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Terms of Reference for Partner Assessment-comments

  • Consultancy
  • Mogadishu
  • Applications have closed

Posted: 08 Jan 2022

PARTNER Assessment 2022

CASE NO. SOm 2021 18/0007

Embassy of Norway, Kenya/ SOMALIA

Terms of Reference

Project Background

1. In Somalia, Norway is supporting the Initiative for Stabilisation, Transition and National Development (I-STAND) programme (2019-2022) implemented by the Nordic International Foundation (NIS) in close collaboration with the government of Somalia and the private sector. The programme aims at contributing to improved stability in Somalia by increasing trust in the Somali government. To produce this change and increase the trust between the Somali government and its citizens, I-STAND provides immediate and visible stabilisation projects in areas Somali government recently recovered and provide longer-term development projects throughout the country. In summary, the overall Theory of Change is that these political stabilisation measures will eventually see the government gain legitimacy in the country[1] assuming these will bring economic, security and social benefits to the communities.

2. Nordic International Support Foundation (NIS) is a Norwegian non-governmental organization based in Oslo that strives to support stabilization efforts around the world. To do so, it carries out peace and reconciliation activities in war and conflict zones, as well as institutional development, social measures and conflict resolution. The Foundation carries out projects in Somalia, Mali and Myanmar.

3. The Embassy has initiated the process for undertaking a partner assessment of the organization. This assessment will assist the Embassy improve oversight, make systematic capacity reviews and provide recommendations to the partner for capacity development and follow up.

Purpose and use of the assessment

The Embassy is commissioning the assessment as part of a regular follow-up of an existing grant recipient in advance of new agreement in July 2022.

Further the partner assessment is considered of relevance due to the level of risk involved in implementing the I-STAND programme in unstable districts in Somalia. The scope of the assessment will be limited to; a) assessing the systems and routines for financial management, b) systems and routines for governance and c) selection and follow up of sub-grantees and contractors.

Objectives of the assessment

The overall objective of the consultancy is to;

1. Assess the systems and routines for financial management which shall include but not be limited to; cost efficiency, accounting & financial management, procurement, policies & procedures.**

2. Assess the partner’s systems and routines for governance which shall include but not be limited to; risk management, code of conduct, organization structure, HR, information management, internal control. The assessment should also identify areas for organizational improvement that will contribute to programmatic results

3. Assess the partners control system in the selection and follow up of subgrantees and contractors

  1. Methodology

The consultant should utilize the Ministrys (MFAs) “Annex A: Question Bank” as a source for questions that the assessment must address. This questionnaire should however be used as a departure point in guiding the assessment further. The partner assessment will be divided into two parts. The first part will be a document review/desk study including interviews, e.g. an examination of the quality of internal procedures and policies. The second part should be in the form of project visits and compliance review. Both parts shall require the consultant to visit Mogadishu.

  1. Reporting

· The assessment will require the review of key organizational documents, internal procedures as well as discussions with the Embassy, NIS HQ and the country team.

· The consultant will be provided with a set of background documents after signing the contract by both the Embassy and NIS.

· The Embassy will be responsible for initiating the inception meeting with the consultant for the clarification of various points and to go through the scope of the assignment

  1. Key Deliverables
  2. An inception report including a work plan, detailed methodology, report format and timeline is to be submitted at the commencement of the assignment.
  3. A final report with key findings, main assessments and follow-up recommendations. The report must be written in line with the requirements in the terms of reference. It should also include a brief description of the method used and a list of sources of information, documentation reviewed, and persons interviewed. If any compliance controls or spot checks have been conducted, a list of the documentation reviewed should be included.
  4. Facilitation of a validation workshop to the Embassy and the Partner, to be conducted after presentation of the consolidated report
  5. Partner assessment report

The partner assessment report should present conclusions backed by reference to findings. The degree to which these findings can be said to be typical should also be commented. The report should assess the findings against the relevant standards, clearly identify risks/weaknesses, specify recommendations to the Embassy and the partner, and assess the measures to be taken before the next agreement.

  1. Timeframe

The duration of the assessment should be four to six weeks, depending on the complexity of the assignment.

  1. Management of the consultancy

The Consultant will be contracted by the Partner, Nordic International Support Foundation (NIS), who will have overall responsibility for the management of the consultancy contract including payments. The Embassy will be responsible for developing and finalizing the terms of reference, reviewing and finalizing the methodology and monitoring the delivery of milestones as well as approval of reports.

  1. Budget

The consultant will be paid in 2 instalments, half on production and approval of the first draft and half on completion and approval of the final report.

  1. Template

Suggested template for the report

· Purpose and scope of assessment

· Background

· Description of the organisation and aspects to be examined

· Assessment criteria

· Methodology

· Findings and assessments

· Recommendations for follow-up

· Sources of information used

  1. Skills and experience required of Consultant (s)

The consultant is expected to have the following skills and expertise:

· At least 8 years of relevant working experience in development cooperation, Auditing and accounting or Financials Management;

· Proven experience in conducting partner assessments or organizational capacity needs assessments;

· Experience working in organizational development and capacity building of NGOs. Experience with Somali NGOs will be an advantage;

· Experience in leading and facilitating participatory processes;

· Ability and capacity to conduct virtual meetings and interviews;

· Experience in research and data collection as well as conducting key informant interviews and focus group discussions;

· Ability to analyze, interpret and synthesize information from several sources;

· Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate and work well with diverse people;

· Excellent writing and communication skills in English;

· Knowledge of the Somali context is an added advantage;

  1. Submission of Interest

Interested Consultants/companies/firms shall submit a proposal that include:

o A clear indication of relevant background and key competencies including a brief description of the Consultants recent consultancy experience on services of similar nature.

o Company profile/Curriculum Vitae of the specific individual(s) to be assigned to undertake the work and other individuals who would be involved in the assignment.

o An expression of interest in conducting the Partner Assessment, including proposed methodology, a detailed work plan and quotation.

The expression of interest should be submitted to and copied to The subject of the appearance of interest should be marked “Partner Assessment”. Deadline for submission shall be Monday 17 January 2022 at 5.00 p.m (EAT).

NB: Nis Foundation Promotes Gender Equality And Social Inclusion. Suppliers/Contractors That Represent/Are Owned By Women, Male And Female Youth And/Or Other Marginalized Groups Are Encouraged To Apply.

Annex 1:

The questions below must always be asked when carrying out an extended partner assessment of a grant applicant/new grant recipient:**

Systems and routines for financial management

· Does the grant applicant have procurement procedures, an anti-corruption policy and a finance manual or similar document, including routines for internal control, internal audit and financial audit of projects and programmes?**

· Does the grant applicant’s procurement policy and anti-corruption policy/system comply with MFA/Norad requirements?**

· Have organisational financial audit reports and management letters for the last few years been satisfactory?**

· Do internal audits (if any have been conducted) show that weaknesses in financial management are followed up well?**

· Assess the financial strength of the organisation including whether the grant applicant has enough capital to cover its debts and whether it has stable and reliable sources of funding.**

Systems and routines for governance

· Are the roles and responsibilities clearly defined within the organisation?**

· Is there a clear separation of duties between a board/similar body and the management?**

· Are the ethical rules/code of conduct satisfactory (i.e. in line with grant scheme rules or MFA/Norad’s minimum standards)? Do they describe measures to prevent and address sexual harassment?**

· Assess the grant applicants systems for handling unintended negative effects on the four cross-cutting issues (human rights, women’s rights and gender equality, climate and the environment and anti-corruption).**


Selection and follow up of sub-grantees (if relevant)

Transfer to sub-grantees often involves a high risk and the following must therefore always be assessed thoroughly if grant applicants will have sub-grantees:**

· Does the grant applicant conduct partner assessments/due diligence of its sub-grantees and enter into sub-grant agreements?**

· Assess the quality of the partner assessments/due diligence process.**

· How do the funds flow through different levels of the organisation and sub-grantees?**

· Are sub-grant agreements in line with MFA/Norad agreement requirements?**

· How does the grant applicant monitor its partners and follow up weaknesses that are identified?

[1] See Project documents

How to apply

The expression of interest should be submitted to and copied to The subject of the appearance of interest should be marked “Partner Assessment”. Deadline for submission shall be Monday 17 January 2022 at 5.00 p.m (EAT).