Request for Proposal: Real-time learning loop of ‘Mexico Iniciativa Arropa’


Laudes Foundation and Fundación Avina are commissioning a real-time learning loop of the initiative 'Iniciativa Arropa', which aims to influence the rules of the game and practices of the apparel industry in Mexico to promote decent working conditions.

Deadline Extended!!!! Complete proposals must be submitted by 30 September 2021.

For more details download the full terms of reference.


  • Introduction to real-time learning loop

The overall purpose of the real-time learning loop is to provide regular feedback and learning to Laudes Foundation and Fundación Avina about the management and strategy of Iniciativa Arropa (e.g. with regard to cementing the Mexican labour rights achievements of the past few years; implementation of the Constitutional Labour Reforms and United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement; eradication of forced and child labour in the garment industry, etc.) and document intended and unintended outcomes. By doing so, the real-time learning loop will act as a ‘critical friend’ over the course of the Iniciativa Arropa implementation. The learning loop will be expected to cover the full duration of the project (which started in January 2021) and be completed by December 2023.

  • Introduction to Laudes Foundation and Fundación Avina

Laudes Foundation is an independent foundation here to advance the transition to a just and regenerative economy. We do this by supporting brave action that will inspire and challenge industry to harness its power for good. Action that inspires industry, to work collaboratively to create solutions and tools. And action that challenges industry, holding it to account and incentivising change.

Founded in 2020, Laudes Foundation is part of the Brenninkmeijer family enterprise and builds on six generations of entrepreneurship and philanthropy.  In particular, we advance the industry-changing work of C&A Foundation. Learning from these experiences, we to work persistently and collaboratively to influence capital and transform industry, starting with the built environment and fashion industries.

Fundación Avina works to drive collaborative processes that bring about systemic changes in favor of human dignity and care for the planet. Avina is a foundation created in 1994 by Swiss entrepreneur Stephan Schmidheiny to contribute to sustainable development. Fundación Avina, the organization based in Latin America, emerged in 2001 with the mission to produce the large-scale changes necessary for sustainable development in the region.

Today, Fundación Avina fulfills its mission by building and strengthening collaborative processes of change among stakeholders from different sectors, in order to positively impact progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.

Decent work is an essential component of building an inclusive and fair economy, as well as sustainable development. Together, Laudes Foundation and Fundación Avina, combine their efforts in Iniciativa Arropa to strengthen the movement for the defense of labour rights.

Objectives and Scope of the Real-time Learning Loop

The key objectives of the real-time learning loop are:

1. To facilitate intentional learning through collecting and summarising evidence (qualitative and quantitative) to inform on-going decision-making for Iniciativa Arropa, identify what early and later changes have been hit, what outcomes have been missed, what do ‘hits’ and ‘misses’ tell Laudes Foundation, Fundación Avina, and the actors in the Mexican labour movement going forward. Furthermore, to assist Laudes Foundation’s and Fundación Avina’s teams to apply learning to drive impact; and inform decisions regarding follow-on actions – and to do so using creative and collaborative means;

2. To assess (using Laudes Foundation rubrics)  and finetune the theory of change (TOC) of Iniciativa Arropa including the challenging, testing and validation of linkages between activities, outputs and outcomes (early and later changes); clarifying and interrogating risks and assumptions within the TOC and how they vary across countries; and document the ongoing evolution of the TOC as Iniciativa Arropa develops and matures (‘the theory of change will change’);

3. To generate knowledge about practices and pathways in Iniciativa Arropa that work well and those that do not work. The knowledge from this learning loop is intended to contribute to the evidence base pertaining to the sustainability of the Mexican labour movement to advance the agenda (e.g. implementation of the 2017 Constitutional Labour Reform and USMCA chapters 23 and 31 and related policy and endeavours; etc.).

The scope of the real-time learning loop is for Iniciativa Arropa term (until December 2023). With regards to the learning objective, it is expected that this learning loop will generate insights on the following questions, besides those that will be distilled in the inception phase. They relate to understanding partners performance/ programme effectiveness as well as stakeholders and levers of change. The selected team is welcome to propose timelines and process to answer these initial questions.

  • Is the portfolio well-suited and designed to achieve the desired medium-term outcomes and long-term impacts defined by the project? 
  • What endeavours can be most impactful to advance the labour rights agenda in Mexico and strengthen movements across industries?
  • Which actions within the project and the portfolio have the most impact in terms of driving increased policy ambition and implementation? And why?
    • What activities performed by the projects allies are more promising given the context in which they operate? 
    • What actions are most likely to be sustainable over time?
    • What lines of action, projects or approaches does Iniciativa Arropa needs to incorporate to the portfolio to strengthen the labour rights agenda?
  • What are the challenges and drivers in the context that could affect the progress of Iniciativa Arropa? Which strategies can be implemented to surmount them?
  • Is Iniciativa Arropa triggering economic sustainability and organisational capacities in its partners?  How so?
  • Which are the common aspects in the projects that allow Iniciativa Arropa to distinguish synergies to achieve a collective contribution greater than the individual results of each partner? What common pathways be built across Iniciativa Arropa portfolio?
  • What are the protectant and risk factors associated to a funder’s exit and how to overcome them?
  • How does Fundación Avina, through Iniciativa Arropa, adds value to the partners’ work?