LevizAlbania - Call for Experts
Terms of References
Experts for LevizAlbania Knowledge Management and Civic Engagement Knowledge Platform
Tirana (with travel within Albania)
Expert individual contract
Number of experts
English & Albanian
Expected Start date:
Expected End date:
Expected working days for assignment:
120 working days / to be divided between the experts depending on the tasks undertaken per assignment
Leviz Albania Project Snapshot
LevizAlbania is the Local Democracy project of the Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation (SDC) implemented by a consortium of three organizations: (i) Open Society Foundation for Albania (OSFA), (ii) Partners Albania and (iii) Co-Plan. Since 2015 LevizAlbania has contributed to enhancing local democracy, through grants for Non-for-Profit Organizations (NPOs), informal groups, and individuals, supporting local needs for transparent and accountable governance and efficient public services. In Phase II LevizAlbania continues to support civic actors countrywide, including women and youth, through a bottom-up approach. The project supports coalition-building to incite structural and systemic change at the local and strategic level and promote positive practices in support of local democracy. The project uses media as an advocacy tool to amplify the demands of stakeholders. Synergies with other SDC and donor projects maximize the results of the support provided to good governance at local level.
To be an effective change-agent for strengthening/supporting local democracy, LevizAlbania (LA) aims to rely on empirical, cutting-edge knowledge derived from a structured knowledge management (KM) system defined as “the processes, or range of practices, used by organizations to identify, capture, store, create, update, represent and distribute knowledge for use, awareness and learning across the organization” (Dimitriu 2016).
The goal of the KM system is to ‘produce’ knowledge conducive to better local democracy and enhanced civic engagement. The objective of such system is to 1) improve LA’s grant-giving instruments, 2) garner visibility and influence within the civil society and policy making community, and 3) shape local democracy and civic engagement support in Albania.
In the last 6 years LA has produced a rich trove of information, findings, lessons, and extensive grass roots network whose examination is crucial for systemizing and rendering it usable, producing knowledge, and identifying challenges and opportunities for local democracy and civic engagement in Albania. Therefore, the structuration of LA’s KM system aims to 1) assess the effectiveness of LA supported interventions, 2) identify trends and mechanisms that affect local democracy and civic engagement, and 3) recognize unfulfilled needs and interventions towards local democracy and civic engagement.
Additionally, the establishment of the Civic Engagement Knowledge Platform shall use a cohesive set of instruments to generate and use knowledge and - crucially - to analyze the civic space in which individuals, groups and organizations interact at the local level. The main purpose of this undertaking is to identify areas in need of and receptive to interventions. Such platform - by supporting an enabling environment for evidence-based advocacy in favor of expanding civic space – can become a formidable instrument towards solidifying LA’s standing.
Based on the goal and objectives laid out above, we expect the following outcomes from LA’s KM system and civic engagement knowledge platform:
- Improved effectiveness of the instruments used for supporting civic engagement and democracy at the local level;
- Identification of needs, trends, and interventions regarding democracy support and civic engagement at the local level;
- Increased prominence within the civil society and policy making community;
- Institutionalized organizational learning culture.
Knowledge Management and Local Democracy Support
For the last 6 years LA has relied on a theoretical perspective and approach that has set it apart from other actors by focusing on the demand side of democracy support and civic engagement and by not ‘doing things’, but by enabling civic actors to do so for themselves. LA’s focus on strengthening an enabling environment in which actors interact has given it a comparative advantage in creating a formidable network of local partners, diverse and complementary interventions, wide geographical reach and depth, and a unique insight into the mechanisms that shape interventions in the field of democracy support and civic engagement at the local level.
The KM system and Platform aim to leverage this advantage by taking stock of what has already been achieved and, as importantly, using it to improve its operations. This approach places knowledge leveraging at the center of the recognition that for LA to work better and be smarter it needs to further its knowledge-based activities. Therefore, through the KM system the top priority is to unearth the knowledge ‘residing’ in these diverse approaches and methodologies to present a coherent set of ‘products’ that crystallize it to practitioners, policy makers, civic actors, and the wider public. The second priority, as embodied by the Civic Engagement Knowledge platform, is to use the knowledge assembled to identify and evaluate unfulfilled needs receptive to interventions. Achieving these priorities is instrumental for fulfilling the objective of leveraging knowledge to support local democracy and civic engagement.
As it regards the KM system and Civic Engagement Platform (from now on referred to as platform), activities, shall be divided into three broad categories: (i) knowledge assessment; (ii) knowledge creation; and (iii) shaping local democracy support. The activities undertaken under these headings, both for the KM system and Platform, aim to increase the effectiveness of LA in fulfilling its objectives and enable it to shape local democracy support and civic activism by identifying unfulfilled needs and potential interventions to address them.
The KM system and Platform shall be integrated into the daily activities of LA to provide strategic guidance towards the structuration of calls, monitoring of projects, identification of products conducive to knowledge generation, and knowledge flows. These instruments shall become integral to the daily activities of LA. Within LA, the KM system and Platform shall be managed by the deputy team leader.
Objectives of the Consultancy
Overall Objective: To support LevizAlbania to establish and implement Knowledge Management System and Civic Engagement Knowledge Platform with the aim of increasing the effectiveness of the interventions supported by LevizAlbania and enable an in-depth analysis and overview of the challenges to local democracy and civic engagement support.
SO1 – Support LevizAlbania to establish mechanisms that enable the continuous identification, management, transmission, and dissemination of knowledge enabling LevizAlbania to undertake and implement knowledge-based activities.
SO2 - Build LevizAlbania Knowledge Management capacity and awareness by enabling staff to acquire the required knowledge management instruments and mechanisms.
SO3 – Support LevizAlbania to enhance knowledge retention (a structured system for capturing, storing, and sharing knowledge produced by LA activities and supported grants) and further institutionalize knowledge management.
SO4 - Support LevizAlbania to identify, structure and disseminate knowledge that fosters evidence-based advocacy in favor of better local democracy.
SO5 - Support LevizAlbania to develop a Civic Engagement Knowledge Platform building upon the established knowledge management infrastructure and acquired skills, identifying potential interventions and establish LevizAlbania as the go-to-source for analysis and data on democracy and civic engagement at the local level.
Specific tasks for Knowledge Management System
- Liaison and close cooperation with LevizAlbania Deputy Team Leader (DTL).
- Conduct interviews with LevizAlbania staff, selected grantees and final beneficiaries as will be agreed with DTL.
- Identify knowledge flows, knowledge gaps, knowledge repositories and knowledge bottle necks within LevizAlbania.
- Review procedures regarding the identification, sharing of knowledge, and learning.
- Develop Training module(s) on knowledge management and related instruments for LevizAlbania staff and (potentially) grantees.
- Establish structured procedure(s) for knowledge flow and knowledge sharing.
- Establish handover processes to ensure knowledge flow and moderate knowledge loss.
- Review and improve Monitoring and learning system in place.
- Mapping of activities, processes, and outputs within LevizAlbania.
- Review the reporting of grantees to enable the identification and sharing of knowledge.
- Review the reporting of LA to ensure the transmission of knowledge.
- Assessment of the effectiveness of LA supported interventions (Preferably Call 1 to 5).
- Generate, examine, and disseminate knowledge outputs and innovations emerging from LA grant portfolios and support instruments.
- Establish a series of regular seminars on emerging topics regarding democracy and civic engagement at the local level.
- Publish and disseminate findings through a variety of instruments in coordination with LA.
Specific tasks for Civic Engagement Knowledge Platform
- Analysis of the situation regarding civic engagement at the local level in Albania.
- Identification of the sectors most in need of and receptive to intervention.
- Design a cohesive platform for knowledge sharing regarding civic engagement.
- National tour to disseminate the preliminary findings and solicit suggestions/reactions.
- Publish, and disseminate quality knowledge management products such as: Impact assessments, Research series, Expert blogs, Policy briefs.
Coordination and Responsibility
LevizAlbania will assign the Deputy Team Leader as a contact focal point to liaise with the selected expert(s). DTL will be responsible for:
- Management of communications between LevizAlbania and the expert(s) and between the expert(s) and LevizAlbania staff / grantees / final beneficiaries.
- Organization and provision of the internal documentation required by the expert(s).
- Approve the deliverables and notify the respective finance staff to process the installments associated to each of them.
LevizAlbania staff will be responsible for:
- Logistic arrangements regarding the organization of field work, workshops and other events foreseen in within the implementation of this Strategic Grant.
The experts will be responsible of:
- Complying with all the methodological requirements and submitting the outputs as established in this term of reference.
- Respect for inclusivity and diversity
- Committed to democracy
- Effective and open communication.
- Excellent planning & organizing, being able to identify priorities, foresee risks and make allowance accordingly.
- Ability to work in team and maintain effective and professional working relations.
- Ability to take ownership of all responsibilities and deliver outputs as agreed in ToRs with quality and within timeframe.
- Strong analytical, critical and research skills.
- Strong monitoring, evaluation, and knowledge capitalisation skills.
- Generates innovative, practical solutions to challenging situations.
- Conceptualizes and analyses methods that serve to identify key issues, underlying problems, interrelated factors and is able to produce suitable solutions.
- Ability to manage change and complexities, agility, and responsiveness.
- Responds positively to critical feedback and differing points of view.
Required Skills and Experience
- PhD degree in social sciences, international relations, political science, evaluation, international development, or a related subject.
- International research and development experience will be an added value.
- Substantial experience in knowledge management, monitoring, evaluation, learning and capitalization of project results.
- Substantial experience in local governance and democracy.
- Proven experience of working with donors and development partners.
- Demonstrated experience in knowledge dissemination through various publications.
- Proven experience in conducting interviews, focus groups, and other research methods.
- Proven experience in developing and conducting trainings and seminars.
- Demonstrated capacity in strategic thinking and advice.
- demonstrated experience and capacity in programing.
- Strong inter-personal, teamwork and organizational skills.
- Excellent writing skills and familiarity with information technology.
- Excellent communication and report-writing skills in English.
A total of 120 working days are estimated for this assignment to be divided among 2 experts. The Consultancy should be finalized within a maximum period of 12 months starting from 1st June 2021 to 01st June 2022.
- A cover letter in English
- A technical offer (max. 3 pages) comprising:
- Proven understanding of the objective of the evaluation and the Terms of Reference (ToR).
- Brief description of the methodology and tools proposed.
- A chronogram showing details for the realization of each of the phases under each Specific Objective.
- A financial offer (Cost breakdown)
- An updated CV
- Contacts of 3 references
LevizAlbania is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from all interested groups without any discrimination!