Call For Expression Of Interest For Provision Of International Technical Assistance in the DATA Initiative supported by USAID
Key words: Civil Society, Research and Development, Think Tanks, Capacity Building, Policy Analysis, Policy Advice, Evidence-based Policy, Reform Implementation, Policy Communications
Name of the consultancy/service: International Technical Assistance for DATA
Service Location: Armenia
Eligibility: Think Tanks, Technical Advisory Groups, Individual Consultants, Research and Policy Advisors, Civil Society capacity building experts and organizations.
Service term: August 2020 – March 2022
Deadline for Application: Ongoing August 2020 – December 2021
Section 1. Purpose of the Technical Assistance
Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) in cooperation with SOCIES Expert Centre NGO (SOCIES), Boon TV Foundation (Boon TV), Sose Women’s Issues NGO (Sose), Youth Cooperation Center of Dilijan NGO (YCCD), with support from the United States Agency for International Development are implementing a 2-year “Data for Accountable and Transparent Action” (DATA) program, over the period from June 2020 to May 2022.
The DATA Partners hereby invite International Technical Assistance (ITA) providers, such as consulting firms, Think Tanks, research and policy analysis groups, policy communication and advocacy organizations, academic and individual experts, to engage in strengthening the capacities of CSOs and their impact on policy processes in Armenia.
The Activity Goal: the activity will contribute to an improved evidence-based policy making cycle by enhancing CSOs’ capacity to use sound and robust data, to analyze and communicate it effectively and to generate expertise and support from other stakeholders. This will strengthen the capacity of local CSOs to become successful actors in building a more engaged, prosperous and well-governed Armenian society.
Armenia’s civil society has the second-highest sustainability score in Eurasia and is considered to be consolidated and fairly well developed. Over the last few years, USAID/Armenia has supported the Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to enable them to successfully partner with USAID/Armenia in building a more engaged, prosperous and well-governed Armenian society. As a result, CSOs have diversified their funding sources and improved their organizational capacity, including governance, management, financial and communication systems and strategies; policies and procedures; and programs and services. Following Armenia’s “velvet revolution,” the country has entered a period of political transition. Recent political change and the government’s subsequent declaration of greater transparency and openness have unlocked new opportunities for civil society engagement and contribution to the policy shaping process. The new government is more open and CSOs have greater access to the government, but the government has not yet shifted to a policy-setting mode and is constrained by significant experience and capacity gaps, such as how to engage civil society effectively in those processes. The DATA initiative is designed to address the following capacity needs by building the capacity of CSOs to serve as competent and legitimate advocates in the policy development process:
- CSOs need to understand and practice the entire chain of policy impact: from drawing attention to problems which have been identified through a sound, evidence-based and data-supported approach, to translating them into policy-level recommendations.
- CSOs lack sufficient skills to effectively communicate to decision-makers.
- CSOs lack sufficient and effective cooperation with each other and their constituents within and across sectors.
- CSOs need to be proactive in sector-specific stakeholder groups, and form synergies with other organizations to achieve greater success in their shared purposes.
The DATA initiative will achieve these goals by strengthening the capacity of local CSOs to have a stronger impact on policy through well-equipped engagement in the policy cycle with solid evidence-based recommendations and improved communication and cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, from community to policy- and decision-making level.
Section 2. Terms of Reference
Scope of Work
The DATA program partners are looking for exceptionally qualified think tanks, research and development organizations, individual consultants, or teams of consultants who can help address some or all of the needs stated above.
The implementing partners of the DATA program intend to add significant value to the capacity building component of the Program by applying leading international expertise, successful experiences, proven methods and practices, from various disciplines and sectors, in the various stages of the Program. The technical assistance provider will carry out training and consultancy activities to support capacity building of Armenian CSOs, think tanks and government representatives engaged in various stages of the policy-related activities: such as the identification of problems and challenges, research and collection of data in support of policy proposals, policy analysis, evidence–based formulation of policies, advocacy and communication.
The selected Consultant(s) will design and implement technical assistance in the form of consultancy and workshops for various target groups, customized to specific activities within the DATA objectives:
- The DATA program implementing partners - 5 organizations with various skillsets, comprising Eurasia Partnership Foundation as the leading organization (Civil Society capacity building, Program Administration) partner and Social Science Faculty of Yerevan State University (research and data), Boon TV (media and communication), and two regional CSOs: Youth Cooperation Center of Dilijan (youth, entrepreneurship and local administration) and Sose Women’s Issues NGO in the South of Armenia (gender, human rights, women empowerment and other issues)
- Network Consortia members – CSO groups selected to implement 4 policy-related sectoral Sub-Granting Schemes
- Grassroots civil society organizations that will learn how to effectively develop policy-related initiatives,
- Local research, think tanks, media, communications, marketing, state and civil society organizations, students and fellows that will participate in various stages of the Program.
- Wider stakeholders and participants from Civil Society, local and central government, local research institutions, think tanks, policy experts, consultants and trainers, engaged in various activities of the DATA program.
For each target group the Candidate should propose the relevant formats, themes and duration of the consultancy, such as a TOT, group workshops and/or trainings, multimedia based trainings, individual consultancies, review and recommendations on papers and publications, etc.
This may involve international travel and personal trainings, as well as online consultations, module development, training sessions, review of publications and methodologies.
Of particular interest to us are consultants and/or firms which can work on the following issues:
- Problem identification and analysis, gathering information, weighing the issue, analytical thinking, bottom-up data-driven decision making principles. The DATA program intends to create a Problem Identification Checklist (PIC) that will serve as a tool for the verification of the “advocacy potential” of CSO-identified issues.
- Applied and innovative research methods, including formulation of research questions, network mapping, policy-oriented research, formulation of comprehensive, coherent and data-supported recommendations, trial and modification of policy-related cause, etc.
- Data visualization tools, multimedia solutions, use of media for policy promotion, and communication strategies in policy and advocacy, etc.
- Networking and Participatory methods for effective advocacy: working within sectors and across sectors, such as government, researchers, media and grassroots to establish objective evidence and promote the policy issue.
- Effective communication throughout the design and delivery of a policy initiative, strategic communication methods, multimedia and advanced technological solutions for policy formulation, communication and advocacy, communication approaches relevant to various groups of key stakeholders, evidence-based discussion culture, generating recommendations.
- Sector-specific advocacy consultancy. After the DATA program selects the sector-specific networks (grant recipients), around January, 2021: think-tank and consultancies working in specific policy areas, such as education, environment, public healthcare, education, worker rights, property rights, urban planning, management of cultural, research literacy specifically for the government agencies and historical assets, etc, may apply.
The Consultant(s) may apply for one or multiple capacity building themes, described above.
The Candidate(s) may propose a variety of tools for each thematic consultation. These include but are not limited to:
- Consultations, training of local experts, preparation and implementation of trainings, peer review of publications, communication strategies, provision of recommendations, as well as in some cases: facilitation of expert discussions, design and review of research processes, reports, etc.
- The Consultant(s) will design each capacity building activity with significant engagement of the DATA partners. A series of online meetings and discussions may be required during the design, preparation and implementation stages of each consultancy.
- The selected consultants will develop and conduct the activity, including writing follow-up reports and recommendations.
Section 3. Application process
Applications will be accepted and considered on an ongoing basis during the period August 2020 – December 2021.
Consultancy services may be implemented during August 2020 – March 2022. The selected experts/consultants/organizations will be invited to lead thematic workshops within the Project and provide consultative services to DATA partners and DATA beneficiaries throughout the term of the Program on an ongoing basis. Terms of each individual consultancy will be determined based on the type of activity proposed.
Think Tanks, Technical Advisory Groups, Individual Consultants, Research and Policy Advisors, Civil Society capacity building experts and organizations may apply. Preferred countries of expertise are (but not limited to): USA, Canada, EU member states, EU partnership countries.
Applicants can be those individuals, groups of individuals, or registered organizations who meet the following criteria:
- Sound record of working in one or several of the themes of the Initiative: public policy research, analysis, data visualization, policy formulation and communication, evidence-based applied research, advocacy, etc.
- A portfolio of consultancy services provided to well-known companies/organizations.
- Work/Consultancy experience or demonstrated knowledge of geopolitical dynamics, civil society, democratic processes of Armenia and the region.
- A demonstrated record of policy work in solving problems at local, national or global levels.
- Ability to travel for short-term assignments in Armenia and/or to perform online training and consultancy, if the Covid-19 situation or other circumstances limit mobility and international travel.
Contracting and remuneration
- Form of payment is through service contracts with individuals or registered organizations.
- The compensation rates are negotiable within the market rates and limited to the availability of budgets assigned to specific activities.
- Compensation rates do not include the cost of training materials, translation and interpretation services, lodging, daily allowance and travel and travel-related expenses. These costs will be covered by the hiring organization.
How to apply
Application package should contain the following documents:
- A letter of interest reflecting the applicant’s relevant experience plus a portfolio of past services and organizations served (in a free format, no more than 2 pages);
- An Outline of the Consultancy plan proposed to EPF (draft scenario), including the themes, target groups, format of the consultancy;
- Implementation plan, including the schedule of activities and events, timelines, compensation rates, required number of days for consultancy;
- Certificate of Registration, with mandates in case of a Think Tank or Consultancy Firm.
Curriculum Vitae in the case of an individual consultant or team of consultants.
- The application may be sent in English, Russian or Armenian languages. The consultancy may be provided in English, Russian or Armenian languages.
Please send the application package to English to email@example.com.
In the subject line of your e-mail message, please indicate DATA Consultancy and your name/the name of the organization.
Pre-selected applicants will be invited for an online interview to discuss their competences, methodologies and experience, relevance to the needs of the DATA program, and expectations of the parties.
NOTE: In order to increase your chances to be considered, please study EPF’s website www.epfarmenia.am and programmatic portfolio before applying.
This opportunity of providing International Technical Assistance is made possible by the generous support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this announcement are the sole responsibility of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.
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