Consultant via


Nepal 🇳🇵

CONSULTANCY TITLE: Review, explore opportunities for appropriate transboundary early warning system in Mahakali river basin 
Proposal Submission Deadline:
30 November 2017   
Send Proposal to: [email protected]  
This call for proposal is for the consulting firm registered to work in Nepal and India 

Terms of Reference (ToR)

Hiring a consultant to review, explore opportunities for appropriate transboundary early warning system in Mahakali river basin


TROSA is a five-year-long project that aims to reduce poverty and marginalization of vulnerable river basis communities through increased access to, and control over, riverine water resources on which their livelihoods depend in Ganges, Brahmaputra-Meghna and Salween river basins of South Asia. It can only be achieved when decisions over these transboundary resources respect communities’ rights and balance the interests of other users including (inter) national interests and those of the private sector. 

The expected outcomes of the program are outlined below.

  • Government policies & practices at all levels of water resource management are more inclusive of community concerns and meet national & international standards
  • Practices of private sector respect community access to water resources actively contributing to reduced conflict
  • CSOs increasingly participate in or influence transboundary water governance, women’s inclusion and resolution of water conflicts
  • River basin communities’ increasingly trans-boundary water governance policies and processes Increased participation & influence of women in transboundary water governance, policy, and processes.

Among them, the project has envisioned Flood and landslide Early Warning System (EWS) as one of the strategic action to reduce vulnerability in the transboundary river basin of Mahakali along the Nepal-India border. Those communities will only have the increased lead time to respond and prepare for early response if they are timely informed and involved in the decision-making process for the institutionalization and operationalisation of EWS. 

Recent baseline information taken by Oxfam during project development indicates that the cross-border communication among Government actors in Mahakali river basin between Nepal and India need to be improved.  The small Community Based Early Warning System (CBFEWS) intervention by ICIMOD at community of Nepal and India during the recent flood in August 2017 has helped to save the lives of People of Bihar  (Kantipur Daily, 29 August 2017). Further, their communication needs to be disseminated to those communities to minimise their vulnerability. It can only be improved through the effective use of communication technology for those communities, especially for women and vulnerable groups.

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) platform for the promotion of Early Warning System has identified four key elements of a complete and effective early warning system. These four components are a) Risk knowledge and scoping, b) Community Based Monitoring and Early Warning c) Dissemination and Communication d) Response Capacity and Resilience.  Similarly, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and Asia Regional Plan for Implementation of the SFDRR (2015-2030) have clearly highlighted the importance of transboundary and bilateral cooperation . In this situation, there is inadequate information  about Mahakali river basin in terms of governmental actor coordination in EWS, data sharing among the countries, existing other CSOs initiatives for EWS in Nepal and India. Thus, detail information is required for strengthening Early Warning system in Mahakali River basin. Thus, the assigned research will help us to understand the current state of early warning system and suggestions for strengthening the Early Warning system in the Mahakali river basin. 

Objectives of the Assignment

The overall aim of the study is to review, explore opportunities for appropriate transboundary early warning system in Mahakali river basin

The specific objectives are:

  • To document existing Flood early warning systems in transboundary area of Mahakali river basin (Nepal and India) 
  • To understand the functionality and gaps of existing early warning systems in the Mahakali basin.
  • To identify the potential areas of collaboration between the concerned departments and institutions of Governments of Nepal and India to for the establishment/strengthening of a transboundary flood EWS in the basin/sub-basin to reduce flood disaster risk of communities with the aim to minimise humanitarian emergencies (more real-time and ensure last-mile connectivity and early action). It also helps to seek opportunities for low-cost community-to-community level EWS around sharing of river/flood data and information for disaster preparedness.
  • To Identify the potential sites/sub-basins in the basin to establish suitable transboundary Flood Early Warning System 
  • To suggest ways to strengthen and build strong flood early warning systems taking into account the trans-boundary nature of the flood disaster risk in the basin. This should include an analysis of different piloted and proven affordable technology (hardware) and the institutional mechanisms and community-level information sharing systems (software) mechanisms.

The consultant or consulting organization must consider convergence and geography to have the greatest impact and excellent value for money while reaching the poorest and most vulnerable and marginalized in communities. Further, it must highlight the gender dimensions and the experience of marginalized girls and women in all analysis and review work. Further, the consultant need to work with Oxfam’s gender team and seek their inputs to ensure that the gender components are well addressed. 

Scope of Services and Tasks and Activities to be completed

The overall scope of this consulting assignment is to review, explore opportunities for appropriate transboundary early warning system in Mahakali river basin in coordination with Government, communities and implementing partners of Nepal and India.

Activities will include, but may not be limited to, the following: 

  • Primary data collection on existing early warning system (must include field visits where feasible, communities living across the borders along Mahakali to better understand on-the ground realities and identify potential community-to-community linkages)
  • Coordination meetings with communities, responsible Government actors in India and Nepal, private Sector including technology developers, other CSOs and humanitarian organizations and research institutes like (ICIMOD, IIT-Roorkee etc) working on flood EWS and preparedness systems in the basin
  • Documentation of best cases of existing early warning systems in the Mahakali river basin or any other trans-boundary flood EWS in south Asia
  • Analysis of the existing gaps and opportunities of EWS in Mahakali river 
  • Documentation of existing communication channels and role of government departments of Nepal and India, linkages between upstream and downstream communities 
  • Suggestions (technology + sites) for establishment of a suitable and affordable transboundary early warning system in the Mahakali basin with the detail cost 
  • Discussion and verification with the team and TROSA Project Management Unit (PMU) 

Expected Deliverables

The detail report reviewing and exploring opportunities for appropriate transboundary early warning system in Mahakali river basin and recommendation for the improved early warning system in the area with estimated cost is expected. The report shall include the followings but not limited to it.

  1. Assessment and detailed review of flood early warning systems in Mahakali river basin 
  2. Suggestions for (technology + sites) for establishment of a suitable and affordable transboundary early warning system in the Mahakali basin with the detail cost. Further it should include sustainability aspects, information flow mechanism from community to Government and Government to Community), Government commitment, roles of Development organisations
  3. Report on community interaction, Government feedback on strengthening EWS
  4. Further recommendations and options for strengthening existing flood early warning system  

The final report should include at a minimum the following elements:

  • Executive Summary
  • Acknowledgements
  • List of Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Table of Contents
  • Background/ Brief Project description
  • Purpose of the survey
  • Methodology (including sampling)
  • Objectives of the Survey
  • Summary of the survey methodology and data collection techniques
  • Main Findings
  • Key Observations 
  • Government Commitment for strengthening Early Warning system in Mahakali River Basin
  • Suggestions for establishing the trans-boundary flood EWS in the basin
  • Risks and Mitigation Options for such a trans-boundary EWS (need to include the political risk among the countries and better ways to Transfer information for the preparedness and response)
  • Strengthening existing EWS system to make it more inclusive and effective
  • Conclusion
  • Annexes to the report: 
  • Terms of Reference
  • Time table
  • Survey instruments: questionnaire, interview guide etc. as appropriate
  • Sampling Plan
  • Any other relevant material 

Reporting Line Manager

This work is to be delivered to the Project Manager, Oxfam in Nepal and reviewed by the TROSA Project Manager India and TROSA Project Manager in Cambodia. 

Scope outputs will be signed off by Program Manager to ensure full delivery with quality report and timeliness. 

Duration: Start date and completion date

The estimated input of the consultant is 29 days (5 days per week). The assignment is expected to start on 8 December 2017 and be finalized by no later than 12 January 2018.

30/11/2017 – Deadline for applications
07/12/2017 – Selection of Consultant and Contract
08/12/2017 – Preparation of Research Plan (submitted to Oxfam)  [1 day]
30/12/2017 – Research  [21 days]
05/01/2018 – Draft Report (submitted to Oxfam)  [5 days]
10/01/2018 – Feedback on draft report
12/01/2018 – Revision and Submission of Final Edited Report  [2 days]

Detail Budget breakdown (see original ad for details)

Terms of Payment

The budget will be dispersed as per the following.

a.20% upon the signing of the contract
b.Final payment (80%) on completion of the assigned tasks.

The last instalment will be paid upon the submission and approval of assignments (includes all reports indicated in expected deliverables) as per these Terms of reference with full satisfaction evaluated by hiring manager. 
The consultant must have Bank account in Nepal and India as Oxfam in Nepal and Oxfam India will be paying in their own country bank only. 

Documents and forms for submission (see original ad for details)

Confidentiality / Non-disclosure

All material issued in connection with this ToR shall remain the property of Oxfam and shall be used only for the purpose of this procurement exercise. All information provided shall be either returned to Oxfam or securely destroyed by unsuccessful applicants at the conclusion of the procurement exercise.
During the performance of the assignment or at any time after expiry or termination of the Agreement, the Consultant shall not disclose to any person or otherwise make use of any confidential information which s/he has obtained or may in the course of this agreement relating to partner organization/Oxfam, the respondents or otherwise.
The consultant will be required to sign a nondisclosure/confidentiality agreement as part of their undertaking of this work. 

Intellectual property, Copyright, and Ownership of all prepared information

The Consultant shall retain all rights to pre-existing (background) intellectual property or materials used by the Consultant in the delivery of this study. All arising intellectual property, ideas, materials, processes or processes formed in contemplation, the course of, or as result of this study shall be passed to Oxfam without restriction.
The Consult shall warrant that all arising Intellectual Property, materials, and products produced in pursuit of this study shall be original, and shall not infringe on any third party’s claim. All technical or business information, in whatever medium or format, originated, collated or prepared by or for the Consultant in contemplation, course of, or as result of this assignment shall be transferred to Oxfam without restriction on completion and shall not be used by the Consultant for any other purpose without express written permission of Oxfam’s Head of Programme Funding.
Copyright of all arising documents, data, information or reports produced by the Consultant under this Agreement shall belong to Oxfam and will be passed to Oxfam without restriction. Such documents, data, information, and reports shall not be used by the Consultant for any other purpose other than in conjunction with this assignment, without the express written permission of Oxfam’s Head of Programme Funding.


The Consulting VAT Registered Individual/Firm should submit a proposal to Oxfam by 30th November 2017 via mail to [email protected], clearly mentioning the title of assignment in their email subject line.