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Independent Review of the Community Outreach Programme in Malaysia

As a multi-stakeholder initiative that promotes the production and uptake of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) aims to leverage its impact in making sustainable palm oil as the norm.

In its pursuit of transforming the oil palm industry to make it more sustainable, RSPO faces many challenges, complaints and disputes with varying circumstances that require varying approaches. The RSPO Board of Governors recognizes the need for more comprehensive outreach efforts through a network of intermediaries identified from the related or affected communities within producing countries to support and assist RSPO, thus paving the way for a more effective engagement process that will then play a key role in RSPO achieving its mission.

The RSPO Secretariat initiated Community Outreach Programme in Malaysia as an implementation phase to the abovementioned decision by the Board of Governors. The programme was designed to address the findings and recommendation from the aforementioned assessment conducted in 2014. The programme aimed to secure informed and vigorous engagement of communities in RSPO at all levels, by establish a strengthened outreach of RSPO through intermediary organisations in Malaysia, in order to (re-)build RSPO’s credibility with civil society. Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) was engaged and contracted as the Intermediary Organisation (IMO) to implement the programme for Malaysia.

The programme entitled “Building Capacity to Bridge the Gap: Between IMOs and the intended target audience (local and Indigenous communities, smallholders, women’s group and plantation workers) by improving understanding and access to the RSPO System” was originally planned to be implemented in 18 months (October 2018 until April 2020); however, due to some challenges on the ground, it was extended up to end of April 2021. The programme aimed to:

  1. To capacity build local IMOs in Malaysia on RSPO certification systems;
  2. To increase understanding of RSPO and its standards amongs the target groups audience (local

and Indigenous communities, smallholders, women’s group and plantation workers);

  1. To build a platform for the intended audiences to access the RSPO systems; and
  2. To provide access for intended target audiences to give feedback and engage with RSPO.

The community outreach programme for Malaysia was completed in April 2021, and the status and progress of all proposed activities were elaborated in the Final Project Report. In order to understand and assess the effectiveness of the programme – impact on the targeted grassroot stakeholders - feedback from the ground – and how the programme contributes to RSPO mission on promoting sustainable palm oil, it is critical to conduct an independent review.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Secretariat invites interested and prospective organisation for the role as an Independent Reviewer of Community Outreach Programme in Malaysia.

The details of this Call for Proposal are outlined in the Terms of Reference (ToR) which can be downloaded below.

If you are interested in taking the role, please submit your proposal to tender@rspo.org

This announcement will close on 15 November 2021 at 6:00 pm. (JKT time).

Should you encounter any problems or if you have any enquiries relating to this process, please contact Imam A. El Marzuq at imam.marzuq@rspo.org