African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS – www.afaas-africa.org) is a Continental body that brings National Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (AEAS) stakeholders under one umbrella. AFAAS desires to ensure enhanced competency of Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (AEAS) providers to enable them to better address the increasing needs and demands of various value chain actors. The AFAAS Vision is: “Agricultural Advisory Services that effectively and efficiently contribute to sustained productivity, profitability and growth of African agriculture for poverty reduction”; Mission is: “Promote lesson learning and professionalism, and add value to national AEAS systems”, while the Goal is “Enhanced utilization of improved knowledge and innovations by agricultural value chain actors for improving productivity oriented towards their individual and national development objectives”. AFAAS’ three strategic pillars are: i) Strengthening and expanding network and knowledge management capacities; ii) Developing capacities for scaling out technologies and innovations; and iii) Facilitating advancement of AEAS.
AFAAS with financial support from GIZ is implementing: “Agroecological Transition, Responsive Extension Approaches (ATREA) project” to ultimately contribute towards the global effort in food systems through Agroecology responsive Extension and Advisory Services (EAS) in Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Madagascar. In order to change the paradigm that drives most current EAS activities, a holistic food system philosophy is needed, including sustainable livelihoods, market access, environmental protection, social equity, and inclusion. A paradigm, grounded in agroecology is a clear alternative to the current “productivist” focus on consolidation, simplification, commodification and industrialization. Achieving this shift involves the co-creation and sharing of local, traditional, and indigenous knowledge to a system integration. It includes members of the food system, from the field to the table, participating in the design of EAS with various categories of value chain actors such as: producers, especially women, youth, migrants, indigenous people, and other vulnerable groups. Therefore, its agroecological paradigm that is built on a people-centered and relationship-based food system where environmental soundness and social fairness merge in the transition to sustainability.
AFAAS therefore seeks to recruit a lead consultant to undertake the Identification and documentation of sustainable, inclusive and responsive extension approaches for Agroecological Transition among the target countries of Kenya, Benin, Madagascar and Ethiopia; and make a comparative study/analysis of the approaches that make farmers stay motivated in sharing their experiences, contribute to an agroecological transition of agri-food systems from bottom-up and also enhance the collaboration between researchers, extensionists and farmers.
- OF THE ASSIGNMENT:
The overall objective of the assignment is to identify, document and compare extension approaches for Agroecological Transition within the target countries that keep farmers engaged in extension approaches that help integrate farmers further into exchanges with researchers and extensionists.
The specific objectives are:
- o identify extension approaches that keep farmers engaged such as Farmer Filed Schools (FFS), Farmer Business School (FBS), Farmer to Fork (F2F) etc;
- approaches that integrate farmers further into exchanges with researchers and extensionists;
- Agroecological Transition within the target countries and document lessons and recommendations.
- SCOPE OF WORK
The Consultant is expected to carry out the following activities/tasks:
- Lead in the development of research tools and instruments for data collection to contribute to the reports and studies.
- Conduct extensive desk research/review of information from secondary sources – relevant literature, studies, academic research, historical research and other relevant materials and interview various stakeholders to get first hand practical experiences across the four countries.
- Identify and consult with experts to develop content of the studies;
- Lead in-person the consultation meetings and provide technical input;
- Apply relevant agroecological principles to develop extension approaches in terms of Incentives, Costs, Obstacles, Agroecological Principles, Adoption/Sustainability and Scalability across agroecological zones and food systems;
- Participate in virtual and physical exchange sessions supported by AFAAS network;
- Lead in preparing the journal articles.
- Lead in the collection of good practices for specific extension approaches (i.e. FBS, FFS, F-F).
- Guide in the Development of Factsheets
- Collection of best practices using Agricultural Human capacity case study models.
- Hold dialogue sessions or “labs” between extension services – research – farmers
- Conducting trainings for research team on different diffusion’s tools accessible for farmers.
- Summarize all learnings, similarities and differences between the four extension systems in the four countries;
- Support AFAAS and CFs to synthesize contents from the platform into knowledge and communication products for dissemination;
- KEY DELIVERABLES
The consultant will be required to provide the following outputs during the execution of the assignment.
- Inception Report detailing the methodology and workplan showing the agreed dates of delivery of the specified deliverables;
- Conceptual Framework based on Agro ecology assessment tool adapted and to be administered at Country Forum level
- Draft report on the state of Agro Ecology, responsive Extension approaches in the target countries
- Policy briefs, fact sheets on Agro Ecological Extension Approaches.
- One Good practice note on one of the approaches (Agro ecology and Field Schools)
- Final comprehensive report on the Agro Ecological Extension Approaches in the four countries. report
- Regional Synthesis report (Maximum of 10 pages).
The consultant shall be paid in four (4) instalments upon submission of the inception report, progress report and the final comprehensive study report with findings and recommendations.
All reimbursables shall be agreed, discussed and approved by AFAAS management
- DURATION OF THE CONSULTANCY SERVICE
The Researcher/Consultant services are required for a period of five months, spread through March – December 2023
- ASSIGNMENT MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
The consultant shall report to AFAAS Executive Director, through the Director Programmes (DP) on the assignment and all other logistics until the deliverables are submitted as required. He / she will work closely with AFAAS program staff especially, the Communications and Stakeholder engagement expert – Project Coordinator- on administrative matters.
The Researcher /Consultant shall work remotely in the performance of their research and physically within the AFAAS Secretariat in Kampala, Uganda where necessary. Any travel necessary for the successful completion of the assignment, shall be authorized in advance by AFAAS will be paid in accordance with the AFAAS Rules and Regulations.
- PERFORMANCE CRITERIA
The Consultant is expected to undertake the services with the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, competence and integrity. He/she should deliver the listed assignments in a most effective and efficient manner, within the period of assignment stated in Section 6.
- QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIRED SKILLS
The Researcher/Consultant to undertake the assignment shall demonstrate the following experience and competences to execute the study successfully and shall form the basis for selection.
- A minimum of a Master’s degree in Agricultural Extension. A Bachelor’s degree in relevant fields is a must. A PhD in Agricultural Extension is an added advantage.
- Experience of at least 10 years working within international organizations, academia, research institutes, or other relevant organizations in research in Agroecology;
- Evidence of published agroecological related papers in peer review journals;
- Demonstrated knowledge in the work of the AFAAS, with preference in related policy studies;
- Demonstrated experience in writing and editing research reports;
- Excellent analytical skills;
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English;
- Able to work efficiently and promptly with team members and stakeholders spread in target Countries;
- Good computer skills, including use of MS Word, MS Excel and use of email/Skype/SMS/instant messaging as primary means of communication;
- Team-oriented, possess a positive attitude and works well with others;
- Flexible and willing to travel as required
- EVALUATION CRITERIA
For evaluation of the expressions of interest the following criteria will be applied:
DeadLine: 11th April, 2023