented or resolved) should they arise in this project. Please describe these challenges and proposed resolutions specific to each of the Scope of Work Tasks.

Budget

Palladium anticipates awarding a fixed-price subcontract for all costs, including direct and indirect costs. Please prepare a detailed line-item budget for each of the 12 deliverables described above under the Terms of Reference (i.e., Workplan, Operations Manual, etc). The budget should be presented in MS Excel with a worksheet/budget tab for each deliverable. Please quote costs in U.S. Dollars and Meticals. Each deliverable budget should contain the following budget categories, as applicable:

Labor/Personnel:

• For all personnel, list name (or TBD), position on the project, daily rate, number of workdays, and total cost.
• Provide a subtotal of all labor costs.

Travel:

• Lodging and per diem: List daily rate and number of days for field work (and other proposed travel, e.g., training, as needed).
• Transport: List vehicle and fuel costs/mileage; drivers; other transport costs, as needed.
• Other travel costs (if any): List any other travel-related costs.
• Provide a subtotal of all travel costs.

Other Direct Costs (Non-Labor):

• All other costs associated with the deliverable, e.g., training venue rental, survey materials, interviewer equipment, other equipment/material used for data collection and management, and any other miscellaneous costs, e.g., questionnaire printing, operations manual printing, badges for field workers, allowances for project staff who support recruitment; bags for data collectors, etc. For each item, list the item, unit cost, and number of units.
• Provide a subtotal of all Other Direct Costs

Indirect costs, if relevant:

• Provide costs and add notation for how indirect costs are calculated.

Total cost for the deliverable

• Provide the sum total of all costs for the deliverable.

In the spreadsheet, also please include a summary budget tab. This budget should present the sum of costs across the 12 deliverables by each of the budget categories, i.e., sum of all labor, sum of all travel, etc., and the total budget across all deliverables and budget categories.

4. Evaluation of Proposal

The proposal must comply with the requirements of the Terms of Reference (TOR). Compliance with the TOR will be determined solely by Palladium. Failure to submit a proposal including the information required by the TOR will factor into Palladium’s assessment of the level of compliance with the Request for Proposal and may result in rejection of the proposal. The committee will evaluate proposals according the following criteria:

Element

Points

Criteria

1 Past performance

0 to 20

 

• Organization’s experience in implementing and managing donor-supported quantitative household surveys requiring field teams to collect data at multiple sites while maintaining data quality.

• Experience related to data collection for OVC programs.

• Experience working in Mozambique

• Experience working with USAID and/or PEPFAR programs

• Demonstrated success in completing project deliverables on time and within budget

 

2 Technical approach

0 to 20

 

• Demonstrated understanding of the OVC MER survey methodology

• Demonstrated understanding of the requested activities and deliverables and the steps required to accomplish them

• Concise description of how the work will be carried out including planning and preparations for data collection; staffing and logistics requirements for field data collection and how they will be accomplished; human subjects protection; data security and quality assurance procedures; data management steps and safeguards; analysis methods; and report writing

Realistic timeline for the proposed activities and deliverables

 

3 Staffing and Management

0 to 20

 

• Demonstration of staffing needs and a plan for meeting them

• Clear and realistic organizational structure and lines of supervision/reporting

• Qualifications of the proposed staff

• Plan for recruiting staff (as needed)

• Clearly defined roles and responsibilities of proposed staff

• Understanding of the management challenges and experience-based, practical strategies for addressing them

• Administrative and management tools and processes that will be employed to ensure the delivery of high-quality and timely

 

4 Well written, comprehensive proposal

0 to 20

 

• Completeness of the materials requested in the RFP

• Quality of writing and presentation of proposal materials

• This criteria covers how well written the proposal was - was it formatted well, void of typographical and spelling errors, and used appropriate templates such as the past experience and budget templates.

 

5 Budget

0 to 20

 

• Alignment of the budget and proposed costs with the proposed activities and the deliverables

• Realistic estimates of unit costs

• Reflection of strategies used to control costs and maximize costs savings

 


Palladium reserves the right:

a) to accept or reject any proposal, and to annul the proposal process thereby rejecting all proposals, at any time prior to the award of contract
b) to cancel or vary the Request for Proposal process at any time whether before or after the closing date
c) to reject any proposal that does not adhere to the structure and content requirements as outlined in this Request for Proposal.
d) to accept proposals for the whole or any part of the requirement
e) to negotiate with the most favorable bidder on the cost proposal
f) to require any additional certifications and vary the language in the final contract template.

Palladium shall not be bound by any oral advice given or information furnished, but shall be bound only by written advice or information. The conduct of this Request for Proposal shall not be construed in any way as a legally-binding agreement between Palladium and another Party or the acceptance of any liability by Palladium. A proposal will not be considered in a case where the bidder or a representative of the bidder gives or offers anything to an employee or agent of Palladium as an inducement or reward, which could in any way tend to influence the actions of that employee or agent.

Proposal Submission

It is the responsibility of the bidder to ensure that the proposal is received at Palladium by the closing date and time prescribed in this Request for Proposal. A proposal submitted after the closing date is a late proposal and may be excluded from consideration at Palladium’s sole discretion.


Palladium will not consider or entertain any queries about a decision to assess or reject a late Proposal. Proposals are to be in English and all budgeting is to be in US Dollars and Meticals.

Bidder Costs

Bidders are responsible at their own cost for:

1. Making all arrangements and obtaining and considering all information relating to the Terms of Reference.
2. The preparation, delivery, and lodgment of their proposals
3. Costs associated with any issues that may arise, including disputes, related to the proposal process.

Confidentiality

Bidders must keep any discussions or contact with Palladium in connection with the Invitation to proposal and any Contract negotiations, strictly confidential and shall not disclose such information to any third party.

Bidder Acceptance of Conditions

A proposal lodged in response to this Request for Proposal does so with agreement to these Conditions of Proposal unless any departures from these Conditions are detailed in the proposal submission. Palladium reserves the right to reject or accept any departure from these Conditions of Proposal, and thereby determine that the proposal submission is non-conforming for that reason.

See the full RFP here.