Terms of Reference: Responsible Business Index for the Off-Grid Solar Industry
GOGLA is Seeking a Consultant to Work on Development of Responsible Business Index for the Off-Grid Solar Industry.
At GOGLA we’re looking for a Consultant to Support to the Development of Responsible Business Index for the Off-Grid Solar Industry.
Consultant Contract · Remote
GOGLA is the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry. We are proud to champion one of the world’s most innovative and impactful sectors.
Millions of people already benefited from affordable, high-quality, clean off-grid solar products and services. With the right support, our pioneering industry will be able to scale up rapidly to improve the lives of 1 billion people by 2030.
To help make this happen, we promote, safeguard, and convene the industry, advocating for enabling policies and increased investment as well as supporting our 200+ members with effective services. To find out more, visit www.gogla.org.
GOGLA holds an array of standards, tools, and guidelines for the off-grid solar (OGS) sector that cover a host of themes including consumer protection, social impact, e-waste management and more.
Whilst there has been reasonable uptake of these standards, they are fragmented (i.e., they exist in isolation, with no common framework to connect them) and followed in an ad hoc manner (i.e., one company may adopt the CP Code but be unaware of the e-waste toolkit).
The large number of seemingly disparate measures makes it harder for GOGLA (and other industry players) to raise awareness and promote uptake of the standards.
Furthermore, companies are often required to report on multiple, overlapping frameworks for their different investors, which can be a reporting burden and steer the management in different directions.
At the same time, the variety of tools and lack of transparency in the sector makes it difficult for investors to navigate the sector and evaluate the performance of companies.
About the Responsible Business Index: Consultant to Work on Development of Responsible Business Index for the Off-Grid Solar Industry
GOGLA is developing the Responsible Business Index (RBI) to boost off-grid solar company performance and increase investment in the industry. The RBI will build on the existing industry standards and guidelines to create a holistic framework for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).
We believe that this can help companies to measure and improve their performance and report their positive impact to investors and other stakeholders, ultimately leading to greater investment and improved energy access in low- and middle- income countries.
The Assignment: Consultant to Work on Development of Responsible Business Index for the Off-Grid Solar Industry
GOGLA is seeking the support of an external consultant to undertake initial development of the RBI including refining the scope, structure/format, and business case.
The assignment will culminate with the presentation of a ‘straw-man’ RBI at the GOGLA Members’ Conference in Kampala in June 2023.
The consultant will work closely with GOGLA’s Performance and Investment team.
Objectives: Consultant to Work on Development of Responsible Business Index for the Off-Grid Solar Industry
The overall objective of the RBI is to provide a holistic framework that guides improved company performance, supports evaluation and monitoring for investors, and helps the industry to attract more investment.
The assignment objectives are:
- Map the current approaches to ESG standards and reporting across companies and investors / funds, and identify existing tools / frameworks which may provide a model or enable alignment with the RBI (e.g., GRI, B-Corp).
- Design and development of a ‘straw-man’ RBI framework/tool that adequately and holistically captures the standards, assessment methods, and key players (e.g. accredited agencies or standards holders) for each component, including (but not limited to) Consumer Protection, E-waste management, Gender Inclusion, Social Impact, PAYGo PERFORM and Climate.
- Do a SWOT analysis (or an alternative analysis to evaluate the concept) to inform a discussion / consultation with GOGLA Members about the RBI.
- Raise awareness of the initiative amongst GOGLA members and lead a consultation to gather feedback on the proposed framework to ensure that it meets company and investor needs/expectations.
Scope of Work and Deliverables: Consultant to Work on Development of Responsible Business Index for the Off-Grid Solar Industry
Inception: Initiated by a kick-off call with the GOGLA team, and sharing of key documents/resources about the RBI.
Deliverable: Inception report detailing the approach and schedule of activities, in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint format. A brief PowerPoint outlining the concept that can be used for the consultation (Activity 1) – note, GOGLA has some materials to build on.
Activity 1: Background research and consultations with companies and investors. The consultant will undertake interviews with at least five investors and five companies to understand how ESG standards are currently integrated into their portfolio/operational management, who is responsible for different ESG elements within the organisations, and gather feedback on the proposed RBI to inform the design of the framework.
The consultant will also review existing frameworks (such as B-Corp and GRI) and identify opportunity for alignment or models that may be adapted to the needs of the OGS industry.
Deliverable: Transcripts (summary) from interviews and a summary presentation (format: MS PowerPoint) of main findings from consultation and review of existing frameworks. Call with GOGLA team to present the possible structure (e.g., a dashboard of indicators or rating) and the format (e.g., an excel tool, website), review and discuss the approach to Activity 2 and 3.
Activity 2: Development of ‘Strawman’ Responsible Business Index. The consultant will use the information gathered in activity 1 to develop the structure of the RBI framework. Considerations should be made for how the RBI will address the differing levels of performance expected from M/SMEs and larger / multinational organisations.
The RBI should incorporate a summary high-level ‘scorecard matrix’ that easily communicates a company’s performance across the included standards, and lower-level tools/KPIs providing depth of information for each area.
Deliverable: ‘Strawman’ RBI framework (in editable format) with summary presentation of the RBI elements and methodology for implementation by companies and investors. Call with GOGLA team to review the strawman and proposed implementation methodology.
Activity 3: Do a SWOT analysis (or an alternative analysis to evaluate the concept) to inform a discussion / consultation with GOGLA Members about the RBI. This should present the ‘business case’ and identify risks/concerns and how they could be managed.
Initial feedback to the idea has been positive, though concerns have been raised about increased bureaucracy and reporting, wider scrutiny of operations, how to calibrate ‘scores’/ ‘ratings’ across the disparate parts effectively (and without creating an unlevel playing-field), and the challenges of harmonising frameworks across a wide range of investors/institutions.
Deliverable: A presentation (/ a few slides) for the consultation document.
Activity 4: Preparation and delivery of presentation to GOGLA Members. In Kampala on 2nd June 2023, in conjunction with GOGLA P&I team, the consultant will present the strawman RBI in a session of max. 60 mins.
The presentation will briefly share the findings from the consultations, and highlight the key features of the proposed RBI framework. Attendees will be given the chance to ask questions and provide feedback on the proposed RBI framework.
Deliverable: Proposed agenda and presentation materials (in MS PowerPoint) will be shared and agreed with the GOGLA team in advance of the Member Conference. Delivery of the presentation will be the final milestone.
Timeline and Budget
The assignment is expected to run for a period of six weeks from end-April 2023 until end-June 2023. Activity dates and sequencing are liable to change depending on the contract start date.
- Inception/Kick-off: (~1 day)
- Activity 1: Commencing early May (~6 days)
- Activity 2 and 3: Commencing mid-May (~8 days)
- Activity 4: Commencing end-May. GOGLA Member Conference is Friday 2nd June (~5 days)
This is a part-time consultancy requiring an estimated ~20 days effort during this period. Air-travel and accommodation for the GOGLA Member Conference in Uganda will be provided, additional reasonable expenses will be reimbursed with invoice/receipts.
Required Qualifications: Consultant to Work on Development of Responsible Business Index for the Off-Grid Solar Industry
The successful Consultant (individual or firm) should meet the following criteria:
- Knowledge and understanding of the off-grid solar industry, companies and its investors.
- Track-record of successfully undertaking similar assignments related to ESG standards and/or modelling of measurement and assessment frameworks.
- Excellent communication and coordination skills with proven delivery of high-quality reports /presentations in English.
- Availability to travel to Kampala, Uganda on ~1st-3rd June 2023 (exact travel dates to be agreed)
Submission of Proposals
Potential consultants should submit a proposal that outlines the proposed approach to the scope of work, CV(s) and references/links to previous similar work, and fee.
The proposal should include a break-down of the Consultant’s daily rate, and any other expected costs/expenses with all taxes/charges included.
The proposal must be submitted in English and valid for a minimum period of 30 days.
Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with a cut-off of 14th April 2023.
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