Week Five: International Development Contracts, Compliance, and Project Development

Most of my research thus far has been on the rule of law in the countries included in expected USAID Requests for Task Order Proposals (RFTOPs) the DT Global governance team is preparing for. However, my research this week focused on the logistical and compliance aspects of proposal development. Generally, the research and work I do is in preparation for potential USAID RFTOPs for its upcoming projects. To prepare for unreleased RFTOPs and begin developing successful bids to be submitted once proposals have been released, it is important to research the subject-matter of the RFTOP, along with trends in similar RFTOPs. Each RFTOP sets out requirements for each aspect of the project’s development and implementation along with what information should be included in a proposal for each aspect. For instance, every USAID project has specific marketing and branding requirements, monitoring and evaluation requirements, and often has specified methods in which a project can be implemented. To develop successful proposals, it is important to understand what is expected for all aspects of project development and implementation, and ensure the proposed plan complies with USAID’s expectations. Therefore, before a proposal is released, comparative research of past RFTOPs is done so the proposal team understands what is generally expected and can begin drafting a proposal that will meet those expectations.

Each of the potential RFTOPs I am working on will be released by USAID through an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) government contract that provides for an indefinite quantity of services for a fixed amount of time. This particular IDIQ, Active Communities – Effective States (ACES), between USAID, DT Global, and other international development firms, implements direct programming to support host country’s good governance, rule of law, and accountability. Projects and programs involve good governance and anti-corruption; strengthening the legislative function/legal framework; decentralization and local governance; rule of law and security sector reform; and strengthening oversight mechanisms.

Knowing the purpose and subject matter of the ACES IDIQ, along with that of the expected RFTOP, and doing comparative research and analysis of RFTOPs that have been released under the ACES IDIQ, the DT Global business development team is able to deduce what may be included in upcoming RFTOPs and begin drafting a proposal, prior to the RFTOP being released. To assist in this stage of proposal development for each of my projects, I did an analysis of the marketing and branding requirements, grants under contract information, and desired monitoring and evaluation processes and reporting for the previously released RFTOPs under the ACES IDIQ. After completing this research and analysis, I reported my findings to the ACES business development team, so it may be utilized in drafting the upcoming proposals.