Terms of Reference (TOR): Full-service communications/public relations firm with video production capabilities for the development of a campaign promoting Universal Energy Facility’s work and impact

Procurement
Closing date
18 Jan 2023

 

1. Background and Context  

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is an international organization working with leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society to drive further, faster action toward the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which calls for universal access to sustainable energy by 2030, and the Paris Agreement, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate warming to well below 2° Celsius.     

Achieving these goals will require a radical rethink of the way we produce, distribute, and consume energy. SEforALL is at the heart of this foundational shift to ensure no one is left behind. Drawing on data and evidence, we identify a critical path to success in achieving SDG7.     

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative in 2011. Now an independent organization, we maintain close links with the UN, including through a relationship agreement, partnerships with UN agencies, and with SEforALL's CEO acting as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. These roles include advising the UN Secretary-General and his staff on issues relating to sustainable energy and the implementation of SDG7 and supporting the coordination of sustainable energy issues in the United Nations system.     

The ambitions of SDG7 are extraordinary. Aiming to achieve them in the context of the Paris Agreement on climate change involves transformation at a scale never undertaken before. Swift action must be taken by leaders in governments, private sector companies, institutions, financiers, development banks, unions, communities, entrepreneurs, and civil society. As we enter the final decade to achieve SDG7, SEforALL has strategically chosen to strengthen global agenda-setting while expanding its activities to an engagement model that prioritizes data-driven decision-making, partnerships with high-impact countries, and implementation on the ground. The new SEforALL three-year business plan outlines work programmes that scope out our planned interventions and demonstrate to our funding partners the impact of their support. http://www.seforall.org/   

 

Universal Energy Facility 

2020 marked the start of the final decade to achieve SDG7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all – by 2030. The world is not on track, and a renewed sense of urgency and new approaches are required.   

Providing finance at the speed and scale needed to achieve SDG7 requires a paradigm shift towards results-based financing (RBF) for developing renewable energy projects. RBF allows governments and donors to shift the risk of energy project delivery to the private sector, while providing an incentive (grants) for them to take on this risk and build projects. An RBF facility aggregates financing from various sources and offers grants to catalyze energy project development across multiple country programmes.  

Understanding the benefits of RBF, SEforALL launched and operationalized the Universal Energy Facility (UEF), a multi-donor RBF facility, to speed and scale up new energy connections in Sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, the UEF is a multi-donor RBF facility established to support the electrification of households, businesses, public institutions, and other potential electricity consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa that do not have reliable access to modern electricity services. The UEF will provide incentive payments (i.e., grants) on a ‘results-based’ approach to selected eligible organizations that develop and operate systems and provide verified electricity connections.   

In 2020, the UEF was opened to mini-grid developers in Sierra Leone, Madagascar, and Benin, and in October 2022 it was opened in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In August 2022, the UEF Stand-Alone Solar for Productive Use (SSPU) opened in Nigeria.   

  

2. Objective 

SEforALL is procuring a full-service public relations/communications company to develop a cohesive communications campaign that profiles the UEF’s work and the impact it is having. Specifically, the campaign will achieve the following:  

  1. Increase overall awareness of the UEF within the countries it operates and the global sustainable energy development sector 

  1. Increase visibility of key UEF stakeholders, this includes UEF grantees (energy project developers) 

  1. Capture, disseminate and amplify impact stories of UEF-supported projects (mini-grids, etc.) covering pre-project, during-project implementation and post-project implementation. 

 

3. Scope of Work 

The scope of work includes the following: 

  1. Developing an overall communications campaign plan that describes the overall narrative, how it is aligned with UEF target audiences (UEF country-specific stakeholders and global stakeholders), social media dissemination and dissemination approach. 

  1. Creating compelling stories covering the lifespan of the energy projects being executed by UEF grantees – before deployment, during implementation and post-project implementation once electrification is completed  

  1. Design and production of videos services to tell the above stories 

  1. Production of additional campaign content, including social media assets and press releases 

  1. Media relations for securing coverage of key UEF milestones in African and international news outlets  

 

4. Deliverables 

Task I: Inception phase and campaign plan 

Develop a campaign concept and plan that will serve as the foundation for all communications activities. The campaign plan should outline objectives, priority audiences, an overarching narrative, key messages aligned to priority audiences, communications activities/outputs to convey these messages, along with their associated timelines (content calendar). This plan will be developed in close consultation with the UEF team, which will approve the plan before moving on to its execution. 

The campaign plan will use multimedia storytelling, particularly video content (see Task II below), and amplify this content via social media and media relations (see Task III below).  

Task II: Multimedia 

The envisioned campaign should demonstrate the UEF’s impact using multimedia storytelling. This should be done by capturing the “before, during and after” of communities where energy projects supported by UEF grants are developed. This applies to all five countries of the UEF’s current operations: Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Photos and videos will need to be captured from at least three communities per country (15 total) where energy projects will be built.  

To capture the “before, during and after” the chosen communications company will need to capture video/still footage from the communities throughout the implementation of UEF-supported energy projects. I.e. there will be a minimum of three visits to each community. 

Part 1: Before Project Implementation  

  1. Ten edited photographs, per community, of the natural environment and local communities in each of the identified sample project sites before the installation of the power systems.  

  1. Raw video (b-roll) of the identified project communities. The video footage will include shots of the current energy sources and natural environment.  

  1. Five unedited video interviews of local residents, business owners, staff, community leaders for each project community. SEforALL will work closely with the communications company to design a short questionnaire for the interviewees. Any non-English interviews will need subtitles. 

  1. Three edited photos of each interviewee, per community, in a variety of settings (home, work, social setting, etc.) 

  1. Edited short videos (30-60 seconds each) for three interviewees, per community, telling their perspectives of energy needs. Interview content should be mixed with b-roll to help illustrate energy needs.  

  1. Two versions for each short video (English-subtitled version and French-subtitled version). 

Part 2: During Project Implementation 

  1.  Ten  edited photographs, per community, of the natural environment and local communities in each of the identified sites during the installation of the power systems.  

  1. Raw video footage (b-roll) of the identified project locations under construction.  

  1. Five unedited video interviews, per community, with stakeholders who are investing capital and resources/capacity in the project along with government representatives. SEforALL will work closely with the consultant to design a short questionnaire for the interviewees. Any non-English interviews will need subtitles. 

  1. Edited short videos (30-60 seconds each) for three interviewees, per community, telling their perspective. Interview content should be mixed with b-roll. 

  1. Two versions for each short video (English-subtitled version and French-subtitled version). 

Part 3: After Project Implementation 

  1.  Ten edited photographs of each completed project and the local communities they serve. 

  1. Raw video footage (b-roll) of each community following project completion. 

  1. Five unedited video interviews, per community, with local residents, businesses, government personnel, etc., reflecting on what has changed as a result of the energy projects. SEforALL will work closely with the communications company to design a short questionnaire for the interviewees. Ideally, interviewees will overlap with those in Parts 1 and 2. Any non-English interviews will need subtitles. 

  1. Three edited photos of each interviewee using energy from the projects. 

  1. Edited short videos (30-60 seconds each) for three interviewees, per community, telling their perspective. Interview content should be mixed with b-roll. 

  1. One edited video for each community telling the before and after story using interview and b-roll footage from across the three parts (before, during, and after implementation). 

  1. Two versions for all short and long videos (English-subtitled version and French-subtitled version). 

  

Additional requirements: 

  •  All videos must be broadcast quality with edited short/medium length HD video clips that can be utilized across multiple platforms (social media, website, PowerPoint presentations, YouTube, and sharing with media outlets)  

  • All edited videos to include French subtitles to enable a greater audience to reach and amplification 

  • Videos must be produced with a uniform look and feel based on existing branding. SEforALL will share previous examples of such work 

  • The company will be required to share with SEforALL original and final footage and photography files. 

  • The company will also be required to obtain written permission and release forms from any individuals included in the photographs and the videos.  

  • Work to be delivered online via Drive or WeTransfer.  

  • Final production-ready deliverables are requested in landscape 1080p size IN png 24 and h.264 mp4 formats. 

Task III: Content dissemination (social media and media relations) 

The campaign should disseminate the above multimedia content using social media and media relations across the various UEF project lifecycles (before, during and after). Key milestones and announcements (e.g. grant agreement signings or meetings with project developers) will also form the basis for content to ensure a steady stream of campaign content throughout the year. The UEF team will support the company in identifying these opportunities for content. 

Social media 

The communications company will be responsible for regular social media content development and posting, with direction provided from the UEF team. As part of this, the company will develop a social media toolkit for the campaign, which will be updated regularly with new content, and shared with SEforALL stakeholders: solar/mini-grid companies, SEforALL funders/donors, government, and other stakeholders. 

Social media content specific to Francophone countries will need to be produced in both English and French. 

Media relations 

The campaign will also involve promoting key milestones, announcements, and impact stories to media. The communications company will be responsible for securing media coverage in local (UEF focus countries) and Pan-African media for country-specific news, and international outlets for broader news concerning the UEF. At a minimum, the company will need to secure local coverage for two stories in each of the UEF focus countries, and for three stories in pan-African outlets, over the course of the year. 

Media relations content specific to Francophone countries or relevant to Pan-African outlets will need to be produced in both English and French.   

Reporting 

The company will be required to provide a monthly campaign report that shows content viewership and media pick-up, comparing this data month by month. 

 

5. Approach and Timeline of Deliverables 

Approach 

The selected company will maintain close contact with a designated SEforALL team contact throughout the assignment. All draft written and visual deliverables will be reviewed by SEforALL. The selected company will participate in weekly project coordination meetings and/or as required by SEforALL and present status reports on its approach, findings, challenges, and next steps. 

The selected firm should make a concerted effort to ensure gender parity throughout this assignment. The team should have a 40:60 female-to-male ratio at minimum.  

The company is expected to visit at least 3 communities/project sites in each UEF focus country. The final selection of the sites will be determined by SEforALL and UEF Grantees. 

Timeline  

1 January 2023 to 31 March 2024. Energy projects are expected to break ground in each of the five countries through 2023 on variable timelines. The selected company should adhere to the following schedule of deliverables, which will be adjusted based on developments in each UEF focus country. 

 

Deliverable  

Tentative Due Date 

Task I: Inception phase and campaign plan 

  • Finalized campaign plan including proposed content calendar 

January 25, 2023 

Task II: Multimedia 

  

  • Before project implementation 

Nigeria, Madagascar, Sierra Leone – February 29, 2023 

Benin, DRC - TBD 

  • During implementation 

Nigeria, Madagascar, Sierra Leone – June 30, 2023 

Benin, DRC - TBD  

  • After implementation 

Nigeria, Madagascar, Sierra Leone – November 30, 2023 

Benin, DRC - TBD 

Task III: Content dissemination 

 

  • Initial social media toolkit 

February 15, 2023 

  • Media relations 

  

Quarterly outputs starting from February 15, 2023 

  • Campaign reporting 

Monthly beginning February 29, 2023 

 

Travel 

The selected firm is expected to travel to each community/project site three times. Bids should be inclusive of all travel costs. 

 

Reporting 

The consultant will report to SEforALL’s Project Manager for Results Based Financing 

 

6. Evaluation and Selection 

Qualifications and Experience 

Companies wishing to submit a proposal should meet the following: 

  • Have presence in Sub-Saharan Africa (mandatory); in-country presence in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Benin and the Democratic Republic of Congo is an added advantage.  

  • Have a minimum of 5 years’ experience in public relations, video production, photography, and multi-media storytelling in both French and English 

  • Demonstrate a track record in media relations management and content creation, public relations work, videography, and photography in activities related to energy access and communicating impact.  

  • Ability to cover all the UEF countries either with the local presence or the ability to travel.  

  • Propose a designated team of specialists with adequate competence and experience in content creation, media contacts and experience working with journalists, with the Team Leader having more than 8-years of experience delivering high-quality public relations and multimedia services 

  • Familiarity with the energy sector in general and the off-grid energy access sector specifically will be considered an advantage 

  • Experience working with the UN, and/or any other international organization will be considered an advantage.  

 Bidding Process  

Bidders are allowed to submit bids as a consortium. Proposals must include the following (in either PDF or PPT format). Technical and Financial proposals are to be submitted as separate documents. 

The evaluation of proposals will be based on a 70 – 30 split for technical proposal and financial proposal, respectively. 

Technical Proposal 

  • Your organization’s profile including the organization’s name, address, contact information and a brief background 

  • Your organization’s understanding of the assignment, including any proposed changes to the Scope of Work 

  • Proposed team structure 

  • Proposed approach (Gantt chart with key milestones, activities, and any sub-activities) 

  • Proposed approach for safeguarding, data protection and consent  

  • Relevant experience and examples of work 

  • Key personnel profiles and roles of subcontractors, where applicable 

  • References (at least 3) 

The criteria against which technical proposals will be evaluated is outlined in the table below. 

Technical Proposal key areas of Evaluation  

Award 

Knowledge and experience in communication services 

Consultancy firm track record in media relations, communications assignments in Africa and in activities related to energy access and communicating impact.  The consultant is required to provide a minimum of three samples of demonstrated track record with short descriptions. 

30 

Approach and methodology 

Ability to cover all UEF countries 

20 

Qualifications and experience of the consultant’s team including language skills 

20 

 

Financial Proposal 

  • Detailed financial proposal inclusive of LOE, travel, equipment costs and any other costs expected to be incurred. Travel must be budgeted separately.  

  • All costs must be in USD.  

  

Conflict of Interest and Terms of Payment 

Bidders are requested to disclose and explain any potential conflicts of interest. 

Terms of payment at SEforALL follow a deliverable-based framework. The breakdown of the milestone’s payments will be communicated to the selected company. 

 

How to Apply and Deadline 

Please submit your proposals to procurement@seforall.org by 18 January 2022, 17:00 CET. In case of questions or queries contact SEforALL at procurement@seforall.org