Request for Proposal for Strategic Review of the Voluntary Principles Initiative
AMENDED Deadline for Submission: Monday, January 24, 11:59pm Pacific time
AMENDED RFP # VPSHR 21-3 v.2
AMENDED Q&A (see bottom of the page)
AMENDED The complete RFP and instructions for submitting are available here.
Created in 2000, the Voluntary Principles Initiative (VPI) is a multi-stakeholder initiative conformed by Governments, NGOs, and Companies that promotes the implementation of a set of principles – The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) – which guide companies on providing security for their operations while respecting human rights.
The VPI provides a platform for members to engage in dialogue and discussion related to best practice and lessons learned regarding security and human rights, especially in the natural resources sector. The VPI is governed by a Steering Committee composed of representatives from the three membership Pillars: Governments, NGOs, and Companies.
For additional information, please visit: www.voluntaryprinciples.org.
The Voluntary Principles Association (VPA), with whom the successful bidder will formally enter into a contract, is the formal not-for-profit legal entity, domiciled in the Netherlands, designed to address the basic administrative and financial needs of the Voluntary Principles Initiative (VPI). The VPA is governed by the Articles of Association and the Board of Directors.
The Secretariat, located in Ottawa, Canada, is responsible for the day-to-day business of both the VPI and the VPA and as such will act as a regular point of contact for the selected provider. The Secretariat services are currently contracted out to Compass Consulting International Ltd.
Having recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary, the VPI Steering Committee created a Strategic Review Commission (the “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 Secretariat will be supporting the Commission in administering this request for proposals.
The purpose of this consultancy is to perform an overall organizational and strategic evaluation of the VPI to inform the Commissioners recommendations regarding the future of the Initiative.
Scope of Work
The consulting team will gather data and draft an evaluation report relating to the Voluntary Principles Initiative.
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?
(2) Strategic Objectives: A consideration of the VPI’s strategic objectives for the next 5-10 years, including issues related to expansion of membership and growth beyond the extractive sector.
(3) Governance: Can the organizational governance of the initiative be strengthened, including effective decision-making structures, and roles and responsibilities of key positions such as the Chair, Pillars and Pillar Chairs, Plenary, Steering Committee, Secretariat? Key concepts underpinning governance are accountability (see below), participation, inclusion and transparency.
- 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.
- Management Concerns. Are there improvements members would like to see in the management of the VPI?
(4) 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).
This review should include:
I. Review of key Voluntary Principles governance documents to understand the VPI/VPA structure, the various roles of its Members and identify any issues related to governance & accountability.
II. Mixed methods of engagement of internal stakeholders (VPI Members, Observers, In-Country Working Group Members) and external
III. Regular communication with the Commission and Secretariat on the progress of the evaluation, as determined by the Secretariat.
IV. Presentation of findings to Commission via written report, which incorporates feedback from a draft version shared with the Commission.
Q1. What range of interviews is expected; are individual conversations with each member, observer, and most relevant non-members required, or can other formats such as group interviews or questionnaires replace individual discussions to a certain degree (reducing the total number of interviews to be conducted)?
A1. Bidders should be free to propose a methodology, including survey and interview formats, that in their judgment, will best gather the essential data and cover all items included in the scope of work.
Q2. Is the report of the consultant to articulate specific recommendations on ways forward, or rather to provide an aggregation and some analysis of the information and data collected?
A2. The consultant’s report should do all of the above: it should analyze and present the information and data gathered, as well as articulate recommendations for consideration by the Commission.
Q3. The deadline for the submission of Proposals is published as Friday, January 21, 2022. Could we please request a small extension?
A3. The deadline for proposals submission has been extended to Monday, January 24 at 11:59 PM Pacific time.
A4. Please note that this was a typo which has been corrected in a newly revised version of the RFP. It now reads “Annex B.”
Q5. Paragraph 4.6 includes the following text: “To avoid any potential conflicts of interest, any successful bidder must disclose any and all commercial relationship(s) with existing VPI participants and VPA members and propose a plan for mitigation.” Can you please clarify what constitutes a conflict of interest in this project and how bidders can mitigate such conflicts?
A5. Please note that for this project, the VPI will revise how conflicts are generally handled. This is because in this RFP, it will be the Strategic Review Commission, not VPI members, which are the de facto decision-makers. For this reason, we have amended paragraph 4.6 in the RFP and no longer require any disclosure of commercial relationships with VPI Members. Bidders will be informed at a later date (after bids have been reviewed), if any conflicts with Strategic Commission Members have come to light. See the newly revised RFP document paragraph 4.6 for this change.