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RFP: Co-Creation and Co-Production pf Knowledge Papers for Selected FISFAP Partners in Thematic Areas of Mechanization and Rural Financial Services Outreach

Synopsis of the Request for Proposal (Individual Consultant (s))

Solicitation Reference No.RFP/RN01018/INCLUSIVE FINANCE/2020
Title of SolicitationCo-Creation and Co-Production pf Knowledge Papers for Selected Fisfap Partners in Thematic Areas of Mechanization and Rural Financial Services Outreach
Issuing Office & AddressAlliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Website: www.agra.org
Point of contact for clarifications, questions and ammendmentsAGRA General Procurement, Procurement@agra.org
Email Address for submission of Proposals/ QuotesAGRA General Procurement, Procurement@agra.org
Solicitation Issue DateOctober 15, 2020, 2020 East African Time.
Deadline for submission questions and clarificationsOctober 22, 2020 5:00 PM, East African Time.
Deadline for Answering questions and clarificationsOctober 26, 2020 5:00 PM, East African Time.  
Initial Deadline for Submission of ProposalsOctober 30, 2020 5:00 PM, East African Time.
Anticipated Award TypeCONSULTANCY AGREEMENT
Submission and Evaluation CriteriaBidder must provide the below listed information

Mandatory Eligibility Requirement
– Must be an Individual consultant
– Must submit CV of Consultant

Technical Evaluation Criteria
– Consultant Academic and Professional Qualification-20%
– Consultant’s Prior Work Experience- 35%
– Methodology/Approach- 35%
– Language and analytical skills -10%

NB. The minimum technical score shall be 75%. Only the best candidate shall be engaged for financial negotiations.

Terms of reference

Call for expertise in co – creation and co – production of knowledge papers for selected FISFAP partners in thematic areas of mechanization and rural financial services outreach.

Background

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA, www.agra.org)  is a not-for-profit organization working with African governments, other donors, NGOs, the private sector and African farmers to significantly and sustainably improve the productivity and incomes of resource poor smallholder farmers in Africa. AGRA aims to ensure that smallholder farmers have what they need to succeed: good seeds and healthy soils; access to markets, information, financing, storage and transport; and policies that provide them with comprehensive support. Through developing Africa’s high-potential breadbasket areas, while also boosting farm productivity across more challenging environments, AGRA works to transform smallholder agriculture into a highly productive, efficient, sustainable and competitive system, while protecting the environment.

AGRA has been supporting agricultural transformation interventions for the past 15 years. A large share of the support was focussed on capacity building of smallholder farmers and their organisations in good agronomic practices, post-harvest handling and marketing and (financial) management. AGRA realises that access to finance for smallholders is crucial for the implementation of the acquired knowledge. FISFAP is a MasterCard Foundation (MCF) funded program focussing on financial inclusion for smallholder farmers, whereby both AGRA and MCF are convinced that financial services only lead to agricultural productivity and income improvements if non-financial services are delivered along-side or as part of the financial products.

In the course of implementing the financial inclusion work under FISFAP, over 25 strategic partnerships have been developed in Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana spanning across thematic areas like mechanization, financial outreach services in rural areas, and other digital financial solutions. There are learnings cutting across the East Africa and West Africa especially in mechanization and rural financial services outreach that have emerged from the implementation work. This lesson have not been documented and converted into learning papers and briefs. The aim of this call is to engage consultant(s) who is/ are going to work closely with the program officers and the FISFAP partners to generate learning briefs and content which can be disseminated in form of blogs and knowledge papers.

Objective of the assignment

The objective of the assignment is:

To co – generate, co – create and document with program officers in Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana, knowledge products and briefs from the lessons derived by the FISFAP partners as they execute their interventions FISFAP work in mechanization and financial services outreach in rural areas.

Scope of the assignment.

The assignment will be:

  1. Conducted in FISFAP intervention countries i.e. Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana.
  2. Confined to the 3 mechanization partners i.e.Trotro, Hello Tractor & ETC AGRO financed by AGRA under FISFAP.
  3. Confined to the 5 financial services outreach partners i.e. Amtech Technologies, Advans Bank, Pan African Savings and Loan, MUCOBA and Success for People.
  4. Limited to synthesis, analysis and packaging content in an easy to understand professional language and format.
  5. Content should be generated in the English language.
  6. The knowledge content will be packaged in different forms e.g. blogs, knowledge briefs and papers.

Methodology and activities

The proposed methodology for this assignment is a combination of:

  1. Engaging the identified FISFAP partners through visits, telephone conversations and email communication.
  2. Talking to the AGRA program officers in the FISFAP program and co-producing and authoring the knowledge products.
  3. Engagement with the users and consumers of the services provided by the selected partners.
  4. Use of secondary data like review of literature on the subject matter.
  5. Review of the primary literature on the country’s ecosystem, context and biases that influence the utilization or non-utilization of the service provided by the selected partners. E.g. Concept notes, funding proposal and the progress reports submitted to AGRA by the partners.

The selection of the partners and the content to be generated will be done in close consultation with the program officer in the respective country of FISFAP intervention. The assignment will be conducted on a need basis as agreed with the Program Officer and The Head of Inclusive Finance and will be on a one off 6 months period. Some of the learning questions that the learning briefs will seek to explore but not exhaustive are:

  1. How are the 3 mechanization partners coping and pivoting their service delivery models to break even and sustainably mechanize the smallholder farmers? What are the key drivers of their mechanization services? What are the key ingredients of sustainably mechanizing the smallholders based on the lessons of the 3 mechanization models in Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana?
  2. What is the mechanization business case for operators/lead farmers/financiers/booking agents and the ICT platform owners to offer mechanization services to smallholder farmers? What are the incentive models and de-risking mechanisms that are being employed by the 3 partners to make mechanization work? What is the role of automation? What is the right mix of tech and touch in deploying mechanization service delivery models?
  3. What is the strategic intent and motivation for rolling out financial services in rural areas, how do saving and payments build resilience, smooth household cash flows, and enhance economic opportunities? What motivations, conditions and contexts drive demand for this financial services?
  4. What drives the business case for smallholder financial solutions, namely: Agency banking and mobile money: How are the financial services providers responding with the issue of costs of lending, cost of funds, cash handling costs and credit management cycles? What financial and non-financial products, services and channels do different client segments in rural areas value and use most and why?
  5. How are the identified partners responding and dealing with client data protection issues to avoid infringing on their privacy and confidentiality? How are the partners dealing with the trust issues? How are the government interventions affecting the partner’s business model and uptake e.g. price controls and credit interest rates capping?
  6. How are the selected partners adapting, coping and responding to the Covid 19 pandemic?
  7. How are our partners using responsible and inclusive approaches in their work? What partnerships are working and what are the key alignment levers that drive this partnership?
  8. For all partnerships: what is the role of grant funding: what has been de-risked and has the grant led to value for money? What has the grant funding unlocked? What has been learned on use of grant funding: what is the most effective way of deploying grants to accelerate digital solutions?

The consultant is at liberty to add their own learning questions which they deem to be fit and can contribute to the knowledge products positively.

Evaluation criteria

The below evaluation criteria will be used to select the consultant:

Evaluation CriteriaSub criteria/DescriptionScore
Consultant Academic and Professional QualificationShould have a Minimum of a University Degree in a business-related field, ICT, economics Bidder must attach academic and professional certificates20%
Consultant Prior Work ExperienceDetailed and specific experience in undertaking similar roles highlighting;
1. The individual consultant should be familiar and very conversant with the provision and delivery of financial and non – financial services in the agricultural value chain to smallholder farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.
2. The individual consultant, should have over 10 years’ experience in any of the following domains:
– Retail banking,
– Agriculture value chain financing, 
– Deployment of agriculture financial and non-financial digital solutions,
– Agribusiness and entrepreneurship,
– Rural finance and/or development finance.

Bidder must attach detailed CV
35%
Methodology/ApproachUnderstanding of the terms of reference that includes:
1. Outline of methodology and approach of implementing this assignment.
2. Proposed assignment plan that includes clear timelines for the assignment, that demonstrates the understanding of the assignment expectation.
3. Sample work done: Citation (web link) of at least of 3 knowledge products developed and disseminated

Maximum 10 pages
35%
Language and analytical skills– Strong analytical and information presentation skills
– Fluency in English and French
– He/she should have a creative, innovative, critical and analytical mind and should provide evidence of published works in recognised blogs, journals or in any acceptable knowledge channels.
10%

Deliverables:

  1. Co-producing with the program officers a minimum of 4 knowledge products in agriculture mechanization and rural financial service outreach models.
  2. Knowledge transfer to the FISFAP team, on how to generate and develop knowledge products.

Timelines:

This assignment is estimated to commence Mid November 2020 and will be confined to the mechanization and rural financial services outreach thematic areas covering the identified FISFAP partners In Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.

Technical & Financial Proposal

The consultant shall be selected based on their proven experience, qualifications and ability to deliver a quality product in a timely and efficient manner.

a.      Technical Proposal submission

Taking into account the TOR, the candidate should submit a proposal containing the following elements:-

  • Academic Qualification
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • Methodology/ Approach highlighting understanding of the TOR, Workplan (Maximum 10 pages)
  • At least three sample work done: Citation (web link) of knowledge products developed and disseminated

b.      Financial Proposal

FINANCIAL PROPOSAL must be supported with a breakdown analysis and will provide the following information, but is not limited to:

  1. Professional fees chargeable
  2. Breakdown of the fees and disbursements
  3. Price must be quoted in US Dollars (USD)
  4. All applicable taxes (withholding taxes) shall be included. If the financial proposal is silent on taxes, AGRA shall assume that these are inclusive;
  5. Financial proposal shall be valid for a period of 60 days from the date of bid closure
  6. Financial proposal shall be sent as a separate attachment and MUST password protected

How to Apply

Submission

  • Proposals MUST be submitted via email to AGRA General Procurement: Procurement@agra.org on or before the deadline indicated on the synopsis of the RFP
  • All bidders must use the RFP reference number in the subject line of their email submission.
  • Technical proposal and Financial proposal shall be submitted as separate attachment.
  • Neither technical nor financial proposals should exceed 10MB. The proposal with any subsequent modifications and counterproposals, if applicable, shall become an integral part of any resulting contract.
  • Proposal must be provided in English Language