International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is a public international organization addressing critical issues such as international food security, the alleviation of global hunger and poverty, environmental protection and the promotion of economic development and self-sufficiency. IFDC focuses on increasing productivity across the agricultural value chain in developing countries. This is achieved by the creation and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise.
Job Title: International Consultant for Mid-Term Evaluation of the MIR+ Project
Tracking Code: 20110031
Job Location: Abuja, FCT NG
Position Type: Consulting
On March 23, 2009, The Netherlands’ Ministry for Foreign Affairs through its Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) awarded to IFDC a grant for the MIR+ (Marketing Inputs Regionally) Project to provide technical assistance to the ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions in the consolidation of efforts on a regional agro-input market undertaken under the first phase (MIR project). The project was therefore designed as a joint ECOWAS/UEMOA project implemented by IFDC.
The goal of IFDC’s MIR+ project is to contribute to the development of a sustainable and profitable agriculture in West Africa in order to reduce poverty and ensure food security. Its general objective is to facilitate the development of a regional agro-input market in West Africa in support of the implementation of the regional common agricultural policies. The project is organized around four Strategic Objectives (SO):
SO1: To facilitate the creation of favorable policy and regulatory environment for the development of agro-input market.
SO2: To promote innovations and stimulating increased agricultural inputs marketing and use.
SO3: To improve availability and access to technical and marketing information on agro-inputs.
SO4: To improve Producers Organizations’ access to agro-inputs.
At the beginning of 2012, the project will have been implemented for two and half years and two more years of implementation remain. As a standard practice, IFDC carries out an internal evaluation of its projects mid way into their implementation to assist the project management and IFDC leadership in making the necessary adjustments to ensure a successful achievement of the project outputs, outcomes and impact.
The purpose of this evaluation is to assess implementation of the MIR+ project (activities and operational procedures and modalities) and its achievements to date, and derived lessons for improving the project’s effectiveness during the remaining period.
The international consultant should have experience in the field of rural development, agricultural input markets and policy development, participatory processes and project assessment and will serve as team leader. He/she should have:
- at least a master degree in an agriculture-related field (agronomy, agri-business, agricultural economics);
- at least ten years of relevant professional experience in project design, management and/or evaluation (preferably in West Africa);
- excellent interpersonal and team work skills, especially in multi-cultural settings; and
- fluency in English and at least the ability to read relevant technical material in French and understand spoken French.
The international consultant will work on this assignment with a regional consultant. The team members shall familiarize themselves with the documentation on the MIR Plus project, the West African agro-input markets, and ECOWAS agricultural policy implementation plans as well as its policy adoption processes. The project coordination will ensure that this documentation is available to the evaluation team prior to the beginning of the consultation. The team will spend six weeks carrying out this scope of work in January/February 2012, including preparation, travel and reporting.
Scope of Work – The international consultant should have sufficient experience to address the following three sets of issues:
Are the activities implemented appropriate for the project to be able to achieve its objectives and expected results?
How effective has been the project in implementing the planned activities?
To what extent have the project activities been implemented in partnership with relevant organizations and how effective have these partnerships been?
What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the project to date and what are possible improvements?
What are the major constraints facing the project and how have they been mitigated?
To what extent are ECOWAS and UEMOA involved in the definition, implementation and funding of project’s activities?
To what extent are the project targets, especially the main outcome indicators contained in the project contract document, likely to be met by its end and, if not, determine more realistic targets if the recommended improvements are adopted or not.
To what extent are the projects’ achievements sustainable in the absence of IFDC technical assistance?
What is the level of ECOWAS and UEMOA ownership of the project results?
Methodology – This evaluation is focused on the identification of possible improvements of the project implementation. In collaboration with the IFDC Africa Division leadership as well as ECOWAS and UEMOA Departments of agriculture, the consultant will finalize the overall evaluation and assessment methodology. It is expected that, at a minimum, the consultant will adopt an approach that includes the following:
Review and analysis of the existing project’s reports;
Field visits in selected locations and countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana and Nigeria) for discussion with key project stakeholders in the region;
Interviews with project staff as well as relevant project supervisors at ECOWAS, UEMOA and IFDC levels;
Presentation of the preliminary findings of the evaluation to the project Advisory Committee (PAC) to be held in February 2012.
The international consultant should have sufficient experience to produce the following deliverables:
- A work plan and specific questions to be covered by the evaluation, within three days of startup.
- An outline or draft table of contents of the consultant’s report should presented within five days of startup.
- A draft report to be presented to the Project Advisory Committee (PAC).
- A final report of the mid-term review to be submitted within one week of receiving comments on the draft from IFDC, ECOWAS, UEMOA and DGIS.