Cash Feasibility Study Consultant
Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive, recover, and rebuild their lives. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity, and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home. The IRC launched an emergency health response in Libya in September 2016 as the humanitarian situation in the country was deteriorating following the 2014 civil war. Since then, the IRC has broadened its portfolio with health, protection, and governance programs aiming, directly and in partnership, to employ a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of crisis affected and vulnerable communities across the Libya to survive, recover, and gain control of their futures.
The IRC Libya Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and has identified a need to deepen the understanding of the Libya context and the enabling environment for cash assistance to be used as a tool to support successful outcomes for clients within the current programs IRC Libya provides. Per review of recent secondary data (assessments, studies, etc), a lack of purchasing power is a barrier to individuals and households meeting their basic needs and avoiding the use of negative coping strategies. While some actors are providing cash programming in Libya, there is a need to further analyze the feasibility of cash across Libya to identify risks, mitigations, and a best way forward to pilot cash programming.
Scope of Work
IRC intends to gather learning from existing cash programs in Libya and determine the feasibility of using cash to meet intended scale and program impact goals within the country strategy, by developing a better understanding of the most appropriate modality, available delivery mechanisms and financial service providers. The study’s findings will be used to further inform RC Libya program design and advocacy strategy as well as information sharing and coordination with other stakeholders in Libya. The key components of the cash feasibility study are:
1. A review (desk review and where possible KIIs) and basic mapping of current and past basic needs service provision and cash pilots including scale, delivery mechanisms, challenges etc. to identify lessons learned from existing implementation.
2. An extended cash feasibility and delivery mechanism assessment entailing KIIs and other internal/external consultations to better understand risks, challenges, opportunities and possible modalities for piloting.
The study should address the key data points outlined in two parts below.
1. Review of basics needs programming and cash relief programs:
A review of cash pilots/programs implemented by other organizations (e.g., Acted, DRC, NRC, UNHCR) will inform the subsequent cash feasibility assessment. An initial desk review should be carried out to review existing secondary data and to inform subsequent key informant interviews and meetings with relevant NGO, cluster and working groups, and government stakeholders. Where feasible the consultant should also arrange focus group discussions with clients to gain a client-centered perspective.
a. Basic needs non-cash programming:
i. Implementing agencies, both national and international.
ii. The various modalities used (in-kind, voucher, etc.)
iii. Methodology including beneficiary targeting and selection criteria.
iv. To the extent possible, approximate costs per person/household (to compare with estimated costs of cash relief).
v. Challenges and lessons learned from implementing NGOs, government stakeholders, and to the extent possible, clients.
b. Cash assistance:
i. Donors and operating agencies who have implemented or have planned cash relief pilots, in which locations and at what scale.
ii. Methodology including beneficiary targeting and selection criteria.
iii. Financial service providers and delivery mechanisms, I.e., which mechanisms have been used with which provider, any associated fees, transfer rates and frequency, etc.
iv. Coordination mechanisms and standards.
v. Challenges and lessons learned from implementing NGOs, government stakeholders, and, to the extent possible, beneficiaries.
2. Cash feasibility assessment: A desk review should be conducted to gather secondary data on the areas identified below, supplemented by key informant interviews with e.g., relevant government agencies, FSPs, donors, and clients. A cash-focused market assessment may also be conducted.
a. Regulatory context
i. Government preferences and regulation related to cash assistance programming. Considering e.g., any existing social safety nets, approach to unaccompanied minors, legal or administrative requirements for the provision of cash relief.
ii. If applicable, recommendations on how can current governmental social protection assistance be incorporated into cash programming?
b. Financial service provider mapping and analysis.
i. FSP capacities: ability to scale services; areas that they cannot access, or have less access to; regulatory or donor-confidence barriers; liquidity barriers; other threats/risks to cash programming?
ii. Recommendations on what payment delivery mechanism(s) would be most available and appropriate?
c. Market assessment for target locations
i. To what extent would markets be able to respond to increased demand as a result of cash programming?
ii. Are core basic-need (S/MEB) items available in markets, do vendors have the ability to restock these items, and what barriers or threats exist in supply routes?
iii. Which household and community members have access to markets, including PWDs, women, youth, and older persons?
d. Client needs and preferences
i. During KIIs/focus group discussions under part one, explore to what extent cash programming would be able to address client needs, and if preferences differ between different groups (e.g., IDPs, women, men, older persons, PWD, youth, etc.)
e. Associated risk analysis
i. Have clients experienced any positive or negative effects on household and community dynamics (using a conflict sensitive, Do No Harm Lens) linked with cash assistance.
ii. What are the key risks associated with the provision of cash relief, noting specifically potential risks to clients as a result of cash programming disaggregating by vulnerability status and gender?
iii. Possible mitigations for potential risks cash programming poses to clients in the Libyan context.
A summary of initial desk review findings is expected; then the analysis from the full study should be consolidated into a report of no more than 25 pages (excluding annexes) including a 2-3-page Executive Summary. A more detailed report outline will be developed in consultation with IRC internal stakeholders during the term of the assignment.
The schedule for deliverables is two-part:
- Initial desk review (as per Part 1 above) and workplan for the remaining tasks associated with the study by September 30, 2022.
- Remaining tasks and final report by October 31, 2022.
Timeline and LOE
Commencing September 19, 2022, an estimated 3 days of prep work is anticipated, with 12-14 days for desk review and data gathering, and 8-10 days for analysis and writing. The draft report should be shared with the IRC Libya senior management team and the Economic Recovery and Development technical unit for feedback, with final revisions completed by the consultant by October 31, 2022.
- Bachelor’s degree in economics, international relations, social science, business or related field required; master’s degree in related field preferred. - Minimum of 5 years professional experience in economic recovery or livelihoods-related field including a demonstrable understanding of cash assistance, its uses, parameter, etc.; direct experience with Cash and Voucher assistance in Libya (or similar, complex contexts) is an asset.
· Experience in Libya is essential.
· Experience working or collaborating with private sector in Libya is desirable.
- Assessment and research skills and strong written and oral communication skills, and effective in liaison with external parties. - Fluency in Arabic and strong English language skills required.
Application: Applicants should submit both a CV and cover letter. In your cover letter, clearly and briefly explain your interest in this assignment and summarize the relevant knowledge and experience you bring directly responding to the consultancy announcement.