Request for Proposal (RFP): Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value (GPI), Regional Energy Procurement Program for South Asia (REPPSA), Virtual Training Series

RFP Issuance Date: November 1, 2022

Proposal submission Deadline: November 7, 2022


1. Statement of Purpose

Meridian International Center is working with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to implement the Global Procurement Initiative: Understanding Best Value (GPI) Regional Energy Procurement Program for South Asia (REPPSA) Virtual Training Series. The purpose of the REPPSA Virtual Training Series is to learn about innovative best-value procurement practices to support the development of high-quality energy infrastructure. The REPPSA Virtual Training Series is broken into a two-part training series focused on best practices in the procurement of energy infrastructure.

Part I of the training will engage participants from up to four different countries – Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, and Sri Lanka – from November 29 – December 15, 2022. As part of the virtual training series, interpretation will be offered in the countries’ local language – Bengali, Nepali, Dhivehi, and Sinhalese. Meridian International Center is seeking a vendor who can provide three simultaneous interpreters in each language mentioned above for each session on November 29 and December 1, 6, 8, 13, and 15. As the sessions are held in South Asia, interpreters are expected to work non-traditional business hours (EST).

2. Background Information

Meridian International Center is a non-profit organization that promotes international understanding through the exchange of people, ideas, and the arts. Established in 1960 and headquartered in Washington, DC, Meridian offers a wide array of outreach, exchange, and arts programs. We promote dialogue among people of all ages about global issues, connect professionals from different countries and enrich the cultural perspectives of audiences across the United States and abroad.

3. Scope of Work

  • Interpreters must be available ahead of the proposed dates for a practice session on Zoom with Meridian and USTDA staff.
  • It is expected that the interpreters will be able to review training materials (including presentations) ahead of the training series to familiarize themselves with the vocabulary and possible discussion topics.
  • Interpreters will be available for the full duration of each training series date (approximately 1.5 hours in duration), but will be available to join each session early for technical checks and may stay later to answer any participant questions.
  • Interpreters are expected to have stable Wi-Fi and computers with microphone and potentially video capabilities.
  • Interpreters should be able to use the Zoom platform and have some familiarity with the interpretation functionalities of Zoom.
  • One of the three interpreters per language should monitor the chat window for questions, and type appropriate responses in their language for participants.

4. Outcome and Performance Standard

Interpreters should have a record of providing simultaneous interpretations for an estimated group of 20 individuals, and should be able to review materials ahead of each session.

Participants may be surveyed after each training session; interpreters should be available to receive any feedback on interpretation needs for subsequent trainings.

5. Deliverables

Interpreters or the vendor will have no set expected deliverables after each session, but may be asked to translate any questions and answers that come in from participants after the training session.

6. Payments, Incentives, and Penalties

Meridian can provide payment in the form of credit card payment, ACH transfer, or wire transfer.

50% payment can be provided to the vendor beforehand, while the balance would be paid upon successful completion of the services outlined in the contract, along with confirmation that all three interpreters per language are present and providing services for all sessions.

7. Requirements for Proposal Preparation

In the proposal, the vendor should include the terms of payment, their cancellation policy and any penalties for reducing the number of languages/interpreters, and a breakdown of anticipated costs.

8. Evaluation and Award Process

Meridian anticipates selecting a vendor by November 9, 2022 at the latest. Upon receipt of all proposals on November 7, 2022, Meridian will follow up shortly thereafter with the vendors should any additional questions be needed.

In determining the vendor to move forward with, Meridian will review the vendor’s past experience in virtual simultaneous interpretation, their ability to source three interpreters per language (Bengali, Dhivehi, Nepali, and Sinhalese), and any reviews from other organizations.

Beside the evaluation criteria, preference will be given to vendors who are small, minority and women’s business enterprises (“SMWBEs”), therefore please make sure to indicate whether you belong to any of these preferred vendors’ pool.

Meridian will evaluate proposals based on a best-value determination; Offerors should submit their most competitive price proposal. Proposals will be evaluated using the following criteria:

- Technical proposal and ability to source three interpreters per language (50) points

- Past performance (20) points

- Budget cost (30) points

The evaluation committee will review the technical proposal based upon the technical criteria listed above. The cost proposals will be reviewed to ensure they are complete and free of computational errors. The committee will also assess the reasonableness of costs and the cost-effectiveness of the budget and will determine whether the costs reflect a clear understanding of project requirements. A contract will be offered to the responsible Offeror whose proposal follows the RFP instructions and is judged to be the most advantageous to Meridian.

9. Contacts

For questions related to this RFP, please contact Amanda Pleasant, Program Officer at or Sarah Yagoda, Director of Administration at

10. Contractual Terms and Conditions

Contract start date will be as early as November 14, 2022 to account for a session to practice, and will end by December 20, 2022. Depending on interpreter services, the contract may be renewed for Part II of the training series, still to be determined in 2023.

  1. Meridian reserves the right to accept or reject any quotations, cancel the bidding process and reject all quotations at any time prior to the award of the contract.
  2. Quotes must remain valid through April 30, 2023.
  3. If the vendor fails to meet the needs or the performance standards required by Meridian, Meridian reserves the right to terminate the contract.