Title of the evaluation: Charcoal Value/Supply Chain Assessment; Maban County, Upper Nile State South Sudan
Targeted Applicant: Consultancy firm (Team of Expats)
Assessment commissioned by: Jointly commissioned by Relief International and UNHCR
Location: South Sudan, Upper Nile, Greater Maban
Duration: 20 Man days
Relief International is a leading nonprofit organization working in 20 countries to relieve poverty, ensure well-being and advance dignity. We specialize in fragile settings, responding to natural disasters, humanitarian crises and chronic poverty.
Summary of assignment:
Relief International combines humanitarian and development approaches to provide immediate services while laying the groundwork for long-term impact. Our signature approach — which we call the RI Way—emphasizes local participation, an integration of services, strategic partnerships, and a focus on civic skills. In this way, we empower communities to find, design and implement the solutions that work best for them.
1. BACK GROUND
South Sudan’s charcoal production by weight was 272,000 tons contributing 0.5% of world wood fuel production, against the country population of over 12 million individuals (FAOSTAT,2015: South Sudan). The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) reported a sharp rise in illegal activities in various areas of the young nation. The factors cited as immediate threats to South Sudan’s forests were illegal logging, gold mining and charcoal production, among others. Sadly, however, these illegal activities were/are reportedly being perpetrated by local and international individuals and actors, including members of various armed groups active in the country.
High demand for firewood and charcoal can lead to adverse environmental degradation in areas that host refugees as supplies of dead wood are progressively exhausted and live trees are cut in an uncontrolled manner. This can be a source of conflict with host governments and local communities who see their forests and woodlands degraded. It may also mean that refugees, especially women and youth, have to spend significant amounts of time, money and labor securing sufficient fuel to meet their needs. In some instances, refugees have been exposed to physical protection risks in the process. Unfortunately, energy is overlooked in humanitarian interventions. Therefore, the provision of sustainably sourced cooking fuel coupled with appropriate, efficient and clean cooking technologies, can function as a life-saving intervention.
Relief International in partnership with UNHCR is implementing the Health, Environment, and Livelihoods Assistance to Refugees (HELAR) to strengthen livelihoods, improve local agricultural productivity, and reduce pressure on natural resource and protect the environment in order to promote peaceful co-existence among refugee and host community population in Maban County, Upper Nile State. The activities and objectives are aligned with UNHCR South Sudan’s SAFE strategy (2016-2019) and UNHCR’s global SAFE strategy for livelihoods (2014-2018). The overriding objective is to ensure that all refugees are able to satisfy their energy needs for cooking and lighting in a safe and sustainable manner, without fear or risk to their health, well-being and personal security. The 2018 Environmental Impact Assessment report highlighted the impact significance of charcoal burning/production as high or major due to terrestrial habitat destruction, including atmospheric pollution
Relief International invites applications from consulting firms/individuals to undertake an assessment of the charcoal production chain in displacement settings in Maban, Upper Nile State. The consultant/firm will work in close collaboration with the County Forestry Department and other relevant stakeholders during the assessment period. In addition, the assessment will draw inspiration and best practices from countries in Africa to understand pruning techniques, regulations and taxation policies that have enabled the countries to sustainably produce sufficient charcoal for its domestic consumption and provide an in-depth analysis with respect to the South Sudan (Maban) context. Findings from the assessment report will enable RI and other UNHCR partners in the future to pilot and scale-up the intervention.
2. OVERALL OBJECTIVE OF THE ASSESSMENT
The overall objective of the assessment is to understand the socio-economic and environmental impacts along the charcoal supply chain as a basis for program interventions in sustainable charcoal production in Maban.
2.1 Specific Objectives
- Assess the socio-economic impacts of charcoal production on refugees and host community along the supply chain in Maban.
- Assess the impacts of charcoal production on the environment and local economy of greater Maban
- Review existing cooking energy sources and recommend alternative cooking energy sources appropriate for efficient energy use in Maban
- Design and pilot charcoal production techniques suitable for the Maban context
- In collaboration with the county forestry department, recommend tree species and types appropriate for charcoal production while considering the ecological, cultural and economic significance of each tree species.
- Technical proposal detailing the understanding of the TOR and timelines for completion of works as well as the cost breakdown
- Inception report with work plan including the assessment matrix summarizing the assessment design, methodology, data collection tools, data sources.
- Outline improved low-cost and time-saving charcoal production process/techniques that produce high yield of good quality charcoal, appropriate to the Maban context
- Pilot and document the sustainable Charcoal production techniques
- Pictorials demonstrating the sustainable charcoal production techniques appropriate in Maban
- Draft assessment report. The consultant/firm will prepare a draft assessment report and share with RI and UNHCR for comments and validation. Comments from stakeholders will be provided within 5 days after receiving the draft report. The report will be produced in English.
- Final Assessment Report. The final report with pictorials will be shared within 3 days after receiving final comments from the stakeholders. All documents specified in the ToR will be provided as annexes
3. PROPOSED METHODOLOGY
The assessment methodology should make use of combination/ mixed methods approach employing both quantitative and qualitative methods. In summary, the evaluation will comprise:
- Secondary data review (Desk review and content analysis of relevant contextual information, programmatic data and project documents);
- Primary data collection - Key informant and in-depth interviews with UNHCR and RI staff, and other partners (specifically energy and Environment, livelihoods, program and protection unit staff), Operational Partners and where relevant key inter-agency stakeholders [FAO], local authorities and focal points in government line ministries; Field data collection in the refugee camps – Rapid household surveys, structured interviews and focused group discussions with refugees/ persons of concern.
RI welcomes the use of diverse, participatory and innovative evaluation methods and approaches. The assessment is thus expected to employ a robust mixed-method approach incorporating qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Qualitative methods should include observation, interviews and focus group discussions (FGD) with a range of key stakeholders including UNHCR and RI Staff as well as field locations where the refugee camps are located, national authorities and targeted populations. Data/ information from a wide range of sources will need to be triangulated and cross validated to ensure the credibility of evaluation findings and conclusions.
The Evaluation Team is expected to refine the methodology, evaluation questions, sampling strategy and data collection instruments following the initial desk review and key informant interviews during the inception phase.
4. WORK PLAN
The consultant or consulting firm c is expected to prepare an inception report with a detailed work plan that shall guide the process. This work plan will describe how the study will be carried out that includes work schedule, methodology to be used for data collection analysis and reporting.
5. QUALIFICATION/EXPERIENCE AND COMPETENCY OF CONSULTANT
The individual/consulting firm to be involved in this assi gnment should demonstrate the ability to carry out this study with sufficient e xperience in simil ar studi e s. The individual/firm has to have the pr oven capability of (i) und ertaking assessment studi es and pr oducing factual hi gh quali ty reports (ii) demonstrated e xperience of forest resource economi c s and management, (iii) demonstrated experience on efficient energy technologies, (iv) an understanding of appropriate and sustainable energy resources (v) understanding of charcoal se ctor in South Sudan and (iv) a c l ear understanding of forest policies, e n e r gy r elated laws and regulations in South Sudan.
6. DURATION OF WORK
This assi gnment will h ave to be compl eted within a period of 20 working days after contr act signatur e. The study is to be compl eted by March 30th 2019
7. REPORTING SCHEDULE (from date of signing of contrac t) :
- First Draft Report ready: Week 3
- All data and information received from agencies and any other stakeholder for the purpose of this assignment is to be treated with utmost confidentiality and should only be used in the execution of the Terms of Reference.
- Contents of written materials obtained and used in this assignment may not be disclosed to any 3rd parties without advance written authorization of Relief International and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Documents to be reviewed include among others
- Maban refugee Operation Environment Impact Assessment Report
- South Sudan first State of Environment and Outlook Report, 2018
- UNHCR Environmental Guidelines, 1996
- UNHCR Global Strategy for livelihoods (2014-2018)
- UNHCR South Sudan SAFE strategy (2016-2019)
- Applicable South Sudan legal frameworks
- UNHCR Guidelines on Managing Forests in Displaced Settings, 2018
- UNHCR Handbook on Forest Management on Refugee and Returnee Situation, 2005
- South Sudan Country Energy Analysis Note, 2018
- Operational Road Map (2017-2020) UNHCR Bunj sub office
- South Sudan Forest policy, 2012
- Forestry Commission Act, 2003
- Land Act, 2009
Relief International’s Values:
We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality and operational independence. We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities.
- Transparency and accountability
- Agility and innovation
How to Apply
Interested candidates are required to submit a technical proposal with all requirements listed under section 5 of this ToR. Deadline for submission is February 28, 2019. Due to the critical nature of this assignment, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and candidates will be interviewed prior to the closing date that may appear on any of the job boards where this is posted.