Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihoods Needs Assessment in Borno, Yobe States – Northeast Nigeria

Plan International

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian non-profit organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood, and enable children to prepare for and respond to crises and adversity. We believe in the power and potential of every child, but know this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion, and discrimination. Working together with children, young people, supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges girls and vulnerable children face. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 80 years and are now active in more than 75 countries, driving changes in practice and policy at local, national, and global levels using our reach, experience, and knowledge.

1. Rationale and Objectives of the Assessment

Plan International has made strides in delivering much-needed support to affected populations in the BAY States since 2016 when the humanitarian intervention was started in North-eastern Nigeria. During these periods, we have implemented directly or as a consortium with National and International Partners on a number of Education, Protection, Livelihood, Nutrition and Food Security projects. However, as highlighted by the HNO 2023 & the HRP 2023, there are still huge needs in all the above sectors, which calls for in-depth needs assessment to determine the kinds of interventions to meet the needs. Thus, there is a need for strategic evidence-gathering of the most efficient and effective ways to engage in interventions that further strengthen the provision of essential services that promote well-being and save the lives of affected populations in the northeast of Nigeria. For Plan International to provide these interventions there is a need for an assessment to understand the prevailing needs and any existing gaps in systems and structures responsible for delivering support in meeting those needs. This understanding will help identify opportunities for action in target sectors and locations in preparation for upcoming engagements with donors. Information gathered by this assessment will provide data and evidence that will inform proposals to potential donors and partners.

The needs assessment aligns with Plan Nigeria’s new Country Strategy (2024-2028) (Girls are empowered to take action and drive change) commitment to generate and use quality evidence to improve programmes, influencing and resource mobilization to meet the needs of the affected community. It also aligns with the HRP 2023, strategic objective two (SO2): “Crisis-affected people enjoy a safer and healthier environment for living, with adequate access to essential services”. The results of this need assessment will enable Plan International Nigeria to design evidence–based integrated multi-sector programmes based on informed decisions, stemming from the findings. Findings from the assessment are expected to contribute to advocacy initiatives with stakeholders and establish priority areas for programming, proposal development. Also, the assessment results will be shared with the larger humanitarian partners in the BAY states to enable complementarity of actions and reduce redundancies. The report will also leverage on other relevant assessments and reports that might have been or are being conducted by other partners.

Therefore, the objectives of the assessment include:

  • To determine which communities or demographic groups are most at risk of food insecurity, malnutrition, and livelihood challenges.
  • To assess the nutritional status of the population, including rates of malnutrition and dietary diversity.
  • To analyse the economic and social factors affecting people’s ability to access food, including income, employment, and food prices.
  • To use the assessment as a baseline to measure the impact of interventions over time and make necessary adjustments.
  • Use the assessment to prepare for potential food security and nutrition crises and develop contingency plans.
  • Identify the types of livelihood opportunities available in the area and their sustainability.
  • To strengthen local data collection and analysis capabilities to monitor and respond to ongoing food security and livelihood issues.
  • Based on the assessment findings, design and implement programs or policies to address the specific needs of the population, such as food aid, livelihood support, or social protection measures.

2. Assessment Scope and Location

The Needs assessment will be conducted in Borno and Yobe states of North East Nigeria, focusing on key sectoral vulnerabilities, needs and gaps within the community especially in Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihoods sectors. The assessment will target both in-camp and out-of-camp IDPs, returnees, and host communities. Respondents will be systematically drawn from children, adolescents and youth groups aged 6 – 29 years (male and female), households (heads/caregivers), and stakeholders at all levels, including government, community, and religious stakeholders. In addition, the assessment will also complete a desk review of humanitarian and developmental records of selected locations within the regions based on needs and intelligence gathering; to reach a comprehensive report that represents the closest to the ideal outlook of living conditions in those areas assessed.

Location: The assessment will be conducted in 10 LGAs across Borno and Yobe States.

  • Borno state (Gwoza, Dikwa, Mafa, Bama, Damboa)
  • Yobe State (Jakusko, Bursari,Yusufari, Karasuwa, Fika)

3. Assessment questions

The assessment is expected to address the following questions:



  • What are the household demographics (who is head of household, age of head of HH, any PwD in the household, n of people who have completed formal education, how many people are currently living in the HH, how many primary school-aged children… etc)
  • Who is the head of household? Is it a man or a woman?
  • What is the age of the household head?
  • Is the head of household disabled, chronically ill or able bodied?
  • Please record the number of people currently living in the household

Household Health:

  • What is the main source of water? Is the water treated? How much water is used per day?
  • What is the amount of water (20 litres jerry cans) used per day in your household most of the time? (State number of jerry cans full of water)
  • What kind of toilet is mostly used?
  • What health services are accessible to the household?
  • Where do you and members of your household MOSTLY go for treatment when sick?
  • What type of cooking fuel is mostly used by the household?

Livestock production

  • Does your household own any livestock?
  • How many of the following livestock does your household currently own?
  • What is the main constraint for livestock and livestock production for your household?
  • Do you have access to agricultural land (arable land for cultivation)?
  • What is the size of land you have to?
  • What was the biggest constraint to agriculture in the past six months?
  • Do you have any food stocks in your household at the moment?
  • What was the source of these stocks?
  • How long will these stocks last your household?

Food Availability

  • Do you have access to agricultural land (arable land for cultivation)?
  • What is the size of land you have to?
  • What was the biggest constraint to agriculture in the past six months?
  • Do you have any food stocks in your household at the moment?
  • What was the source of these stocks?
  • How long will these stocks last your household?

Main income sources

  • How many members of the household earn an income?
  • During the past 30 days, what were your household’s most important livelihood sources?


Food expenditures

  • Did you purchase any of the following items during the last 30 days for domestic consumption?

Non-Food expenditures

  • Did you purchase the following items during the last 30 days for domestic consumption?
  • Do you have any debt or credit to repay at the moment?
  • If yes, approximate the amount of current debt in Naira?
  • Do you have to pay interest on your current loan?
  • How much is the total interest you owe on the loan?
  • What was the main reason for new debts or credit?
  • Who is the main source of credit for all debts and loans?

Food sources and consumption

  • What sources of food has your household used in the last month?
  • What barriers does your household have currently in accessing enough food?
  • Food consumption score: Over the last 7 days, how many days did your household consume the following foods? What was the main source of these foods?

Shocks and coping:

  • what have been your main difficulties or shocks in the past 30 days (lost employment/reduced salary; crop loss; death of HH member; high food prices; high fuel/transport prices; dept; floods/heavy rains/drought/landslides; sickness/disease; other; no difficulty)
  • reduced coping strategy index: In the past 7 days, how many days did your household have to resort to the following coping strategies to cope with the lack of food or money to buy it?
  • livelihood coping strategies index: During the last 30 days, did anyone in your household have to engage in any of the following activities because there was not enough food or money to buy food?
  • In the past (4 weeks/30 days) was there ever no food to eat of any kind in your household because of lack of resources to get food?
  • If Yes, how often did this happen in the past (4 weeks/30 days)?
  • In the past (4 weeks/30 days) did you or any household member go to sleep at night hungry because there was not enough food?
  • If Yes, how often did this happen in the past (4 weeks/30 days)?
  • In the past (4 weeks/30 days), did you or any household member go a day and night without eating anything at all because there was not enough food?
  • If Yes, how often did this happen in the past (4 weeks/30 days)?
  • If your household were to receive support for food, what method of support would you prefer?
  • Do you have potential to produce your own food, if yes, what are the potentials?
  • What are the constraints to meeting your daily food needs?
  • Are there some knowledge or capacity you will need to be able to produce your own food? If any, kindly list them.
  • Mention climate related factors affecting food security in your area.


Mother/caregiver (with children 0-59)

  • Collect demographing and anthropometric information
  • Respondent relationship to children
  • Age of mother/caregiver
  • Number of live births by this mother/Care giver
  • Is mother/caretaker pregnant or breast feeding?
  • Weight (kg)
  • Height (cm)
  • MUAC (cm)

Child Health and Nutrition

  • Sex of the child?
  • Date of birth (Day/month/year)
  • Age of the child? (in months)
  • Has child been taken for immunization, de-worming or supplementation?
  • Child demographic, health, breastfeeding and feeding practices info
  • Have there be any challenges faced on feeding in children below 2 years in your Household?
  • Have your children been screened on acute malnutrition by any Nutrition Staff?
  • Did you receive any Supplementary Feeding for the Past one month?
  • Out of 7 days in a week, how many days do you skip breakfast?
  • What is your daily water intake in Cups?
  • Do you eat a Vitamin-mineral supplement in a week?
  • Timely initiation of breastfeeding: proportion of children who were put to breast within 1 hour of life
  • Exclusive breastfeeding under 6 months: proportion of infants 0-6months of age who were exclusively breastfed with breastmilk in the past 24 hours
  • Timely complementary feeding: proportion of infants 6-9 months of age who receive breastmilk and solid/semisolid and soft foods in the past 24 hours
  • Introduction of solid, semi-solid, and soft foods: proportion of infants 6-8 months who receive semi-solid, solid, and soft foods
  • Continued breastfeeding up to 1 year: proportion of children 0-12 months who are fed breastmilk.
  • Minimum dietary diversity: proportion of children 6-23 months who received food from 4 or more groups in the past 24 hours
  • Minimum meal frequency: proportion of breastfed and non-breastfed children 6-23 months of age who receive solid, semi solid, or soft foods the minimum number of times or more
  • Minimum acceptable diet: proportion of children 6-23 months of age who receive a minimum acceptable diet (apart from breastmilk)
  • Consumption of iron rich or iron fortified foods
  • Access to sufficient quantity of water.
  • Access to improved sanitation facilities.
  • Access to an improved source of drinking water.
  • Water availability for hand washing
  • Soap availability for handwashing.


  • What are the main sources of income for the household?
  • What barriers are there for your household in accessing enough land for your farming or herding needs?
  • What are the major barriers to accessing seeds and other Agric inputs?
  • In the last month, did your household do any of the following things to cope with lack of income for household needs? (Sell household assets/good (furniture, television, jewelry, etc, sell productive assets, or means of transport, sewing machine, agricultural machinery/vehicles, cars, bicycle etc, beg for money, consume seed stocks that were to be saved for the next season, depend on support from family/host family/external assistance, others.
  • What is the estimated highest amount per month of HH expenditure on?
  • Are there functional markets?
  • What are the barriers to farming in this community?
  • List crops and vegetable that are commonly grown in this community?
  • What are the livestock that can be reared in this community?
  • What is your main source of access to physical cash?
  • If cash is provided, what will it be used for?
  • What is the risk that a person given cash can be faced with?
  • Is Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) likely to reduce the risk?
  • If your household were to receive support for livelihoods, what method of support would you prefer?
  • What are the vocations that are lucrative in your locations?
  • Are there training centres for vocational skills in your locations, if any, list them?.
  • What are the most important needs your household is lacking?
  • What is the average income per month your household is generating?
  • How much your household need to survive per month?
  • How many adult (above 18yearsold) people are unemployed in your household?
  • What are the causes of unemployment in your community?


  • Are there collective centers and/or camps in your community?
  • How many collective centres and camps are in your community?
  • What are the main types of buildings used as collective centers hosting five or more IDP families in your community?
  • Who are supervising/managing partners of each collective centre or camps in this community?
  • Which partner operates in the majority/each of the collective centres?
  • What are the often-reported issues/problems in the collective centres in this community?
  • What were the three biggest problems that people living in planned camps, transit centres and informal settlements faced?
  • Have the number of IDPs moving to Collective Centres/Camps increased in the past three months?
  • What are the reasons for the increase in number of IDPs moving to camps/Collective Centres?
  • What are the main challenges facing IDPs in terms of access to shelters?
  • What were the four biggest problems hosting and hosted households faced?
  • Are there people in your community living in open areas?
  • What are the main reasons people have been living in open areas?
  • Have we witnessed any camp closure in your community?
  • What is the reason for the camp closure?
  • What are the main challenges faced by IDP’s after the camp closure?

To answer the assessment questions and criteria, the consultant will develop and administer a tool to aid the collation and analysis of data and produce informed and evidence-based narratives by the consultant with reviews from Plan International MERL lead and team.

It is therefore expected that the consultant develops a detailed overall methodology, appropriate methods and the set of tools to respond to the key assessment questions. The consultant shall outline the reasons for selecting the methods proposed and depict the skills/ experience he/ she has in applying them. It is recommended to apply a mixed method approach using both quantitative and qualitative methods to meet study objectives, it will carry out a detailed and rigorous collection of primary data using focal group discussions, Key informer interviews, and surveys among key target groups, while it is expected to conduct reviews on secondary sources using reviews of relevant documents and reports to triangulate information that will inform the final report the consultant will also triangulate with several actions and stakeholders in the Northeast to gather evidence-based findings.

The consultant will also be responsible for piloting the tools, ensuring that they are gender-sensitive. The proposal must contain a description of the envisaged data validation, quality assurance and data analysis techniques. Plan International will make available to the consultant all project documents upon request.

3. Methodology

The consultant is expected to present an evaluation design, along with a rationale for its selection. They should outline a comprehensive method for implementing the chosen design and demonstrate their proficiency and experience in its application. The recommendation is to incorporate a mixed-method approach. The consultant is also tasked with piloting the tools, ensuring their sensitivity to gender-related factors.

Furthermore, the consultant(s) are required to formulate a thorough methodology for data collection, management, and analysis within their proposal. This methodology should align directly with the sector indicators and assessment questions.

The proposal must also encompass a description of the envisioned techniques for data validation, quality assurance, and data analysis.

4. Sampling

4.1 Sample

The consultant shall propose a sampling strategy either simple random probability or cluster sampling for the primary data collection to answer the assessment questions as part of the final assessment, including how they will identify respondents. More specifically, the intended sample strategy shall include a description of the:

  • Sample size
  • Target group and necessary respondent disaggregation (this will be provided to the consultant)
  • Number and type of locations
  • Sampling approach (stating the reasons for the approach selected)

4.2 Participant selection and recruitment

As a minimum requirement, representatives from key stakeholders (government, LGA structures, state structures, other potential experts operating within the context environment, e.g. public authorities, community leaders) and target groups should be given the opportunity to provide feedback on the assessment. Other potential stakeholders that should be involved include:

  • Key informants drawn from targeted structures
  • Plan Management
  • Plan International staff- COs and NOs
  • Government line ministries and implementing Agencies
  • Implementing partners
  • Other NGOs
  • Girls, Boys, Youths, CWD, Men, Women (household units)
  • Internally displaced persons
  • Children from separated families
  • Refugees
  • Returnees
  • Community leaders

5. Quality assurance

The Consultant is responsible for data quality, validity, consistency & accuracy and is to submit a well-structured report written in English language with complete adherence to Plan International data sharing protocol guidelines. If these standards are not met, the consultant will, at his/her own expense, make the necessary amendments to bring the reports to the required standards. The Consultant is expected to maintain the confidentiality of the data collected through the study.

6. Intended Users of the Assessment Report

The intended users of the final report of the assessment are:

  • Plan International National office and the Global hub
  • Different donors on proposal development
  • Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihoods partners

It is expected that the final needs assessment report will contribute to provide an in-depth insight into different needs girls, women, boys and men faced using evidence-based findings to guide our proposal development and future implementation of future projects.

7. Ethics, Child rights, gender and inclusion

Plan International is committed to ensuring that the rights of those participating in data collection or analysis are respected and protected, in accordance with our Ethical MERL Framework (Annex 4), our detailed guidance on Safeguarding in MER (Annex 5), and our Child and Youth Safeguarding Policy (Annex 3). All applicants should include details in their proposal on how they will ensure ethics and child protection in the data collection process. Specifically, the consultant(s) shall explain how appropriate, safe, non-discriminatory participation of all stakeholders will be ensured and how special attention will be paid to the needs of children and other vulnerable groups. The consultant(s) shall also explain how confidentiality and anonymity of participants will be guaranteed.

In line with Plan International’s values and organisational ambition, the assessment should seek to prioritize a focus on child rights, gender and inclusion. As a minimum, this requires:

  1. the disaggregation of all data points from the survey by age and sex.
  2. the development of an ethics protocol that safeguards children, youth and vulnerable adults

8. Key Deliverables

The following are the deliverables that are expected to be fulfilled by the successful consultant:

  • Inception report including:
    • an updated timeline
    • a detailed methodology including draft sampling methodology and size
    • draft data collection tools
    • ethical and safeguarding considerations and risk assessment
    • consent forms for any primary data collection
    • draft methods for data analysis and quality control
    • brief justification of the methods and techniques envisaged (including relevant underlying values and assumptions/ theories) with a justification of the selection made.
  • Final data collection tools
    • Final Sampling methodology (including unit of sampling and sampling frame) and size
  • Draft assessment report, including cleaned data files (e.g. Excel, SPSS), transcripts of qualitative data syntax/ code books etc. and completed consent forms (including for children and their caregivers and adults.
  • Final assessment report including Executive Summary.

The consultant is expected to lead, accomplish and submit the following deliverables within the agreed timeframe and budget:

Activity Time Days of Work

  • Submission of inception 15th – 17th Jan 2024 3 days

report with assessment tools.

  • Review of the tools by NO, 17th – 19th Jan, 2024 3 days

PIN colleagues

  • Uploading of tools to data 22nd – 24th Jan, 2024 3 days

    collection devices and testing

  • Enumerator Training 24th – 25th Jan, 2024 2 days

  • Data Collection 29th Jan – 2nd Feb 2024 5 days

  • Data Entry, Cleaning,

    Analysis and reporting 3rd – 9th Feb 2024 6 days

  • Validation of findings with key

    stakeholders and respondents &

    feedback incorporation 12th – 13th Feb 2024 2 days

  • Submission of Draft Assessment

    Report 16th Feb, 2024 1 day

Please note that recruitment and training of the enumerator team is the responsibility of the consultant(s). Enumerator costs should be included in the financial proposal.


Consultant(s) should submit a competitive itemised budget. Payment will be made as indicated in the table below.

The evaluator’s proposal should include a detailed budget breakdown including fees, number of working days, social and medical insurance, translation and interpretation, software licenses, electronic devices, travel and VISA cost (if applicable), cost for the development of data collection tools, and all other output-related costs.

The payment is in instalments and subject to the delivery of outputs and their formal approval by Plan International Nigeria as follows:

Approval of the inception report 25% payment

Finalization of tools 25% payment

Validation 25% payment

Final Report 25% payment

Expected Qualification

The lead consultant is expected to have at least master’s degree in Social work, Public Health, International Development, or other related field with the following additional requirements:

  • Over 10 years working experience in Social work, Public health, Livelihood, Food Security and Household vulnerability matrix, and cash transfer programming (Experience in North east Nigeria context is desirable).

  • Strong experience in carrying out complex assessment/evaluations in the region or in other areas with similar context. The sample assessment(s) must be attached

  • Strong analytical skills and research experience, with solid knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies

  • Advanced experience in child protection and GBV. This includes previous experience conducting Focus Group Discussions and Interviews.

  • Ability to conduct meetings with senior persons at government, Bi-lateral and NGO level

  • Ability to work on own initiative and to meet deadlines

  • Attention to produce and present high-quality accurate presentations/reports

  • Ability and willingness to travel to very remote areas

  • Excellent command of written and spoken English and at least one local language of Borno state

  • Good skills in documentation and reporting

  • Experience/understanding of Child Rights Programming and development

  • Strong analytical skills and research skills, with solid knowledge of quantitative research sampling methodologies,

  • Proven leadership and coordination skills with the ability to manage an enumerator team.

    Additional information comprising of annexes and templates can be found in this link:

How to apply

Interested applicants should provide a proposal covering the following aspects:

  1. Detailed response to the TOR
  2. Provide curriculum vitae detailing knowledge/experience in the above areas.
  3. Proposed methodology
  4. Provide a report showing work on similar previous assignments.
  5. Detailed budget, including daily fee rates, expenses, taxes etc.
  6. Possible dates he/she will be available to commence the consultancy.
  7. Provide name of two references that can attest to the consultant capability to conduct the consultancy.

A team from Plan International Nigeria will score the documentations provided by the potential consultant based on their technical “know how” and expected fee on the bases of 75% and 25% respectively.

Please send your application to [email protected] on or before the 4th January 2024 referencing “Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihoods Needs Assessment

Deadline: 4 Jan 2024