Consultant Livelihoods and Markets Assessment
South Sudan (South Sudan)
Since December 2013, South Sudan has experience protracted crisis caused by conflict and insecurity and deteriorating economic situations which limit availability and affordability of food in markets and livelihood opportunities. The situation is further exacerbated by localized climate shocks occurring as flooding, heavy rains or drought damaging property and causing more displacements. Protracted conflict has disrupted farming and livelihoods, caused loss of livestock and lives, and led to a very low household resilience capacity index. Poverty is endemic with at least 80% of the population defined as income-poor and living on the equivalent of less than US$1 per day and in dire need of humanitarian assistance and protection. According to the November 2021IPC analysis, an estimated 5.82 million people (48.3% of the population) are classified in crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity, with 1.8 million in emergency and some 11,000 people in catastrophe. The situation is projected to worsen as the lean season progress, with some 7.24 million people (60% of population) projected to need urgent humanitarian food assistance by July 2021. Most of the population in Panyijiar county relies on livestock rearing, subsistence farming, and fishing as their primary source of livelihoods. The flooding which started in mid-June 2020 continuing to January 2021 significantly affected the livelihoods. OCHA estimated 126,000 households were affected by flooding in Unity state from July and December 2020 with Panyijiar county the worst affected 5,791 HH (Nyal 3,577 and Ganyliel 2,214). Also, the recurring inter-communal conflicts, cattle raids and stresses from the global COVID-19 pandemic has deteriorated economic conditions, reduced household income, market access and employment opportunities. Much of the country face extreme humanitarian needs, many parts are also relatively stable, albeit with high levels of poverty and vulnerability to shocks. Although the current transitional government offers renewed hope and opportunities to the population if successfully installed, there is already eminent need for extended support through livelihoods and markets restoration and strengthening interventions for the affected communities across South Sudan. Focused on both crises affected, and stable areas, development and humanitarian actors support programs that simultaneously address immediate needs and improve capacity to prepare for shocks, increase local food production and self-reliance, and reducing future humanitarian needs.
Background and Justification:
To better understand the changing context and needs of the affected people in Panyijiar county, and design responsive market-based livelihoods projects and contribute towards addressing the above challenges, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) will conduct a livelihoods and markets assessment in Panyijiar County. The IRC will engage an external specialist to gather information through this exercise and exclusively use for the purposes of informing OFDA and Europe Aid funded economic recovery and markets systems (ERMS) in Panyijiar county.
Scope of assessment:
Through the livelihoods and markets assessment, IRC will target to ascertain various needs of affected vulnerable households and communities in the following sectors.
- Food and nutrition security
- Market systems (inclusive of labor markets)
- Livelihoods and value chains
Geographical coverage and target population:
The assessment will be conducted in Panyijiar County of Unity State, South Sudan. Focus will be on all populations in the more stable Payams and this will be prioritized by IRC in conjunction with local relief and rehabilitation commission at county level.
Objectives of the assessment:
The main objective of the assessment is to determine the impact of the shocks and stresses, the nature, magnitude, and severity of food insecurity , and livelihoods and markets needs of communities affected by conflict, insecurity, and climate shocks in Panyijiarcounty. The information gathered will be used to design quality interventions, delivering market-based interventions for enhanced livelihoods restoration and development of the affected communities.
The specific objectives of this assessment therefore include.
Food and nutrition security and access to basic needs analysis:
- Identify current and chronic existing food gaps (focused on access, availability, and use) and determine modalities of filling such gaps.
- Analyse the household expenditure basket and the problems faced by the population to cover it
- Assess whether Cash based interventions would enable people to purchase basic items (food and NFIs) from the local shops,
- Assess households’ cash-based modality preferences (In-kind or cash assistance) for conditional cash transfer (Business grants) and unconditional cash transfer.
- Whether the local markets and shops households rely on for basic food and non-food items and livelihood assets are working,
- Assess the availability and functionality of financial institutions and service providers (Money transfer systems), capacity for increase/scale up in the use of such systems, local economy, investment capacities and working capital coverage.
- Understand issues around; demand, supply, and availability of key food and NFIs (including seeds and tools) in from markets and to what extent are local traders likely going to respond to increased demand on food and non-food items,
- Determine who are the market-chain actors and how are they interlinked within the market system? What functions (roles) did different market actors play in the supply chain.
- Identification of key markets and their linkages to the broader market systems.
- Consider markets that are central to households’ survival and/or livelihoods that provide households with the necessary goods and services to meet their essential needs and central to potential programme or response option.
- What is the risk of intimidation or issues regarding accessing the markets for people of different age groups, children, elderly, women, men versus political, ethnics and religious groups? (Protection lense).
Livelihood and value chain analysis
- Determine key livelihoods activities in which households typically engage in over a seasonal calendar and analyse their capacities and vulnerabilities related to the different shocks.
- Analyze the main income sources and the assets owned by the households.
- Determine key livelihoods assets that need to be protected to prevent their loss.
- Analyse the problems around access and management of natural resources, linked with the sustainable development of key livelihood activities.
- Determine what assets are needed to ensure sustainability of livelihoods activities.
- Identify and analyse the most viable and relevant value chains and labor markets opportunities for self-employment for women and youth.
- Determine market-based interventions that address bottlenecks and contribute to increase the access to more sustainable livelihood opportunities.
- Assess value addition opportunities of agriculture products.
- Assess the most market driven vocational skills in high demand for employment and business opportunities for youth and women; determine the materials/tools needs in setting up such vocations/trades.
- Assess the capacity of existing vocational training centres in the areas for both private and government, determine their experience, capacity and opportunities in partnership with NGO’s.
The IRC strongly advises that the needs assessment will utilize mixed methods approach employing quantitative and qualitative methods to gather sector specific data towards defining target group needs.Relevant secondary data be reviewed and utilized to throw light dimension and trend of needs across the two counties. The primary data collection will include i) Key informant interviews with community elders,local authorities and focal points in government line ministries (agriculture and livestock, natural resources, business) and where applicable key inter-agency stakeholders [OCHA, WFP,UNDP,FAO] ii) Data collection target within communities – Structurehousehold surveys/interviews,and focus group discussions with different groups of women, men, youths, traders, and vendors will be conducted to gather significant data and information for thorough understanding of needs, trends of disasters and community recommendations for redress.
Data collection , Analysis, and reporting:
The lead consultant will lead the data collection in close coordination with the IRC M&E and ERD Technical Coordinators.S/he will develop data collection tools and upon review and approval by the IRC technical teams, uploaded onto KOBO mobile app for offline administration. To ensure diversity and a participatory method, the consultant is expected to employ a robust mixed-method approach incorporating qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis during the assessment. Qualitative methods should include observation, interviews and focus group discussions (FGD) with a range of key stakeholders including country-level as well as payam level where households live, national authorities and targeted populations with Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) approach. The consultant must triangulate data/ information from a wide range of sources to ensure reliability of needs and recommendations.
The needs assessment is expected to run for a period of 45 days between March and April 2021. Development, review and pretesting of field tools is expected to be complete by Mid-March 2021.
The security situation in South Sudan is still fluid with sporadic community-based conflicts and revenge killings that take place around most parts of the country. COVID 19 remains an eminent threat to human life and livelihoods, and a huge hindrance to humanitarian work. Following the reinstatement of the COVID 19 restrictions by government on the 3rd of February 2021, activities that involve gathering of people have been banned. Its therefore critical that this assessment be conducted in a manner that respects those directives, preferably using mobile based data collection methods to minimize physical contact with respondents. Currently Unity State is calm with no major reported cases of conflict however, it remains unpredictable. In all locations, consultants are required to follow IRC security protocols. Additionally, flooding has also persisted in both counties making movement difficult with majority of populations displace to higher grounds. The exercise may therefore require movement with canoes and boats to reach people.
The consultant will be responsible to deliver the following:
- Desk review and draft and submit an Inception report with clear methodologies showing how to carry out the assignment and the timelines for implementation.
- Development of data collection tools in collaboration with the technical teams and lead on ground data collection at field
- Draft Assessment report for review by IRC Technical teams both in Juba and HQ
- Final Needs Assessment report with recommendations