Consultancy – Global Theory of Change Development

Organization Background

iDE is an international NGO that was founded 40 years ago with the belief that markets lift people out of poverty. We catalyze change in markets by incentivizing low-income people to establish locally-led scalable solutions that are passed down through generations and founded on mutually beneficial partnerships. We help build local economies and value chains that deliver goods and services to “last mile” customers in remote areas. We do this by building networks of small-scale entrepreneurs that power “resilient market ecosystems’’, and boosting the incomes of marginalized people, medium-sized commercial farmers and the private sector. iDE resilience-building efforts are currently assisting farmers and entrepreneurs living in nine countries to adapt to multiple environmental, public health and socio-political shocks.

Background Information

Although iDE has not had an explicit theory of change at the global level, historically it has operated on an implicit theory that the combination of strengthening supply chains, consumer demand, and an enabling environment will lead to increased household incomes for the populations we serve, known as iDE clients, and ultimately reduce poverty. Our interventions across sectors focus on working through small and/or last mile entrepreneurs to bring technologies, inputs, and services including know-how to impact iDE clients at scale to either directly catalyze income increase or to enable household savings, for example in projects focused on improving health outcomes and reducing health care costs such as WASH and nutrition interventions. These theories of change have broken down into what we call “initiatives” at the country-level, which can most easily be described as a comprehensive theory of change, or a collection of interventions/tactics combined to achieve theoretical impact or outcomes, within a specific country. The initiative is the level which we organize our impact evidence by to allow multiple pieces of evidence to come together to inform us of our effectiveness. 

Moving forward, iDE’s new organizational goal is built on the theory that delivering real change in terms of both inclusive entrepreneurship and building resilient market ecosystems would allow us to catalyze a number of outcomes that foster prosperity in communities and ultimately reduce poverty. This process has allowed space for iDE to define its ultimate mission of poverty reduction beyond income change alone. Via a broad cross-country research study using participatory methods, new themes were identified by iDE current and potential clients’ when discussing their future visions of success, in combination with iDE’s strengths in market-based approaches. We now need to update our theory of change at the strategy level as we gear up to implement our new goals. Our focus is on powering women entrepreneurs to have viable businesses, encouraging adoption and maintenance of positive behaviors, and fostering a positive enabling environment for women’s decision-making power and participation in entrepreneurial activities in order to foster these types of prosperity within their communities.

About the Assignment  

iDE is seeking a high-level theory of change expert to help us generate a theory of change associated with the new organizational goal and strategy iDE is developing. This expert will talk with our teams in 13 different business units, including HQ and 12 country offices, to distill possible country-level theories of change that build up to a global theory of change. Our technical teams have developed a draft global ToC and a wide variety of supporting work has already been completed such as conceptual definitions, country-level targets, and potential indicators. After developing a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives, a key priority will be to work with iDE’s existing strategy components built over the past year to facilitate the synthesis of our work into theories of change at the country and global strategy levels – and conversely, identifying where current work does not fit with those theory of change. 

Requirements

Deliverables

To this end, we are looking for a consultant who will work in four phases in 2024, and the key deliverables for this assignment are as follows: 

  • Phase 1 (May-June): Create a plan for the pre-workshop tasks that each iDE team will need to perform in order to understand the threads that bind all their current strategy documentation and their implicit theory of change. Will involve reviewing relevant strategy documents to identify and assign the pre-work needed from each of our 13 business units.
  • Phase 2 (June-July): Provide virtual support to those business units to introduce theory of change as a tool to ensure a consistent understanding across all senior staff, and complete that work through emails and video meetings as needed. 
  • Phase 3 (July): Use the pre-work inputs to design and facilitate a two-day in-person ToC-generation workshop with the senior leaders from all 13 business units at iDE’s annual Senior Leadership Meeting in Siem Riep, Cambodia, the week of July 22, 2024. 
  • Phase 4 (August): Based on the first three phases: 
    • Deliver a polished theory of change framework at the organizational strategy-level. This ToC should: 
      • Articulate how iDE’s generalized activities will lead to desired outcomes; 
      • Key drivers, assumptions, indicators, and pathways for achieving organizational goals; and 
      • Potential risks, challenges, and opportunities that may impact the organization’s ability to achieve its objectives.
    • Provide recommendations: 
  • For country team leaders to then create their own country-level ToCs that nest into the global ToC; 
  • On how to integrate sector-level theories of change with the county-level;
  • For use in future project or programming proposals;
  • On mechanisms for refining and adapting the global ToC over time based on ongoing learning, feedback, and evaluation; and
  • For documenting and disseminating findings, lessons learned, and best practices around the ToC to inform future organizational planning and decision-making.

Benefits

Budget: 20,000 USD plus approved travel expenses to Siem Riep, Cambodia, for the workshop the week of July 22, 2024.

Reporting: Consultant will report to iDE’s Global Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL), who will facilitate their work with each of the country offices; our technical experts on the Programs team, MERL team, and Gender Equity & Social Inclusion (GESI) team; and our Executive Team as needed. 

Timeline: May 27 – August 31, 2024 

Qualifications 

The successful consultant should possess the following qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in a relevant field such as organizational development, sociology, or program evaluation.
  • Proven experience in designing and implementing organizational-level theories of change for diverse organizations.
  • Expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methods, including data collection and analysis.
  • Strong understanding of organizational dynamics and change management principles.
  • Strong ability to facilitate participatory processes and workshops with senior-level staff with varied levels of ToC and M&E understanding and from many countries. 
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to present complex ideas in a clear and compelling manner.
  • Experience working with nonprofit organizations or international development agencies is preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams, and foster collaboration and buy-in amongst them. 
  • Knowledge of relevant software tools for data analysis and visualization.
  • Commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion principles in organizational development work.

Contact Interested candidates should apply through Workable by 11:59pm (MST) on Monday, May 20th.