Lead Proposal Writer Consultant – USAID/DRC Sanitation Activity At Concern Worldwide

Concern Worldwide (Concern) is currently seeking an experienced Lead Proposal Writer with a successful track record of authoring winning Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) proposals to USAID and other USG/international donors to assist our Business Development (BD) team in writing a technical proposal on a short-term basis. The successful candidate will be working remotely; a field visit to DRC may be required during the consultancy period.

Organizational Background: Founded in 1968, Concern Worldwide (Concern) is an international humanitarian aid organization dedicated to reducing extreme poverty and alleviating suffering through emergency relief and long-term development programs spanning livelihoods, education, nutrition, health, and WASH. Concern currently operates in 24 of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, and works in partnership with communities, public and private service providers, local government, academic institutions, and other local and international organizations to ensure sustainable delivery of effective services. Concern Worldwide has operated in the DRC in 1994, successfully implementing programs in emergency response, livelihoods, protection, and health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) throughout the country.

Activity Background: The USAID/DRC Rural and Peri-Urban Sanitation Activity (addendum under the Diversifying Partnerships in WASH [DiP-WASH] APS found here) is a multi-year program that aims to improve basic sanitation in rural and peri-urban areas in Eastern DRC. The program focuses on establishing a dynamic market system for sanitation in Eastern DRC, simultaneously building supply and demand for sanitation through engaged and strengthened private and public sectors and creating an enabling environment for sanitation marketing in rural and peri-urban areas.

Concern plans to develop a full proposal for the Activity, pending USAID’s approval to advance from concept note to co-creation/full proposal stage. We anticipate the project will be further designed in consultation and collaboration with USAID.

Purpose of the Consultancy: If the concept note is selected, the consultant will lead the development and writing of the technical proposal and designated complementary materials according to the requirements and templates specified in the solicitation guidelines with inputs and contributions from USAID and Concern and its consortium partners.

The successful candidate will work closely with a Sanitation Technical Expert and designated staff of Concern (e.g. proposal manager, technical advisor, cost proposal lead, reviewers) and its key partners in this bid. The successful applicant will possess strong knowledge and understanding of USAID solicitation processes, compliance requirements and templates; and a track -record of writing winning proposals in response to Requests for Applications (RFAs) solicited by USAID.

The consultant will bring previous experience developing and writing successful proposals involving several stakeholders for institutional donors. Experience writing competitive, successful proposals to USAID is essential. It is desirable that the consultant also brings a good understanding of issues relating to WASH system strengthening, particularly regarding sanitation marketing, financing, and governance. Building upon this experience, the consultant will help develop the full program/proposal. This may require scoping, reviewing, analyzing, and integrating existing plans and areas of expertise among partners.

Specific tasks and responsibilities: The consultant will develop, in consultation with Concern management team, a detailed work plan that will include undertaking at least the following tasks:

1 – Preparation
1.1. Review consortium concept note, partner documents, and solicitation documents (APS and Addendum), identifying key areas to be strengthened and elaborated
1.2. Work with the Concern team and consortium members to review, analyze and summarize the solicitation documents for requirements and priorities.
1.3. Review USAID strategies and investments related to the activity, as well as other programs with which this activity will complement and coordinate.
1.4. Review secondary literature on market-based sanitation and sanitation governance in DRC (particularly Eastern DRC), as well as existing innovative pilots and their evidence from other stakeholders.

2 – Technical Proposal
2.1. Develop proposal content that addresses/complies with the requirements outlined in the solicitation, scores well in terms of evaluation criteria, and incorporates winning themes and other strategies.
2.2. Work with the Concern team and technical specialists to translate the technical solutions, project design, and strategy into clearly articulated, cohesive, compliant, and compelling technical proposal documents.
2.3. Lead the writing of the technical proposal documents with support and input from technical staff and other contributors, facilitating design sessions as needed.
2.4. Lead the writing of all technical proposal sections, with the support and inputs from the Concern team and delegated section contributors.
2.5. In partnership with the proposal coordinator/sub-recipient liaison, work with the bid’s partners and integrate their inputs into the full proposal design and writing process.
2.6. Articulate and ensure alignment and coordination with relevant USAID strategies and other WASH-related programs and investments in Eastern DRC, the country, and the region.
2.7. Provide inputs into the cost proposal process in line with the technical proposal.

3 – Logical Framework and Workplan
3.1. Work with the Concern bid development team to develop a logical framework, with inputs and contributions from key technical specialists assigned to the bid.
3.2. Take the lead in preparing the program workplan in line with the technical proposal.

4 – Submission
4.1. Ensure all proposal requirements and priorities have been adequately addressed.
4.2. Assemble proposal documents and ensure all technical proposal documents adhere to USAID requirements as stipulated in the solicitation documents

Outcomes of the Consultancy: A completed, comprehensive technical proposal for the Rural and Peri-Urban Sanitation (RAPS) program in DRC.

Lines of Communication: Throughout the contract period, the Consultant will be reporting to Concern DRC Programme Director.

Timeframe: If our concept note is selected to advance to full proposal stage, we anticipate approximately 25 working days, starting in summer or fall of 2021 until submission (approximately 5 weeks from the invitation to advance to full proposal stage). Please note the start/end date of the assignment may change due to unavoidable circumstances in which case a revised timeframe will be drawn up with the mutual agreement of both parties. An additional approximately 7 working days starting in August 2021 is anticipated for preparation. This timeline and exact number of working days is subject to change.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Preferably an advanced university degree (masters or equivalent) in international affairs/studies, development, WASH, or a related field.
  • Minimum 10 years of experience leading the design, proposal writing, and/or management of WASH programs, preferably related to market-based sanitation and preferably in DRC.
  • Strong program design skills, including capacity to prepare logical, coherent, and consistent documents including logframes.
  • Prior demonstrated experience and success developing and writing competitive proposals for institutional donors, particularly USAID.
  • Ability to work efficiently and effectively with team members in various locations and from multiple organizations, including remotely writing and revising proposal documents.
  • Ability to integrate different experiences, methodologies, and approaches from a diverse range of stakeholders, organizations, and technical experts from multiple sectors.
  • Excellent English speaking/writing/editing skills required. French speaking skills an advantage.
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines and flexibility to adapt to any subsequent changes in the terms of reference.
  • Knowledge of government and political structure of DRC preferred
  • Working relationships with relevant WASH sector authorities and stakeholders preferred**Note:** Individuals, groups of individuals as well as consultancy firms having the requisite skills/experience are eligible to apply. Concern is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community, including nationals of all countries. The above mentioned tasks to be performed are intended as a guide and should not be viewed as an inflexible specification as it may be modified following discussion with the selected consultant or firm.

How to apply

Application and Deadline: Interested Individuals/Firms should send the following requested documents to Conner Purcell (conner.purcell@concern.net) and Elisa Marcon (elisa.marcon@concern.net) before August 6, 2021.

  • Cover letter detailing the individual’s/firm’s suitability for the assignment and current contact and daily rate information.
  • CV of consultant or other key person(s) to be involved at any stage.

We encourage you to apply as soon as possible due to urgent need of the consultancy. Proposals will be short listed on a regular basis and we may offer the consultancy before the closing date. Only short-listed consultants will be contacted. Short-listed candidates may be asked to provide a short (1-2 pages) proposal with draft workplan to demonstrate how they intend to achieve the consultancy’s objectives.

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