1) BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE
In 2018, key regional stakeholders, including the Regional Governance Group (RGG) and the Regional Platform, began work to design a new model of presence for Oxfam in Southern Africa that would ensure greater impact in the region in line with Oxfam’s global strategic framework and ambition while also taking into account the reduced income across the confederation. This work included an extensive feasibility study covering all the four SAF countries (Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe) where Oxfam currently has a presence. It also examined key functions and operational issues critical to Oxfam’s successful presence in the region. This work has received renewed attention and urgency due to the financial contraction across the Oxfam confederation during the time of Covid-19. As such, the conclusions align with the recent request of OIS to propose ‘models of presence’ under a 20% or 40% reduction in the collective resource allocation (CRA).
The intention is to become One Oxfam in Southern Africa- by fundamentally shifting Oxfam’s presence to become a single organizational entity in the region. This is not a cluster model or a multi-country model where the basic elements of the current structure are retained. Rather, the proposal is to eliminate the regional platform and the 4 country offices in order to re-establish a single entity with programming hubs in multiple locations across the region.
The SAF HR transition group amongst other deliverables was tasked with drafting job descriptions for the cluster roles; the Reward Shared Services supported with grading. The new SAF Cluster strategy informed the job descriptions expectations. The cluster roles were located in the 4 SAF countries according to categorization Head Office, Country specific and multi-location with right to work. Recruitment commenced internally in March 2021 starting with Tier 1, then Tier 2 and lastly Tier 3 and this was done this way so that recruitment managers could be in place to complete recruitments under their respective teams. External recruitments were only done where there were internal failed recruitments (there were 2).
The cluster went live effective 1 July 2021. An induction to understand the new strategy, regional external context, internal context, composition of teams and new ways of working was done in August 2021. Goal setting was completed by end of September 2021.
One of the other main drivers of the transition was the organization-wide dwindling resources; to this effect, the Collective Revenue Allocation to the region was reduced to 40% with the assumption that EAs and Partner Affiliates would contribute some discretionary funds to their respective areas of program interest and thematic programs would fundraise. To this effect, cluster roles were pegged to national country salaries as there was an assumption that the skills set would be resourced from within the region. The SAF Program Director role is the only one that was pegged on the international market as it required global skills.
There are discrepancies in the cluster country national pay salary scales due to a number of economic, legal and EA factors. Mozambique and Zimbabwe salaries are in US$ thereby being protected by any economic or other legal changes; whilst Malawi and Zambia salaries are in local currency which are exposed to uncertainties and volatility in terms of devaluation and -rising inflation rates.
For some time now in Oxfam, there has been a trend to settle for second preferred candidates because Oxfam would not afford the first preferred candidates who would be asking for higher salary- this costs the organization more in terms of time to hand hold the person and extra resources needed to bring the person to the required competency levels which in some cases affects program delivery. In some instances, Oxfam would match current salary of candidate to attract but this then creates disparities and inequalities within those salary grades. New people would have higher salaries than the existing staff. Issues of inconsistency between the salaries of newer staff and existing staff should be considered, with appropriate adjustments made to motivate/retain existing staff who have proved their worth to the organization, while also taking into account the skills and experience brought by new employees
There is also need, to review the acting allowances to reflect net worthy of the accountability responsibilities the person will be undertaking. The current 3-5% of basic pay is minimal when you take into consideration the real value for local currency. There is need to explore other options apart from percentage or increasing the threshold so that the compensation is meaningful and motivating.
Though Oxfam does not have a performance-based reward, it would important to incorporate the performance management ratings as an increment percent especially for exceeding expectations and outstanding ratings other than leaving it to individual line managers to recommend a percentage. This will boost morale to do better and improve program delivery.
There is a perception that the Birches Group that Oxfam currently uses for its salary data does not take into consideration the context and ways of working unique to the SAF Cluster. We seek to identify an external benchmark which supports us to understand the market within the SAF Cluster, at a country level, but also which considers benchmarks for roles operating at a cluster level. Organisations our staff have transitioned to would be key, taking into account whether the size and scope of roles are aligned.
· The overall expected outcome of the consultancy is a set of recommendations for reward that take into account: The specific context within which the SAF Cluster operates
· The over-arching reward principles of Oxfam
· A total reward approach (considering not only salary ranges but other associated benefits)
· Considers alignment (where appropriate) with other cluster reward strategies in Oxfam
· Identifies potential external benchmarks for ongoing use.
Objectives of the undertaking
· Provide recommendations of the current market positioning of SAF salaries, including the use of international and national terms. The recommendations should take into account both external market data, and internal reward principles.
· To collect and analyze the SAF countries national pay market data with organizations in the region for attraction and retention.
· To review acting allowances structure to ensure fairness in propensity to the added accountabilities
· Consider performance-based reward system
· To explore uniqueness of cluster and cascade learning to other clusters or similar platforms in the confederation
· To provide recommendations for implementation that allow the SAF Cluster to position themselves as an employer of choice within the geographic region.
The following methodology is proposed by Oxfam however it is noted that the consultant should also provide any other methodology that, in their technical opinion, would be appropriate.
· Literature review: SAF transition documents, job profiles, SAF Organogram, Country National Salary scales, review of other cluster reward frameworks
· Interviews with SAF Leadership Team (PD, Country Reps, HRPB, Operations Lead, SG Advisor and Staff Associations)
· Interviews with RSS Focal Point to understand Oxfam reward principles and current comparison data Oxfam uses and the approach taken in other clusters
· Collect market data from like-minded or similar organizations that operate like Oxfam in southern Africa
· Check market data for organizations Oxfam loses staff to, and review exit data of staff
Total time frame needed for the work is 6 weeks as follows:
· Literature review by first week of commencing the work
· Interviews in the second week
· Data collection and checking with organizations Oxfam loses staff to in the third and fourth week
· First draft presented to HR and RLT in fourth & fifth week
· Final draft presented to RSS & HRBP in the sixth week
Team composition & Competencies
· 1 person or organization
· Must have more than 5 years salary survey experience
· Must have strong technical reward capability, with an understanding of reward principles across the sector, both within the SAF region and beyond.
· Change management knowledge and experience
· Must have geo-political knowledge of SAF region context
· Knowledge of program management
· Experience working with INGO sector an added advantage
· Ability to meet deadlines
Please send applications to [email protected] with the subject title SAF Cluster Reward Analysis on or before 31st May 2022