Request for Proposals - LPG Safety, Innovation, and Market Growth
This Request for Proposals (RfP) is to solicit applications to conduct research and develop recommendations focused on innovative private sector approaches to overcoming safety barriers that inhibit market penetration of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) as a cooking fuel. This activity aims to provide a market intelligence product to a range of LPG stakeholders with the goal of heightening safety considerations, strengthening business models, catalyzing further innovation and investment, and generating demand for clean and safe fuel.
The Clean Cooking Alliance
The Clean Cooking Alliance works with a global network of partners to build an inclusive industry that makes clean cooking accessible to the three billion people who live each day without it. Established in 2010, the Alliance is driving consumer demand, mobilizing investment to build a pipeline of scalable businesses, and fostering an enabling environment that allows the sector to thrive. Clean cooking transforms lives by improving health, protecting the climate and the environment, empowering women, and helping families save time and money. Learn more about our work at www.cleancookingalliance.org.
To reach the billions who currently lack access to clean cooking solutions requires a competitive market and the development of a commercially viable industry. To achieve this requires profitable and scalable businesses that can supply consumers with a range of affordable, high-quality, and reliable products and services. A core characteristic of any formal industry, particularly related to energy, is the integration of well-informed, relevant, regulated, and enforced safety standards, mechanisms, and protocols at each step of its supply chain.
As part of the fuel mix within the clean cooking sector, LPG has several associated safety implications, both real and perceived. They cut across production, distribution, storage, handling, use, and maintenance. These issues not only inhibit its uptake and adoption by consumers, but also impede investment flows, business growth, commercialization, and market entry. In order to build a dynamic and financially sustainable clean cooking industry, for both LPG and other clean cooking fuels, ensuring effective safety best practices is critical.
For LPG, safety issues are traditionally addressed through policy and regulatory interventions. However, developing these frameworks and improving enforcement can often be a long and complicated process. It requires buy-in from stakeholders across the LPG value chain, as well as effective and rigorous enforcement of established regulations. The effectiveness of these regulations becomes particularly challenging once illegal practices become pervasive, as is the case in certain key markets including but not limited to Kenya, South Africa, and India.
In certain markets, private sector-led innovations that can overcome certain safety issues have begun to gain traction. Through innovations such as LPG smart metering technology, composite cylinders, and safer cylinder valves, the private sector has contributed to efforts to impact overall safety across the LPG value chain and address barriers to market penetration, expansion, and commercialization.
Scope of Work
While the Alliance will continue to promote and support improvements to the regulatory environment and consumer awareness through targeted programs, in parallel, the Alliance will work with the selected consultant to conduct further scoping research on the potential for private sector solutions to catalyze safety improvements within the LPG value chain for clean cooking that targets specific market barriers. Solutions with application to broader sector-level improvement would be prioritized. Through desk research, stakeholder consultations, and in-country engagements, the consultant will develop a report that will provide actionable recommendations on how private sector-led innovation can result in both direct and indirect impacts on safety, as a driver for market growth, across the LPG value chain.
The selected consultant will be expected to attend and participate in the Alliance’s Clean Cooking Forum in Nairobi, Kenya from November 5-7, 2019. The consultant will utilize the Forum to participate in a discussion with relevant stakeholders to gather inputs and expertise regarding existing safety-related market barriers, private sector innovations, tipping points for these innovations, ways to support and incentivize new private sector opportunities, and other means of overcoming safety barriers that inhibit market penetration in the LPG value chain. The Alliance has set aside a 90-minute Forum session focused on LPG safety to convene businesses, technology, and service providers, industry associations, and industry experts in the LPG space to share their insights and ideas on best practices, technologies, business models, and other opportunities to achieve market growth and impact. Session panelists have already been selected.
With this in mind, the consultant’s proposal should include ideas on how the Alliance should format the Forum session to elicit the most valuable and relevant feedback to inform the report content and priorities. Additionally, the proposal should identify an initial list of organizations that should be engaged both at the Forum and after it. Once the consultant is selected, the Alliance will support the implementation of the proposed ideas to prepare for the session. Following the Forum, the selected consultant and the Alliance will consolidate the feedback and continue the activity using desk research, stakeholder consultations, and country engagements to design the report recommendations.
Program Terms and Budget
The engagement will be structured over a 4-month period, with a total budget of $52,000. The allocated budget is inclusive of the travel and accommodation to the Clean Cooking Forum and other travel as necessary to fulfill the work scope.
The consultant should plan to conduct primary research with consumers and stakeholders, which could include, but is not limited to, expert interviews and site visits. The consultant should also plan extensive desk research, including studies conducted by the Alliance and others. The Alliance will provide various resources to the team for this purpose.
Two key existing documents that should be leveraged include:
- “Scaling LPG for Cooking in Developing Markets: Insights from Tanzania.” The report highlights key market, financing, and regulatory challenges related to the scale-up of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a cooking fuel. To provide context, the report also discusses the critical components of LPG supply chain infrastructure and recognized best practices to illustrate the need for investment. It highlights how technology-enabled pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solutions adapted from the off-grid solar sector are emerging to enable innovative business models that increase the affordability and availability of LPG in emerging markets, such as in Tanzania.
- “The Internet of Things - Opportunities for the LPG industry.” This report, developed by the World LPG Association, showcases the Internet of Things, and how it might be applied in the LPG industry - with some real examples - to encourage its uptake and make the industry safer, smarter, more efficient and more accessible
All applicants submitting proposals should specify the methodologies they plan to use to gather the required information.
Projects component will be implemented according to a schedule to be determined with the selected consultant. Given the short timeline of this engagement, the schedule will be weekly/monthly performance milestones.
The RfP targets consultants that have LPG industry knowledge and expertise, a track record in clean cooking, energy access, and/or social enterprises operating in base of the pyramid (BOP) markets. They should have a strong working knowledge of the relevant actors in the clean cooking space and be able to engage the sector and field of experts with minimal supervision. The selected consultant should also be able to demonstrate past experience in working with clean cooking businesses, either through provision of technical services or advice or development of knowledge products and analytical tools.
Applicants must be current partners of the Clean Cooking Alliance. Those not already registered can do so prior to submitting an application at www.community.cleancookingalliance.org/become-a-partner.
Application Process & Deadlines
The application process will be open from October 1, 2019 to October 11, 2019, and applications are due by October 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm EDT by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants are asked to submit the following:
- An Executive Summary which includes a 1-page overview of the consulting company, a 2-page summary on the approach to this activity, and 1 page dedicated to the utilization of the allocated budget.
- Any CVs of relevant personnel who will be allocated to this activity.
Only one proposal per organization may be submitted. The Alliance reserves the right to reject late or incomplete applications or those that do not follow stated guidelines.
The selection process and activity implementation will take place in six main stages over the course of 5 months:
|To apply, please send requested materials in a single submission email to email@example.com. We invite clarifying questions via the same email address.||
October 11, 2019 at 6:00pm EDT
|Stage 2: Evaluation and Selection||Applications will be evaluated, and the selected party will be notified by the Alliance team.||
|Stage 3: Contracting||Finalists may be asked to provide additional information and sign agreements.||
Selected Consultants Notified:
|Stage 4: Project Launch||Activity planning will begin.||
|Stage 5: Forum Participation||The select consultant will participate in the Forum to gather information and feedback as outlined in scope of work.||
|Stage 6: Activity Implementation||Further research will be conducted and drafts shared with Alliance until completion of activity.||
Project Implementation and Completion:
November – February 28
Agreements will be made between the Winner and the United Nations Foundation, and/or other relevant 3rd party TA providers. Funds and services will be disbursed in tranches based on the achievement of milestones determined in the selection process.
Selected recipients must comply with United Nations Foundation and funder compliance requirements.
The Alliance will require regular engagement and reporting over the full engagement period. The consultant will be required to engage in regular check-in calls and submit quarterly written reports on activities and progress including financial performance. The Alliance will provide a general reporting template required of the consultant and customize reporting according to specific goals and milestones developed between the Alliance and the consultant during the contracting process. In addition, the consultant will be required to report on basic social and environmental impact indicators. All data reported will be sex disaggregated. The consultant will be required to complete the Alliance’s annual financial and operational information questionnaire. Furthermore, the Alliance, on behalf of the United Nations Foundation will monitor and conduct assessments of operations under the engagement, which may include visits from Alliance personnel or designee to observe the consultant’s operations, and to review financial records. In addition, the Alliance requires a final narrative report within 30 days of the end of the engagement term that describes what was achieved with the services and funds, and where applicable, a line item comparison of budgeted versus actual expenses as they relate specifically to the funding, an explanation of any line item variances to the contract, and a statement certifying that all funds were expended for the purposes of the grant.
Communication of Results
The Alliance is committed to ensuring that results achieved by the consultant will inform the sector, as well as advance the adoption of cleaner, more efficient cooking solutions. The consultant will be expected to actively engage with Alliance staff and other designated partners as requested by the Alliance. This coordinated engagement could include participation in meetings, calls, or research being conducted by the Alliance, and participation in additional capacity-building activities needed to further those goals – provided that such requests do not constitute a violation of any applicable law or regulation. The Alliance will work with the consultant to ensure that their successes are widely disseminated and profiled at meetings as relevant. Materials, reports, and results of TA and/or grants may be available for dissemination to the public, e.g. through the Alliance website, newsletters, and webinars. The Alliance has the right to ensure that results are made publicly available in a timely and transparent process while ensuring intellectual property rights of investigators, as well as subject and company confidentiality as required.