Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

Strengthening Amnesty International UK's Ethical Approach and Rightsholder-Centered Practices

Job type
Consultant for Strengthening Amnesty International UK's Ethical Approach and Rightsholder-Centered Practices
Closing date
Monday 22 July 2024 at 00:00
Interview date
Monday 29th July

Terms of Reference: Consultant for Strengthening Amnesty International UK's Ethical Approach and Rightsholder-Centered Practices 


Amnesty International UK (AIUK) is part of a global human rights movement with over 7 million supporters worldwide. We are committed to placing rightsholders' - people Amnesty works with and for, and whose lives are impacted by our decisions - lived experiences and expertise at the heart of our human rights work. To achieve this vision, we recognise the critical importance of a robust ethical approach that fosters accountability, respect, and equitable partnerships with those we seek to support. 

AIUK has made progress in this area. We have developed a program of ethics sensitisation training for staff and activists; we have policy and practice around obtaining informed consent, risk assessment and safeguarding, as well as a recently approved approach to ethical communications and fundraising. Learning from doing and expanding this work has helped to shape our 2024-2026 ethics project work. 

AIUK now seeks a skilled and experienced consultant to partner with us in moving this work forward and developing a comprehensive ethical framework for our work. This work will be crucial to ensuring meaningful, ethical engagement with human rights defenders (HRDs) and rightsholders whose courage and determination are crucial to the shared struggle for human rights. 


Historically, AIUK's approach to ethics has sometimes lacked consistency due to various factors, including limited centralised guidance, varying levels of training, and an evolving understanding of our duty of care toward rightsholders. This has occasionally led to situations where our practices did not fully align with our aims, impacting rightsholders and creating challenges for staff. 

A comprehensive 2022 needs assessment underscored these areas for growth. Our staff highlighted the positive impact of existing ethics training and a desire for continued learning opportunities. They also expressed a need for clearer guidelines, and more support when navigating complex ethical decisions in their specific roles. 

 This project represents a significant opportunity to strengthen AIUK's ethical framework further, building on the progress initiated in 2023. Through this consultancy, we aim to contextualise our guidelines and ensure ethics are thoughtfully integrated into all facets of our work, and support AIUK’s governance functions to oversee this work. 


This consultancy will enhance AIUK's existing ethical approach to work with rightsholders. Our overall objectives for this work are below, and we expect this project to begin with: 

  • Targeted Needs Assessment: Conduct a desk-based review of existing materials and consultations with staff to supplement findings from the 2022 assessment. Identify specific needs and challenges in implementing the existing ethical framework. 

The below are areas we have identified as requiring further work for AIUK. However, we will work with any consultant to agree exact areas of focus and deliverables based on methodology and value for money. 

  • Contextualising Ethical Guidelines: Review existing guidance and risk assessment protocols. Provide recommendations and tools to ensure their practical application in diverse AIUK contexts. 

  • Fostering Equitable Partnerships: Develop guidelines and protocols to establish equitable and respectful partnerships with rightsholders and rightsholder led organisations.  

  • Designing an Inclusive Engagement Framework: Construct a framework that ensures meaningful and ethical participation of rightsholders across AIUK projects and research initiatives. Emphasise adapting processes to promote ethical communication, decision-making, and power-sharing practices. 

  • Contextualising and Improving Training: Based on the needs assessment, review and assess current ethics training and materials. 


Indicative deliverables 

This consultancy will produce the following key deliverables (again specifics to be agreed with any successful consultant): 

  1. An inception meeting to agree scope and focus of the project and agreed methodology and approach 

  2. Needs Assessment and Recommendations: 

  • A report summarising specific areas where the current ethical framework requires practical contextualisation. 

  • Actionable recommendations for improving its implementation. 

  1. Contextualised Ethical Guidelines Support: 

  • A toolkit(s) to help staff and activists apply existing guidelines to real-world scenarios and work contexts. 

  • Supplementing risk assessment protocols to address identified gaps and making this guidance accessible and usable.  

  1. Partnership Development Toolkit: 

  • Partnership guidelines adapted from existing ethical principles for establishing and maintaining collaborations with rightsholders and rightsholder led organisations. 

  1. Piloting and Implementation Support 

  • Pilot implementation plan for selected AIUK projects. 

  • Report on pilot findings, including challenges, successes, and recommendations. 

  • A model for broader organisational rollout and integration of the enhanced ethics framework. 

  1. Project Documentation and Reporting 

  • An inception report based on the needs assessment findings outlining the project plan and approach. 

  • Presentations to key stakeholders to communicate the project purpose, progress, and final outcomes. 

  • A final summary report documenting the work delivered and produced; as well as recommendations for further work by key teams and governance bodies. 


AIUK recognises the importance of a flexible and responsive approach to achieving the project objectives outlined above. While this TOR proposes a framework for deliverables, we encourage the consultant to propose a tailored methodology that best leverages their expertise and addresses the specific needs identified during the project. 


To ensure effective project oversight and collaboration, the following governance structure will be in place: 

Project Lead 

  • Eilidh Macpherson, Individuals at Risk Campaign Manager, will serve as AIUK's primary point of contact for the selected consultant.  

Supporting Team 

  • Felix Jakens, Head of Priority Campaigns and Individuals at Risk

  • Naveed Somani, Campaigns and Strategy Evaluation Manager 

  • Daniel Nasr, Head of Diversity and Inclusion 

  • Charis Belcher, AIUK Safeguarding Lead 


  • Work Arrangement: This project can be conducted entirely remotely or with occasional on-site visits to AIUK's offices at the consultant's discretion. Proposals should indicate the preferred working arrangement and any associated considerations. 

  • Location: Ideally, the consultant or consultancy team would be based in the UK. 


  • Tender published 1st July and will be open for submission until 00:00 on Monday 22nd July 

  • Review of submitted tenders will take place W/c 22nd  

  • Shortlisted consultants/teams will be invited to present/pitch on Monday 29th July with a decision being made and moving to contract the same week. 

  • Project inception to commence in W/c 12th August 

  • Workplan Development: The selected consultant will work closely with AIUK to develop a detailed work plan, including specific milestones, within the first month of the project. 

  • Project Duration: The project should be completed within four months of the contract start date, with a target completion date by the end of December 2024. 


  • Available Funds: A budget of up to £20,000 for this consultancy has been allocated (excluding VAT) 

Reference Materials 

The selected consultant will have access to the following resources: 

  • AIUK's existing ethical guidelines and ethical principles framework 

  • Risk assessment protocols 

  • Current ethics training materials 

  • AIUK approaches to active participation and informed consent 

  • Existing engagement frameworks 

  • Relevant communications guidance (including materials for AIUK staff and the International Secretariat) 

  • Evaluations of relevant campaigns 

  • 2022 Needs Assessment 

Key Stakeholders and Audience 

This consultancy will engage with a diverse range of stakeholders across AIUK, including: 

  • Individuals at Risk (IAR) Team: The consultant will collaborate closely with the IAR team as the primary point of contact. 

  • People and Culture: The consultant will work with the People and Culture teams (including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Anti-Racism lead; and Safeguarding lead) to ensure recommendations align with wellbeing initiatives and address Amnesty’s duty of care towards rightsholders, staff and activists.  

  • Other Teams: Consultation will extend to the wider Campaigns team and teams involved in direct work with rightsholders, communications, community organising, and press relations. 

  • Senior Management and Board: The consultant may engage with senior management team (SMT) members and the board to present findings and recommendations. 

Target Audience 

The primary target audience for the outputs of this consultancy are: 

  • AIUK Staff: Staff members who directly engage with rightsholders will benefit most directly from the enhanced ethical framework, training, and tools. 

  • Activists and Community Organisers: These groups represent a secondary audience, and the consultancy's outputs should, wherever possible, be adaptable to their needs. 

Submission Guidelines 

To ensure a consistent and fair evaluation process, please adhere to the following guidelines when preparing your proposal: 

1. Format and Length: 

  • Narrative sections of the proposal (excluding CVs and appendices) should not exceed 4 pages. 

2. Proposal Structure: 

  • Cover Page: Include the consultancy name, contact details, date of submission, and the title "RFP Response: AIUK Ethical Framework Development." 

  • Experience and Qualifications: Outline your team's relevant experience in developing ethical frameworks and training materials, with specific examples of work with human rights organisations or within complex partnership dynamics. Highlight your commitment to diversity and inclusion within your team and approach. 

  • Proposed Methodology: Clearly articulate your proposed methodology for the project. Tailor this section to address the specific objectives and deliverables outlined in this RFP. 

  • Timeline and Budget: Provide a detailed project timeline and a breakdown of costs. 

  • CVs: Include CVs for all key team members involved in the project. 

3. Submission Method: Proposals should be submitted electronically to with the subject line "RFP Response - AIUK Ethical Framework Development." 

Evaluation Criteria 

AIUK will evaluate proposals based on the following key factors: 

  • Relevant Experience: Demonstrated expertise in developing ethical frameworks,  and understanding partnership dynamics within a human rights context. 

  • Proposed Methodology: The appropriateness, responsiveness, and innovation of the proposed methodology in addressing AIUK's specific needs and objectives. 

  • Qualifications and Team: The qualifications, experience, and diversity of the proposed project team. 

  • Budget and Timeline: Cost-effectiveness of the proposed budget and feasibility of the outlined timeline 

Ethics TOR - first stage.docx