REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP)

Issue Date: March 30, 2012
Proposal Due Date: April 23, 2012 (By close of business day 6:00 p.m.)
Anticipated Award Date: May 4, 2012

All Bidders should prepare a response before April 20, 2012.

I. Introduction
IREX, (International Research & Exchanges Board), under the scope of G-MEDIA program is seeking proposals from qualified organizations to provide Strategic Planning Services for IREX/G-MEDIA sub-grant recipient Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management (CSJMM) at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA).

II. Project Requirements

A. Background

About IREX
IREX (the International Research & Exchanges Board) is the premier US nonprofit organization specializing in higher education, independent media, Internet development, and civil society programs in the United States, Europe, Eurasia, the Near East, and Asia. Since its founding in 1968, IREX has supported over 15,000 students, scholars, policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and other professionals. IREX serves as a major resource for universities, governments, and the corporate sector in understanding international political, social, economic, and business developments.

The IREX Mission
• Foster democracy in transitioning societies
• Strengthen and help internationalize educational, nongovernmental, and media organizations
• Support the highest-quality research in the social sciences and humanities
• Identify and train the next generation of leaders by working together with universities, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, governments, and corporations

About G-MEDIA Program
Funded by USAID, Georgian Media Enhance Democracy, Informed Citizenry and Accountability Program (G-MEDIA) is to improve the public’s access to a range of sources of news and information by developing a more politically balanced, editorially independent, professional and viable media sector that reaches audiences across Georgia through diverse delivery channels. The program seeks to raise the quality and diversity of media content and broaden delivery channels; improve professionalism, including through university journalism education; depoliticize the regulatory environment and strengthen journalists’ capacity to address infringements to their rights and breaches of professional ethics; and improve the viability of media outlets.
IREX has designed and implemented independent media projects in more than 20 countries across Europe and Eurasia. IREX also publishes the annual Media Sustainability Index (MSI), a valuable tool that analyzes the status and progress of independent media

About CSJMM

IREX/G-MEDIA grant recipient the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management (CSJMM) is one of three graduate schools at the Zurab Zhvania Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), a non-profit organization concerned with building capacity for effective government, media and civil society. CSJMM currently offers three master’s degree programs: Journalism and Media Management; Journalism and Communication Management and Public Relations. In addition to its degree granting courses, CSJMM trains students and professionals in non-degree programs and trainings.

B. Task Description

IREX is seeking a vendor to facilitate a strategic planning process for the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management (CSJMM) that will provide guidance to its management for future decision making and continuous development of its programs and services. The purpose of the strategic planning process will be to assist in (1) determining the local needs which should be addressed; (2) developing a comprehensive and effective 10 year strategic plan.

C. Scope of Services

IREX is seeking a vendor who can assist CSJMM in developing Strategic Plan that will ensure achievement of its mission: to support the development of independent media in the Caucasus by means of educational and training programs in journalism, communication and media management. The school’s philosophy is that journalists– well-grounded in skills to report fairly and accurately and communication specialists — facilitating a free access to information– will raise the level of journalism where they practice, and will serve the public by providing truthful information and upholding the highest ethical standards of the profession.

IREX is seeking the best strategy that will enable CSJMM to accomplish its mission by (1) exploiting the opportunities and strengths while (2) neutralizing its threats and (3) and correcting (or avoiding) its weaknesses.

IREX recognizes that development of a long range plan should be done as a collaborative process. The strategic planning will include planning, facilitating and evaluating a Planning Retreat with the CSJMM management and staff and, IREX/G-MEDIA representatives to:
• Review and revise, as necessary CSJMM vision and mission statements
• Develop short and long-long term goals and objectives
• Develop key strategies
• Develop key indicators and outcomes that can serve as the basis for performance measurement

The location, cost and event planning of the retreat will be coordinated through IREX/G-MEDIA.

D. Deliverables

Contractor will be responsible for submitting the first draft of the Strategic Plan to IREX and CSJMM for review. After making corrections and revisions to the draft, contractor will make official presentation of the final Strategic Plan to CSJMM and IREX representatives. The dates for submitting the first draft and final Strategic Plan will be specified in the agreement between IREX and Contractor.

IREX anticipates that successful development of a strategic plan will lead to a follow-up project in which vendors will be asked to submit proposals for execution of the plan and direct implementation assistance.

III. Proposal Timeline

A. RFP Release – March 30

B. Deadline to Submit Questions – April 9
All questions must be submitted in writing, no later than 6:00 p.m. on April 9, 2012 to the address listed at the end of the document. E-mails are accepted. E-mail subject line must be CSJMM-RFP.

C. Answers to written questions (TENTATIVE) – April 16

D. Deadline for Proposal Submission – April 23

E. Review/Approval of Proposal (TENTATIVE) – May 4

F. Announcement of winner (TENTATIVE) – May 7

G. Contract signed (TENTATIVE) – May 14

IV. Proposal Submission
A. Proposal must be received no later than the date and time for proposal submission: April 23, 2012 (By 6 p.m.)

B. All correspondence, including the proposals, must be submitted to:
Tamar Gabisonia, Senior Journalism Education Officer
IREX Georgia
6 Marjanishvili Street
Tbilisi 0102, Georgia
Email: gmedia@irex.ge

C. Proposal Format

Proposals must be submitted in BOTH hard copy and electronic copy in English before the deadline and should contain the following:

1. Summary of organization’s background and experience in similar projects. Vendor must have minimum of (5) years of experience in facilitating the strategic planning process for an educational institution or similar type of organizations.

2. Name, phone number and address of at least three references from similar contracts.

3. A brief synopsis explaining how the vendor sees CSJMM’s needs and how Vendor plans to meet these needs.

4. A detailed description of the proposed plan to achieve the Scope of Services, Section II, as understood by the vendor and the proposed timeline.

5. Cost. Budget proposal excluding VAT which itemizes all costs required to accomplish the work by task. To itemize salaries, indicate each project team member’s name and title, estimated number of hours to work by each, the hourly wage for each, and each employee’s total salary for the work. Hourly wages submitted shall remain in effect until project completion. If the estimated number of hours worked is exceeded, IREX bears no responsibility to compensate for those hours.

6. Resumes of key staff that will be assigned to the project;

7. Certificate of company registration;

8. Proof that company does not have debts to the tax authorities;

9. Any other pertinent information needed to evaluate proposal.

E. Proposal Condition

A. Contingencies

This request does not commit IREX to award a contract. IREX reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals or any part(s) of any or all proposals if IREX determines it is in the best interest of the IREX and CSJMM to do so.

B. Evaluation Process

All proposals will be subject to a standard review process developed by IREX. This includes technical review and evaluation, as well as cost evaluation. The primary consideration shall be the effectiveness of the organization in the delivery of comparable or related services based on demonstrated performance. Performance factors to be evaluated include past experience, delivery date of Strategy Document, cost effectiveness, quality of service, ability to provide complete and through documentation as required by IREX.

Responsive proposals will be evaluated and scored on the following criteria:
• Cost Effectiveness (25%)
• Qualifications of key personnel (25%)
• Quality and appropriateness of the overall methodology and planned activities (30%)
• Organizational capacity – ability to provide complete and through documentation as required (10%)
• Past references (10%)

C. Incurred Costs

This request does not commit IREX to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of a proposal in response to this request and Proposer agrees that all costs incurred in developing this proposal are the Proposer’s responsibility.

D. Contract Award

Contract will be awarded based on a competitive selection of proposals received.

E. Contract Negotiations

IREX may require the potential contractors selected to participate in negotiations and to submit revisions to pricing, technical information, and/or other items of their proposals as may result from negotiations. The contents of the proposal of the successful Proposer will become contractual obligations, subject to negotiation, and failure to accept these obligations in a contractual agreement may result in cancellation of the award.

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