Terms of Reference: Prepositioned funding as an approach to advance localisation and locally driven humanitarian action


About Trócaire

Trócaire is the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland. Trócaire was established to express the concern of the Irish Catholic Church for any form of human need, but particularly for the needs and problems of communities in the Global South. With our partners we work with some of the world’s poorest people, supporting women, men and communities for long-term change. In Ireland, we raise awareness about the causes of poverty through our outreach programmes in the education sector, through parish networks, and through our public campaigns and advocacy work. More information about Trócaire is available at www.trocaire.org.

Context of Work

Trócaire has worked in partnership with local organisations in the countries where we work for nearly 50 years. As a partnership agency, Trócaire is committed to the ‘Localisation of Aid’ agenda[1] that has been at the forefront of humanitarian discourse since the World Humanitarian Summit, 2016. To deliver on this commitment, Trócaire established a Global Hub on Partnership & Localisation in March 2021. Based in Nairobi and working across the organisation globally, the Hub works to deepen Trócaire’s approaches to and expertise in partnership and localisation, as outlined in its Partnership and Localisation Strategy (2021-2025)[2]. Trócaire’s Country Programmes around the world support localisation in four key areas: 1) capacity strengthening, 2) increasing voice and influence of local actors, 3) improved partnerships, and 4) increased access to funding and resources. Trócaire’s Global Hub is commissioning this piece of research.

Trócaire’s Humanitarian Work:

With nearly 50 years of humanitarian experience, humanitarian action is core to Trócaire’s organisational mandate. Responding to major emergencies from the Vietnam War, famine in Ethiopia in 1984, genocide in Rwanda in 1994 to the largest organisational appeal for the Asian Tsunami in 2004, Trócaire has responded to emergencies through local partner organisations since it was established in 1973.

Trócaire has a breadth of experience in responding across a range of sectors with projects predominately encompassing WASH, food security & livelihoods, shelter/non-food items and protection sector responses.

Trócaire invests significant time and resources in supporting local civil society organisations, leveraging their skills and local experience as well as supporting the development of their humanitarian response capacities to ensure they have the appropriate skills, tools and resources to respond to acute humanitarian crisis. These include local Caritas agencies, women centred organisations and agencies representing indigenous people.

Prepositioning of funding

In 2020, with funding from the EU, Trócaire developed a range of tailored capacity strengthening packages and approaches for improving organisational and technical preparedness. These packages included specific resources for preparedness, needs assessment, digital data, cash and protection mainstreaming. In Sierra Leone, Trócaire prepositioned specific funding with local partners to complement this humanitarian capacity strengthening with the resources to be able to respond when needed. This meant Trócaire’s local partners were one of the first agencies to respond to COVID-19, and this rapid response enabled them to access additional EU and Irish Aid funding.

In 2021 Trócaire’s prepositioning initiative in Sierra Leone was extended as a pilot to four countries: Malawi, Myanmar, Rwanda and Nicaragua. Almost 100,000 Euro was allocated to six partners in 4 countries, and funds of up to 20,000 Euro were prepositioned with local partners so they could anticipate or respond early to acute humanitarian needs.

Within 6 months, the funds had been activated by Trócaire’s partners to flooding in Rwanda, Cyclone Ana in Malawi and displacement as a result of conflict in Myanmar.

This research is being undertaken so that Trócaire can effectively capture the lessons and experience gained from this model. Through this research, which will be presented to external audiences, we hope to advocate changes in donor practices that promote greater flexibility through prepositioning funding models.


The objectives of this consultancy are as follows:

  • To document the prepositioning of funding model undertaken by Trócaire. This will explore Trócaire’s rationale for creating the model, how it worked in practice in various countries (Malawi, Myanmar, Sierra Leone and Rwanda), the tools and resources that were created, and the practical implementation of the model in each context.
  • Holistically assess the prepositioning of funding model, including the positive results achieved from a localisation perspective[3] compared to previous ways of working. The assessment can also explore areas of improvement to the model from the perspective of Trócaire’s local partners and staff engaged in the design and implementation of the model.
  • Highlight the lessons learned and best practices from this model, and develop recommendations based on these that can be targeted at Trócaire, its partners, and donors and other development agencies working in partnership with local actors to influence their funding models and approaches.
  • Develop resources derived from the above research that are of practical use to partners in their country contexts (this may include country-level briefs or presentations that they can use in their own donor advocacy, for example, but this is to be agreed upon with the partners during the course of the consultancy).

Scope of the Work

The entry point for the final report is localisation, and how Trócaire’s model of prepositioned funding impacts partners along the four pillars of Trócaire’s localisation framework. The final report will be a learning document that will influence how donors and agencies can design and implement such funding models.

The focus countries for the research are Malawi, Myanmar, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. All engagements with Trócaire staff and partners from the countries can be conducted virtually.

The audience for this report will include donors, Trócaire staff, peer agencies, localisation networks (including the Charter for Change, Grand Bargain, Caritas Internationalis, etc.), partner organisations, and sectoral practitioners interested in learning how innovative funding models can advance localisation. It is important that the findings be shared with our partners in Malawi, Myanmar, Rwanda and Sierra Leone and that they have opportunities to openly reflect on and influence the findings and recommendations generated.

The report should provide practical recommendations for donors and agencies working with local partners, with the aim of influencing funding practices that advance the localisation of humanitarian action as well as development. The report can explore how similar funding modalities can be applied to development partners and programming (for example, supporting human rights programmes and the needs of human rights defenders).


The consultant is expected to provide a detailed proposal, indicating the methodologies that will be used for developing a final report in line with the objectives and scope of the terms of reference. The consultant will clarify the data to be collected, how it will be collected, and the timeframe for its collection and analysis, as well as the development of the final report.

The methodology and framework for the documentation should be designed based on a participatory approach, capturing views of Trócaire and partner staff. The consultancy will be conducted remotely.

An anticipated methodology is as follows, but this is open to adaptation:

  1. Desk review of key documents

As an initial step, the consultant should plan for a desk review of available project key documents to understand the contexts and the model.

Documents to be reviewed might include but not limited to:

  • Review of Trócaire’s key documents: (Strategic Plan, Programme Strategy, Partnership and Localisation Strategy)
  • Country Strategic Plan/programme plans – Malawi, Myanmar, Rwanda, Sierra Leone
  • Project documentation on the funding model (templates, tools/resources, reports)
  • Presentations on the prepositioned funding model developed by Trócaire
  • Findings from a learning meeting on prepositioned funding held by Trócaire
  • Partner Keystone Survey Reports for Malawi, Myanmar, Rwanda and Sierra Leone
  • START Learning Report from Cyclone Ana in Malawi
  • Any other related documents

2. Qualitative Interviews

The main source of content for this research will be qualitative interviews with Trócaire staff and partners to gain a holistic understanding of the prepositioning of funding model. Trócaire staff to be interviewed include country-based project or programme officers, managers (Country Directors/Programme Managers), and finance staff; Global Hub staff (Global Director – Partnership & Localisation and the Partnership & Localisation Advisor; and headquarter-based staff, including the Humanitarian Manager – Operations, Head of Humanitarian Programmes, and Head of Development Programmes.

Tools developed for the interviews should be shared with Trócaire for review prior to their use.

3. Presentation of preliminary findings

A participatory process that includes a virtual workshop should be undertaken to share a presentation with preliminary findings to Trócaire and partner staff. The consultant should welcome and process the feedback received and factor this into the final report.

4. Writing of the final report, including time for review by Trócaire and editing

Trócaire and its partners should have an opportunity to review the final written report in full and provide feedback prior to finalisation.

5. Finalisation of the report

The report should be produced in a Word Document. Graphic design of the report will be undertaken by Trócaire following completion of the consultancy.


20 to 30 days – approximately / July or August 2022

Final Products

The consultant is expected to prepare a final report in line with the objectives and scope of the consultancy. The final report can be presented in a word document. After completion, this report will be graphically designed by Trócaire and shared on Trócaire’s website and disseminated through our networks and in external fora.

The consultant is also expected to prepare a presentation of preliminary findings as well as a final presentation that can be used for donors based on learnings from the consultancy.

The consultant will also be asked to deliver tailor-made outputs for the partners (1 output per country) for each country (Malawi, Myanmar, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone) based on the expressed needs of the partners, ensuring that these products are of practical use to them. These outputs will be drawn from the research undertaken. An example may be a context-specific brief based on the above findings that partners can use in their engagements with donors or for their own visibility. This is to be agreed upon with the partners during the course of the consultancy and should be factored into the methodology.

Time should be factored in for Trócaire and partners to review and comment on the report and other outputs, and for the consultant to make revisions based on Trócaire and partners’ feedback. The submitted final products will require the final review and approval by Trócaire for the consultancy to be brought to conclusion.


Applicants must demonstrate how they meet the following requirements:

  • Relevant professional experience and technical knowledge to carry out the intended research and report writing.
  • Advanced degree in a related field of study (for example, development studies, public policy, social sciences, or a related field).
  • Understanding of humanitarian funding mechanisms and models.
  • Excellent English writing skills (including reports and publications).
  • Proficient spoken English language skills.
  • Knowledge and experience of best practices in documenting lessons learned for development projects.
  • Experience working with international, national and local NGOs and community-based organisations.
  • Excellent time management skills, with an ability to deliver high-quality outputs on time.
  • Commitment to the safeguarding of programme participants, as demonstrated by signing Trócaire’s Safeguarding Programme Participants Policy.


All consultants who work for Trócaire will be required to sign and abide by Trócaire’s official position statement on exploitation and abuse, including zero-tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. Trócaire recognises that abuse of power has led, and continues to lead, to many forms of exploitation and abuse. The nature of Trócaire’s work creates a power differential between those employed by or working with Trócaire and programme participants and partners. Trócaire acknowledges that the potential exists for those who work with programme participants and partners to abuse their position of power. Trócaire’s commitment to safeguarding is inclusive of its staff and all those with whom it comes into contact through its work.

[1] See: https://www.trocaire.org/documents/more-than-the-money-localisation-in-practice-2/

[2] See https://www.trocaire.org/documents/partnership-and-localisation-strategy-2021-2025/

[4] Partners include AAD and KADDRO in Sierra Leone; CICOD in Malawi; KMSS in Myanmar; and Duhamaric Adri and Caritas Nyundo in Rwanda.

How to apply

  1. Proposal Submission

Identified consultants should submit a proposal marked “Prepositioned Funding Research” by e-mail to [email protected] by 27th May 2022.

Proposals should include the following:

  • The CV of the consultant(s), outlining relevant experience, accomplishments, and contact information of 2 references.
  • A written proposal, outlining the proposed schedule/work plan and the consultant’s proposed fees/daily rate, with justification. (Maximum 7 pages)
  • Conflict of interest statement: Applicants should state clearly whether they have an actual or potential conflict of interest with the staff, volunteers, and/or board of Trócaire.
  • 1 writing sample of similar/relevant work.

Each technical proposal will be evaluated based on technical quality; background and experience of the consultant; and value for money. Any queries relating to this Terms of Reference should be directed by e-mail only to Ruchi Junnarkar ([email protected]).