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OBJECTIVE

MADE has worked over 5 years developing solutions to market constraints in input and output markets, specifically by identifying critical limitations in the existing systems and then working with agribusinesses to adopt new business models to address those constraints.

While the programme has met – and in some areas exceeded – its targets, the programme has lacked the ability to effectively capture, communicate and disseminate its successes.

With this, the programme seeks to strengthen its knowledge management and communications for the final year of implementation.

The team currently has an in-country Communications Specialist, Monitoring and Learning Specialist and Monitoring and Learning Assistant. There is currently no London-based support to these functions.

A service provider will provide on-going technical and strategic support to the MADE team. The service provider will work in close collaboration with the Chief Technical Advisor and the Programme Manager to align the strategy to the overall programme.

SCOPE

Overall, the programme team in-country needs support to develop communications materials, such as success stories and case studies to showcase the programme.

Fact sheets and lesson learning opinion pieces will also need to be produced and disseminated. The service provider will also an improved website to host these work products.

The service provider will also put a realistic content calendar together to ensure the website is kept up-to-date and communication outputs on the site will be bolstered through a strategic social media plan. Updating the website and using social channels is a cost-effective way to support and bolster the influencing body of work in Y6.

Area 1: Communication and Content Development

Stakeholder engagement and communication activity during the first 5 years of the MADE programme was limited; as highlighted in the Political Economy Analysis conducted in June 2018 by an external consultant.

This has resulted in a poor appreciation by core audience groups, in both the private and public sectors, of the effective approaches and interventions used to raise farmer yields and productivity.

Important lessons were learned in the past 5 years, but they were not shared, and the successes of the programme have not been sufficiently recognised or publicised.

With the support from the service provider, MADE will identify and record a series of case studies to highlight the programme’s successes and will use the credibility of its successful outcomes to engage with other donor programmes and government directorates to seek areas of common interest and platforms to achieve joint aims.

For government agencies these will include the dissemination of codes of practice and the further development and integration of farm advisory services. For other donor funded programmes, the promotion of climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices, the “7 Rights”, and women’s empowerment.

The role of the service provider will be to work in close collaboration with the Communications Specialist to ensure the development of high-quality content, including success stories, case studies, fact sheets and opinion pieces, ready for the first phase of the website build (see area 3).

Area 2: Knowledge Management

Monitoring and Evaluation is a key element of successful programme delivery. MADE has successful done well in meeting its log frame targets, however has not consolidated the date in a way that promotes internal learning.

The service provider will support and guide the Monitoring and Learning Specialist to capture data since the programme inception and to present it in a way that demonstrates progress and growth throughout the years, this includes graphs, charts and other visual data analysis.

In addition, the service provider will identify areas for additional qualitative and quantitative research to support findings and trends identified in the programme data.

The service provider will also ensure that the data is used to develop communications content (see area 2).

Area 3: Website Development

The current MADE website is not fit for purpose. The layout is outdated and there are numerous errors throughout each tab and on the homepage.

Also, the layout template prevents the website administrator from making the critical changes needed to make the website function adequately. Google Analytics hasn’t been used, but we know that website traffic is minimal.

The service provider will create a new website to replace the existing one. The purpose of the new improved website is to provide a one-stop-shop on the MP4 approach and disseminate learning from the 6 years of MADE implementation.

The improved website needs to become an authoritative resource once the programme ends in March 2020.

This website will be the portal for all the information on the MADE programme, it’s advanced business models and will include an important resource section for all partnering businesses. In this final year of the programme, we wish to direct audience groups to the website to document best practice and to share lessons learnt. MADE needs a clean and modern scroll down website.

The website needs to be easy to up-date and require little maintenance. We envisage a basic WordPress theme, or a customised theme would suffice to suit our requirements. We require a developer to download, setup and design the WordPress site for us and we also would expect the domain and hosting costs to be included.

MADE will promote the website on all print and digital communication materials including digital assets such as video, social media channels and printed communication materials handed out at key engagement and stakeholder events. In this final year of the programme we will direct as much traffic as possible to the new and improved.

TIMELINE

The deadline for submitting proposals is August 9 and a service provider will be selected by August 19. The selected service provider should expect to initiate work in September, with a contract end date of February 2020.

PROPOSAL PROCESS

Consulting firms are invited to submit a technical and indicative financial proposal to MADE in response to this RFP.

Technical proposals should be no more than 5 pages, comprising:

  • Brief statement of understanding of the assignment
  • Methodology (including how you will work with the team in London and in-country)
  • Work plan (including timelines)
  • Brief description of monthly deliverables
  • Relevant project experience

The financial proposal should set out:

  • Fee rates
  • Website development cost
  • Reimbursable expenses
  • Proposed payment schedule (milestones, deliverables and proportion of payment associated with each)
  • Maintenance and other ongoing fees that the website will incur in the long run

MADE follows an adaptive framework of implementation and budget is subject to review upon award based on changing needs and scope of the assignment.

Additionally, you should submit CVs of the team (no more than 1 page per consultant) who will work on this service provision and 2 references (with contact details) of past relevant assignments that demonstrate your capability to undertake this assignment.

MADE will contact these references only past the final shortlisting and not without your prior knowledge/agreement.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee based on following criteria:

  • Technical approach (80%)
  • Financial approach (fees and expenses combined) (20%)

MADE will inform our preferred candidate of the outcome of the selection process and request permission to check references before confirming the selection.

SUBMISSION

Proposals should be sent to Camila Studart (cstudart@nathaninc.com) by 18:00 BST on August 9, 2019.

About the Organization

MADE is a market development programme funded by DFID and implemented by Nathan London that is driving improved livelihoods and incomes for poor people in Northern Ghana. MADE works with agribusiness enterprises to support the development of robust market system for inputs, services and products, enabling farmers to connect effectively with the services they need to improve their productivity and to sell more produce. MADE does not work directly with farmers or farmer organisations. MADE began implementation in March 2014 and the programme will close in March 2020.

MADE is responding to the challenging situation in the agricultural sector in Northern Ghana, where the rate of development has fallen far behind that in the south and central regions of the country. After independence, the support to the northern region was dominated by public sector interventions – to introduce irrigation and provide services and inputs to growers. Despite large scale investment, these direct investment systems have proved unsustainable. Private sector capacity has remained extremely limited with some aggregators operating mainly on a spot purchase model, very limited availability of agro-chemicals and improved seeds and almost no formal credit flowing to the sector. Many donor and NGO supported initiatives have been implemented, aiming to fill these gaps and while these are helping some farmers cope, they are not building a sustainable support system for smallholder farmers. Working with businesses and regulators and deploying a market systems approach, MADE is helping to build the missing private sector capacity and ecosystem.

Following an intensive analysis of the sector, MADE has pioneered an annual cycle of interventions with business partners, using lessons learned each year to inform the next. Interventions are mainly with agribusiness partners (input suppliers and aggregators) and serve to develop and improve their business models – all of which involve building improved commercial working relationships with small farmers. In the early years, interventions were simple and focused, for example on the business providing demonstrations of good agricultural practices to encourage farmers to use their inputs more effectively. Gradually the business models have evolved and become more comprehensive. MADE is now supporting its partners to deliver comprehensive packages of inputs such as certified seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals as well as key services such as mechanization, water management and farm advisory services at scale and on credit terms. These integrated packages offered to smallholder farmers operating within a range of value chains are known as the Advanced Model. The intention is for a single firm to ensure all critical inputs and support services are provided to their smallholder clients. This does not mean they will provide all these services themselves. They often work with other service companies, thus deepening the system in the region. MADE is also supporting the firms with their management systems for this approach.

MADE has focused on demonstrating the benefits to businesses of supporting farmers to receive the right quality of inputs and services, in the right quantity at the right time. In addition, farmers also need the inputs and services to be at the right price, be affordable, and delivered to their local area at the right place in the right form. Finally, farmers need to receive good advisory support, and monitoring and supervision of their activities to ensure they use the inputs and services in the right way. This attention to farmers needs is summarized as the “seven rights”. To achieve this, the employment of farm enterprise advisors (FEA) and business development advisors (BDA) by businesses to work with their farmers has proved to be a key element of the business model, improving relationships, raising farming standards, allowing effective monitoring and delivering faster growth for the businesses.

MADE recognises that it is operating in a complex socio-political context. Engagement is not limited to its agribusiness partners, the programme also works with larger anchor firms, trade associations and commodity exchanges to improve linkages across the value chain and to enable access to wider national and international markets. MADE also collaborates with government to improve partner knowledge of the regulatory environment and with key public institutions and regulatory bodies towards the formulation of appropriate policies and regulations to overcome market constraints.

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