Consultancy Services-Independent Evaluation of ESS for BFL project

The Bhutan for Life Fund Secretariat would like to announce the following consultancy work:

Independent Evaluation of Environmental and Social Safeguards for the Bhutan for Life Project.

The Scope of the Work

As part of the disbursement conditions of Bhutan for Life and the overall strengthening the Project Coordination Unit’s capacity on WWF’s environment and social safeguards, an ESS expert will be recruited by the BFL Fund Secretariat to carry out an annual independent evaluation which will include but is not limited to the following activities:

  • Review the list of all planned and ongoing project activities for 2023 and ensure that screening tools were prepared for all planned and ongoing activities with potential adverse social and/or environmental impacts, in line with the ESMF requirements;
  • Monitor the compliance of the following documents with the WWF’s safeguards policies, and assess their quality:
    • All screening tools for project activities prepared by PAs/BCs and the ESS specialist at PCU;
    • All Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMPs) for 2023 prepared by PAs/BCs and the ESS specialist;
    • All quarterly and annual reports on social and environmental issues submitted by PCU ESS specialists to the PCU and/or the BFL Fund Secretariat;
    • Any and all records of complaints received as part of the project’s grievance redress mechanism.
  • Review all bidding documents and contracts signed by PAs/BCs’ administrations for the implementation of BFL activities for 2023, to ensure full compliance with safeguards requirements (focusing in particular on adherence to international occupational safety and working conditions standards).
  • Assess the quality of grievance redress mechanisms (GRMs) operated by all PAs/BCs. The assessment should focus on issues such local communities’ awareness of the availability of GRMs, the ease of accessibility of the GRMs to local communities, the uptake of the GRMs by local communities (e.g., how many complaints are submitted, by whom), investigation procedures and standards, feedback provided to local communities, complainants’ satisfaction with the GRM process, etc.
  • Assess the capacity of the Implementing Agencies in screening the activities (ESS form), preparing its ESMP, and reporting the implementation of ESMP including GRM.
  • Assess the quality of community consultations that are carried out by PAs/BCs as part of ESMP preparation and in line with the ESMF requirements. The assessment should focus on whether the consultations were inclusive, whether participants had full opportunity to voice their views, whether and how participants’ inputs were taken into account, etc. This assessment will necessitate the consultant to attend few selected consultation meetings, in coordination with the ESS specialist at PCU.
  • Conduct mandatory field visits to project sites where safeguards issues have been identified by PCU Safeguards specialist (e.g., adverse construction impacts, adverse impacts on natural habitats, restrictions of access to livelihoods, human-wildlife conflicts). (Representative sampling from western, central, eastern and southern region- Parks and BCs and functional divisions)
  • Additional virtual discussions with PA and BC managers and BFL focal officers are encouraged
  • Monitor the compliance with mitigation plans/measures executed by the IAs according to the ESMPs developed for 2023.

Based on the needs of the BFL Secretariat, review all documents and reports on project-related issues that may have any social or environmental impacts.

Interested Consultants are requested to submit the proposals latest by April 11, 2024 (2:30 PM BST) and the Technical Proposal will be opened on the same day at 3:00 PM BST.

For any clarification with regard to RFP please contact or call 17750414 during the office hours.

The Terms of Reference (ToR) and RFP document is available for download:

  1. Terms of Reference (ToR)
  2. Request for Proposals (RFP)