The Kaizen Company is inviting firms or individuals to submit a proposal for the Securing Water for Food (SWFF) Innovator Pitching and Article Placement Activity.
SWFF aims to enhance access to innovations that help agricultural producers grow more food with less water, enhance water storage, and improve the use of saline water and soils to produce food. In the last year-and-a-half of the project, SWFF’s communication efforts will focus squarely on innovators, profiling their successes and social impact, innovation learning, and appeal to potential partners and investors. SWFF believes that our communication support can have a direct and favorable impact on our innovators.
These innovators have great social impact stories to tell. We need an individual or vendor to assist our efforts in getting visibility for SWFF innovators through interview scheduling and feature article placement in a variety of media and industry trades, blogs, and popular media channels, where appropriate.
We believe that concerted communication and press outreach efforts can have a direct and favorable impact on our innovators and overall awareness of their innovation and social impact, favorably affect the financial health of their business by raising their profile in front of social impact investors, differentiate their organizations in the water-ag sector, spread messages that validate their technology, and expand awareness about the work that they are doing to potential partners and investors.
Project Objectives and Measures of Success
The work delivered in this fixed price, pay-for-performance activity and the results reporting will need to be mapped directly to and achieve three important SWFF program objectives:
Increase awareness of SWFF innovators through articles that detail their social impact, successes, and achievements.
Garner new partners or social impact investors that can aid their growth/scaling.
Expand awareness and heighten credibility of SWFF in the innovation space, the water-ag nexus, and among social impact investors.
Activities, Measurement, and Reporting
(Please see attached RFP)
RFP Evaluation Categories and Score Weighting
1) Execution and Implementation - Include a detailed narrative about how you would execute on this contract, your optimum staffing pattern and rationale for the staffing pattern, and other evidence and details that substantiate your qualifications for delivering results that are tied to SWFF’s project objectives. (800 words or less narrative) (30%)
2) Relationships with Media and Media Relations Tools Used by Your Firm - provide a narrative that shows the depth and strength of your relationships with the media, and include details about the tools you use to support your media relations activities. (500 words or less narrative) (20%)
3) Program Measurement and Evidence of Project Success - provide evidence that demonstrates work similar in nature and how your efforts resulted in project success mapped directly to your clients’ business and/or project objectives. In your response, please provide: 1) Examples of how your company presents client success and reporting on activities. (Portfolio links and/or previously prepared case studies or sample monthly reports are acceptable. Please remove proprietary information.) (500 words or less narrative) (20%)
4) Pay for Performance - Describe how you would strategically plan to meet the requirements of this “pay for performance” contract. (500 words or less narrative) (20%)
5) Budget by Activity/Category of Work - using the table above, show how you would allocate your budget to the various activities. (Budget and 500 words or less narrative) (Do not include hourly rates as this is a fixed price contract). (10%)
Anticipated Award Type
The award resulting from this RFP is anticipated to result in a fixed price, deliverables-based, pay-for-performance contract. The period of performance will cover December 1, 2018 - November 30, 2019. The ceiling for this contract is $100,000, but vendors are encouraged to submit competitively priced bids.
This pay-for-performance contract may be extended at the stated monthly rate through April 30, 2020 if agreed upon by the SWFF management team, The Kaizen Company, and the vendor selected for this work.
Payment to the successful bidder is anticipated to be made as follows:
1) Initial Payment: (1/12 of total contract price) upon completion in December for the in-person, kickoff immersion day, presentation of the draft implementation plan, and development and mapping of specific monthly milestones/metrics.
2) Subsequent Monthly Payments: Each month vendor will receive 50% of the equal installment (base) (upon submission and approval of the Monthly Activity Report) and the remaining 50% IF the monthly agreed-upon milestones are met (pay for performance). Billing in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November.
International travel is not expected for this contract. If any international travel is requested, the SWFF Technical Assistance facility will cover the cost of the flight, hotel, and per diem. No additional costs will be paid.
1) Innovator Communication and Meetings: Our innovators are located in 30 countries. We use Skype, Google Hangouts and telephone to communicate and meet with them. Meeting times convenient to the innovators in different time zones are expected when interviews or meetings are scheduled.
2) Burden on the Innovators: With every activity we design or implement, we always consider and discuss the burden it places on the innovator. We try to operate and proceed with “least burden on the innovator” where possible. Therefore, unless absolutely necessary, contractor interactions with the innovators will be limited. The contract with interact with USAID, the Kaizen Company, and Hattaway to get required awardee information.
Work Site/Performance of Work
The work for this project may be done virtually.
Evaluation of Proposals
The responses to this RFP will be evaluated by a team of three reviewers. A fourth reviewer will evaluate and review the set of evaluations that was submitted by the original team for fairness, quality, and accuracy.
We will use a best value determination for the award. The selected offer will provide the greatest overall benefit to the Securing Water for Food innovators in response to the requirements stated in this RFP. We will use the trade-off process to make a best value determination, which means that it may be in the interest of Kaizen to consider award to other than the lowest-priced offeror or other than highest technically-rated offeror.
We reserve the right to conduct discussions/negotiations with the winning bidder. We also reserve the right to award a contract to one organization or to issue multiple awards to different organizations based on our analysis.
● RFP Posting: October 29, 2018 via Screendoor application.
● Intent to Respond: Please send a note about your intent to respond to this RFP by November 2, 2018 at 2 p.m. to Nikki deBaroncelli at firstname.lastname@example.org
● Questions: Due by November 5, 2018 at 5 p.m. on Screendoor. Answers provided within two business days.
● Proposal Responses: Due via Screendoor by November 15, 2018 at 5 p.m. Responses will be considered best and final.
● Award Decisions: Made by November 21, 2018 - Vendor will be notified.
● Expected Start Date: December 3, 2018 and presentation of implementation project plan and project timeline within 10 business days on December 17, 2018.
Appendix A - List of SWFF Innovators
(Please see attached RFP)
Appendix B -- SWFF Key Messages
● Securing Water for Food represents a new approach to foreign assistance. Through a competitive process, the program sourced and invested in a portfolio of innovative solutions that aim to help farmers use water more efficiently and effectively; improve water storage for lean times; and remove salt from water make more food. ● Our approach is as unique and innovative as the solutions we fund. We rely on hard data and evidence to drive decision making – from our partnerships to our investments to our communication and engagement efforts – proof drives our actions. ● Securing Water for Food is providing our cohort of innovators with the tools they need to produce more food with less water in some of the world’s poorest countries. ● After four calls for innovation, our focus is on expanding adoption of these innovative technologies through a robust mix of service offerings including advisory support, finance, and connections to a variety of partners and networks. ● Securing Water for Food innovations and technologies have impacted more than 6 million farmers served and more than 3 million female customers/end users. ● Securing Water for Food innovators compete against themselves. Our innovators define their highest business benchmarks for success and receive funding only when these standards are met (milestone-based funding). ● Securing Water for Food seeks connections and strategic relationships that help our innovators test, implement, and scale their water for food solutions in 40 countries around the world. ● Partnering with Securing Water for Food offers access to a global network of entrepreneurs, a quadrilateral international partnership, and the prestige of working with a $35 million project. ● Securing Water for Food has pre-screened and selected only the highest potential water-for-food innovations and is providing grant funds and ongoing acceleration assistance to support their business development. Potential investors can get direct access to SWFF innovators and bypass the due diligence legwork typically needed to access innovative start-ups in the water-ag space. ● Women represent 70% of smallholder farmers globally. We must focus on them to produce more food with less water.
Appendix C -- Target Audiences
Our target audiences for this activity fall under the following categories:
● Press: Specialized, industry, and second-tier mainstream press organizations including agriculture and water trades, development and innovation press, publications that feature social impact stories (e.g., not New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times). ● Investors and Resource Partners: Publications accessed and read by angel and social impact investors, private investors, philanthropists, accelerators, and incubators. ● Water and agriculture networks: Leading water and agriculture networks blogs and publications.