Consultant on Climate and Humanitarian Finance report

  • Anywhere
Organization: Oxfam
Closing date: 12 Mar 2023
  1. Introduction

Humanitarian needs are at an all-time high and yet are continuing to rise, with more countries and regions tipping into crisis as the impacts of the climate crisis become an unavoidable reality. In the past decade humanitarian appeals have risen from less than $10bn to over $46bn – a 360% increase – whereas world GDP (PPP) has grown by only 46%. UN appeals related to extreme weather events have surged 800% over the past two decades. Such an increase in humanitarian appeals is unsustainable and is outstripping the ability of donors to finance the growing needs, as well as the wider humanitarian system’s overall capacity to respond. The humanitarian system was not designed for the paradigm we’re now seeing, and humanitarian financing is not keeping pace with these increasing needs. The humanitarian system is largely premised on short term interventions to extraordinary crises, but despite advances in DRR, CCA and EWWA, it is often ill prepared for the long term or cyclical crises which climate change is bringing. Changes in responses to be more locally led, to incorporate nexus programming and to include more anticipatory action are promising developments, but the scale of the problem is outstripping the system’s ability to adapt.

In many humanitarian contexts there is now growing interest over the role of climate finance; either used in parallel to humanitarian funding, or for the same projects which humanitarian funding is used for. While in implementation there are many similarities and overlaps, discussions on climate and humanitarian finance are often siloed, with practitioners in both spheres at times lacking a common language and framework with which to engage.

Oxfam is seeking a consultant to draft a report which will bring together key discussions on climate and humanitarian finance to serve as a common starting point for humanitarians and those working on climate finance to engage. It will lay the groundwork for further discussion by pointing out key links, overlaps and differences in both systems.

On the basis of this common understanding, it will seek to make recommendations for how humanitarian actors can engage in climate finance discussions to ensure that the outcomes of climate finance include mechanisms which will meet the needs of those most vulnerable in humanitarian crisis, and particularly in areas where States may lack the ability to provide support to those at risk, or affected by, climate linked events. Where possible the report should also seek to make recommendations for reforms to the humanitarian finance system work more effectively with climate finance, and make the necessary shifts to better address the growing humanitarian impacts of the climate crisis.

  1. Objectives

The first objective of the report is to establish a baseline for conversations between those working on climate finance and humanitarian finance, breaking down silos and demystifying both spaces so that those working on climate and humanitarian finance can better coordinate action.

To this end it will require a short overview, comparing and contrasting the key finance instruments in climate and humanitarian finance. It should also broadly highlight the impacts of the climate crisis on humanitarian response.

The report is also intended to make recommendations for the development of climate finance and humanitarian finance going forward. In the face of the climate crisis there is increasing political attention on climate finance, including for adaptation, loss & damage and resilience. The recent success of negotiations at COP 27 getting agreement on a Loss and Damage fund suggests the time is now ripe to feed in to discussions on how this fund (or series of funds) is going to function, and how climate finance more generally will work with, and alongside, humanitarian finance.

Oxfam seeks to influence the debate on climate finance by drawing from lessons learned in humanitarian financing, including from our advocacy on localisation and humanitarian system reform. We aim to ensure that climate finance does not repeat the mistakes of humanitarian finance; that it is decolonialised, that we address the power dynamics inherent in funding systems, that the system and its funders are accountable to those who most need funding, and that the funding is able to flow as quickly and directly as possible to local organisations and those most in need.

The humanitarian system will need to undergo significant changes to make it fit for the climate crisis. Integrating climate finance will be a key first step in this process. As discussions on climate finance are still at early stages, this is a key opportunity to propose solutions to ensure we learn from past humanitarian finance lessons, and build a system that better represents and includes those most in need.

The paper for which this consultancy is requested should draw on the lessons learned in humanitarian finance to influence the development of climate finance discussions in the coming years, with the target of making sure climate finance meets the needs of all people, including those in the most fragile states. At the same time it will reflect on the current and past shortcomings of humanitarian finance, and propose changes in how the humanitarian system responds going forward to better prepare for the increase needs driven by the climate crisis.

  1. Expected deliverables:
  • Short Literature review of key documents on humanitarian, development and climate finance, including an overview of current and anticipated finance/system reform processes underway (such as the grand bargain, COP negotiations and relevant discussions at international financial institutions).
  • Interviews with relevant internal and external actors, on how climate and humanitarian finance work, both independently of each other and together, and what opportunities there are for influencing. Interviews should be designed to elicit critical reflections on the current state of humanitarian and climate finance, and ways to improve going forward. Interviews should include diverse participation across climate and humanitarian fields, and where possible include affected communities and their representatives.
  • A finalised report of approximately 10-15 thousand words in length, including a 2-page executive summary
  • Short summary for media purposes
  1. Competencies required:

Key competencies:

  • Demonstrate a significant understanding of both humanitarian and climate finance mechanisms.
  • Excellent drafting and research abilities
  • Experience of having produced similar research
  • Understanding of key influencing points on climate and humanitarian finance


  • Experience working in humanitarian responses or conflict environments
  • Experience working with humanitarian, development or climate donors
  1. Timings

The commencement date of the consultancy is as soon as possible but must be before the end of March 2023.


Date to do

Date returned

First draft of the report sent out for comments to Reference Group

3 April 2023

14th April 2023

Comments incorporated

17 April 2023

24 April 2023

First line organisational review for comments

24 April 2023

1 May 2023

Comments incorporated

1 May 2023

8 May 2023

Second line Reference Group review for comments

8 May 2023

15 May 2023

Global sign-off

15 May 2023

19 May 2023


19 May 2023

29 May 2023


Ready by early June. Launch dependant on hooks

How to apply
  1. Instructions to Apply

Interested candidates should send their CV and a letter or motivation, outlining their suitability for this consultancy and detailing previous experience in similar research, to ssc.consultancy@oxfam.orgKindly send applications via email and include “Application for Climate and Humanitarian Finance research in the email subject line. Ideal deadline for submission is the 12 March 2023.

Guidance for your response

When submitting your interest, please also provide a response in Word which should include:

  • Understanding of the requirement
  • Overview of proposed approach you will take towards the deliverables
  • Proposed individual or team
  • Budget breakdown (EUR) (including proposed daily rate, number of days per task, travel costs, support etc.)


Weekly Opportunities .

Sign up to receive opportunities in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.