ARC Background and Current Coverage
With the dual aim of reducing the vulnerabilities of Afghan communities to climate change and natural disasters in a coherent and coordinated manner, and bringing systemic change to the way in which Afghan government and other stakeholders worked to reduce disaster risk, in 2013 Afghanaid, ActionAid, Concern Worldwide, Save the Children International, and UN Environment joined together to form the Afghanistan Resilience Consortium (ARC).
In April 2015, with support from DFID and after a due-diligence exercise covering all partners, ARC commenced a 4-year, £10 million project entitled “Strengthening the Resilience of Afghanistan’s Communities Against Natural Disasters (SRACAD).” In 2016, based on strong early performance by the consortium partners, DFID awarded Afghanaid and the ARC a further £6 million. The SRACAD project which ends in March 2019 has been operating in disaster-prone districts of nine of Afghanistan’s most disaster-prone provinces, namely Badakhshan, Takhar, Bamyan, Samangan, Ghor, Balkh, Sari Pul, Jawzjan and Nangarhar. In these nine provinces, the four NGO partners (Afghanaid, ActionAid, Concern Worldwide and Save the Children) support communities and schools to undertake disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness activities, and provide provincial-level capacity-building support to ANDMA and other governmental bodies. In Kabul, the ARC members conduct national-level advocacy and UN Environment undertakes national level capacity building through the University of Kabul and coordinates SRACAD’s action research.
The CBED project will work in six of the nine provinces where the ARC is currently working in: Badakhshan, Takhar, Bamyan, Samangan, Sari Pul and Jawzjan. However ARC will not work in the same communities or districts where it is currently working.
Community Based Eco DRR Project Background
In November, ARC received funding from SIDA for a 2 years project (Community Based Eco-DRR), which combines three key approaches to flood and drought disaster risk reduction. These three approaches are; Ecosystem Based Disaster Risk Reduction (eco-DRR), Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CB-DRR) and Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM), which are defined below along with additional key terms.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is defined as the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyze and manage the causal factors of disasters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events. Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) is a process, which leads to a locally appropriate and locally owned strategy for disaster preparedness and risk reduction. Current SRACAD project implemented by ARC is a CBDRR focused project and ARC partners have significant experience of implementing CBDRR in 705 communities. ARC will bring that experience to CBED project.
Ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR)  is defined as the sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems to reduce disaster risk, with the aim to improve capacity for resilience and achieve inclusive and sustainable development. Well-managed ecosystems, such as wetlands, forests and coastal systems, act as natural infrastructure, reducing physical exposure to many hazards and increasing socio-economic resilience of women and men, including those with disabilities, and communities by sustaining local livelihoods and providing essential natural resources such as food and water, fodder and fuel wood and building materials. Ecosystem management not only offers an opportunity to strengthen natural infrastructure and human resilience against hazard impacts, but also generates a range of other social, economic and environmental benefits for multiple stakeholders, which in turn feedback into reduced risk. Eco-DRR has a lot of similarities with two other concepts, which are watershed development and natural resource management.
Integrated river basin management (IRBM) rests on the principle that naturally functioning river basin ecosystems, including accompanying upper catchment, wetland and groundwater systems, are the source of freshwater. Management of river basins must include maintaining ecosystem functioning as a paramount goal. This 'ecosystem approach' is a central tenet of the Convention on Biological Diversity. River basins are dynamic over space and time, and any single management intervention has implications for the system as a whole.
Watershed development refers to the conservation, regeneration and judicious use of all the resources – natural (including land, water, plants, and animals) and human – within the watershed area. ARC partners have past experience implementing watershed development programs, and the SRACAD project is currently implementing watershed development in 18 micro-watersheds.
Natural resource management (NRM) refers to the management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, plants and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations. Afghanaid and Concern Worldwide have implemented NRM projects in Afghanistan funded by the EU, and Afghanaid is currently implementing a four-year NRM project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation.
Conflict sensitivity in relief and development:
Many areas of the world, including Afghanistan, face violent conflicts. When international agencies operate in such contexts, they must be cognizant of the tensions in the area they are working in. From the ARC’s perspective, relief and development activities should not only address their specific program objectives, at the same time contribute to peaceful co-existence among ethnic, religious, social or political groups in the respective contexts. It should also address the issue of community conflicts, including those pertaining to the conflicting needs and priorities of women and men, sometimes articulated and at other times unarticulated, that exist or develop due to inequitable or unjust access or exploitation or natural resources and the impact of disasters on communities. The ARC will adhere to the principle of ‘do-no-harm’ while implementing the CBED project.
To address flood, the ARC recognizes that the design of the interventions must also integrate enhanced knowledge of hydrology of the river that provides more scientific analysis about flood in the target river basins.
Inclusion and gender responsiveness in CBDRR and CBEDRR:
Both The sustainable development goals and Sendai Framework of Action espouse the principle of Leave no one behind. Embedding in the context of the ongoing above mentioned projects, it means that all dimensions of these projects are analyzed through a gender and inclusion lens. This will mean looking into the roles of men and women, girls and boys-- with intersections such as age, ethnicity, marital status, disability, and displacement status—across the project elements. This will also mean that the differential access to and use of resources and assets and their ownership need to be examined so that there are equitable benefits without any intended or unintended discrimination based on gender, age, disability and other multiple dimensions of marginalization.
Project Intervention Logic:
The impact of the project is to contribute to the resilience of communities and ecosystems to climate-induced hazards.
The project outcome is Communities are active in disaster risk reduction and practice conservation of natural resources.
The following are the project outputs:
- Enhanced institutional capacity at multiple levels on ecosystem-based gender and conflict-sensitive DRR principles and practices.
- Strengthened resilience of communities for mitigating risk of flood and drought.
- Ensured engagement of vulnerable households of the local communities in physical works of the project.
- Increased awareness among policy and opinion makers and practitioners on evidence-based eco-DRR.
Project Target Areas:
The project will be implemented in 30 micro-watersheds, which are located in six sub-basins of two river basins. The river basins were selected based on the types and extremity of the hazards to which they are vulnerable. Using the river basin approach, micro-watersheds are selected based on their relevance to mitigating flood hazard; sometimes the treatments will be done in the higher catchment to reduce flood in the middle or lower catchment. There will be 5 watersheds per province and 8 communities per watershed. In total there will be 30 micro-watershed in the targets areas. Average population per community in SRACAD project is 1,188 people, which is also used for calculation of estimated population. This project will benefit an estimated population of 285,120 in 240 communities.
Purpose of The consultancy
Afghanaid is seeking a highly experienced and competent consulting firm to conduct a baseline study for the Community Based Eco-DRRproject to establish detailed baseline data on key project indicators to enable changes in project targeted areas to be measured over the project period. The principal purpose of the baseline is to depict the current situation in six provinces i.e. Takhar, Badakshan, Samanagan, Bamyan, Jawzjan and Sae-e-pul where the ARC will contribute to the resilience of communities & eco-systems to climate induced hazards.
The baseline will focus on 30 micro-watershed areas and 2 communities per watershed in six provinces.
Objective of the Assignment
The objective of this baseline study is to conduct project baseline survey in six selected provinces to document the existing qualitative and/or quantitative values of project indictors at output, outcome, and objective levels. The baseline data will provide a basis upon which to measure the project’s progress towards achieving outputs, outcomes, and impact.
Specific objectives of the baseline study are as follows:
- Develop easily replicable and usable tools for data collection at different levels, such as individual, household, community, institutions, and relevant stakeholders
- Develop effective and representative sampling methods.
- To collect and analyse additional qualitative information on community levels of; exposure to hazards and vulnerability, and effect on livelihoods; community participation (including marginalised subgroups of women and PWDs); understanding and practice of Eco-DRR in target areas.
- To establish baseline for each project indicator, including gender indicators, and identify means of verification for measuring output and results over the project period.
Scope of the Consultancy
The baseline will be conducted in all 30 micro-watershed areas, covering the project activities, target beneficiaries, and other stakeholders. The consultant will lead the baseline, which is anticipated to begin in the first week of March 2019 the final report should be presented during the last week of May 2019.
- Initial work plan and proposal for the baseline study outlining the proposed methodology and process of data collection and analysis that specifies:
- A detailed methodology for implementation of the baseline.
- Draft data collection mechanisms/tools for all project indicators to be measured in the baseline study, standard indicators definitions agreed by ARC should be used to develop data collection tools.
- A detailed timeline for the baseline study
- Presentation of survey methodology to consortium team and incorporate suggestions provided.
- A final set of data-collection tools for all indicators in the baseline, including guidance on how to use them in the field along with training strategies for enumerators.
- Formulation of Indicators reference sheets that can be used by project consistently throughout project cycle.
- Draft report of the baseline survey for the feedback and comments
- Presentation on the main findings of the baseline assessment at field and enterprise levels involving programme and project teams, community representatives and local authorities and other stakeholders as agreed with project team.
- A final report in English, not exceeding a length of 60 pages, excluding annexes, with the following sections:
- Findings of the baseline study. Baseline information per indicator shall be presented with gender, disability and age disaggregated data per province and cumulative averages.
- Side-by-side comparison of original and revised objective, outcome, output, and activity level indicators, as well as a justification for any revisions recommended.
- Conclusions and recommendations as per the project’s objective, outcomes, outputs, activities, and indicators
- Project monitoring strategy that identifies data required, means of verification, timeframe, and responsible parties.
- Electronic annexes
It is envisioned that the baseline will be conducted using a combination of methodologies through primary and secondary data from reliable and relevant sources. The consultant will, however, in consultation with consortium partners, design an appropriate and comprehensive methodology to conduct the assessment. The methodology should be as comprehensive as possible, including participatory methods and ensure presentation of findings based on the objectives.
The baseline study intends to cover all targeted 30 micro-watershed areas and 2 communities per watershed in six provinces.
In order to successfully accomplish the consultancy, the consultant will be expected to undertake the following tasks;
- Develop an Inception Report detailing, amongst other things; the process and methodologies to be employed to achieve the objectives of this consultancy as stated above. It should include all the baseline tools, and time schedules for this exercise, and be presented to ARC partners for review and further inputs, before going to the field.
- Undertake desk review of the relevant project documents that include the technical proposals, project LFA, implementation plans, and strategy documents.
- Discussion with key project staff, partners at project levels and discussion with key government stakeholders.
- Design, develop, critique (with ARC team) and refine data collection tools
- Carry out data collection, analysis and write up the final baseline report
- Special emphasis should be given to ensure participation of women in the process to understand the issues concerning women from a gender perspective.
For day-to-day operations and the survey processes must be communicated to ARC MEL Manager. The consortium partners will provide necessary support to the team, as may be needed. Afghanaid will provide the following to the consultant:
- All necessary project documents as requested by the consultant
- Pay consultancy fees at a mutually agreed rate
The terms and conditions of service will follow Afghanaid terms of consultancies and payments will be done according to the finance procedures.
Consultants Expertise and Skills
- Post-graduate degree in related field and relevant for the baseline assignment study.
- Understanding of and experience using qualitative and quantitative technical and social research methodologies
- Experience of producing academic and broader communications products
- Track-able strong quantitative and qualitative research experience
- Hands on experience of at least 5-8 years of conducting assessments, mid-term review, impact assessments and evaluations particularly of DRR projects
- Knowledgeable on ecosystem services and environmental science including monitoring ecosystem and environmental aspects is an advantage
- Highly developed analytical experience and skills of conducting analytical (statistical software preferably Access or SPSS) and qualitative analysis and coherent presentation of the two
- Good knowledge and experience of conducting surveys and statistical data analysis
- Familiarity with institutional donor’s requirements for assessments/evaluations
- Facilitation and capacity building competence as well as commitment to develop skills and knowledge of national Afghan staff in professional areas under the scope of this assignment through structured and unstructured means including coaching, mentoring and direct supervision
- Previous work experience in Afghanistan, or other conflict affected countries - particularly in remote areas, living and working in a very basic environment.
Those with previous working Experience of Afghanistan can apply
HOW TO APPLY:
We invite interested individuals and companies to submit the following application documents:
- Expression of Interest (EoI) outlining how the consultant(s) meets the selection criteria and their understanding of the ToR and methodology;
- A proposed activities schedule/work plan with time frame;
- Copy of CV of the consultant(s) who will undertake the baseline survey;
- Professional fee (in USD – either lump sum or daily rate). Please include the cost of hiring enumerators in the budget.
- Availability (date)
Your EoI must be received by COB on 11th February 2019, clearly marked “Community Based Eco – DRR”; mailed to: