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RFP for Multi-city Initiative on Environmental Surveillance

RFP for Multi-city Initiative on Environmental Surveillance

Organization: Precision Health/ Swasti

Apply By: 05 Jul 2022

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RFP - Multi-city Initiative on Environmental Surveillance

About the Organization:

According to WHO Chief Scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, “India can stay cautiously optimistic, but should be watchful. The keyword here is that we must not give up on surveillance. The data should be shared globally. If every country does this, we can stay ahead of the virus”.

Catalysts, with  support from Crypto Relief Foundation (CRF)/Blockchain for Impact (BFI), invites partners to help  scale the Precision Pandemic and Public health surveillance for city-wide SARS-CoV-2 virus in 25 Indian cities. These will serve as an Early Warning System for COVID outbreaks by detecting and tracking SARS-CoV-2 virus from different wastewater sources within the city.  


Precision Health is Catalysts’ Environmental Surveillance (ES) platform. The platform provides technical support, digital backbone, learning and sharing platform and communication support for believers, enthusiasts and implementers of environment surveillance.  It is a partnership driven program, which explores, tests and utilizes learnings to promote Wastewater Based Epidemiology (WBE) as a significant complementary public health surveillance tool.

The main objective of the platform is to mainstream WBE as a key public health surveillance tool in India, through interventions, research, communication & advocacy and scale up.  Since the launch of the platform on May, 27th, 2021, the platform has successfully conducted the following:

Set up an Early Warning System (EWS) for COVID outbreaks by surveilling SARS-CoV-2 virus in Bengaluru, Karnataka to support:

  • government health officials with analyzed data and trends through sense-making platforms
  • Genome Sequencing of wastewater samples to show lineages and sublieanges of dominant variants for SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • Drug level testing to understand the consumption of antibiotic and antipyretic drugs in the city.
  • Study to assess the prevalence of Antimicrobial Resistance to commonly used medicines in the city.

Over time, there has been a significant change in the awareness levels around WBE and national government and various city governments planning to initiate WBE in their cities.

Objective of RFP:

This RFP is a round 2 of an open request for bids to receive technical proposals from any registered agency to support their city governments in carrying out environmental surveillance to detect SARS-CoV-2, in order to provide Early Warning Signals (EWS) for COVID outbreaks in the city.

The objective of the RFP is to enhance a city’s capacity to carry out and utilize important signals from wastewater surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 virus. These signals include presence of infections as well as genomic variants.

The city initiatives must not be treated as one-off projects but a catalytic investment to ignite interest, build capacities and inspire forward evidence-based planning, programming, decision-making and resourcing by city municipalities as well as public health agencies in the city.

The duration of this work will be 12 months. However, once it is set up, the platform thus established may be used for other disease surveillance and to study AMR in the population. City partners will be expected to raise resources/leverage public funds to continue this work until it is mainstreamed as part of public health programming within the city/state.

CRF/BFI will provide catalytic funding for the city initiatives for 12 months / 18 months

Catalysts provide technical support through city lead partners who lead the implementation of the WBE initiative in their respective cities. Technical support includes vetting the city partners, supporting the set-up and implementation with tools and resources, capacity enhancement through Playbook and SoPs, routine quality assurance, fund management and by hosting learning and sharing platforms.

Proposals are invited from agencies, or a consortium of agencies, such as public health organizations, Civil Society Organizations (CSO), NGOs, research organizations, universities, consultancy organizations which are interested in learning all aspects of WBE through training and by executing planned ES activities at the city.

The proposal should be submitted by 5th July, 2022 latest by 5 PM IST with the subject line “Multi-city Initiative on Environmental Surveillance_Name of the organization/ consortium" with the Google Form link on email to shirish@catalyst.org.

They are looking for an approach, your past experience, relationship to the government, sustainability, assets you can leverage and any other value-adds/innovations that you can offer. You can apply for multiple cities within the same application.

Scope of work:

  • The Terms of Reference (TOR) can be referred to understand the terms of engagement, the program, the management framework and activities to be conducted in the project.
  • The budget envelope per city for 12 months is INR 74,00,000, inclusive of all costs and taxes.
  • Each city must have coverage of at least 2/3rd of the population.
  • Each site will be tested twice a week.

How to apply:

There is an application form with relevant section-wise questions on organizational expertise, technical knowledge, approach and sustainability plan, cost-effectiveness and referrals (if any). The applicant can fill up the application form for submission of the proposal and upload in the Google Form Link

Criteria for selection:



I. Organization Expertise


Evidence of relevant past work which links with current scope of work & indicates quality performance

Prior experience with local government body

How does the current project fit with organizational goals?


I. Technical Knowledge (CV of key members -upto 3)


I. Approach and Sustainability plan

Mention leveraged assets


I. Cost effectiveness


I. Referrals



  • RFP Round 1 Rollout: 2nd June 2022
  • 1st Round Deadline: 30th June 2022
  • RFP Round 2 Rollout: 18th June 2022
  • 2nd Round Deadline:  10th July 2022
  • Results communication to shortlisted applicants (Round 1): 15th July 2022
  • Results communication to shortlisted applicants (Round 2): 25th July 2022

Tentative timeline for rolling out city-wide initiatives

  • 3 cities  start date: 1st August 2022
  • 3 cities start date: 1st November 2022

For any query, please reach out to Shirish Harshe, shirish@catalysts.org, with the subject line <Query - Multi-city Initiative on ES>.  



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