Collective Action / Behavioral Economics Research Consultant

  • Contractor
  • Kenya

Mercy Corps


Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future. Mercy Corps began working in Kenya in 2008 and has to date built a robust and diverse portfolio of programs aimed at sustainably improving the lives and livelihoods of Kenyans affected by poverty, resource scarcity and conflict. To do this, we deliver integrated programming to strengthen resilience, market, and governance systems, address the root causes of conflict, and equip vulnerable populations- in particular youth, women, adolescents, and marginalized social groups- with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to be healthy, productive, and drive the development of their communities. Mercy Corps Kenya also collaborates with Mercy Corps teams and partners in neighboring countries to implement several multi-country and cross-border programs.
Mercy Corps is implementing an applied research activity which takes a multi-stage approach to understand how different incentive structures can support communities to engage in collective action for integrated land regeneration and gender-inclusive land management to support climate adaptation and sustainable livestock production. This approach will focus first on co-designing incentive structures with communities and local authorities, with a particular focus on understanding the role of women in natural resource use and management and ways to overcome the barriers women face to engaging in decision-making related to use and conservation of communal lands. These incentive structures will then be tested across selected villages and through rangeland management committees in Garissa and Wajir counties to evaluate their effectiveness in supporting collective action and transforming land management practices over time. Based on the evaluation of these pilot incentive mechanisms, the project may be scaled up to reach more communities, with a focus on institutionalizing promising solutions with both likeminded partners/donors and government stakeholders through targeted sharing of key measurable impacts and results, aiming to leverage national climate action plans and to identify options for climate financing to support sustainability and scaling of proven approaches.

Purpose / Project Description:
Mercy Corps seeks a Kenya-based research consultant to co-lead participatory design of the incentive mechanisms and support data collection and real-time analysis during the 18 months the incentives will be tested. The Consultant will establish a study protocol to capture different behavioral insights into incentives and disincentives to collective management of a multi-use common pool resource including before during and after climate and economic-related crises. The Consultant will work closely with the Program Manager and Mercy Corps Senior Climate Research Advisor to co-develop up to 3 types of incentive mechanisms in partnership with target communities. The Consultant will coordinate with other research leads working with Mercy Corps to integrate findings into new data collection. This including insights into women’s empowerment, rangeland health, and leveraging market-based incentives. The Consultant is expected to integrate best practices, key success factors, and lessons learned from the different but similar programs building on behavioral insights for common pool resource management. The Consultant will propose indicators of progress and success in social actions and ecological outcomes.

Consultant Objectives:

  1. Co-lead the participatory design of three types of incentive mechanisms.
  2. Support design and implementation of the applied research activity testing the incentive mechanisms.
  3. Support the analysis and synthesis of study findings.

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:

  • Review all program documents.
  • Participate in a kick-off meeting and follow-up meeting with Mercy Corps staff to inform study design.
  • Coordinate with Mercy Corps staff to conduct initial interviews with communities and community leaders (as needed).
  • Coordinate with ICARR Program Manager and research co-lead to develop applied research protocol.
  • Co-lead participatory design of incentive mechanisms.
  • Support ICARR Program Manager and research co-lead to present research design to the donor.
  • Coordinate with relevant program staff to collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data per the study protocol.
  • Host routine check-in calls and presentations over the established timeframe.
  • Develop interim updates and final reports as agreed upon with the Program Manager.

Consultant Deliverables:
The Consultant will develop and submit:

  • Inception report including approach to participatory design of the incentive mechanisms. The inception report should detail the approach, methodology, associated planning, logistics, quality assurance, risk management and specifics of data collection and analysis.
  • Finalized work plan for the assignment: Provide a detailed work plan incorporating all relevant tasks and milestones from the start to the end of the study.
  • Data collection tools: Develop detailed data collection tool to cover all the components of the assignment.
  • Power point presentation (draft) for use during progress update.
  • Detailed research plan including data collection and analysis methodologies.
  • Interim updates and final report (frequency and deadlines to be established with Program Manager).
  • Present the findings to the program stakeholders for validation.

Projected timeframe / Schedule:

  • The research should be completed within 50 working days from the start of the task, beginning the date of contracting. The task should be completed within May 2024 to September 2024. The consultant should submit the detailed breakdown of the task and timetable as part of the proposal.

The Consultant will report to:

  • The study will be managed by the ICARR program manager with support from Research- co lead, Director of Programs and with close collaboration between Mercy Corps PAQ Team and senior leadership.

The Consultant will work closely with:

  • Mercy Corps teams such as the research co-lead, ICARR MEL team, Director Evidence & Learning, Director of Operations, and another program technical team.

Required Experience & Skills:

  • Master’s degree in economics, Behavioral Economics, Applied Research and Evaluation, or other Social Science; PhD, including current PhD students or candidates, preferred.
  • 5 years of experience working in community development, natural resources management or applied research.
  • Demonstrated experience conducting research on natural resources management and collective action or community development required.
  • Willingness and ability to spend significant amounts of time in rural locations and in NE Kenya required.
  • Knowledge and experience with natural resource management, community development, livestock markets and similar fields within the ASAL counties of Kenya is critical.
  • Knowledge and experience in gender equality issues of the sector is mandatory.
  • Contextual understanding of conflict issues and dynamics in the ASAL counties is mandatory.
  • Fluency in English is mandatory and Kiswahili or other relevant languages an asset; and
  • Ability to produce high quality work under tight timeframes.
  • Excellent communication, drafting, presentation and reporting skills.

Evaluation Criteria

Mercy Corps Tender Committee will conduct a technical evaluation which will grade technical criteria on a weighted basis (each criterion is given a percentage, all together equaling 100%). Offerors’ proposals should consist of all required technical submittals so a Mercy Corps committee can thoroughly evaluate the technical criteria listed herein and assign points based on the strength of a technical submission. Award criteria shall be based on the proposal’s overall “value for money” (quality, cost, delivery time, etc.) while taking into consideration donor and internal requirements and regulations. Each individual criterion has been assigned a weighting prior to the release of this tender based on its importance to Mercy Corps in this process.

When performing the Scoring Evaluation, the Mercy Corps tender committee will assign points for each criterion as captured HERE


Ownership and copyright of all data, drafts and final products of the survey will be the sole and exclusive property of Mercy Corps. The consultant will submit all original documents, materials, and data to Mercy Corps. Therefore, all the outputs of the survey will not be disseminated in part or whole without express authority from Mercy Corps. The consultant shall not produce information in these materials in any form (electronic, hard copies, etc.) to a third party without written permission from Mercy Corps.


The lead consultant, with support from the ICARR Program team, will be responsible for sourcing the required enumerators where necessary. In such cases Mercy Corps will cover transport costs for enumerators within the counties.
Applicants are therefore expected to submit their financial proposals, inclusive of withholding tax, for the entire exercise. All withholding tax amounts will be deducted from the total amount at source (i.e. by Mercy Corps) as per the Government of Kenya regulations.
The payments will be effective to the successful bidder upon the achievement of the corresponding milestones and for the following amounts shown HERE.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives. We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening, and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring, and evaluation of our field projects. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Mercy Corps Responsibilities

  • Cover and arrange the consultant’s travel and accommodation to and in the field where possible and necessary.
  • Provide ongoing security advice and support as necessary to field research.
  • Facilitate engagement with key stakeholders.
  • Provide all necessary program documents.

How to apply

How to Apply
Interested consultants / Consultancy firms are invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for assignment delivery. The EOI should include:

  • A technical proposal detailing the consultant’s understanding of the terms of reference (15 pages maximum)
  • The financial proposal detailing all costs that the consultant anticipates in undertaking the consultancy.
  • CVs of proposed staff / team members noting identified roles and team lead as specified in team members’ roles.
  • 2 – 3 of relevant sample reports of similar work done.
  • Three references for similar work carried out (name & contact information)

The application, written in English, should be submitted to Mercy Corps before 1700hrs on 7th May 2024. Applications should be addressed to [email protected] with the consultancy title as the subject line (Collective Action / Behavioral Economics Research Consultant)

Deadline: 7-May-24