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  • Job Vacancy at Catholic Relief Services

  • Posted on: 31 August, 2016 Deadline: 7 September, 2016
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    Catholic Relief Services is the official agency of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops for relief and development assistance overseas; an international non-governmental organization supporting relief and development work in over 99 countries around the world. CRS programs assist persons on the basis of need regardless of creed, ethnicity or nationality. CRS works through local church and non-church partners to implement its programs. Therefore, strengthening and building the capacity of these partner organizations is fundamental to our approach in every country in which CRS operates. CRS re- established its presence in Nigeria in 2000 and currently focuses on agriculture, health and emergency response programs. A key component of CRS Nigeria's new country strategy is monitoring, survey, accountability and learning.

    Expression of Interest for Sustainable Cassava Seed System Project Survey


    The Project:  Sustainable Cassava Seed System (SCSS):
    Catholic Relief Services wishes to engage an individual consultant to conduct a final survey of the SCSS project. The Sustainable Cassava Seed Systems (SCSS) project is a five year (2012-2016), multi-partner project that aims at increasing farmers’ purchase of high quality cassava seed of improved varieties delivered through a sustainable and commercial seed system in targeted communities in Benue and Oyo states, strengthening of   partnership and strong collaboration among key actors in the seed supply chain, and increasing cassava yields by 25% by the end of 2016.
    The main objectives to be achieved are:
    35,000 farming households in Benue and Oyo States purchase improved and certified  cassava stems within a traceable supply chain.
    Public and private extension actors collaborate effectively to provide essential agronomic and business services for cassava farmers to exploit the potential of new varieties and clean seed.
    Key stakeholders in the cassava sector – within and outside of the SCSS project – increase their learning on commercial and sustainable cassava seed systems.
    The project has partnered with stakeholders to address critical linkages amongst actors in the cassava value chain including farmers, farmer groups, seed entrepreneurs, agro-input dealers, extension service providers, agro processors, research institutions, markets and cassava related agricultural projects funded by government and donors.
    The SCSS project is strengthening the cassava supply chain and public and private extension services with a focus on seed entrepreneurs as commercial producers of improved and certified cassava seed and farmers as consumers of seed and related services. The project is also facilitating increase in women’s participation in producing, selling and buying cassava varieties.
    The primary focus of the SCSS project is the provision of high quality seed of cassava varieties to farmers. The project is also addressing the provision of high quality and timely technical assistance on the use of good agronomic practices, which are critical to raise the returns from seed investment by increasing overall cassava productivity. The various opportunities for the exploitation of cassava production along the value chain
    Relevant partners : The  lead partner on the SCSS project is Catholic Relief Services, other partners include Justice Development and Peace Commission/Movement  ( JDPC/M) in Oyo and Benue States ; International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, (IITA); National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI; National Agricultural Seed Council, (NASC); and the Agricultural Development Program, (ADP)), the project also collaborates with other cassava initiatives, including HarvestPlus, Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA), Maximizing Agricultural Revenue and Key Enterprises in Targeted Sites II (USAID funded MARKETS II), Cassava Plus (International Center for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development - IFDC) and the Cassava Transformation Action Plan (CTAP) of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (FMANR), by sharing information on seed system issues and opportunities in the cassava value chain.
    Project Sites:At the community level the project is working with seeds entrepreneurs and farmer groups located in Atisbo Ibarapa East, Ido and Saki East LGAs (in Oyo State) as well as Gwer East, Gboko, Okpokwu and Otukpo LGAs (in Benue State) where demonstration plots and multiplication fields have been established. Justice Development and Peace Commission/Movement –JDPC/M and Agricultural Development Program, (ADP) programme managers and technical officers work with seed entrepreneurs and farmers’ groups at the community level.
    Project Activities:  The project has engaged 52 seed entrepreneurs (SEs) and worked with about 80 farmer groups from inception to date. The SEs have been exposed to capacity building in the areas of basic cassava agronomy, stem handling & management, cassava variety identification, business basics, cassava pest & disease recognition and management, and quality control guidelines & protocols provided by the technical experts (and private/public extension officers) from the partner organisations. These SEs have also been mentored in the production and sale of certified stems of improved cassava varieties. Members of the farmer groups have also received trainings delivered by the public and private extension officers as well as step down trainings from their respective SE members. Planting materials were procured and supplied from foundation farms established by NRCRI and IITA. The project through the JDPC/M partners and ADP have engaged with about 80 farmer groups, conducted 2 farmer field days in each of the four pioneer LGAs and organised annual stakeholder’s meetings in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Communication materials, posters, pamphlets, radio jingles and short programs, centred around the six training modules were distributed among the SEs, farmer groups and their immediate communities.  
    Objectives of the survey:
    Purpose: The overall aim of the survey is to produce an analytical report that will provide data and information on the knowledge of seed entrepreneurs and members of farmer groups trained by the project as well as the current varieties being grown by members of the farmer groups and other farmers patronizing seed entrepreneurs.
    Specific study objectives include:

    • To establish seed entrepreneurs’ and farmers’ knowledge and adoption of cassava varieties introduced by the SCSS project.
    • To validate the transfer of knowledge from the private and public extension service providers to the seed entrepreneurs’ and farmers/farmer group members.
    • To know the effect of training received on the level of adoption of improved cassava management practices by the seed entrepreneurs’ and farmers.
    • To ascertain the cassava varieties preferred by farmers in different geographical zones of the SCSS project states.
    • To identify factors that enhance or impede the knowledge transfer and adoption by farmers
    • To identify the factors that affect the adoption of various varieties by the farmers.
    • This survey is expected to provide information and guidance on how to improve the knowledge and outcomes delivery strategy.

    Scope of work:
    The focus of the survey is on SCSS capacity building activities for the seed entrepreneurs and farmer groups.  The survey will consider the six modules of trainings that have been delivered to the seed entrepreneurs and members of farmer groups as well as the communication materials distributed within their communities. The task entails a combination of individual and group interviews with the farmers and seed entrepreneurs as well as public extension service providers that have benefitted from some of the project’s training activities. As such, data sources would include field visits, focus group discussions and key informant interviews where necessary.
    The consultant will be expected to work with CRS M & E officer and SCSS Programme Manager. CRS reserves the prerogative to approve the survey proposal, the survey tools and methodology. The quality of the deliverable in terms of accuracy, reliability and validity of the report/key findings is very high. CRS expects the work to be completed within three weeks.

    Duties and responsibilities:
    The consultant is expected to:

    • Develop simple, easy to use and coded assessment tools for data collection and analysis.
    • Work with SCSS team to finalize the sampling frame and sampling procedure/sample size.
    • Finalize guidelines for interpretation of data collected with participation of SCSS project team members.
    • Conduct the survey in collaboration with SCSS M & E Unit and SCSS Programme Managers using the tools developed.
    • Analyze the data and deliver analytical report submitted to CRS in soft and hard copies.

    Expected outputs:
    The deliverables expected from the consultant are as follows:

    • Detailed survey proposal with work plan and time frames.
    • Comprehensive analytical final survey reports (main report, summary report and key findings and recommendations on final survey indicative status of conclusions as they relate to the domains and sub-areas of the survey tool)
    • Soft and hard copies of the report and all data collected.
    • 1The consultant engaged to conduct the baseline study should have the followings:
    • PhD degree in agriculture, economic development, research and statistics.
    • Excellent quantitative and qualitative research skills
    • At least ten (7) years experience in area of monitoring and survey and base/end line research in the agriculture and development sector
    • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.
    • Willingness to travel to states and local government areas, all of which are accessible.
    • Ability to write and deliver analytical report focused on project indicators and milestones within agreed time frame.
    • Proven evidence of carrying out similar survey in agric/cassava sector. Previous work will be required.

    Timelines and Progress Reports:
    It is envisaged that the survey would be completed within a period of not more than 14 consulting days.
    Calendar of Key milestones:
    The survey is key to the completion of the implementation of the SCSS project. All outlined activities must be within the proposed dates because there will be no extension of consulting days. The following is an indicative calendar of key milestones. Specific dates to be determined with consultants
    Mile Stones
    Number of Day(s)
    Briefing meeting with CRS SCSS Team and M & E officer
    1 day
    Development of assessment tools, sampling methodology and field testing of tools.
    2 days
    Desk review of CRS SCSS training materials.
    3 days
    Field work assessment with farmers, seed entrepreneurs and extension agents,
    6 days
    Report writing
    3 days
    Review of draft report
    1 day
    Delivery of Finalized report
    1 days


    • The consultant is responsible for carrying out each of the above-mentioned tasks and producing the deliverables as described below.
    • The consultant will report to CRS M&E Officer and Head of Agriculture and Economic Growth Unit.

    The Head of Agriculture and Economic Growth Unit will be responsible for:

    •     Providing the link with the SCSS team
    •     Planning and coordinating the Briefing Meeting;
    •     Approval of finalized Terms of Reference including any revisions to the scope of work as well as the final structure of the products;
    •     Coordinating the field work
    •     Coordinating the approval of products submitted

    Work Arrangement:
    The consultant will be free to work independently from any base location, providing his/her own work equipment and space. The total time required for the work involved is estimated to be 18 days.
    Fees, Expenses & Payment Arrangement:
    Transport, accommodation, and per diem during the duration of the assignment as per CRS approved rates will be covered. Reasonable costs for courier services, purchase of reference materials, etc. will be reimbursed in the final payment upon presentation of a list of expenses and the submission of acceptable reference materials and receipts and/or invoice.

    Payment will be a lump sum based on CRS consultancy rates and will be made in two phases:

    •     One at a mid-point in carrying the survey activities (date to be determined on finalizing the contract) on submission of a brief report of progress;
    •     One on submission of all final products

    Please note that CRS will deduct and remit to the Federal Inland Revenue (FIR) a 5% withholding Tax from the total consultancy fees in accordance with the Nigerian Tax Law.

    Method of Application

    Interested consultants should send their expression of interest (EOI) along with a detailed resume as one MS word documents to .
    The resume should include but not limited to the following: Expected daily rate, personal profile, skills, competencies and suitability for the assignment as well as readiness for immediate short-term consultancy plus a copy of such previous work.
    Applications should be received on or before Wednesday September 7, 2016. Only qualified persons will be invited for screening.

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