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CABI short-term consultancy: Support for the development of a corporate strategy on ‘Agriculture and Climate Change’

Short-term consultancy to provide CABI with information, analysis, evidence and options to develop and put into action a corporate strategy on ‘Agriculture and Climate Change’.


CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. Established in 1910 as an intergovernmental organization by a United Nations-level agreement, CABI is owned by 49 member countries that have an equal role in the organisation’s governance, policies and strategic direction. They thus guide and influence our core areas of work, which include International Development and Publishing. We have over 500 staff worldwide based in 12 centres in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
International Development projects and research
CABI is internationally known for its expertise in providing information and improving access to agricultural and scientific knowledge. CABI addresses issues of global concern such as food security, food safety and environmental safeguarding, through international development, research and communication. We do this by helping farmers grow more and lose less of what they produce, combating threats to agriculture and the environment from pests and diseases, protecting biodiversity from invasive species, and improving access to agricultural and environmental scientific knowledge. Our Digital Development and Development Communication work focuses on translating scientific evidence into action. In addition to working within our areas of core technical expertise, we often employ these approaches in adjacent sectors by partnering with relevant experts.
CABI is also a major producer of key scientific publications, including CAB Abstracts – the world-leading abstracting and indexing database covering applied life sciences. We also publish multimedia compendia, books, eBooks and full text electronic resources aiming to further science and its application to real life. CABI invests its publishing surpluses directly into development projects, helping to improve livelihoods worldwide. When appropriate, some of the outputs from donor-funded projects can generate commercial projects, such as e-learning courses, that contribute to the sustainability and impact of the originating work.


This short-term consultancy will provide CABI with information, analysis, evidence and options to develop and put into action a corporate strategy on ‘Agriculture and Climate Change’. In particular, it will also inform CABI’s digital development strategy, as this is an area in which CABI foresees many new potential business opportunities. With the development and implementation of these strategies, CABI aims to position itself as a major player in the global arena of climate change adaptation (and mitigation) – implementing projects and programmes across multiple countries to support enhanced climate resilience of farming communities and their surrounding landscapes together with national stakeholders.

Background and context

Please see attachment for details.


The consultant will be responsible for delivering the following objectives, subdivided into 3 different areas:
Business Development
  • Assess future challenges within the global arena of climate adaptation (and mitigation) and define those of strategic relevance to CABI based on its mission, values, and capabilities
  • Analyse the broad areas of interest of the major bi- and multi-lateral donors in the area of climate adaptation (and mitigation)
  • Assess and identify promising private sector financial mechanisms through which CABI could secure projects
  • Assess what type of organisations are successful in securing public/private funding and make a comparison of their strengths and weaknesses versus CABI
  • Propose required capability acquisition and/or potential strategic partnerships in the donor-funded and corporate space for CABI to become competitive
  • Analyse which technical areas/themes of CABI overlap with areas of interest and intervention of the global climate change development community, and propose how CABI might leverage on this to tap into dedicated climate change funding and funding mechanisms
  • Define CABI’s USPs that will enable it to become a major contributor to global action on climate change adaptation (and mitigation)
  • Propose the most promising potential target niches and potential business opportunities for CABI
  • Define how CABI’s position in this field and proposed contributions would both differ from and complement those of other major organisations working in the same area
  • Propose how climate adaptation (and mitigation) could be embedded and better reflected in CABI’s themes and main global programmes (Plantwise and Action on Invasives)
  • Specifically evaluate the opportunity for CABI to develop data driven ICT decision-support tools
  • Evaluate what areas outside CABI’s core strength offer the best return on investment if CABI wants to invest in building the organisational capacity in other topics relevant to climate change (e.g. water and soil management, crop nutrition, plant breeding, livestock)
CABI Governance
  • Assess how CABI could support its member countries with the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions and/or other national/international commitments

Scope of work/Methodology

Bidders are encouraged to think creatively about an appropriate methodology to achieve the objectives of this study. A variety of approaches are encouraged and could include a desk study, literature review, face-to-face or skype/zoom interviews, SWOT analyses, competitor analyses, feedback seminar, etc.
The findings and recommendations should i) build on CABI’s existing reports and strategic documents and not duplicate these, ii) align with SDGs and climate agendas, iii) consider the inter-governmental status of CABI and its corporate governance, iv) take account of global donor priorities and funding schemes, as well as private sector interests and potential engagement.


  • Overall synthesis report (20 to 30 pages, excluding annexes) in English with a 500 word executive summary, including action-oriented recommendations for CABI’s main thematic areas/business units
  • PowerPoint presentation (not more than 20 slides) summarising main findings, which can be used in feedback session with CABI’s Executive Management Team


  • In order for the assessment and recommendations to be considered during the development of CABIs new Medium Term Strategy, the final report should be available by the end of March 2019 latest. Therefore, the indicative timeline below must be considered by the bidders.
Activity/Deliverable Date
Deadline for bidders to send technical and financial bids 1 February 2019
Decision by CABI on the winning bid 6 February 2019
Submission of draft report 1 March 2019
Feedback by CABI on draft report 15 March 2019
Submission of final report 29 March 2019


The bidder must be able to demonstrate to fulfil the requirements listed:
  • Multi-year experience in advising international development organisations around the topics of agriculture and landscape management in the context of climate change
  • Clear and demonstrable qualifications in any of the fields of natural sciences, agriculture, development cooperation, rural sociology, anthropology, public policy or other related subject areas, with a clear climate change component
  • Good understanding of agricultural and rural development from a development cooperation and private sector perspective
  • Excellent understanding of the international climate change agenda and its implementation and funding mechanisms (public and private)
  • Good understanding of the global climate change development community, including major areas of interest and intervention, as well as interactions with the private sector
  • Demonstrable expertise in digital development and ICT, preferably in the context of climate change adaptation (and mitigation)
  • Detailed and relevant experience working in the area of climate change adaptation and/or mitigation in developing countries, clearly demonstrating the breadth and depth of the subject matter required
  • Fluency in English, with excellent written and oral communication skills

Submission of Proposal

The interested consultants and firms may send their technical and financial bids to by CoB 1 February, 2019.
The proposal should as a minimum include:
  • Full CV
  • The consultant’s interpretation of the task as outlined in the Terms of Reference
  • Proposed methodology, including conceptual framework, study design, tools and analyses
  • Timeline and budget (should not exceed 25 days and should be completed by end of March 2019)

For CABI's Position Statement, please see the attachment.