I. Background information and Problem Statement
The U.S. Agency for International Development funds the Wadata Development Food Security Activity, which translates to “prosperity” in Hausa, through the Office of Food for Peace. It is implemented by a consortium led by Save the Children, with partners, National Cooperative Business Association/ CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA), The Kaizen Company, and Développement pour un Mieux-Être (DEMI-E). Wadata’s goal is sustainably improved food and nutrition security and resilience among extremely poor and chronically vulnerable households and communities in Zinder. The Activity will achieve this goal through three Purposes:
– Purpose 1: Enhanced collective action to address food, nutrition and water security shocks and stresses.
– Purpose 2: Increased capacities, assets and agency for improved access to adequate and diverse foods at all times.
– Purpose 3: Improved nutrition, health and hygiene for pregnant and lactating women (PLW), adolescents, children under 5 years old (CU5) and their families.
Wadata works through four identified leverage points that have the greatest potential for positive, sustainable impact: female and youth empowerment for inclusive development; improved community natural resource management with a particular emphasis on water; participatory governance of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and their institutional counterparts; and the engagement of community influencers as drivers and supporters of change.
Anticipated major role for Local Resource Persons (LRP) and Community-Based Solutions providers (CBSP) to cover the area of intervention
Originally, Wadata planned to provide its support to 150 villages located in 5 communes. Based on feedback from USAID/FFP during the March 2019 Refine and Implement Workshop in Dakar Wadata seeks greater impact at the full communal level. As a consequence, Wadata made the following main changes:
– Shifting focus from 5 to 4 communes to correspond to the increased number of villages
– Extending interventions from 150 to 711 villages (in the 4 communes)
– Increasing the number of Field Polyvalent Agents (FPA) from 30 to 50
– Layering interventions from 144 larger village communities covered in first year of implementation to blanket community coverage across the target communes in Years 2-4 of implementation
– Supporting LRP and CBSPs to sustainably cover all villages in the target areas; and
– Embedding FPAs within the Commune Development Plans (PDC) village cluster system as well as co-locating Wadata Sub-Office Supervisors and technical team within municipal offices.
Implementation strategy: layering
Wadata remains committed to providing a full-service package to 144 villages (previously 150 villages), however, will now incorporate an outreach component that phases-in, over the Life of Activity (LOA), to cover more villages. The Wadata team will implement the following adjustments, defined as “Layers”:
– The First Layer of Wadata focuses on 144 of the larger villages (28,142 households (HHs)) with a full menu of proposed solutions. Direct interventions target 16,885 very poor, poor and vulnerable HHs (60%) in each village including nutritional transfers for selected vulnerable groups from the poorest HHs (PLWs, CU2s and AGs). Communities and their structures (Village Development Committees (VDCs), CBOs and LRPs) are actively involved in direct interventions. They benefit from extensive capacity-building training and become effective “change agents” who stimulate community engagement for the Wadata Activity, enabling them to extend activities across communities and play an important role in sustainability. Indirect interventions result from spread effects inside each village and through the active involvement of VDCs, CBOs and LRPs; these community structures lead and manage most indirect interventions.
– The Second Layer of the Wadata Activity effectively expands in subsequent years to include extension services to an additional 567 villages, totaling 18,252 HHs, of which 10,951 (60%) HHs are reached directly through project reinforced VDCs that are supported by LRPs and/or CBSPs and other CBOs in subsequent years. Both the First and Second Layers include conditional transfers such as nutritional supplements and Food or Cash for Asset activities supported by Wadata or WFP. Wadata views these initiatives as smart subsidies providing consumption smoothing.
LRP vs CBSP
Ideally, to make his/her business flourish, a CBSP should play the role of LRP. Conversely, a LRP can draw upon considerable assets (knowledge of the market, creation of a market), developed through the project, in order to emerge as a CBSP. Although it is easy enough to promote CBSP for obvious merchant services, it’s not necessarily easy to do this for other services (aggregation of orders for group purchases, health sector, etc.).
LRP and CBSPs, part of key actors of the implementation strategy
At the heart of the layer strategy are FPAs, LRPs, CBOs and VDCs. Wadata selects, employs and trains FPA and LRP who enter a career track and become drivers to operationalize full village coverage. During Years 2-3, the Activity phases-in CBO engagement in such a way that FPAs begin with smaller caseloads and gradually increase coverage as CBOs, VDCs and LRPs/CBSPs capacities improve (see Figure 1). To achieve a critical mass, Wadata graduates as many LRPs, CBOs and VDCs as possible to contribute to indirect implementation.
Wadata uses stipends as incentives to encourage LRPs and village structures to undertake outreach to Second Layer communities and to indirect participants in First Layer communities. A blend of options is available to implement the Layer Strategy and to scale the program to reach an even greater number of villages beyond 144. Wadata personnel tasked with carrying out the methodology are as follows:
– Mata Masu Dubara (MMD ) and Matasa Masu Fusaha (MMF ) Facilitators (75) paid by their groups in their own communities, begin as intermediaries outside their communities, provided with stipends by Wadata, but over time become paid facilitators serving MMD/ MMF networks and remunerated on a fee for service basis by these networks.
– Farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) Supervisors (450) earn stipends from Wadata when training FMNR group members (outside their own group) or supporting land rehabilitation activities. The Ministry of Environment (MoE) authorizes FMNR groups to charge fines for infractions of local conventions (e.g., illegal tree cutting). FMNR groups engage with Regional Agriculture and Livestock Directorates for extension activities.
– Community-based Solutions and Service Providers (CBSPs) (totaling 160): Agricultural Agents (40); Community Animal Health Workers (40); WASH CBSPs (30); and, Seed Multipliers (50) are all private micro-enterprises operating on a for-profit basis.
– Community Health and Nutrition Leaders (CHNLs) (300) are community health/nutrition leaders that are village-based, receive Training of Trainers (TOT) and earn stipends to train Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and Mamans Lumieres groups, participate in growth monitoring promotion or post-distribution monitoring, and engage with both Regional Public Health/ Hygiene and Hydraulics Directorates for public health campaigns.
The Wadata program articulates in its Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) plan specific processes and systems that ensure quality monitoring of overall functions. The MEAL plan includes remedial steps to promptly address any quality issues identified. Wadata has adapted REGIS-ERs standardized approaches to core activities of the Layer Strategy. The REGIS-ER shows evidence of LRP as proud models in communities where they work which increases motivation and contributes to higher quality results. Under the previous USAID/FFP-funded LAHIA Development Food Security Program, certification of community LRPs was a motivator in terms of community respect and recognition, contributing to quality implementation and outcomes.
Mainstream business approaches in all sectors of the project from the onset
We see that, one key actor for extension and for sustainability, in addition to the local organizations, is the individual business local private sector (that we call here CBSP). As described above, the Activity plans to deploy LRPs and CBSPs (i.e. individuals) as well as CBOs and VDCs (i.e. organizations) to increase the coverage and impact of interventions. As demonstrated by other USAID investments such as Yaajeende (Senegal) and RISE I (Burkina Faso and Niger), to promote sustained, local private sector engagement, it is important to mainstream business approaches in all sectors of the project from the onset.
II. Purpose and Objective
Wadata plans to engage Short Term Technical Assistance (STTA) to develop strategies to build the capacities of LRPs and CBSPs (existing and not currently existing ) to enable them to take advantage of opportunities (current gaps in access to products and services in communities) to develop their own business and sustainably supply solutions for their communities.
The STTA will address all three purposes of the Wadata Activity; and will take into consideration female and youth empowerment for inclusive development.
The objective of this mission is to analyze the current status of LRP and/or CBSPs within Wadata’s area of intervention and develop a strategy for sustainability beyond the life of the project, and in doing so address the following questions:
1. What are the existing LRP and possibly CBSP in the area and their profile (skills, sector…)?
2. Is the CBSP network model a viable one to sustainably provide access to services and products in all Wadata sectors and interventions?
3. If CBSPs don’t exist largely in the area of intervention, why and what strategy the project has to employ to have CBSPs?
4. What are the conditions to create and develop a sustainable CBSP network?
5. What would be the key factors to success to transform LRP into CBSPs?
6. What are the graduation criteria for phasing down, phasing over and phasing out?
7. What is the list of all major intermediate/large private sector actors that Wadata CBSP might engage with over LOP?
8. What are the needs (capacities and resources) of existing private sector services?
9. To what extent can the program reinforce existing private services to meet the demands of Wadata promoted LRP and CBSP?
10. What are areas of potential partnership between established central and intermediate / large private actors and Wadata promoted LRP and CBSPs?
11. What kind of relationship can be developed between CBSP and Private Sector in Wadata intervention zone?
12. What are the areas of partnership between CBSP and Microfinances institutions?
13. How can Wadata sustainably develop partnerships between CBSP and Microfinance institutions?
14. What the Government of Niger (GoN) will require of Wadata CBSPs in terms of registration and taxes?
– Contribute to the CBSP data collection tools. The consultant will work closely with Wadata team, and primarily the pool of the following Wadata coordinators (Market & Finance Coordinator (point of contact for the consultant), Off-Farm Livelihoods Coordinator and Youth Coordinator) as they develop data collection tools (survey, focus group questions, etc.) for LRP and/or CBSPs and relevant stakeholders in order to address the topic (Wadata field staff will collect the data prior to consultant arrival)
– Review project documents and have preliminary skype meeting.
– Travel to Zinder, Niger (the project will arrange travel for the consultant):
o Meet with project leadership.
o The consultant will conduct complementary interviews and/or focus groups with project staff in country, targeting but not be limited to community members and groups, LRP and CBSPs and intermediate private sector actors likely to engage with Wadata
o Meet with GON (ministries government agencies), banks / Micro Finance Institutions, other private sector organizations, NGOs (local and international) working in the area
– Using the data collected by the field staff, and the consultant’s own research and review, the consultant will write his/her report detailing findings and recommendations for the growth and the sustainability of CBSPs in the Wadata area of intervention addressing the fourteen questions listed above.
– Written feedback on survey and focus group questions
– Written draft report with initial analysis and comments / follow-up questions on data collected by the team (prior to consultant field mission)
– Draft written findings and recommendations for review by Wadata technical staff
– Revised Draft Report (which includes a strategy for the establishment of sustainable CBSP network in Wadata area)
– Written Final Report
V. Period of Performance / Timeline
The total period of performance to accomplish this SoW is October through November 2019. The scope of work will include up to 29 days of LOE for all activities including the literature review, development of tools, fieldwork, and reporting writing. Estimated details are outlined in the table below:
||Estimated Due Date
||Contribute to data collection tools.
||Written feedback on survey and focus group questions
||October 16, 2019
||Analyze data from field
||Written draft report with initial analysis and comments / follow-up questions
||November 3, , 2019
||Travel to Niger, conduct further field review and data collection, and present initial findings to project leadership
||Draft written findings and recommendations
||November 18, 2019
||Write draft report in French or English
||Revised Draft Report
||November 23, 2019
||Write final report based on feedback from draft
||Written Final Report
||November 30, 2019
– 10 or more years’ experience in local private sector model conception and development
– 5 or more years’ experience in linking local private sector with smallholder farmers, and with larger company to sustainable provide access to products and services
– 5 or more years’ experience in private sector (including “last mile” private sector) in West Africa, with a plus for experiences in Niger
– Strong entrepreneurship, conception and innovation skills
– Fluency in one of the two languages (French or English); and at least working proficiency in the other.
VII. Application Requirements
– Cover letter highlighting experience (5 pages maximum).
– Resume or CV highlighting relevant experience (no page limit).
– List of at least three current references including contact information.
– Proposed daily rate.
Deadline for Submission: 5pm EST on the date listed on page 1 of the RFP
VIII. Evaluation Criteria
– Past performance 40%
– Qualifications and experience 40%
– Cost 20%