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Hiring and managing consultants is quite a task. It often goes wrong. All experienced aid workers have a story or two about consultants who were unsuitable, or poorly briefed, or whose expensive help was not useful to the programme.
Yet consultants are often a quick and cost-effective way of getting short-term help that provides expertise that isn't available in-house.
Tearfund's excellent guidelines, made available through People In Aid, give checklists of what to remember when hiring and managing consultants. They are an internal document, made available for the wider good, so take what is relevant to you and leave the rest. Go to www.peopleinaid.org, click on Publications, and the document is headed 'Consultants'.
Particularly interesting is the "Review of Tearfund Evaluation Reports", which is about half-way through the Guidelines. It reviews some recent consultancy work and draws lessons for consultants on how to avoid common pitfalls when writing evaluation reports.
Meyer Foundation and DFID research on consultants