Consultant – LIFE Program Feasibility – US Remote

  • Contract
  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

Mercy Corps


The LIFE program has been recognized nationally for its one-of-kind approach that integrates entrepreneurial and life skills, and re-entry planning as a solution for reducing recidivism – the rate at which formerly incarcerated individuals re-offend. The mechanism Mercy Corps Northwest developed, and uses is the LIFE program curriculum, a 32-week business education course for incarcerated individuals who are within 18-24 months from prison release. The class empowers participants by providing life skills, business and re-entry planning, leveraging the potential of self-employment, resilience and economic stability. LIFE advances Mercy Corps’ economic opportunity’s objective, promoting job creation and self-sufficiency, reducing reliance on social welfare, and bettering the lives of individuals.

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.

Purpose / Project Description:

MCNW would like to study the feasibility of selling the LIFE Curriculum and possibly its byproducts to interested parties who want to use it to achieve similar results as MCNW has in their locations. This approach will allow us to radically expand the number of incarcerated people we are able to positively impact with successful preparation for re-entry into society. To move in that direction, we need to test this concept with organizations who want to use the curriculum in prisons across the country. We would like to find 3-4 organizations to use and test the curriculum and provide us with feedback so we can finalize the curriculum for sale.

Consultant Objectives:

We would like to engage with 3-4 organizations that would like to teach the LIFE curriculum to their constituents inside of prison. Finding a diverse set of actors willing to pilot the curriculum and learning products is activity number #1 under this scope of work. We would like to test the curriculum with as diverse of a population as possible during this pilot phase. What this looks like is different types of participants using the curriculum (e.g., women only, men only, youth) and different types of organizations teaching the LIFE curriculum as well (e.g. arts-oriented agency, business association, cultural group, etc.).

MCNW does not have a list of organizations who work in prisons and who may be interested in purchasing the curriculum. The consultant will generate leads and ideas for organizations to approach. Our recommendation is to look at conferences that focus on “reentry” and incarceration and look at the organizations that are attending those conferences. You can also look at who is receiving public funds for “reentry” or “second chance programming” for ideas of organizations to contact. Conversations with prisons including the Department of Corrections could also be informative for agencies working inside of prisons who may be interested in the curriculum. We envision internet searches will help lead to organizations and individuals who may be interested in phone conversation about the opportunity.

When you identify an organization that is prospectively interested in the LIFE curriculum, you will organize a call with the organization and MCNW team member, Greg Charles. Greg has been the LIFE Instructor and is best placed to sell the curriculum. He can explain what it is like to teach the curriculum, what is included in the curriculum and the outcomes we have achieved when using it. Greg will also be the one who will be training their instructor/facilitator how to use the curriculum and the compendium pieces (Instructor workbook, etc.).

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  • Conduct research to make connections with independent organizations, prisons, and the Department of Corrections who are working on “reentry” programming.
  • Make phone calls and write emails to prospective parties to introduce the program and ascertain their level of interest in being part of this pilot.
  • Maintain accurate communication logs, documenting with whom you connected, when you last spoke and results or follow up details.
  • Schedule phone calls between interested parties and the MCNW Curriculum Specialist.
  • Create case notes on those organizations that were chosen for the pilot program.
  • Communicate regularly with the MCNW Executive Director to provide updates and ask questions as needed.

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will:

  • Maintain a list of all contacted organizations, with names, emails, phone numbers, their level of interest and last person spoken to and when.
  • Create a short-list of organizations who could potentially be interested in the curriculum in the future, including names and contact details.
  • Identify organizations who are interested in our approach and those we may choose to speak with in the future. Retain contact details.
  • Document your thoughts about which organizations are doing successful re-entry work, please elaborate how and why you believe that.
  • Identify what conferences in the reentry space may be effective, please indicate why. Provide contact details.
  • Provide a warm handover of all interested organizational clients to MCNW for further information about the LIFE program, sale and for the “train the trainer” process (upon sale—5 hours per organization).
  • Secure 3 or 4 organizations from different parts of the US who are working with diverse population segments to purchase the curriculum and agree to pilot the LIFE Curriculum, including providing us feedback on their experience using it.
  • Create a summary of the journey for those organizations who purchased the curriculum. Who are they, what do they do in prison, how did we find them, what are important details we need to know about them in the future, how many people do they plan to pilot the Curriculum with, in what prison, with what population, their timeline for starting, do they plan to do one class each week for 32-week, etc? In essence, these would be like case management notes about the organizations.
  • Participate in an initial and end of consultancy phone conversation with the MCNW team to provide orientation and background information, summarize findings and ask questions.

Timeframe / Schedule:

We envision that this consultancy will take 200-225 hours to find the right 3 or 4 organizations interested in piloting/using the LIFE curriculum in prison with their constituents. Must be available for this work in the Fall-Winter 2022-2023. This work will need to be performed over 3-4 months’ time.

We will not be able to compensate the consultant for more than 225 hours and will not compensate the consultant for more than consultancy fees.

The Consultant will report to:

Executive Director, Mercy Corps Northwest

The Consultant will work closely with:

Executive Director, Mercy Corps Northwest Curriculum Specialist and Instructor in Prison Reentry Program

Required Experience & Skills:

  • Experience conducting online research and finding contacts and information with few leads.
  • Familiarity with the nonprofit sector in the US is a plus.
  • Familiarity with the prison, re-entry or Department of Corrections system is a plus.
  • Must be an effective communicator who is comfortable on the phone/webinars.
  • An understanding of how nonprofits function and are financed.
  • Comfortable selling products to nonprofits.
  • Ability to operate and be successful with little oversight. A self-starter is required.
  • Proven written skills. Must be able to write up details in addition to high level summaries and insights.
  • Proven organizational skills – must be able to track conversations and details with nonprofits over time.
  • Must be available for this work in the Fall-Winter 2022-2023. This work will need to be performed over time (3-4 months).
  • Must be willing and able to pass on all leads and details of conversations with non-profits to MCNW to finalize the curriculum sales.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

How to apply

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