OPPORTUNITY QUALIFICATION SUMMARY
Opportunity Name: SUPPORT WHICH IMPLEMENTS FAST TRANSITIONS 6 (SWIFT 6) IDIQ
Solicitation Number: TBD
Agency: US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Sub-Agency: Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Stabilization (CPS), Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI)
541611 - Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services Size Standard: $21.5 million annual receipts
PRE - RFP
April 2023 (Estimated)
July 2024 (Estimated)
Management Consulting Non-IT / Staffing / Recruiting and Deployment
The SWIFT Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract mechanism is one of USAID/OTI’s tools that enables USAID to seize emerging windows of opportunity in the political landscape to promote stability, peace, and democracy through adaptive and agile programming.
In order to achieve this the SWIFT IDIQ is broken down into two discrete functions: Programs and Support. Projects that the SWIFT IDIQ delivers include:
- Quick-impact projects that highlight peace dividends.
- Bringing people from feuding ethnic or religious groups to work productively together.
- Disseminating fair and unbiased information through open media outlets.
- Fostering linkages between civil society and national and/or local government bodies.
- Re-integrating ex-combatants and displaced persons and protecting vulnerable populations, often
- internally displaced persons and persecuted minority groups.
- Strengthening grassroots organizations willing to take a chance on interrupting the systems, perceptions and behaviors that promote violent crime.
- Strengthening governance at the national and local level and encouraging more responsiveness to citizen needs.
- Working directly with host country leadership to bolster strategic communications and functional capacity of the executive branch.
Ten (10) Years; 5 + 5 (1 option period)
Multiple Award, IDIQ
FFP; T&M / Labor Hours
Background / Scope
USAID’s CPS Bureau partners with USAID Missions and U.S. Embassies to contribute to peace and stability through programs, funding, and technical services focusing on social, communal, and political aspects of crises and political transition. CPS is USAID’s dedicated team for technical and analytical expertise on peacebuilding, conflict, and violence prevention. CPS responds to complex crises and opportunities and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. CPS has five offices headquartered in Washington D.C.: the Office of Administrative Services, the Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation, the Center for Conflict and Violence Prevention, OTI, and the Program Office.
USAID/OTI was created in 1994 to allow the U.S. Government (USG) to seize critical opportunities in high priority countries to promote positive change during periods of transition to democracy, transition to peace, or transitional political crises. All USAID/OTI programs are a means to achieve transitional assistance goals and create an environment stable enough for longer-term development to take root. USAID/OTI is not constrained by sector, and most programs are cross-cutting. Since 1994, USAID/OTI has administered over 75 programs in more than 55 countries.
USAID/OTI’s Country (or Regional) Programs are short-term — typically three to four years in duration — and often are initiated in countries or regions that have not reached the stability needed for longer-term development to succeed. Therefore, USAID/OTI works closely with USAID regional bureaus, overseas Missions, and other counterparts to continually identify and respond to strategic needs and gaps in the immediate term that can help to stabilize the situation, buy time for longer-term political and economic reform, complement other assistance efforts, and lay a foundation for development efforts to succeed. USAID/OTI’s programs are designed to meet the unique needs of each country (or regional) context and to remain responsive to rapidly evolving political and operational environments. USAID/OTI is a collaborative environment that represents the global community at all levels of our organization. Uniting diverse backgrounds and experiences, we value individual expertise to advance peace and democracy around the world. Our core values to enable this vision are trust, respect, belonging (accessibility), empathy, and self-awareness/accountability.
1) SWIFT – PROGRAMS
Due to the quick response nature of the problem sets SWIFT addresses, programming often must be initiated within weeks. SWIFT contractors must possess the staff, operational capacity, and financial resources for the successful implementation and management of targeted activities under USAID/OTI country and regional programs. Since the inception of SWIFT I in 1998, over 85 SWIFT Program Task Orders have been awarded. Historically, SWIFT Program Task Orders are cost-reimbursements with an average ceiling of $50 million and a duration of 2-3 years. Task Orders have been extended for as long as 5 years and with a $200 million ceiling. The average monthly invoice rate is typical $750,000 but may be as high as $3 million.
Through specific Task Orders, SWIFT contractors are responsible for:
Field Staffing, Administrative and Security, Management Structures, and Financial Liquidity: SWIFT contractors must rapidly deploy initial start-up teams to countries in order to set up offices and hire Host Country National (HCN) staff. SWIFT contractors must also rapidly mobilize expatriate staff, if applicable to the context, and establish the program and operational platforms and processes in countries undergoing political or post-conflict transitions. This includes developing systems to provide project and physical security, including information security while working in insecure or unstable programming environments. Field staffing, administrative, and management structures will vary according to the demands of each country (or regional) program and area. However, all iterations will involve establishing, staffing, managing, operating, and supporting a flexible, quick-response mechanism capable of implementing and managing targeted activities from the Transition Activities Pool (TAP) and/or providing logistical and administrative support to program-funded non-direct-hire USAID personnel in situations where USAID Mission or U.S. Embassy support cannot provide the requisite support for USAID/OTI personnel (as described in the next two bullets). Contractors are required to promote gender equality amongst staff and ensure that recruitment and retention practices promote accessibility and reflect the ethnic, geographic, and linguistic diversity of the country and/or region. Given the high-stress, high-threat environments SWIFT Task Orders operate in, the duty of staff care is an essential element of contractor program performance. Typically, a Task Order requires the contractor to have a program office in the capital and field offices as needed, which is subject to change depending on evolving context, programmatic priorities, and budget. Per the requirement, SWIFT contractors must maintain financial liquidity to stand up and support programming and operations, which includes: rapidly hiring staff, setting up offices in the country, responding to urgent programming needs (including disbursements for grants under contract and procurements of goods and services), as well as monthly operations costs (historically, the Implementing Partner’s required financial investments have been substantial in a variety of unstable country situations and in implementing other activities to meet critical needs in transition/post-conflict settings.)
Implementation and Management of Targeted Activities from the Transition Activities Pool (TAP): SWIFT contractors are responsible for all of the programmatic implementation, management, and administrative aspects of USAID/OTI country (or regional) programs, from start-up, through full implementation, and until close-out. Responsibilities primarily revolve around the management of the TAP, into which resources under each Task Order are channeled to support program objectives by providing funding for the types of activities illustrated above, for which the SWIFT contractors provide ideas, analysis, and rationale. The TAP includes funding for:
Grants under contract (GUC), whereby the SWIFT contractor develops (and/or finds and works with primarily local traditional and non-traditional partners to develop) small, short-term, quick-impact, catalytic activities, which are implemented through small (primarily in-kind) grants awarded and administered by the SWIFT contractor
Program-related short-term technical assistance (STTA) to host country beneficiaries, which is normally limited to several months of expert services and only when the technical assistance cannot be part of a grant
Distribution of goods and services (DDGS) to host country beneficiaries by the SWIFT contractor in situations where suitable grantees may not be readily identifiable but an urgent activity needs to take place
SWIFT contractors are responsible for timely (primarily local) procurement of goods and services for in-kind grants or for DDGS. All activities must be designed, approved, and implemented according to the relevant standard USAID procedures (e.g., competition requirements, gender analysis, environmental compliance, etc.). In addition, USAID/OTI’s standard procedures apply (e.g., USAID must approve each activity, the selection of grantees for activity implementation, changes to scope, budgets, or performance periods of approved activities, and the evaluation of outcomes and implementation for each activity). SWIFT contractors must, jointly with the USAID/OTI country team, develop, manage and implement a system of processes and tools for continual learning, assessment, and local political analysis, and must also monitor the implementation of activities for technical and programmatic soundness, evaluate the outcomes against their individual goals and the goal of the program, and report on progress made toward overall program objectives. SWIFT contractors must use the USAID/OTI Activity Database (on which USAID/OTI will provide training) for designing, obtaining approval for, implementing, revising, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on the TAP activities.
Logistic and Administrative Support to Program-Funded Non-Direct-Hire USAID Personnel: USAID/OTI is sometimes the only USAID or U.S. Government (USG) presence in countries in transition, including those that are emerging from crises or those where other USG personnel has been evacuated. In other instances, the USAID or other USG capacity to support USG personnel in rapidly evolving situations may be limited. In such circumstances, SWIFT contractors may be required to provide support for program-funded, non-direct hire, USAID/OTI personnel overseas in support of the program objectives, where the provision of the support by a contractor is consistent with the policies of the local USAID Mission (if present) and the U.S. Embassy Regional Security Office, and where it is not feasible for the support to be provided through regular USAID Mission/U.S. Embassy procedures. The support may include, for example: obtaining, furnishing, and maintaining office and/or residential space; procuring and maintaining communications and information technology equipment and services; providing administrative assistance or engaging administrative and support staff; and, arranging for training for USAID staff.
2) SWIFT – SUPPORT
Since 2019, USAID/OTI has utilized the current SWIFT 5 – Support IDIQ to ensure sufficient capacity to operate in some of the more challenging and restrictive environments where USAID/OTI has deployed. For example, in areas where USAID/OTI is programming, existing USG facilities do not have adequate resources to support additional USG personnel. Also, deployment of personnel to an urgent country/regional start-up may require a rapid response faster than standard hiring processes. Capacity is ensured by issuing support task orders to
recruit and deploy long-term technical assistance to support USAID/OTI program operations
provide support to program-funding USAID personnel.
SWIFT 6 will continue to provide this required support. USAID/OTI currently utilizes SWIFT-Support services in Iraq, regionally in the Middle East, and North Africa and intends to utilize services regionally in Sub-Saharan Africa. SWIFT-Support contractors must possess the staff and resources to assist USAID/OTI staff in providing program support such as monitoring and oversight of assessments and program design, as well as building staff capacity for the effective use of program performance management tools and systems. While the SWIFT-Programs IDIQs are designed for implementation and management of USAID/OTI country and regional programs, the SWIFT-Support IDIQs are used primarily for institutional, operational, and logistical assistance and support, in the field and Washington, as needed by USAID/OTI for its program management of current USAID/OTI country or regional programs and/or prior to and during the new country or regional program start-ups. SWIFT-Support tasks and activities also require some level of US-based support structure to backstop the needs in the field. Historically, SWIFT Support Task Orders have been cost-reimbursement contracts with an average ceiling of $5 million, with Task Orders as large as $20 million, and an average monthly invoice of $80,000, up to as high as $100,000.
Through specific Task Orders, SWIFT-Support contractors are responsible for:
Staffing/Fielding Logistical Long-Term Support In-Country: If required, SWIFT-Support contractors are expected to set up and maintain field offices and operations both within and outside countries’ capitals, and to deploy and support long-term U.S. National (USN), Third Country National (TCN) and/or Host Country National (HCN) field-based personnel as long-term technical assistance (LTTA) to help USAID/OTI in overseeing and working closely with SWIFT-Programs personnel. This requires SWIFT-Support contractors to have expertise in such areas as field accounting; overseas staff deployment and support; application of pertinent host nation regulations on residency and employment taxes; identifying and providing staff benefits and allowances; managing payroll and related administrative tasks; etc.). SWIFT-Support contractors must provide any required logistical support to the long-term personnel, including but not limited to human resources support, procuring and managing travel and lodging, reporting/documentation, information technology, and communications support, facility rental, etc. SWIFT-Support contractors must also provide any required full-time or intermittent administrative assistants, drivers, or other staff to support the LTTA.
Short-Term Technical Assistance (STTA) Supporting USAID/OTI Country or Regional Programs: Depending on the specific needs of the country or regional program, SWIFT-Support contractors may be required to identify and provide one or more short-term specialists with specific expertise to address discrete issues for program development, implementation, review, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting (e.g., campaign, polling, media, conflict resolution, engineering) on short notice (in as little as two weeks). Such STTA may be deployed for any length of time between one (1) week to twelve (12) months. SWIFT-Support contractors may be required to provide logistical support to the STTA, including but not limited to procuring and managing travel and lodging, reporting/documentation, information technology, communications support facility rental, etc.
Logistic and Administrative Support to Program-Funded Non-Direct-Hire USAID Personnel: As described in SWIFT-Programs above, USAID/OTI is sometimes the only USAID or U.S. Government (USG) presence in countries in transition. In such circumstances, SWIFT contractors may be required to provide support for program-funded, non-direct hire, USAID/OTI personnel overseas in support of the program objectives, where the provision of the support by a contractor is consistent with the policies of the local USAID Mission (if present) and the U.S. Embassy Regional Security Office, and where it is not feasible for the support to be provided through regular USAID Mission/U.S. Embassy procedures. The support may include, for example: obtaining, furnishing, and maintaining office and/or residential space; procuring and maintaining communications and information technology equipment and services; providing administrative assistance or engaging administrative and support staff; and, arranging for training for USAID staff.