Palladium MFP4: Call for Expressions of Interest - Communications secretariat team: Promotional campaign for the Indonesian legal and sustainable timber standard (Fourth Multistakeholder Forestry Programme, Indonesia)


The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan

Illegal logging continues to have a devastating impact on some of the world's most valuable remaining forests, and on the people who live in them and rely on the resources that forests provide.

The EU is one of the largest consumers of timber products in the world. EU companies and governments that buy timber and timber products have the power to affect rates of illegal logging. Buying illegally-sourced timber creates profitable markets for illegal loggers and undermines efforts to enforce forest law in timber-exporting countries. Alternatively, purchasing timber from producers that comply with national laws, pay for the timber they fell and act responsibly towards the local population and the environment, creating incentives for timber producers to act responsibly and helps to reduce illegal logging.

In 2003, the EU launched the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. It sets out several measures that together aim to prevent the importation of illegal timber into the EU, improve the supply of legal timber and increase demand for timber from responsibly managed forests. Primary amongst these measures are:

*           Enacting legislation to halt the trade in illegal timber. The EU Timber Regulation came into effect in all countries in the EU on the 3rd of March 2013. The Regulation prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber on the European market and covers both imported and domestically produced timber and timber products. The Regulation sets out procedures to minimise the risk of illegal wood entering the EU market. Businesses placing a timber product on the EU market must make efforts to ensure that it is legal, known as 'due diligence.' Businesses selling or buying timber already on the market must keep records that adequately trace the origin of the wood they buy or sell.

*           Establishing partnerships with tropical timber producing countries to tackle the trade in illegal logging. These Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) aim to improve forest governance and provide guarantees that timber and timber products exported to the EU are legal. Each VPA defines 'legal timber' according to the laws and regulations of the timber-producing country. Negotiating the Agreement provides an opportunity for the private sector and civil society to participate in the development of national legality standards. VPAs also require that the timber producing country develop a timber legality assurance system (TLAS) that can verify whether a consignment of timber is legal and merits the award of a 'FLEGT licence'. Timber or timber products that carry a valid FLEGT licence are automatically considered to comply with the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation and are free to enter the EU market without additional due diligence checks. A VPA can also help a timber-producing country achieve its development objectives by securing employment, increasing government revenues, strengthening the rule of law and safeguarding the rights of forest peoples.

For more information, please see

Indonesia’s FLEGT reforms

Indonesia has some of the world’s largest and richest rainforest: approximately 70% of its land area is categorised as forest. Indonesia is also one of the world's largest exporters of tropical timber products, worth US$ 12 billion in 2018.

In 2003, Indonesia began to develop a control system for all its timber exports, building on a mandatory certification approach for legality and sustainability. The system, called Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK), was developed jointly by the government, members of civil society and businesses. It became the basis for the timber legality assurance system under Indonesia’s FLEGT VPA with the EU. The SVLK system now covers all timber production for exports and is expanding to include the domestic market on a stepwise basis.

On 15 November 2016, Indonesia became the first country to formally meet the requirements of its VPA and began issuing FLEGT licences to verified legal timber products exported to the EU. Over the past year, Indonesia has issued more than 38,000 licences with a total value of more than US$ 1.2 billion.

Recent research has collected a wealth of evidence on the positive impacts of SVLK and the partnership between Indonesia and the EU. SVLK has helped to significantly reduce the proportion of illegal timber within Indonesian timber exports[1]. A study from Indonesia’s Independent Forest Monitoring Network (JPIK) found that SVLK has contributed to decreasing deforestation in East and Central Kalimantan.[2]

The Multistakeholder Forestry Programme

The UK-funded Multistakeholder Forestry Programme Phase 4 (MFP4) is implemented by Palladium and Systemiq. MFP4 supports Indonesia to achieve its objectives regarding sustainable timber and community forestry, building on earlier programme phases to deliver an ambitious set of results on coverage of timber legality licences, export volumes of sustainably sourced timber, and the growth of community-based forest enterprises.

The MFP4 team has been supporting stakeholders in Indonesia to build the profile of FLEGT-licensed timber in domestic and international markets, including through the development of a communications strategy. Work done so far includes the follow activities:

*           In September 2019, the MFP4 team held a workshop with forest sector stakeholders to identify the communications priorities area for promoting the standard – stakeholders agreed that a clear communication strategy must be developed to consistently explain the system, the improvements in forest governance it has enabled, and promote the standard to timber buyers. 

*           MFP4 then contracted communication consultants to develop two strands of the strategy. The first strand of the strategy focusses on increasing understanding and buy in for the system among the domestic Indonesian audience. The second strand focusses on building recognition and demand for Indonesia’s FLEGT licensed timber products in foreign markets.

*           Each strand of the strategy was built on a series of interviews examining the differing perceptions and priorities of government ministries, producers, customers, certification bodies, NGOs, and timber traders in Indonesia, Europe and the US. Desk research was also conducted on furniture suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers across the three regions.

*           The communication strategy was developed in close consultation with SVLK stakeholders (see ‘Indonesian Stakeholders/Audience’ section below) as it is intended to be owned and implemented by them.

Communications Secretariat Team

MFP4 is now seeking communications and public relations experts to support the execution of the communications strategy. The Supplier will establish a Secretariat team, to coordinate, develop and support the delivery of communications outputs by key forest sector stakeholders in Indonesia, from government, private sector and civil society. The Secretariat will ensure that the messages produced are all strategically aligned. The Secretariat will therefore assemble relevant communications experts, advisors and project managers to deliver the work below, in close collaboration with key forest sector stakeholders. The Supplier will be managed by the MFP4 team.

The full communications strategy will be made available to the selected Supplier. For the purposes of this procurement, summaries of each of the two strands of the strategy (international and domestic) will be shared with shortlisted suppliers in order to develop their proposals, after submission of initial Expressions of Interest.

Scope of Work: Preparing and launching and coordinating the initial phases of a communications campaign, up to August 2021

Through the Secretariat, the Supplier will coordinate the first two phases of the communication campaign:

Phase 1: Pre-launch planning reconciliation, and re-branding phase (October 2020 – February 2021)

The Supplier will first facilitate collaboration between forest sector stakeholders in generate a single, cohesive communications plan for 2021 to 2023, including refreshed branding for the standard, key materials and connections ahead of the launch of the communications campaign. This plan will be based on the communications strategy that has already been developed. This requires building a shared understanding of the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in delivering communications messages. Specifically, the Supplier will:

*           Develop a communications plan for 2021 to 2023. This plan will include: establishing two cohesive message houses based on drafts from the strategy: one each for domestic and international audiences; a definition of the respective roles of stakeholders in delivering communications messages to domestic and international audiences, and a communications calendar. This plan will build on several sections in the strategy document, which contains the facts and advice needed to develop messages that can be targeted at national and international audiences.

*           Develop a coherent brand for Indonesian SVLK certified timber. The standard is currently described in different ways at different steps of the timber value chain: SVLK as a timber legality assurance system from harvesting through processing of wood products, V-Legal certification at the point of export out of Indonesia, and FLEGT-licenced timber upon arrival in the EU market. This branding needs to be clarified and harmonised. The Supplier will develop a refreshed brand and guidelines for the system, based on the analysis in the communications strategy.

*           Identify and facilitate links between stakeholders in Indonesia and key international influencers of timber traders, such as associations, trade federations and international NGOs (see ‘International Audience’ bullet 1 below) to cohesively communicate evidence and key messages about the integrity of the system, and a narrative of the systems role in securing sustainable forest management .

*           Develop specific materials and guidance with forestry stakeholders, in preparation for phase 2 of the programme. These materials will be used to a) raise the profile of Indonesia as a low risk source of timber, among international buyers, and b) conduct policy promotion campaign in Indonesia. Materials will be tailored to the stakeholder groups that will be sharing messages, as well as targeted audiences.

*           Create a knowledge management platform as a central point of information for the system and a series of associated demonstration activities with private sector associations, government agencies and civil society. The knowledge management platform should be publicly accessible. The platform and associated activities should enhance stakeholders’ knowledge of the latest policy updates, regulations, timber trade data and market trends, with the aim of improving the evidence-base available to decision makers within the stakeholders group (particularly those under ‘Indonesian Stakeholders/Audience’ bullets 1 and 3 below).

Phase 2: Communications launch phase (February 2021 – August 2021)

In this phase, the Supplier will launch the communications campaign. This phase will focus on two priority communications issues identified in the strategy. Specifically, the Supplier will:

*           Support stakeholders to raise the profile of Indonesia amongst international timber buyers as a low risk source of tropical timber. The Supplier will work closely with Indonesian timber businesses and associations to support their marketing and promotion work. A market analysis study has already been completed to guide this work – highlighting the interests, pressures and pain points of the target buyers regarding risk when they choose new source countries for their timber. Communications will therefore focus on conveying messages and content about the standard’s ability to reduce reputational and environmental risk for international buyers of tropical timber. Entry points include the procurement criteria buyers utilise when selecting new timber suppliers, engaging organisations that may influence buyers’ decisions, conducting promotional campaigns at national and international timber trade fairs and other promotional channels (see ‘International Audience’ bullet 2 below for target audience). Further detailed requirements under this programme can be found in the strategy document, which will be shared with shortlisted Suppliers.

*           Support the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to deliver a domestic policy promotion programme. This will target Indonesian regulators (outside of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry), industry, and support groups in Indonesia to improve awareness, adoption, and support for the system domestically by communicating SVLK improvements policies and supports that has been done and or has been doing by Ministry of Environment and Forestry based on prioritised issues identified . The Supplier will also increase Indonesian media coverage of the wider campaign goal of increasing public support for SVLK implementation domestically. Further detailed requirements under this programme can be found in the strategy document, attached.

Stakeholders and audience size

The forestry stakeholder network in Indonesia is made up of the following key organisations. MFP4 will facilitate introductions and collaboration between the Supplier and each stakeholder. Those with an asterisk* are considered core representatives of the VPA community. Note that stakeholders are also considered a target audience for this communications programme:

Indonesian Stakeholders/Audience:


*           Regulators: Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and other Indonesian line and coordination ministries

*           Observers and Supporters: Network of Independent Forest monitors, NGO watchdogs, international development partners, Indonesian academics and experts

*           Implementers: Business associations, timber and furniture industry players, certification bodies

International Audience:


*           Direct importers of timber and timber products into countries with anti-illegal logging laws: Retailers, manufacturers and importers

*           International timber businesses that sell products to customers interested in responsible sourcing: Retailers, manufacturers, architects and specifiers

*           Regulators, implementors, and supporting groups: International NGOs, competent authorities in EU member-states, wider forest policy and governance community


The Supplier is expected to produce the following deliverables:

*           A communications plan that enables stakeholders to implement the communication strategy, targeting both Indonesian and international audiences. This plan should include a single message house that unifies all existing communications programme messages, a shared calendar of communications, and clear breakdown of roles for respective stakeholders.

*           A refreshed brand for Indonesian SVLK certified timber and the brand guidelines for use in campaigns.

*           A publicly accessible knowledge management platform and a series of demonstration sessions with private sector associations, government agencies and civil society that can be used by stakeholders as a learning tool about key developments in SVLK. The platform should also include simple guidelines about how to update the platform with new information and the way to collaborate with the stakeholders in developing this platform.

*           Design, production and delivery of communication materials and coordination of events to raise the profile of Indonesia amongst international timber buyers as a low risk source of tropical timber, in collaboration with stakeholders

*           Design, production and delivery of communication materials and coordination of events as part of a domestic policy promotion programme for the standard, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

Qualifications and Experience

MFP4 is seeking a qualified supplier to carry out the work described in these ToRs. The Supplier may be a team of individual consultants, an organisation, or a consortium of organisations. Applicants will need to demonstrate the following qualifications and experience:

*           Experience in engaging with both Indonesian and international audiences and markets within proposed team.

*           Experience in Communications and/or Pubic Relations with proven record of influencing audiences in the private and public sectors.

*           Experience delivering communications campaigns on environmental topics, particularly certification schemes and / or commodity production standards

*           Experience in brand design

*           Team assembling fluent English and Bahasa Indonesia speakers


Phases 1 and 2 of this project will be delivered between October 2020 and August 2021.


A maximum budget of GBP 130,000 (IDR 2,470,000,000) is available for phases 1 and 2 of this work. This budget is comprised of GBP 100,000 (IDR 1,900,000,000) for personnel fee time (including all overheads and taxes) and GBP 30,000 (IDR 570,000,000) for other costs (travel, events, and production of materials etc).

How to Apply: Expressions of Interest

This work is open to either organisations, individual consultants, or teams of consultants. The procurement will take place in two stages:

Stage 1: Interested Suppliers are invited to submit a short Expression of Interest (EoI).

Stage 2: A shortlist of Suppliers from Stage 1 will be invited to submit a full proposal for this work. Shortlisted Suppliers will receive a summary of the communications strategy and perception studies completed to date, to support the development of their proposal. The successful Supplier will be chosen from this shortlist.

We are currently inviting Suppliers to submit Expressions of Interest. These EoIs should be up to 5 pages maximum in length, and include:

A covering letter explaining the Supplier’s interest in this work, plus any feedback or questions on these ToRs

A description of the Supplier’s relevant experience for this work (see desired qualifications above)

A short profile of proposed team members

To respond to this opportunity, please send the following documents and information to with the name of the project as your email subject:

Closing date for EoIs: 23rd September 2020 at 11.59 pm Jakarta time

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted and invited to submit a full proposal.

Postscript: potential extension of work

This contract may be extended beyond August 2021, subject to performance of the Supplier and available funding. The contract extension will cover two further phases in the communications campaign, building on the two initial phases described above.

Please note that Phases 3 and 4 are not included in the current scope of these ToRs, and applicants are not expected to include costs for this work in their proposals.

Phase 3: Strengthening communication phase (after August 2021)

This phase focuses on shaping and promoting SVLK’s narrative on sustainability and strengthening domestic market support and acceptance for SVLK timber product certified in Indonesia. The Supplier will:

*           Develop and promote SVLK’s narrative on sustainability by creating ‘verified stories’ that Indonesian timber businesses can use with their customers to demonstrate that Indonesian timber and timber products meet customers’ sustainability standards. Storylines might, for example, focus on community-sourced timber which is mostly used in teak furniture and the skilled, individual artisans that produce Indonesian furniture.

*           A campaign to secure adoption of public procurement policies by Indonesian government bodies that favour SMEs and SVLK-licensed businesses. This campaign should leverage the momentum from the expected construction boom that will result from the decision to relocate Indonesia’s capital city.

*           A campaign to improve wider domestic customer awareness of the importance of buying legal wood products in Indonesia.

Phase 4: Handover phase (after August 2021)

This phase focuses on evaluating the communication strategy’s success, planning the longer-term communications strategy, and handing over ownership of the work to SVLK stakeholders so that the SVLK communications team can be dissolved. The Supplier will:

*           Evaluate the communications programme and measure the impact through a final quantitative perceptions survey to understand key lessons learned and inform the design of a future communications strategy.

*           Develop the long-term strategy for stakeholders that can be delivered once the SVLK communications team has been dissolved, informed by the evaluation of the current strategy.

*           Hand over all roles and functions undertaken by the SVLK communications team by developing a hand over manual and assigning people and organisations from within the stakeholder group to take forward the proposed programme activities programme.

Each of the phases, and the activities described therein, are subject to change should circumstances change or the approach prove unsuitable.

For more information on our company, please review our website:

Palladium provides equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.

[1] CIFOR report 2020: Collecting Evidence of FLEGT-VPA Impacts for Improved FLEGT Communication

[2] JPIK. 2019.  PHPL: Dari Legalitas Menuju Keberlanjutan

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