Terms of Reference – Public Engagement Audience Research

Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) is an international development organization and registered charity. AKFC partners with communities, businesses, and governments to find innovative, lasting solutions to promote inclusive development. Working in Africa and Asia, the Foundation invests in local institutions and systems that anchor progress over the long term. AKFC is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the world’s most comprehensive development organizations. Since 1980, AKFC has helped millions of women and men to unlock their potential to build a better life. 

In Canada, AKFC promotes discussion and learning on global issues, raises funds, taps into Canadian expertise, and builds partnerships with Canadian institutions. 

AKFC’s public engagement efforts engage various Canadian target audiences. The program involves youth, teachers, corporate professionals, and anyone from the public with an interest in global development. AKFC also brings together professionals within the development sector and related fields to promote learning and knowledge sharing.   

AKFC’s suite of public engagement activities includes exhibitions, events, educational resources, training, overseas placements, and campaigns. 

Objectives and Scope 
AKFC requires the services of an experienced consultant to conduct an audience research project to support Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s public engagement program. AKFC seeks to develop a more thorough understanding of the following audience groups: 

  • Educators
  • Middle and high school students
  • Corporate professionals (key segments include young professionals, mid-career professionals, corporate leaders, CADEX and IYF alumni)1
  • International development professionals (early career development professionals, mid-career, and development leaders)
  • Interested Canadians (Canadians with an interest in global development) 
  • Canadian Jamat2 

AKFC’s public engagement program is national in scope and includes both official languages; as such, the research will be required to mirror this geographic and language diversity. The project will provide a comprehensive understanding of the audience groups (including key segments within these groups), which should include:

  • Population size and geographic distribution of the audience
  • Notable demographics   
  • Current levels of knowledge/engagement in international development and AKFC’s activities in Canada
  • Specific areas of interest (related to global development and/or social good space), level of interest in participating in public engagement activities, and barriers/challenges to getting involved.
  • Primary influences and motivations
  • Preferred engagement platforms (online & offline) and digital/media channels
    The results of the research will serve as the source for the creation of audience profiles (sheets containing important information). Subsequent activities may include the development of personas3 for priority audiences.

Key Activities and Deliverables 

  • Meet with key AKFC staff to clarify scope, objectives, responsibilities and timelines.
  • Review project-specific documentation (Project Implementation Plan, Annual Work Plans, other AKFC and AKDN documentation) as well as other related documents such as existing public opinion research. 
  • Work with AKFC to further define and segment audience groups.
  • Develop methodology for audience research and refine based on AKFC feedback. The methodology can include a combination of surveys, focus groups, interviews, or desk research.
  • Carry out research with the identified target groups.
  • Analyze and prepare draft brief reports on findings and insights and present these findings to AKFC. Revise based on feedback from AKFC.
  • Develop audience profiles for all audiences.
  • Prepare a final report and present the findings to internal and external stakeholders.


The consultancy will be carried out between November 2023 and January 2024. 


Applicants must demonstrate how they meet the following requirements:

  • Significant experience conducting audience research and related activities with diverse Canadian audiences (including both anglophones and francophones) including surveys, interviews, focus groups, persona development, and desk research
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with audience research and segmentation for effective audience targeting
  • Experience developing high-quality communications tools (reports, slide decks, etc.) to communicate the results of research, and presenting findings to stakeholders
  • Understanding of the public engagement landscape in Canada (considered an asset)
  • Familiarity with the Canadian international development sector (considered an asset) 

Download a PDF Copy of the Terms of Reference

How to Apply:


Interested candidates are invited to submit a proposal by e-mail to AKFC Human Resources at: [email protected] by November 10, 2023. Please reference “Audience Research” in the subject line.

If there are any questions related to this consultancy, please direct them to [email protected].

Proposals should include the following:

  • CV and/or organizational profile
  • A brief proposal (5 pages maximum), outlining the proposed approach, plan, and schedule
  • A detailed cost estimate, including consultant(s)’ daily rate
  • Contact information of two professional references
  • Two or three samples of a similar or relevant project

AKFC Policies

AKFC is committed to advancing gender equality and inclusion through our programming and operations in Canada and overseas. AKFC requires all employees and consultants to review and abide by the AKFC Gender Equality Policy.

AKFC recognizes the importance of safeguarding and is committed to ensuring it manages a wide range of risks such that beneficiaries, staff, other associates, and the organization as a whole are kept safe from harm. All employees and consultants must respect the AKF Code of Conduct and Safeguarding Policy.


November 1, 2023


November 10, 2023


Request for Proposals


Aga Khan Foundation Canada