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Action Against Hunger ROWCA (Regional Office Western Central Africa) – Consultancy – Finalization of a decision-making tool


Aperçu de l'offre


In recent years, the use of Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) in humanitarian aid has expanded, representing in 2016 about 10% of global humanitarian funding[1]. Since 2016, the global cash portfolio grew from US$2.8 million to US$4.6 million.[2] However, this increase is not equal across humanitarian aid sectors.

For several years, organizations have led initiatives to better understand CVA entry points to prevent or fight against malnutrition, generating evidence on the applicability of the modality, and on how CVA added value on nutrition outcomes. However, most part of the evidence comes from development programs and findings are not perceived as automatically applicable to emergency settings. Evidence for some nutrition outcomes is also inconsistent and context-specific, suggesting that CVA as stand-alone intervention may not be enough to achieve higher-level outcomes.[3] The pathways to nutrition outcomes, and how and to what extent income poverty features in such pathways, are yet to be articulated and mapped against existing and missing evidence. Because of the many concurrent factors, pathways to nutrition outcomes are complex.

An additional challenge is that the uptake of existing evidence by nutrition actors is limited and poorly translated into concrete actions because of its complexity (combination of modalities being the most effective approach) and lack of guidance (evidence does not provide concrete recommendations on how to design CVA to maximize efficiency for nutrition programmes).

About the joint initiative

From internal discussions within the Save the Children Nutrition Emergency Cash Group, and bilateral exchanges with CaLP, three main barriers have been identified that hamper the appropriation of CVA by nutrition actors:

· Perception of CVA remains linked to certain specific sectors such as food security, shelter or WASH[4].

· Nutrition actors lack access to trainings on CVA

· Lack of decision making/diagnosis tools to allow nutrition actors decide when CVA is appropriate to achieve nutrition outcomes and with which other interventions, and design and implement effective programmes. While there are a large range of standard tools for CVA design and implementation, those are not tailored to address specific technical requirements of nutrition programming.

In West Africa, Save the Children and CaLP organized a workshop on 19 September 2018 in Dakar gathering members of the Regional Cash Working Group and the Regional Nutrition Working Group to start a collective process of identifying gaps and developing approaches / operational resources to address them. To ensure that the process is benefiting from expertise of the wider community of practice and possible outputs will have the buy-in and uptake from a large range of actors, more partners were associated to this initiative (UNICEF, the French Red Cross, with contributions from ECHO, USAID, WFP, ACF, CRS). During that workshop, tool development has been identified as a top priority, and thus, a restricted task team was set up to define the scope and functions of such a tool, and how it should look like to address the current gap.

The aim of this initiative is to ensure that the most efficient combination of modalities is selected to address malnutrition and enhance prevention, based on evidence and context-specific analysis, rather than constrained by the uptake barriers mentioned above. As such, if the here-presented initiative will result in an increase in the use of CVA by nutrition actors, this is not the objective of this process. The underlying principle will be to promote the most appropriate combination of modalities based on informed decision-making process, giving equal consideration to all modalities including CVA. Facilitating context-specific analysis and collecting evidence, the tool should contribute to improve nutrition programming.

Objective of the consultancy

The overall objective of this consultancy is to finalize the development of the practical decision-making tool for nutrition-in-emergency actors involved in programme design at country level, with low knowledge of CVA.

The draft of the diagnosis and decision-making tool was developed by Save the Children, CaLP and the French Red Cross with a support from UNICEF and ECHO based on a 3 steps approach with

  1. Identification of drivers of malnutrition
  2. Identification of pathways to nutrition outcomes
  3. Feasibility and optimization of programme design, with a focus on each modality’s specific features – including CVA

Steps 1 and 3 have been developed and are proposing a series of tools/methodologies to be used by the field team depending on their resources, expertise and time.

Step 2 has yet to be developed and will be the focus of the scope of this work.

The objective of the consultancy is then twofold:

Firstly, it aims to develop a framework of the pathways to nutrition outcomes, based on UNICEF’s malnutrition framework, and existing evidence (ACF’s R4ACT research, IFPRI’s findings…), identifying the potential contribution of CVA and other modalities to the different levels of nutrition outcomes. Secondly, the consultancy aims to incorporate this framework as the stage 2 the tool, and to finalize the development of this tool.

Expected Results and timeframe

Under the supervision of the regional task team members (Save the Children, CaLP and the French Red Cross) and in close collaboration with partners (UNICEF, ECHO, USAID, ACF, WFP – non exhaustive list), the consultant will be accountable for the following deliverables:

· Desk review of all evidence available on use of CVA in nutrition programmes and their effectiveness in meeting specific objectives (building on the above-mentioned R4ACT and Cash outcomes of Cash Programming, a synthesis of the evidences, among other resources)

· Based on desk review, identification of the level of evidence per nutrition causal factor using the conceptual framework of malnutrition

· Through the consultation of key stakeholders, identification of potential pathways based on level of evidence

· Develop recommendations on where more research or experimentation is required to strengthen evidence base for those pathways

· Develop a list of key priority questions, including specific gaps, related to alternative modalities to deliver nutrition outcomes

· Translating the deliverable 2 and 3 into presentation materials/standalone session to be used in CVA for nutrition workshops and trainings

· Incorporate the approved framework in the draft tool, reviewing Step 1 and 3 as appropriate to ensure overall coherence and friendly use of the tool for practitioners.


· Presentation in Dakar of final deliverables (tbc)

Application, requirements and contract:

This Consultancy is home-based.

Estimated timeline: October – November (4 to 6 weeks depending on validation process).

The selected consultant will be contracted by Action Contre la Faim on behalf of CaLP. Terms of payments will be as follow: 20% upon contract signature, 40% after literature review and collection of evidence / experience, 40% upon CaLP’s approval of final version.

To apply, consultants should submit a technical and financial proposition, and an updated CV clearly referring to similar experience and highlighting relevant skills and expertise, before 15 September midnight (Dakar time) to cc

Technical proposition should include:

  • A paragraph describing the understanding of the purpose of the piece of work and its added-value,
  • The methodology to develop the piece of work
  • A detailed timeline

The financial proposition should clearly indicate the breakdown of days and daily rate for each step of the consultancy.

The selected consultant will have:

  • Strong knowledge of cash and voucher assistance
  • Strong experience and knowledge of nutrition programming in emergency and development contexts
  • Previous experience in developing operational tools / resources for humanitarian practitioners (based on desk review and evidence analysis)
  • Excellent writing skills in English


  • Experience in implementing humanitarian programmes in West and Central Africa

To apply, consultants should submit a technical and financial proposition, and an updated CV clearly referring to similar experience and highlighting relevant skills and expertise, before 15 September midnight (Dakar time) to cc

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