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Request for Quotation

RFQ # 1801-004

Communication and Outreach Services Specialist

USAID Government Accountability Initiative 

The Government Accountability Initiative (GAI), implemented by Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc. (Checchi) is a four-year United States Agency for International Development-funded project with the overall objective to strengthen the capacities and connections of key Serbian stakeholders resulting in increased government accountability at the national and local levels. The project is structured around three components: Local Government Accountability, Independent Oversight Institutions, and Adjudication of Corruption Cases. GAI counterparts include the State Audit Institution (SAI), the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), local governments, specialized anti-corruption courts, and public prosecutors’ offices.

Contract Type

It is Checchi’s intention to award a Firm Fixed Price/Level of Effort (FFP/LOE) type subcontract for this work. Under a FFP/LOE subcontract, the Subcontractor is responsible for providing specified deliverables using an agreed to level of effort, by a stated completion date, and for a fixed price.

Subcontractor shall provide all materials, labor, equipment and facilities and shall do all that is necessary for the satisfactory and timely performance of the Statement of Work as set forth below.

Statement of Work

Background

State Audit Institution (SAI) is a supreme state authority for auditing public finances in the Republic of Serbia. SAI is an independent institution and subject to supervision by the National Assembly to which it accounts for its work. SAI provides the National Assembly, citizens and other stakeholders at all levels of government with reasonable assurance on how public funds are managed and used, and contributes to improvement of financial management, as well as accountability, transparency and integrity of public officers.

GAI recently completed trainings on leadership and change management and performance auditing, advanced audit methodologies, annual audit planning and selection processes for the SAI council, and State Supreme Auditors who lead SAI’s Audit Sectors. GAI also completed trainings to support SAI’s development the framework for a five-year Strategic Plan, including strategic goals, objectives and performance measures that will guide SAI’s selection of financial, compliance and performance audits. GAI continued its technical assistance to support SAI’s development of an annual audit plan including identification of performance, compliance and financial audits for 2019.

SAI requested GAI assistance to improve communication with relevant stakeholders (executive, legislative and adjudicative bodies, academia, media, civil society organizations, etc.) through development of a strategic communication plan and guidelines to support messaging of its new directions and expansion of the performance audit approach to government oversight. The plan should enable SAI to establish a solid ground for mutual trust with the public and external stakeholders, encompass campaign or event planning to support implementation of its Strategic Plan, identify targeted media outlets and platforms, and support development of key messages and message delivery strategies. GAI’s objective is to provide SAI technical assistance designed to increase the likelihood that SAI reporting and delivery of audit report messages reach and resonate with targeted audiences, elevate the likelihood of audited agencies’ responsiveness to its report recommendations, and afford the potential for leveraging external audiences influence on government accountability. The strategic communications plan should reflect consistency with SAI’s mandate, international audit institution standards, and the vision of SAI’s leadership.

The main purpose of this contract is to provide technical assistance to SAI to enhance communication, public relations, and presentation skills positioning SAI as an independent oversight institution to affect good governance in Serbia. The message delivery is a fundamental part of the communication of every SAI and is the cornerstone of a long-lasting, consistent and successful communication plans and strategies. Tactical communication not only supplements the efforts of the public audit institution, but often makes the difference between success and failure in reaching its overall goals for improvement of the accountability system.

Tasks and Methodology

The target participants will be the SAI leadership, senior and mid-level officials from all SAI audit sectors and relevant support services. Tasks will be conducted in consideration of SAI inputs. The technical assistance should include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Assess SAI current communications and outreach policies, procedures and relevant practices, which should include SWOT analysis, detailed stakeholder analysis and identification of current and potential target audiences;
  • Identify specific strategies to raise awareness of government institutions, civil society organizations, citizens and media about SAI’s mandate, audit products, initiatives and partners;
  • Develop outreach plans for message delivery, including guidelines for conducting short-term and longer-term communications campaigns customized to local, regional, and state-wide audiences and reach;
  • Develop sample outreach written products, such as leaflets, brochures, flyers targeted to particular audiences (media, citizens, civil society organizations, etc.);
  • Develop outlines and guidelines for press releases, story pitches, radio and other media-related content distribution;
  • Create individualized media lists for each kind of campaign and press release including, but not limited to television, radio, newspapers, online blogs, trade journals, social media pages and groups, and other relevant outlets;
  • Assess possibilities for social media campaign development, identify partners and outlets, if applicable;
  • Conduct two testing outreach campaigns (one to two weeks) towards targeted audiences, including drafting and overseeing design and printing out of two outreach outlets (GAI will separately procure design and printing services);
  • Produce a methodology and compile analytical framework for SAI to establish a follow-up system on all media placement and measures of success of each outreach activity.

Deliverables

  • Assessment of SAI’s existing communications and outreach policies and practices, including a SWOT analysis, identification of current and potential stakeholders and target audiences
  • Proposed methodology to produce a Comprehensive Strategic Communications Plan and Operational Guidelines, including all requested tasks and outputs
  • Draft of a Comprehensive Strategic Communications Plan and Operational Guidelines, including strategies to raise awareness of SAI among targeted audiences, outreach plans for message delivery including campaigns, sample outreach products, guidelines for producing press releases and other content for media distribution, media lists customized by product and audience type, and recommendations for social media campaign development.
  • Drafting and supporting design and printing of two outreach written products (such as leaflets, brochures, flyers targeted to particular audiences, and associated design content for website and messaging on social media platforms consistent with SAI adopted Communications Plan.
  • Development and implementation of two outreach campaigns
  • Final Report including: a) recommendations for follow-up actions based on prior assessment, main findings of the Strategic Communications Plan and conducted outreach campaigns; and b) final Comprehensive Strategic Communications Plan and Operational Guidelines as annexes.
  • All deliverables must be submitted both in English and Serbian Language.

Period of Award

The work must be completed by July 10th.

GAI anticipates awarding one Subcontract under this Request for Quotations in USD (US Dollars), payable in RSD (Serbian dinars), in funding to be paid upon successful completion and acceptance of all deliverables submitted and accepted by GAI over 6-month period. The price of the Subcontract to be awarded will be an all-inclusive fixed price. No profit, fees, taxes, or additional costs can be added after award. Under a Subcontract the payment will be a fixed-sum, payable upon completion of all deliverables. Deliverable dates and payment amount will be defined in detail during negotiations.

Qualifications

Offerors must have:

  • Proven track record providing communications and outreach services to public institutions;
  • At least ten years of experience in media and communications sector;
  • Proven organizational capacity to manage donor-funded projects that include technical assistance in the area of communications and public relations;
  • Proven track record in implementing projects relating to development of communication strategies, plans, outreach campaigns, media outlets;
  • At least five successfully implemented outreach and communication campaigns in the public sector;
  • At least seven years of experience in communication, coordination and cooperation with public institutions.

Evaluation Criteria

Quotations will be evaluated on the following criteria in order of importance:

  • Qualifications for the technical assignment. Finalists may be interviewed and interview results will be considered in evaluation.
  • Successful completion of similar assignments and overall past performance.
  • Total cost for labor, including other direct costs.

Instructions to Offerors

Offerors must:

  • Agree to the completion date and supply a schedule for each deliverable in calendar days after subcontract award in the Schedule for Deliverables Section.
  • Complete the LOE chart by deliverable.
  • Submit a one-page description of the offeror’s directly relevant experience, a curriculum vitae, three references, and the completed Form 1420 of the individual(s) who will provide the LOE.
  • Complete a budget using the budget template attached. Any airfares should be for the lowest cost economy direct flight available. Offerors who reside outside Serbia must supply proof that they have acquired valid medical evacuation and DBA insurance.

Deadline for applications: 22.01.2019.

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