Job type contract
Full job description
Almost a quarter of the world’s population lives in substandard shelter, impacting their health and livelihoods and their children’s educationSince 1976, habitat for humanity has helped more than 35 million people worldwide improve their shelter conditionsYet, habitat’s construction efforts alone cannot keep pace with the massive and growing needIn fact, no response by governments or private philanthropy alone can meet the shelter needs of 1.6 billion peopleHabitat for humanity thus established the terwilliger center for innovation in shelter to explore strategies for making housing systems work more inclusively for people in need of decent, affordable housing.
About this initiative
The terwilliger center strives for transformational market-based solutions for adequate housing at the base of the pyramidCore to our strategy is influencing the construction decisions and practices of incremental builders, households who construct their own homesThe terwilliger center has arrived at this behavioral change strategy because of our focus on incremental construction, the lengthy process that, globally, most families use to self-construct their homesIncremental construction involves many decision points during the building processEnsuring that the housing system makes possible decisions that are better than the current status quo can ultimately result in a transformed house and livesDetermining how to enact this strategy at scale is the motivation for a new working group of the terwilliger centerThe group will focus on a pervasive behavioral dynamic: incremental builders do not generally use quality-assured solutions when building their own homes.
A lack of demand for these solutions seems to be the major obstacle, not availability or access to quality-assured solutionsThe center contends that the issue ultimately lies not with the households, however, but with the systems in which these decisions are made, systems that require households to manage risks by relying on personal relationships instead of supporting more impersonal exchange and cooperationIncremental builders face many risks as they build their home, and we have observed that incremental builders buy construction products and services based on prices, ostensibly as a principal risk-management strategyBut these low-price, low-quality inputs compromise the durability of the home being built or renovated and lead to higher costs as they spend more for repairs and renovationsThe center’s hypothesis is that price-sensitivity is not a fundamental characteristic of this segment but instead a rational response by households when dealing with incomplete information and the knowledge that they personally manage these risksFor incremental builders to choose higher quality solutions, the system – and specifically, the private sector – needs to listen to their collective voice and develop business models that create value for incremental builders and de-risk their construction process.
To test this idea, we are launching a working group, bringing together teams in our five country programs and global technical teams, to trial ideas for encouraging housing system actors to better listen to incremental builders and enable these builders to be more value consciousWe think that the way to start this change process is to look for housing-related firms who want to grow a customer base composed of incremental builders and use the customer’s collective voice to negotiate improvements up and down the supply chain; and who choose to make a margin off a larger volume of sales and do this through a customer base that they’ve cultivated by focusing on value addition, not product sales aloneThe terwilliger center refers to this as a mass retail strategy.
What we are looking for
We seek a consulting firm who can:
Mentor and advise the country and global technical team members of the working group as they conduct research and run small pilots testing various ideasMentorship would range from intervention design and tactics, reviewing progress and helping teams decide whether to amplify, modify or drop interventions to capacity building around better writing and communicating the strategy and interventions used(50 percent of contract level of effort)
Provide strategic direction and expertise to the working group steering committee as it coordinates the experiment across geographies, serves as a vibrant learning community for its membership, and stewards the learning agenda(20 percent of contract level of effort)
Develop a clear learning agenda, in conjunction with terwilliger center meal (monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning) staff, that identifies assumptions to test and learning questions and research methods that allow us to run this as a rigorous experiment(10 percent of contract level of effort)
Connect the group to other experts and organizations by developing learning products to share group progress publicly and by linking the working group and its members to other mentors, advisors, and ideas that help us continue evolving our thinking and avoid the pitfalls of path dependency(20 percent of contract level of effort)
All support will be provided virtuallyEach candidate will have a strong and readily demonstrated track record of using market systems development methodologiesEach firm will be on the leading edge of applying systems thinking and institutional theory to social issues and international development programmingEach firm will have significant experience advising firms on mass retail strategies, value creation tactics for the bop, growth-oriented business models that emphasize sticky and viral engines of growth, and related conceptsExperience advising teams in the philippines, india, kenya, mexico and/or peru preferredExcellent spanish skills desirable for working with teams in mexico and peru.
Over a 12-month contract, we estimate the firm will devote the following hours to this contract:
Team mentorship - 12.5 hours/month
Facilitated group sessions – 2 hrs/month
Consultation with group steering committee – 3 hr/month
Strategy documentation and learning product development - 7.5 hrs/month.
Work plan with detailed plans for carrying out the scope work
Virtual advisory services to individual teams and the working group
Learning agenda, with outcome indicators and methods for collecting related data
Intermediate report: three short pulse-checks on a quarterly basis, summarizing progress of the working group so far and observations from the consultant, recommendations on required course correction
Final report: a succinct summation of progress to date provided at the close of the contract, with detailed observations and recommendations from the consultant
Learning product: topic and format to be defined (webinar series, white paper, journal article, etc.) that positions the work of the group and the terwilliger center as a thought leader related to the topic
To apply please submit a short proposal attn: sheldon yoder no later than october 15The proposal should include an itemized budget, description of relevant experience, general plans for carrying out the requested activities, and the profile(s) of the staff you will assignQuestions are welcomePlease email sheldon yoder, [email protected].