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Terms of Reference  Consultancy for the development of SNC Strategic Plan (2021 – 2026)

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  • Post date:9 Sep 2020
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Job Description

Terms of Reference 

Consultancy for the development of SNC Strategic Plan (2021 – 2026)


  • Title: Consulltancy to develop SNC Strategic Plan for 2021-2026
  • Organization: Somali NGO Consortium
  • Duration: Approxinately 25 days
  • Contract Type: Consultancy
  • Closing date: TBD

Somalia Context and Role of CSO’s

After the collapse of Somalia’s central government in 1991, civil society organisations (CSOs) stepped in to fill the governance vacuum and provide vital services. They have played a number of important roles – from supporting peacebuilding and conflict prevention to promoting democratisation and providing humanitarian aid. Even since the return of a functioning central government in 2012, CSOs have continued to demonstrate their value as facilitators, advocates, election observers and innovators. Many are striving to become financially and politically independent institutions, acting as watchdogs, ethical guardians and advocates for the marginalised and under-represented. As the political context has evolved, so too has the role of CSOs. The challenges they now face largely revolve around three themes: differing interpretations of ‘civil society,’ the absence of a unified civil society voice, and internal governance challenges.

Introduction to Somali NGO Consortium

The Somali NGO Consortium (SNC) is a membership organization of national and international NGOs that work together to create an enabling environment for the efficient and effective delivery of humanitarian and development assistance to all the Somali people. The SNC has supported NGOs since 1999 through its core activities in coordination, representation, information sharing and advocacy. It has offices in Hargeisa (Somaliland), Mogadishu (Somalia) and Nairobi (Kenya) and focal points in Garowe (Puntland), Baidoa (South West) and Kismayo (Jubaland). The Consortium currently has 103 (61 INGO& 42 LNGO) members working across Somalia/Somaliland. 

The SNC staff, Steering Committee and the overall membership developed and adopted in April 2017 a comprehensive three year (2017-2019) strategic plan (view/download Strategy here) based on the Consortium Mandate (view/download Mandate here) which was also revised in December 2019. The following objectives and priorities were set following an assessment of the operating environment, organizational capacity and resources:

SNC Strategic Focus Areas (2017 – 2019)   

  • An enabling environment for improved humanitarian, resilience and development outcomes, through multi-stakeholder and multi-level engagement;
  • Enhance collective accountability and transparency, in Somalia, through the application of International and National good practice and standards; and
  • Facilitate the promotion and implementation of Global, Regional and National localization commitments, through initiatives that enhance agency, voice, and capacity of local/national NGOs, in Somalia.
  • Support empowering women and youth groups and create opportunity for them to express their concerns, political representation amongst others.

SNC Vision 

Stronger together for resilient Somali Communities

SNC Mission 

A coordination platform focused on an enabling environment for efficient and effective delivery of humanitarian and development outcomes. 

SNC Core Values

  • Humanitarian Principles and Do No harm: We are guided by humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. We are committed to ethical and responsible actions and activities in the service of communities and people.
  • Enabling environment: We believe in an enabling environment as a common ground for our members to operate.
  • Identity and Collective Action: We will build and nurture the identity and power of the collective action of our members to achieve common goals. In all our actions, we strive to develop our members’ capacity and confidence to increase the strength of their staff.
  • Improvement and Quality services: We are committed to continuous improvement and delivery of high-quality services to our members.
  • Transparency and Accountability: Through our policies, structures and procedures, and in all-out actions, we ensure we are transparent and accountable, answering to our partners, members and stakeholders.

Key Acheivements of SNC in last 4 years;

  • Development of a localization framework which is to be rolled-out for all NGO’s.
  • Relocation of all NGOs and all operations being moved to Somalia.
  • Advocacy on the NGO Bill to ensure NGO voices are incorporated
  • Developemnt of a Joint Humanitarian Response to enhance coordination in response efforts.
  • NGO taxation and disseminating crucial information to all NGO.
  • NGO respresentaion at the Humanitarian Country Team(HCT)

Overview of the past strategy

The strategic plan for the last three years (2017-2019) was extended by an extra year to end of 2020 after approval by the Steering Commitee(SC). This strategy period has ended and a final evaluation of the strategy has been concluded in January 2020. The final evaluation aimed to review of its performance, strategy and possibly its mandate and build upon its strengths and competitive advantages in areas such as coordination, technical resources and influence derived from size and reputation of its member organisations. The evaluation raised fundamental issues that should inform the new strategy as discussed below. The consultant should work with recommendations set in the 2017-2019 strategic plan evaluation and ensure raise gaps are bridged/adressed in the 2021-2026 strategic plan. In addition to the overall strategy, the consultant should specifically focus on the following thematic areas as raised in the evaluation report;

  • Reinforce, simplify and clarify SNC identity and mandate in the strategy. Specific focus should be on; Definig the rules of engagement in the SNC and report on each SNC members against these rules of engagement, defining minimum support contribution (transport, staff, accommodation, budget) and finally defining the minimum engagement on advocacy, lobbying and communication work.
  • Remove all activities which are creating a line of division within the SNC in the strategy.
  • Within the strategy to choose carefully specific thematic for SNC engagement to increase access and efficiency for all NGOs operating in Somalia.
  • Include within strategy how to achieve Negotiation with the leverage of lobbying in areas such as engagement with govt and donors
  • Approach to remain visible and active in the media as a tool for better negotiation
  • Strategy to improve financial situation and sustainability for SNC while facing the possibility in reduced funding from donors and push to reduce membership fee by LNGO.
  • Strategy for engagement of SNC with private sector as a crucial stakeholder and as a potential source for fundraising

Description of the Assignment


To assist the SNC, develop a new strategy that clearly outlines SNCs strategic themes and approaches over the next 5 years. It is anticipated that the simplicity of this format will assist the SNC to communicate its strategic ambition and role as a principled collective voice of NGOs operating in Somalia. The strategy will be subsequently translated into Somali. The strategy incorporates insights and feedback from a wide consultation with stakeholders, including those from the  members, staff, donors, UN partners, INGOs, N/LNGOs, government, civil society and other coordinating fora.

Objectives costed plan of action

  • Review SNC programme documents including the 2017-2019 strategic plan, final evaluation report, SNC HR Strategy and SNC Mandate.
  • Review the SNC vision, mission, values, geographical locations and the thematic focus areas based on the organizational mandate, context and comparative advantage of SNC.
  • Assess the SNC internal Strength and Weaknesses and external Opportunities and Threats (SWOT Analysis) and analyse the same to develop the Strategic themes and approaches.
  • Develop 2021-2026 strategic plan and costed plan of action taking into cognizance the Consortium’s members’ strategic priorities.
  • Assess the SNC internal capacity development needs and come up with costed capacity-building actions. This will look into issues such as organizational set-up, financial and administrative systems against the organizational mandate and the identified strategies and key intervention areas. The consultant should be able to asses the gaps and come up with recommendations to bridge them through a consultative process and application of an appropriate tool of analysis, identify focus/thematic areas and develop strategic objectives and key result areas for the same. SNC need to identify its niche and remain as platform and not to compete with NGO’s
  • Develop a result framework drawn from the strategies and the proposed result areas. The results framework should have components such as outcomes areas, outputs, objectively verifiable indicators and clear targets.
  • Develop a financial projection for the period 2021-2026 and fundraising strategy herein referred to as a “resource framework” for SNC. The projection should rely on financial statistics for the past three years, and how to improve the financial situation of SNC and its sustainability.
  • Develop an advocacy (publicity and communication)n strategy and plans on how such strategies will be implemented and measured. The Advocacy strategy and plans should be assessed and validated by all crucial stakeholders.
  • The consultant should work with recommendations set in the 2017-2019 strategic plan evaluation and ensure raise gaps are bridged/adressed in the 2021-2026 strategic plan.
  • The consultant should undertake a stakeholder mapping and analysis and share findings.
  • The consultant should assess how the strategy can foster closer linkages between humanitarian and development NGOs, while ensuring full respect for humanitarian principles.
  • Assesment of the NGO Consortium’s comparative advantages and how can they strategically be employed to pursue Nexus and New Way of Working modalities.
  • The consultant should asses how  the strategic approach of the NGO consortium will be influenced by the continuing localization in Somalia and particularly in light of the LNGO capacity building elements in the proposed NGO bill.

Methodological Approach

The overall assignment will be consultative and will make use of a mixture of qualitative methods of data collection, including semi-structured interviews and virtual workshops.   

Desk Review: A comprehensive desk study of relevant documentation, including the Consortium’s strategy, evaluation reports, advocacy and research papers, SC meetings’ minutes, funding proposals; and a full range as possible relevant external documents, such as advocacy papers from members or wider civil society and studies relating to the current challenges for the delivery of development and humanitarian assistance in Somalia.

Consultations: Consultations with relevant internal and external strategic stakeholders and actors through a range of methods including, but not limited to, one-to-one interviews and group consultations. Emphasis should be placed on member organisations at HQ and field levels; however, the development of the strategy should also include representatives of key donors and UN agencies, including humanitarian coordination mechanisms, SNC Staff and Advisory boards at field level amongst others. . The task will be carried out mainly in Mogadishu, Kismayu, Hargeisa and Garowe where consultations and workshops will be held with Consortium staff and/or representatives, representatives of the Consortium’s member organizations regional offices and any other external stakeholder deemed relevant. 

First drafting: The results of the desk review and consultations will be written up as a draft strategic plan outlining the following key aspects;

  • SNC vision, mission, values, geographical locations and the thematic focus areas
  • Strength and Weaknesses and external Opportunities and Threats
  • Proposed 2021-2026 strategies and costed plan of action taking into cognizance the Consortium’s members’ strategic priorities.
  • SNC internal capacity development needs and costed development plans
  • A result framework outlining outcomes areas, outputs, objectively verifiable indicators and targets
  • A financial projection and fundraising strategy for SNC
  • A publicity and communication strategy and costed plans

The draft strategic plan will be submitted to the Consortium’s Director and  ahead of the validation workshop. 

Validation workshop: Facilitation of a member workshop “validation” discussing the draft strategic plan and to elicit feedback for the strategic document through various mechanisms, including a one-day consultative workshop with the stakeholders in each region.

Final strategic plan: Submission a comprehensive strategy document inclusive of a strategy, costed plan of action, logical framework, capacity development plan, a financial projection and fundraising strategy, and a publicity and communication strategy for 2021-2026. The consultant will incorporate comments from the validation workshop to finalise the document. The final document will then be shared with the membership and external stakeholders as and when relevant.

Expected outputs

  • Inception report outlining the proposed methodology and data collection methods as well as a detailed work plan 

A five-year strategic document inclusive of a strategy, a costed plan of action, logical framework, capacity development plan, a financial projection and fundraising strategy, and  a publicity and communication strategy. The consultant should develop agreed upon priority strategy areas and ensure compatibility with SNC and its donors community

Implementation and Management of the Assignment

  • The assignment will be carried out by one external consultant or consulting firm who will be responsible for conducting all aspects of the work and delivering the stated outputs.
  • The Consortium secretariat will provide the consultant with assistance in arranging meetings, if possible visits to the Consortium’s regional offices, with the support of the regional representative where applicable, and organizing the participatory workshop.   
  • Overall management of the assignment will be the responsibility of the Consortium secretariat under the guidance of the Consortium’s Director in cooperation with the Consortium’s Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will be responsible for the selection of the consultants to carry out the work and for reviewing and approving the outputs of the assignment. 


The assignment will take place over the months of September/October 2020 with following tentative allocation of working days: 

  • Inception meeting and consultations (Face to face or virtual) 2 days
  • Desk study / preparation 3 days
  • Inception Report writing and planning      3 days
  • Virtual interviews with strategic stakeholders and actors to collect information 5 days
  • Drafting of the strategy document and sharing with stakeholders in each region 5 days
  • Virtual validation workshop with the stakeholders in each region     5 days
  • Virtual meeting with Steering Committee and incorporation of comments  1 day
  • Submission of the final strategy document 1 day

TOTAL          25 days

Consultant Profile:

Required qualifications and competencies:

  • At least a master’s degree in a relevant field in the area of development planning, public policy and development studies
  • At least five years of professional experience in strategic planning and management. Experience in research, policy development, management and programming related work is an added advantage.
  • Minimum 5 years’ prior experience working in conflict and post-conflict settings especially Somalia and an in-depth understanding of the context.
  • Good understanding of Somalia (including power dynamics) and the operating conditions for NGOs providing assistance in Somalia. 
  • Familiarity with the Somalia NGO Consortium.
  • Proven experience undertaking strategic plan.
  • Demonstrated experience facilitating workshops will be an advantage
  • Excellent communication skills, with good spoken and written English. Somali speaking is desirable.

How to Apply

Candidates interested in the position should send their applications online to SOM.Consultant@care.org to be received no later than 22/09/ 2020. The application should be titled “Consultancy for SNC’s 2021-2026 strategy development” and should include the following:   

  • Resume of the lead consultant and the proposed team
  • At least two strategy plan/papers completed
  • 2 references
  • Cover letter on personal interest in the assignment and understanding of the Consortium

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


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