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We are looking for an individual or team to conduct a process evaluation of the R2HC Responsive Mechanism with a view to understanding whether current systems are fit for purpose or need modification. Evaluation findings and recommendations will be used to inform the future working of the Responsive Mechanism.


The R2HC programme has established a Responsive Mechanism to fund rapid research in response to unforeseen humanitarian crises or disease outbreaks. The main objective of such research is for the findings to contribute in real time to the humanitarian response in question. A secondary objective is to generate findings to influence future responses of a similar nature, or to add to the body of evidence in a particular context. To date four responsive research calls have been launched in response humanitarian crises, most recently to support the COVID-19 response in humanitarian settings.

We want to ensure that the Responsive Mechanism is fit for purpose. Comparing our processes with those used by other rapid research mechanisms, we are seeking to identify existing good practice that might inform and improve our own approach and systems. We are also interested to explore why it has sometimes proved difficult for research teams to fully deliver on their expected outcomes within the foreseen ‘rapid’ time frames.


Focusing on the three most recent responsive calls, the evaluation will examine processes related to the Responsive Mechanism to determine the extent to which they are fit for purpose, and will learn lessons from rapid research mechanisms used by other research funders. Three key areas will be addressed through the evaluation:

  1. Fidelity: does the Responsive Mechanism fulfil its purpose efficiently and effectively?
  2. Acceptability: are processes associated with the Responsive Mechanism acceptable to key stakeholders and research applicants?
  3. Delivery: What are the barriers that cause delays once research teams have been informed that they have been successful?


  1. An inception report to describe the detailed research methodology and workplan.
  2. An evaluation report clearly describing the key findings and recommendations.
  3. A power point presentation of key findings and recommendations.
  4. Data sets resulting from the evaluation (list of interviewees, anonymised summary notes from interviews etc.).

Terms of Reference

Find out more information in the full Terms of Reference.


It is anticipated that the review will be conducted over a period of 5 months and that the outputs will be delivered by 30 April 2021. A workplan will be developed as part of the inception report.


A budget of up to £20,000 is available, excluding applicable UK VAT but including any taxes that overseas suppliers may be liable for outside the UK.

How to apply

The application deadline is 23:59 GMT on 31 October 2020.

Applications must include the following:

  • CV(s) and evidence of expertise in conducting evaluations.
  • Covering letter setting out interest in and suitability for this consultancy role against the role requirements.
  • Examples of evaluations or other relevant reports conducted, preferably in the humanitarian sector.
  • Proposed approach and daily rate.

Please submit applications to for the attention of Simon Pickard.

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