Request for Information for Strategic Review of the Voluntary Principles Initiative
Deadline for Submission: November 12, 2021, at 12 noon EST.
RFI # VPSHR21-1
The complete RFI and instructions for submitting are available here.
(1) The Voluntary Principles Initiative Strategic Review Commission (the “Commission”) is issuing this Request for Information (“RFI”) to obtain market information relating to the project described in the Project Description (the “Project”). Subject to the terms set out herein, the Commission is expected to issue a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for the Project. The Commission reserves the right to restrict participation in the RFP process to those that have made a submission pursuant to this RFI.
(2) This RFI is open to any entity or individual that wishes to submit a response. There has been no preceding shortlisting or prequalification process. In this RFI, individuals or firms that submit documents in response to this RFI are referred to as “Respondents”. For ease of reference, prospective respondents, whether or not they submit a response to this RFI are also referred to as “Respondents”. Responses submitted by Respondents to this RFI are referred to as “RFI Submissions”.
(3) Respondents should be aware that the submission of an RFI Submission is not a guarantee of any future business with the Commission.
(4) Respondents are advised that the Commission may use the information provided in an RFI Submission in the planning, preparation and development of a future procurement process related to the Project.
(5) Respondents are advised that the information they provide in the RFI Submission shall not be construed as an offer and shall not prejudice any proposal they make in the RFP process.
Description of the Project
The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights are an internationally recognized set of principles that guide companies on how to conduct their security operations while ensuring respect for human rights.
The Voluntary Principles were created in 2000 when companies, governments, and NGOs committed to work together to address security-related human rights abuses and violations in the extractive sector. Today, the Principles help companies in various industries conduct a conflict analysis, identify and understand the security and human rights risks in the environment in which they operate, and take meaningful steps to address these risks.
To promote implementation of the Principles, the Voluntary Principles Initiative (VPI) was created. The Initiative is comprised of over 55 members including companies, governments, non-governmental organizations as well as 9 Observers that share best practices and mutually support the implementation of the Principles. For more information about the VPI, please visit www.voluntaryprinciples.org.
Having recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary, the VPI Steering Committee created a Strategic Review Commission, comprised of six leading practitioners in the field of business and human rights, to evaluate the VPI’s work and determine whether any changes to its structure, governance, and objectives is required. The Commissioners were nominated by Members and Observers of the VPI and elected by the Steering Committee. The evaluation is expected to focus, inter alia, on the following:
(1) Member satisfaction: is the VPI meeting member expectations? Can we seek to understand the value proposition for VPI membership, considered uniquely for each Pillar and within each Pillar? For example, the value propositions will be different for home and host countries.
(2) Strategic Objectives: A consideration of the VPI’s strategic objectives for the next 5-10years, including issues related to expansion of membership and growth beyond the extractive sector. What is the role of the VPI given increasing mandatory due diligence in many jurisdictions? What are the risks and challenges that may affect the VPI’s future effectiveness, viability, and relevance? Should the VPI be re-named or re-branded?How do the Voluntary Principles connect with and/or reinforce the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights?
(3) Governance: Can the organizational governance of the initiative be strengthened, including effective decision-making structures, and roles and responsibilities (strategic and managerial) of key positions such as the Chair, Pillars and Pillar Chairs, Plenary, Steering Committee, Secretariat?
(4) Accountability: How do members evaluate the current accountability mechanisms? How should the VPI strengthen accountability for members with respect to their compliance with the Principles and their obligations as members of the VPI? This would require examining the VPI’s existing accountability mechanisms, including, without limitation, annual reports, verification presentations, and grievance mechanism.
(5) Non-member perspectives: Perceptions and perspectives on the Voluntary Principles Initiative by non-member stakeholders, including Observers, industry associations and related compliance-based initiatives (such as IRMA).What views do non-VPI members hold of the value of the VPI, what works well and what does not? Why (or why not) would certain stakeholders be interested in joining the VPI? How do they perceive the governance and management of the VPI, compared to other multi-stakeholder initiatives of similar scope?
The Commission is seeking information from vendors with respect to the following questions:
1. How would you/your organization approach the evaluation? Please specify your methodological approach and proposed deliverables.
2. What expertise or experience do you/your organization possess in conducting evaluations of this nature, particularly with respect to multistakeholder organizations? List at least one specific experience related to the subject matter of the Project, indicating scope, costs and time of execution.
3. Please describe your/your organization’s capacity to perform the work. Specify the minimum project staff and qualifications that in your consideration is required to address the scope of the project
4. Based on assumptions made by you/your organization regarding your approach, what will be the anticipated cost of such evaluation? Please include estimated cost range as well as underlying assumptions, and include a simple breakdown as well as any delivery costs. Based on assumptions made by you/your organization regarding your approach, what will be the anticipated timeline of such evaluation? Please include estimated timeline range as well as underlying assumptions.
5. How would you/your organization approach the evaluation in a manner that is both effective and efficient?
Questions and Answers
Q1. Can you please clarify the purpose of the Request for Information? Is it the same thing as an Expression of Interest?
A1. The Request for Information is not the same thing as an Expression of Interest, as the Request for Information seeks more detailed information from vendors that will help the Commission develop and implement a strong Request for Proposals process. The information sought in the Request for Information includes the methodologies proposed to do the work outlined, the expertise required, an estimated budget and time to perform the work. However, it is important to note that the Commission reserves the right to restrict participation in the RFP process to those that have made a submission pursuant to this RFI. The information provided by vendors will remain confidential within the Voluntary Principles Initiative.