Request for Application Kenya Play Project

Proposals (Contingent on Funding) Nairobi, Kenya




Issuance Date:           October 5th, 2022 

Closing Date:             October 21st, 2022

Closing Time: 5:00pm EAT

Subject: Request for Application (RFA) Number 01

Kenya Play Project

Reference: Issued Under an International Research and Exchange Board (IREX)

This Request for Application outlines the information required by the applicant for the development and submission of a proposal for consideration.  The potential applicant is expected to review, understand, and conform with specifications contained in this RFA.  Failure to do so will be at the applicant’s own risk.


All reasonable, allocable, and allowable expenses, both direct and indirect, which are related to the sub-grant program and are in accordance with applicable cost standards may be charged under the sub-grant.

This RFA is being issued and consists of this cover letter, Schedule A, and Annexes.

Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award commitment on the part of Kenya Play (KPLAY) /IREX nor does it commit KPLAY/ IREX to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application. The application is submitted at the risk of the applicant.  All preparation and submission costs are at the applicant's expense.

Thank you for your interest in KPLAY and IREX activities.


Alexis Field

Program Officer KPLAY/IREX










a.      Kenya KPLAY (KPLAY) is funded by the LEGO Foundation and implemented by IREX. KPLAY is a holistic, gender-responsive approach to scaling Learning Through Play with Technology (LTPT) in coastal Kenya Kwale and Kilifi Counties. The project is working to integrate playful learning with technology in the implementation of the competency-based curriculum (CBC) to improve learning outcomes and empower learners with 21st Century skills.  KPLAY is also working to build the capacity of primary school teachers and education officials, particularly Curriculum Support Officers (CSOs) to facilitate workshops and offer teacher support in integrating technology in learning, through regular coaching. This project is building the basic digital literacy skills of the teachers and CSOs as well as introducing them to creative coding using Scratch.

IREX invites interested local organizations to submit a proposal to partner with IREX in implementing KPLAY activities. Please see program description and Scope of Work description in Section IV.


b.      Program Purpose:  KPLAY promotes learning through play with technology through hybrid teacher-training and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Play Labs.


  1. The expected duration of IREX’s support or the period of performance is November 1, 2022December 31, 2024. IREX expects to award one subaward between $80,000-$99,000 USD. KPLAY/IREX reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted.


  1. The applicant / application must meet the following requirements
  • Be officially registered and working in compliance with all applicable civil and fiscal regulations, including, but not limited to pertinent local laws and status.
  • Be officially registered as a legal entity and working in compliance with all applicable local laws.
  • Ability to implement the program activities as detailed in Section IV Program Description and Scope of Work in order to meet the projects objectives and principles
  • Contain expected outcomes and results consistent with and linked to the projects objectives
  • Applicant is not a debarred organization



  1. Types of Sub-Awardees Eligible:
  • Non-US Nongovernment Organizations (Non-US NGOs)
  • Community Based Organization (CBOs)
  • Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)
  • Professional Associations
  • Universities


Cost share is not required.


  1. Program Description and Purpose

Project objectives:

The aim of the KPLAY project is to:

  1. Develop PlayLabs in KPLAY’s area of work in Kilifi and Kwale County. KPLAY will work with teachers and county education officials to identify initial materials and methods for inclusion in an adaptable PlayLab model. PlayLabs are customized school-based spaces for playful interactions and creativity, containing context-appropriate lo-fi and high-tech LTPT resources that speak to girls and boys.
  2. Conduct educator professional development in Kwale and Kilifi County for primary school educators. KPLAY will work with Community Service Officers (CSOs) and local government education offices to introduce teachers to LTPT by engaging in play with students and play experts, then creating and testing PlayLabs and methods in workshops held at times that allow teachers to attend, and that do not take teachers out of class.
  3. Carryout coaching. Coaching will involve master facilitators who will lead teacher training and training of trainers in their areas of leadership. This will be done periodically in a systematic cycle to reinforce the values and benefits of LTPT. Trained coaches and Professional Learning Communities will provide ongoing teacher support with the skills gained from coaching.
  4. Sustainability of learning through play with technology and supporting the implementation of the competency-based curriculum (CBC). This will be done through coaching, school visit and observations and offering of support in the KPLAY PlayLabs that will ensure the soft skills are implemented successfully.


Target population:

The KPLAY Project will be implemented with teachers in grades 3–6 (grade levels aligned with the CBC’s ICT focus) to build awareness of and skills in LTPT and apply it effectively in the classroom across Kilifi and Kwale Counties.

KPLAY will build the capacity of 1400 teachers to experience learning through play and technology and will assist 600 school leaders, 200 teacher leaders, and 30 system-embedded coaches to support these teachers. Local partners will work with communities to support LTPT at home and in school. These efforts will equip at least 90,000 skills measured by Kenyan exams, and the creative, learning-to-learn, and collaborative skills the CBC has introduced.


Project Outcomes:

The KPLAY approach is embedded within national and county educational systems to equip teachers as LTPT experts and champions, and to create a Kenyan-owned LTPT scaling model for coastal Kenya. KPLAY works with educators to design curriculum-linked, age- and context-appropriate approaches, methods, and materials that scales Learning Through Play with Technology in our Kenyan classrooms.

Our team works with education officials to create sustainability strategies in years 1 and 2. By year 3, the Kenyan-built and led strategy will be finalized and be in operation, laying the groundwork to continue LTPT after project completion.

Key Components and Activities:

The project activities are implemented through the following components:

Component 1: Teacher Professional Development

In four years, KPLAY will reach teachers in 50% of the schools in Kilifi and Kwale Counties. KPLAY has piloted its approach in 11 diverse schools, then scale to reach 100 strategically selected schools per year in years 2–4. Every year, KPLAY will gather data on materials, methods, and approaches, and on introducing LTPT to teachers, school leaders, and others, to iterate and refine the project. It will take note of school contexts (rural vs. urban, level of tech, language group, religion), to understand their effect on LTPT uptake. KPLAY will emphasize impacts on student learning to support scale and uptake. Advocacy and communications strategies around positive impacts of LTPT will promote it in communities neighboring KPLAY schools, priming LTPT for scale within target counties.

KPLAY staff trains the teacher leaders, Curriculum Support Officers in Kilifi, and Kwale Counties on the following concepts: introduction to play and technology, introduction to hand-on learning activities, introduction to coding and Scratch.

The CSOs will conduct zonal teacher training sessions with their respective teacher cells.

Component 2: PlayLab Development:

PlayLabs are customized school-based spaces for playful interactions and creativity that support the K-PLAY program. PlayLabs are spaces that contain context-appropriate lo-fi and high-tech LTPT resources that speak to girls and boys. PlayLabs, whether indoors or outdoors, fixed or mobile, will be child-centered and have values of playfulness, experimentation, curiosity, collaboration, and connection to the community.

KPLAY Project will develop PlayLabs in each target school to create a place for students to practice their application of ICT. In the ICT Play Lab, teachers will form small groups (five to 10) of girls to collaborate in teams and practice diverse concepts requiring CBC skills of collaboration and teamwork. The project will equip the ICT PlayLabs with materials for making and tinkering, a Play Station for building, and a Technology Station. The Play Station will be a central area of the floor, where students can sit and play with building blocks and other locally available materials.  The technology station will be equipped with a laptop, tablets, and a Mi-Fi connection. Students will have access to Scratch for operating basic online and offline coding activities. Furthermore, there will be a collaboration table that allows students to carry out group STEM activities. 



Scope of Work Approach for Subawardee:

The scope of work provides information on activities to be completed by the sub-awardee, in partnership with the KPLAY team, and implemented in Kwale and Kilifi counties with Training of Trainers (ToTs), Teacher Professional Development (TPDs), Coaching Sessions, PlayLab roll out and development of gender responsive content. The scope of work covers the implementation over a two-year program, November 2022 – December 2024. The activities and deliverables listed below are, therefore, broad, and illustrative. Good faith efforts will be made to revise, adapt, and adjust the scope of work, deliverables, budgets, and timelines as appropriate.


b. Terms of Reference- Detailed Task

In collaboration with the KPLAY training team, the sub-awardee tasks include the following:


In support of Component 1: Teacher Professional Development

  • Planning and facilitating training sessions
  • Technical content development and contextualization
  • Conducting field-level visits to monitor program quality using classroom observation formats in coordination with IREX MEL Officer.
  • Supporting in CSO coaching sessions


In support of Component 2: PlayLab Development


  • Support in the development of 100 schools PlayLabs in 2023 through actively supporting all PlayLab related activities.
  • Develop annual workplans and a PlayLab development schedule and submit it for review by the KPLAY team.
  • Maintain the PlayLabs minimum standard across all PlayLabs developed for the 2023 school year.
  • Follow up on all the painting schedule for the PlayLabs.
  • Ensure all PlayLab materials are delivered in a timely manner to all the PlayLabs developed in each phase.
  • Participate in all PlayLab training sessions led by the KPLAY team.
  • Support in the design and launch of the PlayLabs in 100 pre-selected schools in both Kwale and Kilifi Counties.
  • Conduct sensitization of the schools on the PlayLabs concept for them to understand and support the PlayLabs. This includes space identification for the setting up of the PlayLab and available resources provided by the school.




1. Launch of PlayLabs

-          Develop workplan for the implementation of the PlayLab in 148 schools to assist in planning and procurement.

-          Equip the PlayLab with ICT resources to enable schools engage in LTT hands-on activities.

-          Support schools in developing the PlayLab activities and managing the PlayLab for sustainability

-          Assist teachers with effective ways of integrating PlayLab activities in the classroom.

-          Assist in the development of evaluation questions on use of the PlayLabs

2. Teacher Training and Coaching 

-          Sensitization and Teacher Professional Development Training sessions for Grade 36 teachers. The TPDs are 1-day workshops, and each day is 8 hours.

-          Offer continuous support to the teachers through coaching sessions. The coaching sessions will be weekly for 1 hour, and will target the Curriculum Support Officers, CSOs.

-          Training of Trainers sessions through teach outs.

-          Participate in MEL activities that will engage the teachers who went through the training.

-          Participate in coaching and mentorship of the CSOs to ensure the CSOs serve as coaches to the teachers.



a. Application Overview

Any questions concerning this RFA should be submitted in writing no later than five days prior to the closing date shown above to Alexis Field, Program Officer, KPLAY, [email protected]

Applicants should retain for their records one copy of all enclosures which accompany their application.

The application must be received at the KPLAY/IREX’s office at the email below no later than the closing date listed on the front page of this RFA.  Pre-award costs are not allowable and will not be reimbursed. An application and modifications thereof shall be submitted in electronic format to [email protected] with the Subject: KPLAY, RFA_NAME_OF_ORGANIZATION

The application, in the Form of a written narrative, must be submitted in electronic form (Word or PDF) and include the sections and attachments detailed below. Applicants are asked to include proposals and budget. The complete application packet must be submitted in the required format with the required attachments.


Organizational Information

  • Name of Organization
  • Location (City and Address)
  • Point of Contact Name and Email
  • Organizational Mission
  • Organizational Background

Staffing Plan [1-2 pages]

  • Please provide a staffing plan including descriptions of planned staff and consultant roles
  • Include a CV for the proposed Project Manager

Finance Monitoring, Compliance and Ethics

  • Please describe the systems in place to ensure protection against corruption and ensure financial oversight

Program description [5-10 pages]

  • Geographic/Logistical Coordination

I.        Please briefly describe the opportunities and potential complexities involved in a multi-school program and how your organization would handle them; if you have experience coordinating such programs, please describe.

II.      Please describe how you would consider geographic and social inclusion in your school programming.

III.    Please describe how you would develop the program in a combination of rural, peri-urban, or urban schools in KPLAY.

IV.   Please describe how you would ensure proper safety protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

V.     Please describe how you ensure teacher and Curriculum Support Officers (CSO) participation in virtual program activities, especially regarding economically and geographically disadvantaged communities.   

VI.   Please describe your organization's internet accessibility capabilities, including your ability to communicate regularly with DC based IREX staff and liaise virtually with potential stakeholders across Kenya.

  • IREX Coordination

I.        Propose Plan for coordinating with IREX Team based in Mombasa.

  • Implementation and Monitoring of other Follow-On Activities which may include the following:

I.        Community Engagement and Trainings



Partnership Plan / Community Engagement [1 Page]

  • Propose a strategy for leveraging local partner organizations and experts to support the implementation (as guest speakers, field trips etc.) of KPLAY activities in Kwale and Kilifi counties.   


Past Experience [1-2 Pages]

  • Please describe one or more (no more than three) past programs demonstrating the organization’s ability to facilitate trainings for primary school teachers and engage with secondary schools. Highlight any linkages to gender responsive approaches, LTPT and/or ICT.
  • What were the programs’ major successes? How was the impact measured?
  • Please describe one or more (no more than three) past programs demonstrating the organization’s ability to implement virtual programming.



Required Attachments

I.        Due Diligence Questionnaire (see Annex 3)

  1. Copy of Local Registration
  2. Copy of Sample time sheet
  3. Internal Procurement Policies (if applicable)
  4. Most Recent Audit (if applicable)

b. Restrictions:

Sub-award funds provided under the terms of this RFA shall not be used to:

  • Procure goods or services from suppliers that may be identified on the USG consolidated list of debarred, suspended or ineligible contractors at
  • Make any purchases or fund activities deemed unnecessary to successfully complete the activity, including any sub-awardee headquarters’ expenses that are not directly linked to the implementation of the proposed project.
  • Pay previous obligations and/or bad debts.
  • Pay fines and /or penalties.
  • Pay other costs unallowable as referenced 2 CFR 200 Subpart E Cost Principles and FAR 31.2 Cost Principles for Commercial Organizations.


C. Late Application 

Late applications are marked as “late” and are ineligible for review or award; however, IREX reserves the right to accept and include late applications in the review and award process when it is considered within the best interest of IREX to do so and if applications that were received on time have not been opened and reviewed.  Applications that are submitted late or incomplete run the risk of not being considered for review.


II.      Within ten working days of the deadline for submitting applications, a technical review committee will convene.  Throughout the evaluation process, IREX shall take steps to ensure that members of the committee do not have any conflicts of interest or the appearance of such with regard to the organizations whose applications are under review.  An individual shall be considered to have the appearance of a conflict of interest “if that person, or that person’s spouse, partner, child, close friend, or relative works for or is negotiating to work for or has a financial interest (including being an unpaid member of a Board of Directors) in any organization that submitted an application currently under the panel’s review.”  Members of the committee shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from parties to the awards. 

Note: Under unusual circumstances the technical review committee may be delayed.

Verification of the application submission requirements will be conducted by the IREX field grants managerAwards will be made within ten working days after the technical evaluation committee completes its review. 

The application will be evaluated according to the evaluation criteria set below.  To the extent necessary (if an award is not made based on initial applications), negotiations may be conducted with each applicant whose application, after discussion and negotiation, has a reasonable chance of being selected for award. 

b. Evaluation criteria

a. Technical Merit 15 points

      Relevance to program goals

      Sustainability of project results

      Technical proposal for recruiting facilitators and leading trainings

      Technical proposal for working with schools and community-based organizations

      Technical Proposal for engaging partners and local communities in ICT and/or LTPT Topics

      Technical experience with ICT with primary school children.

      Experience conducting program analysis and monitoring

      Anticipated impact on the beneficiaries

b.      Past Performance / Organizational Capacity 25 points

      Past performance in similar projects

      Relevant staff skills and structure to implement the proposed project

      Experience in geographical region

      Experience in building relationships with public schools

      Experience facilitating with youth

      Experience with virtual trainings

      Written accounting and procurement procedures

      Capacity to communicate with IREX DC and Kenya based IREX consultant

      Capacity to adhere to DOS financial guidelines

      Capacity to securely receive and disperse funds to project stakeholders in compliance with program objectives

      Capacity to communicate virtually with Mombasa and DC based IREX staff and consultants, and potential stakeholders across Kenya

c.      Feasibility and Cost Effectiveness 10 points

      Are costs reasonable, allowable, and allocable

      Is the proposal cost effective



  1. Overview:

The recommendation or selection of an application in accordance with established procedures does not guarantee an award.  All applicants must demonstrate that they possess, or have the ability to obtain, the necessary management competence to practice mutually agreed upon methods of accountability for funds and other assets provided. 

A successful applicant can expect to receive an Award Letter, signed by the programThe award letter will be addressed to the organizations point of contact as stated in the application. 

Following the Award Letter, final negotiations will take place before the signing of a sub-grant agreement.

  1. Reporting Procedures:

A description of reporting requirements will be included in the Sub-Grant Agreement.  The types of reporting required, along with the schedule of reporting, will depend on the sub-grant type and project duration.  Reporting forms will be provided to sub-grant recipients.  Types of reporting will include the following:

  • Program report to be submitted during project implementation according to a schedule described in the sub-grant agreementThis report will include a description of progress made during the period, problems in project implementation; actions taken to overcome them; and activities planned for the next period.  


  • Final program report will describe how the project objectives and goals were reached, results of the project, and problems and solutions during implementation.


  • Financial reports will be submitted according to a schedule described in the sub-grant agreements.  Types of financial reports, as well as the schedule of reporting, will depend on the type of sub-grant, length of the project, and amount of funding.  In addition, the sub-grantee is required to submit a detailed Final Financial Report. 


Issuance of the final installment of sub-award funds is contingent upon KPLAY receipt and acceptance of Final Financial and Final Program Reports.


Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of IREX, nor does it commit KPLAY / IREX to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application.

IREX reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted. Further, IREX reserves the right to make no awards as a result of this RFA.