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Research Consultant – International Home based

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Activation Date: 31 May, 2021   Announced Date: 31 May, 2021   Expire Date: 19 Jul, 2021

Job Location: Kabul
Nationality: International
Category: Research
Employment Type: Full Time
Salary: Depending on the proposal
Vacancy Number: CFA-KBL-006-021
No. Of Jobs: 1
City: kabul
Organization: IOM
Years of Experience: Minimum three (3) years demonstrable experience in
Contract Duration: 7 months
Gender: Male/Female
Education: Master’s degree in social science or relevant field
Close date: 19 Jul, 2021

About IOM:

IOM, with the financial assistance of the European Union, developed the Reintegration and Development Assistance in Afghanistan (RADA) project to support sustainable reintegration of returnees within their communities of return. RADA is implemented in eight provinces of high return (Baghlan, Balkh, Herat, Kabul, Kandahar, Kunar, Laghman, and Nangarhar) :

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

Research topic




Theme 1: Resilient communities, social and psychosocial reintegration support


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? 



Evaluation / Best practices


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.)




Evaluation / Best practices



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?




Evaluation / Best practices



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.)



Evaluation / Best practices


Theme 2: Economic revitalisation


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)?








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?




Evaluation/ Policy Brief


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?




Scientific/ Policy Brief


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?


Evaluation/ (Internal) Policy Brief


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?




Scientific / Policy brief

Theme 3: Sustainable infrastructure and services


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.)




Evaluation / Policy brief


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? 




Scientific / Policy brief

Theme 4: Local governance


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?




Evaluation / Best practices


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.)




Evaluation / Policy brief

Theme 5: Climate action


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.)




Scientific / Policy brief


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.   


IOM roles and responsibilities


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


Consultant’s role and responsibilities


The research consultant will report to the Senior Project Manager or delegate
Conduct training for the data collection team (if applicable)
Oversee data collection
Undertake data entry and analysis
Travel to provinces of Afghanistan where required
Develop scientifically robust research processes and tools
Develop a research implementation plan
Review and apply IOM’s principles on:

Personal data protection
Accountability to Affected Populations
Do No Harm frameworks




The following will be provided by the consultant:

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


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 first draft

Within 60 business days of literature review submission

Presentation and submission of second draft, incorporating feedback

Within 30 business days of submission of first draft

Final presentation and submission

Within 30 business days of submission of second draft

Job Requirements:

Consultant requirements


The consultant should have:

Minimum three (3) years demonstrable experience in conducting high quality research in humanitarian and/or development contexts
Significant experience in conducting evaluations and/or research related to reintegration programmes to support returnees and other displaced populations
Proven quantitative and qualitative data analysis skills
Experience with migration programming and with a UN agency is an asset
Previous experience in Afghanistan is highly desirable
Excellent English language skills (written and verbal)
Working knowledge of Dari and/or Pashto is an asset
Master’s degree in social science or relevant field



Applications can be made for one or more of the fourteen (14) research papers. If applicants apply for more than one research assignments, IOM reserves the right to select them for fewer assignments. IOM may elect to omit specific research questions from the selection process.   




The proposals must address the following:

An outline of the proposed methodology to complete the research (max. 2 pages)
Response to the criteria as set out in the ‘consultant requirements’ (max 1 page)
All-inclusive professional fee (daily rate) indicating the total cost for the assignment, including any travel costs (if applicable)
Examples of at least two similar reports or studies produced in English, and for which the consultant is the sole, lead or contributing author.
Details of three professional references (within last 5 years)
Consultant qualifications (max 1 page)

Submission Guideline:

Any inquiries regarding these research assignments may be sent to the email address [email protected]  the same format for subject line: CFA-KBL-006-021 Research consultant – international until 14 June 2021. Questions will be collated and response from IOM will be sent via email BCCing all who responded to the Call for Application by COB 16 June 2021.

We do not accept hard copies.

Submission Email:

[email protected]

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