Analysis of regional root causes of food insecurity and livelihood vulnerabilities in the Horn of Africa (HoA) region – covering Somalia, South and So

  • Development
  • Anywhere
Organization: Government of Switzerland
Closing date: 16 Apr 2021

Title: Analysis of regional root causes of food insecurity and livelihood vulnerabilities in the Horn of Africa (HoA) region – covering Somalia, South and South-Eastern Ethiopia and North-Eastern Kenya

Organization: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Embassy of Switzerland in Kenya

Duration: Between April and June 2021

Number of days: 10 days

Contract Type: Consultancy

Closing date: 16th April 2021

1. Background

The Horn of Africa faces multiple persisting and/or recurrent challenges such as environmental degradation, climate change, conflicts, political instability, fast population growth, rapid urbanisation and natural calamities leading to vulnerable livelihoods, widespread poverty, food insecurity, and famines. In general, most of the rural population relies heavily on livestock to sustain their livelihoods.

The geographic focus of SDC’s HoA regional programme is Somalia and the culturally and socio-economically interlinked marginalised (semi-)arid lowlands in south and South-Eastern Ethiopia and North-Eastern Kenya. SDC has provided significant humanitarian assistance and development cooperation support in the region since 2013, following a conflict-sensitive approach. SDC aims at continuing to use a regional approach to address shared challenges and seize promising opportunities in the areas of intervention across the three countries.

The current HoA regional programme 2018-2021 has the following overall objective: “to respond to humanitarian needs, while contributing to poverty reduction, conflict transformation and inclusive statebuilding in support of participatory and sustainable socio-economic development. Switzerland – by helping to ensure that basic needs are covered (i.e. food, health, protection), supporting the emergence of legitimate and accountable state institutions, and promoting more inclusive socio-economic and political processes for improved power and resource sharing – will help reduce the drivers of fragility and the root causes of poverty and forced displacement”.

The programme is active in four thematic domains:

· Governance: Legitimate and accountable state institutions provide framework conditions and public services conducive to inclusive socio-economic development in an effective and transparent manner. (Implemented in Somalia and as a transversal theme)

· Food Security: Dryland communities are more resilient to shocks triggering food insecurity and violence. (Implemented in Somalia, and in the adjacent drylands in Kenya and Ethiopia)

· Health: The most vulnerable population has improved access to affordable, good-quality health care. (Active in Somalia and in the drylands of Ethiopia and Kenya)

· Migration/Protection: Displacement Affected Communities (IDPs, migrants, refugees, host communities) are better protected and benefit from durable solutions. (Implemented in the regional context and with projects in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia)

Gender equality, good governance and Conflict-Sensitive Programme Management (CSPM) are transversal themes.

The Mid-Term Evaluation of the current SDC HoA programme produced a number of findings and recommendations. Regarding the Food Security Domain (FSD), these include conducting a sound root cause analysis, reviewing and addressing which projects can be adapted or transformed to address root causes and developing a mid- to long-term Theory of Change (ToC), to better address root causes of vulnerability and food insecurity in the next Cooperation Programme Horn of Africa (2022-2025) which is currently being developed. This analysis will feed into the design of this new cooperation programme. Furthermore, the size of the FSD portfolio has reached a ceiling and a consolidation within the portfolio, including possibly a phasing-out of some projects, is needed in order to allow for new projects to be developed or new components to be integrated.

2. Objective(s)

These Terms of Reference (TORs) provide the framework for a technical analysis of the root causes of food insecurity and livelihood vulnerabilities through an iterative engagement between the consultant(s) and the FSD team in view of the drafting of the new regional Cooperation Programme 2022-2025.

The analysis shall screen SDC’s Food Security Domain, considering transversal themes (gender, governance and conflict sensitivity) and the FSD’s approach to addressing the root causes and how these root causes could be addressed in the future in view of a sustainable improvement of the situation.

This analysis is then expected to inform the development of a ToC for the FSD. This will feed into the new Cooperation Programme 2022-2025 and inform better consolidation of the FSD and synergies with the other domains.

Iterative process

The consultant(s) and the FSD team will work together through an iterative process that involves the following steps:

A) Define and analyse the root causes of food insecurity and livelihood vulnerabilities

  1. Consultant(s) to review programme documents and secondary information to develop their own analysis of root causes of food insecurity and livelihood vulnerabilities in SDC’s intervention areas, identify to what extent the FS portfolio already addresses these and what the gaps are. (Desk review of key documents related to the FSD Portfolio, e.g. the regional cooperation strategy and its results framework, annual reports, portfolio reviews, Political Economy Analysis (PEA) results, Mid-term Evaluation report, external evaluations of bilateral programmes, and other relevant documentation).

  2. Consultant(s) to discuss this analysis with FSD team to define priority root causes and promising entry points for SDC’s future programming in the FSD to address these root causes; including through a Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus (HDP-N) approach.

  3. Consultant(s) to finalize the root cause analysis findings and recommendations in writing to inform the next steps.

B) Develop a ToC for the FSD

  1. Consultant(s) to develop a first draft ToC for the FSD under the new cooperation programme 2022-2025 with clear pathways of change, addressing gender, governance and conflict-sensitivity as transversal themes.

  2. Consultant(s) to discuss and revise the ToC in an iterative manner with the FSD team to specify entry points and niches for Swiss engagement, Switzerland’s comparative advantage, at the policy/advocacy, coordination and programmatic level.

  3. Consultant(s) to finalize the ToC for FSD.

C) Based on the findings and recommendations from A and B, suggest a better consolidation of the FSD and synergies with other domains feeding into the new cooperation programme.

  1. Consultant(s) to propose recommendations for consolidation of FSD portfolio with respect to the budgetary frame.

A regional climate change assessment, a livestock study as well as external evaluations of SDC funded projects are currently ongoing and will feed into the reflections.

Everything will take place virtually.

3. Deliverables

The following products are expected:

  1. Workplan (‘inception report’) to be approved by SDC.

  2. Findings on root causes, gaps and opportunities and possible entry points to effectively address root causes, while also addressing transversal themes of gender, governance and conflict sensitivity (after discussion with FSD team).

  3. Findings on ToC, plausible pathway of change to address the root causes (after discussion with FSD team).

  4. An overall report pertaining the relevant results of the root cause analysis and the ToC, as well as recommendations for consolidation of FSD projects where feasible, of maximum 15 pages (without annex material); the focus should be on prospective elements, i.e. concrete recommendations.**

4. Consultant profile

The entire exercise shall be conducted either by a single consultant or a by a team of consultants fulfilling the following requirements:

· Robust skills in assessment methodologies and professional experience in conducting system analysis

· Robust methodological experience in development of ToC

· Proven knowledge of ecological, social/societal and political context of the HoA (Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia)

· At least seven years of experience in related fields in particular natural resource management, pastoralism and livestock management, agro-ecology/permaculture, rural development, rural transformation and livelihoods

· Experience in transversal themes, i.e. gender and good governance, and in conflict-sensitivity

· Exceptional analytical capacity (including system dynamics) as well as innovative thinking

· Strong ability to synthesize and communicate findings and recommendations including report writing skills

· Expertise and experience in methodology and tools in facilitating programme reviews and workshops is an added advantage

· Master’s degree, or equivalent in relevant field

· Excellent command of oral and written English

5. Time Frame and Logistics

The maximum time frame for this exercise by the consultant is 10 working days. The allocation of working days to desk review, iterative process, report writing will be agreed on the basis of the inception report.

The assessment is scheduled to take place between April and June 2021 along the following deliverables:

Timeline 2021

Activities / deliverables


  • Publication (with the deadline submission of 16th April 2021)

Until 28 April

  • Recruitment of consultant / signature of contract

Until 5 May

  • Briefing session with SDC (2h)

  • Submission of inception report with detailed timeframe outlining activities/steps to be undertaken (1 page)

Until 19 May

  • Desk review; discussions with the FSD team on root cause analysis and ToC

Until 30 May

  • Elaboration and submission of draft report

Until 11 June

  • SDC to provide feedback on the draft report

Until 23 June

  • Finalization of report and submission to SDC including all annex material

6. Award criteria

Of the valid offers submitted, the contract will be awarded to the most highly rated bid. Offers, together with the planned interviews, will be assessed according to the following award criteria and weighting:

Award criteria


Academic qualification – a minimum of Master’s Degree in the relevant field with 7 years of experience in related fields in particular natural resource management, pastoralism and livestock management, agro-ecology/permaculture, rural development and livelihoods.= 30%

Experience in assessment methodologies and professional experience in conducting system analysis and developing ToC, particularly in Horn of Africa context.= 30%

Financial offer/cost of consultancy service offered.= 20%

Proven knowledge of the ecological, social and political context of the Horn of Africa, sensitivity for political economy, agro-ecology and permaculture, gender, governance and conflict sensitivity. = 20%

How to apply:

Consultants invited to apply will provide a full application pack, and send it to the following e-mail address: and specifically headed “**Analysis root causes HoA**”:

The technical proposal in English (10 to 15 pages maximum) should include:

· Understanding of the Terms of Reference (max. 1 page)

· Methodology with approach and workplan (max. 3 pages)

· Description of qualification and experience of the consultant(s), submit CVs (max. 3 pages)

· Provisional timetable for the assessment (max. 1 page)

· A detailed budget proposal/financial offer (max. 1 page)

· References from two similar previous assignments (max. 2 pages)

· A sworn statement as to the absence of any conflict of interest

The financial proposal should include: Total budget including all taxes and incorporating a budget break-down (fees, living expenses, travel, etc.).

The winning bidder shall be required to submit the following administrative information to be verified and validated before the contract is awarded;

Corporate person/company

  • Certificate of registration/Incorporation of the company.

  • Latest Tax Compliance Certificate of the company.

  • Copies of academic certificates of proposed consultant(s).

For natural persons/individual/freelancers

  • Latest Tax Compliance Certificate.

  • Copies of academic certificates of the consultant(s).

Compliance with local law on taxation

  • Taxes, charges and social security contributions will be applicable in conformity with local legislation. The Embassy is obligated to deduct and submit Withholding Tax (WHT) to the Kenyan Revenue Authority (KRA). WHT is a percentage of the earnings and will vary depending on the country of origin of the consultant.

  • For non-residents, the Embassy will respect existing “double taxation agreements (DTA)”. It is the consultant’s duty to provide proof of tax payment in the residing country. If no proof is available the full percentage, currently at 20% (subject to change depending on legislation) for non-resident, will be deducted.

  • More information on the applicable tax rates can be found here

Legal status of the consultant in the country of engagement:

The consultant must have valid a work permit or equivalent authorizations before travelling, that allows such a person to live and work in the respective country.

Final date for submission of applications: 16th April 2021, 17.00 hrs local time, Nairobi.


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