Consultant - Electric School Bus Initiative

Program Management Washington, DC, United States

Contract Summary
WRI intends to award a fixed price plus reimbursable type contract for developing: 1. an integrated equity strategy for WRI’s Electric School Bus (ESB) Initiative to ensure that equity is embedded in all aspects of the initiative from conceptualization to implementation and monitoring 2. a shared agenda with the New Urban Mobility alliance (NUMO) that seeks to address the adverse social, political, economic, and health outcomes of the transport system for BIPOC in the US About WRI’s Electric School Bus (ESB) Initiative WRI's Electric School Bus Initiative aims to electrify the entirety of the school bus fleet in the US by 2030.

The 480,000 school buses in the United States account for 80% of all buses nationwide, yet less than 1% are electrified. School bus electrification represents a unique opportunity to accelerate decarbonization while bringing direct, tangible benefits to every community in the United States. This transition can help make electric mobility the new normal for an entire generation. Through the initiative, WRI’s aim is to create momentum over the next five years on a path toward electrifying the entire fleet of U.S. school buses by 2030. Overcoming the cost, infrastructure and policy barriers to mass adoption will require a systemic approach that engages an entire ecosystem of actors and prioritizes inclusive planning with impacted communities.

WRI will achieve this by partnering with key stakeholders and project partners to aggregate demand, scale manufacturing, develop innovative financing models, influence federal and state policy and galvanize communities and stakeholders to push for an equitable and comprehensive shift towards electric school buses. About the New Urban Mobility alliance (NUMO) NUMO launched in 2019 as an outgrowth of the Shared Mobility Principles. Tech-based disruptions in mobility present an opportunity to transform cities. But technology itself is unlikely to result in just, sustainable and joyful cities unless we have a laser focus on keeping equity and access at the core.

We also believe that this transformation cannot happen without all stakeholders - public, private, and civil society. In response, we have been building a loose and growing community of stakeholders that share our values encapsulated in the Shared Mobility Principles.  We have had some success and many learnings as we convene and attempt to develop aligned actions by our community. When we launched, we chose to focus our efforts on the mismatch between the exuberance of the shared micro-mobility market and the challenges faced by cities and communities around active mobility. Our most recent co-developed tool is Starting off right: A Community-First New Mobility Playbook. Contrasting this against our first co-developed tool - the New Mobility Atlas - tells a story of a conscious effort over the last two years to start with equity and keep it front and center of our endeavors. However, the Black Lives Matter protests and the devastating, disproportionate impacts of COVID have made it clear that we need deeper consideration of whether our work challenges or props-up institutional racist structures. With the leadership of  Dr. Dietra Hawkins, we are in the process of introspecting how NUMO can become an anti-racist organization. We expect to build on this effort through 2021 and 2022 by closely examining our practice (what we do, don’t do, who we partner with, how we do it), and its impact on black communities in the US.

This position can be remote within the US.

Job Responsibilities
The scope of work for the engagement with WRI’s ESB Initiative includes:

  • June 1, 2021 - Equity Framework - Develop an equity framework to guide the ESB project that includes creating a project wide definition of equity, key equity performance measures, an equity-infused community/ public/ partner involvement and engagement plan
  • June 1, 2021 - Partnership Strategy - Craft an equitable/ transparent partner selection process that includes key equity metrics and create models for inclusive partnerships and credit sharing
  • August 1, 2021 - Equity Advisory Group: Create and/or align an Equity Advisory group to provide oversight and assess the project’s progress on key equity performance measures. ~ 4 hours each week through the engagement period
  • Outreach - Conduct outreach to key community groups involved in mobility, education, and environmental justice
  • Represent WRI at key external events. ~ 4 hours each week through the engagement period
  • Research - Contribute to and review equity focused research for the project including, but not limited to: evaluation criteria to assess the potential positive and negative equity impacts; equity-related criteria pertaining to WRI or partner generated recommendations for state, federal or local policies and incentives (e.g., how to prioritize funding, manufacturing standards) that will impact this project; and selection criteria for school district cohorts. 6 hours each month through the engagement period
  • Lead Equity Community of Practice - Deliver periodic webinars, virtual “lunch and learn” or other learning opportunities to ensure that internal staff and external partners remain up to speed on equity issues in e-busing throughout the life of the project
  • Quarterly check-in - Evaluate equity performance measures
  • Check-in with Pillar leads to ensure that we are meeting our equity performance measures and that we are providing sufficient support to each part of the project
  • The scope of work for the engagement with NUMO includes: May 31, 2021 - Background research and literature review
  • Conduct a literature review on the adverse impacts (i.e., social, political, economic and health) of over-policing Black mobility via walking, biking, and taking public transit
  • Jun 30, 2021 - Establish advisory group
  • Develop a recruitment strategy to identify and select diverse multi-sector professionals (i.e., health, transportation, and environmental) from seven regions throughout the United States
  • Jul 31, 2021 - Prepare for and lead the advisory group meeting
  • Finalize role of the Advisory Group. Develop an agenda for the inaugural meeting and support the Group to develop working groups focus on areas including walking, bicycling, and transit
  • Aug 31, 2021 - Establish working groups - Develop a recruitment strategy to identify and select diverse multi-sector professionals (i.e., health, transportation, and environmental) from seven regions throughout the United States
  • Sept. 31, 2021 - Launch working groups and develop work plans - Support working groups to identify areas of intervention and develop work plans
  • Oct 30, 2021 - Deliver first draft of product from working group(s) - Facilitate and support the working groups to identify policies, programs, and initiatives that could address the adverse impacts on BIPOC
  • Dec 31, 2021 - Create final product and engagement strategy - Finalize working group product(s) and develop engagement strategy to raise awareness through social media, presentations, blogs etc.
  • Jun 30, 2021 - Identify pilot opportunities - Identify opportunities to test, pilot, or implement recommendations of the working groups
  • Sep 30, 2022 - Create interim progress report - Support the conceptualization, implementation
  • Mar 31, 2023 - Develop learnings report - Report and presentation on learnings from the implementation opportunities 4 hours each month throughout the engagement period - Provide input on NUMO’s overall strategy
Job Qualifications
  • Completion of all required elements
  • The extent to which the organization or consultant’s proposal fulfills WRI’s stated requirements as set out in the RFP
  • Experience with similar projects
  • Overall cost of the organization or consultant’s, etc. proposal
  • Debarment and sanctions – WRI will not consider proposals from organizations or consultants that are presently debarred by the U.S. government or named on any restricted parties lists
  • Sustainability – WRI values sustainability and all other factors being equal, will favor a proposal to more sustainably perform the work.
How to Apply:
Please include a cover letter with your application. All expressions of interest and questions about this RFP must be received via email to the contact below by 24 March 2021, 12PM EST. Answers to the questions will be shared will all parties who have asked questions or otherwise expressed interest. WRI Contact Name Erika Myers Title Global Senior Manager, Electric Vehicles Email address [email protected]

Program Overview

Founded in 1982, The World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global environmental think tank that goes beyond research to put ideas into action. We work with governments, companies, and civil society to build solutions to urgent environmental challenges. WRI’s transformative ideas protect the earth and promote development because sustainability is essential to meeting human needs and fulfilling human aspirations in the future. 

WRI Overview 

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, watersustainable cities, and the ocean. 

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect. 

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.  

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices inAfrica, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexicoand theUnited States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.   

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.