Terms Of Reference for: Scoping study on Climate, Conflict and Fragility

Oxfam Novib


                Request for Proposal

Terms Of Reference for: Scoping study on Climate, Conflict and Fragility

Reference number:RFP 23/CRC-2023-9 A-07120/ ONL
Done byOxfam Novib
Author(s)Gerard Steehouwer
Thomas Reeve
Release date23 February 2023
Expiry Date10 March 2023
Maximum Budget (incl. VAT)21,175 EUR (including VAT)
Awarding criteriaCheapest offer meeting all technical requirements: 1) Technical Offer/ Approach Paper – Technical qualification, Experience, Quality and Methodology, 2) Financial Offer – Best Value for Money.

Table of Contents

1       Project Background

1.1        Background and rationale

According to the World Disasters Report, climate and weather-related disasters have increased nearly 35% every decade since the 1990s. Over the past decade, this has resulted in an estimated 83% of all disasters being caused by extreme weather, killing more than 410,000 people and affecting the lives of 1.7 billion people. New research by Oxfam estimates that funding requirements for UN humanitarian appeals linked to extreme weather are eight times higher than they were 20 years ago, and over the past five years nearly half of appeal requirements have gone unmet.[1]

Strikingly, more than half of the states in the world that are most vulnerable to climate change (14 out of 25) are also affected by conflict. People enduring conflict are not only among the most vulnerable to the climate and environmental crises, but they are also among those most neglected by climate action[2], with non-conflict affected countries receiving three times as much financial support commitments than countries affected by conflict.[3]

The effects of climate change on (resource-based) conflicts are often indirect, complex, and linked to political, economic, and social conflict factors, including social inequalities, low economic development, and ineffective institutions. The emerging consensus is that climate change and conflict effect each other mutually, but that climatic factors can be just one of many drivers of conflict. Some studies indicate that adverse consequences associated with climate change—water scarcity, crop failure, food insecurity, economic shocks, erratic rainfall, ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss, and in this context related migration, and displacement—can aggravate risks of conflict and violence. When people are forced to move away from their homes, they lose their land, jobs, homes, social networks and access to food, competition on dwindling natural resources is growing and can be setting the stage for more fragility, conflicts between user groups and instability. Many of the conditions that shape vulnerability to climate change also increase the likelihood of climate–conflict interactions. Other studies however argue there is weak and contradictory evidence attesting to any simple, causal chain between climate change and conflict. They also stress that disaster events (or activities) can also promote cooperation and collaboration and enhance social cohesion if that is rightly managed and aspired for by key stakeholders.

The interaction between climate, conflict and fragility however are clear and real. As temperatures will continue to rise because of climate change, pressure on natural resources, and the likelihood conflict and forced displacement are also likely to increase. Climate change may lead to nearly three percent of the population (totaling more than 143 million people) in three regions – Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America – to move within their country of origin by 2050.[4] In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, the International Displacement Monitoring Centre estimates that conflict and violence triggered 11.6 million internal displacements in sub-Saharan Africa in 2021, the highest figure ever recorded for the region. New waves of violence in eastern Africa and escalating tensions and conflict in the central Sahel and Lake Chad regions accounted for most of the movements. In comparison, disasters triggered 2.6 million displacements, fewer than in 2020 but the overall levels of displacement increased by 3.1 million on 2020. Some disasters displaced people in areas already coping with the impacts of conflicts and violence, and these overlapping crises pushed millions of people into acute food insecurity[5].

Local, national and global (public/ private) policies/ measures to address climate change may further affect these interlinkages, aggravating already existing conflicts. For example, poorly designed adaptation and mitigation strategies can increase the risk of violent conflict.[6] And ‘Net zero’ targets involving planting trees (to absorb CO2) and biofuel production may increase competition over agricultural land, pastures and water and fuel conflicts and inequality[7]. Rich countries’ continued pursual of fossil fuels has also laid the ground for many violent conflicts/repression. The scramble for new energy sources could also, if not done in a conflict-sensitive manner, result in new violent conflicts.

It is around these intersections that Oxfam Novib is looking to design a new, large, cross-cutting programme, and is seeking the support of a consultant to conduct a scoping study to inform its analytical framework and programming. This also follows a desire to link several strategic goals within Oxfam Novib, linking work on the climate crisis (either through programmatic work or influencing), with work on making the world a more secure place, supporting communities to be better prepared and more resilient to deal with climate shocks and political turmoil. Following its 2030 manifesto, to achieve systemic change, Oxfam Novib is continuously looking to innovate its ways of working and adapt to changes. Hence, a pilot project has started to make most of internal resources to address the abovementioned interlinkages. For this new Oxfam programme to effectively address climate change and (resource) conflict it is crucial that the intersection between climate, conflict and fragility is well understood, and that programme teams consider contextual factors (including local, national, global policies) that may further affect these interlinkages, as well as have a good understanding of the risks and opportunities alike.

2       Project Definition

2.1        Objective and scope

The objective of this scoping study is to collect theoretical and programmatic evidence on the interlinkages between climate, conflict and fragility to inform Oxfam’s programming, both in terms of ensuring impact on the ground – to support people at scale – and for influencing work towards policymakers, governments, international bodies, private investors and companies, funding organisations, the wider donor community (both humanitarian and development donors), and other related stakeholders. The purpose of the scoping study is twofold, mainly to:

  • . This will also include specific challenges in very practical terms (in addition to theoretical concepts provided by the scoping study), and key needs faced by communities in the global South based on the existing literature. A summary of the latest key analytical insights/trends and proven successful practical approaches taken by development and humanitarian actors on organisational level will be provided by the scoping study. A deep dive will be expected to be made into two countries/regions.
  • based on successful implementing modalities and methodologies (on project and activity level), providing examples of activities with proof of concept. This will be based on a review of internal and external existing projects, activities, and programmatic tools, and should lead to building the intervention logic of the new programme. A brief risk analysis and related mitigation will provide clarity on the potential risks associated with this type of work. A stakeholder analysis will shed light on potential global and regional partnerships which can contribute to future programme and on which Oxfam can add value.

The scoping study will be used by Oxfam affiliate and country office teams alike, to guide them in adapting a climate, conflict and fragility integrated approach in programming, and more specifically in design workshops to come to concept notes and programme documents. The study will also be used for input into inter/national advocacy work. Ultimately, the scoping study will contribute to the delivery of the pilot activities and then the overall implementation of the new programme, and also help determine how Oxfam can add most value to work on the climate and conflict nexus.

Thematic and geographic scope

Thematic focus

Following the above objective and purpose of the scoping study, the consultant will be asked concretely to answer the following guiding questions:

Note that the above questions and sub-questions are indicative only at this stage and will be adapted and adjusted during the inception phase of the scoping study, together with the consultant and the involved country teams.

Geographic focus

A deep dive will be expected to be made into two countries/regions in sub-Saharan Africa. The selection thereof will be communicated to the consultant upon starting the assignment. There will be a focus on most ‘dual’ climate change and conflict affected areas – including at least the Horn of Africa region for sustainable recovery from the ongoing drought emergency, and one more region to allow for a broader evidence base and positioning of Oxfam on the topic, as well as cross-learning between regions.

2.2        Deliverables

The consultant will be expected to draft a final scoping study report of maximum 40 pages. The consultant is free to determine the report outline and template, but the report must have a clear executive summary, a recommendation section, address the guiding questions and include at least the below deliverables:

Analytical and theoretical framework

  • : an overview of literature on interlinkages climate, fragility and conflict, summarized in several domains and on which Oxfam can base future justifications for programmatic interventions and advocacy.
  • : based on the desk review and interviews, a global needs analysis highlighting the need for interventions of this type.
  • : of what worked well (successes) and what has not worked (challenges) and why, mainly on organisational level (how have other organisations set themselves up and approached the climate and conflict nexus).
  • : highlighting the risks which exist implementing across the climate and conflict nexus, and what mitigation can be put in place.

Programmatic recommendations

  • : for next steps to address the intersections between climate change, fragility and conflict.
  • : mapping of internal and external projects, activities, and tools with proven proof of concept. To collect analytical tools and participatory /multi-stakeholder practices.
  • : on building network/ relationships with relevant stakeholders (local, regional, global, including donors), and to involve them in research and (content) development scoping study (to ensure shared understanding/ ownership of the problems, solutions and ownership) – include any examples of donor innovations.
  • : of wat worked well (successes) and what has not worked (challenges) and why, mainly on project/programme level, including on activities, approaches, integrated analysis, multi-stakeholder initiatives, donor innovations and how success was determined in terms of methodologies.

In addition to the above, a deep dive into two countries or regions will be expected (maximum 5 pages each). The consultant will be expected to provide an analysis per country as to how climate, conflict and fragility interact, outline what programmatic opportunities exist, who the key actors and stakeholders are per geographical region are, on which partnerships and influencing agendas can be built. The consultant will be provided with country and/or region selection at the beginning of the assignment.

2.3        Preliminary Planning and Budget

ObjectiveDeliverablesTime period% payment
Start of the scoping study, kick off meeting, agree on workplan and guiding questions, sharing of country/region selection, agree on methodology and final report format.Work plan agreedGuiding questions agreedCountry selection shared by Oxfam Methodology agreed Final report format agreed20 Mar 202340%
Mid-term presentation of the draft literature review, and initial programmatic recommendations. Chance for Oxfam to provide further guidance and steering.Draft literature review finalized Draft and initial programmatic recommendations finalized Midterm presentation drafted and presented15 Apr 2023 
Draft final scoping study submitted by consultants in soft copy to Oxfam, followed by one round of comments.Draft final scoping study finalized and submitted to Oxfam30 Apr 2023 
Submission and presentation of final version of the scoping study and presentation of final findings and recommendations.Final report submitted and approved by Oxfam9 May 202360%

The budget for the scoping study is based on the number of days the consultant is expected to work on this assignment. Following the above process, timeline and deliverables, it is expected that the consultant will complete the work in 36 working days. The total budget for this scoping study is 21,175 EUR (including VAT). The consultant is expected to cover all related costs to this assignment within this budget. Remuneration is based on submission of final deliverables as mentioned in the preliminary planning.

3       Purchase procedure

3.1        Procedure

This procurement procedure is organised to contract a consultant to deliver the scoping study. Bidders are asked to take part in the competitive negotiated procedure for the above-mentioned contract. These potential suppliers are asked to make a proposal based on the administrative criteria and the award criteria mentioned below. These proposals are assessed on their compliance, quality and price. The contract will be awarded to the organisation with the economically most advantageous proposal. This means that not only the price, but all award criteria will be taken into consideration.

Oxfam Novib withholds the right to conduct interviews with one or more potential Bidders before an award decision is made. Purpose of the interview is to seek further clarification on the submitted quotations and learn more about the background and previous experiences of the potential supplier and their teams.

3.2        Confirmation of the intention to submit a proposal/offer

Bidders are asked to confirm their intention to participate in this process after receiving this request for proposal.

3.3        Deadlines

  • Any questions, remarks or requests for clarification can be send to thomas.reeve@oxfam.org, before 1/03/2023, 12:00 hours CET.
  • The questions will be answered to all applicants no later than 03/03/2023, 12:00 hours CET.
  • Offers should reach Oxfam Novib no later than 10/03/2023, 12:00 hours.CET
  • A tentative award will be provided by 17/03/2023, provided prior check of the references supplied by the successful service provider.
  • The estimated date of contract signature is planned on 20/03/2023.

3.4        Administrative compliance

To be shortlisted and evaluated through the award criteria (see section 3.8) your bids should include the following items:

AdministrativeRegistration at the relevant Chamber of Commerce and / or document attesting bidder’s registration for the self-employed (according to the status: receipt for filing a declaration with the CFE, Extract RSEIRL, Extract K or K-bis) – Vat registration or Fiscal numberMandatory
CV or track record of proposed staff for similar assignment proving relevant experience.Mandatory
Technical offer/ approach paper: including a time planning based on this ToR.Mandatory
Financial offer: presenting a total price with a cost breakdown in days or hours spend, the related fees and VAT element as well as proposed payment schedule. The financial offer cannot exceed the maximum budget mentioned in section 2.3.Mandatory
2 relevant references and/ or assignments previously performed by the Bidder that are comparable in content, time and money.Mandatory
Bidder acknowledgement of, and agreement to adhere to Oxfam Supplier Code of Conduct (Annex A) for companies and Non Staff Code of conduct for your appointed auditors (Annex B)Mandatory

3.5        Validity of proposals

Bidders’ proposals must be valid for 90 days after the expiring date of the RFP. If this is not feasible, the bidder may propose another term.

The offer/proposal will include, but are not limited to, methodology, prices, conditions, service levels and other information. If the bidder obtains the contract, all information from the RFP and its offer will be legally binding.

3.6        Instructions for submission

The bids should be submitted by e-mail to: thomas.reeve@oxfam.org.

The Subject Line of the message should be: Scoping Study Climate, Conflict and Fragility – Bids Submission – [your company / individual name].

We strongly recommend the bidders to submit their bids via a digital link in their submission email. This link should enable us to access your company digital platform/ cloud[8] and the folder created with your proposal for this RFP. Make sure to grant Oxfam Novib contact person viewer and downloader rights.

Using a cloud platform will ensure a safe digital environment and smooth upload of the files preventing you from size limitation from Outlook/ email.

Note: Any bidder who adds another Oxfam email address to their proposal will be disqualified.

3.7        Awarding criteria

The evaluation of the proposals will be based on the best value for money criterion covering and meeting technical quality and price of the proposal. Oxfam is committed to upholding the highest standards in all our business and welcomes all exceptionalities, also amongst our suppliers.

We know we are all unique and special and value initiative to incorporate in our procurement procedures, sustainable development principles and values of inclusion of people with functional diversity and groups at risk of exclusion and inequality. We highly encourage you to share with us any elements promoting the latter.

3.8        Evaluation and selection

The evaluation of the offers will start with an assessment of the administrative criteria, mentioned in chapter 3.4. These criteria are all knock-out (mandatory) criteria. If these criteria are not met in your offer, this offer will be put aside and the award criteria of this proposal will not be assessed.

The proposals that meet the administrative criteria will be assessed against: 1) Technical offer/ approach paper, 2) Financial offer. Note that the maximum budget for this assignment is 21,175 EUR (including VAT)

The contractor will have to make provisions for covering all costs associated with the assignment. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Planning of the audit process and all other costs associated with the implementation and delivery of the final report;
  • Secretarial/office-related costs which may include communications (phone, fax, telecommunications, mail, photocopying, courier etc), report production and secretarial services both in the Contractor’s Headquarters and/or service provider’s home office;
  • The service provider will be in charge of the secretarial and logistic arrangements for all consultations with stakeholders.

The evaluation and points will be attributed as follows:

Experience / CompetenciesProven Experience with major institutionally funded projects8
Proven Experiences in the intersections of Climate, Conflict and Fragility, or other types of Triple Nexus approaches.6
Experience with Oxfam2
Proven Professional Experiences with other international NGO or of similar volume of Oxfam3
Positive References (at least 2)6
Knowledge of team languages ​​(Dutch; English, French)2
Quality / TechnicalRespect of the instructions of the RFP (Bid complete with all the annexes; sent on time; good format; etc.)3
Quality of the methodology for the services and understanding of the ToR and the scope of the project8
Quality and feasibility of the timeline proposed for the delivery of the services and implementation8
Quality of the Plan (concrete and realistic)14
Quality and experience of staff resources assigned to the services + sufficient assigned resources7
Measures to promote Oxfam’s values (e.g. inclusion of people with disabilities and people at risk of exclusion, sustainable development)3
Financial OfferTotal cost of the offer (all services included) in “Euros”25
Level of detail / Breakdown and Clarity of the financial offer (Fees, Travel Expenses, accommodation, etc.)5

Only quotations with combined scores of at least 60 points for the technical award criteria (approach paper and CV) qualify for the financial evaluation.

If needed, interviews may be organised with the Bidders with the highest scoring quotations by day/month/year. Purpose of the interview is to seek further clarification on the submitted quotations and learn more about the background and previous experiences of proposed service providers and their competencies. After the interviews the total points scored on the award criteria can be reassessed. If a selection can be made based on the received quotations, then there is no need for interviews.

4        Other conditions

Issuance of this RFP does not constitute an award commitment on the part of Oxfam, nor does it commit Oxfam to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a bid. The attached Annexes A-B are an integral part of this RFP. By submitting a valid offer to this RFP, the bidder agrees to adhere to these annexes.  Oxfam may contact bidders to confirm contacts, addresses, bid amount and to confirm that the bid was submitted for this solicitation.

4.1        False Statements in the Bid

Bidders must provide full, accurate and complete information as required by this solicitation and Annexes. False statements in bids constitutes grounds for immediate termination of any agreement with the supplier. Oxfam takes fraud, misstatements, falsification, manipulation, alteration of facts and/or documents very seriously, has a zero-tolerance policy to such behaviours, and may choose to take legal action in a case of misrepresented disclosures by Contractors.

4.2        Conflict of Interest Disclosure

Bidders must provide disclosure of any past, present or future relationships with any parties associated with the issuance, review or management of this solicitation and anticipated award. Failure to provide full and open disclosure may result in Oxfam having to re-evaluate the selection of a potential Bidder.

4.3        Right to Select/Reject

Oxfam reserves the right to select and negotiate with those firms it determines, in its sole discretion, to be qualified for competitive proposals and to terminate negotiations without incurring any liability. Oxfam also reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received without explanation.

4.4        Reserved Rights

All RFP responses become the property of Oxfam and Oxfam reserves the right in its sole discretion to:

  • To disqualify any offer based on Bidder’s failure to follow solicitation instructions
  • To waive any deviations by Bidders from the requirements of this solicitation that, in Oxfam´s opinion, are considered immaterial defects requiring rejection or disqualification; or where such a waiver will promote increased competition
  • Extend the time for submission of all RFQ responses after notification to all Bidders
  • Terminate or modify the RFQ process at any time and re-issue the RFQ to whomever Oxfam deems appropriate
  • Issue an award based on the initial evaluation of offers without discussion
  • Award only part of the activities in the solicitation or issue multiple awards based on solicitation activities

5       Code of Conduct

Oxfam is committed to upholding the highest standards in all our business providing high-quality services and products. Complying with all laws and regulations and ensuring fair competition are fundamental to this commitment. Oxfam Supplier Code of Conduct (Annex A) and Non Staff Code of Conduct (Annex B) expresses the expectations we hold for all of Oxfam suppliers and they are required to sign and submit the attached Codes of Conduct.

Non-Staff Code of Conduct applies for any self-employed individuals or contracted employees of suppliers who are working on Oxfam sites, or who have access to Oxfam materials, or who may represent Oxfam in any manner but are not part of Oxfam’s legal entity)

6       Reporting of fraud and unethical behaviour

To report fraud, abuse and unethical behaviour, contact by

7       Disclaimers

Oxfam Novib may require the Bidder to clarify its quotation and/or provide supporting documentation. However the Bidder may not modify its quotation after the deadline for submission of quotations mentioned in chapter 3.3, third bullet.

Oxfam Novib reserves the right to stop the purchase procedure completely or partly, temporarily or permanently until the moment of contract signing. In these situations Bidders are not entitled to reimbursement of any costs or damages incurred in connection with this purchase procedure.

Quotations should be valid for at least three months after the deadline for handing in quotations mentioned in chapter 3.3, third bullet.

Oxfam Novib cannot be charged in any way for costs related to preparation and submission of a quotation. This can also include interviews and/or providing further information about the quotation.

The risk of any costs and/or damages which may arise by not awarding this contract to a Bidder lay solely with the Bidder. Oxfam Novib cannot be held responsible for any such costs or damages.

By submitting a quotation the Bidders agrees all the terms and conditions specified in this procedure and the provisions of the contract template. The quotation will not contain any reservation(s) to these terms and conditions. A quotation with one or more reservations can be excluded from the procedure.


Annex A           Supplier Code of Conduct

Annex B           Non Staff Code of Conduct

[1] Footing the bill: fair finance for loss and damage in an era of escalating climate impacts, Oxfam International (June 2022)

[2] When Rain Turns to Dust, ICRC (July 2020)

[3] Special Coverage on the COP, International Crisis Group (November 2022)

[4] Climate Change Could Force 216 million People to Migrate Within Their Own Countries by 2050

[5] Global Report on Internal Displacement 2022, International Displacement Monitoring Centre

[6] Climate, conflict and crises: first and foremost, do no harm – Humanitarian Law & Policy Blog (blog consulted December 2022)

[7] Tightening the Net: Net zero climate targets – implications for land and food equity, Oxfam (August 2021)

[8] If no company cloud, free options are available e.g. Box, google drive, dropbox.




IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development