Investing in Infrastructure (3i)
Project number:              113
Project name:                 3i: Investing in Infrastructure interim case study and learning briefs
Issued on:                       28 February 2018
Response closing date:  13 March 2018
Response closing time:  4.00pm
1. Background

This document is a Request for Proposals (RFP) detailing information sought from potential consulting firms that are able to develop an interim case study and three sector learning briefs of 3i. The consulting services will support the overall activities of the Investing in Infrastructure (3i) program.  Information provided by suppliers under this RFP will enable 3i to select a supplier capable of meeting its program requirements.

2. Program summary

3i is a five-year private sector infrastructure investment program in Cambodia funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Despite sustained macroeconomic growth and reductions in poverty over the last 10 years, Cambodia has not been able to extend access to basic services outside major cities. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) recognizes the need to attract private investment and private operators to the drinking water and electricity sectors to expand access to less-served rural areas. A licensing system allows private operators to operate and expand piped water and electricity distribution systems, but financing infrastructure remains a major constraint for these small-scale operators. 3i will contribute towards closing the financing gap through three distinct operational modalities:

  • Co-funding infrastructure in direct partnership with proven small-scale water and electricity businesses
  • Co-investing with private equity/social impact funds in larger water and electricity businesses
  • Targeted interventions in the infrastructure financing market
3. Overview and requirements
3.1. Background

Access to water and electricity improves people’s health and wealth. Thus, the rationale for DFAT to invest in basic service enterprises that have already proven to be financially sustainable is strong and will contribute to closing the water and electricity access gaps that persist in Cambodia despite economic growth. While the bulk of the program’s resources and efforts are expected to be directed towards the co-funded modality, 3i also seeks to direct the growing private equity/social impact funds market towards basic services infrastructure, potentially leveraging greater resources and closing the access gap even further. Recognising that capital is not the only constraint private operators face in expanding services, the third modality will analyse other constraints in the infrastructure financing market and identify potential interventions to overcome them.

Cambodia has earlier targets for access to energy (2020) and water (2022) than the global Sustainable Development Goals of universal access to both by 2030. It is well recognised that business-as-usual approaches in both sectors will not be sufficient to reach the global goals. Documenting and disseminating 3i’s progress to date will provide donors and implementers across several sectors insights into how the program is addressing the access challenge in an innovative way.

3.2. Desired outcomes

3i is distinctive in that it blends private sector development, improved access to basic services and social impact investing. In order to understand 3i’s experience and capture learning that is accessible and relevant to these different ‘communities’, the following overall approach is proposed.

3.2.1 Audience definition: An initial review of 3i documents suggests that there are multiple donor and practitioner audiences across several sectors: basic services (water, electricity, waste management); private sector development; and social impact/private equity funds. A first task will be to confirm or modify definition of these audiences so that the sector situational analyses can be conducted.

3.2.2 Sector situational analyses: For each of the specific audiences, a short (1-2 page) situational analysis will be produced. These documents will identify the current trends, opportunities, challenges, and information gaps and be used to inform and structure the learning briefs.

3.2.3 Interim ‘resource’ case study: As the program is innovative and crosses several sectors, a field visit will be necessary to understand the program in depth and develop the case storyline, key messages, and information gaps. An interim document will capture 3i’s process and experience to date. It is intended to be a detailed resource document, from which sector-specific learning briefs can be derived. However this interim document might also serve as a general communications resource for 3i as well.

3.2.4 Learning briefs: Short (3-5 pages) learning briefs will be produced for each sector audience. The structure and messages will be informed by the information gleaned from the situational analyses. Additionally, sector experts will peer review the draft briefs to provide sector-specific feedback and guidance on appropriate messaging.

3.2.5 Future documentation needs: As the program is only at its mid-point, it is envisaged that a further case study process will be undertaken in 12-18 months’ time. At the end of this interim process, therefore, a document will be prepared for the program team outlining possible areas of additional focus, information needs, etc, that are necessary to prepare a final case study towards the end of the program period.

3.3. Key tasks and activities

Key activities to be completed during the preparatory, fieldwork, and finalisation phases include the following.

Preparatory work:

  • Review existing literature on 3i (design documents, market analyses, sector strategies, baseline data, annual and quarterly reports, Scalability Review)
  • Review relevant Cambodian sector-specific (water and electricity) reports, statistics, etc.
  • Define sector-specific audiences
  • Conduct situational analyses of the defined sectors and refine audiences, where necessary
  • Organise and plan fieldwork


  • Meetings with key 3i staff
  • Review of MRM system
  • Semi-structured interviews with key partners
  • Field visits to identified water and electricity businesses being supported by the program
  • Develop case structure and key messages jointly with 3i

Analysis and write-up:

  • Identify any data gaps and liaise with 3i staff to fill them
  • Draft interim resource case study
  • Draft sector-specific learning briefs
  • Peer review of learning briefs
  • Incorporation of 3i’s comments
  • Finalise interim resource case study and learning briefs
3.4. Deliverable outputs
  1. Situational analyses
  2. Draft interim resource case study
  3. Final resource case study
  4. Draft sector learning briefs
  5. Final sector learning briefs
3.5. Financial proposal

Potential suppliers are requested to present an overall proposal for activities. The fee proposal should be presented as a fixed price proposal for all work, to include any necessary costs for the supplier to carry out the work in the specified location.

In addition to the fixed cost price proposal, some reimbursable travel and incidental expenses (visa, medical, transfers, airport taxes) will be included in the contract in accordance with 3i established policies and at prevailing DFAT rates. Details will be provided to the successful supplier during contracting.

All travel and accommodation bookings should be made in consultation with 3i and must comply with 3i policies and procedures.

All relevant assumptions should be detailed in writing in the Financial Proposal.

3.6. Payment terms:

3i will pay suppliers on receipt of a correctly rendered invoice.

3.7. Contract duration:


3.8. Supplier and team profile

We expect that the supplier selected to undertake this project will have as a minimum all of the following capabilities:

  1. The potential firms must have a minimum of ten (10) years of experience-analysing small business strategy
  2. Significant communications consulting experience in Asia-Pacific with experience from major donors in Cambodia such as DFAT, US Government/USAID (and related contractors), World Bank, ADB, EU, UNDP, or equivalent.
  3. Demonstrated skills and knowledge in working with small teams of executives at all levels on analysing their existing business story content including the development of high-level PowerPoint presentations requiring a professional storytelling focus.
  4. Strong communication skills in verbal and written English.
  5. Strong interpersonal skills and proven record of international quality engagement, with ability to work in confidential and information sensitive situations.
  6. The organisation and its facilitator should come from both a consulting and professional content development background.  Story strategy emphasis strongly preferred.
  7. Extensive private sector multinational experience – particularly with finance related assignments such as investment banking, asset management and private equity funded projects.
  8. The ability to create bespoke workshop formats based on unique 3i problem-sets. Vendor should have examples of proprietary training content with extensive testing in workshop formats.
  9. Experience in digital content creation is strongly preferred.
  10. Thorough knowledge of Cambodia including experience working with/consulting to local executives at all levels.
3.9. Timeframes

The services are expected to be performed between Apr – May 2018:

4. Proposals

4.1. Interested suppliers must use the 3i Response Form when submitting proposals.

5. Evaluation

5.1. 3i will use an objective and reliable process to evaluate your proposal. Responses to this RFP will be evaluated based on:

  1. Compliance with this Request for Proposals (RFP).
  2. Understanding of and ability to meet the requirements and deadlines as specified.
  3. Overall value for money including:
    • Supplier expertise and experience with delivery of projects similar in nature to this RFP.
    • Expertise of particular individual(s) and overall team nominated to perform the services (refer criteria in Section 3.8).
    • Past performance relevant to this RFP (as determined by referee checks).
    • Approach – how you propose to provide the services specified in this RFP including timing.
  4. The fee to be charged for providing the Services.

5.2. Note that price will not be the sole criteria used to evaluate proposals.

5.3. 3i reserves the right to contract more than one supplier for these services, and may actively seek to contract more than one supplier to ensure supply of technical services.

5.4. 3i reserves the right to vary the contract term, and to exercise the option period at its sole discretion.

6. Further information

6.1. Bidders are required to comply with all terms and conditions set out in this RFP.

6.2. No unsuccessful bidders will be entitled to any redress against Palladium in the event that Palladium enters into an agreement with any other Supplier or person.

7. Terms and conditions

7.1. Potential suppliers should ensure that they understand and can comply with the terms outlined below.

7.2. All responses must be received by 4.00pm on 13 March 2018 by email to with “3i Case Study – RFP” in the subject line.

Any proposals received after this time and date will not be considered.

7.3. The supplier is to complete the Response Form (provided separately).

7.4. The Response Form shall be submitted in English.

7.5. All services will be subject to the terms and conditions outlined in a purchase order or contract to be negotiated between the successful supplier and 3i.

7.6. The successful Bidder will be required to adhere to and sign a Palladium Business Partner Code of Conduct, a copy of which will be made available in the contracting stage.

7.7. Payments tied to project milestones or progress payments will be made in accordance with the purchase order or contract.

7.8. Unsuccessful bidders will be advised by email and letter as soon as 3i has made the final decision; no further correspondence will be entered into.

7.9. All services must be supplied within the timeframes specified in the purchase order or contract agreement. If for any reason the supplier cannot supply the services in this time frame, 3i will have the option of declaring the contract void and selecting another supplier to meet its needs.

7.10. Palladium is committed to child protection and safeguarding the welfare of children in the delivery of our international development programs. Due diligence procedures reflect this commitment and will include relevant criminal record and other background checks.

7.11. Further information about this RFP can be obtained as follows:

Stephanie Lymn, Operations Manager 3i, Palladium