Request for Proposals for End Line Assessment of the Africa Science Desk Project
The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan- African organisation that represents all fields of science. The vision of The AAS is transformed lives in Africa through science.
Our tripartite mandate is to recognise excellence through highly prestigious fellowship and award schemes, provide advisory and think tank functions for shaping Africa’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) strategies and policies and implement key STI programmes to advance the development of Africa.
Introduction to the Africa Science Desk project
The African Academy of Sciences seeks to increase the quality and quantity of science journalism in Africa to ensure science that contributes to the socio-economic development of the continent remains on the agenda and continues to attract relevant funding.
The project is providing a platform for highlighting science being conducted on the continent to meet developmental challenges in health, food security and energy, etc, with journalists hopefully highlighting how science can help to overcome the Africa socio-economic challenges.
The Africa Science Desk (ASD) further seeks to build the capacity of science journalism in Africa. Over a two-year period, the AAS through the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been providing funding to journalists in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa to produce science stories aimed at local or global news markets.
Monthly call for pitches
The call for pitches focuses on health and wellbeing; environment and climate change; social science and humanities; policy and governance; and natural sciences, which are the five strategic priorities of the AAS. The call is normally issued on the 21ST of every month and closes on the 5th of the following month and specifically captures these criteria and enables journalists in our different databases to pitch accordingly.
The ASD project aims to realise the following objectives:
- Assess the current coverage of science stories in Kenya, South Africa, Senegal and Nigeria. To provide information base for monitoring effectiveness of the programme in Africa.
- Increase the quantity of science stories and improving coverage of science funding by journalists to do their research.
- Build the capacity of science journalists through mentorship throughout the pitch and writing process.
- Building partnerships with newsrooms.
The ASD targets published science journalists in Africa both employed and freelance to have access to the grant and publish quality science stories.
Need for End line Assessment
The AAS seeks a consultant to deliver an end line assessment of the Africa Science Desk. The review is aimed at assessing if the ASD has made progress towards achieving its desired objectives. The review will specifically provide independent and holistic assessment of the ASD and all the grant awards that have been given to date, give an evidence-based status of the programme and its implementation strategy, document what has worked well and what has not, create a learning opportunity for all the involved parties and provide actionable recommendations for future/similar initiatives.
An Evaluation Team consisting of members from communications, the internal AAS M&E team, the AAS procurement team and an independent Consultant will be the key persons in the process. The consultant will be responsible for coordinating and directing the team’s work, collating research findings and compiling the final M&E report.
- The consultant will be expected to adopt cost-effective and relevant method(s) to conduct the review. This may include but not limited to the following:
- Review and analyse programmatic and financial reports, Standard Operating Protocols and strategies, and other programme records.
- Conduct interviews with the funded journalists, AAS communications team, finance team and any relevant people involved in the Africa Science Desk programme.
- Use the Kirpatrick model and any other methods as deemed appropriate by the Evaluation Team and justified by the consultant.
The review will seek to address the following general questions:
- The overall question is if the Africa Science Desk has achieved its key objective of improving coverage of quality science stories from within the continent.
- Mentor/Mentee engagement- is the programme fostering best practice in mentoring journalists during their research and writing process. (check the strategic focus areas coverage).
- Training and workshops- have these capacity building initiatives increased coverage from the mentioned regions? Has the quality of the science stories improved in over the project period?
- Strategic Focus areas- what trends have been witnessed in covering these at different regions and what do these trends infer?
- Are there any tangible outcomes realised by the Africa Science Desk programme?
- What challenges, gaps and opportunities can be identified from the programme?
- To what extent has the implementation of the ASD project taken into account efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the project results?
- Is the success of the programme worth a new lifeline (renewal)?
We are looking for a consultant with demonstrable knowledge, skills and experience in conducting project reviews specifically of similar nature. The consultant should possess the following:
- A Master’s degree or PhD in development studies, measurement, evaluation, or any related discipline
- At least 7 years’ experience in conducting project reviews and evaluations
- Experience in science journalism or monitoring and evaluation of science journalism work
- Work experience in at least three of the following African countries (Kenya, South
- Africa, Senegal and Nigeria.)
Proposals from bidders should include the following elements:
a) A covering letter introducing the submission
b) Proposal should not exceed 5 pages and should include budgets with good level of details for each cost item.
c) Detailed CVs of the consultant(s) outlining the relevant skills and experience
d) Details of at least 5 relevant references where similar assignments have been undertaken
e) Certificate of Corporation where applicable
f) Current business licenses where applicable
g) Valid VAT and PIN Certificate where applicable
h) Current valid Tax Compliance Certificate from Kenya Revenue Authority where applicable
i) Financial capability of the Company - submit the latest 2 year audited financial statements where applicable
j) Financial Proposal for the provision of the services. The Prices quoted should be inclusive of all taxes and delivery costs, must be in KES and shall remain valid for (120) days from the closing date of the tender.
k) Consultant(s) are encouraged to include any additional information they believe demonstrates added value for the AAS within the scope of this project
Successful consultants will be shortlisted and invited to interview. Only successful finalists will be contacted.
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 consultant related to the assignment (Provide evidence of having undertaken similar assignments in the last 5 years by submitting at least five (5) reference letters of recommendations)
Qualifications and competence of the key staff for the assignment
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 recognised that pre-existing relationships if any, shall be respected.
The Consultant is required to observe the AAS procurement ethical code of conduct which includes but is not limited to observing the highest standard of ethics in regard to corruption, collusion, conflict of interest and fraud. If the consultant 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.