RESEARCH CONSULTANCY – COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CHANGE

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About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Mercy Corps began working in Myanmar in 2008 to help communities recover from the devastating damage of Cyclone Nargis. After the emergency phase of our work was complete, we shifted our focus to longer-term development - first in the Delta, then in other regions. Mercy Corps now works in five States and five Regions. Our overarching goal is to help bring about sustained peace, stability and economic growth that includes all people. To that end, we are helping farmers increase their productivity and incomes and improving the way agricultural markets work. We’re helping communities adapt to climate change while increasing access to life-enhancing household energy products. We’re improving the ability of local governments and civil society groups to resolve conflicts. And we're increasing the capacity of the public to meaningfully participate in decisions that affect their lives, as well as their access to effective and responsive services.

Mercy Corps Myanmar’s (MCM) vision is that all communities in the country are able to determine their future through responsive governance, inclusive and equitable access to economic opportunity, climate change resilience, and equal rights, leading to peace and prosperity. We believe that by addressing the root causes of fragility, peace and economic growth for all is possible and that our four interconnected objectives contribute to a higher level goal of increased ‘peace and prosperity’.

Mercy Corps is committed to accountability to our stakeholders — from the people and communities we serve to the donors, partners, governments, and team members who support our work. We have a responsibility to all of our stakeholders to use our resources to the best advantage and work in a respectful manner with our beneficiaries. We have a zero tolerance for violations to our Code of Ethics (e.g. Sexual Abuse of Beneficiaries and Community Members (PSEA), Anti-Trafficking Policy, Child Safeguarding Policy, Mercy Corps Ethics Complaint and Whistleblower Policy, Sexual Misconduct in the Workplace Policy and Harassment, Bullying, and Anti-Discrimination Policy and Fraud and Corruption).

Background

Myanmar is characterized by layered and concurrent shocks and stresses and the average multi-hazard annual loss, particularly affecting rural economies. Accordingly, climate resilience is a critical strategic area of intervention for Mercy Corps in Myanmar. We believe that climate change is not independent of resilience, and is a key driver of vulnerability compounding other markets, conflict and disaster related shocks and stresses

Mercy Corps Myanmar, as part of the 2021-2023 Mercy Corps Asia Resilience strategy, places climate change at the center to build our leadership in this sector and is supported by a new Climate Change Unit that delivers on strategy goals related to climate resilience.

Research is an essential part of Mercy Corps’ strategy in the country. Leveraging Mercy Corps’ culture of learning and innovation, we see evidence-based research as way to 1) take us outside of our comfort zone and test the assumptions that underpin our current programs, but also as 2) an opportunity to look beyond and explore opportunities for innovative solution-oriented programs.

Research Scope

In alignment with the above-described strategic objectives, Mercy Corps is looking to conduct a research project on how vulnerable communities in Myanmar are impacted by climate change, their priorities and needs while responding to climate change, and how they can be mobilized effectively to better cope with climate impacts. The research will include a series of consultations at the community level to assess the capacity at the local level to understand and respond to climate impacts; these will then be fed into policy-level workshops to integrate community concerns into broader policy at the strategic and operational levels.**

Key research questions:

• What are the key climate impacts faced by vulnerable communities in selected states/ regions of Myanmar? Which of these need to be prioritized from the viewpoint of severity, coping capacity and national policy imperatives?

• What are the key climate response issues/interests/commitments (made locally) in the selected states/regions? How do they link up with national commitments?

• How do communities perceive the notion of climate justice (in this context, the disproportionate spread of impacts and the distribution of the benefits and costs of climate action)? What is the nature of policy support needed here?

• To what extent are the climate impacts exacerbated by non-climate shocks such as those imposed by the COVID 19 pandemic and its response measures?

• What are the key conflicts in managing short and long-term climate impacts, especially around the management and use of natural resources? What roles do existing conflicts (political, social, economic) play in deepening climate conflicts, especially in the context of fragile ecosystems and disaster-prone regions?

• How do climate change and its response impact (and are impacted by) issues of livelihoods, disaster management, movement and migration, health and education (where relevant), social security and community cohesion?

• How can the communities be mobilized to better deal with climate change? What networks exist at the CSO level and what are their strengths and weaknesses? What could be the best mechanisms for coordination among communities and their networks?

Description of the Assignment

Mercy Corps is looking to recruit both international and national consultants with experience in Myanmar to work for a period of up to 6 months (January – June 2021 - to be confirmed at inception phase) to take on the proposed research. Individual consultants may apply and may be matched by MC with other individuals to form a complete team.

The consultants will be responsible for the overall coordination of the research project in collaboration with Mercy Corps’ team in Myanmar and other key stakeholders (e.g. local CSOs). As such, the consultants are expected to:

● Lead the design and implementation of the research project as a whole, in close coordination with Mercy Corps team in Myanmar, as well as its global technical support teams.

● Lead the development, testing, and iterative adaptation of qualitative and quantitative data collection tools as per the agreed research scope and in alignment with best practices and industry’s standards.

● Conduct a thorough review of literature and secondary data collection on the community responses to Climate Change globally, and in Myanmar specifically.

● Train the data collection team on the methodology, tools and basic analysis functions.

● Lead the design of the methodology and the establishment of a detailed workplan, and ensure the team can deliver on it.

● Review the data and lead the analysis of the collected data in coordination with Mercy Corps’ team to feed into a final report.

Reports Directly To: Regional Resilience Director

Works Directly With: Director of Programs, Senior Program Development and Quality Manager, Regional Resilience Team, Country MEL Manager, Project officers / enumerators, Technical Support Unit, and additional headquarters-based support departments as needed.

Required Skills and Experience

Mercy Corps seeks both international and Myanmar candidates with solid international development, data analysis and research experience, preferably with a complimentary focus and experience with community responses to climate change. Key requirements include:

● Sound understanding of relevant climate issues, especially climate/ development policy, climate impacts, community-based adaptation, and issues of conflict and fragility

● Strong knowledge of the Myanmar context, and demonstrated track record of delivering similar assignments in Myanmar

● Experience of both community consultations and high-level policy engagement, including with key policymakers in Myanmar (highly desirable)

● Good knowledge of research methods

● Experience of producing high quality policy-relevant research reports under tight timelines

● Good understanding of gender issues, especially in the climate context

● Good English writing and communication skills, and the ability to present information logically and concisely. Myanmar language skills (highly desirable).

How to apply

Application Process And Requirements

All information about the tender should request to mthazinoo@mercycorps.org . Please submit the following documents together with filled tender form to tenders@mercycorps.org latest by COB Myanmar Time on 27th November 2020.

● CVs of the research team

● A letter of interest in submission of a proposal

● A reference or example of past work products

● A Financial Proposal with a detailed breakdown of costs for the study quoted in United States dollars.

● All clarifications, questions and correspondences should be directed to mthazinoo@mercycorps.org and answers will be provided to applicants.

● Applications must be clearly marked tender reference number “MC – YGN – 007/20, Mercy Corps Myanmar”.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.