Request for Qualifications

Independe​nt Contractors to Support Outcome Monitoring at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 
Posted September 12, 2017

​Overview

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) invites interested not-for-profit and for-profit individuals and organizations to submit statements of qualification to provide assistance for designing robust monitoring strategies to evaluate the conservation outcomes generated through its grant programs. We are issuing this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to establish a pool of pre-qualified contractors that NFWF can draw on to work with the Foundation to develop quantitative, robust monitoring and evaluation plans to evaluate the programs’ impacts on birds, fish and wildlife, and provide related support for monitoring and evaluation.  We anticipate using contractors from this pool on an as-needed basis at any time over the next three years; however, being selected for the pool does not guarantee that you will receive a contract from NFWF. 

Multiple organizations and individuals can be pre-qualified in a given area. Similarly, organizations and individuals can be pre-qualified in multiple areas.   

Background

NFWF protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. It works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most complex conservation challenges. NFWF focuses its efforts on priority species and landscapes and seeks to have measurable impacts on them by awarding grants through targeted conservation programs. Each program is guided by a business plan, which provides a concise blueprint of the strategies and resources required to achieve specific, measurable goals. Progress toward them is assessed using a combination of project-level, program-level, and landscape-level monitoring. Goals are tailored for each program and landscape but generally include measures of species abundance and distribution. Contractor support is being sought for the development of program-level and landscape-scale monitoring plans that will guide the data collection and analysis needed to track progress on those outcomes. For more about NFWF and its conservation programs please see http://www.nfwf.org/whatwedo/Pages/home.aspx​.

Anticipated Activities

The support needed for a given conservation program will be specified in advance of work beginning but contracts are anticipated to include some or all of the following activities: 

  • Designing robust monitoring and evaluation plans that provide relevant, timely, and reliable data and analysis for tracking progress towards species goals  
  • Identifying and assessing existing data sources, grantee monitoring, and third-party monitoring efforts for their ability to track progress on a program’s species goals
  • Identifying innovative, cost-effective monitoring approaches for NFWF programs
  • Designing or modifying sampling protocols to monitor birds, fish, and wildlife
  • Conducting on-the-ground monitoring of fish, birds, and other wildlife
  • Designing data management and analytical approaches to quantify progress towards goals
  • Developing core-metrics and common monitoring approaches for species impacted by multiple NFWF programs (e.g. landscape level outcomes for forest birds)

Technical Expertise 

NFWF seeks individuals and organizations with expertise in measuring conservation outcomes in one or more of the areas listed below. It is not necessary to have expertise in all areas. NFWF plans to establish a pool of contractors with a variety of qualifications that it can draw from on an as-needed basis to support specific monitoring and evaluation needs. 

  1. Wildlife, including terrestrial wildlife and pollinators, using transect surveys, camera trap surveys, dispersion models, geospatial data and related methods
  2. Birds (waterfowl, shorebirds, landbirds and colonial waterbirds) using transect surveys, banding/nesting, radio tracking (MOTUS), GPS/satellite tracking and spatially referenced surveys, acoustic surveys and other methods
  3. Freshwater fish and other freshwater species using eDNA, electroshocking, PIT tagging, side scan sonar, benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring and related methods 
  4. Marine species using appropriate monitoring techniques to detect changes in populations of species, including coral species and coral cover, coral reef fishes, sea turtles, marine mammals, oysters, and others
  5. Habitat quality and function in support of birds, fish, and wildlife, including habitat suitability and energetics modeling, geospatial analysis of habitat condition and connectivity, and other methods 
  6. Water quality monitoring to detect changes in parameters of interest such as sediment and nutrient loads, contaminants, dissolved oxygen, stream temperature, and benthic macroinvertebrate indicators of biological condition

Regional Focus

Most of NFWF’s programs operate in the United States. In the near term, NFWF anticipates needing monitoring support in the following regions: Southeast; Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley; Mid-Atlantic; Central Appalachians; Cumberland Plateau; Midwest; Southwest; and Central California Coast. However, over the three year term of this RFQ support is likely to be needed in additional areas of the U.S. and organizations in other regions are encouraged to apply.     

Required Qualifications 

To be competitive, individuals and organizations must meet the following qualifications: 

  1. Demonstrated expertise, through academic training and work experience, designing and implementing monitoring frameworks to measure the impact of conservation actions on species at multiple scales, including landscape scale
  2. At least 10 years of field experience in species monitoring, including collection and analysis of biological and spatial data
  3. Proficiency in data analysis and modeling techniques for estimating the impact of individual conservation projects on the abundance and distribution of species and species groups, and translating those impacts to broader program and landscape level species changes 
  4. Proficiency in statistical methods and data analysis; experience in determining whether monitoring programs have enough power to detect changes at the desired level
  5. Experience providing contractual services similar to those sought by NFWF through this RFQ

Submission Requirements 

Statements of qualification should include the following information. They should not exceed 10 pages. 

  1. Contact information: Please provide a Primary Contact Person, Entity Name, Address, Phone, E-mail, and website
  2. Organizational mission, profile, and capacity: Please describe your and/or your organization’s mission, expertise and experience. Include information about the capacity of your organization (number of staff and their areas of expertise), geographic service area, number of clients, how long you have been in business, and your annual budget. If you have an annual report, please include it as an attachment. 
  3. Areas and regions of expertise: Please list the type(s) of work you and/or your organization provide and explain what makes you particularly successful in this/these area(s). Describe your niche in meeting the needs NFWF seeks to address through this RFQ, including 1) the types of species and habitat types you specialize in and the region(s) you work in. You are not expected to be able to provide assistance in all topic areas or regions listed above but may include qualifications for more than one. 
  4. Key staff: Please provide names and brief biographies of key staff. Attach resumes. 
  5. Past experience: Please detail your experience in providing contractual services similar to those required by NFWF and for which you have expressed interest. List recent (last 2-5 years) accomplishments, events and previous services related to the expertise you will be offering. 
  6. Communications: Describe how you communicate with clients and partners when providing these types of services and how you will evaluate the effectiveness of the services you will provide to NFWF. 
  7. Fee structure: Estimate the program/service fees and describe the fee structure for each of the services you provide. Include hourly rates and job titles for individuals that may support the provided services. Please highlight any non-profit discounts on the services you provide. 
  8. References: Please include contact information of three references (clients or partners) that have benefited from your services as described above. 

Selection Criteria 

Statements of Qualification will be evaluated and scored on the following criteria:

  1. Level of expertise, knowledge and training in monitoring and evaluating species’ responses to conservation efforts in the indicated area(s) of expertise
  2. Extent of experience designing and implementing conservation monitoring plans similar to those sought by NFWF in the indicated area(s) of expertise
  3. Capacity and flexibility to deliver services 
  4. Competitiveness of fee structure

Eligible Offerors/Conflict of Interest 

Eligible applicants can include individuals, institutions of higher education, other nonprofits, commercial organizations, international organizations, authorized federal entities, and local, state and Indian tribal governments.

By submitting a proposal in response to this solicitation, the Offeror warrants and represents that it is eligible for award of a Contract resulting from this solicitation and that it is not subject to any of the below circumstances:

Has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to a Contract with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, where the awarding agency is aware of the unpaid tax liability, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or

Was convicted (or had an officer or agent of such corporation acting on behalf of the corporation convicted) of a felony criminal violation under any Federal or State law within the preceding 24 months, where the awarding agency is aware of the conviction, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or

Is listed on the General Services Administration’s, government-wide System for Award Management Exclusions (SAM Exclusions), in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 C.F.R Part 180 that implement E.O.s 12549 (3 C.F.R., 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 C.F.R., 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension, ” or intends to enter into any subaward, contract or other Contract using funds provided by NFWF with any party listed on the SAM Exclusions in accordance with Executive Orders 12549 and 12689. The SAM Exclusions can be found at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/.

Submission Requirements and Deadlines 

​​Sept. 22, 2017 ​Deadline to submit questions about the RFQ to NFWF
Offerors should submit questions regarding this RFQ via email to Annamarie Lopata, Senior Evaluation Officer (Annamarie.Lopata@nfwf.org). NFWF will respond to all Offerors at the same time and with the same answers. In order to provide equitable responses, all questions must be received by NFWF no later than 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, September 22.
​Oct. 13, 2017 ​Statement of Qualifications Due
​Statement of Qualification must be submitted electronically as an email attachment to Annamarie Lopata, Senior Evaluation Officer (Annamarie.Lopata@nfwf.org) by 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, October 13th. Statements must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF.  
​Oct.-Nov. 2017 ​NFWF may conduct interviews with offerors, if needed  
​Nov. 17, 2017 ​NFWF will notify all offerors of their qualification status 
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