Consultancy Opportunity: Funding Analysis for Positioning Save the Children to Expand its Child Sensitive Social Protection Programs and Advocacy At Save the Children

Save the Children is seeking an individual(s) with a strong understanding of the international social protection funding landscape to work with us to strengthen and nuance our positions on child sensitive social protection (CSSP) to resonate with the priorities and ambitions of key funding agencies.

  1. Background:

Save the Children’s Global Approach Paper on CSSP outlines the organisation’s goal of advancing CSSP, defined broadly as: “public policies, programmes and systems that address the specific patterns of children’s poverty and vulnerability and recognise the long-term developmental benefits of investing in children.” For Save the Children, social protection itself is both a right and a key tool to achieve child development outcomes, including in learning, health and nutrition and child protection. However, 1.46 billion children globally do not have access to child benefits (tax credits or cash payments) and coverage is only 11% in sub-Saharan Africa.[1]

During the Covid-19 pandemic, both national government and development partner investments in social protection increased contributing to dramatic decreases in child poverty in some countries. However, across bilateral and multilateral funders, there are a diversity of approaches and objectives for supporting social protection systems. And, whilst some development partners directly support social protection, others indirectly support it to achieve other strategic priorities, such as economic inclusion or health outcomes.

Save the Children works to advance CSSP through a combination of piloting, advocacy, convening, technical assistance, and research and evidence building. Most recently we have focused on developing and scaling ‘cash plus’ programmes alongside governments which combine regular cash transfers with other programs to transform outcomes for children, their caregivers, and their communities. This includes our Resourcing Families for Better Nutrition and Cash Plus Parenting approaches. Further areas of StC’s work and expertise include increasing inclusion of the most vulnerable and excluded groups in social protection programs and strengthening grievance and accountability mechanisms.

At a global level, our advocacy efforts further focus on Universal Child Benefits (UCB). At a country level, we work through partners to promote the expansion of social protection programs. The broad scope of Save the Children’s work on social protection means that we can nuance and tailor our offer to resonate with the investment priorities and objectives of governments which take diverse approaches to social protection and those of different funders. However, the scale of our CSSP programs remains relatively limited and concentrated in Asia and East and Southern Africa.

  1. Objectives of this Consultancy:

Save the Children is seeking to refine and tailor its CSSP offering to resonate with the priorities and objectives of key development partners and philanthropists. To support this, we are looking to:

  1. Understand the existing funding landscape for CSSP, both in terms of the thematic priorities of most relevant funders, as well as identify opportunities for INGOs such as Save the Children to receive funding.
  2. Building on our programmatic successes and evidence base, receive recommendations on how to nuance and develop our social protection position for different key funders including developing different messages and emphases to align with and influence their funding priorities.
  3. Specific Consultancy Questions and Additional Information:

The main questions that we seek to answer through this consultancy include:

  • What are the strategic goals and priorities of different, important social protection funders (bilateral, multilateral, and key philanthropists and research funders)?
  • What is the country and/or regional focus of these funders?
  • What are the thematic areas of interest of these funders either specifically on social protection or other program areas of direct relevance for CSSP?
  • What are the recent or pipeline CSSP investments of funders and those in other related areas?
  • What are the opportunities for INGOs, such as Save the Children, to access these funds?
  • Based on the above mapping, which are at least 10 priority funders with which Save the Children should position itself to strengthen its work on social protection? This includes those which support research, advocacy, and programming with INGOs.
  • How can Save the Children position itself in relation to these 10+ key funders priorities and ways of working? If Save the Children is already engaging with some of these key social protection donors, are we engaging with them effectively to influence their funding priorities?
  • Are there additional, important social protection donors with which we are not yet working?

Some additional relevant information for this consultancy is:

  • As one of the leading humanitarian organisations, Save the Children implements large programs which distribute cash and voucher assistance (CVA) in humanitarian response. Save the Children actively engages in ensuring that humanitarian CVA strengthens and links with any existing national social protection systems and debates. However, given the separate fundings streams for humanitarian preparedness and response, humanitarian CVA is considered beyond the scope of this consultancy.
  • We intend that the funder mapping spans a broad range of potential funders – across multilateral, bilateral, philanthropy and any possibly others such as corporations. These funders could support program implementation, advocacy, and/or research. These will span a spectrum from those that Save the Children has ongoing relationships on social protection to update our understanding of their priorities (e.g. FCDO, World Bank, KfW, EU), through to those not currently supporting Save the Children’s work on social protection (e.g. USAID, JICA, major philanthropic organisations). It is likely that some of these donors may integrate social protection approaches into other programmatic areas while, for others, it may be a standalone priority.
  • In consultation with Save the Children, the consultant will focus-in on developing strategic positioning approaches for approximately 10 key funders. As mentioned above, we envisage that the funder-by-funder in-depth analysis will cover some of our more traditional social protection funders but also, where appropriate, identify potential new funders to help us diversify our funding base.
  • We envisage that this work will focus on the global priorities and investments of different funders rather than on those of specific countries (in the instance of donors where priorities are country-driven), but it is relevant to indicate which funders have decentralized decision making processes or heavy emphasis in either geographic regions or in types of countries (e.g. lower income countries, fragile states).
  • Save the Children already has evidence reviews on social protection and outcomes for children, as well as a CSSP Technical Working Group (TWG) which can support the consultant by providing documentation, explaining our approaches, and identifying current donor relationships.
  1. Suggested overall approach:

The following is a suggested approach that can be further elaborated in consultant proposals and then refined with the consultant(s) at kick-off and again during the consultancy:

  1. Initial discussions with the CSSP TWG and leadership and review of key documents to understand our social protection priorities, engagement with current donors, and potential themes against which to map funders.
  2. A detailed workplan for the consultancy including methodologies for discussion with CSSP TWG members and approval by an appointed Save the Children representative- referred to in this document as the ‘consultancy manager’.
  3. Key informant interviews that could include Save the Children staff, partners, and/or funders.
  4. Develop an initial social protection funder landscape analysis including identifying strategies, decision-making and contracting methods, geographical focus, and levels of funding supporting social protection programs.
  5. In-depth analysis of 10+ potential funders for social protection spanning a spectrum of ‘traditional’ to ‘new’ funders, an assessment of Save the Children’s relationships with each prioritized funder, and recommendations for how Save the Children can position itself better to access these funds.
  6. Presentation in a one-to-1.5-hour meeting/workshop with the CSSP TWG of the initial findings, conclusions, and recommendations. The consultant(s) should share preliminary documents and findings with the consultancy manager before presenting to the CSSP TWG.
  7. Incorporation of any feedback from the presentation and review of the initial document to finalize the below outputs and deliverables for final approval by the consultancy manager.
  8. Outputs and deliverables:

The following are some of the outputs and deliverables for the consultancy:

  1. Funder mapping for each of the 10+ prioritized funders– to include thematic priorities, social protection investments, country/regional focus, and other relevant information by funder.
  2. Development of a simple donor management template to support Save the Children to easily update and refresh funder information as required.[2]
  3. Workshop with the CSSP TWG and other relevant stakeholders to present to internal Save the Children stakeholders the initial findings from the donor mapping.
  4. Report including the 10+ most relevant funders and their priorities and strategies, an analysis of how Save the Children is currently positioned with each, and how it can more effectively position its CSSP offer. This will include feedback provided during the workshop.
  5. A final one-hour presentation and discussion to include a presentation to key internal Save the Children stakeholders on the main findings, conclusions, and recommendations from the consultancy.
  6. A file with all related documents and materials including the final report, presentations, notes, and any other relevant documents from the consultancy.
  7. Management and Resources:

The consultancy will be home based, and the consultant will be responsible for all related costs including internet, videoconferencing, and production of deliverables. The consultant will report to the consultancy manager who will link the consultant to all necessary Save the Children resources including people and documents. The consultancy manager will also link the consultant to any external resources and serve as a main point of contact. Save the Children does not anticipate any travel but would arrange for flights and accommodation in case travel is deemed necessary.

  1. Consultant’s Competencies

The following are some core competencies expected of the consultant and her/his team:

  • Demonstrated deep understanding of social protection in lower and middle income countries
  • Demonstrated experience with international development social protection donors
  • Demonstrated experience with and knowledge of policy advocacy approaches
  • Capacity to communicate effectively with global, regional, and country office experts
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Previous successful experience with similar assignments
  • Preferred experience with child rights organizations
  • Fluency in English. French, Arabic, or Spanish skills desirable.

[1] UNICEF. Number of Children Without Critical Social Protection Increasing Globally. 2023.

[2] The appointed Save the Children consultancy manager can work with the consultant on the design of the template.

How to apply

Interested consultants should submit a proposal by 23.59 GMT on 18-October-2023 to

The proposal should contain:

  • An executive summary
  • A technical approach (not to exceed six pages)
  • A research methodology (not to exceed four pages)
  • An illustrative workplan (not to exceed one page)
  • The profile of the organization or cv of the consultant(s) including relevant experience
  • A financial proposal

Indicative number of days:we anticipate that this consultancy will require approximately 40 days of a senior expert’s time (with budget flexibility if days are allocated across senior and junior team members). We encourage teams of senior and junior social protection experts to apply. We encourage applications from consultants from the global south.

Save the Children will review applications by 27-October-2023 and contact all applicants soon after that date.

Please submit any questions on these instructions to

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December 2023