Individual Consultancy for Good Practices on Cash and Sectors At UN High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering an Individual Consultancy in the Division of Resilience and Solutions.

UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

Title: Individual Consultancy for Good Practices on Cash and Sectors

Duty Station: Home-based

Duration: Starting as soon as possible for 10 weeks

Contract Type: Individual Consultancy

Closing date: 17 October 2021

Start date: as soon as possible

Organisational context

Since 2016, UNHCR has implemented the objectives set out in the Policy on CBI that committed the organization to double its volume of CBI as a proportion of assistance by 2020. Most of UNHCR’s CBI (95 per cent) is disbursed without restrictions giving the choice to the recipients on how best to meet their own needs. CBI now exceeds in-kind assistance. The new CBI Policy 2021-2025 sets out a “why not approach” for cash, meaning that cash is UNHCR’s primary modality to meet basic needs over core relief items; the latter which assistance needs to be better justified in the future.

Post-distribution monitoring of CBI in 60 countries suggest that beneficiaries use cash to a wide range of purposes, including protection, basic needs, WASH, education, shelter, health, livelihoods and protection against winter conditions. In the past 12 months, WASH saw a significant increase in the use of cash for hygiene during COVID including through unrestricted cash. CBI for education continued to increase, in particular in the MENA region in line with the Cash for Education: Direction and Key Considerations. In 2021, UNHCR also launched The Role of Cash Assistance in Financing Access to Health Care in Refugee Settings and other Persons of Concern to UNHCR.

In 2021, UNHCR conducted several webinars in the various sectors. Country offices then expressed strong interest in learning from other countries’ good practices. Significant opportunities exist to scale up cash through sectors while maximizing its impact through supporting activities.

Duties and responsibilities

Overall Purpose and Scope of Assignment

The main purpose of the consultancy is to collect good practices on CBI in relation to WASH, education, livelihoods and health including from a beneficiary perspective. This will include looking at how countries use cash to reach sector outcomes and what are the do’s and don’ts.

The expected outputs will consist of the following four separate reports:

· CBI and WASH: Good practices with a focus on the complementary activities ie., awareness-raising and sensitization, and impacts on the use of cash on beneficiaries.

· CBI and Education: Good practices with an emphasis on the use of cash being used to increase access to both primary and secondary education, looking also at how CBI can influence refugees’ access to national systems and inclusion in communities. Good practices will also place an emphasis on the retention of incentive teachers (if possible) that engage with refugee learners.

· CBI and Health: State of play/ good practices of examples where CBI has been used by beneficiaries to access health care services, including national services, medications and medical supplies, health related commodities and other uses to improve health and nutrition outcomes; looking at what works well and what doesn’t and whether it is in line with current UNHCR guidance.

· Cash and Livelihoods: Good practices and examples of cash used for livelihoods purposes, i.e. small business investments, scaling or diversification, skills development, agriculture, transport, or accessing financial services.


The methodology will be defined in detail by the selected consultant. Overall, the methodology should use a combination of 1) desk review and content analysis of relevant background as well as relevant data and documents; and 2) in-depth interviews with sector experts and country offices. As the main deliverable will comprise reports on good practices on CBI and WASH, livelihoods, health and education, the consultant is required to organize and implement a consultative process, including relevant colleagues from the sectors, field, regional Bureaux and HQ. UNHCR’s PDM results on the use of CBI from 60 countries will help identify the 2-3 target locations per sector for the study.

  1. WASH: The WASH component will focus on documenting good practices with a focus on links to other services, best/most appropriate use by phase/context, accompanying measures/ integrated programming and behavioural change.

o How does UNHCR use CBI for WASH?

o How can CBI be combined with other approaches (market support, technical WASH support, etc.) for WASH?

o When is it appropriate / relevant to use CBI for WASH? In which phases of responses (acute, transitional, protracted)? In-camp vs out-of-camp? What are the enabling factors?

o How can UNHCR increase the use of CBI, when appropriate, for WASH?

o When MPC is used as a tool to meet basic needs, how can WASH-related needs be considered?

2. Education: The education component will focus on documenting good practices of CBIs that have increased access to education for refugee learners at primary and secondary levels. In addition, this component of the research will look at documenting good practices in using CBIs to undertake teacher incentive disbursement in forced displacement settings. The following questions can be considered for collecting information and documenting good practices in these two areas. **

a) On education access:

o What are some of the good practices to ensure that CBIs increase education access? Are there differences in the benefits of CBIs in settings of inclusion, where refugees are enrolled in national education systems, in comparison to settings of non-inclusion?**

o What are the main education related expenditures (e.g. tuition fees, supplies, transportation)? Do these vary at the primary and secondary level (If possible to disaggregate)?**

o What are some of the lessons learned from CBI programmes that have not managed to increase access to education?**

o What were the positive outcomes for persons of concern of the CBI for education? Are there differences in the outcomes by gender, disability?

o What complimentary activities can UNHCR undertake to increase positive education outcomes, particularly around access?

b) On teacher incentives:

o Are operations using CBI for teacher incentive payments?

o What are some of the good practices associated to CBI distribution to ensure continuity of engagement of incentive teachers with refugee learners?**

o What are some of the good practices of cash-based delivery to incentive teachers that have a) proven successful in retaining incentive teachers; b) eased tensions with host community teachers despite disparity between incentives and salaries (host teachers)?

Overarching (applying to education access & teacher incentives):

o Has the use of cash for education increased implementation and operational efficiencies?

o Are there cost savings in the use of cash for education?

o Who are the other actors using CBIs to support education access for children and teacher incentives, and are cash disbursement mechanisms harmonized?

o How is the CBI disbursement process, targeting and monitoring undertaken?

3. Health: *

o Under what circumstances is CBI used to contribute to greater access to health care in national systems, other service providers, and for medications, medical supplies and other health and nutrition-related commodities?

o What are the factors (including both supply and demand side) that have been found to facilitate or hinder the use of cash to meet health needs?

o To what extent are the recommendations in the above guidance on financing access to health care being followed? For example (but not limited to):

§ An assessment of the capacity of the health services to meet health needs for beneficiaries has been made

§ Cost has been identified as a main barrier to uptake of health services

§ An assessment of health seeking behavior has been made

§ If cash is being provided to facilitate access to secondary health care is this in line with country specific referral protocols?

o What activities improve the outcome of the use of CBI to meet health needs?

o What are the lessons learnt from the current use of cash in refugee operations to improve access to health care including examples of good and not-so-good practices?

o Is there evidence of secondary effects of the use of cash to meet health needs (both positive and negative) including gender related?

o How is the use of cash being monitored including the evidence that it achieves or contributes to the health-related objectives?

4. Livelihoods

The livelihoods component will focus on documenting good practices/innovative approaches to support access to (labour) markets, business investments and access to relevant services. In addition, this component will gather lessons on related interventions, levels and timing allowing recipients to maximize utilization of CBI.

o Where does UNHCR do cash for livelihoods and economic inclusion?

o When does cash contribute to achieving livelihoods outcomes, including access to (labour) markets, business investments and access to relevant services?

o What are some of the good practices ensuring that livelihoods and economic inclusion outcomes are achieved?

o Are operations using CBI to target specific parts of the population/population groups who are assessed to have specific challenges accessing (labour) markets (i.e. youth, women, people with disabilities or LGBTQI)?

o What are the good examples of CBI contributing to increased access to financial services?

o What are the good examples of systems to define eligibility criteria and levels of CBI for livelihoods and economic inclusion purposes?

o What are the challenges and barriers in using CBI for livelihoods and economic inclusion purposes?

o What other services or complementary actions or policies are needed for CBI for livelihoods and economic inclusion to be successful?

o Are there lessons learned on when and how frequent CBI should be distributed to maximize livelihoods and economic opportunities? **

Management of the Consultancy

The consultancy will be managed by the Division of Resilience and Solutions.

Expected Deliverables and Timeline

The expected deliverables will be one report per sector (WASH, Health, Education and Livelihoods) consolidating primarily good practices and analysis (6-8 pages per sector).

Expected Deliverable and Timelines

Phase 1 – Week 1-2 : Inception including:

  • Initial desk review
  • Inception meeting
  • Key stakeholder meetings

Inception phase including inception meeting and review and survey development.

Phase 2 – Week 3-6: Data collection and analysis including:

  • In depth document and data review
  • Key stakeholder interviews
  • Validation webinar on preliminary outline, principles and content
  • Stakeholder feedback on preliminary outline

Review and secondary data collection resulting in a validation workshop on preliminary outline.

Phase 3 – Week 7-9: Write Up including:

  • Flesh out the agreed outline
  • Review of draft reports, circulation for comments
  • Stakeholder feedback and validation of the draft good practices/ sector reports

Draft final report (for circulation and comments)

Phase 4 – Week 10: Finalization of the good practices/ sector reports

Final Report (including a report on the development process)

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience


· Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master’s) in International Development, Public Policy, Sectors (health, livelihoods, WASH, education) or related field.

Work Experience

· Minimum 15 years of previous job experience relevant to the function

· Solid experience of coordinating humanitarian assistance and services in refugee/displacement contexts, including in emergencies

· Excellent drafting sills with proven outputs

· Experience in the design and implementation of assistance in at least two of the technical areas: WASH, education, health, and livelihoods

· Operational programme experience in the UN is desirable

· Solid understanding of refugee contexts and how to implement assistance and services**

Language requirements

· Fluency (written/oral) and strong writing skills in English.

· Fluency in French or another UN language would be desirable.


Home-based Consultancy.


The Individual Consultancy is full-time (100%) for a period of 10 weeks

How to apply

Interested applicants should submit their Letter of motivation and Personal History Form (PHF) to indicating DRS/2021/024, Individual Consultancy for Good Practices on Cash and Sectors in the subject of the email**.**

Personal History Forms are available at PHF Form / Supplementary Sheet.

Applications without PHF Form will not be considered.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

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