CARE

Consultant (Preparation of Strategy for Development of Agricultural Cooperatives)

CARE

Job Description

CARE International is a federation of international non-government organizations implementing its programs for fighting poverty and social injustice in more than 80 countries throughout the world. CARE has been active in the Balkans region since 1992. Over the years, CARE’s program has expanded and elaborated to meet the changing needs of the region’s vulnerable population. Its aim in the Balkans today is to ensure social, economic and political rights of vulnerable and marginalized groups are recognized and fulfilled, contributing to sustainable peace in the region. CARE’s work in the Balkans revolves around the two programme strategies: social and economic inclusion and gender equality.

Macedonian Enterprise Development Foundation (MEDF) is a non-governmental organization which has a vision of decreased poverty, increased employment and established social cohesion. Its mission is support of the development of SMEs. It has vast experience of 20 years in promoting entrepreneurship, supporting businesses, project management, Capacity Building, developing partnerships as well as providing financial services to SMEs (micro and small loans). Since 1998, through its financial intermediaries, MEDF has distributed 50.7 million EUR to 14,525 clients, most of them farmers.

The project Support to Development of Agricultural Cooperatives in North Macedonia is funded by the European Union and implemented by CARE and MEDF. The project aims at contributing to higher productivity and competitiveness of the Agriculture sector. To improve the current situation in the segment of Agricultural Production of individual farmers, the project works on the increase of market competitiveness and cooperation among farmers in North Macedonia, through creating favourable conditions for the development of the existing and creation of new agricultural cooperatives. Project outputs – expected results are:
  • Op 1: Legal framework regulating agricultural cooperatives is revised, through a joint work of the project team and associates, MAFWE and a cooperatives’ umbrella organisation.
  • Op 2: Capacity of a selected umbrella organisation of Macedonian agricultural cooperatives strengthened.
  • Op 3.1: Increased awareness on benefits of cooperatives, among farmers, businesses and general public.
  • Op 3.2: Data base created with information on existing agricultural cooperatives willing to expand and farmers’ groups willing to establish new cooperatives and receive support for development.
  • Op 4: Technical and financial support provided for the development of 8 existing and creation of 12 new cooperatives
Through the project implementation, CARE, together with relevant stakeholders, have concluded that there is a need for developing a strategic document for agricultural cooperatives. Therefore, CARE plans to engage an external consultant to undertake the preparation of such document with the final output of the consultancy being a Strategy for Development of Agricultural Cooperatives. The document should be agreed and approved from CARE and the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy (MAFWE).

Aims and objectives of the consultancy

The overall objective of this consultancy is to develop a seven-year Strategic Plan for Development of Agricultural Cooperatives, aimed to support MAFWE in their effort to strengthen the agricultural sector in the country.

The assignment has three specific goals:Detailed and comprehensive review of existing documents needed for the preparation of strategic documents.

  1. Preparation of this assignment should include:
a. desk research on existing legislature, policies, programs etc. regarding agricultural cooperatives and b. quantitative field research, which may include individual meetings with various stakeholders (state representatives, institutions, representatives of agro-cooperatives and their umbrella organisations etc.) focus group discussions, interviews with stakeholders on all levels (including MAFWE and their various agencies, European Delegation, farmers’ associations, agricultural cooperatives, individual farmers if necessary, the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food etc.). The field research should be undertaken entirely by the Consultant, in close cooperation with CARE’s Project Manager and MAFWE.

  1. Three-day strategic planning workshop with most important stakeholders from the agricultural sector in the country, as part of the input for final strategic document.
  2. Design of the Strategic Plan for the Development of Agriculture Cooperatives in the country, including:
a. Consultations with MAFWE and the working group; b. Drafting the strategic document for the public discussions; c. Gathering recommendations from the public discussions; d. Design of the final Strategic Plan for adoption, including an Action Plan for year one of implementation.

Consultant’s outputs/scope of work

The scope of work for the Consultant will include but not be limited to the following: o Review of the documentation and inputs relevant for the preparation of the Strategy for Development of Agriculture Cooperatives. CARE, MEDF and MAFWE and their agencies will provide relevant documentation; o Undertake stakeholder Mapping and Analysis; o Undertake a situation analysis of MAFWE’s operations to date, with the main focus on the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development (Unit for Agricultural Cooperatives); o Through a consultative process and application of an appropriate tool of analysis, to identify the focus areas and to develop strategic objectives and key result areas for the same; o Propose a Strategy for achieving the Strategic Objectives and key results; o Develop a Results and Resources Framework for the plan period; o Facilitate a three-day strategic planning workshop with the most important stakeholders from the agricultural cooperative entrepreneurship in Republic of North Macedonia; o Facilitate focus groups and public discussions, individual meetings and consultations with various stakeholders to validate draft strategic plan; o Finalize the Strategic plan and submit to CARE and MAFWE, draft and final version; o Hand over to CARE the entire original quantitative and qualitative data documentation collected for the purposes of the consultancy (memos, minutes, eventual interview recordings, documents, etc.), upon the acceptance of the strategic document and prior to finalization of the payment.

CARE’s AND MAFWE outputs

  • Provide to the Consultant the documentation available and relevant for the consultancy – initial and upon Consultant’s request.
  • Agree on the assessment plan with the Consultant.
  • Coordinate with the Consultant throughout the consultancy period.
  • Provide support to the Consultant in organizing interviews, focus groups and public discussion with key stakeholders.
  • Provide logistics for the three-day strategic planning workshop.
Methodology

The Consultant will base his/hers work on the relevant documentation, data and inputs collected (part of which will be provided by CARE and the MAFWE).

The Consultant will base the assessment on both quantitative and qualitative data on the following: quantitative data should be extracted from the official databases of various local and national institutions, foremost from MAFWE’s; qualitative data will be collected within the meetings/interviews with various stakeholders relevant for the development of agricultural cooperatives.

The consultancy will be done in constant communication with CARE’s Project Manager and MAFWE’s relevant staff. The Consultant has the obligation to coordinate all field activities with CARE and MAFWE prior to undertaking them. The Consultancy plan, the draft of the Consultancy Report and the Final Consultancy Report will be the subject of CARE’s (and MAFWE’s) revision.

More detailed information on the planned process is available in Annex 1 of this ToR: Action Plan for Strategy Development.

Language and outline of the reports and consultancy

All reports (Consultancy Report, workshop presentation, instalment methodology etc.) should be written in English language. The Consultant will ensure excellent quality of the written language.

The Consultant will perform the field Data Collection communication in local languages. CARE will provide interpretation service, if needed. The three-day strategic planning workshop will be carried out in English, with translation to Macedonian.** Schedule and logistics

The Consultant will be engaged from the February 20, 2021 through July 31, 2021 for 45 person-days.

Tasks / Deadlines

Design of the consultancy plan: February 20, 2021 Review of various documents relevant for the consultancy: March 15, 2021 Data collection - field work in the country i.e. individual meetings, public discussion’s etc.: April 30, 2021 First draft of the Strategic document: May 31, 2021 Strategic planning workshop: June 17, 2021 Second draft of strategic document: July 7, 2021 Final Strategic document submission: July 31, 2021 The payment for the work defined in the Contract will be made upon the completion of the consultancy and after the final product is delivered to CARE, with all necessary supporting documentation (report, questionnaires if any, etc.) as per CARE’s administrative procedures.

CARE will provide logistical support to the Consultant for the named consultancy including transport within the country, airplane ticket, per diem, accommodation and interpretation services.

Cost

The Consultant shall suggest a total fee for the entire consultancy in Euros and the number of days predicted for the work under the above-mentioned schedule. The offered price/bid should be expressed in gross i.e. to include costs such as taxes and related costs of the bidder (travel, meetings etc.). The project is financed by the European Union and registered in the Central Donor Assistance Database of Republic of Macedonia (CDAD) with number of confirmation 07/01-18/3764 exempting the project from VAT, and the selected bidder should respect the procedure for tax exemption.

Management and organization

The Consultant will report to Dragan Perić, CARE’s Project Manager.

The Consultant must comply with the following criteria:

  • Minimum master’s degree in a relevant field in the area of planning, public policy, development studies or similar discipline.
  • Extensive knowledge and experience in Agricultural Development, with minimum 10 years of prior engagement in this field.
  • At least five years professional experience in strategic planning and management.
  • Knowledge of the social, political and economic landscape in North Macedonia, in particular the sector of agricultural development would be an asset.
  • Relevant experience on functioning of Agricultural cooperatives, in order to be able to provide with some good practices from other countries;
  • Excellent techniques and experience in conducting field research and data collection, through interviews, focus group discussions, participatory presentations etc.
  • Excellent written and verbal knowledge of English language.
  • Good workshop facilitation techniques gained through practical experience.
  • References on the related work (which should be submitted with the consultancy bid).
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal and professional skills in interacting with government and development partners.
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