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Call for Concept Notes (Modified June 2022)

Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) Market Study, Political Economy Analysis & Secondary Data Analysis for Resilience Food Security Activities (RFSA)


What’s in the Packet:

  1. Call for Concept Notes (pdf)
  2. SOWs (pdfs)
    1. DRMS
    2. PEA
    3. SDA
  3. Concept Note Template (word doc)
  4. Individual NDA (word doc)
  5. Institutional Recusal (word doc)

You may download individual components using the links above.



Call for Concept Notes for USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) – Studies for Resilience Food Security Activities (RFSA)


To undertake Desk Review and Market Study (DRMS); a Political Economy Analysis (PEA) and a secondary data analysis to inform the design strategies and approaches of future multi-year Resilience Food Security Activities.


Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)  


Multidisciplinary teams of researchers (need to include at least one team member from HEI) and individual experts are eligible to apply


Extended Deadline: June 13, 2022

Timeline & Information

  • Release of Call for Concept Notes: Jan 27, 2022
  • Questions and clarifications by: June 9, 2022
  • Extended Deadline: June 13, 2022
  • Announcement of finalist teams: TBD
  • Estimated Funding For Each Study (Dependent on Work Assignment):
    • DRMS: $150,000-$250,000
    • PEA: $50,000-$125,000
    • SDA: $50,000-$100,000

Successful Application Characteristics

  • Capacity: i.e. capacity to co-design and implement the proposed work, lead and coordinate different research workstreams, and ability to develop deliverables that are well synced across the different research studies. Qualifications, skills, experience, and availability of all individuals applying will all be considered.
  • Experience In-Country, based on demonstrated work conducted in the RFSA countries, an understanding of country context, and connections to in-country organizations/ stakeholders for primary data collection purposes.
  • Research Study Expertise, based on demonstrated past experiences in designing and implementing the different research studies (Desk Review and Market Study, Political Economy Analysis, and Secondary Data Analysis).


Q. What countries are part of this Call?
A. Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Q. What is a Work Assignment from BHA?
A. A Work Assignment is an activation of a study or set of studies in a particular country. When a Work Assignment is issued by USAID, applications go through another iteration of research design with more specific parameters.

Q. Is this only open to LASER consortium members or is it an open call?
A. This call is open to anyone who has experience with this work. However, all selected applicants will need to register on LASER PULSE’s website ( and will require an Institutional Recusal along with confidentiality agreement.

Q. Do we know what the timeframe is to complete this work?
A. The first round of work assignments are most likely going to start about March depending on when we receive work assignments from USAID and time taken for co-creation of program description. Each study has been estimated to be completed within 6 months from approval of program description.

Q. What is the ballpark figure for each work assignment?
A. The country-specific work assignments will combine DRMS, PEA, and SDA in some combination. Thus, the budget for a single country-specific work assignment could range from $50K on the low end (one study type) to $425K on the high end (all three studies at maximum levels). The ranges are provided because they will depend on the number of districts/regions within each country that will be provided in the work assignment from BHA.

Q. Are local NGOs eligible to apply ?
A. Yes, NGOs can apply as PIs for this CN. We will require research expertise on the studies mentioned in the CN. Thus, as you think about your team, please include at least one member from an HEI (higher education institution).

Q. As a consultancy firm, are we eligible to submit to this call for concept notes?
A. Yes, you are eligible as a consultancy firm to apply for the Concept Note. When forming a team, please indicate which team members are affiliated with universities. We are not requiring that the PI is from an HEI (university), but at least 1 member on your team should be a university researcher.

Q. Can the same team with the same PI and Co-PI, apply for the multiple concept notes?
A. Yes, you can apply for up to 14 concept notes (1 for each USAID resilient focus country listed in CN) with the same PI. Please highlight your knowledge about each country and your connections to be able to conduct those studies

Q. Could you clarify if the institutional recusal agreement for this activity would preclude an institution from serving as a prime or subcontractor for: (1) a third-party evaluation of RFSA activities that is solicited by BHA during FY2023 or FY2024; or (2) solicitations to provide other technical services to BHA for RFSA activities during FY2023 or FY2024?
A. Yes, anyone involved in conducting this research will have to recuse from implementation activities occurring in RFSA country (or countries) that is/are outlined in the Work Assignment (will be provided by BHA) for this study.

Q. How big should the team be for the call?
A. We have not put any restrictions on the size of the team and leave it to your discretion on how many experts you will require for the 3 studies listed in the call for concept notes. We recommend that you check the funding range provided for the studies, as those are fixed and the overall budget will depend on the work assignments provided by BHA.