Solicitation for Expressions of Interest from Consulting Firms and Organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean

MSH is currently soliciting expressions of interest (EOIs) from qualified organizations with capabilities and experience in the Latin America and Caribbean region (LAC) to serve as a regional partner for to provide technical support to countries having difficulty implementing their grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The firms will be expected to provide short-term management-related technical support to country coordinating mechanisms (CCMs) and principal recipients (PRs) in order to resolve implementation bottlenecks.  

Background

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has been awarded the Global Fund Technical Support (GFTS) 2.0 contract, No. SOL-OAA-11-000060, from the U.S. Agency for International Development to lead the Grant Management Solutions (GMS) project. In conjunction with six main partners, GMS works with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to provide technical support to countries having difficulty implementing their grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The project has three objectives: (1) provide short-term management-related technical support to country coordinating mechanisms (CCMs) and principal recipients (PRs) in order to resolve implementation bottlenecks; (2) build capacity of local entities (regional partners) so that they may provide management-related technical support to Global Fund grantees; and (3) build knowledge dissemination platforms so that the project may share its tools and best practices.

To reach the second objective, capacity development of regional partners, MSH is currently soliciting expressions of interest (EOIs) from qualified organizations with capabilities and experience in the Latin America and Caribbean region (LAC) to serve as a regional partner for this region.  The selected organization will be part of a “first wave” of a project cohort of 12 regional partners worldwide to work under the project’s Objective

All GMS regional partners will participate in a two-phase approach to capacity development.  In the first phase, GMS will mentor, train and provide opportunities to the regional partners for collaborative work in the field for the first two or three years of the relationship. In the second phase, GMS will continue a mentoring relationship with the entities over the next two or three years of the relationship as they put their learning to use and become independent, primary providers of management-related technical support to Global Fund grantees.

In the second phase, it is expected that these regional entities will receive funding directly from Global Fund grantees which are requesting management-related technical support. Successful regional partners will provide professional and experienced consultants to be part of GMS teams with the ability to implement complex scopes of work at national levels and produce technical documents and capacity strengthening activities within a relatively short period of time.

In Phase 1, the successful firms will provide consultants to be trained by GMS on the technical support approaches.  As technical support is requested, consultants will be selected based on experience, technical knowledge, language capabilities and availability.  Most scopes of work are completed within 4–6 months through two to three visits. The average consultant contract for an individual assignment will be for 50–60 days, with about 30 days in the country that requests technical support. Many scopes of work respond to Global Fund conditions precedent and deadlines.

During Phase 2, regional partners will continue the relationship with GMS technical managers and capacity development providers to ensure that a high standard of technical support services continues to be provided.  Regional partners must be willing to become GMS certified regional partners, and incur front-end investment costs, such as key personnel’s time, in anticipation of increased opportunities for Global Fund work and related revenue streams.

Qualifications

Qualified organizations must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must be a small business or small, non-government organization, institution or consulting group. (“Small” is defined as having annual revenues of $14 million US dollars or less).
  2. It may not be affiliated with any multilateral organization or existing GMS technical assistance partner. 
  3. Its core business (defined as 50% of total revenues) shall not have provided management-related technical support to Global Fund grantees in the past.
  4. The organization must be in-country (headquartered in the LAC region).

 

The following additional criteria are also required or strongly recommended:

  • Experience with Global Fund principal recipients in the Caribbean region, where HIV/AIDS prevalence is the highest, is strongly recommended.
  • Professional language competency in Spanish and English is also required for consultant service delivery’ with additional French capabilities strongly preferred.
  • An organizational commitment to follow the GMS capacity development program for a multi-year period under Objective 2 to ensure they become “Phase 2 ready” for direct contracting with Global Fund recipients. 

 

Regional partners should provide experts with at least 10 years of experience in up to four technical areas relevant to the scope of work (See attached Annex), and with at least 5 years of experience working at a national level and with appropriate language skills. The technical areas include:  Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Governance and Oversight; Principal Recipient Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Procurement and Supply Management (PSM).

EOI Submission
Applications must be submitted in the attached EOI submission form and should include the following sections:

  • Complete EOI cover sheet
  • Capability statement (4 pages maximum) describing the organization’s ability and experience in one or more of the subject technical areas (governance & oversight, leadership, large grant management including finance, compliance, human resource management, project management, procurement & supply management, and monitoring & evaluation).  The capability statement should also include the background on the organization including its legal status, constituent documents, current organizational structure, number and qualifications of staff, and annual operating revenues for the previous three years.  The capability statement should also indicate the management team responsible for guiding its development, including its approach to develop the core competencies of GMS regional partners including:  finance, contracting, consultant travel and administrative support, business development and technical oversight.
  • Description of Global Fund experience with a list of countries and grants for which Global Fund work has been performed
  • Regional experience and language capacity
  • Proposed top five senior staff and consultants who will work on GMS assignments
  • Attach resumes of proposed staff and consultants.

Applications will be evaluated based on the above criteria organized as follows:

20%    technical experience and profile
20%    geographic and language capability
20%    management team and consultant quality
20%    documented Global Fund experience
20%    approach to internal capacity development and external GF business development

Short listed organizations will be invited to participate in a second round consisting of written questions, and an oral phone /Skype presentation of its potential value as a regional partner. 
The successful candidate will have an orientation visit in Arlington Virginia (USA) at GMS project headquarters for two of its senior staff to develop its first year GMS Project work plan. Additionally, the selected regional partner will be requested to respond to requests for consultants for specific country assignments by submitting CVs and budgets.  MSH will issue fixed price subcontracts for these “demand-driven” assignments as well as for the multi-year capacity development program.  The selected regional partner will participate in a Project Year 1 capacity development program beginning immediately, from February 2013 to September 2013 including the development of a mentoring relationship with a GMS partner, a participatory organizational assessment covering the core competencies, a tailored GMS organizational strengthening plan, the initiation of several business development activities and several prioritized strengthening activities including supervision visits, logic model development, and baseline indicator measurement.

Questions concerning this request should be submitted via e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Expressions of interest must be submitted by e-mail to 
 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 .

Issuance of this Request for Expression of Interest does not constitute an award commitment on the part of MSH nor does it commit MSH to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application. Further, MSH reserves the right to reject any or all applications received.

 


 Terms of Reference and Technical Area Specifications
Terms of Reference
General terms of reference:
Contractors will be expected to provide one or more consultants to join two- to five-person teams led by a GMS-trained team leader. Contractors must be able to mobilize consultants for field work within 2–4 weeks of the request. Contractors must ensure that consultants are equipped with laptop computers with Internet capacity, have unlocked cell phones, and acquire necessary visas.
In general, GMS assignments are carried out through two to three visits of 1–3 weeks’ duration over a period of 3–5 months. Average consultancies are 55 days for team leaders, 40–50 days for team members, and 50 days for local consultants. Team members are required to prepare for assignments through document reviews, attend a 1–2 day team-building session, and contribute to technical writing and team planning between visits.
In addition, contractors selected as regional partners are expected to contribute staff’s time and show evidence of commitment to achieve the goal of Phase 2 readiness.  Regional partners will be invited to participate in consultant “bootcamps” or intensive training workshops, place their consultants on GMS teams and be compensated for these engagements, developed tailored capacity development plans, write periodic progress reports such as annual reports, and provide data, quantitative and qualitative, to document  its progress to become Phase 2 ready by finally incorporating GMS standards into its routine operating procedures for GF consultancies.
General skills requirements for consultants of Regional Partners:

  1. Master’s degree, M.D., or equivalent advanced graduate degree or certification (chartered accountants, tax experts, lawyers, procurement specialists, etc.).
  2. At least 10 years of professional experience in at least one of the four technical areas of GMS work, of which at least 5 years was at a national level with the public sector, a national or international NGO/PVO, academia, development partner, or in the private sector.
  3. Prior experience with Global Fund activities is preferred. Prior experience with the World Bank’s Multilateral AIDS Program; sector-wide approaches; PEPFAR; national health or AIDS, malaria, or tuberculosis strategies or programs; management of donor-funded programs, ministry of finance external donor funding management, or similar national experience may be relevant.
  4. Former Global Fund or Local Fund Agent experience is a plus.
  5. Experience and/or training in facilitation, adult training, support of leadership and decision-making bodies, governance, or policy-making for governance consultants.
  6. Professional-level language capacity in at least one of the following: English, French, Spanish, and preferably one other language such as Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, or an Asian language.
  7. Mastery of information technology systems for data management and analysis; excellent spreadsheet, Excel, and similar laptop software experience for M&E consultants.
  8. Strong writing and presentation skills, demonstrated through writing samples available on demand.
  9. Experience working with teams to achieve results as well as an ability to work independently, take initiative, and use good judgment.
  10. Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with professional colleagues in a broad range of indigenous, nongovernmental, governmental, and international organizations within multiple socio-cultural contexts.
  11. Demonstrated competence to assess priorities and manage a variety of activities in a time-sensitive environment and meet deadlines with attention to detail and quality.
  12. International work experience required.
  13. Ability to travel internationally and domestically as required.
  14. Office computer skills essential; proficiency in Microsoft Office applications preferred.

Technical Area 1:      Governance and Oversight by Country Coordinating Mechanisms
The GMS project provides support to country coordinating mechanisms (CCMs) in two broad areas: 1) reform of CCM structures and procedures to ensure compliance with Global Fund requirements for eligibility; and 2) strengthening the capacity of CCMs to carry out their major functions, including grant oversight.
GMS is particularly interested in identifying consultants with the following types of background or experience:

  • Multisectoral leadership and governance at a national level with coordinating bodies or steering groups such as national AIDS councils, national malaria or tuberculosis steering committees, interministerial commissions, business coalitions for health, or sector-wide approaches
  • Former CCM secretariat membership
  • Former Global Fund portfolio or cluster management
  • Facilitation ability and civil society knowledge, particularly in multisectoral partnerships.

Technical Area 2:      Program and Financial Management for Global Fund Grants
The GMS project provides technical support to principal recipients of Global Fund grants to strengthen their capacity to carry out their key functions, to fulfill conditions precedent, and to resolve problems and bottlenecks blocking grant implementation. GMS also assists future principal recipients to complete presignature and consolidation requirements for new grants.
GMS is particularly interested in identifying consultants with the following types of experience:

  • Tax, duties, and exemptions regulations and procedures in specific countries
  • Chartered, certified, or senior public accounting; auditing; or comptrollership
  • Public administration, donor grant management, management audit
  • Training or facilitation of public-private partnerships, work planning, and annual planning

Technical Area 3:      Procurement and Supply Management for Global Fund Grants
The GMS project supports principal recipients to meet the procurement and supply management (PSM) requirements of the Global Fund, respond to conditions precedent, strengthen PSM systems, and improve procurement and supply forecasting and distribution.
GMS is particularly interested in identifying consultants with the following experience:

  • Procurement regulations and tender procedures in specific countries, and/or experience with Global Fund, World Bank, or U.S. Government procurement regulations
  • Logistics and distribution of health commodities for national and donor-funded programs.

Technical Area 4:      Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting for Global Fund Grants and Oversight by CCMs

The GMS project provides technical support in three areas of monitoring and evaluation (M&E): meeting Global Fund M&E requirements; establishing reporting requirements and fulfilling conditions precedent upon the principal recipient, building the capacity of CCMs to oversee grants, and assisting principal recipients and subrecipients to improve their M&E plans and activities within Global Fund grants.
GMS is particularly interested in identifying consultants with the following types of background or experience:

  • Global Fund M&E policies including the M&E self-assessment process
  • Training or facilitation of monitoring and reporting systems
  • Ability to design, strengthen, or manage national reporting systems
  • Epidemiology, biostatistics, or demography, particularly in establishing targets and indicators for national programs
  • Facilitation of approaches to using “data for decision–making”.