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Request for Proposal: The Implications of Climate and Environmental Change

United States Institute of Peace
Washington, Dist. of Columbia, US
Closing date
Aug 13, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Request for Proposal

United States Institute of Peace

The Implications of Climate and Environmental Change

on Migration and Displacement

Release Date: 6/30/2022

RFP Due Date: 11:59 PM EST on July 29, 2022

Refer Questions to:

Submit Proposals to:

Tegan Blaine

Katie Hortenstine

Pertinent responses will be made available to all offerors by e-mail. No inquiries will be accepted after specified time and date.

The response must be submitted by time and date listed above to be considered.

Proposal Submission Requirements:

Any proposal that does not contain all items listed in the Submission Requirements section below may be considered nonresponsive. For more detail including corresponding evaluation criteria, please see "Evaluation Criteria and Submission Requirements" section below:

* Technical proposal (maximum eight pages)
* CVs
* Cost proposal
* Financial Management Assessment Form (for organizations only)
* Certification Page

Introduction and Background

USIP is a national, nonpartisan, independent institute, founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. In conflict zones abroad, the Institute works with local partners to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict. For more information, please visit

The Climate, Environment, and Conflict (CEC) program at USIP aims to advance applied research and policy development on migration and displacement related to climate and environmental change. USIP is currently supporting research on climate, migration, and security through three projects: 1) Examining the pathways of climate-related migration to urban areas; 2) Proposing a new socio-economic agenda to connect climate, environment, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding in urban areas; and 3) Developing recommendations for how U.S. government agencies and the military should approach the risks posed by slow-onset climate impacts.

The academic literature around climate change and migration is growing. Yet, the specifics of how climate change will impact migration and how important it is among other factors that influence migration is far from settled. While human mobility has been an important adaptive response to environmental change for thousands of years, the scale of the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation is quickly increasing. Studies point to slow-onset climate change pushing up to 200 million internal migrants worldwide by 2050 (Groundswell 2021). Meanwhile, in 2021, sudden-onset disasters displaced over 23 million people, and conflict displaced more than 14 million, a record high (IDMC 2022). In many cases, conflict and disasters intersect, threatening long-term stability and extending displacement. Displaced people often end up in cities, but by 2050 more than 800 million urban residents will be exposed to rising sea levels alone, not to mention extreme heat (1.6 billion) and water scarcity (685 million) (C40 Cities).

Such trends augur increasing risks of instability and violence as the number of displaced people rises, and they seek refuge, either temporarily or permanently, in urban areas already facing a variety of social, economic, political, and environmental challenges. These trends also demand a more thoughtful global policy approach both to the immediate humanitarian issue of disaster-related displacement and to the long-term implications of slow-onset climate change that may cause even greater displacement in the future.

The White House's Report on the Impact of Climate Change on Migration (2021) outlined key lines of effort for U.S. Government interagency work, as well as priorities for additional applied research and analytics. USIP expects its support for policy and applied research to contribute to these priorities and to support USIP's mission by advancing evidence-based research that has a significant impact on peacebuilding scholarship, policy, and programming.

Purpose of the RFP

The CEC Program seeks to support the development of up to four USIP Peaceworks publications and Special Reports to help guide USIP's thinking and policy development in the area of migration and displacement related to climate and environmental change.

Those interested in submitting a proposal should have demonstrated experience in research and strong scholarship related to peace and conflict studies. Scholars at all levels, from early career to the more established, are encouraged to submit proposals.

Proposals should clearly describe the importance of the issue to be addressed, research objectives, and policy significance. Proposals should also demonstrate knowledge of the research subject and relevant literature.

Scope of Work

USIP expects to award up to four contracts either for the development of policy papers or for applied research projects, with the goal of publishing the work either as USIP Peaceworks or Special Reports publications, with timelines dependent on scope and research demands. Peaceworks publications target peacebuilding practitioners or academics (although not necessarily both at the same time), and range from 8,000 to 20,000 words, including endnotes. Peaceworks publications emphasize in-depth background, research, and analysis, and include detailed policy recommendations and conclusions. Special Reports are short, timely, policy-relevant reports that range from 2,500-10,000 words. Special Reports offer policymakers, practitioners, and scholars a distillation of expert research, lessons learned and problem solving in the topic field. The publications should offer recommendations to USIP, with a focus on the changing nature of conflict, to help guide its agenda for policy and practice-relevant research.

We invite researchers at universities or research institutions, as well as unaffiliated researchers, to submit proposals that address one of the issues outlined below. Proposals can be based on ongoing research that is ready to be turned into a policy piece or novel research that requires more extensive work. USIP would also welcome follow-on components to an ongoing research project that addresses one of the below issues and will consider proposals that identify important related topics that do not appear on this list.

Potential themes of interest include:

* Migrant flows towards cities, including secondary cities: How is the potential for displacement from rural to urban settings linked to slow-onset climate and environmental changes, and what are the implications of these flows?
* Lessons learned from historical relationship between urban growth and urban conflict
* Common features and characteristics of these populations, including types and levels of resources available to them (e.g. social capital, financial capital)
* Prior knowledge about destinations, challenges faced on arrival
* Information on additional characteristics that could help target efforts to better integrate these populations into receiving communities
* Policy approaches for mitigating impacts on urban fragility or the risk of violence

* Understanding cross-border vs. internal displacement: How do climate and environmental change in regions and areas of fragility contribute to cross-border migration vs. internal displacement? How do attempts to respond to climate change - either climate mitigation measures or climate change maladaptation - lead to displacement?
* Qualitative differences between those who cross borders and those who are displaced internally
* Differentiated impacts of displacement on specific groups of people, including women and girls, people with disabilities, indigenous communities, or nomadic or semi-nomadic communities whose livelihoods have traditionally relied on migration, etc.
* Whether the nature of the event (sudden vs. slow onset) influences choices about migration and destination
* Regional implications of displacement and/or migration, including
* Engagement with countries under sanctions or other restrictions that are facing climate risks (e.g. Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, etc.) that can exacerbate regional issues around migration and/or displacement
* How "transit countries" support or securitize migration flows and implications for activity of illicit groups

* How displacement and/or migration can serve as positive approaches to adaptation to climate change
* Implications for policy approaches

* Potential for hotspots of conflict in receiving communities: How do we identify hotspots, identify levels of current support for migrants and IDPs, and locate concrete gaps that require assistance?
* Features of these hotspots and whether they align with urban fragility and/or resilience characteristics and dynamics
* Potential for exacerbating the risk of political unrest and/or conflict
* Implications for secondary cities as well as capital cities
* Lessons learned from positive approaches for integrating migrants
* Approaches for predicting and preventing conflict

* Additional flashpoints for conflict: What are additional flashpoints for unrest and/or conflict around unplanned migration, planned relocation (managed retreat), and populations in situations of immobility?
* Improved understanding of the risks for conflict
* Policy options for mitigating these risks

* Linkages between violent extremism and climate and environmental change: What are the key conclusions from existing evidence around potential linkages between climate and environmental change, and recruiting for armed groups and/or violent extremist organizations (VEOs) in both home and receiving or host communities?
* Are migrants and/or IDPs due to climate and environmental change more susceptible to recruitment by armed groups and/or VEOs? If so, why? What techniques are used to target them?
* Does population displacement due to climate and environmental change figure into narratives around government failures that are exploited by armed groups and/or VEOs?
* Are there other risks from the response of armed groups and/or VEOs to climate change? For example, do armed groups and/or VEOs use climate change to hoard/exploit resources to pressure state authorities, or are there other risks we are currently missing?
* Policy options and approaches for mitigating risks.

The selected offeror(s) will be awarded a fix-priced contract to support up to eight months for research and writing. During the contract period of performance, the winning offeror(s) will be expected to complete one of the aforementioned publications: Peaceworks or a Special Report, subject to peer review and acceptance by USIP's Publications Team. All offeror(s) must consider interaction with USIP's technical and publication teams as part of their scope. The selected offeror(s) will receive the final payment of their contract when the publication is approved by USIP.

Tentative Deliverables and Timeline



Estimated Due Date


Researcher/author and program team will determine publication goal, plan research, field work, or other activities.

October 14, 2022


Researcher/author will provide program team with conceptual outline.

November 15, 2022


Researcher/author will provide program team first draft of manuscript.

February 3, 2023


Program team will provide researcher/author with revision guidance.

February 17, 2023


Researcher/author will provide program team second draft of manuscript. If this version is deemed to have publication potential, it will be sent out for peer review.

March 17, 2023


Program team will provide researcher/author with revision guidance.

April 14, 2023


Researcher/author will provide program team final draft of manuscript to be conveyed to USIP publication team. USIP publication team may need to work closely with author on edits before publication is finalized.

May 5, 2023

Expected Type of Contract: Firm fixed price.

Submission Requirements

To be considered under this RFP, please submit the following:

* Technical/Narrative Proposal (no more than eight pages): The narrative proposal should be five to eight pages, excluding the bibliography, and adhere to standard formatting practices. It should include the following sections:
* Description of proposed policy issue: Please describe the research and/or policy issue related to climate and environmental change, migration, and displacement, and the significance of your proposed contribution.
* Overall Approach and Methodology: As relevant, please describe the proposed approach to research, data collection, data analysis, and development of policy-relevant conclusions, and an implementation timeline. As noted above, the final research methodology and publication outline will be approved in consultation with USIP.
* Key Personnel, Specific Expertise, and Past Experience: Describe the key personnel, their role, their level of knowledge, and how their experience is related and beneficial. Describe the overall staffing plan for the project. Please note that staff may be non-US citizens and do not require a security clearance. Describe at least two projects of similar scope and complexity the offeror has worked on previously. Provide a point of contact with telephone number and email address for at least one of the described projects. Also, please include whether the offeror and/or essential personnel have received funding from USIP in the past and if so, include a short description of the project, the name of the USIP main point of contact, and the grant or contract number, as applicable.
* Curriculum Vitae: For each of the key personnel, please provide a CV of no more than three pages. CVs will not count as part of the insert number pages of the technical proposal.
* Cost Proposal: The cost proposal shall include a detailed budget and a budget narrative. Budget must be in U.S. dollars and in a spreadsheet format (e.g., Excel). USIP allows organizations to include up to 12% indirect cost recovery on total direct costs for contracts.
* Financial Management Assessment Form: Organizations must complete the Financial Management Assessment Form unless they have received Federal grants, contracts or cooperative agreements in the past two years and can provide their audited financial statement from their most recent fiscal year.
* Certification Page: Complete and sign the Certification Page below and submit with the proposal.

Selection Process

June 30, 2022

RFP issued

July 15, 2022

Questions concerning RFP and project emailed to no later than 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

July 20, 2022

Answers to questions will be made available to all offerors.

July 29, 2022

Proposals are due no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time. Late submissions may not be accepted.

August 11-15, 2022

Notification to selected offeror(s)

September 30, 2022

Estimated project commencement date

Proposed Schedule

The USIP Selection Committee will review all proposals received on time using the selection criteria established in this RFP based on the best value offered to USIP. The Selection Committee reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, in whole or in part, to award multiple contracts, and/or to enter into negotiations with any party, in the best interests of the Institute. The Institute may cancel this RFP at any time prior to contract award.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated as follows. For more detail on each submission requirement, see the Submission Requirements section of this RFP.

Evaluation Criteria

Corresponding Submission Requirement


Importance of and potential impact of a policy paper on proposed issue

Technical Narrative Proposal


Overall approach and methodology

Technical Narrative Proposal

Cost Proposal


Specific expertise and experience

Key Personnel, Specific Expertise, and Past Experience

Staff CVs


Total cost

Detailed Cost Proposal


General Instructions and Terms

* Complete proposals must be submitted by email to Katie Hortenstine at by 11:59 PM EST on July 29, 2022.
* The Institute is not liable for any costs incurred by offerors prior to issuance of an executed contract with the Institute.
* Submissions must be typed and submitted electronically and must include all submission requirements outlined in the Submission of Requirements section of this RFP. No changes or corrections to a response will be allowed after the deadline.
* All submissions should be in English and US dollars.
* Any questions concerning this RFP should be directed to Tegan Blaine at Pertinent responses will be made available to all offerors by email. No inquiries will be accepted after specified time and date.
* Any proposal not addressing all RPF requirements may be considered non-responsive. Late proposals may be rejected as non-responsive.
* This RFP is not an offer to enter into an agreement with any party, but rather a request to receive proposals from offerors (organizations or persons) interested in providing the services outlined herein. Such proposals shall be considered and treated by USIP as offers to enter into a contract.
* USIP shall not be obligated for the payment of any sums whatsoever to any recipient of this RFP until and unless a written contract between the parties is executed.
* Unless stated otherwise within this RFP, the selected Contractor shall be responsible for providing all equipment and/or supplies required to perform the services.
* The selected Contractor shall not discriminate against any person in accordance with Federal, state, or local law.
* The submission of any materials to USIP in response to this RFP will constitute (i) a representation that the Offeror owns or has unrestricted license to use and license such materials and all intellectual property expressed therein; and (ii) the grant of a non-exclusive license to USIP to use such materials and intellectual property for any purpose, including specifically the evaluation, negotiation, and documentation of a contract with any party.
* Offeror will commit to adhering to the attached USIP Terms & Conditions, else risk removal from consideration. Exceptions to these terms must be clearly outlined in an annex to the Technical Proposal. Please reach out to Tegan Blaine at to request a copy of USIP Terms and Conditions if they are not attached to the solicitation.

Certification Page

(Please submit with the proposal)

The Offeror certifies that: (1) Prices in the offer have been arrived at independently without consultation, communication, or agreement with any other competitor; (2) Prices in the offer have not been and will not be knowingly disclosed by the offeror, directly or indirectly, to any other competitor before bid opening or contract award unless otherwise required by law; and (3) No attempt has been made or will be made by the offeror to induce any other competitor to/not to submit an offer for the purpose of restricting competition.

On Behalf of Offeror:

Name of Organization or Independent Contractor

Signature of Authorized Official

Printed Name of Authorized Official


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