Call for consultants: Multi-stakeholders co-design of the Programme "Farmers Organisations Leading Research & Innovation on agroecology for sustainable food systems"
AgriCord is a global alliance of 12 agri-agencies mandated by farmers organisations (FOs) with a strategic and historical relationship with Farmers’ Organisations in Europe, Canada, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The alliance has extensive internationally recognized track record linking the north – south dialogue for farmers organisations with grassroot initiatives on the national and subnational level with local national and regional partners. AgriCord puts farmers organisations at the center in global level actions with a strong capacity to manage multi-layered initiatives and processes that could comply with complex rules and requirements in a concerted way with Regional Farmers Organisations.
AgriCord has a number of ongoing programmes and given the opportunity that coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought to emphasise agroecology as a transitional solution to build resilience to shocks, nutrition security and boost food production with sustainable strategies accessible to all types of farmers, a new programme “Farmers Organisations Leading Research & Innovation on agroecology for sustainable food systems” is envisaged. The aim of the programme is to strengthen farmers’ and grassroots/regional/continental farmers organisations (FOs’) capacities to formulate research questions, tap into local knowledge, build partnerships, access resources, and mobilize necessary competencies to experiment and innovate at scale and thus to contribute and drive the agroecological transition for more productive and resilient food systems.
The proposed objectives of the programme (that will be developed further in a correlated Theory of Change in the concept note) are:
1. Valorising and strengthening local farmers capacities and knowledge at farm level and value chain level, boosting local, frugal and social innovations with an agroecological vision and with contribution of scientific research
2. Supporting FO’s and their partners to strengthening the capacities of their members to broadening the impact of agroecological technical, social and institutional innovations
3. Increasing the research and innovation capacities of FOs with specific methods for research and innovation adapted to farmers’ needs and capacities and forging necessary alliances with relevant stakeholders to do so
4. Strengthening ongoing collaborative policy processes between FOs and agricultural research and development actors (included private sector, civil society organisations, etc.) for sustainable food systems with an agroecological perspective
5. Intensifying the generation and scaling of agroecological innovations based on farmers knowledge and experiences to address the constraints limiting the sustainable and profitable transformation of agriculture and food systems.
The programme will cover components such as: 1. advocacy; 2. methodological support, lessons learning and capitalisation; 3. coordination and overall management; 4. grassroot FO-led action-research projects; and 5. small grants to support ad-hoc small action-research projects.
The AgriCord alliance called farmers organisations for a preliminary submission of draft project ideas from grassroot FO-led action research (see component 4) that will require feedback to make sure the scope of the programme is taken into account: that is farmer-led innovation and research on agroecology at farm and value chain level, what exact capacities are needed to be developed, what type of knowledge it relies on, what type of research methods are relevant, what type of interaction with research organization should be foreseen and what type of interactions between farmers are needed, etc.
The co-creation of a sound programme ready to kick off into implementation by 2022 requires preparatory work. It was agreed that this phase (between May and December 2021) would allow more dialogue with the various stakeholders, prepare and jointly fine-tune aims, objectives, expected results and foreseen main activities for the implementation.
Purpose of the Consultant assignment
To develop one financially and technically sound proposition of programme.
Two main results are expected:
- at least 3 virtual workshops in English, French and Spanish for the refinement of between 15-18 existing grassroot Farmers Organisations led action-research projects. These have a focus on innovative farmer-led agricultural research innovations on agroecology that can be strengthened and have potential to be scaled up for sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems
- a concept note (EU templates) for a technically sound proposition of programme.
The Action Document contains:
- Geographical scope
- Consultation process and timeline
- Programme framework, objectives and logic of intervention
- Theory of change, M&E system
- Components of the programme (coherence)
- Complementarities and synergies with the ACP, and Regional and Continental Farmers’ Organisations
- Governance and Steering of the programme (coherence)
- Budget and its management (flexibility)
- Annex: between 12-18 project proposals
During the co-design phase -and in the context of COVID-19 travel restrictions- most if not- all activities are foreseen to be conducted virtually.
The consultant will work (home based) closely with the AgriCord Strategic Partnership Facilitator (SPF), Programme Manager (and other Management team members of AgriCord when required), the agroecology working group (circle), and will report to the Strategic Partnership Facilitator.
The main foreseen virtual global activities and deadlines are:
- Activity 1: design and organisation of at least 3 virtual workshops in English, French and Spanish to provide feedback to the innovation project proposal’s to be supported and financed; as well as to build a common understanding regarding agroecology, farmer-led action-research, capacity to innovate, building of resilient food systems, working in partnerships
- Activity 2: assist the SPF in the organisation of information for the Scientific Committee that will be appointed to provide main recommendations to improve the project proposals and to do the final selection of projects; included the design of an agroecology grid to summarize and conduct the final selection of projects
- Activity 3: refinement of innovation project proposals with stakeholders
- Activity 4: design and organisation of virtual workshops to co-design with partners the advocacy and methodological support required by Farmers Organisations and to discuss overall governance, steering of the programme and the role of national/regional/continental Farmers Organisations
- Activity 5: first draft of concept note for discussion with main stakeholders (mid-July)
- Activity 6: final discussions period with main stakeholders, incorporation of feedback in the concept note
- Activity 7: final concept note (by mid-August)
- Activity 8: organisation of at least 2 virtual learning events from other experiences/programmes (e.g. DeSIRA-LIFT, Prolinnova, etc.) on farmer-led research and innovation in agroecology for sustainable food systems
For all the activities, the consultant will receive continuous feedback and support.
Timing of the assignment
- May 26, 2021: interested consultants submit a response to this ToR
- Tentatively, before June 1st, 2021: successful candidate will be informed, and contract signed
- June – July: activities 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- August: activities 6, 7
- September-November: activity 8
Requested time investment from the consultant: 40 days
- Preparatory meetings: 2 days
- Workshops design and provision of feedback: 12 days
- Drafting the Concept note and final version: 24 days
- Virtual events: 2 days
- Specialized and experienced formulator of multi-stakeholder programs in agriculture with farmers organisations and meeting donor’s terms of reference and requirements (content, form)
- International Research and Development expert with a post-graduate degree in the fields of agricultural innovation and research, agriculture and rural development, agricultural extension, social sciences, or other related topics to the call
- At least 10-15 years of international experience covering at least 2 continents
- Solid experience of conducting R&D work in close collaboration with farmers and farmers organisations, as well as of engaging in multi-stakeholder partnerships
- Demonstrated knowledge about the priorities and strategic orientation of EU and ACP in the global context
- Familiar with political, economic and social context in ACP, Asia and Latin America
- Track record of working with an array of stakeholders across different countries, cultures and languages
- Experienced with participatory strategic planning and program design processes
- Strong writing skills and ability to write EU programs
- Excellent written and oral presentation skills, including presentations, reports and proposals (in several languages)
- Capacity to work under pressure and be able to deliver on time respecting strict deadlines
- Experience conducting or taking part in collective interactions using main virtual tools (such as Teams, Zoom, Skype, or equivalent)
- Strong facilitation and diplomatic skills, good team player but also highly autonomous and capable of organizing and implementing her or his activities as expected
- Perfect working knowledge of English, French and Spanish (read, spoken, written)
- (Availability for the period May-December 2021)
Contents of the offer
Questions regarding the Terms of Reference can be sent to AgriCord, to the email address:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specify “Farmers Organisations Leading Research & Innovation on agroecology” in the email subject line.
Interested candidates should send their offer the 26th May 2021 latest, to the same email address with the same specification.
The offer should include the following:
- A detailed Curriculum Vitae of the international consultant, including all previous contracts during the last 5 years;
- Apart from the full CV, a table giving at least one recent (of the last 3 years) example of writing concept note and/or report related to the topics of this call;
- Proposed approach/process for the development of the concept note to be used in the program design and formulation, including the activities foreseen in this ToR
- Expected daily fee rate, VAT inclusive (exclusive of expenses);
- Indication of guaranteed availability between May 28th 2021 and end of November 2021 for 40 days
Selection of the proposals
The selection of the candidate will be done by AgriCord secretariat with the assigned AgriCord working group and will be based on the following criteria:
- Relevant experience and expertise (50%)
- Quality of proposal for the assignment (20%)
- Availability on short term (10%)
- Financial proposal (20%)
Terms of Payment
- 20% of the contract price will be paid by the contractor upon signing of the contract
- Another 30% will be paid upon submission of the draft concept note
- The final 50% will be paid upon satisfactory submission of all the deliverables foreseen in the contract.
AgriCord is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes the applications of all qualified candidates irrespective of their racial or ethnic origin, opinions or beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, health or disabilities.