Request for proposals

Knowledge Support: Community-Based Refugee Sponsorship
Download a PDF of the RFP

MAY 14, 2021—The University of Ottawa Refugee Hub is seeking proposals from individuals, consultant teams, and organizations to develop concise and comprehensive knowledge briefs on topics related to community-based refugee sponsorship (community sponsorship).

The Refugee Hub was founded at the University of Ottawa in 2012. Our mission is to foster justice and human rights for refugees at local, national, and international levels through innovative research, programs and partnerships. We are supported in our work by a team of in-house experts, a wide range of consultants, and a broad and diverse community of partners and stakeholders.

The Refugee Hub is a partner in the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI), a unique and ambitious multi-stakeholder collaboration that encourages and supports the creation of new community sponsorship programs around the world with the aim of increasing and improving overall refugee resettlement, strengthening local host communities, and improving the narrative surrounding newcomers. Other partners in the GRSI include the Government of Canada, the UNHCR, Open Society Foundations, The Giustra Foundation, and The Shapiro Foundation.

The Refugee Hub is also the Canadian partner in the Sustainable Practices of Integration (SPRING) consortium funded by the EU’s H2020 programme and led by Fondazione Inizative e Studi sulla Multietnicità (ISMU), and is the lead partner in the Research Colloquium on Refugee Sponsorship, in collaboration with the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University and the Institute for Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham.

This project is under the auspices of our growing Knowledge Hub, which advances cutting-edge research on a range of refugee protection and migration topics and supports the strengthening of the evidence base underlying our policy and programmatic work on refugee resettlement, complementary pathways, and community sponsorship. The knowledge briefs developed through this project will support the Refugee Hub’s global work in these areas and help to meet the knowledge needs of a broad cross-section of partners and stakeholders, including policymakers, program design teams, civil society organizations, refugee-led organizations, and research partners.

This project will develop 7 knowledge briefs (grouped into 4 work packages) that concisely summarize and analyze the state of global knowledge on a range of topics related to community sponsorship. Based on a comprehensive desk review of relevant literature (including academic studies, monitoring and evaluation reports, research products by think tanks, policy institutes and civil society organizations, and grey literature as applicable), each brief should provide an up-to-date snapshot of current knowledge, knowledge gaps and (if known) ongoing research that will contribute to the evidence base on the topic in question.

Each brief should be approximately 6 to 10 pages in length* (plus a comprehensive bibliography) and written for an informed but non-academic audience (e.g. government officials, policymakers, civil society organizations, practitioners). Sources should be carefully referenced throughout, and appendices may be used to summarize relevant data.

*This is an approximate range. Some briefs may exceed this length where the subject matter warrants, but should be concise.

It is essential that each brief addresses the global state of knowledge on the topic in question (not merely findings from within a specific country). Each brief should adhere roughly to the following structure:

  • Summary: the state of global knowledge
  • Analysis: overview of major studies, findings, streams of analysis, divergences (including based on geography or program) and possible explanations
  • Knowledge gaps
  • Ongoing research (if known)

The topics of the anticipated knowledge briefs are as follows:
Work Package 1:
1. Sponsorship and Access to Services
2. Sponsorship and Secondary Migration
Work Package 2:
3. The Role of Local Authorities in Sponsorship
4. Sponsorship in Rural and Small Communities
Work Package 3:
5. Sponsorship in the Context of Complementary Pathways, including:
     a. Named sponsorship
     b. Refugee students
     c. Refugee workers
Work Package 4:
6. Recruiting, Developing, and Sustaining Sponsor Groups
7. The Effects of Sponsorship on Public Attitudes and Social Connection
Proponents may bid on one or more work packages (proposals for a single knowledge brief within a work package will not be accepted). 

We anticipate that at least 2 different suppliers will be selected, in order to benefit from a diversity of expertise and experience. The proponent is responsible for final quality control and copy-editing to a publishable quality (in English), and adhering to formatting and referencing guidance that will be provided by the Refugee Hub. Final layout and design of the finished product will be completed by the Refugee Hub to ensure consistency.

While authors will be acknowledged, all research products resulting from this project will be the intellectual property of the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub to be used at its sole discretion.

The project is expected to begin in June 2021, with staggered delivery of final products anticipated in September and early October 2021. Timelines for each work package will be finalized during the onboarding process. An indicative set of key milestones is outlined below:
Date                       Milestone
June 23–24          Project initiation meetings
June 30                 Finalization of workplans
Early August         Project check-in meetings
Late August          Delivery of first drafts and feedback from the Refugee Hub (rolling basis)
Late September   Delivery of final products to the Refugee Hub (rolling basis) 
– Early October

The maximum available budget for each work package is $12,500 Canadian, inclusive of any taxes and expenses where applicable. The Refugee Hub will consider the most cost-effective proposals.

Costs should be listed for each of the following items in accordance with the template below (in Canadian dollars throughout). Where the proponent is bidding on more than one work package, they must indicate separately the costs of each work package. The Refugee Hub reserves the right to issue separate contracts for each work package.

Proponents are expected to have demonstrated familiarity and expertise with the subject matter and must demonstrate in the proposal (see next section) why they are ideally suited to complete the specific work package(s) included in their proposal. In addition, all proponents should demonstrate the following qualifications:

  • Expert knowledge of the global refugee protection system, including third-country solutions
  • Significant experience researching and writing on resettlement, complementary pathways and/or community sponsorship at a publishable level in an academic or professional setting
  • Outstanding English writing and communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to write clearly and accessibly for an informed, non-academic audience (e.g. government officials, policymakers, civil society organizations, practitioners)
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver high-quality, cost-effective research reports within specified timelines
  • Fluency in languages relevant to the global literature on the subject matter is considered a strong asset

This Request for Proposal represents the requirements for an open and competitive process.

Proposals should be submitted through BambooHR no later than 11:59PM EDT on June 13, 2021.

Proposals should not exceed four pages (excluding CV’s) and should clearly outline:
  • Project methodology, workplan, and budget
  • Description of expertise in undertaking similar assignments with success
  • CV / qualifications of the individual or team who would be working on the contract (maximum of 5 pages per CV)
  • References from other similar clients

The anticipated timelines for this procurement process are as follows (subject to change without notice):

Date                       Activity
May 14                   Request for Proposals sent out
June 13                   Written responses submitted to the Refugee Hub
June 14–16            Evaluation of written response
June 17–18            Delivery of first drafts and feedback from the Refugee Hub (rolling basis)
June 21                   Selection decision made