3 Purpose and objectives of the assessment 3
5 Scope of Work 5
5.1 Desk Review 5
5.2 Sampling 5
5.3 Data analysis 5
5.4 Guiding definitions 6
5.6 Research questions; 6
6 Deliverables 8
8 Timeline for the assessment 9
9 Budget 9
10 Report Layout 9
11 Consultant Profile 10
12 Submission of Expression of Interest 10

NRC has been operating in South Sudan since 2011 while it was operational in Sudan since 2004. In its years of operation in South Sudan, the organisation has implemented several humanitarian activities within its core competences of education, shelter, water and sanitation, Information Counselling and Legal Assistance, livelihoods and food security (LFS). Under LFS, the main activities have been lifesaving, meeting the immediate food needs of conflict affected households. Emergency response activities under the rapid response teams included food distribution (airdrops), unconditional cash transfers, seed and livelihood inputs distribution and trainings. The activities implemented mirrored the country donor landscape as most donors have been focusing on emergency response, supporting households affected by the internal conflict. NRC has also implemented some long-term livelihood interventions funded by development donors such as EU (SORUDEV), FAO (South Sudan Agriculture for Economic Resilience) and Building Resilient Agricultural Production (BRAP). These projects were implemented through a resilience lens, with components of off-farm livelihoods activities such as promotion of Village Savings and Loaning Associations (VSLAs), cereal crop production and income generating activities.
With the signing of the peace deal in June 2108, there is great optimism and relative stability. The needs of the communities are changing from emergency to recovery and long-term initiatives that build household resilience to shocks. The signing of the peace agreement brings vital opportunities for reviving the economy (African Development Bank; Africa Economic Outlook 2018). The assessment has been commissioned to assess the rural economic systems and off-farm economic opportunities in Akobo, Aweil west and north. These areas have been selected as they are areas of intervention for small business activities currently funded under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). The assessment will form evidence for implementation of off-farm economic activities, it will also form a benchmark to advocate for innovative approaches of assistance to rural communities of South Sudan.
The primary drivers of food insecurity in South Sudan over the past years include conflict, displacement, depletion of assets, limited access to social services, very low income levels and purchasing power along with conflict-related disruptions to basic services and inadequate infrastructure for transport, communication and trade, leading to inhibited economic activity and market development. Most rural households have few or no assets. Access to basic services such as health, education, water and sanitation is very limited.
A research on importance of social connectedness in community resilience building in South Sudan by Mercy Corps 2019 , indicated that social support networks and market systems contribute significantly to how conflict-affected communities cope with and recover from conflict, displacement and disasters. “This social connectivity may manifest in many forms: Communities may rely on their immediate neighbours, extended family or clan chieftains for food, access to economic opportunities, or negotiation of safe passage when fleeing from a conflict”.
The main source of livelihood for most rural households in South Sudan is agriculture. The better off and medium wealth groups rely on livestock and crop production for their livelihood while the poor and very poor households rely on working (casual labour) for the better-off households. Poorer groups tend to expand wild food collection and sales, and fishing when possible. Local and long-distance labour opportunities are also expanded on, depending on seasonal availability. Other income options that may be expanded include the sale of charcoal, firewood, grass, mats, wild foods and dried fish. There is very little private sector initiative contribution to the livelihoods of rural households. The poor population of the country relies on aid agency led initiatives, mainly humanitarian initiatives. The protracted conflict, unpredictable weather patterns and increased vulnerability have contributed to high levels of food insecurity. In the projection period of February to April 2019, and in the presence of Humanitarian Food Assistance (HFA)2, a total of 6.45 million people (57% of the population) will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse, with an estimated 45,000 people in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). IPC 2019.
3 Purpose and objectives of the assessment
While most food security assessments tend to focus on agricultural production as the main driver of rural economic development in South Sudan, this research aims to examine multiple aspects driving the rural economies of Akobo & Aweil West & Aweil North, mainly off farm activities such as; food processing and inputs and produce trading between resource poor farmers and traders, formal and informal businesses, casual work, natural resource sales (firewood, charcoal), petty trade, digital services, artisanal work, manufacturing, construction. The assessment aims to uncover the network of off-farm economic activities, delving into what sustains them, financial systems, social systems, role of aid agencies, role of government and private sector to reveal the complex web of economic and social relations driving the economies in the selected locations. The main objectives are as follows
• To understand the off and-farm economic opportunities that the different groups (IDPs, returnees and host communities, gender and age groups) engage in and what factors sustain them.
• To conduct market mapping and economic profitable enterprises for rural farmers.
• To examine the economic viability and cash flows of some of the activities especially for medium and poor wealth groups.
• To determine the roles and responsibilities of government and private actors in promoting rural economics and profitable enterprises. (What extent is the public private partnership support normal functions of rural economics enterprises for both Implementing Agencies, Rural Farmers (IDPS, HCs & Refugees) and traders as well. Private actors provide agricultural inputs to stimulate production such as farm implements; Agricultural produce goes back into the market for sale by farmers).
• To provide practical recommendations for project activities and document lessons that can be utilized in NMFA funded project approaches.
Underlying the above objectives will be how the humanitarian sector, private sector and government interacts with the communities i.e. policies and institutions or projects that hinder or support the targeted communities.
While humanitarian agencies support vulnerable rural folks to meet their minimum food needs on a regular basis, their needs are not met fully by aid and agricultural production. Households engage in other economic activities in-order to earn a living and sustain their basic household needs. The assessment will assess the activities and the systems that support them. The scope of the exercise will cover the six (6) payams of Akobo, 5 Payams of Aweil West & North Counties. The locations chosen for this assessment have a linkage to different markets through its porous borders. Akobo has significant interaction with bordering country Ethiopia while Aweil West and North Counties bordering Sudan in the north. The finding of the assessment will be used to inform or identifying profitable businesses to support the project target groups. The viability of markets to support cash based interventions, the volume of goods and services offers and commodity pricing, enabling environment provides by various government institutions through public private sector partnership.
1.3.1 Target group discussions
Based on the rationale and the intentions of this activity, the exercise will look at the following critical points:
• The financial systems that sustain rural economies, the chain of actors, any policies that promote or hinder the movement of cash in the economy.
• The off-farm economic opportunities currently out by target group and also potential future ones.
• How different dynamics, stakeholders and groups facilitate/hinder off-farm activities and rural cash flow?
o Government, humanitarian actors, religious groups, cross border trade dynamics, armed groups etc.
5 Scope of Work
Assessment Methodology
The main methodologies will be primary and secondary data collection. Discussions will be held with the following target groups: private sectors, including banks, micro-financial institutions (formal informal), traders of basic commodities, key government institutions, households from the different displacement and wealth groups.
5.1 Desk Review

  1. Review existing reports, studies, and files on the rural economic situation in South Sudan and specifically Akobo, Aweil North and West.
  2. Develop a clear analysis on the existing situation and gaps, including an overview of related ongoing projects and initiatives in South Sudan/Akobo/Aweil North and West.
  3. Based on this analysis, identify the gaps that will be filled by the primary data collection methodology.
  4. Develop a detailed plan for which locations and target groups that will be included in the assessment.
    5.2 Sampling
    To be determined and proposed by consultant. Sample size to meet recommended statistical percentage of targeted population in the areas of intervention.
    5.3 Data analysis
    Consultant to propose analysis platform however NRC has kobo which can be used for data collection and analysis of primary data.
    5.4 Guiding definitions
    Economy; “An economy is a system of making and trading things of value. It is usually divided into goods (physical things) and services (things done by people)”
    Economic activities; “Economic activity is the activity of making, providing, purchasing, or selling goods or services. Any action that involves producing, distributing, or consuming products or services is an economic activity. Additionally, any activities involving money or the exchange of products or services are economic activities”
    Quality of data should not be compromised and maximum care should be taken to avoid or at least minimize errors at all stages of the market and value chain measurement process. Some techniques such as, but not limited to, the following will be applied:
    • Before data collection: Pilot testing the data collection tool will be required in order to verify the reliability and validity of the tool.
    • During field data collection: Monitoring enumerators for accuracy in doing the interview and in capturing data will be necessary. Checking through all completed responses (on a daily basis) to ensure any mistakes or inconsistencies are corrected on time will add value to quality assurance.
    • Before data analysis: Perform data quality checks using various methods such as synthesis and content analysis related variables to ensure consistency and to investigate the internal logic between related variables. This facilitates the data cleaning process before embarking on data analysis.
    5.6 Research questions;
  • What constitutes a rural economy in Akobo, Aweil West and North?
  • What are some of the physical goods locally produced in these economies? This includes processed agricultural products e.g. groundnut paste, timber, charcoal, farming tools etc. Goods imported?
  • What are some of the services being provided (formal & informal), transport services, restaurants, financial services?
  • What are some of the opportunities and gaps? Which opportunities can be expanded or leveraged for the different displacement groups (IDPs, Returnees and host community).
  • What are some of the power dynamics, in terms of gender, place of origin, etc.?
  • What are some of the social structures that contribute to the economic systems?
  • What is the role of local institutions in terms of basic service provision, infrastructure, policy, county or area level development plans?
  • How are (I)NGOs supporting or undermining these systems and structures?
  • What cultural practices support or impede the economic activities?
  • What are protection considerations that need to be made during implementation of the economic activities?
    Gender considerations are expected to be taken into account while conducting the market and value chain analysis such as field teams are expected to include male and female enumerators, data collection techniques need to be gender-sensitive, sex disaggregated data will be collected and analyzed etc. The consultant is expected to provide gender and women’s rights consideration in their proposed methodology. The assessment will ensure social inclusiveness especially of the minority groups.
    The rights of respondents must be protected at all stages of The Rural Economic Systems and Off-Farm Economic Opportunities assessment. The consultant will ensure the appropriate, safe, and non-discriminatory participation of all respondents in the assessment. This includes obtaining free and informed consent and withdrawal, and ensuring that data is kept in a secure and confidential manner and the anonymity of respondents is protected in the presentation of findings. Ensure confidentiality and respect for respondents will be ensured, in addition to enumerators being provided with specific training on protection sensitivity.
    The consultant will provide a statement within their proposal on how they will address ethical considerations in the process of data collection, analysis and presentation and feedback information sharing with key stakeholders. This should include consideration of any risks related to the assessment and how these will be mitigated.
    The lessons learned through the entire assessment shall be documented and shared with the NRC so that they may be taken into consideration for future programming. The documentation of these lessons will be vital for reflection, growth and continued improvement.
    This Rural Economic Systems and Off-Farm Economic Opportunities assessment will be undertaken with some limitations. These may include:
    • Security Issues: Given the current condition in the country, assessment measurement may be affected by the volatile security condition of community fighting among others. The assessment team will be expected to receive security clearance through the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC)
    • Travel Schedules: Domestic travel schedule from Juba to Akobo is by air using UN flight. In some cases, travel schedule can change due to flight cancellation and other technical issues affecting the number of days planned for the assessment.
    6 Deliverables
    • Inception report and review of methodology
    • Desk review of relevant project documents, and briefings with Field management and field staff
    • Field work, KII, FGDs, household interviews
    • Debriefing with Area Manager and Program Development Unit Team in Juba.
    • Report of the outcomes of the assessment

The key resource persons for this process will be the;
• Area Managers Jonglei/Akobo & Aweil
• Livelihoods and Food Security Specialist
• M & E Manager
• Integrated Program Manager –Jonglei and Akobo
• LFS projects Manager – Northern Region
• LFS (or LFS CC Adviser in the Regional Office if none is in country)
• Project Coordinators and team leaders
• Field Coordinator and logistics team
8 Timeline for the assessment
S/No Description # of days
1 Desk review of secondary data 2
2 Planning and training of enumerators 2
3 Field work and data analysis 5
4 Debrief of process and findings 1
5 Report writing and refinery 5
9 Budget
The bidding from the consultant should include the following items. The list is not exhaustive but serves as a guideline of the costs that should be taken into account when submitting the budget requested by the consultant.
• Preparation costs: consultant fees and per-diem,
• Data Collection costs: consultant fees, any per-diem cost for consultant and his/her co-consultant,
• Data Preparation and Processing: consultant fees, transcribing and or translation of qualitative data,
• Report Writing and Production: consultant fees,
• Refining and submission: consultant fees.
10 Report Layout
a. Cover page
b. Table of Contents (1 page)
c. Acknowledgements (1 page)
d. Glossary (1 page)
e. Executive Summary (1 page)
f. Introduction (1 page)
g. Methodology, including limitations of the assessment (max 1 pages)
h. Findings presented by the Rural Economic Systems and Off-Farm Economic Opportunities (max 20 pages)
i. Conclusions and recommandations (max 3 pages)
j. Lessons learned (max 1 pages)
k. Appendices (to include copies of all tools, surveys, interviews etc. as many pages as necessary- please reference the annexes in the report, but include them in a zip file as separate documents).
11 Consultant Profile
i. Education in agric-business, business management, economics, marketing or relevant field of social sciences assessment
ii. Proven experience in market assessments and value chain analysis, preferably agriculture
iii. Research capacity using qualitative and synthesis methods and ability to prepare analytical reports
iv. Experience in East African context, preferably in South Sudan
v. Proficiency in spoken and written English
12 Submission of Expression of Interest
Consultants that meet the requirements should submit an expression of interest, which should include the following:
 Cover letter including suitability for the assignment and current contact information.
 CVs including detailed work experience and education.
 A clear statement describing why the consultant is a suitable candidate.
 Outputs of at least two similar assignments.
 Technical and financial proposals.
 A clear methodology/procedure for implementing the assignments.
 A work plan that provides a breakdown and a logical sequencing of activities, including timeframe.
 A description of deliverables.
 A detailed budget.

[email protected] before 30th July 2019