Questions and Answers – Capacity Strengthening and Organizational Learning Program for India

The goal of the Capacity Strengthening and Organizational Learning Program for India is to strengthen the organizational resilience of grantee partners working in maternal and child health (MCH), and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in India during, and in the wake of, the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID 19 in India has created setbacks within the MCH/SRH space and de-prioritization of women’s SRH needs. COVID 19 has also resulted in changes in organizational and operational processes. Partners are navigating organizational capacity challenges that include uncertainty around funding, adapting or redesigning projects and programs (e.g. pivoting to virtual delivery models), technological needs of a home-based workforce, and employee wellness and resilience.

The question period has ended. Questions and answers are posted below. 


Could you please specify the objectives of the assignment? What are the expectations from the applicant?

The objective of this ITB is to identify a pool of resources to match to partner organizations who require technical assistance in one or more of the areas outlined in the ITB.  Once this pool is selected, partner organizations will make requests, and specific assignments will be issued.



Would PHI consider extending the due date to October 1, 2020 at 5pm Pacific Time to deconflict with other fiscal year 2020 awards and also to allow for incorporation of question responses?

We cannot extend at this time.

Is there an incumbent for this work or is this new work? If there is an incumbent, can PHI share the vendor(s) names?

There is not incumbent for this work.

Can PHI provide details or a template for the cost schedule – is the requirement for Hourly/Daily/Monthly Rates by Labor Category?

No, the cost schedule is meant to capture different costs for different kinds of engagement.

Is there a requirement to bid any travel or will that be as the task order level?

That will be at the task order level.


For the bidding process is there any requirement of submission of a detailed execution plan as a part of the proposal apart from the technical details requested under Section C: Proposal Format of the ITB document.

No. The purpose of the project is to build a pool of providers.  Partner organizations will submit technical assistance requests, and requests will be matched to providers selected for the pool. What we are looking for is evidence of expertise in one or more of the priority details noted in the ITB.

Regarding the domains mentioned for the technical capabilities as an organization does it require to have expertise in all the points mentioned (i.e. organizational resilience and agility, operations, financial management.etc.) or the bidder can select few areas to work on it.

The bidder is not expected to have expertise in all the areas outlined in the ITB.  Bidders can select a few areas to promote.


Under this project initiative, capacity building initiative is envisaged only at the organizational level or also at the grass root level. Accordingly personals from the organization can be included.

Currently we are looking at the organizational level.

“………and outcomes through workshops, webinars, and one on one technical assistance” – Beside the cost of time required for providing expertise on one to one basis, this would entail a visit to their location? How do we build the cost for this?

Currently we envision most of the technical assistance to be virtual.  That may change after the new year.  Partners are located in Delhi and Bihar.

Appendix A, point B Technical Expertise: “……previous experience in designing and facilitating capacity building workshops (virtual and in-person)” – If it is workshop in person, how do we envisage cost for travel and/or other logistics.

There is a separate budget for workshop costs that PHI will cover.  In general, workshops would be in Delhi, possibly in Bihar.  For the immediate future, we anticipate that engagement would be virtual.

Will such capacity building orientation be accompanied with pre –post assessment of participants? Cost for such activities will be kept by PHI, or we have to propose.

These activities will be kept by PHI.

Contact: None

How many organisations will be going through the process of organisational strengthening per year?

This will not be a process, but an on-demand service where partners can request assistance from a provider pool.  PHI staff then would match the request with the appropriate provider from the pool.  Currently there are 11 partners who have expressed interest.

If we were to involve external vendors to support on certain aspects of the work would we need to include their names in the proposal?

Yes.  Please keep in mind, that we are seeking to develop a pool of providers to match to technical assistance requests.

What type of work are partner organisations engaged in? (i.e. on ground delivery, policy advisory, research, campaigns and advocacy)?

Partners are engaged in a variety of on the ground work – including delivery, research, advocacy in the area of maternal child health and reproductive health.

What is the average team size of the organisations we would be expected to support? For example, will the team size be >100, between 50 – 100 or <50?


How would PFI want to be involved in the organisational strengthening engagement?

PHI would be managing the process.  Note that we are seeking to build a pool of providers.  Partners would express a technical assistance need and PHI would match that need with a provider from the pool.  The technical assistance would be short term.

Would we need to show experience across all domains listed? Are there any priority domains for PHI?

We do not expect bidders to show experience across all domains listed.  We are building a pool of providers that across the domains reflected in the invitation to bid.  A key priority domain that partners noted was  Project and Program Adaptation and Redesign (e.g., pivoting to virtual or other delivery models).

Contact: None

Will the proposal lead to a grant that will be signed with the applying organization or will it be in the form of a consultancy for which GST will be deducted as per National consultancy guidelines?

It will be in the form a contract for services or consultancy for which GST will be deducted.  It will not be a grant.

The document mentions ‘The objective is to build a pre-qualified pool of firms which PHI will solicit ‘Task Orders’ as needed’ . Is it right to understand then that this process may result in contracting of an organization to deliver in full or part of the priority areas mentioned in the annexure or qualify to be added to a resource pool for contracting later?

That is correct, this invitation is to build a resource pool for future contracting.

Target is ‘Select Organizations (Partners)’ that work in MNCH/SRH – what geographies are these projects being implemented in?

Mainly in Bihar.  But partners have offices in Delhi.

Is the initial grant limited to eight months or based on the proposed activities or the duration may be decided based on components that may require >8 months to achieve results such as ‘Organizational Leadership?

Currently funding is for eight months; this may be extended based on the needs of the partners and availability of funding.


Query-1: As per Clause 3, given on page 2 of INVITATION TO BID (ITB) document, we need to describe our current or past assignments working in/with social sector non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In this regard, we would like to know whether or not our relevant assignments involving capacity building and organizational development of Government Clients would be considered as our experience?


Query-2: In the Cost Schedule, whether the costs need to be submitted separately for workshops, webinars, and one-on-one technical assistance? Whether we are allowed to choose any one of these three activities? Also, we would like to know that to what scale and in what geographies we would be taking up such activities?

You can select any of the three types of activities—we are interested in how costs vary across the three.

We have about 11 partners who are interested in services.  Many of the activities take place in Bihar, but offices are also in Delhi.  We are aiming to develop a pool of providers that can be matched to the needs of the partners.

Query-3: We would like to know that while providing the three sets of capacity building services, viz. workshops, webinars, and one-on-one technical assistance, what inputs would be provided by the client? This information would help us to clearly identify the cost heads that we would need to include in our financial proposal.

Please provide a general idea of pricing or costs, based on your previous work.

Query-4: Are we required to submit the detailed technical methodology and work plan along with the proposal?

No.  We want your overall approach to one or more of the priority areas noted in the proposal and examples for previous work.  The goal is to build a pool of providers from which to draw expertise.

Query-5: Whether we need to submit Curriculum Vitae (CVs) of our relevant domain experts who would be deployed on the assignment?


Contact: None

You are going to start new work in India. We are unable to find the detail of project and PDF you have uploaded is not opening. So, i need some information. Our organization is working in Jharkhand state in India. I just wanted to know where in India your work is going to start with state name? Do you need FCRA to work with you?

This will be a contract for services executed through PHI India Private Limited.  I do not believe FCRA applies. Many of the partner organizations who have expressed interest work in Bihar. We have added a Word Document to our website for downloading.  Please review the ITB prior to your submission.


In case an organisation is selected based on the proposal submitted, is there going to be a second round of evaluation during the contracting phase?

We are building a pool of providers.  Partner organizations will be able to submit requests for assistance and these requests will be matched to the expertise in the pool.  There may be some additional evaluation based on availability and pricing of the request.  This would be fairly straightforward.

Also, when will the organisation be intimated about the number of on ground partners they need to support and the specific areas of support?

See above.  We have 11 interested organizations.

What all needs to be included a part of the cost schedule? Does it involve sharing details of parameters that influence the cost (for eg: time, extent/depth of support, complexity of the organisation etc.) or is a ballpark figure expected? Will the cost be finalised during the scoping exercise for the projects assigned?

Please share a ballpark figure for the different types of engagement (workshop, virtual, in person, 1:1 technical assistance) and detail the parameters that influence the costs.  The cost will be finalized during the scoping exercise for the projects assigned.

Will there be a process or opportunity to scope and understand specific requirements of these organisations? How much will be standardised and how much bespoke?

As specific requests are received from the partners, there will be opportunity to scope and understand specific requirements of the organization making the request.

What is the format in which proposal is expected? – word document, power point?

A word document is preferred.  If you have a standard PowerPoint presentation you use for client presentation, feel free to attach.

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