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CALL FOR TENDER : Subcontracting for external expertise

Tender Specifications for Research on Social Services Privatisation across Europe

Date of publication on the EPSU website: 30/07/2018

Deadline for submissions 14/09/2018

Timetable for research: October 2018-March 2019

To be sent to:

Privatising our future: an overview of privatisation, marketisation and commercialisation of social services in Europe

The processes of privatisation, marketisation and commercialisation have had a major impact on many areas of public services across Europe and have spread to all kinds of social service provision. The message often repeated by many national governments and international institutions is that the private sector is more efficient and effective than the public sector and can deliver services at lower cost. Research published by EPSU has challenged these assumptions in general and in relation to some public services but there is a gap in relation to social services. The aim of this research is to help fill this gap.

Main aims of the research

EPSU wants to commission research with the aim to provide a report that includes:

  • an overview of the extent of privatisation of social services across Europe on the basis of available studies at national and European level ;
  • a review of any existing studies that compare public and private provision of social services in relation to the quality, accessibility and affordability of service;
  • an analysis of the main private companies and private equity funds investing in the sector ;
  • an overview of any existing reports and surveys that reveal the impact of privatisation of social services on the pay and conditions of workers.

Geographical coverage

While privatisation trends and the availability of research, reports and surveys may lead to the research focusing on particular regions and countries in Europe, it should aim to have a reasonable geographical spread taking account of the extent to which EPSU’s member organisations organise in social services across the 49 countries in the EPSU region.  EPSU affiliates will be asked to help with the identification of relevant research, reports and surveys.

Target audience

The report should provide evidence for EPSU member organisations on the main trends across Europe and information that can help with their campaigns at national level. It should also be relevant to a wider public audience and the media and help in challenging the notion that privately provided social services are necessarily more efficient and effective that publicly provided services. Such a product would help us to create a case in Europe for the growing privatization of care and help EPSU affiliates and EPSU in their lobbying work and relaunch our profile in defence of public services.

Format of the research

The main, final output should be a research report, including an executive summary that could also be published as a standalone briefing. The research should also include, where appropriate, infographics that will help communicate key findings.


The contractor selected will meet with the EPSU secretariat in early October 2018 in order to discuss the details of the research and the content, length and format of the research report. The deadline for the first draft report will be 15 January 2019. The draft will be circulated to members of EPSU’s Social Services Working Group (SSWG) which will meet on 26 February 2019. The contractor will be expected to present the main findings of the research to this meeting and take on board feedback from participants.

Following comments from the EPSU secretariat, the contractor will be expected to complete the report by 29 March 2019.

Expertise required

The contractor will be expected to demonstrate that they have:

  • experience in research in the field of social services sector in Europe;
  • experience in research related to the various processes and impacts of privatisation, commercialisation and marketisation of public services;
  • experience in developing research methodologies and tools ;
  • experience of producing reports in English accessible to a wide and non-expert readership.


The maximum funding for this work is 10.000 EUR (all taxes and charges included).

This will be paid in two instalments.  The first payment of 5.000 EUR will be made on presentation of the draft report by 15 January 2019 and the second payment of 5.000 EUR on completion of the final report by 29 March 2019, to the satisfaction of the EPSU secretariat.

Travel and accommodation expenses for the contractor to attend the meeting with EPSU in October 2018 and the meeting of the Social Services Working Group in February 2019 will be covered by EPSU.


Tenders shall be sent by email to Jessica Prairial (, to be received at the latest by the 14th of September 2018. Tenders received after this date will not be taken into consideration for the selection.

The tender shall be in English and contain:

  • curriculum vitae demonstrating the necessary expertise;
  • a concept for the study, including a description of the methodology, contacts to be established and any further details;
  • a proposal of issues to be addressed by the study; and
  • any further documents relevant to the selection criteria – in particular the ability to write in English for a non-expert readership.

For additional information with regards the tender content please contact Luca Scarpiello (

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