RE-ADVERTISMENT: Partnership in Digital Financial Inclusion of Refugees and Host Community Entrepreneurs – Kenya

Please find complete bid documents in the following link: Digital Financial Inclusion 2

Terms of Reference (TOR)

Partnership in Digital Financial Inclusion of Refugees and Host Community Entrepreneurs under the Supporting Displacement-Affected Entrepreneurs with Entrepreneurship Development (SDACKED) Project

1. Who is the Danish Refugee Council?

Founded in 1956, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is a leading international NGO and one of the few with a specific expertise in forced displacement. Active in 40 countries with 9,000 employees and supported by 7,500 volunteers, DRC protects, advocates, and builds sustainable futures for refugees and other displacement affected people and communities. DRC works during displacement at all stages: In the acute crisis, in displacement, when settling and integrating in a new place, or upon return. DRC provides protection and life-saving humanitarian assistance; supports displaced persons in becoming self-reliant and included into hosting societies; and works with civil society and responsible authorities to promote protection of rights and peaceful coexistence.

DRC has been present in Kenya since 2005 working with the displaced, offering support in areas of protection, livelihoods and armed violence reduction. The areas of operation include Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps (including Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement), as well as with urban refugees in Nairobi and Mandera.

2. Purpose of the partnership

DRC Kenya is looking to work with a digital solution partner with fully operational digital financial products or services specifically designed for Community Savings & Loans Associations (CSLAs) in Kenya. The existing product/service should ideally require no or very minimal changes to its design and should be suitable for refugee-led CSLAs in Kenya. DRC Kenya would like to work with a digital solutions provider to:

  • Tap on the digital solutions provider’s expertise to pilot successfully, a refugee-led digital platform in Nairobi, Kenya targeting 230 CSLAs.
  • Identify pathways for connecting the product/service to other financial products/services and processes including digital banking products offered by KCB Bank.
  • Develop a training manual based on the product/service that is relevant for refugee communities from various backgrounds to support seamless digitisation of CSLAs and connection to digital platforms.
  • Conduct a pilot with a small group of CSLAs to test the approach, including rolling out training and supporting the CSLAs as they transfer to digital record keeping and connection to formal finance, developing learning around successes and challenges for further roll out.
  • Based on successful pilot, further roll out the digital product/service to a larger selection of CLSAs while supporting troubleshooting of existing users on an ongoing basis.
  • Share key learnings to improve our offerings in this sector the future.

4. Background

DRC Kenya, in partnership with KCB Bank, KCB Foundation, Pangea Trust, an Islamic Sharia financing and digital financing partners (to be identified through this call), is implementing a project titled: Supporting Displacement-Affected Communities in Kenya with Entrepreneurship Development (SDACKED) supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency- SIDA that focuses on unblocking barriers to formal financial access for displaced and host community entrepreneurs by working through Community Savings and Loans Associations (CSLAs), connecting groups to digital banking services as well as exploring wider entrepreneurship support in target locations of Nairobi, with plans to expand to Mandera county. The project will connect entrepreneurs to formal financial services, working with mature Community Savings and Loans Associations (CSLAs) to unblock access to finance to grow businesses. This project targets three areas of interventions that include:

  1. financial inclusion of refugee and hosting community entrepreneurs,
  2. business support and training,
  3. wider ecosystem development services in Nairobi with plans to expand to Mandera county.

A large part of enabling inclusive access to finance will be to provide access products and services through a digital banking platform with the goal of:

  1. reducing the need for travel to the bank and/or branches and,
  2. enable communities to access a variety of products and services through an inclusive application process.

In order to enable this access, a digital product/service is required to digitize the CSLAs and connect them to formal banking platforms. DRC Kenya is looking to promote and grow digital inclusivity among the target communities. In this pursuit, DRC Kenya is seeking to engage a digital banking partner to aid in rolling out digital financial products and services to these communities so they may be better included in the financial system.

  1. Objective of the Partnership
  2. To connect the digitized CSLAs to formal banks.
  3. To help set up mobile money and savings access, along with storing financial records digitally.
  4. To enable communities to access a variety of products and services through an inclusive application process.
  5. To digitise records and support the process of financial access.
  6. Provide training to enable community members take advantage of the benefits of digital access to book-keeping.
  7. To offer support in digital monitoring of the CSLAs to enable DRC Kenya aid where needed and reduce project overheads.

5. Scope of Work and Methodology

The partner will be required to prepare a detailed methodology and work plan indicating how the objectives of the project will be achieved, and the support required from DRC Kenya:

• Demonstrate how members are grouped on the platform. Members should be organized in savings and lending groups for training and effective service delivery.

• Self-service on multiple touch points for services like mobile KYC (Know Your Customer) and mobile money to lower costs and extend access in hard-to-reach communities.

• Full transparency on the group finances; all transactions and other requests such as wallet balances, savings etc

• The solution must be integrated with most of the largest MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) in Kenya.

• Demonstrate innovative and reliable solutions put in place to meet last mile challenges in far-to-reach areas and financial inclusivity.

• The vendor must demonstrate that s/he has handled a project with 3 organizations the size of DRC Kenya.

6. Deliverables

The digital platform must meet the below technical requirements to be relevant for the project:

  • Simple, user-friendly/customer journeys.
  • Mobile first design with a progressive web application.
  • Multi-language support.
  • Offline mode.
  • Avail services on multiple touch points such as USSD/SMS/Web.
  • Solution should work well on low-end feature phones.
  • Consume minimal data.
  • Enforce security through SSL encryption, PINs etc.
  • Back-end real time uptime/downtime monitoring.
  • Have secure language agnostic APIs to connect to other banking and on-demand platforms such as analytics.
  • Strict data privacy and data sharing rules.
  • Ability for a variety of banking products/services to be made available without sensitive data sharing.
  • Intuitive dashboard and KPI (Key Performance Indicator) reports.
  • Block chain or similar credit savings and lending methodologies are good to have.

Additional Specifications;

  • Self-service.
  • Support/feedback functionality.
  • Guarantee 24/7 uptime.
  • 24/7 technical support to users during the pilot phase.

7. Duration, timeline, and payment

The project is expected to last for 36 months, with final report to be provided within 30 days of finalisation of data gathering and community engagement.

1st instalment 40% Upon signing of the contract

2nd instalment 40% Upon presentation, testing and approval of the prototype

Final payment 20 % Upon DRC Kenya approval of the final report

8. Proposed Composition of Team

  • Project Manager
  • Trainer
  • Enumerators
  • Data entry clerks
  • Technicians

9. Eligibility, Qualification, and Experience Required

The successful candidate(s) must be able to work independently to deliver the required outputs, working with a variety of internal and external stakeholders. Qualifications will include:

  • Minimum 3 years of experience in financial access research with an understanding of financing structures as well as technical requirements of FINTECH (Financial Technology).
  • Relevant background in development of business digital platforms.
  • Experience in East Africa with an understanding of the policy environment and challenging context.
  • Demonstrated experience and understanding of displacement-affected communities and their financial needs.
  • Proven track record in conducting similar studies and assessments.
  • Ability to structure complex insights into written and visual products that bring out key features and enable decision making

10. Technical supervision

The selected consultant will work under the supervision of: Project Manager- Sammy Kitula

11. Location and support

The assignment shall be conducted in Nairobi and its suburbs- Eastleigh, Kasarani, Kitengela, Kawangware and the surrounding areas and Mandera.

The Consultant will provide her/his own computer and mobile telephone. DRC shall provide office space where necessary, organize for all the meetings with beneficiaries.

12. Travel

The partner/company representatives shall be required to travel around Nairobi and Mandera. The partner company’s consultants will therefore be expected to arrange transportation, accommodation, insurance, food and make adequate provision for this in the Financial Proposal.

13. Submission process

  • The deadline for sending in proposals is 16th February 2023
  • Proposals must be submitted as MS Word/PDF/Excel files, ideally packaged in a zip file.
  • Proposals must be submitted to the following address with ‘Digital Financing’ in the subject line.
  • The consultancy is expected to be conducted during the months of February 2023 and January 2026.

14. Evaluation of bids

All bidders will be scored on a scale from 1 – 10 for each of the below criteria and will be assessed for profile and qualifications (document 1), technical approach (document 2), and similar experience (document 3). Bids will be scored according to the criteria below for the initial screening.

Technical demonstration

1. Profile and Qualifications (Weighted percentage – 50%)

a. The candidate meets the profile and qualifications for the TOR.

b. The consultant(s) have similar or other relevant experience in anticipatory financing modalities – preferably practical experience.

c. The consultant(s) have relevant experience in sectors similar to those of the focus of the TOR.

d. The consultant(s) provide examples of previous work carried out in this field of work.

2. Technical approach (Weighted percentage – 50%)

a. The technical approach addresses the key aspects and deliverables of the ToR.

b. The strategy draws on sector good practice and is relevant to the tasks.

c. The technical approach will deliver the required outputs, within the deadlines.

3. The financial offer will then be weighed against the technical proposal (cost/ quality)

Based on the initial screening, DRC will invite selected bidders for an interview.

DRC will conduct reference checks from at least 2 previous works as an additional mandatory requirement.

How to apply

Bids can be submitted by email to the following dedicated, controlled, & secure email address:


When Bids are emailed, the following conditions shall be complied with:

  • The RFP number shall be inserted in the Subject Heading of the email
  • Separate emails shall be used for the ‘Financial Bid’ and ‘Technical Bid’, and the Subject Heading of the email shall indicate which type the email contains

    • The financial bid shall only contain the financial bid form, Annex A.2 & own format financial proposal
    • The technical bid shall contain all other documents required by the tender, but excluding all pricing information
  • Bid documents required, shall be included as an attachment to the email in PDF, JPEG, TIF format, or the same type of files provided as a ZIP file. Documents in MS Word or excel formats, will result in the bid being disqualified.
  • Email attachments shall not exceed 4MB; otherwise, the bidder shall send his bid in multiple emails.

Failure to comply with the above may disqualify the Bid.

DRC is not responsible for the failure of the Internet, network, server, or any other hardware, or software, used by either the Bidder or DRC in the processing of emails.

DRC is not responsible for the non-receipt of Bids submitted by email as part of the e-Tendering process.

Bids to be submitted ONLY electronically.

Please find complete bid documents in the following link: Digital Financial Inclusion 2

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