Data for Accountable and Transparent Action (DATA) Program
CALL FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
Name of the Consultancy/Service: International Technical Assistance for DATA Program
Service Location: Armenia
Eligibility: Think Tanks, Technical Advisory Groups, Individual Consultants, Research and Policy Advisors, Civil Society Capacity Building Experts and Organizations
Service Term: October 2020 – March 2022
Deadline for Application: September 22, 2020
Keywords: Civil Society, Research and Development, Think Tanks, Capacity Building, Policy Analysis, Policy Advice, Evidence-based Policy, Reform Implementation, Policy Communications
Purpose of the International Technical Assistance
The recent political change in Armenia and the government’s subsequent declared commitment to greater transparency have unlocked new opportunities for civil society’s contribution to the policy process. However, most Armenian CSOs are not used to delivering evidence- and data-based policy recommendations to the public and government. There is a strong need to strengthen CSOs’ ability to build links with their constituencies, improve their strategic communication and cooperation within the sector and have a greater impact on policy.
With the aim to strengthen the abovementioned capacities of the Armenian CSOs, Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) in a consortium with SOCIES Expert Centre NGO, Boon TV Foundation, Youth Cooperation Center of Dilijan NGO and Sose Women Issues NGO, hereinafter, DATA partners, is implementing the “Data for Accountable and Transparent Action” (DATA) program co-created with and supported by United States Agency for International Development. The program started in June 2020, and it will be implemented through May 2022.
The DATA program will (1) improve the capacity of CSOs to identify, analyze, and effectively communicate evidence to policy makers; and (2) promote inter-sectoral cooperation through establishment of networks engaging CSOs and government in evidence-based policy development.
The DATA program will strengthen CSOs capacities and their impact on policy development using the following “value chain” policy process for sound evidence-based policy advocacy:
Ø Identifying/formulating an issue (grass-roots organization or CSO)
Ø Researching the issue (research or data entity)
Ø Transforming the raw research data into policy recommendations (think tank)
Ø Advocating with stakeholders (media/communications entity).
The DATA partners hereby invite International Technical Assistance (ITA) providers including but not limited to consulting firms, think tanks, research and policy analysis groups, policy communication and advocacy organizations, academic and individual experts, to increase their own capacities in the “value chain” policy processes, and help create capacity-building methodologies and tools for sustainability and replicability of the effort.
Terms of Reference
DATA partners invite exceptionally qualified organizations, individual consultants or teams of consultants who will strengthen policy-oriented research, policy analysis, policy advocacy and communication capacities of DATA partners through a set of trainings (including ToTs), and provide consultative services to DATA partners and DATA beneficiaries throughout the term of the program.
The incumbent(s) will need to design and implement their technical assistance in the form of trainings and consultancies for one or more of the following four target groups customized to their specific activities and functions within the DATA program:
1. DATA Partners: five organizations with various skillsets, comprising Eurasia Partnership Foundation (focusing on civil society capacity building and program administration); Socies NGO (focusing on research and data analysis); Boon TV (focusing on media and communication); Youth Cooperation Center of Dilijan (focusing on youth, entrepreneurship and local administration); and Sose Women’s Issues NGO (focusing on gender, human rights, women empowerment).
The incumbent(s)’ technical assistance (both training and consultancies) will help the Data partners to progress in one or more of the following:
(a) design training modules in topics, such as problem identification at grassroots level, policy-relevant research, advocacy and communication;
(b) nurture a set of in-house trainers in policy-relevant research, advocacy and communication who will be able to further capacity building activities on their own;
(c) elaborate a Problem Identification Checklist (PIC) that will serve as a tool for the verification of the “advocacy potential” of CSO-identified issues; the PIC will analyze the context around the targeted issue, basis for problem formulation, availability of evidence, expert reference to the issue, interest groups, beneficiaries and the scope of impact.
2. Network Consortia: The DATA program’s beneficiaries (four sets of CSOs, media/communication organizations, research organizations, think tanks) selected to implement four policy-related sectoral sub-grant projects.
The members of the Network Consortia (through DATA partners) may request training or consultative assistance from the incumbent(s) in one or more of the following core functions:
(a) identify an issue of public concern or a bottleneck in a policy;
(b) properly formulate the policy;
(c) carry out a research;
(d) analyze the data;
(e) elaborate evidence-based recommendations;
(f) communicate them to decision-makers and other stakeholders.
3. Grassroots: CSO representatives and individuals (students, freelancers, etc.) that will learn how to effectively engage in value chain policy processes through fellowships and internships.
DATA partners may request additional consultation from the incumbent(s) based on the particular needs of the Grassroots beneficiaries.
4. State Representatives: Central and local government officials who may engage in various activities of the DATA program.
DATA partners may request additional consultation from the incumbent(s) based on the particular needs of the beneficiaries representing the central and local government.
The interested applicants should be able to elaborate relevant training (including ToT) modules and provide trainings to DATA partners, as well as to Network Consortia, and deliver consultancy services to DATA partners and the other beneficiaries of the DATA program representing one or more of the abovementioned target groups, which will eventually strengthen policy-oriented research, policy analysis, policy advocacy and communication capacities of DATA partners and DATA program beneficiaries.
Provided the COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted, the service will involve international travel and physical presence of the incumbent(s) in Yerevan, Armenia, for the provision of, at least, the training component of the service. In case the COVID-19 travel restrictions are still in place, the incumbent(s) should suggest an on-line method for conducting the trainings, which, though, should not compromise the quality of the delivered service. Consultancies may be delivered in an on-line format irrespective of the developments with COVID-19.
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 neighborhood countries.
Applicants should meet the following criteria:
· Sound record of work in one or several of the following themes: 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 in Armenia and/or the region;
· Ability to travel for short-term assignments to Armenia (pending on COVID-19 situation) and/or to perform online training and consultancy.
· A demonstrated record of policy work in solving problems at local, national or global levels using one or more of the following methods:
- Problem identification and analysis: gathering information, weighing the issue, analyzing the issue, accompanying bottom-up data-driven decision-making.
- Applied and innovative research methods: 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 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: 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: in specific policy areas, such as education, environment, public healthcare, education, worker rights, property rights, urban planning, management of cultural assets, etc.
The DATA partners understand that a single organization or expert or group of experts may not be able to deliver the entire range of the expected services/methods and cover the entire spectrum of the expected training/consultancy themes. Therefore, interested applicants are encouraged to offer services that cover only one (or more) of the solicited training/consultancy themes. The DATA partners will then negotiate with the shortlisted set of applicants in an effort to combine the offered sets of services in a manner that would cover the majority of the solicited training/consultancy themes.
Apart from training and consultancy, the interested applicants may propose a variety of other tools/methods for the delivery of their capacity building activity/services. These include but are not limited to provision of recommendations, peer reviews of publications, facilitation of expert discussions, design and review of research processes, etc.
The incumbents(s) will design each capacity building activity/service with a significant engagement of the DATA partners. A series of online meetings and discussions may be required during the design, preparation and implementation of each capacity building activity/service.
The deadline for applications is September 22, 2020.
Consultancy services may be implemented starting from October 2020 to March 2022.
Contracting and remuneration
The selected experts/consultants/organizations will be contracted to lead thematic ToTs 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.
- 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:
1. 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);
2. An outline of the technical assistance plan proposed to EPF (draft scenario), including the themes, target groups, method of the service delivery;
3. Implementation plan including the schedule of activities and events, timelines, compensation rates, required number of days for consultancy;
4. Certificate of registration with mandates in case of an organization.
5. Curriculum Vitae in the case of an individual applicant or a non-registered team of individual applicants.
The application may be sent in English, Russian or Armenian languages. The training and the consultancy may be provided in English, Russian or Armenian languages.
Please send the application package to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 the relevance of their competences, methodologies and experience to the needs of the DATA program, as well as the expectations of the parties.
NOTE: In order to increase the chances that your application is considered, please study EPF’s website www.epfarmenia.am and programmatic portfolio before applying.
This opportunity to solicit an 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 Eurasia Partnership Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.