The unprecedented spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines has resulted in a shortage of medical personal protective equipment (PPE) across the healthcare system. Hospitals have begun publicly requesting for donations to help address this problem. While several individuals and organizations have responded to the call for help, there is a pressing need to coordinate these actions to ensure that the supplies are delivered to the right hospital at the right time, quantity, and quality.
UNDP Philippines, in line with UNDP’s global COVID-19 response offer, aims to strengthen the national health system through the creation of a digital solution called “Enhanced Manufacturing of Protective Wear and Equipment for COVID-19 Response in the Philippines” (EMPOWER PH). This initiative aims to provide a collaborative platform for various stakeholders to facilitate and accelerate production and distribution of essential items in order to meet an increasing demand for PPE, ensure product quality standards, democratize knowledge and resources, provide livelihood opportunities, and facilitate an effective supply chain.
The UNDP will be handing over the EMPOWER PH platform to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and this initiative will create a database of both medical and non-medical use PPE manufacturers and suppliers that will go through a vetting process to ensure quality goods that can be accessed by consumers and hospital beneficiaries.
Localizing the EMPOWER PH initiative within BARMM can support the region’s COVID-19 response efforts through strengthening of local supply chains for medical and non-medical use supplies that are critical to ensure protection of healthcare front liners and the general population against infection. An enhanced digital platform that is able to guide local manufacturers for proper accreditation or vetting, and match them with medical institutions, local governments and other businesses that require their supplies is a necessary component in strengthening the health systems, specifically in addressing the challenges in the sourcing and procurement of the PPEs and related raw materials.
More importantly, through capacitating local garments manufacturers, EMPOWER BARMM can further facilitate the economic recovery in the region by mobilizing commercial activities for an industry that has been severely affected by the economic lockdown and by the decline in demand from local and international clients.
Equipped with the platform and the learnings from the pilot in Metro Manila, UNDP Philippines will work with local ministries and agencies in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to localize the EMPOWER PH platform, equip the regional agencies with technical capabilities to operationalize the platform, and address the supply chain infrastructure gaps of the local garments industry to enable the region to facilitate local production and trade.
The engagement of a Local Supply Chain Research Consultant is needed to analyze the supply chain infrastructure of the overall PPE (wearables and other accessories / devices) and garments manufacturing industry within BARMM and provide the UNDP EMPOWER BARMM project team with local knowledge and recommendations on solutions to address the gaps and challenges in the local supply chain.
- The consultant will work under the overall guidance of the Programme Team Leader and close coordination with the Programme Analyst of the Institutions and Partnerships Programme Team, Programme Analyst of Peace Team, Project Coordinator for EMPOWER BARMM and Local Supply Development Specialist for EMPOWER PH;
- UNDP Philippines shall be entitled to intellectual property and other proprietary rights over all materials that have direct relation to the project.
- Considering the COVID-19 pandemic and declaration of State of Public Health Emergency in the Philippines, all work of the Individual consultant shall be done within the guidelines and protocols set by the local and national government.
- During the entire duration of the Community Quarantine, this consultancy shall be performed remotely and will be a home-based assignment. The Consultant is expected to have his/her own equipment and work station. Coordination/meetings shall be done through phone or online communication until such time that the quarantine is lifted.
- UNDP and the Consultant shall assess, once the Community Quarantine is lifted, if it is safe and necessary to have in-person meetings and collaboration.
Duration of Work
The Consultant will be engaged from November 15, 2020 to January 31, 2021 unless revised in a mutually agreed upon timetable by UNDP and the Contractor implemented in a form of an amendment.. The Consultant is expected to render a total of 25 person days spread over 2 months from November 2020 to January 2021.
The duty station is in Cotabato City, Philippines. The Consultant can work remotely during the contract, but is required to attend meetings, if needed and as scheduled, pursuant to local community quarantine measures in place.
Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments
The financial proposals from possible candidates should be expressed in lump sum amount inclusive of all financial costs related to this engagement (i.e., such as transportation/travel to and from residence for meetings within BARMM, communications including internet, etc.).
Medical/health insurance must be purchased by the individual at his/her own expense, and upon award of contract, the consultant must be ready to submit proof of insurance valid during contract duration.
Payments will be made when specific outputs have been submitted, as outlined below:
TARGET DUE DATE
PERCENT OF FEE
Detailed implementation work plan for Work Stream II
November 18, 2020
Submission and discussion of the preliminary research report draft to UNDP Philippines
December 4, 2020
Development of final report white paper (including a maximum of two rounds of revision) and presentation / discussion with UNDP Philippines and partner institutions / organizations in BARMM
December 31, 2020
EMPOWER BARMM Activities (Preliminary)
EMPOWER BARMM will be undertaken in two (2) simultaneous work streams:
Work Stream I: Pilot Onboarding into the EMPOWER PH Platform and Technical Knowledge Transfer
The first work stream provides a short-term solution that will enable the sewing groups in BARMM to participate in the production of PPE and community face coverings (CFCs) for regional and/or national clients by registering in the EMPOWER PH platform, acquiring technical knowledge through the platform’s resource center and undergoing the vetting process to ensure that minimum quality standards are met.
Recognizing the need for immediate results due to the evolving landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region, the initiative will proceed with the pilot onboarding of local sewing groups and garments manufacturers in the region that are already organized and established in order to test the proof of concept of the localized EMPOWER BARMM platform.
This will be undertaken over a period of ten (10) weeks, and will include the following activities:
- Mapping and identification of 5-7 organized sewing groups and garments manufacturers based in BARMM to participate in the pilot onboarding, leveraging key learnings from the EMPOWER PH pilot and other unique characteristics in the region;
- Transfer of EMPOWER PH technical knowledge to the local sewing groups and partner agencies including best practices, technical design packs and vetting mechanism, to enable them to replicate the activities for the pilot set of manufacturers to bring on-board;
- Selection and prioritization of PPE and CFC product types for the pilot onboarding based on the emerging immediate needs in the region;
- Online registration, training and vetting of manufacturers and consumers to align with standards and guidelines on non-medical use PPEs and CFCs;
- Facilitation of linkages to existing suppliers in the EMPOWER PH platform to address the short-term demand in BARMM;
- Institutionalization of EMPOWER BARMM through establishment for formal partnerships with relevant local government agencies that can assist in maintaining the program and the platform in the region; and
- Assessment of the implementation gaps and challenges based on the actual onboarding experience to recommend considerations for future scale-up of initiative within BARMM.
Work Steam I can initiate economic and business recovery in the region by demonstrating the benefits of the EMPOWER BARMM platform and encourage more local manufacturers and consumers to participate, while addressing the immediate needs of the region as part of the COVID-19 response.
However, the unique design of the local supply chain in BARMM presents nuances and challenges that are different from the experience in Metro Manila, which warrants further deep-dive to identify root causes of the gaps and determine more sustainable solutions for the local garments manufacturing industry.
Work Stream II: Rapid Assessment of the Local Supply Chain Dynamics
The second work stream complements first by providing relevant and up-to-date knowledge base and infrastructure landscape of the garments manufacturing industry in BARMM, which will be critical in facilitating the supply-demand opportunity mapping and in identifying root causes of supply chain challenges that require institutional and infrastructural solutions.
It will entail a quick, six-week research that will:
- Chart the end-to-end garments manufacturing supply chain within BARMM, including existing networks and players within each value chain lever (i.e., garments manufacturers that can potentially switch to PPE and CFC manufacturing, suppliers of fabrics and other materials);
- Map the local (i.e., within BARMM and other nearby geographic markets) demand for PPE and community face covering (CFC), including potential clients that the local manufactures can directly service, and assess their demand for PPE and CFC products for the next 6-12 months;
- Evaluate the capabilities and competitiveness of each value chain lever, as well as the gaps and challenges that need to be addressed for the supply chain to be more effective and efficient; and
- Identify potential solutions to gaps and challenges, as well as local agencies and stakeholders that need to be engaged to develop and implement the long-term solutions.
Work Stream II not only complements the on-boarding work in Work Stream I, but further paves the way for relevant agencies to initiate action that can result to establishing long-term infrastructural solutions that can benefit the garments manufacturing industry in the region beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.