There are different approaches to advertising the evaluation ToR / RFP. These are typically based on the organization’s specific procurement procedures and often linked to the cost of the work.
Sources for prospective bidders include: other agencies that have used external evaluators, local universities, research institutes, consulting firms, professional evaluation associations.
For an open call (i.e., one that seeks competitive bids), advertising can be done in local newspapers, through online professional networks or listserves, agency newsletters etc. Build in as much time as possible between the posting and the deadline for submissions to maximize the response.
If there is sufficient time, a two-step process may be considered. Firstly, an Expression of Interest (EoI) is solicited which often only includes requests to submit a letter of intent and CVs. Subsequently, a full proposal is requested from those selected on the basis of the EoI. The first step helps to narrow down the pool of prospective candidates for the second step to those most likely to match the requirements and, thus, reduces the amount of work in reviewing full proposals. However, many organizations use EoIs in different ways and for different reasons.
For a closed call, advertising is targeted at a limited number of consultants or organizations / institutions pre-selected in a certain manner, often for their particular expertise needed for the evaluation but also as a means to simplify the bidding process when a need to contract out services arises.
Prospective bidders are encouraged to ask questions about the ToR / RFP to clarify requirements. There are usually specific rules about how this process is managed including time frames for questions and whether and how answers are shared.
- Call for Expression of Interest (EoI)
- Terms of Reference (ToR) or Request for Proposal (RFP)
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+ - 2. Scope the evaluation
- Clarify what will be evaluated
- Describe the theory of change
- Identify who are the primary intended users of the evaluation and what will they use it for
- Develop agreed key evaluation questions
- Decide the timing of the evaluation
- Decide whether the evaluation will be done by an external team, an internal team or a hybrid of both
- Determine the evaluator qualities
- Identify what resources are available for the evaluation and what will be needed