Navigating Devex pipeline and procurement data

Terms used across donor agencies and development organizations can be confusing. For instance, what one calls a “project” could be called “tender” by another. You also see donor agencies advertising various types of opportunities, including requests for proposals, expressions of interest, requests for quotation, calls for concept notes and many more, each with varying technical requirements.

Since preparing these documents takes a significant amount of time and costs money, it is imperative that your organization is able to sift through and understand Devex data in order to identify relevant opportunities.

Devex has put together a taxonomy of terms to help you understand development jargon. We have classified donor data on our Funding Trends page, so you can identify funding opportunities and find information to help you win contracts. Here’s what you need to know about navigating our vast pipeline and procurement database.

Pipelines

Pipeline Reports provide project details like background, components, total budget and possible sectors of engagement. These reports give insights on possible procurement opportunities that may arise in the future, though not all development projects require procurement procedures to be implemented. They are classified by status depending on which stage of the project lifecycle they are in. Below is a quick guide to the different pipeline statuses and their definitions.

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Devex members can also access Early Intelligence reports through the Pipeline Reports page. These serve as a heads-up on either an upcoming project, tender or grant opportunity. Early Intelligence reports are prepared by Devex exclusively for members and are based on interviews conducted by our researchers, who reach out to key donor agency personnel to get essential business information.

The infographic below illustrates the basic stages of Pipelines and how other types of Devex funding content fit in. Tenders, grants and open opportunities are typically advertised after a project has been classified as “Active.”

Meanwhile, Early Intelligence reports can be written at two possible points of the Pipeline life cycle depending on what they forecast. Those on upcoming Pipelines are written after the “In Planning” stage, while those that forecast upcoming tenders and grants are written before the “Active” stage.

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Tenders and grants

The Devex Tenders and Grants page lists the latest funding opportunities from donor organizations seeking partners to implement their development programs. These notices invite prospective bidders and applicants to submit proposals or expressions of interest and are the means by which your organization can participate in competitive selection processes.

The notices are classified as either tenders, grants or open opportunities depending on the nature of the contract to be awarded and the method of solicitation. Tenders refer to opportunities that allow your organization to profit from the contract implementation. These involve the purchase of goods, works and construction services. Grants are nonprofit funding opportunities that provide financial assistance toward the achievement of specific project objectives. Meanwhile, open opportunities are grants with open-ended or cyclical deadlines. They can remain open for extended periods, usually until a grantee has been selected, or in cases of cyclical deadlines, they may be reopened after the deadline has elapsed if deemed necessary by the funding agency.

Like pipelines, tenders and grants are also classified according to different stages. Listed below are the different statuses used for classifying these funding opportunities.

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Regardless of the opportunity type, donors follow the same general procedures for competitive selection.

First, the funding agency announces forecasts prior to solicitation to alert prospective bidders of an upcoming funding opportunity. This usually occurs months before the actual tender or grant notice is published.

Next, donors will advertise notices of solicitation. Depending on the type of contract, these notices could request for bids or proposals, ask for expressions of interest or invite organizations to submit concept notes. Each type of solicitation has varying requirements, so it is essential to familiarize yourself with what the donor needs before you respond.

Once the deadline for submissions has elapsed, the opportunity is closed, and donor agencies move to evaluate the proposals they received. Once a shortlist of applicants is finalized, donor agencies may ask the top candidates to submit more detailed proposals before determining the awardee.

In some cases, the selection process may be canceled or postponed. This could be due to reasons like the lack of qualified applicants, changes in budget allocation and unfavorable conditions in the contract’s place of performance.

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Frequently asked questions

To guide you further, here are some answers to the most common inquiries on pipelines, tenders and grants.

Can I submit bids and expressions of interest for pipelines? No. They are overarching projects and are not specific funding opportunities. You may only submit bids and expressions of interest for tenders and grants.

How are Early Intelligence reports different from tender forecasts? Tender forecasts are advertised by donor agencies on their procurement portals and alert interested bidders on upcoming tender and grant opportunities. Early Intelligence reports are written exclusively for Devex members to alert them to either an upcoming pipeline, tender or grant opportunity. While tender forecasts are announced publicly, Early Intelligence reports are informed by close monitoring of donor activities as well as exclusive interviews with key project personnel.

Can I submit bids and expressions of interest for tender forecasts? No. Tender forecasts are released before solicitation simply to alert interested participants of upcoming funding opportunities.

Why are there no deadline dates on tender forecasts? Tender forecasts have no deadline dates because their only purpose is to inform interested bidders of upcoming tender and grant opportunities. They are not invitations to submit bids or expressions of interest.

How can I get more information on pipelines and procurement opportunities? You may contact Devex researchers directly through our LiveChat system for any inquiry you may have on our funding data. We will then get in touch with the relevant agency personnel to make inquiries and do the necessary follow-ups for you.

Can I get tender documents ahead of the tender announcement? No. In the interest of fairness, donor agencies do not allow any organization to access these documents before the announcement of solicitation.

How are proposals different from expressions of interest? Expressions of interest are less-detailed compared to proposals. A standard EOI lets donor agencies know about the organization’s capabilities, similar to a company brochure, while a proposal contains more technical details on how the bidder plans to carry out the assignment.

Want to learn more about the development funding resources Devex offers? Visit our Funding Trends page to find tenders & grants, pipeline reports, funding strategies and advice on how to track and win funding.

About the author

  • Ezekiel Carlo Orlina

    Ezekiel is a Senior Development Analyst and Team Leader at Devex. His primary role is monitoring and reporting on project opportunities and trends of leading multilateral and bilateral donor agencies. A graduate of Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Political Science, Ezekiel has extensive global development research experience having also worked at the World Youth Alliance, Asia and the Pacific (WYAAP).