Invitation to Tender – Human Centred Design Service Provider





Various Countries



Employment Type


Closing Date

15 September 2023


Sarah Ebady

Project Overview:

The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) is a 7-year and €134 million programme funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that aims to create a prosperous future for 230,000 young women and men in the Middle East, North Africa, Sahel & West Africa and Horn of Africa regions. The Fund will be supporting initiatives in 12 focus countries that will offer youth, in particular young women, opportunities for work that is demand-driven and productive, offering a stable income and safe working conditions, and that is contributing to their personal development and social protection.

The portfolio of projects is selected from business cases that were proposed by private sector, civil society and knowledge institutions. Each business case has outlined scalable solutions for creating more and better jobs and income generating opportunities for youth. Solutions in particular focus on an integrated approach that addresses the shortcomings on the demand side (jobs) and supply side (skills) and bridging the mismatch between these two in the labour market.

Tender Overview:

CFYE is seeking proposals from qualified Human-centred Design (HCD) coaching service providers to support the development and implementation of HCD approaches by our implementing partners (IPs).

Budget: 50,000 Eur

Human-centred Design is an approach to problem-solving that involves deeply understanding the needs, perspectives, and experiences of the people who will be affected by a product, service, or intervention. It involves a collaborative and iterative process of designing, prototyping, testing, and refining solutions to ensure they meet the needs and expectations of end-users.

HCD is a key TA offered by the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment as it aims to ensure that the interventions designed for and by CFYE’s IPs are tailored to the needs and aspirations of young people. By applying HCD methodologies, IPs can gain a deeper understanding of the barriers and challenges that young people face in accessing decent work opportunities and develop innovative solutions that are more likely to succeed.

HCD also emphasizes the importance of involving end-users in the design process, which can lead to increased engagement and ownership of interventions and greater likelihood of sustainability. By incorporating HCD approaches into their work, IPs can develop programming that is more effective, efficient, and equitable. HCD methodologies serve as a powerful tool for ensuring that youth employment interventions are grounded in the lived experiences and aspirations of young people and can ultimately lead to better outcomes for them.

Scope of Assignment:

The HCD coaching service provider will be responsible for delivering coaching services to CFYE’s implementing partners in the following areas:

  • Deliver in-person localized and contextualized HCD coaching sessions in each of the countries where CFYE is present.
  • Provide training and guidance on HCD methodologies, tools, and approaches. Coaching sessions should focus on the stages of HCD (i.e. inspiration, ideation, prototyping, implementation and evaluation phases) with enough time on each stage for IPs to synthesize learnings before moving on to the next stage.
  • Build long-term capacity of IPs to mainstream HCD across their business practices beyond the coaching period.
  • Support IPs with designing and testing program interventions using HCD approaches. This includes creative problem solving and innovation which can provide a competitive edge to the business.
  • Co-create design objectives and design solutions tailored to IPs identified barriers, challenges and local constraints. Such solutions should be context and sector specific.
  • Ensure design solutions are tailored to IPs business needs, end-user requirements, and contextual circumstances.
  • Support implementing partners to develop monitoring and evaluation plans to assess the impact of their HCD-designed interventions.
  • Provide ongoing support and coaching to implementing partners throughout the implementation process to ensure successful execution of HCD-designed interventions.
  • Provide regular progress reports to CFYE on the status of coaching services and the progress of implementing partners in applying HCD methodologies to their programs and interventions.

Service providers interested in responding to this ITT should submit a proposal that includes the following information:

  1. Overview of the service provider’s experience and qualifications in providing HCD coaching services to similar organizations.
    a) CFYE operates in the MENA Region, the Sahel/West Africa, and the Horn of Africa. Proposal should highlight demonstratable experience working in these geographies.
    b) Outline previous experience leading and facilitating HCD projects and providing HCD training. Identify key lessons learned from previous projects that have informed your approach. Share evidence of your HCD expertise and skills.
    c) Identify guiding principles or frameworks that you have used for previous HCD projects and whether you would apply them to this project.
    d) Provide examples of working with businesses and private sector in improving their product and service delivery.
    e) Describe your experience centering gender and youth inclusion in HCD and similar projects.
    f) Describe your experience using HCD approaches and methodologies in relation to supporting businesses working in the digital and green economy.
    g) Describe your project management skills and tools, including how you successfully navigated challenges in previous project(s).
    h) List of personnel, including those available in target countries, to be assigned to the project, with a summary of their qualifications, and location. If no personnel in target countries are available yet, please provide your strategy for identifying them. Also mention the organization structure.
  2. Proposed approach and activities.
    a) A detailed description of the proposed approach to providing HCD coaching services to CFYE’s implementing partners. Provide information regarding the approaches you have utilized in your previous work, including details on successful strategies, unsuccessful attempts, and your ability to adapt and refine your approach to meet client requirements.
    b) Proposed timeline and project milestones for the planning and implementation phases.
    c) Your recommended structure for HCD facilitation and technical assistance.
    d) Estimated total number of hours you expect to dedicate to the project on a weekly or monthly basis for both the planning phase and the implementation phase.
  3. A clear timeline and budget for delivering the proposed coaching services.
    a) Provide a deliverables-based budget and the associated costs.
  4. Three references from organizations that have received HCD coaching services from the service provider.
  5. Any additional information that may be relevant to the service provider’s qualifications to provide HCD coaching services to CFYE’s implementing partners.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Service provider’s experience and qualifications in providing HCD coaching services to similar organizations.
  2. Clarity and quality of the proposed approach to providing HCD coaching services to CFYE’s implementing partners.
  3. Feasibility of the proposed timeline and budget for delivering the coaching services.
  4. Quality of references provided.
  5. Overall fit with CFYE’s mission and values.

CFYE reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received, to negotiate with any qualified proposer, and to waive any irregularities or informalities in the proposals received. CFYE also reserves the right to cancel this ITT at any time.


  • The service provider should be highly proficient in design thinking and human-centered design.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with international staff and local implementing partners.
  • Experience working in the Middle East, North Africa, Sahel & West Africa and Horn of Africa regions is required.
  • The service provider should be able to apply past learning and adaptation, including systemic use of learning from experiences to adapt delivery and approaches.
  • Demonstrated expertise in HCD methodology and principles and effectiveness in implementing HCD.
  • Demonstratable experience working with private sector businesses to foster innovation solution and problem-solving skills using HCD approaches.
  • Excellent organizational, project management, facilitation, and communications skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to centering youth inclusion and gender in HCD approaches.

If your quote is successful, you will be required to enter into the Company’s standard contract for the types of goods or services being provided. In the provision of the Goods and Services, you will be required to comply with the Company’s policies, including (without limitation) its Business Partner Code of Conduct and any relevant Project Manual. Potential service provider must also comply with the Company’s Business Partner Code of Conduct in the submission of any proposal pursuant to this tender.

If you are bidding as part of a joint venture, partnership or similar, please make this clear in your submission. Likewise, if you propose to subcontract any part of the goods or services provision, then disclose this fact within your submission. The Company may require additional information from you and approval for subcontracting will not be automatic as subcontractors will be subject to Palladium’s Due Diligence process.

If you are successful, we will need you to complete our full due diligence process, which requires the completion of a self-assessment questionnaire on your business registration and operations. In addition to the completed questionnaire, you will have to provide supporting documents.  These will include (but may not be limited to):

  • Evidence of corporate registration (or equivalent)
  • Relevant business insurances
  • Audited accounts and tax clearance Certificates for the past two years
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Evidence of business policies (e.g., code of conduct)

If you have further queries, please contact and copy

Tender submissions close: Friday, 15 September 2023, 9:00 am CEST

How To Apply:

To register your intention to bid, please email before 18 August 2023.

Deadline: 15 September 2023

About Palladium

Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact – the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value.

We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits. For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved – and is committed to continuing to improve – economies, societies and most importantly, people’s lives.

Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.

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