Request for Concept Notes – Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Analysis for USAID Zambia Revenue for Growth Project

Zambia, Tender Notice

TO: Potential Bidders
FROM: USAID Zambia Revenue for Growth Project
RE: USAID Zambia Revenue for Growth Project – Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Analysis
ISSUANCE DATE: May 13, 2022, 17:00 Lusaka time
DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF QUESTIONS FOR CONCEPT NOTE: May 20, 2022, 17:00 Lusaka time
CONCEPT NOTE SUBMISSION DATE: May 27,17:00 Lusaka time
Nathan Associates Inc. (Nathan), as prime contractor of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Revenue for Growth Project, plans to issue a grant to address issues of gender equality and social inclusion in Zambia, with a focus on tax policy and tax administration. The grant will be in the form of one Fixed Amount Award (FAA). Application requirements, as well as review criteria, are outlined in this document.
Applicants wishing to apply for this grant must submit a Concept Note in electronic format by 17:00 Lusaka time on May 27, 2022. They must be emailed to [email protected] and copied to [email protected] and [email protected] No expressions of interest by phone will be accepted. Please send any questions by May 20, 2022, via email. On June 3, 2022, bidders will be notified if they are invited to submit a full application.
This Request for Concept Notes, including this cover letter, in no way obligates Nathan to award a grant nor does it commit Nathan to pay for any costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application in response hereto. Furthermore, Nathan reserves the right to reject any and all applications, if such action is considered to be in the best interest of USAID.
Background of the Revenue for Growth Project and the GESI Analysis
The objective of the USAID Revenue for Growth (R4G) Project is to help Zambia improve domestic revenue mobilization (DRM) and expand the fiscal space for public spending and investments in service delivery and poverty reduction. R4G will engage government and non-government stakeholders to build capacity in tax policy analysis, improve tax compliance and administration, and strengthen the tax culture in a manner that facilitates private sector growth and accountability relationships between taxpayers and the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ). As significant changes in tax policy are politically challenging, R4G will include support to the private sector and civil society stakeholders, as well as the GRZ, to promote improved tax analysis, dialogue, and advocacy and build coalitions that can mobilize support for both DRM and broader fiscal policy reforms.
Tax policies and tax administration practices may result in unintended, differential impacts on men, women, and marginalized groups. R4G will address issues of gender equality and social inclusion in its efforts to support tax reform interventions by the GRZ. To inform this approach, R4G will fund a grant to conduct a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Analysis that examines tax policy and tax administration issues in Zambia through a GESI perspective .
The GESI Analysis will seek to identify existing social structures and biases in the Zambian context that result in differential tax impacts for men, women, and marginalized groups. The most critical aspects are issues of direct and indirect tax burdens on individuals and businesses resulting from their gender and marginalized status and implications for inequality and sustainable development. Social inclusion focuses on understanding and overcoming the complex barriers people face, based on discrimination in the areas of gender, age, location, occupation, race, ethnicity, religion, citizenship status, disability, and sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), among other factors.
Grant Project Objectives
Generally, tax policy decisions are done without actively consulting women, marginalized groups and the youth. Groups without political or economic power, particularly the poor and women, are often excluded from the taxation debate and from tax policy decisions.
When designing tax systems, policymakers need to balance different tax policy objectives. The challenge identified is that the design of the tax system in a country may impact both the distribution of income between women and men (distributional effect) as well as the distribution of paid and unpaid work (allocative effect). Equity (fairness) includes consideration of horizontal equity, vertical equity, and intergenerational equity dimensions.
Taxation is a critical subject for a GESI analysis of development policy. Therefore, the GESI Analysis will provide valuable information to help implementers: 1) design and implement tax reform interventions in a way that will close gender inequality gaps so that both women, men and marginalized groups can benefit from development and are equitably empowered; 2) understand how gender roles, responsibilities and inequalities affect the project’s effectiveness and the sustainability of its results; and 3) integrate additional strategies and activities to address gender issues and constraints. Gender equality and social inclusion are an integral part of achieving tax design that supports inclusive growth. Sustainable Development Goal 5 calls for ending all discrimination against women and promoting their full and effective participation in the economy.
The GESI Analysis also will provide valuable information highlighting gender and social inclusion issues that could affect or be affected by R4G activities. Overall, the GESI Analysis will examine how gender and social inclusion issues could be incorporated into all project components to lead to improved project results and enhanced sustainability. Specifically, the GESI Analysis will highlight how women, men, and marginalized groups are considered in tax policy and tax administration reform efforts, explore ways to promote revenue compliance among men, women and marginalized groups, address tax and non-tax provisions that directly or indirectly exacerbate inequalities based on gender and structural biases against marginal groups, and ensure women and marginalized groups are meaningfully engaged in public private dialogue on domestic revenue mobilization.
Methodology for the GESI Analysis
The GESI Analysis will launch with a thorough work planning process, outlining key approaches, research protocols, safety and ethical considerations, data collection techniques, literature review list, policy review list, a stakeholder engagement plan, schedule/timeline, and Analysis framework. The GESI Analysis methodology will include a literature and policy review, as well as key informant interviews (KIIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs) with relevant project stakeholders and intended beneficiaries, as well as gender and social inclusion experts in Zambia and key women’s groups and associations and groups representing the interests of marginalized populations in Zambia. GESI Analysis consultations and reporting should incorporate a diversity of perspectives– bearing in mind diversity by geographic location, age (incorporating youth and elderly perspectives), marital status, education level, and socio-economic status. Participatory research approaches are strongly encouraged in conducting FGDs with potential beneficiaries.
The Analysis is expected to be conducted by Zambian GESI and tax experts retained by the successful grantee. One or more international GESI consultants may be retained by the grantee to provide international best practices and guidance. R4G and home office staff will play a supervisory and technical advisory role throughout the GESI Analysis to ensure the methodology and approach employed by the grantee follow good practices in GESI Analysis. In addition, they will provide technical support in finalizing the GESI Analysis findings and recommendations and incorporating the findings into R4G’s Work Plan.
Depending on the COVID-19 situation in Zambia, some KIIs and FGDs may take place through virtual consultations, but in-person meetings are preferred if it is possible to safely do so. Bidders are encouraged to include budget line items for COVID-19 personal protective equipment such as disposable masks for participants. The situation will be continually assessed by the project team and the individuals conducting the Analysis will adhere to safety protocols recommended by the GRZ and the World Health Organization. The safety of these individuals and GESI informants will be a key consideration throughout the process. The GESI Analysis will also incorporate important ethical, safety, and do no harm considerations when conducting research on women and marginalized groups – including in conducting data collection on sensitive topics relating to gender and social inclusion issues.
GESI Analysis Period of Performance and Deliverables
The GESI Analysis grant is projected to be awarded in July 2022, and the GESI Analysis is expected to commence upon issuance of the grant. The final GESI Analysis report is projected to be completed and submitted to R4G in September 2022.
Data from the literature and policy review, KIIs, and FGDs will be triangulated to inform GESI Analysis findings and actionable, evidence-based recommendations on how to incorporate GESI considerations across the life of the R4G project. The final GESI report will include sections on background context, key findings as they pertain to GESI within the R4G program and broader tax policy and tax administration in Zambia, and a detailed recommendations section on how the R4G program can address GESI in implementation. As much as possible, recommendations should also draw on international best practices and lessons-learned in incorporating GESI considerations into domestic revenue mobilization programs.
The GESI Analysis report will include findings and recommendations on gender and social inclusion considerations in effectively increasing tax and non-tax revenue at both the national level and, if feasible, at subnational levels in selected districts. GESI Analysis findings will be integrated into R4G’s Annual Work Plan.
Grant Funding Mechanism
This grant program will award one Fixed Amount Award. The activities are expected to last no more than 3 months and will include specific milestones or grant objectives and have well defined costs outlined in the budget.
To be eligible for this grant opportunity applicants must be from Zambia or a US-based organization. Grants are also open to international, non-US organizations but with the additional requirement that the organization must be registered to work in Zambia, with at least 80% of the grant proceeds being spent in Zambia.
Technical Details:
The GESI Analysis, in line with ADS Chapter 205, should examine the following as they relate to tax policy, tax administration and domestic revenue mobilization in Zambia:

Examine the social structures and formal (including laws, policies, regulations, institutional practices) and informal (e.g. social and cultural norms and practices) institutions that influence the context in which men and women participate in and make decisions relating to tax policy and administration. These contextual variables are critical since they may result in differential impacts from tax policy and administration. The concepts are further elaborated below.

Laws include formal statutory laws and informal and customary legal systems.
Policies and regulations include formal and informal rules and procedures adopted by public institutions for making decisions and taking public action.
Social norms and gender roles and responsibilities, including time use. Every society has social norms and beliefs (often expressed as gender stereotypes) about what are appropriate qualities, life goals, roles, responsibilities, and aspirations for men, women, boys, and girls. The GESI Analysis should include the influence of social norms and gender roles on the division of time between paid employment, unpaid work (including subsistence production and care for family members), and volunteer activities and implications for tax compliance.
Differences in the status of women, men and marginalized groups and their differential access to assets, resources, opportunities, and services. This includes examination of men’s and women’s access to and the capacity to use productive resources – assets (land, housing), income, social benefits (social insurance, pensions), public services (health, water), technology, and information and implications for tax policy and administration.
Patterns of power and decision-making (e.g., patriarchal cultural practices). This should include the ability of women and men to decide, influence, and exercise control over material, human, intellectual, and financial resources in the family, community, and country. The Analysis should examine to what extent women and men are represented in senior level decision-making positions and exercise their voice in decisions made by public, private, and civil society organizations on tax policy and administration issues.

Establish the perceptions of men, women, youth and marginalized groups towards tax policy and administration with a view to enhancing tax morale and compliance.
Examine the direct and indirect impacts of tax and non-tax policy on men, women, youth and marginalized groups, including unintended consequences.
Explore how women, men and marginalized groups (particularly in the informal sector) are currently incorporated in public-private dialogue on domestic revenue mobilization and how the engagement of those under-represented can be meaningfully improved. Determining which marginalized groups to include in the Analysis will be discussed and agreed upon during the work planning process.
Identify the flow of sufficient financial resources so that gender equity is achieved in revenue generation and women and men, and girls and boys, benefit equally from programs and services.
Assess informal sector dynamics as they relate to tax policy and administration. This includes assessing the ease of doing business as it relates to taxation for women, men and marginalized groups.

Specifically, the GESI Analysis should:

Highlight how women, men, and marginalized groups are considered in existing tax and non-tax policy and administration systems and provide recommendations for redressing any inequalities discovered; investigate how social structures and formal and informal institutions may result in unintended consequences across genders due to tax policy and administration; analyze perceptions around tax and non-tax policy and administration and explore ways to promote enhanced tax morale and revenue compliance among men, women, and marginalized groups; and ensure that women, men, and marginalized groups have meaningful engagement in public private dialogue on domestic revenue mobilization.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Concept Note Instructions
Please see the Concept Notes Form in Annex 1 for all requirements. A summary of requirements for the Concept Note is given below:

Cover Page/Introduction: (Maximum 1 page)
Corporate Capabilities in gender and social inclusion and tax policy (1 page)
Technical Approach and Methodology: (Maximum 2-3 pages)
Summary of key personnel (including team lead) (1 page) – please do not include CVs at this stage, they will be required during the full application process
Budget range (no Excel budget required, only a range)

The Concept Note should be no more than six (6) pages in total. Any material over six pages, including annexes, will not be read or evaluated.
Key Personnel

Team Lead: significant gender analysis and gender research experience; expertise in social inclusion; specific experience in taxation, economics, or law; familiarity with donors, with a preference for those having worked with USAID or other donors; prior experience working as a team lead; strong English writing and research ability, specifically including policy review, conducting focus group discussions and key informant interviews, and expertise conducting participatory approaches; minimum of a Master’s Degree in a relevant field; can be international or Zambia-based expert.
Local Researcher(s) (1-3 people): strong English writing and research experience in gender or social inclusion, taxation, economics, or law. Experience in policy review, conducting focus group discussions, key informant interviews and other participatory approaches; familiarity with social norms and gender responsibilities within Zambian society. Applicants can suggest the best combination of researchers to ensure the team has appropriate gender, social inclusion, and taxation expertise.

Other personnel:

Logistics Assistant (optional): logistics experience with support to the technical team
Project Manager (optional): (can be combined with team lead) strong management and technical oversight skills; experience working on USAID projects and with other donors; strong understanding of GESI approaches; can be international or Zambia-based expert.

Please note that when composing the team of technical experts, at least one person must have the following areas of experience. Each team member may have just one of these, but these areas of expertise must be included in the team:

Taxation
Social Inclusion
Gender integration and women’s engagement

Cost
Please provide a budget range in the technical approach for what it would cost to do this work. An Excel budget is not required at this stage, but a reasonable budget range is required as part of the Concept Note.
Review Criteria for Concept Note
All submissions will be reviewed to check for eligibility and completeness of the submission. All eligible and complete submissions will be reviewed by R4G’s Grant Review Committee (GRC). The review will include an assessment of whether the proposed activities further R4G’s overall goals and objectives. The Grant Review Committee will adhere to a number of guidelines and processes agreed with USAID to avoid potential conflicts of interest and lack of transparency, and to support fair, objective, and consistent review of all applications. The technical review criteria are described below, and their associated value is in parentheses. The maximum score is 20 points.

Relevant Experience (5 maximum points): Applicant organization has clearly defined relevant technical expertise and demonstrated experience in areas relevant to the GESI Analysis, including gender and social inclusion research, gender and taxation. Corporate capabilities demonstrate technical relevancy for the purposes of the Request for Concept Notes.
Understanding of Assignment (5 maximum points): Applicant demonstrates understanding of the scope of the Request for Concept Notes.
Technical Approach and Methodology (5 maximum points): Proposed activities, including methodology and design of the GESI Analysis, is clearly defined, based on international best practices in GESI Analysis, and consistent and technically relevant for the purposes of the Request for Concept Notes. Includes safety and ethical considerations.
Key Personnel (5 maximum points): Applicant has proposed personnel that meet the personnel requirements with relevant experience in gender and social inclusion Analysis, taxation, or economics.

Contacts and Submission Information
A Concept Note is due in electronic format in MS Word and/or PDF formats, by 17:00 Lusaka time on May 27, 2022. They must be emailed (no phone expressions of interest will be accepted) to [email protected] and copied to [email protected] and [email protected]
Attachment A. Application Requirements and Eligibility Review Criteria
In accordance with the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act, Nathan encourages competition in the award of all grants awarded under the Revenue for Growth Project and will seek to identify and fund the programs that best achieve the project’s objectives.
Nathan will not limit eligibility when awarding grants, unless USAID authorizes a restriction on eligibility in accordance with ADS 303.3.6.4. 2 CFR 200 requires that Nathan publish an announcement, normally an APS or RFA, seeking applications from all eligible and qualified entities (see ADS 303.3.5).
In reference to ADS 303.3.6 and 303.3.6.1, each Annual Program Statement (APS) or Request for Application (RFA) that the Revenue for Growth Project releases will include a clear description of the eligibility information and eligibility requirements that will address all considerations and factors that will determine the applicant’s eligibility for all awards.
Additional Documentation and Certifications
All statements required of applicants are listed in Attachment B.
Estimated Award Timeline
Below is the estimated award timeline. All grant activities will conclude on September 16, 2022. This end date must be taken into account in the applicant’s milestone/deliverable.

Request for Concept Notes issued (May 13, 2022)
Deadline to submit questions for Concept Note (May 20, 2022)
Deadline to submit Concept Note (May 27, 2022)
Notification to applicants whether invited to submit a full application (June 3, 2022)
Deadline to submit questions for full application (June 10, 2022)
Full application due for those invited to submit (June 24, 2022)
Award made (after reviews, reference checks, and USAID approval) (July 1, 2022)
Expected start date (contingent upon USAID approval) (July 1, 2022)
Expected first draft of GESI Analysis (August 5, 2022)
Expected second draft of GESI Analysis (August 19, 2022)
Expected third draft of GESI Analysis (September 9, 2022)
Expected final draft of GESI Analysis (September 16, 2022)

Payments
Payment schedules and methods will be laid out in the Grant Agreement. Payments for FAA grants will be against milestones/deliverables decided upon between Nathan and the Grantee. Grant payments made under Simplified Grants will be based on results and objectives that will have been set up and agreed upon between Nathan and the Grantee. Payment will be made by electronic bank transfer of funds and within 30 days of approval of each milestone or deliverable.
Attachment B. Regulations and Exclusions
Additional eligibility criteria for grant awards include the following:

The organization/individual has minimum absorptive capacity and/or demonstrates the potential to acquire sufficient capacity to manage programs in a sustainable manner.
The organization’s or individual’s other relationships, associations, activities, and interests do not create a conflict of interest that could prevent full impartiality in implementation of the grant activities.
DUNS numbers and required certifications are mandatory for all organizations, foreign or domestic, doing business with the U.S. Federal Government. Grantees of grant awards of any amount will be required to obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number. DUNS numbers can be obtained at the following website: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.
System for Award Management (SAM). Nathan may not make a R4G grant award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the R4G program is ready to make a grant award, R4G may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a grant award and use that determination as a basis for making a grant award to another applicant.

The following are ineligible for grant awards:

Governmental entities or officials (whether from national, regional, district, local or municipal levels, etc.)
Political organizations

If an organization or its key personnel, shareholders, directors or partners appear on any of the following lists, it is automatically ineligible to receive a grant:

The Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List administered by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets  Control (OFAC) http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/sdn/
Department of State: http://www.state.gov/j/ct/list/index.htm
Foreign Terrorist Organization List (FTO): http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm
Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL): http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/123086.htm
Executive Order 13224: http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/122570.htm
Terrorism Designation Page : http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/index.htm
Excluded Parties List System: http://www.sam.gov
United  Nations Consolidated List (Resolution 1267): http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/narrative.shtml

Attachment C: Certification Regarding Terrorist Financing, Implementing Executive Order 13224
By signing and submitting this application, the prospective grantee provides the certification set out below:

The Grantee, 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.
The following steps may enable the Grantee to comply with its obligations under paragraph 1:

Before providing any material support or resources to an individual or entity, the Grantee will verify that the individual or entity does not (i) appear on the master list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, 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 Grantee.
Before providing any material support or resources to an individual or entity, the Grantee also will verify that the individual or entity has not been designated by the United Nations Security Council (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 Grantee should refer to the consolidated list available online at the Committee’s Website: http://www.un.org/Docs/sc/committees/1267/1267ListEng.htm.
Before providing any material support or resources to an individual or entity, the Grantee 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.
The Grantee also will implement reasonable monitoring and oversight procedures to safeguard against assistance being diverted to support terrorist activity.

For purposes of this Certification:

“Material support and resources” means currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safe houses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation, and other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials.”
“Terrorist act” means

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
an act of premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents; or
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.

“Entity” means a partnership, association, corporation, or other organization, group or subgroup.
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 grantees of food, medical care, micro-enterprise loans, shelter, etc., unless the Grantee 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.
The Grantee’s obligations under paragraph 1 are not applicable to the procurement of goods and/or services by the Grantee that are acquired in the ordinary course of business through contract or purchase, e.g., utilities, rents, office supplies, gasoline, etc., unless the Grantee 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.
Certification of Grantee
By signing below the grantee provides certifications and assurances for the Prohibition on Assistance to Drug Traffickers for Covered Countries and Individuals (ADS 206) and the Certification Regarding Terrorist Financing Implementing Executive Order 13224 above. These certifications and assurances are given in consideration of and for the purpose of obtaining any and all Federal grants, loans, contracts, property, discounts, or other Federal financial assistance extended after the date hereof to the grantee by the Agency, including installment payments after such date on account of applications for Federal financial assistance which was approved before such date. The grantee recognizes and agrees that such Federal financial assistance will be extended in reliance on the representations and agreements made in these assurances, and that the United States will have the right to seek judicial enforcement of these assurances. These assurances are binding on the grantee, its successors, transferees, and assignees, and the person or persons whose signatures appear below are authorized to sign these assurances on behalf of the grantee.
Request for Application
Application No.
Date of Application
Name of Grantee
Typed Name and Title
Signature
Date
ANNEX 1. GRANT CONCEPT NOTE FORM
Revenue for Growth Project (R4G) Grant Concept Note
Instructions: The Concept Note should be a short activity description, which clearly describes the activity’s goals as it relates to the project and should provide an overview of key approach and methodologies, quality control, relevant experience in conducting similar assignments, and key personnel (no more than 6 pages).
The R4G Concept Note must be submitted in Times New Roman, size 12 single font, include page numbers and include all the information in the following sections:

Cover Page/Introduction: (Maximum 1 page)
Name and address of the organization;
Type of organization (e.g. non-profit, university, etc.); Contact point (Lead contact name, phone and e-mail);
Names of other organizations that may be funding this application or proposed activity; and
Signature of authorized representative of the applicant (authorized to contractually obligate the applicant).
The Organization’s Capabilities in Gender and Social Inclusion, Tax Policy and Tax Administration (1 page)
Technical Approach and Methodology: (Maximum 2-3 pages)
Summary (i.e. a brief research proposal including a problem statement and discussion of the objectives)
Summary of key approaches and methodology
Safety and ethical considerations
Summary of Key Personnel (including Team Lead) (1 page)
Budget Range Estimate (Excel budget not required. Only a budget range should be included in the Concept Note.)

RGARecruiting@nathaninc.com
Application email or URL: RGARecruiting@nathaninc.com
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