Request for Proposals for Rapporteur in Gender and Science
The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan African organisation. The vision of the AAS is to transform lives through science, while its mission is to leverage resources for Science Technology and Innovation (STI) through excellence and thought leadership for Africa’s development. Our tripartite mandate is recognising excellence through the AAS’s highly prestigious fellowship, affiliates membership and award schemes; providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping Africa’s STI strategies and policies; and implementing key STI programmes addressing Africa’s developmental challenges.
Through the Africa STI Priority Setting Project, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is working with key stakeholders to identify and validate key scientific priorities for the continent. Once identified, the AAS will disseminate such priorities with an aim to inform investment decisions by African governments and global funders, support rapid and effective alignment of the African scientific leadership and major funding partners, and ultimately direct resources toward those projects deemed most critical to scientific and development progress in Africa. The AAS’ engagement in the process of collaboratively defining the scientific agenda for Africa is aligned to our theme of nurturing excellence as defined in our five-year strategy 2018-2022.
Agencies/individuals are invited to submit a proposal to offer rapporteur and technical writing services for the prioritisation exercise being conducted by the African Academy of Sciences in the broad thematic area of Gender and Science in Africa. The prioritisation exercise will incorporate the outcomes of the Gender and Science Roundtable planned for 23rd July 2020 followed by contributions by expert teams towards the prioritisation exercise. The output from this exercise will be a policy paper on enhancing gender equity in STI in Africa and accompanying policy documents to guide engagement with relevant stakeholders and partners.
2.0 Scope of Work
Despite women being over 50% of the total global population, they remain underrepresented in science careers. While this is true for women in Africa, the factors influencing this and other gender disparities might be different when compared to other regions. While gender equity is prioritized in the SDGs (Goal 5) and in AU Agenda 2063 (Goal 17), the STI pillar, STISA 2024 has been unclear on the framework for achieving gender equity in the efforts to harness STI for sustainable development in Africa. Varied studies and policy frameworks recommend mainstreaming gender into STI policies and strategies by promoting access of women and girls to STI education, establishing collaborative and mentoring programmes, improving conditions for recruiting and retaining women in STI careers among other interventions. Within the African Academy of Sciences, gender representation has been a significant concern with continued interest to increase the number of female scientists elected into AAS fellowships and benefitting from AAS grants schemes. Enhancing gender in STI is a step forward in supporting African policy makers, governments, funding partners and scientific community in prioritizing STI interventions that will increase opportunities for enhancing gender and equity while also achieving the sustainable development goals.
Recognising the challenges with enhancing gender equity in science, AAS has been putting in place measures to address this issue such as programmatic policies and a gender working group. With a specific focus on women in science, the AAS conducted a study to assess factors contributing to or inhibiting women’s careers in science in Africa. The study aim was to provide empirical evidence, conceptual clarity and policy advice on the challenges and opportunities women in science in Africa face and how to address these challenges. The study findings equally highlight policy, legislative and organizational initiatives that can significantly reduce the gender gap in science in Africa.
The goal of this prioritization exercise will be to gather diverse experts to define and validate priorities for gender and science in Africa. These priorities will then be disseminated to inform investment decisions by African governments, funders, and other key stakeholders while also supporting the alignment of existing resources and leadership capacities to projects and programmes deemed most critical to achieve progress in enhancing gender equity in STI in Africa. Contributing experts will be convened in July with the aim of identifying and weighting the key priority areas which will be further developed and synthesized for engagement with key stakeholders (policy makers, funding partners, scientists etc.). Importantly, this exercise will align with the interventions of the African Union to enhance gender equity on the continent and guide scientific institutions and partners to support these interventions.
The agency/individual will work closely with the Fellows and Affiliates Manager to support the expert team in the process of identifying, weighting and documenting priorities in enhancing gender equity in science. The priority setting exercise will result in the development of a roundtable outcome document, a policy paper on identified priorities, a policy brief (or equivalent) and suggestions for collaborative programmes that the varied stakeholders can work on together going forward. The outputs will inform the AAS strategy with regards to ongoing or new programmatic focus areas. The consultant shall be expected to engage in the following activities during the consultancy period:
- Attend and document proceedings of the virtual expert Consultative Roundtable on 23rd July 2020 and consecutive expert team meetings during the prioritization exercise between July and October 2020.
- Engage the expert team with the aim of distilling any research and development priorities relevant to the thematic area and the follow-on survey to be administered to gender experts.
- Liaise with the AAS in synthesis of relevant literatures into the process of developing the policy paper
- Write the policy paper while incorporating technical and non-technical input from the expert team and the convener.
- Regularly liaise with the secretariat and the convener of the priority area on the progress being made in the development of the policy paper and other documentation agreed upon
- Timely respond to feedback provided to any draft documents and/or other communication
- Finalize all deliverables in accordance to the guidelines and formats provided by the AAS.
Support the consultative convenings of experts on gender and science in Africa in order to identify, weight, and document research priority areas for enhancing gender equity in science in Africa.
- Detailed and comprehensive record of the discussions of the expert consultative Roundtable in form of a meeting outcome document
- Detailed outline of the policy paper on priorities for gender and science in Africa
- Up to three drafts and final draft of the policy paper
- At least one policy brief and and/or other documentation as agreed upon with the secretariat.
The consultant must have advanced qualifications and experience in the broader field of gender, development and/or science. They must have experience of working with multidisciplinary teams as well as producing outputs such as research reports, policy documents etc. They should be fluent in English and French will be an added advantage. The consultant must be available to attend the virtual meetings for the expert team starting July 2020 and deliver the required deliverables by end of October 2020.
Proposals from bidders should include a technical proposal and financial proposal and must include the following elements:
- A covering letter introducing the submission
- An executive summary providing an overview of their response to the scope of work citing previous experience and expertise
- A proposal that outlines their writing plan
- The service provider must provide examples of (i) meeting and (ii) research reports they have compiled previously.
- Detailed CVs of applicant (s) outlining the relevant skills and experience
- Details of at least 5 relevant references where similar assignments have been undertaken
- Current business licenses where applicable
- Valid VAT and PIN Certificate where applicable
- Current valid Tax Compliance Certificate from Kenya Revenue Authority where applicable
- Financial Proposal for the provision of the services. The financial proposal shall clearly indicate the total cost to the AAS, to be disaggregated to enable partial payments and/or scaling of services. The Prices quoted should be inclusive of all taxes and delivery costs, must be in US Dollars ($) and shall remain valid for (120) days from the closing date of the tender.
- Vendors are encouraged to include any additional information they believe demonstrates added value for the AAS within the scope of this project.
The evaluation of the proposals shall involve Technical and Financial analysis. The successful bidders based on agreed pass mark on technical cores shall be evaluated further on technical capacity through an interview before financial scores are considered.
Response will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Adequacy of the proposed work plan, methodology and deliverables, in responding to the terms of reference
Specific experience of the agency/individual related to the assignment (Provide evidence of having undertaken similar assignments in the last 5 years by submitting at least three (3) reference letters or recommendations)
Qualifications and competence of the key staff for the assignment if necessary
This document is the property of the AAS and contains proprietary and confidential information. Recipients may use or reproduce the information detailed within this document and any other supporting information only to provide a response to this RFP.
The AAS makes no commitment to any consultant/service provider unless a contract has been awarded and signed by both parties. The AAS reserves the right to cease this exercise at any time. During the period of this activity, no contact should occur between any members of the supplier's staff and any member of the AAS staff in relation to this exercise other than through the designated contact points as detailed within this RFP. It is however recognized that pre-existing relationships if any, shall be respected.
The Agency/individual is required to observe the AAS procurement ethical code of conduct which includes but is not limited to observing the highest standard of ethics regarding corruption, collusion, conflict of interest and fraud. If the agency does not observe confidentiality or ethical practices, they shall be disqualified from any further work with the AAS.
Where appropriate, any costs for travel and subsistence must be clearly shown in the proposal.
Consultants should be aware that inappropriate publicity could have a serious effect upon the AAS’s business. The information contained within this document or subsequently made available to the consultant is deemed confidential and must not be disclosed without the prior written consent of the AAS unless required by law.
By submission of a proposal, the consultant warrants that the prices in the proposal have been arrived at independently, without consultation, communication, agreement or understanding for the purpose of restricting competition, as to any matter relating to such prices, with any other potential consultant or with any competitor.
It should be noted that this document relates to a Request for Proposal only and not a firm commitment from the AAS to enter into a contractual agreement. In addition, the AAS will not be held responsible for any costs associated with the production of a response to this Request for Proposal.