Terms of Reference for a study on the linkages of Emergency Cash and Voucher (CVA) with social protection and Social Safety Nets in Somalia/Somaliland

Terms of Reference for a study on the linkages of Emergency Cash and Voucher (CVA) with social protection and Social Safety Nets in Somalia/Somaliland

  1. Background and Rationale

Somalia is experiencing one of the world’s most extended humanitarian situation. Armed conflict and violence, terrorism, displacement and climatic related shocks such as recurrent droughts, floods and cyclones remain prevalent across Somalia. More than half of the population live below the poverty line, surviving on less than US $2 per day, while around one-fifth of households live on overseas remittances[1].

Based on the increasing and the emergent demands as a result of the ever-changing humanitarian situation in Somalia, CARE Somalia/Somaliland endeavoured efforts to respond to these humanitarian needs. Among several key sectors, CARE’s Somalia/Somaliland Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) constitute a relatively more substantial proportion (50 per cent) of CARE Somalia/Somaliland annual funding. Overtime, CARE has developed adequate experience in CVA and has used both conditional and unconditional transfers; as well as Restricted (cash Vouchers) and unrestricted transfers (cash grants, through mobile transfers). In particular CARE Somalia has tripled its CVA in the last three years and increasingly making more commitment in using the modalities when appropriate. With that technical expertise, CARE sets the sight to seeing it’s CVA interventions linked to developmental and long term programs by evolving CVA into social protection and safety nets to provide assistance to more vulnerable Somali people.

Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) are defined as “assistance in the form of money and vouchers – either physical currency or e-cash – to recipients (individuals, households or communities)[2]. In recent years, the proportion of humanitarian assistance provided through cash and voucher assistance (CVA) has increased substantially. This is reflected in commitments such as the Grand Bargain (Agenda for Humanity 2016) and World Humanitarian Summit (World Humanitarian Summit 2016)[3]. Providing aid through cash and vouchers has come to be viewed as highly effective and efficient and has been recommended for humanitarian aid responses as a preferred method to in-kind transfers[4].

  1. Purpose of the Study

CVA has and continues to be successfully implemented in fragile and insecure environments. In Somalia, cash transfers have been used by humanitarian organisations to assist people in need since 2003[5].The use of electronic transfers (e-transfers) in CVA has grown significantly since then and is seen as an effective mechanism for humanitarian response. CVA was used significantly in 2017. The 2017 response reflected on lessons learnt and recommendations from the 2011 drought response in which over 250,000 people are estimated to have died in Somalia[6]. Cash transfers through mobile phones in Somalia are viewed to be a most cost-efficient method of delivering funds to recipients. Mobile coverage is good and most adults own functioning mobile phones. Mobile money transfer in Somalia runs smoothly and is more cost–efficient than other methods. Households often use mobile money transfers to purchase food and non-food items. In many instances, the costs of setting up a cash transfer program, training staff, and targeting and registering beneficiaries are minimal, as compared to in-kind assistance.

The Federal Government of Somalia has recently published its Social Protection Policy. In it, the government has adopted the definition of social protection as “government-led policies and programs, which address predictable needs throughout the life cycle in order to protect all groups, and particularly the poor and vulnerable, against shocks, help them to manage risks, and provide them with opportunities to overcome poverty, vulnerability, and exclusion”[7]. According to the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP), safety nets are a subset of broader social protection systems and can be provided conditionally and unconditionally. Safety nets” target the poor or vulnerable and consist of non-contributory transfers, such as in-kind food, cash or vouchers”[8]. Social protection has evolved to include populations that face vulnerabilities to lifecycle related or disaster related shocks and stresses.[9]

For humanitarian actors in many contexts, social protection is a fairly new concept that is not fully or well understood. Most available documentation (i.e. research and papers/ notes etc.) on social protection is written from a development perspective and does not provide clarity to humanitarian actors on their role in social protection policy formulation and programme design[10].

Despite the concept of social protect and safety nets is relatively new to Somalia/Somaliland context, yet there have been several studies aimed at looking the social protection and safety nets in different perspectives. Somalia Cash Consortium commissioned a study in designing a scalable cash-transfer-based safety net program for Somali[11]. Using Household Economic Analysis-HEA, the study aimed at methodologies in designing safety nets modalities, transfer amounts, frequencies and duration. Other studies carried out in the context including a feasibility study carried out by Save the Children and Horn Relief to assess the need for and feasibly of cash-based safety net programming in north-eastern Somalia[12].

CARE International in Somalia is looking for a firm or an individual consultant to conduct a study on linkages between cash and voucher assistance (CVA) with Social protection and social safety nets. The outcome of the study will inform CARE’s future programs and working towards supporting Social Protection and Social Safety Nets in Somalia/Somaliland. The study is expected to show clear ways of moving from the humanitarian cash transfer which is agencies lead to a more sustainable safety net which is government lead

A desk-based literature review of available documentations as well as field data collection is therefore proposed to give better understanding of the linkages between social protection/social safety nets and emergency cash transfers in Somalia/Somaliland.

  1. Study questions
    1. What are the existing enabling mechanisms in terms of structures, institution, policies, laws and efforts for social protection and safety nets in Somalia and Somaliland and how CARE can utilize these mechanisms to link its CVA to social protection and safety nets?
    2. What models and approaches CARE needs to/should consider to bridge CVA into the social protection and safety nets in Somalia/Somaliland?
    3. In what ways i.e. targeting, delivery, etc. can CARE engage with government led social protection and safety nets?
  2. Study objectives

The overall objective of this study is to assess the linkages between social protection and social safety nets and emergency cash and voucher transfers in Somalia/Somaliland. The specific objectives of the Study are:

  1. To explore and examine the existing enabling mechanisms in terms of structures, institution, policies, laws and efforts for social protection and safety nets in Somalia and Somaliland and how CARE can utilize these mechanisms to link its CVA to social protection and safety nets?
  2. Find out available and feasible models and approaches CARE needs to/should consider to bridge CVA into the social protection and safety nets in Somalia/Somaliland?
  3. Propose various ways CARE can cooperate with concerned government bodies social protection and safety nets?
  4. Methodology

The consultant/firm is expected to propose an appropriate methodology to deliver this assignment. He/she will employ a mix of primary and secondary data collection exercise to undertake this assignment. The consultant will review the available literature i.e. policies, laws, strategies, framework either published or in progress for the wider Social Protection and Safety Nets in Somalia/Somaliland. In addition, the consultant will identify and meet with relevant key to conduct interviews and discussions around the challenges and enabling mechanisms for sustainable Social Protection and Safety Nets and how best it can bridge the humanitarian-development nexus. The consultant will be required to travel to project sites in the four regions where the Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) is being implemented.

  1. Scope of Work/Assignment
  • Identify, collect, compile and synthesize available literature/ documentation on linkages between social protection/ social safety nets and Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) in fragile contexts similar to Somalia;
  • Conduct a field work reaching out to different actors and collect their views on the linkages of CVA and social protection and safety nets targeting the regions of Sool, Sanaag, Mudug and Galgadud where EFSPII is being implemented;
  • Provide a synthesised report on the findings both from the desk review and field work and recommendations on the role(s) humanitarian actors can play in supporting shock-responsive social protection systems in the context of Somalia;
  • Clearly identify how the Humanitarian CVA the social protection system in Somalia.
  1. Duration of the Assignment

The proposed assignment is expected to take 25 days beginning January, 2021 and the proposed specific activities, timeframe and deliverables are as tabulated below;

Activity Deliverable Days
1.     Inception report describing the methodology/approach and considerations for carrying out each of the deliverables and containing a work plan with dates of submission of deliverables. Inception report 4
2.     Enumerators training and pre-testing tools Training report 3
3.     Field data collection, including preliminary meetings with CARE staff and government officials Raw data 10
4.     Presentation of the key findings Draft report 1
5.     Finalize synthesis report Final report 7
  1. Liaison and Communication;

The assignment will by the Emergency Director assisted by the MEAL specialists. Also CARE USA cash technical advisor will provide the necessary support.

  1. Responsibilities of CARE
  • Care will provide all logistics support including flights, accommodation, transport, enumerators recruitment etcs.
  • Provide consultancy fee for the task
  • Introduce the consultant to relevant stakeholders
  • Review and approve the study instruments/tools
  • Support supervision of the consultant during the entire process of planning, enumerator training, data collection and reporting
  • Provide input to the draft report and final report
  1. Responsibilities of the Consultant
  • Develop methodology and tools for the data collection and analysis process. The tools will be shared and approved by CARE before starting field work
  • Develop a practical work plan for the work
  • Undertake a desk-based review and field data collection
  • Do a field travel and data collection?
  • Train enumerators who will be involved in the data collection.
  • Provide a synthesis on the link between Social protection/ social safety nets and CVA in humanitarian contexts
  • Consult with relevant stakeholders for their views study subject Debrief CARE Somalia/Somaliland after completing the assignment and validate the findings prior to submitting final report
  • Prepare and submit final evaluation report to CARE Somalia/Somaliland as per time frame set in the ToR.
  1. Consultants Profile:
  2. CARE is looking for highly skilled and experienced individual(s) with an advanced degree in social studies, development studies or any other related field. The individual/firm should demonstrate good experience in social protection /social safety nets and CVA in humanitarian context especially in fragile countries like Somalia/Somaliland. Other requirements include; The consultant should have good understanding of participatory methodologies and must be fluent in spoken and written English. The consultant should be able to analyse data using appropriate statistical packages if needed.
  3. The consulting firm or individual is expected to do both desk review and field data collection to bring out the contextual realities of Social Protection and Safety Nets in Somalia/Somaliland. This includes exploring the existing initiatives and the enabling mechanisms that can make Social Protection and Safety Nets work better in Somalia/Somaliland.
  4. Experience in humanitarian and development contexts
  5. First-hand knowledge of the socio-cultural, economic, political situation in Somalia/Somaliland will be an added advantage
  6. Relevant qualification, competences and experiences fitting with the scope and geography of this assignment
  7. Strong analytical and writing skills and the ability to clearly present findings and drawing practical conclusions and recommendations.
  8. Deliverables

The investigator (consultant) will produce a precise final report (maximum 45 pages) written in simple and understandable English. The draft report is to be shared with field teams and discussed with CARE Somalia. Comments and inputs from the CARE will be included in the final report. We expect the report to have clearly articulated and actionable recommendations which is informed by the study findings. S/He will also perform a presentation of key findings to CARE team. We also expect him/her to handover all data of any form collected for this exercise to CARE.

The following report format to include:

  1. Cover page: Title of the study and names and logos of the donor and implementing partner, consultants’/firm’s name and address and dates of the study)
  2. Table of contents: summary findings (maximum of 5 pages), main report including the findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
  3. Application procedure

Interested firms/individuals with the expertise should send their Proposal which should include the following: Letter of expression of interest/technical understanding of the TOR; proposed methodology and detailed work plan, study team composition and Curriculum Vitae(s) for lead consultants demonstrating the relevant technical skills, with references; and a financial quote for the consultancy specifying specific unit’s costs and time frame (applicants should only quote for professional fees only). Please sent your application to som.consultant@care.org quoting “Application for Study on CVA and Safety Nets” as the subject line of the application no later than 31st December 2020. 

[1] OCHA: About Somalia 2020

[2] Glossary of Terminology for Cash and Voucher Assistance. CaLP, 2018.

[3] The Role of Cash Transfers in Social Protection, Humanitarian Response and Shock-Responsive Social

Protection. Institute of Development Studies, 2018

[4] Doing Cash Differently: How Cash Transfers Can Transform Humanitarian Aid. ODI, 2015

[5] Evaluation of the 2017 Somalia Humanitarian Cash Based Response. Somalia Cash Working Group, 2018

[6] Ibid

[7] Somalia Social Protection Policy. The Federal Government of Somalia-Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, 2019

[8] Glossary of Terminology for Cash and Voucher Assistance. CaLP, 2018.

[9] Working with Cash-Based Safety Nets in Humanitarian Contexts: Guidance Note for Humanitarian Practitioners. CaLP, 2016

[10] Working with Cash-Based Safety Nets in Humanitarian Contexts: Guidance Note for Humanitarian Practitioners. CaLP, 2016

[11] Safety Net Design Analysis for Somalia, January 2019

[12] Cash-Based Safety Nets for Livelihood Support In North-eastern Somalia

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