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Posted about 1 year ago

Consultant – Integrating Adolescents in Emergency WASH, Cash, and Food Security – Remote

  • Programming
  • Anywhere, Remote



Mercy Corps is committed to creating replicable and scalable development and humanitarian approaches that support young people living in fragile settings in order to measurably increase their social and economic well-being. Adolescence (10-19) is a time of life marked by transition, and is defined by a number of physical and psychological changes that can be both challenging and a time of discovery. In conflict or crisis, young people must somehow ‘cross over’ from childhood to adulthood without the safety, security and opportunities normally afforded to them. Further, humanitarian assistance has typically overlooked adolescents. Mercy Corps’ goal is to work with adolescents in these settings so that they are Future Proof, meaning they are mobilized to contribute to their communities today, ready for what comes their way in the future, can confront obstacles with resilience and resolve, and feel valued by their families, communities, and society. We seek to intentionally integrate adolescents as a central target population in our humanitarian response, engaging adolescents from relief to early recovery programming.

During emergencies Mercy Corps’ response often start with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), cash based transfers (Cash), and food security and nutrition (Food Security). These sectors are consider the “areas of excellence” that Mercy Corps plans to advance technically while meeting global best practice, and ensuring strong systems to measure impact. This includes meeting the needs of adolescents and ensuring safe and meaningful participation in humanitarian response. By integrating a focus on adolescents at the initial stages of a crisis we aim to reduce the use of negative coping strategies that put adolescent girls and boys at risk. Through engaging with adolescents and their support networks, we are also able to explore innovative ways to accelerate recovery, and transition programming with adolescents to explore the development of relevant knowledge and skills, as well as meaningful opportunities for civic and economic engagement.

Purpose / Project Description:

The purpose of this project is to help advance Mercy Corps’ responsiveness to the needs of adolescent boys and girls at the onset of a crisis. The project will develop actionable information based on promising practices for supporting and partnering with adolescents through emergency WASH, Cash, and Food Security programming. The information is expected to provide concrete guidance to team members in WASH, Cash, and Food Security to incorporate the needs and strengths of adolescent girls and boys when implementing emergency response programming.

The consultant will review literature on emergency response in WASH, Cash, Food Security & Nutrition, Child Protection (with a focus on girls and boys aged 10-19 years), GBV, and Gender to compile best practices and approaches to inform intentional adolescent programming in Mercy Corps’ emergency response “areas of excellence”. As a result of adolescents traditionally being underserved within emergency response programming, there may be a lack of specific guidance and therefore a need for the consultant to craft best practices by adapting tested approaches that use age, gender and protection factors to inform WASH, Cash and Food Security activities. This includes attention to strategies for working with the most hard-to-reach adolescent girls and boys; and encouraging their direct participation to promote the development of safe environments for adolescents.

Consultant Objectives:

  1. A list of best practices in WASH, Cash Based Transfers, and Food Security that support adolescent girls and boys at the onset of emergency response is compiled. Filter using an age (10-14 yrs and 15-19 yrs) gender, and protection lens.
  2. Best practices are drafted into easy-to-read guidance documents targeting teams in each area of excellence – WASH, Cash, and Food Security. They are unpacked and organized to address specific issues that adolescent boys and girls face during the onset of crisis related to each Mercy Corps “areas of excellence”.
  3. Sound quality assurance of best practices through consultation with WASH, Cash, Food Security, Adolescent, Protection and Gender Advisors and specialists.

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  1. Consult with technical advisors of WASH, Cash, Food Security, Adolescent, Protection and Gender to identify reference material.
  2. Assess key areas of concern among select field staff and advisors concerning adolescent girls and adolescent boys in WASH, Cash Based Transfers, and Food Security.
  3. Based on consultations in Activity 1, determine sequence of guidance documents by “area of excellence”.
  4. Literature review of global best practices that highlight intentional support to adolescent girls and adolescent boys in the emergency response of WASH, Cash, and Food Security (i.e. Areas of Excellence). Cross-reference with guidance on adolescents, gender, child protection, GBV etc.
  5. Write brief report (3-5 pages) of finding from literature review and consult with WASH, CASH, Food Security, Adolescents, Protection, and Gender Advisors on findings of core best practices based themes.
  6. Compile list of best practices and approaches related to each area of excellence
  7. Draft specific tip sheets/guidance documents for team members working in WASH, CASH, Food Security and Adolescents programming on best practices to incorporate the needs of adolescent girls and boys, enabling safe environments, and encouraging participation. Ensure documents are intentional about adolescent specific age (10-14 and 15-19 yrs) and gender concerns.
  8. Where appropriate, link and reference to core Mercy Corps guidance such as Sex- and Age-Disaggregation of Data (SADD), Gender Minimum Standards (GMS), etc.
  9. Incorporate considerations for adolescents with disabilities.
  10. Review documents with technical advisors of WASH, Cash, Food Security, Adolescent, Protection and Gender.

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will:

  1. Write a brief summary report of literature review (including unique sub-sections for WASH, Cash and Food Security)
  2. Write three documents (tip sheet or guidance doc.) one per area of excellence) – WASH, Cash, Food Security.

The Consultant will report to: Sr. Protection Advisor, Technical Support Unit

The Consultant will work closely with: Technical Support Unit, Humanitarian Leadership and Response, select country and program staff

Required Experience & Skills:

  • Minimum 5 years of relevant experience
  • Masters degree in related field preferred (international development, public health, etc.)
  • Strong analytical, writing and communication skills
  • Experience working on programming with adolescents in emergency and/or humanitarian settings
  • Strong English language skills required; Arabic, French, and/or Spanish language skills preferred.