Consultant – Design Assessment Toolkit for Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance Proposals – Remote

  • Anywhere
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 21 May 2021


Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.

Across the world, Mercy Corps intervenes in situations of disaster, conflict, crisis and displacement to provide emergency assistance to people in need and to lay to groundwork for recovery. In 20 countries, Mercy Corps is implementing emergency response programming funded by USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).

When designing new and follow-on interventions, Mercy Corps strives to provide the best possible assessment data to justify the need for BHA investment to promote human welfare, alleviate suffering, and provide the foundations for transformative change and self-reliance.

Purpose / Project Description:

Mercy Corps’ Global Technical Support Unit (TSU) brings a range of thematic expertise to our field programming, advising Mercy Corps teams in each country where Mercy Corps operates. With support and guidance from the TSU, Mercy Corps’ country teams conduct needs assessments as a critical first step to quality program design. Mercy Corps uses secondary and primary data collection methods to gather valuable information about the needs of crisis-affected populations in various contexts and related to various sectors, notably cash assistance, water and sanitation, agriculture, food security, protection and gender.

Mercy Corps currently sees the need to provide our field teams with a multi-sector, integrated assessment toolkit, specifically in line with the BHA proposal requirements, that can be adapted and modified according to the local context and needs. This toolkit should be simple, customizable and user friendly and provide clear instructions for its use. The toolkit should offer a framework for field teams to better understand an emergency context and prioritize data gathering needs. It should also include simple data gathering tools for a selection of key sectors/ subsectors, to allow for data collection consistent with the standards of USAID/BHA’s guidelines for emergency proposals.

An illustrative list of proposed priority sectors/subsectors follows, though a final list will be determined and agreed with Mercy Corps during the planning phase of the assignment.

  • Agriculture – Improving Agricultural Production
  • Agriculture – Livestock
  • Economic Recovery and Market Systems – Livelihoods Restoration
  • Economic Recovery and Market Systems – New Livelihoods
  • Food Assistance – Unconditional Food Assistance
  • Nutrition – Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition in Emergencies
  • Multipurpose Cash Assistance – Multipurpose Cash
  • Shelter and Settlements – Non Food Items (NFIs)
  • Protection – Prevention and Response to Gender Based Violence (GBV)
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – Water Supply
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – Sanitation
  • Disaster Risk Reduction Policy & Practice – Capacity Building & Training

Consultant Objective:

  • Create an integrated, multi-sector, adaptable toolkit for rapid humanitarian assessments aligned with the guidelines of USAID/BHA for emergency proposals. The toolkit will include general guidelines on designing an assessment, instructions for use and tools for data collection.

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  • Conduct a gap assessment between existing assessment tools and new BHA Guidelines standards.
  • Develop basic guidance on designing the assessment – how to narrow focus of intervention, and how to link information needs with guiding questions the assessment should answer.
  • Develop tools to satisfy requirements of USAID/BHA Emergency Proposal Guidelines, related to a selection of priority sectors/ sub-sectors. Compile tools into a comprehensive database/toolkit
  • Invite and respond to Mercy Corps’ feedback on tools in development
  • Integrate existing key tools TSU teams are currently developing, notably related to modality analysis for resource transfers
  • Lead a recorded webinar/training to introduce the toolkit and instructions for use to Mercy Corps teams.

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will:

  • Develop a BHA assessment toolkit, which should include overall guidance on how to assess needs and narrow the focus of intervention, and links to data gathering tools for each priority BHA sector/sub-sector. The toolkit will be adaptable and transferable, aligned with the technical requirements of USAID/BHA guidelines for emergency programming. Including:
    • An overview document/introduction with guidelines for designing an assessment, including guiding questions and sampling methodology.
    • A set of simple assessment tools applicable to each identified sector / sub-sector, with at least 3 elements: 1) a checklist of data to be collected from secondary sources; 2) a focus group discussion (FGD) guide; and 3) a Key Informant Interview (KII) guide. Other tools can be included as applicable (market price observations, etc). Tools should be in modifiable format and adaptable. Tools should be developed to gather data disaggregated by gender and age and ensure that the needs of different social groups are captured.
  • Provide a supplemental list of existing assessment tools from secondary sources.
  • Conduct a virtual training session to introduce the final product to Mercy Corps teams.

Timeframe / Schedule:

The consultancy is estimated at 30 business days, to be completed within 60 days. An approximate timeline (to be discussed and agreed upon with the consultant) is as follows:

  1. Outline of overall toolkit (basic structure) for Mercy Corps review and approval – day 5
    • Mercy Corps to provide comments/feedback within 2 business days
  2. Comprehensive toolkit (draft 1) for MC review – day 25
    • 1. Mercy Corps technical reviewers to provide comments/feedback within 8 business days
  3. Comprehensive toolkit (draft 2) incorporating Mercy Corps’ feedback – day 45

The Consultant will report to:

  • Senior Program Officer, Africa, for project support/oversight
  • Senior Director, New Initiatives – approval authority on deliverables

The Consultant will work closely with:

  • A technical counterpart on Mercy Corps’ Global TSU, who will help coordinate the input and review of various other Mercy Corps technical advisors;
  • A Senior Program Officer (Regional Program Team), to support the overall project, provide secondary review and act as focal point for contractual questions; and
  • A Global MEL Advisor, to provide review and input on the proposed assessment methodology and tools.
  • A Humanitarian Leadership and Response (HLR) Advisor, to provide review on the proposed methodology and tools.

Required Experience & Skills:

  • 5-10 years of experience as a Program Leader or Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning professional with at least 5 years of experience in international humanitarian response programming
  • Demonstrated experience designing multi-sector programmatic needs assessments
  • Familiarity with USAID/BHA guidelines for proposals
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Proficiency with MS suite (word, excel) required, experience with data collection and analysis software strongly preferred
  • Knowledge of and experience with user-centered design strongly preferred

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

How to apply:

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