North Eastern Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force: Tender for an Independent Strategic Review

North Eastern Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force

North Eastern Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force

Tender for an Independent Strategic Review

Introduction / context

The North East Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force (NE-RDATF) is seeking proposals from individuals or companies to assist us in the development of a new Strategic Plan. As part of this work, we are seeking to develop a three-year strategic plan that will inform the direction of the Task Force and the associated annual work plans.

In 2003, ten Regional Task Forces covering the entirety of Ireland were set up on foot of recommendations from the Government’s National Drugs Strategy (NDS). This was to facilitate a more effective response to the substance misuse problem across Ireland and involve those directly affected by the problem in the development of a region based strategic plan. Furthermore, in late 2013, following the recommendations of the Steering Group Report on the National Substance Misuse Strategy, alcohol was incorporated into the remit of all Task Forces.

The North Eastern Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force (NE-RDATF) brings together members, representing the community, voluntary and statutory sectors, public representatives and key interest groups to develop and co-ordinate a collective and integrated response to drug and alcohol problems in the north east region which covers the counties of Cavan, Louth Meath & Monaghan. It supports a range of community-based projects and initiatives which respond to drug and alcohol problems. These projects and initiatives have been established under the Task Force remit to develop and co-ordinate a collective and integrated response to drug and alcohol problems across the region. The terms of reference for Drug & Alcohol Task Forces are as follows:

  • To coordinate the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy in the context of the needs of the region/local area
  • To implement the actions of the National Drugs Strategy where Task Forces have been assigned a role
  • To promote the implementation of evidence-based local/regional drug and alcohol strategies and to exchange best practice
  • To support and strengthen community-based responses to drug and alcohol misuse
  • To maintain an up-to-date overview on the nature and extent of drug and alcohol misuse in the area/region
  • To identify and report on emerging issues and advocate for the development of policies or actions needed to address them
  • To monitor, evaluate and assess the impact of the funded projects and their continued relevance to the local/regional drugs task force strategy and to recommend changes in the funding allocations as deemed necessary

The mission of the NE-RDATF is to provide quality services for people and communities impacted by drugs and alcohol. There is a strong emphasises on community advocacy, quality standards in service provision, the promotion of human rights-based approaches, helping services be sustainable, support for staff and service user morale and building robust interagency partnerships with stakeholders across the region. We are committed to achieving this by pursuing the strategic goals of Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery

  • Goal One: Promote and Protect Health and Wellbeing
  • Goal Two: Minimise the harms caused by the use and misuse of substances and promote rehabilitation and recovery
  • Goal Three: Address the harms of drug markets and reduce access to drugs for harmful use
  • Goal Four: Support participation of individuals, families, and communities
  • Goal Five: Develop sound and comprehensive evidence-informed policies and actions

Aim & scope of tender

The overall aim of this tender is to generate a Strategic Plan that will enhance the local area response to the impact of drugs and alcohol in the counties of Cavan, Louth, Meath & Monaghan. The scope of the tender will include:

  • A detailed profile of drug and alcohol usage in the NE-RDATF area and emerging trends in drug and alcohol use.
  • A comprehensive needs/gaps analysis of substance use support services in the region.
  • Profile and analysis of the available funding streams.
  • Using the findings from the above to identify whether the programme of funding steams are:
    • Meeting the needs of the area.
    • Aligned with the NDS Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery (2017-2025) & the recent Mid-Term Review, recent HSE reports and the Slaintecare implementation strategy, and the advent of population based funding in future years.
  • A review of the work under NE-RDATF Work plans 2018-2021
  • To identify key priorities for future work plans in the life time of the current strategy.
  • To capture the emerging problems and local community needs.
  • To explore potential opportunities.
  • To recommend evaluation measures.
  • An assessment of challenges and opportunities for Task Force and its area
  • The outputs and outcomes demonstrate the impact of the work concerning the individuals and families being supported as well as the wider community.
  • To incorporate relevant research and best practice.
  • To prepare recommendations for strengthening service provision within the context of identified needs, available resources, best practice guidelines and in line with the national drugs strategy Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery 2017-2025.


Stakeholder participation and consultation

  • Local strategic priorities will be agreed upon through consensus with all stakeholders.
  • Consult the members and working groups of the NE-RDATF, to in the development of its strategic plan until 2025.
  • Consultation with project promoters.
  • Consultation with other key regional stakeholders as how the NE-RDATF strategic plan fits with their own agency goals.
  • Community consultation & service user input will be an expectation of this piece of work.

Devise a suitable implementation plan

Arising from the Plan’s goals devise objectives for the NE-RDATF for 2023- 25 identifying internal delivery mechanisms, necessary structures to achieve them, resource issues and timescales.

  • Develop Mechanisms to monitor progress including baseline and qualitative and quantitative performance indicators.
  • A template to be developed and provided for the Task Force to complete focusing on the domain of action for each strategic goal.

Based on the above the successful applicant will develop an implementation table outlining the priority actions that the NE-RDATF local strategy will focus on in the period 2023-2025. These priority actions will be agreed upon with stakeholders and will promote greater interagency working. The implementation table will chart the role of all partner organisations in the NE-RDATF strategy and identify achievable outcomes. These outcomes will be set against a three-year timeline.


The lead consultant will report formally to the NE-RDATF Finance & Governance group and provide reports in advance of the project management meetings. An interim report and a final report and presentation to the NE-RDATF will be required.

The appointed contractor will also be required to provide the following:

  • Deliver this work within the agreed prescribed time frame contract period.
  • Provide regular updates on progress to the Task Force Coordinator and/or our Finance & Governance group.
  • Submit a Draft Report to include an executive summary and a series of recommendations to the Finance & Governance group within the agreed time frame. Draft document to be submitted to the NE-RDATF for feedback must include clear findings based on the analysis of information gathered and collated.
  • Final document will be signed off and agreed by the Finance & Governance group. Appointed contractor will then be required to meet and present on the findings of the evaluation to the NE-RDATF Task Force Committee.
  • The appointed contractor will be required to comply with the requirements of the submission of garda vetting and tax compliance.

Application Details

The budget available for the total project will be no more that €15,000 (inclusive of VAT & travel and other expenses). Given the financial constraints over the last number of years, the NE-RDATF would ask potential bidders to consider this in preparing tender costs. All applicants must possess a tax clearance certificate, as well as relevant professional indemnity and insurance. The final report must be available within a maximum of 14 weeks of commission.

Consultant/Contractor should state the following in their submissions to NE-RDATF:

  • Their approach and methodology in undertaking this commission
  • The team member(s) they propose to deploy, and their specific experience in the field of substance misuse consultancy assignments
  • Curriculum Vitae (including the name of organisations for whom consultancy work has been completed)
  • Relevant samples of previous work
  • Their overall cost of conducting the assignment, and the distribution of consultancy days amongst their team, including the number of days required to complete the task, the number of days each person will be employed on the task, the cost per day.

The NE-RDATF will not be bound to accept the lowest or any tender. Once the tender has been accepted, any price increases during the term of contract will not be accepted

Tender Assessment Procedure

A tender assessment panel will examine all tenders received. The panel will have to be satisfied that the method and programme of work meet the project’s objectives and are cost effective. The panel will also consider other criteria to include:

  • Clear demonstration and understanding of the issues being addressed
  • Demonstration that the tender has the level, depth, nature of and the relevant skills and experience in the area. Evidence that they possess the necessary skills to carry out the study
  • Proposed qualitative/quantitative research design and data analysis
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively manage and complete the contract within the agreed timeframe
  • Overall assessment and quality of proposal
  • Declaration of any potential conflict of interest
  • Confirmation from applicant that they are in receipt of current garda vetting documentation. Where an agency/individual is not in receipt of garda vetting, they must confirm they are able to source same
  • Value for money


Closing date for receipt of tender applications is Friday 28th January 2022 at 4pm. Applications that are delivered late or incomplete after that time will not be considered. Applications will be accepted by email to

Informal enquiries to Andy Ogle, Coordinator, NE-RDATF at: or 046 924 8630.

Important note: it is the responsibility of the tenderer to ensure the tender is received by the NE-RDATF on time. No responsibility for late arrival of emails or correspondence will be accepted by NE-RDATF.

Short listing will apply following initial assessment of tenders, and selected applications for this commission will be required to attend an interview and make a presentation to the NE-RDATF Finance & Governance group; the date for possible interviews & presentations will be in mid-February 2022.

  • The appointed Contractor must be in a position to begin work by the first week of March 2022.
  • A Draft Report must be submitted by the successful Contractor to the NE-RDATF Finance & Governance group by Monday 25th April 2022.
  • The Final Report must be submitted to the NE-RDATF Finance & Governance group by Friday 27th May 2022.

Compliance to the timeframe set out above is necessary to enable the NE-RDATF to develop a workplan based on the clear recommendations of this report.

General Info

Date Entered/Updated
4th Jan, 2022
North East
Expiry Date
28th Jan, 2022