Careers Vacancy

Request for services of a consultancy firm – capacity development assessment tool for Indigenous Peoples organizations

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

Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance for Rights and Development

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

  • Objective 1: To organize and convene a capacity building program for Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and stakeholders;
  • Objective 2: To foster an enabling environment for the recognition, effective participation and joint decision-making by Indigenous Peoples in matters affecting them; and
  • Objective 3: Promote the sustainable development of Indigenous Peoples based on sustainable economic models.

IPARD uses three interconnected approaches to support Indigenous Peoples in overcoming their development challenges:

A.         Multi-Sectoral Approach (MSA): under the strategic guidance of IPARD’s Steering Committee (SC), the Program convenes and leverages the expertise of multi-sectoral partners to ensure that the needs of Indigenous communities are considered across a wide range of sectors.

B.         Country-Focused Approach (CFA): IPARD’s programmatic strategy is guided by a country-focused approach, driven by specific national contexts related to Indigenous Peoples. IPARD implements a structured process to identify, evaluate and select countries for its programs. FSC IF works in conjunction with the IPARD Steering Committee, and according to the guidelines of the multi-sectoral approach, in order to select countries and identify key priorities and strategies.

C.         Indigenous Project Management Approach (IPMA): Leveraging FSC IF’s networks and relationships with Indigenous leaders and organizations around the world, IPARD seeks ongoing dialogue, consultation, and feedback with Indigenous Peoples to inform the Program. IPARD supports a forum through which the FSC IF Indigenous Foundation serves as a bridge between Indigenous Peoples, technical partners, national governments, and the private sector. IPARD invests in best practice conservation and effective approaches and methodologies to ensure strategic cohesion of partnerships at various levels.

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

The overall objective of the consultancy is to prepare a Capacity Development Assessment tool tailored-made for Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPO) to be called I-OCA (Indigenous Organizational Capacity Assessment) through collaborative work with different IPO networks to develop and pilot it.

As part of the consultancy, the firm should also prepare a diagnostic tool for non-IPO stakeholders to assess their level of knowledge and gaps on Indigenous Peoples’ issues.

In addition to the design of these two tools with the support of the IPO mentioned above, these tools should be applied to target IPO and non-IPO to prepare capacity development plans for these organizations.

IPARD will use the capacity development plans prepared by this consultancy to implement training, exchanges and other learning activities needed to increase the skills and competencies of the organizations through partnerships with organizations organized in the IP-Hubs, which will be a consortium of organizations working together to support capacity development activities.

c)               SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

  1. Develop, in collaboration with the FSC-IF’s Indigenous partners, a Capacity Development Assessment tool for Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations (IPOs)  called I-OCA.  The I-OCA will be based on similar tools being used for capacity building activities but will be tailored to IPOs special characteristics based on their specific needs and their missions.
  2. Develop a diagnosis tool for non-IPO to assess their knowledge about Indigenous Peoples. This tool will be developed with FSC-IF’s Indigenous partners.
  3. Conduct and pilot individual Capacity Development Assessments using the I-OCA tool for IPO and/or the diagnosis tool for non-IPO to up to 10 IPOs and key stakeholders to be selected by the IPARD team and its Indigenous partners based on a strategic vision for the Program´s three objectives.
  4. Based on the I-OCA results, prepare a Capacity Development Plan for each of the 10 IPOs and key stakeholders that includes a) common areas of capacity development that apply to all IPOs (the firm and the FSC-IF’s Indigenous partners should recommend innovative solutions by proposing a capacity development package in a variety of methodologies and in collaboration with a wide range of partners including the private sector b) areas that are unique to the target IPOs or key stakeholders.
  5. Train target IPO on the application of the I-OCA and diagnosis tools to be called Indigenous Capacity Development Organizations (IPCDO).
  6. Prepare a report for each organization with the findings after the application of the I-OCA of the diagnosis tool and potential organizations that could deliver the capacity development activities with IPOs inputs.
  7. Present a general report with main findings and recommendations for IPARD.

Illustrative activities:

  1. Identify in the public domain available OCA tools to be used as a basis for developing IPARD´s I-OCA tool for Indigenous Peoples Organizations.
  2. Prepare the I-OCA tool for IPOs through collaborative work with different IPOs. The tool should be adjustable to IPO at the national level, at the regional level and at the global level by developing dedicated modules that apply to the different types of organizations.
  3. Prepare a diagnosis tool through a collaborative work with different IPOs for other organizations that influence Indigenous Peoples to assess gaps of information and competencies needed for them to effectively work with Indigenous Peoples.
  4. Test and pilot the I-OCA and the diagnosis tool.
  5. Apply the I-OCA tool and diagnosis tool to IPO and non-IPO (up to 10 organizations) to be selected by IPARD and its Indigenous partners.
  6. Assessment process conducted and self-assessment processes facilitated when and if applicable.
  7. Present reports on the results of the application of the I-OCA to the IPARD team, IPOs and other experts for their feedback and final adjustments to the report.
  8. Participatory prioritization of Capacity Development needs with each IPO.
  9. Preparation of Draft Capacity Development Plans for 10 IPOs and non-IPOs for their validation.
  10. Preliminary identification of partners in collaboration with IPOs to deliver the Capacity Development services included as part of the reports.
  11. Preparation of final Capacity Development Plan for targeted IPOs.
  12. Identify IPOs with IPARD’s Indigenous partners that have the profile and interest to apply the I-OCA tool to other IPOs, these organizations will be called Indigenous Capacity Development Organizations (IPCDO).
  13. Contact the IPCDO that could be trained in the application of the tools prepared by this consultancy to other smaller IPOs.
  14. Provide training to the selected IPCDO to develop capacities and maximize the use of the tool among other IPOs.
  15. Preparation of final report with findings and recommendations for submission to IPARD.


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) defines capacity development as ‘the process through which individuals, organizations and societies obtain, strengthen and maintain the capabilities to set and achieve their own development objectives over time.”

One of the IPARD Program objectives is the preparation and implementation with Indigenous partners of a Capacity Development Plan (CDP) to strengthen the capacity of IPOs in different countries to enhance their effectiveness and sustainability. In order to develop the CDP for IPO, IPARD and its IPOs partners will do an assessment of the capacity development needs of the IPOs to deliver a package of CD opportunities that address the voids, realities and aspirations of IPOs.

As part of the IPARD initiative, we will work with IPOs to identify opportunities where additional, targeted and innovative capacity development activities could drive organizational transformations to produce better and sustainable results. IPARD also believes that to enable the environment for IPO, the Program should also provide capacity development to other key stakeholders (from the public and private sectors), to provide them with training opportunities that will improve their performance and effectiveness when delivering services to or partnering with Indigenous Peoples. For these organizations, a diagnosis tool should be prepared in collaboration with IPARD’s Indigenous partners to identify gaps of information on Indigenous Peoples’ issues in order for them to establish effective relationships with Indigenous Peoples. Or to comply with their mandate to support Indigenous Peoples.

A Capacity Development Assessment (I-OCA) tailor-made for and prepared with IP will be required to identify and understand the Indigenous Peoples Organization’s capacity assets and needs. This will involve an exchange process between an external identification and a self-identification of the capacity that is already in place to determine opportunities and constraints to the achievement of clearly identified results for the organizations. A Capacity Development Plan (CDP) will be developed with the IPO and non-IPO as part of the co-creation principle of the IPARD Program and as a capacity development opportunity on the basis of findings from the assessments and the level of improvement that each IPO and non-IPO would like to reach.

The IPOs to be assessed are the ones with the highest probabilities to be implementers of IPARD as sub-grantees. The assessments and the capacity development plans to be prepared with and for them is one of the goals of Objective 1 but it will also be the basis for supporting the achievement of results of Objective 2 and Objective 3 by empowering IPOs to participate in high-level decision-making process as well as to engage in indigenous-led economic activities.  The same principle should apply with the non-IPO organizations, those to be selected will have to be linked to the strategies to achieve results in Objective 2 and 3.

An important principle of the IPARD Program in conducting the capacity development assessment is that it should be developed, driven and ‘owned’ by the IPOs to reflect their needs and aspirations based on their cosmovision and culture to obtain sustained results. Following this principle, the consultancy firm with the IPOs should prepare together the I-OCA tool and the diagnosis tool, the capacity development assessments, and the capacity development plans as a capacity development exercise in itself to strengthen their capabilities to continue the CD process within their organizations and with their membership, when applicable in the long-term.

Since there are different conditions for capacity development which are interdependent and complementary, it is not sufficient to evaluate capacity assets and needs at the organizational level only. For this reason, the IPARD program will not only focus to strengthen the Indigenous Peoples Organizations, but to identify the conditions within the organizations, at the individual level as well as in the enabling environment that have an influence and need to be taken into consideration when conducting a capacity development assessment to better focus the CDP recommendations and other actions. It is important then to evaluate these conditions by “zooming in” and “zooming out” when conducting the I-OCA for the different IPO and the diagnosis tool for the non-IPO and add the information to the assessment.

Consultancy firms to guide this process should be familiar with assessments covering a range of subjects such as, but not limited to:

  • Organizational development
  • Governance and Leadership
  • International rights for Indigenous Peoples
  • Territorial planning
  • Project Management (design, plan, implement and monitor projects)
  • Indigenous Women Development Programs
  • Intercultural Education
  • Traditional medicine
  • Indigenous Youth Development Programs
  • Financial controls and accountability
  • Change management
  • Sustainability
  • Advocacy and outreach (communication)
  • Policy research and evidence-based decision making
  • Public policy development
  • Environmental, Social and Governance Principles
  • Public sector training (for government agents)
  • Indigenous-Private Business Partnership and Private-Public Partnership
  • Indigenous Economy
  • Value Chain
  • Learning and knowledge management
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Games Theory for negotiations
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Geographic and Spatial Information Systems


The consultancy firm should review other organizational development assessment tools already available to serve as the basis for preparing IPARD´s I-OCA tool and the diagnosis tool for non-IPO.  The tools should be prepared in a participatory and collaborative way with different IPOs to ensure it becomes a tool owned by Indigenous Peoples Organizations.  The I-OCA Tool should take into consideration, if considered necessary, to design modules that apply to national Indigenous Peoples Organizations, regional Indigenous Peoples Organizations or networks and Global Indigenous Peoples Organizations or Indigenous Peoples Authorities taking into account that their mission and ways to operate might not be the same. The tools to be developed should be prepared, in a MS excel format or others to be proposed, that can be used by any user, and that automates the capture of data, and the analysis of the information, to allow easy interpretation for organizational decision making.

It is expected that the assessment will be built around self-assessment processes with the consultancy firm, the IPARD team and IPOs’ guidance as well as broad consultation with other experts when appropriate to help validate, expand and improve the range of information collected. A participatory assessment process including individual sessions, focus groups, SWOT-analysis, appreciative inquiry, reflective teams should be some of the options for the development of the I-OCA to be built and guided by IPOs.

The capacity assessment framework should recognize the multiple dimensions of capacity as well as the expected results. This approach ensures that capacity development goes beyond individual capacity (relevant skills and abilities) to focus on organizational capacity (governance, structures, processes, etc.) as well as the broader context and environment within which the organizations´ function.

The assessments report to be prepared for the IPARD team, IPOs and experts and the final report should include change readiness, potential prime movers (influential actors) of change, resistance to change, as well as change strategy and change management aspects within each IPO and non-IPO. The history of previous change, reform and CD efforts should be factored into the assessments as well as the inputs and resources available to the organizations.

Since the I-OCA prepares for change, then participation and buy-in of the conclusions of the organizations at different levels may also be a sine qua non for a subsequent successful Capacity Development process – and full attention to these process aspects will be crucial.

Once the I-OCA tool and the diagnosis tools are complete, a Capacity Development Plan should be drafted taking into consideration a prioritization of Capacity Development needs by the IPOs and non-IPO.  The CDP should include a package of activities ranging from on-the-job trainings, internships, visits, exchange programs, short practical trainings, scholarship opportunities abroad and in the country, on-line trainings and others to be identified.  Cultural aspects and time availability should be considered when structuring the plan as well as the best technical partners to provide the Capacity Development support in the long term.


Deliverables and payments

  • I-OCA Tool designed for and by Indigenous Peoples Organizations (adjusted for national, regional and global IPOs) (20%)
  • Diagnosis tool to apply to organizations (public and private) working or with an influence on Indigenous Peoples (20%)
  • Capacity Development Assessment reports for each IPO and non-IPO assessed (10) (25%)
  • Capacity Development Plans for IPOs and non-IPOs (10) (25%)
  • Final report with findings and recommendations of the assessment and identification of potential organizations to (10%)

4. Eligibility and minimum requirements
The consultancy firm must meet the minimum requirements.  Only consultancy firms that meet the requirements will be shortlisted and contacted.

  • Consultancy firm with at least 5 years of experience conducting capacity needs assessments of organization. Firms conducting that have worked with Indigenous Peoples Organizations organizational capacity assessments, preferable.
  • Specialized knowledge about organizational and institutional development.
  • Experience with self-assessment processes is an advantage.
  • Proven experience working with Indigenous Peoples in similar consultancies is an advantage.
  • Previous experience working with international organizations and donors is an advantage.
  • Good interpersonal communication and coordination skills of the consultants.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and flexibility.

5. Reporting

During and at the end of the consultancy development, the firm may be asked to present results to key stakeholders, including IF, the IPARD Steering Committee and USAID, as needed. All reports including final report will be submitted electronically and in English.

6.  Coordination

The consultancy firm will coordinate the expected work with the Program Lead on Capacity Development and Inclusion who will serve as the liaison with the FSC IF Managing Director and the IPARD Program Director and all the other stakeholders involved with this consultancy. The Program Lead on Capacity Development & Inclusion will coordinate with the rest of the IPARD team to provide observations and feedback.

7. Conditions for payments of the products:

The products must be authorized by the IPARD Director in order to proceed with payment. All products must be delivered in digital format.

8. Duration of the assignment

The assignment is expected to be completed within 90 (ninety) calendar days from the day of contract signature.

The consultancy firm needs to be able to propose a viable and proper planning.  The timetable should include sufficient time for:

  • Preparation: selection and availability of team members.
  • Execution: time needed to achieve results and purpose of the assessment, organization of meetings with IPOs from the different regions and in different time zones, include debriefings with the team and other key stakeholders
  • Reporting: deadlines for draft and final versions of the reports to IPOs and non-IPOs, time for commenting on draft version(s) of products, and final report.

9.Intellectual property rights, patents and other proprietary rights 

The Indigenous Foundation shall be entitled to all intellectual property and other proprietary rights including but not limited to: patents, copyrights and trademarks, with respect to products, processes, inventions, ideas, know-how, documents and other materials prepared or collected by the consultancy firm in consequence of or in the course of the performance of this consulting engagement, and the consultancy firm acknowledges and agrees that such products, documents and other materials constitute work performed under the Indigenous Foundation’s engagement.

10.Interested firms should submit a proposal including:

  • Methodology
  • List of similar consultancies in the last 5 years and contacts of previous clients
  • CV of the consultants
  • Chronogram
  • Budget (including applicable taxes)

The technical and financial proposal should be submitted in English to the following email:

11.  Deadline for submission of proposal:

September 4, 2022