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Consultancy on an independent verification and assurance of Islamic Relief’s IHSAN Quality Management System self-assessment process and results


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Consultancy on an independent verification and assurance of Islamic Relief’s IHSAN Quality Management System self-assessment process and results

Tender document for a consultancy on an independent verification and assurance of Islamic Relief’s IHSAN Quality Management System self-assessment process and results, February 2021
BackgroundIHSAN is Islamic Relief’s Quality Management System for assessing compliance to internal and external minimum standards (e.g. the Core Humanitarian Standard) and policy commitments by Islamic Relief country offices. It is based on 8 standards (Governance & Leadership; Finance; HR, Security; Programmes; Disaster Preparedness; Partnership & Networking; Communications) with a total of 114 indicators across the 8 standards. Each indicator is verified based on a number of recommended or required evidence with a total of approximately 300 separate possible pieces of evidence across all standards and indicators for each country.IR Country Offices undertakes an annual IHSAN self-assessment and provide evidence against each indicator which results in a score being assigned per indicator. Aggregate scores provide indication of compliance level per standard.

To support self-assessment and ensure evidence supplied is relevant and consistent across IR country offices and reduce subjectivity, an IHSAN verification framework has been developed which lists suggestions of specific evidence to be provided for the indicator. Countries may submit ‘alternative equivalent evidence’ to that suggested in the verification framework where the exact suggested evidence isn’t available or where country believes alternative evidence provides a better reflection of compliance to the indicator.

An initial review is undertaken by regional level programme teams to verify scores reflect the number of relevant and accepted evidence submitted. However, there can be differences in validating the relevance and quality or otherwise of submitted evidence.

IHSAN Self-Assessments are the primary means through which Islamic Relief determines compliance of IR country offices to all our CHS commitments.

ObjectiveTo streamline and identify key learnings to strengthen the self-assessment verification process and the compliance assurance capacity of IR’s IHSAN Quality Management System through an independent desk-based verification review.

  • Based on a desk-based document review, review and verify evidence supplied against each IHSAN indicator against the verification framework and the scoring to confirm the following:
  • If evidence provided for each indicator is good, relevant or irrelevant or missing (or RAG scale)
  • Provide a revised IHSAN scoring per indicator for each reviewed country based on review
  • Highlight IHSAN indicators that are strongest and weakest per standard based on evidence supplied per country and at the aggregate level
  • Highlight indicators where evidence is most diversified or particularly subjective and recommend any changes
  • Highlight indicators where duplicate evidence has already been supplied for another indicator is present and advise if that evidence requirement can be omitted to avoid the need to provide duplicate evidence for the additional indicator
  • Identify good practice related to each indicator (best example evidence per indicator)
  • Make recommendations on changes needed to IHSAN self-assessment, review process and to the verification framework (i.e. list of evidence per indicator) to streamline self-assessment and enhance verification and assurance capacity of IR’s IHSAN QMS Recommend a system for determining a reasonable confidence level for each country’s self-assessment
  • Recommend any adjustments needed to ensure IHSAN self-assessments adequately aligns to and provides a ‘good enough’ proxy for CHS scores

Scope

The consultancy is expected to review the most recent IHSAN Self-Assessment conducted during November 2020 using most recent IHSAN Verification Framework. Based on sample percentage of the participating countries a mixed approach would be adopted to select country offices for the verification process. It is expected the sample size will be four or five countries with specific sampling methodology for choosing specific countries for review agreed with IRW ahead of finalising the inception report.

The report will be for internal use for learning and improvement purposes, to provide assurance to senior management on compliance levels and to help streamline assurance and verification processes but parts of the report or all of it may be made available to specific external stakeholders on request at the discretion of IR.

Methodology

Consultants are invited to propose the specific methodology for conducting this verification and assurance review of IHSAN Self-Assessments in general, it is envisaged this verification will involve document reviews and virtual interviews.

The consultant will have core documentations to support the review and verification but may also undertake some remote interviews/ focus group discussions and/or surveys from range of stakeholders using appropriate communications tools.

Requirements

The successful consultant is expected to have:

  • Experience of conducting quality assurance or standard verification audits in the international humanitarian/development sector especially amongst INGOs
  • Core Humanitarian Standard verification or audit experience
  • MEAL, Accountability, Quality Management Experience
  • Experience in utilising business intelligence tools and tech used for compliance and quality management and presenting visually impactful reports and dashboards

Outputs

The outputs for this particular project would be;

  • An inception report within 5 days of contract being signed.
  • An Assurance Report (max 30 pages including max 3-page self-contained executive summary). Structured around global and country by country level finding, standard level findings, commonality cross section, CHS correlations, and overall recommendations. Consultant is invited to propose a more detailed structure.
  • Recommendations on any changes required to IHSAN Verification Framework with suggested changes to list of evidence per indicator
  • A folder of good practice evidence identified during the review – organised per indicator
  • A summary of the key findings and recommendations in a power point presentation.
  • A small, virtual, half-day workshop to discuss key findings with key IRW staff – with final draft incorporating key feedback.
  • Annexes and data tables evidencing the verification/assurance process followed and factual basis of report

TENDER DATES AND CONTACT DETAILS All proposals are required to be submitted by Thursday 25th February at 1.00pm UK time pursuant to the attached guidelines for submitting a quotation and these be returned to tendering@irworldwide.orgFor any issues relating to the tender or its contents please email directly to tendering@irworldwide.org

Following submission, IRW may engage in further discussion with applicants concerning tenders in order to ensure mutual understanding and an optimal agreement.

Quotations must include the following information for assessment purposes.

  1. Timescales
  2. Full break down of costs including taxes, expenses and any VAT
  3. References (two are preferred)
  4. Technical competency for this role
  5. Demonstrable experience of developing a similar piece of work including a methodology

Note: The criteria are subject to change.

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