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Terms of reference: Strategic planning and facilitation services


A just and equitable world where communities and ecosystems can thrive is possible. But social injustice, democratic backsliding, and the climate crisis threaten us all. The courageous people and communities daring to speak out face attacks and reprisals from powerful vested interests. Many pay the ultimate price.

Open Briefing is a vital part of the response. We build resistance and resilience among the people and communities challenging power. And we are answering more calls for assistance across more countries than ever before. Last year, our international team provided nearly 6,000 hours of direct support to activists and advocates under threat of physical, digital, and psychological harm across 68 countries.

Alongside this local support, we provide consultancy and advisory services to help nonprofits and foundations take the right risks when supporting and resourcing grassroots change. We ensure that these international partners are equipped and empowered by enhancing their security risk management, information security and data protection, and staff care and wellbeing.

We help those around the world fighting for human rights and social justice, protecting the environment and protesting climate chaos, exposing corruption and reporting the truth, defending their communities and their land, striving for peace and democracy, and standing up for reproductive justice and the rights of LGBTQIA+ people. Together, we are building towards a better future.

Our values

We are a clan culture. We focus on collaboration and teamwork in the pursuit of common goals. We value mentoring and open lines of communication over control and hierarchy. We are an inclusive team that supports each other in our professional and personal lives. Our organisational values are:

  • Create impact. We are a catalyst for lasting positive change.
  • Collaborate inclusively. We listen and build solutions together.
  • Be authentic. We act with integrity as both a trusted ally and a critical friend.
  • Embody openness. We are transparent, compassionate, and generous.
  • Think differently. We are curious and innovative.

Scope of work

Open Briefing is seeking the services of a strategic planner and facilitator to run an awayday with its Senior Management Team (SMT) in central London on 19 and 20 March.

The aim of the two days is to further operationalise the delivery of our strategy for 2023-26, focusing in particular on:

  1. Prioritisation of organisational OKRs for Q3-Q4 2024 and Q1 2025 that will progress us in delivering our strategy.
  2. Identifying where there is a need for incremental changes to organisational structures and processes to help us deliver our strategy.

Strategy implementation planning

The facilitator will support the SMT to:

  • Explore organisational structure needs in light of our strategy for 2023-26 (including where we may need to outsource some services or expertise).
  • Discuss the purpose, structure, and functioning of the Working Groups (WGs) (including. budgets) and SMT (including escalation and brainstorming).
  • Review and prioritise our organisational OKRs for the rest of 2024 and Q1 2025
  • Link organisational and workstream/working group OKRs.
  • Map each team/workstream and working group’s role and responsibilities in delivering our OKRs for 2024 and relating these back to our strategy for 2023-26.
  • Assess any threats and opportunities within our 2024 plan that may go beyond those already identified in our strategy for 2023-26.

Key outcomes

  1. 12 month’s of organisation-level strategic OKRs are defined.
  2. Agreement is reached on the functioning of WGs and SMT (purpose, membership, and ambition).
  3. Changes to organisational structures and processes are agreed.

Measures of success will include:

  • Prioritisation of organisational and workstream/working group OKRs in light of capacity and resource constraints.
  • Embedded plan on managing threats and opportunities.
  • Confirmation of any incremental changes to organisational structures.
  • An operational plan for 2024 activities, drawn from the OKR initiatives.
  • An agreed format for internal communication on the outputs of the SMT awayday to the rest of the Open Briefing team.
  • Facilitation techniques and energizers that will enable the SMT to get to know each other better on a personal level.

Length of contract: 4 days; 2 working days (9am-5pm) and 2 working days preparation.

Dates of session: 19 and 20 March 2024.

Location: Covent Garden, London.

Person or organisation specifications

  • Proven experience in helping teams deal with complex issues in a way that optimises participation.
  • Demonstrated skills in supporting teams to resolve key questions related to organisational development and the use of OKR frameworks for tracking progress towards strategic objectives.
  • Ability to foster a safe and supportive working environment for participants.
  • Creative thinker who can reinforce team cohesion with participants.
  • Expertise in designing engaging methods to strengthen personal connections in the workplace.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Open Briefing values diversity. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where all can be their authentic selves. We therefore encourage all consultants or organisations that meet the person specification and particularly candidates who are black, indigenous, or people of colour.

Please read our diversity, equity, and inclusion policy for more information. Our ethical and environmental policies are also available.

Open Briefing is neuroinclusive, positive about mental health, and a Disability Confident Employer. We welcome applications from all candidates who meet the person specification. Please let us know in your cover letter how we can be the recruiter and client that you need us to be.

We follow the gender pay gap reporting guidance from the UK government. This reveals that women currently have higher average pay than men in our organisation. The pay ratio in our organisation is currently 2.4 : 1. We have also checked the text of this advert using the Gender Decoder tool.

How to apply

To apply, please email a proposal to Lauren Smith ([email protected]) by 29 February 2024 that includes:

  • Description of the methodology you would use to facilitate the above described sessions.
  • Draft agenda to meet the objectives outlined above.
  • Quote.
  • CV and description of relevant previous experience.
  • Two references.

We reserve the right to close this vacancy prior to the advertised closing date if we receive a large number of applications. If you are interested in this consultancy, please submit your application as early as possible!

Terms of reference