Terms of Reference for INGO Due Diligence Passporting Learning Exercise

  • Anywhere
Organization: Trócaire
Closing date: 24 May 2022

**Background and Rationale

The Charter for Change1 was launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 as a coalition jointly committed to press for more deliberate action to implement global commitments on localisation. It is an initiative, led by both local, national and international NGOs, to concretely implement changes in the functioning of the humanitarian system to enable a locally led response.

Following annual dialogue discussions on localisation held in various countries, as well as the annual Charter for Change meeting in December 2021, local and national actors expressed interest in harmonised approaches and improved coordination among INGOs that would result in more efficient and streamlined administrative processes.

One such process relates to due diligence (DD) assessments. Current approaches to DD by institutional donors, INGOs, UN agencies and national NGOs present a number of obstacles to realising objectives of quality partnership and supporting a more transformative approach to localisation/local leadership. One aspect to this is the challenges arising from duplicating or inconsistent approaches to DD, which requires national/local NGOs to conduct multiple processes to answer the same questions in different formats for different agencies and their back-donors. Another aspect is the extent to which donor, UN and INGO approaches to DD involve levels of complexity and systems for risk management designed for larger international agencies that are not suitable for smaller national or local NGOs. As one report from a HQAI donor roundtable notes: “*the current trend among donors and INGOs is perceived as risk-adverse and top-down. The risk is that this attitude creates a humanitarian bubble with only few big players having access to funding because they meet the ever-increasing compliance and DD requirements*.”

Key issues raised in discussions on DD and localisation include issues of diversity, complementarity and proportionality. Diversity is relevant as current DD approaches tend to exclude national and local actors, especially smaller groups and CSOs that have not been ‘NGO-ized’, that do not mirror the organisational type and scale of administrative structure of international agencies. Complementarity is relevant as an acknowledged added value of local actors is precisely that they can be rooted in communities and have that local understanding, which is different to international agencies whose strengths may be in report writing and other technical aspects of aid management. Proportionality is relevant as humanitarian agencies often do not have proportionate approaches to due diligence for different levels of funding or kinds of partners.

Various efforts of relevance are underway in the sector; including CHS and HQAI’s efforts to promote discussions about DD passporting[2], the Start Network’s experiments in tiered approaches to DD, collaboration between INGOs on harmonised approaches to DD through NGO consortia at global and context specific levels (e.g. INGO cross-border programmes into Syria from Turkey using the ‘unified organisational capacity assessment tool’ /OCAT[3]), and Grand Bargain efforts on reducing duplication and management costs, including through its focus on promoting a harmonised approach to reporting through the 8+3 Reporting Format. Analysis by Start, for example, found that 35% percent of its DD questions are covered by CHS audit reports. By Spring or early Summer 2022, they hope to have analysis and proposals on ways forward for alignment between Start and CHS/HQAI on due diligence. Start is also developing a decentralised due diligence service model involving a constellation of local due diligence providers, and modular due diligence framework that aims to create country-level due diligence modules. This is due to be piloted in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan later this year. Donors, including FCDO, have expressed an interest in exploring options for DD passporting. Within the Charter4Change coalition, both INGO signatories and national NGO endorsers have identified DD as a key barrier to better quality partnerships and localisation both in the C4C Global Annual Meeting 2021 and in the Humanitarian Directors session at the meeting.

Objective of the Consultancy

As indicated above, a consultant is being sought to support with the following objective: Map agency approaches to DD and best practice and document the best way forward for an alignment/ passporting pilot.

Work under this objective should take into account approaches of institutional back donors that inform DD approaches. The consultant will be expected to work alongside participating INGOs and local and national NGOs to identify contexts for alignment/passporting pilots. Participating INGOs will help ensure that their local partners have meaningful opportunities to participate in and influence the process, as well as consultation with the wider Charter4Change coalition at relevant moments in the process.


The consultant will be expected to outline and deliver a methodology based on the following:

  1. Consultation with national and local NGO partners to gather their insights on priorities and approaches to include.
  2. Map current approaches to due diligence of participating INGOs identifying areas of alignment, differences and gaps, and to develop proposals for a passporting pilot. This mapping should address both global level policies and practices, as well as specificities in the prioritised contexts for the pilot exercise.
  3. Consider whether a pilot would work better if limited to specific countries or if executed on a global basis, and make proposals as to which countries as appropriate.
  4. After assessing the data, the consultant shall propose the best way forward regarding what type of piloting exercise would generate most value.
  5. Workshop with staff of involved agencies (local, national and international) from head offices and the pilot contexts; the consultant will plan out in more specific detail the piloting exercise.

Following this engagement of the consultant, the organisations themselves will pilot the aligned approach / DD Passporting in the pilot contexts (the consultant will not be required to support this). Subsequently, a review of learning from country-level pilots will be undertaken. Findings will be used for sector-wide advocacy to promote wider-scale adoption of reform measures and influence relevant external stakeholders, including donors, HQAI, CHS, and others.

Note: It is crucial to ensure that local/national NGOs have opportunities to input and feed into shaping the process and providing feedback on the findings. Part of the consultants’ task will be to design and implement a process of consultation both with participating signatory agencies’ own local partners, as well as with a wider set of stakeholders in the C4C coalition and/or other relevant networks.**



May – July 2022*

Stage : DD consultancy mapping and documentation of way forward for alignment/passporting pilot

Identify contexts for alignment/passporting pilots as appropriate

Consultation with national/local NGO partners and relevant stakeholders (eg through the C4C advocacy working-group, C4C capacity-strengthening working-group and C4C endorsers working-group)

July 2022 : Start-up of context-specific alignment/passporting pilots

March 2023: 9 month learning review

April-August 2023: Sharing findings at global level and consider follow-up options

* The consultant is only expected to deliver against this stage of the timeline


Approximately 10 days of work are estimated to support the initial mapping and develop plans for pilots. There is potential for a follow up phase to support the learning review.


A group of C4C Signatories have committed to contribute to the costs of this consultancy, including: CAFOD, Christian Aid, Kerk-in-Actie, SCIAF, Trócaire and Tearfund.

The organisations supporting this consultancy will work in close coordination with C4C national NGO endorsers and other C4C INGO signatories, ensuring a participatory process that is influenced by local and national voices, as well as INGOs who are interested in evolving their internal processes.

Relevant Stakeholders

● C4C Network – There will be interest to engage from C4C members (both Signatories and Endorsers) both in the global process of learning, as well as amongst those members active in the selected pilot contexts. There is interest to exchange learning from the process in C4C working-groups (e.g. advocacy, capacity-strengthening etc).

● CHS and HQAI are interested in work around harmonising due diligence. HQAI convenes an annual donor roundtable at which CAFOD (a C4C Signatory) has previously presented perspectives on localisation and partnership implications of DD.

Final Products

The following outputs are expected to be delivered by the end of the consultancy:

  1. A comprehensive mapping and report on agency practices to DD and the recommended way forward for an alignment/passporting pilot.

  2. PowerPoint presentation to share the above findings with a wider audience.


  • Previous experience in similar assignments for a minimum period of ten years.
  • Relevant professional experience and technical knowledge to carry out the intended report writing.
  • Advanced degree in a related field of study (for example, development studies, public policy, social sciences, or a related field).
  • Excellent spoken and written English skills.
  • A result-oriented, team player, exhibiting high levels of enthusiasm, tact, diplomacy and integrity.
  • Excellent time management skills, with an ability to deliver high-quality outputs on time.
  • Experience and familiarity with localisation concepts and discourse, including committments such as the Grand Bargain and Charter for Change.
  • Commitment to the safeguarding of programme participants, as demonstrated by signing safeguarding policies/documentation with the contracting entity.


The consultant will be required to sign and abide by an official safeguarding policy document on exploitation and abuse, including zero-tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. The contracting entity’s committment to safeguarding is inclusive of its staff and all those with whom it comes into contact through its work.

[1] https://charter4change.org/

[2] CHS/HQAI analysis suggests that 80% of most donor DD questions are covered by the CHS audit, and some donors such as ECHO have started to refer to agencies’ HQAI audits – yet CHS audits remain out of reach for most local NGOs.


How to apply:

Application Submission

Trócaire will manage the tendering process. All applications should be emailed to tenders@trocaire.org latest by Tuesday 24th May 2022 An application should contain the following:

  • Brief Technical Proposal (maximum 5 pages) highlighting the consultant’s understanding of the consultancy, outlining a proposed methodology, schedule and work plan, and indicating the consultant’s proposed fees/daily rate, with justification.
  • Up-to-date CV, including the contact information of at least three references.
  • A previous sample of written work.

All applications will be evaluated by a multi-agency review committee based on technical quality; background and experience of the consultant; and value for money.

Any queries relating to this ToR should be directed by e-mail to Howard Mollett (hmollett@cafod.org.uk) and Michael Solis (michael.solis@trocaire.org). Please do not send applications to these emails, as they will not be considered.



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