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Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
SECURING WATER FOR FOOD: A GRAND CHALLENGE FOR DEVELOPMENT (Round III)
REQUEST FOR APPLICATION (RFA) RFA NUMBER: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Primary Point of Contact: [email protected]
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Date Issued: RFA Clarification Questions Due Date and Time: Closing Date: Closing Time: Subject: Ref:
March 9, 2015 March 23, 2015 5:00 PM EST May 22, 2015 5:00PM EST
Request for Application (RFA) for Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development Competition (Round 3) Solicitation Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
Dear Prospective Applicants: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Sweden, and the Foreign Ministry of the Kingdom of the Netherlands invite eligible organizations to respond to Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development Competition (Round 3). This Request for Applications (RFA) is for a funding competition component of this Grand Challenge for Development, designed to address barriers to enable the production of more food with less water and/or make more water available for food production, processing, and distribution. The RFA describes the purpose of the program and the types of activities that it will fund; indicates the process for preparing and submitting proposals; and outlines criteria that will be used to evaluate the proposals. Through this competition, Securing Water for Food anticipates disbursing $12.5 million USD in award funding globally. As part of USAID's new Middle East Water Security Initiative, and subject to the availability of funds, an additional $2.5 million will be available for innovations implemented in the MENA region. Individual awards are expected to be between $100,000 USD and $3,000,000 USD depending on the type of funding requested. The period of performance for individual awards is up to three years; the actual period of performance for each award will be determined at the time of award. USAID will make every attempt to distribute funding to awardees as quickly as possible, but awardees should expect to begin activities immediately after the award is signed, even if funding is delayed by a few weeks. Awards made through this RFA may be in the form of grants, cooperative agreements, or other instruments as appropriate, depending on the nature of the submitting organization and at the discretion of USAID (and its partners). This RFA and any future amendments can be downloaded from http://www.grants.gov and www.securingwaterforfood.org. DUE DATE: Concept Notes shall be received no sooner than March 9, 2015 and no later than May 22, 2015 at 5:00 PM EST via the Online Application Platform accessed at: http://securingwaterforfood.org/apply. Applicants should retain a copy of their proposals and accompanying uploaded documents for their records. QUESTIONS: Prospective Applicants who have questions concerning the contents of this RFA shall submit them in writing no later than March 23, 2015 at 5:00 PM EST to the online application platform (http://securingwaterforfood.org/apply) through the “Q&A: Submit Question” link at the bottom of the page on the application platform.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award commitment on the part of USAID, nor does it commit USAID or any of its funding Partners to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, USAID reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received. Sincerely, /s/ Emmanuel A. Wilson Agreement Officer
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
Contents SECTION I. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION ................................................................................................ 10 Overview: Grand Challenges for Development ...................................................................................... 10 1. Introduction and Background.............................................................................................................. 10 2. Goal and Focus Areas ......................................................................................................................... 11 2.A: Areas in Which Innovation is Needed ............................................................................................ 12 2.B: Cross-cutting Critical Barriers ........................................................................................................ 13 3. Third Call for Innovation .................................................................................................................... 13 4. What Will Not Be Funded .................................................................................................................. 15 5.A: Innovation Selection Process .......................................................................................................... 16 5.B: Innovator Funding ........................................................................................................................... 17 5.C: Acceleration Support ....................................................................................................................... 19 5.D: Technical and Financial Milestones ................................................................................................ 20 6. Eligibility Requirements ..................................................................................................................... 20 7. Evaluation Criteria .............................................................................................................................. 20 SECTION II – AWARD INFORMATION ................................................................................................ 21 i. Authorizing Legislation ................................................................................................................ 21 ii. Authorized Geographic Code ...................................................................................................... 21 iii. Award and Administration Information ..................................................................................... 21 iv. Funding Information ................................................................................................................... 22 v. Period of Performance ................................................................................................................. 22 vi. Award Budgets ........................................................................................................................... 22 SECTION III – ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA ................................................................................................ 23 SECTION IV – APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION ................................................. 24 A. Points of Contact ............................................................................................................................... 24 B. Eligible Country List ........................................................................................................................ 24 C. Timetable .......................................................................................................................................... 24 D. Content and Form of Proposal Submission ...................................................................................... 24 E. Online Application Platform .............................................................................................................. 25 F. Questions and Answers....................................................................................................................... 25 G. Non-Disclosure .................................................................................................................................. 26 H. DUNS-SAM Registration .................................................................................................................. 26 I. Branding & Marking Requirements .................................................................................................... 27 J. Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) ........................................................................................... 29 K. Conscience Clause Implementation (Assistance) .............................................................................. 30 SECTION V. – APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION ................................................................... 31
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 A: Concept Note Stage............................................................................................................................ 31 B: Full Proposal Stage ............................................................................................................................ 34 C: Face-to-Face Assessment Stage ......................................................................................................... 34 SECTION VI. – AWARD AND ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION ................................................ 35 A. Certification Regarding Terrorist Financing, Implementing Executive Order 13224 ....................... 35 B. Intellectual Property ........................................................................................................................... 36 C. Reporting Requirements ................................................................................................................... 37 Section V. Appendices ................................................................................................................................ 38 Appendix 1- Eligible Countries of Implementation ................................................................................ 38 Appendix 2- Full Application Criteria .................................................................................................... 39 Appendix 3- Stage 2 Budget Information Requirements ........................................................................ 45
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Abbreviations and Acronyms
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Commonly Used Terms and Definitions Within the context of this RFA, potential Applicants should be aware that these definitions apply to the following commonly-used terms:
Accelerate to scale
The process of advancing a technology from either concept or prototype to the point where it qualifies as a product
The acquiring by contract with appropriated funds of supplies or services (including construction) by and for the use of the US Federal Government through purchase or lease, whether the supplies or services are already inexistence or must be created, developed, demonstrated, and evaluated. Acquisition begins at the point when the USG agency needs are established and includes the description of requirements to satisfy the agency needs, solicitation and selection of sources, award of contracts, contract financing, contract performance, contract administration, and those technical and management functions directly related to the process of fulfilling the agency needs by contract. Source: FAR1 2.101
Agreement Officer (AO)
The USAID representative with the authority to enter into, administer, terminate and closeout Assistance Awards, and make related determinations and findings on behalf of USAID. An Agreement Officer can only act within the scope of a duly authorized warrant or other valid delegation of authority. The term "Agreement Officer" includes persons warranted as "Grant Officers." It also includes certain authorized representatives of the Agreement Officer acting within the limits of their authority as delegated by the Agreement Officer. Source: ADS
Agreement Officer’s Representative (AOR)
The USAID representative who performs functions that are designated by the Agreement Officer, or is specifically designated by policy or regulation as part of the administration of an Assistance Award (grant or cooperative agreement). Source: ADS
Apparently Successful Applicant(s)
The Applicant(s) for USAID funding recommended for an award after technical evaluation, but who has not yet been awarded a grant, cooperative agreement, contract or other Assistance/Acquisition Award by the Agreement/Contract Officer. Apparently successful applicant status confers no right and constitutes no USAID commitment to an award, which still must be obligated by the Agreement Officer. Source: ADS
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
Financial support to accomplish a public purpose, including grants, cooperative/collaboration agreements, and other agreements in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, by USAID to an eligible recipient. The term does not include technical assistance, the provision of services instead of money; other assistance in the form of loans, loan guarantees, interest subsidies, or insurance; direct payments of any kind to individuals; or contracts which are required to be entered into and administered under procurement laws and regulations. Source: ADS
A form of implementing mechanism through which USAID transfers funds to an implementing partner, generally selected through a competitive process resulting in a contract, grant, or collaboration/cooperative agreement. Source: ADS
The manner by which an enterprise creates, delivers and captures value profitably.
A technology and associated business model which is sufficiently profitable to finance growth in new and larger markets.
A legal instrument used where the principal purpose is the transfer of money, property, services or anything of value to the recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute and where substantial involvement by USAID is anticipated. Source: ADS
When all people at all times have both physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet their dietary needs for a productive and healthy life.
Food Value Chain
The full range of participants and activities that move agricultural goods from a farmer’s field to the end consumer. Activities within the food value chain include: input production or supply (i.e. seed, fertilizer, feed, etc.), irrigation, production (i.e. planting crops, raising livestock), storage, transport, processing (i.e. sorting, drying, grinding, packaging), wholesaling, marketing, retailing, and waste management
A legal instrument used where the principal purpose is the transfer of money, property, services or anything of value to the recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by USG Federal statute and where substantial involvement by USAID is not anticipated. Source: ADS
USG-wide website for grants interactions. The Grants.gov portal provides grantees the ability to electronically find and apply for grants. (www.grants.gov )
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Innovation
The development and application of unconventional, new (and/or modification of existing) technologies, tools, products, services or processes. Awardees’ planned activities intended to increase the amount of water available for the food value chain, or produce more food using less water in developing countries.
Market driven means investment, production and distribution are determined by supply and demand and reflected in freely set prices.
“Offer” means a response to a solicitation that, if accepted, would bind the offer or to perform the resultant contract. Responses to invitations for bids (sealed bidding) are offers called “bids” or “sealed bids”; responses to requests for proposals (negotiation) are offers called “proposals”; however, responses to requests for quotations (simplified acquisition) are “quotations,” not offers. Source: FAR 2.101
Online Application Platform
The online application platform defines the website that all Applicants will use to submit an application to the Securing Water for Food solicitation (www.securingwaterforfood.org/apply )
Peer or Scientific Review
Peer review is a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals from the relevant field.
Request for Applications (RFA)
A general announcement of an USG Agency’s research interest including criteria for selecting proposals and soliciting the participation of all offerors capable of satisfying the Government’s needs. Source: FAR 2.101
Expanding, adapting, and sustaining successful technology solutions at the product level or above, in different places and over time, to reach a greater number of people.
Term used by the USG to refer to the assorted means by which offers or proposals are sought for government requirements and programs. Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Invitations for Bids (IFBs), Tenders, Requests for Applications (RFAs), Annual Program Statements (APSs), and Requests for Quotes (RFQs) are all examples of types of government solicitations. Source: ADS
Target Area of Operation
The target area of operation defines the primary geographic location and/or market for project implementation and impact.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 SECTION I. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Overview: Grand Challenges for Development Through Grand Challenges for Development (GCD), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners are sourcing, selecting, and accelerating science, technology, and business model innovations that have the potential to achieve large-scale development impact. Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development (SWFF) is part of a portfolio of 6 GCDs, each tackling a critical and complex development challenge. SWFF’s objective is to enable the production of more food with less water and/or make more water available for food production, processing, and distribution in developing and emerging countries. It is jointly funded by USAID, the Government of Sweden, and the Foreign Ministry of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (collectively, the “Founding Partners”). This is the third Call for Proposals (RFA) under Securing Water for Food. There are many USAID, Dutch and Swedish programs that fund traditional development projects. These projects, which are essential elements of development assistance, can perhaps most easily be characterized as programmatic in nature. They are time-bound, with a beginning and an end. Projects are largely “funded,” not “invested in.” They often involve delivery of technical assistance, training, and facilitation or provision of services. They are often broad in nature, tackling wide-scale challenges related to (for example) natural resource management, economic growth, democracy and governance, and health. These projects work with a wide array of actors in public and private sectors. Securing Water for Food is not funding projects. Rather, we are “investing” in innovations at the water/food nexus that have high potential to be brought to scale. While SWFF funding takes the form of a grant rather than an actual investment, the SWFF Founding Partners play a role similar to that of investors and are more involved in their success than a traditional grant program through the offering of acceleration support and other forms of technical assistance. In addition, SWFF expects awardees to attend at least 2 networking/investor pitch events per year, which should take up approximately 3-5 days of awardee time. We are looking for innovators who can use SWFF funding as a catalyst to (for example) buy down the risk of entering new markets; attract partners who can help bring an innovation to scale; increase adoption of an innovation; and attract private capital. If you have a product or business model that you would pitch to an investor, we want you to apply to SWFF. If you have a great idea for a development project, SWFF is probably not the right vehicle for you. As such, applications to this Call for Proposals should be written as if you were presenting an investment case for your innovation. We have purposefully written questions that enable you to do that. Innovation, technology, and results are more important than beautifully written narrative. 1. Introduction and Background Approximately 2.8 billion people – 40% of the world’s population – live in river basins impacted by water scarcity. Of those impacted, 1.2 billion people live in areas of physical water scarcity, where demand is greater than the available supply. Another 1.6 billion people face economic water scarcity, where institutional, financial and human factors limit access to water despite an available natural supply. Both physical (quantity and quality) and economic water scarcity can lead to negative outcomes related to health, poverty, agricultural productivity, environmental degradation, and growth of the commercial and industrial sectors. Between 2000 and 2050, water demand is projected to increase by 55% globally, meaning that the number of people impacted by water scarcity will continue to rise. Furthermore, 70% of all global water use occurs in the food value chain (see diagram below).
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Securing Water for Food focuses on the water/food nexus. Through this program, we are seeking innovations that will improve water availability and efficiency along the food value chain, thus boosting food security, alleviating poverty, and stimulating inclusive growth. Innovators can come from anywhere in the world, but implementation must take place in a developing or emerging country (see Appendix 1). Through Securing Water for Food, we hope to increase both the demand for and availability of innovative water technologies and approaches; increase adoption of those innovations at multiple levels (from small scale farms to large corporations); and improve the sustainability of innovations through robust partnerships and business-to-business relationships.
Around the world, there are public and private sector water initiatives that increase technical knowledge and capacity to improve water management (agricultural and non-agricultural); help overcome key economic, financial, and institutional challenges to water availability and use; and provide clean water and improved sanitation facilities and hygiene practices to millions of people. Securing Water for Food is meant to be additive to these ongoing efforts. By investing in water technologies and business models, we can stimulate new innovation, reach untapped markets, and get water technologies into the hands of people that need them most – thus offering a unique value proposition. Securing Water for Food is therefore focused on areas in which science and technology can play a key role, described in the “Goal and Focus Areas,” section below. To ensure that Securing Water for Food is complementary to other water programs, we will (among other things) ask applicants to describe local market conditions, including the regulatory and legal frameworks in which their innovation will operate and articulate market demand and end user needs. We will also facilitate linkages between awardees and existing programs, external resources, and local partners. 2. Goal and Focus Areas Our goal is to source and accelerate innovations in the following areas that will enable the production of more food with less water and/or make more water available for food production, processing, and distribution. a) Water Efficiency and Reuse – especially targeted at the food value chain. This will become a greater necessity as water availability is threatened by competition between industrial, agricultural, and energy uses. Improving water efficiency and reuse has tremendous potential water-saving benefits that may have multiplier effects at various levels of a country’s economy. b) Water Capture and Storage. These systems are in high demand in many regions where rain occurs at limited times. With projected increases in rainfall variability due to climate change and increased demands for food production, capture and storage systems at various scales are needed to secure water supplies throughout the year and build resiliency to drought and floods. c) Salinity and Salt Water Intrusion. In coastal areas, overpumping and rising sea levels are leading to saltwater intrusion, forcing farmers to use marginal quality water for irrigation. With 11
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 more than 30% of the world’s population living in coastal areas and drawing food supply from fertile deltas, urgent solutions are required to reduce the impacts of salinity on the quality of aquifers and food production. 2.A: Areas in Which Innovation is Needed In each of the Focus Areas, the Founding Partners have identified priority areas in which innovation is urgently needed. Innovations supported by Securing Water for Food COULD INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: improved technologies for irrigation, real-time water quantity and quality monitoring, postharvest water demand reduction, salinity reduction, agricultural innovations that have a clear and direct impact on water usage, and other water re-use/efficiency/storage activities within the food value chain. We will also support business and financial innovations that enable the increased dissemination and adoption of relevant science and technology solutions; for example, new distribution models or payment schemes. Please note that this list is NOT all-inclusive. Innovations in areas that we do not describe here that address one of the focus areas above are welcome. Water-Re-Use and Efficiency Water shortages are a challenge in many parts of the world. Efficient water use, higher water productivity, and reductions in evapotranspiration are needed. In addition, the use of non-conventional water sources – in particular the reuse of wastewater – can contribute to increased water supply. Areas that still require advancement in developing and emerging countries include, but are not limited to, technologies and business models that: a) Adapt micro-irrigation systems for widespread use. b) Improve soil to allow better soil moisture retention and reduce evapotranspiration. c) Prevent loss of excess water and provide for extra water supply during the growing season. d) Safely re-use wastewater in agricultural practices. Water Capture and Storage Innovative water capture and storage technologies and approaches (WCS) enable people and organizations to improve and manage their own water supply, thereby reducing reliance on public supply systems which may be difficult to access and/or are unreliable. Priority areas in which innovative WCS is needed include, but are not limited to, technologies and business models that: a) Reduce the risks of adverse downstream hydrological effects resulting from increased water storage for the food value chain. Data availability must be improved to assess the impact of these effects, and more data is required regarding the locations of sustainable water sources for the food value chain. b) Prevent wide-scale microbiological and chemical contamination in stored waters that may be used in the food value chain. c) Increase total water storage capacity to consistently meet the combined demands of agriculture and livestock. d) Reduce overall water demand in the food value chain to ensure continuous water supply even in periods of drought. Salinity and Saltwater Intrusion An estimated 1 billion hectares of land is currently affected by salinity. Saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers, or deltas and estuaries is becoming a major threat to food production in developing and emerging countries. With increased demand for food and agricultural production there is a large challenge to (1) make better use of lands and waters that have natural salinity and (2) reverse the trend of increasing 12
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 salinization. Priority areas in which innovative solutions are needed include, but are not limited to, technologies and business models that: 1) Sustainably improve groundwater recharge rates to reduce infiltration of brackish water into freshwater systems used in the food value chain. 2) Economically reduce the energy consumption needed to demineralize saline water for future use in the food value chain. 3) Advance the dissemination of: saline-tolerant varieties of common crops; small-scale buffer management techniques in areas with saline groundwater that affect the food value chain; and the processing of saline water for specific use in the food value chain. 4) Manage sand mining and brackish water ponds (from aquaculture cultivation) to prevent the salinity barrier from moving further inland. 2.B: Cross-cutting Critical Barriers While a broad range of complex factors contribute to water scarcity in the food value chain, Securing Water for Food looks to overcome the barriers that inhibit the creation, dissemination, and adoption of science and technology innovations in the focus areas listed above. These include, but are NOT limited to: a) The lack of cost-appropriate technologies for use in low-resource settings; b) Insufficient user-centered design in technology development; c) Poorly developed supply chains; d) Lack of distribution networks; e) High up-front investment costs; f) Lack of confidence that developing and emerging countries have the market mechanisms necessary for growth; g) Absence of proper financing tools to adopt innovations; h) Limited access to information that would enable entrepreneurs to make informed investment, management, and marketing decisions; and i) Insufficient information and training to farmers and other end users regarding how to use available technologies/innovations. Applicants will be expected to describe which barriers their innovation will address in their application. 3. Third Call for Innovation This is our third “call” under the Securing Water for Food program and we are seeking Concept Notes from eligible applicants. Through this call, we are seeking scientific, technological and business innovations that address the three focus areas described above. As stated in the cover letter, the Founding Partners anticipate making approximately $12.5 Million USD available to support innovations under this global call. As part of USAID's new Middle East Water Security Initiative, and subject to the availability of funds, an additional $2.5 million will be available for innovations implemented in the MENA region. We have purposefully designed this call with the understanding that the needs (financial and nonfinancial) of entrepreneurs and/or organizations vary greatly. In this third call, we are interested in supporting innovations in the following stages of development: Stage 1 – Market-driven product/business development These cutting-edge business and technology innovations stand out in contrast to traditional methodologies. These are not slight modifications of traditional practices—for example, they are not a slight modification of drip irrigation technology for use in a new market. If the technology is conventional, then the use case must be a highly specific innovative application. For example, vertical 13
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 hydroponics could be innovative if used in a low-resource urban setting for water savings. The innovation’s explanation should satisfy both technical and non-technical audiences. These innovations have been verified through a standalone pilot or a series of pilots. In addition, these innovations have a strong link to both agriculture and water that is obvious, direct, and was demonstrated as part of the pilot. Moreover, these already piloted technologies or business models may now need to be replicated and/or adapted for adoption in new developing countries and may require technical validation and proof of adoption/uptake in a new market. Lastly, all Stage 1 innovations must be able to demonstrate their understanding of the behavioral, cultural, and institutional barriers that may prevent adoption or uptake of their innovation. Stage 1 innovations should also be able to demonstrate that they are integrating their improved understanding into revisions of the either the technology itself, or their implementation plan. Success should not be contingent on future policy changes—ie future anticipated land ownership required to support the innovation, or import/export changes necessary to bring the innovation into a new location. Stage 2 - Scaling/Commercial Growth These are established innovations that have already demonstrated a viable business model, have more than 1,000 existing customers/end-users and are able to achieve at least 25% cost-recovery through generated revenue (includes both their fixed and operational costs), in order to affect tens to hundreds of thousand of people. These innovations are able to use leveraged support for commercial growth, including adaptation of the innovation for larger scale production, market adoption, and distribution. It is expected that these innovations have already demonstrated technical feasibility and market acceptance and can provide evidence supporting these points, including examples of existing sales/end-user adoption, evidence of existing consumer demand and willingness to pay for the innovation. In addition, a strong link to both agriculture and water is essential for all Stage 2 innovations and the link should be obvious, direct, and demonstrated as a core part of the business. In addition, it should be clear to SWFF how the organization of a Stage 2 innovation is structured for market growth and that it has the team, financing, and partnerships to facilitate that growth. Moreover, Stage 2 innovations must present a clear financial model. This includes indicating that nongrant money is being received in the form of debt/equity financing or similar as all Stage 2 innovations should be financially sustainable without SWFF funding. They must also demonstrate business viability and a model that is shaped for growth (including clear customer segments/distribution/market channels and a clear model for revenue generation from customers. Lastly, all Stage 2 innovations will demonstrate established partnerships that bring financial benefits, such as leveraged funding. Both Stage 1 and Stage 2 Securing Water for Food applicants must: ●
Understand the local enabling environment for technology and business innovations. Applicants must be able to articulate the social, environmental, institutional, legal, and regulatory challenges for their innovation and describe how they will overcome those barriers. Applicants must also provide market research that describes local market conditions. Promote user-centered design, not technology for the sake of technology. Thousands of water technologies exist but are not available or utilized. In many cases, this is due to a lack of understanding of the needs of end users in developing or emerging countries. Securing Water for Food will emphasize the importance of the end-user in its criteria, milestones, and subsequent innovation reviews. 14
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 ● ● ●
Build sustainability into the fabric of the program. All innovations must be sustainable (financial, institutional, environmental, technological, and social). Innovations supported by this program must demonstrate direct or strong indirect benefits for the poor. Show how their innovation benefits women. Often, there is an inequality between women and men in the use of water/agricultural innovations leading to men controlling both the inputs and outputs in production. Thus, SWFF is seeking gender neutral innovations that address women and men equitably rather than focusing on men or is looking for women-focused innovations that highlight the roles, skills, and capacities of women. In fact, we have found that implementation projects often need an explicit women’s focus to successfully reach female beneficiaries Have a local presence and develop market-driven1 partnerships. Science and technology enable the creation of new products and services. These must then be tested, validated, and disseminated through market-based models. All applicants must have a presence in the country(ies) in which they propose to work or at least one local partner in the country(ies). We also encourage applicants to develop market-driven partnerships that can help bring the innovation to scale.
We anticipate using approximately 25% of funding from this call for Stage 1 innovations and 75% for Stage 2 innovations. As such, there will be fewer Stage 2 innovations than Stage 1 innovations because of the large difference in the levels of funding. Innovators will decide whether they want to select “Stage 1” or “Stage 2” in the application platform. Both the Concept Note and Full Application questions will vary between Stage 1 and Stage 2 applicants. We reserve the right to move an application from Stage 2 application to Stage 1 (or vice versa) at either the Semi-Finalist Stage or at Awardee Selection if we think the innovation is promising but the business case/financial model isn’t developed to the level commensurate with Stage 2 funding. 4. What Will Not Be Funded Securing Water for Food aims to source emerging, cutting-edge business and technology innovations at the water/food nexus. The focus of the challenge is to support game-changing innovations at two stages, both of which must be post-pilot. Securing Water for Food will not provide funding for traditional development programs and is not looking to evaluate proposals that present conventional approaches. Securing Water for Food will not fund proposals that do not present a viable business model, particularly in the Stage 2 category where this aspect must be especially well developed. Currently, the Founding Partners view the following activities as low priority and unlikely to receive program funding: o
Innovations that do not demonstrate a commitment to the stated development purpose (e.g., enhanced value of the agricultural chain, promotion of food security, sustainable water resource development, increased broad-based economic growth in developing or emerging countries, and a focus on impacting the poor).
Innovations focused on research and development for a product without a clearly defined market or potential for commercialization or growth within a three-year timeframe. Innovations without potential or intent for commercialization do not fit within the scope of this challenge.
Technologies that have not yet been piloted.
The use of the term “market-driven” is not meant to exclude innovations from not-for-profit organizations; it simply means that innovations must be demand- and market-driven.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
Innovations focused on sustainable water supply access without an explicit benefit to the food sector. This agriculture link must be demonstrated during the pilot.
Innovations focused on agricultural products and services without a significant and sustainable water component.
Large dam projects for water capture and storage.
Large wastewater treatment projects that lack an explicit and inherent benefit to the food value chain.
Large pipeline infrastructure projects.
One-off water technology installations or pilot projects to support proven technologies for proven applications, unless they include an innovative component(s) to achieve scale, such as a new business model.
Established, commercially viable technologies that are already used throughout the eligible countries.
5.A: Innovation Selection Process We are inviting applicants to submit a Concept Note (See Section II.D for more details regarding the submission of Concept Notes). Following the Concept Note evaluation, we will invite approximately 80 applicants (semi-finalists) to submit a Full Proposal and answer a more rigorous set of questions (see “eligibility” and “evaluation criteria,” below). Securing Water for Food will then convene an Innovation Investment Advisory Committee (IIAC)2, which is a standing panel of 15-18 technical experts, business specialists, sustainable development experts, and researchers with extensive experience in water innovation. The IIAC will review the 80 semi-final applications and make recommendations to the Securing Water for Food Founding Partners. The Founding Partners and members of the IIAC will then hold video teleconference interviews with up to the top 40 finalists. We expect to provide 15-30 awardees with a mix of financial and non-financial support. The below graphic illustrates the initial Securing Water for Food review and selection process. Dates are approximate.
We anticipate that the Innovation Investment Advisory Committee will include members from USAID, Sida, MFA-NL, technical experts, business specialists, sustainable development experts, and researchers. Business specialists may include individuals from large companies (food production; food and beverage; water engineering), financial services, technology incubators and/or accelerators, and service providers.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
Concept Note Intake
Concept Note Review
Full Application Intake
Full Application Review
(4 weeks) Up to Top 80 Applicants (semi‐finalists)
In Person Interview (3 weeks) Up to Top 40 Applicant Finalists
Awards Made to Top 15‐30 Applicants
5.B: Innovator Funding Tranched Funding Securing Water for Food awardees will be eligible for up to three tranches of funding. All awardees will receive an initial tranche of funding in Year 1. Initial funding will depend, in part, on the stage of innovation as shown below. To receive future tranches of funding, the IIAC and the Founding Partners will review technical and financial milestones and assess market conditions to ensure that the innovation is still viable and has the potential to achieve wide-scale adoption. This will be a transparent process. In some cases, this market assessment may require an adjustment of milestones. Innovators who achieve mutually agreed-upon technical and financial milestones (see Section I.3.D) will be eligible to receive future tranches of funding (one tranche in Year 2 and one tranche in Year 3). All funding is subject to the availability of funds. USAID will make every attempt to distribute funding to awardees as quickly as possible, but awardees should expect to begin activities immediately after the award is signed, even if funding is delayed by a few weeks. We expect only expect a limited number awards to demonstrate sufficient success to be competitive for further funding. Maximum levels of initial and future funding are presented in Table 1. Table 1: Funding Levels Stage of Innovation
Maximum Initial Financial Support
Maximum Total Financial Support (including initial Y1 funding as well as potential funding in Y2 and Y3)
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
Stage 1 – Market driven product/Business development
Stage 2 – Scaling/Commercial Growth:
Matching Funds / In-Kind Contribution Requirements As described below, requirements for matching funds or in-kind contributions will vary, depending on 1) The stage of innovation (Stage 1 or Stage 2), and 2) The tranche of funding being considered (initial or subsequent tranches). Stage 1 (Market-driven product/Business development) awardees must have either matching funds (cash/cash equivalent) or in-kind contributions to satisfy the matching requirements. In-kind contributions can come from internal or external sources. Examples of external in-kind contributions include the value of time donated by technical or business experts and technology, communications, or capital assets. Resource-sharing from publicly-funded programs also qualifies as external in-kind matching. Examples of internal in-kind contributions include the value of salaries for staff dedicated to a project or selfinvestment. Stage 1: Market-driven product/Business development
% Match Required
% Match Required
Initial (upon award)
Future (up to 2 tranches)
Note that, while either matching funds or in-kind contributions are acceptable for Stage 1 awardees, we strongly encourage Stage 1 applicants to have matching funds (cash/cash equivalent).
Stage 2 (Scaling/Commercial Growth) awardees are required to have matching funds (cash/cash equivalent) to satisfy the matching requirements. Stage 2 awardees are not allowed to rely upon in-kind contributions to meet the matching requirements. Note also that matching funds for Stage 2 awardees must come from external sources and must be provided on market, quid-pro-quo terms. For example, the entity that is providing the external matching funds may provide cash or a cash equivalent to the awardee in return for equity, an advance purchase order, a share of royalties, rights in the technology, a percentage of profit, or any other similar combination thereof. The external funds must pay for activities that further the growth, development, or commercialization of the innovator’s technology (e.g., manufacturing, distribution, marketing). The external matching funds may not be obtained through a grant, gift, or any other non-market-based terms. Stage 2: Scaling/Commercial Growth
% Match Required
% Match Required
Initial (upon award)
Future (up to 2 tranches)
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
For both Stage 1 and Stage 2 awardees, the full match will be required prior to the release of additional tranches of funding. For example, a Stage 2 innovator who receives $500,000 as an initial tranche will be required to provide 25% matching funds. At the start of Year 2, the innovator is eligible for an additional $1,000,000 (illustrative) and must provide 50% matching funds. At the start of Year 3, the innovator is eligible for an additional $1.5 million (illustrative) and must provide 50% matching funds. Matching (whether in-kind or cash/cash equivalent) is based on funding provided by SWFF, not the total project budget. For example, applicants who request $100,000 (initially) for a Stage 1 innovation would need to provide a minimum of $25,000 of in-kind contributions *or* matching funds, making the total project budget $125,000. Future tranches of funding would require a 50% in-kind or matching funds. 5.C: Acceleration Support After award, a third party/ies funded by the Founding Partners will offer in-depth acceleration support to awardees only. The level of support to awardees will depend on the needs and stage of the awardee. This support may include advisory services, technical services, and partnership facilitation. Supply side interventions may include: improving the innovation, capacity building of the management team, improving distribution models, gaining operational efficiency, and expanding access to capital to finance the growth strategy. Demand-side interventions may include: improving market linkages, assisting with securing contracts, building partnerships, enabling penetration of new markets, and support in attracting a growing customer base. Awardees will work with the Acceleration Facilitator to create an acceleration work-plan that identifies relevant and specific services from the Acceleration Support program. These services should directly complement the innovator’s ability to reach technical and financial milestones. The Acceleration Facilitator will either be a staff member with a background in market-driven sustainable development from one of the Founding Partners, or a representative of an external incubator or accelerator. While all acceleration support will be needs-based and tailored to the innovator, we anticipate that the third party/ies will offer three broad sub-programs, described below. Services under each of the subprograms will, ideally, be provided by existing and proven accelerators, incubators, industry experts, and recognized business development service providers. If there are specific services that an innovator requires that are outside of these sub-programs, we will do our utmost to provide these services within the limitation of funds. The three sub-programs are envisioned to include: ● Biz-Tech Development Services: The Acceleration Facilitator may provide access to prequalified firms and consultants who can provide the services identified in the innovators’ acceleration work-plan. These services may include access to technology and engineering, pricing, human resource management, marketing, IT, legal, procurement, supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution experts and business model innovation advisory services. ●
Investment Facilitation: This will include: 1) Investment-preparedness workshops. The Acceleration Facilitator may help prepare innovators to successfully attract capital partners. Innovators may participate in investment workshops with successful entrepreneurs, investors, other capital providers, and lawyers to help them analyze their growth strategy and determine capital requirements. In addition, the
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 workshops will help innovators develop their pitches and prepare for questions from potential investors. 2) Investors’ circles. The Acceleration Facilitator may help bring together investors and select innovators for structured pitch presentations. Grant, debt and equity capital providers will be invited, depending on the needs of the innovators. Additionally, s/he may invite relevant corporations to catalyze product development, licensing agreements, mergers, acquisitions, etc., as appropriate. 3) Deal management. The Acceleration Facilitator may integrate feedback from the investors’ circles into the acceleration work plan and support the innovators to address identified challenges and prepare for future rounds of investment pitches. The Acceleration Facilitator may also track potential interest from the investors and support the innovators to respond and follow-up during the due diligence and negotiation process. ●
Market Partnership Facilitation: The Acceleration Facilitator may facilitate market linkages and help build partnerships. Where relevant, the Acceleration Facilitator may help awardees (especially Stage 2 awardees) secure contracts, penetrate multiple markets, and build and serve a growing customer base. Services will include: 1) Sales and business development. The Acceleration Facilitator may provide access to advisors and build capacity around sales and new business development. 2) Partnership development. The Acceleration Facilitator may work with awardees, members of the IIAC, and prequalified firms and consultants to support the creation of partnerships with manufacturers, distributors and other B2B partners, donors, civil society organizations, local governments, etc. to facilitate uptake of the innovation and thereby growth of the business 3) International marketing. The Acceleration Facilitator may facilitate winning innovators’ participation at international conferences (e.g. trade shows, technology fairs).
5.D: Technical and Financial Milestones Milestones will be jointly determined and agreed to by the awardee, the Agreement/Contracting Officer, the program manager with the assistance of the Acceleration Facilitator (if the awardee choses to receive acceleration services) at the time of award. The IIAC will be consulted during this process. The number of milestones will be limited and manageable; we do not intend for Securing Water for Food to be an overly burdensome program for awardees. We will have annual reviews and only track milestones that best demonstrate the potential and growth of an innovation. Financial milestones will include the ability to secure matching funds and specific market/demand metrics. Technical milestones may include specific technical metrics, such as the quantifiable benefit of the innovation (e.g. increased efficiency, reduced cost) and adoption. During the annual review, market conditions, and other factors that pose both opportunities and challenges for the innovation and innovator will also be assessed. We hope that all innovators are able to achieve all technical and financial milestones. However, some innovations will fail, even if milestones are adjusted. Therefore, if at any annual review an innovation is no longer meeting agreed upon milestones and matching fund requirements, Securing Water for Food will not continue to fund it. 6. Eligibility Requirements See Section III 7. Evaluation Criteria See Section V [END OF SECTION I] 20
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 SECTION II – AWARD INFORMATION i.
The authorizing legislation for this Award is the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as Amended, and the award is subject to 22 CFR 226 – Administration of Assistance Awards to U.S. Non-Governmental Organizations. ii.
Authorized Geographic Code
The authorized geographic code for source and nationality of Applicants is 935 defined as any area or country including the recipient country, but excluding any country that is a prohibited source. The authorized geographic code for country of implementation is 937 defined as the United States, the recipient country, and developing countries other than advanced developing countries, but excluding any country that is a prohibited source. As of the date of this RFA based on the Appropriations Act, USAID is prohibited from directly financing any assistance or reparations for the governments of Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria. Please refer to Automated Directive System (ADS) 310 entitled “Source and Nationality Requirements for Procurement of Commodities and Services Financed by USAID. iii.
Award and Administration Information
A. Award: Although there are multiple international government and private sector partners contributing financial and technical resources to Securing Water for Food, all awards made through this competition will be made and administered by USAID. USAID may (i) reject any or all proposals, (ii) accept more than one proposal, and (iii) waive informalities and minor irregularities in proposals received. Awards made through this RFA may be in the form of grants or cooperative agreements depending on the nature of the submitting organization and the proposal. A USAID Contract and Agreements Officer (CO/AO) will determine the appropriate award instrument for the selections resulting from this solicitation. Grants and cooperative agreements will be subject to the provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as Amended, and the award is subject to 22 CFR 226 – Administration of Assistance Awards to U.S. Non-Governmental Organizations. B. Authority to Obligate the Government: The CO/AO is the only individual authorized to commit the USG to the expenditure of public funds. No costs chargeable to the proposed Award may be incurred before receipt of either a fully executed Award or a specific, written authorization from the CO/AO. C. USAID Management of Activities: The CO/AO shall serve as the primary agreement contact between USAID and the recipient of the Award. The Contract and Agreement Officer’s Representative (C/AOR) will serve as the primary technical contact between USAID and the recipient of the Award. D. Award Administration: Award administration will be determined at time of award based on the mechanism chosen by the CO/AO.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 E. Program Profit and Income: Applicants seeking information about program profit and program income or other issues regarding USAID’s administration of assistance awards should consult 22 CFR 226 and for acquisition awards should consult the FAR and AIDAR for applicable regulations. iv.
Funds may be provided in increments subject to availability of funds, successful implementation and continued relevance to USAID. USAID’s obligation to make awards is contingent upon the availability of sufficient appropriated and partner funds from which payment can be made and the receipt of proposals that USAID determines are acceptable for Award under this RFA. v.
Period of Performance
The period of performance for new Awards for proposals submitted in response to this RFA is up to three years from date of Award. vi.
The estimated ceiling for this RFA is $12.5 Million USD from Securing Water for Food and $2.5 million from the Middle East Water Security Initiative. Subject to the availability of funds, the individual Award(s) will range from $100,000 to $3,000,000. It is anticipated that 15-30 proposals will be funded. [END SECTION II]
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 SECTION III – ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to participate in the third call for Securing Water for Food: ● Type – Securing Water for Food is open to all organizations regardless of type (e.g. for profit, not-for-profit, academic). ● Size – Securing Water for Food is open to all organizations / companies regardless of size. We encourage applications from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) around the world. ● Location – See footnote3 for geographic restrictions. ● Matching funds – Awardees must secure matching funds; see Section I.B.3.B for details. ● Local presence – All applicants must use the funds to implement the innovation in a developing or emerging country (OECD DAC 1 – 3 country listing – see page Appendix I). In addition, applicants must either already have a presence in that country or must have a local partner (supporting documentation required). ● Impact – Innovations must directly or indirectly benefit the poor (income, products, environment, opportunities, gender equality). In addition, applications must avoid negative environmental effects and local market distortions. Applicants from any category of organization or institution, U.S. or non-U.S., are welcome to respond to this solicitation. Specific categories of organizations and institutions that are welcome to respond include, but are not limited to, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, foundations, educational, industrial, and academic institutions, civic groups, and regional organizations. Note: Government entities and individuals are not eligible to apply for funding. For the purposes of this RFA, publicly-funded universities or universities with government affiliations are not considered governments.
[END OF SECTION III]
USAID is restricted from providing foreign assistance to the following countries: North Korea, Cuba, Syria, and Iran.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 SECTION IV – APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION The Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge’s objective is to enable the production of more food with less water and/or make more water available for food production, processing, and distribution in developing and emerging countries. It is jointly funded by USAID, the Government of Sweden, and the Foreign Ministry of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (collectively, the “Founding Partners”). This is the third Call for Proposals (RFA) under Securing Water for Food. Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of the U.S. Government or any of the Partners, nor does it commit any of the Partners to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application. A. Points of Contact Emmanuel A. Wilson, Agreement/Contracting Officer Stephanie Fugate, Agreement/Contracting Officer U.S. Agency for International Development [email protected] B. Eligible Country List See Section V – Appendices, Appendix 1 for the most recent eligible country list. C. Timetable See Section I.B.3.A “Initial Innovation Selection Process”. D. Content and Form of Proposal Submission There will be two stages of proposal submission: Concept Note and Full Application. Applicants whose proposals are ranked among the top 80 during the Concept Note Stage will be required to submit supplemental documents and answers in a Full Application as outlined in Section IV.D.2 below. 1.
Stage One: Initial Proposal Package
All Applicants must submit the following documents by the closing date of this RFA using the online platform. A complete proposal consists of the following sections: A) Basic Applicant Information Through the Online Application Platform, Applicants are asked to input the following details about the organization that is applying for funding through Securing Water for Food: 1. Name and full address of Applicant including country where Applicant is incorporated or registered 2. Type of organization/firm (e.g., for-profit, non-profit, academic institution, etc.) 3. Point of Contact information (name, position title, phone number, fax number, e-mail address) 4. Names of other organizations/firms that are partnering organizations in the proposal. Where joint partnerships include innovators from low-and middle-income countries, we encourage the partnership to designate the low- and middle-income country partner as the Project Manager. 5. Size of organization (for partnerships and consortiums, list the combined total)
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 6. Technical Focus Area (Improving Water Efficiency and Reusing Wastewater; Innovative Water Capture and Storage Systems; Salinity) 7. Concise proposal title 8. Country(ies) where the proposed activities will be implemented 9. Stage Applying to (Stage 1-Market driven product/business development; Stage 2Scaling/Commercial Growth) 10. Type of Innovation (Business Model, Technological; Both) B) Answers to Concept Note questions on the Online Platform Please note that the responses of Securing Water for Food funding recipients may be used for public communication after the Awards are made. The Founding Partners reserve the right to make minor edits to the responses in order to enhance their readability for public communication. 2. Stage Two: Full Application Submissions Following submission of the Concept Note, a select number of applicants, the Semi-Finalists, will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. The Full Proposal is meant to provide evaluators with indepth information about the innovation. The questions are listed in Appendix 2. In some cases, USAID may request for Applicants to elaborate on technical proposal submissions. At this stage, applicants will also be required to submit a detailed budget. The budget portion of the proposals will be reviewed for cost realism and cost effectiveness. Please see Appendix 3 for details regarding what this budget document must include. E. Online Application Platform Proposal Submissions must be loaded into the Online Platform found at: securingwaterforfood.org/apply. Complete instructions regarding how to submit proposals are provided on the website. Questions can also be submitted via the Online Platform directly after clicking on the “Q&A” link (https://screendoor.dobt.co/swff/rd3#submitQuestionModal). Proposals submitted via facsimile or e-mail will not be accepted. If the Applicant experiences any difficulty with submitting a proposal through the Online Application Platform, the Applicant should send an e-mail to [email protected] All proposals received by the submission deadline will be reviewed for responsiveness to the specifications outlined in this RFA. Applicants must ensure that their applications are received by USAID in their entirety. No additions or modifications to the applications will be accepted after submission deadline stated in this RFA. USAID bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes associated with electronic submissions. F. Questions and Answers Questions regarding this RFA concerning the contents of this RFA shall be submitted in writing no later than March 23, 2015 at 5:00 PM EST to the online application platform at http://securingwaterforfood.org/apply. in order to provide sufficient time to address the questions and incorporate the questions and answers as an amendment to this solicitation (if necessary). Verbal explanations or instructions given before the issuance of an Award will not be binding. Any information given to a prospective Applicant concerning this RFA will be furnished promptly to all other prospective Applicants as an amendment to this RFA, if that information is necessary in submitting applications or if 25
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 the lack of it would be prejudicial to any other prospective Applicant. All questions received by the deadline will be answered without attribution and will be reposted on the application website. G. Non-Disclosure Proprietary Information—Applicants that include data/information that they do not want disclosed to the public for any purpose or used by the USG (including other parties directly affiliated with the Innovation Selection Process for Securing Water for Food) except for this solicitation’s evaluation purpose, should indicate so through the Online Application Platform, and mark as instructed the box that references the following text: “This application includes data that shall not be disclosed outside the U.S. Government (including other parties directly affiliated with the Innovation Selection Process for Securing Water for Food) and shall not be duplicated, used, or disclosed – in whole or in part– for any purpose other than to evaluate this application. If, however, a grant is awarded to this Applicant as a result of – or in connection with – the submission of this data, the U.S. Government shall have the right to duplicate, use, or disclose the data to the extent provided in the resulting grant. This restriction does not limit the U.S. Government’s right to use information contained in this data if it is obtained from another source without restriction.” The data subject to this restriction are contained in “sheets” and, mark each sheet of data it wished to restrict with the following legend: “Use or disclosure of data contained on this sheet is subject to the restriction on the title page of this application.” Applicants should retain for their records a copy of all information and documentation that they input/upload to the Online Application Platform. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to ensure that files are complete and transmitted by the deadline. The Applicant bears full responsibility for data errors or omissions. H. DUNS-SAM Registration Finalists need to obtain a Data Universal Number (DUNS) and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) before award. Recipients should take care to report the number that identifies the recipient's name and address exactly as stated in the proposal. (b) The DUNS is a 9-digit number assigned by Dun and Bradstreet Information Services. If the recipient does not have a DUNS number, the recipient should call Dun and Bradstreet directly at 1-800-333-0505. A DUNS number will be provided immediately by telephone at no charge to the recipient. The recipient should be prepared to provide the following information: (1) Recipient's name. (2) Recipient's address. (3) Recipient's telephone number. (4) Line of business. (5) Chief executive officer/key manager. (6) Date the organization was started. 26
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
(7) Number of people employed by the recipient. (8) Company affiliation. (c) Recipients located outside the United States may e-mail Dun and Bradstreet at [email protected] to obtain the location and phone number of the local Dun and Bradstreet Information Services office. The DUNS system is distinct from the Federal Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) system. I. Branding & Marking Requirements a. Applicants recommended for an assistance award must submit and negotiate a "Marking Plan," detailing the public communications, commodities, and program materials, and other items that will visibly bear the "USAID Identity," which comprises of the USAID logo and brand mark, with the tagline "from the American people." The USAID Identity is the official marking for the Agency, and is found on the USAID Web site at http://transition.usaid.gov/branding. b. The request for a Marking Plan, by the Agreement Officer from the applicant, confers no rights to the applicant and constitutes no USAID commitment to an award. c. Failure to submit and negotiate a Marking Plan within the time frame specified by the Agreement Officer will make the applicant ineligible for an award. d. The applicant must include all estimated costs associated with branding and marking USAID programs, such as plaques, stickers, banners, press events, materials, and so forth, in the budget portion of the application. These costs are subject to the revision and negotiation with the Agreement Officer and will be incorporated into the Total Estimated Amount of the grant, cooperative agreement or other assistance instrument. e. The Marking Plan must include all of the following: (1) A description of the public communications, commodities, and program materials that the applicant plans to produce and which will bear the USAID Identity as part of the award, including: (i) Program, project, or activity sites funded by USAID, including visible infrastructure projects or other sites physical in nature; (ii) Technical assistance, studies, reports, papers, publications, audio-visual productions, public service announcements, Web sites/Internet activities, promotional, informational, media, or communications products funded by USAID; (iii) Commodities, equipment, supplies, and other materials funded by USAID, including commodities or equipment provided under humanitarian assistance or disaster relief programs; and (iv) It is acceptable to cobrand the title with the USAID Identity and the applicant's identity. 27
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
(v) Events financed by USAID, such as training courses, conferences, seminars, exhibitions, fairs, workshops, press conferences and other public activities. If the USAID Identity cannot be displayed, the recipient is encouraged to otherwise acknowledge USAID and the support of the American people. (2) A table on the program deliverables with the following details: (i) The program deliverables that the applicant plans to mark with the USAID Identity; (ii) The type of marking and what materials the applicant will use to mark the program deliverables; (iii) When in the performance period the applicant will mark the program deliverables, and where the applicant will place the marking; (iv) What program deliverables the applicant does not plan to mark with the USAID Identity , and (v) The rationale for not marking program deliverables. (3) Any requests for an exemption from USAID marking requirements, and an explanation of why the exemption would apply. The applicant may request an exemption if USAID marking requirements would: (i) Compromise the intrinsic independence or neutrality of a program or materials where independence or neutrality is an inherent aspect of the program and materials. The applicant must identify the USAID Strategic Objective, Interim Result, or program goal furthered by an appearance of neutrality, or state why an aspect of the award is presumptively neutral. Identify by category or deliverable item, examples of material for which an exemption is sought. (ii) Diminish the credibility of audits, reports, analyses, studies, or policy recommendations whose data or findings must be seen as independent. The applicant must explain why each particular deliverable must be seen as credible. (iii) Undercut host-country government "ownership" of constitutions, laws, regulations, policies, studies, assessments, reports, publications, surveys or audits, public service announcements, or other communications. The applicant must explain why each particular item or product is better positioned as host-country government item or product. (iv) Impair the functionality of an item. The applicant must explain how marking the item or commodity would impair its functionality. (v) Incur substantial costs or be impractical. The applicant must explain why marking would not be cost beneficial or practical. (vi) Offend local cultural or social norms, or be considered inappropriate. The applicant must identify the relevant norm, and explain why marking would violate that norm or otherwise be inappropriate. 28
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
(vii) Conflict with international law. The applicant must identify the applicable international law violated by the marking. f. The Agreement Officer will consider the Marking Plan's adequacy and reasonableness in the award criteria, and will approve and disapprove any exemption requests. The Marking Plan will be reviewed to ensure the above information is adequately included and consistent with the stated objectives of the award, the applicant's cost data submissions, and the performance plan. g. If the applicant receives an assistance award, the Marking Plan, including any approved exemptions, will be included in and made part of the resulting grant or cooperative agreement, and will apply for the term of the award unless provided otherwise. J. Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) Section 117 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, requires that the impact of USAID’s activities on the environment be considered and that USAID include environmental sustainability as a central consideration in designing and carrying out its development programs. This mandate is codified in Federal Regulations (22 CFR 216) and in USAID’s Automated Directives System (ADS) Parts 201.5.10g and 204 (http://www.usaid.gov/policy/ads/200/), which, in part, require that the potential environmental impacts of USAID-financed activities are identified prior to a final decision to proceed and that appropriate environmental safeguards are adopted for all activities. The environmental compliance obligations of the Applicant under these regulations and procedures are specified in the following paragraphs of this RFA. An Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) has been approved for this RFA. The IEE covers activities expected to be implemented under this agreement. USAID may determine that a Negative Determination with Conditions applies to one or more of the proposed activities. This indicates that if these activities are implemented subject to the specified conditions, they are expected to have no significant adverse effect on the environment. The recipient shall be responsible for implementing all IEE conditions pertaining to activities to be funded under this Award. As part of its initial Acceleration Work Plan, and all Annual Acceleration Work Plans thereafter, the Applicant, in collaboration with the USAID Contract and/or Agreement Officer’s Representative (C/AOR) and Mission Environmental Officer or Bureau Environmental Officer, as appropriate, shall review all ongoing and planned activities under this Award to determine if they are within the scope of the approved Regulation 216 environmental documentation. Unless the approved Regulation 216 documentation contains a complete environmental mitigation and monitoring plan (EMMP) or a project mitigation and monitoring (M&M) plan, the recipient shall prepare an EMMP or M&M Plan describing how they will, in specific terms, implement all IEE and/or EA conditions that apply to proposed project activities within the scope of the Award. The EMMP or M&M Plan shall include monitoring the implementation of the conditions and their effectiveness. If the recipient plans any new activities outside the scope of the approved Regulation 216 environmental documentation, it shall prepare an amendment to the documentation for USAID review and approval. No such new activities shall be undertaken prior to receiving written USAID approval of environmental documentation amendments. Any ongoing activities found to be outside the scope of the approved Regulation 216 environmental documentation shall be halted until an amendment to the documentation is submitted and written approval 29
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 is received from USAID. In addition, the recipient must comply with host country environmental regulations unless otherwise directed in writing by USAID. In case of conflict between host country and USAID regulations, the latter shall govern. K. Conscience Clause Implementation (Assistance) a. An organization, including a faith-based organization, that is otherwise eligible to receive funds under this agreement for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, or care(1) Must not be required, as a condition of receiving such assistance(i) to endorse or utilize a multisectoral or comprehensive approach to combating HIV/AIDS; or (ii) to endorse, utilize, make a referral to, become integrated with, or otherwise participate in any program or activity to which the organization has a religious or moral objection; and (2) Must not be discriminated against in the solicitation or issuance of grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements for refusing to meet any requirement described in paragraph (a)(1) above. b. An applicant who believes that this solicitation contains provisions or requirements that would require it to endorse or use an approach or participate in an activity to which it has a religious or moral objection must so notify the cognizant Agreement Officer in accordance with the Standard Provision "Notices" as soon as possible, and in any event not later than 15 calendar days before the deadline for submission of applications under this solicitation. The applicant must advise which activity(ies) it could not implement and the nature of the religious or moral objection. c. In responding to the solicitation, an applicant with a religious or moral objection may compete for any funding opportunity as a prime partner, or as a leader or member of a consortium that comes together to compete for an award. Alternatively, such applicant may limit its application to those activities it can undertake and must indicate in its submission the activity(ies) it has excluded based on religious or moral objection. The offeror's proposal will be evaluated based on the activities for which a proposal is submitted, and will not be evaluated favorably or unfavorably due to the absence of a proposal addressing the activity(ies) to which it objected and which it thus omitted. In addition to the notification in paragraph (b) above, the applicant must meet the submission date provided for in the solicitation.
[END SECTION IV]
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 SECTION V. – APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION A: Concept Note Stage We are inviting all eligible applicants to submit a Concept Note, which includes responses to the questions below. In addition to responding to the following questions, applicants will be required to provide background information in the online platform and demonstrate that they meet the minimum eligibility criteria described in Section I.B.4 above and Section II.A later in the document. Concept Note responses to each question have a character minimum of 250 and a character maximum of 1500. Stage 1 Applicant: Innovation Viability 50% of Concept Note Score 1) What is your innovation? What is transformative or “game-changing” about it? Why is there an urgent need for your innovation? How does your innovation differ from existing products on the market? Evaluation Criteria: Provide a compelling response describing how and why the innovation is game-changing and daring in premise, urgent for consumers, and clearly differentiated from existing products/models on the market. 2) What is/are the specific critical barrier(s) or problem(s) – related to water for food security – that your innovation addresses? Evaluation Criteria: Clearly articulate the specific and critical barrier, and provide a compelling case that the innovation addresses critical barrier/s to water for food security 3) Has this innovation been piloted (yes/no)? Where? What were the results of the pilot? Evaluation Criteria: Clearly describe the pilot(s) and details about the pilot(s). Clearly articulate how lessons learned from the pilot have led or will lead to adaptation of the innovation in a new/different/expanded context. Business/Financial Viability. Tailor all answers in this section to the country(ies) in which you are proposing to work. 25% of Concept Note Score 1) Describe the demand for your innovation. In what country/region/market are you proposing to expand with Securing Water for Food funding? What is the total addressable market and potential market share for your innovation? What is the basis for your claim? Evaluation Criteria: Provide a clear description and explanation of demand for the innovation, the country/region/market of expansion, and the total addressable market (TAM). Responses should be tailored to the country(ies) of operation and demonstrate a clear understanding of the local operating environment.
2) What are your expected sources of matching funds and/or in-kind contributions (refer to Section I.3.B)? Evaluation Criteria For Stage 1: The applicant provides a clear description of the source(s) of inkind contributions and has a high level of detail, and describes any cash/cash equivalent (if applicable) as part of the matching requirement.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Application and Sustainability in Developing or Emerging Country(ies) Tailor all answers in this section to the country(ies) in which you are proposing to work. 25% of Concept Note Score 1) Describe your expected end-users. Who are they and how might end users need to modify their existing practices or behaviors to use your product or service? Was this innovation designed with end user input? Has the innovation been adapted to reach both women and men, and the poorer population? Evaluation Criteria: Provide a clear and detailed description and explanation of the end-users and whether or not those end-users might need to modify their existing practices or behaviors to use the innovation. Responses should be tailored to the country(ies) of operation and demonstrate a clear understanding of the local operating environment, highlighting any previous end user input in innovation design. 2) Who is/are your local partner(s)? Who are other potential partners (be specific about partners; e.g. provide names and type of organization, not just categories)? If no local partners, what is your developing country experience? Evaluation Criteria: If applicable, provide a detailed description and explanation of local partner's experience. Clearly demonstrate that the local partner has the ability and capacity to manage and execute the proposed action plan in this application. Describe any future potential partners. If applicant has a local presence but no existing or proposed local partners, please write N/A and describe why no local partners are needed.
Stage 2 Applicant: Business/Financial Viability. Tailor all answers in this section to the country(ies) in which you are proposing to work. 50% of Concept Note Score 1) What is your innovation? What is transformative or “game-changing” about it? Why is there an urgent need for your innovation? How does your innovation differ from existing products on the market? Evaluation Criteria: Provide a compelling response describing how and why the innovation is game-changing and daring in premise, urgent for consumers, and clearly differentiated from existing products/models on the market. 2) Describe the demand for your innovation. In what country/region/market are you proposing to expand with Securing Water for Food funding? What is the total addressable market and potential market share for your innovation? What is the basis for your claim? Evaluation Criteria: Provide a clear description and explanation of demand for the innovation, the country/region/market of expansion, and the total addressable market (TAM). Responses should be tailored to the country(ies) of operation and demonstrate a clear understanding of the local operating environment. 3) Describe key elements of your go-to-market strategy in the country(ies) in which you propose to work. What are the biggest challenges and opportunities? Evaluation Criteria: Clearly describe key elements of the go-to-market strategy, including a description of the challenges and opportunities. Responses should be tailored to the country(ies) of operation and demonstrate a clear understanding of the local operating environment.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 4) What are your expected sources of matching funds and/or in-kind contributions (refer to Section I.3.B)? Evaluation Criteria For Stage 2: The applicant provides a clear description of the source(s) of cash/cash equivalent matching funds and has a high level of detail, and meets the 25% (initial) cash/cash equivalent matching requirement. Innovation Viability 25% of Concept Note Score 1) Has this innovation been piloted (yes/no)? Where? What were the results of the pilot Evaluation Criteria: Clearly describe the pilot(s) and details about the pilot(s). Clearly articulate how lessons learned from the pilot have led or will lead to adaptation of the innovation in a new/different/expanded context 2) What is/are the specific critical barrier(s) or problem(s) – related to water for food security – that your innovation addresses? Evaluation Criteria: Clearly articulate the specific and critical barrier, and provide a compelling case that the innovation addresses critical barrier/s to water for food security 3) What are the key, quantifiable metrics related to your innovation’s performance or expected performance (e.g. total increased installed storage capacity (cubic meters); liters of water saved or used per hectare of land)? Evaluation Criteria: Provide a detailed description and explanation of both the expected performance and key metrics. Ensure metrics are both objective and verifiable. Articulate metrics beyond technical indicators, including potential measures of social impact/cost-effectiveness. Application and Sustainability in Developing or Emerging Country(ies) Tailor all answers in this section to the country(ies) in which you are proposing to work. 25% of Concept Note Score 1) Describe your expected end-users. Who are they and how might end users need to modify their existing practices or behaviors to use your product or service? Has the innovation been adapted to reach both women and men, and the poorer population? Evaluation Criteria: Provide a clear and detailed description and explanation of the end-users and whether or not those end-users might need to modify their existing practices or behaviors to use the innovation. Responses should be tailored to the country(ies) of operation and demonstrate a clear understanding of the local operating environment.
2) Who is/are your local partner(s)? Who are other potential partners (be specific about partners; e.g. provide names and type of organization, not just categories)? Evaluation Criteria: If applicable, provide a detailed description and explanation of local partner's experience. Clearly demonstrate that the local partner has the ability and capacity to manage and execute the proposed action plan in this application. Describe any future potential partners. If applicant has a local presence but no existing or proposed local partners, please write N/A and describe why no local partners are needed.
For those applicants advancing beyond the concept note stage, a budget spreadsheet and budget narrative will also be required.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Note: Stage 1 and Stage 2 applicants will be evaluated against the evaluation criteria, not against each other. B: Full Proposal Stage Following submission of the Concept Note, a select number of applicants (~80) will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. The Full Proposal is meant to provide evaluators with in-depth information about the innovation. All questions asked at the Concept Note stage are repeated in the Full Proposal stage. Applicant must also answer additional questions in the Full Proposal stage (see Appendix 2). Applicants will be also asked to provide a budget spreadsheet and budget narrative, past performance references, and begin the SAM/DUNS registration process (see section IV). USAID reserves the right to reject any file or materials that is infected or harmful to our system. In addition, if potential applicants submit material that is not requested, such material will not be reviewed or scored. Full applications will be based upon specific questions tailored to each theme and each innovator in which discussions will be held. Questions will be divided into three categories: 1) Innovation Viability; 2) Application and Sustainability in Developing or Emerging Country(ies); and 3) Business/Financial Viability. See Appendix 2 for illustrative questions. The U.S. government may choose to award upon the basis of initial applications without holding discussions with applicants, although the Government reserves the right to hold discussions at the sole discretion of the Agreement Officer. Applicants are therefore advised that each initial application should contain the Applicant’s best application. C: Face-to-Face Assessment Stage Finalists (applicants who pass the first two screens) will be invited to participate in a face-to-face “pitch session”. It will take place via videoconference and will serve as a presentation session to at least two members of the Innovation Investment Advisory Committee. No more than 6 people can represent a company/organization. Presentation sessions will be one hour. They will include an overview of the most salient aspects about the innovation from the company / organization, will give applicants an opportunity to address weaknesses identified by reviewers, and will be followed by a Q&A session that will enable the judges to validate responses to innovation/technical viability, application and sustainability in developing and emerging countries, and business/financial viability questions and assess the capacity of the management team.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 SECTION VI. – AWARD AND ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION Awards made through this RFA may be in the form of grants, cooperative agreements, and other award agreements, depending on the nature of the submitting organization and proposal. A USAID Agreements Officer will determine the appropriate Award instrument for the selections resulting from this solicitation. Prior to Award execution, USAID may solicit additional information necessary to execute the Award. A. Certification Regarding Terrorist Financing, Implementing Executive Order 13224 1. The Recipient, to the best of its current knowledge, did not provide, within the previous ten years, and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that it does not and will not knowingly provide, material support or resources to any individual or entity that commits, attempts to commit, advocates, facilitates, or participates in terrorist acts, or has committed, attempted to commit, facilitated, or participated in terrorist acts, as that term is defined in paragraph 3. 2. The following steps may enable the Recipient to comply with its obligations under paragraph 1: a. Before providing any material support or resources to an individual or entity, the Recipient will verify that the individual or entity does not (i) appear on the master list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/SDN-List/Pages/default.aspx), which is maintained by the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), or (ii) is not included in any supplementary information concerning prohibited individuals or entities that may be provided by USAID to the Recipient. b. Before providing any material support or resources to an individual or entity, the Recipient also will verify that the individual or entity has not been designated by the United Nations Security (UNSC) sanctions committee established under UNSC Resolution 1267 (1999) (the "1267 Committee") (individuals and entities linked to the Taliban, Usama bin Laden, or the Al-Qaida Organization). To determine whether there has been a published designation of an individual or entity by the 1267 Committee, the Recipient should refer to the consolidated list available online at the Committee's Web site: http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/committees/1267/1267ListEng.htm. c. Before providing any material support or resources to an individual or entity, the Recipient will consider all information about that individual or entity of which it is aware and all public information that is reasonably available to it or of which it should be aware. d. The Recipient also will implement reasonable monitoring and oversight procedures to safeguard against assistance being diverted to support terrorist activity. 3. For purposes of this Certificationa. "Material support and resources" means currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation, and other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials." b. "Terrorist act" means(i) an act prohibited pursuant to one of the 12 United Nations Conventions and Protocols related to terrorism (see UN terrorism conventions Internet site: http://untreaty.un.org/English/Terrorism.asp); or 35
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
(ii) an act of premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents; or (iii) any other act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act. c. "Entity" means a partnership, association, corporation, or other organization, group or subgroup. d. References in this Certification to the provision of material support and resources must not be deemed to include the furnishing of USAID funds or USAID-financed commodities to the ultimate beneficiaries of USAID assistance, such as recipients of food, medical care, micro-enterprise loans, shelter, etc., unless the Recipient has reason to believe that one or more of these beneficiaries commits, attempts to commit, advocates, facilitates, or participates in terrorist acts, or has committed, attempted to commit, facilitated or participated in terrorist acts. e. The Recipient's obligations under paragraph 1 are not applicable to the procurement of goods and/or services by the Recipient that are acquired in the ordinary course of business through contract or purchase, e.g., utilities, rents, office supplies, gasoline, etc., unless the Recipient has reason to believe that a vendor or supplier of such goods and services commits, attempts to commit, advocates, facilitates, or participates in terrorist acts, or has committed, attempted to commit, facilitated or participated in terrorist acts. This Certification is an express term and condition of any agreement issued as a result of this application, and any violation of it will be grounds for unilateral termination of the agreement by USAID prior to the end of its term. B. Intellectual Property USAID’s goal is to facilitate the research and development that will lead to innovative, and potentially commercially viable, solutions. Understanding the sensitive nature of submitters’ information, USAID will work with organizations to protect intellectual property. Intellectual property provisions applicable to contract awards are subject to the provisions of the USAID FAR Supplement (AIDAR) (available at http://transition.usaid.gov/policy/ads/300/aidar.pdf). When the awardee is a college, university, nonprofit organization or small business firm, FAR clause 52.227-11 and FAR clause 52.227-14 shall apply. When the awardee is a large business firm, FAR clause 52.227-14 will apply. USAID may include FAR Clause 52.227-16. Additional Date Requirements in the resulting contract if appropriate. USAID will utilize the following regulations for intellectual property (IP) issues arising from: 1) Patent development, including USAID-funded research, technology development, and technology transfer for commercialization or other distribution; 2) The creation and funding of copyrighted material and marks; and, 3) The handling of information that are trade secrets. 17 U.S.C. 101, 105 17 U.S.C. 301 - 305 22 CFR Part 226 35 U.S.C. 100-212 36
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 37 CFR Part 401, "Rights to Inventions Made by Nonprofit and Small Business Firms under Government Grants, Contracts, and Corporate Agreements" (implementing the Bayh-Dole Act) AIDAR Subchapter E – Part 727 a) Title and Rights in Property During negotiations, Applicants should identify where title to all property types acquired for Securing Water for Food activities is critical to their commercialization efforts. USAID will determine whether title to property will remain with Applicants for a specified period to be negotiated prior to award.
C. Reporting Requirements Specific reporting requirements will be stipulated at the time of Award negotiation. Applicants should anticipate the following deliverables to demonstrate the project’s progress and success: a) A detailed monitoring and evaluation plan, with expected timelines to completion b) Semi-Annual progress report detailing the technical and programmatic achievements c) A clear proof-of-principle demonstration described in the original proposal and documented as part of the final report, including detailed documentation of the technical work accomplished and success and lessons learned from the project. d) Dissemination of knowledge through publications in peer-reviewed literature, patent applications, etc. In addition, awardees will likely be responsible for the following activities and documentation during the life of the program: ● Conducting ongoing assessment of progress and a final evaluation, and submitting periodic reports according to the requirements outlined in the Award; ● Briefing Securing Water for Food Partners on project progress and outcomes; ● Cooperating with Securing Water for Food Partners to facilitate rigorous program evaluations; and ● Maintaining communication with key Securing Water for Food staff. ● Attending up to 2 SWFF-related activities/events per year. [END SECTION IV]
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
Section V. Appendices Appendix 1- Eligible Countries of Implementation4 Afghanistan Albania Algeria Angola Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Armenia Azerbaijan Bangladesh Belarus Belize Benin Bhutan Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d'Ivoire Djibouti Dominica
Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Marshall Islands Mauritania Mauritius Mexico Micronesia, Federated States of Moldova Mongolia Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Rwanda Saint Helena Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa Sao Tome and Principe
Dominican Republic Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Fiji Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Ghana Grenada Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Honduras India Indonesia Iraq Jamaica Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kosovo Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Macedonia Madagascar
Senegal Serbia and Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Sudan Sri Lanka Suriname Swaziland Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Tunisia Turkey Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam Wallis and Futuna West Bank Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe
Activities implemented in the following countries may be eligible to receive funding from at least one of the Founding Partners. Country eligibility is subject to change without notice.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
Appendix 2- Full Application Criteria Following submission of the Concept Note, a select number of applicants will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. The Full Proposal is meant to provide evaluators with in-depth information about the innovation. Many questions asked at the Concept Note stage are repeated in the Full Proposal stage. Applicant must also answer additional questions in the Full Proposal stage. Applicants invited to submit a Full Proposal may update their responses from the Concept Note. Applicants will be also asked to provide a budget. Questions are divided into three categories: 1) Innovation Viability; 2) Application and Sustainability in Developing or Emerging Country(ies); and 3) Business/Financial Viability. Below, we list likely questions; there may also be different and/or additional questions asked of applicants. Stage 1 Applicant: Innovation Viability 50% of Concept Note Score 1) Describe your innovation. Provide back-up documentation in the form of 1 .pdf of no more than 3 pages). i. What is your innovation? What is transformative or “game-changing” about it? ii. If your innovation is a technology, provide technical specification on how your innovation works; if a business model, what is innovative about it? iii. Why is there an urgent need for your innovation? iv. How does your innovation differ from existing products or services on the market? v. What is/are the specific critical barrier(s) or problem(s) – related to water for food security – that your innovation addresses? vi. What are the key, quantifiable metrics related to your innovation’s performance or expected performance (e.g. total increased installed storage capacity [cubic meters]; liters of water saved or used per hectare of land)? Focus on the most important pieces of quantitative data that you have on your product or service’s performance or expected performance. 2) Describe how you will measure and monitor success, including metrics/indicators and targets, and expected milestones. 3) Describe your experience to date piloting and validating your innovation. i. Where has this been piloted? ii. What were the results of that pilot? 4) Describe any future pilots and/or validation for your innovation. i. Do you plan to launch future pilots in a new market(s) under Securing Water for Food and what is the timeframe for doing this? ii. What is your timeframe for validating your technology solution? (technology innovations only; if business model innovation, write N/A).
Application and Sustainability in Developing or Emerging Country(ies) 25% of Concept Note Score 1) How many people will your innovation affect (directly and indirectly) within 3-5 years? Indirect effects include “trickle down” benefits to people who may not be actual users of the product or service. What assumptions went into your analysis? While we understand that this question is 39
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 difficult to answer, please be as thoughtful as possible. (For example, please do not say “This innovation will affect 5 million people in 3-5 years because the country has a population of 100 million people and 2.5% will like our innovation and another 2.5% will benefit just because they are in the country.”) 2)
3) 4) 5)
Describe your expected end-users. i. Who are your expected end-users? ii. Was this innovation designed with input from these end-users? iii. How will you ensure that the proposed innovation is affordable to end-users (affordability should include the full costs of management, maintenance, and replacement in developing or emerging markets)? What outside resources (e.g. suppliers of additive technology, materials/components, funds) are necessary to adapt the innovation to new markets? Are you already active in the developing or emerging country(ies) in which you propose to work in this application? Describe your partnership strategy and provide letters or other forms of commitments (e.g. contracts, letters of support, memoranda of understanding between collaborating entities). supporting your partnership strategy. Provide back-up documentation in the form of 1 .pdf document of no more than 3 pages if you are able to do so) i. Do you have existing local partners? If so, who are they? ii. In the future, what other potential partnerships would be beneficial to bring your innovation to scale (e.g. with local companies, international corporations, local governments, investors, consumer groups, cooperatives, companies, public sector agencies) and what stage are you at in identifying and/or working with these partners? Provide detail about the legal and regulatory challenges in the country(ies) in which you propose to work, including specific laws and policies that will either foster or inhibit the scale-up of the technology. What are the potential positive and negative environmental impacts that could be caused by your innovation? How does your innovation directly or indirectly benefit or impact vulnerable groups, including poor and women (for example, does this innovation engage one or more of these vulnerable groups as innovators, employees, suppliers, distributors and consumers)? Are there any expected gaps in the levels of participation between men and women (including age, ethnicity, disability, location, etc.)? Please describe how cultural norms/beliefs, access to/ and control over assests, and patterns of power and decision-making could be causing these gaps, and how your innovation will shrink those gaps.
Business/Financial Viability 25% of Concept Note Score 1) Describe the demand for your innovation. i. In what country(ies) is your product/service currently available? ii. In what country/region/market are you proposing to expand with Securing Water for Food funding? iii. What is the total addressable market for your innovation? What is the basis for your claim? iv. What is the potential market share for your innovation within 3-5 years? What is the basis for your claim? 2) What are the qualifications and years of experience of your key operational executives and board members in terms of technical, operations and business expertise (focus on the following: track
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 record; expertise; and networks)? Provide back-up documentation in the form of 1 .pdf document of no more than 3 pages if you are able to do so). 3) Describe the source(s) of your matching funds and/or in-kind contributions (note: additional evaluation points will be awarded for applicants who provide higher matching funds than the minimum described in Section 3.C). Provide back-up documentation in the form of 1 .pdf document of no more than 3 pages if you are able to do so). i. What are the source(s) and amount(s) of market-based matching funds or in-kind contributions?
Stage 2 Applicant: Business/Financial Viability 50% of Concept Note Score 1) Describe the demand for your innovation. i. In what country(ies) is your product/service currently available? ii. What is the existing market share for your innovation? iii. In what country/region/market are you proposing to expand with Securing Water for Food funding? iv. What is the potential market share for your innovation within 3-5 years? What is the basis for your claim? 2) Describe key elements and timeframe of your go-to-market strategy. i. What are the key elements and timeframe of your go-to-market strategy (these should include the: pricing plan; licensing plan; distribution strategy)? ii. Where do you see the biggest challenges and opportunities? 3) Describe the competitive landscape. i. What is your competitive advantage? ii. Who are the companies/organizations that you see as competition? 4) Describe your financial model. Provide back-up documentation in the form of 1 .pdf document of no more than 3 pages if you are able to do so). i. What is the unit cost of your product/service? For technology innovations, how much does it cost to produce, store, and sell one unit of this innovation? For business model innovations, what must be spent to offer this specific service including the number of times the service is offered, the salaries of those employed to deliver the service, and any materials used to deliver the service? ii. What is your price per unit? iii. What are your sources and uses of capital, including your own investment in the innovation? Please include financial statements (include profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow analysis) as supporting documentation. iv. Describe the sales and distribution model. 5) What are the qualifications and years of experience of your key operational executives and board members in terms of technical, operations and business expertise (focus on the following: track record; expertise; and networks)? Provide back-up documentation in the form of 1 .pdf document of no more than 3 pages if you are able to do so). 6) What are the source(s) and amount(s) of market-based matching funds or in-kind contributions (note: additional evaluation points will be awarded for applicants who provide higher matching funds than the minimum described in Section 3.C)? Provide back-up documentation in the form of 1 .pdf document of no more than 3 pages if you are able to do so).
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Innovation Viability 25% of Concept Note Score 1) Describe your innovation. Provide back-up documentation in the form of 1 .pdf of no more than 3 pages). a. What is your innovation? What is transformative or “game-changing” about it? b. If your innovation is a technology, provide technical specification on how your innovation works; if a business model, what is innovative about it? c. Why is there an urgent need for your innovation? d. How does your innovation differ from existing products or services on the market? e. What is/are the specific critical barrier(s) or problem(s) – related to water for food security – that your innovation addresses? f. What are the key, quantifiable metrics related to your innovation’s performance or expected performance (e.g. total increased installed storage capacity [cubic meters]; liters of water saved or used per hectare of land)? Focus on the most important pieces of quantitative data that you have on your product or service’s performance or expected performance. 2) Describe how you will measure and monitor success, including metrics/indicators and targets, and expected milestones.
Application and Sustainability in Developing or Emerging Country(ies) 25% of Concept Note Score 1) How many people will your innovation affect (directly and indirectly) within 3-5 years? Indirect effects include “trickle down” benefits to people who may not be actual users of the product or service. What assumptions went into your analysis? While we understand that this question is difficult to answer, please be as thoughtful as possible. (For example, please do not say “This innovation will affect 5 million people in 3-5 years because the country has a population of 100 million people and 2.5% will like our innovation and another 2.5% will benefit just because they are in the country.”) 2) Describe your expected end-users. i. Who are your end users? ii. Was this innovation designed with input from these end-users? iii. How might end users need to modify their existing practices or behaviors to use your product or service? iv. How will you ensure that the proposed innovation is affordable to end users (affordability should include the full costs of management, maintenance, and replacement in developing or emerging markets)? 3) What financial and non-financial resources (e.g. suppliers of additive technology, materials/components, funds) are necessary to commercialize and/or bring the innovation to scale? 4) Describe your developing or emerging country experience. i. Do you have any developing or emerging country experience? ii. Are you already active in the developing or emerging country in which you propose to work in this application? 5) Describe your partnership strategy and provide letters or other forms of commitments (e.g. contracts, letters of support, memoranda of understanding between collaborating entities). supporting your partnership strategy. Provide back-up documentation in the form of 1 .pdf document of no more than 3 pages if you are able to do so) i. Do you have existing local and global partners? If so, who are they?
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 ii.
In the future, what other potential partnerships would be beneficial to bring your innovation to scale (e.g. with local companies, international corporations, local governments, investors, consumer groups, cooperatives, companies, public sector agencies) and what stage are you at in identifying and/or working with these partners? Describe the enabling environment. i. Provide detail about the legal and regulatory challenges in the country(ies) in which you propose to work, including specific laws and policies that will either foster or inhibit the scale-up of the technology. ii. What are the social, economic, and environmental, challenges your innovation faces that may prevent its scale-up and how you propose to overcome those challenges? Describe the economic and environmental impacts of your innovation. i. What are the potential positive and negative economic impacts of your innovation? ii. What are the potential positive and negative environmental impacts that could be caused by your innovation? How does your innovation directly or indirectly benefit or impact vulnerable groups, including poor and women (for example, does this innovation engage one or more of these vulnerable groups as innovators, employees, suppliers, distributors and consumers)? Are there any expected gaps in the levels of participation between men and women (including age, ethnicity, disability, location, etc.)? Please describe how cultural norms/beliefs, access to/ and control over assets, and patterns of power and decision-making could be causing these gaps, and how your innovation will shrink those gaps.
Proposed project objectives and interim (draft) milestones by the applicant will be reviewed to determine the extent to which they are appropriate, feasible and technically sound within the budget and time allocated for initial funding.
Non-weighted evaluation Factors for Finalist Applications: While no weight is assigned to the below factors, they are important and material to the award decision. (a) Past Performance Past performance information for three (3) past performance references which describe any contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements which the applicant organization, as well as any consortia or joint venture partners and any subcontractors or sub-awardees that will perform a substantive role in the applicant’s program, has implemented involving similar or related programs over the past three years will be required. Please include the following information: name and address of the organization for which the work was performed; name and current telephone number and email address of responsible representative from the organization for which the work was performed; contract/grant name and number (if any), the period of contract/grant performance, annual amount received for each of the last three years and beginning and end dates; brief description of the project/assistance activity and key project accomplishments / results achieved to date. It is recommended that the applicant alert the contacts that their names have been submitted and that they are authorized to provide past performance information when requested.
(b) Cost In the later stages of review, costs included in the proposed budget will be reviewed to ensure they are allowable, allocable, and reasonable. 43
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Cost effectiveness will be considered in relation to any proposed cost-share. While a cost-share is not required, it could contribute to the achievement of the results of this funding opportunity. If requested, budget proposals will also be subject to cost realism analysis. The cost realism analysis will verify the applicant's understanding of the requirements, assess the degree to which the cost application reflects the approaches in the technical application, and assess the degree to which the costs included in the application accurately represent the programmatic requirements set forth in the application. (c) Pre-Award Survey All award nominees (those applicants that have made it past the finalist stage) that do not have a prior grant with USAID will be required to perform a Pre-Award Survey prior to receiving any SWFF funding. USAID or its designee will administer the Pre-Award Survey. This tool helps determine whether the organization’s financial management and internal control systems are adequate to manage, control, account for, and report on the uses of USAID funds. It provides the Agreement Officer (AO) with the information needed to evaluate the ability of an organization to adequately fulfill the terms of an award. The Pre-award Survey will assess the following criteria: Organization legal structure. Financial management and internal controls. Procurement systems. Human resources systems. Programs performance management (project management capacity). Organization sustainability. An organization that has been audited within 1 year of the time of the award may submit that audit in lieu of the pre-award survey if it covers all of the criteria listed above, but the Agreement Officer (AO) will ultimately determine if the audit meets the requirements of the Pre-Award Survey. USAID (or its designee) recognizes that newer organizations may have some difficulty providing all documents, and will work with award nominees to create the systems listed in the criteria if they do not exist. If an award nominee is unwilling or unable to modify their practices to meet the criteria requirements, USAID will not make an award.
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049
Appendix 3- Stage 2 Budget Information Requirements 1) Budget Spreadsheet The budget should represent a detailed summary budget. A template for the budget will be provided in the online platform. Applicants will need to complete the template and submit it to the application platform. The basic definitions for the detailed cost elements are provided below. 2) Budget Narrative The budget narrative should provide information on the basis for estimating each line item, including reference to sources used in substantiating the cost estimate (e.g. organization's policy, payroll document, vendor quotes, etc.). i) Direct Labor Direct salaries, wages and annual increases for all personnel proposed under the application must be in accordance with the Applicant's established personnel policies. To be considered adequate, the policies must be in writing, applicable to all employees of the organization, subject to review and approval at a high enough organizational level to assure its uniform enforcement, and result in costs which are reasonable and allowable in accordance with applicable cost principles. The narrative should include a level of effort analysis specifying personnel, rate of compensation, and amount of time proposed. Anticipated salary increases during the period of the agreement should be included; ii) Fringe Benefits If the Applicant has a fringe benefit rate that has been approved by a USG agency, such rate should be used and evidence of its approval should be provided. If a fringe benefit rate has not been so approved, the application should propose a rate and explain how the rate was determined. If the latter is used, the narrative should include a detailed breakdown comprised of all items of fringe benefits (e.g., unemployment insurance, workers compensation, health and life insurance, retirement, FICA, etc.) and the costs of each, expressed in dollars and as a percentage of salaries; iii) Travel and Transportation The application should indicate the number of trips, domestic, regional, and international, and the estimated costs. Specify the origin and destination for proposed trips, duration of travel, and number of individuals traveling. Per diem should be based on the Applicant’s normal travel policies. iv) Allowances Allowances must be broken down by specific type and by person and must be in accordance with the Applicant's established policies. v) Supplies and Equipment Differentiate between expendable supplies and nonexpendable equipment (NOTE: Equipment is defined as tangible nonexpendable personal property including exempt property charged directly to the Award having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 USD or more per unit, unless the Applicant's established policy establishes nonexpendable equipment anticipated to be required to implement the program, specifying quantities and unit cost). vi) Sub-awards (contracts/grants) (if any) Applicants who intend to utilize sub awardees should indicate the extent intended and a complete cost breakdown, as well as all the information required herein for the Applicant. 45
Request for Assistance Number: SOL-OAA-15-000049 Sub-awards cost applications should follow the same cost format as submitted by the Applicant. vii) Other Direct Costs This could include any miscellaneous costs such as office rent and utilities, communications, transportations, supplies, public outreach, sub-awards, audits, report preparation costs, passports, visas, medical exams and inoculations, insurance (other than the Applicant's normal coverage), etc. The narrative, or supporting schedule, should provide a complete breakdown and support for each item of other direct costs. viii) Indirect Costs The Applicant should support the proposed indirect cost rate with a letter from a cognizant U.S. Government audit agency, a Negotiated Indirect Cost Agreement (NICRA), or with sufficient information for USAID to determine the reasonableness of the rates (For example, a breakdown of labor bases and overhead pools, and the method of determining the rate). 3)
USG Forms and Certificates Depending on mechanism, Applicants may be requested to submit the following: