Conducting a baseline study for the project “Protection of civilians against explosive weapons and SGBV, and FSL 74 views

Specifically, this project aims to promote:
• Agricultural and livestock support activities to support critical nutritional intake, address food insecurity, increase income, and gradually build the resilience of the affected community members at both household and community levels.
• Promote sustainable agricultural practices such as climate-smart technologies, green energy solutions, and water management among the project beneficiaries.
• Activities build on a market-based approach to ensure local markets are stimulated, and different cash modalities will be used as appropriate.
• Strengthen the target group’s ability to use natural resources more sustainably and be better prepared against climate change.
• Identify opportunities to engage with private sector partners, mainly technology service providers, to design innovative information applications to support farmers, traders, pastoralists, etc.
Note: Detailed information on the project will be shared at a later stage with the selected consultant

  1. Baseline Summary
    Norwegian People Aid would like to undertake a baseline study for the four-year funded project – Protection of civilians against explosive weapons and SGBV, and FSL. The specific focus on the baseline study will be on the food security and livelihood component. The baseline study will help establish the baseline values for the project indicators and build on the evidence base for measuring change at completing the project.
    A. Purpose and objective of the baseline
    The baseline study’s overall objective is to provide an information base against which to monitor and assess the project’s progress and effectiveness during implementation and completion. The baseline study is intended to provide the project and partner staff with detailed baseline data on key project indicators. In particular, the baseline study will help to:
    • To conduct an in-depth analysis of the causes of food insecurity among households in the communities;
    • To carry out a vulnerability analysis that includes the identification of seasonal and longer-term risks linked to the environment and the creation of a vulnerability profile;
    • To engage local stakeholders on the identification of local vulnerabilities, capacities, and priorities;
    • To identify appropriate interventions and associated target groups that will address food insecurity and support livelihoods in the longer term
    • To identify and analyze Identify and analyze the experience of community in practicing and using smart climate technologies and disaster risk reduction techniques and measures
    • Baseline the project indicators for purposes of establishing benchmarks against which project progress will be measured.
    B. Uses of the study:
    • The study will provide supporting information to enable the NPA program and partners team to implement its food security and livelihoods interventions in the targeted communities
    • The study will also form the reference line to measure the project intervention’s effectiveness at both the mid- and end-lines.
    • The document will also serve as a reference point for other like-minded organizations to plan and implement livelihood interventions in the targeted communities and apply the study’s learnings to support similar project interventions in other communities in northern Syria and other communities geo-political and socio-economic attributes.
    pg. 4
    C. Users of the study:
    Direct users: The study findings would be directly used by the following;
    • NPA FSL Program team and the local partners for easy implementation.
    • NPA FSL Technical lead and Senior Management Teams for informed decision making
    Indirect users: NPA HO, NMFA, and other donors, technical working groups, NGOs as well as humanitarian learning platforms.
  2. Baseline scope
    A. Geographic Scope of the Study:
    The geographical scope of the study will cover the operational areas in the northeast and northwest of Syria. Security considerations will also be taken into account in determining the exact communities covered by the study. Efforts will be made only to consider fully accessible and safe places, not to put the Consultant and other relevant staff at risk.
    B. Elements Covered by the Study (Study Context):
    As the study’s central purpose is to provide a baseline as a reference point for the assessment of the contribution of the NMFA funded project, which aims at providing lifesaving food security and livelihood support while building IDPs and host communities’ resilience, the key impact areas are explored and evidence-based information collected.
    These areas will include:
    LIVELIHOODS:
    • Socio-economic status, socio-political context, past crises, present conflict, ethnicity, social organization.
    • Vulnerability context: Climate; geography; physical infrastructure; hazards, economic, seasonal and environmental stress, civil strife, and displacement.
    • Livelihood assets: Access to capital, land tenure, livestock, pasture access arrangements, saving/debt, income
    AVAILABILITY.
    • Food stocks: Sufficiency and diversity of food products in markets and households.
    • Food imports: Origin, diversity, and availability of food in markets.
    • Market prices: Prices of staple food and essential commodities; variation and trends.
    ACCESS
    • Food sources: Diversity and seasonality of food sources; changes.
    • Income sources: Diversity and seasonality of income sources, debt; changes.
    • Market and market information
    • Social protection mechanisms and services in the community; their strengths and weaknesses, and solutions
    • Savings and investment services and opportunities
    • Coping strategies: Range of food consumption strategies (adaptive, coping, crisis, survival).
    UTILIZATION
    • Dietary diversity: Diversity of foods consumed over 24 hours; meal frequency.
    • Water access & availability: Sources, quality, quantity, and cost of water for agricultural production.
    • Food preparation, storage, and hygienic practices
    Cross-cutting issues:
    • According to the NPA’s Principles and Policies, throughout the planning and the studies processes, gender issues, division of labor, household access and control of resources, norms, beliefs, and protection concerns should be addressed.
    • DRR and climate change and the current security and socio-political effects of the crises in northern Syria will be critical drivers of the study.
    pg. 5
  3. Methodology – Study Design
    The baseline study will mainly adopt a cross-sectional study design with a blend of both quantitative and qualitative methods. However, the external consultant will design a more detailed study methodology in collaboration with the NPA Syria Program and the MEAL team. The detailed design of Methodology must include the following;
    The baseline study design
     Data collection instruments, protocols, and procedures
     Procedures for analyzing quantitative and qualitative data
     Data presentation/dissemination methods.
     Report writing and sharing etc.
     The key data collection methods will include the following, among others.
    Household interview
     Focus group discussion (FGD)
     Key Informant Interview (KII)
     Observation
     Document review
     Field measurement of vegetation and physical features of interest.
    The Consultant will be expected to employ mobile data collection and, wherever possible, use Geographical Information System (GIS) tools in the baseline process. This will range from data collection, analysis, and presentation of results.
  4. Key deliverables:
    The consultant/s will be expected to deliver the proposed study methodology, considering NPA’s context for review, feedback, and approval within two weeks.
    Other key deliverables will include (both in hard and soft copy): during the activity proper would include;
    • Inception report – detailing methodologies to be used and sample size calculations, a detailed execution plan, data-collection tools.
    • Copies of tools to be used
    • Raw data
    • List of key improved inputs (varieties, technology, tentative operating accounts for one typical year) available in the region but not yet adopted in the target communities.
    • Presentation during the validation workshop
    • Draft report – submitted to NPA within an agreed timeline between the NPA Management and the Consultant (soft-copy).
    • Final report
    However, the Consultant should note that the final baseline report shall follow the structure below:
    i. Table of Contents
    ii. List of Figures
    iii. List of Tables
    iv. Acknowledgments
    v. Affirmation
    vi. Glossary/Acronyms and Abbreviations
    vii. Executive Summary
    viii. Introduction/Background
    ix. Methodology
    x. Limitations
    xi. Baseline findings
    xii. Conclusions and Recommendations
    xiii. Lessons Learned from the baseline process
    xiv. Appendices.
    pg. 6
  5. Lesson Learnt
    • Orientation and training of external data collectors and the pilot testing of baseline tools, KII, and FGD tools should be given a thorough consideration; hence a considerable time should be planned for these tasks.
    • Data collection quality control mechanisms and data validation scheme should be embedded into the baseline design to ensure that the findings are valid and sufficient for informed decision making.
  6. Time Frame
    The overall baseline study is expected to take 30 to 40 days, including preparation, data collection, analysis, and reporting. The Consultant should undertake some of the tasks concurrently to fit within the planned time-frame without compromising the quality expected. The assignment is expected to commence on 08 November 2020, with the final baseline report expected by 18th December 2020.
    The task’s anticipated duration is one and a half months, starting from November 2020 to December 2020.
    Below is a tentative timeline for the study:
    Desk Review
    Three days
    Inception report and tools development
    Four days
    Food security and livelihood analysis including pre-test
    3 days
    Fieldwork (including the selection of respondents, FGS, KIIs)
    10 days
    Data cleaning/analysis
    3 days
    Livelihood analysis and draft report
    10 days
    Response to comments and final production of the report
    5 days
    Dissemination of findings
    2 days
    Total number of days
    40 days
  7. Authority and responsibility
    NPA will establish a technical team to oversee all the related baseline tasks. The NPA FSL and MEAL leads will be responsible for coordinating all the baseline study tasks with the Consultant. Besides, the Project team in NW and NES, along with the partners, will provide all the necessary operational support required throughout the baseline study process.
    Support from NPA Iraq
    NPA Iraq will be responsible for the following:
    • Recruit the external Consultant and finalize the Consultancy agreement
    • Share all necessary documents to the Consultant to finalize the baseline study design and data collection tools
    • Provide input for baseline study methodology, data collection tools, and reports.
    • Share with the Consultant all the relevant project documents
    • Ensure that inputs from NPA Iraq are circulated and shared with external Consultant and vice versa throughout the baseline study process;
    • Overall accountability of the baseline study process;
    • Guidance and coordination throughout all the phases of the baseline study, keeping communication with external Consultant;
    • Provide support to the baseline technical lead (external Consultant) for the baseline field visits processes such as orientation and training of enumerators, FGDs, and KIIs;
    • Closely follow up the data collection process, ensuring quality control, daily debriefing, meeting the timelines set for interview completion;
    • Inform the study audience for their involvement in the study and set specific dates for the baseline field schedule.
    pg. 7
    The Consultant will be responsible for the following:
    • Review all relevant documents for the baseline study;
    • Develop baseline study design which includes survey methodology, review and refine the data collection tools (household questionnaire, focus group discussion guides, interview protocol, data entry templates, etc.), as appropriate, including a field manual for training, in consultation with the NPA Iraq FSL technical team, integrate all NPA’s feedback on the survey methodology and tools;
    • Designing the data collection tools in an online platform leveraged on Open Data Kit (ODK) platform, training of the field team in the use and data collection procedures;
    • Develop the fieldwork schedule in consultation with the baseline team;
    • Conduct training for the data collectors during the field visits phase, finalize the baseline study schedule;
    • Supervise the data collection process, give advice and ensure the quality of the data;
    • Conduct interviews (KII) with key project staff;
    • Data analysis and report writing, draft the first report and include NPA’s feedback, and finalize the report for submission
    • Provide required data that is completed and labeled in English (variables and values) for both the SPSS and Microsoft file formats.
    • Provide daily field briefing to the Base Coordinator and Project Manager on the field’s progress and any challenges.
  8. Limitations
    Time, security, access, and movement restriction because of COVID19 may be a significant limitation regarding assessment processes in fragile and versatile contexts such as Syria, making it challenging to keep up strictly with a set schedule. Besides, most of the households in the rural setting will be busy with sowing wheat. It will be hard for the enumerators to administer many questionnaires per day (to complete the assessment timely). To address this issue, firstly, NPA Iraq will allocate extra overflow days for field data collection. NPA Iraq team will also work closely with the security department to ensure that the evaluation field processes are conducted in the most appropriate time and secure conditions.
  9. Qualifications of the consultant
    • The team leader must possess a Postgraduate degree in Agricultural Economics, Agriculture, Project Evaluation, Environment and Natural Resource Management, Social Sciences, or related discipline.
    • Strong and documented experience in conducting participatory qualitative assessments related to Baseline and food security and Livelihoods studies.
    • Demonstrated experience in leading at least three related project baseline and evaluation studies involving surveys and group interviews,
    • At least 5-8 years’ experience in conducting baseline/evaluations for Livelihoods and Rural Development related projects in fragile contexts implemented by government, non-governmental, and private sector actors.
    • A solid understanding of remote learning through mobile technology
    • Demonstrated experience in leading teams.
    • Demonstrated experience in training local staff in quantitative and qualitative data collection tools, including mobile data collection process using ODK, etc.
    • Demonstrated experience in designing survey methodology, data collection tools, processing, and analysis of data.
    • Ability to interact with local authorities, partners, and others as requested by NPA
    • Strong organizational, analytical, and reporting skills, presentation skills, attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines, and proficiency in Microsoft Office and qualitative data analysis software/tools
    • Previous experience in a fragile country with a tight security context will be preferred.
    • Capacity to use mobile data collection tools (in particular ODK) and GIS tools for data collection, and analysis of survey results
    • Excellent verbal and written communication in English required
    pg. 8
    11.Proposal Schedule of Payments.The consultant shall be paid the consultancy fee upon completion of the following milestones.1.30 % after the adoption of the inception report.2.30 % after the presentation of the draft report.3.40 % after the approval of the final report.12.Evaluation Ethics:Due to the dynamic situation in which NPA and its partners operate and the potentially life-threatening nature of the issues involved, the evaluator must adhere to strict ethical and security guidelines. The Consultant will only be considered where evaluation ethics and appropriate protocols are embedded in their organizational or private consultancy profile. The Consultant has to demonstrate they are keenly aware of particular ethical and security issues that arise from working in this specific environment, including protecting local communities and the need for vigilant data handling and management.13.Selection CriteriaThe consultants will be evaluated by using the Quality and Cost approach (combined scoring method). The Technical Proposal will be assessed and will account for 70% of the total score, whereas the Financial Proposal will account for 30% of the overall score.Evaluation Criteria:•The Consultant will be evaluated based on the following criteria. The key factors stated below will be taken into consideration during the evaluation processoPrevious work experience.oMethodological/technical aspects of carrying out the study and technical expertise in livestock, agriculture, socio-economics, monitoring, and capacity building.oPrevious experience/presence in Iraq/middle east.oTotal budget (consultant fees, transparent breakdown of activity costs, etc.).14.Financial Limitation:
  10. The total budget should include the entire total cost of the consultant/firm to implement the above-listed activities and deliverables. In the budget, the flight and accommodation costs should be indicated. NPA will NOT cover these costs.

How to Apply

  • Applications should be sent no later than 30 October 2020 to [email protected] and CC [email protected]
    mentioning in the subject : Conducting a baseline study for the project “Protection of civilians against explosive weapons and SGBV, and FSL
  • To help us with our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email where (vacanciesinsyria.com) you saw this job posting.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a skype/phone interview.

Baseline Survey – Consultancy Application

Surname

Given Names

Email Address

Telephone Number

Current Address/ Location

Gender

Nationality

1. Please indicate your highest level of education of the Consultant/Team Leader

PhD

Masters’ Degree

Technical/ Specialized Postgraduate Diploma

Bachelors’ Degree

2. Number of relevant experience in conducting FSL assessment and baselines for food security and livelihood projects/programs

8 years

5 – 7 Years

3 – 4 Years

1 – 3 Years

< 1 Year

3. List the most recent and relevant experiences in monitoring and evaluation as follows;

Agency/NGO

Kind of Assignment

Month/ Year

Referee Name

Email

Phone

4. Have you worked with NPA or hired by NPA as a consultant before?

5. Are you currently employed or engaged in a consultancy assignment?

Annex 1. Technical Proposal Template

To be filled in by the candidates, in compliance with the following instructions

1. Rationale (max. 1 page)

Any comments on the Terms of Reference of importance for the successful execution of activities, particularly its objectives and expected results, demonstrate the contract’s degree of understanding. Any comments contradicting the Terms of Reference or falling outside their scope will not form part of the final contract.

An opinion on the critical issues related to the achievement of the contract objectives and expected results (Optional: An explanation of the risks and assumptions affecting the execution of the contract)

2. Evaluation questions

Evaluation questions formulated based on the criteria presented in terms of Reference’s Sub- section.

3. Proposed Methodology (max. 3 pages)

An outline of the approach proposed for contract implementation;

4. A list of the proposed activities considered to be necessary to achieve the contract objectives;

The related inputs and outputs.

5. A timetable of activities (max 1 page)

The timing, sequence, and duration of the proposed activities, taking into account mobilization time

6. Financial proposal (max 1 page)

Unit cost (in USD)

Description/ Number of Days

Total (in USD)

Consultancy Fees

(per day)

Travel

Incidentals

Accommodation / NPA

(per day)

Materials/Interpreter

 

 

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