Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for Organisational Culture Survey


Sonke Gender Justice is a South African NGO that works across Africa to strengthen the capacity of governments, civil society, and citizens to advance gender justice and women’s rights, prevent gender-based violence and reduce the spread of HIV and the impact of AIDS.

The vision of the organisation is a world in which women, children, men, and gender-non-conforming individuals enjoy equitable, caring, healthy, and happy relationships that contribute to the development of gender-just and democratic societies, free from poverty.

Geographically Sonke is currently located in 3 provinces in South Africa, with an office in the Western Cape,  one in Gauteng and one in the Eastern Cape. Sonke has a Wellness Centre based in Gugulethu in Cape Town. In addition, Sonke has an office in Uganda, Cameroon and Zambia.  Sonke currently has a staff compliment of 74 employees across the organisation, with 37  in the Cape Town Office, 23 in the Johannesburg office,  5 in the Eastern Cape, and 9 in the region.  The gender breakdown in the organisation is fifty-four women, twenty men,  and one person who identifies as genderqueer. 

At Sonke we have two management structures, the first one being the Senior Management Team (SMT) that comprises of two Co-Executive Directors and one  Programmes  Director.    The second one being the Full Management Team (FMT) which comprises of the SMT as well as ten unit managers and 3 Provincial Managers.  Most decisions are taken at this level that are related to programme work.  The SMT, unit managers and provincial managers comprises of 16 people. The remaining staff comprise of programme specialists, co-ordinators, trainers and community mobilisers. As well as operational staff including human resources, sub-granting, finance,  administrators and general assistants.   

Historical background of Sonke

Sonke was registered on July 31, 2006, and was founded by Bafana Khumalo, Shamillah Wilson and Dean Peacock. The 3 founding members and a few staff members at the time worked mainly from their homes for the first few months. 

By late 2006 the organisation had opened offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg and had a staff compliment of 15.  The quest to engage men in gender justice began with its flagship programme the “One Man Can” campaign that was run across the 9 provinces in the country, amongst other programme work that included the Prisons Project and the Refugee Health and Rights Project.

Sonke quickly developed an impressive track record, a solid reputation and great opportunities to expand its programme work to include policy, advocacy, media and community mobilisation. By 2009 Sonke had established a growing presence on the African continent, especially through its work coordinating the MenEngage Africa Alliance. By 2010 Sonke had its very first ambitious 5 year strategic plan that prioritised the following key programmatic areas: (1) Community Mobilisation and Capacity Building; (2) Policy, Advocacy and Research; (3) Communications and Strategic Information; (4) International Programmes and Networks and (5) Operations and Organisational Development.  

The organisation continued to grow rapidly in the period 2010 – 2014 and expanded its work in many African countries and built on is international profile across the globe. 

In 2014, the 5 year strategic plan (2014 – 2018) was crafted with a focus on rights, action and accountability. To achieve this Sonke’s 2014 – 2018 strategic plan committed to: (a) expand its work with women’s rights organisations to ensure that governments, multilateral institutions, human rights bodies and the private sector meet their obligations to gender equality and human rights; (b)  strengthen its focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights, including increasing men’s understanding of, and support for their partners access to safe abortions; (c) Increase work with youth and children especially in schools; (d) Engage in public debates related to the structural linkages between gender, poverty, racism, xenophobia, harmful religious and cultural practices and other socio-economic factors. 

The current 5 year strategic plan (2020 – 2024) was a consolidation of the previous strategic plan with a continued focus on rights, action, accountability and sustainability. In this plan Sonke identifies as a regional organisation as well as a feminist organisation.  Sonke’s current strategic plan includes our Code of Good Conduct which provides a framework for employees regarding their beliefs, principles and values that the organisation aspires to, including: 

  • Acknowledging that every human being has a unique value and potential, irrespective of origin, ethnicity, culture, gender, age, sexual orientation, values, beliefs, politics, religion, race or socioeconomic or HIV status; 
  • Ensuring safeguards and measures are in place to prevent sexual exploitation, harassment, bullying, and abuse from taking place within the organisation;
  • Recognising that all employees have the right to fulfil their potential; 
  • Acknowledging that all employees have a responsibility to support and empower their peers with knowledge and skills; 
  • Acknowledging that all employees have a responsibility to safeguard the children in their family and environment against all forms of violence, including corporal punishment; 
  • Respecting the rights, culture, and dignity of all the people we work with; 
  • Promoting unity and wellbeing within the communities we work in;  
  • Being responsive to the needs of the people of South Africa and the communities we work in across the globe; 
  • Ensuring that there is no discrimination against any member of the public on account of race, gender, gender identity, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, political persuasion, conscience, belief, culture or language; 
  • Considering the circumstances and concerns of the beneficiaries when making decisions that affect them; and 
  • Working with organisations that adhere to principles and values similar to Sonke’s.

Background on last surveys

In 2013 Sonke carried out a salary survey and benchmarked Sonke’s salaries against a specific salary survey and to that of 7 other organisations doing similar work in the sector. Adjustments were made to improve salaries for the least well-paid employees and  salary bands were created and salary adjustments were made as funding was confirmed over the next period. 

In 2021, a Rewards Consultant in the sector carried out the second salary survey for Sonke. He interviewed staff using a specific tool to get a sense of their specific tasks and thereafter  graded all positions. In addition, he compared the final grades to that of the consultant who completed the 2013 exercise.  

The organisation administered an employee survey in 2013 and in 2014, which was designed to gauge employee satisfaction.  In addition, the 2014 survey was compared to the results of the 2013 survey to see if there were differences in the various areas.     

Between 2016 and 2017, Sonke engaged a consultancy to conduct an organisational culture survey. The outcome of this was shared with the Board and staff and the recommendations were implemented over a period of time. 

Objectives of the new survey

  1. To determine employee wellness post COVID, and how well Sonke responded to  employee needs during COVID; 
  2. To determine employee perception of how well Sonke currently meets their expectations in terms of remuneration and benefits; staff development; employee wellness, job satisfaction and other related conditions of work;
  3. To determine employee perception of how well Sonke has worked towards achieving racial transformation and gender equality in the organisation; 
  4. to identify critical areas for improvement and recommend adjustments to the work  environment;
  5. To determine employee perception of how they feel the hybrid model of working should work; and
  6. to determine employee satisfaction in relation to deliverables of Sonke’s programmatic work.   

Scope of the survey

This survey will focus on gathering information on employee wellness post COVID, employee satisfaction in relation to remuneration and benefits, the hybrid working model and working hours, as well as mental wellness. Interns, volunteers and Community Action Teams (CATs) will be excluded from the survey.

Scope of work

To achieve the objectives the following tasks shall be undertaken:

  1. Collect and collate information on employee’s opinion on terms and conditions of employment  (working hours; leave; benefits and cultural practices);
  2. Collect information on Sonke’s identify as a feminist organisation and staff views; 
  3. Collect and collate information on Sonke’s management approach, values & processes; 
  4. Collect and collate information on gender transformation in Sonke;  
  5. Document the expectations held by staff of different organisational structures within the organisation; viz. the Board; the Co-Executive Directors, the SMT and the FMT; 
  6. Document perceptions of staff development and employee wellness initiatives provided by the organisation. Record recommendations made by staff; 
  7. Document the perception of women on advancement opportunities and whether they  feel their opinions are taken seriously; 
  8. Document the perception of staff on whether Sonke is advancing racial transformation and employment equity sufficiently in the organisation; 
  9. Document the perception of LGBTQI employees on whether they feel comfortable expressing themselves at Sonke; 
  10. Analyse the information collected, diagnose problems and identify root causes where possible. 


It is recommended that the consultants use a range of methods to obtain the information required, including but not limited to:

  1. General questionnaires for the entire workforce and specific questionnaires for different levels of staff;    
  2. Focus group discussions;
  3. One on one discussions with SMT, FMT and H.R. and a sample from the remaining staff; 
  4. Review previous reports on these issues, including organisational review and survey reports.  

Time frame

The work will be completed over a period of 2 months.


The consultants will be expected to deliver a comprehensive, detailed report which will discuss and outline the information gathered. Findings and results of the survey are expected to enlighten management on the current level of employee satisfaction and working conditions in meeting employee’s needs. At a minimum, the report will include a succinct executive summary, a background section, detailed content, a description of research methodology used, a description and pictorial representation of findings, recommendations and a conclusion.

Closing date

Proposals must be submitted to hiring@genderjsutice.org.za by 30 November 2022.   


2 Months

Closing Date

30 November 2022