Request for proposals: Management training (28-29 March 2019)

At the initiative of the Head of Human Resources (HR) and based on the feedback of HD’s managers, HD Senior Management team (SMT) has committed to allocate sufficient funds to build a management training curriculum aimed at reinforcing HD’s managerial capacity across the organisation.

HD’s success is based on its entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and innovative approach. These approach and practices are difficult to theorise and systematise. Project and team management is today very much left to individual skills and styles. With HD’s growth, there is an internal demand from HD’s managers across offices and teams to get stronger guidance on what HD is expecting from them in terms of management  (people management, financial management, external(donor) relations, project direction and strategy), and to receive related capacity-building support. As examples, new employees are unfamiliar with HD’s culture and expected lines of cooperation. New managers are unsure about HD’s hierarchical functioning and split of responsibilities. They have questions about how to translate the entrepreneurial spirit into management reality.  Can team members expect mentoring and guidance from project managers? Supervisors are unsure of how to treat under-performing employees, how to respond to questions around opportunities for learning and growth and how to communicate effectively when delivering difficult messages.

A training on Project Management was organised by the HR department at HD in 2015 (Thunderbird) for 27 managers and well appreciated, especially for the practical tools managers were able to use in their daily work. Unfortunately it was a one-off action: the objective of the above mentioned curriculum is to have a sustainable plan for the next two to three years, with different levels of training and to offer a methodology and resources to help HD’s managers better plan, manage, review and organise their work. All this while safeguard HD’s entrepreneurial spirit and flexible, light approach.

HD’s workplace climate survey results, done in the summer 2018, emphasized the need to reinforce and support the managerial responsibility for a fair, safe and equal workplace (a copy of the survey results will be made available to the final selected provider).

On that basis, HR wants to launch an HD-specific solid but agile long-term training curriculum in project and people management, addressed at managers and supervisors at HD. The training will allow progression over the years, be differentiated by level of expertise and adapted to our regional and cultural differences.

Overall Methodology and existing information:

The development of the management training curriculum will be done progressively through an iterative process and with a continuous improvement process approach. An internal committee* of twelve representatives (see below) of each region has undertaken preparatory work, i.e. a training needs assessment of their respective region in Project Management and People Management to help build the content of the curriculum.

The results of the training needs assessments indicate a need for support in:

  • Managing people and teams: more specifically how to provide difficult feedback, how to manage upwards, how to delegate, how to manage remote teams, how to develop, team dynamics, diversity, establishing good team processes (management of information, decision making, meetings, etc…(international organisations are not talented as providing honest feedback)
  • Briefing, training and reinforcing HD’s internal policies, procedures and practices (need for on-line modules as verbal induction have insufficient impact)
  • Managing projects, more specifically, how to plan and to monitor progress, how to evaluate the project, how to assess risks, how to strategically fundraise: this should be a mix of internal and external contribution
  • How to make effective presentation, public speaking and how to facilitate meetings
  • Managers would like to get clarity on HD’s expectations towards their role, i.e. what management style HD is opting for, but also HD’s indication of best practices of people and project management it wants its employees to apply in their work (checklist).

The following documents will serve as working documents for the selected external provider:

  • The Executive Summary of the needs assessment of all HD teams and offices
  • A one-pager on HD’s desired management style currently being created by a sub-group of the Senior Management team (SMT) to be submitted to the SMT for approval on February 4 (will be shared with the selected provider).
  • The summary results of the workplace climate survey done in the Summer 2018
  • The standard terms of reference of HD’s Project Manager

The external provider will hold interviews with the SMT and a few individuals at HD (to be nominated or volunteer) to align the workshop to HD’s context, specificities and needs of its managers.

A sub-committee has been created to identify and select the training provider.

Objective of HD’s management training curriculum

  • As a pre-requisite, HD to clarify for all employees but more specifically to HD’s supervisors its expectations on and desired management style (to be approved on 4 February by SMT)
  • Progressively strengthen HD’s project and people management capacity through a sustainable long term process to enhance the qualitative management of HD’s projects and increase accountability, quality assurance and professionalism across the organization
  • Make HD the gold standard or benchmark within the peace-making field for project and team management, in the same way it has become known for its expertise on monitoring and evaluation
  • Enhance employee’s satisfaction by building their capacity as professional managers
  • In parallel, raise HD’s qualitative profile to our donors

Expected Deliverables from the external supplier:

  • Deliver an HD-specific and adjusted interactive workshop on managing people and teams on March 28-29: come up with a checklist of what a manager at HD is specifically supposed to think of and be doing while managing her/his team(s)
  • Make available after the workshop one or several HD specific on-line modules and tools, does and don’t, lessons learned, etc… on the above subject to be shared with all, including with new hires, newly promoted managers, etc.
  • Ensure and offer follow-up for managers who attended the March session including offering coaching options to support the development in real life situations.
  • Along the process, regular briefing to the SMT and accompany the organisation in integrating the development of its managerial competencies into its HR processes, especially the Collaborative Discussion on Performance (CDP) and suggest additional measures for assessing progression

If the service of the provider is evaluated positively by the managers and by the training committee, the collaboration could go with one or several of the following modules:

  • Help us build on-line modules on HD’s policies, procedures and practices, in Finance, HR, Fundraising, Communication, IT ideally in 2019 (depending on costs)
  • Help us do a similar workshop and exercise than the People management one for an HD-specific Project management workshop, either in 2019 or in 2020, depending on budget.
  • Globally and on the mid-term help us build an HD-specific management training curriculum to be delivered over the years, with differentiated levels (junior/advanced), as deemed required and updated from one year to the other, based on staff feedback, focusing on Project and People Management

Audience:  we have 68 people and 10 directors. Primarily 43 managers and 25 advisers, including Corporate Services (12) speaking either English or French. HD’s managers and advisers are split across regions as follows:

  • 30 in Headquarters, Geneva
  • 15 in Asia
  • 16 managers in Bamako, Dakar and Bangui (French-speaking)
  • 7 managers in Nairobi and Abuja
  • 5 Directors are based in Geneva, one in Cyprus, two in Nairobi, one in Singapore, and one in the US.

We aim to train approximately 35 employees in March; it will be those with the highest level of responsibilities in managing others (supervising more than two people) and who can in return coach, train and develop others.


The first training session will happen on 28-29 March 2019 organised after another internal workshop focusing on mediation and mediation processes.

The budgets for 2020 and after will be determined based on staff feedback and as work progress with the external consultant.

Timeline and procedure for bidding

Launch of RFP- 21 January

Questions to HD & answers-  deadline is 25 January

Receipts of proposals – 1 February

Selection of provider and contracting – 14 February

Interviews with SMT and a few individuals – week of 18 February until 8 March

Final content and format of workshop  – 15 March

Approval by committee and SMT – 22 March

Delivering – March 28-29

Follow-up, adjustments and next steps – April onwards

Responses to this RFP must be sent in English in electronic version lish to Bidders may address their questions to by 8 February.

General information

a)       HD invites you as a service provider to submit one proposal covering the services described above

b)      All costs associated with the preparation and submission of the proposal are to be borne by the bidder

c)       The entire RFP and all the related discussions, meetings, information exchanges and subsequent negotiations that may occur are subject to confidentiality.

d)      The issuance of this RFP in no way commits HD to make an award. HD is under no obligation to justify the reasons of its choice of service provider following the competitive bidding. HD may choose not to justify its business decision to the participants to the RFP.

e)      HD reserves the right to:

  • Reject any proposal without any obligation or liability to the potential service provider
  • Withdraw this RFP at any time before or after the submission of bids without any advance notice, explanation or reasons
  • Change the timelines indicated above
  • Accept a proposal other than the one containing the lowest financial proposal
  • Award all services to a single supplier or allocate parts of them to different suppliers
  • Request additional data, discussions or presentations to support each proposal

f)        Proposals submitted after the deadline indicated above are subject to rejection.

g)       Service providers are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of information provided in support of their proposal. HD reserves the right to reject an awardee in the event of failure to disclose any material information, or material changes or errors in any information on which the award decision was made.

Basic principles

a)       Contract will be awarded to the proposal offering the best value for money (i.e. best score based on price and quality)

b)      Contracts shall not be awarded to bidders which, during the procurement procedure:

  • are subject to a conflict of interests;
  • are guilty of misrepresentation in supplying the information required as a condition of participation in the RFP procedure, or fail to supply this information.