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Consultant - Covering Oil Reboot

TOR Covering Oil Reboot Managing Author


Vibrant, independent, responsive media is critical to NRGI’s theory of change. NRGI understands that citizens and policy makers need the media, to filter, interpret, analyze, and disseminate information to enable accountability and good governance of the sector. In order for countries to transform their natural resource wealth into a source of sustainable development, the media must be able to provide information to multiple stakeholders, inform and clarify debate, and hold actors accountable.

In 2017, NRGI went through a rigorous process to create a new media development strategy involving review of media development literature, lessons from our monitoring and evaluation carried out by an independent consultant over five years, and consultations with NRGI staff, academics, donors and our country and global partners. The new strategy reflects our belief that the media is central to building political will for good governance, characterized by an aligned general public and informed and emboldened policy influencers. NRGI’s theory of change for our media work captures how we envision achieving this through a three-pronged approach of:

1) targeted support to vanguard journalists, dependent on country contexts;

2) spurring mass-market coverage; and

3) responding to constraints on the enabling environments in our target countries.

As a result of this important strategic shift, NRGI wants to update its flagship journalism publication, Covering Oil, to reflect our new curriculum, increased material on resource governance, newly available data, and lessons from journalism best practices. In this process, we hope to connect journalists to easily accessible, relevant resources that help them to identify, analyze and report on relevant national and cross-border issues in the oil and gas sector in ways that foster understanding and engagement by the public and policy makers. The updated tool is expected to bolster mass-market journalists’ ability to cover resource governance issues in a confident, accurate, and relevant manner.


We are seeking a consultant to be a managing author alongside NRGI in the revision and updating of Covering Oil: A Reporter’s Guide to Energy and Development.

The new tool will take the form of an online handbook (with the possibility to download printable sections) broken up into different chapters addressing various thematic issues that are relevant to natural resource governance. Each chapter will give an overview of the issue at hand and provide journalists with examples explained and exemplary stories, reporting tips (“How to”) and lessons learnt, relevant knowledge and learning resources as well as data sources. An important addition will be the short pieces authored by different stakeholders to help journalists understand diverse perspectives on a same matter. Available online, the tool will integrate multi-media content and will target journalists with an advanced understanding of the extractive industries. Global in its reach, it will nevertheless have a focus on Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda and Myanmar (+ Lebanon and Colombia) where NRGI runs comprehensive media programs.     

The consultant’s role will prioritize planning the contours of each chapter and inputting throughout the content development process on priority material for journalists. The consultant will draft the overview segment of each section in clear and accessible language. Besides, s/he will work together with NRGI media program staff to collect and create examples, case studies, and exercises that can enhance journalists’ learning on priority extractive topic areas and journalistic skills on top of the material already consolidated by NRGI, and help identify additional authors as needed.

Timeline and Consultant deliverables

Meet with Covering Oil project team in London to review mapping of the project and participate in chapter sprint for example chapters – January 2019

Submit a timeline for chapter deliverables based on January meeting – January 2019

Consolidate the mapping of the technical material that will be included in a reimagined Covering Oil and develop a clear framework in which authors for each chapter can operate. The consultant will be able to work on the basis of the mapping undertaken by NRGI staff prior to the London meeting in January – February 2019

Support the development of content for chapters in cooperation with NRGI and identified authors  and submit each chapter draft  in an iterative sequence for review– April 2019

Support copy editing and revisions of chapter content – June 2019

Support the finalization of the product for online and offline consumption – August 2019

Attend presentation of Covering Oil book at the GIJN Conference in Hamburg, Germany and/or be involved in dissemination in a manner that is relevant– September 2019

Expression of Interest deadline:

The deadline for submission of Expression of Interest is 14 December 2018.

NRGI will consider an expression of interest from individual consultants, firms or organizations (including non-profits).

Please submit CV(s), two writing samples and brief Expression of Interest including day rate and/or fixed fee for above deliverables. Please email samples directly to


Remote. The work will be carried out in collaboration with a small team of media development specialists at NRGI and any associated organizations. It will require attendance for one week in London to meet with the project team in January 2019.

Requested qualifications for the consultant, firm or organization

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Extensive experience working in journalism, capacity development, or investigative writing

Experience training journalists or developing learning materials for a journalistic audience

Relevant higher education degree, such as journalism, political science, law, or economics; advanced degree is likely but not necessary if augmented by experience

Familiarity with NRGI’s work and/or the global natural resource governance movement

Solid (or advanced) knowledge of natural resource governance issues. Relevant areas of expertise include disclosure of extractives data (contracts, payments and taxes, beneficial ownership, etc.), contracts, licensing processes, legal and fiscal frameworks, state-owned enterprises, social and environmental impacts of extraction, local content, management and distribution of revenues in the sector.

Significant experience writing curriculum on complex matters for multiple audiences or experience reporting on complex topics for general audiences

Excellent research and writing skills, attention to detail and systematic approach to gathering data

Good project and time management skills and ability to conduct high quality work independently

Good command of Microsoft Office and other tools for clear documentation and referencing outputs

Teamwork skills and consultative approach

Excellent English writing skills, knowledge of other languages in NRGI countries of operation may be a plus

Alignment with NRGI Culture and Mission:

All consultants and members of the project team uphold the following organization-wide culture and values:

Commitment to furthering NRGI’s mission and core values of integrity, intellectual rigor, respect for evidence, innovation, strategic selectivity, and independence.

Demonstrated ability to be a professional, productive member of a diverse community of people at work, working toward shared goals, with mutual respect and accountability in a fast-paced environment.

Personal qualities of capacity for learning, reflection and self-criticism, humility and sense of humor.

Working Environment:

NRGI considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

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