Call for experts

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17 October 2023
Vacancy - consultant

Call for experts

WFD is seeking to expand its Expert Roster with specialist experts. They will support WFD’s capacity and capability to analyse and engage with policy-makers and implementing partners on the opportunities, challenges, and risks for democratic governance and elections presented by emerging digital technologies.

Summary

WFD regularly collaborates with a range of technical experts, thematic specialists, and experienced facilitators to enhance the delivery of its regional and country democracy support programmes and the services provided by the new His Majesty's Government (HMG) Centre of Expertise on Democratic Governance & Elections it hosts.  

WFD maintains an Expert Roster of verified and cleared experts, specialists, and facilitators which our staff in the UK and across the WFD network are able to commission for assignments from time to time.  

WFD wishes to expand its Expert Roster with specialist experts who can support WFD’s capacity and capability to analyse and engage with policy-makers and implementing partners on the opportunities, challenges, and risks for democratic governance and elections presented by emerging digital technologies.

The selected expert(s) will be added to WFD’s Expert Roster, known as the Expert Finder, and may be asked to sign a framework agreement to provide services from time to time on a consultancy basis.

Overview

Westminster Foundation for Democracy (“WFD”) is the UK public body dedicated to supporting democracy around the world. Operating internationally, WFD works with parliaments, political parties, and civil society groups as well as on elections to help make political systems fairer, more inclusive and more accountable.

We are a problem-solving, practitioner-led organisation that offers:

  • High quality and impactful regional and country programmes that directly support the full spectrum of institutions in political systems to develop inclusive political processes, more accountable political systems, protection of rights and freedoms, and more pluralistic societies;
  • Specialist analysis, research, and advice to inform UK policy makers on a range of democratic governance issues through our Centre of Expertise; and 

International elections observation on behalf of the UK.    

Aim of this invitation to tender

WFD is issuing this Call for Experts (“Call”) to a range of potential experts and we would welcome applications to register with the WFD Expert Roster. This Call constitutes an Invitation to Tender.

WFD is looking to establish a framework and panel consisting of one or more expert(s) who can provide specialist knowledge and expertise relating to each of the following lots/sub-themes:

Sub-theme 1 – Democratic action on the regulation and ethics of emerging technologies, notably artificial intelligence  

Sub-theme 2 – Accountable political systems, including key parliamentary functions such as research, debating, and making/passing legislation, and the opportunities and challenges for emerging technologies, including artifical intelligence

Sub-theme 3 – Inclusive and participatory democratic processes and the opportunities and challenges for emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence

Sub-theme 4 – Emerging technology, political discourse, and mis/dis-information

Application submission 

All registration applications with a current CV should be submitted by 11.59pm on 12 November 2023 in writing, must comply with the requirements of this Call, and must include the information requested in the Registration Requirements below.  

The application form should be completed and submitted electronically via this web link: WFD: Expert Registration and Due Diligence Form.  

CVs should be submitted via this web link: Job opening.

The designated email address (experts@wfd.org) should be used for any questions related to this Call.  

WFD’s standard terms and conditions for tendering and key policies are found at WFD, General Terms and Conditions for Tendering | Westminster Foundation for Democracy and you can find a copy of WFD’s Code of Conduct at Code of Conduct | Westminster Foundation for Democracy (wfd.org)

Terms of Reference

Objective

WFD values “Excellence” across all its work. As such, WFD wishes to add specialist experts to its Expert Roster who can provide research, policy support, and technical advice from time to time to support WFDs capacity and capability to engage with issues relating to emerging technologies and democratic governance.

Registered experts may be commissioned to provide services from time to time to support WFD’s regional and country democracy support programming, the delivery of services by the WFD-hosted HMG Centre of Expertise on Democratic Governance and Elections, or as part of its international or Parliamentary engagement activities.  

Experts, specialists, and facilitators on the roster may be selected and contracted directly or following a mini or full, open and competitive process.  In each case a Terms of Reference for the relevant assignment will usually be proposed for agreement with the expert and would set out:  

  • the background and objectives for the assignment;  
  • the scope of work;  
  • deliverables; 
  • timeline; 
  • reporting;  
  • working arrangements; and 
  • payments.

Scope of work

WFD is interested in experts who are conversant with the opportunities, challenges, and risks associated with emerging technologies in the context of democratic governance across the various sub-themes referred to above.

In particular, WFD would like to engage with experts who can advise on artificial intelligence, including recognition-focused AI tools, such as text recognition, sound recognition, face recognition, translation services, etc.; generative AI, such as text generation, sound generation, image and video generation, etc.; and AI enabled recommendations, forecasts, situational awareness, and automated decision making.

Deliverables

Across each of the sub-themes/focus areas listed above, WFD is looking for experts who can offer the following types of expert services on a paid assignment-by-assignment basis:

  • Carry out or peer review research;
  • Write thematic policy papers or evidence submissions;
  • Provide technical advice to stakeholders as part of programme activities;
  • Facilitate workshops or training for WFD staff or stakeholders; and/or
  • Represent WFD at or otherwise participate in policy or programme related round tables, conferences, workshops, and events.

In addition, we would expect to make available opportunities for experts to participate in ad hoc discussions on relevant issues with WFD staff and more structured opportunities to contribute their expertise and experience to knowledge development and learning. For example, the experts may be offered the opportunity to participate in internal WFD or FCDO working groups, strategy or policy/programme workshops, and/or learning events.

Timeline

Any framework agreement offered by WFD is expected to become effective on 1 January 2024 and will expire on 31 December 2025. Assignments may be commissioned under order contracts agreed with the expert(s) from time to time during the term of the framework.

Working arrangements

The services are expected to be delivered remotely.

Payments

The selected expert(s) will be expected, as part of the proposal, to confirm a daily rate for the provision of the services throughout the term of any framework. The fee for each assignment will be agreed as part of the relevant order contract. 

Minimum experience and expertise

We are looking to identify and register additional experts, specialists, and facilitators who can demonstrate the qualifications, work experience, technical competence, and familiarity with key geographic contexts that would enable them to be regarded by our donors and key stakeholders as a recognised and leading professional in their field.

Registration process 

Timescale 

Below is the proposed timescale for this Call. Please note the dates are indicative and subject to change.   

Description Date
Issue call  18 October 2023
Closing date for receipt of completed registration applications  12 November 2023 
Application review (longlisting, shortlisting, and selection)  20 November 2023 
WFD confirms outcome of registration application process  11 December 2023
Available for assignments 1 January 2024

Registration requirements 

In general, the registration application form includes information about the following:  

  1. Professional profile and consultancy experience 
  2. Applicable day rate   
  3. Thematic / technical and institutional experience  
  4. Language skills  
  5. Project / programme design and delivery experience 
  6. Geographic experience 
  7. Donor experience 
  8. Security training 
  9. References  
  10. Due diligence information and declarations 

Applicants will also be required to upload a copy of their resume or C.V. 

Applicants should also note the following:   

  • all application forms should be completed and submitted in English;   
  • the application form should be submitted in electronic form via the web link provided and a copy of your C.V. should also be uploaded via the separate link indicated in the registration form and/or WFD’s acknowledgement email; 
  • this Call and the registration application form in response may be incorporated in whole or in part into the final framework agreement (if any);  
  • applications will be evaluated by WFD staff and only successful applicants will be added to the Expert Roster; 
  • based on organisational requirements, in some circumstances a successful applicant may also be offered a framework agreement;  
  • only information provided in response to questions set out in the application form and the C.V. will be taken into consideration for the purposes of evaluating the application unless WFD, at its sole discretion, decides to invite you to an interview;  
  • application forms which are poorly written, such that evaluation and comparison with other application forms is notably difficult, may exclude the expert from further consideration; and  
  • any proposals which do not fully comply with the requirements of this Call may be disregarded at the absolute discretion of WFD.   

Evaluation criteria 

WFD does not provide a mathematical formula by which registration applications will be evaluated, but WFD staff will usually consider the following criteria, among others in the evaluation of all applications:  

  • Professional profile, credibility and track record, and references 
  • Demonstrable expertise and experience in thematic/technical fields and/or locations of strategic interest to WFD 
  • Value for money and pricing factors linked to the proposed daily rate 

WFD will score each criterion using the following table:

0

The proposal submitted omits and fundamentally fails to meet WFD’s scope and specifications. Insufficient evidence to support the proposal to allow WFD to evaluate. Not Answered.

1

The information submitted has a severe lack of evidence to demonstrate that WFD’s scope and specifications can be met. Significant omissions, serious and/or many concerns. Poor.

2

The information submitted has some minor omissions in respect of WFD's scope and specifications. The tender satisfies the basic requirements in some respects but is unsatisfactory in other respects and raises some concerns. Satisfactory.

3

The information submitted provides some good evidence to meet the WFD’s scope and specifications and is satisfactory in most respects and there are few concerns. Good.

4

The information submitted provides good evidence that all of WFD's scope and specification can be met. Full and robust response, any concerns are addressed so that the proposal gives confidence. Very Good.

5

The information submitted provides strong evidence that all of WFD's scope and specification can be met and the proposal exceeds expectation i.e., exemplary in the industry. Provides full confidence and no concerns. Outstanding.

Queries about this call

Any questions related to this Call should be addressed to experts@wfd.org.

Equal Information

Should any potential expert raise a question that is of general interest, WFD reserves the right to circulate both question and answer to other respondents, either via WFD’s website or by email. In this event, anonymity will be maintained.

Annual reports

If you operate a personal services company, please provide a link, or copy of your company’s latest audited annual accounts with the proposal.

Other information

If the potential expert believes that there is additional information that has not been requested in the Call but is relevant to your proposal, please include that information as a separate attachment and explain its relevance to this Call.