Alumni Network and Engagement Strategy, Education for Nature Program (EFN) for a Consultant

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Overview:
The Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN) is a conservation capacity development initiative by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). For the past 30 years, EFN has provided financial support to individuals and institutions worldwide to enhance local conservation science capacity, education, and leadership necessary to preserve biodiversity and natural resources. Today, EFN alumni work at the national, regional, or global levels, contributing to successful conservation outcomes.

EFN is currently seeking proposals for consultancy services to create a strategic plan for building a vibrant alumni network and engagement framework. This plan will help us expand our reach to alumni across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean who have been previously supported at various career stages, coordinate and foster partnerships within the alumni community, and ensure that EFN's initiatives adaptively evolve and continue to align regional and local priorities in WWF's priority areas.

EFN will consider proposals on a rolling basis until March 4, 2024, 11.59pm, US ET. Due to the constrained timeline, proposals received earlier will likely receive preferential review. Proposals should be submitted in PDF format via email to EFN@wwfus.org and copied to blake.wrigley@wwfus.org. Please email your queries three days before the closing date for any clarification.


CONTEXT

WWF's Education for Nature Program (EFN) has been a champion of conservation leadership for three decades, providing financial support to over 3,000 individuals pursuing PhDs, Masters, undergraduate degrees, and short-term courses, as well as over 600 institutions working in 60 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. These investments have been critical in developing the capacity for conservation science and education to advance local leadership in the stewardship of natural resources.

EFN believes building a robust conservation science capacity and leadership network is essential to achieving more significant equity in local and indigenous-led conservation efforts. A strong and supported alumni network would connect and organize conservation scientists and practitioners across the regions on shared priorities, support individuals in their efforts to accelerate conservation outcomes and provide strategic guidance to WWF on the conservation priorities within the regions. In creating this network, EFN will bolster a two-way relationship that engages the EFN alumni in significant ways to ensure WWF is responsive to the specific conservation science capacity, education, and leadership needs.
Responsibilities:
The proposed consultancy seeks to:
  • assess the alumni base to understand their background, expertise, motivations, and achievements. This will be done by reviewing archive information and literature, and conducting surveys and interviews with EFN alumni, current grant recipients and key partners/informants.
  • understand the utility of an intentionally managed alumni network, including ideas, priorities, and structure for supporting and engaging national, regional and global networks to advance conservation science capacity building and leadership development, as well as pathways for tracking progress, impact and visibility.
  • assess case studies of existing and effective global alumni network and engagement programs and strategic plans from other networks/organizations that are advancing culturally relevant efforts and recommend ways to deepen EFN’s alumni network and engagement initiatives at national, regional and global levels so that alumni are more connected and engaged with WWF and with each other.
  • co-design a 5-year alumni network and engagement strategic plan that incorporates findings from the above objectives to define an implementation framework, which includes an operationalization plan (staffing needs, resources, workplan, execution, and impact monitoring) to pilot the creation of an alumni network starting at the regional level and then scaling globally.

METHODOLOGY AND PROCESS
The proposed consultancy shall be carried out as a combination of:
  • extensive desk reviews of relevant EFN documents including annual reports, newsletters, grant recent reports and web stories etc.
  • interviews, surveys, online meetings and discussions with EFN team, grant recipients, alumni, key partners.
  • assessment of comparable global alumni network engagement programs, initiatives, and strategic plans
  • review of alumni and grant recipient data.

KEY DELIVERABLES
The expected duration of assignment is up to 90 working days. The consultant shall provide WWF-Education for Nature Program with the following:
Deliverables

Timeframe

  • A brief inception report highlighting
a) Scope of work and key questions
b) methodology, tools and timeline
c) evaluation criteria (including data, results and reporting framework)
d) An outline of the final report

Note:
the inception report should be provided to EFN for review and comments. WWF will consolidate comments from internal review within 5 days

10 days

  • Final Scope of Work and Workplan

5 days

  • A draft 5-year alumni network and engagement strategic plan (not exceeding 20 pages) outlining the detailed status of EFN alumni, priorities, examples of successful alumni networks, and recommendations to define an implementation framework, which includes an operationalization plan (staffing needs, resources, workplan, execution, and impact monitoring) to pilot the creation of an alumni network starting at the regional level and then scaling globally.

  • Virtual meeting to discuss feedback on the first draft report.
Note: comments on the draft will be provided by the WWF team within 15 days

20 days

  • A short PowerPoint deck for presentation including visuals (10-12 slides) summarizing the significant findings, case-studies, and recommendations for implementing the strategic plan at the regional level and then scaling globally.
Note: comments on the draft will be provided by the WWF team within 3 days

10 days

  • A final 5-year alumni network and engagement strategic plan (not exceeding 20 pages) outlining the detailed status of EFN alumni, priorities, examples of successful alumni networks, and recommendations to define an implementation framework, which includes an operationalization plan (staffing needs, resources, workplan, execution, and impact monitoring) to pilot the creation of an alumni network starting at the regional level and then scaling globally.
Note: comments on the draft will be provided by the WWF team within 7 days

15 days

Qualifications:
BUDGET

The budget for this project is approximately US $35,000.

REQUIREMENT OF THE CONSULTANT

We are looking for a consultant who has helped build vibrant alumni networks, and related types of networks. The ideal candidate should possess the following essential competencies:
  • Substantial experience in strategic planning, including technical knowledge in advising teams with the design and implementation of strategic actions.
  • Ability to systematize knowledge, analyze and evaluate projects, and innovative thinking.
  • Strong project management and communication skills.
  • In depth knowledge in conservation, environmental management, and capacity development in the conservation field is a plus.

REPORTING AND KEY CONTACT

Technical and Reporting Contacts: Director, Education for Nature (Nelly Kadagi) and Specialist, Education for Nature Program (Blake Wrigley - blake.wrigley@wwfus.org)

TIMELINE AND SUBMISSION PROCEDURE

EFN will consider proposals on a rolling basis until March 4, 2024, 11.59pm, US ET. Proposals received earlier in the process are likely to receive preferential review due to the constrained timeline. Please email your queries three days before the closing date for any clarification.

Applicants who meet the criteria can submit their applications electronically in PDF format, with subject line clearly indicated “Alumni Network and Engagement Strategy” via email on or before on or before March 4, 2024, 11.59pm, US ET via email to: EFN@wwfus.org and copy to blake.wrigley@wwfus.org

  • A cover letter of no more than 2 pages introducing the concept and consultant(s) competencies.
  • Proposal detailing methodology, timeline with an indication of availability during the project timeframe, deliverables, and proposed budget.
  • Resume of consultant(s) detailing relevant skills and experiences no more than 2 pages, including 3 contactable referees.
  • Two brief samples or preferably links to previous work relevant to the proposed consultancy.