National Consultant to Prepare GEF Full Size Project Documents Agricultural & Land Use Specialist

Location : Homebased with Possible Travel to Abuja and Other Parts of Nigeria
Application Deadline :18-Sep-15 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :11 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :180 working days spread over 11 months


In the early 50s and 60s, the issue of food insecurity was not something the government of Nigeria had to contend with. The country was able to feed her citizens and at the same time export surplus food items to neighbouring countries. Every region of the country was well known for particular crop products, whether food or cash crops and the country was relatively self-sufficient when it comes to food production. Nigeria had groundnut pyramids in the North, the cocoa mountains in the West, oil palm and kernels heaps in the east and the rubber plantation in the mid-west. However, with the advent of oil exploration and production, things changed drastically, interest in the agricultural sector went sour and that marked the beginning of the decline into the abyss as a polity. Now, the issue of food security is back on the table. As at 2008, Nigeria was spending as high as $2 billion dollars importing food stuff for its citizens. The impact is more felt by vulnerable households mostly through price increases with difficulties in accessing food items. Beyond the high prices in Nigeria, drought and political situation in the country also have negative impacts on food production with Nigeria’s agriculture being mainly rain-fed and is yet to take full advantage of its irrigation potentials.

As part of its GEF 6 replenishment phase, the GEF is financing an integrated approach pilot (IAP) programme on ‘Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa’. The IAP programme will seek to safeguard ecosystem services from smallholder agriculture; which underpins food security for more than 70% of the population and depends heavily on assets provided by nature. It would specifically target dryland regions where the integration of environmental priorities into smallholder agriculture is crucial for increasing food productivity.

The Federal Government of Nigeria are among the 12 beneficiary countries that have received grants from the GEF to pilot an integrated approach on Food Security in Nigeria The grant will support the country to integrate priorities to safeguard and maintain ecosystem services into investments improving smallholder agriculture and food value chains.

Organizational Context

While the concepts (country child projects) have already been approved, in order for the grants to be released to the countries, full sized projects showing precisely the how, where, what and how much need to be developed and submitted to the GEF within the next twelve months. The project concepts already contain some basic background and indicative information about baselines, however additional data is needed to explicitly design the projects in the most appropriate and cost-effective manner and to ensure that GEF support is provided only for 'incremental' activities.

Baseline data collection and  informational gap analysis:

  • Analysis of the existing policy, legal and institutional frameworks for ensuring food security in the suggested geographical location; for this intervention, including incentives in place to support smallholder agriculture and food value chains to be sustainable;
  • Assessment of legal /institutional bottlenecks hampering the adoption of Sustainable Land Management and Sustainable Forest Management (SLM/SFM, etc.) in the project sites;
  • Establishment of the current state of food security (i.e. proportion of farmers with access to sufficient nutritive food throughout the year);
  • Analyses of governance and capacity in various agencies/authorities that will be supporting implementation of the project, focusing particularly on existing mechanisms for planning, monitoring and ensuring environmental health and resilience development for sustainable food security management and their (respective) effectiveness at the district level;
  • An exhaustive list of key stakeholders that must be involved in the project (including private sector), and their capacities regarding the roles they should play in order to achieve the targeted outcomes;
  • Identification of institutions that can make use of and/ or contribute to development and application of decision support tools to integrate NRM e.g. for valuation of natural capital or systems for environmental economic accounting for agriculture;
  • Identify the appropriate compositions of scientific and policy platforms that are relevant for dialogue on mainstreaming ecosystem services and gender sensitive agro-ecological approaches in the project sites, for strengthening policy frameworks in the agriculture and environment sectors and for ensuring stakeholder engagements all the way from grass root;
  • Definition of mechanisms for creating a learning platform for knowledge creation through research, sharing of experiences on ecological approaches to resilience in agriculture for policy planning and scaling up;
  • Stakeholder mapping of development finance providers for food security management in the project and the potential overlaps with this project i.e. the investment flows (incl. private sector) and existing funding mechanisms;
  • Stakeholder mapping of players in major food value chains in the project sites;
  • Availability of improved SLM technologies in the project sites  and  the major barriers to their uptake and use;
  • Generation of a listing of the globally significant traditional crop varieties and animal breeds, including their land coverage in Ha;
  • Establishment of current planted crop area by type and the current yields per Ha per crop and description of the vegetation types;
  • Establishment of current area under irrigation, the current yields/Ha and the water management practices used.;
  • Establishment of baselines on ecosystems degradation (the trends in land use) in the target districts e.g. soil erosion and fodder coverage availability, size and state of degraded area, proportion of landscape that is and classify the degraded resources (land, water etc.) according to the degree of degradation so that appropriate actions can be planned to take care of ecosystem values, and long term resilience of the resource base;
  • Establishment of baselines on grassland areas in Ha, the state of degradation, and management practices used on the grasslands;
  • Establishment of baselines on current types and number of livestock, the feeding and breeding practices;
  • Establishment of baselines with respect to agricultural inputs like fertilizers and the application rates per Ha;
  • Definition of the global environmental benefits from land degradation, climate change mitigation (GHG emissions) and  Biodiversity;
  • Establishment of land area and agro-ecosystems (e.g. agro-pastoralist, agro-forestry) under integrated natural resources management and SLM i.e. establish baselines on land use and status of land management, including description of methods used in land use change;
  • Development of national or sub-national food security and resilience monitoring tools and systems, including socio-economic and gender  indicators of  sustainability and resilience in the region;
  • Identification of sources of GHGs as a result of land use changes, estimation of the emissions and sinks in the project area;

Pre-feasibility studies on upscaling of technologies for climate smart agriculture for food security

This activity will provide an in-depth analysis of the feasibility of achieving the set targets and set recommendations as to how these schemes can be adopted and implemented sustainably to improve land productivity and improve generation of global environmental benefits. The project design team will among others study the Songhai model for integrated natural resources management, Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), livelihood promotion, Job Creation and community resilience. Songhaï (ecosystem model) is anchored on empowering rural African communities, particularly farmers, youth, and women, by building their capacities to become agricultural, and agribusiness entrepreneurs.

The PPG phase will finance activities to:

  • Explore the use of GEF-Small Grants modality in catalyzing community level action; and
  • Establish the modalities and resources required for communal investment in SLM that secures long term benefits to the individuals and reduces GHG emissions.

Project strategy, institutional arrangements, monitoring and evaluation

The main elements of this component will be a:

  • (i) Detailed strategy, developed based on findings in Section (A) above;
  • ii) A detailed log frame analysis;
  • (iii) Detailed budget; and
  • (iv) Detailed monitoring and assessment plan.

Activities will include:

Financial planning and co-investments

  • A detailed multi-year budget following the standard template provided in the UNDP-GEF project document template that reflects the mandatory requirements of the GEF M&E Policy shall be prepared;
  • Multilateral and bilateral co-financing opportunities shall be explored through undertaking a series of consultations with partners to ensure a coherent and sustainable financing package for the project including post- GEF grant phase. The Stakeholder mapping of development finance providers for food security management in the project sites and the investment flows (incl. private sector) that will be done during baselines establishment shall guide these consultations, the information generated from these consultations shall be key to avoid duplication of efforts and to increase efficiency of resource use;
  • The required official endorsement letters for the project shall be competed properly, and an official endorsement letter will be prepared by the GEF Operational Focal Point of the Government as evidence of completion of the process.  Co-financing commitment letters will be collected from participating government institutions, bilateral development partners, multilateral development partners and NGOs who wish to provide cash or in kind contributions to the project.  They form the beneficiary country’s guarantee of interest in the project and the incremental benefits GEF funding provides to the country;
  • Stakeholder consultations during Component C: Key agencies and beneficiaries shall be involved in validation of the project budget and its alignment with the project strategy, and also in validation of project financing mechanisms as will be described in the project institutional management arrangements. These consultations shall be documented;
  • Establish the existing knowledge networks and potential partnerships for addressing land productivity, adaptation to climate changes and resilience building in the region;
  • Identify the major drivers (and root causes) of reducing land productivity in the project sites, and the appropriate measures to support integrated soil fertility and water shed management;
  • Identify sites for demonstrating proven/ testing new technologies, establishing soil erosion and GHG emission monitoring. This will require knowledge and documentation of the socio-economic and cultural set up in the target districts, particularly with respect to decision making at household and village level regarding resource allocation and use,  knowledge of the major SLM issues in each of the districts so that demos are located where they are most needed;
  • Identify gender parity issues that the project needs to address in order to promote gender equality, provide socio-economic benefits to all and empower women to increase the access to and control over production/natural resources. This activity should lead to identification of sub-counties /parishes for project focus;
  • Assess the technologies to be up-scaled with respect to adaptability to the host ecosystem(s), social acceptability, and economic viability for the user, environmental safety and possibility to increase food security to communities in the target area. In addition, identify the most appropriate packaging/presentation of the technologies that will result into maximum adoption by the communities and ease integration of the technologies into promotion plans and budgets at national and district levels;
  • Identify individuals, groups, schools, churches and communities that are willing to dedicate (including cost-sharing) land/natural resource for testing the effectiveness of  integrated natural resources management technologies  for improved ecosystems services and increased productivity;
  • Identify measures relevant to support diversification of production systems as a safety net for increased resilience and stability in the event of climate changes;
  • Identify opportunities where interventions to reverse land degradation (and decreasing land productivity) and reduce GHG emissions would provide maximum leverage on crop and animal yields, and provide the highest contribution to national targets stipulated in the ] National Development Plans;
  • Identify the measures and modalities that can be used to support integration of MRM in agro-pastoral systems including options that enhance soil and water conservation, biodiversity conservation on a wide landscape in the project sites reduction of GHG emissions through improved grazing, fodder management, integration of crops with livestock systems, and the measures/modalities that would be required to implement them in terms of human, financial and other resources.< >Establish the potential role of CSOs, private sector actors and traditional leaders in project activities and the specific training needs for the communities.Finalization of projects results framework, which will include detailing incremental cost analysis as per GEF guidance; precise definition of baseline projects, activities, budgets, goals and co-financial links to GEF outcomes, definition of GEF incremental value per outcome and output, presentation of results of the incremental cost analysis in matrices. In addition, land degradation and climate change tracking tools will be prepared in collaboration with other stakeholders, quantifying and detailing a presentation of the global environmental benefits of the project, including GHG emissions reductions and growth of carbon stocks if any. This will result into finalization and stakeholder approval of the logical framework specifying the project goal, objectives, outcomes, outputs and corresponding activities, including success indicators as well as delineation of responsibilities and coordination mechanisms. Assessment of the social, economic, financial and environmental sustainability of proposed project activities, including gender aspects.  The expected project outcomes and outputs shall be costed, co-financing sources identified and co-financing commitment letters secured;
  • Definition of monitoring and evaluation (M&E):  A detailed M&A work plan will be developed, including clear identification of responsibilities and accountabilities, as well as an appropriate M&E budget. The plan will be based on the standard template provided in the UNDP-GEF project document template that reflects the mandatory requirements of the GEF M&E Policy. Of special interest is developing tools for monitoring and assessing whether the integrated approaches to improving food security and natural resources management have any impact on resilience of ecosystems services, livelihoods and food security;
  • Definition of a sustainability plan:  The sustainability plan will outline the principles and guidelines for ensuring the long-term sustainability of project achievements. It will also outline an exit strategy, seeking the continuation of key activities/achievements without the need of long-term international financing;
  • Definition of management arrangements:  The organisational structure governing the project will be elaborated.  This will include identification of the project board, the project implementing partner and responsible parties; and the reporting structure for the project. A description of the roles and responsibilities of each party in the structure shall be made. Where key consultants shall be required for project implementation, Terms of Reference for those key consultants /contractors to be employed on the project will be developed. Institutional capacity of implementing partners (especially local governments) shall be assessed and project execution arrangements developed;
  • Documentation of Stakeholder consultations:  Key agencies and beneficiaries shall be involved in generation of baseline data for the project, development of the project strategy and validation of the strategy to ensure a strong national ownership. In close collaboration with key government representatives and other stakeholders, full participation in the development of the project results framework and agreement on the project objectives and outcomes shall be done, and consultations shall be undertaken  to secure agreement(s) on project implementation arrangements, including roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities of lead and partner agencies. These consultations shall be documented.

Duties and Responsibilities

The major deliverable for this consultancy is a Project Document that would serve as the document for the implementation of the Food Security Programme in Nigeria. The key considerations for project design would be:

  • Integrate food security and sustainable agriculture into global and national policies;
  • Perform the analysis of selected agricultural sectors/food chains, including food security and food safety issues and assess the feasibility of agribusiness investment projects and programmes;
  • Analyse the constraints and opportunities related to agribusiness investment options with emphasis on the functionality of markets, support services, trade policies, market institutions and organizations, risk management systems, food safety control systems and private sector engagement;
  • Formulate and deliver capacity development activities and programmes in favour of private and public stakeholders in the areas of agribusiness, marketing and food chain development;
  • Develop 'early action' to drive change in agricultural production systems towards increasing resilience to weather variability and shocks, while contributing significantly to mitigating climate change;
  • Sustainably intensify agricultural production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental impacts of agriculture;
  • Develop specific programmes and policies to assist populations and sectors that are most vulnerable to climate changes and food insecurity;
  • Knowledge management should be an integral part of project design and implementation;
  • Gender issues mainstreamed along the following lines – accessibility, availability, utilization and stability.

Quality assurance

The consultants will work with the Lead Consultant under the direct supervision of the Team Leader, Sustainable Development Unit and the Regional Technical Adviser. In ensuring the quality of the work undertaken, an inception meeting will be held between the consultant and the team at the country office level to agree on expectation, scope of the work, and a specific work plan on the basis of an inception report. Prior to the consultant concluding the work, a de-brief meeting will be held to discuss any further issues which requires further follow-up. The project document on completion should report to the Country Office IRRF Output 1.3:  Solutions developed at national and sub-national levels for sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemicals and waste with Indicator 1.3.1 and 1.3.2.   These are the expected quality assurance criteria.

Information on working arrangements:

  • The Consultant will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  • The Consultant will be responsible for providing her/his own work station (i.e. laptop, internet, phone, scanner/printer, etc.) and must have access to a reliable internet connection;
  • Payments will be made upon submission of a certification of payment form, and acceptance and confirmation by the Project Manager on satisfactory delivery of outputs.

Evaluation method and award of contract:

  • Only those applications which are responsive and compliant will be evaluated;
  • Offers will be evaluated according to the Combined Scoring method – where the qualifications (max 60 points) will be weighted at 70% and the financial offer will be weighted at 30%;
  • Only the candidates that have achieved a minimum of 42 points of the technical criteria will be deemed technically qualified and will be contacted for their fnancial proposal;
  • The candidate with the  Highest Combined Score and has accepted UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions will be awarded the contract.


  • Excellent team player with good interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to manage workload with minimum supervision;
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment;
  • Strong analytic skills.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Postgraduate Degree kin Agricultural Sciences, Food Technology, Agricultural Economics.


  • At least 10 years’ experience and advisory role in conducting agricultural/rural sector/subsector analytical studies, and/or in planning, design, supervision of agricultural and rural investment operations, including elaboration of agribusiness investment feasibility studies/food chain analyses/agricultural market studies in developing countries and/or countries in transition;
  • Experience in climate change adaptation projects in agricultural sector;
  • Experience in facilitating dialogues/communications between local communities and national governments;
  • Extensive knowledge in agricultural research programmes, environmental projects, tools development, community projects, food technology and production, sustainable use of natural resources, agricultural sciences, food technology, sustainable land and forest management;
  • Good public relations background;
  • Proven knowledge of the issues around Sustainability and Resilience of Food security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).


  • Fluent in English.

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.

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