Background on Accountability Lab 

Accountability Lab is a translocal network of local organizations that make governance work for people around the world. We build creative campaigns, consolidate and disseminate knowledge, and grow communities inside and outside government that can bolster accountability and support the ecosystems for more inclusive development. Since the Lab was founded ten years ago, it has grown organically and now operates across 14 countries (DRC, Kenya, Liberia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Mexico, Pakistan, Somaliland, South Africa, Uganda, the United States and Zimbabwe) with a budget of around $5m and teams that total 120+ people globally. The Lab’s current 2020-2023 strategy lays out how the organization thinks about its role and the activities underway to achieve strategic goals; and the 2022 strategy update provides additional information on our current focus areas.

Background on the Strategy Process

In 2022- with the 10th anniversary of the Lab- the team is thinking about the organization’s new strategy for the 2023-2026 period, and reflecting on impact, challenges and possible ways forward. The process for the new strategy is outlined in this slide deck- and involves: a preparation phase of stakeholder discussions and a semi-independent learning review (Jan to end of May 2022); a development phase with a strategic retreat and strategy draft (June and July 2022); a revision phase of re-drafting and public comment (July to October 2022); and a finalization stage including a finished strategy and operational plan, and sign off by the Accountability Lab Board of Directors (October to December 2022).

The Lab is looking for a facilitator for the strategic retreat mentioned as part of phase two above. This retreat will bring together the Lab’s senior management, Country Directors from around the world and Board members for 4 days in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe with three goals:

  • Team-building– nurturing relationships and shared understanding after 2+ years apart and after the addition of new teams and colleagues;
  • Strategy– generate feedback on strategic thinking and inputs for our new 2023-2026 strategy, which will be our key guiding document going forwards;
  • Knowledge– grow and share skills, tools and ideas among leadership within the organization to consolidate the translocal network.

We will use the retreat process and outcomes to inform our new strategy and to build energy around the organization and its work going forwards in 2022 and beyond. 

Approach and Methodology 

This is a unique moment for the Accountability Lab- and we want to make sure that this retreat moves beyond the kinds of interactions and conversations we can have as colleagues by Zoom. Based on AL’s organizational approach and structure, we value participatory processes that cultivate buy-in and curiosity among our team members. We value conversations that are inclusive, allow all stakeholders to feel that their voices are being heard, and that build collective understandings. We do not expect the retreat facilitator to help us answer all the questions we might be thinking about- but to prompt us to think in different ways about what we are asking and collective ways forward.

Scope of Work

The facilitator will work closely with the Accountability Lab team (particularly the Executive Director and Director of Learning) to prepare for the strategic retreat, including through:

  • Reviewing organizational documents and developing an in-depth understanding of Accountability Lab
  • Providing support for the development of the agenda including ideas and feedback on goals, structure, content and timing;
  • The development/adaptation of facilitation tools that will align with needs in terms of retreat goals and participants.

Facilitate the three-day retreat, to support the Accountability Lab team to:

  1. Achieve the three goals outlined above in terms of team-building, strategy and knowledge.
  2. Ensure participants feel their perspectives have been heard and integrated in meaningful ways into conversations;
  3. Enjoy the process of thinking how the organization can grow and improve. 

Follow-up to the retreat through:

  1. Gathering feedback from participants to inform and improve future planning processes;
  2. Providing ideas and feedback to Accountability Lab management on ways forward based on retreat conversations;
  3. Reviewing a subsequent, draft strategy document to provide thoughts on integration of retreat themes and ideas.

Timing

The strategic retreat will take place between May 29th and June 2nd, 2022 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and the facilitator must be available to attend throughout that period. We expect to work with the facilitator during the months of April and May to prepare for the retreat; and as outlined above expect the facilitator to support follow-up activities. 

Required Competencies

  • Experience in the international development sector, with a specific emphasis on interventions related to governance, transparency and anti-corruption;
  • Proven track record of leadership development, coaching and development; 
  • Extensive experience designing retreats and facilitating in inclusive ways that have supported individuals and teams to achieve strategic goals;
  • Demonstrated experience in helping teams deal with complicated issues in a way that optimizes participation;
  • Demonstrated skills in building consensus within teams around key issues and supporting them to resolve key questions related to organizational development;
  • Familiarity with countries in the AL network. While some of the participants will be from French speaking countries, it is not necessary that the facilitator speak French as we will arrange for translation;
  • We would prefer a facilitator who reflects our values in relation to equity and inclusion, as we believe that this will also lay the foundation for meaningful engagement with our diverse stakeholders. 

Management Arrangements 

  • Accountability Lab Global will serve as the main point of contact for the facilitator (Executive Director/Learning Director);
  • Accountability Lab Global and network labs will be jointly responsible for providing any and all documents or information to the facilitator to enable preparation for the retreat. 

Budget 

The facilitator will not be involved in the organization of logistics for the event; and all costs associated with the event (including travel and accommodation) will be covered for the facilitator by Accountability Lab. The total budget for this work- which we expect to total 8 days, including 3 days of preparation, 1 day of travel, the 3 days of the retreat itself and 1 day of follow-up- is $3,200.

Proposal Submission 

Interested and qualified individuals are invited to submit their interest and provide the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae or resume that highlights past experience that aligns with the parameters of this project;
  • A brief 1-page document outlining initial ideas for performing the work outlined above;
  • A financial proposal. 

Applications can be sent to [email protected] before midnight (US Eastern time) on March 25th, 2022 and the team will look to select the facilitator within a week of the submission date.