Vacancy Announcement Details

Evaluation of the effects of cash-based interventions on protection outcomes in Rwanda

03 Jul 2019




Whilst Cash-Based interventions (CBIs) have been used in UNHCR operations for many years, in 2014 the UN High Commissioner for refugees identified Cash-Based Interventions (CBIs) as a corporate priority and investment. The Policy on Cash-Based Interventions and the UNHCR Cash-Based Interventions Institutionalisation Strategy 2016-2020 provide the framework for the efforts to systematise the expanded use of cash in the response to the people UNHCR serves. A large part of the volume of CBIs implemented by UNHCR are unrestricted Multipurpose Cash Grants (MPGs).

There is still significant scope for increasing the use of CBI by UNHCR and partners in UNHCR operations, and to understand what outcomes and impacts have CBI contributed to. In line with UNHCR’s mandate, of particular interest is to better understand how cash has contributed to the broader protection outcomes in interaction with other support provided by UNHCR and partners (including in-kind provision of assistance and services; referrals, protection), and what contextual factors have influenced these outcomes, including external factors.



UNHCR’s Rwanda strategy on Cash Based Interventions (CBIs) provide for both refugees and Rwandan returnees, ensuring the systematic use of CBIs across programmes and locations. All functional units and respective field offices continue to integrate cash-based interventions roles and responsibilities into their current activities.

CBIs for refugees were initially piloted by WFP in 2015, through a cash for food programme in three of the refugee camps in Rwanda including Kigeme, Gihembe and Nyabiheke, which transferred funds via mobile money. The transfer mechanism changed in September 2016, when WFP entered into an agreement with Equity Bank to establish and operate a banking payment platform to deliver humanitarian assistance to refugees in Rwanda, enabling more agencies to use the same transfer modalities via independent wallets.

UNHCR Rwanda piloted cash-based interventions in November 2016 for a first time through SIM Cards with activated mobile money accounts. In December 2016 the operation was able to prepare for institutionalization of the CBIs to align with UNHCR’s policy and SOPs on CBIs. In April 2017, UNHCR Rwanda launched a project to test the WFP-Equity Bank platform, providing cash transfers to refugees living in Kigeme camp who opted for alternative cooking energy. This project served as starting point to develop both CBI SOPs, and the financial services agreements necessary to institutionalize CBIs, for refugees in Rwanda. The process was finalized by September 2017 when the first CBI transfers in lieu of non-food items were conducted. Following thorough analyses of appropriate CBI delivery mechanisms, UNHCR Rwanda delivers its cash assistance to refugees through bank accounts (Equity bank) and to returnees through partnership with I&M Bank and Airtel respectively

UNHCR Rwanda is currently working towards three strategic objectives in order to achieve full integration of the cash-based interventions: 1. Institutionalisation of CBIs for persons of concerns, 2. Expanded and systematic use of CBIs in the Rwanda operation, and 3. Basic Needs Approach implemented.


3.Purpose and Scope

Following an evaluation synthesis of UNHCR’s cash-based assistance in Jordan in 2017, UNHCR made the decision to commission two independent evaluations of CBIs in specific country operations to more closely explore the effects of CBIs on protection outcomes. The first of these was undertaken in Greece  in 2018, and this TOR has been prepared for the second of these to be undertaken in Rwanda in 2019.

This targeted, country-specific approach is intended to allow for highly contextualised country-level findings, which may also serve to inform broader insights across contexts; including a synthesis of findings, allowing for some comparative analysis.

The primary audience for this evaluation is the UNHCR Country Office in Rwanda and the UNHCR HQ Cash-Based Interventions Unit. Other UNHCR Bureaux and Divisions, as well as UNHCR partners – including government and humanitarian and development actors as well as donors – will serve as a secondary audience.


4.Evaluation approach

  1. Proposed Evaluation Questions

This evaluation seeks to address the following key questions, which are expected to be further refined during the inception phase:

  • To what extent is CBI an appropriate programming modality in the given context? To what extent was design appropriate, including targeting of CBI?
  • How, and to what extent, has CBI, as part of a comprehensive response contributed to the overall protection and solution goals of the operation?
    • How did any complementarity between the provision of cash, sectoral interventions and in-kind provision of assistance and services (including protection-related, referrals, and advocacy work) contribute to protection outcomes, including longer-term approaches?
    • To what extent have CBIs contributed to improved community based protection measures and outcomes, including in terms of referrals, detection of incidents etc.?
    • To what extent have CBIs contributed to improved accountability to affected populations (AAP)?
  • What positive or negative, intended or unintended, outcomes and impacts has CBI contributed to, including but not limited to:
    • Allowing PoCs to meet basic needs with dignity and choice, and reduce negative coping strategies;
    • Ensuring PoCs are able to maintain a dignified and secure life for their family;
    • Supporting integration of PoCs and their interaction with local context, host population and markets; and
    • Reinforcing local economy through cash injections and market interaction.
  • What were the main internal (including what elements of CBI programme design) and external contributing and constraining factors influencing the achievement of intended and unintended protection and sectoral outcomes, including the broader operational, policy and protection environment?

  1. Evaluation Methodology

The evaluation methodology should use a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. UNHCR welcomes the use of diverse and innovative evaluation methods. Data from a wide range of sources and a representative range of stakeholders will need to be triangulated and cross validated so as to ensure the credibility of evaluation findings and conclusions. Data collection is expected to comprise of: 1) desk review and content analysis of relevant background as well as programmatic data and documents; 2) focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and rapid surveys (as appropriate) with UNHCR staff, implementing and operational partners, key interagency stakeholders (e.g. WFP, UNICEF, etc.), development partners and key donors, and; 3) field data collection in the selected Rwanda involving a mixed-method approach, which in addition to the above may also include paired-interviews, participatory appraisals, outcome mapping and problem ranking exercises etc.,

The Evaluation Team will be expected to refine the methodology and final evaluation questions following the initial desk review, country visit and key informant interviews undertaken during the inception phase. The final inception report will specify the evaluation methodology, and the refined focus and scope of the evaluation, including final key evaluation questions, data collection tools and analytical framework.


5.Organisation and conduct of the evaluation

  1. Evaluation Management and Quality Assurance

This evaluation will be co-managed by the UNHCR HQ Evaluation Service (ES) and the UNHCR HQ CBI Unit. The ES Evaluation Manager, with the co-management support of the HQ CBI Unit, will be responsible for: (i) managing administrative day to day aspects of the evaluation process (ii) acting as the main interlocutor with the Evaluation Team (iii) facilitating communication with relevant stakeholders to ensure evaluators receive the required data (iv) facilitating communication with relevant stakeholders to ensure technical guidance on content, and (v) reviewing the interim deliverables and final reports to ensure quality, with inputs from the UNHCR Rwanda operation and other HQ entities. The ES Evaluation Manager will share and provide an orientation to the EQA at the start of the evaluation. Adherence to the EQA will be overseen by the ES Evaluation Manager with support from the UNHCR Evaluation Service as needed.

The UNHCR Rwanda Country Office will designate a focal point that will assist the Evaluation Managers and Evaluation Team with logistical and administrative arrangements. The Evaluation Managers will remain in close contact with the designated focal point in Rwanda to facilitate mission arrangements.

The Evaluation Team will be required to sign the UNHCR Code of Conduct, complete UNHCR’s introductory protection training module, and respect UNHCR’s confidentiality requirements. In line with established standards for evaluation in the UN system, and the UN Ethical Guidelines for evaluations, evaluation in UNHCR is founded on the fundamental principles of independence, impartiality, credibility and utility. These inter-connected principles subsume a number of specific norms that will guide the commissioning, conducting and supporting the use of the evaluation. This includes protecting sources and data, informed consent, respect for dignity and diversity and the minimisation of risk, harm and burden upon those who are the subject of or participating in the evaluation, while at the same time not compromising the integrity of the evaluation.

A Reference Group may be established with the participation of the key internal, and possibly external, stakeholders to help guide the process. Members of the Reference Group would be asked to:

  • Provide suggestions to identify potential materials and resources to be reviewed and key contacts to be considered for key informant interviews.
  • Review and comment on the draft inception report.
  • Review and comment on the data collection and data analysis instruments that will be developed by the Evaluation Team.
  • Review and comment on the draft final reports, validate emerging findings and conclusions.
  • Advise on the focus of the evaluation recommendations that will form the basis of the Management Response to the review.

Upon completion, the final evaluation report will be published on the UNHCR website and will be shared with the Head of the CBI Unit at UNHCR HQ, and UNHCR Representative and Senior Management Team in the UNHCR Rwanda Country Office, with the request to formulate the formal management response. The completed Management Response Matrix will also be made available in the public domain.

  1. Expected Deliverables and Timeline

The request for Expressions of Interest will be issued in July 2019, and the selection process and signing of contracts is expected to be completed in July/August 2019. We anticipate the inception phase for this evaluation would commence in September 2019. An indicative timeline for the evaluation is outlined below. The evaluation is expected to be completed in a maximum of 5 months.  


Phase 1: Inception including:

  • Initial desk review

  • Inception visit to country operation and key informant interviews

  • EQA review on the draft inception report

  • Circulation for comments and finalisation

Key Deliverable: Final inception report – including methodology, final evaluation questions and evaluation matrix.

Indicative Timeline: Week 1-5

Phase 2: Data collection including:

  • Key stakeholder interviews and FGDs (in country and remotely as required); in depth document review; field visits as required.

  • Validation workshop on preliminary findings, conclusions and possible recommendations (in country)

  • Stakeholder feedback on preliminary findings and emerging conclusions

Key Deliverable: Validation workshop on preliminary findings, conclusions and possible recommendations at stakeholder workshop in country.

Indicative Timeline: Week 6-9

Phase 3: Data Analysis and Reporting including:

  • Analysis and write up

  • EQA review of draft report, circulation for comments

  • Stakeholder feedback and validation of evaluation findings, conclusions and proposed recommendations

Key Deliverable: Draft final report including recommendations (for circulation and comments)

Indicative Timeline: Week 10-14

Phase 4: Finalisation of evaluation report

Key Deliverable: Final Evaluation Report (including recommendations and standalone executive summary)

Indicative Timeline: Week 15-18


6.Evaluation team qualifications

The evaluation will be undertaken by a team of qualified independent evaluation consultants, comprising of at least a designated Team Leader and one Team Member. Evaluation Teams are expected to demonstrate evaluation expertise as well as expertise cash-based interventions, and experience in refugee response and humanitarian operations. They should also have good knowledge of UNHCR’s protection mandate and operational platform.  All members of the Evaluation Team must be willing and able to travel to Rwanda, and be able to work fluently in English. French language skills would be highly desirable. Further required skills and qualifications are outlined below:

Evaluation Team Leader

  • A post-graduate or Master’s degree in social science, development studies, international relations or economics plus a minimum of 12 years of relevant professional experience in humanitarian and/or refugee response settings.
  • Minimum of 5 years’ of evaluation experience with demonstrated ability in mixed research methodologies in humanitarian and/or refugee operations.
  • Proven experience in evaluation of cash-based assistance is essential, and of protection-related evaluation(s) in humanitarian and/or refugee settings, highly desirable.
  • Proven track record in successfully leading an evaluation team and managing fieldwork in humanitarian and/or refugee response environments.
  • Demonstrable technical expertise in cash-bash interventions, refugee assistance, basic-needs, and protection work, including relevant analytical frameworks and programming approaches and standards.
  • Institutional knowledge of UNHCR’s protection mandate and operational platform.
  • In-depth knowledge of and proven experience with various qualitative and quantitative data collection, analytical methods and techniques – including statistical analysis - used in evaluation and operational research. Proven experience with relevant software packages (e.g. Nvivo, Stata, SPSS) essential.
  • Experience in generating useful and action-oriented recommendations to senior management and programming staff.


Evaluation Team Member

  • A post-graduate or Master’s degree in social sciences, development studies, international relations, or economics plus a minimum of 5 years of relevant professional experience, ideally in humanitarian and/or refugee response settings. 
  • Minimum of 4 years’ experience supporting quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis for evaluation purposes (preferable) or operational research in humanitarian and/or refugee response settings.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of evaluation of cash-based interventions is highly desirable.
  • Good knowledge of humanitarian and/or refugee response programming, relevant analytical frameworks and programming approaches and standards.
  • In depth knowledge with various data collection and analytical methods and techniques used in evaluation and operational research.
  • Proven expertise in facilitating participatory workshops involving different groups and participants.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.


7.Application Process

This evaluation requires a minimum 2-person team. Applications can be submitted either by individuals, who UNHCR will place in a team, or as a team. It is important to note only individual contracts can be issued to respective team members, and payments will be made by deliverable. Indicative budgets should be prepared in line with the expected deliverables outlined in section 5.2 and should include any anticipated overhead costs (e.g. translations services) and in-country data collection costs, which are expected to be sub-contracted by the Team Leader directly and remain subject to requisite non-disclosure arrangement. Travel costs and DSA will be paid separately.

Interested candidates should submit a completed P11 for each individual included in the proposal, and a brief cover letter (2-page maximum) to include indicative budget, availability as per indicative timeline, and an outline of how the applicant(s) match the required skills and experience outlined in Section 6. We also request three recent examples of relevant work, and the contact details for three references. Any clarification questions on the TOR or application process should also be submitted electronically to the UNHCR Evaluation Service at no later than midday Wednesday 10 July. 

Full applications should be submitted electronically to the UNHCR Evaluation Service at with the subject line “Application CBI Rwanda Evaluation”. The deadline for applications is midnight Sunday 14 July 2019.