Consultancy for Research on a rights-based approach to adaptation, loss and damage, and resilience in Africa

Location: Country-level travels involved 
Type of Contract: Consultancy 
Languages Required: English 
Experience required: 7 years of experience with climate change programming, and human rights  
Consultancy start target date:   16/02/2023 
Duration of Contract: 25 days over a 3-month period 
Application deadline: 13/02/2023 


About ACT Alliance 

ACT Alliance is one of the world’s largest coalition of churches and church-related organisations engaged in humanitarian, development and advocacy work. It consists of 144 members working together in over 120 countries, with headquarters in 73 countries, whose aim is to create a positive and sustainable change in the lives of poor and marginalised people regardless of their religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation, race or nationality in keeping with the highest international codes and standards. 64% of our members are headquartered in the Global South, 30% in the Global North, and 6% are Global members. For more details about the general work of ACT, please refer to 

Terms of Reference 

ACT Alliance would like to engage a consultant for Research on a rights-based approach to adaptation, loss and damage, and resilience described within these Terms of Reference. 

ACT Alliance’s structure is unique, with national, sub-regional and regional forums that bring local, national, regional, and international church-related organisations to work together under the same principles and standards, bringing different skills and expertise to support each other and leverage collective action in humanitarian, development, and advocacy engagement. Thanks to the presence of national ACT Forums in over 50 countries, and of its global secretariat in several strategic locations (Geneva, New York, Nairobi, Bangkok, Amman, Brussels, Toronto, and Colombia), ACT Alliance is able to bring local and regional concerns to the global arena. Conversely, global trends and development can be transmitted to the regional and national levels using these structures. 

Climate change is a driver of inequality, poverty and disasters that keep frontline communities from being able to enjoy their human rights and lead dignified lives. Efforts to respond to the climate crisis must deliver a new reality for these communities. ACT Alliance has the ambition to strengthen its adaptation, loss and damage and resilience work drawing on the diverse experience, skills, and technical capabilities of its membership. At the core of this effort is the generation of evidence to strengthen a human rights-based approach to designing, building, implementing, and scaling up actions that tackle climate vulnerability, enhance adaptation, and build resilience. 

Climate action should be delivered within the purview of human rights obligations and not by any means stifle the rights of frontline and marginalized communities to a safe, adaptive, equitable and resilient present and future. The Alliance acknowledges that coherent and tested approaches can facilitate deepened and collaborative programming crucial for delivering change at community level in the context of climate change. However, for such change to respond to needs of communities, research must inform how approaches addressing differentiated impacts of the climate crisis can effectively uphold human rights in their design and implementation. Climate responses must be modelled within human rights’ parameters.  

ACT Alliance intends to undertake research work in Africa, interrogating rights-based approaches, and practices in climate change programming in select countries. We envisage to build bottom-up evidence and knowledge that will underpin an era of deepened discussion on a human rights-based approach in climate response and elevating policy calls for its strengthening at national and global levels.  


 The consultant will 

a) Develop a conceptual understanding(framing) of a rights-based approach to: 

  1. Tackling vulnerability, adaptation, resilience building and loss and damage in particular climate induced displacement  
  2. Enabling the realization of human rights in the context of climate change  

b) Interrogate various climate change projects in Africa and present case examples of climate interventions at practical programming level in which rights-based approaches are considered 

c) Conduct an analysis of gaps, challenges, lessons, and opportunities for advancing rights-based approaches in adaptation, loss and damage and resilience work at programming/implementation levels 

d) Provide key recommendations for strengthening climate programming to realize human rights in a changing climate 


  • Desk-based review of existing research on human rights and climate change developed by any ACT members and other actors, as well as by UN agencies and other multilateral initiatives.  
  • Desk-based review of existing project methods/programmes implementation strategies on a rights-based approach to Climate change in the context of addressing vulnerability through adaptation, loss and damage response, and resilience building 
  • Desk-based review of nationally specific documented links between the impacts of climate change and human mobility (displacement, including internal displacement, labour migration, planned relocation, etc.) 
  • Participatory facilitated discussions with ACT Forums, regional and global Communities of Practice that describe in detail the human rights impacts of climate change on their lives, their different experiences with programming in adaptation, loss and damage, displacement, and migration, and attempts at building their resilience  


Expected Activities


Before starting the research, a briefing meeting will be held with some representatives of the ACT Climate, Migration and Displacement and Advocacy working groups to build a common understanding of the assignment. 

Literature review  

The consultant will conduct a desk-based review of the existing literature on human rights and climate change, adaptation, loss and damage, links with human mobility in the country/region, and resilience. Key documents produced by ACT members will be availed. Case studies will be sought, and the consultant will help the alliance understand   how to maximize impact and development cooperation concerning the implementation of a human rights-based approach in climate programming at country-level. This analysis should also interrogate efforts, if any, by ACT members in advancing a rights-based approach in climate change response.  

Guiding questions 

  • Considering human rights and climate change, programming levels and approaches could be employed to strengthen a rights-based approach in climate change adaptation, loss and damage, human mobility, and resilience?  
  • What gaps, challenges, opportunities exist at country level for strengthening a rights-based approach to climate change adaptation, loss and damage, human mobility, and resilience?  
  • What efforts would facilitate the integration of a rights-based approaches at programming level? How would such efforts be tracked, reported, and strengthened?  

Workshop/dialogue with the member organisations 

Design and conduct a workshop/dialogue with ACT forum members to test some hypotheses, develop key advocacy messages drawing from findings, and gather additional inputs for the final report. ACT Climate / DRR CCA CoPs/ Migration and displacement working groups 


The consultant will conduct several interviews with key informants, ideally climate and human rights experts across the policy, advocacy, and programming spheres.  A list of interviewees will be generated in conjunction with ACT Africa Forum. 

Intermediate meeting(s) 

Depending on the progress of the research, a minimum of one meeting will be organized on weekly or fortnightly basis with representatives of the ACT forum and respective working groups.  


Final report  

A final report of about thirty pages, written in English, will present the results of the research and highlight: 

  • The context of the study and the methodology chosen (2-3 pages). 
  • An overview of the human rights and climate change contexts, a conceptual underpinning of rights-based approach to climate change (6-9 pages).  
  • An analysis of the gaps, limitations, opportunities for advancing rights-based approach with focus on programming approaches (8-10 pages). A link to the global discourse and what gaps/ opportunities to elevate at a global level should be provided (2 pages).  
  • Case examples of rights-based approach in climate interventions at national level (10-12 pages)  
  • Concrete recommendations on advancing and strengthening rights-based approaches in climate change programming (4-6 pages)  

Sharing and restitution 

The consultant will be invited to present his/her analysis, conclusions, and recommendations to the ACT Africa Forum & Climate/ Migration and displacement working groups. Following this meeting, the consultant may be required to review his or her report. 

Qualifications and experience 

The consultant shall have: 

  • At least 3-4 years of experience with climate justice and/or human rights 
  • Knowledge on climate change programming and policy work  
  • Some knowledge of migration and displacement issues  
  • Good understanding of the –climate change, DRR, migration and displacement policy architecture in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Malawi 
  • Listener and highly cooperative 
  • Experience working with faith-based actors and/or religious groups desirable 
  • Effective participatory facilitation of discussions and meetings 
  • Ability to write high quality, clear, concise reports in English 
  • Excellent logistical skills 
  • Strong computer and virtual meeting including experience using Microsoft Word, Skype and Zoom (and Microsoft Teams as an added asset) 
  • Sets priorities, meets deadlines, and manages time efficiently 
  • Highly organised and detail oriented 


  • Deadline for submission of tenders: 30/1/2023 
  • Selection of the offer by the working group: 13/2/2023 
  • Pre-meeting for the start of the consultancy: 16/2/2023 
  • Submission of the final report: 15/5/2023 


The consultant will work in collaboration with the Climate programme team and report to the ACT Climate Justice Manager and the ACT Forum focal point instituted for this consultancy.  


Tender process 

Only registered consultants or companies shall be considered. Qualified and interested parties should send their tender application to: by 13/02/2023 

In your tender, please include: 

  • Expression of Interest, including time estimation 
  • CV of the consultant 
  • Justification of consultancy or company registration. 
  • Samples of/or links to previous consultancy work completed. 
  • List of 3 professional reference persons 
  • Financial offer: gross daily rate for the consultancy in USD, – including administrative overheads, taxes, and charges. 

Kindly note that if you do not hear from us within four weeks of the vacancy deadline, you should please consider that your application has not been retained. Please note that only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.