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IREX is seeking a qualified vendor to develop and carry out a strong public information campaign

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS 

Veteran Reintegration Program  

Information Campaign  

 

PROJECT: Development, testing in focus groups, and rollout to a wide audience of an informational campaign for veterans and the general public about destigmatizing mental health issues and strengthening the positive image of veterans. 

ORGANIZATION: IREX 

LOCATION: Ukraine 

RELEASE DATE: October 112021  

DEADLINE FOR QUESTIONS: October 18, 2021 

FULL APPLICATION CLOSING: October 25, 2021 – 18:00 (UTC+2, Kyiv time) 

BID CEILING: Up to $110,000 USD 

 

SECTION I: DESCRIPTION OF OPPORTUNITY 

  1. DESCRIPTION OF ROLE 

IREX is seeking a qualified vendor to develop and carry out a strong public information campaign to promote the positive image of veterans and normalize discussions about mental health.  The selected vendor will be responsible for the implementation of the information campaign based on the tactical concerns pertaining to underlying components of the campaign, namely audience research, planning, organization, implementation, and evaluation. IREX will provide the selected vendor with additional information from IREX’s own research that will be useful during campaign design and implementation. 

 

  1. DESCRIPTION OF IREX 

The International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) is a non-profit non-governmental organization, which is headquartered in Washington, DC. IREX brings 25 years of experience working in Ukraine, including direct work with veterans, government ministries, and local communities to its support for Ukraine’s veterans, whose population has sharply increased as a result of the ongoing conflict. IREX’s Veteran Reintegration program fills critical gaps in data and information on veterans and incorporates this data into tailored activities to improve the quality of and access to veteran services and promote veteran integration into the workforce. IREX works hand-in-hand with local partners. 

 

  1. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM 

According to a survey conducted by IREXnegative stereotypes held by civilians about veterans are an important factor that hampers veterans’ successful reintegration into society after their military service. Thiaffects veterans’ well-being, including employment opportunities and personal relations. Results from a general population survey confirm the problem of stereotyped thinking: 42% of civilians think veterans are more likely to have drinking problems; and 37% of civilians think that veterans are more likely to be disorderly.  Of note is the fact that the general population in the eastern part of the country shows a worse perception of veterans and more stereotypical thinking towards them as compared to other locations. 

 

Additionally, further research reveals that veterans face discrimination from strangers who both don’t know and don’t understand themNearly half of civilians surveyed (45%) report not knowing any veterans personally, leading them to rely on information from third-party sources (other people, the media etc.). Consequentlymany veterans feel that they do not receive sufficient understanding or support from a society that they defended while risking their own lives This gap in understanding and communication between the veterans’ community and the general population inevitably creates a tense socio-political situation that needs to be addressed by facilitating changes in perception through a public information campaign. 

 

Another factor that impedes veterans’ successful reintegration into society is related to the issue of mental health This topic is not seen as an acceptable topic for discussion and thus does not get the attention that it deserves.  In turn, veterans seem to be more likely to notice mental health problems in others but are less likely to recognize them in themselves. The campaign can help veterans to be more aware of this issue and empower them to demonstrate initiative in seeking help.  Reducing stigmatization associated with receiving psychological support would be helpful for both veterans and non-veterans. 

 

The goal of the information campaign is to target veterans and the general public to: 

  1. Highlight the valuable contribution that veterans make to their communities and to society at large, including to the civilian workforce 

  1. Destigmatize discussions about mental health  

 

The information campaign will contain two components: 

 

  1. Positive image of veterans  

The goal of this component will be to improve veterans’ wellbeing by increasing understanding of veterans’ issues and creating a more positive image of veterans among the general public. It is important to form a new image of a veteran as a young person (not in biological age, but rather in energy and lifestyle), strong in spirit, with great potential.  The final messages will be developed by the selected vendor in close consultation with IREX, but some preliminary ideas include: 

 

  • Thank you for your service.” (integration of a common phrase into daily lives that show respect and appreciation) 

  • Veterans make valuable contributions to their communities and society at large. 

  • Veterans can do anything!” 

  • Veterans are trusted, reliable, and respected members of our society. 

  • veteran is not a person with a sad past, you should first be interested in their future: it is important to talk about a veteran as a person with great potential.” 

  • The return does not happen in an instant. This is a very long process of reintegration into society. Veterans won there - they can win here too. ” 

  • Veterans make valuable contributions to the civilian workforce.” 

 

These messages will be delivered by public figures (including employers, celebrities, university professors, doctors, TV presenters, etc.), as well as veterans themselves, including veterans with disabilities, IDP veterans, and veterans who are women 

 

The target audience of this component is the general population, with special focus on:    

  • Residents of the Eastern regions of Ukraine 

  • Providers of services to veterans and those groups who may influence veteran’s wellbeing (social workers, doctors, employers, bus drivers, civil servants, etc.) 

  • Citizens who may not know a veteran personally  

  • Youth  

 

  1. Destigmatizing the need for mental health support and corresponding services (“You can count on me”) 

The goal of this component will be to expand veterans’ access to capable and responsive psychosocial and mental health services by destigmatizing discussions about needing mental health support and corresponding services, as well as to inform veterans about available educational resources on mental health well-being, employment opportunities such as online training programs, peer-to-peer support, mentorship programs, and other resources The final messages will be developed by the selected vendor in close consultation with IREX, but some preliminary ideas include: 

 

  • It’s OK to seek mental health support. 

  • It’s okay not to be okay. We all experience difficulties sometimes. No one should be alone in this.” 

  • It’s a sign of strength. Reaching out to a friend or mental health professional isn’t sign of weakness—quite the opposite, it’s a sign of strength, an indicator that you want to feel better and are willing to take action to get better.” 

  • Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.  Therefore, we all need to take care of our mental health.  If you have a friend who is a veteran – help them recognize this important issue.  And don’t forget to take care of yourself!” 

  • I went through what you are going through. I’m just like you. You have your own right to your returning process. I got over it and you will. Ask for support.” 

 

These messages will be delivered by veteran community leaders among others.  

The target audience of this component will be veterans with special attention to: 

  • Veterans nationwide 

  • Veterans with disabilities, IDP veterans, veterans from cities, veterans from rural areas, veterans from remote areas, and women veterans 

  • Servicemen and servicewomen (both during active duty and transition period) 

  • Close circle of friends and family members of veterans 

  • Providers of services for veterans 

 

  1. ANTICIPATED CAMPAIGN RESULTS 

  • General population reach: at least 6,200,000 individuals (approximately 15% of the general population)  

  • Veteran Reach: at least 60,000 individuals (approximately 15% of the veteran community)     

  • At least 60% of individuals in the general population pool (out of those who were reached by information campaign) report that they now have a more positive image of veterans   

 

SECTION II: ROLE OF THE VENDOR 

  1. ROLE OF THE VENDOR 

A detailed Campaign Strategy will be developed by the selected provider in coordination with the IREX project team, based on the selected activities from the Outline of Activities and Price Table proposed by the service provider at the application stage.  

 

The Outline of Activities will be implemented by the selected service provider in coordination with the IREX project team. 

 

The selected vendor will be responsible for the implementing campaign based on tactical concerns pertaining to underlying components of the campaign, namely audience research, planning, organizationimplementation, and evaluation. The IREX team will provide the selected vendor with additional information from IREX’s own research on the trusted channels, frequency of usage by different regions, age groups, and other relevant characteristics. 

 

The outline of relevant awareness-raising activities as part of the Public Information Campaign strategy should be proposed at the application stage. This section should include an indicative breakdown of specific activities to be proposed and address the requirements, as specified, point by point. In addition, the Outline of Activities should include both a detailed description of essential performance characteristics and a proposed warranty and demonstrate how they meet or exceed the specifications.  For example, the proposed activities (at the application stage) could include 

  • Placement of video spots in the programs of national and regional television stations and/or social media channels; 

  • Placement of video spots/posters/brochures/leaflets on several websites and social networks;   

  • Production and placement of billboards in 5 cities/regions of the country;    

  • Production and distribution of posters, brochures, leaflets, infographics, etc.; 

  • Social media campaigns, etc. 

 

Suggested media and online channels:  

  • Online social media most trusted by veteran community based on the information gathered during the Phase 1 research 

  • Social media and other communications channels utilized by the general public (Youtube, Facebook, Telegram, Viber, etc.) 

  • MassMedia (e.g. the most watched TV channels –1+1, Ukraine, 5 channel, UA: etc.)   

  • Radio Podcasts 

  • Billboards or other public-facing announcement boards 

 

The selected service provider will submit monthly reports to the IREX project team after each implemented activity. The reports should contain information on the estimated and documented impact, reach, and effectiveness of the activities carried out and recommendations for the future. Following the finalization of the awareness-raising campaign, the selected service provider will draft and submit a final report to the IREX project team on the overall and cumulative results of the Strategy’s implementation. The reports should contain concrete numbers and figures (media monitoring), including figures on public reach, if possible. 

 

 
SECTION III: REQUIREMENTS INFORMATION 

 

  1. SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS 

The list below details the desired skills and qualifications for the team as a whole; different people in the team can bring different skills and qualifications.  

  • Over 3 years of experience developing professional-quality info campaigns, including campaigns dedicated to social issues, with a strong reputation for developing excellent collaborative working relationships with counterparts, other contractors and international organizations and donors;  

  • Proficiency with digital communication tools; 

  • Proficiency with security standards and best practices;  

  • Familiarity with existing open-source digital tools;  

  • Familiarity with user-centered design methodologies to engage with stakeholders around a technology platform to ensure relevance and sustainability;  

  • Sufficient administrative capacity to comply with reporting, auditing, and financial requirements;  

  • Ability to communicate professionally and provide written reporting in English, as well as fluency in speaking, reading, writing, and working in Ukrainian;  

  • Strong understanding of legal requirements for the development and transfer of product to the government in Ukraine;  

  • Previous experience in the development of information campaigns in cooperation with governmental institutions and NGOs is strongly preferred but not required. 

 

  1. APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS 

 

  • Have an office in Ukraine and have the ability to attend in-person and virtual meetings in Kyiv;  

  • Be an experienced company, such as marketing or creative agency, with a successful track record of creating impact though its public information campaigns.  
     

  1. TERMS AND CONDITIONS 

 

  • Offered services will be reviewed and evaluated according to the completion of the proposal and its compliance with the requirements of the RFP 

  • The selection will be made in favor of a proposal that meets all the requirements and evaluation criteria. Based on the selection results, IREX will conclude an agreement with the selected Contractor for the services to be performed during the project period.   

  • IREX is under no obligation to accept any offer/bid or conclude an agreement, nor is it responsible for reimbursing bidders for any costs incurred during or associated with preparation and submission of the offer/bid, regardless of the outcome or methods of the selection process.  

  • The Contractor may not retain or use any material produced under this contract for self-promotion, except with prior written permission of IREX 

  • IREX will retain the right to use, modify, and re-use the content created throughout the performance of the contract.  

  • IREX requires that each potential bidder avoids and prevents conflicts of interest by informing IREX if the bidder, its affiliates, or its staff, have been approached or involved in the preparation of requirements, design, technical specifications, pricing, and other information to be further used in this RFP 

  • If the selected provider fails to perform services according to terms and conditions listed in the contract, IREX can terminate the contractual relationship with this Contractor and immediately award the contract to the bidder who was identified as an alternative finalist based on the selection process/scoring.  

 

SECTION IV: APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION 

  1. QUESTIONS 

Interested bidders may submit questions concerning this RFP via email to tender-ua@irex.org before the deadline by 18:00 Kyiv time on October 18, 2021. IREX will collect all the questions and will post a Q&A Digest that will be made publicly available to all bidders to ensure equal access to information for all potential bidders. IREX, in no event, will meet with bidders in person, nor will IREX respond to any inquiries made over the phone, email, or other modes of communication outside the Q&A process.  
 
     2.  PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE  

The project shall commence on the date of the contract’s execution, with an anticipated start date of November 1, 2021.  

 

  1. SUBMISSION OF BIDS  

Submit your application by 18:00 (Kyiv time), October 252021 via email to tender-ua@irex.org and subject line “Veteran Reintegration Info Campaign Application.” You must use the subject line “Veteran Reintegration Info Campaign Application” to be considered.  

 

  1. PROPOSAL FORMAT  

Proposals shall correspond to all requirements listed in this section, providing all requested information. Bids shall become the property of IREX upon submission.  

 

Proposals shall be organized exactly in the same order indicated below:  

Proposals will be evaluated on programmatic merit and subsequently on cost. As such, the Technical Application will have more significance than the Cost Application in the selection of a successful applicant. The Technical Application should demonstrate the bidder’s capabilities and expertise with respect to achieving the goals of this RFP. Therefore, it should be specific, concise, and complete. Proposals should be submitted in English and/or Ukrainian language(s).  

 

A. Cover Letter  

The cover letter shall identify one contact person by name, title, address, e-mail, and telephone number. It shall briefly describe the bidder’s qualifications and why it is a good match for the project. The cover letter shall state that the bid is good for a period of 30 days from the date of the bid, including all prices and terms. It shall also confirm that the bidder will be available to begin the project immediately upon notification of contract award and the bidder’s commitment to complete the project within the period of performance noted above in the contract between the two parties.  

 

B. Technical Section  

Bidders are encouraged to be as thorough as possible in their Technical Sections; however, all responses shall be structured as described below. An electronic copy of the Technical Applications must be in the English and/or Ukrainian languages and submitted in MS Word or PDF format, single-spaced, utilizing Times New Roman 12-font size, typed on A4 sized paper with 1” margins on the top, bottom, left, and right, numbered consecutively, and not exceed 13 pages (plus cover letter page).  

 

Part 1: Summary of prior relevant experience (2 pages maximum)  

This section shall provide a summary of prior relevant experience, listing period of performance, location(s) where the bidder has performed, key corporate capabilities, available resources (technology, partnerships, etc.), and financial and program management capacities to implement a project of this scope and duration. This section shall also include the following:  

  • The number, U.S. Dollar value, and brief description of projects in which the bidder performed similar work. Names of all government and bi- and multilateral donor customers, if any.  

  • Provide specific web links, demos, and examples of similar products. If web links are not possible to submit, then provide interactive digital examples such as screenshots.  

  • Financial, technological, and other resources available to support this project for its duration.  

 

Part 2: Technical Approach (5 pages maximum)  

Bidders shall provide a description of the proposed methodology and approach for conducting the informational campaign activities including: 

  • Bidder’s vision and concept for the informational campaign that meets the requirements stated in this RFP (could include preliminary ideas, solutions, and sample materials) 

  • Approach to engaging with stakeholders;  

  • Implementation plan: implementation strategy, steps, informational products and communication strategy, estimated list of associated expenses;  

  • Anticipated results (or M&E plan) highlighting the impact of the Information Campaign, the number of people reached, and perception of the population; Project management approach;  

  • Work plan and timeline; Mitigation Plan listing potential risks and proposed mitigation strategies.  

 

Part 3: Past Performance References (1 page maximum)  

Bidders shall provide a minimum of three recent past performance references for work undertaken in the last 3 years. All references shall reflect the bidder’s experience in work of the type and scope described in the RFP. Contacting the bidder’s references will be part of the bid evaluation process. For each reference, bidders shall provide the following information:  

  • Client name, contact person, address, and telephone number; Project start and end dates;  

  • Size and type of enterprise for whom services were provided;  

  • Total cost and length of the contract;  

  • Description of the communication services provided by the bidder, including project scope and methodologies/technologies used;  

  • Past work performed for IREX and any other international organizations and/or government.  

 

Part 4: Key Personnel (3 pages maximum)  

Include up to 3 CVs of key personnel who will be involved in the project. The CVs should demonstrate that the proposed key personnel possess the skills and knowledge to effectively carry out their proposed responsibilities. CVs may not exceed one page in length and shall be in chronological order starting with the most recent experience.  

 

Part 5: Appendices (2 pages maximum)  

The bidder may include additional miscellaneous documents as appendices not exceeding two pages that could include tables/graphs, publications, and/or other documents that the bidder deemed appropriate for the RFP 
 

C. Financial Proposal  

The bid ceiling for the current project shall not exceed $110,000. Price quotations submitted by each bidder shall include all costs associated with the development, testing, and presentation of the product as described in the RFP. There shall be no hidden costs. The price quotation shall include a narrative, describing all of the assumptions on which the quoted prices are based. The financial proposal should be an Excel spreadsheet that includes:  

  • Labor costs (e.g. wages and related costs for personnel), disaggregated to monthly rates and percent of labor per month;  

  • Fixed costs;  

  • Variable costs (e.g. consulting services and travel expenses);  

  • A separate tab should be included in the Excel form with cost estimates related to sustaining the products beyond the life of the Contract with IREX 

 

The budget shall include costs associated with all activities required for the implementation of tasks outlined in this RFP. The budget must be in U.S. Dollars.  

 

Only successful candidates will be contacted. IREX reserves the right to make hiring decisions at its discretion. Candidates who submit any other material, apart from the requirements above will not be considered.  

 

  1. EVALUATION CRITERIA  

 

All written bids submitted will be reviewed and rated by an IREX Review Committee. The initial bid from each bidder shall represent the bidder’s best effort and most complete and favorable terms. The evaluation criteria are as follows:  

 

 

Criteria  

Documents to prove  

Points  

 

 

Relevant past performance, as demonstrated in the Technical Section, and evaluation of the bidder’s references, with the types of services described in this RFP, as well as with organizations with needs similar to those of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs  

Links to portfolio, references, previous contracts  

10 points  

 

 

Bidder’s corporate capacity and key qualifications to meet IREX’s requirements as detailed in this RFP  

Bidder’s information provided in the Technical Section  

10 points  

 

 

Feasibility of the bidder’s proposed preliminary implementation planapproach to engaging with stakeholders, schedule to accomplish the Scope of Work, and project management approach 

Bidder’s information provided in the Technical Section 

  1. points  

4 

 

Bidder’s technical design response to the RFP requirements that include: 

  • Vision / concept of the information campaign meeting the requirements stated in the RFP (could include preliminary ideas, solutions, and sample materials) 

  • Anticipated results (or M&E plan) highlighting the impact of the Information Campaign, the number of people reached, and perception of the population  

The project as described in the Technical Section  

 

 

20 points  

5 

Value for the money 

Best value for the money  

30 points  

 

Контакти

  • tender-ua@irex.org
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