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Jordan: Lessons Learned from year 1: Best practices and challenges in governance and programming in the Syria Resilience Consortium

NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: CARE
Country: Jordan
Closing date: 12 Dec 2017
  1. Overview
    The Syria Resilience Consortium (SRC) was established in 2016 by its six constituent INGO partners – CARE, DRC, Handicap International, IRC, NRC, and Mercy Corps - in recognition of a joint responsibility to address the appalling levels of needs, as well as rights violations, in conflict-ridden Syria.
    The consortium members share a vision of a future for Syria where conflict-affected women, men, girls and boys, including persons with disabilities and/or injuries, communities, and institutions have restored their livelihoods, benefit from inclusive economic rehabilitation processes, and have strong capacity to respond to shocks.
    The SRC is currently finalizing its first operational year and would like to invest in a study of lessons learnt related to both its governance and programming, and consequent recommendations.
    The SRC’s strategy states as added value of working through this consortium:
    1.Whole of Syria approach
    2.Holistic area-based approach
    3.Strong integration of gender, age, disability, and protection concerns
    4.Commitment to evidence-generation, learning, and advocacy
    5.Complementary capacities, reach, and technical expertise
    6.Joint engagement of partners in Syria
    7.Flexible selection of implementation areas and locally adapted intervention models
    8.Strong member agency engagement
    A detailed description of the added values can be found in annex 1.
  2. Objective: The objective of this assignment is to document learning from the first operational year of the SRC, with a focus on the stated added value in the strategy, both from a programmatic and governance perspective. The consultant will develop recommendations for the SRC based on the lessons learnt.
    Internally, the study will help to understand the state of SRC’s current performance, in all transparency, including its strengths and weaknesses. It will help us to enhance performance and to equally understand which claimed added values have proven to be unrealistic.

Externally, the study will help build an evidence base of best practices and challenges working in this ambitious consortium, which is operating in one of the most challenging environments worldwide.
The recommendations will directly feed into:
•An annual learning event
•A governance review
•A strategy revision
•An evidence base on the SRC. This evidence base is meant to continue to grow during the life of the consortium and will –at some point- feed into an external comms piece.
•Donor- and internal reports and the newsletter
The study is an integral part of MEAL and complements the more quantitative methodologies as well as the Focus Group Discussions with SRC project participants.
The study will document best practices as well as challenges related to added value, and, in consultation with the Programme Coordination Unit, Member Representatives and Steering Committee, will translate these into concrete recommendations for enhanced performance.

  1. Deliverables
    The assignment will result in the following deliverables:
    •A general, 12 page, “state of affairs” study detailing added value created and challenges encountered through the first operational year of the SRC’s existence. The study will look at all coordination bodies in the Consortium: Area Coordination; Member Representatives; Steering Committee; Programme Coordination Unit. The last page of the study will detail governance recommendations for discussion with the Steering Committee.
    •A programmatic assessment based on case studies:
    • 5 programmatic case studies (max. 3 pages each) that demonstrate a “best practice”. At least 3 of the best practices need to have resulted directly from working in a consortium. This could be related to tapping into each other’s expertise, joint piloting, harmonization of approaches, or coordination around geographies. (At least) the 2 remaining case studies should focus on resilience and GAD approaches.
    • 3 programmatic case studies demonstrating a challenge/obstacle/weakness. At least one of the case-studies needs to focus on a challenge resulting directly from working in a consortium.
    • Recommendations for expansion/multiplication of certain practices, and decrease/elimination of others.
  2. Methodology
    Most of the study will be done by:
    • A desk study, reviewing minutes of meetings, proposals and reports
    • Interviews with SC, MemReps, PCU, Area Coordinators, Programme Managers, Task Forces, local partners
    • At least 5 (Skype/telephone) interviews with beneficiaries.
    • When deemed appropriate by the consultant, focus group discussions can also be organized.
  3. Confidentiality
    Caution needs to be taken during data collection and sharing process. Sensitivity to personal information collected is extremely important and absolute confidentiality needs to be maintained.
  4. Time frame

  5. Inception phase: Interviews with key informants and development of detailed methodology, including questionnaires and work plan. Selection of case studies -- 7 days

  6. Desk review -- 5 days

  7. Interviews -- 10 days

  8. Report writing -- 7 days

  9. Presentation of findings and recommendations to SRC, partners and/or other key stakeholders for verification, discussions and clarifications on information collected, triangulation -- 5 days

  10. Final report -- 3 days
    TOTAL -- 37 days
    In order to account for time lapse related to planning of the interviews and final discussions, the 37 days will be spread out during 2 months, preferably during January – February 2018.
    The majority of the work can be done remotely, while travel is required for the final discussions at multiple levels.

  11. Expertise required
    The Consultant should be an experienced and independent consultant with the following expertise:
    •Advanced university degree in a related field
    •Strong expertise in organizational development within the humanitarian and/or development field.
    •Minimum of 10 years of professional experience of which at least 4 years in organizational development, advice or change management.
    •Excellent understanding of humanitarian / development programming
    •Demonstrated experience in documentation, research, assessments and/or evaluations of interventions.
    •Previous professional experience in protracted crises is an advantage.
    •Have an understanding of operating conditions in an insecure environment
    •Advanced analytical and report writing skills.
    •Excellent writing and speaking skills in English. Arabic an advantage.

  12. Application process:
    The deadline for submission of applications is xxx. All applications should include the following:
    •Cover letter (maximum 1 page) stating the candidate’s motivation to undertake this assignment and an updated CV’s of the candidate, including three references with contact details
    •Technical proposal: Which should include (i) brief explanation about the Consultant with particular emphasis on previous experience in this kind of work; (ii) Understanding of the TOR and the task to be accomplished, (iv) draft plan
    •Financial Proposal: Which should include consultancy fees but excluding: accommodation and living costs; transport cost; stationeries, and supplies needed for data collection; and costs related to other persons/research assistants that will take part (if any).
    Interested consultants or firms should submit their applications to: Christel Bultman, Chief of Party.
    Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
    •Technical experience and expertise
    •Quality of proposal
    •Cost-effectiveness of proposal
    ANNEX 1 SRC’s Added Value – as per the SRC Strategy
    The consortium members come together in a spirit of collaboration, and with the aim to mitigate barriers towards a coordinated response that provides efficient resilience-building livelihoods support. The approach and collaboration set-up adopted by the consortium and described in this strategy, add value in the following ways:
    1.Whole of Syria approach –implementation through all access points and modalities ensures a wide geographic coverage and high outreach to Syrians in need, wherever they are located;
    2.Holistic area-based approach – implementation of an integrated package of goods and services tailored to specific geographic areas increases value-for-money, and – ultimately – impact;
    3.Strong integration of gender, age, disability, and protection concerns – building the intervention strategy on a thorough gender-age-disability-sensitive analysis of needs, vulnerabilities, barriers, risks as well as (individual and collective) resources increases the relevance of the intervention to marginalized populations that face additional barriers to access livelihoods as well as their protection from harm, and – in the long-term – contributes to the generation of more inclusive rehabilitation and reconstruction processes;
    4.Commitment to evidence-generation, learning, and advocacy – coordinated vulnerability and needs assessments, conflict, do-no-harm, and protection analysis, joint documentation of lessons learnt and best practices and sharing of the evidence generated within the consortium and with the wider response community leads to stronger advocacy, enhanced, more efficient programming, and greater impact;
    5.Complementary capacities, reach, and technical expertise – collaboration under the consortium increases value for money through economics of scale, improved quality of services, and increased impact. Building on existing examples of collaboration, the consortium provides a platform for exploration and utilization of field-level synergies, thereby increasing efficiency and impact. For instance, Handicap International provides technical expertise in the inclusion of older persons and people with disabilities. Other consortium members bring to the consortium strong experience and technical capacities in cash-based programming (in particular, NRC, IRC, Mercy Corps), vocational training (DRC, NRC), and value-chain and market-focused approaches (CARE, IRC, Mercy Corps). Other specific technical areas of expertise include promotion of housing, land, and property rights (NRC), Village Saving and Loan Associations (CARE), and awareness raising and community risk mapping related to Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) (Handicap International). Finally, all consortium members are committed to making available technical resources in Gender and Protection.
    6.Joint engagement of partners in Syria – by assessing key stakeholders and putting in place engagement plans, the consortium is prioritizing the recognition and support of Syrian capacity, ensuring that it is empowered and not undermined. In conducting joint capacity assessments and capacity building of local partners where relevant, using a combination of approaches to capacity building (training, coaching, mentoring etc.), adapted to the access of field/partner teams to training venues and/or technology, as well as the priorities of partners, the consortium uses resources efficiently, leverages existing capacity and contributes to a more effective, relevant program. This investment will strengthen Syrian capacity in the longer term, promoting sustainability.
    7.Flexible selection of implementation areas and locally adapted intervention models – by conducting area-specific assessments and monitoring, using ‘area types’ for analysis (besieged, full government controlled, full opposition controlled etc.), and rapid coordination on situation on the ground through the ‘area coordination’ mechanisms, the consortium is able to quickly re-program to different implementation areas as the situation on the ground or access change or shift implementation responsibilities and associated budgets between consortium members, depending on access and capacities;
    8.Strong member agency engagement – consortium members play a leading role in design, and implementation, in particular through the Steering Committee, Program Coordination Unit (PCU), member representatives and four designated Area Coordinators.
    9.Value-for-money – the consortium looks beyond cost-per-beneficiary and instead aims at providing the most relevant and effective response by joining of resources, enhanced collective understanding of the context, and design of a more efficient approach that better responds to the specific situations of different groups.

How to apply:

Interested consultants or firms should submit their applications to: Christel Bultman, Chief of Party.