Call for Proposals: Quotations to Undertake Scoping Study

ACT Alliance South Africa
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Friday, 10 November, 2017
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

In response to changing global conditions, and to effectively amplify the impact of their work, four European development agencies that are ACT Alliance members, have joined with Southern African partners to explore new ways of working. A key element in this process is the centrality of ‘Solidarity Hubs’ that bring together European and Southern African organisations and churches, and movements and allies from other parts of the world, to critically reflect on their practice of social justice, reflect on global and structural drivers of injustice, and emerge with new solidarity action that is rooted in the communities they seek to serve.

Problem Statement

The Solidarity Hubs that have happened already have used the See Judge Act social analysis methodology in identifying the following challenges facing social justice advocates:

  • There is the erosion of organisational capacity and consciousness in Southern African communities. Poverty and the struggle to survive means that political organising is that much more difficult to sustain.
  • There are increased violent responses from communities whose voices are largely ignored by the state. The undermining of community voice is also sometimes aggravated by NGOs’ taking unto themselves the responsibility of speaking for communities.
  • Repression, particularly targeting local community activists, is increasing, and there is decreasing confidence in policing and justice systems, notably in South Africa.
  • Generally, there is a reduction in funding available for social justice work, work that is perceived as being “political”, and work at community level, where the ‘high profile’ impact is not always as visible.
  • Because advocacy takes a long time to bear fruit, and the reality of poverty and marginalisation from economic opportunity is an ever present experience, many NGOs find it difficult to manage community expectations for change.

Furthermore, there is dearth of information on the extent and nature of participating organisations and their community engagement with regard to issues relating to gender justice, gender based violence, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Objective of the scoping study

This scoping study will provide an in-depth picture of the community engagement practice that participating organisations are engaged in around social, economic and gender justice initiatives. With a detailed picture of what everyone is doing and where, targeted collaboration and sharing at a local level can be supported that could inform national (and international) solidarity actions such as advocacy, campaigning, policy influencing and movement building, as well as fundraising.
This will go beyond only listing activities, but will develop a detailed, in-depth analysis of the sector and its different methodologies and practices in relation to community mobilisation, as well as the diversity in its thematic focus areas and how that can be complementary.

The study will contribute to building a profile of who is participating in this change process, adding value to processes such as fundraising. It is one important part of a coordinated approach to collaboration.

The specific objectives are:

  • To record and describe the community engagement activities of participating organisations
  • To create a picture / map of these community engagement activities that provides information on their geographic location, the issues / themes being dealt with, and the methodology or approach used by the organisation in this engagement.
  • This picture / map will also include a description of the communities involved – what their struggles revolve around, the extent to which they are organised and how they organise themselves
  • To provide a summary description and analysis of the practices of community organising
  • To create a data base / information sheet containing contact details and summary of organisations’ vision, mission, thematic areas, and location that can be used in profiling the collaboration that makes up this change process.

Key deliverables / Expectations of the Consultant

  • Following the initial briefing, the consultant will produce an induction report that includes the methodological approach, implementation plan, timelines, and budget. The methodology must include, et al, 
    • a desk review of research documents, annual reports, project plans, websites and other relevant documents of participating organisations,
    • interviews with participating organisations, either in person or virtually, and where possible, interviews with relevant community organisations and leaders / activists.

The induction report will also include the number of participating organisations to be canvassed (to be agreed with the client), a draft questionnaire, and a timeline for carrying out the study.

The primary output is a report with the following:

  • Information, in infographic form where possible and appropriate, on the location, extent and nature of community organising and engagement activities of organisations in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe (and any other agreed country) that are participating in the change process.
  • Examples of interventions that exist with the partner organisations (possibly presented as case studies)
  • A brief analysis of the sector and its different methodologies and practices in relation to community mobilisation, as well as the diversity in its thematic focus areas and how that is complementary

To this end, the consultant will provide an interim report once 50% of respondent organisations have been interviewed for review with the ACT Alliance team. Adjustments to the study following this review must be taken into account in the implementation of the study for the remaining respondents.

Expectations of the Client

ACT Alliance members and personnel will provide

  • Feedback on the plans and reports within agreed timeframe to enable the work to proceed.
  • The number and names of respondent organisations.
  • Assistance to the consultant to connect with participating organisations, and in making logistical arrangements where required for in person engagements.
  • Where possible and agreed to prior, participate in interviews and engagements with organisations and communities.

Duration of the Study

The study will commence before the end of November 2017, and is expected to be completed by the end of March 2018.

  • Total billable days: 20 days (approximate)
  • Briefings, feedback on reports, planning with client - two days
  • Desktop review & implementation plan - three days
  • Data collection (interviews – virtual/physical) - 10 days
  • Data analysis and report writing, including incorporating feedback - five days

Interested parties are invited to submit quotations to undertake a scoping study for ACT Alliance members involved in a change process in the region. In a brief document (no more than three pages), please present the following:

  • Your understanding of the brief
  • Your suitability to undertake the assignment, including experience in and knowledge of the sector
  • Evidence of experience in similar work, and
  • The estimated costs of undertaking the assignment

Submit your quotation by email only to Ashley Green-Thompson at by 10h00 on Friday 10 November. You may also use this address for any questions you may have.

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