International Consultant on Gross Margin Survey Planning


Location : Yerevan, ARMENIA
Application Deadline :31-Oct-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
05-Nov-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :05 November -15 December, 2021 (25 work days)

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

EU Green Agriculture Initiative in Armenia (EU-GAIA) Project (thereinafter, the Project) has an overall objective of contributing to realization of shared and balanced inclusive growth in the Northern regions of Armenia through boosting green agriculture and enhancing local value adding. The operations of the Project are being implemented in Marzes of Shirak, Tavush, and Lori. The project intends to help alleviate development challenge that relates to small and fragmented agricultural holdings, underused land, erosion and uncontrolled use of grazing lands, and adverse effects of climate change on agriculture. In addition, the Project ascertains that general lack of extension services, poor infrastructure and roads, weak technological awareness and generally small sizes of agricultural holdings pose serious challenge to growth.

The Project implementation strategy follows the approach of Inclusive Market Systems Development, which aims at support to improvement of scale, sustainability, and resilience of rural households. The Project is focused on at least three value chains, which might include any combination but may not ultimately be limited to dairy, cattle meat sheep meat, cereals, berries, legumes, high-value vegetables, fruits and herbs (like medicinal, cosmetics or spices, for example mint, peppermint and thyme, lavender, cumin and savory). Support to actors of the above value chains is primarily rendered through financial and technical assistance and capacity building (training, coaching, demonstration sites, and etc.) via upgraded extension system, service providers, consultancies, and demo sties.

Stating a need for systematic and trustworthy information on production practices, costs, and revenues at an enterprise and farmer level is a necessary starting point in pursuit of the above goals. Development of strong methodology for gross margin surveys as tool for information collection is a next step forward. Then, identification of crops and products, calculation of optimal number of interviews, and design of questionnaires naturally follows. Subsequently, information should be collected according to well-developed plan, timelines, budget, and procedures. Lastly, the collected information should be thoroughly analyzed, properly reported and presented to key stakeholders. The Project in accordance with its goals, attempts at development and conduct of development a set of pilot gross margin surveys, which together with analysis of findings will be transferred to the key stakeholder, the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia. The Ministry of Economy will subsequently make a decision on regularization and institutionalization of the gross margin surveys. Afterwards, the results of the surveys and their analytical interpretation may also lay foundation for other studies, analytical reports and etc. useful for extension agents and researchers, policy-makers, and others.

As the Project aims at revealing and supporting commercial development in the above value chains and crops, gross margin surveys should mostly cover those holdings (both agricultural enterprises and farmers), who predominantly produce for market and not for own consumption. This fraction of all holdings should be revealed at the planning stage based on statistical information, studies, information from local authorities, expert opinion, and etc.

Primary target for this exercise is the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia. Other stakeholders might include extension agents, policy-makers, National Statistical Committee, farmers and farmer groups, businesses, academia, researches, donor organizations, and others


Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance of the Project management and in collaboration with stakeholders, such as agronomists, statisticians, industry experts, representatives of local governments, academia, donors, and others, the Consultant should conduct the following activities.

Conduct planning work for gross margin surveys focused on the following:

  • With the support of the Project, from official sources, local authorities, government, academia, and other relevant entities, get the information on potential population and size distribution of farmer holdings (both farms and agricultural enterprises) producing crops and products/involved in value chains of the Project’s focus;
  • Develop size thresholds for commercialization, above which farmers/enterprises involved in production of crops/products are considered as interesting for Project goals and as a population for gross margin surveys;
  • Justify identified thresholds against Project’s goals, budgets, as well as economic, scale, export/import substitution/job creation and other potential (as necessary) based on obtained statistical information, literature provided by the Project and other relevant material;
  • Apply judgement while in finalizing the final list of crops/products, for which gross margin surveys should be conducted;
  • Receive input, suggestions and corrections from the Project and develop the final list of crops/products;
  • Based on analysis of information obtained with the Project’s support from the official statistical body, local authorities, government entities, donors, academia, and relevant literature, develop a list of crops/products, for which non-random selection of interviewees should be applied and for which random selection is more appropriate;
  • Finalize preliminary list of crops/products with their sample sizes (both random and non-random), number of interviews and their geographic scope (by Marzes, communities within Marzes);
  • Develop brief requirements for involvement of an agronomist/animal husbandry specialist and a statistician on a short-term basis for reviewing the questionnaires to be developed at the second stage of the assignment;
  • Advice the Project in the process of screening the market in Armenia as to the existence and competency necessary for conduct of gross margin studies. These can be literature reflecting conduct of specific surveys, opinion polls, and etc. conducted by specialized entities, academia and etc;
  • Summarize the above in a “Road Map”/detailed plan for gross margin surveys and present it to Project, key stakeholders, such as Ministry of Economy, other relevant entities, experts, and etc. Receive their critical findings, remarks, suggestions to develop the final version and deliver to the Project;
  • Develop a draft Terms of Reference for the expert involvement at the implementation stage of the gross margin surveys and present it to the Project;
  • Provide detailed report on results achieved and submit the “Road Map” on subsequent actions for conduct of gross margin surveys.

DOCUMENTS TO BE STUDIED

The Consultant should read literature on conduct of household surveys, statistical surveys, rural surveys, and etc. As an example, this might be Household Sample Surveys in Developing and Transition Countries, developed by Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Statistics Division of the United Nations, 2005. The Consultant should get acquainted with all relevant Project documentation and documentation related to activities of the project such as studies, assessments, reports, and etc. The Consultant should get familiar with official statistical reports, surveys, and other relevant material from Statistical Committee of the republic of Armenia, Armstat, Governmental institutions, and etc.

EXPECTED OUTPUTS, RESPONSIBLE PARTIES AND TIMELINES

The expected outputs of the assignment are presented below:

Deliverables/ Outputs

Target due dates

1. Report containing “Road Map” and detailed plan for gross margin surveys 

  15 December, 2021

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENT

Project management will guide the work of the Consultant during the assignment. The Project management will supervise the process of reporting and acceptance of outputs, once delivered. The Consultant is responsible for delivery of the comprise the following

  • Report containing “Road Map” and detailed plan for conduct of gross margin surveys as per scope of work above
  • Report containing list of tasks accomplished and results achieved

The Consultant will collaborate with the representatives of Ministry of Economy of the RA, the Project field staff, donors, governmental entities, research institutions, other experts, professionals, and stakeholders, as deemed necessary.

Project will be responsible for mobilizing, statistical expert(s), agronomist(s), and other personnel when and as necessary for the process. The Project will be responsible for transportation, logistics, facilities, and supplies when and as needed.

DURATION OF ASSIGNMENT

Total duration of the assignment is 25 working days with up to 10 days on-site (if needed) in the Republic of Armenia. The start day of the assignment is November 5, 2021 ends on December 15, 2021.

DUTY STATION

The Consultant will be based primarily at hometown, from where he/she can accomplish reporting, drafting questionnaires and plans, analytical reporting and sharing of findings. The Project will provide necessary workspace for him/her if stay in Yerevan is required. The assignment might require occasional site visits to Shirak, Lori, and Tavush Marzes and their communities.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE AND DETAILS

Payment will be made in the following installments upon completion of the tasks under each output and approval of deliverables by the UNDP country office and Regional Technical Specialist:  

  • Output 1 – 100% of total amount

In case of country visit mission UNDP Armenia will arrange the Consultant’s travel according to UNDP’s procedures.


Competencies

  • Proven analytical tools demonstrating ability to gather, arrange, systematize, process, and visualize statistical information in form of charts, graphs, diagrams, and analytical reports;
  • Professional knowledge of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) area, especially Armenia, regarding local agricultural development tendencies, institutions, and policies;
  • Excellent command of a software for spreadsheets, databases, and statistical information; 
  • Excellent leadership and communication skills;
  • Excellent report writing, analytical and presentation skills;
  • Proven management skills and ability to work with teams;


Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • Advanced university degree (MSc, MA or PhD) in Economics/Agricultural economics/Development studies or statistics;

Experience

  • At least 10 years’ experience involvement/management of in agriculture, agribusiness, agricultural policy, agricultural statistics activities;
  • Proven record of participating in/managing/design of gross margin or net margin studies or a proven record of participating in/managing/design of statistical/economic surveys in rural setting;
  • Familiarity with statistical concepts and tools, such as sampling, questionnaire, confidence interval, regression, and etc;
  • Proven record of preparation of analytical reports

Languages

  • Excellent knowledge of Englis;
  • Knowledge of Russian is a plus

 

CANDIDATES WILL BE EVALUATED BASED ON THE FOLLOWING METHODOLOGY:

Candidates will be evaluated using a cumulative analysis method taking into consideration the combination of the applicants' technical qualifications, experience and financial proposal.The contract will be awarded to the candidate whose offer has been evaluated and determined as technically responsive/compliant/acceptable to the requirements of the ToR and received the highest cumulative (technical and financial) score out of below defined technical and financial criteria.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points in the technical evaluation would be considered for financial evaluation.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation - max. 70 points

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation - max. 30 points.

 

DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION.

  • Financial Proposal and Availability formOFFEROR’S LETTER TO UNDP (A total lump sum  option is applicable for this assignment)
  • CV shall include Education/Qualification, Processional Certification, Employment Records /Experience

General Conditions of Contract is available here: GENERAL CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT

 

Note: Please note you can upload only one document to this application (scan all documents that should be included in the application in one single PDF file and upload it).

 



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