Request for Proposal for developing manual on Legal Rights of LGBTQ+ and FSW Community

Purpose of Consultancy Manual on Legal Rights and Responsibilities of LGBTQ+ and FSW Community
Project Owner The Humsafar Trust
Duration for Completion Up to 15th January 2024
Last Date of Submission 21-11-2023

1.  About The Humsafar Trust

Founded in April 1994, The Humsafar Trust (HST) is India’s first community-based organization (CBO) of self-identified homosexual men, men who have sex with men (MSM), Hijras and Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (LBT) persons. The HIV interventions of HST are supported by National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) to provide health services to men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender (TG) communities every year through public health care delivery systems and its in-house clinics.

HST organizes advocacy workshops for health care provides, law enforcement agencies, judiciary, legislators, politicians and political parties, government bodies, media, student community, corporate staff to sensitize them on Gay, MSM and TG issues. HST also builds capacities of Community Based Organizations in 27 Indian states on HIV prevention, treatment, care & support and advocacy for LGBTQ rights, in addition to providing legal support, crisis management, mental health and nutrition counselling to its communities. Kindly refer to the website for more details about the organization.

2.  Background of the RFP

In India, the members of the LGBTQ+ and Female sex workers (FSW) community continue to face stigma and discrimination. There is a growing fear of coming out from the closet to identify oneself from the community. Despite the Honourable Supreme Court confirming the rights of the LGBTQ+ and FSW community, many remain unidentified due to fear of harassment. Not only do they face stigma but because of fear of coming out they remain invisible and lack access to health care services and other social entitlement provisions including the realization of basic human rights.

Among the LGBTQ+ and FSW community, physical health and mental wellbeing continues to be a pressing concern leading to increased vulnerability and further marginalization. The community’s social exclusion is compounded by lack of adequate access to social protection measures including curtailed rights. Since 2014, affirmative changes have taken place in India in terms of recognising fewer rights of LGBTQ+ and FSW community. With the emergence of a more LGBTQ+ and FSW aware and tolerant ecosystem, there is a need to better educate the community about their rights and welfare provision enacted from time to time. This can further contribute towards being the change makers themselves in addressing the challenges related to recognition of equal rights for the community.

Through this RFP, we invite individuals/agencies to develop a manual to provide better understanding of the judgements affecting the lives of the LGBTQ+ and FSW communities such as judgement on section 377, NALSA judgement, Supreme Court’s direction on ‘sex work is a profession’. Collating and simplifying these judgement and direction is expected to empower the community to be able to advocate for their rights to promote gender equality, social and legal acceptance in society.

The objectives are as follows:

  • To simplify the legal judgement/direction affecting the lives of LGBTQ+ and FSW community for better understanding of the community to understand their rights.
  • To be able to use the manual by the community as advocacy tool.

3.  Scope of Work

The selected agency/consultant(s) is expected to review the judgement/direction pertaining to LGBTQ+ and FSW community and simplify the content for better understanding of the community:

  1. Perform a desk review of the judgement and directions provided by the Honourable Supreme Court of India
  2. Conduct community consultation to take inputs from the community of FSW and LGBTQ+
  3. Simplify the judgement/direction for comprehension of the community members
  4. Provide relevant section-wise rights of the community under different chapters/sections
  5. Scope for advocacy with different stakeholders
  6. Brief report of community consultation

These Terms of Reference (ToR) may vary to reflect the changing needs of The Global Fund and HST, Alliance India, and NACO. This will be done in consultation with the selected agency/consultant(s). The selected agency/consultant(s) will be expected to work in a flexible and adaptable manner, responding to changing needs, priorities and context.

4. Safeguards

Agency/consultant(s) are advised to adhere to the HIV and AIDS (P&C) Act 2017 and especially adhering to consent & confidentiality and in respecting the human rights of all participants during the process of developing the manual. The HST is committed to safeguard community members’ confidentiality, respect for online spaces and not intrude to cause imbalance (disgrunt) in discussion themes or services emanating from the project.

The agency/consultant(s) will ensure non-discriminatory approach while developing the manual. Selected agency will adhere to HST data protection policy as well as statutory requirements presently practiced in the development sector. The proprietary of the manual is with HST as under the rules of Global Fund to fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and thus the agency/consultant(s) will require to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that would extend beyond the project period and hand over all data in raw and report forms to HST on completion of the manual development process.

5. Activities & timeline

The manual development process is expected to be completed in approximately 6 weeks including presenting the final manual. The tentative durations at all stages are given below:

  1. Tentative duration for orientation, desk review and framework of the manual (1 week)
    1. Tentative duration for community consultation (1 week)
    2. Tentative duration for draft manual (2 weeks)
    3. Tentative duration for review and revision (2 weeks)

6. Who can apply to this RFP?

Agency/consultant(s) must demonstrate the following requirements in their application in order to be considered:

  1. The agency/consultant(s) is expected to have a minimum of 3 years of experience in conducting similar work/projects preferably related to health, HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ+, gender equality or have a background in law. Preference will be given to agency/consultant(s) who have worked in the area of LGBTQ+ and FSW community.
  2. The team lead should have a Post Graduate degree in Social Sciences/Law with a sound understanding on LGBTQ+ and FSW community.
  3. Excellent spoken and written command in English and Hindi
  4. Excellent report writing and presentation skills

7. Proposal Submission Guidelines

The proposal should be submitted in two parts: i) Technical Proposal, and ii) Financial Proposal. The technical proposal must contain the following: 

Technical Proposal

  1. A brief background including relevant past experiences up to three years related to development of manual conducted by the agency/consultant(s). Please include name and contact details of past and current clients
    1. Brief introduction about the importance of developing such a manual
    2. Preliminary framework/approach of the manual
    3. Quality control mechanisms (at different stages)
    4. Outline of the manual  
    5. Bio-data of key resource person(s) who will be involved in the process evaluation
    6. Timeline for development of the manual with key deliverables
    7. Contact information of two key officials who will manage, lead and sign      contracts. In case of individual consultant, contact information of one key person is required

Financial Proposal

Provide detailed cost estimates for each of the task envisaged in conducting the process evaluation as per Annexure-1.

8. Criteria for selection of an agency

Given below are the criteria for selection:

Sl.No. Selection Criteria Points
1 Understanding of the problem statement 10
2 Framework/Approach to be used in developing the manual 10
4 Past experiences of the agency/consultant  10
5 Outline of the manual 10
6 Financial proposal 10

HST reserves the right to select a short list from the bids received. HST can conduct interview and discuss specific details with agency/consultant(s) who are short-listed.

9. Right to final negotiations

HST reserves the option to negotiate on the final costs and final scope of work, and also reserves the

option to limit or include third parties at HST’s sole and full discretion in such negotiations.

10. Bid submission instructions

Bid submission deadline The technical bid and financial bid are to be submitted in PDF documents by email on Email subject line: RFP-HST-NETREACH-2023/11/01: Developing manual on Legal Rights of LGBTQ+ and FSW Community
Deadline for submission of queries Queries related to submission of the RFP will be taken until 16th November 2023, 5PM by email to
Proposal’s File name should have ‘Name of Agency- Technical and Financial Proposal’
Last Date of Submission The application must be submitted along with all supportive documents on or before 21st November 2023

Annexure 1

Outline for Budget

Description Unit Unit cost (in Rs.) No of days Total Amount (in Rs.)
Consultancy Fees        

Note: HST will bear the expenses on travel, accommodation and other related expenses as per the requirement to conduct the exercise of developing the manual