Contracting agency: Save the Children International, WCA RO, Dakar, Senegal

 Contracted agency: Expert consultant on livelihoods research

Period under contract: April – June 2021


In the 1970s and 1980s, recurrent droughts that affected the Sahel region informed  approaches to preventing and managing food crises in the region, centred on the capacity to manage a major exogenous shock on food production, mostly linked to climate (such as rain failure). However, since the beginning of the 2000s, multiple food crises have occurred in the Sahel, but without such climatic shocks occurring. Early warning systems have evolved accordingly. The West African region has adopted a common framework (the “Cadre Harmonise”, CH) which enables food risks to be understood by integrating all the parameters that underpin household food and nutritional security.

Since 2010, Save the Children has been leading a regional, multi-agency effort, known as the Household Economic Analysis (HEA) Sahel project, originally funded by ECHO, and co-funded by OFDA since 2013. The project has been implemented in eight phases, which have gradually contributed to increasing institutionalization of HEA in the region. In particular, there has been a gradual increase in the capacity of carrying out HEA analyses, and in using HEA information in Early Warning (EW) systems at the region. In addition, the project informs the CH analysis by providing timely HEA results in all countries covered by the project where the CH analysis was undertaken (Burkina, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Mauritania, Senegal, and recently the Gulf of Guinea countries).

Through the project, the analysis of the household economy has gradually evolved to:

  • (i) improve understanding of the living systems of rural households (and urban households to a lesser extent) in line with the livelihood zones and socio-economic characteristics of households (differentiation of “wealth groups” within each livelihoods zones);
  • (ii) assess the degree of exposure to risks of the different categories of households, and their capacities to face these risks,
  • (iii) model the expected impacts of various shocks on household access to food and income (“Outcome analysis”) and their capacity to cover their annual food and income needs. This has enabled the project to generate analyses of cyclical vulnerability and improve crisis prevention and management strategies. In particular, HEA data has enabled decision makers and the humanitarian community to develop appropriate response plans and strategies to ensure meaningful support to affected households (this includes national response plans, humanitarian response plan): what types of social transfers, from what period and for how long?

However, there is great potential to even further exploit the information that has been generated through HEA analyses during the past 10+ years, to be used to inform longer term programming and policy in the region. In particular, the analysis of livelihood zone profiles in the Sahel areas and, within them, the analysis of the characteristics of different categories of rural households, present an untapped information source, rich in lessons, that could contribute to effective strategies to reduce poverty and improve food and nutrition security.


The overall objective of this consultancy is to provide clear analysis on how the livelihoods of rural populations have changed over the last 10 years, based on existing HEA data and products. This analysis will inform programming and policies in the West African region to improve resilience of rural populations.

Scope of work and timeline

The tasks outlined below are expected to be carried out by the consultant(s) using the following existing HEA products: HEA Atlas, Baseline reports and BSS, outcome analysis reports and LIAS’, poverty reports, interviews with relevant organisations involved in the project, etc.

The specific objective of the study is to compile and highlight the changes on  the livelihoods of rural populations  over the past ten years:

  1. Identify, document, and analyse major changes to food sources for rural households particularly from agricultural and livestock activities.
  2. Identify, document, and analyse the main changes to cash income sources, especially from agricultural and livestock activities and non-farm income sources.
  3. Produce an analysis on the key changes observed on rural populations livelihoods including the land area cultivated or accessible pastoral area, and the number and type of livestock available for households of different socio-economic groups
  4. Provide analysis on keys changes in terms of access to agricultural and livestock inputs in rural zones. How have costs of inputs changed over time, and have families purchased more or less inputs when income and/or costs have changed?

How do increased/decreased expenditures by families on agricultural and livestock inputs affect production, both in terms of income and food sources, from those sources?

  1. Identify and document additional significant and relevant changes that have occurred during the past 10 years, that could have an impact on livelihoods (e.g: changes in population, total income, household livelihoods protection score, etc).
  2. Develop theory of change (still with HEA data) that could explain the reasons of main changes
  3. Finally draw programmatic evolutions / policy recommendations that main changes could suggest.

For all items outlined above, the analysis should select 2 or 3 countries of the Sahel, focus on the different livelihoods zone in the targeted countries and focus on the most marginalized wealth groups .

Consultancy deliverables

deliverables content 
Inception report This report will provide more detail on the consultancy methodology, the manner that the baseline and outcome analysis data will be used, the people and structures to be consulted, the different sections of the report, a re-planning of the study etc. 
Preliminary report The first draft of the study report detailing the first analysis on changes observed through investigations of existing HEA products and interviews carried out. The graphs/ maps/ visuals to be included in the preliminary report. 
Final report The final report of the study detailing the main changes observed on the livelihoods, keys programmatic message and   recommendations, advocacy messages etc. 

Consultancy Period-Number of days

Activities Number of days  Timeline
Inception report X X
Preliminary report X X
Final report X X

Fees and other costs

The Consulting will be contracted by Save the Children International (SCI) West and Central Africa Regional Office, Dakar, Senegal.

Contact persons

Save the Children, Programme:

Important submission guidelines :

  • Please send your proposals to: [email protected]    and in the subject line: LIVELIHOOD HEA STUDY by April 15, 2021 at 18:00 GMT. 
  • To help us track our procurement effort, please indicate in your email where ( you saw this tender/procurement notice.
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