Consulting Services: INDIVIDUAL CONSULTANT TO CONDUCT IMPACT EVALUATION OF FARA’S MEDIUM TERM OPERATIONAL PLAN (2014 – 2018): Ref: FARA/MDTF/CS/IC/2018/05

This request for expressions of interest follows the general procurement notice for this project that appeared in the Market, issue no. 4577029 of November 10, 2009.

A. INTRODUCTION
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is the apex continental organization mandated to coordinate agricultural research and innovation in Africa and advocate for its effective deployment as a driver for agricultural growth. FARA also serves as the technical arm of the Africa Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) on matters concerning science, technology and innovation for agriculture.

FARA intends to apply part of the proceeds for the following consultancy services: TO CONDUCT AN IMPACT EVALUATION OF FARA’S MEDIUM TERM OPERATIONAL PLAN (2014 – 2018).

The mission of FARA is to contribute to generating high, broad-based and sustainable agricultural growth by catalyzing improvements in the productivity and competitiveness of the sector through increased and effective application of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). FARA executes its mission by performing the following functions within the context of supporting the implementation of the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa: (i) advocacy for increased application of STI in agriculture which is a necessary

condition for achieving national and continental agricultural development goals; (ii) strengthening the human, institutional and systemic capacities for agricultural innovation; (iii) facilitating the exchange of information and knowledge in STI for agriculture; and (iv) facilitating partnerships among research, innovation and agribusiness actors within Africa as well as between Africa and external regional or national entities.
This impact evaluation is necessitated by the development of a new strategy and
operational plan for FARA. FARA’s current strategy and operational plan will end in December 2018. The core source of funding for the operational plan, i.e. FARA’s Multi- Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) is also set to close in December 2018. This end date is the main trigger for the impact evaluation is the formulation of a new strategy at this time, requiring an impact evaluation of the current strategy with a view to incorporate the necessary learning for the new strategy.

ABOUT the MTOP
Since its formation, FARA has gone through three phases of strategic planning. The first FARA Strategic Plan (FARA Strategy 2002-2012) had a Medium-Term Operational Plan (2002-2006). The second Strategic Plan (2007-2016) and Medium Term and Operational Plan (2008 – 2012) focused on “Enhancing African Agricultural Innovation Capacity”. In 2012, FARA launched its third Medium Term Operational Plan (MTOP 2) 2014- 2018MTOP 2 were based on a time horizon covering 2014-2018. Two years into the implementation of the Plan, a number of fundamental changes not anticipated by the Plan have taken place on the continent, including the launch of CAADP Phase II; the launch of the AU Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024), which succeeded the Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action, 2006-2014 and the endorsement by African Heads of State and Government of the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A). These made the revision or a recast of the MTOP a necessity.

The aim of the recast MTOP is to reposition FARA to lead the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) movement in agriculture and put STI to work for agriculture in Africa. FARA’s operations during the MTOP2R period were driven by the following three Core Programmes, i) Knowledge Management and Decision Support, ii) Capacity Development for Implementation of the Science Agenda, iii) Innovation Systems and Partnerships.

Within the MTOP implementation period, the following strategic outcomes were targeted:
• Development of S3A Priority Setting Framework and Operational Guidelines
• Production of Knowledge-Based Products and Services
• Building and Strengthening Implementation Capacity for the Science Agenda including operationalisation of the Science for Development Consortium
• Establishment and Strengthening of Capacity for Managing Innovation Platforms and Systems
• Development of AR4D and S3A Implementation Quality Control System
• Strengthening of Partnerships for financing Implementation of the Science Agenda
• Facilitation of the Creation of S3A Funds and Development of Innovative Financing Mechanisms

B. OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSIGNMENT

FARA’s purpose in undertaking the Impact Evaluation is hinged on three principal objectives: (i) To provide accountability in the achievement of its objectives by providing an independent opinion of its programme effectiveness, ii) To assess the relevance, efficiency, impact and sustainability of FARA work and (iii) To identify and disseminate lessons learned from experiences gathered so far in the implementation of its MTOPs. The Evaluation will seek to answer the following evaluation questions:
1. Effectiveness – focusing on questions including, what changes actually occurred as
a result of FARA’s interventions? What is the evidence that FARA’s overall goal, targets as well as standard indicators as set out in the MTOP have been reached. A special focus will be to isolate the changes that may be clearly attributable to the MDTF funding.

2. Efficiency- focusing on questions such as “Level of satisfaction with the goods, products and services provided by FARA”; “Why the targeted stakeholders used or did not use these goods, products and services”; and “Whether women received different services to their male counterparts”

3. Relevance-focusing on questions related to how FARA’s MTOP was aligned and contributed to continental, regional and national priorities for transformation of Agriculture

4. Sustainability – focusing on the key FARA products and how these are being used at National and continental level; the demands on FARA services and support and financial health of the organisation

5. The Impact questions will focus on the main long-term benefits that FARA has contributed to the AR4D landscape in Africa as well as the changes that can be attributable to FARA’s work.

6. The evaluation will also assess the quality of FARA’s M&E system and provide
recommendations on how it can be improved.

C. SCOPE OF WORK:

The Impact Evaluation will cover all activities undertaken by FARA during the MTOP period (2014 – 2018). The Impact Evaluation will also attempt to isolate and assess specific impacts than can be attributable to the MDTF.
The Impact Evaluation will employ a Mixed-method along participatory and consultative approaches. It will include both qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis to ensure credibility and clear attribution of results to activities.

FARA proposes to adopt two approaches to evaluation, namely: Quasi-experimental and Non-experimental approaches. It is noteworthy that FARA will not use the Experimental Approach due to the complexities involved in undertaking such evaluations. FARA is unlikely to apply this approach because most of the projects were not designed with this approach in mind.

To objectively ensure generation of evidence of impact, FARA plans to apply Quasi- experimental design by using pre- and post-test for the treated group. In addition, the use of Non-experimental approach focusing on theory-based mechanisms such as Theory of Change, Results Framework as well as Performance Monitoring Plans (PMPs) will be explored. In using this approach, FARA will focus less on comparing different groups, but will heavily require understanding of the baseline scenario and building its argument by plausibly associating the interventions with all the observed changes using the mixed-methods.

The inception report the draft report shall be presented at FARA. The following steps are critical;
• Literature Review– focusing on Annual Performance reports, MTOP2R, S3A, CAADP, STI reports of other organizations as well as evaluation methods etc.;
• Instrumentation: based on the review of literature and methodologies, an appropriate Impact Evaluation method is described, and its instrumentation developed.

• Data Collection and Field Visits are anticipated for partners including AUC/NEPAD, AFAAS and SROs, AGRA, RUFORUM, PAFO, EU, World Bank plus a
selected number of countries and project partners
• Interviews and National Consultations: As much as possible, the Impact Evaluation should be consultative; involving partners from National, Regional and global levels where feasible.
• The impact evaluation will include audio-visual recording plus other innovative
ways of recording and sharing the impact of FARA’s work.

D. OUTPUTS / DELIVERABLES AND MILESTONES:

The following key deliverables are expected:

• Submit an inception report detailing the methodology and instruments to executing the assignment one week after signing of contract and present the inception report at FARA.
• Undertake evaluation missions to key AR4D partners in Africa

• Submit a draft impact evaluation report and present the report one month after the inception report. The draft report should include clips, videos on reports of FARA’s work and impact
• Submit a final impact evaluation report one week after the validation; including videos, documentaries etc.

E. DURATION OF THE ASSIGNMENT

The duration of the assignment is 40 -man days between September and October 2018.

F. LOCATION OF THE ASSIGNMENT

Visits and interviews are anticipated for partners including AUC/NEPAD, AFAAS and SROs, AGRA, RUFORUM, PAFO, EU, World Bank including a selected number of countries and project partners. The inception report and instruments as well as the validation report shall be presented at FARA.

G. PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
The Impact Evaluation will be undertaken with the highest standards of professional and ethical competence and integrity. Delivery of the listed tasks in Sections C and D in a most effective and efficient manner, within the period of the assignment

H. REPORTING:
The Consultant will report directly to the Director for Research and Innovation on behalf of FARA.

I. FACILITIES TO BE PROVIDED BY FARA:

Where necessary, FARA will provide the following to the consultants:

• Travel and accommodation while in Accra or anywhere else to attend to
stakeholders’ consultations/data gathering
• Any other logistical support, as may be agreed, to facilitate execution of the assignment

J. REQUIRED:

The Consultant should have the following expertise:

• Have a PhD degree in Agricultural Economics, Rural Sociology, Agriculture or Development studies.

• Have over 8 years professional or post-graduation experience in Agricultural Research for Development in Africa and CAADP processes

• Excellent track record of conducting Impact Evaluation, Ex-ante Evaluations on Agricultural Research and Development at a regional and continental level.

• Be hands-on with qualitative and quantitative techniques of data analysis, ability to undertaken online surveys

• Access to already existing data is highly desirable

• The Consultant should show demonstrated ability to document and show impact using documentaries, videos, social media etc

• Have demonstrable ability to write concise technical reports.

• Excellent English writing and communication skills are required; French proficiency will be an added advantage

K. APPLICATIONS

Interested candidates should send their expression of interest and comprehensive curriculum vitae via email to the address below by close of business on Friday 31st August 2018.

Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo Executive Director
Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) PMB CT 173, Cantonments, Accra, Ghana Telephone: +233 302 772823/744888
Email: recruitment@faraafrica.org

For further clarification, you may contact Dr. Irene Annor-Frempong at:

ifrempong@faraafrica.org or Dr. Raymond Jatta rjatta@faraafrica.org

FARA Affirmative Action Statement on Employment: there is no discrimination on the basis of gender race, religion, ethnic orientation, disability or health status.

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