Understanding the ‘drivers’ that Impact on Workload

HelpAge International

HelpAge International is a UK-registered INGO working to advance the wellbeing, dignity, and voice of older people. The organization works across the globe and delivers its work through four global portfolios on Inclusive Humanitarian Action, Income Security, Healthy Ageing, and A Society for All Ages.

HelpAge International has embarked on a transformation journey, which will see its value proposition evolve. As an initial set of strategic shifts, the organization has committed to embrace locally-led development, localize its country programmes and offices, and deliver value through global portfolios and a global platform. The new organizational design also embraces agile working as the new way of working.

Within this context, concerns about “workload” have been a persistently raised. They pre-date a restructure in April 2021, although with fewer resources and a new design they are now more than ever acutely felt.

Misalignment of ambition vs available resources, difficulty to make choices and de-prioritize, variable quality of plans, weak accountability mechanisms and culture, are some of the patters that have been identified as part of the organizational development work in 2021.

In mid and late-2021 a workload review was undertaken for global and country teams respectively. It identified a set of concerns and issues to consider further. (It is important to note that the experiences of global and country teams may be quite distinct.)

In order to make durable and significant progress, we recognize that we need to consider the drivers, not just the symptoms of excessive workload. Creating clarity and a shared understanding of these drivers of excessive workload will help generate support for the necessary actions and changes, which likely will require some difficult adjustments.

It is recognized that individual biases, experiences, vantage points very often color what we observe and experience, and in turn what we describe and consider important (or not). For this reason, we seek to develop a more independent, 360 degrees perspective.

Given the above, HelpAge seeks the support to undertake an analysis of the drivers of excessive workload.

  • Purpose: To consult with HelpAge staff to develop the “iceberg” of drivers behind excessive workload to help inform specific actions
  • Proposed methodology (indicative)
      • Series of interviews of HelpAge staff on drivers of workload
        – Consider global and country teams separately (unless the analysis reveals similar/identical) drivers
        – Map out the “deep tissue” drivers, including organizational culture
        – Formulate iceberg based on common/shared and triangulated perspectives
    • Confidentiality of the interviews and contributions should be assured to offer an opportunity to generate full and open perspective.
    • Output: report
      • Description of the drivers for global and country teams
      • Visualization of the key drivers as an “iceberg” or map for global and country teams
      • Summary of key findings
      • Recommendations of actions in terms of engaging with key drivers
    • Process
      • Methodology agreed
      • Interviews
      • Sensemaking exercise (4-5 colleagues) based on initial findings
      • Final report

Skills and experience required

  • Understanding of the development and humanitarian sector, in particular the need for transformation of INGOs
  • Expertise and practical experience in conducting OD analyses within INGOs

How to apply

All interested individuals are requested to express interest by email to: [email protected] by the end of 5 June 2022.

Expression of Interest should outline the proposed methodology and content, budget, relevant experiences, profile of consultant.

Selection of the consultant will be undertaken by a panel and based on the experience of the consultant, the quality and relevance of the Technical and Financial proposal (i.e. value for money, within resources available) and on satisfactory references. Only shortlisted consultants will be contacted

Our Values

At HelpAge International we work hard to achieve our goals together as a team with a clear shared purpose. Our values inform how we work together:


We respect people, value diversity and are committed to equality.


We value and recognise the contribution of our staff and network members, as we put older people at the centre of everything we do.


We work alongside network members and others to increase reach, influence and impact. We are committed to a culture of collaboration and building positive relationships.


We are passionate about learning, accountable and work together to find creative solutions.

Everyone who works at HelpAge share our values and are committed to behaviours that demonstrate and support them.


Everyone has a role in creating and sustaining a safe and respectful working environment, where no one comes to any harm or is maltreated. At HelpAge we take our responsibilities very seriously and will take action against wrongdoing. We will do everything we can to ensure that we do not engage people that pose a safeguarding risk and will undertake criminal record checks as required.

Equal Opportunities

HelpAge International is committed to creating an inclusive working environment, promoting and providing equal opportunities and respecting diversity in employment. We welcome applications from all suitably qualified individuals regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Closing date: Sunday 5 June 2022

How to apply