The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) was founded in the year 2000 as an autonomous, Africa-wide foundation, awarding grants for the support of non-profit African women’s organisations working for social justice, equity and peace, as well as carrying out capacity building work for those organisations and generating knowledge on African women’s work and achievements. In its 18-year history, AWDF has disbursed over 41 million USD to more than 1,370 women’s rights organisations in 43
African nations and 7 countries in the Middle East. AWDF receives its funding from a range of bi-lateral and international donor agencies, private sector entities, African and international philanthropists, and the African Diaspora.

AWDF makes grants in 3 thematic areas namely:

  1. Body & Health Rights
  2. Economic Security & Justice
  3. Leadership, Participation & Peace

In addition, AWDF has issues of young women, arts and culture and technology as cross cutting themes and prioritises projects working with women facing multiple discriminations.

AWDF started as a grantmaking organisation with a grantmaking budget of about US$350,000 in year 2001 supporting small to medium sized organisations, mainly community women’s groups on the African continent. AWDF’s grantmaking portfolio has grown over the years – reaching a grantmaking budget of over US$6,800,000 in

  1. Currently AWDF supports community, national and regional African women’s organisations. Over the years AWDF’s grantmaking systems and processes have evolved organicallyto meet growing needs of grantees and changes in our grant sizes. AWDF currently awards Main grants (grants of up to $100,000), the Leading From the South initiative
    (grants of up to $500,000), special grants including World AIDS Day and 16 Days of Activism ($2,000), capacity building grants, and solidarity and legacy grants. Application for grants are received and processed in English and French.


Purpose of assignment
The purpose of this assignment is to undertake a grantmaking audit that involves an objective look at the organisation’s grantmaking policies, practices, procedures and strategies to help strengthen and protect the organisation’s grantmaking integrity, establish best practices and identify opportunities for improvement. An objective review of the organisation’s current grantmaking state can help in evaluating whether specific
practice areas would be able to accommodate future growth and needs. The results can provide management with the information necessary to decide what areas need improvement.

To this end, AWDF requires an audit and strengthening measures for its grantmaking function in order to stay abreast with its growth and current trends. As part of that process therefore, AWDF wants this framework to be focused on the future in order to adequately cater for a growin grantmaking portfolio and emerging best practice trends in feminist grantmaking.

Scope of audit
The scope of this audit should cover among others the review of and recommendations around improving:

  1. AWDF grantmaking systems- model(s), policies & practices
  2. grantmaking tools including the application and reporting guidelines, the
    application review templates, dockets, etc
  3. human resource capacity of the grants department
  4. documentation practices within the department
  5. due diligence and desk and field review systems undertaken by the grant’s team
  6. grantee support and technical advice provided by the grants team
  7. all other functions and tasks undertaken by the grants team
  8. The linkages with other departments within AWDF and external key stakeholders

The Consultant will use a diverse range of methodologies best suited to meeting the
objectives of the audit including;


  1. Desk review of relevant documents
  2. Interviews with relevant members of staff
  3. Interviews or focus group discussion with key stakeholders, such as grantees or
  4. Review of AWDF’s grantmaking system, processes and procedures including the
    grants department’s interface with finance, Monitoring Evaluation and Learning,
    Capacity Building and Communications, Knowledge Management, with the Director of
    Programmes and CEO.

Expected deliverables

  1. A report that includes findings of the review and:
     Recommendations around systems and processes
     Recommendations for more efficient workflow within the team and with other
     Recommendations around human resources
  2. A grantmaking handbook – incorporating agreed recommendations

Consultant’s profile
The consultant should have:

  1. Expert knowledge of human rights/ social justice grantmaking systems,
    processes and trends is essential.
  2. Systems oriented person but with deep understanding of African contexts/ global
    South realities
  3. Experience in women’s rights issues and organisations
  4. In-depth understanding of feminist principles and how they relate to
    organisational processes
  5. Excellent writing skills and proficiency in English essential.
  6. Excellent interpersonal skills and flexible attitude
  7. Proven ability to deliver work on time


Duration of assignment
The assignment must be completed by September 2019.
The Consultant shall be required to submit the first draft for review by XXXXX and the
final document incorporating all comments by XXX
How to apply
Please send a CV and cover letter indicating proposed methodology, timeline and
number of consulting days, previous experience and relevant field knowledge as well as
a quotation for assignment fee to Beatrice Boakye-Yiadom – Grants Manager –
[email protected] , copying [email protected] – the HR & Admin Manager

Please put in the email subject header: “Application for Consultancy- Grantmaking
Deadline for submissions is no later than XXX.