Caritas Australia is the Catholic agency for international humanitarian relief and development in Australia. Through relationships with the Church, partners and communities in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Australia, Caritas Australia helps to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.
Our programs promote the good of every person regardless of their religious, political or cultural beliefs. We envisage a world in which children, women and men most vulnerable to extreme poverty and injustice are agents of their own change and architects of their own development.
Our commitment to environmental safeguarding
Caritas Australia acknowledges that environmental stewardship is of critical social and economic importance and the need to consider this as an integral part of its strategic decision-making processes and day-to-day operations. In the spirit of the encyclical by Pope Francis—Laudato si’—we are committed to taking actions to address the climate crisis and achieve ecological justice by contributing to sustaining integral ecology.
Our commitment to safeguarding
At Caritas Australia, we recognise the personal dignity and rights of all people, especially children and vulnerable adults towards whom we have a special responsibility. If you are offered this position, you will be required to undergo relevant background checks, including police and reference checks. You will also be required to sign our Code of Conduct, which includes a section on Professional Behavior Standards for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, as well as to abide by our safeguarding policies.
Our commitment to diversity
At Caritas Australia, we support an inclusive and diverse workforce. In particular, we encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants for all advertised positions.
Project Background and Context
At Caritas Australia, our mission is centred on enhancing the climate resilience of communities in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific (Goal 3). To achieve this, it is imperative not only integrate climate change considerations into our international programs, but also embed climate actions within our institutional policies and protocols, while investing in capacity building for effective action and advocacy. As the sector trends towards innovative, nature-based solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation, we are compelled to explore new avenues beyond conventional practices. Moreover, we wish to benchmark our actions, outcomes, and strategies against Australian NGOs of comparable size (and Catholic agencies) engaged in international development, so that we can offer the best possible outcomes and impacts. While we actively advocate on climate debt and loss and damage, the insights derived from our programmes have untapped potential to inform our advocacy efforts across scales and geographies. Moreover, while we strongly support decolonisation and localisation, we are still navigating its implications on our climate action approach and engagement with partners and communities, especially with the indigenous communities and regional faith-based movements REM (reweaving the ecological mat).
Purpose, Scope, and Specific Objectives
Through this meta-analysis, our intention is to comprehend and benchmark, in alignment with sector/practice standards, the effectiveness of our climate actions in promoting adaptation and mitigation across at three tiers: agency (Caritas Australia and partners), programs and operations, and policy and advocacy.
We aspire to identify gaps and areas for improvement within both practice and policy, as well as to discern transient and long-term strategic pathways for the continuous and competitive delivery of climate outcomes to communities in need, all while upholding the value and wisdom of traditional and indigenous communities.
The findings and recommendations of this review will inform the design of an organisational Climate Justice Roadmap, building on existing organisational commitments to ecological justice through our Laudato Si’ Action Plan.
This meta-review will take a whole-of-agency lens. The review shall cover document reviews of project information, and policy, staff, and partner interviews, assess sectoral trends and developments to inform Caritas Australia’s policies and programs.
- To assess and benchmark Caritas Australia’s position and approach to climate action across our operations, programs, advocacy, and policies.
- To understand internal priorities for action, map emerging sector trends, identify opportunities for Caritas Australia to chart a new course of transformative climate action and recommend strategic pathways for action internally and through our programs, partnerships, and advocacy.
- To identify existing capacities and competencies within Caritas Australia and our partner networks and provide recommendations for capability building required to be able to drive transformative climate action into the future.
The Consultant will report directly to the Climate Change and Environmental Protection Lead. An internal project team will be established within Caritas Australia to manage the consultancy and provide relevant technical support, coordination, and oversight at key stages of the project.
The methodology will be established by the consultant in collaboration with the Caritas Australia team. Likely methods will include:
Desk Assessment of relevant documents. Internal documents to be provided by Caritas Australia, consultant needing to search documents relating to industry trends. This includes project designs, documentation, evaluation from partners, organizational policies, and relevant country-level policies.
Key informant interviews with representatives of selected Caritas Australia staff, partners, leadership and other individuals able to provide insights (e.g., indigenous leaders, and faith-based leaders-REM).
Focus Group Discussion or Workshops with key Caritas Australia and partner staff and other individuals able to provide insights.
In-house workshop in exploring transient and long-term pathways in achieving Caritas Australia’s aspirations and commitments.
The consultant will adhere to Caritas Australia’s research ethics and/or agreed protocols to minimise any human and environmental harm.
The following is a tentative outline of key deliverables and is subject to change according to a proposed plan submitted by the consultant. This consultancy will not involve international travel, nor represents Caritas Australia in any platforms without explicit approval.
The key deliverables for the project are:
- Conduct inception meeting and develop detailed consultancy plan with key activities, deliverables, and timeframes.
- Conduct a strategic visioning workshop with relevant Caritas Australia representatives (and partners where feasible) to understand future aspirations and priorities for action on climate justice within programs, advocacy, policies and operations.
- Design a framework for the review of Caritas Australia’s current climate change policies, advocacy, programs, and operations to enable the effective benchmarking of these against:
- sector standards (e.g., DFAT Accreditation Standards; ACFID Code of Conduct Commitments and other relevant accreditation standards)
- emerging sector trends, opportunities, and good practices particularly those linked to priorities identified in the visioning phase (e.g., ACFID Climate Action Framework)
- priority climate actions as outlined in relevant Australian Government, international and regional climate policies, and commitments.
- Using the framework developed; conduct a review of Caritas Australia’s current policies, advocacy, programs (including project and partnership cycle management documentation) and operations; identifying emerging good practices and opportunities for ongoing strengthening. This review should include a sample of partner-level policy and practice.
- Deliver a final report and validation workshop covering:
- key findings from the review including identification of good practice approaches within Caritas Australia’s current approach, and opportunities for strengthening.
- identification of opportunities, potential partnerships and mapping of strategic pathways for Caritas Australia to take transformative action in new areas of climate change a
- Recommendations for capability building within Caritas Australia and our partner network to support the implementation of recommendations and strategic initiatives.
Total duration is approximately 12 weeks.
- Caritas Australia will fund all aspects of the consultancy according to a budget agreed upon
- in writing prior to the commencement of the project.
- If the consultant anticipates an extension beyond the agreed timeframe, Caritas Australia
- must be notified immediately.
- Payment will be processed upon the submission of an invoice following the completion of milestones agreed upon before the consultancy commences.
- All equipment required for the assignment are to be provided by the consultant.
- Caritas Australia may request written evidence of necessary insurance (including workers’ compensation), superannuation, and taxation prior to commencement of the assignment.
This metareview should be completed by March 2024.
- Extensive knowledge and solid understanding of common approaches to Climate Action in international development, and humanitarian programming;
- Demonstrable experience in conducting climate action assessments and policy reviews.
- Work experience with religious or church-based organisations is desired;
- Strong interpersonal and facilitation skills, experience working with a diverse group of people;
- Ability to work within an aggressive timeline and produce required deliverables on time;
- Excellent oral and communication skills and ability to deliver high quality written reports, as well as translate research findings into actionable points and recommendations;
- Bachelor’s degree or post graduate qualifications in a relevant field
Interested individuals are requested to submit a cover letter along with the following to Prahlad Lamichhane, Climate Change and Environmental Protection Lead on [email protected] by Monday 06 November 2023.
- a budget and technical proposal outlining how the consultancy will be conducted including proposed number of days;
- curriculum vitae with references;
- examples of previous work in conducting climate actions and policy assessment or reviews in international aid and development sector.