Terms of Reference 


Short-Term Consultancy 

Proposal Development: Lead Technical Writer 

UK Government, DEFRA Biodiverse Landscapes Fund 


Department: Institutional Relations 

Location: Preference for consultant to be locally based in Guatemala 

Commitment: Estimated up to 45 working days within 45–75-day period 

Desired start date: June 1, 2022 

Under direction of: Victoria Cordi, Senior Manager, Institutional Relations 




The Rainforest Alliance is seeking a consultant to work as part of a full proposal development team, acting as the Lead Technical Writer for an anticipated $15-20 M solicitation from the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Biodiverse Landscapes Fund (BLF). The consultant will coordinate with technical teams in Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador, members of the global Institutional Relations team and other relevant technical teams at the Rainforest Alliance (Themes, Markets) and consortium members, to lead the proposal development process, generating compelling content and revising and updating as needed based on several formal review processes. 



  • Lead the development of a compelling proposal, producing a high-quality product on time to meet the donor’s submission deadline. 
  • In close collaboration with the proposal development team in Guatemala and Honduras and members of the global Institutional Relations team, as well as with key consortium members, lead the proposal development process, generating compelling original content, revising and updating as needed based on formal review processes, and developing a complete and high-quality proposal package on time to meet the submission deadline. 
  • Liaise with Rainforest Alliance and partner technical teams to understand technical scope of work, seek background and contextual information, assertively identify information from within existing peer reviewed literature, reports and other sources, and advise on the most strategic presentation of information to deliver a highly competitive proposal, in-line with donor priorities and that meets all donor requirements. 


2.Description of Activities 


Pre-proposal preparation 

  • In coordination with the Senior Manager of Institutional Relations, support the conceptual development and validation of theories of change for each of the three regions outlined above, as well as an overarching theory of change for the proposed program. Write narratives for all the theories or change for the program. 
  • Conduct background research on the regions.  
  • Liaise with the proposal development team and, in coordination with the Senior Manager of Institutional Relations, create a workplan for full proposal development. 
  • Plan for and engage in field visits as needed to understand local dynamics, project approaches in each context, opportunities and challenges, and other aspects. 



Full proposal development 

  • In collaboration with the Senior Manager of Institutional Relations, as well as Rainforest Alliance and partner technical teams, design and write full project proposal package for the anticipated DEFRA BLF solicitation, to be implemented in the Mesoamerica Landscape across three regions, including Selva Maya (Guatemala and Belize), Trifinio (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) and Mosquitia (Honduras), writing full sections and revising and editing based on feedback and information received. 
  • Remain in close contact with Rainforest Alliance technical and finance teams and others involved in the proposal development to understand and internalize concepts, request clarity where needed, and direct team members to seek and present information to help build the proposal’s content.  
  • Receive numerous inputs and coalesce into one well researched, complete document, with proper formatting, consistency, and accuracy, ensuring that all supporting materials and decision making is properly documented and saved for future reference. 
  • Review budgets, theory of change, logical framework, and other proposal elements as needed to advise the proposal development process. 
  • Write original, compelling content in a voice and with the emphasis appropriate to the donor, within the parameters and guidelines of the DEFRA BLF application instructions and responsive to key DEFRA and local government strategies, as well as other national policies and strategies as appropriate. 




  • Workplan which documents a timeline for delivering various proposal components, in alignment with the DEFRA BLF solicitation, and identifies the lead on providing contextual and technical inputs for each section 
  • Full outline of DEFRA BLF proposal, following DEFRA BLF’s expected format and defining the key technical and win themes, arguments, background, and content needed in each section based on the initial theory of change and other key project documents 
  • Full first draft of DEFRA BLF proposal 
  • Full updated draft DEFRA BLF proposal, with revisions based on an internal review process 
  • Final DEFRA BLF proposal 


4.Timeline and Budget Available 


This consultancy should last no more than 3 months, with an estimated period of implementation from June 1st 2022, through submission of the proposal, estimated between July 15th to August 30th (exact dates dependent on the release of RFP). 


Suggested payment schedule against deliverables:

5.Qualifications and Selection Criteria 


  • Proven experience developing successful multimillion-dollar UK Government, ideally DEFRA, proposals. 
  • Knowledge of and experience living or working in Central America 
  • Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree desirable) in environmental or natural resources management, or international development field a must; or at least 5 years of experience working on environmental conservation, sustainable international development, or natural resources topics. 
  • Specific knowledge of conservation and sustainable natural resource management and development issues a plus. 
  • Strong capacity to communicate with diverse kinds of organizations (local, regional, national, governments, technicians, etc.) 
  • Experience and skills facilitating analytical meetings and providing project-design orientation. 
  • Fully bi-lingual Spanish and English. 
  • Extraordinary English writing skills with the ability to sell ideas with concise prose as well as simplify highly technical content into language that is understandable to a broad audience while maintaining specificity and technical rigor. 
  • Availability from early June through end of August 2022 (exact dates dependent on the release of RFP). 
  • Able to travel for at least 20 days to Guatemala/Honduras/Belize/El Salvador. 
  • Contact details of 3 recent references including name, title, relationship, email, and phone number. 


6.Reception of Consultant Offers 


Please submit a packet of the following items through this platform no later than May 22, 2022.

Packets should include: 

  • Short proposal (2 pages) describing your relevant experience and proposed approach 
  • Proposed budget, inclusive of travel, workshop, and other associated costs 
  • CV (including list of relevant funding proposals developed highlighting country, topic, donor, size, number of partners, and language) 
  • Include at least 2 professional references 

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