1.0. Synopsis of the Request for Proposal

Solicitation Reference No. AGRA/RFP/ 01/2020  
Title of Solicitation Seeking an implementation partner for the Agriculture Transformation Leadership Initiative  
Issuing Office & Address Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Website:
Point of contact for clarifications, questions and ammendments AGRA General Procurement,
Email Address for submission of Proposals/ Quotes AGRA General Procurement,
Solicitation Issue Date April 10th, 2020
Deadline for submission questions and clarifications April 17th, 2020 12:00PM, East African Time.
Deadline for answering questions and clarifications April 24th, 2020 Local, East African Time.  
Deadline for Submission of Proposals May 4th, 2020 12:00AM, East African Time. Please include the subject line “AGRA/RFP/ 01/2020/ Leadership Initiative Implementation Partner submission” on the email
Issuance of Award Letter May 25th, 2020
Commencement of project June 9th, 2020
Anticipated Award Type Joint Venture
Submission and Evaluation Criteria Bidder must provide the below listed information in the submitted proposal: Mandatory Eligibility Requirement: Must be a registered, accredited African leadership training firm/ organisationCertificate of Incorporation/RegistrationValid tax compliance certificatesAn understanding of the consultancy requirementsEvidence of sector specific training to senior level leadershipMethodology and work-plan for performing the assignment delivery plan   Evaluation Criteria summary: Experience in similar assignments and organizational capacity – 40%Proposed methodology and work plan for carrying out the assignment – 30%Key personnel -30%   Weightage Technical Proposal will be weighted 100%   NB. Technical and Financial proposals will need to be submitted as separate documents. Financial proposals will only be considered after the conclusion of the technical evaluation and then only for those proposals that are deemed qualified and responsive.  

Terms of Reference – Annex A

2. Background

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, AGRA, seeks proposals from shortlisted prospective partners to implement the Agriculture Transformation Leadership Initiative (henceforth referred to as “The Leadership Initiative” which is under development. This will include co-designing the initiative with AGRA and the development partner and overseeing curriculum design and the implementation of leadership training over the course of three years.

This Request for Proposals (RFP) provides background on The Leadership Initiative concept and the foreseen role and requirements of the implementation partner as well as the specific details on the proposal process in terms of document requirements, timelines, assessment criteria, and other guidance to applicants.

AGRA is employing a targeted RFP process based on the desire to approach identified leadership training partners that have a strong track record of building the capacity of senior leadership in the public and private sectors across Africa. Prospective partners are also aligned with AGRA’s work of driving an agriculture transformation in Africa by supporting leadership and are widely viewed as aligning with the requirements of tailoring and delivering a world class curriculum suitable to equip agriculture sector leaders with the desired capabilities to drive agriculture transformation projects in their home countries.

AGRA will assess all proposals received in alignment with the application criteria below and seeks to make a final decision about the winning proposal by Friday May 25th, 2020 in order to commence the implementation work with the selected partner on Monday, June 9th, 2020.

3. Objective of the assignment

The Leadership Initiative is seen as critical to delivery of Agriculture transformation in Africa by AGRA and its partners. As such, it is also an advancement in the alliance-building between AGRA its development partners to actualize this shared vision focused on structural transformation of agriculture in Africa. AGRA’s State Capability work across Africa has shown an urgent need to support the leadership in the Agriculture sector to deliver on country transformation initiatives.

3.1. Overview of the Leadership Initiative

To define and drive this transformation agenda, a new and larger set of transformative leaders is required. Over the course of three years (2021-2023), the Initiative will enable two inclusive cohorts totaling approximately 150 leaders from the public and private sectors from six to eight countries in East and West Africa to go through a two-year applied leadership transformation journey where they access technical knowledge and participate in peer-learning and hands-on knowledge exchange in key areas of planning, strategy and execution, all while they are applying what they are learning in real-time on-the-job activities. The Leadership Initiative is therefore being designed to enable leaders to better drive and deliver on their priorities, and to prepare the next generation of public and private sector leaders to meet the succession challenge in Agriculture. Over the first three years, the Initiative will thereby expect to: (i) enhance the capacities of at least 150 leaders, (ii) advance flagship programs and policies in six to eight countries to achieve progress in their agricultural transformation, and (iii) generate lessons in leadership capacity development for Africa’s agricultural transformation that will help refine the Initiative to increase its strength, impact, and sustainability. In 3-5 years, AGRA sees the need for this Initiative to ultimately evolve into a long-term program for the continent and transition into an institutional home where it can be a larger business line accessed by even more partners and more countries for amplified impact.

A two-track cohort is envisioned for the Leadership Initiative which includes an Executive track which will cater to top level government leadership that is embedded in key national institutions over the mid-to-long term such as permanent secretaries, directors and department heads, as well as leaders from non-state institutions that are of similar seniority and play key roles in delivering on transformation priorities. Secondly, a Pace-setters track will include people in technical leadership/delivery positions such as institutional directors, deputies, and program managers who are standing out within the landscape in terms of significantly delivering on top priority transformation programs. This track will also identify high performing emerging leaders who are taking up or being groomed for leadership in agriculture and have exhibited the potential to drive change even if they are earlier in their careers. In addition to these two tracks, the leadership initiative will also establish an approach to engage with a set of ‘Transformation Champions’ (e.g., private sector magnates) that are critical to agricultural transformation in focus countries and across the continent, but that often have more limited time to commit outside their current roles. Some leaders in this cadre will be individuals to be engaged in their own right for leadership development, and the Initiative will look for targeted opportunities to do this, such as through customized engagement at African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF). These champions will not participate in the detailed leadership training but will shape and inform the network of leadership for agriculture transformation.

In order to appropriately design and position this Initiative, AGRA carried out a landscaping of leadership capacity building initiatives in Africa to develop an overall understanding of the work of existing actors in this crowded space to ensure complementarity, and to establish the niche and value addition of the proposed leadership initiative. Four criteria were used for the exercise: leadership initiatives that are Africa-based, those that have a pan-African, transformation-focused mandate, and that have a high-level mandate or significant political backing. The landscaping exercise considered 32  relevant leadership capability building initiatives and categorized them into twelve thematic areas: Public sector-anchored sectoral leadership initiatives; Multi-sectoral vision setting/strategic leadership initiatives; Sub-sector specific programs; Embedded technical assistance models; Those with an African business and entrepreneurship focus; Women-centered African leadership programs; Development partner- driven capacity building programs; University-affiliated African executive leadership programs; Cross-continental leadership in Agriculture programs and National Public Service Training Institutes. With lessons from this exercise, as well as from a range of consultations the niche for the Leadership Initiative was established around a few guiding principles for design:

  • A singular focus on agriculture transformation from an African perspective. This gap is evident in that the profiled leadership initiatives are narrowly focused on aspects such as nutrition, climate change or public administration or much more generally aligned with executive business and management training. The initiative will seek to consolidate home-grown African solutions in agriculture to leadership challenges facing the sector and scale these over time
  • The dual-track cohort: comprised of the executive and pace-setter tracks and the ‘Transformation Champions’
  • African-based, African managed and stewarded in partnership with AGRA
  • Focus on networking and peer-to-peer learning: This is one of the most effective ways of ensuring sustainability, positive behavioural change, mutual accountability and support past the duration of the program. AGRA convenes the flagship African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) which is Africa’s premier platform for Agriculture. This forum will provide unique exposure and engagement for the participants and be a formative part of the development of their networks.
  • Applied learning: Establishing clear avenues within their current work in which to apply the learning is critical to the value of the training for the participant.
  • Continuous learning: Ensuring that participants are facilitated to apply what they are learning in real time. This is being explored through provision of on-the-job coaching and through digital learning through provision of online modules.
  • Demand-drivenness: The Initiative would be moulded around and directly in response to the needs of the cohort based rather than on pre-existing curricula.
  • Comparatively longer-term focus: The average leadership program lasts six to eight months, however the Leadership Initiative is a two-year leadership journey.
  • Rooted at home and giving back: Many leadership programs pull the participants out of their environment for an “immersive” academic experience such as in a foreign campus, which is also intended to build camaraderie within the cohort. This initiative prefers to equip and support leaders as they are embedded in their home environments to deliver on their missions in agriculture transformation.

The Leadership Initiative is structured around two main platforms for leadership development to be delivered through an implementing partner:

Platform 1. “Giving Back through Learning on the Job”: Delivery of key aspects of an agriculture transformation priority.  Individual leaders within country cohorts will be expected to articulate their ongoing agriculture transformation initiatives and their role in its delivery. They will also be required, with support from a trainer or coach, to articulate a road map for delivery of targeted aspects of the transformation initiatives they are engaged in, mapping out support and resources required for the task as well as delivery milestones. An important aspect built into this on-the-job learning is accountability for delivering on milestones in their work. This will be operationalized through leadership project check-ins with the executive coach or mentor assigned to each group, strategy review against an articulated roadmap, and milestones awards which support, incentivize and recognize performance.

Platform 2. Leadership skills development. Program content will be tailor-made to meet the specific development and networking needs of the two tracks. It will also be purposefully co-designed with identified representatives from the target tracks to ensure it is demand-driven and speaks directly to what they need. This leadership skills platform of the Initiative will be delivered through:

  • Bi-annual themed leadership forums (four in total over two years). This includes on the job coaching and development of action plan and outlining milestones for delivery.
  • Field trips or learning trips to selected government agencies spearheading agriculture transformation
  • Continuous learning through on-the-job coaching to support leaders with targeted support on discrete challenges faced in the course of executing a project in country
  • As part of continuous learning and networking, a digital learning component consisting of webinars and online courses is also under consideration. The suitability of this method needs to be ascertained for its effectiveness when working with senior leaders in the public sector.

The proposed technical content of the training includes modules which are considered to be ‘Game-changers’ in agriculture such as mechanization, harnessing digital technologies, partnerships development, agriculture policy reform, climate change adaptation and resilience, market development with a focus on regional trade opportunities, and agricultural infrastructure. The management skills training includes practical skills such as project and financial management, policy research communication, contract management, partnership development, managing organizational change and advocacy. Soft skills include negotiation skills, inter-cultural management, conflict resolution, public speaking, and writing concisely and persuasively.

3.2. Rationale for seeking an Implementation Partner

Partnerships are a critical component of the leadership initiative’s success. They bring together AGRA’s existing technical strengths and in-country knowledge of agriculture transformation, in alignment with government needs and interests in leadership capacity building. In doing so, The Initiative plugs into AGRA’s ongoing work in supporting the development of national capacity to deliver on government priorities in Agriculture spearheaded by the Policy and State Capability Team. In the process of developing the leadership initiative concept, AGRA conducted a landscaping exercise and mapped out 32 existing leadership initiatives touching on public sector development. This exercise was useful for carving out the niche for this leadership initiative and it also underscored the importance of building partnerships with relevant actors across the space in order to compound value for leaders spearheading Agriculture transformation. Finding a suitable implementation partner is a strategic move towards structuring further consultation and building the necessary alliances.

While AGRA has previous experience in capacity building of leaders in the agriculture sector e.g., through provision of funding for PhD and Masters level programs in agronomy, seed breeding etc., and in developing pan African networks focused on transforming Agriculture systems, the delivery of leadership training lies outside of AGRA’s core areas of operation. An implementation partner with defined capabilities including accreditation in leadership training, curriculum development and management would therefore complement AGRA’s strengths to shape a pre-eminent leadership forum to support agriculture transformation. Secondly, there is also a need to ramp up the preparatory phase of the Leadership Initiative to align with the second half of AGRA’s strategy 2017-2021 and bringing on board an implementation partner with a proven track record of pan African leadership training would help to meet these timelines. Lastly, a partnerships approach is an integral part of AGRA’s model as an alliance which builds on existing relationships and recognizes the work done by existing leadership initiatives on the continent. Working with an implementation partner is strategic in helping AGRA to crowd other partners around enhancing the capacity of African leaders to deliver in Agriculture.

AGRA therefore wishes to contract a qualified implementation partner to implement leadership training to executive leadership from the public and private sectors in Agriculture selectively recruited from 6-8 of AGRA’s focus anglo-phone countries. This assignment is for a period of three years and the partner shall report to AGRA’s Executive Committee.

4.0. Opportunities for the implementation partner

The following opportunities would be available to the selected implementation partner in working with AGRA to design, launch and run the Leadership Initiative:

  1. An opportunity to co-design a truly unique, hands-on leadership journey focused on two carefully selected tracks of top-level leadership in Agriculture. The cohort’s spheres of influence have the potential to amplify the impact of the training provided and offer high chances of delivering impact. Furthermore, and based on the landscaping study conducted in the course of developing the initial concept, this Leadership Initiative would be unique in providing an African designed-and-led leadership journey singularly focused on pan-African peer learning on country agriculture transformation initiatives.
  2. Expansion of scope of work reaching across AGRA’s fourteen focus countries. The Leadership Initiative will focus on recruiting the cohort from a sub-set of six to eight of AGRA’s anglophone countries. A preliminary shortlist of those countries includes Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana and Nigeria. This focus will contribute to expanding and deepening the implementation partner’s footprint in country.
  3. Exposure to AGRA’s expertise and body of knowledge in Policy and State Capability on working with countries to support delivery of Agriculture transformation initiatives. In carrying out a needs analysis of the prospective cohort to establish demand for specific content in the curriculum, the implementation partner will have the chance to interact with the expertise on effective and scalable models for transforming agriculture found within AGRA and in AGRA’s network of partners.
  4. Incorporation into ‘the alliance’ of transformation agents in African agriculture through joining AGRA’s networks. The implementation partner will have the opportunity of interacting with a wide range of stakeholders and decision makers from the agriculture sector in Africa and gain a unique understanding of the specific needs and challenges facing leaders therein.

5.0. Scope of Work

The implementation partner will provide support in overall program design, cohort recruitment, curriculum development and delivery of training. The partner will be expected to:

  • Co-design the program with AGRA and the development partner which will entail joint proposal development and take on the lead role on implementation of the leadership initiative including cohort recruitment
  • Oversee curriculum design which will entail carrying out a needs assessment to ascertain demand for specific content, tailoring content, materials and tools, incorporating case studies, south-to-south lessons and best practice on agriculture transformation from the continent and other relevant countries in the global south.
  • Deliver accredited leadership training using blended learning techniques to the cohort and handle associated administrative and logistical tasks

The detailed activities and expected deliverables are as follows:

Activities Deliverables
Co-development of leadership initiative design through proposal development with AGRA   A co-designed proposal by August 2020
Carrying out a curriculum needs assessment of prospective participants   Demand-driven and consultative leadership curriculum
Liaising with technical staff across AGRA’s networks for content development
Putting together a relevant, outcome focused, hands-on two-year curriculum for leadership training with clear measurement of return on investment  
Design of appropriate reference materials and tools for the leadership training   Training materials for use/reference by participants
Development and execution of a cohort recruitment plan across selected countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana and Nigeria)     Cohort recruitment plan spanning at least six of AGRA’s anglophone countries
Delivery of training at bi-annual leadership forums   Evaluations of completed training at the two annual leadership forums
Management of two continental field trips to agriculture transformation institutions   Evaluations of two completed annual field trips
Provision of continuous coaching/on-the-job support to leadership participants in-country   Feedback forms on quality of on-the-job coaching from participants
Administrative and logistical management of participants’ accommodation and travel   Three-year work plan covering administrative and logistical plan for each cohort of 75 participants
Provide training reports post training   Training reports
Collect and analyze feedback on quality of the leadership journey from each cohort Two feedback analyses reports (one for each cohort)

5.1.  Evaluation Factors and Sub factors

The Proposals for this request will be evaluated by AGRA according to the following criteria:

Experience and organizational criteria  (40 %)

The bidder shall present three organizational reference letters which speak to the following competencies:

  1. Years of experience in delivering tailored training to senior leadership;
  2. Track record of success in rolling out similar sector-focused leadership initiatives;
  3. Reputation or standing through accreditation;
  4. Experience and capacity to work with large cohorts;
  5. Track record of collaboration with other partners;
  6. Experience in AGRA’s focus anglophone countries preferably Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana and Nigeria;
  7. Alignment of vision with AGRA;
  8. Ability to co-invest with AGRA to secure development partner funding

Methodology and approach criteria (30%)

  1. Strong familiarity with scope of work
  2. Breadth of language use and field experience;
  3. Sustainability and scalability of business model;
  4. Creativity/ flexibility in curriculum development and training;
  5. Adaptability of program to meet needs of a two-track cohort
  6. Work plan and budget

Key Personnel criteria (30%)

The bidder shall present two team leaders and at least five additional key personnel that will carry out the assignment. The team should demonstrate the following:

  • Have relevant qualifications in curriculum development and training and demonstrate experience in carrying out similar assignments.
  • Demonstrate ability to work in English (and preferably in French.)
  • Ability and capacity to work with large cohorts for training
  • Experience with large projects collaborating with other partners in leadership training
  1. CVs and profiles of at least two key curriculum developers
  2. CVs and profiles of at least three key trainers
  3. CVs and profiles of two members of management

Preferred additional evaluation factors

  1. Specific experience in the Agriculture sector
  2. Physical facilities catering to leadership training in Kenya and/or Rwanda
  3. Digital / online module development expertise
  4. Capabilities to design curriculum and deliver training in French

5.2. Full proposal requirements and deliverables

The full proposal should contain three components:

  1. A Summary Proposal Document not exceeding 10 pages in Microsoft Word (single- space, 12-point font) responding to the areas denoted above in section 5.1. above and should be accompanied by associated accreditation and any desired annexes including case studies of sector specific work done training high level public officials and examples of curricula developed in this regard
  • A Summary Financial proposal which will include a budget (in Euros) of the costs of consultative curriculum development for 150 participants over 2 years, delivery of training keeping in mind the two leadership platforms proposed (2 annual leadership forums, 2 field trips to transformation agencies, on-the-job coaching and any supportive tools); administrative and logistical costs
  • A Summary Proposal Presentation not exceeding 15 slides in Microsoft PowerPoint to convey the key elements of the proposal to AGRA

Technical and Financial proposals will need to be submitted as separate documents. Financial proposals will only be considered after the conclusion of the technical evaluation and then only for those proposals that are deemed qualified and responsive.

Supplemental annexes are welcomed to strengthen and substantiate a Proposal package, particularly in details related to financial information, but these should not exceed 10 pages.

6.0. Proposal Submission

6.1. Submission Requirements

  1. Limit submission to the deliverables specified in section 5.2. Materials exceeding this package will not be able to be reviewed.
  2. Technical and Financial proposals shall be submitted as separate documents.
  3. Financial proposal MUST be password protected.
  4. Financial proposals will not be opened until the conclusion of the technical evaluation. Passwords shall be requested for only those proposals that are deemed technically qualified and responsive.
  5. All bidders must use “Leadership Initiative Implementation Partner submission” as their email subject line
  6. The email to be delivered should not exceed 10MB.
  7. Submitted proposal must be written in English using Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. PDF files are only accepted for signed documents

Completed proposals including all the requirements and details specified should be submitted to by Monday May 4th, 2020 at 10.00am.


Technical proposal:

Interested and qualified consultants are invited to submit their proposal(s) comprising of the following:

Financial proposal:

The financial proposal must be supported with a breakdown analysis and will provide the following information, but is not limited to:

  1. Professional fees chargeable
  2. Breakdown of the fees and disbursements
  3. Prices must be quoted in Euros
  4. All applicable taxes (VAT and withholding taxes) should be included. If the financial proposal is silent on taxes, AGRA shall assume that these are inclusive;
  5. Financial proposal shall be sent as a separate attachment and MUST be password protected.

6.2. Questions/Clarifications

AGRA is available to answer questions to be sent by applicants between April 14th– 17th 2020. All requests for clarifications should be sent to  AGRA will thereafter schedule a pre-bid conference with bidders to answer all questions by April 24th, 2020.

7.0. Explanation of timelines

Completed proposals are expected to be submitted by bidders by Monday May 4th, 2020. AGRA will evaluate the proposals according to the criteria discussed in section 5.0 and revert back to the winning bidder by 25th May, 2020.

Download – Response to Questions from Prospective Firms Before & During Pre-bid Conference

Once the implementation partner is selected and commences by 9th June, 2020, AGRA and the partner will hold meetings over one week through to mid-June 2020 to jointly design the curriculum and inform the proposal. Thereafter, the implementation partner will be required to conduct a preliminary training needs analysis of a segment of the proposed cohort to inform and ground the curriculum content.  A review of the proposed structure and content of the curriculum will be presented by the implementation partner to AGRA in early July, 2020 for integration into the proposal. AGRA and the implementation partner will then finalize the proposal and submit to the development partner for review by end of August, 2020. Once the proposal is submitted and approved, the curriculum developers will then be expected to fully develop the content and training materials, iterating through December 2020.

8.0. Disclaimer

AGRA reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, number of short-listed participants, the right to withdraw from the proposal process, the right to change this timetable at any time without notice and reserves the right to withdraw this tender at any time, without prior notice and without liability to compensate and/or reimburse any party.

Selection of an implementation partner does not guarantee the release of funds by the development partner. The dedicated engagement of the implementation partner in co-designing the initiative  is critical in developing a successful proposal to this end.