Consultancy to Develop Policy and Program Guidance on LGBTQ+ Inclusion and Sexual Diversity


Duration of Contract25 days
Reports toGender Equality and Social Inclusion Advisor  
Application Deadline29 October 2021
Expected Start Date8 November 2021


World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is one of Canada’s leading non-profit international development organizations, working with and through its Southern partners committed to building a more equitable and sustainable world. Founded in 1957 and currently working in over 25 countries, WUSC aims to create a world in which young people can thrive in safe, supportive environments for learning, working and living in their communities and in the development of their country.

Our vision is a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world for youth. It is a world in which all young people, especially women and refugees, are empowered to secure a good quality of life for themselves, their families, and their communities. We work with a diverse network of students, volunteers, institutions, governments, and businesses to improve education, economic, and empowerment opportunities for youth, and to improve the lives of millions of disadvantaged people around the world.

As outlined in WUSC’s Gender, Age, and Diversity Policy and Guidance (2018), WUSC is committed to taking an intersectional approach that includes gender, age, and diversity, to advance gender equality and social inclusion for all. We embrace gender equality and social inclusion for their transformative potential in promoting the equitable enjoyment of rights for all, especially women. We mainstream gender, age, and diversity considerations within our policies, programs, and practices to better understand the opportunities and obstacles in achieving positive outcomes for gender equality and social inclusion. This includes integrating gender equity into all of our work. We are committed to respond meaningfully to those considerations whenever possible, including working to understand the root causes of inequality in order to transform unequal power relations and build a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world.

Specific Focus of the Assignment

To further develop and operationalize WUSC’s Gender, Age, and Diversity Policy and Guidance, the consultant will review the current state of WUSC policies and practice in sexual diversity and assist WUSC to better integrate best practices in understanding and addressing issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation (including gender as a spectrum/non-binary and LGBTQI+) across the organizational management and within WUSC’s program design and implementation. The assessment will document what WUSC is already doing and will share information on best practices from across the sector that balance a human rights-based approach with the legal and cultural environments in WUSC’s countries of operation. The assessment will result in a report that includes practical recommendations that WUSC should consider to better understand and integrate intersectional approaches across all its work. A specific focus should be on helping WUSC to understand how to address the issue of sexual diversity in widely different political and cultural contexts, different technical areas, and within different program methodologies. Finally, the consultant will be asked to design and deliver 2-3 short trainings for WUSC staff that draw upon good practices and the results of the consultancy findings.

Goal of the Study

The goal of this study is to help WUSC to better understand how we as an organization should approach LGBTQI+ issues in our programming, policies, and practices while taking an intersectional and a Do No Harm approach. The consultant will guide the organization in developing guidance that takes a human rights-based approach and can be applied to contexts with varying legal and cultural considerations. 

Proposed Methodology 

The proposed methodology should review documentation available from global, regional, national, and local sources summarizing work across the international development sector and document experiences and views of internal and external stakeholders.. Key informant interviews (KII) and focus group discussions (FGDs) with WUSC staff, project partners and stakeholders, including leaders of private sector companies, civil society organizations, entrepreneurs, persons from marginalized groups including LGBTQI+ , peer organizations, and government officials will be conducted in a range of country contexts based on the level of access and taking into consideration a “do no harm” approach in each country. WUSC staff will provide input and feedback on the preliminary findings and conclusions. WUSC will work closely with the selected consultant to identify specific countries, regions, and sectors of focus, with a view to capturing the diversity of the contexts in which WUSC works while also allowing for depth of analysis.

As a result of COVID-19 travel and movement restrictions, the Consultant may be unable to conduct a traditional face-to-face consultations with project staff and will need to utilize phone-based interviews or virtual consultations using web-based platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet where possible. 

Specific Tasks

  • Develop a detailed inception report and work plan in close consultation with designated WUSC staff. The inception report will clarify and refine the overall approach, methodology, and timelines for the study.
  • Participate in an inception meeting with WUSC staff including the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) team and members of the anti-discrimination, diversity, and inclusion (ADDI) commitee.
  • With WUSC staff, develop guidance to understanding and addressing gender and sexuality in a) program design and delivery and b) internal operations that takes into consideration varying local contexts.
  • Summarize policy documents, research findings, and other information from peer organizations that are relevant to WUSC’s needs. 
  • Conduct key informant interviews and focus group discussions with selected representatives of WUSC staff, volunteers, partners, and other stakeholders across the various WUSC global offices.
  • Prepare and revise reports and recommendations following feedback from WUSC staff
  • Prepare recommendations for the organization spanning across operations and programming to include:
    • recommendations for WUSC’s Theory of Change 
    • recommendations for WUSC’s Age, Gender and Diversity Strategy 
    • a guidance note on integrating LGBTQI+ into WUSC programming, including guidance on how to adapt to context and thematic area of focus  
    • reviewing and updating WUSC’s gender analysis tools
    • providing specific recommendations to priority WUSC programs (i.e. Volunteer Cooperation Program, Student Refugee Program) 
    • working with ADDI and HR to review and document experiences of WUSC staff and provide recommendations
    • reviewing and providing recommendations to MERL team on inclusive data collection
    • developing a plan to strengthen the capacity of WUSC staff on LGBTQI+ issues, programmatic and policy approaches, and share recommendations.
    • leading capacity strengthening, training, and awareness sessions with various groups of WUSC staff to include Programs, HR/Admin etc on LGBTQI+ issues.

Level of Effort 

The level of effort for this consultancy is estimated at 25 days.  

WUSC Roles and Responsibilities

  • To provide relevant documentation and answer the Consultant’s questions throughout the period of the mandate.
  • To mobilize the necessary team to support the Consultant and designate a person responsible for the file at headquarters and field offices. 
  • To provide the Consultant with feedback/comments on the various documents produced, according to the approved writing plan.
  • To provide the Consultant with any support deemed necessary in the accomplishment of this mandate.

Timelines and Deliverables of the Consultancy 

The contract period is for 25 days in October and November 2021. Estimated contributions expected in working days will be determined in consultation with the selected candidate. The candidate will be required to put in place all the necessary actions to complete the consultancy within the following schedule:

Signing of Contract 0.5November
Inception Meeting 0.5November
Submission of detailed work plan, draft inception report and data collection tools.2November
Submission of final version of work plan, inception report, and data collection tools which incorporate WUSC comments.1November
Data collection through desk review, key informant interviews & focus group discussions.10November
Submission of draft report including methodology, findings, recommendations, and framework with separate deliverables for addressing gender and sexuality in our program strategies and impact, HR, Communications, Internal Operations etc.5November
Submission of final report including methodology, findings, recommendations, framework (including various revisions) and a slide deck.3November
Lead capacity strengthening sessions for WUSC staff based on findings and recommendations.3November

Candidate Qualifications

  • The Consultant should have at least 5-7 years of professional experience and a demonstrated track record and experience in research, consultancy and/or training intersectionality, sexual diversity and LGBTQ+ inclusion 
  • Experience working global development NGOs and providing strategic advice to civil society organizations.
  • The Consultant should hold a graduate degree in social sciences, gender studies, development studies, international development or a related field.
  • Strong research and report writing skills are essential for this consultancy.
  • Demonstrated understanding of policies, programmatic approaches, and guidelines regarding gender and sexuality in global development programming.
  • Experience developing GESI strategies that incorporate a Do No Harm approach. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of Canada’s Feminist International Assisstance Policy and Feminist International Assistance Gender Equality Toolkit for Projects.
  • Have a strong understanding of Canadian legislation and experience working on gender in other countries to clearly understand contextual sensitivities  / or that of some of the countries in which we work in.


Interested parties are encouraged to submit separate and clearly indicated technical and financial proposals based on Canadian currency. The deadline for the submission of only electronic proposals is Friday 29th October 2021 by midnight (12:00 am Eastern Standard Time).

Suitably qualified and experienced consultants are invited to submit their narrative and financial proposals and any follow up questions by email to Tamsyn Riddle at [email protected]

WUSC’s activities seek to balance inequities and create sustainable development around the globe; the work ethic of our staff, volunteers, consultants, representatives and partners shall correspond to the values and mission of the organization. WUSC promotes responsibility, respect, honesty, and professional excellence and we will not tolerate harassment, coercion and sexual exploitation and abuse of any form.

WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please.

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