In this section you will find templates and examples of a:
- Request for proposal (RFP)
- Service level agreement (SLA)
- Guidelines: Contracting for transportation of public health commodities to the private sector
Request for proposal (RFP) template
What is an RFP?
An RFP is a document the ministry of health issues when it wants to buy a product or service and wants to make its specifications available to a variety of vendors. An RFP is a document that requests a proposal for a problem that needs to be solved and invites vendors to submit a proposal explaining how they will solve it. The RFP is a tool used to identify the best candidate for a project.
Key inputs to a request for proposal
By ensuring that your brief and RFP include the following inputs you will be able to develop a clear, concise brief that will assist you in receiving proposals that meet your requirements.
Background Every brief and RFP needs to include background to why you issuing an RFP. In the background you will:
- define the country context and overview of the supply chain environment, relevant policy references, goals that national health aim to address via outsourcing; and
- identify stakeholders, key challenges, risks and opportunities for the problem statement that the ministry of health aims to solve through private sector partnering.
Scope The scope describes the supply chain area and/or activity to be outsourced and defines the expected duration of the contract and resources. The scope of work (SOW) includes geography, specific function (warehouse, national or regional, distribution routes (regional or district) and enablers (human resource, system).
Objectives and outcomes This section explains the expected outcomes and objectives of services to be outsourced. Be as specific as possible in stating your objectives and outcomes. Some examples are data flow/visibility improvement X; increased availability of vaccines of X; stock accuracy improvement to X; distribution supply to X facilities; cold chain management improvement of X; capacity building program delivery X.
Timeframes and deliverables In this input, you map the timelines for Q&A responses, define a work plan from vendors providing service capability to meet the objectives and achieve the outcomes. The timeframes and deliverables must be supported by the processes followed for the functional area, costing matrix, staffing, resourcing proposals, technology and systems available.
Evaluation criteria When writing this section you need to define the evaluation approach and RFP scoring process (criteria for selection of vendor). This includes defining technical ability (capacity scores, management, transition plan, etc); past performance; financial sustainability; and proven knowledge (senior leadership experience, staffing expertise).
Cost proposal requirements Once you have determined the costing model (either activity-based or cost plus margin) to be used to manage and remunerate the vendor this needs to be included in the brief and RFP along with a cost proposal template and rate card format.
Supporting documents or information required Finally, you can include a section for any additional information that you might need including provisions for conflict of interest, detail of vendor profile, sites, staffing and the like.
Service level agreement (SLA) template
What is an SLA?
The SLA (sometimes referred to as a joint service agreement) is a two-way document between two organisations aimed at formalising their working relationship. The SLA is a collaboration tool and is not a legally binding document. It is consistent with but does not repeat the contract. The SLA is an important part of outsourcing as it describes the service type and quality and provides solutions when requirements are not met. The SLA will provide metrics against which the services are measured and describe penalties or remedies should the agreed-upon service levels not be met.
Guidelines: Contracting for transportation of public sector commodities to the private sector
In many countries, central medical stores, ministries of health and others responsible for public health supply chain management may choose to outsource transportation to private-sector service providers. This new document from the USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project serves as a guide for private-sector contracting, examines the reasons for doing so, describes different options and explains the potential benefits and challenges of each option. Readers will find it useful in making the right decisions, better understanding the contracting process and how strategic planning for contracting can help ensure satisfactory vendor performance and even save money. Examples from Angola, Cambodia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa illustrate key points. Annexes include a sample scope of work, deliverables schedule, requests for proposals, key performance indicators and other tools.
Summary of Process Step: Contract
This Process Step, Contract, has covered the critical success factors for contracting, supplied a nine-step approach to successful contracting and supplied templates for an RFP and SLA. The next Process Step, Implement, is concerned with what is needed to implement the supply chain outsourcing process in terms of a transition team and other resources.
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1Source: Lighthouse Strategic Leadership, Team Analysis 2020, drawn from interviews for the OSTK with ministries of health, subject matter experts, Central Medical Stores in Sub-Saharan Countries: May-July 2020