ICS Evaluation of Input Credit and Nafics Business Cases in Western Kenya Terms of Reference

Evaluation Terms of Reference

Input Credit and Nafics Business Cases

Western Kenya

ICS is seeking the services of a consultant to conduct an evaluation of one of its key business cases being implemented in Western Kenya: Agri-business and Nafics ltd.

Background and Context

ICS creates change through the promotion of social entrepreneurship and also initiating programmes that are aimed at child and their family wellbeing in rural areas of Asia and Africa.

ICS implements large-scale initiatives that lead to sustainable long-term social and financial improvement. ICS Africa works in East Africa through its programme offices in Western Kenya, Northern Tanzania and identified local partners.

Agri-business project

The Agri-business project aims at building on the capacities of 10,000 local smallholder farmers with the overriding goal of increasing household income and improving food security for the target communities by 2013.
 In the season of 2013-2014, 3500 farmers will be included in the project. Through the civic driven approach, it stimulates the farmers to optimize their potential in agriculture to address challenges in an entrepreneurial way.
In this regard three strategies have been formulated to contribute to increased productivity and competitiveness:

1) Stimulating farmers’ uptake of extension services;

2) Improving the farmers’ access to quality farm inputs and;
3) Improving the returns on farmers’ sale of produce.

Crosscutting these three strategies is the principle of reciprocity as the basis for engagement with both farmers and partner organizations.

Instead of handing out grants, free inputs or services, the project looks for mutual gains and facilitates business partnerships whenever possible.

Nafics Ltd

Nafics Ltd is a profitable maize trading company in Kenya, a subsidiary of ICS that aims at improving the livelihood of smallholder farmers through provision of better prices.
Based on a strong network with medium-sized millers, smallholder farmers, brokers and other players in the public and private sectors, Nafics achieves the objectives through the following strategies:

1. Purchase maize during harvest seasons when volumes are high and prices are low;

2. Store and treat the product;
3. Sell the product outside during season of high demand.

Nafics provides security to all partners when it comes to supply, partnership and quality.

Moreover, Nafics provides a sustainable positive impact on the household’s income for smallholder farmers.

Purpose of the Evaluation

The overall purpose of this evaluation is to obtain an insight on the outcomes of the Agri- business on the participating smallholder farmers in the season 2013-2014.

The evaluation is to inform the management of both Nafics and ICS. These findings will be used to manage the business and to, when needed, to improve the strategy of the business cases.

Main Evaluation Questions

Up to what degree are 3500 participating maize-growing farmers benefiting from the combined service of agricultural extension, credit, and agricultural inputs in the season 2013-2014 (compared to maize-growing farmers who are not doing business with ICS/Naffics)

This leads to the following sub-questions: 
Growing maize
1. What is the (average) increase in production of improved maize per acre?

Marketing maize

2. What is the increase of kilograms maize sold on the market per farmer?
3. What is the increase or decrease of kilograms maize that farmers use for own consumption?

Generating Income

4. What is the increase in net-income by farmers per acre of maize farming?
5. What is the rate of return (ROI) of the farmer investments?
6. What estimations can be made about the profitability and risks for farmers when
comparing the rainfall data and prices of this season with statistical data of previous years?

Explaining variations and improvements

7. What factors explain the variations in production, market surplus and income of the participating farmers?
8. What do farmers suggest to improve the services of ICS & Naffics to increase their yield and income in the next seasons?

Evaluation Target Population and Scope

Evaluation design

The evaluation will focus on the smallholder farmers who will participate in the project in the long season of 2013. These farmers are living in Kakamega County in Western Kenya.

For this evaluation, sample farmers from Butere District will act as the treatment group since it is among the target districts, while a comparison group will be drawn from Kakamega East District.

The treatment group will be the farmers recruited in the project in the long rains of 2013 and the equivalent group will form a category of farmers who are not targeted in the course of the evaluation cycle.

A baseline survey will be conducted for the relevant outcome indicators for the treatment and comparison group before planting season of the long rains 2013.

After the planting season has ended, and the produce is sold, a follow-up survey is organised.
Comparative inferential statistics is preferred to analyse the difference-in-differences between the target group and the comparison group.
After the survey, a round of targeted in-depth interviews will be held amongst the participating farmers to better understand positive and/or negative variations amongst farmers in the results of the survey.
Additional methods may be required to gather additional information, such as quantitative information about prices and weather data.

Evaluation Methodology

The consultant/s will be expected to expound an in-depth methodology and process for carrying out the evaluation in the technical proposal including the, sampling, number of respondents in the two comparison groups and the preferred sampling method.

This will be discussed in details with ICS before the award of the contract.

Summary of Tasks
  • Preparation and submission of the technical and financial proposal.
  • Preparation and submission of the inception report before the start of the exercise.
  • Review of relevant literature.
  • Establishment of the comparison groups.
  • Development of the data collection tools.
  • Continuously update ICS M&E contact person on the progress of the exercise on monthly basis.
  • Drafting of the reports and timely submission as per the agreed upon timelines.
  • Facilitate and coordinate field work in the target districts.
ICS role

ICS will facilitate and coordinate the evaluation process with the consultant; paying the professional fee and other related costs; providing logistical support (transport, accommodation, meals etc during the assignment), and review the reports and other outputs of the evaluation.

Potential challenge/s to the evaluation

Operational issue may compromise the objectivity of the project and thus might make it difficult to conduct the study or draw any inference from it.

This is surrounds the complexity in attempting to net out the program impact from the counterfactual conditions that are likely to be influenced by contemporaneous events, selection bias, and contamination from other organizations especially to the non-treatment (equivalent) group.

Proposed Time frame

Before( planting season) in September-Oct,2013 and,

After (harvest time) in July-August 2014.( This is after approximately 10 months)

Professional Qualifications

  • Advanced degree (masters) in the area of agricultural economics, Agri-business development, Micro finance, or other related discipline, a PhD is preferred. At least 10 years experience in evaluation in the agricultural projects involving value chain development and analysis.
  • Demonstrate experience in carrying out similar exercises in Africa.
  • Demonstrated Experience in application of Return on Investment Evaluation methodologies.
  • Competence and adequate experience in the use of qualitative and/or quantitative methods of data collection and analysis.
  • Ability to interpret and analyse complex qualitative and quantitative data, and to present findings and recommendations in a clear and concise way.
  • High quality writing skills (in plain English)
  • Excellent inter-personal communication skills including experience of facilitation and presentation.
  • Ability to work equally well with communities and international organisations
  • Knowledge and sensitivity to political and social contexts of Kenyan communities
Deliverables and Schedule

Phase 1: Sept 2013-Oct 2013 (Maximum 30 days)

  • Submission of Technical and financial proposals for the assignment.
  • Technical report on baseline finding
Phase 2: July 2014-August 2014 (maximum days 30 days)
  • Prepare and submit the draft report including a validation meeting with ICS relevant staff.
  • Prepare and submit a draft evaluation report for review.
  • Prepare and submit the final evaluation report.
The evaluators will share their data files with ICS after each measuring round to increase the transparency of the data analysis.
Submission Guidelines

Potential consultant firms or individual consultant should summit the following:

  • Technical proposal together with a capability statement (Max 8 pages)
  • Financial proposal in Euros.
  • Sample work of similar work done in the past.
  • CV’s of the lead consultant/s with 3 referees.
Application should be send electronically the following two email addresses:

The deadline for sending proposals is COB 30th August, 2013

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