Rapid Performance Assessment of the Community Seed Bank Component of the Improved Seed, Food and Livelihood Security for Agro-pastoralists Project


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Rapid Performance Assessment of the Community Seed Bank (CSB) Component of the Improved Seed, Food and Livelihood Security for Agro-pastoralists Project

1. About the Development Fund of Norway and the Somalia Country Programme

For more than 40 years the Development Fund (DF) has collaborated with local communities and civil society organizations in developing countries to improve the production of food and income generation of highly vulnerable and marginalized rural communities. DF’s vision is a sustainable and just world with freedom from hunger, poverty and marginalization. Hundreds of thousands of small-scale farming households have received DF-support to develop resilient livelihoods and eliminate hunger, malnutrition, and poverty in their communities.

DF has stood steadfast in the forefront among development organizations promoting the empowerment of marginalized rural communities, pro-poor policies and appropriate solutions, particularly through approaches such as crop diversification, model-farmer, adaptive climate villages, affordable climate-smart agriculture techniques, community seed-banks, small scale irrigation and mechanizations, local natural resource management, microcredits and capacity building of civil society and grassroots organization. DF mobilizes the assets of small-scale farmers to ensure local contribution, involvement, and ownership, which is key to a sustainable, resilient, and equitable development.

DF has been supporting local NGOs under various programmes in both Somaliland and Puntland since 2009 with the overall goal of improving food security and nutrition among pastoralists and agro-pastoralist communities in Somaliland and Puntland. The Somalia Country Programme is concentrated around the Building Local Resilience and Adaptation to Climate (BRAC) Programme supported by Norad, the Community Resilience in Somaliland and Puntland (CRISP) Project funded by the European Union, and the Improved Seed, Food and Livelihood Security for Agro-pastoralists Project funded by the Darwin Initiative (UK). These projects are implemented in Awdal, Maroodijeex, Togheer, Sanaag and Sool in Somaliland and Bari and Nugaal in Puntland.

2 Project background and context

2.1 Project description

The Improved Seed, Food and Livelihood Security for Agro-pastoralists Project (the Project) in Somalia is funded with a £440,000 grant by the Darwin initiative (DI), a UK government grants scheme that supports the preservation of biodiversity. The Project was implemented by DF together with three local partners – ADO, HAVOYOCO and KAALO – between 1st September 2020 and 31st March 2022 (including a No Cost Extension of 15 months). The Project is implemented in three villages: Beer and Galooley villages in the Togdheer and Maroodijex regions of Somaliland, respectively; and Cuun village in Nugaal region of Puntland. The target group comprises 1,100 agro-pastoralist households in Somaliland and 500 households in Puntland, corresponding to about 9,600 people.

The goal of the Project is to strengthen the resilience of agro-pastoralist production systems in Somaliland and Puntland through improved access to diverse, quality seeds, improved soil and water management, and increased awareness of farmers’ rights among government and other local stakeholders. In this respect, the role and effectiveness of Community Seed Banks (the CSB Component) represents a central aspect of the intervention logic.

2.2 The CSB Component

Under the Project, it was intended that agricultural biodiversity would be enhanced through the collection and repatriation of at least 40 crop varieties from 13 crops which will be conserved in community seed banks. The sustainable on-farm use of these crop varieties is expected to be enabled/improved by facilitating access for local communities via loans from the CSB, as well as through sales/marketing operations. Somalia does not currently have a national gene bank. As such, the CSBs are expected to play an important role in building up germplasm collections in the country and encouraging their sustainable use.

2.3 Objective of the Project

The Project objective is to reduce poverty through improved seed, food and livelihood security for agro-pastoralist families in Somaliland and Puntland.

Outcome 1: Resilience of agro-pastoralist production systems in 3 communities enhanced through improved access to diverse, quality seeds, improved soil and water management, and increased awareness of farmers’ rights among government/local actors.**

Outputs

1.1. Seed security assessments (SSAs) conducted with participating communities and other local agencies

1.2. Initiatives supported to improve access to high-quality seeds for women and men agro-pastoralists

1.3. Support provided to reclaim and rehabilitate degraded agricultural land

1.4. Support provided to raise awareness among government agencies and other local actors on farmers’ rights, seed security and related policy instruments (ITPGRFA).

2.4 Project implementation modality

The Project implementation approach is participatory in nature whereby the target communities and key stakeholders jointly participate in planning, implementation, and monitoring. The DF is the lead organization and responsible for the overall coordination of the project working closely with, the three local implementing partners – KAALO, HAVOYOCO and ADO – each of which is responsible for implementation in the focal villages where they have strong established working relationships with local communities.

The Project builds on a pre-existing partnership with ADO and HAVOYCO, who have partnered with DF since 2009. KAALO has been a partner since 2017 in Food Security and Livelihood programmes funded by the Norwegian government. The implementing partners worked closely with the establish community seedbank committee members. For effective implementation, the Project collaborated closely with the Somaliland Ministries of Agriculture and of Environment and Natural Resources, respectively, and Ministry of Agriculture in Puntland.

Project Outcome and Outcome Indicators

RESULT / INDICATORS

Reduced poverty through improved seed, food and livelihood security for agro-pastoralist families in Somaliland and Puntland

Outcome: Resilience of agro-pastoralist production systems in 3 communities enhanced through improved access to diverse, quality seeds, improved soil and water management, and increased awareness of farmers’ rights among government/local actors (the italicised indicators are relevant to the CSB Component).

1. Number of varieties conserved in community seed banks (CSBS) increased from 55 (revised baseline) to 70 varieties from 19 crop species 1280 households (75% of target population) perceive that their access to quality seeds has improved since 2019

2. 1280 households (75% of target population) perceive that their access to quality seeds has improved since 2019

3. Seed security score of 4 key crops improved as compared to baseline in each of the three target communities

  1. At least 240 vulnerable households, including at least 96 female-headed households, have improved soil and water resources on their farms
  2. Evidence of progress towards implementation of policy measures supportive of farmers’ rights/ITPGRFA is documented

6. At least 70 percent of the benefited households have experienced positive change in their livelihood security

Source: Logical framework **

3 Purpose

The purpose of this Rapid Performance Assessment (the Assessment) is to assess and document the performance of activities and approach related to Community Seed Banks (the CSB Component), which represent a central aspect of the intervention logic. DF and partners are committed to ensuring that lessons learned contribute to improvements in the design and implementation of the CSB Component in the next phase of the Project. [1] It is, therefore, intended that the Assessment will provide clear, actionable recommendations for improvements on the basis of the findings and lessons learned.

4 Specific objectives

The specific objectives of this Assessment are to:

  1. Assess effectiveness, impact and sustainability of project activities related specifically to implementation and delivery of the CSB Component, and
  2. Provide findings, key lessons learned and clear recommendations for improvements to design and implementation of the CSB component in the next phase.

5 Scope of the Assessment

The scope of the Assessment comprises the entire implementation period (1st September 2019 to 31st March 2022) but is limited to the CSB Component and experience with implementation in Somaliland only (not Puntland). In this sense, assessment scope is limited to the following outputs:

1.1. Seed security assessments (SSAs) conducted with participating communities and other local agencies

1.2. Initiatives supported to improve access to high-quality seeds for women and men agro-pastoralists

As such, scope is also limited to output indicators 1,2,3 and 6. As far as practicable, it is expected that the Consultant will assess the extent to which specified targets were achieved.

6 Assessment questions

In order to achieve the specific objectives of the Assessment, the Consultant shall employ the standard DAC evaluation criteria  for evaluation of effectiveness, impact and sustainability.[2] The Assessment comprises:

6.1 Effectiveness

1) To what extent have objectives and outputs related to the CSB component been achieved?

a) What are the main results (most significant changes) achieved?

b) Were there any unexpected results/impacts (positive or negative)?

c) What were the main challenges towards achieving intended results and how might these be addressed in the next phase?

6.2 Impact

1) To what extent is the CSB Component likely to contribute to strengthened resilience of agro-pastoralist production systems?

2) To what extent has the CSB Component contributed to empowering local community/farmers’ organizations for promoting conservation and agricultural biodiversity?

a) Have women and men benefitted equally from the intervention?

3) Is there evidence of any impact (positive or negative) beyond the target communities?

6.3 Sustainability

1) Are there adequate mechanisms in place to ensure the continued flow of benefits from the CSB component?

2) Were Project results achieved in a manner that built ownership and capacity of the beneficiaries?

3) What are the key factors that will require attention to improve sustainability?

4) Is there scope to improve coordination amongst the many stakeholders and partner institutions?

6.4 Cross-cutting issues

1) To what extent have efforts to promote gender equality in terms of enhanced women’s participation in the CSB Component (including representation in leadership/decision-making roles) succeeded?

6.5 Lessons learned

The articulation of lessons learned must be clear, relevant, targeted and actionable so that the Assessment can be used to achieve its intended learning and accountability objectives.

1) What are the key lessons emerging from the CSB Component – both positive and negative – that can inform future design and implementation of the CSB Component in the next phase?

a) What practices of worked well and what lessons can be drawn for scaling up (as envisioned in the next phase of the Project)?

7 Assessment methodology

The Assessment approach and methodology design should be developed by the Consultant in consideration of the information outlined in this ToR. A detailed methodology, including data collection methods, should be included in the proposal and may be further improved in consultation with the Client prior to commencing the assignment.[3]

The Consultant is free to choose suitable specific methodologies that ensure reliable, evidence-based recommendations.[4] It is envisioned that the data collection methodology will at least comprise:

· Brief desk review of background documents with emphasis on the CSB Component (project application, baseline report, annual reports, progress and performance Assessment report, field visit reports, etc);

· Key informant interviews (KIIs) to gather evidence on effectiveness, impact and sustainability of project activities related specifically to implementation and delivery of the CSB Component (a list of key informants will be drawn up together with the Client); and

· Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with communities involved in the CSB Component.

8 Qualifications of consultant

The assignment is intended for a single consultant who will have overall responsibility vis-à-vis the Client and should possess the following set of competencies, experience and skills:

· Degree in agriculture/biology, social science, development studies/economics, statistics, or related field (preferably an MsC);

· Demonstrable experience (at least 5 years) on agrobiodiversity methods, with good understanding of farmers’ seed systems and policies on plant genetic resources;

· Demonstrable experience (at least 5 years) in conducting independent reviews/evaluations/assessments of interventions related to agricultural production and climate adaptation and empowerment of local communities;

· Knowledge of and familiarity with the sociopolitical and socioeconomic context of Somaliland/Somalia;

· Experience in the use of participatory methodologies and developing gender-sensitive evaluation;

· Strong analytical and conceptual skills to clearly synthesize and present findings and make recommendations and to prepare well-written reports in a timely manner; and

· Demonstrated excellent written and spoken communication skills in English and Somali.

9 Responsibilities

The division of responsibility for the Assessment is defined according to the following table.

Stakeholder

Responsibilities

Consultant

Full implementation of the Assessment, including practical arrangements such as organising appointments, interviews and plan for travels/logistics both regionally (if applicable) and locally; conduct fieldwork and synthesize findings; and ensure timely submission of Draft Assessment Report, and Final Assessment Report.

DF Country Programme

Contract management. Assist in providing contact details for key informants and relevant stakeholders to be consulted/interviewed; assist in planning fieldwork (in consultation with partners); provide inputs and documentation to the consultancy team; and review draft Assessment report.

The Consultant will report to Nafisa Abdirahman, MEAL and Documentation Advisor. Modalities of communication, feedback mechanisms and contact with stakeholders will be agreed at start-up.

Contact details:

Ms Nafisa Abdirahman, MEAL and Documentation Advisor

Development Fund of Norway, Somalia Country Programme

Hargeisa, Somaliland

Project implementers

Provide inputs and any required documentation to the consultancy team, logistical assistance with field trips. Assist in arranging meetings with project stakeholders as and when necessary. Provide inputs and any required project documentation.

10 Schedule and deliverables

The duration of the Assessment is estimated to 5 calendar weeks with the assignment set to commence no later than 23 May 2022 and be completed no later than 21 June 2022. The budget available for the Assessment is USD6,000 in total. The table below sets out the tentative timeline for Assessment activities and delivery of expected outputs:

Activity

Dates

Contract signing 23.05.2022

Start-up meeting (kick-off) 25.05.2022

Phase 1 – Desk study and data collection

o Desk study/literature review 29.05.2022

o Fieldwork (data collection) 04.06.2022

Phase 2 – Analysis and Reporting

o Submission of Draft Assessment Report 11.06.2022

o Client review and comment 16.06.2022

o Submission of Final Assessment Report 21.06.2022

10.1 Deliverables

Draft report: The Draft Rapid Performance Assessment Report shall be delivered in English and shall not exceed 15 pages, including a one-page executive summary and excluding annexes.

Assessment questions shall be clearly stated and answered. Recommendations and lessons learned should flow logically from the findings/conclusions. They must be clear, relevant, targeted and actionable so that the Assessment can be used to achieve its intended purpose and learning and accountability objectives. The report structure will be agreed at the assignment’s start-up.

Final report: The Final Rapid Performance Assessment Report in English shall incorporate Client comments and shall not exceed 15 pages including the executive summary and excluding annexes. It shall be submitted in digital form.

11 Reference documents

DF and the implementing partners will furnish the Consultant with all available project documentation upon signing of the contract. The Consultant is encouraged to identify any other sources for appropriate additional information that may be required.

[1] DF’s application to the Darwin Initiative for a second phase of the Project was approved in April 2022.

[2] Ref report: OECD DAC Evaluation Criteria, Updated (OECD, December 2019)

[3] The Assessment methodology, process and outputs must adhere to the OECD Development Quality Standards for Development Evaluation (OECD 2010). These standards include a requirement for the Consultant to be mindful of gender roles, ethnicity, ability, age, sexual orientation, language and other differences (eg power dynamics) when designing and carrying out the Assessment.

[4] The methodology will be adapted as needed to the prevailing Covid-19 situation and restrictions. Innovative and flexible approaches/methodologies and methods for remote data collection (incl online surveys) should be suggested when appropriate and the risk of doing harm managed.

How to apply

12 Offer/proposal submission and contact details

Offers to conduct the Assessment will be accepted from consultants based in Somalia or from consultants located in the region. Offers must be submitted electronically by 03 May 2022 to thor-jurgen@utviklingsfondet.no. The offer must contain a technical proposal within the specified budget frame, with attached CV.

For further details or questions regarding this ToR for the Assessment, kindly contact Nafisa Abdirahman, MEAL and Documentation Advisor at nafisa@utviklingsfondet.no with copy to issmael@utviklingsfondet.no.

 

More Information

  • Job City Somalia
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