Terms of Reference (ToR)

Design and implement suitable initiatives for sustainability of market intermediaries (Nutrition Sales Agents, WASH Entrepreneurs, and Farm Business Advisors)


ICCO Cooperation - Part of Cordaid is an international organization, whose mission is to end poverty and injustice in the global south, in partnership with enterprising people. We invest in the power and dreams of entrepreneurial people, stimulate their entrepreneurial spirit, and connect them with businesses, governments and social organizations.

ICCO Cooperation is the lead for EU funded “Sustained Opportunities for Nutrition Governance (SONGO) project” which aims to improve maternal and child nutrition in Kurigram and Gaibandha districts. The SONGO is 5 years long project with 4 inter-linked outcomes; (1) Local nutrition governance and decision-making mechanisms are strengthened (2) Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Practices are improved (3) Household WASH Practices Improved (4) Household access to nutritious food is improved. RDRS Bangladesh has been ICCO's long standing partner in a variety of large poverty alleviation and development projects in Bangladesh, often with food security components. RDRS will implement the project activities such as community mobilization, capacity building, committees formation, meeting organisation, workshops, monitoring, etc at a field level.


SONGO project is implemented in 18 unions of 6 UPZs in Kurigram and Gaibandha district under Rangpur division with direct beneficiaries of 147,000 households particularly women and children.

Kurigram district:

  • Char Rajibpur Upazila: Char Rajibpur and Mohanganj Unions
  • Chilmari Upazila: Chilmari and Ramna Unions
  • Rowmari Upazila: Bandaber, Dantbhanga and Jadur Char Unions

Gaibandha district:

  • Gaibandha Shadar Upazila: Ghagoa ,Gidari and Kamarjani Unions
  • Fulchari Upazila: Fulchhari,Udakhali and Kanchi Para Unions
  • Sundarganj Upazila: Belka, Chandipur, Haripur, Sreepur and Tarapur Unions


SONGO aims to establish sustainable inclusive rural market systems to benefit nutrition specific and sensitive development of the working area. This will be done through capacitating existing market system actors, avail the public and private services, and developing last mile sales agents/intermediaries and developing the inclusive business across different sectors including Health and Nutrition, Agriculture and WASH.

162 Nutrition Sales Agents NSAs) are playing a role in last-mile distribution of relevant products and services for targeted communities, using a Hub & Spoke model limiting travel time, as well as in providing tailored information at household and community level on Nutrition, SRH, Parenthood, and WASH issues. Through door to door visits, NSAs are providing individual/face-to-face counselling.

36 local Farm Business Advisors (FBAs)  provide agri-food sector related technical assistance and commercial services. FBAs act as freelance sales agents and/or dealers linking private sector organizations and producer groups.

WASH entrepreneurs, such as sanitary latrine material producers, tube-well mechanics, sanitary napkin producers, masons and waste management workers, are operating under the SONGO project area. To date, there have been 54 WASH entrepreneurs selected from the communities for special attention and to receive project assistance to develop, grow and improve affordable and quality service provision to the targeted communities.

The market intermediaries (NSA, FBA and WASH Entrepreneurs)  are supported to become proactive and customer oriented and are held accountable for the quality of their services. This triangular service relationship between the community, governance structure (e.g. Federation/network)  and the private sector will strengthen sustainability and entrepreneur impact.


The aim of the assignment is to strengthen the existing inclusive business models  and improve sustainability of the market actors, specifically for FBAs, NSAs, and WASH entrepreneurs, through capacity building, product development, inclusion in professional networks, market linkage, etc..  Below are detailed the major four purposes for this consultancy:

  1. Examining, operationalising and consolidation of sustainable models of FBAs, NSAs, and WASH entrepreneurs. This will be followed up with a set of recommendations and a proposal with a work-plan based on the gap analysis and key findings.
  2. Develop and operationalise private sector partnerships (between SONGO/ICCO and the respective company) and collaborative networks (or associations as relevant) for sustainability of three types of market intermediaries (NSA, FBA and WASH entrepreneurs) for business Development/Linkage building (such as financial, product, and linking with additional relevant market intermediaries and buyers, and business nexus complementing NSA, FBA, WASH entrepreneurs). The consultant(s) also needs to ensure at least 5 national level private sector companies (at least one from each category like- health & nutrition, aAgriculture, and WASH) are engaged as formal partners.
  3. Intervention design, Implementation  and mentoring/follow-up: Based on the business models of market intermediaries(NSA/FBA/WASH), business plans, and capacity enhancement requirements, the consultant(s) will take responsibilities to improve the institutional, technical and business management capacity of NSA, FBA and WASH entrepreneurs.  


There are 4 Sets of Key Deliverables components of this assignment, considering the purpose of the consultancy and requirements to complete it to the right standards. This consultancy assignment is milestone-payment based; payments will be made on receiving each deliverable clearly outlined below:

  1. Examining, operationalising and consolidation of sustainable models of FBAs, NSAs, and WASH entrepreneurs
  • Situational analysis
  • Field setup: two full time staff in place
  • Recommendations with proposal and work-plan
  • Validation workshop
  • Capacity building plan
  • consolidated sustainable business models of NSAs, FBAs, and WASH entrepreneurs
  • Access to finance and financial inclusion strategy development
  1. Develop and /operationalise and institutionalise private sector partnerships (between SONGO/ICCO and the respective company) and collaborative networks (or associations as relevant) for sustainability  of three types of market intermediaries (NSA, FBA and WASH entrepreneurs)
  • Identification and selection of private sector partners
  • Designing value proposition of partnerships (including co-financing)
  • Business and financial  partnership building workshops/seminars/meetings
  • Facilitate MoU signing
  • Product distribution channel design
  • Networks/Platforms formation/capacitation for intermediaries, including support work for external bodies such as federation
  1. Intervention design, implementation  and mentoring/follow-up
  • Skill delivery and capacity building of market intermediaries and project team
  • Efficient use of digital tools developed through the project
  • Progress and linkage meetings
  • Follow up and evaluation
  • Sales tracking/performance of intermediaries and analytics
  • Oversee and report on private sector engagement activities
  • Mentoring/reflection sessions with market actors and project team
  1. Other deliverables:
  • Inception report
  • Progress Reports (Monthly) and Quarterly reflection Report
  • final assignment completion report with summary of all support areas and services rendered, and final consolidated business models


The chosen consultancy firm will liaise with the Operation Lead throughout the period of the consultancy. They should collaborate especially with the Inclusive Business Development Advisor for the enterprise components of the scope of work. There will be a need to consult the wider SONGO Advisory and Technical Officer team for specific components, which will be deliberated on a needs basis and to lend support in the field. The consultant will be required to supply the expected deliverables and fulfill the minimum implementation responsibilities as suggested (listed above) during the consultation period.


  • Oversee the overall process of developing the  network frames and sustainable business models and provide feedback on drafts deliverables submitted to ICCO.
  • Manage the field staff assigned by the consultancy firm
  • Provide access to SONGO materials and project documents, if needed, relating to working areas, communities progress etc.
  • ICCO can facilitate meetings/interviews/discussions with key local stakeholders based on requirements of the consultant if required.
  • Payments will be made based on accomplishment of the tasks in pre-agreed tranches according to contract and following the deliverables having been met with standards.


The Lead consultant/ firm should preferably have-

  • Legal documents such as licence, registration, VAT & TIN certificates,   etc.
  • An advanced university degree  in marketing/masters of business administration/ development studies//Agricultural Economics/other relevant disciplines
  • At least 10 years of experience in working with market system research, business network development and management
  • Consulting firm should be at least 5 years working experiences on inclusive business development and private rural service delivery systems (added values  in the field of Agriculture, WASH and Nutrition). Knowledge on people’s organisations/Federations and ability to support entrepreneurship is an advantage.
  • Sound knowledge on  blended development considering corporate and social business
  • Prior proven experience on leading/ conducting similar assignments.
  • Experience in longer-term results based finance assignments in Bangladesh is desirable.
  • Ability to work under pressure and to deliver in a timely manner without compromising quality standards
  • Sufficient budget management capacity in the past 5 years that have each at least the financial size of the submitted proposal.
  • Excellent documentation skills
  • Able to work in or engage in assignments taking place in very remote/hard to reach areas.
  • The Consultancy firm should propose a core team for the theoretical and Implementation components of the full scope of work. Proposals should consider the independent and skill nature especially of the implementations when composing a proposed team.
    • ICCO may request revisions to the composition based on any valid concerns on quality being achieved in the implementation.


This is a long-term consultancy (15months) that is expected to begin in November  2021 and end in January 2023. Consideration should be made by the consultant(s) of this timeframe when submitting their proposals with work-plan.


The proposal evaluation team will scrutinize all the submitted proposals and make a shortlist based on the evaluation criteria. Among the shortlisted proposals, the proposal evaluation team will select two/three potential consultancy firms/consultant(s) and sit with them to know how they (consultant) will execute the assignment through presentation. After that the best performing consulting firmt will be notified for awarding.


The evaluation of the consultant will be based on the Combined Scoring method – where the methodology, qualification and experiences is given 80% weightage and financial offer will be given 20% weightage. Only consultants meeting a minimum of 70% of total points under technical evaluation would be considered for the financial evaluation. Following specific criteria would be assessed:

Scoring Criteria
1 Technical proposal

Quality of the proposal (Understanding, Design and Methodologies, quality control mechanisms etc.) and Approach for the Deliverables

  • Situational Analysis
  • Strategy
  • Implementation
  • Other Deliverables
1.2 Organizational profile/consultants team profile (team composition, expertise of the technical team, division of roles etc.)
1.3 Work Plan and Clear breakdown of tasks according to timeline
1.4 Experience of similar types of work, reporting evidence etc.
2 Financial proposal (Proposed amount and justification, logical and detailed breakdown of budget)


Interested consulting firms must submit the technical proposal and financial proposals with relevant  documents for appraisal. Proposers who do not submit the below mentioned documents will not be considered for further evaluation.

The Technical proposal should include:

  • An updated CV of the lead Consultant/Consultant(s) along with  the proposed team  members’ and their clearly defined roles in the consultancy
  • Introductory letter highlighting the interpretation of the assignment and experiences matched with this assignment
  • Methodological outline or technical proposal for delivery: More detail and well thought out approaches will be advantageous to the consultant
  • Track records of relevant experience and tasks should be highlighted in the proposal especially on business platform formation and capacity enhancement.
  • Preliminary detailed itemized work plan – including timeframes for submissions of drafts

The financial proposal should include

  • Financial proposal with detailed itemized budget and price justification

The  breakdown of applicable VAT /Tax  are as follows :

  • 15% VAT shall be deducted from consultancy services for national/ international consultants.
  • 10% Income Tax shall be deducted from consultancy services of Bangladeshi national consultants and in absence of e-tin 15% income tax shall be deducted instead of 10%.
  • 12% Income tax shall be deducted if the proposal base value exceeds BDT 2,500,000
    20% Income Tax shall be deducted from consultancy services of international consultants. The consultant of the countries with which Bangladesh have a double taxation treaty (DTAA), shall get the Tax benefit in their resident country. No VAT and Tax shall be deducted from reimbursable logistic expenses subject to submission of original payment receipts otherwise no payment will be made against logistic expenses.

In addition to financial and technical proposal, the below documents need to submit-

  • At least 2 reference letters from the previous donor/project lead to proof of similar type of work done OR The soft/hard copy of the final product of any previous similar type of work done by the consulting firm. 
  • Consulting firm should submit their updated organizational profile with a valid updated trade license/registration, VAT registration, TIN certificate paper along with the proposal.
  • Proof of budget management capacity in last 5  years

Prospective consultants should submit a written proposal (Technical and Financial)  soft copy duly signed by the authority to: procurement.bd@icco.nl

Any queries about the consultancy should be addressed to Raisa Chowdhury, r.chowdhury@icco-cooperation.org  and Md. Shamim Alom, s.alom@icco-cooperation.org

**ICCO Cooperation holds the authority to cancel the order without any compensation if the deliverables do not match the contract

Deadline: 17 October 2021