Safer Programming Guidance Consultant At Habitat for Humanity


Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI or Habitat), recognizes the moral imperative to reduce vulnerability and provide assistance to people suffering from the impact of disasters and humanitarian crisis. Habitat subscribes to the principle that people have the right to assistance and protection with dignity and impartiality, without discrimination. This assistance, focused on shelter and settlements, is framed within the humanitarian imperative that compels Habitat to take action to prevent or alleviate human suffering, providing unconditional help based on need.

Habitat has responded to disasters globally since 1998, through its network of Habitat entities (more than 60 country offices – and 1,100+ affiliates in the United States), supported by regional and global disaster risk reduction and response (DR3) experts. To support these efforts, a set of industry standards, operating procedures and field guides / technical documents and tools to utilize for scaling-up approaches were developed in 2018 and adapted to the challenges of operating in a COVID context during 2019-2020.

Habitat for Humanity has zero tolerance for exploitative, inappropriate, or unfair treatment of those we serve or work alongside. Habitat is dedicated to “preventing and responding to harm caused by physical or sexual abuse or exploitation, harassment, or bullying of the people in the communities we serve (especially vulnerable adults and children) and also the people who we work or partner with,” as outlined in the Safeguarding Policy. Amongst Habitat’s Safeguarding Standards is the commitment that all programs, humanitarian responses and global initiatives are designed and delivered in a manner which is safe for communities, partners and representatives to participate – otherwise known as ‘safer programming’. This commitment is cascaded to our implementation partner agencies.

As part of this commitment and to strengthen the humanitarian programming conducted around the world, Habitat seeks to develop and implement a comprehensive safer humanitarian programming protocol, ensuring that safeguarding is fully integrated throughout the intervention lifecycle.


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Purpose of the consultancy:

Habitat for Humanity International wishes to engage a consultant or group of consultants to create a Safer Humanitarian Programming Guidance Note with supporting tools. This practical guidance will be utilized by deployed staff, implementing partners, Habitat entities and volunteers to operationalize our commitment to ‘safer programming’ (including Safeguarding and participants’ data protection) within each disaster response and disaster risk reduction intervention or the whole response project. The intent of this guidance is to focus on humanitarian context brought on by natural disasters, not focusing on conflict zones or complex emergencies. This protocol aims to make our humanitarian programs more inclusive, reduce risk to vulnerable groups, and make our work safer and more accountable.

The Safer Humanitarian Programming Guidance Note will be aligned to Habitat’s Safeguarding Policy/Standards and informed by the upcoming refined People-Centered Development Framework. while the guidance should take into account major safety and security concerns, a more thorough subject matter review will be performed outside of this particular consultancy.

Once the main guidance note is completed, the consultant or group of consultants will then review and incorporate this guidance within the existing twelve (12) technical documents and three foundational documents the Disaster Risk Reduction and Response program operates by.

Scope of works:

The consultancy will be focused on the following deliverables:

  • Deliverable 1: Develop safer programming guidance for humanitarian context
  • Activity 1.1. Desk Review of Safer Humanitarian Programing – Utilizing existing tools in the sector and Habitat policies/practices, the consultant will map out the assets and needs across Habitat’s humanitarian programming to achieve safer programming.
  • Activity 1.2. Develop standards/protocol for safer programming in humanitarian contexts – Building off the desk review, the consultant will work with the DR3 Unit and Safeguarding Unit to draft an initial set of standards/protocols for Habitat to use in a humanitarian context. These should be reflective of the program lifecycle, including minimum preparation standards for disaster contingency planning in the context of high-risk areas for natural hazards (complex and protracted crisis scenarios are not considered in this consultancy); specific consideration of the needs of vulnerable groups (e.g. women, children, persons with disabilities, etc.) and virtual/digital engagement. With regard to virtual/digital engagement, the standards should reflect privacy rights of beneficiaries, including appropriate practices for protection of their image or likeness, safety practices for vulnerable groups in connection with social media, security of personal information in cash transfers, and other data security and retention practices.
  • Activity 1.3 Develop metrics to support the safeguarding standards/protocols (completed in Activity 1.2) to enhance accountability to affected populations for safer programming in the humanitarian context – Using the lens of Habitat programming and the protocol set in Activity 1.2, the consultant will develop a set of metrics that can be applied to Habitat’s humanitarian shelter programs to enhance accountability and drive greater safeguarding compliance for both Habitat and implementing partners.
  • Activity 1.4 Develop guidance for incorporating safeguarding into humanitarian project proposals, work plans and budgets – Specifically focusing on the design phase of a program lifecycle, the consultant will develop a set of guidance tools to ensure integration of safer humanitarian programming into project proposals, work plans and budgets.
  • Activity 1.5 Develop overall Guidance Note (inclusive of Activities 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4) – Building off the desk review and Activities 1.2 – 1.4, the consult will draft the final guidance note after the submission of recommendations for content/formatting has been approved by Habitat.
  • Deliverable 2: Pilot the Safer Humanitarian Program Guidance with respective team members (DR3, Safeguarding) and sample programs from Habitat’s four (4) global regions – Europe/Middle East/Africa; Latin America/Caribbean and Asia/Pacific.
  • Activity 2.1 Pilot guidance with respective teams – Habitat will convene a team of stakeholders and country program representatives to review/pilot the guidance established in Deliverable 1, including how to guidance can be used for implementing partners. This team of stakeholders will include Regional DR3 Officers, Regional Safeguarding Advisors and other programmatic representatives. The consultant will develop the appropriate testing tools (e.g. process formulation, feedback forms, etc.) and host support webinar(s) to introduce the guidance note and pilot process.
  • Activity 2.2. Feedback and Learning Loop – Depending on the feedback process designed in 2.1, the consultant will collect feedback in consultation with the Habitat team, taking into consideration aspects such as ease of use, operational constraints, and local contextualization. Relevant feedback will be incorporated into the final guidance note.
  • Deliverable 3: Integration of the safer humanitarian program guidance and risk assessment into existing technical materials.
  • Activity 2.1 General Risk Assessment for safer humanitarian programming conducted on the twelve (12) core technical documents utilized by Habitat. – Using Habitat’s risk template and the twelve (12) technical documents , the consultant will conduct a desktop risk analysis through a safer humanitarian program lens for Habitat’s main programmatic intervention areas. These risk assessments should not be seen as exhaustive, rather capturing the key risk areas that would be experienced by most non-complex humanitarian disasters and highlighting any major risks that could emerge.
  • Activity 2.2 Integration of guidance into the existing twelve (12) core technical documents – Utilizing the guidance developed (Deliverable 1) and risk assessment (Activity 2.1), integrate the guidance into the Habitat’s twelve (12) technical documents so that safer humanitarian programming guidance is integrated through all the key technical intervention areas.
  • Activity 2.3 Integration of guidance into existing humanitarian foundational documents (). – Review the three (3) key documents that formulate the foundation of Habitat’s humanitarian programming – Humanitarian Conceptual Framework, Pathways to Permanence Approach in response to disasters and Humanitarian Standards/Policy Overview- The consultant will revise these documents and make specific recommendations for updating them to integrate the safer humanitarian programming guidance as appropriate.
  • Deliverable 4: Development of tools to support the roll-out and operationalization of the safer humanitarian programming guidance.
  • Activity 4.1 Creation of tools – To support the guidance note, the consultant in collaboration with the Habitat team will design and create materials (e.g., checklists, PowerPoint presentations, worksheets, etc.) to facilitate the widespread adoption and implementation across the Habitat network. It is estimated that 1-3 tools will be created.

Consultancy Outputs:

  • Deliverable 1: Safeguarding Programming Guidance Note for humanitarian context
  • Deliverable 2: Pilot report
  • Deliverable 3: Updated technical documents in alignment with the guidance developed
  • Development of specific recommendations for the foundational documents
  • Deliverable 4: Development of tools to support operationalizing safer programming practices. Consultant(s) should make recommendations of tools needed then agree upon 1-3 tools for them to create.


  • Commitments related to this RFP will only apply when they are put in writing by the employee who is responsible for managing the RFP process. In no case shall verbal communication govern over written communications.

Proposal submission Process:

  • Please send all communications related to this RFP, including questions and vendor proposals to: and . Proposals should be submitted by December 6th, 2021 5:00 pm EST.

Vendors shall submit to HFHI a proposal including the following sections:

  • Expression of Interest, providing a brief description justifying the vendors expectation of success in delivering the work described in this RFP, including a summary of the vendor’s relevant experience.
  • Technical Proposal, describing how the vendor’s expertise and experience relates to and can provide depth to each of the deliverables described in this RFP.
  • CV(s) of key personnel whom the vendor proposes will actually perform the work, including citations of relevant publications, if any.
  • Illustrative writing samples of work from similar projects authored by key personnel
  • Budget proposal, estimating total cost for the engagement as well as estimated number of days for completion and daily rate(s). Habitat anticipates that this contract will not exceed $ 23,500 USD.
  • Vendor’s corporate overview – Legal name; contact information including email address; year of incorporation; number of employees, description of products & services
  • At least three referees that can be contacted for feedback on past performance

Project Milestones and deadline:

  • RFP Delivered to Vendors: November 18th, 2021
  • RFP Deadline for submission: December 06th (5:00 pm EST)
  • Vendor Interviews: Starting December 7th – 10th
  • Award contract to Vendor: December 13th- 17tht
  • Start of consultancy: January 17th, 2022 (TBC)
  • Proposed Safer Programming Guidance Note (content outline and format): January 24th
  • Draft of all four deliverables submitted for approval: March 04th
  • Final deliverables due: March 15th, 2022.

Vendors who have demonstrated their capacity to meet our needs will be contacted via phone and/or email to be notified of their selection to move forward in the RFP process. Vendors, who have not been selected, will not be contacted. By responding to this RFP, the vendor agrees to be responsible for fully understanding the requirements or other details of the RFP and will ask any questions to ensure such understanding is gained. HFHI retains the right to disqualify vendors who do not demonstrate a clear understanding of our needs. Furthermore, the right to disqualify a vendor extends past the contract award period and HFHI will be at no fault, cost, or liability.

Respondents may be required to provide proof of insurance which names HFHI and affiliated companies as an additional insured of Respondent and shall include a waiver of subrogation in favor of the additional insured: (a) A standard policy covering Respondent’s obligations for Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Employer’s Liability Insurance sufficient to comply with all applicable statutory, regulatory and other legal requirements; and (b) Commercial General Liability and/or Excess Umbrella Liability Insurance covering Respondent’s performance under the Agreement with limits not less than $2,000,000 each occurrence and $2,000,000 in the aggregate. Such insurance shall include coverage for contractual liability (applying to the terms and conditions of this Agreement), personal injury liability, advertising injury liability, property damage liability and bodily injury liability (including death) and products and completed operations. In certain instances, cyber insurance may be required. Respondent may provide thirty (30) days’ notice of cancelation of insurance or reduction in coverage.

Good Faith Statement: All information provided by HFHI is offered in good faith. Specific items are subject to change at any time based on business circumstances. HFHI does not guarantee that any particular item is without error. HFHI will not be held responsible or liable for use of this information or for any claims asserted therefrom.

Proposal Selection Criteria

  • Proven Experience in Safeguarding or Safer Programming Guidelines creation: 50%
  • Proven Experience in Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements and Resilience programming:20%
  • Consultancy Proposal (including consultancy budget and fee rate): 30%

Reporting Lines

  • The consultant(s)’ work will need to be approved by the Global Head of Safeguarding and the DR3 Senior Director. During its implementation, the consultant will account with the guidance of a core Steering Committee made up of the following members:
  • Sr Director Disaster Risk Reduction and Response (managing day to day consultancy needs and liaison with TOC activation)

Global Head of Safeguarding

  • DR3 Sr Director International Operations
  • DR3 Program Development Manager

Budget and Logistics

The Consultant should prepare a detailed budget including consultancy fees and related cost. Vendor must agree to keep the quoted pricing in their proposals for a minimum of 90 days after proposal submission.

It is anticipated that this work will be home-based, desktop work with flexibility in the location of the home-based location (remote- internationally). The Consultant should be prepared to engage in Microsoft TEAMs (or similar technology) with multiple time zones (LAC, AP, EMEA) and with different staff within the US.

Other Provisions

Waiver Authority HFHI reserves the right, as its sole discretion, to waive minor irregularities in submittal requirements, to request modification of the response, to accept or reject any or all responses received, and/or to cancel all or part of this RFP at any time prior to awards.

Disclaimer This RFP does not commit HFHI to award any funds, pay any costs incurred in preparing a response, or procure or contract for services or supplies. HFHI reserves the right to accept or reject any or all responses received, negotiate with all qualified Respondents, cancel, or modify the RFP in part or in its entirety, or change the response guidelines, when it is in its best interest.

Changes/ Amendments to RFP: This RFP has been distributed electronically by email and through various websites. Any updates and/or changes will be communicated by these same means.

How to apply

  • Please send all communications related to this RFP, including questions and vendor proposals to: and . Proposals should be submitted by December 6th, 2021 5:00 pm EST.

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