AIDA: Resilience Consultant

AIDA is working on a Resilience Plan for the occupied Palestinian territory that is based on a hypothesis aiming to contextualize the concept of resilience within the Palestinian case, thereby linking resilience to the Palestinian notion of “Sumud”, which emphasizes Palestinian resilience and resistance towards the on-going occupation, forced-displacement and land-annexation of their territory. In order to analyse resilience from a systems approach, a participatory multi-stakeholder process is required because the prioritization of actions to boost resilience in the different sectors/areas can only be done by those stakeholders who will actually implement the plan. So AIDA along with UNDP are coordinating together in order to develop this plan.

In theoPt, thinking and connecting resilience to the context of on-going occupation and settlement-expansion is critical in shaping a new era for the humanitarian–development nexus and activity. To this end, resilience, if contextualized in the local context must emerge from the broader spirit of Sumud.

In order to contextualize ‘resilience’ to the case of the occupied Palestinian territory, the idea or rather discourse of Sumud is critical in providing an alternative contextualizing lens to the discussion. Sumud is the Arabic word for steadfastness. In the Palestinian case however it has a long historical underpinning which benchmarks the overall Palestinian steadfastness against the occupation, forced-displacement and land annexation of their territory. Applying this spirit to resilience-based thinking offers a means to reconcile the tensions witnessed among theorists and practitioners who view resilience as an unnatural bridge between humanitarian and development-based programs. In general however, one could argue that a resilience-oriented framework for humanitarian and development action is appropriate for any situation of chronic protracted conflict in a fragile or failed state setting.

Firstly, the context of the Palestinian territory is unique whereas the particular dichotomy by which the occupation has created parallel and yet diverse realities for Palestinians living across Area A, B and C begs a mix of both humanitarian and development tools. This means that while globally tools of humanitarian and development discourses may conflict with each other, in the case of the oPt they work simultaneously and in parallel. The opportunity exists for resilience-based thinking to provide a critical link between the humanitarian and development paradigms.

Secondly, resilience, if connected to Sumud, re-energizes both systems and people to work collectively towards resisting the impact of a pro-longed occupation. By applying a discourse that is designed to self-empower, self-liberate and self-determine, resilience holds the promise of revising current processes, which have slowly weakened Palestinian resilience to adapt, absorb and transform the shocks and changes of military occupation and settlement expansion.

To apply the notion of Sumud to the wider engagement of international agents in the local territories, three critical elements are necessary to achieve resilience: adaptive, absorptive, and transformative.
In applying the three elements of resilience, consider the following definitions provided by OECD.

•Absorptive Capacity: The ability of a system to prepare for, mitigate or prevent negative impacts, using predetermined coping responses in order to preserve and restore essential basic structures and functions. This includes coping mechanisms used during periods of shock. Examples of absorptive capacity include early harvest, taking children out of school, and delaying debt repayments.

•Adaptive Capacity: The ability of a system to adjust, modify or change its characteristics and actions to moderate potential future damages and to take advantage of opportunities, so that it can continue to function without major qualitative changes in function or structural identity. Examples of adaptive capacity include diversification of livelihoods, involvement of the private sector in delivering basic services, and introducing drought resistant seeds.

•Transformative Capacity: The ability to create a fundamentally new system so that the shock will no longer have any impact. This can be necessary when ecological, economic or social structures make the existing system untenable. Examples of transformative capacity include the introduction of conflict resolution mechanisms, urban planning measures, and actions to stamp out corruption.

The focus of AIDA and this Resilience plan is Transformative Resilience capacity. This is the most appropriate resilience approach in the longest term conflict and occupation situation in the world. AIDA is interested in operational approaches, tools, and methodologies that successfully translate the resilience agenda to community or school focused programming, reflecting community or school priorities and considerations.

In addition, the inherent nature of the current humanitarian-development paradigm is designed in many ways (obvious and not obvious) to continue, sustain and prolong conflict. There is a need to reconcile the gaps in current policy, and program interventions, which fall short in challenging the core (and not symptoms only) of the occupation. Therefore, because of the unique case in Palestine, where the occupation has a huge effect on resilience, the final report should include a focus on a legal framework making reference to International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

Several stakeholders including AIDA, UNDP, OCHA, ECHO and UNRWA are working on a "resilience conference" scheduled to be held in September in Jordan. Various other agencies are also involved including Palestinian NGOs. During the conference, the AIDA Resilience Plan will be presented and discussed.

The purpose of the conference is to promote a Palestinian concept of resilience and to encourage policy change on resilience (e.g. through changes in UN/humanitarian/development mechanisms). Moreover, this conference aims to stimulate donor interest (particularly with Arab donors). A few initiatives are taking place before the conference, including some research and workshops to prepare for the conference. The role of the consultant is to lead the process of developing the AIDA Resilience Plan in consultation with AIDA and different stakeholders that are involved in the process.

The main objectives for the consultancy is the Development of the AIDA Resilience Plan for the OPT. It will be a 3 to 5 year plan that includes clarification on the unique role of NGOs in community-based resilience work, and its impact. It should also include recommendations to the international community, the UN, the PA, and civil society on resilience.

The idea is for the consultant to work on The AIDA Resilience Plan for 4 weeks, during the month of August and September. He/she will be in close contact with AIDA members, UN and other stakeholders to collect feedback, material and ideas. He/she will then draft the resilience plan according to the recommendations and finalize it in consultation with AIDA. It will then be ready for presentation at the Resilience Conference, planned for 12 and 13 of October

6000 USD for 20 working days
Progress plan with milestones and delivery dates
Delivery dates
September 15th
Draft Resilience Plan submission
September 20th
A validation workshop will be held to present the Draft Plan
October 1st
Final Resilience Plan Submission
November 20th
A workshop will be held to discuss results from the conference and recommendations

The consultancy assignment should include the following phases:
Interviews and research (AIDA members, UN, donors, PNGO, PA)
Collection and consolidation of data on Resilience projects (Based on suggested format, and focusing on AIDA work)
Drafting of report and recommendations

Feedback and finalization
The end product of this consultancy should be the AIDA resilience plan with the following characteristics and chapters:
explanation on what resilience means in the Palestinian context, related to IHL, HR and Sumud, etc. reflecting on global resilience standards and with fragile states scenarios. 
explanation of the importance of placing resilience and longer term strategic thinking at the heart of any programmes in Palestine
explanation on the unique role of NGOs in community based resilience work, and its impact
3 to 5 year plan which encompasses and explains (all) AIDA NGO non-HRP longer term projects (recommended to reflect the format, possibly objective areas, of the HRP)
recommendations to the international community, the UN, the PA, the GoI and civil society on resilience, how to define it and how to direct appropriate funding to support it. 

5. Specifications for the consultant:
The preferred candidate must:
Have more than 10 years of professional experience with Civil Society organizations and humanitarian or development work.
Have a specialty or demonstrated capacity in legal issues, Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
Have more than 10 years of professional experience in strategic planning, humanitarian or development related research, writing and/or publications
Have outstanding communication skills, be a strategic thinker.
Have significant knowledge of the humanitarian and development context in Palestine
Have an ability to reach decision making individuals, including community or school leaders, organizational heads of mission of the UN, Diplomatic missions, PNGOs and INGOs in Palestine

How to apply: 
Please submit your quotation in accordance with the requirements detailed below by
Fax 02 627 5543 or 02 6261168;
by hand delivery to Jerusalem Sheikh Jarrah, 4 Ibn Jubir YWCA building on the 3rd floor; or
by email to