Strategic planning & analysis consulting service for Rainforest Alliance

Summary Information

  • Department: Strategy Unit
  • Location(s): Flexible
  • Commitment: approx. 50-75 person-days, with timing dependent on project needs
  • Desired start date and duration: June through December 2022
  • Under direction of: Director, Global Policy & Strategic Coalitions


Consultancy Summary

About the Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities. To achieve our mission, we partner with diverse allies around the world to drive positive change across global supply chains and in critical landscapes. For more information, please visit



During 2022, Rainforest Alliance is developing a new strategic plan, which is expected to cover the period from 2023-2030. The plan will include a set of 2030 impact targets grounded in RA’s mission and linked to key societal goals such as the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. The plan will also define a set of program priorities, theory of change, and indicators that link RA’s programmatic investments to these long-term targets. The planning process is led by an in-house team and is being conducted in an iterative manner drawing upon internal expertise and consultation, external research, and targeted support from consultants.


Project Overview

The purpose of this consultancy is to provide strategic analysis and quantitative assessment of program options and their potential impacts in order to help strengthen the plan’s rigor and ensure that there is a strong correspondence between RA’s programmatic plan and its intermediate and long-term outcome and impact targets.


This project is fully integrated into the overall strategic planning process, which is led by RA’s strategy team with sponsorship from the CEO and CFO and support from Accenture. The consultant will be expected to engage collaboratively with the full strategy team throughout the project duration.


The project will iteratively assess strategic choices in relation to potential sets of impact targets, using quantitative analysis to evaluate the contribution of alternative scenarios to meeting RA’s goals. At each stage, results of the analysis will be provided in simple and intuitive formats to help decision-makers assess options and converge toward a programmatic plan and corresponding set of impact targets that are mutually aligned toward achieving an ambitious yet attainable set of results.


Scope of work

The project will include four sequential components, detailed below. Details of the later components may be adjusted based on results of the initial components and on the decision loops within the planning process. Indicative estimates of person-days required for each component are also provided.


Component A: inception (timing: June; level of effort: about 5 person-days)

  • Project planning: Conduct kickoff meeting(s) with the strategy team to integrate this project effectively into the overall planning process (including its Gantt chart and decision milestones). Review and refine methodology for the subsequent components, as appropriate at this stage.
  • Deliverable: Documentation of project methodology, with a focus on the quantitative assessment elements.


Component B: draft impact targets, baseline, and key drivers (timing: approx. June-July; level of effort: about 15-20 person-days)

  • Draft impact targets: Support the strategy team to develop draft indicators and an indicative range of target values for RA’s 2030 impact targets, linked to broader societal goals. This may entail consultations with key staff to synthesize prior analysis and ideas for defining impact targets related to RA’s ‘nature’ and ‘people’ mission themes as well as analysis of how external goals and targets (e.g., indicators under the SDGs or the CBD post-2020 biodiversity framework) can best be reflected in RA’s impact targets.
  • Baseline: Building on the current state assessment led by Accenture, quantify potential contributions of RA’s baseline program model to the draft impact targets. Quantification should be based on program data obtained from RA’s M&E staff supplemented by assumption-driven modelling as necessary. Bounded ranges may be used if appropriate.
  • Key drivers of impact and scale: Review external research conducted by Accenture and supplement it, as needed, with a scan of the leading potential drivers of impact and scale for delivering on the societal goals associated with the draft impact targets. Consult with internal experts to integrate any prior work in this regard. Synthesize these inputs into a presentation of ‘best bet’ drivers of impact and scale across the different impact targets, disaggregating by factors such as geography, sector, beneficiary type, and others as useful.
  • Deliverables: PPT summaries of each of the above, with a focus on visual and quantitative presentation of information. Notes capturing main points from internal interviews. Revised methodology for Component 3.


Component C: scenario analysis (timing: approx. Aug-Oct; level of effort: about 20-30 person-days)

  • Definition of candidate program areas: Participate in internal design sessions and support internal task groups to develop descriptions of candidate future programs in sufficient detail to enable quantitative analysis. Candidate programs include evolution of existing programs, initiation of new program areas, new partnerships or new ways of working with existing partners, etc. Development of these program descriptions will be led by the task groups and strategy team, with the consultant providing support to help define key aspects (e.g., location, scale, and participants) and to co-develop a results chain for each program area to specify intended results and the relationships among them.
  • Evaluation of candidate program areas: Model the potential results of each candidate program area in relation to the draft impact targets and key intermediate outcomes defined in the results chains. Results should be modelled for appropriate timeframes based on the timeline for developing and deploying each program (e.g., 2025, 2027, and 2030), taking into consideration the scale and nature of program implementation. These intervention-to-impact models should be parameterized as accurately as possible by drawing upon available evidence about the potential incremental impact of different interventions in different contexts.
  • Consolidated draft program models: Support the strategy team to develop up to three draft program models to present to RA’s leadership. The draft models will combine sets of programs analyzed in the prior sub-step into an integrated approach to program prioritization and delivery. Analyses will assess the potential aggregate impacts of each alternative and to help highlight (via quantitative analysis) the ramifications of these alternative choices.
  • Deliverables: Written description and results chains for each candidate program area, including indicative outcomes and impacts. Modelled results for each candidate program area, including Excel calculations and visual summaries that are concisely and attractively presented in formats suitable for high-level decision makers. Visual presentation (also suitable to present to high-level decision makers) of alternative program models and their implications for delivery of the draft impact targets.


Component D: refinement and consolidation (approx. timing Oct-Dec; level of effort: about 10-20 person-days)

  • Final program model and theories of change: Based on input from decision-makers on the Component C deliverables, support the strategy team to refine descriptions of the prioritized program areas and their corresponding results chains, as well the aggregate program model and its corresponding organization-wide theory of change. If necessary, this will include a final round of consultations (led by the strategy team) and quantitative analysis (led by the consultant) to further specify, stress-test, and refine the causal linkages between program interventions, outcomes, and impacts.
  • Final impact targets: Based on the final program model, prepare a final set of 2030 impact targets and intermediate outcomes targets, supported by quantitative modelling of the proposed program areas.
  • Deliverables:
  • Overview of the final program model, presented in a 1-2 page narrative plus a one-slide infographic summary.
  • 2030 impact targets – which are quantitative and linked to their respective societal goals – presented in an appealing visual format. Supplementing this should be an overview of key intermediate outcome targets defined based on the theory of change. Also provide a short write-up summarizing how the outcome and impact targets were determined based on modelling of potential results of the selected program model.  


General terms and conditions for Request for proposal

  • Proposals and/or any additional information received after the submission time and date are subject to rejection by The Rainforest Alliance. Incomplete proposals may be rejected by RA at its discretion.
  • The Rainforest Alliance reserves the right to request additional information at any time during the procurement process.
  • RA is at liberty to make multiple or no selections as part of the proposal process. RA also reserves the right to cancel the procurement.
  • All proposal costs shall be borne by the applicant and will not be reimbursed by RA.


Selection Criteria

  • Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria
  • Strength of the technical proposal and approach, including how the applicant proposes to parameterize potential impacts of new programming
  • Prior relevant experience working with purpose-driven organizations on environmental and human wellbeing topics in the context of agriculture, forestry, and rural land-use
  • Expertise and experience conducting quantitative modelling
  • Quality of prior work samples that visually present options or scenarios for consideration by decision-makers
  • Experience developing results chains or results frameworks and corresponding M&E and impact logic for environment or development projects is preferred
  • Other experience and relevant skills of the team in relation to each component of the requested services
  • Demonstrated ability to complete the assignment within the requested timeframe, in terms of team capacity and redundancy in the event of staff member absences or resignations
  • Cost 


Proposal Process and Format

Please email proposals to Jeff Milder ( and Liza Rosen ( by Tuesday, May 24th. Finalist applicants may be interviewed soon after the proposal deadline, with a selection expected to be made shortly thereafter. The anticipated project start date is in early June.


Proposals should contain:

  1. Technical proposal, including an explanation of how you would carry out the project to meet its objectives
  2. Description key skills or strengths of the applicant, including quantitative modelling relevant to the project scope
  3. Summary of other relevant experience working with mission-driven organizations on social or environmental sustainability, including specific project examples, as appropriate
  4. If possible, please include a small set of prior work samples that visually present options or scenarios for consideration by decision-makers
  5. Project team, roles, and CVs of all contributing team members
  6. Total project cost, including a breakdown of personnel hourly/daily rates, expected personnel time contributions, and cost subtotal for each component. The project should be costed on a fixed fee basis for the stated scope of work.
  7. Email and phone numbers of at least two recent references




Thank you for your interest in working with The Rainforest Alliance

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