Financial Sustainability of Surge – Terms of Reference – Study

Organization: Start Network
Closing date: 27 Jan 2017

1. Background/Introduction

The Transforming Surge Capacity project aims to improve the capacity of humanitarian agencies to scale up resources for emergency response – getting the right people to the right places, doing the right things, in the shortest time possible. It aims to pilot and build evidence of ways of working that are collaborative, locally focused, and which engage other stakeholders such as the UN and the private sector. Led by ActionAid, this project is supported by 10 other humanitarian agencies and two technical partners. [1] It is a Start Network project supported by the Department for International Development (DFID) through the Disasters Emergency Preparedness Programme (DEPP).

The project is delivered through collaborative platforms at national, regional and international levels. The two national platforms are based in the Philippines and Pakistan, the Asia Regional Platform is led from Bangkok, and the International Platform is led from London. The project’s key deliverables are:

· Increased capacity of skilled surge personnel for civil society at international, national and regional levels

· Collaborative national, regional and international pilots and shared rosters to improve organisational surge capacity

· Sharing of good practice on surge management practices

· Evidence building to show how and why collaborative and localised surge approaches work

Establishing and maintaining adequate surge capacity systems requires long term and predictable funding. Consortium members of the project have indicated that they struggle to adequately fund their surge systems in a sustainable manner. The financial sustainability of surge capacity is critical for humanitarian NGOs to respond effectively to disasters.

2. Purpose of this consultancy

The main objective of the study is to support the INGOs who are consortium members of the project to identify the best approaches in funding surge capacity. The study will also identify the most appropriate models and set-up in using financial resources in order to ensure the financial sustainability of its organizational surge capacity and systems.

The research will allow consortium members to better understand the current funding situation for surge and to highlight examples of cost effective models, which ensure financial sustainability.

The study will also respond to a specific need identified from the project’s 2015 baseline report to better understand how sustainable surge models for both national teams and partners can be improved.

The research should focus on the following two critical areas:

Accessing funds for surge mapping

· How do the project consortium members currently fund their surge capacity and systems at international, regional and national levels?

· How much do the consortium members invest in surge compared to other preparedness activities?

· Are there innovative models for resourcing surge that INGOs could learn from?

· Are there any donors who specifically provide provision to support and maintain surge mechanisms?

· Highlight any gaps or successes in the current funding for surge (drawing on existing information gathered as part of the project’s baseline)

· What opportunities might be missed as a result of limited access to funding?

Cost effective models for surge mapping

· Analysis of the varying cost implications of the different surge models which agencies utilise for surge (e.g. standing teams, international rosters, national rosters, partner rosters, collaborative rosters) – this should cover the costs of both establishing and maintaining the system

· Compare the cost implications of the different models considering the impact in the speed and quality of the response and its sustainability.

· Case studies on examples of cost effective surge models across agencies.

3. Methodology

The research will need to set definitions and parameters of cost effectiveness and financial sustainability considering the objectives and past studies of the project in terms of collaboration and localisation. It will cover only the costs of establishing and maintaining a surge system. The project’s national platforms will be consulted on this process of setting definition and parameters of cost effectiveness and financial sustainability.

As part of this research, the consultant is expected to do a desk review of previous studies done by the project. The researcher will be able to access the data and surveys used in the Start Network report “Measuring the value-for-money of increased collaboration between UK International Non-Government Organisations in response to mega-disasters” as well as in the 2015 Baseline Report of the project. He / she will have also have interviews with key staff from the project, key informants from the humanitarian agencies part of the project and the leads of the regional, Philippines and Pakistan project rosters. The researcher will establish a questionnaire before holding the interviews. The questions that should be included in the questionnaire (list non exhaustive) are:

· Is there sufficient funding from agencies and donors for cost effective and financially sustainable surge?

· Is there anything which donors could be doing to improve funding for surge capacity? (e.g. more donors supporting this area of work?)

· Is there anything agencies could be doing to improve and make more effective and sustainable funding for surge capacity? (e.g. allocating sufficient internal resource, better accessing funding from donors who are willing to support this area of work, advocacy work with donors on funding?)

· Were there any findings and conclusions on more cost effective models for surge which agencies should be considering in their surge design?

4. Time frame

The research should have the following phases:

· Phase I: Research design and setting definitions, questionnaire development, and desk research/literature.

· Phase II: Data collection (interviews, meetings), entry and verification

· Phase III: Data analysis providing details to ensure rigorous and dependable findings/results, draft reporting.

· Phase IV: Presentation of the draft report to the project, feedback loops, verification, changes.

· Phase V: Final version, formatting and presentation of the research to wider audience

The study must be fully finished by the end of May 2017.

5. Deliverables

· Work Plan and Methodology – at the end of Phase I.

· 1st Draft of the research (maximum 25 pages with annexes additional) – at the end of Phase III.

· Final Research Report Document with Executive Summary – at the beginning of Phase V.

6. Required skills and expertise

· Advanced degree in research oriented financial and social studies related to development and humanitarian work.

· Extensive knowledge of and experience in leading (designing and undertaking) financial and social studies using quantitative and qualitative methodologies regarding humanitarian and development work.

· Advanced knowledge of the current situation and trends of the international humanitarian system, in particular about its funding sustainability.

· Excellent written English and authoring previous reports

7. Budget

Total available budget for the research is 11,000 GBP. All expenses of the researcher/research team must be covered by this amount.

[1] The full consortium includes Action Against Hunger, ActionAid, CAFOD, CARE International, CDAC-N, Christian Aid, International Medical Corps, Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, Plan International, Save the Children and Tearfund. Technical partners include the CDAC Network and the CHS Alliance.

How to apply:

Application process: submission of proposals

Interested researchers should submit: letter of interest, technical proposal, financial offer and CV of the researcher by Friday 27 January 2017 at 17h00 UK time. The technical proposal should have detailed methodology and a timeline / calendar.

Interested applicants should submit their proposals to:

Important to note:

  • We will contact only short list candidates. Applications after deadline will be excluded. Applications not conforming to the conditions will not be considered.

  • Interviews will be conducted during the week of 6-10 February.

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