KINGDOM OF LESOTHO
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY
LESOTHO SMALLHOLDER AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT II
REQUEST FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
(CONSULTING SERVICES- CONSULTANCY FIRM TO CONDUCT ANNUAL OUTCOME SURVEY -CQS SELECTION METHOD)
LOAN NO: P165228
CREDIT NO: IDA -64220 -LS
ASSIGNMENT TITLE: ENGAGEMENT OF CONSULTANCY FIRM TO CONDUCT ANNUAL OUTCOME SURVEY
REFERENCE NO: LS-MAFS-161925-CS-CQS
DUTY STATION : PMU MASERU
The Government of Lesotho is implementing the Smallholder Agricultural Development Project (SADP) 2 with financial support from the World Bank, Government of Japan and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The project covers ten districts â€“ Maseru, Leribe, Botha-Bothe, Mokhotlong, Thaba-Tseka, Berea Mafeteng, Mohaleâ€™sHoek, Quthing and Qachaâ€™sNek. SADP is coordinated by the Project Management unit (PMU) based in Maseru. The project has four components:
- Component 1. Promoting Climate Smart Agricultural Practices and Advisory Services. This component aims at strengthening the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers to adjust and modify their production systems to minimize the potential future impacts from climate variability
- Component 2. Improving Agricultural Commercialization and Nutrition. This component will build on Component 1 by addressing financial constraints in the agricultural sector so that the training and advisory services provided under Component 1 is complemented with much-needed financing to help the farming community undertake productive and profitable investments.
- Component 3. Project Management, Coordination and Monitoring and Evaluation It is responsible for: implementation and coordination, financial management and procurement, communication, visibility and awareness programs, environmental management and safeguards, and monitoring and evaluation.
- Component 4. Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC). This is a zero allocation to partially cover emergency response via implementation of key activities by the appropriate agencies to respond to the emergency.
Between 70 and 80 % percent of Lesothoâ€™s population live in rural areas, and more than three quarters of all rural inhabitants are engaged in agriculture, depending largely on traditional low-input, low-output rain-fed cereal production and extensive animal grazing systems. For most rural households, limited employment opportunities exist outside agriculture. In the past, remittances by mine workers were a major source of rural livelihoods, providing vital cash for purchasing agricultural inputs and productive assets or investing in household assets for housing structures, but over the past decade there has been a substantial decline in these remittances. Lesotho registered economic growth in recent years, mainly due to growth in the industrial sector (including textiles, garment production, and mining). Yet opportunities to expand and diversify the industrial sector are few and far between, so a large share of the population will depend on agriculture as a key livelihoods and income strategy for some time to come.
Rural development will continue to play a key role in Lesothoâ€™s development strategy. The potential for agricultural production is limited due to the countryâ€™s agro-ecological and climatic conditions, including recurrent cycles of drought, erratic rainfall, hail and frost, and limited areas of arable land. This is compounded by the fact that even available production potential is not exhausted due to poor farming practices, limited use of quality seeds, selection of inappropriate crops, and lack of diversification. This situation is aggravated but unsustainable land management practices resulting in declining soil fertility and widespread soil erosion.
However, despite the difficult environment, opportunities for developing commercially viable smallholder agriculture in Lesotho exist through increasing crop and livestock productivity and by enabling smallholder farmers to better respond to market demand for specific commodities. New and emerging opportunities on the demand side include small slaughterhouse operations, larger orchards creating demand for locally produced fruits growing numbers of urban consumers, potential for niche products, and road improvements that facilitate access for producers and traders. Fruits, vegetables, potatoes, wool and mohair, poultry and pigs are commodities that provide specific opportunities. Rural-based enterprises include seed suppliers ranging from major seed companies with distribution networks in Lesotho to small seed producers; input suppliers and local hardware stores in most towns that sell seeds, fertilizers, and farm tools; small nurseries that produce vegetable, fruit and forest tree seedlings and saplings; hatcheries that produce day-old chicks; feed stores that distribute animal feed; suppliers of veterinary services, veterinary drugs, and artificial insemination services; and providers of machinery services. On the output side, markets exist for fresh produce ranging from supermarkets that occasionally source local fruits and vegetables to district and community-level stores; for live animals and animal products ranging from the large-scale meat wholesalers to small-scale butchers and traders; for wool and mohair both through some 73 private woolsheds and the 127 government- owned but local association-operated woolsheds; and for milk through at least seven milk protection points to the Daily Plant. Other local outlets also exist for these products, such as hotels, guesthouses and local craft workshops, and for other more niche products such as mushrooms, herbs and essential oils. Some of the more commercially _ minded farmers can access these services and markets directly in South Africa.
OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSIGNMENT
- Objectives of the Program, Geographic focus and Targeted Beneficiaries
- The program Development Objective (PDO) is to â€œSupport the increased adoption of climate smart Agricultural technologies in Lesothoâ€™s Agriculture, enhanced Commercialization and improved Dietary diversity among targeted beneficiariesâ€.
This will be achieved through the following inter mediate results:
- Land area brought under climate-smart agriculture and sustainable landscape management (CSA technologies include use of improved and stress tolerant varieties, irrigation, protected agricultural initiatives, Conservation farming practices)
- Increased household commercialization level in project area
- Farmers adopting Climate Smart Agricultural Practices by farmers
- Households with increased dietary diversity
- The program is implemented in all ten (10) districts of the country.Â Each of these districts has relatively high production potential.
- The program is targeting individual smallholder farmers, groups and agricultural businesses/agro-processors that (i) need support to improve their sources of livelihoods; and (ii) have the basic resources including livestock, farming implements, land and ability to raise cash contribution to successfully improve agricultural productivity and commercialization levels by promoting and strengthening farmers adaptation and resilience practices based on recent climatic conditions. These will be done while also mainstreaming nutrition within value chains that will be supported.
- Objectives of the Annual Outcome Survey (AOS)
Building on the baseline survey, the project intends to conduct annual outcome surveys every year. AOS will be carried out covering a smaller sample of 380-600 beneficiary households every year, without control group households.
The objectives of the second SADP II AOS are:
Measure changes happening at the household level in terms of livelihoods and food security during the project period that are attributable to programs and activities of SADP II.
Assess targeting efficiency and the extent of participation of project beneficiaries in SADP II project activities
Provide evidence of the success or failure of the SADPII project.
Provide timely performance information necessary to undertake corrective actions.
Using the results framework of the SADP II project that was populated with status quo indicators on the adoption of climate-smart agriculture principles and practices, productivity and commercialization of agriculture, livelihoods, dietary diversity, food, nutrition, and income security of the target beneficiaries, among many other indicators; this second SADP II AOS aims to repopulate the results framework of SADP II project with current indicators, approximately two years after SADP II project implementation has started. The comparison of the baseline technology adoption, livelihood, productivity, and food and nutrition indicators with those that are going to be generated during the first and second SADP II AOS, will allow project implementors to determine if the desired activities, results, outcomes, and impacts of SADP II intervention are being achieved, and if not, investigate why they are not being achieved, and take necessary corrective measures.
The contract with the institutional consultant to be hired for Annual Outcome Survey will have the possibility to conduct future AOS upon satisfactory performance.
- Sampling Method and Sample Size
- Interviews will be conducted at the household and agribusiness level.
- Eligibility to be included in the sample is defined in following the projectâ€™s targeting criteria. Interviewees must be current project beneficiaries from the following categories:
- Commercial farmers and Agri-businesses.
- Irrigators from Irrigation Members.
- CSA/Lead farmers
- Nutrition Club
- The sampling method should assure that the information obtained from the annual outcome survey is representative of the respective beneficiary group.
Table 1: Categories of beneficiaries
|Beneficiary category||Number of current beneficiaries||Sample size to be proposed by the contractor|
5.0 Timing for Implementing the Fieldwork
The annual outcome survey will mainly focus on agriculture and rural economy as indicated in section 3 (above). Hence it is important to ensure that the timing of baseline survey is appropriate. First, it needs to be conducted when farmers have a clear idea on the variables that will be investigated during the baseline survey. Secondly, there is a need to have a clear indication of the recall period in the questionnaire: whenever necessary, questions should refer to â€˜the last 12 monthsâ€™ with an indication of the concrete period of time they refer to (for instance, â€œsince November 2022â€).
Data for the last AOS was collected in December and January 2023. Nevertheless, data collection should be conducted in October 2023 to take into account seasonality effects.
5.1 Table 2: Indicative Time Frame
|Familiarization with the project, preparation of data collection tools (questionnaire and sampling methods||1.5 weeks|
|Submission of the documentation for Inception Report (including final design of the survey and draft questionnaires) and Inception Report||0.5 week|
|Incorporation of comments received during Inception Report and preparation of final data collection tool(questionnaires)||1 week|
|Training of Enumerators and field testing||1 week|
|Data Collection||6 weeks|
|Preparation of First Draft Reports||3 weeks|
|Submission of draft report and discussion with The Client||2 weeks|
|Incorporation of Comments received during discussion of draft report and submission of the final report||2 weeks|
6.0 Tasks of the Annual Outcome Survey
To meet its objective, the annual outcome study will fulfil all relevant activities ranging from the design of questionnaires to data collection and analysis. More specifically, the tasks will include, but may not be limited to:
- Defining the sampling method to be used for selecting agri-businesses, irrigators, CSA/Lead farmers and Nutrition Club members for quantitative semi-structured interviews;
- Preparing the survey questionnaires and semi-structured interview guidelines for smallholders, service providers and public sector institutions;
- Programming the questionnaires on the electronic survey platform used for data collection in the field, including automatic data validation and skip logic
- Hiring and training of enumerators
- Field testing the questionnaire and making adjustments, in consultation with the PMU and its partners
- Conducting data collection and ensuring quality of collected data
- Undertaking statistical analysis of collected data; and
- Preparing a Draft and Final report of the study
7.0 Qualifications, Skills Requirement and Estimated level of Effort
The appointed firm (The Consultant) must show evidence for extensive experience and proven ability on undertaking surveys and data analysis. The research Team should have:
A Senior Team Leader, with Mastersâ€™ Degree one of the following fields of expertise: Agronomy, Agricultural Economics, Economics, Rural Development with a minimum of 10 yearsâ€™ experience in leading teams in sectoral baseline surveys in rural area and data analysis.
One Statistician with Bachelorâ€™s Degree in statistics and Demography with at least five (5) yearsâ€™ experience in similar assignments
One Nutritionist with Bachelorâ€™s Degree in Nutrition and/or Food Safety with five to ten yearsâ€™ experience in Nutrition related studies and/or assessments
One Agricultural expert with Bachelorâ€™s Degree in Agriculture Economics, Agronomy, Rural development and Nutrition with at least five (5) yearsâ€™ experience
The following expertise areas are required for these tasks:
- Survey questionnaire design and field data collection
- Multi-level data analysis and data collection
A team of trained enumerators with experience in conducting household survey interviews and semi-structured interviews with stakeholders.
It is required that each member of the team proposed by the consultant is professionally qualified for the role s/he is assigned within the study team.
The consultant will also require and ensure that there is support and administrative staff that should form part of the budget
The Consultant is expected to respond to the clientâ€™s requirements and to deliver an end-result that meets the Clientâ€™s quality and timing needs.
Table 3: Evaluation Criteria
|Experience of key experts||20|
Only bidders who have obtained 70% and above will be invited to submit Technical Proposals and Financial Proposals whereby detailed RFP will be shared with such shortlisted bidders.
The Consultant is required to produce the following reports:
- Deliverable 1:
- An Inception Report due in two weeks from commencement of assignments: The report will detail The Consultantâ€™s services together with survey design and approaches to be adopted. The Inception report should be presented to the client before the field work and should comprise the following: Sampling frame, techniques and tools for data collection (draft questionnaire(s), guiding questions, manuals and instructions, etc)
Proposed methodology and detailed fieldwork plan indicating time for the tasks to be undertaken and the duration of field work, logistics for data collection, proposed sampling method and proposed structure of the final report and any comments and suggestions on the current TORs.
Indicative timelines for activities including milestones and dates for the submission of deliverables.
Deliverable 2: Recruitment and training and filed work Plan for enumerators
- The consulting firm is expected to recruit enumerators based on organizational chart with indication on full list of the team (Data Manager, Field Manager, Project Manager, etc)
- Training plan should include and show timelines for verification and pilot pre-testing of data collection tools that will assist in assessing capability of enumerators
Deliverable 3: A Draft Fieldwork Report due thirteen weeks from commencement with preliminary findings highlighting the following:
- Detailed description of work conducted in the field and the main results obtained based on the objectives described in the field work plan
- List of villages visited and number of individual and group interviews conducted
- A final Report due two weeks from submission of draft report that includes all the relevant findings and recommendations. Draft and Final Reports should have the following outline a) Background; b) Objectives of the study; c) Methodology; d) Discussion of the results; e) Conclusions and Recommendations; and f) Annexes (Questionnaires, Relevant Tables, List of Interviewed Government Institutions, etc)
In addition to the report, the consulting firm is expected to deliver to the client an electronic (excel) file with the data collected during the interviews. The Firm should also keep for at least three (3) years, the original questionnaires completed during interviews
All the reports should be presented in English.
9.0 Duration and Supervision Assignments
The Consultancy is expected to be conducted in the period of September to December 2023. The expected duration of the field assignment is 85 days.
The Annual Outcome Survey will be implemented under supervision of Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. The Consultant is to report to Smallholder Agriculture Development Project 2 (SADP) Project Director on a regular basis while working closely with M&E Manager in the Project management Unit.
10. 0 Facilities to be provided the Client (SADPII)
Venue/Office Space for meetings with stakeholders around PMU premises
Project Documents indicating project implementation guidelines (PAD, PIM, Project Operational Manual(s), etc)
Project logframe containing the indicators that must be populated with data from this AOS
Details of previously supported SADP Beneficiaries for sampling and analysis of indicators
Questionnaires and reports of the project baseline survey and the first AOS (for reference only; substantial changes will need to be made).
11. CLIENT ASSIGNMENT MANAGEMENT AND REPORTING ARRANGEMENTS
The consultant is subject to a periodic performance review. The performance evaluation shall be based on the work program/ plan prepared at the beginning of each rated period.
Project Director â€“ SADP II is responsible for the coordination of activities acceptance and approval of the reports.
The attention of interested Consultants is drawn to Section III paragraphs 3.14 to 3.17 of THE World Bankâ€™s Procurement Regulations for IPF Borrowers, PROCUREMENT IN INVESTMENT PROJECT FINANCING Goods, Works, Non-Consulting and Consulting Services, Fourth Edition, November 2020, setting forth the World Bankâ€™s policy on conflict of interest. A consultant will be selected in accordance with the selection of Individual Consultants Method set out in the Procurement Regulations.
The short-listed candidate will be requested to participate in personal interviews and submit the names and contact details of personal referees who can attest to their abilities. A pre-employment screening and background check will be done on all short-listed candidates. The successful candidate must understand the objectives and delivery mechanisms of the projectsâ€™ portfolio. He/she must be willing to work in a team, be flexible to emerging or changing conditions, and undertake initiative in his/her broad field of actions.
The attention of interested Consultants is drawn to Section III paragraph 3.14 to 3.17 of THE WORLD BANKâ€™S Procurement Regulations for IPF Borrowers, PROCUREMENT IN INVESTMENT PROJECT FINANCING Goods, Works, Non-Consulting and Consulting Services, Fourth Edition, November 2020, setting forth the World Bankâ€™s policy on conflict of interest. A consultant will be selected in accordance with selection of Individual Consultants Method set out in the Procurement Regulations.
Expressions of interest accompanied by a detailed delivered in written form to the address below by email by 12:00hrs local time on the 21st September 2023 clearly marked â€˜â€™ Expression of Interest for the consultancy to develop annual outcome surveyâ€
To: Project Director SADP
Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
Department of Livestock Services -Moshoeshoe 11
P.O. Box 24
Maseru 100 Lesotho.