International Consultant – Assess the mental health and psychosocial needs among migrant returnees, their families and key communities of origin

Vacancy No: IOM-CFA/045/22


Position Title: International Consultant – Assess the mental health and psychosocial needs among migrant returnees, their families and key communities of origin as well as map existing services, institutions, professionals and community structures that could support the provision of mental health and psychosocial support (MPHSS) services in Ethiopia for the Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions (COMPASS) Initiative, 2021


Duty Station: Addis Ababa


Classification: Consultant


Posting Period :01.04.2022 – 15.04.2022


Consultancy period: Four months


1. Project Context and Scope: Ethiopia is a key departure, transit and destination country for mixed migration flows across the Horn of Africa. Over the course of 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic spurred an increase in spontaneous and forced returns at points of entry due to borders being closed, which resulted in migrants being stranded. In July of 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) returned 32,000 irregular migrants—the highest number of Ethiopian returnees recently recorded for a single month.[1] Despite the increase in returns in July, returns were interrupted as a result of COVID-19 and some migrants were unable to return to their area of origin within Ethiopia due to the conflict in the north. As a result of the interrupted returns, over 102,000 returns are estimated to occur in Ethiopia by the end of October 2022. Additionally, IOM expects over 27,000 migrant returnees to arrive in Ethiopia from Djibouti, Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya.

Alongside such immense estimates, approximately 79 per cent of migrants on the migratory routes within and from the Horn of Africa have either directly witnessed or experienced one or multiple abuses during their journey including extortion, sexual violence and torture. Migrant returnees need MHPSS yet points of entry located in remote areas of Ethiopia remain ill-equipped to address the MHPSS needs of returnee migrants. The effectiveness of migration management depends on reliable and up-to-date information, regarding both migration and MHPSS needs and resources, including research which will address critical questions that arise while implementing programme activities. 

Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants. IOM Ethiopia through the Migration Management Unit (MMU) works closely with the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) to improve migration management and governance. It also supports the government in countering human trafficking and smuggling of migrants (SoM) and promoting regular labour migration channels as well as the migration-development nexus.

IOM is implementing a three-year project funded by the Government of the Netherlands titled Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions (COMPASS). The overall objective of this three-year multi-country initiative to be implemented from the 1st of January 2021 to the 31st of December 2023 is to contribute to the long-term outcomes of focus on the protection and assistance of people on the move and decreased irregular migration.

COMPASS’ design and implementation follows a multi-level, ecological approach to migrant protection and assistance. The approach is primarily aimed at reducing unsafe and irregular migration and towards generating sustainable outcomes for migrants, their families and communities. To do this, COMPASS follows a Result-Based Monitoring and Evaluation (RBME) approach, which refers to the shift from focusing on the inputs and activities (resources and procedures) to focusing on the achievement of the short, medium- and long-term goals in the form of sustainable benefits for direct and indirect beneficiaries[2]. The ecological approach assumes that intervention efforts focused on the individual level are not sufficient to achieve sustainable and meaningful development in protecting migrants and avoiding unsafe migration. The approach considers higher social arrangements and includes the community and the broader society governed by States. COMPASS ecological approach comprises three mutually reinforcing intervention components:

  • service delivery approach whereby IOM maximizes its expertise and network of governmental and non-governmental partners to ensure delivery and accessibility of cost-efficient services to individual migrants, their families and communities, and governments.
  • capacity development approach to improve COMPASS programme stakeholders’ capabilities to provide better and migrant inclusive services; better plan, coordinate and implement interventions aimed at addressing migration challenges; and
  • an evidence-based and learning approach to enable continuous improvement in migration governance programmes, policies and strategies through generation and timely dissemination of migration governance relevant knowledge products through research and M&E to inform evidence-based policy and programming decisions.

In line with these approaches, the programme plans to achieve its overarching goal through the realization of the following four medium term outcomes based on the four COMPASS intervention pillars of (1) Protection, (2) Counter-trafficking and Smuggling, (3) Awareness and (4) Returns and Reintegration.

  • Outcome 1: Migrants and their families are protected, assisted and empowered to pursue sustainable reintegration and resolution of their vulnerabilities.
  • Outcome 2: Evidence-based, community-level programming is implemented in target communities of origin and return. The programming aims to prevent unsafe and irregular migration and improve sustainable reintegration outcomes.
  • Outcome 3: A conducive environment is created whereby migrants are protected, trafficking and smuggling is diminished, and safe and dignified returns and sustainable reintegration is enabled.
  • Outcome 4: The programme contributes to improved information sharing, learning, and coordination between and within governments, IOM and development partners.

As part of Outcome 2, COMPASS will support the development of evidence-based protection programmes focused on awareness-raising campaigns that target drivers of irregular and unsafe migration (i), sustainable reintegration (ii) community capacity building (iii), and their adjustment to the evolving context. To address the changing context, COMPASS, in collaboration with the research consultant, will conduct research focusing on the relationship between drivers of migration, migration trends and risks, and relevant MHPSS needs in Ethiopia. In addition, COMPASS and the research consultant will map existing MHPSS services to inform create a comprehensive overview of existing structures as well as gaps and areas to improve.

In line with the overall research strategy under COMPASS, the results of the different findings on trends, vulnerabilities and MHPSS needs, and resources will be disseminated at the national level in review/validation workshops that will pave the way for the identification of possible action points. These results will also support the global knowledge developed by IOM under COMPASS and support cross-border initiatives when applicable. To guarantee the ownership by national authorities, all research initiatives will be conducted in close coordination with the National Partnership Coalition led by the Office of the Attorney General.

To this effect, IOM intends to conduct a comprehensive assessment of on relevant MHPSS needs of returning migrants and their families and mapping of existing services, professionals, institutions and community structures able to cater for those needs in Ethiopia.**

The research should use both primary and secondary sources, covering both qualitative and quantitative data available in Ethiopia. A combination of methodologies will be used to ensure adequate, reliable, and valid data is collected for the needs assessment and mapping exercise. The consultant should conduct necessary primary data collection through surveys, interviews, field visits, focus group discussions, e-mails, etc. A desk review will also be conducted for triangulating and obtaining information for the assigned tasks. This will include review of relevant studies/research already conducted (including by development partners) in the areas of migration and mental health and consulted with relevant officials and local service providers. The consultant will come up with a comprehensive methodology in addition to one suggested at the inception stage of the assignment.

The contracted consultant will be expected to carry out the following activities:

a. Prepare an inception report for the research covering the mental health needs of returnee migrants, their families and the mapping of existing services, professionals, institutions and community structures. This report will encompass methodology, workplan, and data collection tools, highlighting and justifying a focus on specific regional areas, with input from IOM colleagues.

b. Design data collection methodology guided by the objectives and scope of the consultancy including international guidelines and relevant framework(s).

c. Make sure the research is in line with the IASC Guidelines on Conducting ethical MHPSS research in humanitarian settings.

d. Conduct the research and prepare a final report with two sections (needs and resources) as per point (a) above, including the inputs of the IOM and key stakeholders.

e. Facilitate a validation workshop of the study findings and recommendations with migrants, communities, the IOM Ethiopia office and relevant COMPASS stakeholders.

f. Based on the assessment draw concrete recommendations that would inform IOM to facilitate direct assistance and reintegration support for migrants returning to Ethiopia with MHPSS needs.

2. Organizational Department / Unit to which the Consultant is contributing: Cooperation on Migration and Partnerships for Sustainable Solutions (COMPASS) PX.0263 – Migration Management Unit (MMU). Consultancy will be under the direct supervision of the Migrant Protection Programme Manager and the overall supervision of the Migration Management Unit Coordinator.**

All-inclusive fee: $15,000

3. Category B Consultants: Tangible and measurable outputs of the work assignment

First deliverable – Inception report inclusive of the proposed methodology, work plan, and approved data collection tools. Deliverable date to be determined at the time of the contract signing, deliverable to be completed approximately one month after contract approved. Payment percentage of 25% upon completion of first deliverable.

Second deliverable – Outline a report, including descriptive statistics and key findings resulting from data collection and analysis efforts. Deliverable date to be determined at the time of the contract signing, deliverable to be completed approximately 1.5 months after completion of the first deliverable. Payment percentage of 35% upon completion of second deliverable.

Third deliverable – First draft of a final report, and corresponding cost recommendations that detail human and capital infrastructures needed to provide appropriate MHPSS services to returning migrants, their families and communities. The report will outline mental health and psychosocial needs of returning migrants, their families and communities, and the mapping of existing services, institutions, professionals and community structures, highlighting capacity and structural gaps. Key recommendations should include an action-plan for raising awareness around needed infrastructures and capacities to build a response that will address returning migrants’ present and future mental health and psychosocial support needs. Deliverable date to be determined at the time of the contract signing, deliverable to be completed approximately 2.5 months after contract signing.

Fourth deliverable – Final versions of all prior materials, updated based on a validation workshop and feedback from IOM colleagues. Deliverable date to be determined at the time of the contract signing, deliverable to be completed approximately 3 months after contract signing. Payment percentage of 40% upon completion of fourth deliverable.**

4. Performance indicators for the evaluation of results

  • The inception report must include an excellent understanding of the context, a clear methodology, a detailed and realistic work plan and a strategy for the use of the data collection tool as per the terms of reference.
  • Ensure that the reports are comprehensive, detailed, and submitted in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that the recommendations are realistic, include all actors and considers IOM’s mandate.
  • Ensure good facilitation skills during the validation workshop and the ability to accommodate the inputs of various actors.


  1. Education, Experience and/or skills required**
  2. An advanced university degree in Psychology, clinical social work, mental health and psychosocial support. Minimum of seven years’ professional experience in research, capacity development or evaluation related to MHPSS and migration management, counter-trafficking, child protection, or community mobilization/engagement.
  3. Thorough understanding of migration, human trafficking and community development dynamics in Ethiopia and the wider region is required.
  4. Demonstrated experience in working with research teams.
  5. Strong writing, analytical and reporting skills in English are required.
  6. Proven ability to establish and maintain strong working relations with relevant government and non-governmental counterparts, international organizations, civil society and private sector entities.
  7. High level of computer literacy; proficient in MS Office applications.
  8. Ability to manage time efficiently, effectively handle multiple tasks and competing priorities, as well as meet tight deadlines.


  1. Travel required**

The research component requires local travels. The consultant must develop a clear sample plan to link migration hotspot locations with drought-affected areas in Ethiopia, together with the IOM Ethiopia team, and in consideration of recent security restrictions. Currently, drought-affected region in Ethiopia are parts of Oromia, Afar, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ (SNNP) and Somali regions. Thus, the specific sample location will be determined in the later stage of the assignment. DSA allowance will be considered and discussed in line with travel plans, to be determined at contract signing.

7. Competencies


  • Inclusion and respect for diversity: respects and promotes individual and cultural differences; encourages diversity and inclusion wherever possible.
  • Integrity and transparency: maintains high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.
  • Professionalism: demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.

Core Competencies – behavioural indicators

  • Teamwork: develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.
  • Delivering results: produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner; is action-oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.
  • Managing and sharing knowledge: continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.
  • Accountability: takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own action and delegated work.
  • Communication: encourages and contributes to clear and open communication; explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.


  • Proven ability to establish and maintain strong working relations with relevant government and non-governmental counterparts, international organizations, civil society and private sector entities.
  • High level of computer literacy; proficient in MS Office applications.
  • Ability to manage time efficiently, effectively handle multiple tasks and competing priorities, as well as meet tight deadlines.

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications according to the application specifications mentioned below via our e-mail address RECADDIS@IOM.INT, by 15th of April, 2022 at the latest, referring the position title and Vacancy number in the subject line of your email; applicants who do not follow the required application procedure will automatically be disqualified from the competition.


a) Technical proposal outline:

I. Conceptual framework (2-3 pages)

II. Detailed methodology (2-3 pages)

III. Work plan (1-2 pages)

IV. Explanation of the consultants’ suitability for the assignment (1 page) including names and contacts of three recent professional referees

V. Two examples of previous similar work

VI. Names and CVs of individuals or team members proposed, highlighting their experience relevant to this study and their roles in the achievement of the assignment.

b) Financial proposal:

I. The proposal will include a lump sum cost for the assignment

II. A breakdown of the costs related to all aspects of the consultancy (consultancy fee, travel, and the assignment deliverables).

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

We strongly encourage qualified women to apply!

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