Consultancy assignment: KPSRL programming officer


The Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law (KPSRL) brings together practitioners, policy-makers, and researchers to share knowledge, improve practice and policy, and increase the uptake of learning across the Security & Rule of Law (SRoL) sector. Established in 2012, it is now a community with 3.500+ participants.

Strengthening the learning capacity of practitioners, researchers and policy-makers is a key strategic objective of the Platform, and guides the work of the KPSRL Secretariat. A previous learning assessment (2019) highlighted the crucial need to create space for organizations to collaborate and engage across the sector. Building from this, the Platform Secretariat has committed to providing resources via a new “Programmatic Learning Instrument’’. The instrument should be designed to support nascent programming innovations and learning initiatives to be tested ‘at scale’ among a wider group of implementers. The Programmatic Learning Instrument is also expected to offer coordination and trust-building mechanisms, as well as joint learning budgets, to encourage and enable collective investment in knowledge generation among different organizations.

The Secretariat also facilitates exchanges between the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the organizations implementing activities under its Addressing Root Causes (ARC) fund. These exchanges focus on the implementation of the ARC’s global learning agenda and the organizational scaffolding necessary to collaborate and share lessons between programs. Having supported learning conversations within the ARC community (2017-2021), the Secretariat is currently working with the Dutch MFA, and a number of the ARC implementing actors, to organize regional and global closing events. These events aim to use participatory reflection to share and capture promising practices, lessons learned, and evidence of change within the ARC program over the past 5 years, at both thematic and methodological level.

Within the Secretariat, the responsibility for managing these workstreams lies with the KPSRL Programming Officer. A consultant is sought to take over certain deliverables from this Programming Officer during her maternity leave from January to May 2022. See further specifications below.

Qualifications sought

  • Strong strategic planning and design skills for (cross-)organizational learning instruments; including designing budget allocation structures and monitoring regimes
  • Strong familiarity with programmatic learning, particularly within development aid implementation organizations with a focus on peace, security, justice and rule of law programming
  • Good familiarity with the KPSRL community, or similar networks of programming and research expertise focused on international security, justice, peacebuilding and rule of law policy & programs
  • A demonstrable commitment to working with organizations to improve their learning strategies, in particular across programs and consortia; a passion for empowering organizations working within their own communities to strengthen peace, security, justice and the rule of law
  • Excellent writing and communications skills in English; strong French language skills will be an asset
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in successfully completing consultancy assignments, on time and within budget

Tasks and deliverables

The consultant is expected to take on the following tasks and ensure the timely production of the following deliverables:

  1. In relation to the Programmatic Learning Instrument, the consultant is expected to lead the process of designing a cross-programmatic learning instrument, based on concept note, in collaboration with the Head of Secretariat and the Learning Estimated at 35 days, the consultant is specifically asked to:
  • Prepare a robust Action Plan for how the consultant will produce the deliverables, specifying what/ when input will be required from the Secretariat and Consortium Partners (Inception Phase; ~2days)
  • Draft the Building Blocks of the instrument, to be reviewed and refined in consultation with the KPSRL Secretariat, three Consortium Partner representatives (of Saferworld, Clingendael, IDLO), and key stakeholders e.g. MFA counterparts. (Design Phase I ~15days)

This should include refinement of (inter alia)

  • The instrument’s specific activities, timeline, and intended objective and outcomes
  • Succinct concept explanation, to be used for participant recruitment
  • Conditions and prerequisites for participant selection,
  • Outline of appropriate decision-making processes for selecting participants,
  • Terms of engagement for participants, specifying expectations and roles of each party
  • Mechanisms for cross-program collaboration and trust building
  • Processes for the co-creation of a collective learning agenda
  • Mechanisms for funding distribution and oversight
  • Draft a case study for piloting the Instrument, which will be ready for the Programming Officer to pick up and begin implementing upon her return in May. (Design Phase II ~15days)

This should include refinement of (inter alia)

  • Identification of a concrete case (geographic context, programming context, actors, ) to pilot the Instrument, testing the building blocks designed by the consultant
  • Identification of specific, or ideal type, knowledge partners (programming organizations) to potentially engage in piloting the instrument, and a clarification of why those partners may be particularly motivated or incentivized to participate in the pilot
  • Mechanisms for results reporting, lessons gathering; including designated responsibilities
  • Assessment criteria and procedure to evaluate the pilot’s progress toward stated goals
  • Draft administrative documents (e.g. learning proposal submission forms; fund allocation request forms; Memorandums of Understanding among learning partners) to be tested
  • Conduct a ‘sense-making’ exercise with the Secretariat and Consortium Partners (potentially MFA counterparts), in which drafts of the instrument and piloting proposal are presented for constructive feedback and critique. Use feedback to adjust and finalize deliverables (Final Phase; ~3days)

Specific Deliverables:

  • Final Instrument Description, approved by the KPSRL Secretariat and three Consortium Partners
  • Final Pilot Case Proposal, approved by the KPSRL Secretariat and three Consortium Partners
  • Draft templates of necessary accompanying administrative documents

As part of the handover documents, the consultant will receive a budget allocation and concept note. The consultant is also encouraged to remain engaged in the Secretariat’s exchanges with the Dutch Embassy to Somalia, as input for potential collaborative learning models to replicate. They will receive the Terms of Reference outlining details of the collaboration between KPSRL Secretariat and the Embassy; it is anticipated this relationship – steered by the Secretariat MFA Liaison and Learning Officer – may be informative for the design of the Instrument.

  1. In relation to the Addressing the Root Causes Fund (ARC), the consultant is expected to support the organization of ARC closing events (regional and global) and help prepare the wider dissemination of knowledge generated through these events. Estimated at 5 days, the consultant is specifically asked to:
  • Conduct regular check-ins with the core organizing team (both at HQ and regional level); ensure the events are being prepared well and in a timely manner. It is anticipated that the majority of the preparation for both these events, both logistical and content, will be completed by ARC
  • Coordinate with designated ARC Partners as they lead two thematically-specific regional, and one broader global, ARC learning events. The global event will be held in The
  • Provide coordinating and advisory support to help realize the ambitions set out in the concept The consultant may also be required to facilitate some of the sessions of the said events. Should the consultant eventually be expected to attend either of the regional events in person, travel and accommodation expenses will be reimbursed.
  • Liaise with the Policy Officer in charge of the ARC Fund within the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regarding the organization of the closing events, and potential post ARC

Specific Deliverables:

  • Summary report of core organizing team check-ins (max. 2 pages, produced in English); the reports

will contribute to building a ‘progress file’ that the Programming Officer can take up upon her return.

  • Final reflection (format to be determined) describing ARC’s global learning agenda, implementation experiences, lessons learned and recommendations. A draft of the brief will be prepared by the Programming Officer before her leave. The consultant’s task will be to ensure the reflection is received well by its target audiences, notably the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ARC

As part of the handover documents the consultant will receive the concept notes and budgets for each event, and will be introduced to the ARC partners in the lead of each event. The consultant will also be provided with background materials on the relationship with core partners, including the MFA ARC Policy Officer, as well as with a format for these check-ins (i.e. guiding questions and points of attention). The consultant will also receive a draft version of the ARC practice brief.


  • Location: The Hague, the Netherlands (remote work is possible, though some travel to the Hague may be necessary on specific occasions, economy travel reimbursed with receipts)
  • Period: 1 January – 31 May 2022; approximately 40 days
  • Total budget: €22,000 (VAT excl; travel reimbursement )

To Apply – Please send the following to [email protected], subject line ‘Programming Officer Consultancy Application before 28 November 2021:

  • Your Curriculum Vitae or Resume (not to exceed 2 pages)
  • A proposal breaking down your plan to approach the assignment; budget included
  • Your availability (dates) to carry out the assignment