Request for Concept Notes Political Process Monitoring in Nepal

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

Details / requirements:

Request for Concept Notes

Political Process Monitoring in Nepal

“Improve Transparency on and Accountability of the Management of Public Funds through Civic Monitoring”

Issuance Date: June 30, 2023

Closing Date and Time: July 9, 2023


The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is requesting concept notes from organizations to monitor the procurement process and implementation of Pride Projects in Nepal.

It is anticipated that one fixed amount award will be given for this purpose initially for 12 months with the possibility of an extension. The anticipated total of funding amount is 60,000 to $75,000. Please note that only organizations legally registered in Nepal are eligible to apply. Upon review of the concept notes, NDI will invite one organization to submit a full proposal and budget.


Political process monitoring is a tool for independent civil society organizations (CSOs) to promote open government, help improve governance, and aid in strengthening links between governments and the public. In this context, it is important that CSOs play an active role in ensuring that citizens' civil liberties and fundamental freedoms are not infringed upon, and promote transparency and accountability.

Government spending on projects, goods and services is done through public procurement from market sources. Around a third of all government spending around the world is done through public procurement; the rest includes salaries, unemployment benefits, interest payments, subsidy programs, etc. Public procurement is prone to inefficiencies and deficiencies that can often facilitate corruption. But even after competitive procurement processes are finished and contracts awarded, monitoring the implementation of those contracts is important to ensure that the work is conducted as completed and of high quality, and that it reaches all the intended areas and communities.


The goal of procurement is to ensure the most efficient, transparent, and fair use of public funds and resources. However, in Nepal it continues to be one of the most vulnerable areas of corruption. While the Public Procurement Act and regulations have been amended several times over the years, experts and government employees still point to gaps. Allegations of the Act and regulations themselves having been amended in response to pressure from specific interest groups have also been made. As such, there is a lack of clarity around what specific bottlenecks around procurement still need addressing through policy or implementation level regulations.  All procurement bids are now conducted through an online platform, but pre- and post-bid developments can often be less than transparent. These issues are key to understanding what is driving under development -- and specifically time and cost overruns -- in infrastructure projects in Nepal, both large and small. 

In 2012, the Nepal government announced a new initiative to invest in infrastructure to enhance growth and employment opportunities through the National Pride Projects which included various existing and newly-planned large-scale infrastructure projects that the government considered essential for future growth and productivity. To date, the projects have faced significant challenges that cause time and cost overruns. In the summer of 2022, Nepal’s inspector general found that only one project had been completed and that “the cost and time of 10 of the national pride projects have increased,” with nearly all facing delays. With the onset of federalism, Provincial Pride Projects are set to face similar challenges. 

Through these Pride Projects and investments, the Government of Nepal has committed to enhance growth and employment opportunities for Nepalis. At the same time, the Government of Nepal has committed to address issues of corruption and adopt a zero-tolerance policy at the Summit for Democracy (S4D), an international forum to strengthen democratic resilience. In this context, the project foresees the selected organization to monitor the implementation of the government’s S4D commitments to address corruption in Nepal, as it is intrinsically linked to infrastructure spending in the country. 

Under the objective to Improve Transparency on and Accountability of the Management of Public Funds through Civic Monitoring, specifically requests a Nepali organization to monitor the implementation and management of a select few National/Provincial Pride Projects through mentoring, training and coaching support from NDI to improve accountability for public funds and expenditures. The activity has three main components:

Component 1: Research to identify projects and define methodologies

At the onset of the award, the selected organization will conduct preliminary research to understand what type of information is publicly available, where the knowledge gaps are, and what data points can be developed to monitor the implementation and management of the Pride Projects. This will lead to the selected organization identifying which projects to monitor and an overview of their current implementation status.

Once the information is compiled, NDI monitoring experts will provide technical assistance and guidance to the organization to refine the methodology and develop monitoring tools.

Potential Activities:

  • Desk research
  • Identification of sources of information for expenditure/procurement tracking
  • Stakeholder Mapping and Interviews with relevant stakeholders
  • Develop data points and framework for analyzing the pride projects;

Component 2: Contribute to advancing the implementation of reforms as it relates to procurement processes and management of public funds

The activity will monitor the implementation of a select number of National/Provincial Pride projects and the procurement process in Nepal. In particular, monitoring focus and data collection will be centered on time and cost overruns based on budget allocations and causes for the same, and analysis of tender documents. The project will develop indicators (Component 1) aligned to the projects to monitor aspects of the procurement cycle as highlighted above.

In line with the governments S4D commitments, the selected organization will aso monitor anti-corruption related commitments.

The monitoring project anticipates that the selected organization will survey government officials, contractors, political actors, and other relevant stakeholders on the implementation of these projects so far, compile the data and findings in an accessible and user-friendly platform and  to report and advocate for reforms. 

Potential Activities:

  • Interviews with government officials, contractors, members of parliament (MPs), citizens and other stakeholders involved in the procurement cycle and management of the selected National Pride Projects;
  • Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS) and other surveys with relevant stakeholders
  • Social audits
  • Data analysis and presentation
  • Submit right to information requests
  • Final monitoring report inclusive of recommendations

Component 3: Build greater awareness and dialogue on procurement issues and management of public funds

Utilizing the data collected from monitoring, the selected organization is expected to disseminate the findings and engage in advocacy to build greater awareness on procurement issues and the management of public funds in Nepal. This is intended to be done through social media, infographics, data visualizations, community meetings, and other multimedia platforms to reach a broader audience and communicate the findings and data in a more digestible manner for public and stakeholder consumption. 

NDI will organize targeted meetings and dialogues with its partner and investigative journalism fellows to present and share its findings with parliamentary committees, members of parliament and political party leadership.

Potential Activities:

  • Infographics on advocacy messages resulting from the monitoring reports and government commitments to fight corruption (~10 to 12 infographics)
  • Short informational and/or multimedia videos targeting specific demographics for dissemination on social media
  • Roundtable discussions with government officials, members of parliament, parliamentary committees 
  • Civil society forum/s on the progress of anti-corruption reforms and transparency of public expenditures


Eligibility Criteria

In order to ensure that local Applicants possess adequate capacity to carry out the activities envisioned under this project, the following eligibility criteria will be used to determine applicants’ eligibility to receive a grant. The following eligibility criteria must be met by the date, upon which a concept note is submitted under the Request for Applications:

  • Valid organizational registration as a legal entity in Nepal;
  • Proven commitment in promoting transparency and anti-corruption reforms in the Nepal;
  • Experience in researching and advocating on issues related to procurement processes and/or infrastructure development in Nepal;

It is anticipated that one fixed price award will be awarded based on this RFP, subject to the availability of funds.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the criteria outlined in the table below. Upon review and evaluation of the concept note, NDI will select one organization to submit a full proposal, budget and application.

Evaluation Criteria


Concept Note Technical Approach/Technical Knowledge


Organizational Experience and past performance


Estimated Budget


Instruction of Application Submission 

The Concept Note shall be divided into: A. Background, B. Objectives, Activities and Methodology; and C. Action Plan and Timeline. The concept note should not be more than five pages in length. 

The documents above must be sent by email to by July 9, 2023 in Microsoft Word format.


Background (Knowledge and Understanding of Issues)

In this section, the applicant shall provide a description of the current situation in Nepal to provide context to the proposed project. In particular, this section should demonstrate the applicants’ understanding of procurement processes and the National Pride Projects in Nepal.

Objectives, Activities and Methodology

In this section, the applicant shall provide a clear description of activities and methodology for those activities under each of the objectives their organization intends to achieve. Applicants should stay close to the objectives and activities outlined below in the “Description of Project” section below but can propose to supplement or slightly modify activities considering their knowledge and experience on the infrastructure and oversight sector in Nepal and monitoring techniques. Any supplement to an activity in the “Description of Project” or additional activity or modification to the methodology would be welcomed as long as it serves the purpose of improving transparency, management and accountability around procurement processes and/or the National Pride Projects in Nepal.  Please note that for each activity there should be a detailed description.

Organizational Background

Briefly provide information about the organization, including experience with political process monitoring initiatives in Nepal, any digital tools currently used as part of its work, and any other capacities and experience related to procurement, infrastructure projects, and the use/misuse of public funds in Nepal.

Estimated Budget:

Please include an estimated budget figure required to successfully implement the program.

Action Plan and Timelines

The concept note should include a timeline with a matrix similar to the one below.



Category Development and Project, Expression of Interests, Tender Notice, Bid
Openings 1
Position Type Contract
Experience Please check details
Education Please check details
Posted Date 30 Jun, 2023
Apply Before 09 Jul, 2023
City Kathmandu