USAID/Nepal Seed and Fertilizer Final Performance Evaluation - Evaluation Specialist

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Practice: Data – MEL
Work type: Consultant
Location: This position is based in Kathmandu and may require travel to NSAF working districts of Nepal. You must be legally authorized to work in Nepal; Bixal does not provide sponsorship.
 
 Background
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Learning for Development Activity is a 5-year award led by Bixal Solutions, Inc. that provides USAID/Nepal with technical and advisory services in planning, designing, conducting, and learning from the monitoring and evaluation of the Mission’s strategies, projects, and activities in an efficient manner. USAID Learning for Development supports USAID/Nepal by providing services including a) learning and knowledge management; b) evaluations, study and other studies; c) performance monitoring technical support; d) capacity building; and e) development outreach and communications support.
 
 What will you do?
USAID/Learning for Development seeks an Evaluation Specialist consultant to conduct Final Performance Evaluation of USAID’s Feed the Future (FTF) Nepal Seed and Fertilizer (NSAF) to provide actionable insights for the enhancement of future agricultural interventions. By leveraging lessons learned and best practices, the evaluation endeavors to strengthen the resilience and sustainability of agricultural development efforts in Nepal, ultimately contributing to the overarching goal of advancing food security and promoting economic prosperity within the region.
 
The purpose of this assignment is to conduct final performance evaluation of NSAF. Finding for the evaluation will be used to strengthen current FTF activities, plan for future activities, and provide evidence of good practices to the broader agriculture food security stakeholder network in Nepal.
 
The Evaluation Specialist consultant will conduct the evaluation as part of a team of consultants, including a Team Lead, a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Expert, and an Agricultural Market Systems Expert.
 
 
Objectives of the assignment
      Assess the effectiveness of NSAF in increasing the availability and accessibility of quality seeds and fertilizers for local farmers in the Feed the Future (FTF) Zone of Influence (ZOI).
 
      Evaluate the efforts made by NSAF to strengthen seed and fertilizer distribution mechanisms, including the development and use of hybrid maize and Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) technologies.
 
      Examine how NSAF adapted its approach based on findings from the mid-term evaluation conducted in 2019.
 
      Provide evidence-based findings to contribute to ongoing and future activities of USAID/Nepal and share good practices with stakeholders in Nepal.
 
  Roles and Responsibilities:
The Evaluation Specialist will be a member of a broader consultancy team with whom they will work in close coordination with. Their role will be to provide expertise on tools development, data collection, and data quality. They will contribute to developing the evaluation plan, including selecting appropriate qualitative methods, and designing questionnaires. The Evaluation Specialist will support qualitative data collection and the preparation of field plan. They will be responsible for ensuring the quality and reliability of qualitative data by establishing research protocols, maintaining data integrity and addressing any biases or inconsistencies. They will contribute to the preparation of all reports, including the inception report, the qualitative evaluation report, and the presentation slide deck. Work in close coordination of the evaluation team.
 
The specific responsibilities of Evaluation Specialist are as follows:
 
      Provide guidance on evaluation methods and data quality guidance.
      Review USAID/Nepal Feed the Future/NSAF document and other relevant documents
      Provide inputs to draft an inception report detailing the evaluation design and work plan, including the evaluation tools, methodology and schedule for data collection. 
      Conduct FGDs and KIIs with relevant stakeholders, program participants, local government contact points and USAID staff, traveling as needed. 
      Play an active role to ensure the quality and reliability of qualitative data by establishing research protocols.
      Conduct field surveys and observations.
      Prepare the collected data for analysis, including transcription and coding.  
      Work in close coordination with the team to support and prepare a preliminary finding report and presentations to USAID. 
      Support to draft a consolidated evaluation report and presentation. 
      Attending regular check-in meetings with the USAID Learning for Development team.  

Deliverables:
      Bi-weekly check-in meeting with the Learning for Development team.
      Draft and finalize tools and methodology.
      Draft and finalize data transcription.
 
Knowledge and Qualification:
      Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics, Development Studies, or a related field.
      At least 3 years of experience in relevant work.
      Prior experience conducting and analyzing qualitative interviews.
      Prior experience in designing research tools and analysis of finding would be as asset
      Familiarity with obtaining national ethical approval desired
      Familiarity with the agricultural sector desired
  
Timeline and Level of effort (LoE)
 
      The assignment will last from approximately June-October 2024, with an estimated total 40 days’ of LoE.

 

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