Terms of Reference: Consultancy to support development of the global Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy

On behalf of the global Solidaridad Network, Stichting Solidaridad Nederland (hereafter, Solidaridad Europe) is seeking a consultant(s) to support the development global Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (hereafter, GESI) Policy for the Solidaridad Network that aligns with our mission, values, and strategic priorities. This consultancy will support Solidaridad’s global GESI Community of Practitioners (hereafter, GESI CoP) in the design of a comprehensive GESI policy by reviewing past learnings, assessing current priorities and integrating best practices.

We are therefore are seeking a senior consultant(s) with demonstrated experience and expertise in gender transformative approaches to women’s economic empowerment, as well as social inclusion of other marginalised groups, particularly with work related to global agricultural supply chains.


Solidaridad is an international civil society organisation with 55 years of experience in developing solutions to make communities more resilient — from our early roots supporting repressed communities in Latin America to our current work fostering more sustainable supply chains. We currently work in over 40 countries, on five continents, through seven independently supervised regional offices.

Solidaridad’s network structure is built on the idea that meaningful change grows from within communities, and a collaborative work environment based on the exchange and debate of different ideas and perspectives will create the most innovative solutions. Diversity and representation of many different perspectives and identities is not just nice to have; it is essential to the mission of reclaiming sustainability. Inclusion is prioritised at all levels of work within Solidaridad; from programming that promotes gender equality in historically male-dominated sectors such as gold or palm oil, to leadership within our Senior and Board level positions. All this makes up the core of what Solidaridad stands for: equity. Creating a fairer and more equitable supply chain starts from our working culture and permeates through our programmes, communications and partnerships.

As we embark on the next five-year strategic period, it is crucial to redefine our global GESI approach. Operating within a diverse network structure with various crosscutting themes, our learning spans geographical boundaries. Each region may prioritise different areas of gender inclusivity work, leading to varying approaches and outcomes. To strengthen our organisation and capitalise on the progress made in the past five years, it is essential to thoroughly document these learnings. As we shape our overarching strategy for the upcoming years and pinpoint organisational priorities, we must remain mindful of these regional differences.

This consultancy will build on a recently completed review and analysis of existing GESI best practices and learnings within the global network of Solidaridad. The review, and its resulting report, should be the foundation for the development of a new global GESI policy for the organisation, which will be an update of Solidaridad’s existing global Gender Policy (2017). The policy developed during this consultancy will set a minimum standard for GESI integration in our programming, and ideally define a common approach, through which Solidaridad can ensure our mission is implemented in a more inclusive way across all target geographies and sectors, as well as key themes. As mentioned above, the policy will guide how GESI-related issues will be integrated throughout key aspects of the new Solidaridad Global Multi-Annual Strategic Plan (MASP) IV (2026-2030), but it should also be guided by any existing preliminary strategic priorities. While the consultant(s) will drive the writing and formulation of the policy’s content, they will work closely and collaboratively with the GESI CoP to analyse existing information and learnings and jointly review the structure and drafts of the policy and any related materials. This will include facilitating a joint (potentially in-person) workshop with the consultant(s) and representatives from the GESI CoP at a to-be-determined date in Q3 2024.


Review Solidaridad’s existing documentation and learning:

  1. Review the existing (compiled) GESI related practices and policies across the global network, including Regional Expertise Centres (RECs), Communities of Practice (COPs) and Thematic Learning Groups – with a focus on programming
  2. Review the recently completed GESI research report (June 2024) and its findings and recommendations related to existing GESI best practices and learnings within the global network of Solidaridad
  3. Identify key insights, successes and challenges from these resources related to Solidaridad’s current GESI policies and approaches

Assess Solidaridad’s GESI approach and impact:

  1. Determine Solidaridad’s strengths and weaknesses in implementing GESI approaches and ensuring positive outcomes within our target geographies and sectors
  2. Compare, through an external landscape analysis, Solidaridad’s GESI practices with comparable organisations to benchmark our work against current GESI frontrunners in similar sectors
  3. Identify Solidaridad’s particular added value as well as opportunities for a streamlined common approach to GESI integration/implementation in programming to maximise positive impact

Develop Solidaridad’s new Global GESI Policy:

  1. In consultation with the GESI CoP, develop an overarching framework for the components and content of the new policy, which should include clear objectives, alignment to Solidaridad’s strategic priorities/pathways and tangible implementation strategies that can be contextualised for different geographies and sectors
  2. Draft a GESI policy document, that aligns with Solidaridad’s core work and priorities, which 1) takes specific consideration of its applicability to the different regional components of Solidaridad’s network; and 2) is informed by documented learnings, ensuring relevance to both organisational and geographical contexts
  3. Facilitate a global workshop (potentially in-person) for the GESI CoP members, ensuring a participatory/collaborative approach to the development of the new Global GESI Policy – timing and content of this workshop can be jointly decided at a later date

Scope of Work:

The consultancy assignment is anticipated to take no more than 25 days from 15 July – 30 September 2024. The inception report should be shared no later than 5 August 2024. The draft policy document is to be submitted no later than 2 September 2024 and the final policy document (including any related materials) + the consultancy report are to be submitted no later than 30 September 2024, thereby concluding the assignment.

It is not expected that this consultancy will involve travel, however if deemed necessary, any travel will be agreed upon in advance and any related expenses can be submitted for reimbursement to be covered by Solidaridad Europe. All tasks are expected to be carried out remotely. If the consultant is based where a Solidaridad office is located, there is a possibility for pre-arranged in-office work.


  1. Inception report that summarises mutually agreed approach to the policy development assignment as well as a summary of the initial findings and recommendations as a result of the completion of the consultancy objectives 1&2 – shared with GESI CoP by 5 August 2024
  1. Policy development workshop with the GESI CoP and other relevant stakeholders (funded, arranged and hosted by Solidaridad and facilitated by consultant(s)) – TBD August 2024
  2. Global GESI Policy document (no more than 10 pages + annexes) that presents the minimum standard for GESI integration in Solidaridad’s programming and defines key common approaches with concrete guidance for improved integration and implementation across  target geographies, sectors and themes in relation to Solidaridads’s global strategic priorities
    1. Draft Policy – shared with GESI CoP for review no later than 2 September 2024
    2. Final Policy (incorporating GESI CoP’s feedback on Draft Policy) – shared with GESI CoP no later than 30 September 2024
  3. Consultancy Report that builds on the inception report and clearly and succinctly summarises the consultancy process, key findings, and recommendations for Solidaridad moving forward – shared with GESI CoP no later than 30 September 2024


Maximum budget of 20.000 EUR (inclusive of VAT) covering consultancy fees as well as any travel and other related expenses. The consultant(s) is expected to provide a proposal that is within this budget.


The consultant is expected to have the following demonstrable background.


  • Understanding of and direct experience working with the NGO sector – previous experience leading the development of strategic policy developments processes is especially valued
  • Expertise in the theory and practice of gender equality and social inclusion within the context of supply chain development programme design and implementation
  • Experience facilitating strategic, outcome-oriented workshops with diverse stakeholders
  • Understanding of and experience working with a variety of European (as well as North American) donor institutions such as the EU, Dutch MFA, Sida, USAID, NORAD, DANIDA, etc.
  • Strong analytical and communication skills
  • Professional proficiency in English


  • Deep understanding of and experience with global supply chains, agriculture, climate and natural resource management and other relevant fields to Solidaridad
  • Experience conducting research and/or evaluations in diverse geographic contexts
  • Experience in developing learning documents, especially in the context of agriculture/climate/ and gender
  • Understanding of and experience with decentralised network organisations
  • Understanding of and experience working with private sector partners and PPP programming

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Relevance of experience and qualifications
  • Quality and feasibility of the proposed approach/methodology, workplan and timeline
  • Cost-effectiveness of the proposal

Application Information:

Interested candidates should submit their CV and a brief proposal, including a proposed approach/methodology, workplan and budget (max 3 pages).

Applications should be submitted via email with the email title “GESI Policy Consultant” to both Seth Tallvik (seth.tallvik@solidaridadnetwork.org) and Neha (neha@solidaridadnetwork.org) no later than 30 June 2024.

In Solidaridad, diversity, equity and inclusion are key to our collective mission, vision and values. We enable farmers and workers to earn a living income, shape their own future, and produce in balance with nature by working throughout the whole supply chain to make sustainability the norm.

We aim for Solidaridad Europe to be an inclusive place where all people feel heard, seen, and valued for their diverse identities, experiences, perspectives and skills.

We are therefore committed to ensuring a safe and healthy working environment by treating everyone with dignity and respect, enabling and empowering us to be ourselves and achieving our full potential as individuals and our collective mission as an organisation.