In its current 4-year strategy, BRCiS has a strong localization agenda in alignment with the Grand Bargain initiative, aimed at improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian aid. The Consortium is committed to demonstrating that communities, institutions, businesses and humanitarian organizations can work together to build the foundations of a better future for the vulnerable populations of Somalia.
The consortium, with its primary donor, has also committed to challenge itself to deliver aid differently, and through this maximise BRCiS influencing position within the sector and deliver on its resilience objectives as effectively and efficiently as possible . As such it will set up a mechanism called the Challenge Fund to help identify critical barriers and enable solutions towards achieving more efficient, more effective and greater impact at wider scale. Between February and June 2020, BRCIS with support of consultants undertook an analysis of the consortium s ways of working in order to identify internal pathways for influence and driving change. This analysis served then as a main building block for an initial project outline for the Challenge Fund, which was completed in June 2020 and tentatively approved by the BRCIS Programme Steering Committee and Strategic Advisory Group.
Further operational support for BRCIS is now required to:
i. Advance specific, actionable operational recommendations arising from Phase 1
ii. Fully develop and set up the launch of the BRCiS Challenge Fund
iii. Pilot the Challenge Fund with at least two grants to members
BRCIS intends to identify and launch pilot grants through its members by November 2020, while planning for a full-scale launch of the Challenge Fund by January 2021.
B. DELIVERABLES AND SCOPE OF WORK
The BRCiS Consortium Management Unit (CMU) proposes to hire a consulting firm for Phase 2 support for the Challenge Fund. The consultancy will last approximately three months to provide the necessary operational support to the CMU in advancing operational recommendations arising from Phase 1, fully developing and setting up the launch of the Challenge Fund, and piloting elements of the Challenge fund with at least one-two grants to members. The consultants will report to the Chief of Party of the consortium. The following scope of work is intended:
Develop an action plan against the operational recommendations from Phase 1 to help structure a change process, and support the storytelling of the impact generated: The CMU will lead an internal process for reviewing the recommendations and developing tangible next steps. The consultants would serve as an external accountability partner - helping prompt and guide internal discussions, support the development of action plans, and providing ongoing advice in the implementation of the action plans. Referencing the finding in Phase 1 that the Challenge Fund can support BRCIS in changing how it does business in certain areas to achieve greater system-wide change, these actions plans will be linked to the establishment of the Challenge Fund and the identification and launch of initial pilots under the Challenge Fund framework. For example, it is recommended that BRCIS prioritize certain sectors where the consortium has the greatest comparative advantage for leading change. The consultants will help the CMU navigate this internal process and then apply the results to the formulation of the objectives of the Challenge Fund. Finally, the consultants will support the CMU in generating evidence of this overall change process (both its impact on organizational mindset as well as outcomes/impact) and narrating this story to both internal and external stakeholders.
Support the development and launch of the Challenge Fund: The objective of the internal mechanism is to incentivize members to embrace adaptation/innovation in their current community engagement and community-led interventions, while laying the foundations for scaled up innovations in future BRCiS programming. The process of setting up the Challenge Fund also presents new entry points to drive implementation of operational recommendations from Phase 1 such as ensuring all learning products and consultancies contribute to a systems level view of the problem and how BRCIS through its programming and partnerships is maximizing its potential contributions to Somali systems for resilience. Key activities will include a review and alignment with Learning Agendas; linkage to and integration with other consultancy services of the consortium; systems mapping of prioritized sectoral areas and development of lean system to keep mappings up to date; review of draft risk matrix; define key portfolio metrics; develop Challenge Fund selection criterial; establish budget for pilots and full roll out; define management roles for full roll out, including setting up Somali Peer Review system and Monthly Reporting System; and refine models based on initial feedback from two pilots.
Support the CMU and specific BRCIS members in testing the Challenge Fund concept with at least two pilot grants: The objective is three-fold: a) source and support innovative ideas already identified by members that will have immediate value-added impact in either the way of doing business or scaling the impact of programming for beneficiaries; b) demonstrate by the power of example to other members what is possible through the Challenge Fund to build further momentum; and c) test out the organizational processes for a full Challenge Fund launch in January 2021. Key activities include: support CMU with solicitation and selection of ideas from members using the Flywheel concept and priority niche areas as guide posts; experiment growth hack and co-design pilots with members using draft portfolio metrics and selection criteria as guide posts; advice through the launch and early phase of the pilots learning lessons for management needs of CMU; and develop internal and external storytelling plan tied to the broader generation of evidence regarding the impact of the change processes.