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Consultancy for Market study for international corporate and institutional donors for Thailand and the Mekong sub-region

I. Introduction

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We work alongside children, young people, our supporters and partners to tackle the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. We support children’s rights from birth until adulthood and enable children and young people to prepare for and respond to crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national, regional and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge. For over 80 years we have been building meaningful partnerships for children, and we are active in over 75 countries.

Globally, Plan International’s 2017-22 strategy is to work with vulnerable children and especially girls so that they can learn, lead, decide and thrive. Within the strategy Plan International has the ambition to transform the lives of 100 million girls. Focus areas of the strategy include:

  • Learn – inclusive, safe quality education and youth economic empowerment
  • Lead – children and youth are active drivers of change advancing their leadership and political empowerment
  • Decide – sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for girls and young women
  • Thrive – early childhood development and gender transformative child protection

For more information, please visit https://plan-international.org/

Since 2018, Plan International Thailand has focused on 3 main areas – Gender Justice and Women’s Empowerment (Learn), Children on the Move (Thrive), and Legal Status and Citizenship (Lead). Plan International Thailand currently works in the provinces of Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Sot and Rayong and Trat as well as in and around the greater Bangkok area.

II. Background

Over the past four decades Thailand has made remarkable progress in social and economic development moving to becoming an upper-income country in less than a decade during the 90’s. Poverty has declined over the last 30 years from 67% in 1986 to 7.8% in 2017. Thailand currently ranks 79 in the 2020 Human Development Index which puts it in the high human development category. The reduced level of poverty in Thailand is reflected by a corresponding decrease in Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the country with average annual net ODA receipts of USD 90m (2010-2017).

Thailand is central to many cross-border challenges, including population migration, and therefore has an important influencing role in the Mekong region covering Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Plan International Thailand currently implements two cross-border projects, and other project initiatives from both institutional donors and a diverse mix of corporate donors, mainly multinationals with subsidiaries in Thailand. Plan International’s track record in recent years shows opportunities with both types of donors but for different purposes. Institutional donors are generally focusing on regional and cross-border issues including migration, trafficking and disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation, civil society strengthening while corporate donors tend to be more focused on corporate social responsibility initiatives aligned with their markets and business locations. Both categories of donors provide opportunities for gender transformative programming in which Plan International specializes.

Plan International Thailand is currently reviewing its operational model to be a fully-costed programme based on grant funding and longer term corporate or institutional partnerships in order to continue programming with existing and new target beneficiary groups, children, youth and especially girls and young women throughout Thailand and the sub-region of the Mekong basin. Plan International Thailand is exploring its future programming in Thailand as a locally-registered foundation and to partner with Plan International’s regional office for implementing cross-border projects.

III. Objective of the Study

To conduct a donor market study for Plan International Thailand that provides analysis on:

a) The donor market and CSR and corporate engagement trends/opportunities with multinational corporates with a presence in Thailand;

b) The donor market and trends/opportunities with multilateral and bilateral institutional donors focusing on Thailand and cross border projects in the Mekong basin subregion.

IV. Scope of Work

Overview:

This study will seek to provide a detailed analysis of the potential market for Plan International’s proposed operational model and programmatic products both in Thailand through a foundation and for cross-border sub-regional projects through the Mekong Hub. The consultancy will explore opportunities in different market segments for funding in Thailand and for sourcing funding for broader, sub-regional and cross-border projects. Funding opportunities and risks within Thailand, international corporations and institutional donors will be assessed as well as general donor market conditions projected outward to five years and in light of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, funding opportunities covering cross-border projects, bi-lateral, multi-lateral and institutional donors with programmes established in the region will be assessed as well as current and trending donor market conditions, opportunities and risks.

Specifically, the study will seek to explore, analyze and make recommendations in the following questions / areas. The Consultant will present the donor community landscape in Thailand (and for Mekong sub-region), understanding futuristic trends (business markets, government policies and regulations), donor priorities (nature and scope of partnerships, size and scale) for Plan International. Consultants may build on or dive deeper into these topics as relevant.

  1. What are the conditions and trends of Thailand’s donor market in the humanitarian / social sector?

a. What are the trends, opportunities and risks inherent in the donor market for fundraising in the humanitarian and social services sector in Thailand?

b. What are the general nature and behaviors related to the donor market in Thailand vis a vis international corporate partnerships and CSR initiatives, bi-lateral and

multi-lateral institutions, and international foundations.

c. What is the appetite and willingness of different type of donors to fund gender transformative programming covering areas on gender equality, girls’ rights, women’s rights and child rights Plan International implements in Thailand?

d. What is the general type of support and funding by donors in this market for humanitarian and social impact initiatives? Which areas in the humanitarian / social sector do different type of donors support?

e. What are donor market perceptions of local foundations in Plan’s sector?

f. To what degree would having tax deductible status of the foundation impact on potential donor support?

g. Understand where significant partnership opportunities lie in the short-term and long-term and where Plan International best fits in. Further, this study will examine and recommend opportunities for generating the most impact.

  1. What are the conditions and trends of donor markets in Thailand for supporting cross-border initiatives in the sub-region of the Mekong Basin (Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam)?

a. Who are the main actors / funders that provide opportunities to work with civil society in sectors Plan International engages?

b. What are the main areas of current and future focus for potential donors working in the Mekong basin sub-region?

c. What are the opportunities for donor support from identified actors involving cross-border issues, such as human trafficking, migrant worker rights, seeking citizenship for stateless families residing in border areas, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation and mitigation?

  1. What is the level of Plan International’s brand recognition in Thailand and Mekong donor market among international corporations, bi-lateral and multi-lateral institutions, multinational companies focusing on Plan’s thematic areas operating in Thailand and Mekong sub-region?

a. To what extent is Plan International known by donor market actors within Thailand as compared to other INGOs, UN agencies and others working the humanitarian / social sector?

b. What are donor market actors’ (Thailand and sub-region) perceptions of Plan International’s work?

c. Specifically, what are targeted donors’ perception of Plan International (recall of Plan’s brand, donor preference to work with Plan compared to peer organisations as well as the understanding of value that Plan International can bring to the sector)

  1. What are specific recommendations that Plan International needs to consider for entering the local donor market in Thailand and for pursuing cross-border projects in the Mekong basin sub-region?

V. Suggested Methodology

The tasks set out below are suggested approaches to the study. Consultants are free to add or modify to the methodology with any tools or areas for further exploration as relevant to achieve the best results for the study.

Task / Specifications (suggested)

Task 1 – Desk study Plan International related:

· Plan Global Strategy as well as its regional strategy and reach

· Summary of programming by Plan International Thailand

· PPT overview of Plan International Thailand and APAC hub programmes that can be used for presenting to respondents for KIIs and surveys

· Citi GPS / Plan study to provide background points for highlighting Plan International’s overall emphasis on women and girls empowerment through education and economic independence

Thailand donor market related:

· Mapping and overview of foundations and social enterprises in Thailand with similar objectives to Plan International, their strengths, areas of focus, funding sources (international corporate, bi-lateral, multi-lateral)

· Identifying and mapping CSR and social investment from international corporations that have presence in Thailand (sampled)

· Understand perspective of international corporate partners and willingness / interest to partner with a foundation in Thailand

o Expectations of corporate donor (expectations, marketing aspects, staff involvement, social investment willingness)

o Importance of having tax-deductions as a prerequisite of their support

Thailand and Mekong basin sub-region donor market related:

· Analyse sector trends and specific donor priorities through analysis of economic indicators and programming involving variety of international bodies such as ADB, WB, EU, UN agencies, international foundations (i.e. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, etc.) and other bi-lateral and multi-lateral funding mechanisms and their development priorities in Thailand and the Mekong sub-region.

· Understand perspective of these potential donors / partners on willingness to work across borders on cutting edge issues related to advancing the rights of children, youth, especially girls and young women.

· Conduct SWOC analysis to understand Plan’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and potential risks for determining mitigation strategies.

Task 2 – Key informant interviews (KIIs)

· KIIs with:

o Plan International key staff including Sub-regional Director, Business Development Managers in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, Country Director and Programme Director, Programme Unit Manager, Plan International National Office Programme Directors involved with corporate grants in Thailand, namely USNO, NNO, NLNO, HKNO, UKNO

o Other INGOs in Thailand which have branches or local foundations in operation now.

o Representatives of companies / multi-national corporations with which Plan International has existing (or potentially future) partnerships in Thailand (or Mekong region where applicable).

· KIIs to validate:

o Social investment and CSR among international corporate partners in Thailand with representative samples from top five corporate partners as determined from task 1.

o Bi-lateral and multi-lateral funding potential for sub-regional, cross-border funding that support Plan International’s objectives by on Global Strategy

Task 3 – segment surveys

Donor trends, perceptions, expectations

· Understand perspective and expectations of international corporate partners and willingness / interest to partner with a foundation, particularly with Plan International, in Thailand

VI.Key Deliverables

Deliverable / Specifications

Proposal submission

Including:

· Executive summary (2 pages max)

· Narrative description including team composition, Gantt chart (8 pages max)

· Budget (2 pages max)

· Annexes (team member profiles / CVs, relevant experience, client references

Detailed workplan

Methodology used, proposed timeframe for deliverables

Inception meeting with Plan International

Review deliverable timeframes, clarify expectations, review research tools and approach, survey questionnaires and sampling

Questionnaires and survey questions

KII and survey questions

Presentation of findings

Presentation of key findings to Plan International in English

Draft Report

Narrative report in English with illustrations and graphics approximately 20-25 pages in length following outline below:

· Executive Summary

· Background / overview

· Methodology

· Discussion / Analysis

· Conclusion and recommendations

· Appendices

Final Report and appendices

· Final report in English submission incorporating Plan International’s comments (2 hardcopies and electronic versions)

VII.Indicative timeframe

Due Date / Deliverable

17 March 2021 : Plan International issues call for proposals

2 April 2021: Proposals due by 12:00pm

7 April 2021 : Short-listed bidders present proposals to Plan International

8 April 2021 : Final proposal chosen by Plan International

9 April 2021 : Contract signed

16 April 2021 :Detailed workplan submission and inception meeting with Plan International

19 April – 5 June 2021 :Research period (including periodic update meetings with Plan team)

12 June 2021 :First draft report and key finding presentation

26 June 2021 :Final report submission

VIII. Applications procedure

Skills, qualifications and experience of consultant

Given the nature of the service, it is desirable that the consultancy be carried out by a multidisciplinary team made up of (i) Demographer / Statistician, (ii) Economist (iii) Expert in International Development, Resource mobilization. Research institutions are also encouraged to bid.

· Be at university level, in particular a Master’s degree in Demography, statistics, economics desirable;

· Have a minimum of 10 years of experience in research in South East Asia;

· Have thorough knowledge of national, bilateral, multilateral, corporate and other donors and partners for humanitarian and development programmes with INGOs and demonstrate experience in these areas of at least 5 years;

· Having worked with United Nations agencies, regional and sub-regional institutions, INGOs and donors on this topic is an asset;

· An understanding of youth and gender programming in the development and humanitarian context in South East Asia;

· Proven experience in similar assignment;

· Fluency in English and Thai languages is essential.

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