1. Overview

The Harm Reduction Consortium is a global coalition of seven independent organisations who exists to end the global war on drugs and promote services instead that protect the health and human rights of people who use drugs. We want to upskill our members and selected partners in communicating more effectively and proactively, as well as engaging with the media confidently. In order to achieve that, we are seeking to appoint an experienced individual or organisation to provide training and coaching in communications, crisis management and media engagement.

2. About the Consortium

The Harm Reduction Consortium exists to end the global war on drugs and the related abuses of human rights around the world, and to scale-up harm reduction services that seek to protect the health of people who use drugs.[1] The Harm Reduction Consortium comprises seven of the leading international and regional harm reduction, drug policy and drug user networks:

We link together international policy making processes with local NGOs, service providers, charities and networks on the ground – to make sure that their voices are heard. As seven independent organisations bound by an agreed Memorandum of Understanding, the Harm Reduction Consortium has a proven record of successful collaboration, advocacy and delivery.

3. Project Scope of Work

The Harm Reduction Consortium members have a compelling message and story to tell: the global war on drugs is having disastrous consequences all around the world. But we are not doing this as effectively and proactively as we would like – for a number of reasons, including:

  • a lack of communications and media capacity and expertise
  • differing levels of training and experience across the consortium members
  • a lack of confidence for some partners when engaging with the media
  • the use of technical jargon and complex language that may not resonate with target audiences outside of our sector ‘bubble’, and
  • inexperience in adapting and tailoring our narratives for different audiences.

We are therefore seeking to build confidence and capacity among our members and selected key partners in the following areas:

  • communication best practices
  • public speaking
  • media engagement
  • crisis management and communications
  • effective social media presence, and
  • message framing for different audiences.

We are looking for individuals or organisations that can provide high quality communications, messaging and media coaching to the Consortium members in order to deliver our messages convincingly and impactfully.

4. Considerations

Additional considerations for the project: 

  • the workshop will be for approximately 20-30 people from around the world
  • each of the seven Consortium members is unique in its structure, staffing and capacity: some are staffed by only one or two full-time people, and only a few have dedicated communications staff – so the training curriculum needs to take this into account
  • although our members are spread across the world, we’ll be bringing them together from 20-21 November 2019 in Vilnius, Lithuania, and the successful individual or organisation will be expected to travel to Vilnius on these dates
  • the training should cover both reactive communications (i.e. crisis management) as well as proactive communications skills (identifying, pitching and framing stories, etc.)
  • as the Harm Reduction Consortium exclusively comprises not-for-profit organisations, any additional pro bono or discounted support as part of the proposal will be very much welcomed, and
  • proposals that also incorporate an element of post-training follow-up support and coaching for individual organisations will be prioritised.

Please also note that this training represents the first phase of a larger initiative to address and improve the messaging and framing of our collective communications work. Anticipated next phases (in 2020 and 2021) include a review of the language used, development of optimal messaging and framing for a broad audience, and the creation of communication tools incorporating these findings. Additional RFPs will be launched for these subsequent phases, although the Consortium is open to working with the same individual or organisation on multiple phases over time.

5. Project Goals

What success looks like:

  • increased confidence and knowledge across Consortium members for both proactive and reactive communications – measured, as an example, through self-report tools before, immediately following, and six months after the intervention, and
  • Participants are able to develop and deliver proactive communication action plans.

At the end of the training, we want all participants to improve their capability to:

  • understand media dos and don’ts – opportunities to grasp and mistakes to avoid
  • direct interview agendas proactively
  • be comfortable giving live interviews for TV and/or radio
  • deal with confrontational journalists and difficult questions
  • handle sensitive topics and crises
  • prepare and articulate key messages and reinforce them with credible and memorable examples tailored for different audiences
  • be aware of their voice, body language and presentation styles
  • maximise opportunities for attracting media attention, and
  • become more effective in managing social media channels.

6. Target Audience

The seven independent organisations that comprise the Harm Reduction Consortium, as well as around 5 or 6 other selected partners. These organisations are based around the world, but will be brought together for the purposes of this training. Before and after the training, each partner can be easily contacted by email, phone and Skype.

The 20-30 participants themselves will come from a wide range of professional backgrounds, and will range from senior management to programmatic staff within their organisations. Few will have specific communications or media training or experience.

7. Project Timeline and Budget

Deadline for RFP: 11th August 2019

Selection of successful candidate, and kick-off meeting: Aug / Sept 2019

Consultation with participants and research into their skills /needs: Sept / Oct 2019

Development of training curriculum: Oct / Nov 2019

Delivery of two-day training in Vilnius, Lithuania: 20-21 Nov 2019

Potential follow-up with participants: Jan-April 2020

Indicative budget: USD 7,000 – including the consultant’s travel costs to/in Vilnius for the training itself. Other costs for the training (i.e. venue, catering, participant travel) will all be borne directly by the Consortium.

8. Proposal Requirements

Mandatory

  • Approach and methodology in meeting RFP goals
  • Outline of proposed training curriculum (content / topics covered)
  • Formats and approaches to be used in the training
  • Approach to measuring progress and evaluation training effectiveness
  • Detailed costs and desired schedule / split of payments
  • Timeline of work
  • Project team and relevant experience / qualifications

Optional

  • Testimonials from past training participants
  • Description of how this training might feed into, and inform, the anticipated next phases of the Consortium’s work in 2020 and beyond

Please send a PDF version of the proposal (max. 3 pages in English), by email to:

jbridge@idpc.net

 The deadline for proposals is Sunday 11th August 2019

9. Proposal Evaluation

We are looking for individuals/organisations that:

  • have relevant experience and expertise in communications and media training
  • can demonstrate an understanding of the challenges facing the Consortium and how these might be addressed
  • present detailed budgets that take into account the not-for-profit nature of the Consortium, and
  • help to place this specific training and follow-up within the broader effort to improve the Consortium’s messaging, framing and storytelling.

Short-listed candidates will be contacted in August 2019, and a final decision will be made as soon as possible.

Any questions or requests for clarification should be sent to jbridge@idpc.net.


[1] For a more detailed description of the “harm reduction” approach to drugs, see: https://www.hri.global/what-is-harm-reduction