Inclusion Technical Assistance Framework: Assignment I: Skills transfer, training, and employment

Location:

Regional

Business sector:

Sustainable Resources and Climate Change, Natural resources, , Municipal and environmental infrastructure, , Other, Power and energy

Project number:

49901

Funding source:

Not Yet Determined

Contract type:

Consultancy Services

Notice type:

Invitation for expressions of interest (CSU)

Issue date:

17 Dec 2015

Closing date:

15 Jan 2016   at  23:59   London

Access eSelection

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD or the Bank) has launched an Inclusion Technical Assistance Framework (“the Framework”) to strengthen its on-going and expanding efforts to achieve an inclusive transition process in the EBRD regions. The Framework provides targeted technical assistance for investment projects (“Projects”) that seek to achieve systemic inclusion impact and policy reform in relation to improving the economic opportunities of young labour market entrants and populations in economically less developed regions.

The Framework is structured into three lots:

  1. Skills transfer, training, and employment
  2. Finance and entrepreneurship
  3. Services and technology

In this context, EBRD is now seeking to contract up to five consultancy firms ("the Consultants" or "Framework Consultants") for lot A: Skills transfer, training, and employment.

Background

Since 2013, EBRD has integrated economic inclusion considerations into the assessment of transition impact at the Project level as well as EBRD’s country and sectoral strategies.

The EBRD believes that economic inclusion – the opening up of economic opportunities to previously under-served social groups – is integral to transition. If people are given a chance to succeed, they are more likely to participate in the workforce, pursue higher skills and education, or engage in activities that lead to economic growth. This helps address unintended consequences of market reforms that leave certain groups behind and, in turn, strengthens wider public support for economic reforms and the transition process.

Projects with inclusion components are operational in many sectors across large parts of the Bank's transition region, particularly in Turkey, the SEMED region, the Western Balkans and Central Asia. EBRD’s innovative approach to inclusion focuses on creating value propositions for businesses, particularly those who seek to access new customer segments, improve the skills base of their staff, reach out to new talent through links to local schools and universities and diversify their workforce.

Project examples (see for reference: Mall of Arabia: http://www.ebrd.com/case-studies/mall-of-arabia.html; Marina Dalmatija: http://www.ebrd.com/news/2014/ebrd-boosts-tourism-in-croatia.html;Serbia Road Project: http://www.ebrd.com/case-studies/serbia-roads.html) include retail and manufacturing Projects that help young people gain skills and find jobs; agribusiness Projects that link up schools and employers to facilitate the transition routes for young people into jobs; and investments that create access to safe drinking water for rural communities. The main inclusion impact of these Projects stems from their fostering of systemic changes that increase the economic opportunities available to young adults, particularly women, and people in rural areas.

Framework Implementation Arrangements

The Bank intends to enter into Framework Agreements with up to five consultants to enable the Bank to call upon a shortlist of pre-qualified firms from which it can quickly and efficiently obtain reliable services.

The Framework Agreement will establish, in advance, fee rates for experts, contract terms and agreements, and procedures that will govern individual assignments ("Assignments" or "Call-offs") to be required to implement the Framework.

The Bank is not under any obligation to issue any Call-Off Notice(s) for Assignment(s) under this Framework Agreement and may at its sole discretion select another consultant for parts of services described in this notice or related activities in line with its Procurement Policies and Rules.

It is envisaged that for each individual Assignment the Framework Consultant(s) will be selected in accordance with EBRD Procurement Policies and Rules, i.e. EBRD may directly award Assignments estimated to be below EUR 75,000, whilst for Assignments above EUR 75,000 request for mini-proposals would be launched between Framework Consultants.

EBRD will then evaluate the proposals, select the Consultant for each Assignment and agree on the Specific Terms of Reference, budget and experts for the assignment(s).

The Framework Consultant(s) would be expected to begin working within 10 working days from EBRD’s acceptance of its proposal for individual Call-offs.


Description of individual assignments (Call-offs) under the Framework

Under lot A: Skills transfer, training, and employment, the Framework Consultants will support EBRD and its clients in the EBRD countries of operation to develop tailored inclusion models across a range of sectors and regions and to engage effectively with relevant public sector authorities in order to provide improved economic opportunities for youth (including young women) and local population in disadvantaged regions through skills transfer, training, and employment (individually "Assignments" or "Call-offs").

Assignments are expected to include, but not limited to:

1) Establish baselines and international best practice in relation to economic inclusion models or approaches

Measuring the significance of systemic economic inclusion impact of a project requires a baseline assessment that can be compared against specific reference points (i.e. the current status quo). This yardstick is not simply an absolute number in the abstract, such as the number of youth trained). It must demonstrate material improvements in the areas of inclusion efforts against the counterfactual, taken as a 'business as usual' scenario that seeks to determine what would have happened without any EBRD investment.

Baselines are therefore required across a range of different sectors and countries in relation to specific corporate practices and standards. Examples of baseline assessments that are envisaged to be undertaken under this framework include:

- assessment of the existence and the level of quality of vocational training standards in specific technical disciplines (e.g. retail, tourism, construction)

- assessment of skills mismatch in relation to employers demand and the availability and quality of skills possessed by the young market entrants of a specific sector;

- setting project benchmarks in relation to international best practice, and;

- assessment of international best practice with regard to new and innovative inclusion methods such as youth/regional inclusion through public procurement.

2) Design inclusion models for projects and support the implementation and monitoring of inclusion methodologies

EBRD is supporting clients across a wide range of sectors to develop and implement inclusion models. The sectors include agribusiness, property and tourism, manufacturing and services across a range of sub-sectors (such as automotive and related supply chain, textiles, white goods, glassware and many others), financial institutions, information and communication technologies, municipal infrastructure, power and energy (e.g. extractive industries), and transport (urban transport, road and railway construction and maintenance).

The development of an inclusion model is typically based on the baseline assessment and a review of international best practice, and includes:

- the development of a practical delivery model that will achieve the inclusion goals which is also financially viable for the EBRD client. This should be specified in an inclusion action plan outlining key milestones and measures to be taken by the client and key stakeholders;

- the formulation of partnership arrangements, financial and operational management plans for the inclusion model (e.g. training provision or the establishment of a sector skills council);

- development of specific benchmarks (objectives and envisaged outcomes) such as the number and types of jobs likely to be created during the operational phase of the project against a detailed time line and costings;

- engagement of the client and key stakeholders to seek buy in and commitment towards the implementation of the inclusion model

- relevant capacity building for the client and key stakeholders (e.g. training the local trainers); and

- implementation support for the client and key stakeholders and the identification of lessons learned.

3) Support policy engagement

Promoting economic inclusion is a priority in an increasing number of country strategies across the EBRD transition regions where inclusion gaps are large in relation to one or more target groups. To enhance youth inclusion, for example, EBRD works with key local and international partners (e.g. government ministries, international/regional agencies, sectoral agencies, etc.) to inform vocational training, education policy, and optimised work-based learning models that directly reflect the requirements of private sector employers. Depending on the specific policy agenda and each country's inclusion challenges, policy engagement may range from reform advocacy, policy advice, or technical assistance to support implementation of reforms.

The Consultant(s) will liaise closely with the EBRD project team in London and EBRD clients for each Assignment. To this end the Consultant(s) will appoint a Project Manager/Team Leader to be the main contact with EBRD.

Status of Selection Process: Interested firms or groups of firms are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest.

Programme Start Date and Duration: The Framework is expected to commence in February/March 2016. The selected Framework Consultants will be engaged via Framework Agreements with a validity period of up to 36 months.

Cost Estimate for the full Framework of Assignments: EUR 740,000 for up to five Framework Agreements (exclusive of VAT). Subject to availability of funding, the performance of the selected Framework Consultant(s) and the specific needs of the Bank, the Framework Agreements may be extended beyond the current scope. The cost estimate for individual assignments will vary depending on their specific scope, but typically individual budgets are expected to be in the range of EUR 30,000 – EUR 100,000.

The Consultant must determine whether any VAT would be chargeable on the services and the basis for that determination, without taking into consideration the special status of the Bank as an IFI and state this to the Bank in their response to the Invitation for Expressions of Interest. To the extent that a Consultant incurs input VAT on goods and services purchased in connection with the provision of services (e.g. VAT on airline ticket) which is not otherwise recoverable by the consultant from the local tax authority, the gross cost to the consultant of such expenses shall be treated as a reimbursable expense.

Funding Source: This Framework is expected to be funded by the EBRD’s donor funded Technical Cooperation Funds Programme. Please note that selection and contracting will be subject to the availability of funding.

Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions.

Framework Consultant Profile:

Corporate services are required. A Framework Consultant will be a firm, or a group of firms with previous project experience in at least one or more of the Bank’s countries of operation related to:

1) the integration of young people and population in under-developed regions into the labour market through improving employment opportunities, work-based learning and training provision (including the identification of international best corporate policies and practices and tailoring these to the specific requirements of private sector clients) preferably in one or more of the following sectors/sub-sectors:

- Industry and commerce (agribusiness, property and tourism, manufacturing and services, information and communication technologies)

- Energy (natural resources, electric power)

- Infrastructure (transport, municipal and environmental infrastructure)

Given the scope and breadth of the sectors that the EBRD operates in, consultants are strongly encouraged to join consortia and present expressions of interest that cover more than one sector.

2) policy-dialogue, provision of technical advice to public authorities, and facilitation of public-private engagement on the improvement of national policies in relation to skills standard, employment practices, training/education provisions

3) experience in working on similar assignments in EBRD countries of operation

4) relevant previous experience in working with International Financial Institutions, such as EBRD, World Bank or ADB or equivalent.

The Consultant's expert team is expected to include Key experts as follows:

- Team Leader with preferably 15+ years of previous professional experience in skills transfer, employment and training with comprehensive experience of similar assignments in EBRD regions. The expert should demonstrate management and administration experience, including experience with procedures of international financial agencies.

- Lead experts for each sector referenced above in section 1 of Framework Consultant Profile that the Consultant proposes to cover, preferably with 10+ years of international experience working on integration of young people and population in under-developed regions into labour market, identification of international best corporate policies and tailoring there to specific requirements of private sector clients and public authorities in order to enhance access to employment, quality training and improvement of progressions opportunities.

- Policy experts with extensive previous professional experience in sectoral policy development and implementation, analysis of market barriers and policy evaluation.

Submission Requirements: In order to determine the capability and experience of Consultants seeking to be shortlisted for the Programme, the information submitted should include the following:

1. Company/group of firms' profile, organisation and staffing (max. 2-4 pages).

2. Details of previous project experience or similar assignments particularly undertaken in the previous ten years, including information on contract value, contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided (if different from duration) , main activities, objectives.

3. CVs of key experts who could carry out the Assignments detailing qualifications, experience in similar assignments, particularly assignments undertaken in the previous ten years, including information on contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided, assignment budget, main activities, objectives.

4. Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link:

http://www.ebrd.com/pages/workingwithus/procurement/notices/csu/contact_sheet.doc.

The above information should not exceed 20 pages excluding CVs and contact sheet.

Expressions of Interest should be submitted in English electronically through e-Selection, to reach the Bank not later than the closing date. The complete expression of interest (including cover letter, CV, declaration and contact sheet etc.) shall be one file (pdf) to be uploaded to eSelection. The EBRD reserves the right to reject applications of experts submitting more than one file. Only if the permissible file size (4 MB) is exceeded, the Consultant may split the expression of interest into further files.

Bank Contact Person:

Maria Haugh

Technical Co-operation

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

One Exchange Square

London EC2A 2JN

Tel: + 44 20 7338 7185

e-mail: haughm@ebrd.com (submissions should be sent through eSelection and NOT to this email address)

Notes:

1. Following this invitation for expressions of interest, a shortlist of qualified firms will be formally invited to submit proposals. Consultant selection and contracting will be subject to availability of funding.

2. The shortlist criteria are:

1) Firm's experience in the integration of young people and population in under-developed regions into the labour market through improving employment opportunities, work-based learning and training provision (including the identification of international best corporate policies and practices and tailoring these to the specific requirements of private sector clients) in the sectors referenced above in section 1 of the Framework Consultant Profile - 20%

2) Firm's experience in policy-dialogue, provision of technical advice to public authorities, and facilitation of public-private engagement on the improvement of national policies in relation to skills standard, employment practices, training/education provisions - 20%

3) Firm's experience in working on similar assignments in EBRD countries of operation - 10%

4) Firm's relevant previous experience in working with International Financial Institutions, such as EBRD, World Bank or ADB or equivalent 10%

5) CVs of Key experts - 40%