Action Research Framework Development Consultant (Protection)

October 27, 2021
Washington, D.C.
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
2-5 Years
Education (minimum)
Not specified
Travel Required?
Base Salary
Not specified


About InterAction: 

InterAction is the largest U.S. based coalition of international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with 180+ 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 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.

To learn more about InterAction's mission, DEI approach, values and more visit the link below:

Who We Are - InterAction


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, including Nigeria, as well as supporting the piloting of an evaluation framework for the prevention of gender-based violence. In addition, InterAction leads an effort on promoting practical preventative measures that can be taken to avoid, minimize, and respond to civilian harm caused by parties to conflict. It guides the wider protection community in understanding, communicating, and collectively acting to influence parties to a conflict to develop and implement policies that protect civilians.

To understand and demonstrate what efforts are needed to bring about protection outcomes, InterAction is prioritizing the issue of conflict-induced hunger that 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 hunger. 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.

The urgency of the issue requires that any research undertaken goes beyond theoretical discussions and global analysis. It needs to be framed in a manner that can lead to immediate action by humanitarians that are operational in the country contexts studied. Therefore, InterAction seeks a consultant to undertake the first phase of this project aimed at developing the framework and methodology for an action-based research study. This first phase requires dedicated action to work with multiple partners in helping to narrow down a research question and with sub or supporting questions, in addition to designing a methodology that will incorporate participatory action and engagement with multiple stakeholders, including affected populations, across 3-4 conflict-affected countries. This framework will provide the blueprint for carrying out the research beginning in the spring of 2022.

Position Objective:

The Consultant - Action-Based Research Framework Development (protection and conflict and hunger) remote opportunity is for three months (December 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022).  The Consultant will report to the Senior Program Manager & Senior Advisor-Protection.

Scope of Work and Deliverables:

InterAction seeks applications from consultants that will be awarded a three-month, full-time contract to undertake the development of a framework for an action-based research study. The study itself will be carried out under a separate contract under Phase II. This contract does not guarantee a continuation with the awarded consultant to undertake the action-based research, although high consideration will be given during the second phase.

The consultant will be expected to undertake several key activities to achieve the expected deliverables. These include:

  • Carry out a desk review to identify key issues and emerging challenges as it relates to protection and conflict-induced hunger. This review should explore a broad range of protection issues (i.e. gender-based violence, protection of civilians) and identify critical opportunities where food security can contribute to reducing these risks and achieve protection outcomes. The research should not focus on safe programming of food distribution, but rather explore the unique contribution by multiple disciplines to address protection concerns arising from conflict-induced hunger. This will entail looking at specific risks caused by conflict-induced hunger and how the threats, vulnerabilities to that threat, and capacities of populations to overcome these threats are understood and addressed by the humanitarian community.
  • Undertake bilateral consultations and focus group discussions with key stakeholders and partners relevant to this project to identify additional issues, perspectives, and considerations to help focus the research, identify country contexts best suited for this research, and to articulate the roles and responsibilities of various partners intended to engage in the research.
  • Develop a research question with any sub or supporting questions. The research question should be clear and help lead to actionable recommendations for country and global level decision-makers within the humanitarian community.
  • Engage with organizations aiming to contribute to the action-based research by holding regular meetings to update and solicit input for the development of the action-based research methodology and overarching framework.
  • Use InterAction’s results-based approaches and the newly launched GBV Prevention Evaluation Framework as a lens and method for designing the research methodology.


Expected deliverables include:

  • A detailed workplan and timeline, incorporating multiple rounds of input from key stakeholders (both internal and external to InterAction), to develop and finalize the Research Framework
  • A brief 2-3 page summary note from a desk review that highlights key issues and considerations that will help frame the research
  • A well-articulated overarching research question and any additional sub questions that are agreed upon and endorsed by the organizations engaging in the action-based research
  • A detailed Framework for the Action-Based Research that includes:
    • The research question and supporting background/analysis justifying the reasoning behind the question and what it aims to achieve
    • Clear guidance for undertaking the action-based research including key principles, ethical factors, and other considerations
    • A detailed methodology that incorporates action-based research approaches, participatory tools for engagement, and other methods (i.e. results-based protection, GBV PEF) that help ensure the research approach and findings are co-developed with the engaging stakeholders. The methodology should articulate how final recommendations will be developed to ensure they are actionable and owned by participating stakeholders at all levels.
    • The development of any initial tools to support the methodology including consent forms for different stakeholders, draft survey questions, initial focus group discussions/scenarios, potential workshop themes and methodological approaches.
    • A list of the 3-4 countries identified where the action-based research will be carried out. A description noting the reasoning behind the selected countries and the specific dynamics within each context with regard to protection and conflict and hunger should also accompany the country recommendations. Country recommendations should also include an initial list of key stakeholders that will engage in the action-based research, including any INGOs, national/local NGOs, and UN actors. Any risk or ethical considerations should also be noted. (Note: the consultant will engage with key stakeholders and the organizations participating in the action-based research, to determine country locations. This could include identifying prioritized criteria, accessibility, availability and engagement by organizations in country to participate, and funding considerations to determine a list of proposed country locations. No travel is anticipated with this consultancy.)
    • A preliminary plan per country to carry out the action-based research. This plan should include key activities, an estimated timeframe, and expected outputs to be produced. Country plans may differ from each other based on key considerations and stakeholders involved in the research.
    • A proposed budget, timeline, and accompanying resources required to carry out the full action-based research and produce final publications.
    • A detailed outline of roles and responsibilities of each organization contributing to the action-based research.


  • Demonstrated experience designing and undertaking action-based research that has led to real-time decision-making that can influence policies and actions
  • Experience undertaking research or programmatic operations within humanitarian action or development settings
  • 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.
  • An understanding of GBV prevention, 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.

Research and Interagency Experience

  • Proven experience in a research field with sound understanding of research methodologies, including action-based research.
  • 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, other languages desirable

Expected Start Date:

December 2021


No travel expected. Any potential travel would be discussed in the context of the evolving situation and restricted related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For consideration:

Interested consultants should send the following: 1) a proposed workplan indicating how the above activities will be carried out and noting which deliverables will be completed and when, within the December to March timeframe and 2) hourly rate. Please note that incomplete proposals/applications will not be considered.  Proposal should be sent to with subject line containing Consultant –Action Based Research Framework Development.

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