Human Centered Design Firm Consultancy Opportunity in Nairobi, Kenya - John Snow

Request for Proposals (RFP): Human Centered Design Firm; RFP No: HCD_2022_01

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Human-Centered Design Firm

RFP No: HCD_2022_01

Part A: Cover Page

Issuance Date: October 7, 2022

Questions Due Date/Time: October 13, 2022, 5 pm, Nairobi Kenya time

Proposal Due Date/Time: October 24, 2022, 12 pm, Nairobi Kenya time

The Workforce Development project implemented by inSupply Health Limited is soliciting proposals for a Human Centered Design (HCD) firm to partner with to lead the HCD workstream of activities under the Workforce Development project while working collaboratively with our team in both Kenya and Tanzania. The project is funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is subject to all the applicable BMGF grant terms and conditions.

Please submit your most competitive proposal in accordance with the instructions to offerors and terms of reference. Any award issued as a result of this RFP will be subject to all instructions, terms of reference/ specifications, certifications, terms and conditions and funder required clauses. This RFP document includes the following parts:

PART A: Cover Page

PART B: Instructions to Offerors

PART C: Terms of Reference

PART D: Certifications

All proposals, inquiries, and correspondence pertaining to this solicitation are to be directed to the attention of Diana Akinyi, Email:

inSupply Health is committed to the highest standards of ethics and integrity in procurement. inSupply has zero tolerance for fraud and strictly prohibits bribes, kick-backs, gratuities, and any other gifts in-kind or in monetary form. inSupply also strictly prohibits collusion (bid rigging) between subcontractors/subgrantees and between subcontractors/subcontractors/subgrantees and inSupply staff. inSupply selects subcontractors on merit and will only engage subcontractors who demonstrate strong business ethics. Subcontractors/subgrantee must not participate in bid-rigging or attempt to offer any fee, commission, gift, gratuity or any compensation in-kind or in monetary form to inSupply employees. Subcontractors/subgrantee who do so will be disqualified from doing business with inSupply. Additionally, inSupply has a conflict of interest policy that requires staff to disclose when there is a potential conflict of interest due to the staff-member’s relationship with a subcontractors/subgrantee, and if necessary, to refrain from participation in a procurement involving that vendor. If at any time your organization has concerns that an employee has violated inSupply policy, you may submit a report via our ethics Code of Conduct Helpline at:


  1. Definitions

Offeror: The firm providing proposals for the supplies or services requested under this RFP.

Sub-Contractor/Vendor: The individual or firm awarded the services requested under the RFP in the form of a sub-contract/purchase order.

Buyer: inSupply Health Limited

  1. Proposal submission and requirements

Offerors are encouraged to read the RFP document in its entirety and ensure that their proposal addresses all of the items cited in the proposal instructions and meets the selection criteria. All proposals must be submitted by the deadline established on the cover page of this RFP. Offers received after this due date and time will not be accepted for consideration.


All questions or clarifications regarding this RFP must be in writing and submitted to, no later than 5pm Nairobi time, October 13, 2022. Questions and requests for clarification, and the responses thereto, will be circulated to all RFP recipients who have indicated interest in this RFP.

Only written answers from inSupply’s authorized representative will be considered official and carry weight in the RFP process and subsequent evaluation. Any answers received outside the official channel, whether received verbally or in writing, from employees of inSupply, the Workforce Development project, or any other party, will not be considered official responses regarding this RFP.

a) Technical Proposal Requirements/ Proposed Plan and Approach

The Technical proposal shall include the following:

  • Explanation of the principles that guide the firm’s HCD practice (1 page)
  • Explanation of the overall approach the firm wishes to use in selecting specific methods at each phase — or whether the firm wishes to use a specific approach with a pre-determined process, like AJ&Smart/Google design sprint. (1 page)
  • Description of how the offeror intends to carry out the Terms of Reference as stated in Part C. It should be concise, specific, complete, and demonstrate a clear understanding of the work to be undertaken and the responsibilities of all parties involved. It must demonstrate the offeror’s eligibility, as well as their capabilities and expertise in conducting each step of the activity. (maximum 5 pages plus annexes if required)

Offeror’s shall include only information necessary to provide a clear understanding of the proposed action and the justification for it. Greater detail than necessary, as well as insufficient detail may detract from a proposal’s clarity. Minimize or avoid the use of jargon and acronyms as much as possible. If acronyms or abbreviations are used, include a separate page explaining the terms.

b) Sample of Previous Work

The offeror must submit the following:

  • Portfolio of HCD projects with a clear summary of contributions at each phase
  • Sample of HCD artifacts including: personas, user journeys, etc.
  • Examples of process documentation your firm is comfortable sharing such as workshop facilitation guides, Miro/Mural boards, or participant communications

c) Cost Proposal Requirements

The offeror should submit their most competitive and complete cost proposal.

  • A fixed unit cost and total cost proposal for completion of works as described in the terms of reference (Part C).
  • All costs must be stated in Kenyan Shillings for Kenyan firms or USD for all other firms headquartered outside of Kenya.
  • A fixed price for each category of deliverables, each of which will be considered a fixed price budget for that specific segment of work. The price of the sub-contract/PO to be awarded will be an all-inclusive fixed price. No profit, fee or additional costs can be included after the award. All items/ services must be clearly labeled and included in the total offered price.
  • Please indicate all prices exclusive of VAT, and any other taxes (which should be at the offerors’ cost)
  • The offeror should submit a cost proposal budget narrative.

Cost Proposal Budget Narrative Preparation Instructions

A detailed budget narrative that justifies the costs as appropriate and necessary for the successful completion of proposed activities should be attached to the budget. The budget narrative should clearly describe the project and cost assumptions. All proposed costs must be directly applicable to performing the work under the award and budgeted amounts should not exceed the market cost/value of an item or service.

The budget narrative should be of sufficient detail so that someone unfamiliar with your organization or the activity could review and adequately understand and grasp the assumptions, reasonableness, and calculation method used. Budget narrative should be submitted in Microsoft Word software or in PDF format. Supporting information must be provided in adequate detail for conducting a comprehensive analysis.

e) Certifications

The proposal shall be accompanied by all required Certifications in Part D, signed by an authorized official of the offeror

a Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, or Proposed Debarment

  1. Award

inSupply intends to issue a fixed price purchase order / sub-contract to the offeror(s) who best meet the criteria specified in this RFP and are determined to be responsible and eligible sub-contractor to provide the required goods/services.

  1. Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated first to ensure that they meet all mandatory requirements and are responsive. To be determined responsive, a proposal must include all documentation as listed in section 2. Proposals that fail to meet these requirements will receive no further consideration. A non-responsive proposal to any element may be eliminated from consideration.

Responsive proposals will be evaluated and ranked by a committee on a technical basis according to the criteria below. Those proposals that are considered to be technically acceptable shall then be evaluated in terms of cost.

For the purpose of selection, the evaluation will be based on the following weighted point scale (totaling 100 points) of the proposal in its entirety, including, but not limited to, the following:

No. Criteria Points[SA8]

1 Technical Approach, Methodology and Implementation plan 40

  • Comprehensiveness of proposal approach. Clarity and appropriateness of proposed activity.
  • Implementation plan and proposed timeline are realistic and include all proposed elements of activity.
  • Responsiveness to Terms of Reference

2 Capabilities and Past Performance 20

  • Organizational, financial, and technical capabilities and resources to implement this work
  • Previous successful past experience implementing similar activities.

3 Proposed Costs 40

  • Reasonableness of proposed budget based on the scope of activities proposed.
  • Summary budget, detailed budget, and budget notes included.
  • Comparative lowest price

Total 100


This document is a request for proposals only, and in no way obligates inSupply or its donor to make any award. Please be advised that under a fixed-price contract the work must be completed within the specified total price. Any expenses incurred in excess of the agreed-upon amount in the sub-contract will be the responsibility of the sub-contractor and not that of inSupply or its donor. Therefore, the offeror is duly advised to provide its most competitive and realistic proposal to cover all foreseeable expenses related to provide requested goods/services.

All deliverables produced under the future award/sub-contract shall be considered the property of inSupply. inSupply may choose to award a PO/sub-contract for part of the activities in the RFP. inSupply may choose to award a PO/sub-contract to more than one offeror for specific parts of the activities in the RFP.


The Offeror's technical and cost proposals must remain valid for not less than 120 calendar days after the deadline specified above. Proposals must be signed by an official authorized to bind the offeror to its provisions.


inSupply payment cycle is net 30 days upon receipt of deliverables, goods/services, inspection, and acceptance of goods/services as in compliance with the terms of the award and receipt of vendor invoice. Full cooperation with inSupply in meeting the terms and conditions of payment will be given the highest consideration.


Offerors which are firms and not individuals must include in the capabilities statement that they have the financial viability and resources to complete the proposed activities within the period of performance and under the terms of payment outlined below. inSupply reserves the right to request and review the latest financial statements and audit reports of the offeror as part of the basis of the award.


The proposal, as well as correspondence and related documents, should be in English.

  1. Source/Nationality:

All goods and services offered in response to this RFQ must meet the source and nationality requirements set forth in the United States Code of Federal Regulations, 22 CFR 228. Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Libya, North Korea, and Syria are prohibited source countries and no goods can be produced or sourced from those countries

The authorized geographic code for this RFQ is 935, meaning goods can be sourced from any country except prohibited source countries.


The offeror's most competitive proposal is requested. It is anticipated that any award issued will be made solely on the basis of an offeror’s proposal. However, inSupply reserves the right to request responses to additional technical, management, and cost questions which would help in negotiating and awarding a PO/sub-contract. inSupply also reserves the right to conduct negotiations on technical, management, or cost issues prior to the award of a PO/sub-contract. In the event that an agreement cannot be reached with an offeror inSupply will enter into negotiations with alternate offerors for the purpose of awarding a PO/sub-contract without any obligation to previously considered offerors.


inSupply reserves the right to reject any and all proposals received, or to negotiate separately with any and all competing offerors, without explanation.


inSupply is not liable for any cost incurred by offerors during the preparation, submission, or negotiation of an award for this RFP. The costs are solely the responsibility of the offeror.


inSupply reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify the request, to alter the selection process, or to modify or amend the specifications and scope of work specified in this RFQ.


inSupply may cancel this RFP without any cost or obligation at any time until issuance of the award.

Part C: Terms of Reference


The Workforce Development in Public Health Supply Chains is a five-year project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that focuses on

  • Building the supply chain skills of healthcare workers
  • Building a roadmap for the professionalization of the supply chain workforce
  • Enhancing operational processes and tools to support data visibility, accessibility, and use
  • Promoting the uptake of global goods
  • Shaping supply chain technical assistance
  • Enhancing the ability of the subnational level to forecast, finance, and procure MNCH and other essential medicines
  • Ensuring inSupply is gender intentional and socially inclusive in our approach across all aspects of design and implementation.

These initiatives will be implemented primarily in Eastern Africa and specifically in Kenya and Tanzania, and will then be expanded to two to three other countries in the region. Project objectives include:

  • Objective 1 — Equip health workers, including women and those from marginalized populations, with the required technical and behavioral expertise to routinely apply context-specific supply chain management practices in their work.
  • Objective 2 — Develop and strengthen operational processes and tools to enhance data equity and support real-time data visibility, accessibility, and use among supply chain professionals and multi-sectoral stakeholders. The purpose is to improve decision-making and supply chain outcomes, as well as to empower and serve underrepresented and diverse users, including women.
  • Objective 3 — Identify and recommend a contextualized framework for the professionalization of supply chain workforces, including for women and marginalized populations, that adequately meet the needs of public health supply chain/health programs.
  • Objective 4 — Enable inSupply to expand geography and partner reach, share and promote the uptake of global goods, and shape how supply chains are conceived and implemented, and how technical assistance is delivered in East Africa. The purpose is to improve the performance of public health supply chains for essential medicines and supplies.
  • Objective 5 — Enhance subnational level ability to forecast, finance, and procure MNCH and other essential medicines through the coordination of processes and data transparency, flow, and use.

Purpose and objectives

The Workforce Development in Public Health Supply Chains project will integrate human-centered design (HCD) as a foundational approach, undertaken at the start of the project to shape our understanding of the problem and ensure the co-creation of solutions. To that end, inSupply is seeking an HCD firm to partner with to lead the HCD workstream of activities while working collaboratively with our team in both Kenya and Tanzania. Key activities will include

  • Conducting HCD research
  • Generating and packaging insights
  • Ideating and prototyping
  • Finalizing solutions to implement across project objectives

inSupply subscribes to the double diamond model concept and process for HCD provided below, and we anticipate the work and outputs to follow this process:

We have proposed human-centered design (HCD) as the umbrella method to guide this research and solution development. We anticipate the work will be carried out in the following four phases. Each phase will build on its predecessor’s outputs and learning:

  1. Discover — Qualitative research on peer groups to document and understand the range of experiences and challenges. We estimate this will occur simultaneously in Kenya and Tanzania and take one to two months.
  2. Define — Ensure that the team is solving the right problem and is aligned on their understanding of this issue. Collaboratively work with inSupply, implementing partners, participants, and researchers to select priority challenges and ideation/solutioning opportunities (problem definition). Estimate of 1-2 months.
  3. Develop — For each purpose, generate a range of potential solutions, and prioritize 1-2 that are likely to be effective, reproducible, and sustainable and that address multiple aspects of the problem or purpose. Work with inSupply to test solutions twice via an experiential prototype and an iterative testing and refining process (i.e.: Prototype 1 is produced and tested. Those learnings inform Prototype 2, which is then tested. Learnings are documented for the next phase.) Estimate 1-2 months.
  4. Deliver — Implement the solution. While inSupply will take the lead on this, the HCD partner will provide strategies and recommendations for refining final prototypes and introducing solutions to peer groups and implementing partners.

The HCD approach will be most relevant to Objectives 1, 2, and 3, as well as to promote gender intentionality for our work, but may cut across all aspects of the project. The HCD team will work hand-in-hand with inSupply staff to develop research questions, the detailed HCD approach, work plan, outputs.

The HCD process will need to be thoughtfully undertaken to incorporate and accommodate the following different components and questions, keeping in mind overlapping users and stakeholders. While inSupply’s aim is to ensure design is integrated from the start of the program cycle (i.e. using HCD as an end-to-end process), we are conscientious about efficient use of time and resources given our partners’ timeframes. Thus, we are seeking proposals that are practical and efficient in how to implement HCD to help us achieve our purpose and objectives.

Gender intentionality and transformation

The Workforce Development project aims to be gender intentional at a minimum and strives to be gender transformative, with the aim of mainstreaming gender and social inclusion considerations within public health supply chains. inSupply aims that gender intentionality as a minimum is integrated into all new solutions emerging from the HCD process across objectives; thus it needs to be an important component of the discover and define phases, and a criteria for the develop and deliver phases.

Objective 1: Understanding users to boost expertise

Throughout the HCD phases, we want to ensure that we capture user perspectives, preferences, barriers, incentives, and motivators both to tailor existing ideas/solutions based on previous user input and to co-create new solutions.

We aim to understand current assets, mindsets, practices and context that will enable us to develop solutions that boost health worker skill building and learning in supply chain (for increased expertise). High level problems we would like to understand and solve for, and ideas for solutions are included below as illustrative examples; however our aim is to enable the HCD process to generate new ideas and innovations, rather than limiting us to this illustrative list:

  • Acquiring, maintaining, and growing supply chain skills in-service
  • Applying supply chain skills and undertaking routine supply chain tasks
  • Modes, mechanisms, and approaches for learning
  • Use and access to technology for learning, including use of an e-Learning platform
  • Characteristics and features of an e-Learning platform that would suit users at different levels
  • Features and language of the training content to motivate learning and easy acquisition of knowledge and skills across a variety groups of healthcare workers
  • Efficient and effective onboarding process of new health workers into the supply chain system in the absence of a professional supply chain cadre
  • Insights into competence, motivation, behavioral requirements — both for supply chain learning generally and e-Learning specifically

Objective 2: Enhance scope, purpose of IMPACT Teams for user levels and context

IMPACT Teams — a modified quality improvement and performance management approach adopted to improve data analysis and use for evidence-based monitoring and action planning – have been proven to be effective at operational (subcounty, district) levels of the health system. Our goal is to evolve the IMPACT Team approach both through adaptable content (for planning, forecasting, etc.) and to serve different levels of health system (facility and county).

The questions we want to be able to answer are:

  • How will IMPACT Teams meet user action, coordination, planning, monitoring needs at county, sub county, facility levels?
  • What are requirements for the different user groups for data visualization?
  • What customizations need to be made to the current structure, process, and decision support tools, including the Indicator Tracking Tool, to meet the needs of different levels of users (facility, sub-national, and national) in different contexts (Kenya, Tanzania)?
  • What strategies will promote ownership and sustainability of IMPACT teams across different contexts?

Objective 3: Professionalizing the supply chain workforce

Within the context of constrained resources, we would like to use HCD methods and mindsets to help us re-conceptualize the problem and solve challenges around:

  • Creating value around roles and jobs descriptions of health workers who perform supply chain tasks
  • Enablers, barriers, and gaps for establishing supply chain as a respected, recognized professional cadre at all levels

Activities and deliverables

Across all of the purposes identified above, the HCD firm will work collaboratively with inSupply team members to:

  • Clearly identify the focus questions to guide the design research in the discovery phase.
  • Create one holistic, detailed plan for all steps in the process, timeframes, roles and responsibilities, resources required, incorporating participation by inSupply core team members.
  • Project manage execution of the final approved plan.
  • Orient and train the inSupply team as needed to participate in research and facilitation.
  • Develop and share all inputs required to undertake all steps in the process, including facilitators and research guides, synthesis tools, iterative insight outputs, materials for ideation and prototyping. Also, lead the workshop design and participant care/communications process.
  • Produce usable, highly visual outputs and HCD artifacts throughout the process including: personas, user journeys, etc., which will support the development of learning products, tools, solutions, etc.

High level outputs expected from each phase

For all objectives and gender intentionality work:



1. Discover

Discovery outputs summarize learning about the team's understanding of "what is”

  • inSupply team trained/oriented as needed to participate in research and facilitation
  • Data collection tools for the identified respondents
  • Data collection field report (using agreed-upon template/format)
  • Qualitative data visualizations such as personas, journey maps, and system maps (all deliverables should be succinct and usable).

2. Define

Define outputs describe the range of challenges/ opportunities identified and the rationale used to prioritize the opportunity that will guide ideation

  • Opportunity statements (HMW)
  • Two year overall goal and summary of organizational/contextual challenges that must be overcome (Can we...).
  • Change management memo that outlines any constraints to be considered, broader issues that are out of scope/remit but that are important to any solution's success (potentially with recommendations)
  • Refined qualitative visualizations to guide ideation
  • Ideation workshop with key stakeholders
  • Documentation of range of potential solutions out of ideation phase
  • Shortlist of prioritized solutions (per objective or across objectives) that are likely to be effective, reproducible, and sustainable
  • Criteria that will be used to select the design team for the Develop phase

3. Develop

Develop outputs describe the proposed solutions, articulating the hypotheses that drive them, and summarizing prototyping results

  • Prototyping workshop with key stakeholders

    • Snapshots of solutions proposed
  • Rationale for selecting the solution(s) that will be prototyped, taking into account context and other constraints that may impact feasibility and implementation, solution champions

  • Outline the key hypotheses upon which the solution success depends and explain how the prototype(s) will test these hypotheses

  • Two rounds of testing to include inSupply participation

    • Include a narrative outlining the results of each test and if/how insights were incorporated into the subsequent version.
  • Documented learnings

  • Documented, detailed final prototypes

4. Deliver

Deliver outputs focuses on launch strategy and implementation details

Final HCD Report, summary decks and datasets (e.g. audios) with inputs from inSupply highlighting:

  • Insights into competency, motivation, incentives and behavioral requirements for supply chain professionals
  • Gender and social inclusion barriers for supply chain practices and accessing learning resources
  • Implementation plan for each solution (designed as a standalone as well) that incorporates change management approach for solution acceptability

For each final prototype:

  • Business model canvases for each solution, and work plans with team descriptions, budgets, timelines

Mindsets, skills, and qualifications

inSupply Health is seeking an HCD firm that is interested in and committed to a strong collaborative partnership. While inSupply does not have designers on the team, all team members have basic training in HCD (the Acumen course at a minimum) and have engaged in undertaking aspects of HCD across many projects. We intend to be involved in all stages of the work, including learning from the HCD firm throughout the process, being trained/oriented to participate in the research and synthesis phase, generating insights, and moving forward with ideation and prototyping.

What we expect in an HCD firm:

  • Physical presence in one or more Global South countries; within 3 hours of EAT time zone highly desirable
  • 5–7 years of HCD experience
  • Past experience conducting HCD workshops, using design techniques for effective facilitation. Excellent workshop design and facilitation skills; experience developing workshop facilitation guides and coaching others to take on facilitation roles
  • Experience supporting HCD-focused research and conducting design research activities, including orienting data collectors for HCD research, generating quality insights, and synthesizing insights in usable formats, and documenting process learnings for a wide range of audiences
  • Awareness of HCD team and power dynamics, and demonstrated experience creating inclusive experiences and effectively engaging diverse participants, including people with a tendency to dominate a group, introverts, people with different learning or ability levels, those with less power or sense of personal agency, and underrepresented communities
  • A people-oriented team with an empathetic disposition, excellent interpersonal skills, and sensitive to cultural, gender, and sexuality differences
  • Professional, responsible, flexible, collaborative, optimistic — and inherently curious about human behavior
  • Able to communicate effectively with staff and partners; adept at designing compelling presentations and explaining ideas and their underlying rationale to a range of audiences
  • Tech savvy and able to work independently with remote teams spanning different time zones

Skills and experience that provide an added advantage

  • HCD certification from a credible institution
  • HCD expertise as applied to quality improvement systems
  • Experience with remote-enabled HCD practices and tools
  • Demonstrated HCD experience with global health projects and in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Past experience working on gender and social inclusion; knows what it means to be gender intentional and gender transformative
  • Past experience and curiosity in e-learning, adult learning, or continuing education units

PART D: Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, or Proposed Debarment

By signing and submitting this certification, the offeror certified that neither it nor any of its Principals are ( ) are not ( ) presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, or otherwise declared ineligible from participation in this transaction by any Federal department or agency.

Company Name: _______________________________________

Signatures: _______________________________________

Signatory Name: _______________________________________

Signatory Title: _______________________________________

Date: _______________________________________

How to apply

The offeror’s proposal must be accompanied by a cover letter typed on official organizational letterhead and signed by an individual who has signatory authority for the offeror. The offeror must submit a complete proposal package on or before the due date and time to Proposals must be submitted by email only with the subject line “RFP No: HCD_2022_01”

The proposals must be prepared in two separate files: i. Technical Proposal; and Cost Proposal. The technical and cost proposal must be kept separate. Technical proposals must not make reference to pricing data in order to evaluate the technical proposal strictly on the basis of technical merit.

The written proposal must contain the following information and documentation: