Business Support and Technical Guidance for BIOGAS Project
Concern Worldwide is a non-governmental, international, humanitarian organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. To achieve our mission we engage in long-term development work, build resilience, respond to emergencies and seek to address the root causes of poverty through our development education and advocacy work. Concern Worldwide has been operational in Malawi since 2002, implementing programmes in the areas of Social protection, climate smart agriculture and livelihoods in a variety of districts in the country.
The Irish Aid Enterprise Fund for International Climate Action (EFICA) implements the RESET project that supports international partnerships, for climate related activities in developing countries which have a commercial or enterprise focus. This Fund aims to promote the mobilisation of private finance for climate action. The project focus in on clean energy (including clean cooking) with cross cutting impacts for gender as this is a women-led local enterprise and is implemented with the following Partners:
- EcoGen Limited – a social business operating in Lilongwe, Malawi, founded in 2018 to provide technically advanced and sustainable biogas technology solutions for production of renewable biogas energy and fertilizer to small farmers to reduce food shortage, poverty and climate change
- The Centre for Community Organisation and Development (CCODE) – a Malawian non-profit organization founded in 2003 working primarily in urban poor settings, engaging communities around empowered livelihoods, skills building and business planning, access to finance and support for housing, and sustainable waste collection
Concern and its partners ECOGEN and CCODE in the RESET project have supported 5 sites in Urban Lilongwe, Malawi in installing small-scale bio digesters producing biogas, fertiliser from organic waste. Those systems are expected to combine the benefits of waste management, renewable energy production, improved agricultural products, and income generation.
A year into the implementation of the project some operational challenges were reported by the groups such as water and inputs availability, time and efforts for operations, and distribution of biogas. In order to address these challenges effectively and ensure the success and sustainability of the project, Concern seeks to engage a consultant to conduct a comprehensive review which aims at assess and provide recommendations on the efficiency and scalability of the systems as a viable business solution. The main stakeholders involved in this project and to be included in the review are:
- Partners: EcoGen and CCODE
- District Local government
- Women and Youth Groups currently using the biogas digesters
- Communities in Lilongwe in 5 communitiesnamely Chinsapo, Mtandire, Mgona, Area 25 and Mtsinje
Objectives of the Consultancy
The primary objective of this consultancy is to evaluate the efficiency and scalability of small-scale bio digesters as a sustainable business for various groups in Malawi with emphasis on women and youths and provide recommendation for improvements. The consultant will be expected to:
- Assess the current state of the bio-digesters including their technical specifications, operation and maintenance and overall performance.
- Identify the key challenges and opportunities associated with the implementation and scalability of small-scale bio-digesters in the context of small farmers’ businesses in Malawi.
- Conduct Benefits/Efforts and Cost-Benefits analysis of the current systems and analyze the key socioeconomic factors influencing biogas and fertilizer production in the various contexts identified
- Evaluate potential for diversification of waste inputs for the bio-digesters
- Provide practical recommendations for improving the efficiency, sustainability and scalability of small-scale bio-digesters, including technical improvements, and capacity-building measures.
- Assess household perception, barriers and preferences for the use of biogas energy
- Analyze options for packaging of biogas and market for sales and provide strategic advice on the most profitable use of the technology and supply options.
- Conduct a risk analysis (including Health & Safety) of current facilities and prospective future developments. Provide associated recommendations to mitigate the risks.
Specific Tasks to be undertaken by the Consultant(s) The consultant is expected to perform the following tasks:
- Visit each of the 5 (Chinsapo, Mtandire, Mgona, area 25 and Mtsinje) sites where Biogas facilities has been installed to assess their performance, gather data on operational challenges and understand the local context
- Conduct consultations with key stakeholders including organizations implementing similar initiatives to gather insights and perspectives, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the project’s various aspects and map stakeholders.
- Prepare an inception report, detailing methodology and work plan of the consultancy, based on the discussions and observations of points 1 & 2. The study will seek to explore a mix of representative contexts areas e.g., sites in central market areas, densely populated, or site on out skirts of markets with or without road access, etc.
- Conduct Focus group Discussions (FGD) and Key informants’ interviews (KII) with members of the groups, leaders and communities to understand the knowledge, attitude and practice as regards biogas (production and consumption)
- Establish the situation as regards biogas production and consumption in each context. Document and review existing practices for production (inputs and time required, outputs produced, operation costs) and for consumption (barriers, costs, demand and market price etc.).
- Based on compiled information and discussions with the Concern Programme team and relevant stakeholders, identify gaps and opportunities and provide feasible, sustainable recommendations for the project to address challenges effectively.
- Prepare a comprehensive report outlining the findings and the recommendations. For each recommendation, the assumptions taken, associated risks and a cost-benefit analysis should be detailed.
- Present the findings and recommendations to relevant stakeholders
Working hand in hand with the RESET Project Lead, the Area Manager Central and reporting overall to the Country Director or his/her designate, the consultant is expected to deliver the following:
- Inception report: Provide a detailed work plan and methodology after the site visits and stakeholders consultations.
- Draft report: Prepare a comprehensive draft report that includes the findings, analysis, Health & Safety assessments and recommendations for discussion with Concern Programme Team and relevant stakeholders within 3 weeks
- Final report: Incorporate feedback received and submit a final report that addresses all comments and suggestions provided by Concern Programme Team and relevant stakeholders within 2 weeks of receiving feedback.
- Develop checklists for optimum Operation and Maintenance of the systems and troubleshooting guidance.
- Presentation: Conduct a presentation or workshop to share the findings, conclusions, and recommendations with relevant stakeholders and provide strategic advice on the most profitable use of the technology and supply options.
Timelines and Location of the Assignment
The assignment will be for a period of 20 working days over a period of 4 months between September and December 2023. The assignment will be undertaken in Lilongwe with some travel within the district.
Qualification and Experience of the Consultant
- Bachelor’s Degree in Renewable Energy Engineering or related discipline
- At least 5 years of experience working in the Renewable energy sector with at least 2 years working on biogas projects
- Experience in designing and implementing biogas plant
- Familiarity with the involvement of private sector in Renewable Energy sector and sound knowledge of market system
- Knowledge of community solid waste management in particular in Malawi
- Previous experience in collaborating with government authorities and NGOs
Interested must submit the following requirements in the following order;
Section 1: Cover Letter
Must be properly addressed, dated & signed. Must also be stamped if applying as a company/organisation
Section 2: Administrative Requirements
- Copy of Company Registration Certificate (if bidding as a company/organisation)
- Copy of Trading/Operating/Business License (if bidding as a company/organisation)
- Copy of National ID/Passport for individual bidders
- Copy of Tax Registration for all bidders
- Copy of Tax Compliance Certificate for all bidders
Section 3: Technical Proposal
- Consultants’ Understanding of the Terms of Reference
- Proposed Approach and Methodology
- Proposed Work Plan: Include an activity schedule, proposed start date and end date.
- Detailed Company/Organizational Profile: Include a list of all recent and relevant assignments as well as information about the location, size and structure of the company/organisation and contacts of at least three professional references if bidding as a company/organisation
- Detailed CVs of the Core Team: Specify the role of each core team member in this assignment and include their qualifications, most recent and relevant experience and contacts of three of their professional references
- Annex Copies of the Core Team’s academic qualifications and professional certifications
- Annex Completion Certificates of recent and relevant assignments
Section 4: Financial Proposal
- Professional fees (include total daily rate in Malawian Kwacha, proposed payment schedule and bidding price validity which should not be less than 60 days)
- Other related costs (itemized) in Malawian Kwacha
Concern’s Purchasing Policy and Procurement Terms and Conditions are available at:
Interested bidders must submit their bids (per submission requirements outlined above) both in hard and soft copy as follows;
- Hard copy bids must be enclosed in plain sealed envelopes marked Request for Proposal: RESET/2023/09/SR56996 and addressed to: The Procurement Committee, Concern Worldwide and delivered to Concern Worldwide, Plot 227, Area 9, Mtunthama Drive, Lilongwe, Malawi and must complete and sign the RFP Submission Form at the Reception
- Soft copy bids must be emailed to email@example.com with the subject of the email as RESET/2023/09/SR56996
All bids must be submitted by Wednesday, 20th September 2023 at 1000hrs Central African Time. Bids submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.
Concern Worldwide reserves the right to accept or reject any bid/offer/proposal prior to the award of contract and to annul the bidding process and to reject all offers at any time.