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Acquisition of Consultancy Services - Individual Consultants

General Questions

There are two types of requirement for Individual Consultants in connection with the Bank’s work and these are: Individual Consultants recruited by the Borrowers and Individual Consultants recruited by the Bank.  Under Bank-funded projects, the Borrower is responsible for the recruitment of consultants (mostly under the TAF grants, where technical assistance is required in specific fields and audit services etc). In such cases, the requirements will be advertised in the GPN for the project and the SPN for the specific assignments, which are published by the UNDB and these would also be indicated in the AfDB Business Bulletin and the Bank’s QOS and Website. From the expressions of interest and the list of known consultants in the required field in the Borrower’s records, a list shall be identified first, and submitted to the Bank. If the number submitted is insufficient, the Bank may be requested by the Borrower to supplement the source from the DACON Data base. In some cases, the Borrower before short-listing, may request the Bank to send a potential long-list for review. But in all cases, the Borrower compiles the final short-list for the Bank to approve.  In the second instance, if there is need for a consultant professional expert in a particular specialization to join a Bank’s mission or for desk work due to shortage of its own staff, the Bank will prepare a short-list drawn from the DACON data base. Requirements for staff consultants are not advertised.

For the requirements of the Borrower, EOIs should be sent directly to the Borrower’s Executing Agency, whose address and telephone numbers are given in the GPN and SPN and in the AfDB Business Bulletin and QOS.

There is no need to send an EOI for the requirements of the Bank.

The Bank may engage consultants to supplement its staff for limited periods where recruitment is for shorter periods ranging between 6 to 12 weeks and often at short notice. These are usually individual consultants, self employed or provided by consulting firms. Staff consultants are usually funded from the Bank’s administration budget.  In such cases, staff consultants cannot be engaged to perform the work that could be considered as providing Technical Assistance to a member country, which is usually financed through the Bank’s TAF Grants.

In order to enable the Bank to judge the acceptability of consultants proposed by Borrowers as well as those intended for its own assignments, the Bank maintains information concerning the qualifications, capabilities and experience of consultants in its Database on Consultants (DACON) system. The DACON system records include the names of consultants, expertise, descriptions of assignments and work performed employment records, and other relevant information. Information in DACON is available also to representatives of the Bank’s Borrowers and the Executing Agencies of member countries, who may request it.

However, the fact that the Bank has been supplied with the information about a consultant does not mean that the Bank has verified its accuracy, or has endorsed it, or that it will approve the consultant’s appointment for a specific project. The Bank has no list of “approved” consultants.

Yes. Any individual consultant can register in the DACON, provided he / she meets the following criteria for registration:

  • Be a national of a Bank’s member country;
  • Have at the minimum, a Masters Degree in the relevant specialization;
  • Have at least ten (10) years of work experience in the relevant specialization; and
  • Have relevant expertise and regional work experience normally required for Bank financed projects.

No. The Bank has no list of “approved” consultants.  Furthermore, the fact that the Bank has been supplied with the information about a consultant does not mean that the Bank has verified the accuracy of the information provided, or that it has endorsed the consultant’s qualifications in general, or that it will approve the consultant’s appointment for a specific project.

No. The fact that the Bank has registered a consultant in DACON, is no indication that the Bank, for any project work, will select any consultant. Registration in DACON does not constitute pre-selection of consultants.

Yes. Former Bank staff members can register in DACON.

However, a restriction exists for those Bank staff members who retired during the period 1995/96, to be employed as “Individual Consultants”. None the less, this restriction does not apply in the case of the same individual being used by a consulting firm. The Bank’s “Procurement Unit” and the “Human Resources & Career Management Department” should be consulted in case of doubt.

It is important for consultants to update their registration records regularly, that is, about once every two years.

There are no limitations on the length of time for engagement of Individual consultants by Borrowers. However, individual consultants may only be engaged, by the Bank, on a single or repetitive basis for a cumulative period of six (6) months during any calendar year. Engagement as a member of a team provided by a consulting firm is not counted in this maximum.

There are two possibilities. Firstly, when the need arises for the Bank to engage an individual consultant, under its Administrative or Capital Expenditure Budget, the User department of the Bank will make a request to the Bank’s Consultants’ Recruitment and Supervision Committee (CRSC), which will use DACON to make the short-list. The User department will send the invitation for submissions of proposals, evaluate the proposals in accordance with the Bank’s internal procedures and award the contract to undertake the services required.

In the second case, which concerns the Borrowers’ use of consultants, the Borrower will compile its short-list following the expressions of interest (EOI). However, if the EOIs are not adequate, the Borrower may make a request to the Bank, to provide it with a long–list, from DACON. The Borrower will then complete its short-list, obtain Bank approval and issue its RFP.

No. Consultants do not need to be in DACON before they can be short-listed. The only criteria for short-listing, is to be eligible and to have the requisite qualifications and experience for the assignment.

Consultants themselves initiate registration in DACON. The Bank can only advise consultants to register as soon as possible, if he / she had not already done so.

Yes. The performance evaluation of a consultant engaged by the Bank is completed by the User department and entered into DACON.

Logically no. The Individual RFP model is different from that used for a consulting firm. Among other aspects, the evaluation criteria differ in each of the two cases.

For all inquiries on the registration of Individual consultants, kindly contact the Procurement Unit of the Bank at the Temporary Relocation Agency (TRA) at the following address:

    Procurement Unit (PPRU)
    African Development Bank
    B.P. 323    1002, Tunis Belvedère

    AfDB Dacon Hot-line
    Tel: (216) 71-103-316
    Fax: (216) 71-830-273

DACON (Consultancy) Registration

DACON (Database on Consultants) is a consultants’ database maintained by the Bank. The information contained in DACON concerns the qualifications, experience and capabilities of consultants, which enables the Bank and its Borrowers, to identify potential consultants and to judge the acceptability of those consultants proposed by its Borrowers. The information is used in the preparation of short-lists.

No. Consultants are encouraged, but is not mandatory, to register with DACON. Registration of a consulting firm with the particulars of experience and staff capabilities to undertake a particular assignment would assist the Bank and the Borrower to review the shortlist submitted by the Borrowers of member countries to the Bank for approval. In the case of Individual Consultants, the registration will enable the Bank to identify suitable consultants for specific assignments.

For the operation of DACON, see the User Guides for Consulting Firms and Individual Consultants. Opportunities for consultants are available in many aspects of project feasibility design and implementation. During project preparation, for example, consultants may be required by the Borrower or even the Bank, to prepare pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, environmental assessments, detailed engineering project design as well as project cost estimates. During the implementation phase, consulting services are frequently necessary to prepare bidding documents, evaluate bids, and supervise the construction or installation of contracts. Consultants are also engaged to conduct studies in areas such as, preparation of master plans, aerial photography etc. There are also opportunities to prepare feasibility studies for follow-on projects and to provide all types of advisory and training services needed by the Borrower.

Yes. All eligible firms can submit their Expression of Interest, even if they are not in the DACON registry. However, the Bank encourages registration with DACON to help to assess the firm’s capabilities and experience in the relevant field.

Yes. The performance record is kept in the Bank’s procurement contract database, which is used both in approving shortlists forwarded by Borrowers and in compiling shortlists for the internal use of the Bank, under its Administrative and Capital Expenditures Budget.

Business Opportunities

Subscribing to UN Development Business would enable potential bidders to find out what business opportunities are available in regional member countries, about projects funded by the Bank. This is the primary source of information worldwide about procurement opportunities (works, goods and consultancy services) available under financing from the multilateral development Banks. In addition, the Bank prepares, on a monthly basis, the AfDB Business Bulletin and the Quarterly Operational Summary (QOS), and further information is available on the website.

For all procurement through International Competitive Bidding, the United Nations Development Business (UNDB) is the right source of information. For procurement at the national level, this can be found from the local newspapers of regional member countries.  Information on the Bank Group’s business opportunities can be obtained from the following sources:

  • The Quarterly Operational Summary of Projects (QOS) of the Bank published 4 times a year, reports on the status of projects in the Bank’s lending programme. Projects are recorded in the QOS, six months from the time they are programmed for approval by the Bank’s Boards of Directors. Once approved, projects remain in the QOS for a further six months, before being dropped from the QOS.
  • The AfDB Business Bulletin, which is published monthly, contains the projects in the Bank’s pipeline, projects approved by the Bank’s Boards of Directors, GPNs and SPNs, as well as Contracts awarded for goods, works and consultancy services.

The most comprehensive and formal source of information on business opportunities under African Development Bank Group funded projects, programmes and studies is the is through the UN Development Business a bi-weekly publication (

NB: The Borrower is responsible for the administration of procurement under Bank Group-funded projects, programmes and studies, including advertising in newspapers, administration of the processes of pre-qualification, preparation of bidding documents, request for proposals (RFPs), issue of bids and RFPs, evaluation of bids/ offers, and finally contract awards. The Borrower (not the Bank), contracts directly with the firms and consultants. Consultants, contractors, manufacturers and suppliers of goods, works and services are therefore advised to market themselves to the Borrowing Country rather than to the Bank. In other words, the Borrower is the “actor” and the Bank is the “monitor”.

Oui. Lorsque la passation de marché se fait par le biais d’un AOI, l’emprunteur, en accord avec la Banque, peut accorder une préférence aux biens produits dans le pays et aux entrepreneurs nationaux lors de l’évaluation des offres par rapport aux offres provenant de l’étranger. De même, une préférence régionale peut être consentie pour des biens, des fournisseurs et des entrepreneurs originaires de Pays Membres Régionaux avec lesquels l’emprunteur a passé des accords d’intégration économique ou des accords commerciaux.

The Bank assists in many different types of projects that are too numerous to list. For instance in the agricultural sector alone, Bank assisted projects include development of tree crops, farming, irrigation, live stock, forestry, fisheries, food processing, grain storage, agricultural extension and technical assistance, of which all may entail procurement of supplies, equipment and construction of civil works for dams and irrigation canals as well as hydroelectric power plants. The wide variety of projects involved provides a broad scope of opportunities, which range from a few to millions of dollars:

  • Procurement of goods include vehicles, machinery, tractors, farm implements, fertilizer, transport equipment, electrical machinery and plant, industrial facilities, hardware, telecommunication systems, agricultural machinery, school books, furniture, spare parts, materials of all types, as well as the related services of transportation and the insurance of these goods.
  • Procurement of works include the construction of roads and highways including bridges, ports, railways, airports, inland waterways, irrigation and hydroelectric works, water supply and sewerage facilities, power plant, and their rehabilitation.
  • Procurement of consultancy services include pre-investment studies such as pre-feasibility, feasibility and design studies, as well as supervision installation and construction, environmental assessment studies, monitoring of management activities, aerial photography and mapping, financial services and audit services.

No. There is no standard form/ template that is used in response to Requests for Expression of Interest. The information that should be provided is normally indicated in the SPN, that is the Procurement Notice (Request for Expression of Interest), which is published in the UN Development Business. Potential applicants are kindly requested to respond to the specifics of the SPN, and make sure that relevant details including the type of organisation, experience in similar projects, qualifications and experience of key personnel, contact information etc, are included in the EOI.

Many contracts for goods, works, and services are won by relatively small and medium-sized enterprises. On the other hand, some extremely large contracts, such as multipurpose dam, industrial and power plants, are suitable only for large and experienced firms in the specific field. Most procured items and civil works opportunities permit all sizes of firms to compete for contracts. Moreover, firms that win major contracts often subcontract to smaller firms for the supply of goods or provision of services.

The African Development Bank’s approach is to hold seminars, upon request, at the Bank’s Headquarters, for visiting business delegations, and also, to conduct “Business Opportunity Seminars” in its member countries, upon request. The Bank conducts on average about twelve such seminars a year, in member countries and in Tunis.  Information on such seminars is advertised, by the organizing agencies, in the Bank’s member countries.