- Subject: Terms of Reference (ToR) for Baseline Study
- Job Title: Consultant to carry out the Baseline study
- Commissioner: VSF-Germany on behalf of the Republic of South Sudan
- Project: South Sudan Livelihoods Response Project (SSLRP)
- Duration: 45 days
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND PURPOSE OF THE ASSIGNMENT.
Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Germany (VSF-G) is an international Non-Governmental Organization, providing humanitarian and development assistance to pastoralists and vulnerable communities in areas where livestock is of importance. VSF-G supports in animal health, livestock related agriculture, marketing, food safety, drought responses and mitigation, capacity development of communities and governmental institutions, peace and conflict resolution with the ultimate aim of livelihood security of pastoralist communities. In the region VSF Germany implements activities in the Republic of South Sudan, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia.
VSF-Germany has been in South Sudan since 1998 covering the States of Upper Nile, Jonglei, Warrap, Eastern Equatoria, Western Bar el Ghazal and Lakes State, supporting emergency and recovery programmes alongside communities in the said States. However, in August 2022, VSF-Germany signed a 6-year contract with the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) to lead the implementation of South Sudan Livelihoods and Resilience Project (SSLRP) designed to cover 15 Payams in the 3 States of Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei. The specific purpose of the project is to improve food and nutrition security of the benefiting households through improved farm production and income. To do so, the project adopted a community-driven development (CDD) as an approach that will contribute to improved food and nutrition security of the primary target groups, who are considered food insecure smallholder producers found in 15 Payams in the 5 selected Counties and are engaged in fishing, cropping, and livestock production, and they specific attention to facilitate their social integration in agricultural production and economic activities.
This baseline intends to assist VSF Germany and its contracting partners (Government of South Sudan and IFAD) in collecting qualitative and quantitative baseline data for each of the project indicators (see attached logframe at the annex) that will be used to monitor and evaluate the progress of the project, update the project’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system, and revise the project documents
BACKGROUND OF THIS ASSIGNMENT
SSLRP was designed to ‘contribute to improved and resilient livelihoods among the targeted rural communities”. The project targets 38,800 different categories of farming and non-farming households(225,040 individuals) located in 15 Payams to be identified in the 5 Counties of Bor South (Jonglei), Kajo-Keji and Terrekkeka (Central Equatoria), Torit and Magwi (Eastern Equatoria). It is estimated that nearly 10% of the target population (22,504) will be returnees and that 24% of the households reached (9,312) will be female-headed households. Target groups will be mainly women 50% and youth 50%. Of the youth, 60% shall be females aged between 15 and 35 years, living in rural areas, unemployed and with low educational levels. The project will give priority to the poorest and most disadvantaged socio-economic categories like women, women headed household youth, persons with disabilities and returnees.
The Project Development Objective is to ‘empower communities to participate in decision-making processes that will recover agriculture livelihoods, build household resilience and promote stability’. The development objective of the project will be achieved through the effective implementation of two technical components: a) Community Driven Development Planning and b) Agriculture Production and Rural Livelihood Support. The third component, Project Support and Capacity Building, will seek to ensure that SSLRP is effectively implemented, including the provision of capacity building to selected GoSS institutions at the central and local levels and supporting the development of key policies (i.e., Cooperatives Policy Framework and Rural Financial Policy Framework). Lastly, component 0 on Disaster Response and Risk Mitigation, will provide a timely response to emergency events (e.g., weather extremes, pest attack, conflict, COVID-19, etc.).
SSLRP acknowledges that rehabilitated and stabilized livelihood systems are precondition for rural development. Hence, increasing agricultural production and productivity through SSLRP – whether by households expanding land under agriculture and/or through improved agricultural practices – can support GoRSS policy aiming at reducing dependency on food aid, and food importation. This is in addition to improving food and nutrition security and household incomes. The project deliberately adopted the CDD approach to:
- Enhanced the ownership of the process and outcomes of development resulting from the project, which will introduce innovations (gender and climate responsive interventions) that will lead to better relatedness, farm incomes and food diversifications, increase own farm production, increase household consumption of more nutritious and healthy food. – Bring about greater inter community cohesion and improved relationships with their leaders, which can lead to the stabilisation of the local environment and increased networking and linkages with others. – Rehabilitation and/or construction of climate-smart community infrastructure – reducing the effects of heavy rainfall events and floods on livelihoods and market access. – Improvement in the beneficiaries’ access to nutrient dense and climate-resilient crop production; and – Improvement in local governance of agricultural investments
The indicators for progress made towards the achievement of the intended objective are shown at the annex.
OVERALL OBJECTIVE OF THE CONSULTANCY
This consultancy will assist VSF Germany, collect valuable and gender disaggregated social and economic baseline data for all the indicators of the project – to be used as benchmarks to assess achievements and to monitor and evaluate the project performance. Specifically, the consultant will:
a). Assess social and economic baseline status of the beneficiaries (both on and off-farm) towards food and nutrition security and the connectedness to existing community infrastructures available to promote agricultural production and productivity, market access and off-farm activities
b). Analyse current production environment, in terms of supportive infrastructure, fragility, conflicts and conflict potentials (key aspects including conflict phenomena and causes, trends, relevant actors and their strategies, potential and capacities, local strategies/politics and donors’ strategies)
c). To develop recommendations on how CDD approach can be used to achieve the intended project performance indicators and objectives.
The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the SSLRP Coordinator based in VSF-Germany and in close coordination with SSLRP Manager in the Project Coordination Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. The scope of the baseline survey includes but not limited to collecting socio-economic data and analysis of the information that will be used to develop the benchmark for the project indicators. The geographical scope of the survey covers the 15 Payams selected from the 5 Counties in Jonglei, Central Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria states. The lists of stakeholders and partners that will be met inside and outside the project area are also attached at the Annex. The scope of the work to be undertaken includes desk review of project documents, meeting with stakeholders and partners such as the Government authorities at national, state and county levels, donor representatives, local community leaders, representatives of disadvantaged groups, meeting with VSFG management and project staff, meeting with the IFAD staff and management, designing of data collection tools, collecting data on key project indicators, data analysis, and report writing.
The specific tasks expected to be performed by the consultant include:
- Develop responsive quality technical and financial proposals.
- Review and understand the project documents, which include project proposal narrative, M&E package and log-frame, to support the writing of the Inception Report and the analysis of the overall baseline survey.
- Develop a work plan to undertake the survey.
- Meet with VSFG’s management in Juba, South Sudan to plan for the exercise, develop a timetable for field work, and agree on data collection methods that will be used to collect the data.
- Develop tools for baseline data collection, train the enumerator, and pilot test the data collection tools in addition to refining the tools based on pilot test experience.
- Meet with key stakeholders in South Sudan at national, state levels and at the county level during the study, to collect information and views on the project design, .
- Take part in and oversee data collection in the field; Process and analyse the data.
- Produce baseline survey draft report and present it to VSF-G management in Juba and other relevant key project stakeholders in a validation workshop setting
- Produce the final baseline survey report incorporating comments from validation workshop.
In carrying out the baseline survey, the consultant firm is expected to use best practices and frameworks in food security and livelihoods analysis, such as the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) and employ a scientific survey methodology/COI survey methodology for the outcome indicators. Additionally, the consultant is expected to use simple but effective techniques to ascertain information on the current status of the projectors indicators upon which project performance shall be measured being cognizant of the paucity of quantitative data, high levels of illiteracy and the traditional nature of farming. As a minimum, the approach adopted by the consultant should include the following:
- Use of representative samples in gender and age disaggregated data collection (location, activities, type of smallholders, etc.);
- Ensure inclusiveness in sampling respondents with particular focus on women and the youth;
- Use both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection;
- Identify and interview the project stakeholders;
- Make field visits to the project 15 Payams and Bomas to supervise data collection, make observations and gain first-hand experience of the project context.
- Hold meetings with different beneficiary groups (men, women, youth, people living with disabilities, returnees and IDPs);
- Use standard data processing and analysis software such as SPSS;
- Produce and submit to VSFG the draft report before leaving Juba;
- Incorporate feedback from MAFS, VSFG, IFAD and other relevant stakeholders in the final report.
Timing and deliverables
- Inception report
The inception report shall provide a detailed description of the methodology including detailed description of sampling strategy, data collection and entry procedure as per the baseline survey study questions as well as the proposed source of information The inception report shall outline the contents of all the deliverables. A clear matrix overview is recommended for this.
2. Draft baseline survey report
The consultancy team will develop draft baseline survey report for review by the VSF-G program team and the partners. The report shall be validated by stakeholders in a workshop setting and feedback will be incorporated. The draft report will adopt the format of the final report as presented below.
The detailed baseline survey report of not more than 30 pages of the main body, in line with the project indicators which should include as a minimum: concrete socioeconomic data on target beneficiaries (i.e., income, assets, consumption, community infrastructure, estimate of land under cultivation, current utilization of ox-plough, yields of different crops etc.).
3. Final baseline study report
The consultancy team shall endeavour to develop the final report and present the output in an electronic format to VSF G for approval and adoption. The final report and all related outputs (Word, Excel files to be put in PDF as well) will be submitted according to the baseline study timeline. The report will have the following structure:
- Cover page (1 page)
- Table of Contents (1 page)
- Acknowledgements (1 page)
- Glossary (1 page)
- Introduction (1 page)
- Project summary sheet (1 page)
- Executive summary (2 Pages)
- Methodology (max 2 pages)
- Key Findings (max 10 pages)
- Appendices (to include copies of all tools, list of enumerators, survey timeline including all KII and FGD participants and discussion transcripts, (as many pages as necessary- please reference the annexes in the report but include them in a zip file as separate documents.
The final report will be accompanied by the following deliverables:
- A 2-page baseline study summary and soft copy of dataset.
- An Indicator Summary Sheet, giving status of all indicators measured in the baseline study
4. Consultancy team composition, roles and responsibilities
Each member of the baseline study team shall have designated roles and responsibilities for the delivery of the baseline study.
Details on required team composition can be found in the ToR
5. Tentative itinerary
- Team composition and required competencies
The evaluation team shall compose of male and female members with a comprehensive mix of competencies in agricultural livelihoods development and social research methodologies. These will be complemented with at least five years’ experience in related programming and programme research. Extensive experience in the specific fields in the Horn of Africa and South Sudan in particular will be required. Excellent communication skills (in English and or/ local languages) as well as demonstrated writing and presentation skills are requisite. The team shall comprise of at least one male and one female member conducting relevant data collection methods throughout the entire field mission.
Firm expertise and required qualification
- Previous experience in carrying out formative evaluation surveys is a compulsory requirement, including demonstrated experience in designing and conducting evaluations and of organizing surveys on the scale of this project.
- Strong capacity and experience in planning and organizing survey logistics.
- Good network of experienced enumerators, supervisors and data entry clerks.
- Strong capacity in data management and statistics.
- Strong capacity in survey analysis and reporting of results.
- Strong interpersonal skills and a ream oriented spirit.
- Experience doing household survey work and carrying out evaluations in South Sudan is desirable.
- Strong background in statistics and econometrics.
Qualifications of the Team Leader
The Team Leader should have the following expertise:
- Have at least a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics, Social Sciences, Rural Development, Agriculture or other Development studies. A PhD degree will an added advantage.
- Be able to constitute a team of consultants with the relevant experience and competencies to perform the assignments.
- Have over 8 years professional or post-graduation experience in Agricultural Research for Development in Africa.
- Have excellent track record of conducting Baseline Studies, Impact Evaluation, Ex-ante Evaluations on Agricultural Research and Development at a regional level.
- Be hands-on with qualitative and quantitative techniques of data analysis, ability to undertaken online surveys.
- Having access to already existing data is highly desirable.
- Have demonstrable ability to write concise technical reports.
Qualifications of the Junior Consultants:
The Junior Consultant should have the following expertise:
- Have at least a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics, Social Sciences, Gender and Child Protection, Rural Development, Agriculture or other Development studies.
- At least 4 years professional or post-graduation experience in Agricultural Research for Development in Africa.
Be hands-on with qualitative and quantitative techniques of data analysis, ability to undertaken online surveys communication skills are required
The survey team will be updated on prevailing local context and other conditions as they are arise during the exercise. Some highlights include the following:
- Travel*:* All international flights land in Juba, it is not possible to fly to field locations on the same day. Field flights are only during week days. The consultant/s should also note that internal flight schedules occasionally change, leading to unplanned delays. VSF will cover the cost of all internal flights and road transport.
- Accommodation: Consultants will be housed in hotels and VSFG guesthouses.
- ***Data entry:***VSF will not supply data entry clerks or computers for data entry. Consultants are responsible for all data entry and management. All data sets must be provided to VSF in soft copy at the time of submission and will remain the property of VSF G and its donors for use in community development.
Data will in most instances be collected from non-English speakers. However, tools will not be translated into the local language. A way around this matter will be developed in discussion with project staff, VSF program staff and the consultant.
- Operation arrangements
- Accommodation and transport will be provided by VSF;
- Translators/enumerators, drivers, facilitators, office space, printing of questionnaires etc. will be provided by VSF;
- The contact person in South Sudan will be the Country Programme Manager;
- The focal person in the field will be the Project Manager;
- Security advisory issues will be provided by VSF;
- VSF will take care of internal travels but in case of international flights, the consultant will organize and VSF will pay reasonable prices incurred only.
- Reference materials
Relevant documents will be availed for the consultant to support during the secondary information desk reviews. The consultant will be encouraged to identify any other sources for appropriate additional information that may be required to supplement what is provided by the project.
The Project Team will share the following documents with the Consultants for reference.
- Full project proposal
- Project agreement contract
- Project Implementation Manual
- Project log frame
- COI guidelines
- Sudan Population and Housing Census report 2008
- National Baseline Household Survey
- FAO/WFP food security assessment/survey reports
- County Profiling Report
- Investing in Agriculture for Food Security & Economic Transformation – UNDP
Budget and payment
VSF G will take care of the expenses such as the consultant’s charges, international travel, in country travel, accommodation full board, and fuel for vehicles to be used during the survey period, enumerators’ allowances and lunches; stationery and communication costs.
The following costs will not be covered by the organization and should be factored into the consultancy and related fee which the consultant will submit with the application.
- Costs for data handling, entry and processing
- Communication cost
- Report writing and printing
The proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria;
- Technical and financial proposals that clearly explain the understanding of the Terms of Reference; clarifying proposed approaches and methodologies to be used in carrying out the baseline study
- Proposed personnel for the assignment
- Profile of the applicant – corporate or individual
- A work sample, specifically a previous evaluation or assessment report written
The 38,800 households are roughly 27% of the three states combined, and approximately corresponds to 225,040 people. Of these, about 60% or 135,024 will be women, and 70% or I57,528 will be youth
Proposals should be submitted electronically to the following Email addresses: [email protected] with copies to [email protected] indicating on the subject line thus “BASELINE SSLRP” followed by an abbreviation of the applicant’s name. The closing date for receiving proposals is 11.59 pm 2nd December 2022. Selection will be done on a rolling basis. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.
- Job City Juba