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Seeking a Consultant to undertake a Baseline Livelihood Vulnerability Analysis of Refugee camps along the Thailand- Burma border

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Leonard Buckles.

HR Manager, TBBC

Normal user

14 Dec 2010, 01:02

Terms of Reference Baseline Livelihood Vulnerability Analysis of Refugee camps along the Thailand- Burma border Camps and population (September 2010 data): Site 1 (15,339), Site 2 (3,567), MLO (15,979), MRML (18,135), Mae La (45,951), Umpiem Mai (17,588), Nu Po (15,268), Don Yang (4,492), Tham Hin (8,814), Total population: 145,133 The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), a non-profit, non-governmental humanitarian relief and development agency, is an alliance of NGO´s working together with displaced people of Burma, to respond to humanitarian needs, strengthen self-reliance and promote appropriate and lasting solutions in pursuit of their dignity, justice and peace. Established in 1984, TBBC provides almost all of the food and shelter requirements for over 140,000 refugees in 9 camps along the Thailand Burma border, working in partnership with displaced communities to build capacity, strengthen self-reliance, and ensure an adequate standard of living and human rights are respected. In recent years TBBC also initiated several pilot projects which are targeting livelihoods of the refugees, mainly in the field of agriculture and income generation. TBBC's core objectives, as set out in its Strategic Plan for 2009-2013, are: 1. Pursue change leading to durable solutions while ensuring a protective environment for displaced people of Burma 2. Increase self-reliance and reduce aid dependency by promoting and supporting livelihood opportunities 3. Ensure continued access to adequate and appropriate food, shelter and non-food items prioritising support for the most vulnerable 4. Support mutually accountable community-based management which ensures equity, diversity and gender balance 5. Develop TBBC organizational structure and resources to anticipate and respond to changes, challenges and opportunities TBBC is one of 18 NGO members of the Committee for Coordination of Services to Displaced Persons in Thailand (CCSDPT). CCSDPT is the committee through which member agencies coordinate various sector services to refugees and through which the Royal Thai Government (RTG) sets policy and administers the programmes. TBBC refugee program is implemented and coordinated through a main office in Bangkok and 5 field offices along the Thailand- Burma border. Current Food Security Situation in Refugee Camps along the Thailand-Burma Border: TBBC Long-term Plans and Strategies Within a refugee context, the United Nations (UN) will most commonly assume the lead for nutrition and food security within a refugee context through partnerships with the local government, local NGO's and INGO's. UNHCR's Global Strategic Plan for Nutrition and Food Security 2008-2012 introduction states that "ensuring adequate nutrition and eliminating malnutrition have long been recognized as integral to fulfilling UNHCR's protection mandate." The World Food Program (WFP) is typically responsible for mobilizing food for general rationing, selective feeding programs, and transporting it to delivery points. Within the refugee context in Thailand along the Burma border, the UN's mandate is limited to protection within the 9 refugee camps. Similarly, the UN World Food Program's (WFP) involvement is null. Thus, the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) is the key organization responsible for distribution of the general food ration, as well as the development and support of safety net nutrition programs, namely the Supplementary feeding program (SFP)/ Therapeutic feeding program (TFP) and the Nursery School program. In 2009, ECHO funded a vulnerability study. However, due to time constraints it was limited only to 4 camps, with piloting and adapting of a coping strategy index removed from its objectives. One of the study's key findings was that nearly all households have a source of income and most can afford to purchase some foods in addition to the foods currently acquired to complement the ration (ECHO, 2009). This comes at a time when the cash economy in the camps has grown through expanding the number of workers receiving stipends. In addition, casual labor - which is the source of daily wages - is more common in some of the camps, while recent years have seen the increase of remittances sent to Burmese refugees resettled in third countries. For example, TBBC began paying stipends in 2004 in recognition of the significant responsibilities of the camp committee members and food distribution workers. By this time, health agencies were already paying health workers in order to retain their services. Now, there are nearly 9,500 stipend staff supported by NGOs border wide, to carry out essential services of the day to day running and maintenance of the camps. However, stipend levels are low. Stipends are actually an incentive payment versus a salary, with the average monthly stipend of 900 -1,000 baht or an estimated $1 per day. It is believed that stipend income currently represents the second largest source of income in the camps. Income from casual labour is thought to be slightly higher, but hard data is currently unavailable. In recent years, various CCSDPT member organizations have initiated several livelihood projects in the camps. In 2010 they have started to coordinate their initiatives under so called Livelihood working group structure. In the second half of 2010, TBBC also initiated a food security and nutrition consultancy with the main aim of reviewing current TBBC's nutrition programme and food basket content as well as to give rationale for adjustments from the perspective of adequate access to food. Reducing rations represents a shift in policy for TBBC, who up until now has provided a food basket with an average of 2100 calories to ensure that all those eligible have sufficient food to meet caloric requirements. This approach is actually more consistent with the CCSDPT Strategic Framework. One of its strategies focuses on moving toward more Targeted Food Assistance (TFA) for the most vulnerable as self-reliance increases. Though TFA is not traditionally carried out in refugee contexts, it suits the camp committee, food distribution and CBO structures that are well established in the camps (as well as the social cohesion that exists particularly in the smaller camps). In that, better-off refugees, especially those who are members of camp committees and CBOs, are aware of the vulnerable families and cognizant of their financial and other stresses. TBBC understands that to start implementing systematic targeted food assistance, it needs to ensure the collection of border wide baseline data (building on previous 4-camp research) and introduce a system of regular follow up monitoring. This is in order to define and measure changes in self-reliance and to determine when to begin reducing rations for most, while at the same time targeting the vulnerable in order to maintain their level of assistance. Therefore, the recommended approach is: to gradually reduce the ration while protecting vulnerable groups (pregnant/lactating women, young children, malnourished beneficiaries and households identified as vulnerable) through initiating a vulnerable adult ration, increasing and improving safety net programs, and linking with other programs targeting the vulnerable. In order to more comprehensively understand household food economy, dietary adequacy, coping strategies, as to develop criteria to identify vulnerable households, vulnerability studies similar to the one undertaken by ECHO in 2009 are proposed to be conducted for each camp as soon as possible. Although such studies were carried out by ECHO in four camps last year, sample sizes were inadequate to interpret results by camp or to compare results between camp. Further, due to time constraints, refugees' coping strategies were not assessed. Additionally, TBBC needs to understand refugee food intake, dietary adequacy, what foods (the frequency and quantities of them), and what ration foods are consumed. Thus, TBBC recommends that a component of the vulnerability study include a food procurement and dietary intake survey. Main objective of consultancy: Establish baseline indicators from which food security impacts (induced by changes) related to the general food ration can be monitored amongst a representative sample of different socio- economic groups in each of the refugee camps. Specific objectives of the consultancy: 1. Undertake systematic border wide baseline livelihood vulnerability analyses in all 9 camps along the Thailand Burma border using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. 2. Design relevant Monitoring and Evaluation system for regular follow up monitoring 3. Set up a mechanism: ? For identifying different socio-economic groups in each of the targeted camps ? For categorizing their various levels of vulnerability which will enable TBBC to implement systematic and well targeted food assistance to the camp refugees in the future Deliverables: 1. Consultancy will provide TBBC with comprehensive report mapping individually all nine camps and combining quantitative and qualitative data on household food economy, dietary adequacy, coping strategies and developed criteria to identify vulnerability of households. Report will also include food procurement and dietary intake survey data so that more is learned about refugee food intake, dietary adequacy and what foods (the frequency and quantities of them), in addition, to the ration foods are consumed. Initial findings of the draft report will be presented to TBBC management at the end of the consultancy, and based on TBBC comments consultant will develop final version. Consultant will provide TBBC with electronic version of final report and power point presentation plus 5 hard copies of final report and power point presentation. 2. Consultancy will provide TBBC with set of M@E tools which should feed, if relevant, into current TBBC M@E system (mainly related to supply chain and nutrition, example of currently used beneficiary contact monitoring forms). It should also enable TBBC to systematically monitor baseline data reflected in the final report and coping strategies of various groups of camp refugees. This will include a list of recommendations for TBBC on staff requirements, capacity building and technical resources in order to be able to implement this enhanced M@E system. Specifically, this deliverable should include: a/ vulnerability assessment questionnaire and data management system by which food security can be monitored in an on-going manner b/ mechanism for identifying different socio- economic groups and categorizing levels of vulnerability within each camp upon which a targeted feeding programme could be introduced in the future Specific Tasks: 1. Review of core documents provided by TBBC. 2. Meeting and conducting informational interviews with relevant TBBC staff; development of field logistic schedule of the consultancy; final review of core documents provided by TBBC; and familiarization with existing TBBC M@E systems focusing on supply chain and nutrition 3. Development of pilot sampling frame using qualitative and quantitative methodologies (Bangkok) 4. Pilot testing of initial sampling frame using quantitative and qualitative methodologies(field) 5. Review of initial pilot sampling frame and development of border wide sampling frame using quantitative and qualitative methodologies (field or Bangkok) 6. Implementation of border wide baseline livelihood vulnerability analyses in all 9 camps and development of relevant M@E tools (field) 7. Presentation of draft report to TBBC management (Bangkok) 8. Finalization of draft report based on TBBC comments 9. Finalized report including the component of M@E tools delivered to TBBC NB: Please indicate the timeline required to accomplish these abovementioned tasks. Required skill base: 1. Extensive academic and implementation background, proven experience of using both qualitative and quantitative participatory methodologies, ability to design and undertake research and provide relevant analysis. 2. Proven experience of minimum of 10 years of conducting vulnerability assessments and baseline economic data surveys (including setting of coping strategy index and defining vulnerability criteria) in the context of humanitarian and development settings, preferably in the context of protracted refugee situation. 3. Proven experience of minimum of 10 years of developing relevant M@E tools in order to ensure continuous monitoring of economic baseline data and coping strategies of the beneficiaries. 4. Ability to include a food procurement and dietary intake survey as a component of baseline livelihood vulnerability analyses. Remuneration: This is a standard consultancy assignment based on daily fee for services + associated expenses. Expenses for food, accommodations and travel inside Thailand will be covered under TBBC's Per Diem Policy and paid directly by TBBC. TBBC will not cover per diem expenses for Consultants having their work station in Thailand, other than those per diem expenses related to field visits. NB: Consultancy staffing: Consultant will closely coordinate with TBBC regarding possibility to use existing TBBC staff capacities as several TBBC staff has participated in interviewing households in the camps and could support data entry and analyses. On the other hand ability of consultant to provide staffing related to data collection in the camps (with relevant language skills such as Burmese and Karen) in order to decrease burden on TBBC staff implementing existing programs will be considered as an asset (but is not considered as an obligatory requirement). Documentation required by TBBC To evaluate the consultancy proposals: 1. Letter of interest 2. Organizational profile of consultancy agency 3. CVs of core consultancy team detailing core competencies and relevant work experience 4. Contact Information for 3 references (names, association, tel/fax/email) 5. A Proposal (maximum 8 pages) indicating number of days to complete assignment, timeline, methodologies to be used, staffing required (please specify which staffing will be provided by consultant and which staffing should be provided by TBBC) in order to accomplish the work 6. Fee structure indicating daily rate + any additional consultancy expenses NB: Only proposals having provided all 6 required documents will be considered Please submit all the required documents in electronic copy to following email address: Refer to the TBBC website for any additional information @ + specific links under Resources/TBBC Evaluations - Nov10: A Nutrition and Food Security Review: Protecting Nutritional Status and Saving Food Costs. (PDF: 0.8Mb, 89 pages) Oct09: Livelihoods Vulnerability Analysis in Burmese Refugee Camps in Thailand (PDF: 1.2Mb, 92 pages) Deadline for Submissions: Monday, December 27th, 2010 @

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