CAREER CENTER
Environmental Sustainability and Affordable Housing Impact Consultant
Habitat for Humanity International
Global United States
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Application deadline 01/15/2022
Type of Position Consultant
Education Requirement Master

INTRODUCTION

Almost a quarter of the world’s population lives in substandard shelter, impacting their health and livelihoods and their children’s education. Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 35 million people worldwide improve their shelter conditions. Yet, Habitat’s construction efforts alone cannot keep pace with the massive and growing need. In fact, no response by governments or private philanthropy alone can meet the shelter needs of 1.6 billion people. Habitat 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.

CONTEXT

The construction industry is highly extractive and depends on large volumes of raw materials sourced from the environment (sand, water, minerals, etc.). Additionally, the construction industry produces a tremendous amount of construction and demolition debris every year, with one recent study estimating production of such waste to reach 2.2 billion tons by 2025. The sector globally accounts for 40% of all energy consumption, 40% of all raw materials, 25% of all timber products, 16% of all water consumption, 40% of extracted natural endowments, 25% of carbon dioxide emissions, and 45-65% of all waste deposited in landfills.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, recovery efforts are projected to bring a focus on infrastructure, including housing construction, as economies invest in post-pandemic recovery. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), compared with other sectors, the building sector has high potential for improving sustainability. In fact, the built environment was the “elephant in the room” at COP26 as the sector essential to achieving net zero emissions. The growth of populations in the Global South presents a tremendous opportunity to reinvent the way we build to better consider the potential benefits to the economy and society that environmentally sustainable housing could create, enabling humanity and nature to thrive together.

Over the last three years, the Terwilliger Center’s programs have seen immense growth in supporting green, sustainable, and circular economy housing products, services, and solutions. These span from recycling plastic and agricultural waste into building products to alternative sand and repurposing existing housing stock for co-living and renewable energy. This work has been supported by multiple programmatic areas within the Center, including its Shelter Venture Labs (Mexico, Peru, Kenya, the Philippines, India), the Shelter Venture Fund, Microbuild Fund, ShelterTech, Housing Finance Systems, and the Applied Innovation team. The promotion and uptake of these products has multiple potential benefits of both greening and lowering the cost for housing, creating jobs for youth and women along the housing value chain, and supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, to ensure these benefits are realized, it is important that the Center has an impact framework on which to base valid evidence collection, analysis, and reporting to effectively measure its efforts and those of its partners.

TOR OBJECTIVES

The Terwilliger Center would like to improve its design, monitoring, evaluation, and learning capacity to track the global impacts of its green, sustainable, and circular housing body of work in a more systemic way in order to a) understand the impacts of the Center’s initiatives on the environment; b) support the Center’s partners in understanding their impacts; b) to be able to share the impacts of these programs with key stakeholders and c) to inform programmatic decisions moving forward. To date, the Center has not systematically used standard environmental sustainability or climate-related indicators or measurement practices.

To meet these objectives, the Terwilliger Center seeks a consultant to develop an impact framework, inclusive of indicators and data collection methodologies and guidance, to effectively measure its work. These measures should be in line with current best practices, based on industry standards, and should be sustainable and relevant over the long-term as the Center works in a variety of geographies and adds new partners with their own products, services, and financing. The consultant should start with working to understand the full portfolio of the Center’s work and end by training Center staff on the new metrics and methodologies for data collection so that the team may continue measuring and reporting on its work in the future.

The selected consultant is expected to:

  • Complete a desk review of relevant existing industry standards, environmental sustainability and climate change-related reporting, and how these relate to the built environment and financial services. The desk review should cover best practices in the use of frameworks, standards, tools, and practices to calculate and validate related measures, e.g. the carbon footprint of buildings, products, and services.
  • Conduct interviews with leading stakeholders in this space to better understand best practices and existing measurement frameworks.
  • Propose an impact framework for capturing the environmental and climate-related impacts of certain construction products and practices—including alternative materials such as plastic, construction demolition waste, and agricultural waste—as well as similar measures for impact investing and financial services that is in alignment with globally accepted practices; environment, social, and governance (ESG) standards and guidelines, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Pilot the proposed measurement system with existing Terwilliger Center programs.
  • Finalize the development of guidelines and templates for continued planning, measurement, and reporting, e.g. what and how to design, what to measure, how to measure, the frequency of measurement, standardized ways of reporting, etc.

DELIVERABLES

Based on the above tasks, the Terwilliger Center seeks the following deliverables:

  1. A written, comprehensive overview of environmental sustainability and climate change-related measurements, frameworks, systems, and practices along with a description of best practices in the affordable housing, built environment, and financial services space.
  2. A proposed impact framework, including key indicators, data collection methodologies, reporting templates, and best practice guidance.
  • Training of key staff on the framework (agenda and content to be mutually agreed upon) that will integrate with current MEAL systems and practices.
  • A case study of existing Terwilliger Center partners (at least 3-5) based on the proposed framework.

BUDGET & TIMELINE

The selected consultant will collaborate with a small oversight committee of key Terwilliger Center staff, led by the Center’s Global MEAL Director. This collaboration will involve frequent check-in meetings, reviews of drafts deliverables, etc.

It is expected that the consultant will begin work by 1 March 2022, with a completion date of 30 April 2022. The proposed budget for this work is up to $50,000.

KEY COMPETENCIES

Habitat will consider firms or individual consultants. The selected consultant(s) will have:

  1. Demonstrated experience in the development and application of documentation and reporting tools for environmental and climate change-related programs.
  2. An understanding of environmental and climate reporting standards and guidelines, including the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions reduction and carbon savings, especially as relates to construction and household-level emissions as well as the financial service sector. This includes globally as well as contextually relevant standards, e.g. the SDGs, impact investing standards, and country-specific standards.
  3. An understanding of market-based approaches, impact investments and the SGB sector; exposure to and experience working with housing programs is an added advantage.
  4. Demonstrated experience working in international settings, particularly in the Global South.
  5. Demonstrated experience facilitating remote training for international and intercultural teams.
  6. A collaborative spirit –this will be done in consultation with leaders within TCIS.

Interested candidates are requested to submit their proposal no later than 15 January 2022 to Dr. Amanda Woomer at awoomer@habitat.org. The proposal should include (a) a proposed plan for the assignment; (b) a proposed budget with breakdowns of LOE; (c) a proposed timeline and (d) a CV of prior experience of relevant work for all team members. Only those shortlisted proposals will receive a response.