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Apply Now: USAID Funding to Aggregate Broadband Internet Demand for Better ICT4D Programs

By Wayan Vota on June 14, 2018

USAID programs are utilizing digital technology more than ever before – and the rapid expansion of mobile and internet access in the developing world holds the promise of becoming a platform for resilient economic and social growth.

However, as USAID programs become more dependent upon digital technology, the availability and cost of connectivity for USAID programs is becoming a significant barrier to fully realizing that vision.

Where internet, mobile, or telecommunications connectivity is not available, of poor quality, or priced high, USAID partners must work together with USAID missions and service providers to find enterprise driven, market based solutions to overcome these broadband Internet connectivity barriers.

The Benefits of Bandwidth Demand Aggregation

USAID missions can help address this challenge by encouraging these implementing partners to work together, share information on service quality and prices, and even create buyers’ consortia for these connectivity services.

Discovering and unlocking these opportunities for USAID programs to purchase internet, mobile, and other telecommunications services jointly in a country can provide U.S. taxpayers better value, improve service quality, and even improve the availability and price of these services for the developing country community as a whole.

Download Guide NowThe Center for Digital Development and its partner, NetHope, recently developed a how-to guide to help missions achieve these goals: Better Connectivity, Better Programs: How to Implement a Demand Aggregation Program.

Based off of experience in other countries, the How-To Guide helps USAID missions work with their implementing partners to influence service providers to take some or all of the following actions:

  • Extend internet, mobile, or other telecommunications services to un- and underserved areas
  • Improve service quality (e.g., bandwidth speed, dedicated help, faster response time)
  • Reduce the cost of service, and
  • Generate value to U.S. taxpayers

Apply Now: USAID Broadband Demand Aggregation Support IQC

Through the Digital Frontiers project, DAI seeks experienced firms to help USAID missions implement the Demand Aggregation Program Guide through the USAID Broadband Demand Aggregation Support IQC Request for Proposals.

As outlined in the How-To Guide, DAI expects the selected offerors to be able to complete all or some the following tasks as required by USAID missions:

  • Identify and group a USAID mission’s implementing partners according to needs or operations in similar geographies. This also includes the identification of non-core demand in a geographic area
  • Identify the type and quantity of connectivity services that each implementing partner is currently using and will need in the future through surveys and interviews.
  • Analyze, quantify, and consolidate implementing partner connectivity requirements. This includes identifying the total IP service spend but also identifying situations in which implementing partners have similar needs that could potentially be combined.
  • Document the telecommunications landscape at both a national and local level.
  • Translate aggregated demand information into financial terms with an eye toward presenting a potential revenue figure to service providers.
  • Present findings and opportunities to mission staff.
  • Support or lead negotiations with service providers including contacting service providers, drafting procurement requests and service agreements, coordinating implementing partner joint or consortia purchase negotiations, and directly negotiating with service providers.
  • Producing learning documents and/or success stories of demand aggregation activities.
  • Providing recommendations on how to improve the Guide and support to mission on this

How to Respond to the Request for Proposal

Offerors wishing to respond to this RFP should review the RFP documentation and inform DAI by emailing [email protected]. Requests for clarification or additional information must be submitted in writing via email to [email protected] by June 15, 2018.

Technical proposals are limited to ten pages, excluding staff bios/CVs, past performance matrix, and cover letter. Proposals are due no later than June 29, 2018; 5pm ET, to be submitted via email to [email protected]. Please include the RFP number (2018-01) in the subject line of the email.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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One Comment to “Apply Now: USAID Funding to Aggregate Broadband Internet Demand for Better ICT4D Programs”

  1. Wayan Vota says:

    Please find below answers to your questions regarding the USAID Broadband Demand Aggregation Support IQC RFP . This includes all the questions from offerors and our answers. Due to numerous requests, we will are extending the deadline for questions until this Thursday 5:00pm EDT. Please send any additional questions by that deadline. Thank you and good luck!

    1. Question: Do you intend to award more than one contract for this work? The cover page refers to a single “offeror”; on page 4, under section 1.3, an award is referred to in the singular. Yet, under section 1.4 on page 7, the document refers to “all IQC holders” (emphasis added).

    · Answer: The award may be given to one or more applicants at the discretion of the technical review committee. We anticipate multiple awards are likely for this IQC.

    2. Question: Is it acceptable to propose consultants for work under this IQC? Under the Technical Evaluation Criteria on page 7, the matrix only refers to “Staff bios”.

    · Answer: Yes, consultants can be proposed as staff, or experts, who will implement this work, if awarded.

    3. Question: Can you please share the definition of the Trade-Off Method you will be using when evaluating proposals?

    · Answer: The Trade-Off Method of evaluating proposals means that the technical review committee can take into account both the technical and costs components of the proposal when making awards to those proposals providing the best overall value. Digital Frontiers will be using the Trade-Off Method to select the awardees.

    For reference, another method of evaluation, Lowest-Cost Method, is where the technical review committee is required to select applicants that meet the minimal technical requirements and have the lowest cost budget of all applicants. Digital Frontiers will not be using the Lowest-Cost Method to select awardees.

    4. Question: May an offeror use a subcontractor and if so can the past performance of a named subcontractor teammate who is described in the proposal be used in meeting the past performance requirement of three recent, relevant projects?

    · Answer: Yes, an offeror may use a subcontractor and can present the past performance of a subcontractor to meet the past performance requirements.

    5. Question: We intend to put forward a proposal for the USAID Broadband Demand Aggregation Support IQC (No.2018-01) however, I unfortunately received this request today the 18 June 2018 and noted that that deadline for questions has passed. I would like to request an extension of time for questions to assist us in gaining further clarity on your requirements before submitting our application. Kindly advise whether this would be possible.

    · Answer: We will extend the deadline for further questions to 5pm EDT Thursday, June 21, 2018.