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Consultant, Early Action: The State of Play 2024


  • Organization: IFRC - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Disaster Management (Preparedness, Resilience, Response and Recovery)
  • Closing Date: 2025-02-28

Organizational Context

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, with a network of 191-member National Societies (NSs). The overall aim of the IFRC is “to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by NSs with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.”  The IFRC works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises.


IFRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement), together with its member National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The work of the IFRC is guided by the following fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.


IFRC is led by its Secretary General, and has its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The Headquarters are organized into three main Divisions: (i) National Society Development and Operations Coordination; (ii) Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization; and (iii) Management Policy, Strategy and Corporate Services.


IFRC has five regional offices in Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and the Americas.  IFRC also has country cluster delegation and country delegations throughout the world. Together, the Geneva Headquarters and the field structure (regional, cluster and country) comprise the IFRC Secretariat.


IFRC has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment and other forms of harassment, abuse of authority, discrimination, and lack of integrity (including but not limited to financial misconduct). IFRC also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles.


The Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP, also ‘the Partnership’) brings together stakeholders across the climate, humanitarian, and development communities with the aim of making 1 billion people safer from disasters by 2025, by enabling early action at scale. REAP was launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019, with four targets designed to drive a systemic shift towards acting earlier, to reduce the impacts of disasters. REAP has also identified three drivers of change which inform its approach towards the 4 Targets, as set out in the REAP Strategic Vision and REAP Framework for Action. As a partnership, REAP supports coordination, convening and sensemaking across a diverse range of stakeholders to foster greater alignment, coherence, and complementarity of existing initiatives, while learning together what is needed to achieve early action at scale. The annual State of Play report is one way in which REAP seeks to further this work.

Job Purpose

The purpose of this consultancy is to plan, research and draft Early Action: The State of Play 2024 for the Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP), in consultation and working with REAP Partners. The consultancy can be undertaken by an individual or a team.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

The Operating Environment

The number of networks, partnerships and initiatives directly working on, or relevant to, early warning and early action has increased in recent years. This evolution has been explored to some extent in Early Action: The State of Play 2023 as well as in Global status of multi-hazard early warning systems 2023 and the external evaluation REAP undertook in 2023, the 2023 Stocktake for the Risk-informed Early Action Partnership. It is the result of greater understanding and awareness of the potential benefits of early warning and early action, and commitment towards enabling such interventions at scale. The growth in networks, partnerships and initiatives occupying similar spaces has also prompted reflection on how to ensure complementarity rather than competition – including in terms of the learning generated from the respective efforts of each. The Global status of multi-hazard early warning systems reports and the Anticipatory Action: A Global Overview reports are two such sources of learning, and provide an opportunity for the State of Play reports to deliver complementary insights that strengthen collective understanding across their shared audiences.


Early Action: The State of Play and the purpose of the consultancy

REAP publishes the State of Play reports annually to meet the need for quantification of the commitments/investments and activity directed towards achieving the Partnership's 4 Targets, and the overarching goal of embedding risk-informed early action at scale across timelines, sectors and locations. The report is also an opportunity to consolidate the existing resource and evidence base to identify strategic approaches the partnership - and aligned stakeholders - can take in addressing gaps. Furthermore, it is critical that the policy and operational environment is monitored and analysed to identify successes, barriers, opportunities and untapped potential.


The value of the State of Play reports against these aims was confirmed by Partners during a workshop held in April 2024. They identified that the reports i) provide important key messages that Partners use in their work; ii) help Partners in understanding who is doing what and where, and therefore in identifying opportunities for collaboration; and iii) show progress against REAP's 4 Targets. However, Partners also expressed a desire to see the reports focus more on i) demonstrating the impact of interventions that are being reported; and ii) identifying key early warning and early action evidence gaps and providing guidance on how those might be filled.


To date, the State of Play reports have provided snapshots of international, regional and national investments, commitments and activities linked to early warning and early action – primarily from REAP Partners, but also from other stakeholders, where notable. As of April 2024, REAP has grown from 34 to 90 Partners from governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental organisations, associated networks, civil society, academia, and the private sector. These Partners are engaged in a broad range of activities directly related to the Partnership – for example through its Working Groups linked to the 4 Targets – or in activities that the Partnership supports through convening, sensemaking and advocacy on early warning and early action. 

Job Duties and Responsibilities (continued)

The size and diversity of the Partnership and the undertakings of Partners enrich the State of Play reports, as well as demand careful reflection on what to report on and how.


The purpose of this consultancy is to deliver an Early Action: The State of Play 2024 that meets Partner needs and complements other reports and evidence on the topic of early warning and early action. The successful applicant(s) will be encouraged to think about the structure of the report to ensure that the final product is accessible, informative and, most importantly, influential in terms of signposting ways forward for relevant stakeholders – including through delivering SMART recommendations. Partner input to the State of Play reports is critical, and modalities for engaging them have developed over time – further detail of which is available in each report – and the successful applicant(s) will also be encouraged to think about appropriate data collection methods to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of the use of Partners’ time.


Timeframe and time allocation

Planning, research and drafting of the report is expected to take place over the course of 2024. Finalisation of the report will take place in December 2024 / January 2025, and the report will be published in February 2025.


The successful applicant(s) will be allocated 50 days until 28 February 2025.


Management and support

Overall management of the consultancy will be coordinated by the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) and Advocacy Coordinator at the REAP Secretariat. It is anticipated that the consultancy will proceed in a collaborative and highly participatory manner, involving Partners at all stages of the process.


Award of Contract

REAP reserves the right to accept or reject any application, and to annul the solicitation process and reject all applications at any time prior to award of contract, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected applicant or any obligation to inform the applicants of the grounds for such action. REAP will award the contract to the applicant whose proposal, after being evaluated, has the highest combined total score and is therefore considered to be the most responsive to the needs of the organisation and activity concerned.


IMPORTANT: Please see here the evaluation criteria and scoring methodology.



  • Minimum of 5 years’ expertise in early/anticipatory/forecast-based action, early warning systems, disaster risk financing/CDRFI, comprehensive risk management and/or preparedness.
  • Demonstrable experience in strategic evaluation of complex partnerships, networks and/or development and humanitarian initiatives.
  • Experience and knowledge of the climate, development, and humanitarian sectors in the context of climate-related hazards and disasters.
  • Experience in facilitating consultations/workshops.

Knowledge, Skills and Languages


  • Fluency in English, including an ability to write clearly and concisely.
  • Ability to effectively apply a broad range of innovative and creative monitoring, evaluation and learning approaches, including designing and implementing appropriate tools.
  • Ability to implement meaningful collaborative approaches in order to enhance strategic learning and impact of the output.
  • Understanding of the motivations, priorities, opportunities and barriers to action at different levels of governance (international, regional, (sub)national and local).
  • Strong literary research skills.


  • Proficiency in French and/or Spanish is desirable.

Competencies, Values and Comments

Application Instructions

  • Please submit your application in English only.
  • Please include in the same documents:
    • CVs for all proposed team members;
    • Two examples of reports recently completed, with at least one report led/authored by the (primary) consultant proposed for this assignment;
    • A short proposal detailing:
      1. Understanding of the consultancy;
      2. Suggestions on how to ensure the report meets Partner needs;
      3. Outline of proposed data collection methods, analysis plan, and quality control; and,
      4. Estimated budget, including professional fees and all expenses.
  • Given that the application will include CV(s) and examples of previous work, applicants are encouraged to keep their proposal as concise as possible and not to exceed a few pages.

Indication of availability for interview at the following times:

  • 6th June 11am CEST
  • 6th June 12pm CEST
  • 6th June 1pm CEST
  • 7th June 12pm CEST
  • 7th June 1pm CEST



IFRC values equal opportunity, diversity and inclusivity. We encourage applications from all suitably qualified candidates, irrespective of sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, nationality, class, political opinions, ethnic or social origin, disability, religion, or belief.

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