Ilri Consultancy – Evaluation Of Beca-ilri Hub And Sida Partnership At International Livestock Research Institute (ilri)

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Ilri Consultancy – Evaluation Of Beca-ilri Hub And Sida Partnership At International Livestock Research Institute (ilri) 2 Positions
Emploi Recruitment

Nairobi, Kenya

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Full-time
NGO, Community & Social Devt
Posted 1 week ago

Job Description

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works to improve food security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for better and more sustainable use of livestock. ILRI is a CGIAR research centre – part of a global research partnership for a food-secure future.

Background

The BecA-Sweden Partnership started in September 2011 with financial resources from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden to support a comprehensive program on innovative research for development and capacity building activities under the “Food Security program. The program was designed with a strategic objective of supporting the BecA to deliver its mission of “Mobilizing bioscience for Africa’s development by providing a regional center for excellence in agricultural biosciences”. Specifically, the funding supported the delivery of BecA’s mission through a well-balanced and well-integrated mix portfolio of research, capacity building through the African Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF), and management of the regional center for excellence, including acquisition and application of relevant high end biosciences technologies.

Building on the strategic importance of the funding portfolio and anticipated success of the Food Security program, Sida provided a second award in 2012 to support the Hub´s mission to implement a program on climate change adaptation and mitigation, one of research priority areas of the Hub. The program, “Climate-smart Brachiaria grasses to increase livestock production in East Africa” was developed to alleviate the shortage of quality forage for livestock in the semi-arid areas of Kenya and Rwanda.  In November 2013, Sida provided additional resources to the Food Security and Brachiaria programs as “Support to the food security and climate change programs and core activities at the BecA-ILRI Hub to accelerate research outputs towards African-led impact”. In 2016, Sida commissioned an external review to assess the performance of the Swedish investment to BecA in meeting the set objectives and milestones and make recommendations for the future partnership. Based on the review results and recommendations, Sida decided to continue support to the Hub for next five years (July 2017 to June 2022) under the grant title of “BecA-ILRI Hub and Sida partnership for agricultural research and biosciences capacity building in eastern and central Africa”. The amount of this five-year award is SEK 50,000,000. As stipulated in the grant agreement document, a mid-term evaluation was conducted in mid-2020 which concluded with a positive remark.

In 2018, BecA initiated the process for developing a new five-year business plan (2019-24) which coincided with the emerging concept of ILRI 2020-25 investment followed by the advent of OneCGIAR reform. These changes were perceived as a unique opportunity for the BecA to better pursue its mission, increase its impact and maximize its operational viability whilst bringing greater relevance and significance to the OneCGIAR’s broad mandate that includes strengthening research capacity of National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) to transform African agriculture through its’ valued partnerships. The OneCGIAR presented a huge opportunity to combine an integrated offering of plant and animal biosciences research across the extensive areas of CGIAR and partners. The Hub can also foster and grow the capacities of the networks and partnerships created by individual OneCGIAR research programs to more effectively translate the outputs of this research to benefit farmers.

Multiple donor-commissioned reviews have concluded that BecA is a successful program in mobilizing modern biosciences for agricultural development in the eastern and central Africa. The high-end biosciences facilities at BecA have tremendous potential to contribute to mobilizing biosciences in and for Africa through engagements with NARS institutions, research teams across OneCGIAR, Advanced Research Institutions (ARIs) and private sector. Therefore, the BecA-ILRI Hub is currently in a transition to the Biosciences for Africa (B4A) with a mandate that ensures that capacity building of NARS to use modern agriculture biotechnology with support of expertise from across the OneCGIAR programs and their networks including ARIs and private sector, leads to a rapid transformation of agriculture over a broader geographical coverage in Africa. Accordingly, a B4A concept note has been developed and is being discussed with a wide range of stakeholders CGIAR Centers, NARS, ARIs and the private sector, and external experts, among others to ensure B4A remains responsive to user need, promotes synergistic research and capacity development opportunities among the partners and enable partners to access the cutting-edge biosciences facility for research and capacity building on crop, livestock, and fish biotechnology. The B4A concept is now being translated into a business plan through a highly consultative process, and this exercise is anticipated to conclude by September/October of 2021.

Purpose of the Evaluation

Article 6.5(b) of the agreement between ILRI and Sida signed on 3 May 2017 to support the BecA during 2017-2022 stipulates that evaluation shall be conducted not later than 31 December 2021.  The evaluation will carry out an analysis of any deviations from the agreed results framework and document achievements of this investment and identify any problem encountered during implementation and emerging opportunities.

The BecA is in transition to the Biosciences for Africa (B4A) with broader geographical coverage as well as aims to materialize the opportunities that have emerged with the advent of the OneCGIAR and their partners to maximize the use of high-end bioscience facilities at BecA and application of biosciences to accelerate the transformation of African agriculture. The B4A concept note has been developed and being discussed with a wide range of stakeholders towards translating the concept to a business plan. The process is anticipated to complete by September/October 2021. Therefore, this evaluation will also review the B4A concept notes as well as the business plan, previous evaluation reports including the 2016 external evaluation report and 2020 mid-term review report. Based on findings of the current end of project review, the evaluation report will present different scenarios that Sida may consider for support to BecA as B4A.

Objectives

The objectives of this review are followings.

  1. To measure and report on performance to date of the current BecA-Sida partnership in meeting the set objectives and milestones. The evaluation is intended to interrogate the progress, achievements and challenges encountered with reference to the original stated objectives, and the extent to which the program is fulfilling its mandate and delivery of expected results.
  2. To evaluate the ongoing transition of BecA to the Biosciences for Africa (B4A) with respect to the followings.
  • Sida strategy, B4A strategy document (mandate, geographical coverage, core business areas, and science agenda), OneCGIAR 2030 strategy and different African strategy and policy documents e.g., AU/NEPAD policies and the Science Agenda for African Agriculture (S3A), Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024) and AU agenda 2063.
  • The position of B4A in OneCGIAR system and B4A’s role in CGIAR initiative/programs.
  • Ownership of B4A, new partnership opportunities, financial sustainability and staffing.
  • Partnership, synergies and working relationships with NARS, private sector, agri-business, ARIs, and Sida funded activities (e.g., BioInnovate Africa) and bilateral research cooperation’s in the region.
  1. To present different scenarios that Sida may consider for support to BecA (as B4A) taking account of Sida strategy for research cooperation and research in development cooperation and different African strategies and policy documents.

Scope of Work

The recommendations from this evaluation will be instrumental for

  • Ensuring the current BecA-Sida partnership aligns with Sida’s current strategy for research cooperation and research in development cooperation (2015-2021) and BecA’s business plan (2013-18) on which the current grant was awarded.
  • Improving program design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in the next investment for better impact.

Implementing the decision by Sida to support the B4A and regional partners to promote the use of modern biosciences in agricultural research and capacity building for Africa’s agricultural development.

Final products

The Final Report will be submitted in form of one soft copy (and four hard copies). The report should be written in English and not exceed 50 pages and must include:

  • An executive summary
  • Structured content
  • Summary of findings and strategic implications
  • Other relevant information in annexes
  • Reference to literature and documentations used.

Duty Station: Nairobi, Kenya / remote if COVID pandemic continue.

Number of consultants: Two

Duration: 25 working days each

Expected places of travel: East Africa Region. However, this travel can be substituted through virtual meeting with stakeholders in the region if COVID-19 related travel restriction continues.

Essential skills and qualifications

The review shall be carried out by a group of TWO professional comprised of one consultant with regional experiences and another open-minded consultant with experience of agriculture and agricultural biosciences in the region and worldwide. These consultants will have strong background and experiences of agricultural research and development programmes for smallholder farmers, knowledge of biosciences research and capacity building and experiences of program/ project monitoring and evaluation. The consultant must have postgraduate degree with minimum of TEN years of professional experiences in the monitoring and evaluation and/or program/project review of donor supported programs at regional and international level. The consultant must also have the following:

  • Demonstrable theoretical and practical experience in program/project implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Hands-on knowledge and experiences in biosciences innovations and capacity building to address developmental challenges in agriculture and the environment.
  • Clear understanding of biosciences innovation systems and policy analysis in agriculture and the environment.
  • Strong understanding of regional approach and international collaboration and networking for promoting innovations for sustainable development.
  • Sound knowledge of eastern and central Africa science, capacity building, and technology and innovation systems.
  • Well acquainted with Sida’s innovation funding and support policy. Knowledge of other donor policy will be an added advantage.
  • Solid understanding of policy environment for biosciences innovation and policy advocacy, as well as regional innovation and policy platforms.
  • Knowledge of African strategies and policies as well as a good understanding of CGIAR and ongoing transition to OneCGIAR.
  • Proven ability to assess a complex network of partners and processes and analyze diverse sources of information synthesizing it and produce a concise and articulate report with well-founded recommendations.
  • Working experience in monitoring and evaluation of programs/projects in African countries and/or in developing countries from other parts of the world is an added advantage.
  • Flexible and with the ability to meet stipulated timelines.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and proficiently in English is a must.

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