Terms Of Reference - CHARM Sustainability Consultant

CHARM is in search of a consultant to support the overall sustainability of the CHARM project based on two current dimensions i.e. institutional and financial. 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 Shupikai Gwabuya at   by Monday 11 July 2022 before 5 pm (South Africa Time).




The Consortium to Promote Human Rights, Civic Freedoms and Media Development (CHARM) in Sub-Saharan Africa is working collectively to nurture civil society, human rights defenders, independent media, and journalists in the region by supporting actions to protect and expand freedoms to speak out, organise, and take action.  

The seven consortium partners (CIVICUS, Fojo Media, Wits Journalism, Civil Rights Defenders, DefendDefenders, Réseau des Femmes Leaders pour le Développement (RFLD) and Magamba Network) from across the African continent are collaborating to strengthen the effectiveness and build the resilience of journalists, media practitioners, social media producers, human rights defenders, and civil society activists and their organisations, to advance more democratic and free societies.

CHARM focuses its work on sub-Saharan African countries where civic freedoms are obstructed. However, there is still space to speak out, organise and act, including pockets of resistance that can be supported to strengthen human rights and democratic freedoms.

In the pilot phase, running from October 2019 to June 2020, CHARM’s work focused on improving the understanding of its primary constituents’ rights and enabling their capacity to demand/exercise them. To achieve this, activities sought to achieve 4 key objectives:

Advocacy actions fostering an enabling environment that promotes human rights and civic and media freedoms, with a specific focus on women, labour, LGBTI, environmental and indigenous rights journalists/activists;

Inclusive and diverse counter-narratives to improve public support for a free and vibrant civil society and media;

Coalition-building that encourages coordination and joint action and provides solidarity in the face of attacks and threats, with a focus on women, labour, LGBTI, environmental and indigenous rights journalists/activists;

Enhanced access to resources, especially by marginalised groups, strengthen the ability of civil society and the media to withstand civic space restrictions and achieve their objectives.

Key outcomes from the pilot phase include:

Increased direct engagement with decision-makers and institutions at all levels on issues related to protecting human rights and democratic and media freedoms – for example, linking Human Rights Defenders to special rapporteurs and engaging with UN government authorities, to mention a few.

Increased engagement amongst primary constituents, evidenced through learning, exchange, and collective/solidarity actions.

Increased access to support and resources to help primary constituents improve the quality and sustainability of their work – for example, through conducting resource mobilisation training, providing direct financial support to over 200 HRDs across Sub-saharan Africa and working to strengthen national HRDs.

CIVICUS provides coordination to the Consortium to Promote Human Rights and Media in Africa (CHARM) project’s pilot phase, with financial support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

Consultancy Background - Why we need the consultancy

CHARM is seeking experienced individuals or organisations to develop a Sustainability Plan for the period June 2023 and beyond.  

The design of the programme

The CHARM programme aims to strengthen the effectiveness and build the resilience of journalists and other media practitioners and social media producers, civil society activists and human rights defenders and their organisations, with a focus on frontline actors working/reporting on issues related to women, labour, LGBTIQ+, youth environmental and indigenous rights. The Consortium was designed using a constituency-led approach that recognises local agency, supports target stakeholders to define their priorities and needs and then responds accordingly. The inception phases have supported the creation of new coalitions and strengthened existing ones to ensure that African civil society and media organisations develop to become viable players in the changing political, technical and economic landscape. After the first phase of the Consortium, it is expected that programme participants will be ready to assume governance and leadership roles, so that the programme is truly owned and led by the target stakeholders.

Against this background, we are now seeking the expertise of a consultant/consulting firm to deliver:

Objectives of the Consultancy

The consultancy is designed to support the overall sustainability of the CHARM project based on two current dimensions i.e. institutional and financial. The design should comprise of predetermined indicators in each category; these are focused on optimising CHARM after completing implementation and providing recommendations for future improvements for maintaining long term benefits derived thereof.

The major areas under this assignment include technical solutions and approaches and provision of potential models for ownership and ongoing financial sustainability for the Consortium. The assignment is expected to also assess the capacities of the institutions and identify gaps and recommend relevant capacity enhancement program(s).

Structure and Content of Sustainability Framework

The sustainability plan should be aligned with specific strategic plans of the current consortium members and should include an outline of the steps that the Consortium members will take to address key sustainability bottlenecks. The sustainability framework should draw on the available resources, including project reports. Reference should be made to existing analysis of sustainability (including from other major donors to CSOs and technical / development partners), and/or publicly available frameworks developed to assess sustainability and readiness to transition from one phase to another.


The key deliverables for this consultancy include the following:

  • Development of a Sustainability Plan that will provide a set of recommendations covering well-considered solutions, processes, activities, and financial models that will ensure the continuous and effective financial and institutional sustainability of CHARM.  

  • Identification and designing of the appropriate business or financial model for a long period after the current funding.

  • Design and guide a partnership/collaboration strategy based on the current model for institutional ownership and support.  

  • Perform in-depth programme-level sustainability assessments, to ultimately develop a multi-pronged sustainability framework with solid sustainability roadmaps.

  • In addition to the above mentioned deliverables, the consultant/organisation will be expected to give a presentation to the CHARM Sustainability Committee and Steering Committee.

Guide to Developing a Sustainability Plan   

  1. Step 1: Identify What Needs To Be Sustained.

  2. Step 2: Identify What Resources Are Required.

  3. Step 3: Create Case Statements.

  4. Step 4: Determine Financing Strategies.

  5. Step 5: Identify Potential Partners.

  6. Step 6: Create An Action Plan.

 CHARM Consortium Roles

  • Provide context, background and direction to consultants 

  • Undertakes to provide appropriate information as and when required. 

  • Work with the consultant to convene meetings; 

  • Inform, comment and give inputs on the sustainability frameworks and road maps designed by the consultant. 

  • Work with the consultant to pilot the roadmaps.  

  • Provide a briefing session to the consultant and responsible for introducing the consultant to relevant institutions and stakeholders. Review the draft plan and provide feedback.

Work Plan  

The work needs to be completed no later than 30 September 2022. However, the timing of the specific activities is flexible. 

Consultant Profile / Consultancy Experience

  • Technical knowledge, skills, and expertise in Organizational Development, Fundraising and Resource mobilisation, and Consortium Management 

  • Programme and Program Funding experience in the international development, civil society, and advocacy and campaigns, with field experience in Africa

  • Strong analytical and qualitative research skills

  • Experience in program design

  • Excellent English writing skills with the ability to be concise and clear without jargon

  • Ability to communicate and meaningfully engage with diverse stakeholders

Qualification of the consulting Firm/individuals

  • Seven to ten (7-10) years of general experience in preparing the Business Model Sustainability Plan in the CSOs or related institutions.

  • Documentary evidence of completing one (1) similar assignment within the last five (5) years.

  • Must have carried out similar assignment in Africa

  • Experience in fundraising and resource mobilisation for a big and international organisations

Desirable knowledge, skills, and experience  

  • Expert knowledge of civil society resourcing issues, civic engagement, media and civil society in the global south

  • Track record of funding from bilateral donors, foundations and High Networth Individuals

  • Competence in additional languages (French will be an added advantage )

  • Creative thinking and innovative approaches to problem-solving.CHA

Expected workdays and timeframe  

Scope of work and Approach to consultancy

The consultancy will adopt a consultative process with Consortium partners to develop the framework to achieve all the objectives. The consultancy will work with many stakeholders, attending and preparing for consultations, assisting with the development of presentations and communication pieces on progress, ongoing development and refinement of the sustainability framework document. The consultancy is expected to take place over an eight (8) week period.


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 Shupikai Gwabuya c/o  CHARM Sustainability Committee  by 11 July 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 (3 pages maximum)

  • Full CV or Profile outlining relevant expertise in relation to the requirements of this assignment with examples (3 pages maximum) 

  • Daily rates and estimated days for completion of this project in US Dollars

  • Contact details for two references

  • “Consultant Proposal: CHARM Sustainability 2022” must be included in the subject line of the email     


Please contact Shupikai Gwabuya at (no phone calls) if you have any questions or need clarification on the terms of reference. Applications should be submitted to no later than Monday 11 July 2022 at 5 pm (South Africa Time). Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. References will be contacted for shortlisted candidates.