Scoping of the Rapid Environmental Assessment (REA) Technical Revision via ReliefWeb

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Terms of Reference for the Scoping of the Rapid Environmental Assessment (REA) Technical Revision as part of the Initiative “Coordinated Assessments for Environment in Humanitarian Action”

I. Background:

I.a Coordinated Assessments for Environment in Humanitarian Action Initiative

The Coordinated Assessments for Environment in Humanitarian Action” is a joint US Agency for International Development (USAID) and UN Environment Program (UNEP) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Joint Environment Unit (JEU) initiative implemented with support from USAID’s Global Environmental Management Support (GEMS) project.

The Initiative aims to facilitate exchange between environmental and humanitarian actors, with focus on better identification and integration of environmental considerations into post-disaster humanitarian actions. Specifically, the Initiative seeks to support better coordination between humanitarian and environmental actors at pre and post-disaster/conflict entry points in the humanitarian response framework to better ensure a more resilient reconstruction phase. Additionally, through better dissemination of tools and resources, the Initiative will support efficient consideration of environment and climate knowledge in humanitarian assistance, including through update and e- implementation of the Rapid Environmental Assessment (REA) tool (see below).

The Initiative is divided into three phases: (1) scoping, including detailed work plan development and identification of a steering committee; (2) development of the decision framework, including communication and dissemination among stakeholders, and REA tool revision (and potential piloting of sections); and (3) follow-on actions, including implementation and piloting of the updated REA tool.

The first two phases of the Initiative are currently funded and expected to be completed by September 2018; the third phase is yet to be funded.

I.b Rapid Environmental Assessment Tool (REA)

The REA is used to identify, define, and prioritize potential environmental impacts in disaster situations (e.g., natural, technological, and complex disasters), without requiring technical expertise in environmental issues. Intended to be implemented via field inspection and interviews by a small team within the first 120 days of the complex disaster or crisis, the REA can aid with the prioritization of environmental management activities that can inform the overall recovery effort.

II. Consultancy scope of work:

II.a Objectives: Defining the way forward for the technical update of the REA

This consultancy will scope and outline options for content, approach, and structural updates to the REA to increase use of the tool, improve integration of the tool with other post-disaster/conflict environmental assessment tools, and enhance uptake of REA findings in humanitarian actions.

The outlined options will frame and inform Initiative decision-making with respect to update of the REA.

II.b Responsibilities of the REA Technical Consultant

Under direction of the Initiative’s Team Leader, Mandy George, the REA technical consultant will be responsible for:

  1. Refining[1] REA areas that need to be developed, modified or deleted (such as climate change, climate variability, disaster risk reduction, resilience, UN Clusters; and updating in line with Sphere Standards revision process)

  2. Evaluating the ease of access and implementation of the REA

  3. Identifying links to other key assessment methodologies and humanitarian programme cycle tools

  4. Evaluating the appropriateness of e-implementation of the REA on a mobile or tablet platform

  5. Collaborating with original REA authors

The update will consist of both desk-based review and stakeholder consultation.

Desk-based review will entail:

● Reviewing available literature and data on past REA use[2] as well as the use of other humanitarian and environmental assessment tools

● Review of the “Mapping of Environment & Disaster Management Tools, Frameworks and Guidance Notes” (a background document developed by the Initiative.)

● Review of Charles Kelly’s “As Time Goes By: Considering the Updating of the Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment“ (https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxla…) in which the original lead developer of the REA provides his views on the tool’s challenges and potential updates needed.

The stakeholder consultation will be under direction of the Initiative’s Team Leader and entail:

● Regular coordination and collaboration with the Team Leader, including weekly report-outs on progress/updates;

● Outreach to REA developers, implementers, and other stakeholders with relevant experience with, or exposure to, the REA to evaluate challenges and successes in its implementation:

○ A range of methodologies should be employed, including online survey and key stakeholder interviews

○ A diverse set of stakeholders, operating at local, national, and international levels, and representing humanitarian, development, and environmental organizations must be consulted.

Based upon the findings from the desk-based review and stakeholder consultations, the consultant will develop a report outlining options and recommendations for technical update to, or modification of, the REA tool, as described under “Key Deliverables.”

II.c Key Deliverables

  1. Work plan: detailing the timelines, stakeholders to be consulted, questions and proposed approach. This will be based on an initial meeting (virtual, or in-person, depending on consultant’s base of operations) with the Initiative’s key stakeholders in April (24/25). Timing: delivered on or by 5 May 2017.

  2. Draft and Final Report. The report must contain the following:

● Synthesis of lessons learnt from applying REAs, including barriers to applying assessment results.

● Several short case studies of best practices to illustrate the use of the REA and its update needs.

● Concrete options/recommendations for updating the content of REA

● Concrete options/recommendations for updating the structure and modality of REA, taking into account:

○ Links to other assessment tools

○ Entry points to the Humanitarian Programme Cycle and IASC tools

○ Recommendations for the feasibility of a harmonized approach to the REA, that considers broader, or different, applications for the tool, and that incorporates aspects or features from other assessment tools used in humanitarian or recovery settings.

○ Recommendations for adapting the REA for e-implementation on a mobile or tablet platform

○ Recommended next steps for implementing harmonization and updates and suggested timeline and plan for all options of the updating proposal

The options/recommendations must: A) address challenges and issues identified; B) bring the REA up-to-date with the most current iterations of humanitarian programme cycle tools and processes; and C) include clear presentation of their respective strengths and weaknesses.

The report should be no more than 15 pages, excluding annexes documenting consultations held and sources consulted.

Timing: The draft report will be discussed and consulted upon at a 2-day stakeholder workshop[3], tentatively scheduled for mid-June[4]. The consultant must be available to attend and substantially contribute to the workshop by presenting the draft report and then updating and adapting the report based on inputs received at the meeting, with a final deadline of 3rd July 2017.

II.d Timeline and remuneration

Number of days estimated for completion of work: not to exceed 25 days

Daily rate to be negotiated with consultant.

II.e Conditions of the consultancy

The REA technical consultant will be engaged as an independent consultant by The Cadmus Group, Inc., the Prime Contractor for USAID’s GEMS project. Labor will be remunerated on the basis of a fixed, inclusive USD daily rate to be mutually agreed, and authorized travel and other direct costs will be reimbursed at cost. The consultant will be solely responsible for payment of all entailed taxes. No relocation, housing, insurance or other allowances or benefits will be paid. Travel costs will be allowed and reimbursed in compliance with the US Federal Travel Regulation. The engagement will be approximately one-half to two-thirds time on average, with peak full-time periods.

III. Criteria for selection:

● Direct experience with implementing the REA and familiarity with the methodology

● Extensive relevant international experience in disaster management and in implementing humanitarian assessments

● Expertise in environment in humanitarian action and evidence of quality outputs from previous assignments.

● Extensive experience working with international humanitarian and environment organisations globally and specifically in mainstreaming environment in humanitarian action

● Master’s degree in areas of humanitarian action/environment or other related areas.

● Familiarity with information management tools, such as mobile-based survey methodologies

● Good interpersonal and facilitation skills

● Fluent English

● Availability to complete the work between April 2017 to June 2017.

[1] Must consider applicable literature and stock-taking conducted to-date, and to be provided to the consultant at onset of the scoping.

[2] The Initiative has compiled REA documentation and literature that will be available to the consultant: https://sites.google.com/site/ehatoolkit/key-references-and-initiatives/…

[3] Including Steering Committee

[4] Approximately 19th – 20th June

How to apply:

IV. How to apply

Email [email protected] by 28 March, 2017 date with the subject “Application for REA Update Scoping Consultancy” with:

● An up-to-date CV

● Cover letter on interest in and skill to deliver the consultancy

● Three recent professional references

● Requested daily rate for Working Days (excluding costs associated with travel).


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