Resilient Watersheds and Community-Based Conservation
Learning Group

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)


Request for Proposals
October 2021 – June 2022

The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Resilient Watersheds Strategy (RWS) is looking to improve community-outreach and empowerment in their projects. A recent survey of RWS practitioners found over 20 teams seeking support working with Indigenous Peoples and local communities. In order to meet this need, the RWS is proposing to develop a learning group with the support of a consultant, to take place between Oct 2021 and June 2022. The learning group will include both group gatherings (likely virtual) to share learning across programs and individual program coaching to address specific needs.

The consultant would work alongside a TNC project manager with knowledge and experience in community-based conservation and a TNC group liaison with knowledge and contacts with practitioners.

Anticipated Deliverables and Timeline

  1. Assessment of Practitioner Need (October-November 2021)

    Right now, we have a broad sense of interest in improving community engagement, but we know less about the specific needs of the practitioners. As a first step, we’d like to collaborate with a consultant on a series of short interviews. The consultant will help us draft the interview questions, conduct the interviews, and assess the practitioner needs. The needs assessment will guide our design of the learning group.
    Interview purpose:

    • To gauge interest in us offering VCA & WFs training and/or coaching;
    • To identify and help prioritize specific topics and/or geographies to focus the training around;
    • Assess preferred methods of training delivery (live webinars, self-paced with recordings & readings, small working groups, etc.)
    • Possibly also identify potential experts who can contribute knowledge, content, or time
    • Identify additional people who might also be interested in receiving training

    Anticipated hours: 40
    Products: Interview questions, summary report and/or slides with results
  2. Design Learning Group (November 2021-January 2022)

    Using the survey assessment as a guide, the consultant and project manager will design the learning group including frequency of group meetings, group training needs vs. coaching needs, necessary
    content/presenters, etc. At this stage, the consultant and project manager may decide that additional coaches are needed. If this is the case, the project manager will draft additional statements of work for specific coaching needs
    Anticipated consultant hours: 20
  3. Co-Leading Learning Group + Coaching (February – May 2022)

    Group learning: The specific topics for the learning group will come from the interviews. However, the broad goal is to build a learning network across peers who want to know more about community engagement. One idea is to start the process with a learning group workshop focused on introductions, how participants have engaged with communities to date, lesson learned, and questions. This first session may also provide tangible training (directly related to needs identified in the interviews). After this kickoff call, project teams would work with their coach on specific questions and issues. The teams would come together as the full group periodically to learn and share with each other, perhaps at identified milestones in the coaching (TBD). In May, we anticipate having a closing workshop where we explore whether to continue the learning group and the support/capacity needed.
    Coaching: The specific needs for coaching will arise during the interviews. It may be possible to group the coaching by regions, though perhaps not given the uniqueness of each community where we work.

    Anticipated consultant hours: 80
  4. Wrap-Up Report & Presentation (June 2022)

    After the group learning process is “complete,” the consultant will draft a short report of the learnings and experience. A summary of this report may be shared in a presentation to the broader RWS community through the Water Funds Network.

    Anticipated consultant hours: 15

    Desired Qualifications

    • Experience working across cultures and regions.
    • Ability to speak Spanish and/or Portuguese
    • Familiarities with payments for ecosystem services or similar programs/mechanisms
    • Background in social sciences (political ecology, anthropology, etc.) preferred
    • Demonstrated experience in community-based conservation and/or partnering with indigenous peoples and local communities.
    • Experience serving as a facilitator and/or coach

    Submission Requirements

    Please submit a 1 to 3-page narrative that outlines your proposal for how you would complete the work, qualifications, anticipated budget, and ability to meet the deliverables timeline. Submissions are due by Wednesday, October 20. Please send your submission to Caitlin Doughty at [email protected].




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development