International Organization For Migration (IOM)

Research Consultant International

International Organization For Migration (IOM)

Job Description

This vacancy is open to individual applications residing outside of Afghanistan. Applicants from Afghanistan are invited to submit their proposals through CTG. Proposals submitted by firms or organizations should be made through the parallel Call for Proposals.

1. Nature of the consultancy: Research on return and reintegration in Afghanistan under the Reintegration Assistance and Development in Afghanistan (RADA) project.

2. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to broaden the current knowledge and understanding about the migration, displacement, return and reintegration in Afghanistan and to inform evidence-based decision-making on Afghan migration and reintegration among key international and national stakeholders. The research will be used by IOM, the European Union, and other external (inter)national stakeholders.

3. Objectives:

  1. To broaden understanding around the pull and push factors of migration and displacement in the socio-cultural, economic, and political context of Afghanistan.
  2. To assess the extent to which the existing policies and services in Afghanistan address the specific needs of returnees and host communities from return preparation to the reintegration stage.
  3. To explore the migration experiences between Europe and Turkey and Afghanistan, focusing on policies and programmes that facilitate successful return and sustainable reintegration.
  4. To assess the capacity of high return communities, both in rural and urban settings, to provide an enabling environment for sustainable reintegration.
  5. To assess the effectiveness of applying disaster risk reduction, Climate Change adaptation and circular economy approaches to small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) investments in Afghanistan.
  6. To broaden understanding on the effectiveness of investment in productive infrastructures in contrast with the livelihood activities considering the context, capacities and vulnerabilities of returnees at the individual, household and community levels.
  7. To assess the specific health needs of Afghan migrants returning from Europe to Afghanistan and the extent to which their needs are being met.
  8. To explore how social (re-)integration processes can facilitate social cohesion in the broader community and contribute to sustainable peace in Afghanistan.
4. IOM Project to which the Consultancy is contributing: Reintegration Assistance and Development in Afghanistan (RADA) project.

5. Scope of the research

A series of research papers, described below, will be produced in total. Applications can be made for one or more of the research topics outlined below.

The research will cover Afghanistan (provinces of high return), host countries (e.g. Pakistan, Iran, and European countries), and transit countries (e.g. Iran, Turkey, etc.). Target groups for the research will depend on the specific topic of research and may include the following participants: a. IOM personnel in Head Office in Kabul and working on relevant programmes.

b. Other relevant IOM personnel in Afghanistan c. Government representatives at the national, provincial, and district levels, including: Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR) Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation (MRRD) d. DDAs (District Development Assemblies) / DCCs (District Coordination Councils) e. CDC (Community Development Council) and return refugees’ (i.e., returnees’) representatives including elders, and other community representatives f. Representatives of private sector such as the Chamber of Commerce g. Members of Civil Society Organizations at national, provincial, and community levels h. Relevant governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in transit and host countries i. Returnee individuals who are willing to share their migration experiences and will be or have already returned to Afghanistan j. Afghan individuals that are planning to leave Afghanistan k. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in areas of high return l. IOM beneficiaries Importantly, consent must be sought from any persons or entity participating in the research and must be pre-approved by IOM in response to the final research design document submitted during the inception phase.

6. Research location

All research will make reference to the case of Afghanistan and, where appropriate, the RADA Programme. Depending on the research topic and the necessity of primary data collection, research will either be conducted in-country or remotely and refer to practices from other countries and contexts when relevant to the research.

7. Research topics

Theme 1: Resilient communities, social and psychosocial reintegration support Topic 1:

  • What defines the reintegration needs of returnees and IDPs (with a focus on the vulnerable and marginalised, such as women, youth and persons with disabilities)? What are best practices of how these needs can be addressed most effectively through stabilisation, reintegration and resilience projects?
  • Suggested Modality: In-country
  • Type: Evaluation / Best practices
Topic 2:

  • What defines the reintegration needs of former combatants? What are best community-based demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) practices? (Using examples from both Afghanistan and similar contexts.)
  • Suggested Modality: In-country
  • Type: Evaluation / Best practices
Topic 3:

  • How can inter- and intra-community tensions and conflicts in displacement-affected communities be best be identified, prevented and resolved in Afghan communities? What approaches have proved successful and which ones have not?
  • Suggested Modality: In-country
  • Type: Evaluation / Best practices
Topic 4:

  • Which are the main mental health challenges facing Afghan migrants forced to leave Europe? What strategies and approaches are most effective in delivering mental health and psychological support prior to departure, on arrival back to Afghanistan and when trying to reintegrate in their communities of origin? (With a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised people on the move, such as women, youth and persons with disabilities.)
  • Suggested Modality: Remote
  • Type: Evaluation / Best practices
Theme 2: Economic revitalisation** Topic 5:

  • What challenges do displacement-affected groups (with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised people on the move, such as women, youth and persons with disabilities) face regarding access to decent and sustainable employment? How do the effects of these challenges impact on vulnerable, non-working age household members, such as children and the elderly (e.g. resulting in negative coping mechanisms such as Child Labour)?
  • Suggested Modality: In-country
  • Type: Evaluation
Topic 6:

  • What are the various barriers, opportunities, and pathways that lead to sustainable employment for displaced persons (with a focus on vulnerable groups)? What is best practice in optimizing the pathways to sustainable employment?
  • Suggested Modality: In-country/remote
  • Type: Evaluation/ Policy Brief
Topic 7:

  • What is the bidirectional link between (Afghan) national economic institutions and the reintegration of displaced persons? How do national economic institutions (policies, formal & informal institutions) support reintegration, and concurrently, how can displaced persons support national development priorities?
  • Suggested Modality: In-country
  • Type: Scientific/ Policy Brief
Topic 8:

  • Can economic development/livelihood activities play a role in creating transformative (e.g. poverty reducing, rights/social protections advancing, pro-peace) community actors? What is the impact of these actors, and what is best practice for empowering transformation?
  • Suggested Modality: In-country
  • Type: Evaluation/ (Internal) Policy Brief
Topic 9:

  • Is there a net benefit of urban migration? What are the relations between integration of people on the move into the labour force of urban economies with national economic development? How can people on the move best contribute to economic systems and markets?
  • Suggested Modality: Remote
  • Type: Scientific / Policy brief
Theme 3: Sustainable infrastructure and services Topic 10:

  • What role does access to basic services, incl. education, health, WASH, transport, and a productive infrastructure system play in economic, social and psychosocial integration of people on the move? (With a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised people on the move, such as women, youth and persons with disabilities.)
  • Suggested Modality: Remote
  • Type: Evaluation / Policy brief
Topic 11:

  • What impact does the delivery of basic services and infrastructure have on push and pull factors for people on the move to urban and/or rural areas? How can a network and hierarchical system approach support service delivery and prevent some localities from being overburdened?
  • Suggested Modality: Remote
  • Type: Scientific / Policy brief
Theme 4: Local governance Topic 12:

  • How can inclusive community-level participatory planning of stabilization, reintegration and resilience projects contribute to increasing the legitimacy and accountability of local authorities and government?
  • Suggested Modality: In-country
  • Type: Evaluation / Best practices
Topic 13:

  • What has been the impact of community-based development initiatives (such as the National Solidarity Programme, Citizens’ Charter, etc.) on increasing the responsiveness of local/ village level governance to the needs of people on the move? (With a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised people on the move, such as women, youth and persons with disabilities.)
  • Suggested Modality: In-Country
  • Type: Evaluation / Policy brief
Theme 5: Climate action Topic 14:

  • What will be the most critical climate-related challenges faced by communities in Afghanistan in the immediate to medium-term future? What effects will these challenges have on displacement and what climate resilience measures can be deployed at a community and local level? (With a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised people on the move, such as women, youth and persons with disabilities.)
  • Suggested Modality: Remote
  • Type: Scientific / Policy brief
8. Research design and methodology

Applicants should detail their technical approach to the research, proposing a clear design and a subsequent methodology that should link with the financial components of the proposal. IOM proposes that the research employs a mixed method design, conducting both quantitative and qualitative data collection. The proposed quantitative and qualitative data collection methods/tools may include, self-administered questionnaires, interviewer administered questionnaires (women, men, children; boys and girls), and relevant stakeholders’ interview, Focus Group Discussions, Key Informant Interviews, and direct observation from communities where reintegration projects are implemented.

IOM has provided suggested modalities for conducting this research; however, applicants may suggest alternatives that will still enable robust research. For example, research could be conducted in Kabul with research participants visiting the consultant in the capital city. Alternatively, the consultant could work remotely with national enumerators supporting their research.

9. IOM roles and responsibilities

a. Support the consultant so that they have access to relevant RADA programme documents and data b. Support the consultant so that they have access to RADA programme participants, ensuring appropriate consent is attained c. Support the consultant so that they have access to key informants including IOM in-country senior management team d. Review the research design document, literature review and draft papers submitted, providing feedback where appropriate 10. Consultant’s role and responsibilities

a. The research consultant will report to the Senior Project Manager or delegate b. Conduct training for the data collection team (if applicable) c. Oversee data collection d. Undertake data entry and Analysis e. Travel to provinces of Afghanistan where required f. Develop scientifically robust research processes and tools g. Develop a research implementation plan h. Review and apply IOM’s principles on: ii) Personal data protection iii) Accountability to Affected Populations iv) Do No Harm frameworks 11. Deliverables

The following will be provided by the consultant: a. Concept note to include a) context description; b) project/research description; c) research objectives; d) literature review; e) details of methodology; f) data collection tools; g) timeline/work plan. The concept note will be reviewed and feedbacks (if required) will be provided by IOM. The consultant will have to incorporate the feedback and resubmit the final version. This will be approved by the Senior Programme Manager.

b. Draft and final research report(s). Page limit per research report is not given but approximately 20 pages (excluding annexes) is appreciated. The report to be provided in IOM’s template and include: Executive Summary, Background, Research Objectives, Methodology, Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations.

c. A presentation of each research report to IOM management in Kabul, outlining the main findings collected during the field work. A power point presentation that includes a summary of the research report (including process, findings and recommendations).

d. A dataset for each research report, including the final data used for the research analysis, for both quantitative and qualitative components.

12. Tentative timeline and milestones

Narrative and financial reports are to be provided to IOM at the end of the agreement period as per the template, timeline and conditions agreed upon in the Project Implementation Agreement.



Selection of candidate(s) - Within 15 business days Contracting process - Within 20 business days of selection Research design document - Within 10 business days of contract issuance Literature/document review - Within 10 business days of design doc submission Presentation and submission of the first draft - Within 60 business days of literature review submission Presentation and submission of the second draft, incorporating feedback Within 30 business days of submission of first draft Final presentation and submission - Within 30 business days of submission of the second draft 13. Consultant requirements

The consultant should have: a. Minimum three (3) years demonstrable experience in conducting high quality research in humanitarian and/or development contexts b. Significant experience in conducting evaluations and/or research related to reintegration programmes to support returnees and other displaced populations c. Proven quantitative and qualitative Data Analysis skills d. Experience with migration programming and with a UN agency is an asset e. Previous experience in Afghanistan is highly desirable f. Excellent English language skills (written and verbal) g. Working knowledge of Dari and/or Pashto is an asset h. Master’s degree in social science or relevant field
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