consultancy-Research on Incentive Workers in Africa

  • Anywhere
Organization: Oxfam
Closing date: 21 Oct 2021

In many refugee contexts, refugees are engaged by UNHCR and partners as “incentive workers” to undertake jobs in connection with the provision of assistance and services to other refugees. For refugees, this work provides an important source of revenue, and indeed, is often one of their only options in displacement settings for earning money. For partners, refugee incentive workers are essential to operations; they provide translation services, serve as teachers, support with community outreach and mobilization.

While grateful for the opportunity to earn income, many refugees are critical of the incentive worker systems. The “incentives” paid are lower than wages paid to national citizens. Refugees’ work generally comes without any health or leave benefits. Arrangements are generally short term, without options for longer term, formalized, contractual arrangements. As incentive workers, refugees working with humanitarian organizations are limited in their ability to influence the design of refugee programs. They also don’t have an clear career prospects within those organizations due to limitations on their right to work.

In theory, incentive work could make significant contributions to key Global Compact for Refugees (GCR) objectives of supporting refugee self-reliance and encouraging refugee participation and empowerment. The Africa Refugee-led Network (ARN), working with Oxfam, is commissioning research to collect views and experiences of refugee incentive workers and to provide an assessment of the extent to which current incentive worker practices further refugee self-reliance and participation. The policy briefing will make recommendations about refugee work and be used in advocacy engagements by ARN.

We are recruiting an individual consultant or firm, with the following scope of work:

  • Design a participatory research methodology, ensuring the active participation of refugees in the research process. Research may be virtual or in-person, or a combination of the two.

  • Lead the research process.

  • Prepare a policy paper for external publication, of approximately 8,000 words. Paper should include:

o Case studies from at least 2-3 country contexts that will be identified following discussion between ARN, Oxfam and the consultant.

o Description of domestic and relevant international legal frameworks in selected countries (particularly related to refugee and labour laws);

o Refugee experiences and perspectives;

o UNHCR and implementing partner policies, practices and perspectives;

o Policy recommendations for relevant stakeholders.

  • Prepare 2-3 pages policy note summarizing the research findings and recommendations.

  • Develop an advocacy strategy jointly with ARN members outlining 2-3 specific actions that refugees could take to advance policy recommendations.

  • Present findings in a virtual webinar.

Specific deliverables:

  • Inception report outlining proposed research plan and timeline.

  • Briefing paper for external publication, including findings and recommendations.

  • Short policy note to support advocacy engagements.

  • Advocacy strategy.

  • Virtual presentation of findings.

Application requirements:

Interested candidates in the position are expected to provide the following documentation:

  • A technical proposal with detailed response to the TOR, with specific focus on addressing the scope of work and methodology to be used.

  • Sample of previous research and policy papers or related work, etc.

  • Initial work plan based on methodology outlined, and indication of availability.

  • A financial proposal detailing the rate expected (inclusive withholding tax), transportation costs, accommodation costs, etc. and initial work plan.

  • Company/organizational profile or CV including a minimum of 3 traceable, recent and relevant references.

How to apply:

Interested candidates to submit applications on or before 21st October 2021 by11:00 pm EAT and indicate Application for Research on Incentive Workers in Africa Consultancy Service in the subject line to the email address