Consultant (Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Research Lead)

Mercy Corps

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By 2050, 200 million people every year could need international humanitarian aid as a result of a cruel combination of climate-related disasters and the socioeconomic impact of climate change. This is nearly twice the estimated 108 million people who need help today from the international humanitarian system because of floods, storms, droughts and wildfires . If we let the number of people in need increase, there will be a hefty price tag. Today, resources are already insufficient to provide very basic support to everyone who needs assistance after climate-related disasters. Depending on the amount of support provided and the source of cost estimates, meeting current needs costs international funders $3.5 to $12 billion per year. By 2030, this funding requirement could balloon to $20 billion per year.

While we cannot prevent storms, cyclones, heat waves and other climate and weather-related hazards from happening, we can do something about the impacts they have. There are measures that can be introduced to make development more inclusive, and to better reduce the risk of and manage climate-related disasters. It is crucial to invest in climate adaptation, and to build resilience in the communities, countries, and regions at risk.

Despite the growing threat of the climate crisis/emergency to communities around the world, there is limited up-to-date and accurate data to enable an accurate assessment of whether climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) finance needs are being met and whether funding reaches those that need it. Comprehensive reports by the GFDRR and ODI (Kellett & Caravani 2013), UNEP (annual Adaptation Gap reports) and the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2019 report suggest that there is insufficient DRR/CCA funding overall, and a particularly lack in ex ante risk investment (as opposed to rather than on ex post spending). A better understanding of CCA/DRR levels of funding to countries in need is key for tracking if the commitments and ambitions made in the UN climate change negotiations are being met and to help clearly quantify funding gaps.

The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (ZFRA) is a multi-sector partnership focusing on finding practical ways to help communities strengthen their resilience to floods globally. We focus on shifting from post-event recovery to stress the importance of pre-event resilience building. Our vision is that floods have no negative impact on people’s and businesses’ ability to thrive.

Purpose / Project Description:

The consultant will develop a product that ZFRA can use to advocate with donor governments for closing the adaptation and disaster risk reduction financing gap, including advocating for additional and better-targeted finance. It should help us to highlight both growing needs and effective ways of building resilience, through examples from our programme work

Consultant Objectives:

a. To bring together the multiple analyses and different methodologies that exist in analyzing DRR and CCA funding;
b. Identify the gaps in DRR and CCA funding at the global level;
c. Highlight where DRR and CCA funding is currently going compared to need and vulnerability.

Consultant Activities:

a. Through desk research, using literature and sources listed in the Annex (among others), quantify the amount of global ODA funding that is going towards:
i. Disaster Risk Reduction (if possible, pulling out the amount specifically going to prevention)
ii. Climate change adaptation
iii. Will need to elaborate on the limitations of the methodologies for accounting for each, as well as the possible overlaps in the two figures. Should elaborate on extent to which the funding is (a) additional adaptation funding or (b) making other financial flows climate resilient (mainstreaming).
b. Identify where the DRR and CCA funding is going compared to need, using a series of different metrics to find the most compelling comparison. For example, which countries is adaptation and DRR funding going to, compared to highest need as measured by climate vulnerability and poverty levels) and for what type of programming;
c. If sufficient time (to be discussed with consultant): Develop the methodology for a RAG ranking of different aspects of donor funding to DRR and climate change adaptation (e.g. extent to which funding is targeted at countries with the greatest need, amount per capita etc.);
d. Analysis of NDCs and NAPs for targeted ZFRA countries to see if they have quantified dollar needs. Identifying what conditional and unconditional adaptation financing is being proposed in NDCs and/or NAPs and a gap analysis or ‘mini gap report’;
e. Identify recommendations tailored to donor governments and a climate and DRR policy audience.

The estimated amount of time devoted to these activities will be 25 days.

Consultant Deliverables:
The Consultant will:
a. Develop a 20 page public facing report (outline below)
i. Audience: policy makers. Targets include: donors and policymakers at the DRR Ministerials, pre-COP26 advocacy efforts, including bilateral lobbying, Warsaw International Mechanisms for Loss and Damage, Technology Executive Committee and Adaptation Committee meetings in October; adaptation practitioner spaces; and efforts in the run up to the Global Commission on Adaptation 2020 Adaptation Summit;
ii. Advice and input to a dissemination strategy, based on the opportunities for influence and recommendations developed.

Timeframe / Schedule:

Deliverable/ Activity, Number of Days and Due Date: 

Deliverable/ ActivityNumber of DaysDue Date 
Literature review and preparation4 days 
Analysis of DRR and adaptation data, including need comparisons2 days  
 1 day 
Analysis of NDCs and NAPs of subset of ZFRA countries to identify any quantified costs of adaptation – mini-gap analysis.   
Analysis and report drafting 10 days 
First draft of the report shared  10-Apr
·         To include different options for comparing finance flows with vulnerability/need  
Executive Committee Review paper, sends comments by April 17th 10-17 April
Comments addressed3 days18-21 April
Sent for second review to executive committee 22-Apr
Executive committee reviews 22-29 April
Comments addressed3 days29 April- 1 May
Report finalized  2 days3-5 May
Sent to copy editor 6-10 May
Production and formal sign off to ZFRA 13-May

The fee will be paid in four installments against invoices issued by the Consultant as follows:

Basis of Payment

Proportion of fee due

On sharing of the literature review


On sharing first draft of the report


On sharing second draft of the report


On acceptance of final report


Process for approving the payment:

Head of Advocacy and Influence, Mercy Corps, will approve each installment. The final installment of the fee will be paid on submission of an acceptable final report. Final payment is dependent on the submission of a good quality, well-written final report including the outputs from the activities detailed in “Consultant Activities.” In addition to methodology, findings and discussion, the report should include a comprehensive executive summary and a section outlining clear and concise conclusions and recommendations.

A digital copy of all reports will be required by Concern/Mercy Corps at the end of the piece of work.

The Consultant will report to:

Head of Advocacy and Influence, Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, Mercy Corps
Senior Policy Officer for Resilience and Humanitarian, Concern Worldwide

This will include:

• Weekly check-ins to discuss updates on emerging challenges and progress;
• Two calls between the consultant and the steering committee will scheduled if necessary to discuss feedback on the draft reports;

The draft and final reports will be reviewed by a steering committee made up of members of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance. The steering committee will be managed by Senior Policy Officer for Resilience and Humanitarian and Head of Advocacy and Influence. Senior Policy Officer for Resilience and Humanitarian and Head of Advocacy and Influence will consolidate and streamline edits and comments of the steering committee, and discuss required edits with the consultant.

Draft Outline of Paper:

Working Title: Action on Adaptation: The Importance of Closing the Adaptation Financing Gap

• Introduction of ZFRA. Highlight overall climate change as a global challenge/emergency. Report will include examples of flooding as just one impact of climate change.
• Why we’re looking at ODA going to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction funding together (and the challenges / gaps associated with tracking- quote OECD and CPI on challenges of collecting data).
• Overview of background to adaptation finance and commitments made as part of the UN climate change negotiations. Concept of loss and damage finance.

Problem definition:
• Costs of doing nothing
o Pull from IFRC ‘Cost of Doing Nothing’ report;
o Examples from our communities of impacts of flooding including examples from field of what lack of adaptation funding creates (i.e. Pekalongan, Indonesia example; other examples of impacts of flooding pulled from ZFRA teams like 2017 flood impacts in Nepal etc.)
o If data is available from baseline and can tell a compelling story, pull from FRMC data to show where there are low levels of capitals.

Benefits of investing, and solutions:

• Benefits of investing in adaptation/DRR, drawing on Triple Resilience Dividend work. Include figures on savings from investing in prevention.
• Specific example to illustrate the multiple benefits of adaptation / DRR.
• Examples of pulling funding to local levels and the benefits:
o Local Level Adaptation Funding Examples- pull from Bangladesh and Nepal Research and any other local research
o How FRMC is helping direct funds/Case study from Indonesia from Phase 1

Analysis of finance flows vs need
• Current state of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation finance and its landscape
• Desk research of existing funding gaps (CPI; ODI, GHA, Oxfam, UNFCCC reports, SEI especially this study on ‘are the most vulnerable nations prioritized’, see annex of reports to draw from)
• Analysis of UK and other OECD donor funding – how do different donors compare (RAG ranking, if feasible).
• Comparisons of where climate change adaptation and DRR funding is going compared to need (final comparisons to be decided based upon what makes the most compelling case). Options include:
o Comparison of which countries climate adaptation finance is going to compared to the GAIN/climate vulnerability index; work of USAID on climate vulnerability and fragility.
o Comparison against countries with highest proportion of people living in extreme poverty.
o Comparison of amount of investment in adaptation and DRR vs disaster-related humanitarian response.
• Analysis of NDCs and NAPs for targeted ZFRA countries to see if they have quantified dollar needs. Study of either new NDC or NAPs (if they have one) or their old NDC to explore in ZFRA countries what conditional and unconditional adaptation financing is being proposed and a gap analysis or ‘mini gap report.’
• TEXT BOX: Role of private sector financing in adaptation (including how much private sector financing lags in adaptation versus mitigation and the challenges of metrics (see CBI’s principles for resilience investment). (Content to be provided by Mercy Corps)
• TEXT BOX: Challenges of accessing international public climate finance for adaptation.

Conclusion/Recommendations COP 26/Adaptation Conference
• How to deliver on closing funding gaps, particularly at local levels and to those most in need.
• Loss and Damage recommendations.
• Policy recommendation (that goes beyond normal push for coherence).