TOR: Consulting Services for Strategy and Business Plan (2024-2026)

Closing date
14 Dec 2022


Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is an international organization working with leaders in government, the private sector and civil society to drive further, faster action toward achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which calls for universal access to sustainable energy by 2030, and the Paris Agreement, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate warming to well below 2° Celsius. 

Achieving these goals will require a radical rethink of the way we produce, distribute, and consume energy. SEforALL is at the heart of this foundational shift to ensure no one is left behind. Drawing on data and evidence, we identify a critical path to success in achieving SDG7. 

The eighth UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched Sustainable Energy for All as a UN initiative in 2011. The initiative was instrumental in ensuring energy was at the heart of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted by UN members in 2015.  

The ambitions of SDG7 are extraordinary. Aiming to achieve them in the context of the Paris Agreement on climate change involves transformation at a scale never undertaken before. Swift action must be taken by leaders in governments, private sector companies, institutions, financiers, development banks, unions, communities, entrepreneurs, and civil society. As we enter the final decade to achieve SDG7, SEforALL has strategically chosen to strengthen global agenda-setting while expanding its activities to an engagement model that prioritizes data-driven decision-making, partnerships with high-impact countries and implementation on the ground. The current SEforALL three-year business plan (2021-2023) outlines “Results Offers” that scope out our planned interventions and demonstrate to our funding partners the impact of their support.  

Current Governance 

In 2016, SEforALL was established as a Quasi-International Organization (QIO) under Austrian law. The organization currently employs approximately 95+ full-time professionals and now operates out of its headquarters in Vienna and satellite offices in New York City and Washington DC USA; it also has a country office in Abuja, Nigeria. Additional team members are based in Freetown, Sierra Leone; Accra, Ghana; Nairobi, Kenya; and Jakarta, Indonesia, with an expectation of more country-based assignments to occur in the future. SEforALL’s governance structure consists of an Administrative Board and a Funders’ Council, and is defined by its bylaws and statutes:  

  • The Administrative Board is the principal governing body. Its Chair and members provide guidance on strategic direction and handle all policymaking decisions, including appointing the CEO and approving the annual work plan and budget.  

  • SEforALL relies on donor contributions to fund its operations. SEforALL’s Funders’ Council is a consultative group that comprises representatives from selected major donors, and that provides advice and recommendations to the CEO and the Administrative Board. The Chair of the Council holds an ex officio Administrative Board position. 

Further, SEforALL has a Leadership Council composed of distinguished global leaders with a shared mission to accelerate action on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) and the Paris Agreement.  Members of the Leadership Council act in an honorary capacity and do not presently assume governance responsibilities.  

Relationship with the United Nations 

As an independent organization, SEforALL maintains close links with the UN, including through a ten-year (2016-2026) relationship agreement with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, partnerships with several UN agencies and through its CEO’s appointment as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative (SRSG) for Sustainable Energy for All and as Co-Chair of UN-Energy. The SRSG role includes advising the UN Secretary-General and his staff on issues relating to sustainable energy and the implementation of SDG7 and supporting the coordination of sustainable energy issues in the United Nations System.    

Scope of Work    

In the context of the regulatory, organizational, scientific/technological and business transformation of SDG7 and Paris Agreement landscape, SEforALL is seeking the services of a Consulting Firm on the formulation of a 3-year strategy and business plan for the period 2024-2026 within the broader aim of achieving SDG7 and a just and equitable energy transition by 2030 as a precondition to meeting net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Key tasks will include, but not be limited to, the following: 

  1. Assessment of previous Strategy and Business Plan: Assess the previous Strategy and Business Plan (2021-2023) as the basis for the recommended 2024-2026 Strategy and Business Plan.  The assessment, based on data provided by SEforALL, should include whether the outcomes, impact, and KPIs/targets of the previous Strategy and Business Plan were achieved, along with the causes for the achievement and/or shortcomings as well as a delineation of the lessons learnt and recommended remedies, if any.  

  1. Provide a view on the changing SDG7 environment, partnership landscape, and trends affecting SEforALL’s strategic direction: e.g., Energy access agenda including Clean Cooking, Healthcare, Energy Efficiency and Cooling, Share of Renewable Energy, etc. The Consulting Firm should take account of the myriad existing, and emerging, players in the SDG7 and Paris Agreement landscape (e.g., partners, facilitators, donors, financiers, developers, civil society etc.) as well as funding needs.  

  1. Review of the value-added position of SEforALL regarding the various programs. Study and assess where SEforALL should position itself during the period of the Business Plan with due consideration to where demand for SEforALL lies, including any identified niches or gaps. This should include benchmarking with other actors in the SEforALL domain (including delineating comparative advantages and disadvantages). Moreover, this workstream should evaluate whether SEforALL should maintain, enlarge, reduce, or wind down any of its programs, and why. Within this work stream, the Theory of Change methodology should be used by the Consulting Firm.  

  1. Delineate SEforALL’s Strategy and Strategic Objectives: Ensure alignment of the Strategy and Strategic Objectives with SEforALL’s vision, mission, and mandate. Internalize the assessment of the previous strategy and business plan as well as recent evolution of the SDG7 and Paris Agreement space and its expected trajectory into 2030 and beyond. Take stock of stakeholder expectations (i.e., beneficiaries, CSOs, developers, governments, donors, staff, etc.), and ensure that gender and youth considerations are mainstreamed throughout. Within this work stream, the Consulting Firm shall articulate a problem statement and how the Strategy and Strategic Objectives address it.  

  1. Strategic Scorecard: Define quantitative and qualitative metrics that translate SEforALL’s key strategic directives, alongside appropriate benchmarks that are relevant to the SDG7 and Paris Agreement landscape. In particular, the Consulting Firm should identify the SDG7/climate and development impact of the programs recommended along with a detailed list of suggested annual outputs, outcomes, impact, and a direct reference to the relevant SDG7 indicator. In particular, the Consulting Firm is expected to review and update the Theory of Change and the resultant cross-organizational KPIs; moreover, the Consulting Firm shall provide updated programme-specific metrics. In addition to the above, the Consulting Firm shall define quantitative and qualitative metrics for key operational directives (i.e., internal metrics). 

  1. 2024-2026 Business Plan: The Consulting Firm shall work with SEforALL to formulate a three-year Business Plan that delineates the Result Offers/Programmes, initiatives, and activities that will be undertaken annually over the period to achieve the Strategy and the various quantitative and qualitative metrics that have been agreed upon. 

  1. Facilitating Strategy Retreats: The Consulting Firm shall facilitate an SEforALL Leadership Team retreat at the onset of the Engagement, two retreats in Q1/Q2 2023 for the Administrative Board of SEforALL and key stakeholders, and an All Staff Retreat for generating input and buy-in towards the end of the Engagement. The Consulting Firm should use the Retreats to generate value-added input, and consensus, into the formulation of the 2024-2026 Strategy and Business Plan. More specifically, the Consulting Firm shall provide expert guidance to effectively plan the retreats (including structure, agendas, and questions), providing curated background at least one week in advance of the retreats, gathering notes during the retreats and providing summaries after the retreats.  

  1. Implementation Roadmap: The Consulting Firm shall articulate the Implementation Roadmap, with a detailed timeline and specific Action Plans for the new Strategy. This shall include Communication and Brand positioning, alignment with governance and operating model, enlarging intervention and geographic presence (Results Offers/Programmes and additional offices), etc.  

  1. Build a user-friendly Financial Model supported by assumptions and the resulting financial projections to assess the financial and resource impact of the key strategy options and the financial sustainability of SEforALL, taking into account the Resource Mobilization Strategy, as well as SEforALL’s ability to continue to deliver impactful programs and projects that target the achievement of SDG7 by 2030. 

  1. Formulation of Resource Mobilization Strategy and Action Plan. It can be expected that the 2024-2026 Business Plan would require a significant ramp-up of resource mobilization efforts by SEforALL. The Consulting Firm is expected to articulate a Resource Mobilization Strategy and Action Plan that is in sync with the 2024-2026 Business Plan. In line with the above, the Consulting Firm should provide insights on the donor/partner landscape (both currently and future trajectory), including pockets of funding, where there is a clear alignment of interest vis-à-vis the mandate and the prospective areas of intervention of SEforALL

Approach, Timeline, and Deliverables 

Approach: The Consulting Firm will work for the successful completion of the Engagement, including all its deliverables, as outlined in the Scope of Work above in close coordination and continuous exchange with the SEforALL team. This will be ensured by organising weekly meetings with the Consulting Firm. The selected Consulting Firm will maintain close contact with a designated SEforALL focal point throughout the assignment who will facilitate access to documentation, relevant SEforALL staff and other partners as needed.  

The Consulting Firm must make a concerted effort to mainstream gender considerations throughout this assignment. If possible, the firm is also expected to implement at least a 40:60 female to male ratio in their team and to submit a copy of any gender policies they follow. 

Timeline and deliverables: The scope of this task should be completed within four (4) months, preferably earlier. It is expected that this Engagement will begin on 23 January 2023 and will be completed on, or before, 15 June 2023. The deliverables for this assignment are outlined in the table below: 


Date of Completion  

Project Kick-Off and Gantt Chart for the SOW

23-Jan-23 and 1-Feb-23 respectively

Facilitating Post-Project Kick-off Virtual Leadership Retreat


Draft Assessment of the Previous Strategy and Business Plan


Draft Assessment of SDG7 Environment, Partnership Landscape, and Trends


Draft Value-added Proposition of SEforALL  


Facilitating Administrative Board Retreat -Rome   

8 and 9-Mar-23

Draft SEforALL Strategy and Strategic Objectives


Facilitating a Stakeholder Retreat - New York

19 and 20-Apr-23

Draft Strategic Scorecard


Draft 2024-2026 Business Plan


Draft Implementation Roadmap 

22 and 23-May-23

Draft Resource Mobilization Strategy and Action Plan


Finalize Financial Model


Submission of Final Draft of All Deliverables


Potential Attendance in the Administrative Board Meeting




The selected Consulting Firm shall report to Dr. Sherif Ayoub, SEforALL’s Senior Director, Finance and Operations for this assignment, with additional input and consultations with the SEforALL CEO and wider Leadership Team 


Apart from the Retreats, the cost of which shall be covered by SEforALL, there is no expectation of travel for the assignment.  

Qualification and Expertise

Organizations wishing to submit a proposal should have:  

  • A minimum of seven years’ experience in working with analogous organizations (and particularly with public organizations, non-profits/INGOs, and IFIs) in the areas of strategy, business plans, operational efficiency, and effectiveness, change management, etc. 
  • Ability to show a clear understanding of SEforALL, its mandate, Results Offers/Programs, and aspirations.  

  • A good understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG7, as well as the Paris Agreement. In particular, demonstratable comprehension of the nexus of energy, development, and climate would be preferable.  

  • Solid experience in results-based management and impact. 

  • The bidder shall propose an Engagement Partner, Engagement Manager as well as one or more Lead Consultants, if necessary, to carry out this assignment. 

  • The Engagement Manager should be at the senior level with at least 7-10 years of work experience in management consultancy or similar.  

  • Personnel proposed to lead the Engagement must have education qualifications of at least a master’s degree level in the areas of business administration, energy, climate, development, finance, law, public administration, public policy, and/or a related discipline. 

  • The organisation must legally be able to provide business services within the European Union and can operate within at least a 6-hour window (10:00 – 16:00) of Central European Time zone (CET), Monday-Friday. The organisation is expected to work closely with the teams and thus same time zone is preferred. 

  • All personnel must have a high-level command of the English language.  


Bidding Process 

Proposals can be submitted using your own format; however, the proposal must include the following: 

(i) Technical Proposal, containing:

  • Cover page, including the organisation’s name, address, and contact information.

  • Brief background about your organisation as well as details of relevant work experiences.

  • Portfolio of similar projects and works that are similar to the elements within the Scope of Work for this engagement. 

  • The Consulting Firm’s understanding of the assignment, including any proposed changes to the scope of work, timeline, and engagement approach. Identification of key risks, and potential mitigants, should be outlined. 

  • A project plan that includes planning of activities, needs (meeting schedules, documentation, etc.), approach to progress tracking and reporting as well as a Gantt Chart with clear timelines that adhere to the duration that has been stipulated in the “Timeline” section above (i.e., four months).  

  • Three (3) organizational/client references from the last three years 

  • Key personnel CVs of a gender balanced team, with CVs preferably no more than two pages each. 

  • Gender Policy.

(ii) A Financial Proposal, outlining the lump sum costs associated with carrying out the scope of work, including: 

  • Labour costs (personnel, daily rates, number of days) 

  • Other costs 

  • All costs must be in USD  

  • The cost of the Formulation of Resource Mobilization Strategy and Action Plan component of the Scope of Work should be provided separately, as it may be carved out of the Scope of Work by SEforALL.  

Evaluation, Conflict of Interest, and Terms of Payment 

  • Bidders are requested to disclose and explain any potential conflicts of interest  

  • Terms of payment at SEforALL follow a deliverable based framework. The breakdown of the milestone payments will be prescribed in consultation with the selected firm. 

  • The evaluation of proposals will be based on a 70 – 30 split for technical proposal and financial proposal, respectively. The technical assessment is divided between Comprehension of the Project, Technical Capacity, Experience, and Personnel (team), as well as Approach and Methodology.  

  • Any questions, should be submitted in written format directly to     

Deadline and Pre-Bid Call

Please submit your proposal by 14 December 2022, 17:00 Central European Time (CET) to

SEforALL organizes a Pre-Bid Call on 5 December 2022 to answer any queries by the Bidders. Register in advance for this meeting in the following link: