Consultant (Hatutan Program Final Impact Study of Village Savings and Loan Groups and Community Development Agents)
The HATUTAN Education and Nutrition Program “Continue and Support Food for Nutrition and Education” is a five-year initiative to improve literacy, nutrition and health outcomes in the four municipalities of Ermera, Liquica, Ainaro, and Manatuto in Timor-Leste. HATUTAN works with 440 school (primary and preschool) with additional support to 219 of these schools and their surrounding communities which are considered the more rural and remote schools. The program is implemented, in partnership with the Government of Timor-Leste (GOTL), by a consortium of partners, with CARE as the prime awardee leading on education, commodities, and gender, with subgrantee Mercy Corps supporting on technical aspects of nutrition and Agriculture implementation, and subgrantee WaterAid supporting on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
HATUTAN’s strategies are based on its results framework which comprises two strategic objectives:
1: Improved literacy of school-aged children
2: Increased use of health, nutrition, and dietary practices.
Specifically objective two activities include agriculture training as well as nutrition, health, trainings focused on the first 1,000 days approach as well as hygiene, sanitation and Gender Equality to Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) and Community Health Groups (CHG). Other activities include creating school gardens as learning laboratories, advocating for the improvement of school feeding preparation and cooking areas, and promoting gender equality and the reduction of sexual, domestic, school-based and gender-based violence with all program stakeholders.
Purpose / Project Description:
HATUTAN has been engaging with VSLAs through its Community Development Agent (CDA) model for four years. The CDA model has been central to the establishment of VSLAs and layering in various activities. Motivated individuals were recruited, trained, and supported to form and support VSLA groups in communities. These VSLA groups provide Financial Services that are often otherwise lacking in rural areas, and also serve as a platform for the delivery of other nutrition, agricultural and income generating activities. CDAs are initially paid a subsidy for their VSLA work, but are also encouraged to integrate nutrition content and develop business activities such as selling inputs and trading produce in their groups. This encourages the sustainability of their work, improves access to inputs for their groups, and provides an outlet to move group member’s produce into the wider market system, including schools.
The purpose of this consultancy is two-fold:The consult will assess the CDA model namely the CDA Business Case Package and CDA mentorship program. The Consultant will undertake targeted research with approximately 74 CDAs’ to understand the impact of the HATUTAN business training, business case package and mentorship program. The assessment will look at CDAs skills, market linkages (including sales of cookstoves and water filters), their engagement with VSLAs and their own business performance to determine their impact in supporting VSLAs as well as their own livelihood.The consult will assess approximately 180 VSLA dynamics to determine their functionality (saving and loan activities, accuracy of booking, longevity), determine VSLAs that may be high performers (engaging in business activities) and what makes for a successful VSLA. A list of all VSLAs assessed will be included with a snapshot of the group activity; ie: membership, savings, business activities. The consultant will recommend a best way forward for the evolution of the CDA/VSLA model.
Mercy Corps will use the research to suggest to the donor which VSLAs (and potentially CDAs) the program should continue to engage with under HATUTAN Phase II. The findings will also be used to inform Mercy Corps’ approach to the CDA/VSLA model and support approaches across Mercy Corps’ portfolio to improve current and future programs.
The Consultant will either work remotely or travel to Timor-Leste to produce a suite of deliverables that reflect on both the CDA model and VSLA functionality. A CDA Business Case Package report will describe CDAs’ experiences, skills and activities as a result of the business trainings and mentoring program. The report will identify challenges and identify what makes for a successful CDA as well as a VSLA.
Deliverables are described in detail below and include:Overall VSLA/CDA Impact report with a list of VSLA surveyed and basic demographics.Report brief (2 pages)Learning document on the CDA Business Case Package and Mentoring Program (3-4 pages).PowerPoint Presentation
Mercy Corps is seeking a consultant to:Conduct a targeted document / data review on the VSLA activities, CDA Business Model and mentorship program, (documents provided by Mercy Corps)Develop a tablet-based interview guide for CDAs incorporating both quantitative and qualitative elements, based on key research questions, incorporating comments from the Mercy Corps team.Develop a tablet-based interview guide for VSLAs incorporating both quantitative and qualitative elements, based on key research questions, incorporating comments from the Mercy Corps team. Develop supplemental paper-based instruments as needed.Recruit and mobilize enumerators, secure transportation for Data Collection and manage all local data collectors with minimal support from Mercy CorpsOrient the data collection team to research objectives, the interview guide and the data collection instruments.Develop a paper or tablet based semi-structured interview guide to collect additional in-depth information (as the basis for a learning document) from 2-4 CDAs on the impact of the mentoring and Business Case Pack they received as part of HATUTAN.Coordinate with a local data collection lead for data collection from an estimated 180 VSLA groups and 74 CDAs.Analyze qualitative and quantitative data. Develop and share a draft research report with combined results from both the CDA and VSLA methodologies in response to the research questions and reflecting on overall findings. Include a list of VSLAs surveyed with a snapshot of the group activity; ie: membership, savings, business activities. Develop and share a draft research results brief of approximately two pages.Develop and share a draft learning document (2-4 pages) focusing on the impact of the CDA mentoring activity and Business Case Pack on two HATUTAN CDAs.Develop and share a PowerPoint presentation outlining the findings from the study.Submit the final research report, brief, presentation and learning document, incorporating feedback from the Mercy Corps team.
The consultant will complete the following deliverables:
Deliverable 1: Finalized Interview GuidesConduct a targeted document / data review (provided documents), 0.5 days.Develop tablet-based interview guides for CDAs and VSLAs, incorporating comments from the Mercy Corps team. Develop a paper based semi-structured interview guide for the Learning Document. Develop supplemental data collection instruments as needed, 5 days.
Deliverable 2: Orientation to Data collection teamRemotely orient the data collection team to research objectives, methodology, and the interview guides, 0.5 daysOversee data collection remotely, 10 days.Analyze all data, 5 days.
Milestone 1: Payment upon competition of Deliverables 1 and 2.
Deliverable 3: Draft VSLA and CDA Impact Report
Develop and share a draft research report with combined results from both the CDA and VSLA methodologies (in response to the research questions and reflecting on overall findings), 5 days.
Deliverable 4: Draft Report BriefDevelop and share a draft research results brief (app. 2 pages,), 0.5 days.
Deliverable 5: Draft CDA Business Case Package and Mentoring Program learning documentDevelop and share a draft learning document (2-4 pages) focusing on the impact of the mentoring and Business Case Pack on 1-2 HATUTAN CDAs, 2 days.
Deliverable 6: PowerPoint PresentationDevelop and share a PowerPoint presentation outlining the findings from the study, 1 day.
Deliverable 7: Final Products: CDA/VSLA Impact report, Impact report brief, Learning Brief Mentoring program, Results PowerPointSubmit the final research report, brief, presentation and learning document, incorporating feedback from the Mercy Corps team, 2 days
Milestone 2: Payment upon competition of Deliverables 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
TOTAL 31.5 days
Timeframe / Schedule:
The consultant will commit to an estimated 31.5 working days during the months of January – March. Payment will be made in two installments upon receipt of invoice and final deliverables. The Milestone 1 payment will amount to 30% of the total Consultancy fee and Milestone 2 will be the remaining 70% of the total fee.Deliverables 1-2: 30% of total consulting feeDeliverables 3-7: 70% of total consulting fee
The Consultant will report to:
Health and Nutrition Manager, HATUTAN Program
The firm will work closely with:
Market Development Senior Officer, Agribusiness Coordinator, and MERL Manager
Required Experience and Skills:Masters degree or higher in research, evaluation, agriculture, development, or other relevant areaMinimum 5 years’ experience in monitoring and evaluation in developing country contextsDemonstrated understanding of VSLA and CDA methodology, nutrition sensitive agriculture, and agriculture in fragile markets Experience remotely facilitating learning and reflection studiesFluency in English required, with fluency in Tetun strongly preferredDemonstrated ability to conduct quantitative Analysis Excellent written communication skills, andPrior experience researching or evaluating programs in South East Asia, with prior experience in Timor-Leste strongly preferred.
Interested qualified individual consultants are invited to submit their CVs and draft budget including budget for recruitment and oversight of enumerators by Jan 20 2023.
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