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TOR and call for Expressions of Interest - Strategic Think Piece on Food Justice and the Rights of Women Smallholder Farmers
Oxfam Canada

Deadline: 26 March 2012

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Oxfam Canada is calling for Expressions of Interest from Consultant/s to undertake the work detailed in the attached TOR.

The assignment is to write a Strategic Think Piece on Food Justice and the Rights of Women Smallholder Farmers in Zimbabwe, which will guide the work of Oxfam in Zimbabwe on this theme. Consultants are hereby invited to submit an Expression of Interest to undertake this assignment.

The EOI should outline:
1. The consultant/s experience on this theme and demonstrate their capacity to undertake this assignment
2. A very clear methodology that the consultant will use
3. The time frame
4. The consultancy fees

The EOI should be submitted by end of day (Zimbabwe time), March 26th, 2012, to or delivered to Number 1 Ringwood Drive, Strathaven, Harare.


Zimbabwe is at a very problematic and yet very exciting period in its history. In the current climate, Civil Society Organisations are struggling to find answers to multi-layered national questions. They are also struggling to (re)define their roles, their relationships with one another and more importantly with the State. Familiar methods and approaches to development and human rights work have been seriously challenged in the last decade, leaving some with no clear vision and strategic focus. In addition, the context has made it almost impossible for organizations and movements to design and implement long term development programs. To a large extent, most programs are short term, poverty alleviation (rather than eradication) focused, and in many cases more reactive to the situation rather than agenda setting. At the same time the types, quantities and focus of funding available left little room for longer term, innovative, and ambitious programs.

Oxfam Canada is commissioning what we are calling strategic think pieces of writing on three key themes:

  • Women's rights and gender equality
  • Securing Rights in the context of HIV & AIDS
  • Food justice and the rights of women smallholder farmers

What is a strategic think piece?

A strategic think piece is a paper which lays out what the current lay of the land is on a given topic. It outlines what the key issues of the day are. Why these issues are topical and what are the key drivers of this situation. It goes further to analyse what the current program interventions are; who are the key players; what they are doing and how they are doing it. It analyses whether these are the most strategic interventions in the short, medium and in particular long term. The piece tries to provide various options for the future, suggesting stronger ways in which an agency and its partners can play a role in addressing the selected issues. The purpose of the paper is to provoke discussion and debate. It asks the hard questions and provides some ugly truths as well. At the same time, it should not be so didactic as to polarize conversations. A strategic think piece is NOT a classic NGO strategic plan. Nor is it a "project plan", or worse, an academic treatise on what is wrong with the world at large! At its core, a strategic think piece is an illuminating piece of work which helps shape strategic planning, and at a later stage program design as well as resource mobilization. The think piece is rooted in a very strong evidence base, providing current data and most recent facts and analysis on what is happening where. A strategic think piece questions current thinking, ways of doing things, and challenges current (political) discourse. It is a tool, a means to get us towards a desired end. In this case, the end being a strong political rationale for what it is we will be doing and how we will be doing it in Zimbabwe as Oxfam Canada, together with our partners. Therefore, ultimately a strategic think piece should help us design programs that are built on a solid collectively shared understanding and critical analysis.

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