Study on the Status of Resilience Building and Anticipatory Action In relation to the Drought in Kenya and Somalia

  • Anywhere
Organization: Oxfam
Closing date: 26 Jul 2022

Oxfam defines resilience as “the ability of women, men, and children to realise their rights and improve their well-being despite shocks, stresses, and uncertainty.” Within the Horn of Africa shocks related to food shortages are chronic. For years, there have been warnings about the ways that climate change has and will impact food security and water security and access. Climate change is upon us, and chronically manifests itself through extreme weather events, drought, and food shortages in the horn of Africa. The regional economy is heavily dependent on agriculture and livestock, which are both being negatively impacted by floods or drought conditions that cause crop failures within local households. The region has been struggling with irregular rainfall patterns for years, but what is currently happening is presenting a much more urgent threat to the local food supply than ever before. What was once a sustainable way of life is increasingly under threat from these changes in climate.

Strengthening resilience and protection mechanisms can reduce the impact of climate-change induced food shortages affecting regions that have chronic food insecurity in the horn of Africa. Resilient households also have the capacity to recover quickly in the event of a humanitarian crisis. However, resilience can be undermined by successive shocks or protracted stresses, eroding coping strategies and reducing alternative livelihood and food/water security options for households under stress. This reinforces the need for more focus and investment in resilience, protection building, anticipatory action that allows households affected by effects of extreme weather events to better adapt to these shocks.

There are technically proven interventions that can support local communities adapt their livelihood activities in the face of consequences of extreme weather events such as drought. These include interventions in areas of smart agriculture, insurance, social protection etc. There are numerous poverty reduction and resilience building interventions that are ongoing these localities in Kenya and Somalia faced by chronic food shortages. These include state and non-state actor interventions. There are state run Social Protection programmes with developmental and anticipatory interventions embedded in them. These include The Hunger safety Net Programme in Kenya that have resilience building and anticipatory action elements. There is also the much younger Somalia Shock Responsive Safety Net that conceptually has anticipatory action objectives build into it. There are also a number of central and subnational governments that intervene in livelihood strengthening interventions which should build household resilience and protection to shocks. On the other hand, non-state actors undertake many community-based interventions on poverty reduction, which also conceptually should contribute to more resilience and protection amongst households including those that are poor, marginalised and have age, gender, or disability vulnerabilities.

There is also controversy in the development field about anticipatory action as a response to humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa. The number and severity of these crises is projected to increase, but the resources and funding available for relief efforts remain at a fixed level. Anticipatory action, which includes resilience building, could reduce the severity of these crises, and ensure that they are manageable when they do occur. There is broad agreement that taking an anticipatory approach and/or building resilience to combatting the effects of climate change in the Horn of Africa as a potential method of preventing humanitarian crises. This would involve setting up programs to help farmers transition from traditional agriculture to smart agriculture or move from agriculture-heavy economies to those that are more stable and less dependent on changing environmental conditions. There may also be opportunities for implementing anticipatory action in urban settings; for example, by improving infrastructure so that populations can relocate easily when needed.

Despite all these investments and broad acknowledgement of the need for resilience building the food crisis in the horn has progressively got worse.

  • In 2011 to 2012: The Horn of Africa hunger crisis was responsible for 245,000-260000 deaths in East Africa.
  • In 2017: 25 million people, including fifteen million children, needed humanitarian assistance in East Africa.
  • In 2018: Africa accounted for more than half of the global total of acutely food-insecure people, estimated at sixty-five million. East Africa had the highest number at 28.6 million
  • In 2019: Food security deteriorated driven by widespread breeding of desert locusts, which resulted in the loss of vast pasturelands and crops.
  • In 2020: Large-scale floods affected East African communities, affecting up to four million people across the region. Conditions deteriorated across Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda, where 12.8 million children experienced high levels of malnutrition.
  • In 2021: In the horn and South Sudan, 21-22 million face acute food insecurity.

2.0 Objective of the Assessment

The objective of this assessment is to produce a review of available evidence on locations where Oxfam has been undertaking resilience building interventions through Oxfam partners over the last five years and assess why they have failed to combat the humanitarian crises that we face in the region. We will use the Oxfam Partners as window to assess actions of state and non-state actor partners, including the UN, in their geographical areas of operation. This will be used to improve Oxfam’s understanding of extreme weather resilience building and anticipatory action and adapt programming where appropriate. In the short term this will include provision of guidance to our regional and country teams to include resilience actions in intervention plans. In the medium-long term, it will contribute to Nexus discussion and ensuring we have lessons learned to be implemented in our programmes. It will also be used to shape future research and contribute to Oxfam and her partners efforts to break the cycle of hunger/ food insecurity and human suffering in the horn of Africa.

3.0 Specific Objectives of the Assessment

The specific objective of the assessment is to collect, synthesise, and critically assess relevant academic, policy and practitioner research, evidence, and programme evaluations on the following questions. Some of the information will be available on ongoing Oxfam studies such as the current dangerous delays 2 report and work already undertaken by the Oxfam Resilience Hub.

  1. What has been the types and levels of Oxfam and partner investments in resilience building in three chronically drought affected localities in Kenya (County) and Somalia (State).
  2. What have these investments failed to build enough resilience to mitigate the effects of drought and food/water shortages?
  3. What are the main technical, social, economic, and political interventions by Oxfam and her partners that would build adequate resilience capacities for households to weather the next food crisis?
  4. What are the salient results of studies undertaken so far by Oxfam INGO partners in this field including on resilience research by organizations such as Mercy Corps?
  5. Given that available resources is not changing, what are the approaches and practices that have shown to be effective? what are the resilience action plans and advisory on nexus interventions at country and regional levels in the short, medium, and longer term?

4.0 Proposed Methodology

The consultant will undertake an evidence review to collect, synthesise, and critically evaluate relevant empirical evidence in academic, policy, and practitioner literature. This will include synthesising findings from any existing meta-evaluations or evidence reviews, analysing and new evidence to have emerged since the most recent meta-evaluations or evidence and assessing the quality, and robustness of the available evidence.

5.0 Deliverables

  • Inception Report: There will be an inception report indicating the review strategy, an indicative source list, and a proposed report structure.
  • First Draft: There will be a first draft that will receive feedback. The report will include synthesising of evidence and presentation of preliminary analysis (maximum thirty pages without annexes).
  • Second Draft: Incorporating feedback on the First Draft. (Maximum thirty pages without annexes).
  • Final Report: Incorporating feedback on the Second Draft; This will include synthesising of all evidence, analysis, and conclusions (maximum thirty pages without annexes) and including standalone executive summary (maximum three pages). There will also be a policy brief targeted at Africa Union, World Bank, selected UN agencies, EU, Major ODA agencies on the need for support to resilience building and anticipatory action.

6.0 Person qualifications

The consultant shall have the following expertise and qualification:

Essential qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience with qualitative and quantitative research.
  • Demonstrated background on climate smart adaptation strategies. humanitarian interventions and/or livelihoods and resilience programming.
  • Documented experience in developing technical reports and research papers.
  • At least a master’s degree in social sciences, agriculture or disciplines related to climate change and/resilience

Preferred qualification:

  • Familiarity with study locations [Kenya and Somalia]
  • Experience in the development of policy notes

How to apply

Submission of Technical and Financial Proposal:

The consultants are invited to apply for the assignment by sending a technical and financial proposal (through e-mail ssc.consultancy@oxfam.org ). The prospective consultant is expected to send in his/her CV too alongside the proposal. Proposals should be submitted not later than 26th July 2022

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