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1 ALIVE & THRIVE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) GLOBAL E-LEARNING PLATFORM FOR MATERNAL NUTRITION & INFANT & YOUNG CHILD FEEDING Issued on: March 7, 2018 Proposal due: For: April 18, 2018 (at 5 p.m. Hanoi, Vietnam) Design, develop, build and maintain a global e-learning course platform for maternal nutrition and infant and young child feeding (MN/IYCF) in English. BACKGROUND Alive & Thrive is an initiative to save lives, prevent illness, and ensure healthy growth and development through improved maternal nutrition, breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices. Working in partnership with Governments, and development partners, it seeks to scale up and sustain solutions to improve nutritional outcomes for children. The initiative includes country-specific activities in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Nigeria and Viet Nam. Regional efforts focus on the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The initiative is managed by FHI 360 and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Governments of Canada, Ireland and Madagascar. The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all 193 UN member states, sets out ambitious targets and specifically in Goal 2 to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition by It specifically seeks to end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving by 2025, the international targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women. Good nutrition in the first 1,000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to enable all children to lead healthier and more productive lives, as well as reach this ambitious global target. During this critical period, if children don t get the vital ingredients they need to grow their bodies and develop their brains, they are not only more likely to get sick, and die, from diseases throughout their whole life, but they will also earn less than their peers when they enter adulthood. 1

2 Currently, poor nutrition contributes to nearly half (45 percent) of deaths in children under five and results in millions of more children being stunted and suffering from chronic malnutrition. According to a series in the Lancet, published in 2015, improving breastfeeding practices could save the lives of over 820,000 children a year, 9 out of 10 of them infants under 6 months. It could also prevent nearly half of diarrhea episodes and a third of respiratory infections the two leading causes of death among children under age 5. While the understanding of the importance of good nutrition, including breastfeeding, for mother and infant, has grown amongst key stakeholders in the public health sector, often basic skills on how to translate knowledge into practice are missing. In many developing countries, training based on the global package designed by WHO and UNICEF for health workers, nurses and midwives are critical components of nutrition interventions, but often difficult to scale up and sustain due to budget constraints, shortages of technical resources and logistical hurdles. In addition, while training workshops can provide valuable skills and identify bottlenecks, they need to be reinforced with ongoing professionalized and accessible technical guidance and resources. Existing maternal nutrition and infant and young child feeding material developed for low resource settings tends to rely on flip charts, printed text heavy manuals and relies heavily on the facilitator to adapt the material to their context. While much of this material is valuable, there is a gap in using digital assets to adapt this material to online platforms, to be able to reach a much larger audience and in the long run, be more cost effective in reach and distribution. As connectivity increases in many countries, E-learning is a feasible solution to address both the sustainability and scaling-up issues for ensuring health workers, nutritionist and those working in the primary health care system are equipped with technical skills and knowledge. Based on the successful development of a certified e-learning course in Viet Nam, Alive and Thrive is seeking to adapt the WHO and UNICEF global training packages and new resources on maternal, infant and young child feeding to an online e- learning course. OBJECTIVE: To design, develop, build and identify a certified e-learning course in English, based on the UNICEF and WHO global training packages and Alive & Thrive resources, on maternal nutrition and infant and young child feeding that is accessible, practical and relevant for health professionals working in primary health care in countries in Asia and Africa, including a sustainable maintenance plan. The matrix for success is to reach as many public health workers in low resource settings as possible and equip them with practical knowledge and skills to help them deliver better nutrition outcomes for mothers and children. Scope of work: Based on an existing mapping of online tools and resources, and under the technical guidance of experts, to adapt existing content into an interactive, engaging and user friendly online e- learning course that provides a certification process. For health workers, nutritionists, nurses, midwives, breastfeeding counsellors and others 2

3 working to support nutrition and breastfeeding, this online learning course should provide a tool kit of practical and skill-based resources. Using the existing materials developed by Alive and Thrive, UNICEF and WHO, and based on global standards, the modules should include a multimedia approach, using a combination of technical interviews explaining the theory, practical application of how to provide those services and interactive ways to check and assess knowledge and skill acquisition. As many audiences will not have English as their first language, materials should use simple digestible language, be visual, where possible, in demonstrating skills and efficient in its presentation style and content with functionality built-in to facilitate translation into select languages. It should distill technical information and summarize effectively key points. An additional resource section can be included to complement the core content. The course will be based on the first 1,000 days of a child s life (from the start of pregnancy to the first two years). It will seek to encompass the existing training course, which consists of 20 topics, equal to 40 hours of training. Methodology for the e-learning course will be proposed by the applicant but should include practical sessions and interaction between learners and lecturers. Key areas to be covered in the course: Nutrition for women during pregnancy & breastfeeding Breastfeeding o Technical guidance on lactation o o Trouble shooting breastfeeding challenges Guidance for vulnerable groups Nutrition and HIV Breastfeeding in emergencies Low birth weight babies Introducing complementary foods after six months Growth & Development -Six months to 2 years healthy foods for infants and young children A technical advisory group will provide oversight to ensure technical requirements and global standards are met as the content and course is built and designed as well as oversee the certification testing. A technical advisor will work closely with the team to coordinate approval and ensure content is based on correct technical evidence. Key areas of work: Design a course structure that is dynamic, interactive and certified. Identify best technical platform options for the course. This could be using an existing commercial platform or to create a platform specific to the project that could be maintained cost effectively. Develop content design using interactive multi-media tools and effective learning. Produce or identify existing multi-media content including graphics, short films, interviews with technical experts (Based on mapping of existing contents produced by WHO, UNICEF, Alive & Thrive, and other public health libraries.) Develop criteria for assessment and certification process and work with technical content advisor to ensure it meets international standards. Build a platform that meets technical requirements for global distribution, is user friendly and caters to the content. 3

4 Field test the platform and content & based on feedback, integrate where needed changes Create an inbuilt monitoring, evaluation, participant feedback mechanism for the course so numbers of users can be tracked, quality of learning, and participant feedback can be evaluated. Identify possibility to create a database system for certified learners. Develop a plan for maintenance, servicing and technical support based on a financially self-sustainable model. Develop a marketing plan with social media elements that could be used to promote and the course and generate more users. Technical specifications required for platform design: Course will be in English. It will provide capacity to do other language versions if required. It will be mobile friendly as well as available on a desktop. Present content in visual and multi-media formats that are engaging and digestible. It will be able to operate with both high and low bandwidth. It will have capacity to download resources to use off line and it will have an audio only feature on video lectures. It will be able to be stopped and started by the user, so they can complete the course over time. It will register and collect data of those who have completed the course. This will include their name, job classification, address and country. The platform will have the capacity to be expanded to include additional modules. The platform will have an open-access version free of charge, but willalso allow for paid access to additional content. The course and technical host will be able to be updated and maintained in a cost - effective way. The course will provide a technical help feature and capacity to respond to users and trouble shoot. Each module should have user feedback on content and user experience. An inbuilt evaluation system that will allow tracking of users and user experience A plan to manage the course on an ongoing basis with options for sustainability through fees and sponsored registration to off-set costs for ongoing maintenance. A data/privacy statement on use of participant information Final deliverables: A full operational e-learning course that provides recommended WHO / UNICEF / Alive & Thrive content on maternal nutrition and young infant and child feeding and that has a certification process. A plan for hosting the course on a viable platform with an outline of technical requirements for ongoing maintenance and support. A monitoring system that collects regular information on learners as well as evaluates the user experience for ongoing improvement. A communication plan and package of materials to promote and generate students for the course to maximize users. 4

5 * Please note that existing materials could be adapted and sources from key partners including IYCF database ( and UNICEF s Community Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselling Package ( *Please note that a host for the E-learning course, who will be responsible for ongoing management, will be identified and will collaborate on sustainability plan with contractor. *Please note that the vendor should outline the platform they will use and identify if it will be built on an existing template (e.g. Moodle) or created specifically for this course. Structure of the Technical Proposal Submissions: To be considered, the Technical Proposal should include but not limited to the following: Corporate Profile highlighting the bidder s qualifications and experience in implementing the assignment, please include details of specific experience with similar assignments in the past five years. Detailed understanding of RFP requirements and bidders value proposition Detailed Methodology/approach to project demonstrating how you meet or exceed requirements for this assignment Proposed timeline and milestones Project dependencies and assumptions Details of the Proposed Team for the assignment including the following information: o Title/Designation of each team member on the project o Educational qualifications and professional experiences o Past experience in working on similar project and assignment Project implementation and work plan showing the detailed sequence and timeline Quality assurance mechanism and risk mitigation measures put in place Bidders are requested to back up their submissions by providing: o o Evidence in the form of job completion certificate, contracts and/or references. Three examples/case studies of relevant and similar past performance containing the following information: Name of Client Title of the Project Year and duration of the project Scope of the Projects/Requirements Proposed Solutions and Outcome include visuals, web-links, etc. Team members on each of the project and their specific roles Project timelines (start and end date year, and any other information necessary) Reference /Contact person details The address that Alive & Thrive may send a confirmation of receipt of your submission. Cost proposal. Please submit the cost proposal in the format of the budget template provided. All quotes must be in US Dollars. 5

6 Budget Narrative, providing information on how unit costs and numbers of units were calculated. Discuss applied discounts and other approaches to achieving cost efficiency. To the extent that indirect costs are applicable, they are subject to the following limits: - 0% for government agencies, other private foundations and for-profit organizations - up to 10% for U.S. universities and other academic institutions - Up to 15% for all other non-u.s. academic institutions and all private voluntary and non-government organizations, regardless of location. Indirect cost rates (and the limitations) apply both to the primary applicant organization and any sub-grantees and/or sub-contractors that are part of the proposal. Evaluation criteria for review of Proposal: Bids will be evaluated and ranked by a committee on a best value basis according to the criteria below. Only offerors able to provide all of requirements listed above may be considered. The evaluation procedure will focus on both technical and financial suitability. The weights of 75% and 25% shall be applied for technical and financial compliance respectively. Technical Evaluation Criteria 1. Overall response - 15 points 1.1 Completeness of response - 5 points 1.2. Overall concord between RFP requirements and proposal - 10 points 2. Proposed Methodology and approach - 25 points 2.1 Relevance and quality of proposed methodology - 15 points 2.2 Project timelines and workplan - 10 points 3. Experience and qualifications of firm and key personnel - 35 points 3.1. Company profile (establishment, facilities, personnel, financial capacity) - 5 points 3.2 Experience in similar projects, i.e. supply chain evaluations in developing countries, with specific focus on public health and nutrition - 15 points 3.3. Relevance of qualifications & expertise of proposed team of consultants - 15 points Total technical: 75 points Cost & budget evaluation criteria: 4. Cost effectiveness and completeness of the budget 15 points 6

7 5. Human resource component of budget (cost and reasonable level of effort) 10 points Total Budget: 25 points Tentative timeline: RFP posted: 7th March 2018 Proposal submission deadline: 18 th April 2018 Shortlisting: 20 th April 2018 Presentation/ Discussion Shortlist: 24 th April 2018 Final selection made: 26 th April 2018 Contract processing/start date of contract: 3 rd May 2018 Course design platform plan: 9 th May 2018 Content production: 10 th May 30 th June 2018 Content approval for models: 1 st July -30 th July 2018 (Simultaneous) Platform build: 1 st July 31 st August 2018 Pretesting of course: 1 st -31 st August 2018 Corrections based on pretest results: 1 st -31 st September Live launch: 1 st October 2018 Pilot finished and documentation/evaluation: 15 th October 2018** **The end date is a strict end date the agreement cannot be extended beyond the end date of October 15, 2018 due to funding restrictions. Please be aware of this when submitting a timeline with a proposal. NOTE: FHI 360 will not compensate the applicants for its preparation of response to this RFP nor is the issuing of this RFP a guarantee that FHI 360 will award a contract. CONTRACT MECHANISM FHI 360 anticipates issuing a firm fixed price purchase order. The purchase order will be issued to the responsive offer that is selected on a best value basis. Once an award is issued, it will include a schedule of fixed price payments based on completion and approval of deliverables in the scope of work. INSTRUCTIONS AND DEADLINE Responses to this RFP should be submitted by to the Alive & Thrive/ FHI 360 head office to the attention of Nguyen Thi Mien no later than 18 April 2018 at 5 p.m. Hanoi (Vietnam) time. Offers received after this date and time will not be accepted for consideration. Alive & Thrive / FHI 360 will acknowledge receipt of your proposal by . Proposals must be submitted in electronic format using Microsoft Office compatible software. Any questions or requests for clarification need to be submitted in writing to the address by 20 March 2018 at 5 p.m. Hanoi (Vietnam) time; answers will be shared with all firms that have submitted questions or expressed interest, as well as posted on the website. No telephone inquiries will be answered. Please include VAT in the cost proposal as FHI 360 is not VAT exempt. 7

8 WITHDRAWAL OF PROPOSALS Proposals may be withdrawn by written notice, , or facsimile received at any time before award. FALSE STATEMENTS IN OFFER Offerors must provide full, accurate and complete information as required by this solicitation and its attachments. Proposals become property of FHI 360. DISCLAIMERS AND FHI 360 PROTECTION CLAUSES FHI 360 may cancel the solicitation and not make an award. FHI 360 may reject any or all responses received. Issuance of a solicitation does not constitute an award commitment by FHI 360. FHI 360 reserves the right to disqualify any offer based on offeror failure to follow solicitation instructions. FHI 360 will not compensate offers for response to solicitation. FHI 360 reserves the right to issue an award based on initial evaluation of offers without further discussion. FHI 360 may choose to award only part of the activities in the solicitation, or issue multiple awards based on the solicitation activities. FHI 360 may request from short-listed offerors a second or third round of either oral presentation or written response to a more specific and detailed scope of work that is based on a general scope of work in the original RFP. FHI 360 has the right to rescind an RFP or rescind an award prior to the signing of a subcontract due to any unforeseen changes in the direction of FHI 360 s client, be it funding or programmatic. FHI 360 reserves the right to waive minor proposal deficiencies that can be corrected prior to award determination to promote competition. FHI 360 will be contacting offerors to confirm contact person, address and that bid was submitted for this solicitation. END OF RFP 8