Short Term Consultants: Policy Influencing and Advocacy Training

Oxfam in Laos (OIL) is currently involved in a wide range of projects/engagements – covering a number of thematic sectors such as income-generation, livelihoods and value chain development, women’s economic empowerment, gender-based violence, water governance, land issues, private sector engagement, humanitarian preparedness, and policy advocacy/influencing work. This work engages at multiple levels including community, sub-national, and more recently at the national level with linkages to regional work. 

While Oxfam works to alleviate the symptoms of poverty, we also campaign to tackle the causes of it. In Asia and across the world, Oxfam challenges those who would abuse or mismanage their own power. We campaign to change bad policies and bad practices. Our guiding principle is to empower people to speak out and claim their rights. Oxfam also firmly sets local communities and the voices of women, men and young people at the center of change.  This concept is a major part of the Oxfam Laos’s contribution to “world-wide Influencing Network (WIN)”. Oxfam Laos is shifting its role from service provision to more of an advocacy and influencing organization, as policy influencing, and advocacy are critical components to achieve broader and lasting impacts to society. However, the Oxfam Country Strategy (OCS) Mid Term Reviewed in Jan 2018 highlighted that the policy influencing work done so far has been inconsistent across programs and projects, and largely done through partners. While Oxfam is making efforts to engage in more direct influencing within Laos at national and sub-national policy levels, while also trying to leverage connections and linkages at regional and global levels, putting this into practice and supporting partners to do the same remains challenging. Local staff and partners need support to become more effective in this ambition. Support is needed to build basic influencing and advocacy capacities, to improve knowledge, tactics, and communication techniques to reach different actors and audiences within government, civil society, regional institutions, international organizations, and the private sector, to prepare and use research and evidence-based arguments to influence policy, and to engage strategically between partners and key influencers to see impactful change. Support is also needed in knowledge management, to capture learnings in the process. 

Oxfam in Laos is in the process of developing a new Partnership Taskforce to further strengthen an ongoing reflection process within the country team as well as with our partners on how we experience partnerships and what actions can be taken together to improve collaboration, trust, and accountability.  A key aspect will be to better support partners build their capacity, systems and institutions to design, implement, monitor and evaluate equity-based interventions to ensure positive change in the lives of people. Support to campaigns and policy influencing are a crucial component of this work.

 

Needs assessment for the Training on Advocacy and Influencing:

To effectively carry out the role as mentioned above, we at Oxfam Laos realise the importance of strengthening our skill and knowledge about policy influencing, advocacy, lobbying, campaign strategy building and implementation. As we foresee through our vision, Oxfam’s future role will also need to mobilise and collaborate with new actors and funded or strategic partners to advance people’s rights, especially in view of the increasing interests from the private sector in the country.

Given these needs, Oxfam in Laos would like to invest in capacity building measures on advocacy and policy influencing for staff and partners. To effectively carry out the assignment, we are looking for a consultant(s) to undertake the action as per the following ToR:

 

II. Objectives and training outcomes

The purpose of the training is to build the capacity for Oxfam staff and partners in the area of advocacy and policy influencing. The specific objectives are as follows:

Understand the concepts of advocacy and elements of advocacy process and improve staff and partners organizational strategies for advocacy building, and

 To help Oxfam and partners come together and reflection on their background, synergy and further opportunity for joining advocacy.

 III. Scope of the assignment

Under the overall guidance of the Oxfam’s Country Management Team (CMT), the duties and responsibilities of the training consultant are as follows:

 

Before the training itself, a learning needs assessment will be implemented – this will be an assessment to identify the gaps and areas that need further strengthening. We understand that some of our partners are better equipped and placed to undertake advocacy than others, hence, this will be carried out using methodologies in consultation with the CMT/ Capacity building Core team;

Develop a detailed training plan for a 2-3 Days training module on relevant training topics

Prepare a thorough training module on the training topics, together with supportive materials (PowerPoint, handouts, case studies and such) that will be used during the training activities.

Deliver training program for selected partners (see list of potential participants)

Develop questionnaires/evaluation tools for the different aspects of the training, including the training course and the technical report one week after the

Post training support or coaching at least 5-6 people/partner for 3-6 months to ensure his/her capacity are in place and progress the actions plan toward his/her responsible program’s advocacy target

 

IV. Deliverables result

The following should be delivered to Oxfam:

  • One training needs assessment by Feb 2020
  • One 3-day training event including agenda and training module by March 2020
  • Support training materials in the form of handouts, case studies, presentations and such by March 2020
  • Way forward document based on consultant’s observations and suggestion to help partners to put in their actions plan in April 2020
  • Post training support or coaching for 3-6 months, starting from May 2020 onward  
  •  

Total tentative number of days: 5-10 days (included the post training support and coaching)

 V. Consultant team: qualifications and skills needed

  • External consultant or team
  • Relevant knowledge and experience on specific knowledge’s on policy influencing and advocacy
  • Ability to facilitate training and post training support/coaching

 

Process of the selection of the consultant and expectations for proposal

Deadline for applicants by 30 Jan 2020.

Proposal/offer must include methodology, tentative calendar/timeframe (if different from the

suggested timeline, a quote for desired financial compensation, CV of consultant/team.

The evaluation committee will meet and select a candidate in Feb 2020.

based on:

Relevance of the proposal and understanding of the assignment

Clarity on the methods used and the workplan

Demonstrated track record

Budget and cost efficiency

Feasibility of the work

 

Please submit all information through one of the methods noted below:

Email: recruitment.laos@oxfam.org

Physically: 98/8, Sithong Road, Ban Nongduangtai, Sikhottabong District, Vientiane, Lao PDR

Mail: PO Box 4723, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR