PeaceNexus supports global leaders and organisations that have a strong peacebuilding impact in fragile states. We currently provide organisational development support to nine international partners, including two multilateral agencies that have a peace and security mandate (for more information about our programme and testimonials from our partners, click here).

With this 2020 Organisational Development (OD) Call, we wish to partner with international organisations that have peacebuilding as their primary mandate and want to strengthen their ability to support local peacebuilding actors, including women and youth-led groups. We are particularly interested in supporting civil society networks and organisations that serve to strengthen local peacebuilders and increase their influence. We look for innovative leaders that can influence global policy and practice and directly support locally-led peacebuilding, particularly in our focus regions.

Local peace actors are not eligible for support in this Call, they can apply for OD support through our Regional Calls for Central Asia, South East Asia, West Africa or the Western Balkans. The next Regional Calls for Central Asia and West Africa will take place in 2021.

International partners that do not have peacebuilding as a primary mandate but are interested in integrating a peacebuilding or conflict-sensitive lens to their work are eligible for our conflict-sensitivity support. The next Call for conflict-sensitivity support for international partners is scheduled for 2021. Please monitor this website or the PeaceNexus LinkedIn account for Call announcements.

Under this Call, we do not support specific projects nor provide institutional (core) funding. Instead, we provide organisational development support in the form of a well-defined process of internal change, to help peacebuilding organisations become more effective and inclusive in the pursuit of their mission and strategic objectives. By effective, we mean helping organisations achieve a higher peacebuilding impact. By inclusive, we refer to ensuring those affected by the organisation’s programmatic work participate in shaping it. We also refer to modelling internally the values of participation, diversity and inclusion that are at the heart of peacebuilding.

In these uncertain times, we believe that our process support can be catalytic in helping organisations adapt to changing circumstances. Our focus is to help our partners overcome internal challenges that hinder their effectiveness and their ability to respond to external challenges – so they can better reach their own goals. If you are selected for our support, we will start by visiting you (if conditions allow) to make sure we understand the specificities of your situation and can accompany you accordingly.

Before putting together an application, you are strongly advised to read our Concept Note and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Applicants need to complete 1) an on-line webform and 2) fill in and upload their application by July 28, 2020 (23.59pm CET).

Indicative timeline for this Call :

·       Launch of the call: July 6, 2020

·       Deadline for submission of applications: July 28, 2020 (23.59pm CET)

·       Publication of list of selected partners on our website: end of September 2020

·       Kick-off workshops with selected partners: November-December 2020*

*may be affected by Covid-related travel restrictions

    Concept Note

    Why we support organisational development

    What is organisational development…

    Organisational development (OD) is a process through which an organisation undergoes internal change, often towards building up its capacity, adapting or improving its strategy, approaches, internal systems, structures and processes, all in order to become more effective in delivering on its mandate and pursuing its objectives.

    PeaceNexus’ organisational development support targets organisations that are well positioned to make meaningful contributions to local peacebuilding. It is informed by our belief that if we help our partners strengthen core capacities related to strategic direction, management, learning and adaptation, then they will achieve relevant and sustainable contributions to the development of peaceful societies. We also believe that diversity, inclusion and participation are key to both peacebuilding and organisational effectiveness.

    and why is it relevant for international partners?

    Few donors provide support for organisations to make the internal adjustments required to ensure they remain adaptable, innovative and relevant. While donors increasingly expect their partners to demonstrate both impact on the ground and organisational effectiveness, most provide short-term, project-based funding that does not help build institutional foundations. PeaceNexus’ OD support seeks to address this gap by providing peacebuilding organisations and networks with the opportunity to invest in internal change processes tailored to their needs and mission.

    At this time of unprecedented change and increasing resource scarcity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are also opportunities for organisational and systemic adaptation. International organisations or networks may need and want to try new ways of empowering local peacebuilding, by 1) amplifying local peacebuilding voices  – on-line and off-line, and at local, national and international levels, 2) channeling resources in the most efficient way to the most relevant local actors and 3) supporting capacity building and learning within and across organisations. International organisations may also view this time as ripe for influencing international policy or donor practice, when donors maybe reviewing priorities and under pressure to deliver efficiency gains. For many, it may therefore be both a necessity and opportunity to adapt or review organisational priorities, business models and processes in the coming years.


    What our organisational development support entails

    What you can do with our support

    Our support always entails giving organisations the space to think through HOW they work and to develop organisational strategies to improve the quality of their peacebuilding-related work. We favour participatory approaches to organisational development and believe that change can only be successful if those expected to make it happen are actively involved in shaping it. We will start our partnership with a participatory assessment of your challenges and priorities (see also in FAQs: If selected for OD support, what will the kick-off meeting look like?) On this basis, we will agree on the change objectives you will pursue with our support. Since we know that organisations often have interconnected challenges, the process will be broken down into concrete and achievable steps instead of attempting to tackle all issues at the same time.

    The processes we support are diverse and always tailored to the needs of our partners. In practice, our support can for example be used to:

    • Engage in a comprehensive strategy development process to review your organisation’s mandate, approach and strategic priorities (for our lessons learned on this topic, see our Practice Paper on Strategy Development)
    • Review your internal set-up and structure to better align staff roles with (revised) strategic priorities.
    • Strengthen your governance to increase its internal accountability and alignment with your values and principles.
    • Review your programmatic and operational practices to have them be more participatory, inclusive and conflict-sensitive.
    • Strengthen your ability to assess and communicate results and systematise organisational learning.
    • Rethink your advocacy and outreach approaches to mobilise more support for your work.

    **This list is not exhaustive. You can find other examples and testimonials here**

    Accompanying organisational development: our approach

    Since 2009, PeaceNexus has supported more than 30 partners on OD. From this experience, we know that successful change processes require time, resources and dedicated internal and external capacities. Therefore, our support entails:

    Financial contribution to cover costs directly associated with the process:

    • The budget allocated to each partner is determined by the roadmap which we jointly establish at the beginning of our partnership, taking into account your particular needs, scale of and absorption capacity. The typical budget per phase of support is 35’000 CHF.
    • Our financial envelope covers the costs of external consultants, as well as expenses directly related to the process such as meeting and travel costs (see also in the FAQs: What is outside of the scope of PeaceNexus OD support and cannot be funded?).

    Direct process accompaniment from PeaceNexus

    • At the start of our engagement, we will visit you to assess in a participatory way your organisational challenges and what would need to happen internally for you to be able to overcome them. On that basis we will support you in prioritising and sequencing objectives for change, and designing a roadmap for our support.
    • We will stay engaged as the process unfolds, including to help you monitor progress, provide feedback and identify when and how to adapt to achieve your objectives.
    • To ensure that our accompaniment is responsive, two PeaceNexus staff members will dedicate their time to you and will be available throughout the partnership to help you steer and manage change – from the first steps of process design to the final steps of implementation.

    Support in identifying and managing required external consultancies

    • In our experience, working with an experienced OD consultant and having her/him facilitate key moments is an efficient way of enabling reflection, working through difficulties, and moving to action. Where specific technical expertise is required, it may be necessary to bring in thematic specialists too. PeaceNexus staff will assist you in finding the consultant(s) best suited to your needs and identifying required deliverables.
    • The consultants accompanying your process will report and be accountable to you, while PeaceNexus staff will help you engage effectively with and provide feedback to consultants.

    In addition, we approach all OD partnerships in line with the following core principles

    • Honesty and confidentiality: An effective partnership is based on mutual trust and learning. We commit to always acting with strict confidentiality and to maintain open and transparent communication throughout our partnership. Since we see our role as one of a “critical friend”, we may at times hold you accountable to your objectives and share frank feedback. On your side, you should feel free to approach us at any time with your own feedback about our accompaniment.
    • Adaptation: We recognise that the plan we establish at the beginning of our partnership may need modifications along the way. We will stay flexible and help you adapt the plans so that you can achieve your goals.
    • Commitment over time: If you are making progress but achieving your change objectives requires more time and effort than anticipated, we may extend our commitment to a follow-on phase of support, pending our Board approval. In the past, our support to OD partners typically lasted between 18 months and 4 years.


    Intended audience

    PeaceNexus will even further emphasize its focus on local peacebuilding in its 2021-23 strategy. It will continue to provide organisational support to networks that strengthen the practices, capacities and impact of local peacebuilders, particularly in its focus regions. It will also support international organisations developing participatory, inclusive models of collaboration with local actors (see also in FAQs: You provide both Organisational Development and Conflict-Sensitivity support, what is the difference?)

    We welcome applications from all organisations that fulfil the eligibility criteria and want to address internal challenges to maximise their impact and contribution to local peacebuilding. When selecting international OD partners, we seek out change-makers with a demonstrated potential to challenge the status quo – be it through who they connect, how they work or through the scale of their activities. For example:

    • Networks or NGO platforms that represent coalitions of local peacebuilders.
    • International peacebuilding organisations that directly support and empower local actors.
    • International peacebuilding organisations that contribute to making peacebuilding policy and practice more locally-led, participatory and inclusive.


    Eligibility criteria

    Applicants need to fill all the following eligibility criteria:

    • Be a civil society organisation or a network or a foundation;
    • And have building peace and social cohesion at the core of their mission or mandate;
    • And have a presence (directly or through partners/members) in at least 5 countries, preferably including our focus regions
    • And be directly responsible for the preparation of the application and management of the process if selected (not acting as intermediary), and
    • Confirm that their activities will not violate the USA PATRIOT Act (18 U. S. C. §2339B)


    Selection criteria

    • Relevance of the applicant and its role in strengthening local peacebuilding

    We achieve our impact through the work of our partners. Therefore, we need to understand through concrete examples what difference your work makes and to whom. It is important for us to understand where you have already a track record that contributes to local peacebuilding, and where you see potential for even more impact.

    • Readiness to engage in an organisational or network development process

    Since an honest self-assessment and open acknowledgment of difficulties is key to the processes we support, we encourage you to be self-reflective and to be upfront in the articulation of your challenges. Through your application, we want to understand what is your current situation and why you want to invest your time and energy in this process. To this end, we’re particularly keen to know how you expect the OD process to contribute to your effectiveness and impact.

    Please note this is a highly competitive Call. Our staff reviews the application and prepares a shortlist. The final selection will be made by the Board of PeaceNexus in September 2020.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What does PeaceNexus support entail?

      PeaceNexus’ contribution includes more than a financial contribution. As an engaged partner our support includes:

      • Direct process accompaniment from PeaceNexus:

      We support our partners throughout the partnership, from process design to the final steps of implementation. We visit each partner after their selection to facilitate a participatory assessment of the challenges to address through the PeaceNexus support. The agreed objectives and roadmap will form the basis of a Partnership Outline which is the contractual basis of PeaceNexus’ financial investment. While our role is largely defined by what our partners want help with, at the beginning of the process it usually involves helping the partner select and contract the relevant external experts. As the process unfolds, our role includes monitoring process developments, providing feedback and assisting our partners where needed on the roadmap implementation in order to achieve their change objectives.

      • Financial contribution to cover costs directly associated with the process

      The budget and total amount allocated to each partner is determined by the roadmap which we jointly establish after the initial kick-off visit. It covers the costs of external consultants and possibly additional thematic or technical expertise, as well as expenses directly related to the process (typically logistics costs related to meetings). By providing the direct accompaniment mentioned above, we play a complementary role to external consultants, for example by helping partners to make the best use of the support they receive.


      What is outside of the scope of PeaceNexus support and cannot be funded?

      PN grants are neither operational project funding nor core funding and the following costs are not eligible:

      • Operational activities (any kind of project or programme activities)
      • Core funding
      • Administrative overhead costs
      • Equipment, furnishings or office rent
      • Financial audits
      • Tuition for degree programs
      • Accreditation processes
      • Campaigns for building capital/endowments
      • Staff costs or recurring board expenses
      • One-off trainings and other capacity building measures unrelated to the broader objectives


      You provide both Organisational Development and Conflict-Sensitivity support, what is the difference?

      The parameters and process are very similar, the main difference is in the audience. We provide organisational development support only to organisations that have peacebuilding as a primary mandate. We try to do it in a way that will increase their conflict-sensitivity but the support may focus on a wide range of organisational issues and barriers to effectiveness. We offer conflict-sensitivity support to organisations that have multiple mandates or a mandate other than peacebuilding (such as humanitarian, development or environmental organisations) but that want to integrate peacebuilding and a conflict-sensitivity approach in their programmatic work in conflict-affected contexts. This also entails organisational change efforts. The difference is that those are focused on how to institutionalise a conflict and peace lens for organisations pursuing other primary objectives in conflict contexts.

      We now consider the two types of support as separate yet the lessons we learn with peacebuilding organisations feed into the work we do with other NGOs, and vice-versa. We have quite a broad understanding of peacebuilding, the determining factor will be how the organisation’s core mission is articulated. If unsure in which category your organisation fits in, you can contact us at: iodcall2020@peacenexus.org


      What is the application process?

      • If you are interested in applying, please make sure to thoroughly read the Overview, Concept Note and Frequently Asked Questions. Then download the application form (Word format).
      • If you have questions that are not covered by these documents and our FAQs, please send an email to ngo@peacenexus.org.
      • Please make sure to consult internally and with any other relevant stakeholders (partners or members) when developing your application. Once your application is finalised, please visit the Application portal and: 1) fill in the webform (requesting basic information about your organisation) 2) upload your application form (in word or pdf format). The deadline for applications is July 28 2020 (23.59pm CET).
      • Once you submit your application, you will receive an automated confirmation of receipt.
      • There is no need to follow up with us from your side, we will only get in touch if we need clarification about your application or if you are shortlisted.
      • Our staff conducts the assessment and prepares the shortlist but the final selection decision will be taken by the Board of PeaceNexus at the end September.
      • Unsuccessful applicants will hear back from us by the end of September.

      Special provisions

      • As a general rule, we do not accept applications on behalf of others. However, in exceptional cases we accept fiscal sponsorship by another organisation. For example, a network whose secretariat is hosted by a member organisation can apply through its host organisation – but the primary applicant needs to develop and fully own it. If this is the case, briefly explain your organisation’s setup and the reason for not being a legal entity.
      • We encourage you to submit your application in English. In case it is not possible for you, you may submit it in French. However, please kindly note that the working language of our partnerships tends to be English.


      If we are selected, what will be the reporting requirements of PeaceNexus?

      Since we remain in close touch with our partners throughout their processes, our reporting requirements are light. We usually facilitate a review workshop with our partners to extract learning with a brief narrative report reflecting on the results of the different change objectives, together with a financial report. To reflect on our practice, we conduct online surveys with our partners every other year, and may commission external evaluations.


      If selected for OD support, what will the kick-off meeting look like?

      Should you be selected, we will get in touch and start planning the kick-off workshop with you, agreeing on date, participation and agenda. The kick-off takes place usually over 2 days, involves all staff members directly involved in and affected by the process and is facilitated by PeaceNexus staff. Consultation with staff, Board members and other stakeholders may also take place in the lead-up to the workshop. The purpose of this workshop is to create a shared understanding of:

      • the organisational challenges that should be addressed
      • the desired outcome of the organisational change process
      • the roadmap on how to get there, based on prioritisation and sequencing of key elements

      PeaceNexus staff will write a report of this meeting, with observations and recommendations. On that basis we will jointly finalise the roadmap with an estimated timeline, deliverables, roles/responsibilities, and budget allocations. These elements will be reflected in a Grant Offer Letter which is the contractual reference document for the process.


      What if we have several organisational challenges we need to address?

      Most organisations face several challenges at the same time, and they are often interconnected. You can include all of them in your application while highlighting what the priorities are in your view. We will use the kick-off meeting to further explore and analyse the status quo. The resulting roadmap will determine what to begin with, what the first steps will be, and how to structure the further process. As such it is an important element of our process design support. We understand that organisations can only dedicate a fraction of their time and efforts to organisational change processes, and our intention is to make sure that you use that investment wisely and strategically.

      If the first cycle leads to results and not all of your challenges have been addressed, we are happy to suggest a follow-on phase of our collaboration to our Board and continue working with you, to ensure that you achieve comprehensive and sustainable results.


      What happens if we get stuck or if things go wrong?

      Change processes are complex and challenging. If the solution was easily available and implementable, our partners would not call on external help. Therefore, we understand that some processes face resistance or get stuck along the way. If this happens, we do not abandon the process, and we “hold the space” for renewed attempts. We know from experience that organisations that work through resistance can come out at the other end stronger and more effective than ever. If leveraged wisely, difficulties can be great learning opportunities and accelerators for change.


      Can you help us if we are in an acute financial crisis?

      While some OD processes are triggered by challenges related to financial sustainability or have implications for fundraising, if your organisation is in the midst of a severe funding crisis that threatens its existence, this is not the right time to engage in OD. Do try to approach us well ahead of such a crisis, or once you have recovered from it.


      We select our OD civil society partners only through our Calls for Proposals.

      If you are interested in OD support but a local peacebuilding actor, please consult regularly our website or LinkedIn account for the upcoming OD Calls of our regional programmes in Central Asia, South East Asia, West Africa or the Western Balkans. If you are a regional organisation that operates exclusively in one of our focus regions and are not sure if you qualify as an international actor, please contact us at iodcall2020@peacenexus.org.

      In case you are a multi-mandate organisation or have a primary mandate that is not directly peacebuilding (humanitarian, development or environmental organisations), please consult regularly our website or LinkedIn account for our upcoming Call for conflict-sensitivity support for international partners.

      If you are a governmental or multi-lateral oganisation with peacebuilding at the core of your mandate and are interested in our OD support, please contact us at any time at iodcall2020@peacenexus.org

      Good luck – we look forward to learning about your work.


        This application process consists of two parts, a webform to be completed on-line and a word application form to download, fill in and upload. Both need to be completed by July 28, 2020 (23.59pm CET)

        Step 1: Please go back to the Overview, Concept Note and Frequently Asked Questions to make sure you are eligible for our international organisational development support. Submissions that do not meet our eligibility criteria will be eliminated without review.

        Step 2: Download and fill in the Application form. The more consultation and thinking are invested in the application, the stronger it will be. It should however remain short – maximum 5 pages.

        Step 3: Fill in the webform on-line, which requests basic information about your organisation. When done, upload your filled Application form, in Word or pdf, in the dedicated space.

        Please bear in mind that there is a “save and continue later” function in case you cannot complete your application in one go. If you have any questions, please make sure to have read carefully all of our available call documentation, and get in touch with us via email at iodcall2020@peacenexus.org if you have an urgent question that is not covered by our documents.

        Once you submit your application, you will receive an automated confirmation of receipt (please check also your spam folder). There is no need to follow up with us from your side. We will only get in touch if we need clarification about your application or if you are shortlisted.

        Unsuccessful applicants will hear back from us by the end of September.