Terms of Reference for Consultancy Creating a Standardized Partners Capacity Assessment Tool for Local NGOs – NGO Jobs 2021

Job Title: Terms of Reference for Consultancy Creating a Standardized Partners Capacity Assessment Tool for Local NGOs

Country: Somalia
Organization: CARE
Closing date: 14 Dec 2021


Somali NGO Consortium (SNC)

The Somali NGO Consortium (SNC) is a membership organization of national and international NGOs that work together to create an enabling environment for the efficient and effective delivery of humanitarian and development assistance to the Somali community. SNC has supported NGOs since 1999 through its core activities in coordination, representation, information sharing and advocacy. It has offices in Hargeisa (Somaliland), Mogadishu, Garowe, Baidoa, Dhusamareeb and Kismayo (Somalia). The Consortium currently has 93 members working across Somalia/Somaliland. The localization working group under the Somali NGO consortium, as part of its mandate, initiated the move to have a standard capacity assessment tool in Somalia and Somaliland. With the support of INGOs, SCI and Nexus platforms we will materialize the move into execution.

The Need for a Harmonized and Standardized Partner Capacity Assessment Tool

Capacity assessments conducted by Donors and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) on Local and National Non-Governmental Organizations (LNNGOs) are an essential part of the humanitarian and development operations. Donors and INGOs rely on a diverse range of capacity assessment methodologies to determine the funding eligibility and capacity of implementing partners to deliver humanitarian assistance in compliance with donors’ rule and regulations. However, it is the experience of LNNGOs who undergo the Partner Capacity Assessments (PCAs) in Somalia/Somaliland that (1) the diversity of methodologies accounts for a functionally negligible difference in the types of documentation and engagement that is required and that many donor and (2) INGOs administer similar or overlapping criteria within their respective PCA tools. Anecdotally, SNC notes that while they undertake numerous different PCAs in a given year, 90% of the PCA content is the same. Each time, these assessments take time from the staff at various levels. As a result, the diversity of PCA methodologies place a high burden on already scarce resources, particularly for LNGOs working in complex and resource-poor environments. Similarly, at their best, the processes of PCA operate as a benchmarking for LNGOs to identify their weaknesses and opportunities for growth. However, in practice, the findings of PCAs are rarely shared with local partners, and there is a lack of clarity on exactly how LNGOs can improve their systems to qualify for increased funding from donors and INGO partners. As a result, PCAs can be better understood as resource-intensive and repetitive risk management processes rather than genuine initiatives aimed at improving the capacity of implementing humanitarian partners.

Therefore, through this consultancy, the Somali NGO Consortium intends to develop a harmonized Standard Partnership Assessment Tool (SPAT) that can be integrated into the humanitarian architecture in Somalia and Somaliland.

Consultancy Objectives

Overall Objective of the Research: Develop a harmonized Standard Partnership Assessment Tool that can be used to evaluate the capacities of LNGOs and Community-based Organizations (CBOs) in Somalia/Somaliland.

Specific Objectives:

  1. Systematically map existing methodologies used by international NGOs, and others to assess the capacity of prospective NGO implementing partners and to vet their suitability to receive funding to implement humanitarian activities in Somalia/Somaliland.

  2. Make actionable recommendations towards the development of a harmonized, effective, and efficient approach to partner capacity assessment that is based on best practices and fit for purpose in Somalia/Somaliland. This will include suggesting a shared vision for a coordinated system within which the SPAT will operate, including knowledge management, SPAT review, processes for risk management review.

  3. Produce a harmonized Standard Partnership Assessment Tool that leverages a shared set of PCA criteria that can be used as a baseline for partnerships in Somalia/Somaliland; contains a tiered due-diligence framework and dynamic partner risk rating system for measuring the capacities of LNGOs and CBOs with a clearly articulated process for being ‘upgraded’ or ‘downgraded’ tiers.

1. Deliverables

· An inception report outlining the approach, timeline, tools, and methodology to be undertaken by the consultant.

· A SPAT review workshop to present the SPAT and to solicit feedback from the localization working group, LNGOs, INGOs, and other humanitarian stakeholders.

· A Final Report on the SPAT development process with the following components:

o Methodology

o Literature / Desk Review of Partner Capacity Assessments and initiatives to create harmonized partnership capacity assessments in humanitarian settings.

o Partner Capacity Assessment Tool Mapping that covers INGO funding mechanisms that primarily target LNGOs in Somalia/Somaliland.

o Presentation of primary research findings and stakeholder workshop.

o Findings and justifications for the development of SPAT components.

o Recommendations for the integration of SPAT within the humanitarian and development systems of Somalia/Somaliland.

o Annexes: bibliography, interview transcripts, etc.

· A Finalized SPAT Manual for LNGOs, INGOs, and other humanitarian stakeholders.

· A finalized SPAT tool that is reflective of the priorities, perspectives, and standard operating procedures of major stakeholders in the Somalia/Somaliland Humanitarian Sector. The SPAT Tool should also include the following elements:

a. A Partner Risk Rating System

b. A Risk Management Framework

c. A tiered system for categorizing the capacities LNGOs.

2. Methodology

2.1. Gather and Review Existing Documentation (Desk Review)

The consultant/firm must undertake a thorough desk review of the white and grey literature on Partner Capacity Assessments. This should include a review of initiatives to make capacity assessment practices in complex, protracted humanitarian settings more efficient and coordinated. The consultant/firm must also conduct Partner Capacity Assessment Tool Mapping to cover multi-lateral, bilateral, and INGO funding mechanisms that primarily target LNGOs in Somalia/Somaliland**

2.2. Key Informant Interviews

The consultant/firm must undertake Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) from major stakeholders of humanitarian action in Somalia and Somaliland. Key Informants (KIs) should be conducted with a cross-section of leaders and major actors in humanitarian action, including members of the Somalia NGO Consortium, the SNC LPWG, Grand Bargain Signatories, Government Officials, Local NGOs, Local CBOs, INGOs, UN Agencies, and the like. The consultant/firm is expected to develop a comprehensive list of KIs in close collaboration with SNC.**

2.3. Stakeholder Engagement and Review Workshop

The consultant/firm must hold a stakeholder engagement and review workshop wherein the consultant/firm will present the findings of their research and the structure of the tool. This workshop will serve as a structured opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions about the tool’s design and to make comments and raise concerns. This workshop will be facilitated by the consultant.

3. Desired Qualifications and Experience

· Academic master’s degree in international relations, development studies, public policy, political science, economics, or related field.

· At least seven years of experience in development work and/or humanitarian response.

· Demonstrated research experience (drafting and conducting KIIs, FGDs, and Surveys). Experience in developing assessment tools is desirable.

· Excellent understanding of humanitarian response programming and elements.

· Demonstrated experience working on humanitarian/development responses in Somalia is an advantage.

· Excellent good writing skills.

· Excellent communication, listening and interpersonal skills, including experience with diverse cultures and ethnicities and the ability to function in virtual environments (if remote).

· Experience working with consortia of local/national government organizations is preferred.

4. Budget and Planning

The consultancy is expected to start as soon as possible. Remuneration is based on the submission of deliverables provided that the report meets the specified requirements as stated in the ToR.

The application should include a proposed budget and timeline. The proposed budget should include all evaluation expenses and applicable taxes.

The contractor will have to make provisions for covering all costs associated with the assignment.

The consultancy will take an estimated maximum of 60 days:


Estimated Number of Days

Desk review


Key Informant Interviews


Tool Design & Manual Development


Stakeholder Workshop for Inputs


Buy in solicitation


Final report and publishing




5. The Award Procedure

This procured procedure is organized to contract a consultant/firm for Consultancy for Creating a Standardized Capacity Assessment Tool either through a consultancy agency or an individual lead consultant.

5.1. Application Requirements

Application materials should include the following:

  1. A Technical Proposal detailing the consultant’s understanding of the task, proposed methodologies, expected activities and deliverables, proposed work plan, and the composition of the consultancy team to be engaged.

  2. A Financial Proposal detailing the costs that the consultant/firm expects to be required to complete the assignment.

  3. Detailed CVs of all professional staff who will work on the consultancy team.

  4. At least two professional references from previous clients with full contact details of referees.

Submission Information

The deadline for submission on 14th December 2021.

Submissions should be emailed to: som.consultant@care.org

How to apply:

Submission Information

The deadline for submission on 14th December 2021.

Submissions should be emailed to: som.consultant@care.org