Consultancy: “Stopping for Success: Planning for Success from Start to Exit” – Guatemala

Search For Common Ground


Position Summary

A research consultant to support the Stopping as Success consortium in conducting activities in Guatemala. The consultant will work with Search for Common Ground staff to prepare prior to in-country research and serve as a member of the consortium’s research team during the site visit (tentatively February – March timeframe).

Project Summary 

“Stopping as Success: planning for success from start to exit” is a research project that will look at responsible exit strategies of INGOs. The research consortium consists of Peace Direct, Search for Common Ground and CDA Collaborative Learning Projects.

The primary goal of this research is to examine exit strategies in peacebuilding and development programs, and bring greater awareness to the international community of the multiple dynamics at play when ending a program. Exit can be seen as a success because sustainable outcomes have been achieved or because continues intervention may only serve to distort local efforts.

The research will result in lessons and guidelines on responsible exit strategies in a context of locally-led development. Lessons will be drawn from examples where exit strategies were rooted in collaborative assessment of local context, priorities and capacities and formed a key part of initial program design.

We plan to examine approximately twenty cases of exits over the course of the next three years (2017-2020). These cases will represent different types and levels of exits, including the phasing out, phasing over and complete cutting off of development projects.

The research will examine examples of current and past exit strategies to draw on lessons learned from successes and failures. In particular, the research approach will include intentional prioritization and inclusion of local researchers and local resource organizations to best inform learning about the impacts of closing out development programs or entire country-level operations.

We are currently identifying case studies of exit strategies for this research. Each case study will take an in-depth look at the process and strategies used by an international organization when exiting a program or closing all activities in a country. We are particularly interested in: exit strategies from the year 2000 onwards, completed as well as on-going exits, INGO-led exits, successful and unsuccessful exits. We have identified a case study in Guatemala.

We are also identifying local resource organizations that we may partner with to deliver this research.

Key Responsibilities

The expected timeframe for this assignment is for no more than 12 days, with the possibility of a 3-day extension for a total of no more than 15 days.

 Expected tasks include:

  • Document review of relevant background material from Stopping as Success research consortium;
  • Update an aid context report (approximately 3-4 pages) that is structured the following way:
  • Brief background on country context with suggestions for further reading
  • The role of civil society and who are the main civil society actors
  • History of INGO and donor activities in country, including trends in aid flows/triggers for aid reduction
  • The relationship between INGOs and local civil society organizations in country;
  • Conduct outreach, identify and invite relevant civil society and international aid actors for key informant interviews;
  • Identify resource organizations in Guatemala in accordance with the resource organization matrix;
  • Identify and scope potential case studies in Guatemala based on Stopping as Success methodology;
  • Review research plan for Guatemala and receive and provide input or edits for clarity;
  • Coordinate with the Project Coordinator regarding travel plans and meeting schedules;
  • Use a highly collaborative and participatory research methodology in tandem with Search for Common Ground international staff during staff in-country research;


You meet the following qualifications:

  • At least 5 years of experience in the international development and civil society strengthening sectors in Guatemala
  • Fluency in English and Spanish
  • Experience in conducting qualitative research
  • Ability to tailor research inquiry and interview protocol in different contexts
  • Willingness and ability to be flexible
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Computer skills including knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite, and Dropbox, etc.
  • Availability February and March

This position will close on January 31st, 2019.

How To Apply

 To apply

To apply, interested candidates should send the following items  to our employment portal  here:

  • current resume
  • cover letter

Please include the following in your cover letter:

  • Minimum daily rate or current salary
  • Projected start date
  • Where you found this posting

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Type: Contract

Application Deadline: 01/31/2019