Consultancy:Final Evaluation for Making Vegetable Markets Work


Required: External Final Evaluation Contract

Mercy Corps is looking for a consultant or firm to carry out the final evaluation of the Making Vegetable Markets Work (MVMW) in Southern Shan and Rakhine States in Myanmar. Please find below the Scope of Work. If you are interested, please submit a cover letter outlining capacities and experience with availability and fees (one page), preliminary evaluation plan (two pages), budget (one page), CV/s of key persons (three maximum), and sample of previous work (two maximum) to the Mercy Corps no later than January 17, 2018 at the following email address: ,

Only shortlisted candidate(s) will be contacted for interviews.

1)Scope of Work: Final Evaluation for Making Vegetable Markets Work
Program to be Evaluated:Making Vegetable Markets Work for the Poor (MVMW)
Donor: Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT)
Location: Myanmar

• Southern Shan (Taunggyi, Pindaya, Pinlaung, Nyaung Shwe, Kalaw Townships)
• Rakhine State (Sittwe, Ponnagyun, Pauktaw, Kyauk Taw and Mrauk Oo Townships)
Timeframe for SOW: Approximately 45 days between Late January – March 2018
Application Deadline: January 17, 2018

2) Purpose of the Evaluation
The purpose of this assignment is to conduct a final evaluation of LIFT-funded Making Vegetable Markets Work (MVMW) program implemented by Mercy Corps and Swisscontact. The entire implementation period (June 2014 to March 2017) will be evaluated. As the project utilizes a market systems development approach, the evaluation must analyze impacts at multiple levels: individual farmers, communities, the private sector, and enabling environment (e.g., government) using the Adapt-Adopt-Expand-Respond framework.

The evaluation should be participatory to maximize the learning opportunities for Mercy Corps in the review of programme achievements, monitoring, logistics, and approaches. The purpose of conducting the external evaluation is to provide a means of accountability to the donor, project beneficiaries and stakeholders by assessing the quality and impact of the program. Furthermore, the final evaluation will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the program and program team to ensure lessons learned are captured. The evaluation should provide meaningful analysis that will serve as strategic guidance in the design of future market-led agricultural projects in Myanmar. The final evaluation will provide an assessment of the following: 1) relevance 2) effectiveness; 3) impact; 4) sustainability.

3) Background:
Mercy Corps is a secular, non-profit, non-governmental humanitarian organization that has worked amid disasters and poverty since 1979, providing humanitarian relief and development aid worth more than $1.3 billion to people in 94 nations worldwide. Mercy Corps is a recognized sector-leader in livelihoods and food security in Myanmar, pioneering a market-based approach that empowers local communities to engage the private sector and leverage external support provided to them by our programs. Our approach recognizes that the lives of the poor are inextricably linked to the functioning of the systems around them, targeting intervention at critical points in the market system and building capacity within it to enable and incentivize key players to function more effectively for the benefit of the poor. The role of Mercy Corps is intended to be catalytic, working towards a vision of a market that does not require aid-funded support.

In June 2014, the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) awarded Mercy Corps a grant for the Making Vegetable Markets Work project (MVMW). Mercy Corps sub-contracted Swisscontact to support implementation. The project aims to tackle six key constraints for increased farmer productivity within the market system: inputs, financial services, information, off-season production technology, post-harvest production options, and government extension. The program also creates and/or strengthens market linkages between farmers and buyers. The project hypothesizes that these changes lead to increased quality, quantity and value of production, ultimately contributing to improved livelihoods for vegetable farmers. Efforts in policy advocacy and learning will leverage the results further by positively influencing the development debate in Myanmar.
MVMW seeks to improve the economic performance of vegetable farming households and improve the enabling environment for inclusive economic growth. Results are measured by two purpose-level indicators:
• Increase the incomes of 11,250 farming households by 50%
• Increase the terms of trade for 6,000 farming households

4) Existing Sources of Program Information
• Program proposal and nine-months extension proposal
• Baseline and midterm assessment reports
• Annual and semi-annual reports
• Project Indicator plan

5) Objective of the Final Evaluation and Evaluation Questions
1. Relevance: To assess the degree to which the program’s design was relevant given the changing context and nature of the beneficiary population.
• Were the activities of the program appropriate in terms of addressing the original problems?
• In general, was the program relevant to local market trends, particularly as they impact growth opportunities for resource-constrained farmers and market actors in Shan and Rakhine States?

2. Effectiveness: To assess whether the program was being implemented as planned, identify any roadblocks, and adapted appropriately.
• To what extent has the program been successful in achieving its objective-level outcomes and meeting its indicator targets?
• What changes could be made to strengthen and enhance project performance in future programs of this nature?

3. Impact: To assess if there have been any unplanned consequences or impact of the program’s activities to date, whether positive or negative.
• What are the impacts of program activities for farmers, communities, private sector businesses and enabling environment?
• What behavior changes are attributable to program activities?
• What unexpected changes have come about as a result of the program? What factors have contributed to these changes?
• What capacities (individual or systems-level) contributed to or limited the project’s impact?
• What shocks and stresses did farmers and the private sector face? How did these affect program impact?

4. Sustainability: To assess if the program’s activities produced sustainable results with potential for scalability.
• To what extent has the program created sustainable higher returning income opportunities for resource-poor households?
• To what extent are benefits of the program likely to continue after donor funding ceases?
• What were the major factors that influence the expected achievement or non-achievement of sustainability of the program?
• To what extent is there “copying” or “crowding-in” within communities and the private sector?

6) Evaluation Methods
Detailed methodologies for the evaluation will be agreed between Mercy Corps and the external consultant / evaluating firm after contracting. The consultant / evaluating firm will first conduct a desk review and interview key Mercy Corps and partner staff. A detailed evaluation protocol will then be developed by the evaluators to include rigorous sampling and mixed method data collection and analysis tools. The evaluators will work in conjunction with Mercy Corps to identify enumerators and develop the enumerators’ scope of work for the evaluation. Ideally, a local firm will be selected to provide enumeration.

The methods will include interviews with a representative sample of farmers (300+ for both states), private sector (international, national, and local), civil society, and government (local and national).

The Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) and Adopt-Adapt-Expand-Respond frameworks will be used to measure change.

7) Consultant Activities
• Review of the program data, reports, and existing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system
• Interview Mercy Corps and Swisscontact project team
• Create evaluation methodology with Mercy Corps
• Design surveys for farmers, private sector, civil society and government stakeholders
• Conduct interviews and focus group discussions with private sector, civil society, and government
• Analysis data, draft report and share with Mercy Corps for feedback
• Incorporate feedback and finalize report
• Other activities proposed by the consultant as deemed relevant and as agreed by Mercy Corps

8) Budget
The total budgeted amount for this consultancy is MMK 22,000,000. The budget should include all professional fees and miscellaneous costs. Include a one-page budget with detailed line items in your submission.

Mercy Corps will provide funds for travel and accommodation separate from this budget.

Mercy Corps will provide five enumerators in Rakhine State and two enumerators in Southern Shan State. It is suggested that the applicants consider at least two additional enumerators in Southern Shan in their budget.

9) Key Deliverables
• Evaluation plan including methodology/tools
• Copies of the raw data files after data collection, along with quantitative results must be provided to Mercy Corps in a user friendly format
• A presentation of the evaluator’s initial findings to program staff and the senior management in Yangon, as well as a potential presentation to LIFT.
• Final evaluation report—including a detailed methodology section—submitted to Mercy Corps Myanmar management.

10) Reporting
The final evaluation report should be in English. The minimum report requirements are as follows:
• Cover Page, List of Acronyms
• Table of Contents which identifies page numbers for the major content areas of the report.
• Executive Summary (2 to 3 pages) should be a clear and concise stand-alone document that gives readers the essential contents of the evaluation report in 2 or 3 pages, previewing the main points in order to enable readers to build a mental framework for organizing and understanding the detailed information within the report. In addition, the Executive Summary helps readers determine the key results and recommendations of the report. Thus, the Executive Summary should include: major lessons learned; maximum of two paragraphs describing the program, summary of targets and intended outcomes; areas of meaningful under or over achievement; and recommendations.
• Methodology: including strengths and weaknesses of methods used, the inclusion of stakeholders and staff, a rough schedule of activities, description of any statistical analysis undertaken, including justification and software package used. The discussion of any random sampling used should include details on how the random respondents were identified and invited to participate. This section should also address constraints and limitations of the evaluation process and rigor. The methodology section should also include a detailed description of data collection techniques used throughout the evaluation.
• Findings
• Limitations of the study: this should also include areas for further research
• Key observations, overall conclusions, actions recommended for future interventions

11) Procedures: Schedule and Logistics
While Mercy Corps undertakes the responsibility of facilitating travel and organizing meetings for the evaluator, it is the evaluator’s ultimate responsibility to follow through and ensure that all relevant parties are interviewed and relevant project sites visited.

The following schedule is proposed for the evaluation:
• Focused desk review and first round of interviews: 3 days
• Development of evaluation protocol and planning: 5 days
• Field data collection, including travel days:
o Yangon preparation: 2 day
o Enumerator training: 4 days
o Southern Shan State: 7 days
o Rakhine State: 7 days
o Yangon: 5 days
o Naypyidaw: 1 day
• Yangon debriefing: 2 day
• Analysis, report writing, and submission of first and revisions: 10 days
• Total: 45 days

Note: Estimate days are not “person day” and should be reduced or increased based on number of staff assigned to the various tasks

12) Qualifications and Scoring

Criterial Scoring Weight
Quality of proposal
- Clear plan with milestones
- Technical approach including market systems methodology 30%
Relevant capacities and experience
- Evaluation of similar agricultural market development programs
- Experience in Myanmar and with LIFT
- CVs of key personnel
- Sample of past work 50%
- Detailed and realistic
- Value for money 20%
Total 100%

13) Submission
Please submit the following documents to , latest by 11:59pm Myanmar time on 17 January, 2018.

• Cover letter outlining capacities and experience with availability and fees (one page)
• Preliminary evaluation plan (two pages)
• Budget (one page)
• CV/s of key persons (three maximum)
• Sample of previou

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