Request for Applications to Provide Administrative, Accounting/Financial, Logistics, and Procurement Services for the Baseline Survey of a Large-Scale Evaluation of the Western Highlands Integrated Program

MEASURE Evaluation seeks an organization in Guatemala to provide administrative, accounting/financial, logistics, and procurement services for the baseline survey of a large-scale evaluation of the Western Highlands Integrated Program (WHIP). The contract will cover approximately nine months, from November 2012 to July 2013 inclusive.

Overview

In the five-year period from 2013-2017, USAID/Guatemala will be implementing a new program, the Western Highlands Integrated Program (WHIP), in 30 municipalities of five Departamentos of the altiplano. WHIP integrates the functions of four programs: the Rural Value Chain program (RVC), Nutri-Salud, Title II/Food for Peace, and Local Governance Support. The RVC program aims to reduce poverty and undernutrition through value-chain activities that encourage market-led increases in income of agricultural and artisanal producers, and through education-induced behavior change. The Nutri-Salud program also aims to reduce undernutrition and improve other health outcomes by increasing maternal and child health service availability, access and utilization. Title II/Food for Peace interventions are mainly related to food assistance to households with children under 3 years of age and households with pregnant/lactating women. The local governance intervention seeks to strengthen local public agencies capacity for food security and health services. USAID/Guatemala is interested in evaluating the performance of the WHIP program. The evaluation will focus on measuring the outcomes and impacts, separately and combined, of both the RVC and Nutri-Salud programs. The evaluation has two components:  a results evaluation and an impact evaluation. The results evaluation will track key indicators of poverty, health, and nutrition outcomes in WHIP intervention areas to determine whether WHIP targets have been achieved. The impact evaluation will estimate changes in selected outcomes attributable to the WHIP interventions. Measurements for the program evaluation will be obtained in 2013, 2015 and 2017 in the WHIP intervention areas and in a comparison group. The impact evaluation will use a quasi-experimental design based on a difference-in-difference with fixed effects approach. The initial (baseline) measurement requires the implementation of population-based household and community surveys at the beginning of 2013, before implementation of the interventions.  Participants interviewed at baseline will constitute a panel, and their participation in subsequent data collection rounds is essential to the success of the evaluation study. The successful Applicant will provide the services described below for the implementation of the baseline survey

RFA Questions and Answers

Roles and Responsibilities

At the request of USAID/Guatemala, MEASURE Evaluation is providing technical leadership for the evaluation and associated tasks, including but not limited to: evaluation design, sample design, development of the survey instruments, training field personnel, data collection, data analysis; final report preparation, and all procedural documentation. The local agency selected under this announcement will provide administrative, accounting/financial, logistics and procurement assistance for implementation of the baseline evaluation survey. Specific services include, but are not limited to: 

  • Opening a bank account in which to deposit project funds;
  • Arranging transfer of funds from the funding agency to be deposited in an account for project use;
  • Provision of building space and equipment for use by the survey technical team, including field personnel during training and fieldwork, and data entry and processing personnel, during the respective time period;
  • Contracting electricity, water, internet, phone and other services needed for conducting the survey;
  • Contracting project staff in accordance with requirements specified by the Technical Director of the survey;
  • Providing accounting and financial systems for the contracting and payment of field personnel;
  • Conducting the procurement processes for domestic and international purchase of equipment and services required for the survey, as indicated by the Technical Director of the survey; examples of required equipment and services include software licenses, computer equipment, office equipment and supplies, equipment and supplies for fieldwork, car rentals, storage space, printing of questionnaires, manuals and reports;
  • Providing logistical support for establishing systems for the secure transport and storage of interview forms, equipment, and other materials used or produced during data collection;
  • Arranging to purchase updated maps from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística, or other equipment for the update process activities, as agreed;
  • Arranging for travel cash advances for travel and fieldwork expenses as indicated by the Technical Director of the survey;
  • Arranging for and documenting ad hoc cash advances (caja chica) for the purchase of minor items that do not require purchase order;
  • Arranging payments for travel expenses for field staff and supervisors;
  • Managing timely applications to local Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) using technical documentation provided by MEASURE Evaluation;
  • Arranging for a presentation/dissemination event, if required by the survey Technical Director;
  • Producing and submitting to MEASURE Evaluation detailed monthly financial reports disaggregated by item and item type, with original invoices attached, that will allow project management to make appropriate decisions related to conducting survey
  • Other logistical or administrative tasks as determined by the survey Technical Director or another person designated by MEASURE Evaluation.

The selected partner will be specifically responsible for the following:

  • Hiring and payroll management for field and data entry personnel
  • Assembling and submitting completed application to conduct human subjects research to 1-2 Institutional Review Boards (IRB) in Guatemala (TBD)
  • Provision of training facilities and materials
  • Provision of computers for data entry and processing
  • Vehicles for field work (with driver)
  • Additional resources required for transporting and maintaining fieldwork teams at study sites, including fuel, accommodation and per diem
  • Communications including mobile phone and internet
  • Reproduction of questionnaires and other fieldwork materials
  • Other assistance as may be required in the performance of this work effort

If requested by MEASURE Evaluation, the selected Applicant will also be responsible for securely archiving all baseline survey documentation, including data dictionaries, code books, guidelines and manuals for field supervisors, field editors, interviewers, editors and data entry clerks, and any other information or materials required to document survey and sampling procedures and data definitions. Material for this archive will be prepared in collaboration with the survey technical team, and would be agreed upon before the completion of all survey activities.

The Applicant will submit, according to a negotiated schedule, at least the following deliverables: 

  • Report on activities conducted in support of the survey
  • Completed local IRB application(s) with all supplemental materials including items requested as part of the review
  • Monthly financial reports
  • Other deliverables upon request

Participation in Technical Committee

Participation by the successful Applicant is requested on a Technical Committee to be additionally comprised of representatives from:

  • USAID/Guatemala;
  • MEASURE Evaluation;
  • The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Guatemala (MSPAS); and
  • Other organizations upon request

The Committee will periodically review decisions related to the survey’s technical implementation, prior to their enactment wherever possible, issuing related statements and recommendations to the project’s Technical Director(s) should any decision be non-unanimously supported. The Committee shall serve to ensure that major stakeholders remain active in the coordinated implementation process, whether their roles are primarily technical, logistical, or funding and oversight-related. The selected Applicant will adhere to the decisions of the Technical Committee. 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATION

Timeframe

The period of performance for this sub-agreement is expected to be November 15, 2012 through August 31, 2013. Applicants should note that fieldwork must begin in early February, 2013.

Application Requirements

Organizations wishing to provide support to MEASURE Evaluation through the implementation of this baseline survey must submit an application that describes their technical, organizational and logistical capacity to do so. The application should include the following:

  1. Technical proposal

    The applicant should describe in detail their approach to addressing the administrative, logistical, and procurement requirements of a population survey of this magnitude. This section should include information about how the organization will address the task/services outlined in section Roles and Responsibilities above. The applicant should include a description of its available resources that will be used for the tasks described above. The applicant should also present a timeline for all activities.
  2. Organizational description 

    The applicant should describe the organization’s past experience in the logistical implementation of large-scale population-based surveys and provide three references on past performance. The applicant should describe the number rand roles of each permanent staff and affiliated individuals that will implement the project. The applicant should name a project coordinator that will serve as liaison with the survey technical director. 
  3. Budget

    Applicants should submit a detailed 9-month budget (Nov 2012-August 2013) for providing the tasks/services described above.

    Applicants should submit two budgets for two possible scenarios of survey magnitude:

    Scenario 1: survey is for 3,200 households; 12 interviewing teams; 5 months
    Scenario 2: survey is for 11,500 households; 8 interviewing teams; 3 months
    Each interviewing team is composed of 4-person enumerator teams, each with a supervisor and a driver.
    Assume that a two-week-long training meeting will be held to train survey supervisors and field staff, some of whom will require funding to participate. 
    Data entry and processing will be conducted in the premises.

    Budget narratives documenting any other assumptions, a description of line items and other documentation should accompany each budget.

    Budgets should contain a section on Personnel naming key staff, with rates of pay, and time proposed for each. The Applicant should also submit copies of the Registro Tributario Unificado, and of the Solvencia Fiscal.

    Funding for the sub-agreement will be for the entire period of performance and subject to the availability of funds from USAID.

Deadline

The proposal must be submitted electronically to measure_rfp@unc.edu no later than 5pm EST on November 7, 2012. 

Application Parameters

The application should be no more than 15 pages, 1.5 spaced with 1 inch margins and 11 point Arial font. Curriculum vitae and the budget will not count against page limits. CV should be no longer than 2 pages per person.

Proposal Review and Notification of Intent to Enter into a Sub-agreement

Following receipt of the applications, the MEASURE Evaluation team will review the received application materials and inform the successful applicant (and notify the organizations not selected). Following that, the process of developing a sub-agreement with the successful applicant will begin.

Question Period

Questions about this RFA may be posed to MEASURE Evaluation at the above email address, in English, no later than October 24, 2012. Answers will be posted on the MEASURE Evaluation website contracts web page.

RFA Questions and Answers

MEASURE Evaluation is a cooperative agreement funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) implemented by Carolina Population Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) in partnership with The Futures Group International, ICF International, John Snow, Inc., Management Sciences for Health, and Tulane University. MEASURE Evaluation aims to strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems and build the capacity of individuals, organizations and systems to collect, analyze and use data to make decisions that will result in improved health programs and policies.