Research Co-lead: State of the Humanitarian System Report

Terms of reference

Deadline: 31 July 2024

Applications should be sent by email to [email protected] by midnight UK time on 31 July. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview. Submissions may be reviewed on a rolling basis.

If you have questions about the scope or qualifications for this work, please get in touch with ALNAP SOHS program manager, Daniel Squire: [email protected]

The duration of the contract will be from mid-2024 to early-2027. Time commitments requested within that period are outlined in the TOR.

The consultancy in brief

ALNAP is seeking Expressions of Interests (EOI) from highly experienced and qualified consultants to serve as the Research Co-Lead for the next (2026) edition of the ALNAP State of the Humanitarian System Report (SOHS) alongside ALNAP’s internal research lead. EOIs are welcomed from consultants based in any country and consultants from crisis affected countries are particularly encouraged to apply. Depending on the applications received, ALNAP will consider appointing two external Research Co-Leads to reflect a variety of experience.

About the role

The Research Co-Lead(s) will work with a designated counterpart in the ALNAP Secretariat to undertake the analysis and writing of the 2026 State of the Humanitarian System Report. Working closely with the ALNAP Secretariat lead, the individual(s) will be responsible for the integration and analysis of descriptive data (for Section I of the Report) and the evaluative assessments (for Sections II and II of the Report) and will have involvement in the design and undertaking of all research components. The Research Co-Lead(s) will also be responsible for writing substantial parts of the final report and will be expected to contribute to the production of multiple communications products and launch events. The specific authorship approach and team management structure for the report will be agreed with the ALNAP Secretariat during the Inception Phase.

The main research and writing period will take place between mid-2024 and early 2026. The amount of time required at different phases will be discussed in more detail with applicants but will vary over the duration of the contract. It is estimated that concerted time will be required during the inception of the project, followed by periodic oversight during the main research period, as different component leads conduct the research, significant engagement will then be needed during the analysis phase, and potential full-time engagement during the main writing period. Up to 20 days will also be required to support continued sharing and reflection on the report findings in the year after the launch of the report that is scheduled for mid-2026.

Your profile


  • Previous experience with authorship or significant research contributions to flagship reports in the humanitarian sector or a relevant field
  • Experience in designing and using mixed methods research frameworks
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in research on humanitarian assistance
  • Proven track record of delivering large, complex projects to deadline
  • Proven track record of working in/leading diverse research teams and working collaboratively on research outputs, including examples of working in respectful partnership with researchers from multiple contexts


  • Significant expertise in a variety of social science methods and in applying these methods to evaluate and understand humanitarian contexts
  • Research experience in crisis-affected countries
  • Experience with producing short or creative communications products to accompany research reports or communicate research findings

Application process

Expressions of interest should include:

  • Current CV
  • Covering letter presenting your interest in the role and experience working on mixed methods research, flagship reports and working in consortia. Providing examples of previous experience in relation to the essential and desired characteristics;
  • Day rate in GBP

Please refer to the Terms of Reference (TOR) document attached for more information about the SOHS 2026 report and the role.