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RFP: Development of Maternal Nutrition Implementation Research

Request for Proposals (RFP) to Build Capacity for Implementing Maternal Nutrition Interventions

Issued on:  May 5, 2017

For:   Development of Maternal Nutrition implementation research

Anticipated Period of Performance:  July 2017 to October 2019

Proposal Submission Date:   June 16, 2017



Alive & Thrive (A&T) initiative in India is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is working as a Knowledge partner with government, other development partners, organizations, academia and professional bodies to provide technical support to national programs related to Maternal, Infant and  Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN).  In India, A&T is based in Delhi and has two state offices in Lucknow and Patna for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states, respectively. The India program started in November 2015.  Alive & Thrive is collaborating with Maternal Health Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the state National Health Mission  (NHM ) in UP and Bihar, providing technical assistance to integrate and strengthen proven maternal nutrition interventions in existing  Reproductive Maternal  Neonatal  Child Health (RMNCH)service delivery platforms for improving maternal & neonatal health outcomes and to undertake robust assessment of results and learning to inform future scale up.

Maternal nutrition has been a long-standing concern of health authorities globally and in India. Despite the availability of proven, affordable interventions, and progressive policies and program platforms such as Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) services, a streamlined package of proven maternal nutrition services is not reaching the majority of women during pregnancy. This undermines national efforts to improve maternal and newborn survival and reduce morbidity, malnutrition and disabilities in women and children.

Alive & Thrive supports scaling up of nutrition interventions to save lives, prevent illness, and contribute to healthy growth and development through improved maternal nutrition, breastfeeding and complementary feeding. We also generate new learnings about interventions and program implementation.  For example, in Bangladesh, A&T tested the feasibility of integrating a comprehensive package of maternal nutrition interventions into an existing MNCH service delivery platform in four districts. The program demonstrated impact on increased maternal dietary diversity and intake of energy, protein, iron and folic acid (IFA), and calcium in pregnant women.   In India, A&T aims to test the feasibility of integrating a package of maternal nutrition interventions that align with the latest global evidence (WHO’s Antenatal Care Guidelines, November 2016), and the national policies and guidelines of the Government of India (GOI).

Objective of Proposal
Alive & Thrive is seeking proposals from credible organizations with relevant experience and expertise to build the capacity of government services in delivering a package of evidence-based maternal nutrition interventions, identify feasible approaches to achieve high coverage of pregnant women, and bring about impact in improving dietary diversity and adequate protein and energy intake, increased consumption of IFA and calcium supplements, and regular weighing and counseling during ANC.  An external evaluation will be conducted by A&T to generate evidence of impact and to document lessons learned about how to scale up the strategy for expanding maternal nutrition at scale.

Scope of Work
A&T will identify the district and Blocks for the implementation. The agency is expected to work closely with the State and district NHM teams and ICDS functionaries under the guidance of A&T. Overall technical approval and quality assurance would be provided by A&T India and HQ team.

Geographic focus
Two districts in the state of Uttar Pradesh will be identified in collaboration with national and state governments and A&T state teams. Approximately 10 to 12 intervention clusters or catchment areas will be selected for the implementation across the two districts.

Program approach
The selected organization will be expected to adapt proven A&T approaches, frameworks and tools to the Indian context.  See Annex 1 for A&T’s implementation framework.

Time Line
A total of 27 months of support is expected, with 3 months for preparation, planning, field testing and piloting; and 24 months for implementation and monitoring.

In collaboration with A&T and government collaborators, the selected organization will carry out the following:

  • Develop specifications of the technical interventions listed above, based on national and global guidelines
  • Assess the current situation of coverage and service delivery for each technical intervention in government health and Integrated Child Health Services ICDS services, using existing data and rapid field assessments.
  • Identify priority gaps to be addressed to achieve rapid results. Develop feasible alternatives for addressing priority bottlenecks in implementation in the selected areas. Both supply side and demand side approaches should be identified based on findings of the analysis and assessments.
  • Detail out the processes and tools needed for strengthening health system and ICDS capacity to overcome the bottlenecks; develop or adapt existing tools and processes and field test them. Design a comprehensive package of activities for improving the performance of frontline workers; supply system; linkages with community based workers and programs; and monitoring systems to use data for making rapid ongoing adjustments. Develop a protocol/plan for internal program monitoring including design of registers & recordkeeping by the systems and the agency field team.
  • Strengthen community based activities to increase the uptake of key practices by pregnant women through reaching them repeatedly at critical times from ANC registration and throughout the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.  The key practices are: adherence to IFA and calcium protocols, daily consumption of defined nutrient-rich foods in adequate quantities and balanced proportion, seeking weighing and weight gain tracking services at ANC visits.
  • Document operational guidelines, use of tools and processes and update the guidelines as adjustments are made. NOTE: all tools and materials are to follow A&T approval processes and branding guidelines.
  • Rapidly develop and put in place a management unit for conducting the above. This should include technical and management experts, a team leader with experience in working collaboratively with government systems.

Agencies are requested to submit a proposal describing their analysis of the current landscape, methodology for building systems capacity to address specific maternal nutrition bottlenecks, strategy to achieve impact at scale, timeline of activities, staffing, budget, and a schedule of deliverables, based and aligned with the above Scope of Work.



Anticipated Contractual Mechanism
FHI anticipates issuing a firm fixed-price purchase order. The purchase order will be issued in local currency (INR) to the responsive offer that is selected on a best value basis. Once an award is issued, it will include a schedule of fixed price payments based on completion of deliverables in the scope of work.

Instructions and Deadline
Responses to this RFP should be submitted by email to the A&T office to Yashoda Rawat at and Versha Mathur at no later than June 16, 2017 at 5 p.m. New Delhi, India time. Any explanation desired by a prospective offeror regarding the meaning or interpretation of this solicitation must be requested in writing to  at FHI SOLUTIONS no later than May 21, 2017 by 5:00 pm in India.

Please follow the instructions carefully.  Proposals which do not follow these instructions may not be reviewed. Offers received after this date and time may not be accepted for consideration. FHI will acknowledge receipt of your proposal by email. Proposals must be submitted in electronic format using Microsoft Office compatible software.


For the full Request for Proposals and FHI Budget Template, please click on the links.

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