RFP: A thematic study and practical guide to ‘people-centred approaches’ within Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth

Request for Proposal (RFP)

For:      A thematic study and practical guide to ‘people-centred approaches’ within Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth

Date:   27 November 2019

Click here to download full RFP 

  1. Overview of the British Council’s Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth Proof of Concept

Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth (CH4IG) is a British Council two-year pilot programme exploring ways in which local culture can improve the lives of individuals around the world. The concept came from a 2018 British Council report exploring the notion that cultural heritage could contribute to inclusive growth. The report findings from a sector consultation and international research suggest that when people or communities are empowered with the opportunity to engage with, learn from and promote their own cultural heritage, this can contribute to social and economic development.

The report advocates for an ‘inclusive way of working’ and the British Council has developed a pilot programme to explore the concept based on a people-led approach. This means engaging with individuals and local communities and supporting them to promote their own cultural heritage, whilst also working with wider levels of society to support and effect positive change. The idea is that the programme not only lead to economic growth but will also lead to better social welfare.

  • By 'inclusive growth' we mean developing tangible opportunities which create economic and social growth that benefits everyone.
  • By 'cultural heritage' we mean any type of cultural object or activity that is connected to an individual’s history and identity. This could be anything from the built environment to cultural traditions such as music and language.

The programme has a budget of £3m over two years, from April 2018 to May 2020. The three countries participating in the CH4IG pilot – Colombia, Kenya and Vietnam – are vastly different. So, each approach is distinct, unique and relevant to its particular place and context. The projects are all community-led, devised and managed with local partners on the ground. Nordicity is leading the monitoring and evaluation, looking at the effect these initiatives are having, as well as considering how this global concept with local solutions might translate to a broader context.

The CH4IG programme focuses on four main target groups:

  • Individuals: Children and young people, women and girls, urban and rural communities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous people, students, general public
  • Practitioners/professionals: Artisans, Crafts people, Masters, artists, Arts Managers, Heritage professionals, entrepreneurs, tourist guides, teachers, entrepreneurs, researchers, community leaders, CSO/NGO leaders, other
  • Institutions: Heritage, arts, tourism (inc private sector), education, NGOs/CSO’s
  • Public bodies: Policy and decision makers at a local, regional and national level, funders and public institutions

The programme is based on the report cited as supporting document, which includes a theory of change which notes that:

  • The programme’s objective is heritage for inclusive and sustainable growth that benefits all levels of society. There is a secondary objective (or outcome) relating to UK cultural relations and soft power, i.e. to provide deeper relationships, stronger influence/attraction and long-term value to the UK.
  • The programme is expected to have short-term, intermediate and long-term outcomes in relation to an inclusive approach; a participatory approach; capacity building of sector; policy change; and cultural relations.
  • There are a range of beneficiaries from different interventions under the programme. Beneficiaries are considered to fall into four stakeholder groupings: government and policy level; institutional level; professional individuals; and community level (see Annex).
  • Interventions fall under four categories of valuing, learning, protecting and sharing.
  • The programme is responding to a number of contextual problems.

Each of the three pilot countries have interpreted the programme, and the underpinning theory of change, differently. Countries have selected to work on different forms of cultural heritage; have defined inclusive growth in different ways (looking to refine and re-define this through programme implementation); and have considered varied possible mechanisms (over differing time frames) by which supporting cultural heritage might lead to inclusive growth. The wide-ranging means of implementation provides an opportunity to compare and contrast three different country contexts and approaches in order to inform the CH4IG proof of concept.

More information on the pilot programme and the research report can be found here:

  1. Purpose

The British Council has commissioned Nordicity to conduct the monitoring and evaluation of the programme, and as part of this, Nordicity is seeking a consultant to deliver the second of three thematic studies.

The thematic studies are expected to explore three additional areas providing a specific focus on areas of interest (and at the core of the programme theory of change), building on the programme evaluation questions[1] being addressed by Nordicity.

This RFP seeks to commission a leading expert to gather emerging insight and data, conduct the necessary analysis and provide a useful assessment which explores the people-centred approach being taken within Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth. In addition, the supplier will be expected to provide an overview of the current international context of approaches which are characterised as being people-centred and look towards bringing social and economic impact, specifically within the cultural heritage and wider cultural for development sectors.

This thematic study, focusing on people-centred approaches, should address the following research questions:

  1. What is the current international context of taking a people-centred approach to the design, delivery and management of programmes within the cultural heritage and wider cultural sectors which aim to contribute to social and economic development? Where are there examples of best practice and how is this being characterised, adopted and executed?
  2. To what extent is the pilot scheme CH4IG people-centred, and where, how and why has this been demonstrated within the global programme to date?
  3. How has the CH4IG research report and the people-centred approach within the pilot had an impact on how the programme has been designed, implemented, refined and developed?
  4. What are the key ingredients, principles, ways of working and practical steps that are emerging from CH4IG, what can be learned from this and are there any recommendations for the future?

In addition, the consultants will be encouraged to propose additional or enhanced research questions. Bidders should clarify how the thematic study will provide practical guidance, examples, and best practice for learning and knowledge transfer across the sector.

Key things to take into account will be:

  1. The Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth research report including the suggested theory of change, case studies, principles and ways of working.
  2. How people have been involved in designing, informing, influencing and delivering the CH4IG programme
  3. How CH4IG’s action research and reflective learning approach has enabled the programme to strengthen/adapt/refine as it developed

Bidders should also address how they might approach the crosscutting themes of equality, inclusivity and sustainability.

The primary target audiences for the thematic study are anticipated to be those who decide, influence and design programmes and interventions within the cultural heritage and wider culture and development field.

Consultants with expertise on current theories and practices in participation and engagement, human-centred design, action research and people-centred approaches are encouraged to apply.

  1. Methods

The methods for conducting the thematic study is not prescribed. Bidders are invited to make proposals in this area with the expectation that these would be finalised in inception.

Bidders’ views on the means of data collection and indication of high impact guidance, examples, best practices, and potentially relevant case studies would be welcome.

The following can be made available for the successful supplier:

  • Relevant programme documentation including the CH4IG Global Results Framework
  • A small number of interviews with the CH4IG Global Team
  • Insight and data gathered to date from the CH4IG monitoring and evaluation

Given the timescales, field visits to the CH4IG country projects are not recommended.

In addition, bidders are welcome to suggest how the study could maximise its global reach and impact in relation to knowledge transfer and sharing learning.

  1. Outputs

The consultants will be expected to include a time a work plan and approach for delivering the following outputs.

  • Inception report (including research proposal and report outline)
  • Interim report
  • Draft and final report
  • Presentation of findings

The report outputs are expected to be submitted in a highly publishable, creative and engaging standard, using clear, relevant language and include visualisations.

  1. Project Timeline

The research will be undertaken within three (3) months, commencing in January 2020 and completed by 31 March 2020.

Bidders will be expected to provide a detailed timeline with their work plan.

  1. Budget

The budget available for the thematic study is up to £18,000 (inclusive of expenses & VAT).

  1. RFP Timescales

Subject to any changes notified to potential consultants by Nordicity, the following timescales shall apply to this RFP procurement process:


Date / time

RFP published

W. 27 November 2019

Deadline for clarification questions (Clarification Deadline)

F. 13 December 2019

Nordicity to respond to clarification questions

F. 20 December 2019

Deadline for submission of RFP responses by potential suppliers (Response Deadline)

M. 6 January 2020 (midnight GMT)

Clarification meeting(s)/interviews

W. 8 January 2020

Final Decision

w/c 13 January 2020

Project completion

T. 31 March 2020

  1. Project timescales

Below are the project reporting timescales. Bidders are asked to provide a detailed work plan/project timeline. If bidders propose a different timeline, please provide a detailed approach and rationale for doing so.


Date / time

Project kick-off

w/c 13 January 2020

Inception report (incl. revised methodology & work plan)

R. 30 January 2020

Interim report (incl. final report outline)

R. 13 February 2020

Draft report

R. 5 March 2020

Final report

T. 31 March 2020


  1. Instructions for Responding

We are looking for an individual or a partnership with expertise in human-centred design, action research and people-led approaches to programme design.

For all communications and proposal submissions, please contact Juliana Craig at and Stephen Hignell at

  • Expressions of interest in this RFP can be sent by bidders in advance by email.
  • Clarification requests from bidders can be sent by email.
  • Submission of proposals can be sent by email in MS Word format by Monday, 6th January 2019 (midnight GMT).

Proposals should include the the following details (in the same order):

  1. Bidder/consortium profile and experience
  2. Methodology, research matrix and approach (including consideration for project risks)
  3. Detailed project timeline
  4. Detailed project budget (including breakdown of consultant rates and days by task)
  5. Two references for conducting similar work within the last five (5) years.
  6. A sample of one similar report or more.


  1. Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:



Supplier Quality, Track Record & Experience


Methodology and Approach


Commercial – Value for Money



  1. Background Supporting Material

-- ENDS --

Overview of the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body

The British Council employs over 10,500 staff worldwide. It has its headquarters in the UK, with offices in London, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Further information can be viewed at

Overview of Nordicity

Nordicity is an international cultural, heritage and creative industries consultancy specialising in monitoring and evaluation, strategy, policy and economics.

Nordicity is engaged by the British Council as the lead monitoring and evaluation (M&E) supplier for the Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth (CH4IG) programme.

Further information can be viewed at

For information about this project, please contact Stephen Hignell, Associate Director, Nordicity, at


[1] The evaluation questions Nordicity is addressing in the global CH4IG M&E are:

  1. Proof of concept - To what extent and in what ways, is investing in Cultural Heritage contributing towards different forms of inclusive growth to benefit our target groups and what is the evidence to support this?
  2. Implementation - What opportunities and challenges have been encountered during implementation in each country, how have they been addressed and what has been learned?
  • Approach - How does the approach and ways of working defined across the global programme and within the research report influence both the development and delivery processes in results seen?
  1. Looking to the future – From the experience of programme implementation, what is the potential for longer term growth beyond the end of the programme. What are the conditions needed to support this?
  2. Internal ways of working - What were the intended and unintended benefits of Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth as a Multi-Country Programme? To what extent did the management of this programme enable these benefits to be realised?

Nordicity is a leading international consulting firm providing private and public-sector clients with solutions for Economic Analysis, Strategy and Business, and Policy and Regulation across four priority sectors: arts, culture and heritage; digital and creative media; information and communication technologies (ICTs) and innovation; and, telecommunications and spectrum. With offices in London (UK), Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver Nordicity is ideally placed to assist our clients to succeed in the rapidly evolving global markets.