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Procurement of a Rapid Ethnography Research Firm for Beneficiary Consumption Patterns to Build Digital Financial Ecosystem
Procurement Process :RFP - Request for proposal
Office :UNDP Country Office - PHILIPPINES
Deadline :13-Dec-20
Posted on :19-Nov-20
Development Area :SERVICES  SERVICES
Reference Number :72859
Link to Atlas Project :
00127818 - Strengthening PHL Covid19 Response
Documents :
Annex 6 UNDP General Terms and Conditions
Solicitation Document
Annex 2 Forms for Proposals
Overview :

UNDP Philippines, in partnership with the City Government of Pasig, recently piloted the digitalized cash transfer initiative, Adaptable Digitally Enabled Post-Crisis Transformation (ADEPT). It sought to implement digital cash transfers of Pasig City’s supplemental social amelioration payment through digital wallet enrollment and conduct of financial and mobile money literacy (FMML) training as steps toward long-term financial empowerment. This includes the city government’s volunteers, whose monthly allowance they hope to disburse digitally moving forward – a move especially appreciated by those who have been displaced in off-city housing sites, who would have to travel two hours and spend a significant portion of their stipend on transport in order to avail of these.

The project has surfaced the key lessons as well as the need to further understand how digital financial services can provide accessible and viable options for vulnerable groups, in order to support sustained impact for financial inclusion. In a country where majority of its adult population is unbanked, digital wallets can provide an alternative option in securing one’s savings to build financial resilience, especially among vulnerable groups. Digital transactions provide the potential to build financial footprint that can enable access to formal credit in lieu of loan sharks, which perpetuate cycles of poverty, highlighting the need for an effective digital payment ecosystem that can facilitate these.


B. Scope of Work and Outputs

UNDP seeks the services of a Firm who can conduct a rapid ethnographic research to understand beneficiary behavior and consumption patterns to inform a robust digital finance ecosystem. The research aims to understand target beneficiaries, consumption patterns, and motivations. The Firm shall also support UNDP in the design of a portfolio of experiments that aim to strengthen the digital financial ecosystem in an inclusive way; and to implement at least one of these experiments. 

1. Design of Rapid Ethnographic Research – the Firm shall design a rapid ethnographic research to gain a deeper understanding of the perspective and experience of beneficiaries in interacting with digital financial services. Appropriate methodologies may be proposed, including but not limited to empathic interviews, user experience/journey mapping, solutions mapping, and other tools.

2. Conduct of Rapid Ethnographic Research and Recommendations – the Firm shall conduct and produce a rapid ethnographic research report that cover the following points of inquiry:

• Behavioral insights on beneficiary behavior, including identification of pain points and unmet needs, which could inform targeting and tailoring of services

• Landscape analysis of existing commercial and alternative options for digital financial services, accessibility of available infrastructure and channels 

• Mapping of the policy and regulatory environment for digital financial services and how market players (producers and consumers) interact based on or around these rules, and others which may be agreed upon

3. Design and Implementation of Portfolio of Experiments – the Firm shall support UNDP in identifying opportunities for experimentation to deepen the insights on behavior around digital financial services. 

• The portfolio of experiments will be co-designed with the UNDP Accelerator Lab and relevant stakeholders. The portfolio shall include the identification of potential experiments that aim to better understand aspects of the digital financial ecosystem, with hypotheses, broad methodologies, theories of change, and success indicators, among others. 

• The experiments to be identified and co-designed include but are not limited to speculative design of a city-level digital financial ecosystem, prototyping of new digital financial services or features, behavioral “nudge” experiments, among others. 

• At least one (1) rapid experiment will be implemented and results included in the final report.


C. Expected Deliverables & Schedule

The Firm shall perform its responsibilities and deliver its outputs following the schedule below.

Deliverables/ Outputs

Estimated Duration to Complete

Estimated Due Date of Output

Review and Approvals Required

Inception Report including work plan and other details as agreed during preparatory meetings with UNDP.

1 week

By 1st week


Head of Exploration

Accelerator Lab PH


Alternate & QA for


Head of Experimentation

Accelerator Lab PH



Head of Solutions Mapping,

Accelerator Lab PH


After conferring with UNDP key officials & stakeholders (see list in part E. below)

Fieldwork for Rapid Ethnographic Research

  • Weekly updates on the conduct of the research
  • Report Submission and Presentation to UNDP



3-5 weeks

By 6th week

Preliminary Report, which includes identification of opportunities for experimentation and co-design of portfolio of experiments





2-4  weeks



By 8th week

Final Report, which includes:

- refinements to rapid ethnographic research report

- refined design of experiments and report on minimum 1 experiment implemented




3-4 weeks

By 10th week



























D. Governance and Accountability Including Duty Station (please see solicitation document Annex 3 for complete details)

The Firm shall be directly supervised by the UNDP Philippines Accelerator Lab (ALab) Head of Exploration, with the guidance of the Head of Experimentation (for experiment design and implementation) and/or Head of Solutions Mapping (for ethnography). All outputs shall be submitted to, and all communications shall be coursed through, the UNDP ALab Heads, copy furnished the Programme Associate and Programme Assistant of the Impact Advisory Team (IAT).

This work shall be performed in person to the extent permitted by community quarantine restrictions, including the conduct of the empathic interviews for the rapid ethnographic research. Coordination meetings and other activities may be conducted remotely and online. The Firm is expected to have its own working premises, IT equipment, internet connectivity, cloud hosting, among others. UNDP and the Firm shall assess the feasibility and safety of conducting on-the-ground research and undertake measures to ensure safety of research personnel and research subjects. It is understood that the Firm shall provide medical insurance coverage and other safeguards for its personnel.


E. Expected Duration of the Contract

The Firm will be hired for a maximum of three (3) months. The target start of work date is 16 December 2020 and the targeted end date is 31 March 2020. No-cost extensions may be negotiated between UNDP and the Firm when circumstances necessitate such. 


F. Professional Qualifications of the Successful Contractor and its Key Personnel (please see solicitation document Annex 3 for complete details)


G. Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments (please see solicitation document Annex 3 for complete details)

The contract price shall be a fixed output-based price regardless of extension of the herein specific duration. Payments shall be made upon submission and acceptance of the outputs as specified in Part D. Acceptance of the outputs shall be based on how these meet evaluation quality standards and address stakeholder requirements.

In addition to the above, the Firm shall include in its financial proposal a minimum of $10,000 lump sum for the implementation of at least one rapid experiment.

Please note that any assets to be procured for this project by the firm will have to be handed over to UNDP once the project has been completed.


H. Criteria for Evaluation of the Offer (please see solicitation document Annex 3 for complete details)

  1. The selection process will follow a cumulative scoring of 70% technical and 30% financial.
  2. The minimum passing score of the technical proposal shall be 70%. Technical proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria and corresponding points. Only firms that obtained minimum technical score of 700 points will be included in the financial evaluation.


Interested firms may submit Proposals for the Services of a Firm for Rapid Ethnography Research Firm for Beneficiary Consumption Patterns to Build Digital Financial Ecosystem, on or before 5:00 PM (Manila Time) Thursday, December 13, 2020 and via email only to with the subject: RFP-135-PHL-2020:


Please be guided by the proposal forms attached as Annex 2 in the solicitation document. Word format files have been made available and are attached to this advertisement to help in preparing your Proposal. 


Your Proposal must be expressed in the English, and valid for a minimum period of 120 days.



In the course of preparing your Proposal, it shall remain your responsibility to ensure that it reaches the address above on or before the deadline.  Proposals that are received by UNDP after the deadline indicated above, for whatever reason, shall not be considered for evaluation.  If you are submitting your Proposal by email, kindly ensure that they are signed and in the .pdf format, and free from any virus or corrupted files.      

Services proposed shall be reviewed and evaluated based on completeness and compliance of the Proposal and responsiveness with the requirements of the RFP and all other annexes providing details of UNDP requirements. 

The Proposal that complies with all of the requirements, meets all the evaluation criteria and offers the best value for money shall be selected and awarded the contract.  Any offer that does not meet the requirements shall be rejected.

Any discrepancy between the unit price and the total price shall be re-computed by UNDP, and the unit price shall prevail, and the total price shall be corrected.  If the Service Provider does not accept the final price based on UNDP’s re-computation and correction of errors, its Proposal will be rejected. 

No price variation due to escalation, inflation, fluctuation in exchange rates, or any other market factors shall be accepted by UNDP after it has received the Proposal.At the time of Award of Contract or Purchase Order, UNDP reserves the right to vary (increase or decrease) the quantity of services and/or goods, by up to a maximum twenty-five per cent (25%) of the total offer, without any change in the unit price or other terms and conditions. 

Any Contract or Purchase Order that will be issued as a result of this RFP shall be subject to the General Terms and Conditions attached hereto.  The mere act of submission of a Proposal implies that the Service Provider accepts without question the General Terms and Conditions of UNDP, herein attached as Annex 6.

Please be advised that UNDP is not bound to accept any Proposal, nor award a contract or Purchase Order, nor be responsible for any costs associated with a Service Providers preparation and submission of a Proposal, regardless of the outcome or the manner of conducting the selection process.

                UNDP’s vendor protest procedure is intended to afford an opportunity to appeal for persons or firms not awarded a Purchase Order or Contract in a competitive procurement process.  In the event that you believe you have not been fairly treated, you can find detailed information about vendor protest procedures in the following link:

                UNDP encourages every prospective Service Provider to prevent and avoid conflicts of interest, by disclosing to UNDP if you, or any of your affiliates or personnel, were involved in the preparation of the requirements, design, cost estimates, and other information used in this RFP. 

                UNDP implements a zero tolerance on fraud and other proscribed practices, and is committed to preventing, identifying and addressing all such acts and practices against UNDP, as well as third parties involved in UNDP activities.  UNDP expects its Service Providers to adhere to the UN Supplier Code of Conduct found in this link :


Thank you and we look forward to receiving your Proposal.