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1.0. Synopsis of the Request for Proposal

Reference No.
AGRA/RFP/ 01/2020
Title of
Seeking an implementation partner for the
Agriculture Transformation Leadership Initiative

Office & Address
Alliance for
a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
Point of
contact for clarifications, questions and ammendments
AGRA General
[email protected]
Address for submission of Proposals/ Quotes
AGRA General
[email protected]
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/
/ Leadership Initiative
Implementation Partner submission
” on the email
Issuance of
Award Letter
May 25th,
of project
June 9th,
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%


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

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

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

3.1. Overview of the Leadership Initiative

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.

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.

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
  • 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
  • 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.

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

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.

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
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
  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
  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
  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

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
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
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
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
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

5.1.  Evaluation Factors and Sub factors

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

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

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

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

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
  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
  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 [email protected] 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
  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 [email protected].  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.

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.

Source of original article: AGRA (
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