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Consulting Services for Design of Strategy for Canada Program

Date of Publication
Application Deadline
Cuso International
Brief Description

Cuso International (Cuso) is a community development organization that works with partners to address the root causes of inequality and improve the economic and social conditions of marginalized groups.  We do this with a focus on to strengthening gender equality and social inclusion, improving economic resilience through sustainable solutions, and advancing climate action. Cuso International is a people-centered organization that prioritizes working in partnership with local organizations.  We presently support programs implemented in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Canada. After 60 years, Cuso International has embarked on a process of renewal and has just completed a bold and ambitious Strategic Plan for 2023-2027.

The new strategic plan will be provided separately and is slated for public communication in early 2023.

Cuso is looking for a consultant(s) to work closely with our team to develop a new strategy for our Canada Program.  Building from existing experience and partnerships, Cuso seeks to renew its Canada Program through dialogue and consultation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and organizations.  In committing to expanding its work in Canada, Cuso seeks to contribute humbly and meaningfully to Canada’s long journey of Reconciliation with the original Peoples of this land.  Without presumption of final outcomes, Cuso aims to apply a listen-first approach in engaging First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and organizations.  The development of a Canada Program strategy is an opportunity for Cuso to apply its experience in relationship-building and long-term partnership and to learn from existing and potential partners about how it can best support their priorities as allies.

While all interested parties are welcomed to apply, Cuso will privilege proposals from consultants belonging to Canada’s First Nations, Métis or Inuit Nations. 

Working closely with the Cuso International team, the consultant(s) will be responsible for the following activities to be completed before the end of May 2023.

1) Research and consultations for design of Strategy for Canada Program

  • Review of relevant Cuso documentation, including Cuso’s existing Canada Program (goals, results to date, relationships with Indigenous communities and available resources), Cuso’s vision, mission and values, Cuso’s new Strategy Plan and relevant Cuso programming documents (reports and publications).
  • Carry-out consultations (with participation of Cuso staff) to identify strengths and weaknesses of Cuso programming with specific focus on the Canada Program and programming with Indigenous communities both in Canada and globally.
  • Review of relevant documentation, including plans for the implementation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action (TRC 94) and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls 231 Calls for Justice (MMIWG 231), and the Review of Cuso’s Canada Program conducted in early 2021.
  • Map social, economic and environmental issues being addressed by Indigenous communities in Canada which align with Cuso’s new strategic plan.
  • Identify Indigenous communities, organizations and other actors in Canada who are working to address social, economic and environmental issues in Indigenous communities and align with Cuso’s strategic priorities.
  • Carry-out dialogues with Cuso and Indigenous communities, organizations and relevant actors, in Canada to identify potential relationships for Canada Program, opportunities and risks for the Canada Program.
  • Based on desk research, consultations and information collected, analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks to inform design of Strategy for Canada Program.
  • Carry-out workshops with Cuso staff and relevant stakeholders for feedback on draft design of the Strategy for the Canada Program.
  • Transfer summary of discussions with Indigenous communities and actors to Cuso.

2) Design of Strategy for Canada Program

Aligned with Cuso’s new Strategic Plan (gender equality and social inclusion, economic resilience and climate action), develop 3-year Strategy for the Canada Program which will include:

  • Goals and priorities, including action areas and core competencies;
  • Appropriate key performance indicators;
  • List of potential relationships between Cuso and Indigenous communities, organizations and actors for implementation of the Strategy based on shared approach to addressing social, economic and environmental issues in Indigenous communities;
  • Outline for participatory, inclusive and long-term approach to building equitable, transparent and meaningful relationships for the Canada Program that is aligned with Indigenous community development principles and based on principles of respect, relevance, reciprocity and responsibility as well as advance movement on decolonization in the sector; and
  • List of potential relationships between Cuso and donors who are financing programs in Indigenous communities as well as outline on approach to building relationships with potential donors.

3) Organizational Recommendations

Provide recommendations to Cuso regarding:

  • Any internal organizational changes required to appropriately and successfully support a Canadian program contributing towards Reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit People.
  • Organizational structure and job descriptions for an expanded Canada program which aligns with the strategy developed.

The Consultant(s), including all project team members should demonstrate the following:

  • Demonstrated experience in designing, managing and monitoring Indigenous programs/projects in Canada.
  • Strong network of Indigenous communities, organizations and actors in Canada, including civil society, government agencies, private sector and donors.
  • Experience working in Indigenous development context in Canada.
  • Deep practical, analytical and theoretical knowledge of historical and current context of Indigenous communities and realities in Canada.
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancement of Indigenous people’s rights and empowerment.
  • Strong understanding and competency in TRC 94, MMWIG 231 and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). 
  • Excellent strategic thinking as well as strong research and analytical abilities.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Additional language skills in French and Native languages of Canada an asset.
  • Strong networking skills and the ability to build relationships, alliances and networks across Canada.

Interested candidates should submit proposals/quotes, including:

  • Understanding of the project
  • Detail of expertise relevant to this project
  • Background and experience of team member(s) to be involved
  • Total budget – providing for each deliverable
  • Statement regarding ability to proceed promptly with this project and commit until completion
  • Samples of relevant work (as appropriate)

Select applicants may be invited to discuss their proposal in further detail.

Important dates:

  • Deadline for quotes: November 25, 2022
  • Decision to be made by: December 16, 2022

For questions and to discuss this consultancy, please contact Tania Shephard at: