TERMS OF REFERENCE
Strengthening Partners’ Organisational Capacities
This capacity building activity in Iraq is planned as part of the project entitled Naseej - Connecting Voices and Action to End Violence Against Women and Girls in the MENA Region funded by the EU and implemented by Oxfam in Iraq, in OpT and in Yemen. s .
Since 2020, the Naseej project has been providing grants to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Women-led (WLOs) and Women’s Rights Organisations (WROs) to realise actions against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and for gender equality, through programming and advocacy. The project has also included capacity strengthening actions with the grantees and partners to support their technical and organisational development as civil society actors working on gender equality and women’s rights.
This activity is planned to be delivered in the final stages of the project implementation and contributes to the project’s exit strategy. More generally, it is part of Oxfam’s strategy to continuously support the development, sustainability and strategic positioning of CSOs, WLOs/WROs in view of empowering the feminist and women’s movements for gender justice in Iraq. In this perspective the activity is meant to provide insights and recommendations to continue our support to our partners beyond the scope of the Naseej project.
- Purpose and Objectives
The capacity building activity seeks to establish strengths, areas for further consolidation and key recommendations in terms of organisational development of Naseej partner WROs and CSOs, in view of their contribution to sustaining services and advocacy efforts to end SGBV.
It is meant to provide both a concluding assessment of capacity strengthening undertaken so far, a baseline for future development and strategic advice in that regard.
The activity builds upon the conclusion of trainings and other capacity strengthening actions that have taken place under the project on several thematic areas (see details hereafter), and more generally, on partner assessments to grow as gender-just organisations, positioned and equipped to tackle SGBV as a systemic, gender inequality issue.
- Scope and Methodology
The capacity building activity will encompass two levels of assessment and strategic recommendations for further development:
- At a first level: Assessing the progress of the capacity strengthening activities targeting up to 10 partner organisations from January to April 2022, using indicators outlined under several thematic areas, and identifying key recommendations/roadmap for further improvement.
The thematic areas are as follows: financial management, logistics management, human resources management, safeguarding and safe programming, MEAL, writing skills. Further work is also being undertaken with partners on capacity for SGBV programming and advocacy, and gender/gender mainstreaming in general.
- At a secondary, higher level: Through consultation sessions with the partners (up to 10 organisations), assessing gaps and opportunities for organisational development as gender-just organisations, examing key dimensions of strategic management and work, particularly with respect to sustaining services and advocacy efforts against SGBV.
The key dimensions tentatively include: (i) Quality of management, programming and sustainability of the local organisations, and extent to which they are using best-practice governance and management practices (e.g. using reporting system, following a risk management strategy, having a funding diversification strategy, …); (ii) Quality of work in general, programming and advocacy (including e.g. reach of programmes, diversification of advocacy methods, engagement with networks and alliances, …). These dimensions can be informed by transformative leadership for women’s rights and other domains presented, for instance, in Oxfam’s diagnostic tool for gender-just organisational development available at: https://www.oxfam.ca/publication/oxfam-canadas-capacity-assessment-tool-for-gender-just-organizational-strengthening/.
- The capacity building activity will then, through a consultation process, provide strategic advice on organisational development to the senior management at partner organisations and possibly initial coaching to set improvements in motion upon immediate feasibility.
The selected consultant is expected to employ a participatory methodology to deliver the assignment. The partners are located in Diyala, Anbar and Baghdad and the consultant is expected to spend 1-2 days with each organisation. Ideally, the consultant will engage online data collection methods as well as in-person visits to each partner head office.
The audience will include: the partners themselves, the Naseej project team, the Gender Justice Programme Manager and other Gender Justice project teams who will benefit from the assessments and key recommendations for further support to CSOs and WROs.
The completion of the assignment includes the following deliverables:
- Inception report (English);
- Draft methodological tool for first-level assessment of the progress in thematic capacity strengthening areas based on indicators [English], and report on the assessment;
- Draft methodological tool for second-level assessment of partners’ strengths and weaknesses, with a particular focus in developing as gender-just organisations and bearing mind their work on eliminating GBV (Arabic, English), and report on theassessment;
- Final report with summary of partners’ capacities and the list of strategic recommendations provided to partners for enhancing their organisational development and conclusions of any coaching sessions held with them.
- Supervision and Management
The assignment will be supervised by the Naseej Project Manager and Gender Justice Programme Manager in close coordination with Partners Focal Points in Diyala and Anbar. The final payment will be released upon written approval of all deliverables by the Naseej Project Manager and Gender Justice Programme Manager.
- Ethical Requirements
There are risks in conducting interviews, particularly during a global pandemic. Participants may have difficulties taking the time to be interviewed amidst care and other responsibilities or face technical difficulties. We will work closely to continuously identify, assess, and monitor potential risks and unintended negative consequences, and decide if and how we should move forward with the data collection and expect the consultant to participate in that effort.
In addition, care will be taken to maintain safe programming and safeguarding. Capacity building participants will be provided with the necessary information about the activity so that they can provide their informed consent (with the option of being able to retract it if the need arises) and will be provided with the mechanisms available to them in case a problem arises (Ethics Point, etc.).
Lastly, this project will follow responsible and ethical data policies, including informed and voluntary consent. In particular, all partners involved in the Naseej project undertake action, one way or another, on issues of women’s rights, gender equality and SGBV. In this view, it is expected that the Consultant abide by ethical standards – in particular on SGBV-related research/programming – when examining organisational strengths and areas for improvement. Also, interviewees will have the option to be anonymous if they so wish and may opt out of the project at any time. Data will be stored safely – with identifying information removed if requested – and will be deleted when no longer needed.
- Time Frame
The assignment is expected to be carried in June-July 2022. The consultancy is estimated to require around 30-40 working days. The timeline will be refined based on the work plan submitted by the consultant.
A full financial plan should be submitted by the consultant for their fees using the template attached with detailed breakdown of costs: per cost category (e.g. daily fees, equipment, …); and per task/deliverable.
 Oxfam’s Responsible Program Data Policy (2015). https://oxfam.app.box.com/s/upzivp7d34rvkmydvn5b2ca3t7mp0c57
Knowledge and Experience
- Strong knowledge and experience in providing strategic advice on organisational development to civil society organisations
- Experience with civil society development and capacity assessment and organisational diagnostic tools and methodologies
- Strong understanding of gender dimensions in organisational development, e.g. through experience in gender mainstreaming not only in projects but in structure, gender audits, WRO strategic and leadership support, …
- Knowledge of project/programme cycle management
- Familiarity with interventions aiming to end gender-based violence in Iraq; overall knowledge of technical standards and organisational requirements for providers of SGBV protection services, familiarity with advocacy efforts on SGBV/against VAWG; understanding of issues of safety, confidentiality and ethical requirements in the work around SGBV
- Fluency in English and Arabic
- Ability to travel
- Familiary with Oxfam’s mission; adherence to the organizational code of conduct and safe programming principles
Interested individuals, with relevant experience and skills based on the ToR, can submit their Expression of Interest (EOI), including the following:
- Cover letter of no more than 1 page introducing the consultant and intention to deliver the assignment. The cover letter should also indicate the consultants’ availability for the proposed period.
- The technical proposal should provide details on proposed methodology responding to the ToR and the deliverables; capacity in line with the competencies required for the assignment, including references to experience with similar assignments; CV of the individual directly involved in the assignment, including their specific roles; and three professional referees. A technical proposal should not be longer than 7 pages, excluding annexes.
- The financial proposal includes a one-page budget of the offer, covering all major anticipated costs. An accompanying work plan must be submitted too.
- Statement on the willingness to follow Oxfam’s Code of Conduct and guidance regarding safe programming.
Please submit the EOI and other documents by midnight Iraq time by 30 June to firstname.lastname@example.org with Organisational Capacities - Naseej in the subject line. No EOIs will be accepted after the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
All questions or clarifications of a technical nature are to be sent to: email@example.com no later than 26 of May 2022, 5 pm. Interested applicants can collect the Terms of Reference (TOR) at Oxfam in Iraq Country Office, starting from May 2022 (during working hours). Alternatively, the Oxfam Logistics team can send the ToR via email upon request.
the advert will continue till the consultant is selected.
This invitation to tender has been issued for the sole purpose of obtaining offers for the provision of the services requested in this TOR. Oxfam reserves the right not to enter in or award a contract as a result of this invitation to tender. Oxfam also reserves the right to terminate any contract issued as a result of this invitation to tender as set out in the contract terms and conditions.