Consultant - Eastern DR Congo Ebola Market Impact Assessment - DRC

Programming Goma, Congo, Democratic Republic Of (Was Zaire)


Project Location(s): Goma, DR Congo (with some travel to field sites in function of evolution of epidemic or for KIIs/FGDs)


Since the outbreak of the current Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in eastern DR Congo, the operational response has prioritized prevention, treatment, and public health. While studies suggest that the ‘Ebola economy’ is a significant driver of community distrust, there is a gap in the existing research on the economic impact of Ebola. Analysis conducted during the West Africa epidemic demonstrated significant market distortions that affected household income and food security; supply and transport for local and regional markets; and agricultural productivity.

In the context of the current epidemic, there is a need to investigate the economic impact of the crisis - and how its perception shapes community acceptance or rejection of the Ebola response. There is an opportunity to examine lessons learned from the economic and transport hubs of Beni & Butembo to identify lessons learned and best practices to inform programmatic responses to prepare adjacent zones, especially the provincial capital Goma.

If attention is not paid to the economic impact of the crisis, the situation will continue to deteriorate over the coming months - with implementers and responders designing programming without proper knowledge of how they are contributing to market distortions.

Mercy Corps proposes to research demonstrated economic impacts of the Ebola epidemic, as it relates to: community distrust and perceptions on the influx of money and goods; preparedness for Goma; food security; supply of goods, services and employment; the importance of the Beni/Butembo/Goma axis for transport of goods in country and regionally; economic self-sufficiency before and since the epidemic in affected areas, and; the potential for severe disruptions in the event of major market or border closures. This research will build on previous assessments Mercy Corps has led in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Some of these issues may have immediate remedies, while others will require medium to long-term interventions. The findings from this assessment will fill in the information gaps and the information can be leveraged to help end the epidemic, as well as lay the groundwork for early recovery in a region which has been devastated by the Ebola virus.

Purpose / Project Description

Key questions that the consultancy should answer are:

  • Economic Impacts
    • What are the economic and social effects of the Ebola epidemic on local businesses and market institutions in key market systems, and what are the follow-on effects for households in target locations? This will include identifying the most affected market systems (consider list above) and estimating and comparing economic impacts between different key locations where possible.
  • Market Constraints:
    • How does the Ebola epidemic affect key marketplaces and market systems? What constraints and issues does it create?
    • Are there longer run market constraints that have been exacerbated as a result of Ebola, and how?
  • Market-based Coping and Resilience:
    • How do actors in markets cope with and adapt to problems created directly or indirectly by the Ebola epidemic?
    • How do actors in key market systems expect to cope with the further spread of Ebola, and potential follow on effects, including market and border closures, among others?
  • Social Dynamics:
    • What is the role of market actors in social cohesion, connections, and trust as well feeding drivers of conflict?
    • If/how has the Ebola epidemic shifted the role of market actors in driving social dynamics?
Consultant Deliverables
  • Report of no more than 35 pages (excluding annexes) in English; French
  • Short summary of no more than 5 pages in English and French;
  • Powerpoint presentation of the process and key findings;
  • 1-3 hour meetings, panels, presentations in DRC/Capitals to present/discuss findings;
  • Data collection Tools
  • Raw data from KIIs/FGDs.
Mercy Corps Responsibilities
  • Organize all logistics and accommodation
  • Review/approve all draft and final deliverables
  • Facilitate introductions to key stakeholders in the field, Goma
Timeframe / Schedule

Due dates will be finalized in the workplan upon approval by Mercy Corps. The anticipated timeframe for this assignment is estimated at 30 days.

The Consultant will report to:

Program Quality and Development Manager; Ebola Programs Director

The Consultant will work closely with:

Director of Programs, Program Managers, and HQ-based technical advisors


  • MA/MSc in international relations, development, economics, anthropology or related degrees required;
  • At least 7 years’ experience working in international relations/development with NGOs, governments, multilateral organizations, think-tanks or private companies required;
  • Experience leading market assessments, and experience participating in Ebola assessments required;
  • Experience conducting research, including data collection, coding and synthesizing qualitative data, required;Applicants will be asked to provide previous reports;
  • Previous experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa required;
  • Previous experience in eastern DR Congo desired;
  • Experience implementing Ebola programs desired;
  • Fluency in spoken and written French required.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English desired.
Success Factors
  • Ability to work under pressure, independently and with limited supervision;
  • Demonstrated creative problem-solving skills and excellent time management capacities;
  • Security, political and cultural awareness;
  • Highly developed interpersonal communication skills.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision.  Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.