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Consultant for Eleanor Crook Foundation: Develop and Finalise Strategic Plan 2019-2025

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Nicki Connell

Nutrition Technical Director

Normal user

9 Aug 2018, 12:22

To Apply
Please submit an Expression of Interest including a proposed workplan, methodology, key deliverables, details of the Consultant team including past experience in completing similar work, and budget required.

Please submit all information to by 16th August 2018.

I. Background
The Eleanor Crook Foundation (ECF), a growing US-based philanthropy focused on global nutrition, has undergone a process of significant growth, visibility and clarity of vision since 2015. The ECF portfolio consists of three key grant making programs (research, local capacity-building and advocacy), supporting over two dozen non-governmental and research organizations across half a dozen countries.

The research portfolio, known as RISE (Research, Innovate, Scale and Establish), funds innovations designed to address a gap in nutrition interventions by utilizing an existing implementation mechanism, and 2018 will see the initiation of the third round of RISE with the Request for Applications (RFA) due to be released in October 2018. The process consists of the initial open call for 5-6 page concept notes, the short-listing of ~10-15 semi-finalists whose projects fit with ECF’s priority nutrition funding areas, the proposal development process where ECF supports the short-listed applicants to develop a full proposal, selection of finalists which are presented to the Board for approval, and finally the grant refinement process where final implementation and research parameters are agreed upon between ECF and the prospective grantee.

With their significant social capital, extensive networks and unparalleled understanding of local contexts, local organizations represent significant potential to catalyze change. However, less than 2% of all humanitarian funding goes directly to local NGOs, despite a growing consensus that they may often be better-placed to deliver services more effectively, efficiently and sustainably than large international organizations. Given the potential comparative advantages of local NGOs and the need to find multiple, inter-connected and sustainable ways to increase nutrition coverage, ECF is funding a small coalition of local registered non-government organizations in Northern Uganda through the Uganda Grassroots Nutrition (UGN) grant portfolio.

ECF believes that to achieve a vision of a world without malnutrition and hunger, it is important to also invest in critical advocacy efforts in the United States and internationally. The foundation supports a broad range of organizations that advocate for global nutrition, food security, and more effective foreign aid. For many years ECF has focused on amplifying U.S. faith community voices on global nutrition issues. ECF also supports efforts to mobilize civil society on nutrition issues in Europe and the Global South. ECF measures the impact of investments made through grant programs by closely monitoring and evaluating process, output, and impact-level indicators specific to each project.

As ECF’s ambitions and aspirations grow, and as ECF’s position in the global nutrition space becomes more prominent, ECF has reached an opportune moment to take a step back and reflect on the journey so far and identify the optimal way forward. With a growing technical team at ECF and with an increasing ability to influence the global nutrition space in advocacy and research, it is critical at this stage to identify the optimal path forward in order to ensure ambitions and objectives are achieved. Moreover, it is critical to ensure that for every dollar invested, that the greatest impact can be realized and the greatest return on investment can be achieved.

To that end, ECF seeks a competent and experienced Consultant (individual or firm) to lead the development and finalization of ECF’s 2019-2025 Strategic Plan. ECF will work closely with the Consultant to ensure the Strategic Plan is in line with ECF’s ambitions and the commitments ECF has established with existing and potential grantees.

II. Purpose
Take the lead in the development and finalization of ECF’s 6-year Strategic Plan (2019-2025).

III. Key Tasks & Deliverables
The following tasks are suggested as an outline of the process to be completed by the Consultant (these are negotiable):

Stage 1: Strategic Formative Evaluation
- Overall goals of the formative evaluation are to:
o Develop a recommended strategic direction that enables ECF to achieve the greatest impact possible.
o Develop an implementation roadmap to help align ECF’s internal systems and structures to the organization’s new strategic direction.

- Conduct the evaluation in three phases:
o In Phase 1 (Option Framing), the Consultant will undertake a review of ECF’s current capabilities and past performance and develop and refine a series of plausible options for ECF’s future strategic direction through Choice Structuring (including SWOT analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), with a focus on achieving the greatest impact.
o In Phase 2 (Research and Recommendation), the Consultant will research these options and craft a recommendation to ECF for the strategic direction of the organization. In addition, the Consultant will develop an M&E Framework with proposed indicators and measurement methods to track impact of the Strategic Plan, as well as the tools needed to collect the requisite data.
o In Phase 3 (Roadmap), the Consultant will determine the capabilities needed to implement the chosen strategy, identify current gaps and create a high-level roadmap to fill the gaps.

- The methodology will rely on:
o Extensive belief audits with ECF team and other external stakeholders
o Thorough inventory of ECF’s current capabilities
o Review finalised Global Survey to inform nutrition landscape analysis, including key emerging trends
o Review of ECF’s past performance
o Choice Structuring workshop
o Desk review of internal documents, including (but not limited to) ECF’s Theory of Change, Theory of Scale and Sustainability, RISE and RFA documentation, grantee contracts, grantee reports, results framework for advocacy
o Basic impact modelling using the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) or similar

- Directly engage with ECF team throughout the process to provide guidance and direction.

Stage 2: Development of Draft 1 of Strategic Plan
- Development and drafting of Draft 1 of Strategic Plan based on results of Stage 1, including decision on key strategic areas to base Strategic Plan around, in close collaboration with ECF team.
- Development and inclusion of examples/case studies to draw key elements together, based on past experiences and future thinking, to be outlined in text boxes.

Stage 3: Consultation with Key External Stakeholders
- Sharing of Draft 1 of the Strategic Plan with external stakeholders for feedback, and incorporation of feedback once received to form Draft 2 of the Strategic Plan.

Stage 4: Board Review and Approval
- Presentation of Draft 2 of Strategic Plan to ECF’s Board and incorporation of feedback received, to produce Final Version of ECF’s Strategic Plan.

Stage 5: Investment Case Analysis
- Carry out an investment case analysis concurrently with development of Strategic Plan, in order to outline what a fully costed strategy will have in terms of impact. This would highlight funding required for specific subsectors, the impact that can be expected once subsectors are funded, opportunities for collaboration with additional stakeholders, identification of ECF’s focus, what impact could be attributed to ECF’s focus areas and how much full implementation of the Strategic Plan would cost. In other words the costing and cost-effectiveness of Strategic Plan.

IV. Suggested Timeline (priority may be given to Consultants with an expedited timeline)

Stage 1 December 2018
Stage 2 February 2018
Stage 3 March 2018
Stage 4 March 2018
Stage 5 March 2018

V. Supervision and Reporting
The Consultant will report to ECF’s Nutrition Technical Director. The Consultant will also interact with ECF’s Executive Director, Global Policy and Advocacy Officer, Nutrition Research Program Officer and Operations Lead.

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