Write a Scope of Work

As a result of your Staff Planning and Organization Chart exercises, you have functional groups of activities that must be carried out immediately. These activity groups are the beginning of the job descriptions, or “Scopes of Work” (SOW) for the staff you will bring in first.

A SOW defines what a TDY or Consultant will do; it is his or her job description.  Writing one is the first step in bringing in staff because this document tells you what to look for in a staff person.  It also tells the prospective staff person what he or she can expect to be doing.

As emergencies are fluid situations, the content of SOWs could easily (and will frequently) change once staff are on the ground. However, it is still important to initiate any assignment with a written SOW.

Why a written SOW is important:   Often there are many “cooks” at the beginning of a response.  One prospective TDY staff person will probably have phone conversations with many different people about the assignment (for example, the Emergency Coordinator on site, the HOP in the main CP office, and the Emergency Operations Department staff in charge of the roster). These different people sometimes have a different understanding of the type of work expected, the level of authority the person will have, and the length of the assignment. Writing down the expectations of an assignment is the only way for all to be clear on the terms under which a person is being engaged. Then, if and when the assignment is modified on the ground, you already have a document to refer to and amend.

The SOW does not have to be fancy, but it should contain certain basic pieces of information. These are listed in the template which we have linked below.

Below are links to some attachments that might help you write SOWs:

  1. Scope of Work Template
  2. Tips for Writing a Scope of Work
  3. SOW Example, National Staff
  4. SOW Examples, International TDY
    1. General Example
    2. Program Quality Support Example
    3. Operational Support Example
  5. Consultant Scope of Work Example