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Terms of Reference for a Study on the Effects of Cash and Voucher Assistance in Local and Regional Market Systems in Somalia/Somaliland

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  • Post date:15 Feb 2021
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Terms of Reference for a Study on the Effects of Cash and Voucher Assistance in Local and Regional Market Systems in Somalia/Somaliland


CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than three decades of working in Somalia, providing both Humanitarian response and developmental programs. Our Humanitarian responses focus on the needs of the most vulnerable populations, including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), vulnerable rural pastoral and agro-pastoral population affected by disasters and returns from the neighboring countries, particularly girls and women. Women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s emergency relief efforts because our experience shows that their gains translate into benefits for families and communities.

Some of our key emergency program interventions in CARE Humanitarian department are in the Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL mainly Cash and Voucher assistance), Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Nutrition, Health, distribution of essential relief commodities/non-food items (NFIs), Protection and Education in Emergencies (EIE) sectors. CARE operates 10 out of the 18 original regions of Somalia which includes Sool, Sanaag, Banadir, Bari, Lower Juba, Mudug, Nugaal, Galgadud, Hiran and Togdheer regions of Somalia/Land. At present we respond and assist disaster-affected populations each year, reaching approximately 1.2 million people through our emergency programming.

As a result of the 2016-2017 severe drought the cash and voucher assistance (CVA) in Somalia/Land has dramatically increased with more organizations tend to their sight on CVA  for an effective live saving interventions[1].

At CARE, since 2016 when Somalia/Land experienced severe drought affecting more than 50% of the country’s population, CARE Somalia/Land embarked on massive CVA through Unconditional and Conditional cash transfers, and food, livestock and water vouchers reaching approximately 1.2 million vulnerable populations who were mainly IDPs and rural pastoral and agro-pastoral and returnees. Most recently and in 2019/20 CARE piloted programming using CVA for Nutrition plus and Health outcomes. The Country office’s CVA portfolio has increased from 10 Million to 30 Million USD over this period with a projection of more funding on CVA across the Humanitarian and development programs. CARE has been disbursing US$1.8 million monthly the last three years benefitting about 60,000 households across the regions. CARE’s mode of delivering humanitarian response is either directly implementation or/and through local partners. CARE Somalia/Land’s strategic intent with CVA is to leverage its leadership to influence gendered cash programming for effective and efficient benefits for women and girls.

Against this backdrop and with the aim of improving our programing and their lasting effect on the population, CARE plans to carry out a study on the implication of the CVA on local and regional markets.

Purpose of the Study

in the last two decades, CVA has been and continues to be successfully implemented in Somalia/Land with support from the Mobile Network Operators in Somalia. CVA is viewed to be a most cost-efficient method of delivering funds to recipients. However, considering the huge pouring of cash to local economies many believe it will have an effect on local and regional markets in various ways and with different magnitudes. Global level data show that programs with CVA have effect on upward pressure on commodity prices[2], increase in sales at local and regional market while reducing local production[3]. On the other hand, programs with CVA have a direct effect on households saving and investment within turn has an increase in local labor market[4]. However, there is not country level data around the effects of CVA on local and regional markets. Thus, the primary purpose of the assessment is to fill this knowledge gap by proving robust information on how the socio-economic multiplying effect of CVA in local and regional markets in Somalia/Land. In addition, the study aims at responding to the below key questions

  1. To what extent and in which ways do CVA stimulate and have beneficial knock-on effects for local and regional (Sool, Sanaag, Mudug, and Galgadud) economies by increasing or decreasing commodity prices, trade, investment, employment creation etc.?
  2. What are the negative or unexpected outcomes of CVA in local economies, in the particular context of unstructured markets?
  3. To what extent and in which ways socio-economic impact spreads through local economies and reaches different stakeholders? who are the winners and the losers and why?
  4. What is the indirect impact on power dynamics and on social relationships at community level especially for women?
  5. What are the direct impacts of cash and voucher transfers on the economy of households in the target population especially for women?

Study objectives

The overall objective of this study is provide robust information and understanding on the effects of programs with CVA on local and regional market systems in Somalia/Somaliland. The specific objectives of the Study are:

  1. Improve CARE’s CVA programs through the analysis of the effect of CVA on local and regional market systems.
  2. With this findings, capitalize the existing opportunities where CVAs have positive impact on local and regional market while addressing relevant risks and challenges impeding strengthening local and regional market systems.
  3. Understand how CVA differently affect local and regional market economies including commodity prices, trade, investment, employment creation etc.
  4. Provide knowledge gap on the country level data on the direct and multiplying effects of CVA on local and regional markets.


CARE expects the consultant to choose an appropriate research method for assessing CVA’s effect on market economies however, CARE proposes the adoption of primary and secondary data collection methods. In addition, the consultant is expected to identify key study participants from various stakeholders in the local and regional market system while also drawing a representative sample in the selected study participant groups.

Scope of Work/Assignment

Primarily the overall scope of work for the consultant revolves around;

  • The study will cover the four regions of Sool, Sanaag, Mudug and Galgaduud of Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug respectively.
  • Identify, collect, compile and synthesize available literature/ documentation on how CVA affects the local and regional market systems.
  • Travel to the field and conduct primary data collection while overseeing the field level data collection processes.
  • Carry out rigorous data analysis to draw out key emerging themes on how cash and voucher assistant (CVA) affect the wider market systems in different domains.
  • Provide a synthesized report with actionable recommendations on how to capitalize the existing opportunities and address inherent challenges to enable CVA’s have positive impact on market systems in Somalia.

Duration of the Assignment

The proposed assignment is expected to take 30 days beginning January 2021 and the proposed specific activities, timeframe and deliverables are as tabulated below;

Activity Deliverable Days
1.     Inception report describing the methodology/approach and considerations for carrying out each of the deliverables and containing a work plan with dates of submission of deliverables. Inception report 7
2.     Enumerators training and pre-testing tools Training report 3
3.     Field data collection, including preliminary meetings with CARE staff, other Humanitarian agencies doing CVA and government officials   Raw data 10
4.     Presentation of the key findings Draft report 3
5.     Finalize synthesis report Final report 7

Liaison and Communication;

The consultant will have a direct contact with the MEAL specialist with technical guidance and support from Emergency Director and other sector leads. Also CARE USA Cash and Markets Technical Advisors will provide any necessary support.

Responsibilities of CARE 

  • CARE will provide all logistics support including flights, accommodation, transport, enumerators recruitment etc.
  • Commission the consultancy fee for the study
  • Introduce the consultant to relevant stakeholders
  • Review and approve the study instruments/tools
  • Support the consultant in field data collection while supervising the entire process.
  • Provide input to the draft report and approve the final report

Responsibilities of the Consultant

  • Develop appropriate methodology and tools for the data collection and analysis process. The tools will be shared and approved by CARE before starting field work.
  • Develop a practical work plan for the work
  • Undertake a desk-based review and lead field level data collection
  • Train enumerators who will be involved in the data collection.
  • Carry out all Key Informant Interviews and Focus Group Discussions if selected as data collection tools.
  • Debrief CARE Somalia/Somaliland after completing the assignment and validate the findings prior to submitting final report.
  • Prepare and submit final evaluation report to CARE Somalia/Somaliland as per time frame set in the ToR.

Consultants Profile:

  1. CARE is looking for highly skilled and experienced individual(s) with an advanced degree in Economics, Social Science, Development Studies or any other related field. PHD in economics will serve as an added advantage.
  2. The individual/firm should demonstrate good experience in CVA and Market Systems in humanitarian context especially in fragile countries like Somalia/Somaliland and had successfully performed similar assignments.
  3. Other requirements include; The consultant should have good understanding of participatory methodologies and must be fluent in spoken and written English.
  4. The consultant should be able to analyze data using appropriate statistical packages if needed.
  5. First-hand knowledge of the socio-cultural, economic, political situation in Somalia/Somaliland will be an added advantage
  6. Strong analytical and writing skills and the ability to clearly present findings and drawing practical conclusions and recommendations.


The consultant will produce a precise final report (maximum 30pages) written in simple and understandable English. The draft report is to be shared with field teams and discussed with CARE Somalia. Comments and inputs from the CARE will be included in the final report. We expect the report to have clearly articulated with actionable recommendations which is informed by the study findings. S/He will also perform a presentation of key findings to CARE team. We also expect him/her to handover all data of any form collected for this exercise to CARE.

The following report format to include:

  1. Cover page: Title of the study, names and logos of the donor and implementing partner, consultants’/firm’s name and address and dates of the study)
  2. Table of contents: with clear headings and sections and page number
  3. Executive Summary of no more than two pages
  4. Main report including the methodology, key findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
  5. A Fact sheet (preferably in infographic format) demonstrating key findings as per the study objective which is no more than five pages.

Application procedure

Interested firms/individuals with the right expertise should send their Technical Proposal including technical understanding of the ToR, proposed methodology, detailed work plan, study team composition with CVs of the lead consultants and his/her associates demonstrating their relevant technical skills, with references and a financial quote. Please note that consultants to quote only for professional fees. Please sent your application to som.consultant@care.org quoting “Application for Study on the effects of CVA on local and regional markets in Somalia/Somaliland” as the subject line of the application on or before 5th March 2021. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered for selection.

[1] Devox, ‘How cash transfers in Somalia could evolve into a national social safety net’ 2018 accessed here

[2] CaLP, 2013 Impact of Cash Transfer in Local Markets. Accessed here

[3] UN FAO 2011. Measuring the impact of cash transfer programs on the local rural economy. Accessed here

[4] Ibid

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