Call for Proposals: Due Diligence – NGO Early Childhood Development (ECD) Expansion Programme

Tshikululu Social Investments (Tshikululu) is South Africa’s leading social investment company, providing a comprehensive service for social investors.
Tshikululu focuses on identifying and partnering with champions of social change within the education, health and social development sectors.

On behalf of the FirstRand Foundation, a client of Tshikululu’s,  Tshikululu S wishes to appoint an organisations to conduct a due diligence study on a large Non-Government Organisation’s (NGO) Early Childhood Development (ECD) Expansion Programme.
Project rationale

The NGO is a faith-based organisation that has been working to uplift people living or working in the inner city of Tshwane over a significant number of years. The organisation has established forums since 2008 to share its ECD expertise and raise ECD quality standards in other inner-city ECD centres. The NGO’s proposed Pre-school Forum is to focus its efforts on improving these centres. It currently has capacity to focus on 30 ECD centres in the inner city. 90 Informal crèches have been identified to be potentially included in the forum.
The organisation has envisioned and is fundraising to pilot a social replication model to accelerate the development of centres. The proposed model aims to serve five regions with 150 centres and 7 500 children, each across a 200 km radius, with the organisation as a national coordinator.
The proposed Preschool Forum could be a promising mechanism of support for ECD centres, as it focuses both on improved outcomes for children and strengthening and building organisations’ capacity to deliver a quality service.

The objective of the due diligence is to assess the capability and capacity of the organisation to establish and expand the Pre-School Forum.

The due diligence will assess the following areas:

  • Human resource capacity
  • M&E capability
  • Governance
  • Operational capability.

Scope of the due diligence:

The objectives of the due diligence study, among others, will be to:

  • define and analyse the organisations proposed operating model;
  • identify whether the model is worth replicating;
  • ascertain if the organisation has sufficient resource capacity;
  • understand the organisations finances and costing (financial due diligence); and
  • observe its impact on beneficiaries.

 The due diligence study should aim to answer the following questions

To what extent is the proposed programme needed?

  • Are there similar programmes that target the same centres that is being targeted under this programme?
  • How is this programme different to other ECD programmes?
  • Are the organisations that have been identified not participating in any other ECD programme?
  • Total number of ECD centres (estimated) compared to how many the Department of Social Development funds?
  • Is it necessary for the organisation to implement this programme at this scale?
  • What role would other key ECD partners play? Are there any other organisations worth partnering with?
  • How does the Department of Social Development assist those organisations that do not meet the criteria to be funded – i.e. if a centre fails to meet structural requirements, does the department assist?
  • What impact does the existence of other organisations providing similar assistance have on the proposes Programme?
  • Does the organisation have the capacity to implement this programme at this scale?
  • Does it have the expertise and human resources to implement this programme?
  • Has it identified the partners needed in the programme (social workers, community partners, wellness partners, etc.) at all levels?
  • Does the organisation have capacity to offer centres all the support that is needed to be registered i.e. would it have financial capacity for structural and health requirements that need to be met before the centres are registered by the department?
  • Should the organisation not have the financial capacity to support the centres to meet registration requirements, how would that change the impact of the programme?

This is, however, not an exhaustive list.
Requisite documents to be submitted in response to this call for proposals

  1. A full proposal with detailed project plan, as well as the expected delivery dates of key project deliverables. It is expected that the due diligence should not take more than three months.
  2. Service providers should also provide a budget breakdown of the proposed activities.
  3. A profile (or CVs) of the evaluation team should be provided, along with references and examples of previous work.
  4. A valid BBEEE certificate
  5. A valid Tax Clearance certificate

 Expertise required
The service provider should have solid knowledge and experience of working in the ECD education sector, and a proven track record of conducting due diligence studies.

Contract award criteria
Tshikululu welcomes proposals from service providers or consultants who meet the requirements set forth in these terms of reference. Proposals should include an introduction and a motivation on why they are qualified and capable to undertake and complete all aspects of the project described in these terms of reference.
Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:
Quality of proposal

  • relevance of the proposal, the challenges to be addressed;
  • clear work plan with realistic milestones;
  • M&E plan and an explicit theory of change; and
  • clear deliverables.

Details of service provider

  • professional expertise in conducting similar studies in the ECD sector;
  • resources and skills of the team;
  • M&E experience;
  • experience in working with foundations;
  • experience with ECD sector and programmes; and
  • Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) credentials.


  • reasonable and competitive.
  • The pricing schedule is to include line items of costs.
  • The pricing schedule is to be split by work package, resources and expenses.
  • The allocated budget for the Due Diligence is available on request

Proposals submitted should not exceed 15 pages in length.

Completed proposals, together with supporting documents, should be e-mailed to Julian Peter, at

Please include the following reference in the subject of the email: Due Diligence on ECD Expansion Programme
Please submit all proposals no later than 30 November 2018 (by 17h00).
Proposals received after the closing date will not be considered.
Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application (i.e. NGO Pulse Portal)

Tshikululu reserves the right not to award this contract, in whole or in part.
For more about Tshikululu Social Investments, refer to