REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP): OSE/005/2023
Migration in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region takes place in a context marked by deep historical, political, economic, and social ties between countries, significant internal and intraregional socioeconomic disparities, political instability, insecurity, and violence in some countries, as well as severe and frequent disasters, natural hazards compounded by slow-onset environmental changes. The LAC region currently faces an increase in complex and mixed movements, which include flows of refugees, asylum seekers, migrant workers, returnees, and other migrants from the entire continent (Venezuela, Haiti, Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Guatemala being the top countries of origin), but also, to a lesser extent, from Africa (Senegal, Somalia, Cameroon) and Asia (Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal and China).
The region has also experienced high secondary or tertiary migration movements, particularly of Venezuelans and Haitians, due to a lack of integration opportunities. Despite laudable regularization efforts in many host countries, challenges in accessing income-generating opportunities, particularly formal and decent employment, and increasing xenophobia, have pushed many to pursue dangerous migration routes, for example through the Darien region, northward towards the United States or even routes to the south of the continent.
Experience shows that large-scale population movements persist and deteriorate without political solutions and sustained international solidarity. It is estimated that the number of Venezuelans worldwide rose from around 600,000 in 2015, to 7.3 million as of June 2023. In addition to impacting on the living conditions, security, dignity and health of refugees and migrants, the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened pre-existing inequalities and increased the suffering of the most vulnerable people in society. There needs to be more than the region’s economic growth forecast for this year to ensure sustained expansion as the social impacts of the health crisis and the region’s structural problems have worsened and will continue during this recovery phase.
Following a temporary decrease in late 2022 of irregular entries of migrants from Colombia to Panama, associated with new migration measures for Venezuelans announced in October 2022 by the United States (U.S.) Government Title 42 policy, sharp increases in Venezuelan entries via the Darien were reported in February (7,100) and March (20,800). Furthermore, in the lead-up to the end of the Title 42 public health order (which ended on 11 May 2023), after that, the U.S. Government announced new border enforcement measures, coupled with the expansion of a parole programme to allow 30,000 entries per month for nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, and the use of an app (called CBP One) for refugees and migrants arriving along the southern U.S. border to schedule an appointment to present themselves at a legal point of entry, including to request an exemption from Title 42 and/or seek asylum. Nationals from these countries who attempted to cross the southwest border to the U.S. irregularly were expelled to Mexico, including Venezuelans seeking asylum. During the first quarter of 2023, approximately 8,000 persons were expelled, of whom 35% were Venezuelans.
The response to this mobility crisis presents several challenges and gaps in coordination, information management and humanitarian space threatened by the increasing activity of organized crime and human trafficking networks as well as by the closure of civic spaces for civil society. The regional character of the crisis makes it advisable to review the regional coordination and information management mechanisms since existing ones (REDLAC, R4V, IBC Humanitarian Mobility, etc.) are distinct in terms of members, scope, capacities, countries covered or nationality of people targeted, hindering efforts for articulated analysis, early warning systems and response.
The Working Group on Risk, Emergencies and Disasters for Latina America and the Caribbean (REDLAC) is a regional coordination platform for preparedness and response to disasters. It was created in 2003 as a mechanism to foster understanding and joint analysis of humanitarian crises and encourage regional, global and national approaches. REDLAC improves coordination, preparation and analysis, and enables a permanent dialogue between humanitarian organizations. REDLAC members are regional or sub-regional organizations with a humanitarian mandate who are present in Panama or in the region, belong to the United Nations System, Non-Governmental Organizations, International Organizations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The private sector, donors, inter-government or regional or sub-regional organizations participate on an ad hoc basis as required.
The Regional Inter-Agency Coordination (R4V) Platform was established as a forum to coordinate the response efforts across 17 countries of LAC co-led by IOM and UNHCR. At national and sub-regional levels, the R4V is charged with the operational coordination and implementation of the regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) and is complemented by local coordination mechanisms collaborating closely with host governments. The R4V Platform aims to develop a regional approach to ensure a coherent and coordinated operational response, by focusing on regional strategic and country-specific support, information management, communication, and resource mobilization. The platform, both at the regional and national levels, works in very close relation with the UN Development Group for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNDG LAC), the Resident Coordinators (RC) and the UN Country Teams (UNCTs) and are mutually supportive of their respective roles. The pivotal role of the RCs in support of national priorities, development strategies, and plans is particularly relevant to the platform’s work .
The Issue-Based Coalition on Human Mobility (IBC-HM) serves as a regional platform for UN agencies and potentially a wider group of stakeholders including civil society organizations to support Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams in responding to the situations of refugees, migrants, host communities and communities of return in the Americas Region. Also, IBC-HM complements existing and relevant mechanisms (e.g. other IBCs, UN Networks on Migration, the Global Refugee Forum, Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (MIRPS), the Regional Conference on Migration (CRM), the Comprehensive Development Plan for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and México (PDI), the South American Conference on Migration (CSM), the Ibero-American Network of Migration Authorities (RIAM) and other related coordination platforms, etc.).
The need to review and adapt the current regional inter-agency coordination mechanisms to the new regional context has been reiterated in some of the last international events such as the 2023 International Solidarity Conference and the European Humanitarian Forum. In this sense, different donors, UN agencies and Civil Society Organizations have agreed that it would be advisable to carry out an independent external review to take stock of the existing regional coordination mechanisms in LAC and provide feasible recommendations to adapt them to the region’s new context of human mobility and with regional governmental mechanisms (Quito Process, SICA, CRM, CSM, among others).
Purpose and objective
The review will have a primary objective of mapping gaps and strengths of the inter-agency coordination systems in response to mixed movements at the regional level, and formulating concrete and realistic recommendations to avoid duplication, improve efficiency, cover the gaps, and reinforce the aspects identified as good practices or strengths of the current mechanisms. More specifically the review will aim to:
- Map the current existing regional and national interagency coordination mechanisms and the links between them.
- Typify and categorize each of them to understand their mandate, geographical footprint, target population, leadership role, membership, sectors covered, and type of governance (government-led, UN-led, shared governance, etc.)
- Evaluate the interagency mechanisms’ joint efficiency, complementarity, and interconnection at regional level.
- Identify gaps, challenges, duplications/overlaps as well as strengths and good practices to be kept or replicated in the region.
- Analyze the links between these regional mechanisms and host countries’ national and regional governmental/ institutional bodies (e.g., Proceso de Quito, MIRPs. CSM, CRM, Mercosur, LAC declaration, etc.).
- Identify the current information products available for a collaborative and effective analysis of the needs and the response.
- Analyze the demands for coordination and information management from involved stakeholders (Local, national, and international NGOs, UN agencies, local authorities, civil society networks and forums, faith-based and faith-sensitive networks, donors, etc.).
- Elaborate concise and feasible recommendations to adapt the existing interagency coordination mechanisms in response to mixed movements in the region to cover the gaps identified, improve joint efficiency, avoid duplications, and reinforce the aspects identified as good practices or strengths of the current mechanisms.
The review will assess the implementation of the regional coordination mechanisms structure in LAC, in relation to coordination, needs assessment, strategic planning, advocacy, fundraising strategies, information management and monitoring of the response and its results. The review will use response planning documents such as RMRPs and HRPs in the region and their subsequent revisions (2019-2023), specific humanitarian plans and other collective strategies and plans that might have been developed in response to the regional mixed movements emergencies. In addition, the review will consider all relevant planning and other documents, such as similar studies to ensure the appropriate focus of the review. The exercise will be conducted on a regional basis and their relations/links with national coordination mechanisms. Countries that can complement the analysis of information and evidence to facilitate recommendations at the regional level will be consulted during the review.
This exercise is framed within the criteria the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (DAC-OECD) defines. In line with the principles for using the criteria, the objectives of the exercise, and the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) norm of utility and standard of evaluability analysis, the criteria of relevance, coherence, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability have been prioritized.
The review will answer the following key overarching topics responding to the strategic priorities:
- Inclusiveness of mechanisms(donors, civil society, local actors, affected population, host communities, etc.);
- Scope of the mechanisms/mandate in terms of the target population, countries, roles mandates, and autonomy, etc;
- Articulation between countries as well as between local, national, and regional levels;
- Existing best practices from existing regional coordination mechanisms;
- What is to be kept/reinforced and what is to be suppressed/ merged?;
- Limitations that may affect a potential reconfiguration of coordination mechanisms;
- Strategic coordination and operational coordination.
- Funding and sustainability of coordination mechanisms.
- Support and complementarity of regional coordination mechanisms with the response provided by states.
The review criteria are outlined below:
- Relevance/coherence of the planning, design, and implementation processes of regional coordination mechanism and links with national levels, policies, and priorities; aid effectiveness principles; mandates, and individual agency policies, and comparative advantages in terms of their responsiveness and alignment with country needs;
- Coherence of the coordination mechanisms in order to add value/avoid duplication/complement other efforts in the given context at the regional level?;
- Effectiveness and impact of coordination mechanism in achieving their stated objectives and any intended or unintended long-term effects, including funding mobilization;
- Sustainability of the mechanisms given the level of ownership generated, leadership and governance, effective partnerships established, and capacity strengthened through this process.
A matrix will be prepared during the inception phase in which sources of data (including documents, information, and data asked of all agencies involved in the response, methods and criteria will be defined for each review question). The draft inception report will allow for the Reference Group to provide more detailed feedback on the proposed methodology and approach.
The review will be conducted by an external consultant(s) under the supervision of the Review Management Group, composed of IOM, UNHCR and OCHA. The methodology will consist of an extensive documentation review, structured and semi-structured interviews or/and electronic surveys with key staff and partners, affected population and host communities, to take stock of existing mechanisms and practices, including country visits (locations will be agreed upon with the different working groups established, ideally four countries will be visited, the selection of countries will be based on the mechanisms to be reviewed and findings received in the inception phase). Focus group discussions and/or community consultations will be also considered and the possibility of remote interviews or surveys if physical visits become challenging due to unforeseen circumstances. The review will employ mixed methods (qualitative, quantitative) and several data collection tools. Various data collection tools will facilitate the triangulation of information collected, thereby increasing the reliability of the findings, lessons learned, good practices and recommendations presented in the report.
Ethics, norms and standards for the review
The review of regional Interagency coordination mechanisms in response to human mobility in the LAC region abides by the Norms and Standards of the UN Evaluation Group (UNEG). It expects all review stakeholders to be familiar with the Ethical guidelines for the evaluation of UNEG and the consultant(s) with the UNEG code of conduct for evaluation in the UN System as well. These included the principles of impartiality, confidentiality, ensuring informed consent, and protection.
The consultant(s) is(are) expected to provide the following deliverables:
- Document with the map the current existing regional and national interagency coordination mechanisms and the links between them. (English and Spanish).
- Inception report outlining data collection processes and analysis, including a matrix with further refinement of Review questions. (Spanish).
- Presentation or brief of the initial findings and recommendations of countries to visit. (Spanish).
- Draft of the report submitted for comments. (Spanish).
- Report on current gaps and strengths of the regional inter-agency coordination systems. (English and Spanish).
- Workshop for Review users, including validation of recommendations. (Spanish).
- Final report (English and Spanish).
- Review brief (according to the template). (Spanish).
- Two-pager summarizing the main findings and recommendations. (English and Spanish).
- Final presentation of the report. (Spanish).
In addition, periodic progress reports, meetings or check-ins will take place to keep stakeholders updated.
Specifications of roles
In order to provide different coordination and governance spaces, the following working groups for the review exercise will be created:
- Reference Group, composed of different stakeholders involved as civil society/NGOs (represented by LAC RMD Coalition), UN Resident Coordinators (represented by UNDCO in Panama), International Federation (in representation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements), humanitarian donors (represented by AECID and DG ECHO), and UN involved in humanitarian coordination (IOM, UNHCR and OCHA). This group will be the central forum and the decision-making space for the review exercise including approval of the terms of reference, work plan, provide advice and support to the management group and consultants team, identifying priority questions for the review to address and support data gathering, methodology, recommendations, and review and provide appropriate and timely feedback on draft documents related to revision (validation of the final external review report).
- Management Group composed of IOM, UNHCR and OCHA. Focal points of each organization will integrate this group with the technical capacity to elaborate the terms of reference, contracting of consultants and assessing their performance. Also, ensure the independence of the review process and results, and provide quality control and inputs throughout the entire evaluation to ensure that it meets agreed criteria and standards.
- Secretariat of the Reference Group, represented by IOM, UNHCR and OCHA, who will be responsible for the organization and chairing of the Reference Group meetings.
The reference group will hold regular meetings to review the consultant´s progress and deliverables, as well as validations and document reviews.
- Month 1 – Month 2, Preparations and Scoping Phase: to be conducted by the management group. During the scoping phase (1) the scope of the Review will be further refined considering inputs from the Reference Group members, clearly defining what aspects will be included in the scope of the Review, (2) the work plan will be defined in more detail, (3) data sources will be identified, and (4) security and access issues will be reviewed. The scoping phase will consist of a desk exercise (there will be no scoping mission to the field).
- Month 3 – Month 4, Team Selection & Recruitment: The Consultant team will be recruited based on the Terms of Reference.
- Month 4 – Month 6, Inception Phase: The Consultant team will conduct this. It will include field visits to selected locations to be agreed upon with the reference group; ideally four countries will be visited.
- Month 6 – Month 8, Review and Reporting Phase: following the field missions, the Consultant team will analyze data, information and other material collected, and prepare the draft of the Review report.
- Month 9 – Month 10, Final report: This includes revisions and incorporation of reference group recommendations to the Review report until approval of the final version.
- Month 10 and following, Dissemination of Results: Results will be socialized with stakeholders.
IOM expects the bidder to submit an all-inclusive budget for the assignment based on their proposed methodology.
(1) At least 15 years of evaluation experience (or 10 years of evaluation experience and an advanced
degree in social and political sciences).
(2) Experience with global, regional or country-level strategy evaluations.
(3) Advanced knowledge and skills in categorization, mapping, and mixed methods.
(4) Strong background and expertise in conducting quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
(5) Knowledge of English and Spanish languages is mandatory.
 RMRP 2019
How to apply
If you are interested in submitting a proposal in response to this RFP, please find information, formats and details: Vacantes tendersglobal.net Respuesta regional a Venezuela tendersglobal.net OIM tendersglobal.net Office of the Special Envoy for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (iom.int or contact: [email protected]