Consultancy Opportunity: Cash and Voucher Assistance donor landscape analysis

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Organization: Save the Children
Closing date: 26 Nov 2020



Over the past 15 years, as the evidence base has grown, the use of cash transfers to achieve a wide variety of objectives in humanitarian action has expanded exponentially. Much momentum on cash has been gained by the Grand Bargain that calls for an increased use and coordination of cash & voucher assistance (CVA), based on innovation, improved efficiency and greater collaboration between new and existing partners. This builds on an understanding that CVA does not operate in isolation but may be best delivered as part of a response that includes CVA as a complement to a range of other programmatic offers, i.e. “cash plus”.

Between 2015 and 2019, the global CVA volume almost tripled, increasing in a steady way from year to year, from US$2.0 bn to US$5.6 bn. Out of the total humanitarian assistance, CVA percentage grew from 7.9% in 2015 to 17.9% in 2019, which shows progress towards the Grand Bargain’s objective to increase the use of CVA in humanitarian contexts.

Donors are in the process of changing their policies to allow for efficient at scale cash programming and the UN and INGOs are establishing their respective roles. They want to see a coherent system and common programming approaches, where actors collaborate to avoid duplication. They also “expect to see cash programmes use, link to or align with local and national mechanisms such as social protection systems, where possible and appropriate”.

The private sector, including emerging technology companies, is increasingly becoming a delivery mechanism expert for cash at scale, bringing a range of different values to the humanitarian sector. In the COVID response, digital cash transfers became more crucial than ever, and several governments eased regulations to enable a wider access.

Save the Children strongly believes in CVA as assistance modality, and will continue developing its own capacity to deliver cash programming at increased scale and in influencing the whole sector in adopting approaches that maximize impacts on children’s wellbeing. A key part of this is the development of “cash plus” approaches to improve the impact of cash on sector specific outcomes for children such as education, protection, nutrition and health. Generating and systematizing evidence is at the core of Save the Children’s CVA strategy. Save the Children also has a long history of technical expertise in the area of social protection, having supported governments for over a decade in designing and delivering better social protection policies and programmes that are more sensitive to the needs of children and their caregivers, i.e. child-sensitive social protection.

Purpose and scope of consultancy


The purpose of the consultancy is to analyse the donor landscape for CVA and social protection, to identify donor’s funding trends and programmatic priorities in these areas, as well as their partnership preferences. The analysis will conclude with an overview of viable opportunities and recommendations for Save the Children’s positioning within the rapidly evolving CVA and social protection landscape.

The key objective for the donor landscape analysis is to inform the development of fundraising strategies tailored to each key donor, and aligned with Save the Children’s CVA and social protection ambition, its global strengths and existing challenges. Beyond focusing on direct responses this also includes thought leadership through robust evidence and linkages to shock responsive social protection systems.

In particular, the scope of the landscape analysis will cover:

  1. An overview of the major CVA donors (e.g. governments, inter-governmental organisations, foundations; private sector) financing humanitarian CVA and social protection programs globally; their official positions and/or funding strategies for CVA and social protection;
  2. Past, present, and projected CVA portfolio (i.e. possibly from 2017 to 2022 or beyond depending on their timeframes), as well as how the 2020 portfolio was distributed among recipient institutions, geographic areas, and thematic areas (e.g. basic needs through MPC or sectoral CVA);
  3. A mapping and review of the main type and size of CVA programs sponsored by these donors in 2019-2020, including the types of partners involved in implementation, research, and innovations around CVA and social protection:
  4. A review of the compliance requirements by donor.
  5. An analysis of Save the Children’s ‘added value” and “niche area/s’ which can drive funding and programme quality;
  6. A mapping of funding opportunities Save the Children should pursue because aligned with its strengths, potential niche areas, and ambition;
  7. If time permits, a mapping and review of major funding opportunities for research and innovation in the field of CVA programming and social protection;



Secondary data collection

  • Generate a list of the key donors (e.g. government; foundations; multi- and bi- lateral donors, United Nations agencies) and their funding mechanisms for CVA. In generating the list, the consultant will consider Save the Children’s membership, with the diverse range of donors that fund its programmes. The list will be informed by a review of secondary data in relevant reports released by watchdogs and think tanks (e.g. 2020 Grand Bargain annual report), donors’ websites, own knowledge, and a breakdown of Save the Children’s main CVA awards and donors from 2017 to 2020, which will be provided by Save the Children upon contract signature. Save the Children can also provide a list of grant opportunities that were pursued in 2020 but that were not awarded.

Primary data collection

  • Carry out interviews with:

  • staff members in the donor agencies. A list will be discussed and suggestions provided; for key institutional donors, meetings will be arranged with Save the Children’s support.

  • key staff within Save the Children. A list will be provided.

  • Through the interviews, obtain internal documents relevant to the landscape analysis;

Conduct an analysis of the interviews and the documentary material to prepare the report.



Remote with no required travel.




The deliverable for the consultancy will be a finalised analysis document covering but not limited the following areas (refer to the section “Purpose and scope of consultancy”):

  • An Excel dataset recording and organizing key information collected: the donor’s name, the type of donor (i.e. government, inter-governmental organization, foundation, other), the number of CVA grants awarded over the period 2017-2020 (broken down by year), the size of each, the geographic distribution of the awards, the recipients of the awards, the type of partnership arrangement (e.g. single institution implementing, consortium, alliance, other); primary thematic goal of funding (multi-purpose, food security, etc), development/humanitarian/both; if/where there is a specific/major research/innovation focus; key compliance requirements.

  • A narrative review of the information provided in the dataset, with main institutional donors (i.e. governments, inter-governmental organisations, foundations) active in CVA programming, their funding streams relevant for CVA (e.g. ECHO’s HIP) and social protection, their current CVA partners, the current and projected volumes of CVA funding, partners to identify potential funding streams trends, and the evolution of ideas about CVA among donors. The report will also include charts and graphics, as relevant.

  • A section on of the key issues raised by the landscape analysis and concrete recommendations for Save the Children to consider in developing its fundraising strategies, tailored to key institutional donors (i.e. governments, inter-governmental organizations, foundations).

  • The detailed list of data sources consulted to produce the analysis.




  • Demonstrated excellent understanding of international donor landscape and CVA specifically (governments, inter-governmental organisations, foundations).
  • Demonstrated understanding of INGO funding models and growth potential/external opportunities
  • Excellent analytical and communication skills
  • Strong capability to undertake strategic analysis, communicate with impact and present evidence and data in a clear and compelling way
  • Fluency in written and spoken English **
  • Experience in fundraising highly desirable

How to apply:

Please send expressions of interest to Follow-up questions, if any, will be sent by email. Save the Children will screen the expressions of interest on a rolling basis and may select a candidate before the deadline. The last day to express interest is November 26th, 2020.

This should include:

  • an up to date CV, including two references,

  • one writing sample from the previous 3 years,

  • a covering letter demonstrating prior experience in carrying out similar assignments,

  • the preliminary list of donors that would be explored in the analysis, and

  • a budget in EUR.


The work should commence as soon as possible and should be ideally completed before December 31st, 2020

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