Request for Applications for Short-and Intermediate-Term Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Consulting Services

Request for Applications for Short-and Intermediate-Term Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Consulting Services
  • PublishedJanuary 21, 2015

AGRA’s mission is to trigger a uniquely African Green Revolution that transforms agriculture into a The mission of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is to trigger a uniquely African Green Revolution that transforms agriculture into a highly productive, efficient, competitive and sustainable livelihood system that assures food security and lift millions out of poverty. AGRA’s integrated programs and partnerships are designed to promote rapid, sustainable agricultural growth based on smallholder farmers. AGRA operates across the entire food value chain and facilitates and supports governments and private sector efforts to improve the productivity of staple food crops. AGRA’s work relies on building vibrant partnerships with African governments, donors, NGOs, the private sector and African farmers. AGRA has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and a regional office in Accra, Ghana.

AGRA’s vision is of a food secure and prosperous Africa achieved through rapid, sustainable agricultural growth based on smallholder farmers who are primarily engaged in the production of staple food crops in Africa. The main goals of AGRA by 2020 are to: i) Reduce food insecurity by 50 percent in at least 20 countries ii) Double the incomes of 20 million smallholder families and iii) Put at least 15 countries on track for attaining and sustaining a uniquely African Green Revolution.

AGRA’s strategy operates across four programmatic areas. The four programmatic areas which work in an integrated manner across all three portfolios are the: Soil Health Program (SHP), Program for Africa’s Seed Systems (PASS), Market Access and Policy and Partnerships. Other areas such as water, farmer based organizations, access to finance, extension, gender and youth are being incorporated into AGRA’s implementation strategy.

AGRA is currently investing in 18 countries in Africa operating in three portfolios of strategic activities and the following four programmatic areas;

  • The Seeds Program (Program on African Seed Systems – PASS) funds agro-ecology based crop breeding by national and local research programs; fosters the development of a vibrant, competitive seed sector; supports the development of national agro-dealer networks who get farm inputs to remote farmers; partners with African universities to train the next generation of African agricultural scientists and advocates for seeds regulatory frameworks that make high quality, affordable seed available to smallholder farmers.
  • The Soil Health Program focusing on a rapid dissemination of locally adapted and environmentally sound integrated soil fertility management technologies; develops fertilizer supply chains from procurement and local production to distribution to farmers; funds training and extension programs for farmers; partners with African Universities to train soil scientists, funds and collaborates on a continent-wide project to map Africa’s soils and use data to improve the way that soils are evaluated and advocates for soil health regulation.
  • The Markets Access Program promotes efficient and profitable markets for farmer’s produce to assure higher returns to farmers’ investments through reducing transaction costs; supporting programs that add value to farmers’ produce; developing alternative use of crops.
  • The Policy Program engages national governments and donors to establish an enabling environment for triggering a Green Revolution by strengthening national policy institutions; advocating for seeds, fertilizers and market policies at national and regional levels; building national policy hubs to develop policies that will facilitate the suite of technological and institutional changes needed to achieve an African Green Revolution.
  • Farmer Organization Support Centre in Africa (FOSCA) working with Farmer Organizations (FOs) to provide demand-driven, income-enhancing services to their members.
  • Innovative Financing is unlocking millions of dollars’ worth of credit for smallholder farmers and small agricultural businesses previously considered too risky for lending, giving them unprecedented opportunities to invest in growth.

Monitoring and Evaluation
In view of the cross-cutting nature of its programs and diversity of stakeholders, AGRA has a Result-based Monitoring and Evaluation strategy that ensures continuous flow of data and information on the performance of its programs and the status of the African Agriculture landscape. The system allows learning and improvement as well as accountability to AGRA stakeholders. The strategic objectives of AGRA’s M&E are:

  • To capture the progress, success and failures of AGRA and its partners by measuring efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of AGRA’s investments,
  • Learn from the work of others in order to provide information for evidence-based decision making, strategic planning and risk management
  • To demonstrate the outcomes and impacts of AGRA’s interventions and whether these have been achieved cost-effectively
  • Provide information for evidence-based accountability to AGRA’s stakeholders
  • Contribute to broader knowledge and learning in the field of agriculture development

Scope of the Assignments
AGRA is seeking to obtain short-and intermediate-term consulting services from experts in performance monitoring and impact evaluation in the area of agricultural development for pre-qualification to provide the services in 2015. Examples of assignments could include but not limited to:

Mid-Term Reviews: The reviews will be carried out to assess the extent to which the program has achieved its deliverables; project scheduling; budget execution and its sufficiency; challenges, risks and mitigating factors; and the implementation strategies including what has worked and what has not and why. The reviews will therefore be conducted with a view to identifying progress made; any bottlenecks in the implementation process and adopt actionable measures necessary to ensure the successful implementation of the remaining part of the program/project.

End of Program Evaluations: to show the extent to which the program achieved its objectives, challenges encountered, what worked well and what did not and why, and the overall impact (positive or negative, expected or unexpected) of the program on both the target beneficiaries and non-targeted beneficiaries. This shall focus on a whole program or specific project /projects funded by a program to determine their performance in line with the expected results.

Impact evaluations: will be a rigorous assessment of AGRA’s investments, through program interventions, its intended /unintended outcomes and their counterfactuals. The aim is to link and provide evidence that AGRA has contributed to the results pertaining to the program beneficiaries through its interventions.

Special Studies: to systematically investigate the worth or usefulness of an innovation, technology or an approach.

Baseline surveys: to provide an analysis of the situation before AGRA’s intervention to give a base against which progress will be measured to determine the extent to which objectives of an intervention have been achieved and evidence of the economic impact of proposed interventions.

Data Quality Reviews: to carry out an independent data quality review of all AGRA program data and data collection methodologies with the aim of improving the quality of data provided from primary sources applying the key data quality standards i.e. validity, reliability, precision, integrity and timeliness.

Required profiles and Qualifications
The consultants /consultant’s team will be expected to have the following profiles and qualifications:

  • Solid experience in evaluation of Agriculture development programs for the team leader and most of the experts. Technical knowledge of, and familiarity with, the evaluation methodology.
  • Proven ability to both assess past effectiveness and provide strong strategic thinking on future direction.
  • Experience working in Africa
  • Full working knowledge of English, French and Portuguese as well as excellent report writing skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to generate high quality, rich, readable products on time and in line with expected deliverables.
  • Fully conversant with the principles and working methods of project/program cycle management
  • At least one of the experts should have hands-on experience with market access related initiatives in staple value chains
  • Sensitivity to local beliefs, manners, and customs and ability to act with integrity and honesty in interactions with stakeholders.

Interested consultants and consulting firms should submit by email to procurement@agra.org by Friday 20th February 2015. The proposals should include;

  • Past performance summaries (at least three brief descriptions of past or current contracting mechanisms for assignments) and list of references that demonstrate performance in conducting monitoring and evaluation studies as described above.
  • At least one previous relevant report and list of previous reports
  • CVs conforming to the qualifications listed above for persons to manage and conduct the studies. Only CVs strictly relevant to the assignment shall be accepted.
  • Supporting documents including mandatory institutional documents such as incorporation papers and most recent financial statements.

This announcement is open to all nationalities. Consulting services will be requested in the form of short-and intermediate-term technical assistance that could range from a one day to up to six months in duration, with potential requirements for international travel.

There is no implication to a minimum or maximum amount of work implied by submitting a proposal nor guaranteed quantity of work implied by being accepted by AGRA.

AGRA reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, number of short-listed participants, the right to withdraw from the proposal process, the right to change this timetable at any time without notice and reserves the right to withdraw this tender at any time, without prior notice and without liability to compensate and/or reimburse any party.

Written By
New African

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