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Environmental Impact Assessment and Monitoring Consultancy for GSMA Innovation Fund November, 2022 Job Description
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GSMA requires the services of a consultancy firm/specialist consultants to:

  1. Undertake environmental impact assessments of forthcoming climate action projects under the GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation;
  2. Develop simplified environmental monitoring and management plans for each of the projects;
  3. Advise and support, or where appropriate, lead on the data collection and testing required for the environmental monitoring and management plans.

The details are outlined within this Terms of Reference document. The deadline to submit expressions of interest is 5th December 2022. GSMA will review submissions on a rolling basis and may extend the deadline, if needed. The environmental impact assessments, and the environmental monitoring and management plans are to be completed between November 2022 and March 2023. Data collection and environmental monitoring advisory and support, or leadership, will be required on an ongoing basis throughout the 18-month lifecycle of the projects, up until March 2024; the level of input required will be subject to the complexity of the environmental data collection and testing, as well as the recommendations of the environmental impact assessments.

GSMA Mobile for Development

GSMA’s Mobile for Development team drives innovation in digital technology to reduce inequalities in our world. Singularly positioned at the intersection of the mobile ecosystem and the development sector, we stimulate digital innovation to deliver both sustainable business and large-scale socio-economic impact for the underserved.

Our unique research and insights platform advances digital innovations and implementations that empower underserved populations to build a better future. Our in-market expertise informs partnerships between the mobile industry, tech innovators, governments and the development sector. And our unparalleled convening power motivates conversations and inspires action.

GSMA ClimateTech Programme

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity and we continue to see its impacts, including: frequent extreme weather events; food and water insecurity; displacement of vulnerable populations; increase in temperatures; wildfires and droughts; reduction of wildlife populations and biodiversity; lower agricultural yields; sea-level rises and daily loss of forest.

The mission of the GSMA’s ClimateTech Programme is to unlock the power of digital technology for climate action to create a low-carbon, climate resilient, and environmentally sustainable future. Through our research activities, we identify, promote and inform opportunities for digital innovation and develop pathways for aligning climate action with the sustainable development agenda. We also catalyse vital partnerships between the GSMA, the mobile industry, tech innovators, governments and the development sector with the aim of reducing fragmentation, facilitating scale and promoting collective action.

The GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation was launched at COP26 in November 2021, and is supported by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The fund was set up to pilot and scale mobile and digital innovations that could enable some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to build their resilience to climate change.

The fund seeks to support start-ups, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to leverage mobile and digital technology to build the climate resilience of vulnerable low-income communities and marginalised groups in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Grantees are to receive an equity-free grant of between £100,000 and £250,00 to pilot and scale their innovation over an 18-month period, with additional soft benefits such as GSMA facilitated industry partnerships, provision of mobile and digital, monitoring and evaluation, and market expertise through GSMA staff, and a platform to raise the profile of their start-up or SME to potential investors.

Under this fund, up to 12 start-ups and SMEs across Africa and Asia have been awarded grants to pilot and scale innovative digital solutions for climate action, specifically to: a) build the climate resilience of vulnerable communities through interventions that build their capacities to adapt, anticipate and absorb climate risk; b) mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and c) sustainably manage natural resources and the environment in areas with climate vulnerable communities. More information on the grantees for this fund and a summary of their projects can be found on the GSMA website.

Several of these climate action projects have a significant environmental component to them, whereby the projects intend to either improve sustainable land use practice, manage natural resources, or safeguard ecosystems and the environment, in areas with climate vulnerable communities. For the same reason, there is also a possibility of adverse environmental impacts. The impact assessments, monitoring and management plans, and the data collection and testing, will be used to track the environmental impact of the projects, as well as to assess and manage any associated environmental risks.

The anticipated countries of implementation for the 7 to 8 climate action projects with a strong environmental component are: Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Somaliland and Tanzania.

  1. Environmental Impact Assessments

The environmental impact assessments will examine the potential positive or negative environmental effects of the 7 to 8 climate action projects that have a strong focus on improving sustainable land use practice, managing natural resources, or safeguarding ecosystems and the environment, in specific areas of Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Somaliland or Tanzania. The impact assessments will also support the start-ups and SMEs implementing the projects to understand their environmental impact, and to develop monitoring and contingency plans, to sustainably develop their digital solutions for climate resilience.

The project activities are limited in scope and scale; thus the environmental impact assessments will be streamlined to focus only on key environmental issues relating to the project intervention. The sectors, context and mobile and digital technologies used in of each of the projects are different, thus the environmental impact assessments will be varied and tailored to meet the needs of each project. The environmental impact assessments are expected to cover the following areas. However, suggestions for alternative approaches are welcomed by interested consultancy firms/specialist consultants:

  • Overview of existing environmental assessments, policies and legislative frameworks
  • Environmental assessments
    • Agriculture – land use, soil quality, ecology and biodiversity
    • Aquaculture – water quality, waste management, ecology and biodiversity
    • Forestry – land use, ecology and biodiversity
    • Wastewater treatment – water quality, crop contamination and health
    • Transboundary resources
    • Conservation and protected areas
  • Recommendations

The environmental impact assessments are expected to consider the following methodology, though suggestions for alternative approaches are welcomed by interested consultancy firms/specialist consultants:

  • Rapid desk-based review of each project to determine need and approach for environmental impact assessment. It is expected that a couple of the projects may not require full environmental impact assessments based on this rapid review, due to existing environmental impact assessments of similar projects which can be utilised or adapted, or the limited nature of some of the projects may require a streamlined approach for assessment.

Then for each of the projects that require a full environmental impact assessment:

  • Rapid desk-based review of key policies and legislations relating to the project.
  • Completion of relevant environmental assessments e.g., ecological impact assessment.
  • Recommendations for action for GSMA and the grantee
  • Final report outputs (of steps b to d, for each project, following a consistent template format)
  1. Environmental Monitoring and Management Plans

The environmental monitoring and management plans are directly connected to the recommendations from the environmental impact assessments. For each project, a concise outline of what needs to be monitored, tracked and managed throughout the project lifecycle to ensure that positive environmental impact can be evidenced, and any negative environmental impact can be mitigated at the earliest opportunity. These plans can be embedded within the environmental impact assessments.

  1. Environmental Data Collection and Testing

Based on the recommended data collection and testing activities outlined in each of the environmental monitoring and management plans, the consultancy firm/specialist consultants will be required to advise and support, or where appropriate, lead on the data collection and testing required during the project lifecycle. Examples of data collection and testing which may be required include:

  • Water quality
  • Soil quality
  • Biodiversity
  • Aerial survey or satellite imagery-based GIS mapping of land use and forest cover

Key Deliverables and Timeline

January 2023

  • Rapid desk-based review of projects to determine approach

February 2023 to July 2023

  • Completion of environmental impact assessments and reports for each of the projects that warrant a full assessment.
  • Completion of simplified environmental monitoring and management plans for each of the projects

February 2023 to March 2024

  • Advise and support, or where appropriate, lead on the data collection and testing required for the environmental monitoring and management plans.

Further outputs based on these assessments and data from the ongoing environmental monitoring will be produced by the GSMA and fall outside of the scope of this consultancy.

How to apply

Application and selection process

Interested applicants are asked to submit:

  1. Documentation of the firm’s or consultant’s knowledge and expertise on:
  • Environmental impact assessments
  • Environmental monitoring, data collection and testing
  • International development and humanitarian aid – specifically climate action
  • Innovative mobile digital technologies
  • Expertise, and presence or established networks in: Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Somaliland and Tanzania.
  1. Samples of two recent and relevant pieces of work e.g., environmental impact assessment reports.
  2. Name and CVs of team working on the project
  3. Detailed proposal of plan to complete the work including:
  • High-level proposed approach and methodology.
  • High-level schedule and activity timeline
  • Please note any limitations, risks and mitigations.
  • Any additional considerations that you feel have been left out
  1. Budget including:
  • Personnel fees (broken down by name, role, activity, daily fee rate and proposed number of days per each of the three phases of the project outlined in the ToR)
  • Expected expenses and travel costs
  • Expected costs for specialist data collection tools and services
  • The GSMA default currency requirement for all proposals is ‘UK Pounds Sterling’, this will be the contract currency for the successful Respondent

Due to GSMA compliance requirements, exact project budgets cannot be provided at this stage. You are, however, able to provide a few implementation/budget options that can help us assess value for money and we can align our project scope to the relevant budget after a consultant has been selected.

Please note – if your firm is interested in working on just some of the deliverables or geographical contexts outlined in these terms of reference, the GSMA would still welcome your proposal. Please outline which of the three deliverables and countries you are interested in within your proposal.

Proposals should be submitted by Monday 5th December 2022 11:59pm UK to Samir Hafiz [email protected] and Daisy Macaskie [email protected] GSMA anticipates that interviews will be conducted on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th December, or earlier on a rolling basis.

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