LEAD CONSULTANT ON Humanitarian Assistance and State building in Conflict-affected

at United Nations Development Programme
Location Khartoum, Sudan
Date Posted May 24, 2022
Category Management
Job Type Contract
Currency SDG


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


The revised National Development Strategy (2021 – 2024) of the Government of South Sudan being finalized calls on humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding actors to work in an integrated way using the triple nexus framework. The government is planning to establish a high-level Triple Nexus Oversight Committee to be co-chaired by the Ministers of Finance and Planning and Humanitarian Affairs. The UN Cooperation Framework and Humanitarian Response Plan also call for the use of the triple nexus in the delivery of assistance. The triple nexus is a mechanism for integrated and coordinated humanitarian, development, and peace actions in crisis and fragile contexts to achieve collective outcomes. The UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) defines collective outcomes as, “commonly agreed quantifiable and measurable results or impacts [amongst humanitarian, development, and peace actors] in reducing people’s needs, risks and vulnerabilities [and increasing their resilience]”.

As an infant state, the Government and people of South Sudan are actively engaged in statebuilding. All external interventions deliberately or inadvertently interact with this process. Amongst the triple nexus actors, the impact (intended or unintended) of humanitarian actions on statebuilding is less evident compared to peace and development actors. Also unknown are the impacts of the triple nexus integrated actions in a statebuilding context. The United Nations Development Programme and the World Food Programme are commissioning this study to understand the theoretical, normative, and operational impact of humanitarian assistance on statebuilding in South Sudan. It is important to note, from the onset, that the study in no way seeks to instrumentalize humanitarian assistance for statebuilding. It only aims to recognize the unavoidable impact humanitarian actors have on the statebuilding project, harness the positive impacts through integrated actions of humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding actors.

A.Problem statement

Slim (2015) has observed that while the triple nexus approach is a lofty idea, its proponents have taken for granted the fundamental tensions between humanitarian, development, and peace and security actors. Humanitarian assistance is fundamentally apolitical, needs-based, and is anchored on the principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence. Development, peacebuilding, and security assistance, on the other hand, are long-term, political, and rights based. Pursuing collective outcomes with divergent theoretical underpinnings could potentially be counterproductive, if not well understood and measures put in place to mitigate the risks. The study assumes that although humanitarian assistance is fundamentally apolitical, in protracted conflict-induced humanitarian contexts such as South Sudan, where humanitarian assistance extends beyond needs to address vulnerability and build resilience, it interacts with and impacts processes of statebuilding, peacebuilding, and sustainable development. The OECD DAC defines statebuilding as, “an endogenous process to enhance capacity, institutions and legitimacy of the state driven by state-society relations” (OECD, 2008d). Similarly, the International Dialogue for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding identifies five goals in building states in post-conflict settings. These include legitimate politics, security, justice, economic foundations, and revenue and services. Drawing from these definitions, the study focuses on the impact of humanitarian assistance on the capacity of the South Sudan state to a) build effective service delivery institutions; b) forge social cohesion among ethnic communities and advance state-society relations; c) extend state authority to guarantee security and access to justice, and d) lay solid economic foundations.

Government’s efforts at statebuilding through institution building and strengthening and service provision are recognized. These efforts are however affected by limited fiscal space emanating from many challenges and most recently from the global pandemic. Weak institutions, as most government institutions are characterized by the lack of foundational frameworks, requisite qualified human resources, and organizational systems, tools, and processes for basic functionality continue to negatively impede service delivery in the country. The situation is presumed to be worse at the local government level where the primary responsibility of service delivery lies.

B.Focus areas of the study

As part of addressing the challenges mentioned above and to understand the impact of humanitarian assistance on statebuilding, the study will focus on four interrelated sub themes: 1. Service delivery institutions 2. Social cohesion and social contract 3. Access to justice and rule of law and 4. Economic foundations.

Service Delivery Institutions: Providing access to social services is fundamental in a functioning state. And the availability of these services is critical to the current and future wellbeing of the population, at the community and individual levels. The OECD calls on international assistance to service delivery to structure their activities in such a way as to promote sustainable service delivery and accountable governance in advancing statebuilding or reforms. Ghani et al have observed that depending on who and how service delivery is undertaken it can have negative and positive impacts on statebuilding (Ghani et al., 2005). With this backdrop, the study will explore, but not limited to, the following questions:

How have humanitarian actions expanded to the provision of basic services and what has been the impact on the credibility and capacity of the State?How do these actions influence public expectations of service delivery and, by extension, the notion and quality of the social contract?What role are public institutions currently playing in the humanitarian-led service delivery initiatives? And if not, how does that impact the building and/ or rebuilding of service delivery institutions of the infant state?Why did humanitarian action in South Sudan expand beyond immediate relief to include service delivery?What modalities are in place for transitioning from humanitarian-driven service delivery to state system and how do current actions facilitate readiness for the transition?Which modality exist/can be adapted to support the positive impact of humanitarian assistance to statebuilding in the final stages of transition in South Sudan?

Social Cohesion and Social Contract—Social cohesion is a central pillar in statebuilding. Social cohesion is a process of building political and social community. The Council of Europe defines social cohesion as “the capacity of a society to ensure the welfare of all its members, minimizing disparities and avoiding polarization” (2004: 3). Cohesive society can contribute to the building and functioning of inclusive institutions. ). South Sudan is only beginning to mobilize its 64 ethnic communities who are sparsely settled on a vast territory into a political community, with hopefully a unifying identity and shared institutions. South Sudan is embarking on this critical process in a context of protracted humanitarian crisis. Sub-national and national violence which is the dominant driver of the humanitarian crisis deepen polarization of communities. Statebuilding in South Sudan therefore includes building social cohesion. The study will explore, but not limited to, the following questions:

How does humanitarian assistance interact with processes that advance social cohesion and what are the results?What lessons can be learnt from attempts made to bridge the humanitarian, development and peace divide to promote social cohesion?How can we identify the potential contribution of humanitarian activities to social cohesion that can help consolidate nationhood and the social contract?How has humanitarian assistance inadvertently contributed to social discontent or been exploited to further social discontent?In what ways can humanitarian, development and peacebuilding combine to advance social cohesion in South Sudan?

Access to Justice & Rule of Law—the traditional manifestation of state authority is its control over security, justice, and the rule of law. In protracted conflict-induced humanitarian crisis, humanitarian actors find themselves engaging the protection of the most vulnerable either through advocacy or other operational support such as human rights watch, legal aid, etc. Where peacekeeping operations exists, peacekeepers tend to fill the security and rule of law gap to facilitate humanitarian assistance. Security, access to justice and rule of law are foundational to statebuilding. The study will seek to address the following questions:

How humanitarian assistance interacts with processes that advance protection, security, access to justice and the rule of law?What are the intended and unintended consequences of humanitarian actors’ engagement on protection, security, and rule of law in the context of statebuilding?In what ways should humanitarian, development and peace actors combine their interventions to lay foundations for security, access to justice, and rule of law?

Economic Foundations in Statebuilding—the interdependence between peace and security and sustainable development and their role in reducing humanitarian footprint is vital to statebuilding in South Sudan. Inclusive economic development ensures the active participation of the people, improves livelihood and welfare, and increases resources for investments in service delivery. Similarly, prudent management and equitable distribution of resources is at the heart of viable states. Stable macroeconomic environment: reduced inflation, building up of reserves, stable exchange rate etc. is an imperative to support statebuilding. At the minimum, the dividends from natural resources should be the core funding for service delivery in a country. The study will seek to address the following questions:

How are current modalities for managing the economy contributing to statebuilding?How are state resources being used to finance service delivery?How can public financial management systems contribute to statebuilding?What is the potential of the economy to finance services currently provided by humanitarian actors in the short term and transition fully to sustainable development in the medium to long term?How should humanitarian crises and conflict drivers be taken into account in the national development strategy (and how will this affect state-builidng)?”What percentage of government resources are allocated and executed for each of the nexus domain (peace and security, humanitarian, development) and how is this contributing to statebuilding?

South Sudan is about the larger than Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda combined with about 12 million people. The population is sparsely settled and very limited social density.


Duties and Responsibilities

UNDP and WFP have commissioned this study to inform the policy platform on triple nexus that the Government is planning to establish to implement its Revised National Development Strategy. Although efforts have been made in South Sudan on the triple nexus, UNDP and WFP believe significant gaps exist in knowledge and practice. Consequently, this study will seek to achieve the following objectives:

Inform the design and implementation of the triple nexus programmes/projects intended to advance statebuilding in South Sudan; Improve understanding of the link between humanitarian assistance and statebuilding in protracted humanitarian crisis and fragile state context; andContribute to the design of indicators for success of triple nexus interventions in South Sudan.

A. Methodology partially completed

The study will adopt a participatory approach engaging a selected sample of critical stakeholders and the wider communities at state and county levels across South Sudan. Purposive sampling is proposed for determining the stakeholders. The criteria for selection will be agreed with the Consultants at the outset of the study through the inception report validation exercise. The following are proposed as steps for the study. These are preliminary and the Consultants is encouraged to improve on them with justifications to be discussed with UNDP and WFP as part of the validation of the inception report.

Step I Inception report to clarify and agree the tasks and approach partially completed

While this concept note elaborates what UNDP and WFP are seeking, the Consultants will develop an inception report after scanning the context and literature to confirm the expectations, obtain further clarifications including confirming the list of primary and secondary stakeholders to engage. The Consultants will undertake a mapping of available literature including reports on the subject from South Sudan in close partnership with the project lead from UNDP and WFP. The Inception report will give the opportunity to UNDP/WFP and their partners to review and provide feedback on the instruments and approach the consultant would want to adopt to the study. Once the Consultant develops and submits an inception report, a 1-day engagement with UNDP/WFP and relevant partners will take place.

Step II Literature Review partially completed

The Consultants will undertake literature review of relevant reports, studies, and other materials on the subject and South Sudan. Literature review will shed light on the debates on the subject, theories of change emerging from a range of experiences and studies and pathways in a protracted humanitarian context. While desk research will be the first step, it will continue throughout the study.

Stage III Perception Survey draft survey instrument prepared

The Consultants will conduct a rapid perception survey with key target communities on how humanitarian assistance is interacting with and informing citizens’ perception and expectations on service delivery, access to and interaction with state institutions and authorities, and social cohesion within and amongst ethnic communities. The survey is meant to help the Consultants to assess over-riding views of South Sudanese and actors regarding the statebuilding process and how humanitarian assistance is inadvertently contributing to it.

Step IV – Key Informant Interviews (KIIs)

Key informant interviews will be conducted with a cross section of key informants at national, state, and county levels. The Consultant will develop set of KII tools drawing from and improving on the preliminary questions under the four key issues. In the context of COVID restrictions the Consultants are encouraged to suggest innovative ways for engaging stakeholders for the interviews and other data collection methods proposed.

Stage V: Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and workshops

The Consultant will triangulate findings from the desk review, rapid survey, and KIIs with a select group of stakeholders through focus group discussions and workshops, keeping in mind COVID-19 restrictive measures.

B. Scope of work

UNDP and WFP will recruit one international senior researcher and two national researchers to undertake the study. The consultants will work with the following groups throughout the study:

UNDP/WFP Research Team (RT): The Senior Economist of UNDP and the Head of Research, Assessment and Monitoring for the World Food Programme will be the focal persons to coordinate the study. They will develop the concept note, recruit the consultants and manage all interactions with relevant stakeholders. Research Advisory Group (RAG): UNDP/WFP will mobilize a select individuals from sister agencies in the UN Country Team of South Sudan to provide guidance on the research methodology, choice of case studies, accuracy of data, and will review the draft inception report and the final study. This RAG will ensure the study is relevant to the nexus framework and the context of South Sudan. High-level Reference Group (HRG): The Research Team will identify and engage internationally recognized subject matter experts in humanitarianism, statebuilding, development, and peacebuilding to provide subject matter guidance throughout the research. The Consultants will be encouraged to interact closely with members of the HRG individually and collectively to draw from their wealth of knowledge.Four technical background papers: The research team has prepared a call for proposal for 4 background papers for the four sub thematic areas 1. Service delivery institutions 2. Social cohesion and social contract 3. Access to justice and rule of law and 4. Economic foundations of the study. The background papers should examine the features of policies and institutions for each of the four sub thematic areas that can advance transformational change in a post conflict context. This will entail responding to the question, among many others, around ‘what policies and institutions’ are required for transformational change in service delivery/social cohesion and social contract/access to justice and the rule of law and economic foundations. What is the role of humanitarian actors or how is their work impacting institutions (statebuilding) within the sub thematic area? The background papers should show how the triple nexus approach can be used in a post conflict context to build the state to assume the responsibility of provision of services with a focus on the four sub thematic areas. The lead consultant should synthesize the four background papers into the overall document and/or consider having the papers as an annex to the overall report.Supervision and support to two national consultants: The lead researcher will provide supervision to the two national consultants recruited for this study. This entails, virtual training session/s on the research instruments for data collection, guidance on the analysis of primary data collected and overall supervision of inputs of the national consultants.

Under the supervision of the UNDP/WFP Research Team, and with the support of the UNDP and WFP Resident Representative and Country Director, the Lead Consultant is responsible for guiding, shaping and delivering the substantive analysis and recommendations of the study. He/she will:

Provide strategic direction to the researchWith support of the national consultant/s, develop the data collection instrumentsUndertake interviews, FGD and other data and information collection activities

Write up research findings and oversee the publication process

C. Expected deliverables

Develop detailed research methodology in the inception report – With support from the Research Team Consultants develop an inception report with well-designed research methodology for discussion in the validation workshop for the inception report. partially completedResearch Workshop – bring together members of the Advisory Group and selected stakeholders from the Heads of Development Partners, South Sudan academia, and the High-Level Reference group discuss the literature review paper including key issues emerging that confirm or invalidate the preliminary research themes and questions. completedFinalise research methodology – Research Team and Consultants finalises methodology drawing on research workshop guidance partially completedData collection and research – Consultants conduct field research to collect primary data 2nd Research Workshop – Research Consultants present findings in a workshop with members of the Advisory Group, the High-level Reference Group, and selected stakeholders. Report writing – Consultants to draft report and submit to Research Team for circulation to Advisory Group and Reference Group for commentsDraft report revisedInternal UNDP/WFP clearances / revisions Graphic design / layout / publication processesPublication launch


Core Competencies:

Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity, by modelling the UN/UNDP's values and ethical standards. Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UN/UNDP.Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment

Functional Competencies:

Knowledge of and extensive experience working with UN Humanitarian-development-peace nexus approachDemonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment. Acting as a team leader, team player and facilitating teamwork. Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each team memberInformed and transparent decision making.

Required Skills and Experience


A PhD or a Master’s degree in the field of Finance, Economics, political science, international relations, sociology or other relevant fields.

Professional Experience

A minimum of 15 years of experience in the field of development, humanitarian assistance, research etc. Previous experience with a development partner, international organization, or government is a very strong advantage.Research experience in areas of the triple nexus is required and a strong advantage.Experience in country level work rooted in humanitarian context, institution analysis, development, peace, conflict analysis in close collaboration with government.Experience in sectoral planning with respect to (the delivery of) social services would be an advantage.Excellent writing skills required, as demonstrated by previous research/analytical reports on relevant topics.Proven ability to lead consultations and facilitate dialogue among senior government officials and other senior stakeholders required.Sound grasp of substantive policy issues in the key areas of development and humanitarian assistance.Excellent knowledge of data collection, analysis and statistics tool are essential.Advanced quantitative skills and experience with related data analysis tools are an advantage.Demonstrated ability to engage in strategic analysis, and sectoral analysis.Understanding of and experience in working in South Sudan will be an advantage.

Language requirement:

Fluency in English (written and spoken), and an ability to summarize and present information effectively.

Institutional arrangement

The Lead Consultant will work under the close guidance of the UNDP and WFP Country Office in South Sudan throughout the assignment period.

Duration of the work

The expected duration of this assignment is 70 days with a start date of June, 2022 and planned to be completed by end October 2022.

Duty station

The selected consultant will be home based for most of the assignment. To the extent that travel is possible, there will be two to three missions to South Sudan during the process.

Terms of Payment

The lead consultant will be paid on a lump sum basis subject to completion of agreed tasks as follows:

Submission of inception report (10%)Submission of first research workshop report with finalized methodology and data collection tools (15%)Report of data collected, literature review and second research workshop report (15%)Draft humanitarian assistance and state building study (30%)Final Draft study incorporating comments from all stakeholders (25%)Completion of publication process (5%)

Selection Criteria

Applicants will be assessed based of two broad categories:

Technical Criteria weight-70% as follows:

Educational Qualifications (15 Marks: 10 for Masters and +5 for PhD)Professional Qualifications and Certifications (15 Marks)Proven and experience/satisfactorily implementation of similar assignment in the past (30 Marks +10 for H-D-P nexus research)

Financial Criteria weight- 30%

All technically qualified proposals will be scored up to 30%. The maximum points (30) will be assigned to the lowest financial proposal and all other proposals receive points according to the formula: p = y(x/z)


p = points for the financial proposal being evaluatedy = maximum number of points for the financial proposalx = price of the lowest priced proposalz = price of the proposal being evaluated.

Applying Instructions

How to apply

Interested candidates must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

A cover letter explaining why they are the most suitable for the work;Updated CV/P11, including past experience in similar assignments and at least 3 referencesProvide a brief methodology on how they will approach and conduct the work; orsample of previous similar research paper undertaken by the consultant

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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