Careers Vacancy

Consultancy – Support the design of a Social Learning Strategy and strengthen the IPARD team capacities in social learning


Organization description

In 2019, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) established the FSC Indigenous Foundation (FSC IF) as the operational office for the Permanent Indigenous Peoples’ Committee (PIPC).  FSC IF is a private interest foundation pursuant to Law No. 25 of June 12, 1995 of the Republic of Panama. The mission of the FSC IF is to unlock the enabling environment to secure Indigenous Peoples’ rights and promote sustainable forest-based solutions within 300 million hectares of Indigenous forests on the planet. The vision is that the global values of Indigenous Peoples, their rights, livelihoods, ecosystem services, natural capital, and territories are recognized and incorporated into forest governance, climate change governance, and market systems.

Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance for Rights and Development

FSC IF is the implementing partner of the USAID and FSC funded five-year Global Development Alliance Program: Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights and Development (IPARD). IPARD is guided by three development objectives:

  • Objective 1: To organize and convene a Capacity Development Program for Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and stakeholders;
  • Objective 2: To foster an enabling environment for Indigenous Peoples’ recognition, effective participation, and joint decision-making in matters affecting them, and;
  • Objective 3: To promote Indigenous Peoples’ sustainable development based on sustainable economic models.

IPARD utilizes three interconnected approaches to support Indigenous Peoples to overcome their development challenges:

A.      Multi-Sectoral Approach (MSA): Under the strategic guidance of the IPARD Steering Committee (SC), IPARD convenes and leverages expertise from multi-sectoral. This approach ensures that IPARD considers the needs of Indigenous communities across a wide array of sectors. Based on the MSA, IPARD will bring diverse technical partners to support cross-sectoral projects that will achieve IPARD’s development objectives.

B.      Country-Focused Approach (CFA): the IPARD’s programmatic strategy is guided by a country-by-country focus driven by specific national contexts related to Indigenous Peoples. IPARD implements a structured process to identify, assess, and select countries to target its programs. FSC IF works jointly with the SC, and as guided by the MSA, in order to select countries and identify key priorities and strategies.

C.       Indigenous Project Management Approach (IPMA): Building on FSC IF’s network and relationships with Indigenous leaders and organizations around the world, IPARD pursues continuous dialogue, consultation, and feedback with Indigenous Peoples to inform the program. IPARD supports a forum through which FSC IF serves as a bridge between Indigenous Peoples, technical partners, national governments, and the private sector. IPARD invests in curating best practices and effective approaches and methodologies to ensure the strategic cohesion of multi-level partnerships.

Through these three approaches, IPARD aims to empower Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and catalyze an enabling environment where Indigenous Peoples can pursue their development.


Social Learning is the way individuals acquire knowledge that modifies their cognitive structures and behaviors, through socialization and interaction with other individuals in a given socio-cultural and physical context. Hence, rather than focusing on the individual, this type of learning centers on the social interaction processes through which people acquire and construct knowledge (Pino, 2005).

It is, therefore, a complex process that takes time and experience on the part of the stakeholder and, in addition to the act itself, involves political strategy and tactics, an analysis of reality, and values that inspire and drive the actions and projects. Its central assumption is that all effective learning comes from the experience of changing reality: the stakeholders involved participate actively, in a bottom-up approach, in a way that validates experiential knowledge and enables mutual learning (Cazorla Montero, De los Ríos Carmenado, & Yagüe Blanco, 2011). Two differences between social learning and other types of learning relate to the type of actors involved and the use made of the knowledge acquired through such learning. Regarding the first of these, the actors are the various stakeholders (Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, universities, NGOs, governmental institutions, etc.) linked to initiatives in support of Indigenous Peoples in which they participate, who seek to work together to achieve certain development goals. Knowledge, on the other hand, is the result of the practice of the subjects, which is appropriated by the subjects, but it is also collectivized and articulated to other experiences of other communities, creating a feedback process that goes beyond the boundaries of the community and of the people and organizations that are part of it. (Ramírez & Pino, 2008)

This type of learning comprises three dimensions:

  • Contextual: Learning takes place in certain social contexts, which can determine, facilitate or hinder the learning processes undertaken by individuals or groups.
  • Communitarian-practical: Rather than an individual receiving external information in order to change his or her later behavior, individuals collectively carry out certain actions to achieve community-defined goals. This process generates “lessons learned”, understood as the knowledge obtained from the practice and actual reflection by the stakeholders involved in the process.
  • Collectivizing: It refers to the processes of socialization and dissemination of the knowledge generated among the various stakeholders involved, driving to initiate learning processes in others and with other communities.

Social Learning is a critical component of the IPARD Program. Social Learning informs the three objectives of the IPARD program and the lessons learned will be captured from activities that empower Indigenous Peoples’ organizations by catalyzing an enabling environment where Indigenous Peoples can manage, develop, and govern their territories based on the principles of self-determined development, traditional practices, natural resource management, and respect for their customary rights.

Considering the importance of this component, the IPARD Program is looking for a consultant to support the design of their social learning strategy and strengthen the capacities of the team in this important component.


1. General Objective

Support the design and implementation of a social learning strategy and contribute to the development of capacities of the IPARD Team on social learning

2. Specific objectives

1.       Compile a list of all documents, case studies, procedures, processes and forms needed to design a social learning strategy

2.       Develop a series of training to the IPARD team and the I-WEE team on social learning

3.       Develop a series of training to the IPARD partners on social learning

Illustrative activities:
The consultant should coordinate and conduct all consultancy activities with the Monitoring and Evaluation Lead.  Consultancy should include at least the following activities:

  1. Design and validate with the Monitoring and Evaluation Lead a work plan to implement the consultancy activities. This work plan should include the methodology and logistic requirements related.
  2. Compile a list of all documents, case studies, procedures, processes and forms needed to design a social learning strategy.
  3. Support with the systematisation of activities
  4. Conduct interviews for the co-design of the social learning strategy
  5. Based on the desk research facilitate a co creation workshop to develop a feasible social learning strategy approach
  6. Support the validation of the social learning strategy
  7. Support the initial implementation of the social learning strategy
  8. Support with the development of measurements to evaluate the social learning strategy
  9. Support with conducting a workshop to present the social learning strategy
  10. Develop materials to conduct trainings to the IPARD Team and the IPARD partners on social learning
  11. Facilitate a co-creation workshop to validate the training materials
  12. Conduct a series of training to the IPARD Team and the IPARD Partners.

Expected deliverables:

  1. Workplan and methodology to implement the consultancy.
  2. Desk Research and co-creation workshop
  3. First draft of the strategy
  4. Final draft of the strategy
  5. Training materials
  6. Evidence of the trainings conducted with the IPARD Team and IPARD Partners

Technical and Financial Proposal:

The proposal must include a brief technical proposal with the methodology that will be used to complete the consultancy. The technical proposal should also include the methodology to use in the training and other building capacity process, data collection method, obstacles that might come up during the consultancy and ways to mitigate them.

The financial proposal should include a budget, explaining each line item (including the logistical expenses to develop the activities). All financial proposals should include taxes when applicable and explicitly note it in the budget.

The consultant must cover all the logistical expenses (transport, lodgings, and food of participants) to conduct the workshops and capacity development activities.

Profile of the consultant:

  • Professional in communication, international relations, social psychology, geography
  • More than 5 years of experience working in topics such as advocacy, communication and development, social learning, climate change
  • At least 2 years of experience working as a learning or social learning specialist
  • At least 2 years of experience working with indigenous organizations or indigenous communities
  • At least 3 years of experience conducting training to organizations and key stakeholders
  • Previous experience working with international organizations and donors desirable
  • Demonstrated cultural awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of values, views, and approaches to issues relevant to the FSC IF
  • Strong oral and written communication of the team in Spanish, and English is desirable.

Duration of the assignment:
Six months upon signing of the contract

Applications need to include the following documents:

  1. CV of the consultant including descriptions of relevant responsibilities (not just job title).
  2. Technical proposal (max 5 pages)
  3. Financial proposal including an explanation of the budget line items.

How to apply:

Submit your CV, technical proposal, and financial proposal to the email address: before 5:00 P.M. (Panama Time) on June 9th, 2023. Please make sure to detail in your e-mail subject the name of the consultancy you are applying to.