Consultancy: Bringing to Scale Sustainable Housing Solutions for Displacement Affected Communities in Jubaland, Somalia

Terms of Reference: Bringing to scale sustainable housing solutions for Displacement Affected Communities in Jubaland, Somalia


Location: Kismayo, Somalia

Duration: 45 working days

Critical interface: Durable Solutions Manager, HLP and shelter focal points

Consultancy type International/ Local

Background and Context

Somalia is one of the fastest urbanizing countries in the world, with an estimated 45% of the population living in urban areas. Based on a continuing urbanisation rate of more than 4%, the urban population of Somalia is due to exceed that of its rural population by 2026.[1] Of an estimated 2.7 million IDP population, approximately 80% reside in urban areas. Rapid urbanisation in Somalia is driven by a combination of factors that include climate shocks, violent conflict, land-grabbing, the return of former refugees, population growth, a lack of economic opportunities in rural areas, and the concentration of humanitarian resources in urban centres. Furthermore, urban IDPs face a continuing threat of forced evictions from their settlements: an estimated 171,266 IDPs were forcibly evicted in 2020 and 263,800 in 2019.[2] In 2020, displacement as a result of climatic shocks (including both drought and flooding) increased, while conflict-induced displacement decreased in comparison to previous years (although this is still high, with estimated 242,000 people affected between January and December 2020). The extent of drought and flooding-induced displacement experienced in 2020 may represent a growing trend as climate change exacerbates the challenges of eking out a living in rural Somalia, regardless of conflict dynamics. The urban influx raises many challenges for municipal, regional, and federal authorities, including the provision of secure access to land for the settlement of IDPs and other vulnerable communities. The limited capacity of these still nascent institutions to address these challenges is further strained by a number of crucial factors, including: the absence of a comprehensive policy and regulatory framework for land governance and management; overlapping institutional mandates for the administration of land; an environment of legal pluralism and challenges in enforcing adjudications; endemic corruption; the disappearance of many historical public records and capture of others for private interest; the ubiquity of fraudulent title deeds; and complex urban clan dynamics. Displaced communities reside on public land, privately owned land, and communal land in urban and peri-urban areas.

Most cities in Somalia are characterised by a prevalence of poor housing, poor social infrastructure, differentiated access to services, employment opportunities based on clan and class, and growing numbers of urban poor. Kismayo is the third largest city in Somalia and the capital of both the Lower Juba region and the Jubaland state (JSS). The city hosts large numbers of displaced affected communities and returning refugees. Drought and conflict are the main driver of displacement, together with voluntarily repatriation from the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in Kenya. The latest assessments show constantly rising numbers of IDPs, despite improving conditions in the region. In Kismayo for instance, 144 IDP sites have been identified hosting 12,010 households or 64,051 individuals.[3] Other 1,856 households are hosted in the IDP settlements of Midnimo and Madina, in the north of the town.[4] Older sites are usually small to mid-size unplanned settlement on private land. New sites are divided between small, spontaneous settlement on private land, and new large planned sites built by humanitarian agencies on land allocated by the government. Since 2017, there has been an increasing sensibility on IDP housing needs. The effort of the State Government supported by the international community has been focused on the provision of high quality settlements and shelter. Large portions of land in the North of the city have been allocated for permanent housing units, built with bricks and with concrete foundations, and equipped with private pit latrines.

The current housing approaches implemented across various durable solutions programmes in Somalia indicates significant differences in implementation modalities ranging from: rental subsidies, owner driven, and shelter rehabilitation through cash-based or emergency shelter kits (ESKs). In Kismayo, shelter typologies are classified as: shelter using corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) (Jiingad); make-shift shelter (Buul); Emergency shelter kit (shelter with plastic sheet cladding); hybrid shelter (shelter hybrid materials for the cladding); shelter using local materials (barako); Arish (shelter with local sticks with mud cladding) and concrete/permanent house (Daar). According to the Local Reintegration Assessment conducted by durable solutions partners in 2019, the typology of shelter varies greatly across displacement groups and locations (or domain). The assessment also found that, large inequalities exist with regards to housing standards, with host communities having more access to better quality shelters and reporting fewer issues with their shelters. The number of housing issues experienced was also found to significantly influence the perception of integration. Those households that reported having no issues with their shelter were much more likely to feel better integrated.

In 2018, the JSS adopted a shelter policy which calls for all operational agencies to implement the construction of two roomed structures (permanent housing units, built with bricks and with concrete foundations, and equipped with private latrines) and suspended any implementation of one-room structures. In an effort to promote long-term solutions, the JSS has earmarked land for the relocation of DACs in Kismayo. The government aims to relocate a total of 10,560 DAC households (1,182 HHs in phase 1; 3546 HHs in phase 2; 6132 HHs in phase 3). However, the continued demand by local authorities for agencies to build the two-room shelters remains expensive and untenable in comparison to the huge displaced populations within Jubaland. Given the high cost of two-room structures, there is still a need for consensus between all stakeholders on: 1) realistic objectives; 2) pragmatic standards; 3) technical modalities; and 4) adequate financial resources.[5] Additionally, there is not much evidence and guidance on how best to engage with local private sector actors on housing approaches. A critical gap is a lack of understanding among durable solutions actors on how to leverage on the local markets in various locations to deliver on affordable and sustainable housing. There is need to make markets work more effectively for low income households who are in need of decent, affordable housing and to generate exponentially more impact by improving systems that make better housing possible for more households in Somalia.

Purpose and scope

The purpose of this research is to develop an evidence base on how to bring to scale innovative and sustainable low cost housing solutions in Jubaland and in particular within resettlement sites such as Luglow. The study will also aim to understand the local housing market and how to consider sustainable housing solutions as part of spectrum covering humanitarian, development programming and funding. Specific research questions to guide this study include:

Sustainable housing solutions at scale:

  • What are the most locally appropriate, affordable and sustainable housing models to be considered for Luglow resettlement site? To provide complete details (drawings, designs, BoQs and material specifications) for the preferred and most suitable and/or affordable housing solution.
  • What are the social, environmental and economic factors that should be taken into consideration for the sustainability of housing models in Luglow resettlement site? Identify key area-specific principles concerning housing solutions in Luglow.
  • What are the specific linkages between the housing situations and vulnerabilities of displacement affected communities in Jubaland?
  • What are the most appropriate climate-responsive housing designs/models that should be taken into consideration for the local context?

Private sector engagement:

  • What role does private sector play in the housing market in Luglow and are there opportunities for collaboration with local private sector actors?
  • Analyse the factors influencing demand and supply of housing in Luglow resettlement site.
  • What are the best tailored financial products and solutions for the low cost housing sector that could be considered for Luglow?


The results of this study are intended for internal use by NRC to inform engagement with local authorities around investment in Luglow. Relevant findings will be shared with other stakeholders including humanitarian and development networks and actors within the HLP sector at the discretion of NRC.


A detailed methodology should be provided showing how the research aims and objectives will be met. As a guide, the study should consist of:

a) Literature review of relevant project and external documentation: Review of relevant material held by NRC, including monitoring and evaluation data, reports and studies, as well relevant external literature, including and not limited to household surveys from domestic statistical bodies; international agency reports/studies etc

b) Provide a detailed overview of the array of different housing solutions which have taken place in Somalia and in Jubaland in particular to date – the point being that these vary quite considerably, and therefore having this overview will help support the overall objective of this study

c) Identification of various models for funding, building, and scaling-up the construction of sustainable low-cost housing in low-income countries and displacement affected communities around the world – including Somalia, if examples are available.

d) Identify key area-specific principles concerning housing solutions in relocation sites.

e) Identify common constraints/challenges faced when implementing these different models, and recommendations to respond to these in a way that is relevant to the Somalian context: This might be through review of the wider literature and/or primary research with local authorities, local private sector actors and financial service providers, real estate managers, home owners, relevant ministries and departments and other key actors. It will be critical to consider gender here – how do challenges / constraints differ for female HLP users and owners?

f) Stakeholders to be consulted: The consultant should plan to include the following groups of stakeholders in the study:

  • Relevant Government Line Ministries (Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Interior,
  • Local businesses in a range of sectors across target regions
  • Local government authorities (Jubland Refugees IDPs Agency, Jubaland Land Authority)
  • Business, financial service providers and Trade associations, where active
  • Private sector groups and representatives
  • Housing Market off-takers
  • NGOs active in the HLP, economic development/livelihoods in the target areas
  • Humanitarian and development actors
  • National Shelter Cluster and/or Regional Shelter Cluster focal point(s)

g) Provide a debrief to NRC (who will join remotely): using either a draft set of results or PowerPoint presentation to summarise preliminary findings and recommendations. This should be shortly after the end of the field work.

h) Submit a draft study report: of no more than 30 pages that corresponds to the requirements outlined below in the ‘Deliverables’ section.

i) Submit a final report: incorporating any relevant feedback from NRC and other actors


  • An inception report, including: planned timeline and work plan, literature review of all relevant secondary sources, detailed methodology / approach, planned stakeholders to be consulted, data collection and analysis tools, qualitative and quantitative protocols for data collection and analysis
  • Definition framework to ensure we have a common understanding of key terms and sectors
  • Any suggested improvements to existing study scope, as outlined in this document
  • Brief presentation of preliminary findings
  • Draft report written in English that meets the requirements outlined below;
  • One (1) electronic file of the clean (final) qualitative and quantitative data collected
  • Final report The final report should be jargon free, clear and simply written.
  • The main body of the report should not exceed 30 pages and should include an executive summary, brief background and recommendations.
  • Recommendations and findings should be backed up with relevant data, with reference to the data source and need to be specific.

The structure of the report should cover the following:

  • Executive summary
  • Brief project background
  • Main findings relating to the study questions
  • Technical documents
  • Recommendations for future action in addition, the final report should contain at least the following annexes:
  • Terms of Reference
  • Literature review
  • Work plan
  • List of persons interviewed
  • Details of methodology
  • List of documents reviewed
  • Any other relevant material, including data collection tools
  • Further technical data and sources

Institutional arrangements

The deliverables will be approved by the NRC Durable solutions manager. The consultant/firm will be expected to arrange and cover the costs of consultancy fee and all other logistics associated with the assignment. NRC will provide useful project documents and data that will inform this exercise.

Duration of work

The work is expected to be completed in 45 working days – the exact timing will depend on the final agreement with NRC.

Qualifications of the successful bidder

  • The consultant/ firm is registered and specializes in conducting qualitative and quantitative research.
  • Advanced degree/MSc degree in Engineering, Architecture, Urban planning, Urban economics, or other related fields.
  • Not less than 7 consecutive years’ experience of research and programme development in urban planning and economics, conducting housing analyses in low income countries etc
  • A demonstrated track record of carrying out a similar type of assessments (sample to be attached when applying).
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills.
  • Familiarity with the socio-political and humanitarian trends in Somalia.
  • The consultant can demonstrate ability to field experienced teams to conduct face-to-face interviews on sensitive subject matter, in a timely and organised fashion.
  • The consultant has impeccable record of confidentiality and sensitivity, and be able and willing to handle sensitive information, ensuring anonymity of respondents whilst safeguarding access to the raw data for partners stated in this Terms of Reference.
  • The consultant is able to use to a high level, data entry and data analysing software such as CS Pro and SPSS, and be able to provide visual graphics of data, such as charts produced in Microsoft Excel. Experience in graphic design will be an advantage, but not required.
  • The consultant has a good track record of working with international organisations such as international NGOs or the UN in Somalia; in particular, a good track record in previous work with NRC is required.


  • Inception Meeting with NRC
  • Inception report
  • Desk review of relevant project documents and data
  • Development, pre-testing and validation of the survey questionnaire
  • Finalization of assessment tools including scripting of questions on ODK/Kobo tools, if applicable.
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis and preparation of the draft report
  • Validation of draft report
  • Final Report and PowerPoint presentation

[1] Durable Solutions Initiative (2019). Towards sustainable urban development in Somalia and IDP durable solutions at scale…

[2] NRC Evictions portal:

[3] CCCM (2020). Verified IDP Sites in Kismayo October 2020:

[4] UN HABITAT (2020). Kismayo Urban Profile:…

[5] IOM & UNEP (2021). Identifying Climate Adaptive Solutions to Displacement in Somalia…

How to apply

The consultant/consulting firm interested are expected to provide following documentation:

  • A cover letter introducing the consultant. In the case of a firm, the cover letter should introduce the team composition and specifying the role to be played by each team member.
  • A technical proposal of not more than 10 pages outlining how to execute the task with a clear framework, methodology and timelines. Proposed methodology should demonstrate a clear understanding of the ToR.
  • Resume of the consultant, or each team member for firms
  • Evidence of experience conducting similar assignments
  • Proposed budget indicating consultancy fee and all other auxiliary costs in USD.


All applications should be addressed to on or before 31st May, 2021, referencing ‘Bringing to Scale Sustainable Housing Solutions for Displacement Affected Communities in Jubaland, Somalia’ in the subject of the email.

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