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Local Conventions: Achievements and Lessons Learned – Burkina Faso & Niger

Local Conventions: Achievements and Lessons Learned – Burkina Faso & Niger



Terms of Reference: Local Conventions: Achievements and Lessons Learned

Anticipated Period of Performance: July 17 – December 20, 2019

Anticipated Level of Effort (LOE): 40 days

Location: Niger and Burkina Faso and Consultant’s place of residence

Submission deadline: Friday, July 12, 2019, at 5PM EST

Submit via email to:   Kiera Derman or Lauren Tyler


USAID defines resilience as the ability of people, households, communities, countries and systems to mitigate, adapt to and recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth. In the broader context, USAID investments in resilience seek to address the root causes of this chronic vulnerability through nutrition-led agriculture and livestock rearing, better health and hygiene, stronger governance and natural resource management and awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation to them.

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the REGIS-ER project has been implemented since 2013 with the aim of strengthening the resilience of the most vulnerable populations in Burkina Faso and Niger by improving their food, nutrition and economic security. REGIS-ER consists of three principal components:

  • Sustainable livelihoods: Diversifying economic opportunities, through agricultural and animal production and marketing, access to financial services.
  • Strengthened governance: Regional capacity building, planning, natural resource management and land use, disaster and conflict risk management.
  • Improved health and nutrition: Access to potable water, capacity development of community health workers, training for nutritious local food consumption and gardening, behavior change communications for health actions, and latrine and well construction

One area of concern revolves around the governance and management of natural resources and the weak systems to contain uncontrolled exploitation, the accelerated degradation or the lack of regulation resulting in the loss of natural resources or conflicts between user groups. To address this concern, REGIS-ER supports the development and implementation of local natural resource management agreements called “local conventions.” The approach implemented by REGIS-ER was first developed by a consortium of partners in the context of a natural resources management activity in Senegal called Wula Nafaa (where the Nature Wealth and Power framework was developed).

The local conventions, resulting from painstaking negotiations among stakeholders to define multi-user rules for access to commons has been replicated by REGIS-ER in Burkina Faso and Niger, particularly to reduce conflicts between farmers and herders. In REGIS-ER, the local conventions are supported by a variety of other project activities to enhance livelihoods, as well as governance mechanisms to encourage citizen engagement, including commune level Citizen Working Groups. Some communes have also developed funding streams (e.g., user fees) to support management and particularly enforcement.

Local conventions establish a set of norms and rules for the access and use of natural resources in a given rural commune. The principal goal is to better manage natural resources, to avoid conflicts related to their use and to preserve the resources for future generations. Between 2014 and 2018, REGIS-ER supported the development of 17 commune-level local conventions (nine in Burkina Faso and eight in Niger). Two additional local conventions are planned in Niger (communes of Filingué and Sakoira) in 2019.

The communes have compelling stories to tell about the benefits of the local conventions. Beyond the initial aim of negotiating livestock corridors to reduce conflict between herders and farmers, some communes have expanded the managed resources to include pastures, woodlands and ponds, as well as corridors, which have been mapped with negotiated usage rights. The benefits include sustainable management of resources, availability of the natural resource products and income. Conflict reduction is another measurable outcome, but as conflict resolution also lies in the purview of the traditional chiefdoms (village chiefs or canton chiefs) the data on impact are not only found in the commune administration database.

The purpose of this consultancy is to document these stories, specifically to assess the body of work in developing and implementing local conventions and their impact, including monographs of the individual commune efforts to map and inventory resources, negotiate the rules and enforcement, and tally the benefits accrued to the communes and the stakeholders.


NCBA CLUSA is seeking a consultant (or team) to thoroughly document and assess the achievements and lessons learned of REGIS-ER in establishing local conventions. The consulting team will review documents and conduct interviews with stakeholders to develop monographs for each (or most) of the communes, including details on the negotiating process, target resources, maps and substantive content of the conventions (investments in improvements and management, sharing of benefits, enforcement).

The consulting team will specifically consider whether:

  • Local people have the organizational, technical and financial capacities to plan and manage the resources of their land in a fair, peaceful and sustainable way. (This should consider also the level of external assistance provided by REGIS-ER, and whether the process can be replicated or sustained with more limited resources.)
  • The operational plan of the local convention is an effective solution to accelerated degradation of natural resources.
  • The management rules of the local convention provide a source of revenue for municipalities to sustain the process.
  • The local convention has a positive impact on the population, the preservation and protection of natural resources, and reduction of conflict.

The consulting team will also identify the challenges and suitability of the “local convention” (as opposed to other legal mechanisms) to protecting and managing natural resources.

The geographical scope of the consultation extends to the REGIS ER target communes where local conventions have been established. The consultant should also look at least one commune that has adopted the practice as a spill-over effect, that is, without REGIS-ER support. Data should also be gathered on trends in conflicts over natural resources in neighboring communes for the purpose of comparison.


The consultant will submit a workplan at the outset of the exercise, research tools, a draft case study report that covers the areas of interest described in the objective section above, to be validated by NCBA CLUSA, and a final report submitted in electronic format. The full report should include a detailed executive summary, chapters on individual communes, a synthesis of the overall findings and conclusions. The case study should place the REGIS-ER work in a historical and regional context, with reference to similar or earlier efforts for the protection and management of commons.

The report should also be accompanied by maps, diagrams, photographs and a bibliography.

Specifically, the case study should make a comparative analysis of the added value of local conventions in terms of observed changes in the behavior of populations in the exploitation of their resources, comparison of trends with neighboring municipalities that do not have local conventions and reliable quantitative data on the following impact indicators:

  • Number of conflicts around resources (decrease or increase).
  • Status of the protected natural resources (area, number of trees per hectare, quality of pasture or water resources).
  • Improvements made (restoration of pastures or woodland) and area.
  • Other development actions undertake (e.g., vaccination parks).
  • Governance structures, such as the number of NRM and/or enforcement committees established and functional.
  • Number of Land Commissions (COFOB) set up in Niger and functional.
  • Revenue, e.g., number of fines and amount recovered (who benefits, who manages).
  • Revenue generated by the establishment of land acts.
  • Nature of contributions (financial or in-kind) provided by the commune and/or its residents. Funding obtained from other sources (regional, national government or donors).
  • Changes in behavior observed in relation to the exploitation of natural resources.

A chapter of the case study should assess the challenges or barriers to sustainability, best practices and lessons learned, including policy recommendations.


The consultant will propose a methodology that will incorporate the following stages:

  • Preparation: detailed plan for the research and conceptual framework for the case study, development of the survey tools, logistical plans.
  • Desk review and analysis of the documentation.
  • Interviews with key informants (project staff, commune authorities, community authorities, local conventions steering committees, individuals from communities and resource users) including travel to select communes.
  • Data analysis.
  • drafting, preliminary presentation to the project, validation.
  • Final drafting of the document.

The consultant will propose a methodology that will incorporate the preceding stages in a manner that will take into account the security situation in each country (as discussed with NCBA CLUSA and REGIS-ER staff).

The consultant’s work should be drafted by October 2019 and should inform end of project workshops that will be held in Niamey and Ouagadougou. The final report will be submitted by December 20, 2019.

Activities and Deliverables

Activities Deliverable Anticipated Due Dates Estimated LOE
Preparation Detailed work plan for the research and conceptual framework for the case study, development of the survey tools, logistical plans July 30, 2019 4 days
Desk review Summary (1-2 pages) of documentation analysis August 30, 2019 4 days
Travel to Niger and Burkina Faso to interview key informants Trip report September 1 – 21, 2019 21 days
Data analysis Data summary tables /raw data September 30, 2019 3 days
Write report Draft Report and presentation September 30, 2019 5 days
Finalize report based on comments from project team Final Report including include a detailed executive summary, chapters on individual communes, a synthesis of the overall findings and conclusions December 20, 2019 3 days
TOTAL     40 days



The scale of the field work suggests a team of two supporting consultants (one each in Burkina Faso and Niger) under the supervision of the lead consultant. The consultant can propose his/her own team, or the project can contract two local consultants to support this activity on behalf of the consultant.

  • The team leader must demonstrate expertise in the field of Natural Resource Management:
  • Training in forestry, natural resources management or natural resources policy.
  • At least 10 years’ experience on natural resources and agricultural development projects.
  • Substantial knowledge of local governance systems, community-led natural resource management, including local conventions, in West Africa, preferably Burkina Faso and Niger.
  • Experience in developing community land use plans, local conventions, forest/pasture resource plans, protection of common spaces.
  • Professional proficiency in French, able to write compelling English.


Evaluation Criteria

Criteria Weight
Relevant education and experience 40%
Fluency in French and English 30%
Cost 30%
TOTAL 100 %


Remuneration and Level of Effort

The Consultancy will consist of a maximum of 40 working/billing days (1 day = 8 hours) between July 17 and December 20, 2019. The Consultant will be paid the agreed daily fee rate for every day worked, up to but not to exceed 40 days, based on receipt of deliverables. Reimbursement for related travel expenses will be provided.


Application Requirements

Interested candidates should send the following application materials:

  1. An updated Resume/CV
  2. A completed Biographical Data Form with current daily rate and salary history, and proposed daily rate in USD for completion of the work defined above
  3. Cost estimate and Biographical Data Forms for local consultants if proposing own team
  4. List of at least 3 references, with contact email and phone numbers, who can independently verify past work
  5. Capabilities Statement

Submit via email to:   Kiera Derman or Lauren Tyler

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