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Terms of Reference for a Final Evaluation of the ICCO MAVC Program

Terms of Reference for an International Office to Conduct a Final Evaluation of the ICCO MAVC Program in Burundi

ICCO Cooperation implements Microfinance, Agri-finance and Value Chain program in Burundi (MAVC) since October 2014. This program works on the development and financing of value chains for 16,000 small farmers through 4 value chains (rice, cassava, potato and banana). It aims to connect 150,000 households with financial services provided by local MFIs. The program is implemented by ICCO Cooperation with funding from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Burundi.

The objectives of the MAVC program have been achieved by three categories of actors such as financial service providers (micro-finance institutions), producer organizations as well as chain actors (the transformation units).

In relation to the development of value chains, the tasks are the following:

  • Strengthening of producer organizations as a way to improve market bargaining power and effective organization of support to farmers;
  • Strengthening agricultural productivity through the improvement of farming systems and related agricultural investments;
  • Strengthening market linkages for small farmers in the four agricultural sub-sectors, through a value chain development process;
  • Create an environment conducive to the inclusive development of value chains, through direct and active collaboration with other stakeholders and advocacy targeting government institutions at the provincial and national levels.

Regarding the financial services component, the activities implemented were directed towards the consolidation of:

  • A diversified supply of rural financial services that meet the needs of the agricultural and financial services to the rural population;
  • A strong rural financial sector as measured by MFIs that have improved their performance;
  • Sustained demand for financial services through financial education and social performance management;
  • An increase in refinancing of MFIs and producer organizations by banks and local investors.

For greater efficiency, the implementation of the program required the creation of strong synergies between the two components through links between the development of value chains and their financing through:

  • Sensitization of stakeholders in value chains among producer organizations, suppliers, appropriate government actors and value chain financing;
  • Creating effective governance structures for value chains and providers of value chain financing;
  • Financing agreements between value chain finance providers and farmers / producer organizations for selected value chains and ensuring that 16,000 participating farmers receive the necessary funding for an optimal period within the chain;
  • Fostering a supportive environment for microfinance, rural finance and inclusive value chain development sectors.

The MAVC program has been implemented through an approach called "Making Markets Work for the Poor" with special attention to women's and youth entrepreneurship. The program has already rich information and documentation, such as baseline study or baseline data, mid-term evaluation, quarterly, semi-annual and annual reports etc.

After five years of implementation, the program will be closed this September 2019. It is within this framework that the organization is looking for an external consultant to evaluate the results achieved through the approaches and strategies used by the organization through implementing experience of the MAVC program.

II. Fields and Objectives of the Final Evaluation

II.1. Scope of the Evaluation

The final evaluation will focus on the effects in the catchment implementation area of the Microfinance, Agrifinance and Value Chains program (MAVC).

II.2. General Objective:

  • Evaluate the effects of the program on food security and income in terms of quality (significant correlation) and quantity (target achieved).
  • To provide ICCO-Cooperation and the different program stakeholders with an independent assessment of the performance of the interventions in achieving the objectives of the MAVC Program at the level of the different links of the 4 value chains as well as the factors that contributed or limited to Achieving results and providing recommendations to guide the formulation of future programs.

II.3. Specific Objectives:

Specifically, this evaluation targets results achieved only by the MAVC program and will:

  • Show the added-value of the approach used by ICCO Cooperation based primarily on the combination of value chain development, financial services development as well as the different strategies and other innovations adopted in achieving the results compared to the food security and income growth;
  • Appreciate the results / outputs of the program in terms of the number of micro-credits granted, the performance of MFIs and their degree of satisfaction with the MAVC program, the number of produce organizations reinforced and their degree of satisfaction with the services provided by the MFIs and the MAVC program, the number of transformation units strengthened and their own appreciation of the support of the MFIs and the MAVC program;
  • Appreciate the expected results / outputs of the program in relation to the number of micro-credits granted, the performance of MFIs, the performance of the enhanced POs and their degree of satisfaction with the services provided by the MFIs and the MAVC program, the reinforced performance of transformation units.

III. Questions and criteria of the final evaluation

To achieve the objectives of this final evaluation of the Program, the consultant will need to refer to the baseline study, which involves a sample of 800 producers, the mid-term evaluation in comparison with the field data collected for the program to give an independent opinion on the following criteria:

Relevance

To what extent do the objectives of the MAVC Program align with the priorities of the target group (s), partners and the donor of the program, and are the activities conducted and results observed consistent with the overall objectives of the program and the expected impact?

Effectiveness

To what extent have the objectives of the program been achieved and what have been the main reasons for achieving or not achieving the objectives?

Efficiency

To what extent have the resources availed (human, material and financial) been used appropriately to achieve the stated objectives?

The effects

What are the positive, negative, direct or indirect effects of the program and how are they explained? What concrete changes has the program made to beneficiaries in terms of food security and increased income?

Sustainability 

To what extent do the results of the program endure after the end of the program and the cessation of funding? What are the main factors in the sustainability of the program?
What is the exit strategy and exit plan of the programme? 

IV. Methodology and description of the final evaluation process

IV. 1. Methodology

The consultant should present a clear and comprehensive methodology that will be conducted in a participatory approach involving all stakeholders and at all levels of the MAVC program.
In terms of data collection methods, the quantitative method must be done using a questionnaire while referring to the sample drawn in the baseline survey. And qualitative through the focus groups will be used to carry out this final evaluation. The consultant will have to propose a specific methodology including the data processing plan and a detailed research plan in their technical application and this will be validated by the piloting committee. 

The evaluation team will triangulate data sources, data collection tools and methods (individual and group interviews, and direct observation) to ensure the quality of the data collected. For data collection, sampling should be done at two levels:

  • First, the sample of 800 respondents to the 2014 baseline survey (MAVC group and control group). ICCO Cooperation provides addresses, survey and investigators for this analysis;
  • The selection of sites based on a reasoned choice to determine the regions and localities according to the intensity of the interventions and the characteristics of the localities to represent all the diversities producers’ organizations, the transformation units, MFIs and other categories of informants to be interviewed like customers of the products processed by the transformation unites.

 It will also involve consulting the beneficiaries of training and services provided under the MAVC Program using a semi-structured interview guide (key respondent interviews). The program team will be involved in explaining how the activities were conducted, providing success stories, available capitalization sheets and case studies or other items produced under this program.

IV. 2.  The documentary review

Sources of information within the MAVC program include:

  • The documents of the Program, its theory of change , the different tools for collecting data;
  • Quarterly, semi-annual and annual activity reports;
  • Research reports produced under the Program;
  • Monitoring and evaluation plan;
  • Baseline study or baseline assessment
  • The report of the mid-term evaluation;
  • Case studies and / or capitalization sheets.

IV. 3. The main target groups and data collection techniques

Data collection techniques  Person or target groups
Individual interviews
  • ICCO Cooperation Country Director
  • Representative of ICCO Cooperation in Burundi;
  • Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Burundi;
  • Consultants who have worked or who work on the program;
  • The technical assistants of the MAVC Program;
  • Consultant in charge of monitoring and evaluation and communication;
  • The MFIs Network in Burundi
Key informant interviews
  • Decision-makers: Ministry of Finance on aspects related to MFIs, the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock,
  • Representatives of MFIs;
  • Members of producers organizations, transformation units;
  • Customers of processed products.
Focus groups 
  • Beneficiaries of the MAVC program interventions (members of producers organizations, transformation units and MFIs especially on the degree of involvement and satisfaction)

IV. 4.  Establishment of the evaluation committee

It is planned to set up a small evaluation committee, which also oversees the entire evaluation process. The committee is responsible for ensuring that the final evaluation runs smoothly and will put in place the entire mechanism so that the evaluation takes place in the best possible conditions and will have the specific role such as:

  • appreciate the methodology of the study as presented by the International Bureau;
  • provide the evaluation team with relevant information and the necessary documentation;
  • Analyze the draft of the report and provide comments to consultants aligned by the global office;
  • facilitate access to the global office and to the requested information;

This team will be composed by representatives of the ICCO Cooperation, the representative of the Minister of Agriculture, the representative of the Ministry of Finance and the representative of RIM. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Burundi may participate in the first meeting as an observer. However, this embassy will be involved throughout the proposal evaluation process of the international offices that are going to bid.

IV.5. Steps of the evaluation

The evaluation will be structured in three main phases: the start, the field stage and the writing of the final report.

Start-up phase: This is a unique framing opportunity with the entire program team during which the methodology will be refined and stated as well as the setting of all elements related to the evaluation.

Field phase activities: This phase will last approximately 8 days. At the end of this phase, a feedback meeting will enable the evaluation team to provide the management of ICCO Cooperation with the initial findings and preliminary recommendations of the evaluation.

Final report writing phase: The evaluation team will prepare an interim report based on information from the desk review and data collected during the field phase. This report will be submitted to the pilot team of the final evaluation of the program whose comments will be compiled by the consultant in charge of monitoring and evaluation and communication to enable the team of consultants to produce a final report.

V. Expected results

The following documents are expected from the consultants' office:

  • A methodological approach which shows the sample, its calculation and representativeness as well as the qualitative survey through the focus group guide;
  • Database based on data processing software accepted by ICCO Cooperation;
  • A draft version of the MAVC Final Evaluation Report to be commented by the Evaluation Sponsor in this case ICCO Cooperation;
  • A presentation of the results with a power point presentation to the technical team of the MAVC Program and the team of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Burundi;
  • A final version of the report in an electronic file and a hard copy version;
  • A final report of the evaluation (maximum 30 pages including appendices) taking into account the comments made by the final evaluation steering committee;
  • The final evaluation report in two versions (French and English version).

Evaluation timeline 

VII. Composition and profile of people to be aligned by the final evaluation office

The evaluation will be conducted by an independent office. The composition and profile of the evaluation team should be complementary to the areas covered by the MAVC Program. The team leader will assume overall responsibility for the final evaluation process until the final report is produced. He will direct and coordinate the work of the team and will be the guarantor of the quality of the various products of the evaluation. He (she) must not only have a good knowledge of the national context but also a perfect mastery of French and English.

VIII. Profile of consultants aligned by the office

The office will bring together two highly experienced consultants in the areas of intervention of ICCO Cooperation, namely the development of value chains and their financing.
Each of the consultants aligned by the office will have to meet the following criteria:

  • Have at least a Master's degree in fields such as agronomy, agro-economics, microfinance, rural economy, social sciences and other related sciences;
  • Have at least 5 years of experience in the evaluation of projects and programs in general and those related to the development and financing of value chains in developing countries (baseline study, mid-term and final evaluation) ;
  • Have a good knowledge of the Great Lakes region in general and Burundi in particular;
  • Have completed at least 5 similar assignments (indicate reference persons and types of projects or programs evaluated);
  • Have specific experience in assessing gender mainstreaming in projects and programs;
  • Have at least 3 years of experience in conceptual and operational approaches to policy and program evaluation in the agricultural sector;
  • Have 5 years’ experience in the management and conduct of surveys based on the methodology to collect quantitative and qualitative data;
  • Have a proven ability to write concise and accurate reports in a short time in French and English;
  • Be prepared to travel to Burundi in general and in the intervention provinces of the MAVC Program in particular;
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of strategic issues in development and value chain financing, having at least had experience with two similar programs;
  • Mastery of current software and data processing;
  • Have at least 3 years’ experience in supervising field data collection teams;
  • Have 5 years’ experience in inclusion and financial education in developing countries.
  • Excellent command of the French language, good knowledge of English. Being able to understand Kirundi is an advantage.

IX. Management and conduct of the final evaluation (logistics and others)

ICCO Cooperation will provide the consultants office with all the logistics needed for the execution of the mission.

For the policy aspects of ICCO Cooperation, Coordination and General Orientation, the consultants will refer to the Country Director and the Senior Technical Advisor and Representative of ICCO Cooperation in Burundi.

X. Code of Ethics for Conducting Consultancy.

The final evaluation of the MAVC Program as implemented by ICCO Cooperation needs to be independent, impartial and rigorous. It must clearly contribute to learning to better prepare similar programs in the near future. Thus, evaluators must demonstrate personal and professional integrity.

The consultants' office must be independent and must be able to express their opinion freely.

Evaluators must protect the anonymity and confidentiality of individual informants and must respect the right of people to provide information with confidence. Evaluators should not evaluate individuals, and should balance the assessment of management functions against this general principle.

Evaluators must be sensitive to beliefs and customs and act with integrity and honesty in their dealings with all MAVC implementation stakeholders.

In addition, evaluators need to be sensitive and consider issues of non-discrimination and gender equality. They must avoid offending the dignity and respect of the people they come into contact with as part of this evaluation. Recognizing that evaluation may negatively affect the interests of some stakeholders, evaluators should conduct the assessment and communicate its purpose and outcomes in a way that clearly respects the "dignity and self-esteem" of stakeholders.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested candidate offices can submit their offers 

  • I. In a single envelope marked "Technical and financial evaluation offer for the final evaluation of the Microfinance, Agri-finance and Value Chains program- MAVC ". The financial offer must be a separate envelope and the technical offer in another, all put in the overall envelope. All proposals will be addressed to 
  • II. In a mail with the financial and technical offer in separated attachement 

To
Willy Hatungimana
Country Director of ICCO-Cooperation in Bujumbura Boulevard du 28 Novembre N ° 47, Bujumbura, Burundi, BP 5920 Bujumbura-Burundi 
Tel: +257 22 27 90 28 
w.hatungimana@icco.nl

In view of the low number of reactions, the response time has been extended until 26 July
 

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