Terms of Reference for Strategic Planning Facilitator
1. Organizational Overview
Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.
We are non-governmental, non-religious and work with many local NGOs and community based organizations to implement our programs. We currently work in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zambia – countries with a desperate lack of resources to educate their children. Since our inception, Room to Read’s worldwide team has impacted over 9 million children by constructing more than 1,600 schools, establishing over 15,000 libraries, publishing 800 new children’s book titles in 11 local languages, and providing more than 20,000 girls with long-term, holistic support to complete secondary school with the skills to negotiate key life decisions. Our global headquarters is located in San Francisco, and we have smaller fundraising offices in Delhi, New York, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, Sydney, and Tokyo. We have program offices in Colombo, Dar es Salaam, Dhaka, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kathmandu, Lusaka, New Delhi, Pretoria, Phnom Penh, and Vientiane
Room to Read Zambia was established in 2007 and has over the years grown to a Literacy program that includes reading and writing instruction, school construction projects and local language book publishing.  By mid 2016, the Country program has; established over 600 libraries, benefited more than 360,600 learners and trained around 3,000 teachers through our in-service educator professional development program. We have also published 21 titles in Zambian local languages with 135,600 copies printed and distributed.
2. The strategy formulation Facilitator:
The facilitator is being sought for a ten day consultancy engagement to facilitate the preparation of a strategy for transitioning of Room To Read Zambia Country Office from a direct implementer to a systems strengthening approach. This shall involve development of a program, plan and capacity to support the government of Zambia with the goal to help develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and help girls to complete secondary school with relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.
3. Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
The consultant shall undertake literature review of sector and subsector relevant documents available in and outside Room to Read to appreciate the sector status and dynamics. Further, the consultant shall study internal review reports done by RtR Zambia leading to the decision to pursue this transition.
The facilitator shall have an opportunity to hold scouting meetings with individual members of the management team to appreciate their understanding of the proposed directions, and appreciate their thoughts, plans, ambitions, suggestions and fears.
Prepare potential scenarios for the transition and identifying all the factors for the development of the country program, including:
  • The current sector situation/environment and possible focus areas for systems development
  • Identifying facilitating and constraining (Challenging) factors to the transition and alternative remedial measures to mitigate challenges.
  • Feasible transitional scenario considerations in respect to funding, structure etc
  • Resource mobilization approaches and possibilities
The consultant shall facilitate a 2 or 3-day strategic planning workshop aimed at sifting through and concretizing potential strategic thrusts.
The facilitator shall prepare a report:
  • Clearly identifying key strategic issues
  • Identifying RtR capacity development needs and proposing a capacity building plan
  • Identifying critical factors impacting the proposed shift from direct implementation to systems strengthening.
  • Reviewing viability and responsiveness of the Country Office structure, for the new approach.
  • Presenting components of a strategic plan document for 2017 to 2020.
  • Outlining further information needs to feed into the strategic plan
 4. Reporting arrangements
The consultant’s primary contact shall be the country director of Room to Read Zambia.
5. Required skills and experience
  • A Masters degree or equivalent in education, public policy or administration, international development studies, management or related field
  • The ability to influence others, to liaise with a wide range of people at all levels and across different cultures and to act with credibility, tact and diplomacy
  • Strong skills in facilitation, project management, team-building, communication, and conflict resolution or mediation
  • Strong team leadership skills including ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor own work plan and those relevant to the team members and partners
  • Ability to manage and oversee large and complex analyses, including collating and presenting data, monitoring and evaluation, progress reporting
  • Ability to comfortably interact at all levels ranging from high levels including government officials, heads of development missions, to technical working level and field implementers
  • Ability and experience in managing multiple parties in an international context
  • At least 8 years professional work experience/consultancy with international NGOs
  • Experience is supporting wide ranging changes from programmatic implementation to project or systems approaches
  • Experience in institutional and organizational capacity building at the national level
  • Demonstrated significant experience in team leadership and strategy planning facilitation
  • Added advantages will be assigned for:
    • Experience in facilitating change management in developing country contexts among governments and other development sector stakeholders
    • Thorough understanding of the Zambian education sector, with particular reference to early grades
6. Applications
To apply for consideration, please send a write up of not more than 4 pages describing your understanding of the TOR and your proposed approach on this assignment, with copy to the Human Resource Manager, Mrs Constance Pola-Banda at The application should reach us on or before 25th August 2016. In your cover letter, please state your proposed daily fee rate.
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