Request for Proposals

Developing a strategy for reducing harms relating to substance abuse in the Lesedi and Letsatsi Trust communities

1. Background and Context

The DG Murray Trust (DGMT) is a South African Foundation committed to realizing South Africa’s potential through strategic investments in people and society at large. The DGMT is responsible for managing community funds for the Lesedi Solar Park Trust and the Letsatsi Solar Park Trust (the Trusts). The Trusts are community trusts, established in accordance with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP)[1]Meaning they are shareholders for the Lesedi Power Company and the Letsatsi Power Company, respectively.. The Trusts each have a mandate to invest in Black[2]Black is defined in terms of the BBBEE codes. This includes all previously disadvantaged races, including African, Coloured, Indian and Asian. people living within a 50km radius of the power plants that fund them. Funding is secured for a 20-year period, with the possibility of extension. These funds provide an exciting opportunity for bringing together systemic and long-term intervention that could significantly tap into South Africa’s potential in communities over time.

Table 1: Towns and Municipalities within the 50km radius

Trust Province Towns within 50km Municipality
Letsatsi Solar Park Trust Free State Dealesville Tokologo LM
Soutpan (Ikgomotseng) Mangaung Metro
Lesedi Solar Park Trust Northern Cape Postmasburg Tsantsabane LM
Skeyfontein Tsantsabane LM
Danielskuil Kgatelopele LM
Groenwater Kgatelopele LM
Lime Acres Kgatelopele LM

The strategic focus of both Trusts is human development within a community development context. The Trusts invest holistically from conception to career as well as in broader community/societal interventions.

Substance abuse has emerged as an issue in these communities. We often learn of cases where school children abuse alcohol and even take drugs. In the Northern Cape especially, the increased availability of drugs has led to community uprisings and even the burning of alleged drug dealer’s properties. We do not fully understand the nature, prevalence and root causes of substance abuse in these communities, nor do we fully appreciate all the impacts of substance abuse in these communities. However, we understand that substance abuse can be linked to many kinds of violence, including gender-based violence and costs the country billions in terms of various economic, health and social costs[3]South African Medical Journal (2014) .

Uncontained, substance abuse could limit the positive impact of work done by the Trusts to ensure healthy pregnancies, that young people access opportunities and that all people in the Trusts communities thrive.

DGMT’s strategy on substance abuse is focused on advancing the World Health Organisation’s Five Best Buys. There are two programmatic approaches we believe make this strategy possible; counselling and treatment services, and policy and advocacy programmes.

Counselling and treatment services primarily aim to assist those struggling with substance abuse to provide access to clinic assistance and psychosocial support. These programmes are community-based and seek to ensure that the surrounding communities receive the support they need. They often also run community education programmes in schools, homes and common spaces. The diagram below illustrates the cycle of counselling and treatment programmes.

Figure 1: Counselling and treatment cycle

Counselling and treatment cycle

Cross-programme opportunities:

There is opportunity for additional programmes to be integrated into the prevention stage. Often, the drivers of heavy episodic drinking, such as unemployment; domestic abuse and trauma, for example, are dealt with in the end stages of aftercare component of the cycle. Prevention programmes typically focus on the substance use issue and don’t have capacity to manage concurrent interventions.  This is important for outpatients particularly, as they are not removed from their circumstances while undergoing treatment and this undermines the effectiveness of the treatment programme as it is difficult for the patient to deal with the drivers of their drinking patterns while undergoing treatment.

There is further opportunity when a patient leaves treatment, is in aftercare and eventually re-integration. This is a critical point of their recovery as they face their triggers, community and circumstances. If additional programmes are only being sought out at this stage and are likely not found, the patient may be unable to cope with the drivers of their drinking behaviour and relapse. Thus, the additional programmes are critical throughout the treatment cycle.

Policy and advocacy programmes primarily aim to improve alcohol policy and regulation and mobilise communities around key systemic interventions to reduce alcohol-related harms.

Figure 2: Advocacy and policy cycle

Counselling and treatment cycle

Our strategy emphasizes the need for both programmatic approaches in the local communities. Substance abuse is both a behavioural and systemic issue that needs approaches that address both drivers.

2. Project Aims

We are looking to embark on a participatory process of systematically reducing harms related substance abuse in the Trusts communities. Using the strategic framing articulated above, we are looking to partner with an organisation who will help us deliver the following outputs:

OUTPUT KEY THINGS TO BE COVERED (but not limited to this)
Situational Analysis Report
  • Identifying the types of substances used in the communities
  • Understanding the prevalence of substance abuse across key segments of the population (women, men, adolescents)
  • Identifying the social, health and economic harms related to substance abuse in these communities and the rates over time
  • Understanding perceptions around alcohol and illegal substances
  • Getting baseline level data on household expenditure on substances, number of families who rely on selling alcohol to survive, SAPS and DoH costs related to substances etc.
  • Through workshops with community members, identify population level results they would like to see shifted in term of substance abuse
  • An analysis of the root causes of the substance abuse trends. Getting below the surface to understand mental models[4]Understanding the beliefs and values that lead to certain trends observed, institutional arrangements[5]Applying systems thinking to understand the way etc.
Stakeholder Map
  • Identify key stakeholders in the communities doing work relevant to this area of work
  • Understand exactly what various stakeholders do, and mapping their offering against the strategic framework provided
  • Providing an initial analysis of the services offered, giving a sense of quality, accessibility, and identifying opportunities to strengthen and work with existing efforts.
A Substance Abuse Reduction Strategy document Developing strategic recommendations along the following:

  • Determining which partners the strategy needs to engage to change systems, policies and practices?
  • Determining targeted and universal interventions required, prioritising them over time.
  • Being clear about how the community will be brought along in the strategy implementation, how those most adversely affected by the problem and most active in and around it will be involved[6]Importantly, it is important that there is a skills and knowledge transfer to locals so they can lead in new ways.
  • Being clear about the data that the strategy will need to collect to have comfort that change has occurred.
  • Being clear about the feedback required from stakeholders to inform improvements of the intervention(s)
Recommendations on “Quick Win” interventions
  • Identifying interventions and efforts that the Trusts need to immediately support or work that the trust should immediately commission

The process and approach followed in delivering these outputs needs to ensure the following principles are infused into it in some way:

  • Continuous co-creation and collaboration: People living in communities have the best understanding of the situation in their localities and are able to identify problems and possibilities that exist, the reasons for these problems as well as provide critical input, as co-designers of solutions. Most important is that we must respect local indigenous knowledge.
  • Shared community vision: for each area of work we do, we identify key constituencies and ensure there is a common understanding of the shifts in either policy, practice, resources or otherwise that will produce agreed outcomes.
  • Possibility not need: we believe in development approaches that envision what is possible and aren’t framed narrowly around a need. The latter, can limit the solution space to closing gaps. We are looking to do more than close gaps, we want to be part of ushering these communities to a new frontiers and possibilities.
  • Local inclusion and ownership: As far as possible, our decision-making is evidence based. We value literature reviews, research and consulting experts, but we contextualize those insights in conversation with community members to ensure contextually appropriate implementation. We believe in meeting people where they are, and base our development practice on the people-centred development approach which asserts that people must have access to relevant, reliable information in order to make the best decisions for themselves and their communities. With that, we bring relevant community stakeholders along at every step in the process, sharing information transparently, and inviting their input.
  • Learning and iteration: The work we do is complex and strategies cannot be rigid and linear. Strategies need to be designed with a commitment to using data – quantitative and qualitative – to learn and iterate. A good plan needs to include a plan to evaluate practices and learn. We use a plan, do, study, act (PDSA) cycle to adapt and adjust strategies to ensure they are having the desired impact.
  • Long term sustainability: The greatest impact of this strategy will be building a stable foundation for interventions which seek to achieve long term results. Through developing a good understanding of the broader ecosystem in the community and by leveraging the community assets and resources we will engender a strong base from which to work.

3. Proposal requirements

We are calling for proposals for the development of a strategy for reducing harms related to substance abuse in the Trust’s communities. Proposals need to produce the following four items, as articulated above:

  • A situational analysis
  • A stakeholder map
  • A strategy
  • Recommendations on “quick win” interventions

The proposals need to be developed in a way that considers the principles outlined above. In addition, the proposal needs to clearly articulate the following:

  • A company profile, or in the case of an individual a bio and in the case of a consortium, profiles of all the companies/individuals working together on this
  • Company registration documents
  • Your understanding of the requirement
  • Approach and methodology
  • Provide detailed work plans
  • Team bios, roles and responsibilities on the project
  • A detailed budget including, a breakdown by project deliverables and associated activities

4. Evaluation criteria

Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

CriteriaWhat we’re looking forScore

Completeness of submission That you submitted all required information 10
Quality of approach Clear understanding of the problem and our need
Understanding of the strategic framing and appropriately use of it
Translating principles into the approach and workplan
Team Team experience and expertise in substance abuse, action research methods and strategy development in a dynamic community development context 30
Budget Budget makes sense in light of proposed approach and work plan
No unnecessary bells and whistles
Bonus If you have done participatory community development AND/OR have experience driving community-level interventions that tackle these kinds of problems
Team has people who speak local languages (i.e. Sesotho, Setswana, and Afrikaans)
You demonstrate innovation in terms of behavioural insights or any other element of the work required

5. Administrative matters

Proposals will need to be submitted to no later than 12:00 on 12 August 2022.

A briefing session will be had on Tuesday 26 July 2022 between 16:00 and 17:00. This will be an opportunity for you to ask any clarification questions you might have. Please use the link below to access the briefing meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 872 1081 8261
Passcode: 971734