Careers Vacancy

Consultancy – Support The Design and Implementation of an Indigenous Peoples Organizations Global Management and Leadership Study


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.


Considering the increasing importance of Indigenous People Organizations (IPOs) leadership, and management, there is a clear need to understand the different elements and components of Indigenous People Organization’s management and leadership . FSC-IF 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. In line with this, the study will contribute to the construction of IPOs knowledge  and will contribute to the work of FSC-IF with the IPOs.
The purpose of this global study is to analyze the distinctions of IPOs’ management and leadership approaches and how they can be applied to the implementation of development programs using a mixed method approach, integrating both quantitative (e.g., secondary data, survey data) and qualitative (e.g., interviews, group discussions, context analyses) data. Data is suggested to be collected from key stakeholders utilizing a participatory, collaborative, and inclusive approach. The objective is to interview IPOs’ representatives to gain their perspective on different topics such as gender approach, youth leaders, management skills, leadership styles, character-reputation, and plan for nominating and selecting new leaders.

It is important to mention that the studies conducted by FSC-IF incorporates consultation and validation from Indigenous representatives, including the validation of the work plan, the instruments, and the final report. Studies conducted by FSC-IF also incorporates examining whether there are any racial, gender, and ethnic disparities. This element of inclusion needs to be a fundamental part of the study design.  We recognize the importance of the contextualization of research and has a strong commitment to understanding the role of cultural and linguistic factors in research. This is especially relevant with evaluations focused on Indigenous communities.

In line with USAID Protection of Human Subjects in Research, FSC-IF is committed to protecting data and all data needs to be stored in password-protected and encrypted databases, and all those working with data need to be under strict confidentiality agreements, protecting all participants’ right to privacy. Confidentiality needs to be preserved for recording purposes. To maintain confidentiality, all personally identifiable information collected needs to be anonymized or removed from the dataset. Specifically, anonymized respondents’ names and contact information needs to be kept in a separate database from survey data if needed.

Note: It is required to get an informed consent from the IPOs to participate of the interviews. As stated above the consultancy should follow international standards and protocols to protect Indigenous rights, knowledge, and data.


1. General Objective

The purpose of this global study is to analyze the distinct management and leadership approaches of IPOs.

2. Specific objectives

The specific objectives are:

  • Identify IPOs’ organizing principles based on indigenous knowledge
  • Identify IPOs’ leadership styles and skills
  • Identify IPOs’ ability to influence others and gain trust
  • Identify IPOs’ ability to respond to challenges
  • Identify IPOs’ management characteristics
  • Identify IPOs’ gender approach
  • Identify IPOs’ attitudes and perception on youth leaders
  • Identify IPOs’ plan for nominating and selecting new leaders

The target population will be IPOs from different regions: Latin America, North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. The socio-demographic variables that will guide the study will be age, gender, education, ethnicity, location, IPO size, and IPO composition.

Illustrative activities:

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

  1. Develop a workplan to implement the consultancy activities. This workplan should include the methodology and logistic requirements related.
  2. Validate the work plan with the FSC-IF team and with a selected Indigenous representatives
  3. Conduct background document review and submit a report with suggested IPOs to be included in the study. The list of IPOs will be shared by FSC-IF
  4. Develop the study instruments: online survey, in-depth interviews and group discussions guide.
  5. Conduct a learning session to validate the instruments with FSC-IF team and with a selected Indigenous representatives
  6. Submit a pre-test report of the instruments. The instruments need to be validated for accuracy, internal consistency and reliability
  7. Conduct 15-20 IDIs in Latin America, 15-20 IDIs in Africa, 15-20 in North America, 15-20 in Europe, and 15-20 in Asia in total 75 to 100 IDIs.. It is anticipated that each interview will last approximately 30-45 minutes.
  8. Launch an online survey with 15-18 close-ended questions, including Likert Scale, two-choice, and multiple-choice questions. The survey data can be analyzed using SPSS/Stata.
  9. Submit a report with details of the fieldwork and the methodology including challenges, lessons learned, and opportunities
  10. Conduct data analysis of the interviews and the survey. The analysis should rely on data triangulation derived from desk review, and online surveys to assure data internal validity and reliability.
  11. Conduct a learning session with the FSC-IF team and selected Indigenous representatives on the initial findings.
  12. Submit a first draft of the report to be validated by the FSC-IF Team and the Indigenous representatives
  13. Submit a final draft of the report that will include a dissemination plan and a presentation with the FSC-IF team, Indigenous representatives, and the key stakeholders.

Expected deliverables:

  1. Workplan and methodology to implement the consultancy.
  2. Desk Research report
  3. Study instruments and learning session report
  4. Fieldwork report
  5. Full transcripts of all in-depth interviews
  6. Learning session of the initial findings report
  7. First draft of the final report
  8. Final report (max 50 pages)

Technical and Financial Proposal:

The proposal must include a technical proposal with the methodology that will be used to complete the consultancy. Additionally, a clear timeline must be presented. 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 or research firm must cover all the logistical expenses (transport, lodgings, and food of participants) to conduct the study.

Profile of the consultant/research firm

  1. Experience in undertaking primary research for practical purposes, using a mixture of primary and secondary evidence and a mixed methods approach
  2. Experience in conducting focus groups and undertaking qualitative data analysis
  3. Experience developing and conducting online surveys
  4. Experience in quantitative and qualitative analysis.
  5. At least one person in the research firm should have expertise in the development of methodological and ethical frameworks for research.
  6. Significant experience in convening and engaging a range of stakeholders
  7. Experience in communicating and disseminating primary research outputs to targeted audiences
  8. Experience conducting research with Indigenous communities or vulnerable population is desirable.
  9. Experience conducting multi-country research is desirable
  10. Previous experience working with international organizations and donors desirable
  11. Demonstrated cultural awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of values, views, and approaches to issues relevant to the FSC IF
  12. Strong oral and written communication of the team in Spanish and English

Duration of the assignment:

Period of Performance March 2023- July 2023

Applications need to include the following documents:

  1. CV of the consultant/or research team including descriptions of relevant responsibilities (not just job title).
  2. Technical proposal including the timeline.
  3. Financial proposal including an explanation of the budget line items.

How to apply:

Submit your CV, technical proposal, and financial proposal to the FSC IF e-mail address:  no later than March 10, 2023.

Please indicate the NAME OF THE CONSULTANCY you are applying to in the e-mail Subject.