Photo: Baobab trees in Madagascar / istock




  1. Introduction

The African Forest Forum (AFF) is a pan-African non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. It is an association of individuals who share the quest for and commitment to the sustainable management, use and conservation of the forest and tree resources of Africa for the socio- economic wellbeing of its people and for the stability and improvement of its environment. The purpose of AFF is to provide a platform and create an enabling environment for independent and objective analysis, advocacy and advice on relevant policy and technical issues pertaining to achieving sustainable management, use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources as part of efforts to reduce poverty, promote gender equity, enhance economic and social development, and protect the environment.

AFF has secured funding from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) to implement the project entitled Strengthening management and use of forest ecosystems for sustainable development in Africa. The overall goal of the project is “to generate and share knowledge and information through partnerships in ways that provide inputs into policy and decision-making options and capacity building, for improved forest management that better addresses poverty eradication and environmental protection in Africa. One of its contributing objectives is to ensure the sustainability of the African Forest Forum as an institution through effective partnership arrangements that will increase AFF’s scope of work and outreach for strengthened implementation of its mandate at national, regional, and global levels.

Since its creation, AFF has been pursuing its mandate through partnerships and collaboration with various institutions and individuals, in developing programmes and projects, mobilizing resources, implementing, monitoring and reporting on the interventions, and sharing the information and knowledge generated. AFF’s partners and collaborators include International Cooperation Agencies, United Nations Organisations, Regional organisations, Regional Economic Communities, Academic and Research Institutions at National, Regional and International levels, Civil Society Organisations (NGOs, CBOs, FPOs, etc.), Private Sector, and individuals.

In the context of global social, economic, and environmental changes and related dynamics in the mandate, strategies and intervention approaches of global and regional development actors, AFF wishes to develop a Partnership Policy to guide the institution in leveraging expertise, knowledge, experience, and requisite financial resources to advance sustainable forest management in Africa, for the benefit of people and the environment they live in.

  1. Background

Partnerships are a valuable tool to drive change toward more responsible, inclusive, and sustainable growth. They can help to address some of the technical challenges, governance gaps, and trust deficits that undermine the acceleration and scaling of business engagement in sustainable development. They can also serve as a platform for convening and coordinating the diverse actions of numerous actors and for building mutually reinforcing linkages between different domains and goals[1].

Partnership is AFF’s ‘way of working’ and is embedded in all its interventions, primarily through convenings on specific issues as well as for on-going sharing, learning, and co-creation of solutions – at continental, regional, and national levels. AFF brokers collaboration with and among organisations, particularly those whose mandates and activities are consistent with those of AFF. The collaboration aims to bring together complementary resources and skills to enhance effectiveness and probability of success in joint delivery of interventions at all levels.

Many factors drive changes in the niches, mandate, strategy, and intervention approaches of institutions. These include social, economic, environmental, political contexts, all of which have known substantial dynamics in recent times. In this context, AFF envisages to update and widen the way it views, develops, and manages partnerships, with the utmost objective of ensuring its sustainability, effective and efficient delivery of its mandate.

It is within this context that for its 2023 annual plan of work, the African Forest Forum aims to develop a Partnership Policy that will increase its partnership portfolio at national, regional, and global levels; involve more actors; leverage additional resources for its work, and hence sustain the institution. AFF is recruiting a regional expert to undertake the development of the policy.

  1. Purpose of the work

This consultancy aims at developing, in collaboration with the AFF Secretariat, a Partnership Policy that will guide the institution in leveraging required expertise and financial resources for its sustainability and strengthened delivery of its mandate.

  1. Specific tasks

The specific tasks for the assignment include:

  • Carry out an evaluation of the AFF current way of partnering.
  • Collate and review Partnership Policies of organisations (with similar mode/way of working as AFF) in Africa and other regions of the world.
  • Develop an annotated outline of the AFF Partnership Policy; to be validated by the AFF Secretariat prior to development of the policy itself.
  • Develop a draft AFF Partnership Policy to guide the institution in better developing and managing its partnerships. This could include (but not limited to):
  • A clear structure (typology/nomenclature) and hierarchy of partnership and related agreements (types and contents)
  • Approaches and procedures for identifying partners and developing partnership with adequate stakeholders at various levels.
  • Approaches to forge closer working linkages with relevant national institutions in the host country and in other African countries.
  • Approaches to seek a closer and operational relationship with regional and sub-regional intergovernmental institutions (African Union Commission, RECs).
  • Approaches to seek a closer and operational relationship with the international institutions relevant to the work of AFF, including the donor community.
  • Approaches to best engage collaborations with the (heterogeneous) private sector in Africa and beyond.
  • An approach to due diligence prior to signing of agreements.
  • An approach to internal and external management and monitoring of agreements.
  • Present the draft Partnership Policy to the AFF Secretariat staff and other resource persons and collect inputs / amendments to help revise the draft Policy.
  • Finalise the Partnership Policy
  1. Duration

The tasks in these ToRs are for a one month’s workload spread over 3 months.

  1. Expected deliverables

The selected expert is expected to produce the following deliverables:

  • A report on the evaluation of the AFF current way of partnering.
  • A draft AFF Partnership Policy.
  • A final AFF Partnership Policy.
  1. Minimum qualifications and skills

This consultancy is meant for experts demonstrating the following education and skills.

  • Have, at least, an MSc degree in business administration, international development, international affairs, social sciences, economics, natural resources management, or any other related fields;
  • Have, at least, ten years of proven experience in developing and/or managing partnership of organisations working in diverse fields including natural resources management, forestry, and climate change;
  • Have proven knowledge, understanding of the structure and mechanisms of financial institutions including global, regional, and sub-regional multilateral development banks, climate finance institutions, international cooperation agencies, and bilateral donors.
  • Have strong research and analytical skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  1. How to apply

Each application should contain the following:

  • Cover letter stating how you meet the above qualifications and experience requirements.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • A technical proposal of a maximum of 3 pages detailing how you intend to undertake the tasks, and also listing your previous involvement in similar assignments. Contacts of reference persons for each previous similar assignment should be provided. Providing proof of previous similar assignments (contract, certificate of service, etc.) would be an asset.

The expert shall work from his / her location but in close consultation with relevant staff at the AFF Secretariat.

All these should be submitted as email with attachment, indicating in the subject line: “Consultancy no 1- Expert to develop a Partnership Policy for the African Forest Forum”. The mail should be addressed to: Dr Doris Mutta (, with copy to Dr Djibril S. Dayamba (, Dr Daud Kachamba ( and Application deadline is 30th November 2023.

To download this application, click here.

[1] Nelson J., 2017. Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Collective action by business, governments and civil society to achieve scale and transform markets. Business and Sustainable Development Commission, and Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School.