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CONSULTANCY ON LOCALISATION OF TECHNICAL SUPPORT

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Jalaa Abdalrahman

Action Against Hunger Canada

Normal user

11 Apr 2022, 18:48

Closing Date: MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2022 at 23:59 EST

Background

The GNC Technical Alliance and the TST

The GNC Technical Alliance (the Alliance), established in 2020, is a humanitarian nutrition technical assistance platform that responds to technical requests, by leveraging and building on existing resources, capacities, initiatives and coordination structures. The purpose of the Alliance is to improve the quality of nutrition preparedness, response and recovery, by enabling and providing coordinated, accessible and timely technical support through multiple channels where gaps exist. The Alliance supports practitioners by delivering the following services:

Access to high-quality information, capacity strengthening resources, guidance and learning that has been curated by global nutrition specialists and agencies (Knowledge Management).

Where guidance is limited, timely access to interim consensus-driven guidance for emerging technical issues in humanitarian nutrition, including guidance on programme adaptation (Thought Leadership).

Access to experienced nutrition technical specialists to answer questions, or to provide more in-depth support whether remotely or in-country (Technical Support Team).

Although the services are interconnected, the support and coordination for these work-streams are managed by specific Leadership Team members, namely Action Against Hunger (AAH) Canada (Technical Support Team) and ENN (Knowledge Management and Thought Leadership), supported by and in partnership with UNICEF as lead and World Vision as co-lead of the Alliance.

The Technical Support Team (TST) combines various resources for nutrition in emergencies technical assistance to meet the specific needs of the practitioner in a timely, cost effective, coordinated and sustainable manner. These include resources hosted by INGOs (AAH Canada and USA, Save the Children US and International Medical Corps), GNC Coordination Team and UNICEF as well as 20 TST Partners available, on demand, to provide technical support when needed. The coordination of these resources is under the supervision of UNICEF and AAH Canada, in collaboration with a steering group of the INGO partners.

The TST can support actors with a range of nutrition in emergency (NiE) technical areas including Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies, Early Detection and Treatment of Child Wasting, Social Behaviour Change for Nutrition Outcomes, Nutrition Assessments and Surveillance, Cluster Coordination and Information Management, Intersectoral Collaboration, Nutrition-sensitive Programming and Capacity Development. Via the TST Partners, additional expertise is also available including prevention and treatment of wasting and stunting, Maternal Nutrition, Food Assistance, Micronutrient and Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Programming, Coverage Assessment, Cash Assistance, Adolescent and Adult Malnutrition.

Whilst each technical support package is tailored to specific needs, across the technical areas support provided could include capacity strengthening; the design and delivery of trainings and orientations; development of training plans; survey design and implementation; formative research; personnel, organisational and programmatic capacity mapping; policy assessment; coaching; strategy and work plan development; tool development; support to technical working groups; monitoring and evaluation design; learning and documentation; and advocacy support.

Technical support is generally available in four modalities: 1) quick remote support (response to technical queries, or reference to appropriate resources), 2) in-depth remote support (working remotely with country-based partners or the collective for an extended period with a detailed ToR), 3) in-country technical support or 4) through the recommendation of vetted consultants.

Any organisation looking to improve nutrition outcomes in preparing for, responding to or recovering from an emergency can receive support, including local, national and international NGOs, government and UN organisations.

Localisation and the TST

In recent years there has been increased discussion[1] and sometimes action[2], around increasing the visibility and voice, and shifting the power within the humanitarian system to allow leadership from governments, local or national organisations (hereafter collectively referred to as national organisations). This is a response to the fact that national organisations whilst often the first to respond to crises are regularly disempowered as the humanitarian response and the financing of it becomes dominated by international organisations. Furthermore, whilst national organisations often have long term presence and a deep understanding of communities, foreign solutions to local problems are delivered, and decisions tend to be made without adequate participation from the affected populations. The reasons behind this vary from language barriers to weaker technical and organisational skills and capacities than their international counterparts[3]. The structural factors that underpin these reasons both prioritise and favour international organisations while maintaining disparities that encourage staff movement in search of better opportunities with international counterparts.

Given the international nature of the humanitarian system, access to technical support services for local organisations is limited. This is perhaps true of all sectors, but certainly NiE. The TST, whilst nominally available for all, has rarely received requests from national organisations.

This is likely due to a number of factors including a lack of awareness that services exist and how to request support, lack of awareness of technical need, communications materials and website being in English, and practical limitations (e.g., national organisations often cannot host an adviser).

Whilst providing support for national organisations comes with a different set of challenges to international organisations, it is critical that they are addressed. National organisations are often better placed to respond quickly to nutrition emergencies, since they have better knowledge of the context, existing relations with communities, better understanding of community needs and dynamics, and are often well positioned to respond, allow for quicker and better access to affected populations. So, if supported to deliver high quality nutrition programmes, national organisations have the potential to provide timely, high impact solutions during nutrition crises.

TST anti-racism and localisation efforts to date

The TST has several Workstreams; groups of individuals dedicated to developing thinking and action around a particular cross-cutting issue. Currently these exist for Gender, Anti-racism and Localisation (A&L), Humanitarian Development Nexus (HDN), Disability and Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP).

At present, the A&L Workstream is dedicated to creating actionable and measurable Anti-racism and Localisation commitments that will become a part of the long-term strategy of the TST. The A&L Workstream is the group leading the development and implementation of the Anti-racism and Localisation commitments as they apply to policy, procedure and practice for the TST.

The TST is committed to efforts that progressively challenge and dismantle racism and white supremacy in the humanitarian sector, while contributing to efforts to decolonize our work and contribute to the localisation agenda through our work in the nutrition sector. In short, the TST is committed to clear, measurable Anti-racism commitments that translate to meaningful changes to policy and practice. The vision of the Workstream is a nutrition sector that ensures racial equity, local leadership, and space for local actors in humanitarian preparedness, response, and recovery. The TST’s work to provide more and better support to local organisations is central to these efforts.

The TST, or GNC Technical Alliance, does not have a localisation strategy but has a various strand of work, at different levels of maturity, that make up parts of the current approach these include:

Developing systems and approaches to providing more and better support to national organisations

Making the provision of our technical support more locally driven and delivered by local experts

Focussing on the support of women-led and gender-equality focused organisations

Exploring how to support indigenous organisations

Increasing participation from national organisations in global level fora and platforms including webinars, GTWGs and decision-making bodies.

Experience with providing technical support to national organisations

The TST has some experience with working with national organizations (approximately 1% of all requests) and directly with government (4% of all requests) in addition there have been numerous other discussions that did not materialize into support.

Through these interactions we have learnt four key lessons.

First, nutrition technical support is one of many needs that national organizations have. These often cover organizational capacity strengthening, such as HR, Finance, M&E and general program management, required to deliver effective NiE responses. Whilst provision of this type of support is not within the mandate of the TST, we have started to, and will continue to strengthen, partnerships with organizations that can provide this support. These include the SUN Civil Society Networks at national level and organizations such as the Humanitarian Academy for Development (HAD).[4]

Second, the challenge traditional parameters of the GNC and GNC Technical Alliance. Longer-term organisational capacity strengthening is not within the mandate of the GNC.

Third, is that these types of organizations require more varied, flexible, and sometimes longer-term support modalities. A typical 6-week deployment is not always appropriate. This is due to several factors including capacity to accommodate and focus on the technical support in a short period due to other priorities and the need to develop tools and guidance (for example) over a longer period.

Finally, the TST needs a reliable, light and agile due diligence and screening process in order to understand the capacities and needs of national organisations quickly, and to make sure they are suitable for GNC Technical Alliance support.

The TST seeks an expert to support the development of a strategy to better support national organisations, especially women-led and gender-equality focused organisations. In order to do this, we need to better understand national organisations’ experience of TST, adapt our support to meet the specific needs of these types of organisations, generate demand amongst national organisation for TST services, build partnerships at global and national level, make technical support as locally led as possible, and prioritise local, national or regional experts over international.

The TST seeks a consultant to support with this work.

Objective

Work closely with the TST Coordination and Deputy Coordinator, and the Anti-racism and Localisation (A&L) Workstream members to develop the Technical Support Team’s ability to provide more impactful technical support for nutrition to national organisations (including government, national, local and community-based organisations), in preparation for, response to and recovery from humanitarian crises. Whilst linking with development where relevant this work approaches localisation from a humanitarian perspective, and therefore should be mindful of humanitarian architecture including clusters, relevant government departments and humanitarian actors, and therefore where appropriate, link or align with, on-going efforts on localisation.

Service description

Develop an in-depth understanding of the work the TST does and what progress TST have made in supporting national organisations (including government, national, local and community-based organisations) through document review and discussions with TST members.

Develop understanding of A&L Workstream, and how this connects with GNC Localisation work focused on coordination (mainly via Localisation Toolkit).

Review key sector wide localisation progress and material including IASC guidance on localisation, and UNICEF-led cluster localisation guidance.

Review programme documents and tools including: TST SOP, selected technical support terms of references, Alliance Strategic Intent, GNC Strategy 2022-2025, examples of technical outputs, A&L Workstream documents and GNC Advocacy strategy.

Conduct interviews and discussions with TST members.

Gain an in-depth understanding of TST anti-racism work and ensure localisation work, and specific working to support national organisations, is aligned with, contributes to and imbued with anti-racism.

Attend monthly A&L Workstream calls.

Understand the work of other Workstreams specifically HDN and Gender to exploit/identify potential synergies with localisation work.

Conduct an assessment of national organisations that have interacted with the TST, and other relevant informants, to identify strengths and weaknesses in the communication and delivery of GNC Technical Alliance technical support, to solicit recommendations and understand barriers to access support.

Conduct working sessions/interviews with the national organisations that have received support from the TST (n=5) and those organisations with whom the TST has discussed support (about 5 more).

Conduct working sessions/interviews with other local, national, WLO/WRO and gender-equality focused organisations, as well as government where possible (approximately 5 organisations).

Conduct interviews with other relevant informants including Nutrition Cluster Coordination teams, Technical Working Group leads or NGO fora (approximately 5 organisations).

Identify concrete actions to make TST services more accessible and adapted to the needs of national organisations.

Develop report detailing “state of play” of TST support to national organisations. This internal report should outline the assessment methodology, sources, findings and recommendations, and allow for input and influence from key national partners.

Support the development of an article or case study for external dissemination, based on these findings.

Develop a strategy and action plan (max. 10 pages) for TST to provide better and more support to national organisations.

Reference and align with key documents including IASC guidance on localisation, GNC Strategy, GNC Advocacy Strategy, TST SOP and Alliance Strategic Intent.

Develop M&E plan for TST work overall and for three priority countries.

Include a learning paper/case study template and process for priority country pilot to be written up (by TST Coordination Unit) once pilots are over.

Include key recommendations for the priority countries including demand generation.

Support demand generation of TST services amongst national organisations globally and in three priority countries.

Develop adaptable but generic demand generation approach for TST services. This will enable the TST, or for example Nutrition Cluster coordinators, to adapt to specific contexts based on the findings of the assessment (Activity 2).

Develop strategy in each country for generating demand and developing technical support packages.

Support process to select three priority countries (depending on progress). Consider the pilot countries for the Localization Toolkit (for coordination) and if its beneficial or harmful to chose the same.

Identify and adapt a light due diligence process suitable for national organisations that the GNC Technical Alliance can use when looking to support national organisations.

Identify similar examples (e.g., Trocaire and Nutrition Cluster partnership process).

Include relevant questions in the assessment (Activity 2) to help inform this.

Explore passporting approaches (e.g., if partner of national Nutrition Cluster or other clusters).

Explore any GNC Technical Alliance donor requirements that might need to be considered.

Explore and build partnerships and readiness, with organisations (e.g. HAD, Centimani Solutions and RedR), that provide, and identify funding opportunities for, organisational capacity strengthening – including project, strategic, financial, human resources, procurement and supply chain management, proposal writing, safety and security, and any other areas required for delivering reliable and impactful projects

Work with the TST Coordination Unit on identifying opportunities for a pilot, whereby a group of national organisations would receive both organisational capacity strengthening and technical support for NiE.

Identify and explore potential partnerships at global and national level that could facilitate TST in providing better support to national organisations.

Explore potential with SUN Civil Society Network (CSN) (global) and SUN Civil Society Alliances (CSA) (national) to increase engagement with national organisations (for demand and supply of technical support).

Consider how TST might interact with other localisation working groups

Explore potential with International Federation of Red Cross/Crescent in tapping into network of frontline responders in national societies.

Explore other existing networks and contacts.

TIMELINE

It is expected this work will start by April/May with more intensive work April-June and on-going work afterwards that will finish before the end of 2022. The individual would not be expected to work full time but would be expected to work closely with TST members, who will facilitate achievement of the overall objectives. The amount of time necessary will be proposed by the candidate.

DELIVERABLES

Brief monthly reports on activities and progress

Report detailing “state of play” of TST support to national organisations (5-10 pages)

Draft article/case study for external dissemination (max 5 pages)

TST support to national organisations strategy document (max. 10 pages) with action plan and M&E plan

Generic country level demand generation approach for TST services

Due diligence process suitable for national organisations

Required profile

QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE

Required:  

Master’s degree

At least 10 years work experience in humanitarian programmes

Senior/mid-level managerial experience in a humanitarian organisation

Experience working within or in collaboration with local or national organisations to deliver humanitarian programmes

Experience with working on the localisation agenda within the humanitarian sector

Experience in strategy building

Experience on monitoring and evaluation

Ability to analyze diverse information and develop recommendations

Demonstrated understanding and commitment to humanitarian principles

Ability to adapt ways of working in the face of changing needs and contextual characteristics

Desirable:

Knowledge and demonstrated experience on nutrition and public health in emergencies

Experience in the assessment of staff and organisational capacity, development of strategies and delivery of capacity strengthening activities

Practical experience of the cluster approach at country and global level

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND OTHER ATTRIBUTES

Required:

Strong skills in coordination and the ability to work effectively with a range of stakeholders, including nutrition clusters, partners and the Ministry of Health

Highly developed writing skills – both at a programmatic level (assessment reports, proposals) and a policy level (policy papers, guidance notes)

Strong communications skills (both written and verbal) at a level appropriate for high- level external representation presentations)

Ability to work at a high level in English (reading, speaking and writing)

Understanding of the challenges and aims related to localisation agenda following the Grand Bargain commitments.

Knowledge of and dedication to anti-racism efforts

DUTY STATION/LOCATION:

The consultant will be home based (preferably willing to work across different time zones) and might be required to apply flexible working hours. 

SUPERVISORS

The consultant will be supervised by the TST Deputy Coordinator (based at AAH Canada).

Contract modality

Fixed term deliverable-based contract with Action Against Hunger Canada.

Applications are open to individuals, teams of people or organizations.

How to apply

Proposals responding to this RFQ should include:

Updated CV detailing experience in conducting similar work (maximum 5 pages)

Technical Proposal (maximum 5 pages)

Three references for which you have conducted similar work.

Please provide your daily rate in Canadian Dollars (CAD).

Submit the proposal before MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2022 at 23:59 EST.

procurement@actionagainsthunger.ca

Please highlight “CONSULTANCY ON LOCALISATION OF TECHNICAL SUPPORT”” in the subject heading.

[1] Most notably the Grand Bargain commitments from 2016. https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/more-support-and-funding-tools-for-local-and-national-responders

[2] For example, the Start Fund local hub in Bangladesh that gives local actors decision making power on humanitarian funding https://startnetwork.org/localisation

[3] Humanitarian Policy Group Working Paper As Local As Possible, As International As Necessary 2018

[4] https://had-int.org/blog/remote-capacity-building-of-iraqi-syrian-yemeni-ngos-to-adapt-to-the-covid-19-context/

Website:

https://actionagainsthunger.ca/roq-service-contract-april-2022-syria/

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6919330411642818560

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