Consultancy for undertaking two Real-Time Reviews on diaspora humanitarian engagement

1. Background and context

Within the last decades there has been a growing interest and trend among Western governments and NGOs to engage diasporas – people living outside their country of origin but with continued emotional and material ties to it – in developing and rehabilitating their countries of origin. Support efforts towards that country often happen transnationally, with diasporas settled across the globe collaborating to achieve joint outcomes. Diasporas often may establish a diaspora organization (DO) that can be a volunteer-led movement, a network, a campaign, or a more formal NGO structure. Their action can be systematic and long-term, or ad-hoc and short-term.

The diasporas have an increasingly important role in the political, economic, and social lives of the people in their countries of origin through the transfer of money, values, skills, and ideas. In addition, diasporas are becoming increasingly influential actors in humanitarian crises, often being the first to provide assistance in ways that differ from that of conventional humanitarian systems. However, diaspora aid is provided in parallel to existing systems and mechanisms that seek to inform and coordinate common responses to a humanitarian crisis.

Humanitarian needs globally continue to increase substantially and there is a need to explore the variety of actors and approaches involved in humanitarian action and ensure better learning and coordination mechanisms between these actors. Therefore, the Diaspora Emergency Action and Coordination (DEMAC) Platform, established in 2015 and currently hosted by the Danish Refugee Council, aims to facilitate a global network of diaspora organizations through three objectives:

1) Increasing awareness for diaspora’s humanitarian interventions

2) Enhancing knowledge between diasporas and humanitarian institutions

3) Improving coordination communication and coherence of humanitarian response

The mission of DEMAC is to:

· Promote visibility for diaspora organizations in the humanitarian system

· Build bridges between diaspora organizations and humanitarian actors around the world

· Work together to provide better assistance to people in need

The current stage of DEMAC is funded by USAID/BHA for the period of July 2020 – July 2022. During the first year of the project, three case studies were conducted in the following focus countries: Ukraine, Pakistan, and Somalia. The case study reports explored the local context in these countries, mapped the main humanitarian and diaspora actors over the years, analyzed diaspora humanitarian response, and provided a list of gaps and challenges in their response. The case study reports are public and can be accessed here: UkrainePakistan, and Somalia. The case study reports were validated through workshops with diaspora and humanitarian organizations.

Additionally, one real-time crisis study report was published for Timor-Leste. Similarly, to case study reports, real-time reviews aim to document the diaspora humanitarian response but only focusing on countries with a recent and ongoing crisis. The report on Timor-Leste can be accessed here. Two additional real-time reviews are underway at the moment.

Other activities from DEMAC include the production of the good practice guide for diaspora humanitarian response in various formats, such as reports, cards, and videos; developing digital tools to support the DO humanitarian efforts; facilitating various networking events; organizing webinars for sharing the study findings and closing the project with an international conference. To read more on DEMAC, please visit

2. Purpose

The purpose of the consultancy is to conduct one or a maximum of two real-time reviews, depending on the development of crises during the consultancy period of October 2021 – April 2022. The contract will be issued for up to two real-time reviews; therefore, it is possible that only one review is conducted in case no second relevant crisis occurs during the contract period. The details on the process of focus country selection can be found below.

The consultancy will capture the impact, outreach, and organization of diaspora emergency responses in focus countries for a maximum of two real-time reviews of ongoing diaspora responses. The research will be used to enhance the knowledge and awareness within the international humanitarian system in the selected country/countries about the significance and role played by the diaspora in order to learn Where/How Can Diaspora Fit Within the Humanitarian System.

The consultancy is expected to result in a maximum of two real-time review reports, analyzing findings and learnings from past and ongoing diaspora emergency responses, including recommendations on future programmatic approaches as to how to engage with the diaspora during humanitarian response.

To ensure comparability and cross-learning between the studies and work towards replicability of procedures in future DEMAC work, for each real-time review the Consultant will:

· Conduct relevant desk research and literature review

· Develop the methodological framework to ensure quality and consistency of real-time reviews

· Ensure the conduction of field-level data collection and reporting, whether done by own field representatives or by identifying relevant consultants in the pilot countries

· Provide technical expertise on effective methods for capturing learning to each case study location

· Produce a high-quality analysis paper consolidating global learning that has been captured through the real-time reviews, for an internal audience, as well as a brief document with key highlights for an external audience. The report is expected to suggest and discuss programmatic recommendations as to how to engage with the diaspora during humanitarian response.

· Present findings at webinars and an international conference

· Ensure quality and consistency throughout all deliverables

The Consultant will be prepared to conduct a maximum of two real-time reviews of diaspora engagement should a sudden onset crisis erupt, or an existing crisis drastically escalates during the implementation of this project in a setting that lives up to a set of criteria developed to guide decisions on when and where DEMAC will activate targeted geographical engagement.

During a sudden-onset emergency or a spike in an existing crisis, DEMAC will apply the following steps:

  1. Conduct a standardized rapid desk assessment to determine the relevance of DEMAC activation. The standard for that desk assessment is still to be developed but will as a minimum include i) level of emergency (e.g., is it declared as Humanitarian System-Wide Scale-Up by the Emergency Relief Coordinator and IASC?), ii) Does the emergency occur in a location that has a relatively large diaspora that can be determined to be engaged in responding to the occurring emergency.
  2. if 1. determines the relevance of DEMAC activation:
  3. Start liaising with humanitarian actors to advocate for and facilitate relevant diaspora engagement.
  4. Ensure availability of additional funds to ‘activate’ DEMAC for a new crisis
  5. Conduct real-time mapping and review of diaspora engagement

The real-time reviews will be conducted in a sudden-onset emergency or a drastic escalation of an existing humanitarian crisis. The real-time review will be divided into two parts where the first will be conducted within the first 2 weeks to ensure compatibility with the Multi-Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) as defined by the IASC.

The first 2 weeks will be done remotely by monitoring crowdfunding platforms, social media, and direct contacts with identified diaspora organizations/networks to establish a snapshot of the initial diaspora engagement in terms of Who is engaged, What they do, How they do it, and Where. As the response further mature the Consultant will shift to the location of the emergency and from there further document the Who, What, How, and Where, harvesting information from local partners, beneficiaries, other stakeholders, and to the extent possible from Money Transfer Organizations. The main focus will be to assess the extent and significance of the diaspora engagement as well as identification of the main gaps from the diaspora engagement. The findings from the real-time reviews will continuously be shared with the DEMAC team to raise the awareness of the diaspora activities and to ensure that ongoing assessments within clusters, and across clusters reflect activities of diaspora engagement.

The Consultant shall ensure relevant presence in the countries during the real-time reviews. It is DEMACs experience from similar previous research, that the information solicited is often perceived to be sensitive as it relates to transfer of private funds, clan dynamics, ethnic and religious networks, etc. It is thus essential that the Consultant have local partners that have or can develop a strong level of trust with key informants while maintaining a necessary degree of objectivity.

3. Planning and Implementation

The research shall be completed in consultation with the DEMAC team.

Desk Research:

The Consultant will carry out substantial desk research to establish already existing information about diaspora humanitarian engagement. The review is anticipated to include, at a minimum a review of reports issued by relevant UN agencies and NGOs as well as relevant academic papers. The desk research will also include a mapping of active diaspora groups engaged in humanitarian response.

Methodology & Tools:

The Consultant will lead the development of the methodology for qualitative and quantitative data collection and design of tools to conduct key informant interviews with diaspora groups in the two countries for real-time review. The interviews shall, as a minimum, include the following themes: role(s), implementation of activities, coordination, information sharing, impact, and outreach.

Field Data Collection:

The Consultant will be responsible for the planning and implementation of the field data collection and analysis. This will include identifying and training field consultants/researchers and data collectors when necessary/relevant. It is expected that field consultants/researchers/data collectors will have the needed language, technical skills, and access to the geographical areas. The Consultant is responsible for identifying, supervising, and coordinating in-country field consultants and informants and ensuring the quality of the data collected.

In drafting the report, the Consultant will adhere to the DRC editorial guidelines for written products and presentations, which will be provided as part of the contract.


Key deliverables for each Real-Time Review:

  1. First Initial Rapid Assessment based on the two first weeks of desk review.
  2. Full Real-time review report of max 20 pages excluding visualizations and annexes. The real-time review will be drafted based on the finding of data analysis and will contain
  3. An overview of findings from the data collected,
  4. Highlights from the datasets,
  5. Three to four in-depth analyses on relevant topics agreed with the DEMAC team,
  6. A concluding section with an overview of hindrances and opportunities for diaspora engagement and recommendations for diaspora and their partners.
  7. Executive brief consisting of a 1-2 pager summary on main findings.
  8. Presentation and briefing for DEMAC teams and any other relevant stakeholders.
  9. Mapping of ADOs as an annex of the RTR.
  10. Visual ‘Snapshot page’ of social media posts with analysis.
  11. Short description of the methodology used and applied for the two real-time reviews (2-3) pages.

Timeframe: The contract period for this assignment is October 15th, 2021, to 30 April 2022.

Once a new crisis is identified and selected by the DEMAC team, the Real-Time Review is expected to be completed within 45 days (30 working days). This can be subject to discussion and negotiation depending on the type of crisis and the workload required for each RTR.

Payment Plan: 100% of the price for conducting one real-time review will be paid upon the completion of all deliverables for each real-time review study.


Interested teams or consultants are expected to submit the following items in response to these terms of reference:

Administrative documentation:

· Completed and signed RFQ template – Annex A

· Signed Annex C – Supplier code of conduct

· Completed and signed Supplier Registration form – Annex D
Technical Bid:

· A technical proposal (no more than 15 pages) that covers (i) the consultant’s suitability for the assignment, (ii) suggested process, approach, and methodology.

· CV(s) of consultants involved in the implementation of the contract.

· Work sample(s) of similar assignments.

Financial Bid:

· A detailed budget for the assignment, including the consultant fees, administrative expenses, and any other miscellaneous costs. Please provide the price for each real-time review separately. The contract will be issued for up to two real-time reviews; therefore, it is possible that only one review is conducted in case no second relevant crisis occurs during the contract period.

· Please do not include travel-related costs in the bid as these will be reimbursed by DRC based on actual costs according to DRC and USAID/BHA travel rules if relevant for the assignment as decided by the project team.

It is important to separate technical and financial bids from each other as they are evaluated separately during different stages of the evaluation process.

Primary contact point in DRC

The consultant will collaborate closely with the DEMAC Project Coordinators – Raphael Capony and Alexandra Singpiel. It is anticipated that the consultant will be in regular contact, on a weekly basis, with the contact point. It is also anticipated that the consultant will confirm the list of KIIs, including geographic locations, with the contact point. The contact point will take responsibility for ensuring timely responses to drafts and inputs to the consultant.

Minimum technical requirement of consultant:

· Technical knowledge on Diaspora and Humanitarian response with a good understanding of the humanitarian aid system and the gaps that can be filled with diaspora engagement

· Research background in diaspora/community engagement/humanitarian response/emergency

· Relevant academic background (Masters level)

· Significant experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods

· Strong communication skills (oral and written) in English (other languages would be a strong advantage)

· Excellent analytical, interpersonal, communication, and reporting skills.

· Previous experience in conducting similar evaluations/research for international donors would be an advantage.

· Strong methodological and analytical skill in terms of being able to guide a team of researchers and subsequently analyze and synthesize results at meta-level

· Proven experience in leading a larger research project with a team of consultants working across several geographies

· Track record of written publications on diaspora or humanitarian response


For the award of this project, the evaluation criteria below will govern the selection of offers received. The evaluation is made on a technical and financial basis.

The proposed offers by bidders will be evaluated using, inter alia, the following criteria, and points will be allocated in the scale from 1 to 10 for each of the criteria stipulated below, whereas the weighting is as follows:

1. Company qualifications (20%)

(Documented with the filled-out Supplier Registration Form and a list of last 3 similar research projects executed, including two samples)

  • General liability/capacity of the company (5%)
  • Previous relevant research projects executed (with focus on the set-up as required, with a consultant coordinating and supervising a team of researchers across several geographies) (10%)
  • Relevant sector experience and experience working with NGOs (5%)

2. Proposed services (40%)

(Documented with the technical proposal)

  • Content of the proposal suitable for the requirements (20%)
  • Proposed methodology for the qualitative research (20%)

3. Personnel qualifications (20%)

(Documented with CVs of relevant staff involved in the project)

  • Experience of core people who will work on the project with similar projects and NGO experience (20%)

4. Interview to assess the company qualifications, proposed services, and personal qualifications (20%)

  • Previous relevant research projects executed (5%)
  • Proposed methodology for the qualitative research (10%)
  • Experience of core people who will work on the project (5%)

Total – 100%

All bidders must obtain an average score of at least five for the total technical scoring, in order to proceed to the financial evaluation. The financial offer will then be weighed against the technical offer.

The total cost of the financial offer should be mentioned in the DRC Bid Form, Annex A.2, while the breakdown of the budget should be attached separately.


All information presented, obtained, and produced is to be treated as DRC’s property and is considered confidential for all other purposes than what is outlined in the ToR. The selected consultant is upon signing of the contract required to sign a confidentiality agreement. The material prepared by the consultant cannot be sold, used, or reproduced in any manner (partially or in full) by the consultant without prior permission from DRC.

Additional information

For additional information regarding these terms of reference, please send your questions to Nuri Sharashidze at

How to apply

The tender package with submission instructions can be accessed at DRC | Tenders. Tender title and number:

22 September 2021: Request for Quotation (RFQ) for Real Time Review Case Studies (DRC HQ).

RFQ Reference no.: RFQ-DKHQ-CSEU-00166959

Bid submission instructions can be found in Annex A – RFQ template. Bids sent to the email address above will not be considered.

RFQ publication date: 22 September 2021

RFQ closure date and time: 10 October 2021, 23:59 local CEST = 21:59 GMT

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