East Africa Reseach Fund ( EARF ) on the Friday, 16 September 2016 organised a Suppliers Beakfast meeting at PwC Offices in Westlands, Nairobi.
Partcipants who were not able to physically attend had the opportunity to virtually attend the meeting on Webinar using Dial in details that had been shared.
The Agenda of the Meeting was as indicated below :
- Introduction to the East Africa Research Hub
- Role of PwC as the Fund Manager (An Overview)
- Role of PwC as the Fund Manager (Processes)
- Launch of the research study on "Regional Analysis of Youth Demographics"
- Common Shortcomings in writing a proposal to EARF
The Meeting was well attended both Pysically and Virtually and Suppliers from different organisations with varied specialities were able to network and share ideas. The Agenda items were well tackled by the Fund and Suppliers had the opportunity to ask and seek clarification on issues around research calls and the Fund in general.
Some of the key questions that were raised included :
- How will the EARF ensure that there is Fair competition between the International organizations and the regional organizations based on the fact that the international organizations are more exposed possess greater experience in carrying out the kind of researches EARF is procuring ? Response : DFID’s research calls are open internationally and any eligible organization can apply. Though most research projects have been won by international organizations, most of these organization have strategically partnered with regional / local organization to enhance their chances of winning the bids. EARF encourages organizations to strategically partner with others where possible when applying for bids and it our hope to see a regional organization winning a bid as lead in cases where partnerships have been formed.
- What Capacity Building measures are in place for the regional organizations? Response : EARF has scheduled webinar conferences on various topics targeted to enhance capacity of suppliers in proposal writing and preparing commercial Bids. Currently available on the website are past webinar presentations on the commercial proposal and a brief on common short comings in writing proposals. Also keep checking our events calendar on the website for updates on what EARF is planning.
- If an organization charges its professional fees based on previous projects over time taking into consideration any inflation or other price adjustments, can this be deemed as a Benchmarking method? Response : Yes, this will be accepted as Benchmarking method. While evaluating benchmarking, our focus is not on the amount you have charged but on how the amount was formulated and if possible try to compare the same with the current market rates.
- What are is the current status of Peer Review process ? Response : Peer Reviewers are recruited on a rolling basis. Retention contracts have been signed with some individuals. Interested candidates should send their CV to email@example.com indicating their experience based on the EARF thematic areas of focus.
- We have had situations where EARF had made research calls and indicated a Budget Ceiling as a guide, how are these budgets determined and why is it that this specific research project budget amount has been left open? Response : There some projects that the Fund is able to estimate the budget, in such cases the budget ceiling is communicated and suppliers are requested to plan their project within the budget ceiling. Where the Fund cannot easily determine the anticipated budget total, the research call budget is left open to be determined by the bidding suppliers. This way, the Fund ensures it has not locked out any potential suppliers due to pre-determined budget.
- What taxes are applicable and how can suppliers approach the issue of taxes? Response : PwC reserves the right to deduct taxes (where applicable) from payments made to the supplier in accordance with applicable Kenyan tax legislations: PwC will charge (1) VAT (if applicable for Kenyan Registered organizations ) and/or (2) withholding tax at the rates prescribed by the VAT Act and Kenya Income Tax Act respectively. This information could be found at http://taxsummaries.pwc.com/uk/taxsummaries/wwts.nsf/ID/Kenya-Corporate-Withholding-taxes
- Can Primary data be used in the description of rationale and methodology in the technical proposal? Response : EARF will accept proposals that include both primary and secondary data in he methodology. Organizations should take a keen understanding of the requirements as described in the terms of reference.
- Does EARF fund organizations administrative costs that not related to the research? Response : Yes. This can be budgeted for on the Commercial Template under the heading of Administration and other costs.
- What approach does EARF adopt while evaluating different team leaders capacity i.e Technical capacity, organizational capacity or administrative capacity? Where is the emphasis? Response : The Emphasis is always described in the Scoring Methodology shared in the Invitation to Tender Pack.
- What details should be included in the CV’ summary section for evaluation purposes? Can an organization annex the complete CV of their team members?Suppliers are expected to provide descriptive summaries on the Team Leader and other researchers highlighting their academic qualifications, their role in the research study and providing evidence of their past track record in undertaking similar research work. A guidance is provided in specific Instructions to Suppliers. Complete CV’s can also be annexed as separate documents but suppliers should ensure that the Descriptive Summary has been provided and that its detailed enough. Evaluation is normally on the CV Summary section ( Annex will only be used for referance and its Not mandatory unless stated / requsted )
- What areas should an organization focus on while completing Value for Money section of the Commercial Proposal? Response : While tackling Value for Money Section of the Commercial proposal, organizations should illustrate their understanding of DFID’s value for Money ( Refer to DFID website ) and using the 3E’s ( Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness ) an organization should elaborate how they intend to achieve Value for money under each category while implementing the research project.
The presentations used to facilitate the Meeting are attached to this article for your Referance. ( Check files below )
We take this opportunity to thank all those who attended the meeting, it was an honor to host you and we are looking forward for more collaboration.