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Request For Proposals: Strengthening Emergency Operations Center to Accelerate Malaria Elimination and Prepare for Public Health Emergencies in Lao PDR




Open Date: 12pm PST August 3, 2018

Deadline for Registering as Applicant: 5pm (PST) on August 10, 2018

Application Due: 11:59pm (PST) on September 2, 2018



The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is requesting proposals to strengthen Lao PDR’s public health Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and use it to accelerate malaria elimination and prepare for future public health emergencies. The selected grantee(s) will provide support primarily in the form of technical assistance to the Lao PDR Ministry of Health (MoH).

In the end game with polio, EOCs have proven effective at bringing together the types of skills needed from surveillance to analysis and rapid response. In 2014, the EOCs that Nigeria put in place for its polio efforts facilitated rapid containment of the Ebola outbreak. However, in many countries, EOCs are too often ad-hoc entities that cannot be staffed permanently while waiting for an epidemic/emergency to happen. BMGF is considering malaria elimination as a potential driver for this strengthening activity, as it would serve to provide a day-to-day operational focus for the EOC while also ensuring optimal execution of malaria program activities.

Lao PDR has made tremendous progress in reducing malaria burden and is on track to meet its goal of eliminating P. falciparum by 2025 and all forms of malaria by 2030. From 2015 to 2017, the number of malaria cases fell by 74%, from 36,093 to 9,331. However, the last mile is most difficult and will require a different approach to that used for control and transmission reduction. It requires robust surveillance and supply chain data, rapid analysis for decision making and better targeting of interventions, all of which can be facilitated through an EOC. It will also require tailored approaches that adequately reflect the marked spatial heterogeneity of malaria transmission in Lao PDR, where malaria cases are mainly concentrated in five Southern provinces (Savannakhet, Saravane, Sekong, Champasak, and Attapeu, which accounted for 95% of cases in 2017).

The grant will be funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), through its Global Health Program. It is anticipated that the overall grant period will be for 4 years from 2018-2022 with a maximum budget of $5 million. As described in detail below, the grant will comprise two phases: an inception phase (months 1-9) and an implementation phase (months 10-48). Progression to the implementation phase will be contingent on satisfactory performance and completion of outputs under the inception phase.



The RFP process includes two stages. Stage 1 (the current stage) calls for submission of Concept Proposals from individual organizations or consortia. Concept proposals will be reviewed by Lao PDR MoH, BMGF, and independent experts and selected applicants will then be invited to complete a full proposal package (Stage 2). The full RFP timeline is listed below.

Stage 1: Concept Proposal

  • RFP announced: August 3, 2018
  • Deadline for submitting Expression of Interest: 5pm (PST) on August 10, 2018
  • List of registered applicants circulated within the group: August 10, 2018
  • Window for submitting questions: Starts at 6am (PST) August 11, 2018 and closes at 11:59pm (PST) August 16, 2018
  • Distribution of answers to received questions to all applicants: August 20, 2018
  • Concept Proposal submission deadline: 11:59pm (PST) on September 2, 2018
  • Concept Proposal review period: Week of September 3, 2018

Stage 2: Final Selection and Grant Shaping

  • Announcement of finalists: Week of September 10, 2018
  • Grant shaping (feedback from Lao PDR MoH and BMGF, suggestions pertaining to the concept and composition of consortium, preparation of full proposal package): September 17-October 19, 2018
  • Grant active: October 26, 2018 at the earliest, but a funding decision is anticipated by mid-November at the latest


How to Apply

Given the multifaceted nature of this work, we encourage proposals from consortia that leverage the experience and comparative advantage of multiple partners. Organizations are required to register as applicants by submitting the Expression of Interest form by 5pm (PST) on August 10, 2018 to A list of the registered organizations and their contact information will be circulated among the applicants after 5pm on August 10, 2018. Applicants can reach out to each other for discussions before the RFP deadline.

Application including completed Concept Proposal and Budget should be submitted to by 11:59pm (PST) on September 2, 2018. The length of the Concept Proposal (excluding budget) should not exceed 10 pages (single spaced, 10-point font). 

For consortium applications, each organization should complete a separate Expression of Interest form and the Lead Organization should submit all forms on behalf of other partners. Only one Concept Proposal is required from each consortium and should address the entire grant. The Lead Organization should submit the completed Concept Proposal and Budget by the RFP deadline.


Additional Information

The following reference documents provide additional context about this RFP.


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