Save The Children

Consultant (Participatory Strength-based Assessment: Emergency Programs with First Nations, Inuit & Metis Children)

Save The Children

Job Description

Commissioned by: The National Reconciliation Program at Save the Children Canada

1. Background

Save the Children Canada (SC Canada) is working to increase its capacity to support Indigenous partners in preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies. SC Canada’s domestic program (National Reconciliation Program) works with First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities across the country to support locally led, rights-based, culturally relevant and safe interventions during times of crisis.

As SC Canada’s work in the area has grown so has the need to develop appropriate systems and processes to better respond to the challenges faced by a diverse range of Indigenous organizations that serve Indigenous communities. These organizations may include tribal councils, regional health authorities, band councils, informal networks and schools.

2. Purpose

This Participatory Strength-based Assessment (PSBA) and subsequent areas of work are intended as a first step towards building an operational platform[1] that reflects the specific and unique contexts of many Indigenous communities across Canada. As such the PSBA will focus on understanding the assets and priorities of Indigenous communities during times of emergency, specifically focussing on the strengths of children and their caregivers.

Findings of the strength-based assessment will be used to develop a comprehensive emergency programs strategy that will also provide insight to gaps and needs areas, including the development of a theory of change and results framework

3. Objectives

Broadly, the objective of this work is to develop an evidence-based Theory of Change & Results Framework for SC Canada’s domestic emergency programming. This work must be informed by the perspectives, priorities, strengths and areas that needs to be bridged due identifying gap areas of existing Indigenous partners, and built from a comprehensive study. As such, there are three key objectives: Objective 1: Conduct a participatory strength-based assessment exercise to identify the perspectives, priorities, assets and gaps areas of Indigenous communities relating to child-focussed emergency preparedness, response and recovery programming. This should include a comprehensive environmental scan of key stakeholders that results in Mapping of partners’ and communities existing knowledge, expertise, services, and preferred practices.

Objective 2: Develop a Theory of Change (ToC) in collaboration with local partners to determine what the ultimate outcome of an SCC emergency response should be, including how it aligns with partner objectives, overall NRP strategy, and what specific objectives will be needed to achieve this proposed impact.

Objective 3: Co-create a Results Framework with relevant stakeholders, to clearly define the results (outputs), how we will measure these (indicators), and targets including interval times to collect data and by whom Objective 1: Conduct a Participatory Strength-based Assessment

Specific objectives are;
  • To understand perspectives and priorities of Indigenous organizations, children and their caregivers regarding their current strength, priorities and critical needs during emergencies; particularly children’s unique needs
  • To identify existing child-focussed emergency programs, services, and expertise within community organizations (formal & informal)
  • To identify gaps or challenges within existing NRP and community child-focussed emergency programs.
  • To provide an Analysis of the critical gaps identified by Indigenous organizations, identifying where SCC programs/resourcing opportunities may be of utility.
Objective 2: Establish Theory of Change (ToC)

In collaboration with Indigenous organizations and SCC Teams, the specific objectives are;
  • To determine the ultimate outcome of the SCC response platform
  • To ensure alignment of the final outcome* with the priorities of Indigenous partner organizations, children, the NRP’s Relationship Framework, United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and United Nations Convention of the Rights of Children, U and associated principles.
  • To develop immediate and intermediate outcomes for the ToC.
*Refer to Results-based Management Lexicon for definitions of ultimate, immediate and intermediate outcomes, outputs, activities and reach.

Objective 3: Develop a Results Framework

In collaboration with Indigenous organizations and SCC Teams, the specific objectives are;
  • To determine what specific results (outputs) will be achieved by the emergency response
  • To determine the metrics through which we will measure these (indicators),
  • Co-develop targets, based on principles outlined in the Relationship Framework, SCC and partner capacity.

4. Scope of the Participatory Strength-based Assessment

The scope of this assignment is limited to the geographies in which SCC currently maintains relationships and develops emergency programming alongside local partners. This includes;
  • Treaty 3, Kenora Region, NW Ontario.
  • Treaty 2, Treaty 5, Central Manitoba.
  • Treaty 6, Treaty 7, Alberta.
  • The cities of Hamilton, Brantford and Winnipeg.
This includes relationships with 4 Tribal Councils, 2 Health Authorities, approximately 30 First Nations and one regional Metis organization. This represents upwards of 20,000 children. Save the Children will facilitate connections and conversations where appropriate and when possible. However, as many communities respond to the urgent and complex challenges of Covid-19, we anticipate some partners’ ability to contribute to this assessment will be limited. Consultants should take this into account when designing methodologies and timelines. Where partners have limited time to contribute, consultants are invited to use alternative methods such as desk research, remote consultations, online surveys, or other methodologies appropriate for both the contexts in question and PSBA objectives.

Traditionally the NRP program at Save the Children has defined “emergencies” domestically in Canada as rapid-onset crises such as wildfires and floods. While these are significant concerns for many of the organizations we work with, SCC is aiming to refine our definition of domestic emergencies so it better reflects Indigenous communities’, children, and caregivers’ own priorities and definitions.

5. Evaluation design and methodology

The Participatory Strength-based Assessment is to be guided by the Terms of Reference and should employ a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to gather data. Participatory qualitative methods are to be used to gain insights and perspectives from relevant stakeholders. This may include key informant interviews, focus-group discussions, in-depth reviews of relevant documents, reports and observations. Methodologies should include the following key milestones Inception
  • Develop and present a work plan, outlining tasks, associated timelines and anticipated challenges.
  • Develop and finalize assessment methodology
Data Collection & analysis
  • Review and map out existing partners, programs, guidelines and initiatives.
  • Gather information and perspectives from stakeholders
  • Data Analysis and interpretation
  • Validation of findings and interpretation

6.0 Deliverables and timeline

The key deliverables for the PNA include: Deliverable - Format

0.1 Inception report - Word document, max 5-10 pages** 1.1 Participatory Needs Assessment validation workshop - NRP & HA Teams at SCC, via Microsoft Teams 1.2 Draft Needs Assessment - Word document, max 15-20 pages 1.3 Final report - Word document, max 15-20 pages 2.1 ToC validation workshop - NRP & HA Teams at SCC, via Microsoft Teams 2.2 Draft ToC - Word document, max 10 pages 2.3 Final ToC - Word document, max 10 pages 3.1 Draft Results Framework - Word document, max 5 pages 3.1 Final Results Framework - Word document, max 5 pages 3.2 Presentation of conclusions - NRP & HA Teams at SCC, via Microsoft Teams

7.0 Ethics and child safeguarding

The consultant is obliged to conduct the research in a culturally safe and ethical manner. The consultant should seek the views of various stakeholders, including children, Elders and Knowledge Keepers where possible. Efforts should be made to make the process child-centred, culturally sensitive and focussed on gender and inclusion. The consultant must respect the rights and dignity of children, Indigenous Peoples as well as comply with relevant ethical standards and SC’s Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct.

Engagement in this work must be voluntary, safe and non-discriminatory participation and a process of free and un-coerced consent. Informed consent of each person (including children) participating in data collection should be documented.

8.0 Submission of Proposals

During the compliance review, the consultant/firm will be assessed if they have submitted all the following documents:
  1. Detailed Technical proposal.
  2. Financial proposal
  3. References or evidence of the previous experience in the same work
1. Technical Proposal Format: The Offeror shall structure the technical part of its Proposal according to the commonly acceptable format. The Technical Proposal should not exceed 8 pages, and include; (a) Proposed Approach and Work Plan and timeline: This section should demonstrate the Offeror’s responsiveness to the specification by identifying the specific components proposed, addressing the requirements, as specified, point by point; providing a detailed description of the essential performance characteristics proposed; and demonstrating how the proposed methodology meets or exceeds the specifications.

(b) Capacity and Experience of Organization/ Firm: This section should describe the organizational unit(s) that will be responsible for the contract, and the general management approach towards this project. This should fully explain the Offeror’s resources in terms of personnel and other resources necessary for achieving project results. This section should also provide orientation to the organisations experience in conducting similar studies with and for Indigenous communities in Canada.

2. Human Resources: CVs for key personnel should be attached.

3. Financial Proposal: The Offeror shall include a breakdown of total expenditure in accordance with the scope of work.

  1. References or Evidence: The offeror shall provide two references and two examples of similar pieces of work completed.
Proposals must be submitted to by 5pm EST, May 21st.

9.0 Qualification and experience required

This application is open to groups and individuals with knowledge and expertise in Indigenous-led emergency management, with the proven and demonstrated broad knowledge of and ability to utilize the principles of UNDRIP and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The selected contractor will be responsible for designing and executing all the activities described in this TOR. As such, they should be experienced in both participatory needs assessments, program and response design.

Contractors with the following experience are preferred;
  • Demonstrated operational experience designing and implementing strength-based assessments, community-led or participatory research, and/or mapping exercises; particularly with and for Indigenous communities
  • Experience managing, evaluating or otherwise engaging with Indigenous emergency responses in the Canadian context.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with emergency response Management Systems in Canada, as well as in the international humanitarian system.
  • Demonstrated experience developing standard operating procedures, strength-based assessments, Theories of Change and system building domestically and/or internationally.
The selection process of the consultant/firm will be based on the set of criteria developed by an assigned Evaluation Committee to evaluate the proposals. The Evaluation Committee will evaluate the proposals by using the combined scoring method. Technical proposal will be evaluated on 70%; whereas financial proposal will be evaluated on 30%.

While self-identifying Indigenous individuals, teams and organizations will be given preference, we encourage all qualified candidates to apply. Given the unique nature of this work, we recognise that the best candidate may not meet all of the criteria listed above. We encourage all those interested and with relevant experience to apply. We welcome diverse, out-of-the-box thinking, and we strive to provide and environment for learning, growth and innovation.

10.0 Budget/ resources

Proposal budgets must not exceed $30,000CAD.

11.0 Payment terms

Payments will be made in accordance with the following schedule; 20% upon signing contract 50% upon completion of deliverables 0.1-2.2 30% upon completion and approval of all deliverables.

[1] The operational platform refers to the internal systems at SCC (spanning programs, resource development, finance, human resources) that enable SCC to support Indigenous-led emergency programming.

Proposals must be submitted to by 5pm EST, May 21, 2021.

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