Plan International

Consultant (Building Better Partnerships - Guidance & Tools)

Plan International

Job Description

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.

We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected. Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.

We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.

We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 75 years and are now active in more than 70 countries.

Read more about Plan International's Global Strategy: 100 Million Reasons at About the commissioning office

This consultancy is commissioned by Plan International Limited (Global Hub), which has the accountability for delivery excellence across Plan International, in line with our global strategy.


Plan International is committed to making a lasting impact on the lives of the most vulnerable and excluded children while creating greater equality for girls. In order to catalyse the Sustainable, transformative change we seek, we partner with and influence a wide range of actors across humanitarian and development contexts at all levels, including in the countries in which we operate. Plan’s Global Guidance, Building Better PartnershipsBuilding better partnerships | Plan International ( lays out the principles and steps for our work in partnership across the development–humanitarian spectrum and across all levels – local, national, regional and global – in whatever country and for whatever purpose. This includes formal and informal civil society at national and local levels, including youth groups networks and associations, local and national private sector actors and Local Government authorities. Plan is increasingly focused on ensuring we have high accountability in our partnership work, improving quality standards and being responsive to emerging partnership trends and needs, including we have greater flexibility when partnering with child and youth led organisations and groups. More.

To this end, Plan International has developed detailed guidance for each of our partnership steps, however we are still missing core supplementary guidance and tools to support country offices and staff working in partnerships and with civil society strengthening approaches. This consultancy is designed to provide guidance and tools to strengthen our internal capacity to build strong, and impactful partnerships, and ensure we integrate a civil society strengthening approach through our partnership work.


The purpose of the consultancy is to strengthen Plan’s internal guidance and learning materials for working in development focused partnerships and applying civil society strengthening approaches, so Plan staff have the knowledge, skills and tools to strategically plan, adapt, manage and work with a range of partners. The consultant is expected to review Plan’s existing partnership guidance and provide guidance and tools for working in partnership and civil society strengthening, ensuring that a gender and power lens’ is fully integrated into this work.


The consultant will review Plan’s existing partnership guidance, together with an existing Mapping of partnership guidance and tool needs, and following internal consultation, use this as a basis upon which to develop priority guidance and tools responsive to the needs of Plan colleagues working at country office level on partnerships and civil society strengthening. This work should align to Plan’s ambition of enabling colleagues to adapt and contextualise guidance and tools for their local contexts while maintaining high quality standards.

The final guidance material and tools will be designed to be integrated into and supplement existing guidance material related to Plan’s 7 partnership steps. The consultancy will focus on up to 10-12 pieces of guidance and tools as identified and prioritised by Plan staff.

Specific focus areas are likely to include: · Identifying and managing risk · Signing appropriate agreements for the type of partnership and context · Good communication and management practices · Gender transformative civil society strengthening approaches · Developing end-to-end partnership strategic frameworks The work is expected to align to Plan’s Programme and Influencing approach, Plan’s existing Building Better Partnerships Guidance, Principles and Steps, Plan’s localization position paper, and build on internal learning and recommendations, enabling Plan to adopt sector-leading practices for working with partners.

(NB. An additional consultancy is running concurrently to integrate guidance and tools tailored specifically for work in humanitarian settings into Plan’s existing Building Better Partnerships detailed guidance on the 7 partnership steps. Humanitarian partnership guidance and tools are therefore NOT within the scope of this consultancy, however co-ordination between the two consultants, facilitated by the technical team, is expected to ensure alignment and consistency between the different elements of work).


The consultancy will have a specific focus on developing practical, easy to use guidance and tools primarily for staff based at country office level. The consultant will conduct a desk-based review of Plan International’s existing guidance and good practice guidance available externally within the sector. Colleagues from across Plan International will be consulted on the requirements and content of the guidance and tools, and their feedback is to be incorporated in the final products. The consultant will be responsible for ensuring all work is carried out in line with Plan International’s Code of Conduct. All methodologies and tools used and developed throughout the consultancy will be proposed by the consultant and reviewed by the technical oversight team established by Plan International, composed of staff who focus on partnership and civil society strengthening work.

Key Deliverables

1. Inception report and presentation, including:

  • Proposed timeline
  • Recommendations based on Analysis of current documents, initial consultations, and sector good practice Review and updated mapping of potential guidance/ tools/ other content needs with prioritised items identified
Aprox. lenght: 10-page report (including annexes) + 8 slide (max) presentation Deadline: By 15th April 2021 Estimated total number of days: 4 2. Final written guidance material and tools:

Approx lenght: 15 pages of written guidance material + tools/annexes (as prioritised through consultation process)- in English only.

Deadline: By 21st May 2021 Estimated total number of days: 12 Please note that in line with Plan’s Terms of Business, Plan will own the IP rights of this material.

Duration and Timeline

The consultant will be contracted for a total of 16 days, between the period of April 2021 and June 2021. All work (including translations of final products which will be done by Plan following submission of the final deliverables) must be completed by end June 2021.

Project Timeline:

- Activity: Inception meeting, desk review of internal/external resources, interviews with key staff, develop inception report and presentation When: April Days of Work: 3.5 -Activity: Presentation and feedback session of inception report to technical oversight team When: Mid-April Days of Work: 0.5 -Activity: Consultation workshops with country offices, drafting and testing content. Review and validation of contents by technical reference group (to be arranged and facilitated by the consultant) When: April- May Days of Work: 11.5 -Activity: Presentation and feedback session of guidance package to technical oversight team (Plan will translate guidance and tools by 30 June) When: Mid- May Days of Work: 0.5

Management Arrangements

The consultant will be identified and contracted by Plan International. Plan International will be responsible for overall management. The consultant will be managed by the Global Coordinator Civil Society Strengthening and Partnership Development. A technical oversight team consisting of a small number staff who focus on partnership and civil society strengthening will provide support to the consultant and be responsible for signing off key deliverables.

Technical Reference Group

A technical reference group composed of Plan International partnership staff from Country, Regional, and International levels will support the consultant in the following:
  • Provide support to the consultant by sharing key resources and materials
  • Provide feedback, comments, and edits to relevant drafts of key deliverables
It is important to Plan that partners are also engaged in steering the work. The consultant should propose a suitable mechanism for meaningful engagement of partners in this project in their proposal submission.


Plan International follows a fair Procurement process and does not divulge our budgets. Value for money is very important to Plan International, as every additional £ saved is money that we can use on our humanitarian and development work throughout the world.

Payment Schedule

a. Inception report and presentation Deliverable: Submission of a 10-page report + 8 slide (max) presentation To include:
  • Proposed timeline
  • Recommendations based on analysis of current documents, initial consultations, and sector good practice Review and updated mapping of potential guidance/ tools/ other content needs with prioritised items identified.

    Amount to be invoiced: 30% by 15th April 2021
b. Final written guidance material and tools Deliverable: Delivery of 15 pages of written guidance material + tools/annexes (as prioritised through consultation process) Amount to be invoiced: 70% by 21st May 2021

Expected skills, competencies, and experience of Consultant


· Advanced University Degree in International Development, Social Work or another related discipline. Applications will be also be considered from those holding a Batchelor’s Degree with very strong and relevant work experience.

· Extensive hands-on experience working with international organisations in brokering and managing partnerships and civil society strengthening activities in a range of country contexts and programmes · Significant experience of donor contract requirements and Operational Support functions particularly related to partnership work · Understanding civil society strengthening approaches · Understanding of gender responsive and transformative approaches · Strong research, analytical and writing skills · Experience developing training and learning materials for adult learners · Strong understanding of adult learning principles · Flexible work attitude, with the ability to follow direction and work independently across a virtual work environment · Excellent organizational skills, with the ability to independently track and follow-up on various tasks · Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English · Computer skills, including MS Office, Excel, PowerPoint, online survey tools · Consultants based in the UK must be IR35 Compliant (i.e registered as a company) · This consultancy will be done remotely.

How to apply

Qualified candidates are requested to prepare and submit the following documents by 8th March 2021:
  • Curriculum vitae with 2-3 examples of previous work (PDF)
  • A detailed technical application outlining the proposed methodology and detailed work plan (maximum 3 pages) (PDF)
  • A detailed financial proposal including hourly/daily rate as well as a breakdown of hours/days per activity. (PDF). Pricing must be in GBP for UK-based consultants or USD if based outside the UK.
Please send the above and a cover letter clearly stating your interest in the project quoting “RFQ FY21-071 Building Better Partnerships- Guidance & Tools”, relevant work experience, and consultancy fee to Shortlisted consultants will be invited to discuss their proposals in more details, after which the successful consultant will be contracted and will be expected to start shortly thereafter. A Consultancy Agreement will be signed between the consultant and Plan Limited.

Contract & Payment terms

Please note that, if successful, Plan International’s standard terms of payment are 30 days after the end of the month of receipt of invoice, or after acceptance of the Goods/Services/Works, if later.** Plan International’s Ethical & Environmental Statement

The supplier should establish environmental standards and good practices that follow the principles of ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems, and in particular to ensure compliance with environmental legislation when applicable.


The onus is on the invited individual/companies to ensure that its offer is complete and meets Plan International’s requirements. Failure to comply may lead to the offer being rejected. Please therefore ensure that you read this document carefully and answer fully all questions asked.

If you have any queries in relation to your submission, or to any requirements of this RFQ, please email: Thank you for your proposal
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