CONSULTANCY SERVICE CALL FOR MID-TERM REVIEW
“Research for Development and Innovation Agriculture and Learning” (ReDial)
The ReDIAL project was designed against the background that in Ghana, agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, with an estimated 50 per cent of the population engaged in the entire agriculture value chain. Farming provides the lifeline for millions of livelihoods in Ghana by offering work and food. The key challenges have been the low and inadequate levels of innovative technology to enhance productivity through improved soil fertility, improved harvesting and processing and reduced post-harvest losses. Also, weak market linkages, limited financial facilities and low extension services constrain the growth in on-farm productivity. One of the research gaps is that Ghanaian soils fertility variations within specific local context are not known therefore, mass application of inorganic fertilizers has not yielded the desired results. Another challenge is that cereal and grain farmers use manual threshing to process their produce, and this contributes to post harvest losses and requires time and drudgery with the use of women and child labour for the threshing. In addition, most crop farmers do not use climate smart agricultural practices thus contributing to deforestation and soil degradation in many areas.
Objectives of the ReDIAL Project:
The objective of the project is to contribute to transformation and innovation in agriculture and food systems in Ghana through action research, application of innovative technologies and organization of farmers and multi-stakeholder platforms. The specific objective is to foster innovation for improving soil fertility in Ghana by generating scientific knowledge and data while applying innovative technology to improve threshing of grains and cereals.
Expected Results and Main activities.
The project will deliver the following six (6) expected results to achieve the objectives:
Result 1: Scientific data on specific soil nutrient deficiency established within target landscapes and knowledge for application of specific soil nutrient enrichment enhanced.
Result 2: Research to assess alternatives for improved soil fertility developed and information on efficient and conducive service delivery to small scale farmers enhanced nationally.
Result 3: Functional and sustainable grains and cereals threshing improvement established and productivity and income of smallholder farmers improved.
Result 4: Functional Multi-Stakeholder platform established, and national policy implementation influenced with Action findings.
Result 5: Decent jobs created, and knowledge and skills transferred to 1000 youth and unemployed graduates to provide services on the use of the Farmsense and Solar Powered Multi-Crop Thresher technologies.
Result 6: Land degradation and biodiversity loss reduced, and climate change resilience increased through the uptake of sustainable land management and Climate Smart Agricultural practices at the landscape level in priority landscapes.
Key Expected Outputs of the Project
The ReDIAL project is expected to contribute to Agricultural Knowledge by:
1. Identifying, documenting and disseminating of soil nutrient input requirements for specific geographical locations and targeted crops.
2. Sharing information and contributing to knowledge of options for improving soil fertility in the selected agricultural landscapes.
3. Building capacity of farmers to make informed decisions on fertilizer application and use of climate compatible technology for improving soil fertility and crop yields.
4. Providing gender perspectives and targeted support to women and youth engaged in farming and enabling them access to the innovative technologies that will help them to increase their farm productivity.
5. Supporting marginalized cereals, grains, cocoa and vegetable farmers in rural areas within 3 ecological zones namely, the Guinea Savannah, Transitional and the Semi Deciduous Forest Ecological Zones of Ghana.
Other Main Stakeholders:
Target stakeholders that the midterm review is expected to engage include but not limited to the following: Small scale farmers (men, women and Youth) and farmer groups, policy makers and members of parliament, government institutions (Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Managers of the PFJ programme, District Assemblies, etc), media and civil society organizations (CSOs), etc. Traditional leaders, land owners and other stakeholders in the targeted value chain within the respective five (5) project locations.
The Project is in Ghana and being implemented in the following five (5) specific Districts/Municipals and Regions in Ghana: Yendi Municipal of the Northern Region, Techiman Municipality of the Bono East Region, Ejura-Sekyeredumase Municipal of the Ashanti Region, Sefwi Wiawso District of the Western North Region, Kwahu Afram Plains North District of the Eastern Region.
The project is being implemented by a consortium of three (3) partners consisting of Friends of the Nation (FoN) the lead, Tropenbos Ghana (TBG) and the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (FRNR KNUST).
The ReDial project has been being implemented past the halfway mark of the project cycle. It is time to evaluate the project implementation progress against the set targets, revisit log-frame, approaches, and assess the challenges and contextual changes for necessary and strategic adjustments in implementation and management. Therefore, FoN and its project partners are looking for a team of consultants to work with the ReDial MEL officer to conduct a mid-term review (MTR) for the ReDial project. The purpose of the MTR is to assess significance of progress attained and formulate recommendations on how to further strategize and most optimally attain the objectives, including necessary adjustment and supplementary interventions in the remaining period of the project.
- OBJECTIVES OF CONSULTANCY AND AUDIENCE
The primary aim of the mid-term review is to assess the progress to date, provide lessons learnt and strategic recommendations to inform interventions and practical approaches towards achievement of the project set objectives as well as sustaining of the project impact.
The specific objectives of the MTR are to:
- Assess the project progress to date towards targets of specific objectives, results, outputs, and its overall objective (after the 2.5- year period of project implementation);
- Identify unexpected or unplanned factors that may prevent the project from achieving its objectives as well as opportunities to promote and speed up the achievement of project’s positive outcomes and impacts;
- Provide lessons learnt to date and specific recommendations on how to inform future implementation and improve project delivery/approaches and partnerships, including necessary adjustment and supplementary interventions in the remaining period of the project;
- Review and revise project’s M&E system including its indicators and plan for accountability and learning purposes, particularly, the impact indicators should be carefully reviewed against the updated and actual context of the project.
The primary audience of the MTR is the project implementing organizations. The MTR report will also be shared with the EU (donor), relevant stakeholders, partners, and the project benefiting communities.
- KEY STUDY QUESTIONS
The MTR will conduct critical analysis of the following aspects:
- Achievement of project implementation.
- Relevance of the project.
- Efficiency of the project implementation.
- Effectiveness of produced outputs and outcomes
- Cross-cutting issue
- METHODOLOGIES AND METHODS
The consultant is expected to employ a participatory approach of evaluation using a range of both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection where appropriate. This may include, but are not limited to, field visits to project districts (Yendi Municipal of the Northern Region, Techiman Municipality of the Bono East Region, Ejura-Sekyeredumase Municipal of the Ashanti Region, Sefwi Wiawso District of the Western North Region, and Kwahu Afram Plains North District of the Eastern Region); meetings with project teams, partners and related stakeholders, in addition to a desk review of project documents and reports.
The MTR process should incorporate the perspectives of different stakeholders, including but not limited to, small-scale producers, collectors/middleman, processors, MSMEs, financial institutions, local government institutions, local/national partners. Collected data and findings should be disaggregated by sex, age, ethnicity, disability and key actors in the ecosystem – agri-processing MSMEs, mechanical and biomass service provider.
The consultant(s) is expected to carry out the following work:
- Document reviews and design review scope of work.
- Conduct primary data collection in the field with support from ReDial project team.
- Data analysis and report writing
- EXPECTED DELIVERABLES AND TIMELINES
|A review proposal/design that provide methodology, methods, evaluation schedule and tools
|15th Sept – 22nd Sept. 2023
|Data collection tools and set of raw data set
|23rd Sept – 28th Sept. 2023
|First draft report of the review
|29th Sept – 11 Oct. 2023
|One face-to-face debriefing representing key findings of MTR for further consultation with project staff and project partners
|13th – 14th Oct. 2023
|The 2nd version of revised MTR report and PowerPoint presentation
|16th – 26th Oct. 2023
|The final MTR report with an executive summary of the MTR report highlighting key findings and recommendations.
|31st Oct. 2023
- REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSULTANT
The consultant team will report to FoN ReDial project management and work closely with the project team (FoN and partners). The consultants should:
- Possess relevant background in one of the following majors: social sciences, food industry, forestry, environment, natural resource management, economics. Master’s degree in the field is preferred.
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of result-based approach and tools;
- Possess proven experience (at least 10 years) in MEL work for NGO’s development projects, preferably including issues of value chain development, rural economic development, social issues in agricultural sectors. A proven track record in designing and managing M&E system for development is an advantage;
- Have skills and experiences in conducting M&E/ project evaluation activities, assessments, and be familiar with climate smart agriculture and innovation farming technology in Ghana. This will include strong skills in both quantitative and qualitative, methods.
- Demonstrate commitment to inclusiveness and gender equality with experience in integrating gender and diversity issues into project MEL system.
- Be committed to and able to meet the deadline, strong analytical skills, and documentation skills.
- Have excellent writing skills of English.
- PROPOSAL SUBMISSION
Proposal should include:
- Introduction of the Consultant team’s members profile and related experience;
- Technical proposal in achieving all expected objectives within mentioned timeframe (including survey methodology, framework, sampling strategy, data collection tools, detailed workplan for field survey and quality insurance, team structure, etc);
- Financial proposal that specifies number of working days required and consultancy rate;
- Sample(s) of a MTR report for similar tasks.
How to Apply: An application, CV and proposal should be submitted in English by email with subject mentioning “ReDial project Midterm Review” to firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for application: 17.00pm, 4th September, 2023.
Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for an interview.