Introduction

The African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) is a Pan-African civil society organisation established in 1996 to advocate for debt cancellation and addressing debt related issues in Africa.  Our vision is “A Prosperous Africa based on an equitable and sustainable development”, and our mission is “To contribute to Africa’s inclusive economic growth and sustainable development through influencing policy change on debt management and development finance anchored on a rights-based approach”.

AFRODAD is concerned with ensuring that the African continent does not slide back into being heavily indebted and is focused on influencing African governments to institute and implement policies and practices for sustainable development and eradication of poverty through development and implementation of sustainable debt policies; transparent, accountable and efficient mechanisms for mobilisation and utilisation of domestic resources; and effective use of international public finance.

In 2020, AFRODAD’s 2016-2020 strategic period will come to a close at a time when the world and specifically African governments are grappling with a Covid-19 exacerbated debt crisis. This offers an opportune moment for the organisation and its partners to reflect on the changing debt landscape and provide insights on what the next five years look like for AFRODAD in galvanising a Pan-African movement on debt relief and cancellation specifically, and economic and social justice issues more broadly.

The purpose of these terms of reference is to engage interested individuals or groups of individuals to support AFRODAD in developing its new strategic plan 2021-2025.

Background

Over the years AFRODAD has created a niche in debt management and is instrumental in influencing government policies on debt management, economic governance and development aid management. In recent years, we have expanded our work to include Domestic Resource Mobilisation (DRM) and International Public Finance (IPF). AFRODAD’s work is anchored around these thematic areas and places sustainable public debt management at the core of our work. The organisation views sovereign debt as an important development financing instrument in the hands of African governments but which must be employed in ways that generate productive investments that have the potential to finance African debts while keeping them at the most sustainable levels possible. Development financing alternatives through domestic resources mobilisation (DRM) and international public finance are considered in AFRODAD’s work as viable strategies for keeping debt sustainability concerns to their barest minimum in all African countries. But these alternatives are fraught with their own challenges and opportunities which are all at the center of AFRODAD’s advocacy agenda. AFRODAD has been very successful in its use of research and evidence-based engagements and responsiveness as part of processes of reaching out to its stakeholders in a bid to explore the challenges and opportunities offered by the three thematic areas covering AFRODAD’s work. We use a range of approaches such as advocacy, networking and capacity enhancement in our programming to engage and influence  governments, academia, development institutions, and partners.

The 2016-2020 Strategic Plan recognised AFRODAD’s understanding of the imperative of forging and enhancing stronger linkages between programme activities, outputs, outcomes and longer-term goals for policy adjustments that will positively add to improving growth and development outcomes for Africa. AFRODAD’s position on major debates, socio-political positions and developments in the world economy continues to be led by rights-based approaches and values, and an unwavering commitment to Pan-African ideals. It remains affiliated to global Civil Society Networks (Eurodad, Jubilee South, etc) which continue to be voices of, among other issues, advocacy for the bridging of inequalities, the improvement of development outcomes.

It is noteworthy that the major strategic areas of the African Union (AU) 2063 Agenda are in sync with AFRODAD's efforts and focus. This includes issues to do with unsustainable debt levels, the rise and increasing privatisation of debt, the widespread challenges of managing illicit financial flows (IFFs) as viable strategies for addressing domestic resource management (DRM), tax justice and heightening advocacy for aid and development effectiveness.

In the concluding strategic period, AFRODAD worked at the global, continental, regional, and national levels to address the problems of debt and development on the continent. We adopted different ways of working and organisation in addition to doing things differently while being cautious of the fairly volatile environment in which the organisation works as it relates to the prospects for change for the better for African citizens.

As the debt landscape changed significantly over the current strategic period with the strong emergence of non-traditional creditors and lenders including private creditors and bilateral lenders like China, African governments are beginning to find themselves in precarious situations with debt reaching unsustainable levels. Government appetite for debt-financed development has been fueled by low international interest rates; accessibility to innovative debt instruments like Eurobonds; and ability to negotiate resource backed loans. The past decade and a half have seen a significant change in the debt composition for many African countries. And with the onset of commodity price fluctuations and the ensuing Covid-19 pandemic, the African debt crisis has been accelerated with potentially devastating consequences for domestic resource mobilisation, inequality outcomes, and investment in much needed basic services such as health and education.

The achievement of these strategic actions in its three thematic areas has often required a sound robust institutional support offered by other organisational units such the communication, Finance and Administration as well as Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEAL) which AFRODAD wish to strengthen as part of its overall strategy moving beyond 2020.

It is against this background that AFRODAD is seeking to develop its new strategic plan covering the period 2021-2025. Within this period harbours the ambition to build upon the successes from the ending period while at the same time innovating to appreciate the new dynamics at play in the debt and development discourse.

Purpose of the Consultancy

The purpose of the consultancy is to support AFRODAD to (i) assess the concluding strategic period 2016-2020 (ii) evaluate current institutional frameworks and their potential to support the new strategic plans; (iii) conduct meetings and interviews to gather data and information on AFRODAD’s work over the past 5 years; (iv) support in the drafting of the new strategic plan based on the information provided by the Secretariat and from interviews and meetings with staff, the Board, and partners; (v) present findings from the consultations, and highlights of the strategic plan to staff and the Board. The consultancy will consider but not limit itself to the following set of questions:

    1. What activities proved successful? (network/CSO coordination, advocacy and public outreach, and research).
    2. Which activities/methodologies helped to strengthen network coordination? (CSO coordination, joint actions, webinars, others).
    3. What proved successful in terms of advocacy and public outreach? (general public/media, IFIs, governments).
    4. Which areas of advocacy proved relevant? (IFIs, private creditors, CRAs, others). 
    5. What didn't work and what went missing? (CSO coordination, advocacy and public outreach, and research).
    6. Evaluation of Afrodad’s work on debt over the past 5 years by all stakeholders. What activities proved successful? What didn't work and what did we miss?

Objectives of Consultancy

The objective is to support AFRODAD develop its new strategic plan 2021-2025.

 Deliverables

The expected deliverables from this consultancy assignment are:

  • Review of the strategic period 2016-2020
  • An interim report from stakeholder interviews and meetings
  • Draft strategic plan for review by the Secretariat
  • Final Strategic Plan for approval by the Board

 Experience and Qualifications

The required experience and qualifications for this assignment are:

  • Over 10 years’ experience in advising African Civil Society Organisations on strategic plan development
  • A strong understanding of the Pan-African Civil Society movement anchored in the AU's Agenda 2063
  • A strong technical and political understanding of the debt agenda in Africa and how it interfaces with the wider domestic resource mobilisation issues on the continent; and more broadly how it interacts with Pan-Afrian Economic and Social Justice movement on the continent
  • A Masters’ degree in Social and Political Sciences including but not limited to Economics, Development Economics, Political Science, Strategic Management, and Institutional Development and Strengthening.
  • Ability to speak in either French or Portuguese would be an added advantage
  • Familiarity with using Online tools and Conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, BlueJeans to conduct meetings, webinars, and group exercises is strongly preferred.

 Time-frame

This exercise is expected to take 20 working days spread across January 2021 through to the end of February 2021. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, this assignment will be conducted virtually using a range of online tools and conferencing platforms.

 Expression of Interests

Please send an expression of interest together with a financial proposal to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with “AFRODAD Strategic Plan 2021-2025” in the subject line of the email by 22 January 2021.

*Photo from coverlettersandresume.com

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