Procurement Consultant for ACE Impact

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Procurement Consultant for ACE Impact

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Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project (P164546)

Terms of Reference (TORs) – Procurement Consultant Contract

Title: Procurement Consultant for ACE Impact

Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project (P164546) (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ghana, Guinea, The Gambia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and the Association of African Universities (AAU).

Background Information:

The development objective of the ACE Impact is to improve the quality, quantity and development impact of postgraduate education in selected universities through regional specialization and collaboration. The project will contribute to participating Governments’ objectives of reducing the higher-level skills gaps and improving applied research and technology uptake in the priority sectors. Further, the project would contribute to the strengthening of the best African universities within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Agricultural Sciences; and Health Sciences, as well as in Applied Social Sciences and Environment.

The ACE Impact Project will cover 11 countries (Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, Republic of Djibouti, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Niger, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Senegal, Republic of The Gambia, and Republic of Togo).

The AAU is the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) for the project. The responsibilities of the RFU include the coordination and facilitation of regional activities, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building for the selected centres of excellence and sharing of good practices across the countries.

For further information, please see Annex to the TOR for the relevant sections of the Project Appraisal Document. The full PAD is available from AAU.

Main Tasks:

The Procurement Consultant main objective of the assignment is to plan and execute all procurement related activities under AAU in general and provide procurement support to the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) hosted within the Association of African Universities- AAU) using IDA/Bank procurement policies and procedures. S/he will report to the Programme Manager and will be the main link between the AAU Procurement function and procurement counterparts in each of the ACEs 11 participating countries.

Scope of Work

  1. To review the ACE Impact Regional Project Operations Manual and become familiar with the procurement implementation arrangements in the first quarter of his/ her contract.
  2. To recommend any required revisions to the procurement procedures for RFU and ACE’s with particular reference to procurement issues in relation to IDA/Bank procurement procedures
  3. To prepare, Monitor and update annually the Collated Bank’s Procurement plan for the first 18 Months of the AAU and subsequently ACE, which is derived from the Annual and Implementation Plans at the beginning of the project
  4. To assist in ensuring that all procurement activities of the project are prepared, reviewed and cleared by the Project in AAU and ACEs, in STEP, as well as any prior review procurements, with the aim of identifying deviations from the Bank’s procurement rules and procedures as well as the Bank’s procurement principles before submitting to the Bank.
  5. Draft standard routine correspondences relating to procurement activities for the AAU
  6. Participate in supervision missions with a view to assisting the Project and the Bank to update the procurement plan and to address all outstanding procurement related issues.
  7. Continuous quarterly progress reporting to AAU and the Bank, on the input of project procurement reports by ACEs in relation with performance against planned and progress towards achieving the DLIs on Procurement
  8. Monitor practical aspects by assisting the Program Manager and the project technical team to supervise the procurement activities carried out by the Project through site visits.
  9. Identify the risks and challenges associated with the identified deviations, which are to be taken into consideration by the Project; and provide advice and procurement training on Bank’s rules to the ACEs.
  10. To review the procurement risk mitigation measures for each individual ACE as described in the project appraisal document (PAD), and to assist the individual ACEs to implement the mitigation measures when setting up the Individual Procurement Plan in the first Quarter annually.
  11. To identify and monitor the high priority procurements packages that require long lead times or are technically complex (such as renovations, civil works, specialized laboratory equipment, etc.), by assisting the individual ACEs to fast track preparation of the procurement bidding packages.
  12. To assist in preparing the individual ACE Procurement Procedures Manual at the project inception, that includes both IDA/Bank procurement procedures, as well the institutional specific national procurement procedures. Both set of procedures should respect the procedures outlined in the PAD and the respective individual national legal agreements.
  13. To monitor the procurement risk rating that is updated by each country annually, and assist ACEs in reducing the procurement risk rating.
  14. To ensure that the RFU and the four national facilitation units follow the World Bank’s Procurement Regulations when implementing the activities under the ACE Impact project.
  15. To assist individual ACEs to meet the disbursement linked indicator (DLI) 4.3: Infrastructure; and DLI 6.4: Quality of Procurement.


Main Outputs:

  1. Comments on the ACE Regional Project Operations Manual on procurement issues.
  2. AAU annual procurement plan developed and implemented effectively
  3. Approval by World Bank of all procurement activities of RFU via STEP.
  4. Comments on RFU annual work plan and align this with procurement plan of RFU.
  5. Comments and recommendations on implementing the procurement risk mitigation measures for the RFU (AAU) and ACE’s
  6. A preliminary list of high procurement for each ACE, and then comments on the high priority bidding packages for each ACE.
  7. A site visit completed to each ACE to discuss and the individual ACE Procurement Procedures Manual, and then written comments on the draft manual.
  8. An annual monitoring report on the procurement risks, and recommendations to each ACE to better implement the procurement mitigation measures.
  9. An annual monitoring report on DLI 4.3 and DLI 6.4, and recommendations to each ACE to better achieve each DLI.

Time Schedule and Contracted Days:

The assignment will be for a period of Thirty Six (36) Months (January 31, 2019 to December 30, 2022) and renewable annually subject to performance.

Associated Travel and Expenses:

To be reimbursed through submittal of appropriate receipts and approval of AAU.


Fully Furnished Office with Laptop, Printer and Scanner.

Deadline for Submission

Applications should be received by 30th November 2019.

Application link:



Extract from relevant sections of the Project Appraisal Document – Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact) Project (P164546)

1. The proposed project consists of three components: Component 1: Establishing new and scaling-up well-performing existing ACEs (from ACE I) for development impact; Component 2: Fostering regional partnerships and scholarships; and Component 3: Enhancing national and regional project facilitation, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Component 1 will aim to strengthen capacity in the ACEs and their host institutions (supply-side), while Component 2 will aim to strengthen non-ACE institutions in the region and allow students to benefit from the capacity in the ACEs (demand-side). Component 3 will aim to support national and regional facilitation of the project and M&E related activities. Financing for Component 1 and 2 will be result-based, while financing for Component 3 will be cost-based.

Component 1: Establishing new and scaling up well-performing existing Africa Centers of Excellence (from ACE I) for development impact (Total: US$198 million; of which IDA and government contributions are 50 percent each)

  1. Component 1 aims to build and strengthen the capacity of 16 competitively selected centers located in higher education institutions across West and Central Africa. Component 1 has two sub-components: Sub-component 1.1 will establish new ACE Impact centers for skills development and knowledge generation (through applied research) to address development challenges, that are not addressed under the ACE I project. Sub-component 1.2 will provide additional support to well-performing ACEs participating in the ongoing ACE I project (these ACE Impact centers will be referred to as renewals) to scale-up impact on development challenges, to strengthen regional collaboration, and ensure that these ACEs are fully fiscally sustainable). Additional funding will support the best engineering and technology institutions hosting ACEs from Sub-components 1.1 and 1.2, to strengthen institutional impact.
  2. Each ACE Impact center (new and renewals) supported through Component 1 will focus activities on a specific regional development challenge. Each of these centers is targeted in scope and will deliver postgraduate education and applied research programs developed in coordination with relevant stakeholders. While the center workplans are focused, a multidisciplinary approach will be essential to achieve the goals of each center.Component 2: Fostering Regional Partnerships and Scholarships (Total: US$40 million of which the IDA contribution is US$23 million and government contribution is US$17 million) 
  3. Component 2 seeks to expand the regional impact of the ACEs funded under Component 1 by providing demand-side funding for partnering institutions and regional students to purchase training and consulting services from the ACEs that are most relevant. Component 2 has two sub-components: Sub-component 2.1 will finance regional institutional partnerships through support to Emerging centers, while Sub-component 2.2 is optional and will finance governments’ contribution towards the PASET RSIF.Component 3: Enhancing National and Regional level Project Facilitation, and Monitoring and Evaluation (Total: US$13.5 million; of which US$10 million is in IDA grant and $3.5 is in IDA credit)
  4. Component 3 will support regional and national project facilitation and monitoring and evaluation (M&E).Sub-component 3.1: Regional-level project facilitation and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) (Total:US$10 million in IDA grant).
  5. Through a regional IDA grant of US$10 million, Sub-component 3.1 will fund the Association of African Universities (AAU), which will continue as the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU), to facilitate the ACE Impact I project’s regional activities and support the centers under the project. Activities will include: M&E activities such as development of an online M&E database platform, verification of results, benchmarking of ACE host universities, and graduate tracer studies; site supervision visits of ACEs by independent experts; communications, safeguards support, capacity-building; and knowledge-sharing and networking among ACEs and governments. The RFU will also liaise with ongoing regional and national initiatives in order to strengthen the ACE regional networks, including through digital networking platforms.Sub-component 3.2: National-level project facilitation (Total:US$3.5 million in IDA credit).
  6. Under Sub-component 3.2 activities in Burkina Faso and Ghana will be coordinated by the national agencies responsible for tertiary education. The total allocation, including contingencies, will be US$3.5 million. This sub-component will finance project implementation support at the national level in the countries where the ACE Impact I investments exceed US$25 million. These are the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) for Ghana and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRSI) for Burkina Faso. The MESRSI of Burkina Faso currently hosts the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of its IDA -Funded national higher education project (mentioned earlier in the document). This same MESRSI-PIU will play the national facilitator role for ACEs in Burkina Faso. The objective is to provide national level support to the centers, within their respective countries. Performance of these national level facilitation agencies will be measured by the degree to which the ACE Impact centers in the respective countries achieve the project objectives including compliance with fiduciary, safeguard and anti-corruption guidelines. The activities will include supervision and training related to educational, research, implementation, fiduciary and safeguards aspects; as well as national M&E and minor TA.Procurement
  7. For all Implementing Agencies, procurement under the proposed project will be carried out in accordance with the following World Bank procedures: (a) the World Bank Procurement Regulations (PR) for IPF Borrowers, dated July 2016 and revised in November 2017, and August 2018; and (b) “Guidelines on Preventing and Combating Fraud and Corruption in Projects Financed by IBRD Loans and IDA Credits and Grants”, dated October 15, 2006 and revised in January, 2011 and as of July 1, 2016 and other provisions stipulated in the FAs. STEP will be the platform for preparing, reviewing and clearing Procurement Plans as well as reviewing of prior review procurement activities.
  8. Each component of the project will have its own procurement arrangements. Procurement activities under Component 1 and Sub-component 2.1 will be implemented by the selected education institutions in the Borrower countries, and the Bank funds will be disbursed against a set of DLIs to finance the non-procurable expenditures as defined under the EEPs. Other expenditures, the non-EEPs, including procurement of goods and civil works under the project will be procured together with the institutions’ other operating requirements and needs, following the institutions’ own procurement procedures. These non-EEPs will be financed by the institutions’/governments’ own funds and therefore, the procurement plans for those activities will not be prepared in STEP nor will they be reviewed and cleared by the Bank. If any such procurable expenditures are at any point to be included for Bank-financing, the center and its host institution shall be required to follow the PR as stated in Bank Guidance on IPF with DLI (dated April 25, 2018) Section III 23,24,25 and Annex 2 for the entire budget line of each of such procurable expenditures. The procurement plans for such procurement activities will be prepared, reviewed and cleared in STEP, as well as any prior review procurement. Contributions towards Sub-component 2.2 will be disbursed directly upon project effectiveness to icipe, the RFU for the Bank-financed Africa Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund for Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology project. Component 3 will finance inputs-based expenditures for facilitation, coordination and study activities by AAU, NCTE and MESRSI-PIU, and these institutions will follow the Bank’s Procurement Regulations when implementing the activities under the project.
  9. Consistent with the above procurement arrangements, different procurement assessments were carried out for various institutions by the Bank during project preparation. For each of the coordinating entities (AAU, NCTE and the MESRSI-PIU), a procurement capacity assessment was carried out as required for any implementing agency for an IPF. In addition, the Bank carried out a limited procurement assessment of a select number of the ACE Impact I centers (in Ghana and Burkina Faso). The limited assessment focused on select centers hosted in universities that did not participate in the ACE I project and so are not familiar with the program. The full summary of the completed procurement assessments and suggested measures to address identified inadequacies and risks are provided in Annex 2. A brief highlight of the summary is given below.
  10. AAU, each center, MESRSI-PIU and NCTE will have in place adequate capacity to ensure the timely implementation of procurement activities. AAU will also have the responsibility of procurement activities under the regional level activities (under Component 3) they will support and in accordance with the PR and using STEP for procurement planning and prior reviews. AAU will also engage a well-qualified and experienced procurement consultant proficient in Bank procurement requirements and procedures, to undertake procurement at AAU. The procurement consultant will more importantly act as an advisor to the ACE Impact centers, supporting them in procurement related activities. The limited assessment indicated a lack of staff that are solely dedicated to the centers’ project procurement activities. The universities must delegate a dedicated procurement staff from the Department or hire one to handle procurement activities for the centers.
  11. Since the centers will utilize their own institutions’/national procurement guidelines, there will be limited oversight by the Bank’s procurement team. Given the peculiarities associated with procurement of science equipment and research supplies, centres may propose separate guidelines that are specific for procurement of science goods and allow the centres to be efficient in implementing their projects on schedule. Such additional guidelines must be consistent with the general principles of procurement, should be included in the Procurement Manuals of the centers and should be approved by the World Bank procurement specialist in the country. To ensure compliance by the centers and to monitor their procurement activities, the National Steering Committee will review the procurement audits of the centers within their respective countries at least once a year. Overall, the procurement risk rating for the project is High.

Please see the Project Appraisal Document (PAD) pages 50 -55 for details on procurement arrangements.

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