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NEWS: Register your interest for upcoming SMEP Invitation to Tender

Register your interest for tender opportunities under the new Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) Programme, and contribute to the sustainability of the manufacturing sector in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. 

The manufacturing sector provides substantial opportunities for economic growth in developing countries, but is frequently associated with high levels of pollution and environmental degradation. There are many reasons for poor pollution management and control. In sectors that are dominated by micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), many factors constrain investment including, poor access to resources and limited technological know-how. Weak regulatory environments also play a role and in many cases financial and policy incentives are not well developed.

There is a direct relationship between climate change and air pollution. Activities that produce the most greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change – including industry and manufacturing – tend to also be the main sources of fine particulate matter. At a regional level, aerosols and ozone (together with albedo – the reflective surface of the Earth) are among the agents that affect ‘radiative forcing’ and hence, regional climates. At the local level, there are also complex dynamics: for example, CDKN’s Raising Risk Awareness Project (a collaboration with the World Weather Attribution Initiative) a study in India highlighted that peak temperatures rise when aerosols decrease, as aerosols prevent the sun’s heat from reaching the ground. Floods, drought and extreme weather heighten pollution impacts and risks, and pose challenges for environmental management.

About SMEP

The Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) Programme is a £20 million project that will identify and invest in emerging technologies or processes that mitigate the harmful environmental and social impacts of pollution from manufacturing sectors in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. SMEP will target a range of manufacturing sectors involving commodities, such as: textiles, clothing, leather, light manufacturing, household products, chemicals and petrol-chemicals, rubber and plastics. It will also focus on generating evidence and practical solutions to address the problem of ocean plastic pollution. The programme has three core components:

  1. Research to develop the evidence to support practical solutions with a high chance of take up and impact;
  2. Developing and testing innovative technology-based solutions that improve the environmental impacts of manufacturing; and
  3. Identifying and developing suitable supporting business models and policies to adopt innovative technology-based solutions.

SMEP is funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), implemented in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It is managed by SouthSouthNorth and Pegasys in South Africa, and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh.

For more information about the project’s focus countries and intervention areas, visit the website.

How to register your interest 

SMEP have issued an invitation to qualified suppliers to submit a Registration of Interest (RoI) for upcoming procurement opportunities. This includes SMEP’s first Invitation to Tender (ITT), which will be launched in September 2020. The ROI process should take no longer than ten minutes and does not require the submission of any supporting documentation at this stage. (Please complete the ROI by 06 September 2020). The draft Terms of Reference for the ITT is available here.

More about the first Invitation to Tender

SMEP’s first procurement opportunity will be a restricted tender for suppliers to identify and design specific interventions at the sector, sub-regional or national level.

Service providers must be able to demonstrate capacity, local knowledge and an in-depth understanding of opportunities for pollution mitigation as well as the ability to engage with national (private and public sector) stakeholders. Collaboration between academia, industry and civil  society organisations is encouraged.

Potential service providers identified through the ROI will compete for delivery within a particular region. Providers may narrow the geographic scale of their bids by selecting (preferably two or more) countries, based on their capacity and ability to deliver effectively in the context of Covid-19 restrictions. SMEP aims to conclude several contracts to cover both regions (South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa). The final country focus will, therefore, only emerge after bid adjudication. Requests for service providers to narrow or expand their country selection may occur during contract negotiations.

The contract values will depend on the supplier’s scope of work and includes the number of countries, the geographical extent, or the number of sectors involved. A total budget of up to £1 million is available to support this design work across the two regions.

The propositions will be context-specific pollution mitigation strategies that take into consideration the national commercial and regulatory realities. This will enable the procurement of follow-up interventions (for next step implementation) from March 2021, and the contracting of selected projects ranging in size and scope from £150,000 to £3 million over three to four years. Project implementation may be accelerated through a contract extension for selected service providers or through new procurement calls.

Image: Shanties stand along the bank of Buriganga River in Hazaribagh, Dhaka District, Bangladesh. The area is known for tanneries that provide work to the people, but they also contribute to pollution and poverty in the area (ADB Photo. Cred: Abir Abdullah)

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