Consultancy: Conflict-Induced Food Insecurity in Somalia: Implications and Strategies to Achieve Protection Outcomes

Date Published: June 19, 2024

Consultant: Participatory Researcher/Analyst (Food Insecurity and Protection)

About InterAction:

InterAction is the largest U.S. based coalition of international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with nearly 190 members working around the world in low- and middle-income countries, fragile and post-conflict states, and emerging/growth economies. Member organizations are large and small, secular and faith-based, with a focus on people living in the world’s most poor and vulnerable places. The U.S. public, foundations, and governments support the work of our member NGOs that collectively invest and manage more than $15.4 billion a year. InterAction revenues come from dues, government grants, private foundation and corporate grants, and a growing fee-for-service program portfolio. Using its collective voice and convening power, InterAction seeks to shape important policy decisions and actions across a wide range of issues – including foreign assistance, humanitarian relief, development, economic equity, food security, and climate change – that advance human dignity, human potential, and self-determination.


When famine or acute hunger occurs today, it is usually the result of armed conflict. According to the UN World Food Program, almost 60% of the 690 million people facing acute hunger around the world live in areas affected by armed violence. Armed conflict is the single biggest challenge to achieving zero hunger. The lack of respect for civilian life and property by parties to the conflict—their failure to respect international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law—disrupts food systems and food markets, destroys livelihoods and employment, and threatens development gains. Conflict-induced hunger increases protection risks and displaces people. Those who remain in their homes tend to fare worse than those who are displaced and suffer in silence beyond the reach of aid agencies. The impact of conflict on hunger is substantial, but also foreseeable and preventable.

State and non-state parties to a conflict continue to cause hunger and starvation through violence, coercion, and deliberate deprivation. Hunger follows the destruction of personal property and livestock, livelihoods, food production, markets, and critical infrastructure, including health care. Acts such as restricting people’s movements, failing to act when food is blocked, or selectively providing food aid to people under the control of one party to the conflict also contribute to hunger and starvation. Famine and food insecurity intensify protection risks, as women and children become more vulnerable to a wide range of threats. Food insecurity contributes to risks including family separation; gender-based violence, including sexual abuse and exploitation; and attacks as they search for food, water, and access to services.

About the Project:

Since 2012, InterAction has been at the forefront of results-based approaches to protection. Through its signature work on Results-Based Protection, InterAction has carried out numerous roundtables, interagency dialogues, field-level workshops, and trainings with NGOs around the world to identify and distill the key elements of results-based protection in order to achieve protection outcomes. Under its current work, InterAction is providing country-level support to NGOs in select countries as well as supporting the piloting of an evaluation framework for the prevention of gender-based violence.

To understand and demonstrate what efforts are needed to bring about protection outcomes, InterAction has prioritized the issue of conflict-induced food insecurity which has emerged as a key focus area among InterAction members and other actors InterAction engages with. By undertaking a multi-country action-based research study that includes helping organizations analyze the protection risks in each country context and develop context-specific theories of change, InterAction hopes to encourage the uptake of outcome-oriented ways of working to address protection issues manifesting due to conflict-induced food insecurity. Findings from the study will help humanitarians take immediate action at a country level, while the analysis of common trends across all countries included in the research will help to influence and shape US policy and global policy and practice.

Position Objective:

SIDA is supporting the action-based research initiative led by partners from InterAction, CARE, and WFP on the linkages between conflict-driven food insecurity and protection risks. It is currently being carried out in Colombia and Niger and is expected to begin in Somalia in September 2023. The methodology relies on community-led protection analysis to inform a multi-disciplinary theory of change where food security programs and other sectors and disciplines can contribute to prioritized protection outcomes, as defined by affected people themselves.

The use of results-based approaches to protection is at the heart of the initiative that aims to inform not only the analysis phase but the “action” component to support a multi-disciplinary response and achieve measurable protection outcomes.

InterAction has already begun work in Colombia and Niger completing the first analysis phase of the initiative. Both of these countries are now moving into the consequent phase which includes developing context-specific theories of change and action plans.

Building on the lessons from the first two countries, InterAction is seeking a consultant/s to support the initial analysis phase of the Action-Based Research Initiative that will take place in Somalia this year.

Position Description

Position Title

Consultant/s – Analyst/Participatory Researcher

Position Type:

Short-term consultant starting September 2023


3 months (Full-time)


Somalia and home-based

Essential Functions and Deliverables

This consultant/s will work alongside InterAction’s Senior Program Manager-Protection to help carry out the analysis phase of the action-based research in Somalia. Using the Results-Based Protection framework and existing materials already piloted in the previous countries, the consultant/s will:

  • Undertake a desk review of food insecurity and protection risks in the Somalia context
  • Undertake a stakeholder mapping (across the humanitarian, development, human rights, and peacebuilding communities) in Somalia of the key actors (including local/national organizations) who can positively or negatively affect food security and protection issues in the country and their influencers.
  • In collaboration with the InterAction RBP Team, review and adapt the protection analysis methodology intended for use in Somalia.
  • Regularly engage with the co-coordinators (WFP & NRC) of the Country Group in Somalia.
  • Undertake bilateral interviews/meetings with each Country Group member in Somalia and with other relevant stakeholders to understand their relevance and contribution to reducing food insecurity and protection risks.
  • Carry out in-person training workshops with Country Group members and their field-level staff on the methodology to be used for the participatory analysis phase of the ABR.
  • Work with InterAction’s Senior Program Manager-Protection and the Country Group in Somalia to determine a timeline and oversee the rollout of the rapid analysis phase across 2/3 areas within Somalia.
  • Consolidate the data from the participatory analysis with communities to undertake an analysis workshop with the members of the Country Group.
  • Produce a summary paper outlining the key findings
  • In collaboration with InterAction Staff, undertake a multi-disciplinary ToC workshop with the Country Group members on one protection risk per location in Somalia.
  • Produce a graphical representation of a multi-disciplinary ToC per risk per location in Somalia that can highlight gaps, opportunities, and challenges for further action planning
  • Develop and advise on a validation process the Country Group members in Somalia can use to share the analysis and ToC back with communities

Consolidated List of Deliverables & Key Activities:

  • Stakeholder map, food insecurity
  • Stakeholder map, protection
  • Training workshop with Country Group on participatory methods
  • Field research at 2 to 3 districts in Somalia, to be determined by Country Group
  • Summary Report of field research
  • Theory of Change maps (multiple, up to 6)
  • Validation plan


InterAction is seeking consultant/s with experience in participatory research or analysis and facilitating workshops. Primary qualifications include:

  • Proven experience and technical skills in a research field with sound understanding of research methodologies, including action-based research and participatory analysis.
  • Strong analytical skills used in a humanitarian context; conflict-related experience preferred
  • Familiarity with the Somalia context
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience of humanitarian crises, including the humanitarian architecture and how it functions (i.e., clusters, humanitarian country teams (HCT)), roles of agencies, and other actors

Thematic/Technical Experience (highly desirable for at least one of the following)

  • An understanding of conflict-induced hunger and how protection risks are manifested.
  • An understanding of protection outcomes, risk reduction, and the key elements of results-based protection within humanitarian action.
  • Familiarity with the protection risk equation and ability to use it within analysis, design, and measurement frameworks
  • An understanding of GBV prevention, its link to food insecurity and familiarity with new research and evidence demonstrating what works to prevent GBV in humanitarian crises.
  • An understanding of how parties to a conflict contribute to protection risks, specifically as it relates to conflict-induced hunger, and what considerations can be used to influence their behavior and actions to reduce risk.

Interagency Experience

  • Experience working within a team, engaging multiple organizations, and managing different perspectives, expectations, and contributions
  • Able to work independently, taking initiative and managing activities and deadlines without significant guidance
  • Excellent verbal and written communication with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize, and mange time and competing demands effectively while working under pressure with tight deadlines
  • Able to balance the need to work independently while collaborating closely with the InterAction team and other relevant actors
  • Fluency in English required, Arabic or local Somali dialects desirable

There are no extraordinary physical requirements for the performance of the essential functions of this position. InterAction will make reasonable accommodation to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Supervisory Responsibilities:




Expected Start Date:

September 2023

Reports to:

Senior Advisor-Protection


Travel to Somalia for a minimum of three weeks up to five weeks is expected for this consultancy. This consultancy may require multiple trips to Somalia depending on the scope and timeline of activities agreed to by the Country Group in Somalia. The consultant/s applying must have HEAT Training and be able to secure a visa to Somalia.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.

To Apply:

Interested applicants should send their proposals to with the subject line containing Consultant – Participatory Researcher/Analyst-Somalia All applications should include
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) Note: consultant teams are welcome to apply; CVs of each team member who might be working on this project should be included and note their specific role.

    Cover letter that addresses qualifications relevant to this solicitation and includes the consultant/s daily and hourly rate.


    Demonstration of HEAT Certification


    One example of participatory research or analysis undertaken by the consultant/s.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but applicants are encouraged to apply before August 25, 2023. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered for this position. Due to the volume of applications, only finalists will be notified; no phone calls please!