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IFI-funded projects: how does it work?

Project example: A hydropower project in an Asian country with total project cost of USD 300 million.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) -- or the World Bank -- might provide a USD 200 million loan to the Asian government. The remaining funding is provided by the Asian government itself, possibly in combination with other funding (such as from another IFI and/or from bilateral donor governments).

The project is prepared by the borrowing government and the staff of the ADB (or World Bank) over a 12-18 month period, and then the project is approved by the ADB (or World Bank) Board of Directors. Project implementation usually begins two to four months later.

In the case of consultancy services, for example, the Asian government reviews the expressions of interest that were submitted by consulting firms for a specific consultancy contract (such as preparation of tender documents for design and construction supervision of three (3) major hydropower plants in the country). Then the government executing agency (Ministry of Power, for example) compiles a short-list of six (6) companies or consortia. The government submits its proposed short-list to the ADB, in order to receive the ADB’s “no objection” to invite the short-listed firms to submit proposals.

After the ADB has provided its “no objection“, the government sends a Request for Proposals to the short-listed firms. Companies usually have between one and two months to prepare and submit their proposals – usually a Technical Proposal and a Financial Proposal.

Each company should decide how best to prepare a winning proposal. Often, it is advisable that the company send a staff member (or team) to the project country, in order to gain a thorough understanding of the situation in the country, the problems faced, the potential solutions, etc.

It may also be advisable for the company to team up with another firm (or firms), including from the country where the project is located. If so, the company should identify the best possible partner firm(s).

Then the company must submit a fully responsive proposal that is received by the executing agency in advance of the bid submission deadline. (For example, by 17h00 local time on 16 July 2012.)

The government evaluates all proposals received, and submits a Bid Evaluation Report to the ADB, recommending that it begin contract negotiations with the top-ranked firm. As soon as the ADB provides its “no objection,” the government invites the top-ranked firm to negotiations. Following negotiations with the successful company, a contract is signed and contract execution begins. The contract is then implemented for the specified duration and in accordance with all terms and conditions indicated in the contract.

Helpful Hints
Companies interested in pursuing IFI-financed contracts should become familiar with the rules and procedures of the IFIs, including the procurement policies.
Look for business opportunities through projects already under execution, as well as through upcoming projects.
Collect early business intelligence using a two-pronged approach: (a) Obtain vital project information from IFI staff members; and (b) establish direct contact with the key government officials in the implementing agencies.
Follow up on a regular basis with IFI and implementing agency decision-makers, in order to remain updated on any important project developments.
Carefully examine all available documentation (country assistance strategies, project appraisal documents, procurement plans, etc.).
Submit top quality expressions of interest to the implementing agencies at the earliest possible stage, even before the bidding process begins.
Consider associating with other companies, including local firms, in order to strengthen your bids and proposals.
Review previous IFI-financed contract awards to learn which companies have been successful in the countries and sectors of particular interest to your firm.
For consultants, the quality of technical proposals is more important than the price proposal. However, a lower price will achieve additional points in the proposal evaluation.
Meet all bid document specifications and requirements, and submit all tenders on time.