Terms of Reference - Strengthening 21st century citizen action program results report

CIVICUS is in search of a consultant(s) to produce a results report on the Strengthening 21st Century Citizen Action Programme. The Terms of Reference that follows contain all the necessary information for those interested in applying for this opportunity, including proposal requirements.  


Interested consultants should submit a proposal for the anticipated contract to Clara Bosco at   by 08  June 2022  



CIVICUS is a global alliance of civil society organisations and activists dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world. Established in 1993, since 2002 we have been proudly headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with additional hubs across the globe. The Alliance currently comprises over 12,000 members in more than 175 countries. Our definition of civil society is broad and covers non-governmental organisations, activists, civil society coalitions and networks, protest and social movements, voluntary bodies, campaigning organisations, charities, faith-based groups, trade unions and philanthropic foundations. Our membership is diverse, spanning a wide range of issues, sizes and organisation types, while staff is based across the globe in over 20 countries. This diversity is one of the Alliance’s most significant strengths and we are continually searching for practical ways to implement diverse and inclusive principles within civil society. 

About the Strengthening 21st Century Citizen Action Program 

The rapidly changing context in which civil society exists, and our new strategy which emphasises the need to work with ‘activists and organisations’, necessitates that we revisit the way we work. We are now exploring new initiatives aimed at strengthening citizen action, with a greater focus on the role of active citizens, non-formal civil society formations, and grassroots groups.  Strengthening 21st Century Citizen Action (STCCA) is a five-year programme started in September 2018 in partnership with Norad which is helping us develop dedicated capacity to design, test and scale new initiatives that aim to strengthen citizen action along two priority areas:  

  • Support to individual activists and new generation changemakers who may not work within or associate themselves with organised civil society; and  
  • More direct and democratic resourcing of smaller and spontaneous civil society formations.  

Over this five-year period, we have been working within and beyond our alliance to test ideas in these areas in line with this Theory of Change. Some of these initiatives included: Youth Action Lab, Resourcing Youth-Led Groups& Movements Reflective Playbook, high-level prototypes for resourcing grassroots movements, Grassroots Solidarity Revolution, Research on Access to Resources for CSOs in Latin America, and Donor Finder. While each programmes’s initiative has its own bespoke design process, they have a common aim, namely a more resilient, diverse and vibrant civil society that has the agency and resources necessary to realise a more just, inclusive and sustainable world.   

As part of STCCA and after extensive consultations and engagements carried out throughout 2019 (especially about potential mechanisms to better shift power and resources to grassroots groups and movements), it became clear that CIVICUS should play a leading role in influencing the behaviour of international funders and other enablers by bringing to the fore voices, stories and demands of grassroots. As well as addressing grassroots funding issues, we learned that it is necessary to signal to both funders, other enablers, and the public why it is important to support grassroots organising for positive social change, especially at this moment in history. In response, in 2021 CIVICUS co-created with a cross-section of activists and launched the Grassroots Solidarity Revolution, a grassroots-led influencing and communications campaign. 

Consultancy Background

CIVICUS is nearing the five-year completion of the Strengthening 21st Century Citizen Action Programme. Now we need to write a Results Report due in September 2022 in compliance with a deliverable required by the donor (NORAD). We would like the consultant to write the report and complete the data collection and verification needed to write it. This is not an evaluation of the programme; it is a resource to help understand what the project has accomplished and how before the overall project completion, and our future ways of working as we enter a new CIVICUS Strategic Plan for 2022-2027. A final external evaluation will be commissioned at the end of the programme.

Objectives of the Consultancy

  • The consultant should review and synthesize the data already collected by the CIVICUS secretariat and the Critical Friend accompanying the Strengthening 21st Century Citizen Action Programme for inclusion in the final report. 
  • The consultant should collect additional data needed for the report including but not limited to verifying the chosen most significant results at the outcome level using the outcome harvesting methodology. This will require reaching out to both current participants of the programme and those aware of the outcomes but unaffiliated with CIVICUS. 
  • The report should be an opportunity to discover intended and unintended results from the work and help us better understand our Theory of Change. It is NOT a programme evaluation.


The key deliverables for this consultancy include the following:

  • Conduct a short desk review of existing reflection documentation from the past four years of the project
  • Conduct and document virtual (phone/internet) interviews with members, partners, and other stakeholders proposed by the CIVICUS team 
  • Analyse content & sense check with external and internal stakeholders that the findings resonate
  • Prepare a final report which meets all the donor requirements 

Work Plan  

The work needs to be completed by no later than September 15th, 2022. However, the timing of the specific activities is somewhat flexible. 




Desk review 

Review existing internal documents and reporting template/requirements from donor

June/July 2022

Stakeholder engagement

Member and stakeholder interviews

July and August 2022

Final report

Prepare a final report that meets all donor requirements, in line with priorly agreed proposed structure, format, and content. 

By no later than September 15, 2022

Consultancy Experience

  • Technical knowledge, skills, and expertise in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) concepts and approaches, specifically outcome harvesting, for large and multi-actor projects
  • Experience substantiating learnings, and outcomes and collecting data remotely
  • Programme and/or evaluation experience in the international development, civil society, and advocacy and campaigns, with field experience in Africa, Asia, MENA, and/or Latin America 
  • Strong analytical and qualitative research skills
  • Excellent English writing skills with the ability to be concise and clear without jargon
  • Ability to communicate and meaningfully engage with diverse stakeholders

Desirable knowledge, skills, and experience  

  • Expert knowledge on civil society resourcing issues relevant to the Strengthening 21st Century Citizen Action Programme
  • Competence in additional languages (preferably Spanish and French)
  • Availability during the hours of 2 - 5 pm (Johannesburg time zone)

Expected workdays and timeframe  

Up to 20 working days between June – August 2022. 


Please provide a financial proposal that includes human resources and any material cost likely to be incurred with an accompanying budget narrative. No travel is expected. 

Application process 

Interested candidates are welcome to submit their proposal in writing to Clara Bosco at  by 08 June 2022.   Proposals must include the following:

  • Proposal describing your personal and professional approach to this assignment and how you hope to accomplish the objectives. If applying as a team, please identify the specific roles and responsibilities of each member (2-page maximum) 
  • Full CV outlining relevant expertise in relation to the requirements of this assignment with examples (2-3 page maximum) 
  • Daily rates and estimated days for completion of this project in US Dollars
  • Contact details for two references
  • “Consultant Proposal: Strengthening 21st Century Citizen Action Programme,” must be included in the subject line of the email     

Please contact Hannah Wheatley at  if you have any questions or need clarification on the terms of reference by Wednesday, 1 June, 17:00 GMT+2. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. References may be contacted for shortlisted candidates.