Building resilience through gender and conflict sensitive approaches to education, skills development and sustainable livelihoods in South Sudan
Terms of Reference
Indigenous Knowledge and Disaster Risk Reduction in South Sudan
South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 2011. Since 2013 it has been in a civil war, which ended in 2020, but violence continues at local levels in many parts of the country. The disaster profile of South Sudan ranges from health crises to flooding, and drought. An estimated 800,000 people have been affected by floods in areas along the Nile and Lol rivers, and in Sudd marshlands since May 2021. Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states are the worst affected.  Vast areas of the country are now under water and food insecurity is at record levels. South Sudan is ranked among the five countries in the world most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and people are already dealing with the consequences. These hazards aggravated by climate change have increased in recent years in terms of intensity, frequency and complexity leading to destruction of infrastructures and loss of livelihoods.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster (MHADM) is the governing authority for Disaster Risk Management (DRM) that heads the DRM committee. The structure is decentralized, and the counties are governed by local authorities and supported by DRM committees. The government of South Sudan has been preparing institutions, plans and mechanisms to increase their capacities for disaster management. There are a Draft National Strategy for DRM in South Sudan (2019) and a Draft National Disaster Risk Management Policy (2020) but they have not been passed or adopted to date. The draft policy sets up an institutional framework for humanitarian assistance and disaster risk management, including promotion of a culture of disaster risk reduction for community resilience and building the capacity for disaster risk management at all levels .
A recent report published in June 2021 reviewing East Africa region early warning- early action systems has identified some strengths and gaps in the system in South Sudan. **
With Swedish development assistance funding, Oxfam is implementing the “Building Resilience through gender and conflict sensitive approaches to education, skills development, and sustainable livelihoods in South Sudan’’ project which has started in July 2021 to May 2025 in Juba, Rumbek and Pibor.
The project overall aim is to Improve resilience through gender and conflict sensitive education and skill-based solutions for sustainable livelihoods among the target girls, boys, women and men. This will be done through:
Ensuring that conflict-affected adolescents, youth, women and men have improved knowledge and skills through safe, quality and gender responsive education and skills development and
Strengthening inclusive participation and gender responsive local leadership to ensure resilient education systems and sustainable livelihoods.
Contributing to the second outcome, the project will focus on improving the capacity of local education authorities, Parent Teacher Associations (PTA)/School Management Committee (SMC) on school management and Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR). It will increase the community capacity to respond to shocks through community managed disaster risk reduction action planning (CMDRR) and awareness on climate mitigation and adaptation mechanisms, mapping of season rainfall patterns to adopt a flexible cropping pattern as well as use flood and drought resistant variety of seeds, supporting existing community-based structure (e.g. PTAs, SMCs, school clubs) to act as agents of risk reduction. The CMDRR action plans will use local knowledge to carry out climate related risks mapping and mitigation as well as engaging local stakeholders in early warning systems and response mechanisms.
To build resilience of learners, both teachers’ and learners’ well-being is important, and to support this appreciative teaching methodologies and preparedness for shocks and disasters will be strengthened through the teacher professional development. Psycho-social/recreational activities and DRR community activities will be implemented as part of club activities in schools.
As such there is a need to better understand the existing Early Warning Systems in South Sudan at national level but also at community level. There is a gap in knowledge in terms of the available documentation and understanding of local community practices in forecasting impending hazards which prompts them to take early actions that minimize impacts. With the increasing calls for the integration of both scientific and indigenous knowledge in early warning systems to strengthen community resilience to natural hazards, there is a need to further understand the role of indigenous knowledge and its potential in designing people-centered early warning systems.
It is expected that the resulting documentation should guide the DRR interventions in the project and more widely support stakeholders in South Sudan in the further development of an inclusive early warning system for floods and droughts by giving them an overview of the variety of the indigenous knowledge available.
PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this research is to better understand and document the indigenous early warning signs and capacities of the community and the practices for most common hazards (i.e. floods, droughts, etc.) in project locations.
- To document the existing policies and systems of disaster risk management at national and subnational levels,
- To document the natural disasters (flooding, drought etc.) affecting the communities,
- To analyze the accessibility official early warning systems and scientific information on weather and climate forecasting to the local community
- To explore to what extent indigenous early warning signs communities observe and how are they forecasting disasters, including disaster management capacity and practice and also assess how it is integrated with scientific approach.
- To explore how they share the early warning signs within their community and possibly beyond and the accessibility of those (target groups),
- To analyze if and how they use them/take action to prepare for and/or respond or reduce the impacts of disasters,
- To document challenges faced by indigenous people in the management of disasters flood and drought
- To explore potential solutions can be found to improve forecasting, responding, and enhancing adaptation to disasters by indigenous people
The consultancy work will be focused on; in-depth examination of the existing disaster risk management systems at national and subnational levels and with a particular focus on understanding and documenting the indigenous early warning signs for the most common disasters in project locations and understanding the early actions taken by the local communities to address those, as well as potential opportunities for initiatives within the current project. Specific case studies will be selected from the potential project locations in Juba, Pibor and Rumbek.
A detailed methodology, including the design of data-collection tools and formulation of specific questions will be developed by the consultant. But it is expected that the consultant will carry out qualitative research according to the ToR and will include necessary tools to meet the research objectives. Some of these tools and areas of enquiry include, but are not limited to, the following:
· Desk research including a secondary literature review of existing research on disaster risk management in South Sudan, disaster profiling, indigenous knowledge and lessons learned from other contexts, as well as other relevant documentation and project documents;**
· Case study research- the desk research will inform the selection of the case study areas of the research and which should be selected from the focus areas of the project and in collaboration with the Oxfam team;
· Conduct Key informant interviews and Focus Group Discussions as relevant including consultations with Oxfam staff, national authorities, local authorities, PTA/SMCs, traditional leaders and religious leaders, elders, and chiefs; women from across the community; young people (male and female) from across the community; IDPs and; partner organizations; and other INGOs, UN/ICRC, and national NGOs/South Sudan Red Cross, IGAD ICPAC, IFRC, ICRC civil society actors present.
The Sida Programme Manager will be responsible for overall management of the assignment and will be responsible to facilitate and utilize the work of consultant for the analysis. For broader discussion and deeper analysis, a reference group consisting of the Area PMs in Pibor and Rumbek, IBIS staff, or staff from other relevant units will be established and will be engaged and convened as per the needs for discussion, ideas and suggestion during the analysis period.
OUTPUTS AND DELIVERABLES
· Inception report containing a detailed desk review and methodology with accompanying workplan and data collection tools.
· Presentation of the results and recommendations at meeting with country team, partners, and IBIS colleagues.
· Comprehensive report.
DURATION AND PROPOSED SCHEDULE
The research is expected to take place during December-January 2022 for the duration of 25 days.
Desk review of relevant data
Deliverable:** inception report (including data collection tools)
Data analysis and report write up
Deliverable: First draft study report shared to Oxfam for comments
Meeting to present the main findings to the country team, partners, and IBIS colleagues and agree on key actions that can be integrated as part of the project’s conflict-sensitivity action plan.
Deliverable:** Final study report based on comments received
- 30% upon submission of an inception report, 1 week (5 working days) after signing of the contract. This report will outline in detail the key scope of the work and detailed study methodology; data collection tools; a work plan/schedule of tasks designating a team member with the lead responsibility for each task and deliverable (output).
- 30% at submission of a draft report to Oxfam by the consultant.
- 40% upon submission of a final report in the agreed upon structure.
The data collection activities involved in this study will be based on ethics of in research principles including free consent, no harm, justice and beneficence. This is reinforced by Oxfam’s responsible data handling policy. Considering the risk and sensitivity in culture and context, we will attempt to maintain gender balance in enumerators to ensure and arrangement of same sex speaking to respondents. All respondents will be provided with a consent form. It will describe the main survey objectives, probable time that will be taken, benefits and harm (if any), protection of confidentiality, who will use the data and confirmation of voluntary consent. Respondents will also be entitled to stop responding or participating in the survey at any time during administering of the questionnaire.
This consultancy assignment is open to International/national expert consultants, with specialist knowledge and research expertise in disaster risk reduction and management. The consultant will have the following experience and qualifications:
· Postgraduate degree in social science, sociology, disaster risk reduction and management, or any other related field, PhD level desirable.
· Significant experience in disaster risk reduction and management;
· Sound theoretical knowledge of disaster risk reduction and management with an NGO, UN agency, or government;
· Previous experiences of practicing participatory methods for conducting research and planning;
· Professional experience of working in South Sudan, with a clear understanding of traditional forms of social organization and systems of local governance, as well as official systems of local administration;
· High level of competence in the English language and either of the local languages including Arabic, Dinka and Murle desirable;
· Strong communication skills, with the ability to communicate detailed concepts clearly and concisely both in writing and verbally.
DOCUMENTATION AND INFORMATION REQUIRED
The consultant should present:
· CV with relevant experience and background for the assignment and the following information
· A technical proposal with detailed response to the TOR, with specific focus on addressing the scope of work and methodology to be used (including the selection criteria of KIIs and FGDs participants), as well as including a workplan
· Detailed budget indicating consultancy fee per day, all costs included (transportation, accommodation, data collection etc.)
· Two examples of studies/reports similar to this assignment
· Three references, of which one should be related to the work
· The consultant shall submit ONE (01) copy of technical and ONE (01) copy of financial proposal in electronic form or in a single envelope. The technical and financial proposals should be clearly marked and should include the name and detailed contact of the consultant/ firm. All costs should be quoted in USD and will remain valid up to sixty days (60) from the day of proposal submission
 Responsible Data Management (RDM) is about treating the data that we collect with respect and upholding the rights of respondents – people whose data we collect. RDM focuses on treating respondents with respect and dignity and ensuring that we always act in their best interests. www.oxfam.org.uk/responsibledata