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RFP: Consultancy For Developing a Baseline Report for AGRA’s Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture

Synopsis of the Request for Proposal

Solicitation Reference No.RFP-157-SC-2021
Title of SolicitationConsultancy For Developing a Baseline Report for AGRA’s Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture
Issuing Office & AddressAlliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Website: www.agra.org
Point of contact for clarifications, questions and amendmentsAGRA General Procurement, Procurement@agra.org
Email Address for submission of Proposals/QuotesAGRA General Procurement, Procurement@agra.org
Solicitation Issue DateOctober 14th, 2021
Deadline  for  submission questions and clarificationsOctober 20th, 2021
Deadline for  Answering questions and clarificationsOctober 22nd, 2021
Deadline  for  Submission  of ProposalsOctober 28th,17:00 Hours, East African Time.   Please include the subject line “ RFP-157-SC-2021” of the email.    
Type of Consultant Individual Consultant
Anticipated Award Type Consultancy Agreement
Submission and Evaluation CriteriaBidders are encouraged to register (if not already registered) as a vendor via the link provided below and submit the below mandatory requirements in their proposal: https://ekjd.fa.em2.oraclecloud.com/fscmUI/faces/PrcPosRegisterSupplier?prcBuId=300000001758868    

Mandatory Eligibility Requirements:
1. Cover Letter
2. Detailed Curriculum Vitae with at least 3 referees
3. Copies of Academic certificates.
4. Copy of National ID or passport  

Evaluation Criteria summary:
1. Relevant academic qualifications……………………………………20%
2. Competences & Experience of the candidate……………………..……………..…………….…..50%
– Meets requirements as outlined under competencies 
– Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments carried out
3. Consultant’s understanding of the assignment, proposed methodology and workplan……………………………………30%  

Total ……………….…………………………………………….….100%  

NB. Only the candidate with the best technical proposal equal or above 75% shall be considered for financial negotiations

Introduction

Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyse Agriculture Transformation in Africa. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the centre of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all of them small-scale farmers, AGRA recognizes that developing smallholder agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent.

AGRA’s strategy works to catalyse and sustain an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farmers. The role of leadership is critical to delivery of Agriculture transformation in Africa. AGRA’s State Capability work across Africa has shown an urgent need to support the leadership in the Agriculture sector to deliver on country transformation initiatives.

In response to this need, AGRA has launched the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture (CALA) to provide hands-on implementation support for African leaders in the agriculture sector. CALA is a key part of a scale-up of investment to AGRA by the German Development Cooperation through KfW Development Bank. CALA represents a deepening of AGRA’s ongoing support to state capability and is complementary to the technical assistance that AGRA has been providing to transform national and regional agriculture priorities alongside government, public and private sector partners. In addition to KfW’s founding financial support and AGRA’s lead role, the Centre has two implementing partners which include the African Management Institute (AMI) and USAID’s Policy LINK.

CALA will initially offer a 16-month Collaborative Leadership Programme for Food Security and Sustainability targeting established and emerging leaders spearheading priority country-level agriculture strategies. The programme’s core focus will be on supporting 80 leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society across eight initial countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana and Malawi) with the practical skills to navigate, coordinate and better implement solutions to national agriculture challenges. The programme will also have special focus on profiling agro-ecological principles which are increasingly being recognized as contributing to sustainable farming and food production, and resilient food systems in the face of increasing climate change impacts. CALA includes in-country coaching, continuous modular digital learning series, the attendance of the participants in two leadership forums per learning journey as well as in the African Green Revolution Forum.

CALA plans to deliver a unique curriculum centred on Leadership development for the Agriculture sector; case studies of “game changers” in Agriculture and a blend of management skills for delivery.  The Centre’s blended learning approach is anchored is focused on practical, hands-on leadership support and development. For appropriate structure and consistency of learning, virtual learning modules will be developed. These are not academic, or theoretical but interactive, flexible sessions informed by participant demand to hone leadership skills enabling better implementation practices.

As part of the comprehensive Monitoring & Evaluation plan for CALA, AGRA is seeking to engage a Consultant to develop the baseline report for CALA’s inaugural Advanced Leadership Program. The program is aimed at meeting two specific challenges:

  1. Enabling sector leaders to better drive and deliver on national agricultural transformation initiatives.
  2. Preparing a next generation of public and private sector leaders to meet the succession challenge in Agriculture.

The program is structured along the following program design elements which will inform the baseline report.

Contact sessions with the 80 delegates:

  1. 4 Virtual Leadership Forum sessions (4 Engagements of 3 x half-day sessions each). The first of which was held in August 2021 and the next is scheduled for February 2022.
  2. 9 Virtual Learning Labs (9 sessions of 90 mins each)
  3. 16 Team Coaching sessions (16 sessions of 90 mins each).

Continuation of learning in between Learning Labs:

  1. Action Learning Projects (working in teams) – ALPs are structured in 2 groups of 5 participants in each country and are aimed at advancing strategic initiatives for the sector and change in the organisation. Coaches support ALP teams to unblock leadership challenges faced in the implementation of the ALP.
  2. Online courses and tools focused on key topics/skill areas
    – Mandatory Courses: A selection of mandatory courses, to be finalised with AGRA and Policy Link.
    – Elective courses: Based on delegates’ self-assessment, on a range of management skills technical competencies.
    – AMI’s online library of resources.
    – Online platform to have discussions, share best-practice and ask questions
  3. Assessment of skill gaps and improvements (using pre- and post-program assessments). The first assessment was carried out after Leadership Forum 1.
  4. Continuous support and monitoring throughout program (by Group Coach, Programme Manager, Accountability Partner and Peers).
  5. Engagement: The programme manager will help maintain the engagement momentum after the learning lab by sending out email remainders, posting on the community wall and supporting the client moderator to organize check-ins with the participants.
  6. Monitoring and Reporting: AMI programme manager will submit a progress report once a month with data on online courses completion and feedback from synchronous sessions.
  7. Graduation: The programme will close after 16 months with a graduation event to recognise participants who have finished the programme and highlight the skill improvements they’ve made and a showcase of their Action Learning Projects achievements.
  8. Certificates: AMI will only award ‘Certificates for the Completion’ for the programme to participants who complete all aspects of the programme, including the final course requirements and assignments for all the mandatory online courses. Certificates will be virtual, not hard copies.

CALA’s Theory of Change

CALA’s Theory of Change proposed shows four levels of change to be systematically delivered through the 16-month leadership journey. They include:

  1. Short-term individual level change demonstrated in outcomes in knowledge, knowledge transfer, and skill from the program. This change is demonstrated though management skills training to help leaders manage teams, hold team members accountable, and execute on their roles. The training is delivered through online courses, learning labs and the Leadership Forums.
  2. Individual change in leadership development shown in changes in psycho-social or participant behaviour as witnessed during the training and continuing after completion through self-directed learning. The training helps leaders develop insights to set a direction for organisational-level change and influence to inspire commitment to it. The training is delivered through the Learning Labs, Leadership forums and coaching.
  3. Institutional level change driven by leaders who through the 16-month CALA journey gain competencies to effect improved performance and positive culture change in the organization. This change is facilitated by participation in the Leadership Forum and Coaching sessions
  4. System level change effected when leaders gain competencies to build multi-stakeholder partnerships across sectors and by delivering on their commitments in agriculture flagships, drive sustainable systems change.  This change is facilitated by participant engagement in the program overall, and through reflection in the Leadership Forums and Action Learning Project check-ins

Baseline Report Target Audience

The baseline is intended as a critical learning point for CALA’s implementing partners – AGRA, the African Management Institute and Policy LINK, as well as for the German Development Cooperation. The baseline report will also inform progress made by parties supporting the program roll-out including the 16 coaches, the delegates’ sponsors, and the Independent Advisory Committee.

Objective of the Assignment

AGRA is seeking to hire an individual consultant to undertake a comprehensive baseline setting of the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture to inform AGRA and its partners on the baseline status for the stated indicators aligned with the project goal, objectives and outcomes. In addition, the consultant will identify critical strategies necessary for improving the 16-month leadership journey administered as the Advanced Leadership Program.

Methodology

The consultant is expected to employ a variety of data collection and analysis techniques for both quantitative and qualitative data to ensure a comprehensive baseline setting exercise.  This will include but not limited to: 

  • Document and systems review: Review of existing documentation, including project reports and existing M&E data from the 8-month pre-launch phase (Jan – August 2021).
  • Focus Group Discussions:  With a sample of the CALA cohort and the coaches. 
  • Key Informant Interviews:  With the key leadership of CALA across the three implementing partners, AGRA, AMI and Policy LINK as well as sponsors of CALA delegates (their superiors)
  • Primary quantitative data using structured questionnaires. The Consultant will be expected to design and administer a structured questionnaire to the various primary stakeholders of the project (implementing partners, CALA cohort, coaches). A representative sample must be calculated to ensure that the baseline will cover a representative sample. 

Scope of Work

This baseline study will cover the eight countries CALA is operating in and will be thirty (30) working days that will include preparation, development of the survey tools, pre-testing and reviewing of the tools, virtual field work, data analysis, draft report writing and dissemination to stakeholders and reviewing of final report.  The baseline will seek to get baseline values following performance indicators and will be tracked at each project level. The baseline will also provide an opportunity to highlight individual cases. The consultant with AGRA and CALA’s partners help will identify two CALA participants per category (Executive and rising stars; public, private and civil society; men and women) whose individual CALA journey stories will be captured at this baseline stage and whom we can assess at programme completion to see how CALA has impacted them in their business/workplace.

Outcome 1. Strengthened capacities of leaders to drive and deliver on national agricultural transformation initiatives

Outcome indicator 1. Personal leadership accomplishment metrics e.g., staff more motivated and better performing, improved teamwork, strengthened communication and trust.

Outputs linked to outcome 1

OUTPUT 1Output Indicator 1.1.1Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
Leadership capacities of at least 160 participants (2 cohorts of ~80 participants each) developedNumber of participants recruited into the leadership initiativeMeasures personal leadership improvement occurring through exposure to adaptive leadership training through leadership forums, digital learning series, coaching in ALPs, and peer networking; measuring leaders’ ability to develop, mentor and empower othersBaseline measurement of individual perception of competence in key skills
OUTPUT 1.2Output Indicator 1.2.2Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
Coaching program developed and tailored to support leaders’ application of leadership skills and implementation of action learning project plansNumber of coaches recruited;
Number of coaching orientation sessions developed and delivered;
Quarterly coaching community meetings held
Measures progress made towards establishing a robust coaching program for the participantsCoaches matched to participants and coaching agreements in place
OUTPUT 1.3Output Indicator 1.3.3Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
10 senior-level participants per cohort going through individual coaching for delivery of Action Learning ProjectsNumber of participants completing 16 individual coaching sessions
Coaches recruited;
coaching orientation delivered, and Quarterly coaching community meetings held.
Measures attendance by executive level participants in the monthly coaching sessions aimed at honing leadership skills and supporting delivery in their Action Learning ProjectsCoaches matched to participants and coaching agreements in place
OUTPUT 1.4Output Indicator 1.4.4Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
14 groups of 5 participants (per cohort) going through group coaching for delivery of Action Learning ProjectsNumber of groups completing 16 group coaching sessions;
Coaches recruited;
coaching orientation delivered;
Quarterly coaching community meetings held. 
Measures attendance by ~70 “rising star” participants in each cohort in the proposed 5-person group coaching sessions aimed at honing leadership skills and supporting delivery in a joint Action Learning ProjectCoaches matched to participants and coaching agreements in place

Outcome 1: Qualitative questions:  What are the key success factors that [help/contribute to] CALA’s leadership program set up? What are the leadership challenges CALA going to help you address? What is the level of CALA delegate satisfaction with the training program? How is the leadership training set up to improve the implementation practices of CALA delegates? What new skills / leadership practices are being adopted? What is the link between the leadership journey and enhanced implementation of sector priorities by leaders?

Outcome 2. Strengthened delivery of flagship programs and policies in at least eight of AGRA’s countries

  • Outcome indicator 2. Rate of implementation of action learning projects which are aligned to flagships in at least 8 of AGRA’s focus countries.
  • Baseline milestone for year 1: Teams set goals for ALPs including timelines, Sponsors confirm alignment to flagship programs and policies.

Outputs linked to outcome 2.

OUTPUT 2Output Indicator 2.2.1Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
Percentage of milestones towards ALPs linked to Flagships/ Agriculture Priority Programs achieved as articulated by the participantPercentage of milestones achieved in ALPs linked to flagship/ Agriculture Priority Program developmentMeasures progress made towards milestones in Action Learning Projects (directly linked to Flagships/Priority Agriculture Projects) as outlined by participantsBaseline: teams set goals for ALPs including timelines. Sponsors confirm alignment to flagship programs/ priority projects
OUTPUT 2.2Output Indicator 2.2.2Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
Number of delivery frameworks for flagships/ agriculture priority programs on track for delivery in the course of the leadership journeyProgramme contributes to delivery frameworks for flagships/ agriculture priority programs delivered over 16 monthsMeasures the contribution of the leadership initiative to progress made towards the overall implementation plan of flagships in the 16 months of the leadership journey60% of participants report that Initiative has helped them to contribute to flagships
OUTPUT 2.3Output Indicator 2.2.3Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
Number of organisations cultivating a culture that enables the growth of leadersPercentage of participants report increased skills towards developing team members as part of succession planningMeasures progress made in working with leaders on evolving their organisations into spaces where leaders can grow and thriveBaseline – % of participants reporting confidence in developing and coaching others
OUTPUT 2.4Output Indicator 2.2.4Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
Number of participants trained in Environmental and Social sustainability (E&S) in design & implementation of priority plansPercentage of participants incorporating E&S principles to their delivery frameworks in the course of the 16-month leadership journeyMeasures the socialisation of E&S sustainability standards and principles amongst teams with participants taking part in programme, and inclusion of E&S issues in the leadership journeyN/A

Outcome 2: Qualitative questions: What factors contribute to CALA delegates successful design of ALPs linked to Flagships? How are delegates developing the ALP goals and milestones? Which aspects of ESMS training are in greatest demand? What demonstrated value/benefit is coming out of the training in terms of leadership skills [willingness to coach others, increased confidence in implementation frameworks, environmental/ecosystem services benefits?]

Outcome 3. Strengthened coordination & partnership between public and private sectors to drive forward Agriculture transformation

Outcome indicator 3: Rate of participation in agriculture transformation priority projects between public & private sectors.

Year one milestone: Baseline: % of participants report involvement in cross-sector collaboration on agricultural transformation.

Outputs linked to outcome 3.

OUTPUT 3Output Indicator 3.3.1Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
Public to private to civil society sector ratio (6:2:1.5) of participation in cohortPublic-Private to civil-society ratio of participation in cohortA measure of inclusivity in the leadership initiative across sectors to ensure balanced, accountable and robust leadership networks for delivery of agriculture prioritiesa.  65% public sector
b. 20% private sector
c. 15% civil society
OUTPUT 3.2Output Indicator 3.3.2Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
Executive to ‘rising star’ ratio of 50:50 participation in cohortExecutive to ‘rising star’ ratio of participation in cohortA measure of diversity of the seniority levels of the cohort to ensure that both senior leaders and the next generation of leaders are developed, and providing opportunity for peer learning, mentoring, coaching and accountability50-50 split between ‘rising stars’ and executives
OUTPUT 3.3Output Indicator 3.3.3Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
Gender split of cohortGender split of cohortA measure of the gender inclusivity of the leadership programmeMinimum 30% female participation
OUTPUT 3.4Output indicator 3.3.4 Milestone 1 (Year 1)
Percentage of ALPs jointly co-ordinated across sectors, organisations and institutions for delivery of priority Agriculture projectsPercentage of ALPs jointly coordinated across sectors, organisations and institutionsMeasures inclusivity across public/private sectors in Action Learning Projects which are delivered in groups50% of ALPs jointly coordinated across sectors/ organisations/ institutions
OUTPUT 3.5Output Indicator 3.3.5Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
Stronger collaboration and partnerships from peer-to-peer learningPercentage of participants engaged in new collaborative and strategic partnerships, attributed to programmeMeasures collaborative leadership facilitated by the in-person peer network development activities in the Leadership journey – the 2 annual leadership forums and AGRF10% increase in % of participants reporting new strategic collaborations

Outcome 3 Qualitative questions:  What are the factors that contribute to desired representation across sectors in the cohort? What factors informed the gender ratio, and the split between the executives and rising stars in the cohort? What imperatives exist within the leadership journey to encourage cross-sector collaboration? What factors enhance peer-to-peer learning in the leadership journey?

Outcome 4: Improved leadership development curriculum and learning systems to establish and institutionalize the Leadership Initiative as a center of excellence

Outcome indicator 4: Quality of leadership capacity building for the Agriculture sector delivered through the Leadership Initiative

Milestone for year 1: At least 10% increase in applications for second cohort than first.

Outputs linked to Outcome 4.

OUTPUT 4Output Indicator 4.4.1Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
AMI’s core, blended Leadership Development Programme tailored with content based on the learning needs analysisA blended Agriculture leadership curriculum developed and well received by participantsMeasures the creation of a customised version of AMI’s core blended (in-person/ digital) leadership development curriculum, adapted to meet capacity development needs identified in needs analysisCustomisation of core programme completed (relevant online tools and courses and workshop content developed)
Output Indicator 4.4.2Indicator DescriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
Digital learning series for African Agriculture leadership tailored to demandMeasures the development of a scalable, accessible digital learning series (webinars and modules) incorporating adaptive leadership modules, agricultural “game changer” case studies and management skills for deliveryCustomisation of core programme completed (relevant online tools and courses and workshop content developed)
OUTPUT 4.2Output Indicator 4.4.3 Indicator descriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
A series of ‘game changer’ case studies developed to highlight best practices in the delivery of agriculture priority programs across AfricaCase study series developed, reflective of needs analysis and priority areas of development in African AgricultureMeasures the exposure to agriculture development models that are adaptable, of interest to participant country context and that have driven positive change in agriculture in Africa and elsewhereCase studies developed and available through AMI online platform
OUTPUT 4.3Output Indicator 4.4.4 Indicator descriptionMilestone 1 (Year 1)
An overarching Learning Journey designed that integrates leadership skills for delivery, exposure to best practices in Agriculture, Action Learning Projects, Coaching and AGRFLearning journey developed, integrating leadership skills with practical implementationMeasures the creation of an overarching Learning Journey which is reflective of needs identified in needs analysis and takes into account leadership, management skills and agricultural best practices, as well as implementation on the jobLearning Journey documented

Outcome 4 qualitative questions: What factors contribute to the development of a leadership training curriculum that is well received by the CALA delegates? To what extent are the case studies reflective of the interests of the cohort as highlighted in the learning needs analyses? What is the link between the designed leadership journey elements and the improvement of implementation practices by sector leaders?

Outcome 5. CALA is established as sustainable source for leadership development for the Agriculture sector into the future

Outcome indicator: Initiative is set up for sustainability beyond initial 3 years of funding with partner support

Output linked to outcome 5 An analysis and selection of a sustainable business model finalized

Output indicator: A sustainability model identified from the start of CALA.
Partners on board who can take forward the model. This indicator measures the identification of the most suitable business model charting the way forward for the leadership initiative by analysing the pros and cons of the co-payment models, partnership and institutional models of sustainability

Milestone for year 1, output 5: Sustainability options analysed and identified.

Deliverables of the Assignment

The consultant will provide the following deliverables to project management in a timely manner: 

  • Inception Report:  The consultant is expected to submit a detailed report on how the baseline setting of the project will be carried out from their point of view. The report will outline the detailed description of their methodology and tools, expected output, format of final report and a budget breakdown of costs and detailed work plan for the entire exercise. The draft interview guides will be submitted for review at this stage.
  • Preliminary Report and Presentation of findings:  A stakeholders’ meeting comprising of CALA’s partners, AGRA and other stakeholders. At the end of the meeting, a report incorporating comments by stakeholders from the meeting will be submitted by the consultant.
  • Final Report:  This will entail a detailed report of the Project baseline setting that incorporates feedback from AGRA and partners. The report should clearly the baseline status as per the project indicators highlighted in the previous section.

Qualifications, Competencies and Experience

  1. A minimum of a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, statistics or any other related field;
  2. A minimum of 5 years’ experience conducting baseline studies of projects in capacity building/ leadership programs, and government agriculture projects and experience in conducting surveys, analysing, synthesizing and presenting information/Reports is a MUST.
  3. The consultant must possess a significant evidence of academic and experiential background in research methodology, evaluation design and implementation.  Preferably they should also have academic and experiential background in implementation of government flagships/ priority programs, Business Development or related field.
  4. A solid and diverse experience in research, monitoring and evaluation of projects and/or Programs at national and/or regional level.  Previous knowledge of conducting and documenting lessons learned sessions is essential.
  5. Preferably have working experience in the East and West Africa

Management and Reporting

The consultant will be supervised by an M&E Officer with oversight of the CALA management team at AGRA.

Duration of the Assignment

The project baseline setting is expected to take place within a period of 4 months.

Evaluation criteria

The proposals shall be evaluated against the following criteria:

  1. Relevant academic qualifications…………………………………………………………………………..20%
  2. Competences & Experience of the candidate……………………..……………..…………….………………………………….50%
    – Meets requirements as outlined under competencies 
    – Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments carried out
  3. Consultant’s understanding of the assignment, proposed methodology and workplan…………………………………………………………………………………….30%

NB. Only the candidate with the best technical proposal equal or above 75% shall be considered for financial negotiations.

Application Submission Requirements 

A. Technical Proposal

  1. Detailed Curriculum Vitae with 3 referees.
  2. Detailed reference list indicating the scope and magnitude of similar assignments carried out.  
  3. Demonstration of possession of qualification and experience required.
  4. Methodology, work plan and understanding of the assignment.
  5. The technical proposal should not exceed 5 pages. CVs and other support documents may be attached as annexes.

B. Financial Proposal 

  1. The consultant shall provide a daily fee, number of days of the assignment and the total cost  for carrying out the assignment.  Use the templates provided under Annexes A, B and C for the financial proposal.
  2. Reimbursable costs if applicable shall be quoted separately.  These will be reimbursed based on actual cost incurred.
  3. All applicable taxes (withholding taxes & VAT) should be quoted separately. If the financial proposal is silent on taxes, AGRA shall assume that these are inclusive.
  4. Prices must be quoted in USD ($).

Guidelines for Preparation and Submission of Proposals 

  1. The proposals SHALL be submitted to procurement@agra.org by the deadline indicated in the synopsis.
  2. The proposal and ALL Attachments submitted via email SHALL NOT exceed 10MB.
  3. VALIDITY of the proposal shall be for a period of 90 days from the date of bid closure. 
  4. Financial proposal shall be sent as a separate attachment and MUST be password protected. The password shall be requested from the best technically qualified individual (s).

Download full RFP:
https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/RFP-157-SC-2021-CONSULTANT-TO-DEVELOP-A-BASELINE-REPORT-FOR-AGRAS-CENTRE-FOR-AFRICAN-LEADERS-IN-AGRICULTURE.docx