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TORs for capacity building needs assessment – Regenerative Landscapes

Environment Programme / Request for proposal

To provide a capacity needs analysis of Oak Foundation’s Regenerative Landscapes sub programme’s grantee partners in Southern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). The goal of this work is to help determine the capacity strengthening support needs of ten partner organisations between May – June 2024.


The Regenerative Landscapes sub programme sits within the Environment Programme of Oak Foundation that aims to safeguard our future by restoring our connection to nature, and changing the ways we feed and fuel our world. The sub-programme envisions a world in which degraded landscapes and ecosystems are restored for the benefit of both people and wildlife. The sub-programme has a two-pronged approach that focuses on: regenerative agriculture (i.e., promoting a farming system that’s good for people and good for nature); and rewilding (i.e., restoring wild and biodiverse spaces that have often been modified by human activities). The sub-programme grants in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Context: One of the cross-cutting themes of Oak`s grant-making strategy is organisational capacity strengthening. The aim is to create strong civil society organisations (CSO) that can: act effectively and efficiently in their chosen field; are able to work as either a counterpoint to or a partner with other actors; and fulfil their missions. Oak thereby identifies and offers supporting initiatives that can strengthen partner organisations; in short, to help them to be more viable and successful in their work.

Oak provides support to its partners by first providing organisational assessments that provide a mechanism for an organisation to look at its own progress and to determine what changes should be made towards capacity or institutional strengthening. Specifically, self-assessments strengthen an organisation’s capacity for reflection, which is a key component in any learning organisation, and helps organisations deal with the expectations of external stakeholders. More information about Oak’s principles can be found on our website.

This Terms of Reference highlights the objectives, scope, approach, principles, resources, and expertise required by the consultant/contractor to conduct organisational assessments and development planning processes for the 10 Regenerative Landscapes sub programme grantee partners in Southern Africa.


Stage 1 (May – June 2024):  Design and propose an assessment methodology.

  • Identify relevant organisational stakeholders and involve and create awareness among staff.
  • Build a relationship between the consultant/contractor and the organisations.
  • Gather additional data.
  • Conduct an initial review of the development needs of the organisations.

Stage 2 (JuneAugust 2024): Map the development needs of the ten grantee partners and support the design of a capacity development plan.

Take each organisation through an organisational assessment and development planning process to help the organisation assess its potential for growth and necessary development steps. The main aspects of this work are to:

  • conduct an organisational capacity assessment of the organisation.
  • take the results of that assessment and prioritise them; and
  • assist the organisation in preparing an organisational development plan.

Approach and methodology

Oak invites the applicant to propose its own assessment and development planning methodology. The consultant must describe how it will address the objectives of the Terms of Reference by providing a detailed description of the work to be performed, reporting conditions, and quality assurance mechanisms that will be put in place, while demonstrating that the proposed methodology will be appropriate to the local conditions and context of the work. However, the consultant/contractor is expected to incorporate the following in this methodology:

Key phases foreseen:

  1. Diagnosis phase: Conduct an organisational capacity assessment of the organisations, most likely in the form of a participatory workshop (virtual/in person), to ensure that the diagnosis gives an accurate reflection of development needs, and the dialogue between organisations is maximised and builds association between them. This assessment phase will result in a thorough evaluation of internal capacities showing both strengths and weaknesses, which can be mapped, analysed, and then prioritised.
  2. Agency building phase: Take the results of the assessment and agree with organisational stakeholders on the priorities. If it makes sense, assign responsibility for developing options to members of the organisation, thereby ensuring that acceptance of the outcomes and commitment for action are developed broadly within each organisation.
  3. Planning phase: The results of the prioritisation will be used to design a tailored organisational development plan for the enhancement of each of the organisations` internal capacities in the short, medium, and long term, including a clear timeline, a list of investment needs, and cost estimates. The consultant should assist the organisations in preparing the organisational development plan.


The overall process should take not more than thirty-five (35) working days spread over four months (May-August 2024).

Guiding Principles and Values

While the consultant/contractor is encouraged to propose their appropriate approach to the work, Oak has several specific principles and values that should be considered in the design and performance of the task:

  • The assessment should be detailed and wide ranging on key internal organisational capacities, areas should include strategic leadership and planning; organisational processes and practices; communications; human resources and staff wellbeing; physical and digital security; financial management; infrastructure; inter-institutional linkages and stakeholder accountability; and programme/project planning, management, implementation, and evaluation.
  • The client should be actively involved in the self-assessment/self-diagnosis. This is the preferred organisational assessment method. A self-assessment process contributes to enhanced ownership of the assessment outcomes.
  • The board, management, and staff and their stakeholders should be involved in the development of the project methodology. Notably, decision-making should be regular, open, and transparent.
  • Information and data developed during the assessment and planning process should be made fully available to the grantee partner. The best way for this to occur is for much of the process to be enacted with them.

Professional Qualifications

The consultant/contractor for the self-assessment and development planning support should exhibit:

  • Track record in undertaking similar assignments.
  • Extensive experience in organisational development and learning, change management, and diagnostic skills for civil society organisations.
  • Capability to see the big picture, understand the context in which organisations function and specialised knowledge on how organisations function.
  • In-depth knowledge of specific intervention methodologies.
  • Deep expertise in group and human dynamics.
  • Ability to facilitate group and inter-personal work.
  • Be objective and create learning opportunities for the organisation.
  • Preference will be given to consultants’ resident in Southern Africa (with a deep understanding of the cultural and political context CSOs in the region operate in).
  • Knowledge of Portuguese language is a distinct advantage.

Deliverables and Schedule

According to the phases above, and as adapted to your proposed methodology, the following deliverables are foreseen:

  • Pre-assessment report
  • Organisational Assessment Outcomes/Priorities for each organisation
  • Organisational Development Plan for each organisation

Budget and Payment

Costs to be considered:

  • Consultant/contractors fees.
  • Direct costs (i.e., travel, accommodation, materials, telecoms etc).

Structure of the Proposal and Submission Guidelines

The applicant should propose their methodology and costing of the work under the following headings:

  • Description/analysis of the assignment.
  • Objectives and results to be achieved.
  • Implementation methodology and approaches.
  • Expertise and references of applicant.
  • Work plan, reporting and time-schedule.
  • Budget.

CVs of experts should be listed in an annex. Proposals should be no more than 5 pages (excluding annexes).

Deadline for submissions is close of business on 31 May 2024, CAT (Harare)

If  interested in this consultancy, please submit your application to copying