Posted by
Near East Foundation
Syracuse, NY
Published 23 days ago


RELEASE DATE: September 2, 2021

CLOSING DATE: September 24, 2021

A full download of the RFP can be found here:


1.1  About Near East Foundation

The Near East Foundation (NEF) is a non-profit international development organization that has supported livelihoods recovery and community-based economic development in the Middle East, Africa, and Caucasus since 1915. NEF draws on local teams, experience, and partnerships in these regions to create community-led solutions to reduce poverty, create economic opportunity, and empower conflict and crisis-affected groups to improve their future outlook and wellbeing. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF has operations in ten countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. HQ offices are based between Syracuse, NY, Washington, DC, London, UK, and Brussels, Be.  Our programs are organized around three pillars: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate-resilient Development, and Stabilization and Peacebuilding. Independent consultants or firms are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Near East Foundation by visiting the NEF website at:

NEF Fast Facts:

  • NEF has a global staff of 150 employees (number of staff at each location can be provided)
  • NEF has 19 board members across the US and Europe
  • NEF’s operating budget for Fiscal Year 2022 is 20M USD

As NEF enters a new phase of growth, we have an opportunity to strengthen Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as part of global organizational operations and culture. We recognize that DEI is different across regions, and to be impactful we acknowledge that our DEI work must be relevant to all our stakeholders, those in the U.S. and beyond. We are committed to pursuing DEI at all levels of the organization—including in how we build our boards, teams, cultivate leaders, engage in partnerships, and deliver programs in the communities we serve. As an integral part of our strategic plan, we will prioritize creating a workplace and culture that fosters inclusion and equity and values diversity in all its forms.

1.2  Purpose

The purpose of this request for proposal is to solicit and select a forward-thinking, solutions-driven Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant or firm to provide guidance and recommendations on how NEF can best create and streamline DEI, based on our organizational values and DEI ambitions. 

We envision a holistic approach to DEI that touches board management, human resources management, and programming to build and maintain an inclusive environment. We aim to create a culture of DEI that is accountable, sustainable, and scalable.

The selected independent consultant or firm will:

  • Work closely with NEF Boards, Management, and relevant staff members to assess opportunities and areas to integrate DEI initiatives throughout the organization globally;
  • Conduct an assessment which will be comprehensive in its scope and include an examination of areas in which NEF may implement DEI initiatives across the organization; and 
  • Be capable of providing a full range of value-added services including but not limited to those outlined in the Scope of Work and Deliverables section.


The following scope of work represents the anticipated activities and deliverables to be conducted by the selected candidate. As we seek external expertise and perspective, we may consider an alternate approach if the applicant proposes one that aligns with our DEI ambitions. A final scope of work and deliverables will be agreed upon during an inception/kickoff meeting between the selected candidate and the NEF team.

2.1 Conduct Assessment and Develop Strategic Recommendations (Phase I)

a. Conduct a comprehensive assessment (qualitative and quantitative) of the state of DEI at NEF including but not limited to:

   i.   Co-design and conduct a DEI survey to identify existing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats at the board, headquarters, and country staff levels and report on the assessment findings and associated recommendations

   ii.  Review organizational policies (i.e., compliance, finance, legal) and training practices and provide recommendations and/or training suggestions to strengthen these toward DEI.

   iii.  Review human resources practices and policies (including recruitment, retention, career progression, talent management and compensation) and provide recommendations and/or training suggestions to strengthen these toward DEI.

   iv.  Review policies and practices in our country offices to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and provide policy recommendations and/or training suggestions to strengthen these toward DEI.

   v.  Review policies and practices in selection of implementing partners and procuring vendors to identify any existing problem areas or gaps and provide recommendations and/or training suggestions to strengthen these toward DEI.

b.  Provide recommendations on DEI best practices globally as well as specifically for the countries in which we work, with a focus on international development and humanitarian NGOs.

2.2 Develop Action Plan and Budget to Apply and Streamline DEI Recommendations and a Robust DEI Strategy (Phase II)

Work with NEF to articulate a clear set of measurable DEI goals and develop a comprehensive action plan that can become a component of the organization’s strategic plan. This must have two goals: ensuring that barriers to DEI continue to decrease, while internal awareness, knowledge and skills continue to increase. The action plan must include short-term and long-term monitoring and evaluation methods (i.e., pre- and post- evaluation surveys) to understand, enhance, and sustain DEI initiatives. It should encompass several areas including but not limited to internal staffing practices, policies and procedures; community partnerships and engagements; and ongoing programs.

2.3 Implement and Integrate the DEI Action Plan (Phase III)

Work with NEF to implement and integrate the DEI action plan and support the adoption of an organization-wide commitment and infrastructure to support and sustain NEF’s DEI strategy. This may include training, employee engagement, and education to increase DEI competencies, skills, and capacity across the organization.


We would like to begin work on this project as soon as possible, ideally starting in November 2021. This project term is anticipated to be up to one (1) year beginning with the start of the contract. We are looking for creative proposals that can deliver the scope of work in a cost-effective way without compromising quality. All proposals should include a proposed budget and timeline, costed out for each phase of the proposed work.


Proposals submitted must be presented in the format provided below and clearly show responses in the appropriate designated section. Proposals should not exceed 20 pages including annexes and should not contain duplicative information. Failure to follow this directive may cause your proposal to be deemed unresponsive and it may be rejected from further consideration. Respondents should submit their proposal via email as instructed in Section 7. In the event multiple responses are received from the same firm, the firm will be asked to select one proposal for consideration and the others will be deemed ineligible.

All proposals must include the following requested information in the appropriate sections as defined below:

  a.    Introduction

    i.  Name of the proposed independent consultant or firm and name of the representative submitting the proposal. Include all contact information.

    ii.  Provide a detailed overview of you or your firm and its ownership/organizational structure, mission, culture, and number of employees. Include information on the diversity of your team, with emphasis on people who have knowledge of or are from the countries in which we work.

    iii.  Identify members of your staff who will be assigned to this contract and provide a summary of their qualifications, language competencies (i.e., Arabic, French, Armenian), hourly rate (if applicable), and percentage of their time you anticipate they would be dedicating to this contract, and their availability for virtual meetings.

 b.  Company Expertise and Experience

    i.  Describe your or your firm’s expertise and specific consulting approach when partnering with a small to medium sized non-profit organization that operates internationally. Please articulate what makes your approach unique and effective. Describe you or your firm’s expertise specifically in review, recommendation of and implementation of DEI initiatives. 

    ii.  Describe the DEI -related work you or your firm has most recently completed for organizations similar to NEF. Applicants are encouraged to submit, along with their narrative and budget proposals, an executive summary/short report prepared on a relevant topic and similar to the DEI scope of work elaborated in this RFP. Any confidential or sensitive information (i.e., the organization’s name) should be removed from the report before submission.

    iii. Describe at least one innovative strategic solution you have implemented for a client similar to NEF that highlights your consulting expertise.

    iv. Provide examples of success metrics from previous DEI work.

    v. Identify a minimum of three (3) other organizations similar in size and scope to NEF that engaged you as a DEI consultant, to serve as a business reference for your services.

    vi. It is expected that this assignment will be conducted virtually. Describe how you/your firm will manage the assignment virtually and what resources will be used to assure active and timely communications and engagement with NEF Management and Boards.

vii. Provide a timeline and fees schedule that breaks the scope of work and deliverables identified in Section 2 into grouped activities with the corresponding proposed timeline and project fees as shown in the example table below.

 c.  Timeline and fees table:




All financial rates used in documents, correspondence, or operations pertaining to this tender shall be expressed in United States Dollar (USD) and include all taxes and fees for which services are being provided. All financial rates quoted in the RFP response should be valid for 90 days.

All proposals submitted to NEF will be kept confidential.


The proposals received will be evaluated based on the following criteria to determine each respondent’s qualifications. The order does not indicate relative ranking.

a)  Demonstration of competence, technical expertise, experience in implementing DEI initiatives and strategies globally and across cultures, with a preference for experience and ability working in the regions NEF works (while ensuring the safety and security of all involved).

b)  Demonstrated record of responsiveness and quality of services provided to prior organizations as provided through feedback from business references.

c)  The capabilities and the experience of individual team members assigned to this contract.

d)  Estimated level of effort, total cost, and a proposed timeline to complete the deliverables, as well as the willingness to offer flexible fee arrangements.

e)  Responsiveness to the RFP, including clarity and organization of responses, clear presentation of experience and approach to ensuring the items listed in the scope of work and deliverables are fully met.

f)   Demonstrated focus in the non-profit sector, preferably with small or medium sized international NGOs.

Issuance of this RFP in no way constitutes a commitment by NEF to award a contract. NEF reserves the right to reject any or all bids or portions of bids received in response to this RFP, to request modification or clarification of any part of a proposal, or to cancel this RFP if it is in the best interest of NEF to do so. NEF may reject any bid if it is considered incomplete or conditional, contains irregularities, or does not meet qualifications, requirements, or specifications. Failure to furnish all information may disqualify the proposal.


Based on a review of the written response, we will select a short list who will be asked to make a virtual presentation to be arranged at a mutually convenient time. This presentation is expected to confirm proposal representations, supplement information obtained through the proposal process and give us the opportunity to ask questions and meet the individuals who would be assigned to this contract. An agenda of items we wish to be addressed during this meeting will be forwarded to the final candidates prior to the meeting.

Each selected finalist will be evaluated with consideration given to how they best meet our needs and the basis of capabilities described in their written proposal and virtual presentation. The independent consultant or firm that best matches our requirements and objectives will be selected. 


The timetable below sets forth the expected due dates for each event regarding this RFP process and our selection of the successful independent consultant or firm.

Questions due to NEF                         September 15, 2021

Proposals due to NEF                          September 24, 2021

Shortlisted Candidate Selection           October 5, 2021

Finalists Q&A Virtual Presentation        October 13, 14 and/or 15, 2021

Final Selection and Award                    October 21, 2021


Questions and Proposal Submissions must be submitted via email with subject line ‘DEI Proposal’ to the attention of:


Human Resources Director

Near East Foundation

110 W Fayette Street, Suite 710

Syracuse, New York 13202



RELEASE DATE: September 2, 2021

CLOSING DATE: September 24, 2021

A full download of the RFP can be found here:…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Job Type
  • Start Date
    November 1, 2021
  • Application Deadline
    September 24, 2021
  • Professional Level


Work may be performed anywhere in the world
Associated Location
110 West Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202, United States
Suite 701

How to Apply

Questions and Proposal Submissions must be submitted via email with subject line ‘DEI Proposal’ to the attention of:

Questions and Proposal Submissions must be submitted via email with subject line ‘DEI Proposal’ to the attention of:

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