Request for proposals: Capacity strengthening for Civil Society Organisations – Technical Expertise and Leadership

1. Background

Save the Children’s Humanitarian Leadership Academy (HLA) is a dedicated unit centred on enabling people to prepare for and respond to crisis acting quickly and effectively together to save lives. The work of the HLA is focused on strengthening the capacity of national and local humanitarian actors who are critical to the success of humanitarian action. The HLA is managing the portfolio of programmes funded by the IKEA Foundation.

In 2021, the HLA is finalising its new 2022-2024 strategic plan and the Academy continues to be committed to supporting local civil society actors to strengthen their capacity to contribute to lasting and meaningful social change. Partnership is crucial to the Academy’s identity who see increased engagement of local actors as critical to ensure greater local ownership and sustainability. As donors and the international development community seek to empower local government and civil society organisations to chart their own path forward there is an increased expectation that civil society organisations will need innovative, professional partnerships and capacity strengthening support to handle their growing responsibilities. This shift will have an obvious impact and so the Academy has identified the need to conduct an extensive study aimed at assessing the Academy’s engagement with CSOs needs with external trends in mind, analysing the mandate and scope of work of the current and future opportunities of CSOs work, in the areas of Technical Expertise and Leadership with key recommendations on how the Academy may adapt its activities in the long term.

2. Purpose of the consultancy services

The Humanitarian Leadership Academy has identified Technical Expertise and Leadership as two strategic areas of demand in terms of capacity strengthening for CSOs. This research aims to further assess the impact of capacity strengthening trends through a CSO lens that highlights CSO challenges, opportunities and requirements in these strategic areas. This will draw out key insights and recommendations that will inform the HLA 2022-24 strategy and enable alignment of activities in the long term. Findings and conclusions from this study will be shared with our networks, partners and stakeholders.

3. Scope of work and methodology

The successful bidder will be responsible for the following activities

· Desk Research: A Review of Literature, Policy and Practice – A desk review of relevant literature and

information to further inform the overall methodology, research questions and framing of key lines of inquiry for the project.

· Consultation with key stakeholders: CSOs focal points, leaders, experts and practitioners working within civil society, humanitarian and development system.

· Deep dive studies into 3-5 selected CSOs from across different regions to develop case studies that together build a robust evidence base to support the research.

· Inclusion and/or analysis of primary quantitative as well as secondary data available on the subject that is relevant for this research

· The scope of the research would focus on regions of East and Southern Africa, West and Central Africa, Asia, Middle East and Eastern Europe and Latin America and Caribbean

4. Proposed schedule and deliverables

An Inception report:

  • Should contain intervention logic of the programme (based on desk study), an evaluation plan, and a list of reviewed documents. Should contain proposed data collection methods and data sources to be used for addressing each evaluation question/dimension. It highly recommended to use an evaluation matrix (which connects questions to data collection methods/sources)
  • Timeframe: 10 working days from the start of the contract

Presentation at team workshop:

At the end of the data collection and analysis, the assessment team will hold a workshop with the relevant HLA staff to discuss preliminary findings and conclusions of the assessment exercise. Timeframe: November 2021.

Draft Evaluation Report:

To be submitted to the Evaluation Steering Group Committee no later than 13 December 2021. The Committee will review and provide comments to the evaluator in 7 days. Format to be agreed.

Supplementary Web based review:

A supplementary web-based review to gather information about leading donors who invest in technical and leadership capacity strengthening, including their history, objectives (including key target audiences and end users), funding, main programmes, recent evaluations, future plans etc. A systematic review of available evaluations on capacity strengthening approaches such as coaching, mentoring, digital learning, simulations etc. Timeframe: early December.

Final Evaluation report:

To be submitted to the Evaluation Steering Group Committee by 14 January 2022. Format to be agreed.

Presentation of findings:

Presentation on the findings (including PPT) to be delivered by 31 January 2022 to the HLA team. Format to be agreed.

5. Essential Criteria

The assessment should be led by an individual with competence in project/programme evaluation and adult education, and who has worked in humanitarian or development context. In particular, the main consultant should demonstrate the following:

Essential Skills:

  • Must hold a postgraduate degree in education, research, international development or any other relevant field.
  • Must have at least 7 years professional work experience in the areas research, evaluation in humanitarian and/or international development sector, desirably in education, non-formal education and/or institutional capacity strengthening.
  • Extensive conceptual and methodological skills and experience in applying qualitative and quantitative research evaluation methods.
  • Excellent communication skills necessary for building rapport with stakeholders, facilitating participation and effective presentation of result to diver audience.
  • Familiarity with adult learning approaches/methodologies; including experience of delivering assessments of learning interventions
  • Strong reporting writing skills.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Great attention to details.
  • Proficiency in speaking and writing English
  • Demonstrable knowledge of equality, diversity and inclusion integration in the international development sector

Desirable Skills:

  • Work experience in a low or/and medium income country would be an added advantage
  • Fluent in Arabic, French or Spanish

How to apply

Download the Terms of Reference [PDF]

Bidders are requested to submit their responses to Lucy Hall and Pawel Mania no later than 5pm (GMT) on 1st September 2021. The final decision on the candidate will be taken by Wednesday 8th September.

Feel free to contact Lucy Hall for any clarification on the Request for Proposal.

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