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Mercy Corps is a leading global organization that works in 40 countries around the world to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Since 2012, Mercy Corps has worked to tackle Nigeria’s complex and evolving needs through a range of dynamic, multi-sector programs. In Nigeria, Mercy Corps is addressing the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable communities; enabling conflict-affected populations to transform from relief to resilience using market-driven approaches; and supporting community-led peace building efforts.
We are recruiting to fill the position below:
Job Title: Consultant – Resilience Assessment for USAID Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity
Locations: Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Kebbi and Yobe
- Mercy Corps intends to recruit an experienced and competent service provider to conduct a mixed quantitative- and qualitative- data collection activity in the BAY-G States and Kebbe State.
- This will include development and piloting of quantitative market actor surveys, followed by a brief analysis and reflection period to design qualitative data collection instruments which can investigate and explain results emerging from the market survey, and end with qualitative data collection and analysis.
- The service provider (individual or firm) will be responsible for recruiting enumerators, co-developing sampling procedures and instruments with RRA staff, and conducting data quality assurance protocols throughout.
- In addition to the analyses briefs created under this consultancy, data collected through these activities will be used by RRA staff over the coming year to examine how specific program activities contribute to market and household resilience.
- This consultancy will focus on “lean” data analysis to provide rapid information to the program team which allows for targeted and informed programming in 2023.
The study is expected to consist of three phases, which will include the following tasks:
Phase 1: Inception Stage (Weeks 1 – 4)
- Introduction to RRA team: As part of the inception phase, the consultant shall meet with the RRA leadership team and partners to be introduced to the overall approaches and implementation strategies of the program. The preliminary consultations/meetings aim to onboard the consultant, including but not limited to:
- Provide access to the program’s key documents and data collection instruments that should be reviewed.
- Provide advice on the targeted locations and sampling methodologies
- Meet the program’s teams and partners to introduce any specific technical areas further.
- Review available internal and external datasets LGAs: The consultant will review existing datasets collected by RRA and other actors (development agencies and Government of Nigeria) which may contribute to the sampling approach for both Phase I and Phase II.
- Design data collection instruments: In cooperation with Mercy Corps, design data collection instruments for Phase 2 (market actor survey). Where relevant, these instruments should draw on previously used tools from RRA and other actors.
- Design sampling strategy: The technical proposals of applicants for this consultancy should include a clear sampling plan identifying target locations and respondent selection approaches which can create representative samples of local, farmer-facing market actors in the agricultural sector, including offtakers of finished products (for aggregation, wholesale, or processing), suppliers of agricultural inputs and technical services, and local sellers of food and agricultural products. In cooperation with Mercy Corps, this sampling strategy will be modified and finalized
Phase 2: Market actor quantitative data collection & analysis (Weeks 5 – 11)
- Enumerator training; piloting and finalization of quantitative data collection instrument: Before the beginning of Phase 2 data collection, the consultant will undertake training for enumerators, to last a minimum of 2 full days, and including an additional 2 days of live practice with the data collection instruments and respondents. Enumerator training should cover the following topics:
- Sampling protocols and respondent identification
- Good interviewing technique
- Contents of survey tools, including full practice run-throughs with each other
- Informed consent and do no harm practices
- Quantitative data collection with market actors (in RRA LGAs, Northeast outside of RRA LGAs, and one of the COVID-19 states, likely Kebbi): The primary data collection includes the collection of quantitative data from market actors using approved sampling frames and data collection tools.
- The survey should be collected using an electronic tool which should be piloted before starting the mass data collection, with finalized phrasing, translation, and survey logic correctly applied.
- The collected data should be subjected to regular quality checks by the consultant research team, including 10% callbacks conducted by supervisors to confirm the interview and verify responses to a portion of the questions.
- These callbacks should be conducted daily for the first three days, and then weekly throughout the remainder of data collection. The consultant must keep a log of data cleaning and adjustments to be shared with RRA in a timely manner. The technical proposals of applicants should address these needs as well as any other quality assurance and control processes that will be followed.
- The data quantitative data should be collected by well-trained enumerators. The data collection team should be trained on the ethical aspects and referral of any complaint to the Complaints, Accountability, and Reporting Mechanism (CARM) channels.
- Analysis brief of key findings: The consultant will conduct a brief analysis, which will be presented through powerpoint presentation (or preferred presentation method). No standalone written report is required. This will detail:
- Alignment of final sample with intended sample design (including replacement rates, refusal rates, etc)
- Key trends in outcomes of interest – market functionality, shocks and stresses, price changes, and interactions with households, and other topics to be agreed upon with mercy corps. This will include descriptive statistics overall, and separated by geographic grouping (RRA, non-RRA LGAs in Northeast, and selected COVID-19 state).
Phase 3: Finalization of qualitative instruments and data collection (Weeks 12 – 18):
- Sense-making session conducted with Mercy Corps to review quantitative market actor results: Consultant will present the results of Phase 2, and in cooperation with the RRA team will identify key trends to be verified or explored further during qualitative data collection.
- This may draw on annual survey data collected separately by RRA as well. The sense-making session will result in a brief pre-analysis plan for qualitative data collection under Phase 3.
- Finalize qualitative sampling and interview guides for market actors and households: Draw on the sensemaking workshop and discussions with Mercy Corps to finalize qualitative interview tools for use in Phase 3, and to confirm sampling approach. This is expected to include approximately 40 – 50 interviews and focus groups which represent:
- Female and male farmers in each of the three geographic groupings
- Farmer-facing agricultural market actors (offtakers, aggregators, and processors; input suppliers; food and crop vendors), in each of the three geographic groupings
- Key influential actors, including lead actors (e.g. fertilizer suppliers, wholesale exporters) at a national level and representatives of government, civil society, or key supporting functions including technology providers and transporters. These respondents may be relevant to specific geographic groupings, or to all of them, dependent on scale and reach
- Enumerator training; piloting and finalization of qualitative interview guides: This will cover the topics addressed in Phase 2, and give specific attention to respondent management and recording/translation procedures.
- Qualitative data collection: The applicant’s technical proposal should detail their approach to qualitative data collection, including the role of primary interviewers, notetakers, and any other facilitators, as well as the approach to recording interviews and providing translations.
- Analysis brief of key findings: The consultant will conduct a brief analysis of key trends and themes emerging in the qualitative data, addressing the analysis plan created in the sense-making workshop.
USAID Policies and Standards:
- This study will be subjected to all of USAID’s applicable standards, policies, guidelines, and procedures. Such as, but not limited to ADS Chapter 201 – Program Cycle Operational Policy and USAID Evaluation Policy.
- As required for the data collection, the consultancy firm might recruit professional translator(s). Any recruited translator should be knowledgeable about the contextual and cultural aspects of the targeted groups and locations.
Branding and Marking:
- All deliverables and field activities under this baseline assessment should follow and will be subjected to the USAID, MC, and program-specific branding and marking standards.
The Table below shows the required deliverables from the baseline assessment. The applicant is responsible for ensuring the successful submission of the below deliverables that should be subjected to the revision and approval of the assessment reference group
|1||Phase II methodology (market actor survey)||Up to 10-pages report (annexes excluded) to be submitted at the end of the inception period
|2||Finalized sample and list of respondents for quantitative market actor data collection; complete quantitative dataset||The list of Market Actors included in the sampling framework, including those respondents who have been contacted, responded, or not responded. This should also include any issues logs or corrections for data cleaning.
Additionally, the final, clean data set with codebook will be provided to Mercy Corps.
|3||Phase II data quality report||An assessment of data quality, including response rates by enumerator, abnormal response patterns for specific questions and enumerators, and other agreed upon measures of data quality.|
|4||Sensemaking presentation||Powerpoint presentation detailing key results of Phase II market actor survey|
|5||Phase II methodology||Up to 10-pages report (annexes excluded) to be submitted after the sensemaking workshop, including but not limited to:
Finalized detailed methodology, including, but not limited to sampling approach for qualitative data collection, qualitative instruments for use with households and market actors, enumerator training and supervision protocol, data quality assurance, and risk management approaches.
|6||Finalized sample and list of respondents for qualitative data collection; complete qualitative dataset||The list of Households and Market Actors included in the sampling framework in Phase III, including those respondents who have been contacted, responded, or not responded.
Complete qualitative datasets from Phase II, including original recordings, transcripts (original and translated), and enumerator notes.
|7||Qualitative results overview||Powerpoint presentation detailing key results of Phase III qualitative data collection|
Other considerations throughout the consultancy timeframe:
- Consultant shall work closely with MC, share regular updates, and reply to emails within one working day.
- Consultant shall expect to conduct regular progress meetings when needed and upon the request of the MC team.
- The consultant research team, enumerators, translators, and photographers shall attend the CARM sensitization session as arranged by MC.
- Consent should be taken from all participants following the data protection and sharing policy (GDPR).
- The consultant will report to the RRA Monitoring and Results Measurement (MRM) lead as well as the Mercy Corps Research and Learning Advisor on all aspects related to processes and deliverables of baseline assessment; additionally, the consultant will work closely with the RRA Chief of Party and Deputy Chief of Party and other RRA program staff.
- Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants, or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary-General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members.
- As part of MC’s commitments to the Core Humanitarian Standards for Quality and Accountability and to provide services with respect and protection to human rights, MC applies multiple policies to prevent and mitigate improper incidents. These applied policies must be obligated by all MC stakeholders including the contractors/consultants.
- The selected candidate shall sign and adhere to the MC policies, such as safeguarding, antifraud, conflict of interest, and anti-corruption.
- Mercy Corps requires that all efforts from consultants/contractors including connections, Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) data, secondary resources, tools, presentations, datasets, photos, and templates that were developed during any assignment shall remain the property of MC only and shall be treated in confidentiality and not to be shared with any third parties. That also applies to all documents shared from the MC side with the consultant/contractor such as global guidelines, proposals, and any other project documentation.
Qualifications of Core Research Team
The core research team should be gender-diverse, and meet the following minimum qualifications:
- Candidates should possess a Bachelor’s Degree / Master’s Degree / PhDs / Doctorates qualification.
- Knowledge of the Northeastern Nigerian context
- Previous experience in market systems/private sector research as well as household data collection related to economic development and food security
- Previous experience working in fluid, conflict-affected environments
- Experience in quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
- Proficient English language skills are essential.
Application Closing Date
25th January, 2023.
Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should submit their Applications to: firstname.lastname@example.org by following the instructions below. In addition, all relevant documents must be included in the application as outlined below:
- Technical Proposal: Technical proposals must demonstrate the applicant’s understanding of the terms of reference by providing detailed information and interpretation of the assignment objectives and all requirements using feasible methods and approaches. Moreover, the technical proposal must cover the following but not be limited to:
- Brief about the applicant’s (firm’s) profile, experience, and capabilities (not more than 1 page).
- Examples of former relevant work conducted by the applicant (two examples to be attached) with a brief summary on each example (1/4 page for each).
- Resumes of all team members who will be part of the assignment as mentioned in the Technical Proposal.
- Clear identification of the roles of the team members who will be part of the assignment (not more than 1/2 page).
- Detailed Methodology and approaches for conducting data, including the following:
- Proposed sampling approach for both data collection components (not more than ½ page)
- Enumerator training approach and schedule, with training expected to last at least 2 days and include additional time for live testing of enumerators’ ability to apply instruments in practice (not more than ½ page)
- Data quality assurance protocols (not more than ½ page)
- Detailed action plan with specific tasks and estimated level of effort (not more than 1 pages).
- Copy of relevant legal registration documents (license, commercial register, etc.
- Financial Proposal: must be submitted in a separate and closed envelope/file.
- Applicants must provide details of the financial offer by describing the costs for each activity tackled under the proposed action plan.
- Offers will be evaluated against the MC’s cost-effectiveness and efficiency standards.
- References: Two referees from organizations that the applicant has previous experience with on relevant projects. Applicant must include in the contact information, the name, email, phone number, and address of the referee.