Consultant - SIDA-TAGHIR Learning Research Activity - Social Cohesion

Programs Anywhere, United States



Mercy Corps works in places of transition, where conflict, disaster, political upheaval, or economic collapse present opportunities to build more secure, productive, and just communities. Providing emergency relief in times of crisis, we move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks, and promote sustainable change by supporting community-led and market-driven initiatives. Recognizing both the great potential and the complex challenges faced by the Middle East, since 1989 Mercy Corps has been implementing a range of humanitarian assistance and development programs tailored to the specific needs of the region and of those communities where we work.  Mercy Corps has worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming, more than a third of which has focused on the specific needs of refugees and displaced persons.

The primary goal of Mercy Corps’ livelihoods sector is to contribute to Iraq’s stabilization, reduce poverty and inequality by increasing resilience capacity in order for people in Iraq (including Syrian refugees) to obtain sustainable livelihood and employment opportunities, and access to goods and services while reducing the effects and risks of disaster, conflict, or other shocks.  For the next two years, the livelihoods sector will focus on linking emergency response activities to early recovery and rehabilitation, and eventually transitioning to longer-term recovery and sustainable development. The sector’s strategy will build on what Mercy Corps has already accomplished during the emergency and early recovery phase in the affected communities to identify innovative development solutions and integrated holistic livelihood interventions that can enhance their resilience and maintain economic stability.

Mercy Corps focuses on the understanding that Iraqi households are operating in a context of increasing risk and uncertainties, and that the gains achieved through livelihood and income generating activities will only be sustained if people are able to anticipate, absorb, and adapt to shocks and stresses.  Mercy Corps approach to livelihood resilience will not only focus on the ability of people to mitigate, adapt to and recover from shocks and stresses but also to recognize that shocks but also recognizes the role of systems, including economic, government and social systems, in enabling people to be resilient and creating opportunities for transformation. Our work around market systems development will also integrate responses to climate related shocks and stresses to ensure that our programs are environmentally-sensitive and responsive to climate change related challenges.


TAGHIR is a three year project funded by SIDA on “Promoting resilience for returnees and host communities in Ninawa”. The project runs from 1 June 2019 to 31 May 2022, and targeting 112,265 people (youth, returnees and host communities) in three districts in Ninawa, including Mosul, Sinjar and Tel Kaif - which are prioritized due to the diverse ethnic and sectarian make-up of the population in Ninewa (Sunni Arab, Shi’a Arab, Shabak, Yazidi, Christian, Turkman, Kurd), as well as the large number of displaced and returning populations. The goal of this project is: To facilitate peaceful environment and wellbeing of the returnees and host communities in conflict affected districts and sub-districts of Ninawa through psychosocial resilience, social cohesion and livelihood restoration.


To generate evidence-based research and learning on how multi-sectoral programming could improve resilience of conflict affected households in Ninewa, Iraq

Methodology and Scope

Given the current context of Iraq, how can Mercy Corps increase resilience of targeted populations with an  inclusive approach to social cohesion programming?

  • What approaches would be most successful in ensuring conflict affected individuals are able to become resilient?
  • How do we measure success for social cohesion programming? How do we duplicate Mercy Corps successes?
  • How does MC ensure we are pushing past co-existing and moving towards harmonization in our programming to support last change and durable solutions?
  • How can MC complement our current social cohesion portfolio with complementary programs; including but not limited to livelihoods and psychosocial support, to create a more holistic response, and support sustainable solutions for project participants. How do these approaches change based on target participants - male and female youth, refugees, IDPs, and returnees?


The consultant is expected to deliver the following:

  1. Inception Report: After having a desk review of the SIDA-TAGHIR documents, the consultant is expected to produce an inception report of how information will be analyzed, presented and discussed/adjusted together with Mercy Corps.
  2. Design, develop, review and refine data collection tools: With Mercy Corps Iraq’s SIDA-TAGHIR program and MEL teams, develop tools, including translation to Arabic languages, where appropriate.
  • Encode and analyze data
  1. Present Research Findings: The comprehensive final research findings must follow the following criteria: The consultant is expected to deliver a comprehensive final report; the report should be in four (4) hard-cover-bound, physical, copies and a soft copy (PDF and Word - submitted electronically). Page limit for the full report is 40 pages (exclusive of annexes and attachments).
  1. Report Structure & Content:
  2. Cover Page, List of Acronyms
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Executive Summary: This section should be a clear and concise stand-alone document that gives readers the essential contents of the report, including a summary of major findings, lessons learned, and recommendations.
  5. Methodology: This section should be sufficiently detailed to help the reader judge the accuracy of the report and its findings.
  6. Limitations: This section should address constraints and limitations of the methodology, and the implications of these limitations for the findings, including whether and why any of the evaluation findings are inconclusive.
  7. Results: This section should provide a clear assessment of progress with respect to indicators / targets / objectives and/or evaluation questions. Reference baseline and midterm evaluation information as well as program logic, theory of change, etc.
  8. Synthesis, Recommendations and Lessons Learned: This is space for the evaluation team to think about the data and results, and make concrete recommendations for current or future program improvements, pull out organization lessons learned, and generally comment on data and results. Everything presented in this section should be directly linked back to the information presented in the Results section of the report
  9. Conflicts of Interest: Disclose any conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest, including the interest of program staff in having a successful program.
  10. Annexes: These should include a complete file of data collection instruments in English and translations (Arabic); list of stakeholder groups with number and type of interactions; SOW, qualitative protocols developed and used, any data sets (these can be provided in electronic format), any required photos, participant profiles or other special documentation needed.

The report will be submitted in English and must include clear, substantiated recommendations for improvement of future similar programming.

The following are the key deadlines: Inception report to be submitted 20 December or at maximum timeframe as outlined in the timeline table. First draft report to be submitted on 20 January 2021. Mercy Corps will review the draft report and provide feedback no later than 25 January 2021. The Final report, incorporating feedback, will be due on 30 January 2021.


The Consultant will work closely with: SIDA-TAGHIR Senior Program Manager, Head of Livelihoods, Program Performance and Quality Director.

The Consultant will report to: MEL Manager for SIDA-TAGHIR.


Mercy Corps will review and approve the methodology, approaches, plans, and tools prior to usage.


The consultant is expected to carry out the following tasks and to produce a comprehensive final evaluation report.




3 days

Desk review of social cohesion interventions in Iraq, as well as Mercy Corps programs


2 days

Produce inception report of how information will be analyzed and presented and discuss/adjust together with Mercy Corps


3 days

Design, develop, review (with Mercy Corps Iraq’s SIDA-TAGHIR program and MEL teams) and refine data collection tools including translation to Arabic languages, where appropriate.


5 days

Conduct data collection activities


3 days

Encode and analyze data


4 days

Prepare draft evaluation report



  1. All the collected data and provided reports will be sole property of Mercy Corps and should not be shared or published without approval.
  2. Mercy Corps will not have any obligations for any issues arising between the consultant and SIDA-TAGHIR staff/management. 
  3. Mercy Corps will have a maximum of 3 reviews/revision processes for each tool/report submitted before service provider finalization and usage.
  4. All the materials must be delivered in word and pdf format.
  5. The consultant must sign the data-sharing agreement with Mercy Corps at the onset which stipulates that any data on programme documents, internal Mercy Corps must not be shared unless otherwise have prior approval from Mercy Corps.