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RFP No. TAF-PRCC-FEB-2015-007
RFP No. TAF-PRCC-FEB-2015-007
The Asia Foundation - Afghanistan
Program Office: PRCC-MoFA Project
Funding Opportunity: A study paper on Economic Aspects of the Heart of Asia –Istanbul
Process and the role and potential of Afghanistan in strengthening economic cooperation in
the region.
Announcement Type: Public Procurement
Funding Opportunity Number:
Deadline for Applications: 15 February 2015 via email at ([email protected] &
[email protected])
For further queries regarding the project please contact [email protected] ; And
for all administrative queries please contact [email protected] or
[email protected] . No personal visits or telephone calls shall be entertained.
The Asia Foundation
House # 861, Street # 1
Shirpour, District-10, (Sub Street of Shirpour Project)
Kabul, Afghanistan.
The Foundation will not be responsible for proposals left at the main gate, reception, guard offices,
or handed over to any Foundation employee other than the procurement unit staff.
Documents / Content to be included in the RFP
Please explain if “No” has been checked.
Technical Proposal
CVs of Key Staff and Core Personnel
Summary Table of Similar Projects
Letters of Recommendation
Implementation Plan
Risk Assessment Plan
Budget and Budget Narrative
Gender Equity Policy
Copies of Annual Audit Reports (last two
Maximum Two References
Not Required
Not Required
Bidder’s Declaration
Not Required
Not Required.
RFP No. TAF-PRCC-FEB-2015-007
BACKGROUND SUMMARY............................................................................................................. 3
III. GENDER ............................................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
IV. BUDGET GUIDELINES: .................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMISSION OF PROPOSAL: ................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
VI. TIMEFRAME ....................................................................................................................................... 7
VII. EVALUATION CRITERIA ................................................................................................................. 8
VIII. TYPE OF AWARD INSTRUMENT ................................................................................................... 8
IX. OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS ................................................................................................ 8
RFP No. TAF-PRCC-FEB-2015-007
The Asia Foundation (the Foundation) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed
to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region. Drawing on 60
years of experience, the Foundation supports initiatives to improve governance, law, and civil
society; women's empowerment; economic reform and development; sustainable development and
the environment; and international relations. With a network of 19 offices throughout Asia, an
office in Washington, D.C., and its headquarters in San Francisco, the Foundation addresses these
issues on both a country and regional level. In Afghanistan, the Foundation supports five primary
themes: Governance, Women's Empowerment, Education, Islam and Development, and the
Annual Survey of the Afghan People.
The Asia Foundation - Afghanistan is working with the Regional Cooperation Directorate (RCD)
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
to develop the capacity of the RCD to lead the country's efforts in promoting regional cooperation
under the EU funded 'Promoting Regional Cooperation Capacity in Ministry of Foreign Affairs'
project (PRCC-MoFA).
The Regional Cooperation Directorate (RCD) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic
Republic of Afghanistan is established to promote regionalism in the Afghan foreign policy and
lead/coordinate/facilitate regional initiatives, processes and organizations to which Afghanistan is
a party. It manages the work of all regional processes and organizations as well all tri-lateral,
quadrilateral and multi-lateral relations of Afghanistan in the surrounding region and beyond.
The RCD serves as de facto secretariat for the HoA-Istanbul process. As such, it is an important
administrative and policy unit within the ministry dealing with the HoA-Istanbul process and its
overall administration, development and strategic directions.
About the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process
The Heart of Asia-Istanbul process was launched in November 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. The
Istanbul Process provides a new agenda for regional cooperation in the ‘Heart of Asia’ by placing
Afghanistan at its center and engaging the ‘Heart of Asia’ countries in sincere and result‐oriented
cooperation for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, as well as a secure and prosperous region as a
The participating countries in the Istanbul process have agreed on the following three elements for
the follow-up to the Istanbul Process:
RFP No. TAF-PRCC-FEB-2015-007
A) Political consultation involving Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbors;
B) A sustained incremental approach to implementation of the Confidence Building Measures
(CBMs) identified in the Istanbul Process document; and
C) Seeking to contribute and bring greater coherence to the work of various regional processes and
organizations, particularly as they relate to Afghanistan.
Recognizing the need for strengthening trust and cooperation in the region, and thus contributing
to the stability and prosperity of Afghanistan and its surrounding region, the countries participating
in the Heart of Asia process take part in a process of continuous and effective dialogue between
Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbors concerning all issues of common interest and
importance for Afghanistan and the region as a whole.
All participating countries and international and regional organizations anticipate that confidence
building measures identified in the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process document contribute to the
building of trust and confidence among countries in the region.
Amongst the six CBMs, ‘Trade, Commerce and Investment’ opportunities CBM of the Heart of
Asia-Istanbul process provides an excellent opportunity to support business development in
Afghanistan and the strengthening of commercial ties between Afghanistan and countries of the
Heart of Asia region. Likewise, ‘Regional Infrastructure’ CBM aims to develop a coherent strategy
to develop and maintain a regionally connecting infrastructure with support from international
partners. These initiatives are important parts of the long-term development of Afghanistan.
The Istanbul Process emphasizes on the important role of existing regional organizations, and
intends to support and strengthen their efforts in promoting economic cooperation and integration
in the region, improved security, and greater people-to-people relations. The Istanbul Process is
not intended to substitute the existing efforts of regional organizations, but to cooperate with them,
and complement their work where necessary.
Economic Cooperation Study Paper
The Asia Foundation in collaboration with Regional Cooperation Directorate of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan aims to commission a study paper on economic
cooperation in the Heart of Asia region, including its regional dimensions. Economic cooperation
in the region aims to establish an economically vibrant and interconnected region in which
Afghanistan is a full partner in order to facilitate the flow of goods, energy and people. The study
will be funded by ‘Promoting Regional Cooperation Capacity (PRCC-MoFA)’ project of The Asia
RFP No. TAF-PRCC-FEB-2015-007
This call for proposal is to invite leading experts and/or practitioners (National and International)
on economic cooperation with interest in the ‘Heart of Asia’ region to submit a proposal for
developing a brief but in-depth study paper that provides comprehensive analysis about economic
aspects of the ‘Heart of Asia’-Istanbul Process and Afghanistan’s potential as a trade and transit
route in the region, as well as an analysis of the incentives and hindrances for regional and global
stakeholders for promoting this vision in the region.
Specifically, the study will cover topics including:
1. An assessment of Afghanistan’s potential as a trade and transit cross road and its impact;
particularly as a transit route for energy.
2. An assessment of possible economic incentives and interests for regional countries for
cooperating in order to achieve number 1.
3. A mapping of current bi-, tri- and multilateral economic cooperation arrangements
including some of the existing proposed regional models like “the silk road belt”; as well
as identifying more effective alternatives to these arrangements/ models and proposals.
4. Identifying and analyzing Afghanistan’s potentials in promoting regional economic growth
and development; and the main challenges that impede stakeholders’ cooperation.
5. Analyze factors and conflicts of interest between countries of the region vis-à-vis
Afghanistan’s regional economic growth and development and its potential as a regional
trade and transit hub.
6. Discussing interests and impediments for transatlantic partners for supporting and
investing in regional cooperation in Heart of Asia region.
7. Analyzing what specific approaches can be designed to improve regional economic
cooperation between Afghanistan and countries of the region.
8. Concluding with recommendations for policy directions, strategies and programs to
promote regional economic cooperation and confidence-building between Afghanistan and
relevant regional countries.
Expected Results or Deliverables:
A research design;
A detailed outline;
A draft 40-45 pages study paper;
A final 40-45 pages study paper after incorporating comments from RCD;
Presentation of the paper in a seminar at the end of the assignment ;
RFP No. TAF-PRCC-FEB-2015-007
Duration & Timelines:
The duration of this assignment is three months, starting early March 2015. The consultant(s) will
report directly to the Director General of the RCD or her designated staff.
Submission of a research design Within 7 working days
Submission of an outline
Within 20 working days after approval of the research
Submission of the first draft
Within 20 working days after approval of the outline
Submission of the final draft
Within 7 working days after receiving comments
Presentation of the paper
A one day event to be organized by RCD and TAF at
the end of assignment
Requirements & Qualifications:
The applicant could be national or international consultant(s) or a research
The applicant must have proven record of publications on regional economic cooperation
in reputable academic journals and/or have provided high level advisory services on
economic cooperation to governments and/or international organizations;
The applicant must be an expert on economic issues of regions falling within the Heart of
Asia region;
The applicant must have excellent English writing and analytical skills;
Proposal preparation:
Submission of a brief research design;
Submission of C.V of the consultant (s) with detailed outline of publications and
experience related to this assignment;
Brief introduction of the institute with emphasis on relevant experience (if an institution
A lump sum financial proposal
Number of proposals and grants per applicant:
Applicants may submit only one proposal for this particular action.
How to apply and procedures to follow:
A separate cover letter including the name, address, and telephone number of the applicant
organization, and signed by the person or persons authorized to represent the agency should
accompany the proposal submission.
RFP No. TAF-PRCC-FEB-2015-007
Financial Proposal and Technical Proposal MUST BE COMPLETELY SEPARATE and each
must be clearly marked as either “TECHNICAL PROPOSAL” or “FINANCIAL PROPOSAL”
when submitted.
Applications must be in English and accompanied by the following documents:
1. Technical proposal (not to exceed 20 pages) - please use 12 point Times New Roman font,
single-spaced, and with appropriate margins;
2. CVs of key staff and core personnel - please limit individual CVs to three pages;
3. A summary table explaining when, where, and how the applicant has undertaken similar
4. Letters of recommendation from previous projects from donors and international
5. Implementation plan showing detailed schedule of activities.
6. Detailed budget along with budget narrative - please use the budget format provided, do not
use your own format;
7. Bidder’s Declaration - potential bidders must disclose any relationships e.g. friends, family,
business etc. with Foundation staff
Applicants are to submit:
The supporting documents requested must be supplied in the form of originals or photocopies.
Where such documents are in a language other than English, a faithful translation into English
must be attached and will be used to evaluate the proposal. All proposals should be signed only
by an authorized representative of the applicant. The deadline for the receipt of applications is
February 15, 2015 over email at ([email protected] and
[email protected] ) only.
Announcement of RFP
Last date for submission of proposal
Evaluation of proposals and identification of agency
Agreement with selected agency
February2, 2015
February 15, 2015
February 16, 2015
Late bids/proposals will not be accepted under any circumstances.
Any proposal received by the Foundation after the deadline for submission of proposals shall be
declared late, rejected, and returned unopened to the proposer. Any correction or resubmission
done by the proposer will not extend the submittal due date. Once submitted, proposals cannot be
altered without the prior written consent of the Foundation’s proposal review committee.
All short-listed bidders will be informed following the selection process their status with regard to
selection and shortlisting.
RFP No. TAF-PRCC-FEB-2015-007
The consultant or research institute with highest score will be selected for this assignment.
Relevant Publication
Provision of high level regional economic advisory services
Research Design
Financial Proposal
How proposals will be evaluated and selected:
All applications/proposals will be examined and evaluated by a committee constituted by the
contracting authority comprising of members from the relevant program team, PMO (Program
Management Office) and Grants, who will evaluate proposals from both a technical and financial
standpoint. Applications/proposals submitted by applicants will be assessed according to the
following criteria:
The Foundation will issue a Service Agreement to the selected agency, which will be as per the
Foundation’s internal policies and will be governed by the Foundation’s Rules, Regulations and
Guidelines. Payments to the NGO will be made as per the payment schedule, which will be
negotiable and finalized while signing the agreement.
The Foundation’s project-specific marking and branding regulations may apply to all deliverables
produced from this assignment. The Foundation is not bound to select any of the agencies
submitting proposals. As quality is the principal selection criterion, the Foundation also does not
bind itself in any way to select the agency offering the lowest price. The cost for preparing a
proposal and of negotiating an award including visits to the Foundation’s office, is not
reimbursable as a direct cost of the assignment. Both for-profit and not–for-profit agencies may
apply for this RFP, interested not-for-profit agencies should provide a copy of their registration
certificate as a not-for-profit agency.
Important Note:
The Foundation encourages proposals from both new implementing partners (IPs) and those with
existing projects, but partners currently implementing two projects with the Foundation will be
RFP No. TAF-PRCC-FEB-2015-007
considered only if their current project completion date precedes the starting date specified in the
current RFP.
Finally, this RFP does not obligate the Foundation to award a contract nor does it commit the
Foundation to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of a proposal. The award
of a contract under this RFP is subject to availability of funds and other internal Foundation
1- Budget format
2- CV template
The Asia Foundation shall deduct the applicable tax (currently 2%) on any contract as required by
Afghan Law and will make the direct deposit to the Da Afghanistan Bank if supplier/individuals
cannot provide the registration certificate or the registered certificate are against to their business.
If still awarded for the contract in this case (7% tax) will be deducted from the total amount of
contract and will be deposit to the Da Afghanistan Bank.