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Job Vacancy: Durable Solutions Research Consultant at International Rescue Committee, Nairobi, Kenya - ONGOING RECRUITMENT
Background & Rationale
Violent internal conflict broke out in the Republic of South Sudan in December 2013 when long-standing tensions within the country’s ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), boiled over into armed conflict in the nation’s capital, Juba and spread. Since December 2013, the number of South Sudanese refugees in the region has grown almost five times over, with a total of 727,607 now seeking refuge in neighboring Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. There have been several attempts to negotiate and implement cessation of hostilities – the latest of which was signed in August 2015 – but these efforts have largely proved ineffectual as they have been broken by both parties. In June 2016, renewed fighting erupted in several locations across the country, and reports suggest that the opposing sides are preparing for a return to war.
In a region that has been marred by recurrent and protracted displacement in the last decade, the quest for durable solutions for refugees and other displaced persons is increasingly high on the agenda for donors, governments and key stakeholders. Displaced persons have often times found themselves depending entirely on emergency assistance and humanitarian aid that falls short of delivering long-term solutions. Current studies and literature, supported by both humanitarian and development actors have argued that strategies for solutions should, in principle, start at the onset of displacement. While the focus and priority in the first stage of a displacement crisis is to uphold basic minimum standards for saving lives and ensuring protection, efforts should also be invested in identifying how the immediate response impacts future prospects for durable solutions. Yet, there is a noticeable gap in such strategies at a practical, regional and policy level.
To advance the learning agenda on the urgent topic of solutions, the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) has commissioned a series of research initiatives and has developed a capacity building toolkit for solutions programming. The most recent research which came out in summer 2016, “Review of Durable Solutions Initiatives in East and Horn of Africa: good practices, challenges, and opportunities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Somalia,” reviews 14 on-going initiatives on durable solutions in these countries and highlights best practices, bottlenecks, and recommendations for ways forward to improve coordination, providing opportunities and entry-points into an actual durable solutions system. This report asks: Is it possible to aim for a coordinated durable solutions system in the East and Horn of Africa? The Theory of Change presented in this review recommends a sequencing, layering and integrating of activities, geographical approaches, advocacy, capacity and coordination to the widest range of stakeholders, including – and with a stronger focus on – academia, civil society organizations, private sector and local governments. ReDSS has also piloted the capacity building toolkit to build a common language and understanding of durable solutions, as well as strengthen the capacities of humanitarian and development practitioners as well as policy-makers & donors on how to address durable solutions for displacement affected communities in the East and Horn of Africa region.
Building on these two pieces of work, there is still a gap in understanding how to best support solutions from the onset of displacement. How do national and local policies in these three contexts enable or restrict response actions for solutions at the start of a displacement crisis?
Objective of the study
To begin to answer the aforementioned question, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) along with the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) will undertake this study to explore the response to the South Sudan Refugee crisis since 2013 in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia; analyze the policy environments and how they have shaped the response actions; analyze how operational and strategic decision making has impacted future prospects for solutions; and make recommendations on how durable solutions can be taken into consideration while formulating response plans at the onset of displacement. The study will identify the gaps and challenges that stakeholders have or would potentially face, while identifying comprehensive and innovative approaches. The study recommendations will primarily target operational organizations to inform advocacy and programming. Following this study, a second could go on to make concrete programming and coordination of recommendations for refugee operations. The recommendations will also be used in engagements with a range of actors – from development actors, host governments, UN agencies, donors, and IGAD – to advance discussions about the roles that each play in promoting durable solutions. The study may also make recommendations for enabling funding and coordination mechanisms, as well as capacity for state and non-state local actors.
Component 1: what has been done to date?
· What are the current response actions/strategies and how do they address prospects for durable solutions for South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda to date?
o How have response actions for solutions been shaped by national, local or international policies? What are the incentive structures that motivate these policies?
o What are the opportunities or barriers to addressing each of the three durable solutions across contexts?
Component 2: what can be done differently?
· What are the key policy solutions at country and regional level to address prospects for durable solutions at the onset?
o What could be done (and what would be required) at the onset of a refugee influx towards operationalizing durable solutions.
· What is or should be the role of humanitarian and development actors, governments and local authorities in early onset solutions planning and programing? What is or should be the role of the displaced host communities, community-based mechanisms and community base organizations (CBO)? What kinds of coordination structures should be in place and what can be learned from the resilience agenda (ex. Somalia).
· What funding mechanisms and funding sources are required to encourage planning and programming for solutions, and how can these mechanisms be integrated into or replace existing?
· Desk Review of relevant policies and responses to inform interview and data collection tools.
· Key Informant Interviews with officials, policy makers, donors, etc. Minimum 30 interviews.
· Focus Group Discussions with displacement affected populations on local level opportunities and constraints. 6 total – 2 per country gender separated.
· Analyze component parts of a durable solution per the ReDSS Framework definition and indicators.
o Remain consistent with and build on previous and planned ReDSS work i.e. learning agenda
o Applying the framework will support the consultant to systematically consider all parts of a solution- particularly pushing the legal side which will be the most difficult.
Inception Report (with power point presentation) outlining the consultant’s understanding of the TOR, methodology, ethical considerations, outline, work-plan and a list individuals and/or types of organizations the consultant will be interviewing for presentation to the study’s steering committee.
An initial first draft report (35 pages maximum without annexes) including:
Table of contents, glossary of key terms, list of acronyms,
An executive summary, introduction highlighting the objectives of the study, the rationale, methodology used, scope and limitations, theory of change
Outline of literature review and country context analyses
Key findings and countries specific case studies
Conclusions, recommendations and way forward
Annexes including but not limited to list of key interviews, field visits, bibliography, documents reviewed, etc.
Validation workshops with key stakeholders and steering committee.
A final revised report based on the inputs. The final report should include an executive summary (maximum 4 pages) and a short Power Point presentation highlighting the key questions, research methodology, key findings and recommendations, to be presented to the steering committee.
Management and timeframe
The consultant will report to the IRC Deputy Regional Director-Horn & East Africa and ReDSS Coordinator, and be guided by the study’s steering committee. As part of the consultancy, the consultant will present an initial layout (inception phase) and the final draft at consultative workshops. The final report will incorporate the feedback received at the validation workshops.
Duration of assignment
The study will be conducted in a period of 35 consultancy days. To be completed by October 28, 2016.
· Available to start immediately;
· An advanced degree in Law, Social Sciences, Forced Migration or related area of study;
· Demonstrable experience on matters relating to forced migration locally and regionally and knowledge of the Tripartite Agreement;
· Proven qualitative research skills and experience in the area of forced migration, at least 3 years;
· Track record working on issues of displacement and durable solutions preferably in an operational capacity;
· Experience working with civil society;
· Good understanding of legal and policy frameworks, economic development in the Horn and East Africa;
· Good understanding of socio-economic dynamics in the Horn and East Africa;
· Excellent analytical and report writing skills;
· Fluency in written and spoken English; familiarity with Swahili and/or Amharic desirable.
Terms and conditions
· The Consultant must be available to commence the desk review immediately and provide the final report within 35 days from date of commencement.
· The consultant must complete work within the stipulated time frame
· The consultant must operate within the budget allocated.
Interested applicants who meet the required profile are invited to submit an expression of interest (EOI) including:
· A suitability statement including CV of participating consultants with details of qualifications and experience.
· Financial proposal providing cost estimates and consultancy fees.
· Contacts of three organizations that have recently contracted you to carry out similar assignment. Interested parties should forward the expression of interest in English no later than Friday, 12 August 2016