Request for Proposals (RFP)

Short Term Technical Consultancy to

StrongMinds, May 2021

About StrongMinds

StrongMinds ( is a non-profit social enterprise founded in 2013 to provide lifechanging mental health services to low-income African women. We are initially focused on treating women of all ages in Africa who suffer from the most pervasive and debilitating mental illness: depression. We are guided by an ambitious goal of treating two million depressed African women by 2025—enabling these mentally ill individuals and their families to lead healthy, productive and satisfying lives. To date, we have treated more than 80,000 women. We presently operate in Uganda and Zambia. StrongMinds seeks to replicate its group talk therapy through partners to maximize impact. StrongMinds has in place a strategy for partner replication and scaling, including step by step processes, and staff trained to mentor and coach partner INGOs.


Proposed Scope of Work

StrongMinds seeks applications from interested individuals or firms to modify and finalize existing StrongMinds draft partnership manual ensuring that the manual, together with existing training slides and job aids forms a uniform toolkit. This toolkit will serve as a reference document for StrongMinds staff to train, mentor and coach its partners, and a manual that serves as a reference document for StrongMinds partner organizations to incorporate StrongMinds’ group talk therapy into their programs, while ensuring quality and consistency.

The toolkit should be a practical, concise, on-the job tool and everyday reference document for managerial and implementing staff. The toolkit needs to be understandable for audiences with limited or no mental health background. Ideally, the components of the toolkit (including the manual) will be easily divided into thematic modules for use by key partner audiences and modified/updated by StrongMinds in the future without extensive design re-work.

Specific proposed activities (and estimated duration) will include:

  1. Review existing StrongMinds Operations Manual, training slides and other relevant documents provided by StrongMinds Director, Technical Learning and Innovation (DTLI), as well as similar development training and program manuals to benchmark quality messaging, design elements, and content for consideration (5 days)
  2. Provide feedback to StrongMinds on the suggested toolkit and manual structure (see attached table) and a draft module layout/design framework to guide development. Confirm the final outline for the manual with StrongMinds staff (2 days).
  3. Develop 2 suggested module outlines for review, feedback and approval by StrongMinds staff (3 days).
  4. Work closely with identified StrongMinds staff members to review, update, and revise language in current operations manual (3 days).
  5. Building on the approved module outline, using various documentation and consultations, and working in collaboration with StrongMinds DTLI and Director of Partnerships, draft a full text of the manual modules ensuring that the manual cross references existing StrongMinds and partnership training so that they become a unified tool for training of partner staff and management, (12 days).
  6. Liaise with StrongMinds’ Marketing & Communications Manager on possible graphic and visual charts/aids/illustrations, etc to be developed to support and clarify toolkit contents and help to streamline and edit training slides and job aides consistent with the agreed upon design framework (2 days)
  7. Solicit feedback and input from identified StrongMinds staff at key stages of the drafting process (3 days)
  8. Revise, edit, proofread, and incorporate references and citations to the manual as needed (2 days)



Deliverable 1: Two suggested module outlines submitted for review, feedback and approval by StrongMinds staff by 4th June 2021.

Deliverable 2: The draft Partnership Manual and corresponding revised toolkit slides and job aids submitted for review and feedback by StrongMinds staff by 30th June 2021.

Deliverable 3: Final toolkit submitted, incorporating StrongMinds feedback on content and design by 20th July 2020.


Qualifications of the Individual or Firm:

At least 5 years’ experience in the development sector and in program/technical roles, consulting, or similar. Mental health experience is a plus. Experience overseas and in Sub-Saharan Africa is strongly preferred.

Advanced degree in development studies, public health, psychology, business, or a related degree is preferred.

A proven track record in writing professional guidelines, practical on-the-job tools, manuals, procedures or similar products. Experience creating communications tools and/or marketing materials is a plus.

Strong analytical skills, and the capacity to think and plan strategically, including the ability to translate complex concepts for a broad audience, identify and address gaps in programmatic processes, and work with a diverse team to reach consensus.

Fluency in English, including excellent writing and communication skills.


Terms: A start date on/around May 27th, 2021 for a duration of approximately 8 weeks. StrongMinds expects that this work will require approximately 32 days at full level of effort.

Location: Flexible – East Africa or US East Coast or Central time zones are preferred.

To Apply: Please send a brief proposal electronically to: The proposal package should include the following:

  1. A concise (1-2 page) narrative proposal that details:
    • The firm (or individual’s) experience in response to the requirements noted above and relevant information regarding size, location, area of expertise
    • A description of the engagement team assigned and their relevant experience. Please note whether the use of sub-contractors will be required.
    • A proposed summary work plan, including the proposed timelines.
    • A list of at least two references
  2. A Not-to-Exceed cost figure for the proposed work, along with a proposed summary budget that outlines direct costs, including estimated hours and rates by role, and indirect costs as relevant.
  3. CVs or resumes of key parties as relevant.
  4. A relevant work product or sample to illustrate prior experience.

Deadlines and Questions:

RFP Circulated: May 6th, 2021

Deadline for Proposal Submission: May 17th, 2021 by 5:00pm EST

Notification of Selection: By May 27th, 2021

Questions can be submitted to hanna@strongminds and will be addressed within 24 hours. The deadline for question submission is May 11, 2017 by 5:00pm EST.



Annex 1. Manual Structure, desired content and existing StrongMinds documents/content

Manual Modules Module Content Existing StrongMinds Documents/content
Introduction to manual Short intro, different modules to different staff as reference documents Does not exist/to be written
Table of contents Does not exist/to be written
Key terms and definitions Glossary of main terms and definitions used in the manual Exists, at least partially

(StrongMinds Introduction) document

Introduction to Mental Health Intro to mental health, impact of mental health, why partner should incorporate it, Intro to IPTG, why IPTG for partners, Theory of change. Exists in slides, not in the manual (theory of change in SM intro document)
StrongMinds Introduction Intro to SM, how to do IPTG, and partnering and working with SM Exists, manual requires updating.
Program Set Up How IPTG project should be set up, adapting the program to different populations and partner priorities, integrating it with other programming, staffing strategies, (sample JDs into tools and resources), budget overview, Sample GANNT chart.


Examples of IPTG in different program set ups

Exists partly, need to confirm with current practice
Planning for Mobilization and Screening How to enter a community, what to take into account then planning to mobilize and screen, processes, tips, how to trouble shoot Exists, need to confirm with current practice
Conducting Mobilization and


Mobilization process and script, guidelines for discussions and promotion for those conducting the exercise, tools and

processes, how to trouble shoot

Exists, need to confirm with current practice
Facilitating IPT-G IPTG process, facilitator role, session guidelines, discussions and promotion for those conducting the exercise, tools and processes, how to trouble shoot Exists, could be in different documents, need to confirm manual concurs with currentpractice
Managing Risk Definition and description of risks, how to spot them, avoid them, manage them. To include suicidality, provider burn out etc Exists, needs to be expanded
Supervision Overview Role(s) of supervisor for MH, process, details, selfcare, Exists, needs to be expanded.
Quality Assurance Definition of quality in IPTG Quality assurance – how to check

Quality Improvement – processes to both maintain and improve quality (including continuous training)

QA roles – who needs to be involved and how.


Referral to tools

Does not exist, needs to be drafted based on existing SM training slides.
Measuring Progress How to measure progress for IPTG, primary indicators for IPTG, when collected and by whom.


2ndary indicators, how to match those with primary educators, importance

Does not exist, needs to be drafted
Tools and Resources Copies of tools referred to in the manual




Exists, need to confirm current practice and tools


Exist, not complete