Course overview

Writing terms of reference which are clear and fit for purpose, is the key to mobilising and maintaining the momentum of any development programme or action to reduce poverty. This course aims to improve the confidence and competence of Donor programme and advisory staff to formulate quality terms of reference to enhance the efficiency of aid delivery via consultancy and/or recipient Government assignments.

Course details

Courses rosette

Course objectives

By the end of the training participants will be able to:

  • Describe how good ToR can influence the ultimate success or failure of development efforts and why they are so critical.
  • Explain ToR as part of the procurement cycle.
  • Identify and describe the key aspects to be included in a quality terms of reference format in a development context.
  • Distinguish between well and poorly written ToR.
  • List typical mistakes to avoid when formulating ToR.
  • Explain linkage of ToR to logframes and Programme Cycle Management.
  • Draft a ToR for consultancy services under a project or programme.


Our courses utilise a variety of methodologies, such as role play, reflective questionnaire, case studies, reflective journal, participatory analysis tools and much more. We design programmes to include a useful mix of hard and soft skills, combining practical tools and tips with brief ‘theoretical’ inputs where relevant. At CIDT we are great believers in experiential learning. Therefore our courses and workshops are very participatory and active in nature, so be prepared to share your ideas, experiences, problems, challenges and practices with other. We also believe that learning should be fun – so please also bring your sense of humor with you!

Course Content


  • Necessity for Donors
  • The need to embrace risk when delegating

Contract specification

  • Basic points to remember

ToR issues

  • Outputs & deliverables
  • Inputs
  • Process or product led?

ToR Format

  • Objectives
  • Scope
  • Methodology
  • Reporting
  • Timeframe
  • Coordination
  • Background

ToR as a quality assurance tool within the programme cycle

  • Logframes and Programme Cycle Management
  • Design to Implementation to Monitoring/Evaluation to Lesson learning

What our participants say…

“I found the course very helpful and stimulating, particularly putting the theory into practice.”

“Good trainer, clear course structure, good hand out materials.”

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