Сreating a sustainable platform for capacity building in the district heating sector

June 3, 2021

SUBJECT

Creating a sustainable platform for capacity building in the district heating sector.

ISSUANCE DATE

June 03, 2021

DEADLINE FOR QUESTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS

June 24, 2021 (14:00 Kyiv time).

OPEN RFA PRESENTATION

SUBMISSION CLOSING DATE AND TIME

July 19, 2021 (23:59 Kyiv time)

EXPECTED PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE

Up to18 months. The end of the period of performance cannot be later than April 2023.

PLACE OF PERFORMANCE

Ukraine, nationwide, excluding the non-government-controlled areas.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this grant is to create a sustainable online platform for capacity building in the district heating sector and start off active provision of tailored trainings, both virtual and in-person. The capacity building trainings should target DH companies and local self-governments (city administrations) seeking to improve their capacity in various areas of DH operations and governance.

ACTIVITIES (scope of work)

The Grantee will develop an online platform to host educational resources for successful implementation of technological, organizational, and financial improvements in the DH sector and develop and conduct ten initial trainings.

The key activities to achieve this objective:

Task 1. Build an online platform to host educational information, tools, and resources for capacity building:

    • The platform should have the capability to provide analytics (for example, track traffic, most visited pages, geographic location of visitors etc.). The website should be multi-dimensional, consisting of multiple pages organized in a clear, logical manner. The website should be in Ukrainian. Navigating the website should be simple, consistent, and familiar, and naturally be visual, responsive, clear, and accessible. The website should have smart user interface design (UI) elements to provide the best user experience. The website should also have the latest security features, following universal security standards and obtaining the latest encryption technologies for website security. The Technical Approach in response to this RFA (thereafter – TA) shall outline at sufficient detail the candidate’s approach to implement the listed requirements.
    • The Grantee should use a range of best-practice techniques to boost traffic. The website should have a search feature to find content rapidly and contain high-quality images and videos. The TA shall include the candidate’s intended techniques of traffic boosting.
    • The Grantee shall regularly consult PNNL on the website design. The final website design will be approved by ESP. To ensure high quality, the website design may necessitate several layers of USAID’s approval, so the design may need to be adjusted based on USAID’s feedback.

Task 2. Aggregate a repository of already available information, tools, and resources for capacity building:

    • This online platform should contain recordings of previously developed courses, webinars, trainings and other online events conducted and educational materials (information, tools, and resources) developed by international development partners and Ukrainian stakeholders. PNNL will help connect the Grantee to international development partners with whom the Grantee will work to collect training materials.
    • The language of the repository and stored instructional resources (information, tools, and resources) should be Ukrainian. This section of the website can also provide links to selected English-language materials, however, these should constitute a minor part in the entire repository. The Grantee is expected to work with international development partners to utilize previously developed materials in English, which could be relevant for Ukraine once translated into Ukrainian. The overall body of the existing and new materials should be substantial enough to attract considerable user traffic to the platform.
    • Potential areas of information, tools, and resources should include, for example, DH system development, regulation and governance of DH companies, heat tariffs, energy efficiency and technological improvements and customer service. This list may be expanded by the Grantee, and the TA shall demonstrate respective intentions of the candidate.

Task 3. Start off active provision of tailored trainings by developing and conducting new, tailored trainings for DH companies and local self-governments (cities’ administrations) within the timeframe of this Grant:

    • The initial tailored trainings, at least 10 units, should be advanced-level specialized trainings and should meet the needs of experienced employees of DH companies and officials of local self-governments (cities’ administrations) responsible for the DH sector. In this RFA, a training is defined as a structured experience that helps individuals to acquire new, predetermined knowledge, skills, and attitudes to address or solve targeted operational problems. The length of trainings could be between 1 and 8 hours depending on the topic. The Grantee shall produce not less than 60 hours of new developed tailored specialized trainings at advanced level, in the frame of this contract.
    • The Grantee should propose topics, timing, and innovative and creative training formats (e.g. virtual or in-person depending on timing and topics). Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the first trainings should be virtual. The Grantee should provide a creative and flexible training schedule. The TA shall detail the intended themes of the 60 hours of trainings and the formats proposed by the candidate. A candidate may propose more than 60 hours of tailored trainings to be produced, and this will be considered as an asset.
    • The Grantee should work with Ukrainian and international DH experts, trainers, educational institutions, and other Ukrainian stakeholders to develop the initial tailored trainings for DH companies and local self-governments (city administrations). The Grantee should identify experts who can conduct these trainings.
    • The Grantee should a) compile a list of DH companies and cities’ administrations that would benefit from participating in capacity building trainings; and b) propose specific strategies for attracting training participants. The TA shall outline the approach of the candidate on the compilation of the list, and specific attention shall be given to the approach of formulating strategies to attract participants.

Task 4. Develop a sustainable business plan for the online capacity building platform:

    • This USAID grant supports the development of a website and at least 60 hours of tailored trainings to start off the active provision of tailored trainings. However, this online capacity building platform should be designed to become self-sustainable via funding mechanisms that the Grantee develops in cooperation with DH companies and the donor community. Revenue should cover reasonable costs such as hosting and maintaining the website, development of new training courses and conducting the trainings. The business plan should outline resources needed to maintain the platform and conduct trainings and propose creative strategies for reaching potential users/participants. It should propose ways to support activities in the future without financial support from ESP. PNNL will advise the Grantee on development of the business plan for sustainability of the online platform. The TA shall provide the major building blocks of the business plan for self-sustainability; the TA shall adequately disclose the intentions of the candidate after ESP support phase out.

EXPECTED RESULTS

A functioning and sustainable online capacity building platform that serves as a toolkit for Ukrainian DH companies and local self-governments (city administrations) and includes existing and newly developed educational resources, information, tools, and resources, on capacity building at advanced level.

The Grantee must:

  • Build and launch a fully operational website with repository of information, tools, and resources to build capacity of DH companies and local self-governments (city administrations)
  • Engage DH experts in developing and conducting tailored trainings on DH system development, DH governance, regulation, DH energy efficiency improvements and technological excellence, DH customer service, etc.
  • Prepare a sustainability plan for the online capacity building platform that can involve the international donor community and/or Ukrainian stakeholders.

As a result of this activity, DH companies and local self-governments should:

  • Be aware of the online platform with information, tools, and resources as the central entry point for capacity building for DH sector participants in Ukraine.
  • Participate in capacity building trainings.
  • Propose topics for new trainings that meet their needs.

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible to receive grant funds under this RFA, the applicant must:

  • Be a non-governmental organization (NGO) legally registered and recognized under the laws of Ukraine or a consortium of organizations.
  • Not be a “public international organization,” and must not be affiliated with Tetra Tech or any of its directors, officers or
  • Not use funds for religious or political
  • Submit a completed application including all forms and certifications and a project description that supports USAID/Ukraine ESP program goals and
  • Demonstrate previous experience in the administration of at least one cash grant, preferably funded by
  • Demonstrate its ability to manage funds up to the amount of the award and, in the case of cost reimbursable grants or hybrids with a cost reimbursable element, successfully pass a Pre-Award Survey conducted by ESP staff. Display sound management in the form of financial, administrative, and technical policies and procedures and present a system of internal controls that safeguards
  • Have sufficient staff and capacity to carry out the proposed activities, by presenting Human Resource documents like a staffing plan, organizational chart, scopes of work for each person that will form part of the implementation team, staff CVs,
  • Have the ability to work cooperatively with ESP for technical monitoring, as well as with other actors that can be linked to the achievement of the
  • Protect grant funds against fraud, waste, and abuse;
  • Sign the required certifications before receiving a
  • Awardee from this RFA will be required to provide a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number at the time of the award. Tetra Tech will assist successful applicants with this process.

SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS TO APPLICANTS

The applicant must possess the following capabilities:

  • have relevant professional expertise, proven experience (track record, success story in capacity building in closely related areas) and duly qualified staff;
  • have ability to prepare professional training materials. The applicant may work with reputable lecturers and practitioners for the design and delivery of the training program;
  • have an up-to-date understanding of the way the Ukraine energy system works, in particular, the unique features of the Ukrainian DH sector along familiarity with current global trends and best practices related to DH.
  • have an existing network with DH companies and cities.
  • have duly qualified staff, including experienced DH expert(s), communication expert(s), qualified technical editor(s) with editing experience in the energy field, etc.
  • have no conflict of interest (submit a declaration);
  • have no interest in benefitting from the activities (submit a declaration);
  • be not managed or affiliated with any physical person or legal entity contributing, supporting or otherwise facilitating military aggression in the East Ukraine and temporary occupation of Crimea (submit a declaration).