International Individual Consultant for Regional Agribusiness Value Chain Projects Evaluation and Knowledge Generation Work


Location : Ethiopia with home-based assignments, ETHIOPIA
Application Deadline :30-Apr-14 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
12-May-2014
Duration of Initial Contract :70 Working Days
Expected Duration of Assignment :70 Working 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

In November 2010, UNDP launched a new regional project, “Private Sector and Inclusive Market Development for Poverty Reduction in Africa: African Facility for Inclusive Markets (AFIM)”, to more strongly address private sector development and engagement issues in Africa in support of accelerated achievement of the MDGs. AFIM’s particular focus is on the promotion of Inclusive Market Development (IMD) in Africa through the development and expansion of regional value chains in job creating sectors such as agribusiness, tourism, renewable energy, retailing and mining. Currently, AFIM’s focus of IMD is centred on agribusiness.

In October 2011, UNDP AFIM in collaboration with the NGO EMRC co-organized the 2011 Agri-Business Forum in Johannesburg and coordinated a Public-Private Dialogue. One of the principal outcomes of the overall initiative was the Johannesburg Declaration on ‘Engaging the Private Sector in Furthering Africa’s Agribusiness and Food Security Agenda’. One of the key action items called for in the Declaration was for Public and Private Sectors to jointly:

  • Support the development of the African food industry through inclusive market and value chain development;
  • Pool financial and technical resources to establish more finance facilities that support agribusiness development, particularly among SMEs and smallholders;
  • Accelerate collaboration efforts to increase food production to meet the continent’s growing demand;
  • Support follow-up activities of key agribusiness development stakeholders, such as UNDP’s AFIM - as a regional platform to support inclusive market development in Africa, in collaboration with other UN agencies and development partners.

As a follow-up to the Johannesburg declaration’s call to action for the facilitation of regional platforms and value chains, AFIM conceived the idea to convene three sub-regional “AFIM Weeks”, comprised of:

  • Project Facilitation Platform - to develop and accelerate the implementation of specific regional agricultural value chains;
  • Training Module - providing regional UNDP country Office, REC and industry actors with training on value chain development and finance;
  • CEO/ Agriculture Leadership Breakfast - a morning programme aimed at introducing AFIM and the support it providers to foster public-private partnerships to agribusiness leaders in the region; and
  • Country Office AFIM Clinic(s) - a community of practice meeting and a series of one-on-one meetings with UNDP country office representatives to assist them in their value chain project development strategies and implementation plans.

In 2012 and 2013 AFIM provided catalytic funding under Micro-capital Grant modality[1][1] to the selected value chain development initiatives in the agribusiness/ agro-industries sectors. The catalytic funding seeks to promote the acceleration of the MDGs by supporting agribusiness value chain projects that generate income, employment and reduce poverty through inclusive economic growth and sector development. The funding is targeted at:

  • Stimulating cross-border and regional value chain projects to incentivize the engagement and further investment and collaboration of key stakeholders in the African public and private sectors;
  • Strengthening existing value chain projects by undertaking interventions to attract private sector engagement and participation to promote sustainable agribusiness development;
  • Supporting the capacity of regional institutions to strengthen regional agri-food value chains;
  • Unlocking agribusiness investment opportunities inherent in cross-border and regional value chain commodities thereby increasing food security, regional economic integration and trade.

The selection criteria of eligibility of ‘project promoters’ included their legal mandates as (Non-Governmental Organizations including Not for Profit Organizations) and Regional Institutions operating in Sub-Saharan Africa, their focus on cross-border, regional and multiple-country projects in Grains (rice, maize, soy bean and sorghum), Horticulture (fruits and vegetables excluding flowers) and Dairy/Livestock, which impact directly on poverty reduction.

Applications and concepts shortlisted were referred to the respective project facilitation platforms (PFPs) for a peer review and selection mechanism. Under these PFPs, constructive criticism and improvements to the selected project frameworks were undertaken by respective stakeholders from the different countries where the projects were to be implemented. The Project Facilitation Platforms (PFPs) were conceived as fora for the participatory peer review and selection of specific regional agricultural value chains that promote private sector driven inclusive business models that transcend beyond national borders.  AFIM moderated three PFPs in the EAC, ECOWAS and COMESA regions where shortlisted regional projects were deliberated upon and their project concepts improved upon by respective sector stakeholders.


Duties and Responsibilities

AFIM now requires an individual consultant to (1) evaluate the results of the 6 regional value chain projects supported through MCG, (2) prepare a report on key lessons learnt from the MCGs as a catalytic mechanism to foster income generation and poverty reduction at the level of value chain actors, and regional integration, (3) support with the convening, preparation and facilitation of a regional agri-food value chain implementation and knowledge sharing workshop convening the regional value chain promoters and their stakeholders, the Regional Economic Communities, and development partners active and/or interested in the space, and (4) write-up a workshop meeting report and a knowledge product.

The consultant will work closely with the UNDP RSCA in Addis Ababa. S/he will be under the supervision of the AFIM Project Manager, collaborate closely with AFIM staff, and be responsible for the following tasks:

Inception/briefing meeting in Addis Ababa and preparatory work leading to a detailed workplan (by May 7, 2014)

Meet with AFIM Team in Addis Ababa to get briefed on the work and get all the relevant background material. Review the background material and prepare a detailed workplan with tentative mission timing to be validated with project promoters and UNDP host COs.

Evaluate the results of the 6 Agri-Food Value Chain Projects (until 15 September 2014):

Conduct project missions that assess the progress of the project against stated outputs as per the grant agreement submissions, as well as identify challenges, and lessons learnt. The evaluation missions will consult the project promoters, partners and beneficiaries. Email/phone consultations with the RECs will also be expected. The evaluation missions will also gauge the impact of the catalytic fund contribution to project outcomes and impact and discuss the projects vision beyond the catalytic funding phase. The evaluation of the impact of the catalytic fund will look at the following dimensions:

Relevance:

  •  Assess the contribution of the catalytic fund towards the achievement of project objectives;
  • Analyze whether the project addresses the needs and demands of the beneficiaries in a disaggregated manner (for men and women), and the community response;
  • Assess the relevance of the approach/tool/instruments/inputs applied by the project towards project outcomes;
  • Assess the relevance and effect of technical assistance provided by the project promoters and partners to the beneficiaries.

Effectiveness:

  • Identify the emerging effect of the project on beneficiaries including both men and women. These may include aspects on household income generation/assets formation and job creation due to project interventions;
  • Assess the performance of the project so far with particular reference to qualitative and quantitative achievements of outputs and targets as defined in the project documents and work-plans and with reference to project baselines;
  • Assess the effectiveness of the cost sharing arrangements between the UNDP, project promoters and partners.

Efficiency:

  • Assess whether the project has utilized project funding as per the agreed work plan to achieve the projected targets;
  • Assess the timeline and quality of the reporting followed by the project;
  • Analyze the performance of the Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism of the project and the use of various M&E tools;
  • Identify factors and constraints which have affected project implementation including technical, managerial, organizational and institutional factors in addition to other external factors unforeseen during the project design.

Sustainability and Impact: 

  • Assess preliminary indications of the degree to which the project results are likely to be sustainable beyond the project’s and provide recommendations for strengthening sustainability;
  • Assess the sustainability of the project interventions in terms of their effect on environment;
  • Analyze the emerging impact on the communities for both men and women in terms of food security, income and asset enhancement;
  • Analyze emerging impact on private-sector regional cooperation/integration;
  • Based on the findings (relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact), recommend on the project direction beyond the catalytic funding phase.

Network /linkages:

  • Evaluate the level, degree and representation by the beneficiaries and stakeholders, (Government and partners etc.) in the implementation of the project;
  • Assess the alignment of the project with the UNDP COs strategies in relevant countries towards identifying linkages and opportunities for achievement of objectives/targets.

Lessons learnt/ Conclusions:

  • Identify significant lessons or conclusions which can be drawn from the project in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and networking.

Prepare evaluation reports (drafts until September 30 2014; final approved report by October 15 2014)

  • Prepare individual project evaluation reports including recommendation for project implementation sustainability and suggested next steps for beyond 2014;
  • Prepare a summary report looking at key results and lessons learnt from the catalytic grants mechanism. This will include: Consulting the RECs on the mechanism and its value to their work and with respect to regional integration; Looking into the relationship and complementarity of the PFP and MCG mechanism with Challenge Fund;
  • Prepare a summary power point presentation of the evaluations results and lessons learnt.

Support with the convening, preparation and facilitation of a regional agri-food value chain implementation and knowledge sharing workshop, convening the regional value chain promoters and their stakeholders, the Regional Economic Communities, and development partners active and/or interested in that space (workshop is planned for October 2014) 

  • Prepare workshop concept note (by June 15 2014), agenda, presentations and any other necessary preparation documents;
  • Advise on participants to be invited;
  • Facilitate sessions as relevant.

Write-up a workshop meeting report and a knowledge product (draft until October 30, 2014, Final November 15 2014)

  • Prepare a workshop meeting report including the proceedings of the meeting;
  •  Prepare a knowledge product (20-30 pages long) that will take on board the outcome of the workshop and include: Background on the Project Facilitation Platforms and Micro Capital Grant catalytic funding processes; 1-2 pages success stories/results on each of the regional value chain projects; Background on other approaches used by other development partners, as well as key successes obtained from these approaches;
  • Detailing pros and cons of each approach;
  • Lessons learnt on the catalytic attributes of the Micro Capital Grants, including recommendations for next steps, including potential improvements and scale-up.

The consultant will be responsible to develop and propose his/her own methodology to carry out the tasks described above. However this should include:

  • Reviewing existing regional value chain projects plans, micro-capital grants agreements, quarterly and final reports (as applicable), and Mid Term Review reports;
  • Planning field missions in a participatory manner with the project promoters and the host UNDP Country Offices;
  • Key informant interviews of and focus groups meetings with key regional value chains stakeholders at country level, during the field mission;
  • Review of any relevant data sources available in the field with project promoters and other relevant project stakeholders;
  • Consultations with the relevant RECs (EAC, ECOWAS, COMESA).


Competencies

Technical / Functional Competencies:

  •  Knowledge of private sector and pro-poor market development, in particular of agriculture value chain approaches;
  • Knowledge of regional private sector companies and financial institutions, especially in the agro-food industry;
  • Knowledge of UNDP and other UN agencies are beneficial;
  • Strong analytical aptitude, communication and presentation skills;
  • Outstanding communication skills in English; French an asset;
  • Capacity to communicate fluently with different stakeholders (civil society, government authorities, local communities, project staff); and 
  • Computer proficiency: MS Office.

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Strong project management skills;
  • Positive, constructive attitude and approaches work with energy;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to receive / integrate feedback;
  • Good networking skills to engage with both internal and external partners.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • At least Masters Degree in international development, economics, business, finance, agricultural economics, agribusiness, marketing or related field.

Work Experience:

  • A minimum of ten years of progressive experience in private sector development and/or private sector engagement or partnerships for development is required;
  • Experience in project conducting and writing evaluations;
  • Experience in developing knowledge products;
  • Experience working with African regional agricultural value chains as well as public and private sector agribusiness sector institutions;
  • Experience of inclusive business models to engage private sector companies in projects that contribute to the MDGs and poverty reduction;
  • Hands on work experience in project development and delivery in developing countries in general  and Africa in particular;
  • Facilitation and training experience in the agribusiness field;
Computer skills:
  • Full command of Microsoft applications (word, excel, PowerPoint) and common internet applications will be required.

Languages:

  • Excellent knowledge of English, including the ability to write reports clearly and concisely, and to set out a coherent argument in presentations and group interactions;
  • Working knowledge of French an asset.

Application:

Please refer to the below link to refer to the detail Terms of Reference and Procurement Notice:

http://www.et.undp.org/content/ethiopia/en/home/operations/procurement/agribusinessvaluechain/

 Interested consultants are required to upload their CVs here and to send their technical and financial proposals in two different electronic files to our secured email address procurement.et@undp.org  no later than April 30, 2014.

Duty Station:

 Home-based with travel to Addis Ababa and to project sites in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Zambia and Mozambique. 



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