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Research Terms of Reference: Somalia Joint Multi Cluster Needs Assessment (JMCNA) 2021 - August 2021 (Version 1)

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2.1 Background

Somalia’s prolonged, complex and multi-faceted humanitarian crisis is characterised by ongoing conflict, climate-related shocks, communicable disease outbreaks and fragile social protection mechanisms. Insecurity and armed conflict continues to exacerbate the effects of periodic natural disasters and climate-driven shocks, such as droughts and flooding. The complex nature of the crisis continues to influence displacement patterns and constrain the availability of resources, while the presence of armed groups severely impedes the level of access and support provided by humanitarian actors. Since the beginning of 2020, two additional shocks have contributed to a deterioration of humanitarian conditions across Somalia: vast swarms of desert locusts and the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, there are indications of a below average rainfall amidst poor Deyr rains in 2020 and delayed GU rains, with fears of drought and resulting food security concerns; leading to a potential drop of crop and vegetable production by up to 80% this season, and income from livestock sales – a mainstay of the Somali economy – projected to fall by up to 55%7. These compounding shocks have exacerbated humanitarian needs among a population already living under the strain of widespread poverty, vulnerability, and decades of armed conflict and insecurity.

2.2 Intended Impact

There is thus a pressing need for an integrated and harmonised humanitarian response plan to continue supporting interventions, which address these complex impacts, and an imperative for continued nationally-representative needs assessments to provide the required evidence base for such response planning. To this end, REACH is supporting the fifth Joint Multi-Cluster Needs Assessment (JMCNA) in Somalia. The assessment will build on the previous cycle of needs assessments, as well as existing assessments conducted by other humanitarian actors, such as the seasonal studies carried out by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU). However, while such assessments focus on specific needs, hot-spots, or are conducted at the livelihood zone level, the JMCNA seeks to address information gaps by ensuring that the severity of needs relevant to each cluster are assessed in a way that enables comparison across the country, across population group types, and geographical areas. Moreover, the JMCNA directly addresses the information gaps in crosscutting needs at the household level and facilitates the understanding of the co-occurrence of different sectoral needs

Thus, the JMCNA aims to facilitate a harmonised response plan at the operationally relevant district level; it relies on the concerted and coordinated efforts of all partners to encourage joint planning, implementation of the assessment and data collection, and the analysis and interpretation of results. The ultimate goal of the assessment is to inform partners at the strategic level and as such is timed to be completed in advance of the Humanitarian Needs Overview and Humanitarian Response Plan process, scheduled to begin in September 2021.