Request for Proposal (RFP)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is looking for a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and work on migration prone district (preferably Dhaka and Chittagong division) to provide durable support for debt mediation to the returnees to Bangladesh, specially the female returnees as per the terms of reference (ToR) given below.

1. Overview and background of RFP:

Debt may be the most significant barrier to sustainable return and reintegration for returnees and potential migrants, and yet its significance is underreported, and it remains largely unaddressed by reintegration and development programming. Bangladesh has some of the most expensive labour migration corridors in the world. An IOM study on Andaman sea returnees found that, on average, a Bangladeshi migrant worker would need to work for 27 months in Malaysia to cover the cost of regular labour migration to Malaysia, compared with the 9 months in wages it costs a migrant worker from Nepal in Malaysia. To finance their labour migration, then, most migrants in Bangladesh take loans from local money lenders, often using land as collateral on which the migrant’s extended family depend for subsistence agriculture. Where land is used as collateral, the inability to repay the loan can have a catastrophic impact; not just on the returning migrant, who is then pushed to take on additional loans and attempt more high-risk migration, but it also risks displacing entire family should the money lender claim the family land. Unpaid debts may also result in harassment by debt collectors, with previous IOM beneficiaries having been subjected to physical abuse and threats to their families, as well as creating significant psychological pressure that interferes with the pursuit of sustainable livelihoods. It may also result in a debt bondage relationship, including forced labour.

Considering the above situation, IOM Bangladesh has taken a pilot initiative to introduce a project titled: Bangladesh: Debt mediation for returnee migrants’, aiming to contribute toimproved reintegration approaches for returnees specially for the female returnee migrants. In this project, IOM will engage partner NGO in two migration-prone districts to pilot a series of tailor made debt management activities for 100 returning migrant households, including debt restructuring and debt mediation (including negotiation with brokers -dalals/middlemen- to write off debt) to evaluate the impact on economic sustainability of the migrant households. In the selection of the migrant households, preference will be given to female returnees who have heavy debt liabilities. The project would work with existing programs, evaluating outcomes, and would form the basis of (or guide) a scaled-up intervention for the project ‘Bangladesh: Sustainable Reintegration and Improved Migration Governance’ (Prottasha) which is focused on creating sustainable reintegration of the EU Returnees which is currently being implemented by IOM and is funded by EU.

Ultimately if the pilot activities yield successful results, IOM will advocate to the GoB to replicate the debt mediation modalities where applicable through relevant government entities such as Wage Earners’ Welfare Board (WEWB) and Ministry of Social Welfare and Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have the mandate for sustainable reintegration of returnees in Bangladesh. For example, The Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment (MOEWOE) has taken many initiatives to support migrant workers in Bangladesh. Recently the GoB has passed Expatriate welfare Bill (2018) as well. IOM will advocate with the Ministry to address the policy gap in the debt liability issues and develop a better system of debt repayment.

2. Programme structure of the project

The project is intended to result in two key outcomes:

  1. The GoB and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Bangladesh consistently apply evidence-based policies to address the challenges associated with migration-related debt in support of the sustainable reintegration of returnees.

Output 1.1: Relevant GoB officials and CSOs are informed of the negative impact of debt, and of recommended measures to improve reintegration programming and the sustainability of in-debt returnees.

Activity for output 1.1:

1.1.1 Conduct a mixed method research study on the impact of debt on reintegration and economic sustainability of migrants’ families
1.1.2 Publish study on the impact of debt on economic reintegration (100 copies).
1.1.3 Host dissemination workshop for economic reintegration approaches study.
1.1.4 Develop policy brief on debt management for returnee migrants.

  1. The households of the in-debt migrants, particularly female migrants who returned to Bangladesh benefit from the pilot debt mediation initiative.

Output 2.1: Debt mediation guideline for the returned in-debt migrants is developed in a participatory manner

      • Host implementation workshop with partners, civil society and MoEWOE and MoSW
      • Host focus groups with returnees, local community and religious leaders, and local financial institutions to discuss debt and reintegration
      • Develop services guidelines
      • Host awareness raising sessions on services for returnees and local community and religious leaders
      • Host learning workshop with returnees
      • Host advocacy initiative with GoB to include debt mediation into sustainable reintegration package..

Output 2.2: Returned migrants and families, particularly the female in-debt ones increased their financial literacy.
Activities for Output 2.2

      • ToT on financial literary to NGO partners.
      • Provide financial literacy training for returnees and families.

Output 2.3: The in-debt returned migrants, particularly females received the project’s services (debt assessment, response plan, debt mediation, and advocacy services).
Activities for Output 2.3

      • Community outreach initiatives including court yard meetings, learning workshops at the community levels.

 3. Justification of this ToR

The objective of the ToR is to invite NGOs interested in working in partnership with IOM to implement the project. The project objective, as defined in the proposal, is to support debt management activities for returnees to Bangladesh, especially female returnees in two migration prone areas. The partner NGO will have responsibility to complete the work defined in the outcome 2 and its associates’ output and activities.

The key deliverables of the partner of the project are:

  • To implement tailor made debt management activities for 100 returning migrant households, including debt restructuring and debt mediation (including negotiation with brokers -dalals- to write off debt) to evaluate the impact on economic sustainability of the migrant households.

The proposed partner will be engaged to provide financial services to returnees, migrants and their families facing migration related debt. In the provision of the services, female returnees will get the first preference. The services will include debt mediation and will be based on guidelines developed in the project through focus groups with returnees, local community members, religious leaders and local financial institutions, and consultation with relevant ministries. The proposed partner NGO will develop a tailored debt assessment and response plan and debt mediation and advocacy services to attempt to ameliorate their financial situation for the returnee migrant. Further the NGO will also ensure that the returnees receive referral to legal services should they wish to take legal action. The NGO will monitor the progress of returnee migrant, through various community outreach initiatives such as, courtyard meeting, learning workshops at the community levels providing returnees an opportunity to give feedback on the project services and approaches.

NGO will facilitate better financial reintegration for returnees and other migrants to make more-informed financial decisions, specifically regarding debt management, and particularly to better manage debt. Given low levels of financial literacy and the use of local money lenders, advocacy to money lenders and other stakeholders to restructure or ‘write off’ debts would likely benefit returnees in reintegration.

4. Scope of work

IOM seeks qualified and experienced NGOs, having long experience in the field of migration, migration focused research work, study publication, debt management and providing mediation services in the local community. Therefore, for this bid, potential NGOs should submit proposals detailing activities to be implemented in two migration prone districts (preferably Dhaka and Chittagong division) which accommodate the following aims:

  • Host focus groups with returnees, local community and religious leaders, and local financial institutions to discuss debt and reintegration
  • Develop services guidelines
  • Host awareness raising sessions on services for returnees and local community and religious leaders
  • Host learning workshop with returnees
  • Provide financial literacy training for returnees and families.
  • Provide tailored debt assessment, response plan, debt mediation and advocacy services to returnees.
  • Community outreach initiatives including courtyard meetings, learning workshops at the community levels.

5. Deliverables of competing NGOs

  • Each Proposal should be developed in accordance with the listed programme structure (Dev. Objective, Outcome and Output) provided above.
  • Each proposal shall incorporate detailed programme design, including background and context, programme strategy, implementation strategy, management structure and sustainability discussion.
  • Detailed monitoring plan, including methodology of data tracking, frequency and the responsible person.
  • Provide a detailed financial plan, mentioning unit costs, broken down by outcome/output. 
  • Each proposal should be within the limit of 20 to 25 pages, including financial plan and monitoring plan submitted as an annexure.

6. Method of Application

Interested teams/organizations/individuals are invited to submit proposals by 10th September 2019 through email to and cc: Please mention RR/CO/2019/025: Debt Mediation for Returnee Migrants in the subject line of the email. The limitation of attachment size is maximum 9 MB. The proposal should be written in English.

7. Required Documents:

Organization/Individual consultant need to submit technical and financial proposal.
Each Submission Must Include the Following:

  • Technical Proposal with detailed financial plan, tools and work plan.
  • NGO Profile: A brief summary of the NGO and CV of the expert including records on past experience in similar assignments and name of the references.
  • Financial Proposal listing all costs associated with the assignment.

8. Selection Criteria

IOM would emphasise and encourage NGOs with experience in migration research, study, debt management of migrant populations. The specific criteria would include;

  • Each organization must be registered with the Ministry of Social Welfare under the Social Welfare Act and NGO Bureau registration.
  • The organization’s mandate, values and ways of working are guided by principles of respect, protect and fulfilment of the rights of the poor and marginalised, particularly for migrants.
  • Previous experience working in the targeted areas, including knowledge of the areas and context regarding reintegration of migration and skills development.
  • Previous experience working with migration and returnee migrants in the community
  • Experiences on providing mediation services for the poor and vulnerable in the community
  • Have accountability systems in place for beneficiaries, including feedback/complaints mechanisms.
  • Have a good reputation and accountability record with the government, donors and other donor agencies.

IOM would select one NGO to provide implement the project activities in the project field. The project deliverables provided above (Justification part) is for two years duration. Each proposal should clearly mention the number of beneficiaries to be targeted and proposed activities for project location.

9. Selection Process

After opening, each proposal will be assessed first, on its technical merits, and subsequently, on its financial plan. The proposal with the best overall value, composed of technical and financial merits, will be recommended for approval. IOM will set up a panel composed of technical IOM staff and their conclusions will be forwarded to a Review Committee. The key project staff and review committee will make the final decision in selection of partner in respective districts. 

10. Duration of the Project

The plan duration of the project is set initially for two years. The selected NGO will work tentatively 12-15 months within the project period. 

Contact Person
Lutful Kabir
National Programme Officer, IOM
Mobile number: 01711955216
e-mail address:

Any attempt for persuasion will be considered as a disqualification

IOM is an equal opportunity employer and women are encouraged to apply.
IOM Offices and vehicles have smoke-free work environment.