Kenya: TERMS OF REFERENCE: Revision of Somalia NGO Consortium Guidelines for Risk Management & Accountability for NGOs operating in…

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Organization: Somalia NGO Consortium
Country: Kenya, Somalia
Closing date: 30 Jun 2018


The Somalia 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 been supporting NGOs for the last 16 years through its core activities in, coordination, representation, information sharing and advocacy. It has offices in Hargeisa, Mogadishu, Garowe, Kismayo, Baidoa and Nairobi; it hopes to increase its presence in Regional State capitals in the coming years. The Consortium currently has 85 members working across Somalia.

The Somalia NGO Consortium members have provided and continue to provide humanitarian and development assistance to communities in all regions of Somalia for decades. The operating environment in Somalia is highly challenging and complex, due to continuing conflict, lack of, weak or contested governance, high levels of criminality, and restricted humanitarian access to populations in need. For a long time, NGOs have encountered both security and operational challenges to their engagement in Somalia and yet have maintained their role of addressing the persistent needs of the communities they work with. In many areas, International NGOs have and continue to deliver assistance through their national partners or have resorted to remote management or third-party monitoring of interventions.

NGO interventions have however been met with evidence of fraud, aid diversion and insufficient levels of accountability. This has put in question the levels of accountability that NGOs have to the vulnerable communities that they target in interventions and to their donors in terms of application of effective and efficient risk mitigation mechanisms. With the incremental improvements in access in parts of South Somalia over the past few years as well as relative improvements in structures and systems for NGO engagement, focus on effective and accountable aid delivery in Somalia is increasing further. Many NGOs have invested significant resources including capacity into strengthening their internal risk management and accountability practices. This has not always been effectively communicated externally. Nor have many NGOs shared information with one another in an effort to approach the issue collectively.

In June 2014 the SNC commissioned a study on NGO approaches to risk management and accountability best practice in Somalia. As a conclusion, members of the Consortium developed and endorsed the “Guidelines (Code of Conduct) for RMA practices for NGOs operating in Somalia/ Somaliland”. They also committed to undertaking an assessment of the implementation of the risk management guidelines, with an objective to uphold momentum towards strengthening risk management approaches and fully implementing and striving towards best practice.

Definition of ‘risk’:

Humanitarian action by necessity takes place in ‘high-risk’ contexts; Somalia is a particularly acute example as it is affected by protracted armed conflict and recurring natural disasters. Risk can be understood as the possibility of ‘future harm’. Risk is broader than the possibility of aid being diverted before it reaches the designated beneficiaries, though this is evidently a central concern in South Somalia. Risk is commonly categorised into three inter-connected types:

  1. Contextual: factors which are external and often outside of humanitarians’ control;
  2. Programmatic: the risk of not meeting programme objectives, not meeting needs and potentially doing harm;
  3. Organisational: consequences for the security and safety of staff and for organisations’ reputations.



The objective of this assignment is to update the aforementioned ‘Guidelines’ and map out and conduct an evidence-based analysis of current NGO compliance/implementation of the aforementioned “Guidelines” at all levels of program implementation in Somalia. The goal of this initiative is to identify the effectiveness of the risk systems put in place by agencies and to uphold momentum towards strengthening risk management approaches and fully implementing and striving towards best practice. This will allow Consortium members to not only promote accountability and transparency but also report on steps taken towards mitigating risk. Ultimately the aim is to improve the quality and effectiveness of risk management standards put in place by agencies through increased accountability.

The commissioned assignment will:

  1. Review and revise the current guidelines in place based on consultation with members’ evidence

  2. Provide evidence on the implementation of the guidelines and NGO approaches towards risk management and accountability through an assessment of members against the revised Risk Management & Accountability Framework

It will result in:

  1. best practices identified and/or instituted following lessons learnt through positive and negative implementation of practical risk mitigation practices

The scope of the assessment will extend to (agencies’ risk assessment steps/procedures) tools formulated and structures put in place by agencies to guide risk mitigation before programme interventions, as well as their check mechanisms during programming and actions taken (if any) to manage risks after their occurrence.

The overall assignment will be consultative and will make use of a mixture of qualitative methods of data collection, including semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and workshops.**ACTIVITIES TO BE CARRIED OUT:


  1. Preparatory work and desk review – 2 days
    1a. Initial desk literature review to identify and review specific risk assessment and management practices and accountability standards in general as well as risk management & accountability documents developed by the SNC and other relevant stakeholders and their effectiveness/usefulness.
    1b. Outline of planned report format, based on challenges and best practices as experienced by the agencies.
    1c. Review of assessment methodology.
    1d. Review of external approaches to risk mitigation monitoring.
  2. Interviews and study of internal agency documents – 10 days
    2a. Interviews with signed-up NGOs to identify specific examples/samples of “implementation of the risk guidelines” NGOs have in place or have undertaken thus far (a core target group of the 27 NGOs that have endorsed the guidelines
    2b. Interview with other external stakeholders (Donors, UN Agencies) to see how this aligns with other specific RMA approaches
  3. Revision of NGO Consortium risk management guidelines and write up –**5 days**
  4. Validation Workshop with NGO Consortium members – 3 days
  5. Training on RMA structures and revised NGO Consortium risk management guidelines – 3 days
  6. Preparation of survey/Survey report to assess members against RMA guidelines – 2 days


  1. A report on risk mitigation good practices as experienced by agencies operating in Somalia (what is viable verses what is not). This report will detail progress against the six Code of Conduct areas without detailing individual agencies’ responses. Gaps will be identified and recommendations of where agencies should focus their efforts.
  2. Revised draft risk management and accountability guidelines based on international standards and informed by recent research in Somalia that can be used as a point of reference and checklist by agencies operating in Somalia.
  3. Proposed strategic action plan with benchmarks on implementation of the guidelines (where agencies are now and where they would ideally like to be in the future).
  4. Training plan on implementation and use of the Risk management guidelines and at least one training executed with key stakeholders (SNC will support organisation of the event).
  5. Assessment of NGO Consortium Members against RMA guidelines.


  • Good understanding of Somalia context (including power dynamics) and the operating conditions for NGOs providing assistance in Somalia
  • Familiarity with Somalia NGO Consortium
  • Proven experience undertaking strategic evaluations
  • Good written and spoken English. Knowledge of Somali would be of added benefit

How to apply:

Candidates who are interested in the position should send their applications online to to be received no later than Saturday, June 30th 2018, 6:00PM. The application should be titled “Consultancy: Revision of Somalia NGO Consortium RMA Guidelines” and should include the following:

  1. Maximum one-page expression of interest, detailing previous experience in similar consultancies
  2. Resume/curriculum vitae of the consultant and/or consultant team members
  3. 2 references
  4. Anticipated budget/fees (all costs included)

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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