Career Center

Baseline Study of Indonesia Spice Trade Alliance Project (ISTA) project

Baseline Study of Indonesia Spice Trade Alliance Project (ISTA) project

I.                   Context

To access the complete request for proposal, please click here.

This Request for Proposal (RFP) is soliciting proposals from qualified individuals or organizations interested in implementing the baseline study of Indonesia Spice Trade Alliance Project (ISTA) project, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and implemented by NCBA CLUSA. This request calls for a technical firm with demonstrated abilities to design and implement evaluation and research studies and collect data from multiple stakeholders along the cinnamon, vanilla, and black pepper value chain.  This RFP was drafted in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significant impacts on the process and the timeline of this study. Therefore, a Contingency Plan was submitted to USDA for starting selected activities before the baseline is completed. This Plan helped identify activities to be started before the baseline survey and will specify when each activity is planned to happen, with what resources and for what goal.

Indonesia Spice Trade Alliance Project (ISTA), funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a five-year program with the following objectives: 1) to increase productivity and efficiency in three Indonesian spice value chains (black pepper, cinnamon, and vanilla) through strengthening the capacities of farmers, cooperatives, and other private entities; and 2) to improve and expand the trade of black pepper, cinnamon, and vanilla products through improving crop quality to meet international standards; strengthening cooperatives; strengthening public-private partnerships; connecting farmers and cooperatives with Indonesian and U.S. international spice traders; improving environmental resiliency, Rainforest Alliance (RA) certification, and crop diversity; and linking recent university graduates to careers in extension services.

ISTA will be active in five locations across the Indonesian archipelago:

Papua Province – 14 sub-districts in Jayapura District; 5 sub-districts in Jayapura City; 4 sub-districts in Keerom District; 5 sub-districts in Sarmi District; 5 sub-districts in Biak-Numfor Districts

South Sulawesi Province – 6 sub-districts in Bulukumba District; 2 sub-districts in Sinjai District; 2 sub-districts in Bantaeng District; 8 sub-districts in Tana Toraja District; 1 sub-district in Enrekang District; Luwu District; Luwu Utara District

Jambi Province – Kerinci District

Lampung Province – Lampung District; Lampung Timur District

North Sumatra Province – Tapanuli Selatan District; Tapanuli Utara District; Mandailing Natal District; Padang Lawas District

The main project office will be located in Klaten, Central Java.

II.                Application


Application may not exceed 12 pages and must be on 8.5 by 11 inch or A4 size paper, single spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font with one-inch margin on all sides, including consecutive page numbers, data of submission, and applicant’s name on a header or footer.

  1. Technical proposal

The technical proposal must reflect how the offeror will carry out the tasks included in the work. Candidate companies will provide a detailed plan of the specific activities, the timetable for carrying out the mission, as well as the data collection and analysis activities. In addition, it will include a proposal for the statistical approach and analysis methodology.

  1. Financial application

The candidate companies/consultants will propose a realistic estimate of the cost of this mission, including a detailed budget and a justification of the expenditure. The budget will only contain costs that can be directly attributed to the proposed activities, with an explanation of the line items. All training costs, such as rental of premises, advance transport, etc. must be clearly articulated for each training. Applicants must present adequate administrative and financial systems to manage the funds covered by this agreement. If the candidate companies charge overhead, they will need to provide their NICRA. Assuming that quasi-experimental design is feasible in light of COVID19, the maximum amount available is $225,000.  Pre- and post- design envisioned as an alternative approach. In such circumstances, the total cost of evaluation will be readjusted. Evaluators should submit two cost proposals for quasi-experimental as well as pre-post design.

  1. Organization

The candidate companies/consultants must briefly list and describe their history, vision, objectives, legal status, ownership and management structure, current projects / services, current clients / assignors, current geographic scope and experience.

  1. Personnel

The candidate companies/consultants must briefly list and describe the names and qualifications of the key personnel assigned to the assignment (the CVs of the proposed staff must be included in the Annex). The key personnel will include 1) Principal Investigator – Master’s in Statistics and 5 years of experience in research and evaluation; 2) Senior Surveyor- Master’s in Social Sciences and minimum of 5 years of experience in research and evaluation; 3) Data Specialist – Bachelor and minimum of 3 years of experience in data management and analysis; 4) Agro-economist/Agriculture Specialist – Master’s in agriculture or economics with minimum of 5 years of experience.

The proposed team should preferably be multidisciplinary and contain persons with experience and qualifications as team leader with extensive experience designing and implementing evaluations and analyzing the results, with experience in the target regions, and to include; agricultural economist, rural development, economic development and data collection activities and  database and information system management skills. The team will also include a data entry team; and enumerators.

  1. Proof of Experience

Applicant companies/consultants will have to prove their experience in similar missions by providing a list of all contracts and/or cooperative agreements involving similar or related work during the last two years. Additionally, the applicants must submit at least three reference letters from previous consultancies.


  1. Legal registration

Candidate companies/consultants’ engagement is subject to the consultant obtaining necessary visas and work authorization.

III.              Deliverables


The select evaluator will provide the following deliverables to NCBA CLUSA in the course of evaluation implementation:

  1. Inception Report: that will include methodology, sampling approach, data analysis, field procedures. The inception report will also include data quality assurance plan and method
  2. Data Collection and Analysis Tools: Set of questionnaires, formats, and software used to collect and analyze data and their implementation guidelines and sample code
  3. Weekly Progress Reports: A written and/or electronic report of the evaluation’s progress made in the field covering key scheduled activities, completion status and constrains found in regard to data collection
  4. Initial Presentation: A PowerPoint presentation on results and conclusion of the evaluation. The presentation should not be more than 15 slides
  5. Draft Evaluation Report: The team will submit an electronic draft report to NCBA CLUSA key staff (Project COP and M&E Specialist; and Program Manager at HQ) and USDA Analyst, who will provide comments for revision. The draft will include all of the sections required in the Final Evaluation Report below.
  6. Final Evaluation Report: The team will submit a written and electronic document that includes an executive summary, table of contents, methodology, findings, conclusions, lessons learned and recommendations. The report will also include annexes that will have all custom and standard indicators with disaggregates and updated values in comparison to baseline values. All final versions of international food assistance evaluation reports will be made publicly available. Evaluators shall provide a copy of the evaluation reports that is free of personally identifiable information (PII) and proprietary information. Final versions of evaluation reports ready for publication should be accessible to persons with disabilities.  The report will be submitted in English.
  7. Data Files: The team will submit a database with all collected information and analytical framework, including raw field notes, transcribed notes, raw tabulated data, cleaned data, and all annotated code used for analysis and data cleaning.


For more information, please contact Gary Swisher at

To access the complete request for proposal, please click

Apply now

Proposal & Consultant Opportunities View all

Chief of Party - Mozambique

Mozambique Learn More

Baseline Study of Indonesia Spice Trade Alliance Project (ISTA) project - Indonesia

Indonesia Learn More

Field Extension Agent - Malawi

Malawi Learn More

Extension Service Specialist - Malawi

Malawi Learn More

Climate Smart Agriclture (CSA) Specialist - Malawi

Malawi Learn More

Producer Organization (PO) Specialist - Malawi

Malawi Learn More