Call for tender for consultancy - Writing a scoping paper on risks and opportunities in ESG in Sovereign Bonds

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Eurodad is looking for a consultant to write a scoping paper on risks and opportunities in ESG in Sovereign Bonds and participate in capacity building discussion with civil society based on the paper.

Deadline: Thursday, 10 November, 23h59 CET

Eurodad is a network of 60 NGOs across Europe, working on development finance advocacy. Our focus is on strengthening the power of European CSOs, working as part of a global movement to push governments and powerful institutions to adopt transformative changes to the global economic and financial system. More information can be found on our website.

Eurodad’s Debt Justice and Development Finance team are seeking an expert on ESG finance to write a scoping paper on ESG in Sovereign Bonds which unpacks the risks and opportunities. The Consultant will also be required to participate in a capacity building discussion with civil society based on a discussion of the paper. 

Background

In the past few years Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) has emerged as a defining standard for sustainable finance. Multilateral institutions, including International Financial Institutions (IFIs), business leaders, institutional investors and sovereign governments have embraced the idea that investment should be designed to benefit all stakeholders including employees, customers, communities and shareholders, borrowers and lenders.  

ESG finance is vast and includes a wide array of instruments.  In recent years different types of bonds have been promoted, for instance, green bonds, blue bonds, climate bonds, sustainability bonds, sustainability-linked bonds and social bonds, gender bonds, conservation or rhino bonds, child bonds and others. In addition, ESG has been integrated into loan contracts. The inclusion of ESG standards in sovereign bonds has also been on the rise, with one academic research finding that this was the case for 12 per cent of global bank lending in 2021. 

However, understanding of ESG is not harmonised across issuers. On the whole a global increase in ESG finance, is not accompanied by a concrete definition or conceptualisation and there is no consensus on what criteria constitutes its broader taxonomy. The implications of an expansive investment boom using ESG in the absence of clear definitions therefore requires careful analysis. Academic research at the initial stages has identified several problems with ESG finance, which can be summarised in three points. First, most sovereign green bond issuance is being made without any guarantee that the resources will in fact be used towards the financing of green investments. Second, there are major loopholes in the sovereign green bonds issued by global south countries, raising concerns about enforceability. Third, green finance does not seem to be leading to a reduction of interest rates, which goes against  the rationale for using such bonds to reduce financing costs. It is also not clear how ESG finance avoids risks to the public sector and the violation of indigenous communities’ land rights

Civil society organisations have also paid limited attention to this issue so far. Given the lack of analysis on ESG in sovereign bonds, Eurodad is commissioning this paper, which aims to provide an overview of the issue of ESG finance with regards to sovereign bonds, and outline the challenges and risks for developing countries. The paper should also include some specific reflections on the challenges and risks faced by the Caribbean region in its issuance of ESG. 

Objectives of the contract

Primary: produce a scoping paper on risks and opportunities in ESG in Sovereign Bonds and participate in a capacity building discussion with civil society based on the paper.

The main objective of the paper is to serve the interrelated goals of: 

a) enabling the Eurodad secretariat, its members and partners to better understand the dynamics and implications of an ESG finance boom;
b) helping to define Eurodad’s future work on development finance, climate finance and debt justice;
c) enabling capacity building on ESG finance within Eurodad Secretariat, its members and partners.

Outputs for this contract

  • Scoping paper: The paper should be 10-15 pages in length, including a literature review, discussion of key issues on ESG including on climate and impact on developing countries. 
  • Participate in a capacity building discussion based on the paper. The capacity discussion will be for Eurodad Secretariat and its members. The discussion could be online.

Contract timeline

The contract would cover 21st November 2022- March 2023, with the following provisional schedule and deliverables:

  • First draft produced by the consultant- 23 December 2022.
  • Second draft -20 January 2023 (after comments).
  • Final draft handed in by the consultant- 3 February 2023.
  • Capacity building / discussion session with civil society representatives - second half of February / early March 2023.

Method of work

The scoping paper is produced for internal use by the Eurodad secretariat. The secretariat reserves the possibility to make it public or to share it with third parties. 

The consultancy includes: 

- an initial discussion with Eurodad’s Debt and Development Finance Teams, 
- develop a research outline based on documentation review.

Technical specifications

Eurodad secretariat will provide the consultant with the organisation’s language style guide and will be available via email if further clarifications are needed.

Practical arrangements

The initial discussion and further contact with Eurodad teams will take place online, either via email, Zoom or Skype. Therefore, the consultant can work remotely for the whole duration of the project, as a presence in Brussels is not required at any time.

Selection criteria

Eurodad selects suppliers/consultants to be awarded for a contract based on best value for money. For this tender, the following criteria will be considered: 

  1. Cost;
  2. Past experience with report writing; 
  3. A minimum of 3 years of relevant experience; 
  4. A demonstrated understanding of ESG issues;
  5. Excellent proficiency in English is required;
  6. Experience with civil society organisations and the CSOs community;
  7. Commitment to Eurodad’s values: a demonstrated commitment to promotion of social and economic justice.

Exclusion criteria1 

If any of the following are true for the bidder at the time of submitting their tender, or at any time during the procurement process, they will be excluded from consideration. The bidder may also be blacklisted for participation in future Eurodad procurements. By submitting a tender, the bidder declares that they are not in one of the following situations:

a) They are bankrupt, subject to insolvency, or being wound up, are having their assets administered by a liquidator or by a court, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, or are in any such situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national (or EU) legislation or regulations; 

b) They have not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or the payment of taxes in accordance with applicable laws; 

c) It has been established by a court’s final judgement, or by a final administrative decision, that the bidder is guilty of grave professional misconduct by having violated applicable laws or regulations or ethical standards of the profession to which the bidder belongs, or by having engaged in any wrongful conduct which has an impact on its professional credibility where such conduct denotes a wrongful intent or gross negligence. This includes:

i. misrepresenting the information required as part of this procurement procedure
ii. entering into agreement with other persons with the aim of distorting competition
iii. violating intellectual property rights
iv. attempting to influence the decision-making process during this procurement procedure;
v. attempting to get confidential information that might give an unfair advantage in the procurement procedure.

d) It has been established by a court’s final judgement that the bidder is guilty of any of the following:

i. fraud
ii. corruption
iii. relations with a criminal organisation
iv. money laundering or terrorist financing
v. terrorist offences or offences linked to terrorist activities, or inciting, aiding, abetting or attempting to commit such offences
vi. child labour or other offences related to trafficking of human beings

e) In the past, the bidder has shown significant failures in complying with the main obligations of a procurement contract with the client or financed by the European Union, which led to early termination or other contractual penalties, or which was discovered during checks or audits.

f) It has been established by a court’s final judgement or by a final administrative decision that the bidder has committed an irregularity.2

g) It has been established by a court’s final judgement or by a final administrative decision that the bidder has created an entity under a different jurisdiction with the intent to circumvent fiscal, social or any other legal obligations in the jurisdiction of its registered office, central administration or principal place of business.

h) It has been established by a court’s final judgement or final administrative decision that the bidder has been created with the intent described in point (g)

If Eurodad has any reason to be concerned that the bidder may be in one of these situations, we may request appropriate evidence. Additionally, if the bidder is selected for a contract, Eurodad will confirm that the contractor is not included in the list of EU restrictive measures (sanctions list)3.

How will Eurodad decide who wins the contract?

Eurodad has a Tender Committee made up of at least four members who will open and evaluate all tenders received. We will first check that all tenders are complete and submitted on time. Incomplete or late tenders will be rejected. We will then evaluate the tenders against the Selection Criteria listed above and select the supplier which offers the lowest price and best matches all the other criteria. Any supplier who matches one of the Exclusion Criteria will be rejected.

Anti-fraud policy

Eurodad has a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and fraud in all its forms. Eurodad aims to prevent fraudulent activities and to respond to any allegations or potential fraud swiftly and effectively. If the bidder or any member of staff is aware of any corrupt or fraudulent activities in relation to this procurement process, they are requested to report it to Eurodad’s Director  ([email protected]) immediately. 

Privacy policy

If you decide to submit a tender to this call, please note that Eurodad will keep your information and offer for at least 10 years, as it is legally required, as supporting documentation for our donors even if you are not selected for the contract. For more information about our privacy practices please visit Eurodad’s website.

Payment

Bidders should be aware that if they are selected for this contract, payment will be made on the following terms: 50% after the first draft and 50% upon approval of the final scoping paper. Please note that the contract will include 12 to 15 working days with a final deadline of February 3rd and penalties may be applied for late delivery. 

Specific requirements for tenders

Prices should be given in Euro, exclusive of VAT

Instructions for submitting tenders

Deadline: Tenders must be submitted no later than Thursday 10th November midnight.Tenders submitted after this time will not be considered.

Where and how to submit tenders: Tenders should be submitted via email to [email protected] with the subject “Tender” and the tender reference: 2022-09

The submitted tender package must include:

  • The complete offer with total prices and relevant details, including daily rates and expected working days.
  • CVs or equivalent of the consultant responsible for this contract.
  • At least one previous publication of the proposed consultant.
  • The signed declaration on honour at the end of this document confirming that the bidder does not match any of the exclusion criteria.
  • Companies must provide a copy of their company’s registration document, as proof of their nationality in compliance with the European Union’s Rules of Nationality. (Freelance consultants are exempt from this requirement). 

Language of tenders: The tenders must be in English. Supporting documents can be provided by the bidder in other languages.

Tenders which are incomplete or not submitted as described above will be excluded.

Contact Person

If you have questions about the terms of reference or invitation to tender requirements, please send these in writing to : [email protected] Please do not send tenders to this address. It is forbidden to discuss the price with this contact person and this person will not be involved in the decision-making for this contract. 


Download the terms of reference and invitation to tender

Endnotes

1 These exclusion criteria are in compliance with the 1 Aug 2020 PRAG (the Practical Guide on contract procedures for European Union external action), Section 2.6.10.1.

2 The European Union defines ‘irregularity’ as “any infringement of a provision of Community law resulting from an act or omission by an economic operator, which has, or would have, the effect of prejudicing the general budget of the Communities or budgets managed by them, either by reducing or losing revenue accruing from own resources collected directly on behalf of the Communities, or by an unjustified item of expenditure.” (Article 1(2) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95)

3 In compliance with 1 Aug 2020 PRAG, Section 2.4