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Switzerland: Consultant for Shelter and Cash Based Interventions

NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 28 Jul 2017

Development of tools to guide the use of cash as a shelter modality and provision of support to the implementation of cash for shelter in 2-3 large UNHCR operations.

Length: 6 months with possible extension pending successful progress, starting asap

Duty station : Geneva based preferred, with travels to field operations


Cash transfer programmes are now increasingly a way to respond to the needs of refugees and others of concern. While Cash-Based interventions (CBIs) have been used in UNHCR operations for many years, in 2015, the UN High Commissioner for refugees identified Cash Based Interventions as a corporate priority and investment. The Policy on Cash-based Interventions and the UNHCR Cash-Based Interventions Institutionalisation Strategy 2016-2020 provide the framework for the efforts to systematise the expanded use of cash in the response to the people UNHCR serves.

Shelter is a critical life-saving intervention that is a primary method by which UNHCR can protect persons of concern. UNHCR’s Global Strategy for Settlement and Shelter (2014-2018) provides a framework to improve the living conditions of refugees and other people of concern who are seeking protection and assistance in both rural and urban settings. Cash based interventions provide enhanced opportunities and flexibility in terms of dignity of choice to people of concern. Regardless of modality, shelter construction in any form requires, to varying degrees, technical expertise to ensure the safety of occupants. Shelter provision/construction is subject to a range of regulatory systems, such as building codes and complex land ownership or tenure arrangements that require a due diligence to ensure shelter and settlement programmes adhere to the principles of “do no harm”. To this end, UNHCR pursues “market based programming”, meaning that a shelter and settlement response will be determined by a comprehensive situation assessment and analysis of needs, resources, markets and feasibility. Therefore, the decision to use cash-based interventions to fulfil shelter and settlement needs will be determined through market based programming.

Purpose and main tasks UNHCR is seeking the services of a consultant to:

  1. Develop checklist/ tools to assist shelter and settlement practitioners in

  2. Determining the feasibility of cash-based interventions for shelter and settlement programming (cognisant of context, needs, capacities and a comprehensive market analysis: construction material availability, labour, land and rental)

  3. If applicable, defining which cash for shelter modality is best suited to a given context (renting, hosting, construction etc.) – i.e. Unrestricted/restricted vs Unconditional/conditional.

  4. Implementing technically sound cash for shelter programmes.

  5. Support two to three UNHCR operations to migrate relevant shelter activities to cash.

Expected deliverables

  1. Desk review of existing guidance, including the position paper of the GSC on cash for shelter, the literature review, UNHCR RBM Framework, UNHCR Cash guidelines, lessons learned on cash for shelter.

  2. Clear and concise checklists/guidance which will complement UNHCR existing operational guidance on CBI outlining the steps to follow to ensure the appropriate use of cash for shelter and settlement. The checklists will support UNHCR shelter practitioners in the implementation of cash for shelter programmes from the inception of the programme through monitoring and evaluation of the response

  3. Way forward for migrating shelter to cash, where appropriate, in two to three key operations and field missions to work with the shelter and CBI experts in country and with senior management to facilitate the migration.

  4. Lessons learned from the application of the developed tools in country operations, review the tools based on learning and produce case studies to establish evidence based research on the impact of cash based interventions for shelter in a variety of operational contexts (renting, hosting, rehabilitation etc.)

  5. Document learning to feed into the broader Global Shelter Cluster discussion on CASH for shelter, highlighting the quality of the interventions and the protection of the people we serve.

  6. Relevant capacity building material that will be inserted in standard shelter training material, and shelter specific considerations which should be included in general CBI trainings and facilitate training.

Profile of consultant

• At least 8 years of experience in implementing shelter programmes, including 2 years with cash component

• Proven experience in collecting and analysing information

• Knowledge of the UNHCR programmes and its Results Based Management system

• Fluency in English (written and spoken)

• Excellent drafting skills

• Ability to deliver a high-quality product in a timely manner with limited supervision.

• Strong analytical and synthesis skills.

• Excellent interpersonal skills and excellent communication skills (written and oral)

• Prior experience in programme management and M&E related to shelter and settlement is desirable.

How to apply:

Please send before COB 28/07/2017 an email to with the title: Consultancy Shelter/Cash and include your CV+ P11 + Motivation letter