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Recruitment of a consultant for the project of comprehensive national study on urban resilience and developing urban resilience national strategy in Zimbabwe

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PRC/ZWE/RFP/2174/12/7/2018 : Comprehensive National Study on Urban Resilience and Developing Urban Resilience National Strategy in Zimbabwe
Procurement Process :RFP – Request for proposal
Office :Harare – ZIMBABWE
Deadline :11-Jan-19
Development Area :CONSULTANTS
Reference Number :52146
Link to Atlas Project :
Documents :
Request for Proposal



Resilience Programming in Zimbabwe has been largely focused on the rural areas, with various multi-million-dollar mechanisms e.g. the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF), amongst others. Generally, poverty is perceived as a rural phenomenon. However, recent studies have shown that poverty in the urban areas is increasing faster than in the rural areas. Whilst the rural resilience programming has enhanced the rural communities’ resilience capacities, there is a need to also focus attention on urban resilience given the magnitude of the shocks and hazards in urban areas.

Zimbabwe is classified as a low-income country, ranked 154 of 187 countries on the 2016 Human Development Index with a GDP of USD 17.85 billion (2017) and an estimated population of about 16.3 million. The country has been experiencing economic challenges which include a high unemployment rate of more than 90%, cash liquidity challenges and eroded livelihood options. Unlike the rural population, the urban population relies on formal and non-formal employment for their livelihoods as agriculture is not a sustainable source of livelihoods in urban areas.  As a result of the ongoing cash liquidity problems, closing of industry, low foreign investment and low salaries, most households in most cities are highly vulnerable and poor with very limited access to basic social services including safe drinking water and sanitation facilities.

According to the 2018 ZimVAC Urban Assessment Report, about 1.5 million people were estimated to be food insecure representing 37% of the urban population. Nationality, the majority of households (65%) in urban areas experience a shock/stressor with the highest proportion in Chinhoyi (92%) and the lowest in Bulawayo (20%). The economic related shocks/stressors (cash shortages, 64.1% and high food prices 57.1%) were the mostly reported in the 2018 ZimVAC Report.  Zimbabwe has the second largest informal sector in the world (IMF 2018), accounting for more than 94% of the country’s employment. The Petty Tarde resulting from the informal economy is one of the important sources of income 11% (2018 ZimVAC Urban Assessment Report).

Some of the urban poor cannot afford access to electricity and heavily rely on fossil fuels such as wood as their main source of fuel/energy. The infrastructure deficits may further be worsened as result of the environmental challenges in most of the urban areas such as pollution, poor waste management, deforestation and biodiversity loss. Urban areas in the country are also affected by extreme climate like droughts and floods.  Prevalence of urban food insecurity rose from 31% in 2016 to 37% in 2018 and was over 50% in areas such as Hwange (50.6%), Plumtree (53 %), Norton (56.4 %) and Epworth (58.8%)

Under-investment in infrastructure maintenance also contributes to the poor living conditions of urban residents, characterised by significant infrastructure deficits for basic services: water and sanitation (WASH), waste management, transport, health services, and electricity. Environment-related health risks, including cholera and typhoid, are very high, as is evident from regular and recent outbreaks, particularly in the larger urban areas amongst the most vulnerable and under-served. These challenges are exacerbated by climate change.

Climate change impacts also result in greater rural-to-urban migration, or urbanisation, with the rate of growth increasing faster than what city governments have the capacity to absorb, overwhelming waste water and sewerage systems. Extreme poverty is concentrated in high density urban areas, and the government often struggles to accommodate the rising population in cities. Migrant populations are congregating in illegal settlements which are more vulnerable to climate change. Migrant women are particularly vulnerable, who may live in make-shift houses in unplanned settlements with inadequate water access and poor sanitation. Inappropriate crop production in wetlands around cities has also affected water supply. Loss of wetlands in Harare, for example, has depleted the water table from 12 meters to 30 meters below ground level.

In 2018, Zimbabwe has experienced cholera outbreaks centred around urban areas, with the current outbreak having claimed 62 lives, out of a total suspected case of 10000 by end of October 2018. This increasing trend of more frequent shocks of disease outbreaks in urban settlements will continue if not urgently addressed in a multi-faceted manner, with ripple effect not only on health and morbidity, but on other SDG goals (1, 3, 11). There is therefore a need to commit to more sustainable solutions for the WASH and related social services to withstand the shocks and stresses.

Although the GoZ identified SDG 6 (sustainable management of water) as one of its priority SDGs, the situation is critical because the country is endemic to cholera. Several risk factors have been identified: burst and blocked sewer systems, poor hygiene practices, low water quantity and quality, improper solid waste disposal, and unregulated food vending. Given the centrality of urban-rural linkages to livelihoods of Zimbabweans, the current resilience programming focusing on rural areas can maximize the resilience dividend if there is also strong urban resilience programming in the country.

In light of the above, there is insufficient urban resilience programming evidence and knowledge, policies and frameworks, capacities and investment to address the urban resilience agenda in Zimbabwe. In response to the above UNDP and UNICEF, have initiated a pilot programme “Partnership for Building Urban Resilience in Zimbabwe” to generate evidence for building urban resilience in Zimbabwe. The objective of this Programme is to develop urban resilience model in selected local authorities as well as generating evidence and knowledges to strengthen the urban resilience in the country.


Objective of the Service/Work :

The overall objective of the proposed Study is to contribute to the following :

  • Map the urban resilience context including hazards, stressor, risks, resilience capacities and vulnerabilities faced by the urban populations in Zimbabwe including use of WASH as case study ;
  • Develop a Zimbabwe Urban Resilience National Strategy which provides a road map for an Urban Resilience Pathway.

The scope of work :

Generating evidence is critical for any policy and decision making. Therefore, the purpose of the assignment is to carry out the urban resilience systems analysis[1], including sustained access to basic services and LED; to develop an urban resilience national strategy to address the identified urban resilience issues and design an urban resilience pathway /road map for the future programming for Zimbabwe. Specifically, the study will focus on :

  • Urban Resilience Systems Analysis (URSA): The URSA will focus on specific shocks that affect youths, women, poor households, and communities and the cumulative impacts of seasonal and frequent low impact events (idiosyncratic shocks) and major shocks (covariate shocks). A Comprehension of the cause and effect of stresses and shocks in the past and present, so that the future risks are fully understood and prioritized for implementation will be required. The study will also look at the risk context bringing both risks and opportunities in understanding how shocks and stressors affect systems and people (youth and women) in urban areas ;
  • Develop Urban Resilience Strategy: Based on the data gathered during the study, the Contractor will develop an Urban Resilience Strategy for Zimbabwe which identifies what and how future activities can strengthen urban resilience and help the youth, women, poor households, communities and other relevant institutions to be better prepared to cope with and respond to future shocks, hazards and stressors.

The Study will utilise both quantitative and qualitative research methods. In summary, the Contractor shall undertake a range of analyses which include but not limited to :

  • Desk review of existing reports/ data /information such as ZIMVAC, WB report, USAID, DFID, SARDC and other reports /study related to Urban resilience ;
  • Analysis of multi-sectoral factors affecting urban resilience that includes identification, characterizing and mapping of hazards ;
  • Analysing the political economy and social norms of urban resilience-building, including the political settlements that affect the capacity of communities and families to respond/cope with various shocks ;
  • Identify to what extent the existing legal framework and government policies and capacities are sufficient for the implementation of urban resilience programming in Zimbabwe, including consideration of the ‘enabling environment’ for sustained delivery of basic social services such as WASH ;
  • Map the existence and availability of required institutions in the urban ‘ecosystem’ ;
  • Map existing resilience programs, including a review of similarities and gaps, and cross-sector collaboration, within government ministries, UN agencies and development partners ;
  • Identify urban resilience good practices ;
  • Assess the existing nature and level of community engagement and participation in programs which seek to build resilience ;
  • Conducting capacity needs assessment in the selected municipality based on an agreed methodology – Comprehensive baseline information and data of the functional capacities, i.e. human resources, technical, financial and political, of municipal government to build a case for UNDP technical assistance and support.  This will provide an evidence base of municipal capacity needs to build urban resilience in line with the SDGs to strengthen UNDP’s urban agenda ;
  • Mapping of key actors, and existing as well as future initiatives related to urban resilience ;
  • Identifying of key entry points for service delivery pilots in access to water, energy, transport and waste management. This can include identification of potential partnerships and opportunities for resource mobilization ;
  • Recommend urban resilience pathways and desired resilience/well-being outcomes (within the scope of the analysis) – will form the basis for the Urban Resilience TOC.

The Contractor will identify practical ways of improving urban resilience policy, plan, strategy and programming by articulating and proposing different packages of solutions from the study. The Study will provide guidance for the programme interventions/ resilience pathways to anchor urban resilience in the country.

The main targeted stakeholders and partners will comprise the key government ministries and agencies, local authorities, private sector, NGOs, urban associations, communities, youths, women and vulnerable groups. This study will also consult with other UNDP development partners such as the DFID, EU, Sweden, USAID, Japan, AFDB, WB and other and private sector. The Study will also consult with FIs and other stakeholders in the process. The geographical coverage of this study is national and with at least a 25% coverage of the 32 local authorities in the country.

[1] Urban hazards, shocks, stresses, gaps, challenges/ barriers, strengths and opportunities.



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