Consultant - Access to Energy Bids, Lead Writer

Programs Edinburgh, United Kingdom



Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now and for the future. Mercy Corps has merged with Energy 4 Impact to increase access to climate-smart, sustainable energy, improving the lives of millions of people around the world.

Energy access is a foundational requirement for the attainment of many SDGs and existing deficiencies which predominantly affect the world’s poorest create a major drag on progress. Despite significant investment in new energy services globally driven by the lower cost of renewables and distributed power, there are still over 800 million people without access to reliable modern energy services.  Access to energy is also critical for the survival, health, livelihoods, and safety of the over 135 million people around the world who need humanitarian assistance.

Mercy Corps is looking for an Access to Energy Bids, Lead Writer to respond to multiple bids coming from different donors, including multilateral organizations, corporates, foundations, and dedicated energy funds.  It is expected that the Access to Energy Bids, Lead Writer will have proven expertise on energy access in Africa, such as powering agriculture and agro-processing, grid extension and densification programs, productive use of energy, clean cooking, support to green mini-grid developers and energy access companies in capital access.

Purpose / Project Description:

The Access to Energy Bids, Lead Writer will manage the process of developing, circulating, incorporating feedback, revising, and finalizing the narrative for energy access bids, including participating and contributing to the facilitation of critical design discussions, developing an annotated outline, working with key stakeholders who could be assigned to draft some specific proposal sections if appropriate, organizing the review process, making subsequent revisions to the narrative accordingly, to reflect team input (including country team staff, technical advisors and partner staff) while ensuring overall quality and responsiveness of the bid narrative as a whole and finalization for submission. 

Under the present agreement, the selected Access to Energy Bids, Lead Writer would be responsible for writing energy access commercial bids and proposals for an estimated LoE up to 35-40 days over the course of 6 months. 

Consultant Activities:
  1. Carry out pre-reading in advance of the E4I/MC past and current energy access experience (up to 3 days)
  2. Review the Requests for Expression of Interest, Request for Concept Notes/ Proposals, etc. when made available and provide suggested comments/questions for submission to donors. 
  3. Determine with MC/E4I focal points LoE for each single specific bid/proposal and develop a workplan.
  4. Review relevant background information and critical documentation on relevant MC/E4I approaches and programs.
  5. Based on a template provided by donors, develop and manage an annotated outline for narrative and technical annexes.
  6. Work with MC/E4I focal point to assign sections of the proposal to proposal team members who will contribute sections for the first draft of the proposal.
  7. Facilitate virtual design workshops that involve country team members and technical experts;  and draft initial design documents (logframe and/or written theory of change) based on workshop discussions and subsequently update them throughout the proposal development process based on team input.
  8. If requested, conceptualize and develop basic graphics (to be improved by a graphic artist) that illustrate aspects of the proposed program (ie Theory of Change and/or program approach)
  9. Serve as the primary author of the proposal; draft key proposal sections, and work with team members responsible for proposal sections, to ensure completion of drafts according to the bid/proposal workplan.
  10. Maintain overall ownership of the full narrative document, keeping it up to date with the latest versions of input, overseeing quality and consistency, and ensuring its completeness and responsiveness to donors’ guidelines.
  11. Manage draft review processes, including providing clear instructions for reviewers, clarifying input as needed, and revising drafts according to review inputs.
  12. Work closely with MC/E4I focal points to finalize technical narrative document and annexes for final submission while coordinating with MC/E4I focal points the finalization of the cost proposal. Annexes to the bid/proposal application will be dependent on what is specified in the donors’ requests but will potentially include: past performance information, staffing information, a work plan, an M&E Plan, and an implementation plan.
Consultant Deliverables:

Per each opportunity, the Consultant will deliver:
  1. Suggested comments/questions to donor  to be submitted by MC/E4I team member
  2. Workplan indicating deliverables (ie proposal drafts, annexes, etc) and timeline, and LoE
  3. Draft design documents (logframe and/or Theory of Change) circulated for review shortly after the design workshop 
  4. First draft of proposal narrative that is in line with the content requirements included by the donor
  5. Second draft of proposal narrative in response to (relevant) feedback provided during the review period
  6. Final draft of the proposal narrative and annexes (as specified in workplan), responsive to reviewer input, formatted to donors’ specifications, including page limitations. 
Timeframe / Schedule:  

The Access to Energy Bids, Lead Writer will commit to a maximum of no more than an estimated total of 35-40 working days, starting around 07 February.

The Consultant will report to: 

Either Peter Weston E4I MD or Cecilia Ragazzi – Director, Energy Access, depending on the opportunity.

The Consultant will work closely with:

Environment Team – Technical Support Unit & Energy 4 Impact.
Mercy Corps & E4I Country Teams.

Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis.