Consultancy on Latin America Regionalisation Initiative

Norwegian Refugee Council

  1. CONSULTANCY ASSIGNMENT BACKGROUND

NRC in the Latin America (LA) region has grown significantly in the last couple of years, nearly representing 49% of the 2021 AELA actuals. The growth in financial volume and in the number of people reached has been coupled with a significant geographical expansion, leading to the establishment of many new offices, including in new countries. The AELA regional structure has been initially established to manage a single country office in LA. As part of the separation from the Central and West Africa & Latin America Region in early 2019, it was considered to establish Latin America as a separate Regional Office, but the conclusion was that the financial perspectives at that time were not sufficient to sustain a regional setup.

In August 2019, the AELA Regional Office (RO) initiated an external assessment aimed at giving an objective view of how external trends and developments will influence the situation in Latin America in the next 3-5 years. Some of the key recommendations and ways forward included:

  • The establishment of a Country Office set up for the North of Central America and Mexico (NCA&M) managed by a Country Director (CD) and a Country Management Group (CMG) based in Honduras. This structure has been created in January 2021 and is responsible for programming in Honduras and El Salvador as well as expansion into Mexico and Guatemala.
  • The establishment of a senior representation position in Panama. This position was created in January 2021 and had responsibility for representation, fundraising efforts and advocacy on behalf of the RO and the three country offices in the region (Colombia, Venezuela and NCA&M). This position was implemented through an own funds support from Field Operation (FO) but was finally discontinued at the end of 2021 due to lack of financial resources and de-prioritization.
  • Gradually look into having regional functions dedicated fully or partially to Latin America (LA) to be hosted in LA, maintaining existing reporting lines to the Regional Office based in Oslo. As of April 2022, the following positions are fully or partially dedicated to LA and/or based in LA:
    • 5 RO Staff are fully dedicated to LA including: one Regional Finance Controller (based in Bogota); one Regional Corporate Adviser (based in Bogota), one Regional Investigator for Latin America (based in Bogota), one Regional Risk and Compliance Coordinator (based in Cali, Colombia) as well as one Senior Sub-Regional Adviser based in Spain.
    • 2 AELA staff are currently based in LA but do not exclusively support LA countries: Regional Access Adviser (based in Panama) and regional Protection Of Civilians (POC) adviser (based in Colombia).

Maintaining NRC operations in Latin America in the medium term, and possible geographical expansion, requires both direction from NRC HO and dedicated regional attention. As stated in AELA Regional Strategy 2022-2025, in order to respond at scale to the increasing humanitarian needs in LA, the AELA RO has the ambition of establishing a full regional structure. It is foreseen that this regionalization process will be phased throughout the entire strategic period and contingent on organizational approval. For that purpose, AELA RO committed to conduct in 2022 an analysis of the main needs and priorities (programme, advocacy and support) and related financial implications/cost analysis to help shape the needed structure to ensure relevant support and oversight to priorities in Latin America.

  1. OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF WORK

Objectives

The objective of this work is threefold:

  1. Assess the main gaps, needs and priorities in terms of regional programme, advocacy and support functions for Latin America (LA)
  2. Based on the above, recommend an adequate new regional office structure in Latin America based on a comparative analysis of 2 to 4 regional set-up scenarios
  3. Develop a roadmap for implementation including the major steps and recommended delivery dates

Scope of Work

The key objectives include:

  1. Assessment of gaps, needs and priorities in LA: profile and number of staff needed and prioritized in terms of programme, advocacy/communication and support functions in line with NRC’s Organisational Structure and Operating Model and taking into account NRC Global, regional and country strategies and plans 2022-2025 and beyond.
  2. Based on the above, recommend an adequate new regional set-up in Latin America. Recommendations will include a comparative analysis of 2 to 4 set-up scenarios. Each recommended scenario should include a) the proposed geographical location(s), b) an organizational chart based on principles according to ORG and COOP c) its cost as well as d) a comparative cost/benefit and risk analysis considering the below variables:
  • Outcomes of the needs and priorities assessment (objective 1)
  • Opportunities to achieve NRC’s global, regional, and country ambitions as set out in 2022-2025 strategies
  • Capacity to fulfil a RO’s role as set out in NRC governing documents more specifically with regards to a) regional strategy and business development, b) oversight, quality and compliance, c) provision of strategic, development, advisory and direct operational support to COs and d) operational management and sign-off of high risks issues
  • Feasibility in terms of proximity to country programmes, including access to and representation vis-a-vis stakeholders in the region (donors, UN and partners)
  • Financial analysis including cost effectiveness considerations of the proposed set-up commensurate to the volume of operations in LA as well as financial opportunities that the regional structure might bring and foster.
  • Staffing capacities including national staff human resource base (including language considerations) recruitment of staff and nationalization opportunities
  • Attractiveness as duty station for international staff
  • Existing information on infrastructure and logistics: accommodation, regional air network, services available (such as health, trainings, etc.) and administrative issues such as cost of living, taxation and visa regulations
  1. Develop a Roadmap for implementation including the major steps and recommended delivery dates

Methodology:

The review is estimated to take 4 to 5 weeks. NRC will ensure that the team have all the necessary background documents available. The working methodology will be a mix of desk study and interviews with key RO and CO teams across AELA.

The consultant will be expected to conduct a half-day remote workshop with CO and RO representatives to further assess needs (objective 1 and 2).

The consultant will liaise with a Steering Committee led by the AELA Regional Director.

  1. IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE AND DELIVERABLES

Deliverables

The outputs expected from this consultancy entail:

  • Detailed report responding to the key objectives outlined in this ToR (the report should include a short executive summary)
  • A comparative analysis of 2 to 4 set-up scenarios including a) the proposed geographical location(s), b) organizational chart, c) cost as well as d) a pros and cons analysis in light of the above-mentioned variables
  • Roadmap including milestones and recommended delivery dates
  • Power-point presentation of the main findings

Implementation Schedule

The review should start in August/early September 2022 and with a timeline of 4 to 5 weeks as detailed below:

Delivery Dates

Milestones

Week 1

  • Contract signing
  • Inception meetings with NRC
  • Desk review (NRC sharing of key data, past study & assessments, reports etc.)
  • Interviews with key RO and CO team members

Week 2

  • Desk review (continued)
  • Interviews with key RO and CO team members (continued)
  • Preparation of regional workshop

Week 3

  • Regional workshop (remote)
  • Synthesis and analysis
  • Report writing (including comparative analysis)

Week 4- 5

  • Submission of draft report to NRC
  • Development of draft roadmap and power-point presentation
  • Revision of report following NRC’s comments and feedback
  • Submission of final deliverables to NRC (possibly including a second round of comments)
  • Presentation to Steering Committee and FO Director
  1. INSTITUTIONAL AND ORGANIZATION ARRANGEMENTS

NRC will own the intellectual property rights to all materials submitted by the consultant under the contract. The consultant must therefore ensure that he/she has possession of any materials provided to NRC as a part of the deliverables. The rights to reproduce the report will fall to NRC and its contracted agent. NRC will be free to reproduce the materials at will and to grant reproduction rights.

Duties of the consultant:

  • Lead and coordinate the assessment including being responsible for:
    • Desk review
    • Preparation and facilitation of interviews with NRC staff
    • Preparations and facilitation of a remote workshop with key CO and RO staff
    • Draft report (including addressing NRC questions/comments)
  • Ensure the timely submission of the above-mentioned deliverables (detailed report including executive summary, comparative analysis of 2 to 4 set-up scenarios, and roadmap for implementation)
  • Presentation of the main findings to the Steering Committee and FO Director

Reports should be submitted in Microsoft Word format, in UK English. All text should be unformatted. Graphs or other graphical devices should be editable (i.e. not pictures). All references must be cited according to convention, and detailed in a bibliography, using the Harvard system as set out in the UNESCO Style Manual. All verbatim quotations must appear in quotation marks and must not be of excessive length. All data collected under the consultancy must be submitted with the deliverables, in a widely recognised format such as Microsoft Excel.

Everything submitted to NRC must be the original work of the consultants. Any plagiarism in any form, or any other breach of intellectual property rights, will automatically disqualify the consultant from receiving any further payments under the contract by NRC, and NRC will seek to recover any payments already made.

Duties of NRC:

  • Accompany and support the consultant through the dedicated Steering committee led by AELA Regional Director
  • Ensure proper inception meetings with the consultant and identify key RO and CO staff to be interviewed
  • NRC will provide the consultant with the relevant documents for the desk review
  • Introduce the Consultant to the key identified RO and CO staff
  • Participation to interviews and workshop as relevant
  • Review and feedback to the draft report and draft presentation
  • NRC will bear the Consultancy fees
  1. QUALIFICATIONS OF THE CONSULTANT

Proposals should be submitted by 30th June 2022 strictly through email address: [email protected]

Failure to meet the closing date and manner of submission will result in the proposal being rejected.

Applications should include the following:

  • CV of the consultant
  • Cover Letter
  • Evidence/Sample of related previous consultancy reports/ evaluations
  • Financial proposal, detailing daily consultancy fees and suggested number of days
  • Any costs related to procurement and provision of equipment, material, services required to complete the consultancy should be included in the fees. No additional costs shall be charged separately.

Experience and Qualifications

  • Good knowledge and understanding of NRC’s internal processes, NRC’s Organisational Structure and Operating Model
  • Knowledge of the Latin America context would be a plus
  • Native fluency or high level of proficiency in English
  • Spanish would be a plus

How to apply

Proposals should be submitted by 30th June 2022 strictly through email address: [email protected]

Failure to meet the closing date and manner of submission will result in the proposal being rejected.

Applications should include the following:

  • CV of the consultant
  • Cover Letter
  • Evidence/Sample of related previous consultancy reports/ evaluations
  • Financial proposal, detailing daily consultancy fees and suggested number of days
  • Any costs related to procurement and provision of equipment, material, services required to complete the consultancy should be included in the fees. No additional costs shall be charged separately.