Raqqah City Needs Assessment

Expertise France

1. INTRODUCTION:

About Expertise France:

Expertise France is a public agency part of the AFD Group, merging six agencies under the supervision of the French Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economy and Finance with a strong inter-ministerial vocation. EF offers programme engineering and technical assistance by developing and implementing international cooperation actions worldwide. EF operates in various development and institutional cooperation fields, including safety and security reform, post-crisis/stability, public health, human rights, strengthening of institutions and NGOs, and governance.

Expertise France designs and implements projects which aim to contribute to the balanced development of partner countries, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda and the priorities of France’s external action.

2.CONTEXT

Syrian conflict

The Syrian conflict is having a devastating and lasting impact on Syria and across the region. With the conflict almost entering its eleven-year, the needs of the affected populations for assistance, including 13.1 million people inside the country and more than 5.6 million refugees plus their overstretched host communities in neighboring countries, are of an unprecedented scale. In 2013, the Syria crisis transformed itself from a humanitarian emergency to a multidimensional and protracted crisis directly affecting several countries in the region – mainly Lebanon and Jordan, but also Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt – whose social and economic capacity to deal with the ever-growing influx of refugees is all but exhausted. All actors involved in the crisis response agree that this massive challenge requires a comprehensive regional response, not only humanitarian aid but also longer-term structural support to host countries and communities, especially as no political solution to the crisis is in sight in the short term.Many communities inside Syria face disrupted humanitarian support and quickly deteriorating public services and infrastructure, including the communities of northeast Syria.

3.EXPERTISE FRANCE IN SYRIA:

Since 2013, Expertise France has been implementing direct non-humanitarian assistance programmes in non-regime-held areas across Syria.

EF developed and implemented several stabilization projects targeting conflict-affected communities in Syria through local Syrian NGOs and CSOs with whom EF built strong partnerships. Expertise France’s fields of intervention cover the following sectors: health, livelihoods, early recovery, and capacity development.

Expertise France in Northeast Syria:

Expertise France has been engaged in northeast Syria since the defeat of ISIS with an aim to support the transition to stability. EF stabilization efforts pursue backing the third pillar of France’s stabilization approach that involves improving access to essential services and stimulating economic recovery and livelihoods.

Expertise France implemented the first and second phase of the Syria Area Based Integrated Recovery project between 2020 and 2022 involving multi-sectors, including improving (I) access to essential services through public infrastructures rehabilitation (II) promoting access to livelihoods and income generation through agriculture, livestock, technical and vocational education and training, entrepreneurship supports and finally (III) foster social capital by delivering tailored capacity building activities to local partners.

Expertise France has implemented SABIR I, SABIR II and SABIR III following the successful implementation of the Initiative Northeast Syria project in its phases in 2019, 2022, 2023 respectively.

4.PROJECT BACKGROUND:

Supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Expertise France will launch the third phase of SABIR in order to respond to the protracted crisis in NES following the same integrated area-based approach, targeting a cluster of communities in specific geographic areas in the south of Al Hasskah and Ar-rqqa provinces, and taking into account the links and exchanges between sectors, local regions and stakeholders to maximize impact.

The SABIR III project was built on lessons learned from SABIR II, maintaining and expanding good practices, especially the successful area-based and holistic approach to respond to the inter-related and multi-sectoral needs as a mean for stabilization, while adopting a more active community engagement and localized approach under SABIR II through forming community-based committees who would represent the targeted communities and their interests. Particular attention will be devoted to mitigating climate change, prevailing environmental degradation, and water scarcity in the NES.

SABIR project’s overall intended impact is to contribute to addressing the post-crisis recovery challenges to pave the path towards sustainable development. The sub-objective of SABIR 4 is to build more resilient local communities towards greater stabilization in the northeast of Syria.

SABIR 4 focus areas:

  1. Access to basic services is enhanced through the rehabilitation of public infrastructure.
  2. Local communities have improved access to inclusive and sustainable livelihoods opportunities.
  3. Social Cohesion has increased in areas where a diversity of communities and sociodemographic live.
  4. The capacities of local partners are strengthened to implement project activities and improve community engagement.

Overall objective:

More resilient local communities pave the way towards greater stabilization in the Northeast of Syria.

Living conditions and human security of people affected by the crisis in the northeast of Syria are improved through an integrated area-based and gender inclusive approach, focusing on access to basic services, livelihoods, and local actors’ empowerment. SABIR 4 project is designed to increase resilient communities and enable stabilization. The project should therefore respond to immediate food security and livelihood needs and to improve access to resources, services and knowledge. It will support community’s positive coping strategies and provide an enabling environment to mitigate negative ones, improve living conditions and access to basic services, and promote stabilization through a multisector-integrated approach. It is believed that the stabilization effort will support the target communities’ transition towards a more sustainable and equitable economic growth, will strengthen social cohesion at the local level, and hopefully would encourage displaced persons to return to their own communities. This would reflect positively on both IDPs and Host Communities, by reducing the pressure and improving social cohesion in NES.

Outputs:

Output 1: Access to basic services is enhances through the rehabilitation of public infrastructure:

  • Drinking and/or irrigation water availability and management are improved through rehabilitation of facilities:
  • Rehabilitation of water treatment plants: improve access to water supply (for drinking and irrigation purposes) including provision of solar energy panels if feasible.
  • Rehabilitation of water pumping facilities, including provision of solar energy panels if feasible.
  • Maintenance and cleaning of irrigation canals. This activity will also provide cash-for-work income to local workers.
  • Rehabilitation of irrigation networks for drinking and irrigation in both governorates
  • Irrigation networks are improved to reduce the loss of water while irrigation provide on-farm irrigation networks such drip irrigation or sprinklers, and other climate smart irrigation techniques.
  • Rehabilitation of small ground water wells for irrigation purposes.
  • Drill and rehabilitate wells, equipping wells and pumps with solar energy.
  • The rehabilitation of existing electrical networks and/or the additional new facilities improve electricity availability:
  • Sabir will implement rehabilitation of electricity facilities/network and/or installation of new lines and transformers in areas suffering from excessive loads on the current transformers causing unstable current and successive blackouts and malfunctions.

Output 2: Local communities have improved access to inclusive and sustainable livelihoods opportunities:

  • local farmers are provided with agricultural inputs such as high-value drought resistance seeds, in addition to small greenhouses and extension services in the two locations:
  • The activity will include the provision of high-value drought resistance seeds, in addition to climate smart techniques, extension and training packages through the Farmer-to-Farmer approach and the demonstration plots to exchange knowledge and disseminate good practices.
  • Establishing small greenhouses to women with all input materials such as seeds, drip irrigation and training to promote fresh vegetables production in this area and to empower women household.
  • Supporting farmers with agricultural inputs and other materials to improve farmers’ livelihoods.
  • Livestock heads and beehives, veterinary services, vaccines, and extension, as well as fodder seeds is provided to breeders:
  • The project would provide vaccines for livestock heads of small ruminants. Farmers would also be supplied with Azolla and Panicum seeds to grow their own fodder and complemented by training.
  • Technical and vocational training is implemented to increase the employability of local youth:
  • Reinforcement of the population through specific and technical vocational trainings courses linked with the demands from the local enterprises.
  • Small in-kind grants will be provided to selected beneficiaries aiming to start up their businesses. Local partners will ensure a strong follow-up on those small businesses, to ensure their sustainability, following lesson learned on exit strategy for this kind of project.

Output 3: Social Cohesion has increased in areas where a diversity of communities and sociodemographic live (inter-religious, tribal differences, IDPs and host communities)

  • Activities, events, festival mobilizing members of different cultural groups (including IDPs and host communities) are organized:
  • Conferences, workshops, and dialogue sessions are organized by local partners to discuss share of resources at the community level.
  • Actions that foster the sense of belonging to the same culture, roots and emphasize spirt of common belonging are produced (focusing on promotions of heritage, history, traditions).
  • Events are organized to promote and strengthen social cohesion and peaceful coexistence, such as music and sport festivals, cleaning days of public spaces, promotion of local heritage, etc.

Output 4: The capacities of local partners are strengthened to implement project activities and improve community engagement:

  • CSOs/CBOs are trained and provided by organizational capacity building activities.
  • CSOs/CBOs are trained and provided by technical capacity building activities.
  • The Community Based Committees have been formed and trained to ensure good coordination of the activities and enhance sustainability.

5. DESCRIPTION OF THE NEEDS ASSESSMENT:

Rationale: The SABIR project is preparing to initiate its fourth phase, focusing on targeting four specific locations: (Mansurah, Shaddadah, Ruaished, and Raqqa City). EF will allocate funds to various projects on the ground, covering rehabilitation, livelihood, food security and livelihoods (FSL), social cohesion, and agriculture components.

At this juncture, EF must pinpoint the most pressing needs in Raqqa City, specifically in Mishleb and Sahlat al Banat areas, in Raqqah City sub-district. It is imperative to plan activities carefully to ensure the project’s relevance and effectiveness in addressing these needs.

Objectives of the needs and baseline assessment.

  • A comprehensive needs assessment of Raqqa City, specifically in Mishleb and Sahlat al Banat areas, to identify the highest needs and priorities The needs assessment will focus on thematics covered by Sabir project:
  • Access to water
  • access to electricity
  • access to irrigation
  • access to livelihood

Main activities of Sabir intervention will be considered to identify the most important needs of the target population.

  • Identification of the CBC members in Raqqa City, specifically in Mishleb and Sahlat al Banat areas

The assessment process will be carried out in three phases:

  • Inception phase: Main activities to be conducted by the evaluators during the Inception phase:

  • Remote/face-to-face kick-off session; if face-to-face, the session will be held at the EF Erbil office, between the EF team and the evaluators.

  • Finalization of the assessment methodology, including the definition of Judgement criteria and indicators, the identification of data collection tools and sources. The methodology should be gender-sensitive, contemplate the use of sex- and age-disaggregated data, and assess if and how project components have contributed to progress on gender equality.

  • Detailed work plan including specific activities throughout the assessment process.

  • Identification of the expected risks and limitations of the methodology, and the envisaged mitigation measures.

  • Preparation of the Inception Report;

  • Revision of the report (as relevant) following receipt of comments.

  • Data collection phase: Main activities to be conducted by the evaluators during this phase:

  • Completion of data collection, quantitative and qualitative.

  • Completion of in-depth analysis of relevant documents and other secondary sources, to be done systematically and reflecting the methodology as described in the Inception Report.

  • Selected interviews to support the analysis of secondary data, as relevant.

  • Completion of primary research following the methodology described in the Inception Report.

  • Guarantee of adequate contact, consultation with, and involvement of the different stakeholders, including the relevant government, local authorities and agencies, throughout the phase.

  • Use of the most reliable and appropriate sources of information, respecting the rights of individuals to provide information in confidence, and being sensitive to the beliefs and customs of local social and cultural environments, throughout the phase.

  • Completion of data analysis and drafting final needs and baseline assessment report.

  • Reporting phase: Main activity to be conducted by the evaluators during this phase:

  • Report drafting and submission .

  • Presentation of key result findings and recommendations to EF.

    6.DEILVEBARLES:

  • Inception report (to be provided at end of the Inception phase): The format of the Inception Report is free and should have a maximum length of 10 pages; it must contain at least the following:

  • Introduction: Short description of the context of the evaluation, its objectives and focus.

  • Reconstructed Intervention Logic: This will be based on an initial analysis of secondary sources and consultation with key stakeholders.

  • Stakeholders map: Free format: this will represent the key stakeholders of the intervention(s) under evaluation and their relations with the intervention(s)

  • Methodology of the assessment approach as well as data collection tools

  • Analysis of risks related to the assessment methodology and mitigation measures.

  • Detailed work plan including the specific dates and activities with clear roles and responsibilities.

  • Draft/final needs and baseline assessment report (to be delivered at the end of the Synthesis phase): The draft and final report should have the same structure and content. The presentation must be properly spaced, and the use of maps, clear graphs, tables and short paragraphs is strongly recommended. The main sections of the report should be as follows:

  • Executive Summary: The Executive Summary is expected to highlight the assessment purpose, the methods used, the main assessment findings and the conclusions and recommendations. It is to be considered a “stand alone” document.

  • Introduction: A description of the SABIR project, of the relevant country/region/sector background and of the evaluation,

  • Context analysis: A part will provide inputs about the context and social environment of the target areas. The socio-economics background and trends of the targeted communities will be presented.

  • Findings: A chapter presenting the result findings, supported by evidence and reasoning. Findings per judgment criteria and detailed evidence per indicator are included in an annex to the Report.

  • Needs and Priorities: The needs and priorities at the community level should be provided in details. The needs should be based on evidence that leads to recommendations and conclusions. The identified needs will focus on Sabir topics and areas of intervention.

  • Conclusions: This chapter contains the conclusions of the assessment findings and outcomes, presenting a snapshot of the highest needs, issues, gaps, and challenges corresponding to each component of the project.

  • Recommendations: The recommendation section should be provided with reliable and realistic information within the scope of the project. This section should inform EF to select projects in targeted locations.

How to apply

1.ELIGIBILITY AND NEGOTIATION PHASE:

  • Applications must be complete, including the technical proposal, budgets, action plans, and details of previous experience.

  • Proposals must be submitted before the deadline of this call.

  • Applications must be registered in NES or authorized by any entity operating in NES.

  • Applicants must diligently complete and submit three specified documents—specifically, a sworn statement, beneficiary profile, and safety questionnaire—in addition to the required documentation*.*

  • Expertise France holds exclusive authority to initiate and supervise a negotiation phase, a pivotal process that may involve one, selected, or all applicants, meticulously determined at their discretion. This strategic decision-making aligns with the specific requirements of the situation, ensuring an accurate and effective selection process.

    2.APPLICATIONs:

Applications should include:

Technical offer and workplan (70%): motivation, methodological approach, human resources (CVs of proposed experts), examples of curricula developed in the past, list of previous relevant experiences in capacity building (detailed track record).

Financial proposition (30%): The financial proposition should cover all the costs including management fees, transportation costs, travel, perdiems, venues for workshops… etc).

Applicants are welcome to submit inquiries related to the call until March 20, 2024, at 11:59 pm (Baghdad time), through the designated email address: [email protected] Expertise France commits to providing clarifications regarding your inquiries at least 5 days before the submission deadline.

The application should be submitted in English on the March 31, 2024 to [email protected] with clear indication of the call for proposal title in the email subject.

Please be informed that our server can receive files/documents up to 9 MB. Files/documents larger than this limit will result in the failure to receive your full application.

For further details regarding the application process, kindly refer to the following link, which contains the complete application documents: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1wfe3g7sGhE-LdIthjn0xDguE2l2oOO7r?usp=sharing