Request for Proposals: Gender Consultant

Gender Consultant Request for Proposals (RFP)

This proposal was originally published on The Clean Cooking Alliance website.


The United Nations Foundation’s (UNF) Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) is accepting proposals to support their Gender-Smart Advisory Support (GSAS) focused on clean cooking company interventions. The initial scope of work will include engagement with 3-4 clean cooking companies to understand gaps in their gender mainstreaming efforts and provide tailored gender technical assistance to address these gaps. This work will support CCA deploy its gender-smart advisory support to clean cooking companies, specifically leading the components of the work related to the design and delivery of gender training modules, as well as, the development and implementation of a Gender Action Plan, which will primarily focus on the design of a company-wide gender policy. Additionally, areas of this will work will also support efforts to extract key learnings and insights on the broader gender-smart advisory support to companies.

Background of Organization

The Clean Cooking Alliance works with a global network of partners to build an inclusive industry that makes clean cooking accessible to the three billion people who live each day without it. Established in 2010, CCA is driving consumer demand, mobilizing investment to build a pipeline of scalable businesses and fostering an enabling environment that allows the sector to thrive. Clean Cooking transforms lives by improving health, protecting the climate and the environment, empowering women, and helping families save time and money.

In 2019, CCA revamped its gender strategy to better refine and optimize its role in the gender and clean cooking space. Through consultations with sector actors CCA collaboratively identified strategic gender priorities to strengthen the ecosystem for women as CEOs, business and policy leaders, entrepreneurs and employees, and consumers. These priorities are outlined below:

  • Policies and strategies that clearly integrate gender considerations
  • Women as senior business leaders in companies
  • Companies that enact gender-responsive business strategies
  • Empowered and informed consumers actively seeking solutions

Ultimately through this work, CCA hopes to enhance evidence on how clean cooking products positively impact women’s lives, cultivate the talent and business growth of women in the sector, and widen the space for applying a gender-lens throughout the sector.

As a launching pad for expanding gender mainstreaming in the sector in 2020, CCA developed an embedded methodology, in coordination/alignment with broader marketing strengthening engagements, that would build the capacity of clean cooking companies to address common business challenges by leveraging gender insights. Termed the “Gender-smart Advisory support,” this process consists of six steps – Baseline, Awareness, Analysis, Plan, Action, and Learn – focused on customizable, tailored support to sector actors to understand and adopt gender-smart approaches. At the baseline, CCA first administers the Gender Diagnostic Tool, a tool CCA has adopted from Acumen, to gauge where the company measures on gender mainstreaming. Through this work, CCA seeks to work collaboratively with companies, meeting them where they are, and journeying together to develop gender-smart actions that are responsive to and reflective of company needs.


CCA wishes to solicit third party support to implement targeted, gender-responsive interventions in East Africa and Haiti to accelerate the delivery of clean cooking solutions by:

  • Strengthening women’s economic power through targeted capacity building initiatives to increase their presence, knowledge and, skills across the clean cooking supply chain;
  • Incorporating the voices and inputs of women and women’s organizations to mobilize demand through gender-sensitive Behavior Change interventions and innovative consumer financing models; and
  • Deepening women’s active and effective participation to strengthen the enabling environment by involving women and women’s organizations in all policy groups, advocacy groups, and technical working groups.

Scope of Work and Deliverables

The scope of the activities covered in submitted proposals should include:

Task 1: Develop detailed approach and activity based workplan

This task should include development of a project timeline, key milestones, and tactical approaches for developing a gender policy, including logistic details of how a clean cooking company staff and senior management will be engaged at different stages of the project, as well as a monitoring and evaluation plan to ensure that the company can track, measure, and benchmark their progress against the policy.

Task 2: Refine and co-facilitate gender training modules for clean cooking companies

CCA has already developed three training modules – gender 101, gender-informed business approaches, and gender-informed value chain mapping:

  • Gender 101: This training provides an overview of basic gender concepts, gender and sex, gender roles and interactive activities on gender inequality and equality.
  • Gender-informed business approaches: This training provides an overview of gender-informed business approaches, outcomes of the approaches in clean cooking, best practices, and case study examples.
  • Gender-informed value chain mapping: This training provides an overview of gender-informed value chains and interactive activities on value chain mapping.

Proposers are encouraged to outline creative approaches to design training modules and co-facilitate trainings, as well as approaches to train teams of trainers on the gender training modules developed by CCA.

Task 3: Support the design and facilitation of the Gender Action Plan workshop

This task should include the design and co-facilitation of a Gender Action Plan workshop. In the gender-smart advisory support process, the Gender Action Plan is the fourth step in the process and builds of the insights gathered from the customizable trainings on foundational gender concepts and gender-smart approaches that can strengthen the company’s business model. The Gender Action Plan workshop is intended to work with selected senior management and staff to co-create a plan, which includes clear objectives, proposed gender-smart actions, and indicators for measurement and success.

Proposers are encouraged to outline creative approaches to design and co-facilitate, along with CCA’s gender team, a gender action plan workshop virtually.

Task 4: Develop a Gender Policy for 3-4 clean cooking companies

This task should outline an approach and timeline with key milestones to develop a company-wide Gender Policy. This policy is meant to define a company’s commitment to advancing gender equality through their women, clearly articulate objectives focused both on the company’s programming and its corporate practices and culture, and strategic suggestions on how this policy will be living document and the accountability mechanisms to monitor progress and identify opportunities for improvement.

Timelines should not exceed a three-month time frame. Proposers are strongly encouraged to outline the proposed methodology for developing this policy, as well as note past experiences supporting companies and organizations alike, to develop a gender policy.

Task 5: Provide learning insights and lessons learned on CCA’s Gender-Smart Advisory Support Process

A key component of the gender-smart advisory support will be extracting insights, learnings, and lessons learned along the way. As such, CCA’s gender team, alongside the M&E staff, will document and evaluate each stage of the support process, tracking what is working well and what is not. At the end of the gender-smart advisory support process, with input and feedback from the company and the selected consultant, CCA’s gender teams will develop a business case study to document results, highlight success, and outline challenges.

Task 6: Information, Analysis and Program Support for East Africa and Haiti

Support the effective implementation and reporting of gender-focused activities in compliance with donor rules and regulations.Manage the development and publication of materials for gender knowledge sharing and learning, including case studies, best practices, factsheets, trainings, and other resources and toolkits in close coordination with the Haiti Project Team, the Private Sector & Investment team and the Communications & Partnerships team. Contribute to the development of project reports and workplans through a gender lens. Provide administrative support such as reporting.

Project Period of Performance

The Period of performance should start on or around October 22, 2021 and should be completed no later than March 30, 2022.

Selection Criteria

  • Proven experience combining formal expertise on gender mainstreaming and gender equality with experience of applying these concretely to specific development projects, policies and processes;
  • Proven experience working on gender with companies;
  • Demonstrated experience developing and maintaining effective working relationships with people, internally and externally, from a wide variety of types of organizations, cultural backgrounds, and functional expertise;
  • Proven experience designing and leading capacity-strengthening efforts across various types of stakeholders, from the national government to the private sector and civil society levels;
  • Experience in budget development and management;
  • Fluent in English and French. Fluency in Haitian Creole is a plus.
  • Ability to travel when necessary.


Dates and Deliverables:

  • Proposals due: October 8, 2021
  • As applicable, calls with applicants and follow up questions: October 11-13, 2021
  • Consultant selected and notified via email: October 13, 2021
  • Kickoff meeting with selected Consultant: October 22, 2021


A detailed budget not exceeding $50,000 in US Dollars must be submitted with the proposal. The budget should include both pre-tax and net of tax values. The budget should include direct costs (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel, Sub-Agreements, Equipment, Supplies, etc.), as well as indirect costs (overhead). For indirect costs, please indicate a list of expenses covered by the indirect rate. For all direct cost, please include assumptions that were made to arrive at line item costs (e.g. 2 trips @ $1,500/trip = $3,000 or 20 staff hours @ $40/hour = $800).

If a bid has a mathematical discrepancy, CCA may correct the discrepancy and notify the Consultant of the adjustment. In such circumstances, the Consultant may choose to withdraw their bid.

Evaluation Process

The Clean Cooking Alliance will review all written proposals and may request an interview and/or updated submission to address questions or provide clarifications. CCA will use the following criteria in our evaluation.

Weight and Evaluation Criteria:

  • Approach, 40%: e.g. the framework and methodology answering the project’s key questions and deliverables
  • Gender expertise, 20%: e.g. expertise supporting companies and organizations develop gender informed-approaches, strategies, and policies
  • Project management 10%: e.g. achievable action plan that will deliver the project on time and on budget
  • Capabilities and experience, 10%: e.g. demonstrated experience with similar projects

Intent and Disclaimer

This RFP is made with the intent to identify a Consultant to deliver results as described in this RFP. UNF/CCA will rely on the Consultant’s representations to be truthful and as described. The Clean Cooking Alliance assumes it can be confident in the Consultant’s ability to deliver the product(s) and/or service(s) proposed in response to this RFP.

If the Clean Cooking Alliance amends the RFP, copies of any such amendments will be sent to all respondents to the proposal.

Proposal Guidelines and Requirements

  • This RFP is open to multiple partners and is a competitive process.
  • Proposals received after October 8, 2021 at 11:59pm EST will not be considered.
  • The price provided should be in US dollars and should contain both pre-tax and net of tax values. If the process excludes certain fees or charges, the applicant must provide a detailed list of excluded fees with a complete explanation of the nature of those fees.
  • CCA prefers a single point of contact who manages deliverables. If the execution of work to be performed by the Consultant requires the hiring of sub-contractors, the Consultant must clearly state this in the proposal. Sub-contractors must be identified and the work they will perform must be defined. Subcontractors are subject to vetting and approval of UNF/CCA.
  • CCA will not refuse a proposal based upon the use of subcontractors; however, we retain the right to refuse the sub-contractors you have selected.
  • Provisions of this RFP and the contents of the successful responses are considered available for inclusion in final contractual obligations.

Format for Proposals

Proposals must include applicant signature as well as a signed declaration form. Proposals must include the full legal name of applicant, as well as legal formation and ownership structure (e.g. incorporation certification, tax status and ID, etc.).

Contracting and Compliance

CCA will negotiate contract terms upon selection. A copy of the contract terms and conditions will be provided upon selection. All contracts are subject to review by the UNF’s Business Services and Budget Reporting team. The project will start upon the complete execution of the contract. The contract will outline terms and conditions, scope, budget, and applicable flow down terms. Selected recipient must comply with CCA, UNF, and funder compliance requirements. The selected recipient must also undergo detailed legal, financial, and commercial due diligence.


The Consultant understands that the Clean Cooking Alliance has chosen to solicit an RFP for consulting services, and that the Consultant’s response does not guarantee that the Clean Cooking Alliance will enter into a new contract with the Consultant or continue any current contract with the Consultant.

The Consultant agrees that Clean Cooking Alliance may, at its sole discretion:

  • Amend or cancel the RFP, in whole or in part, at any time
  • Extend the deadline for submitting responses
  • Determine whether a response does or does not substantially comply with the requirements of the RFP
  • Waive any minor irregularity, informality or nonconformance with the provisions or procedures of the RFP
  • Negotiate with all Consultants UNF deems acceptable
  • Issue multiple awards
  • Photocopy the responses for evaluation/review

This RFP is not an offer to contract. The Clean Cooking Alliance assumes no responsibility for Consultant’s cost to respond to this RFP. All responses become the property of the Clean Cooking Alliance.

The Consultant, by submitting a response to this RFP, waives all right to protest or seek any legal remedies whatsoever regarding any aspect of this RFP.

The Consultant represents that it has responded to the RFP with complete honesty and accuracy. If facts provided in the Consultant’s response change, the Consultant agrees to supplement its response in writing with any deletions, additions, or changes within ten (10) days of the changes. The Consultant will do this, as necessary, throughout the selection process.

The Consultant understands it may receive proprietary and confidential information from the Clean Cooking Alliance during the RFP process (“Confidential Information”). The Consultant and CCA agree to not use Confidential Information for any purpose other than the Consultant’s participation in the RFP process, and to not reveal Confidential Information directly or indirectly to any other person, entity, or organization without the prior written consent of the other party. The Consultant and CCA further agree to exercise all reasonable precautions to maintain the proprietary and confidential nature of Confidential Information where it can best demonstrate its value and capacity to delivery ecosystem-wide, meaningful value.

Grounds for Exclusion

  • Material misrepresentations, including omissions, may disqualify the Consultant from a contract award.
  • Submissions will be rejected in the Clean Cooking Alliance’s sole discretion if it finds that the Consultant has engaged in any illegal or corrupt practices in connection with the award.
  • The Consultant will be excluded from participation for the reasons below. By submitting a proposal in response to the RFP, the Consultant confirms that none of the below circumstances apply:
  • The Consultant is bankrupt or being wound up, is having their affairs administered by the courts, has entered into an arrangement with creditors, has suspended business activities, is subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations.
  • The Consultant or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a final judgment.
  • The Consultant has been found guilty of grave professional misconduct; proven by any means which CCA can justify.
  • The Consultant has not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established, or within the United States of America, or those of the country where the contract is to be performed.
  • The Consultant or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been convicted for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organization or money laundering by a final judgment.
  • The Consultant makes use of child labor or forced labor and/or practice discrimination, and/or do not respect the right to freedom of association and the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining pursuant to the core conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Principal Point of Contact

Any questions about this RFP should be directed to Megan Collins:

Submission Details

Please email proposals to Megan Collins at no later than 11:59PM EST on October 8, 2021. Proposals should be submitted as a single PDF file.