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Save the Children TOR for VFM Assessment - Using Food Aid to Stimulate Markets in Pastoral Areas

Terms of Reference for Value for Money Assessment into the EC Food Facility Programme “Using Food Aid to Stimulate Markets in Pastoral Areas” 

1.0 Save the Children in Kenya 

Save the Children has been managing programmes in Kenya for over 20 years. Save the Children’s strategy for Kenya, and in particular for the pastoral areas of the counry, is linked to the organizational goals for ensuring that all children have access to quality basic services – health, education, protection and social welfare.

Our programme in Kenya is linked to this goal through the improvement of and access to health facilities, the protection and improvement of the nutritional status of beneficiaries, and improved food security and livelihoods of beneficiaries through community management structures and social protection.

In line with this strategy, Save the Children has been one of the leading International NGO’s responding to emergencies in Kenya. However the organisation is also committed to addressing the root causes of malnutrition and poverty that compromise children’s rights to survival and development. 

2.0 The Project 

The project “Using Food Aid to Stimulate Markets” is being implemented by a consortium of NGOs, namely Save the Children UK, Oxfam GB, and local NGOs ALDEF and WASDA, and is carried out in the Wajir and Turkana districts.

This project is scaling up two interventions that at their pilot level proven to be successful. Through funding from the European Union, the project implements a new way to delivery food aid using a voucher system and engaging small local traders as well as local food producers. This is 18-month initiative with a cost of over EUR 4.5 million.

Project Details 

Overall objective. To stimulate market function and food production benefiting local agricultural producers, traders and consumers in marginal pastoral areas

Specific objective. To increase the incomes of local food producers and traders and the food security of consumers through the (part) local purchase and distribution of food aid through local markets

Areas of operation

Northern Kenya: Wajir (East and South) and Turkana (North and West)

Expected Results

Result 1: Increased income for target trader and producer households through increased trade, market linkages and food production

Result 2: Diet quality (diversity, balance, frequency) for vulnerable household members in the target population is improved

Result 3: An increase in the quality and quantity of local food products available in local markets

Result 4: Reduced seasonal variations in cost and availability of local food products

Result 5: Evidence generated by the project used to influence local and national food security policy and practice

2.1 Key Activities and Progress to date 

Activity 1 - Distribution of the general food ration to targeted households through local markets via a voucher system

To date 54,000 food aid beneficiaries have been selected for the programme and since May 2010 have been receiving their monthly GFD ration via vouchers which they redeem with local traders in the target market centres.

Traders are reimbursed at a rate of Ksh2 per kg of food commodity distributed. Increasingly traders are being given a transport allowance to collect food commodities from the main food relief store in the towns of Wajir and Lodwar. 

Emerging Findings to date: 
  • Beneficiaries prefer this mode of distribution as it gives them control over when and how much food they collect during the month
  • Beneficiaries feel very confident they are receiving the correct ration
  • Local grain traders have increased their income and turnover an average of 25% over and above the income and volumes received via the project
  • In the majority of project sites there has been an increase in the number of traders present
Activity (2) - Substitution of part of food ration with locally produced food products sourced from local producers and supplied via a voucher system

The project has started substituting the 1.8kg per person ration of pulse in the standard GFD ration with vouchers for locally purchased commodities. To date 50% of beneficiaries in Wajir and 750 beneficiaries in Tukana have been receiving vouchers for the following:

Emerging Findings to date:

Children receiving meat and milk vouchers are emerging as better nourished. When comparing different type beneficiaries, the highest percentage of well-nourished under fives is found in households receiving meat and milk vouchers.

Furthermore, no severely malnourished children were recorded in this group in the last month of reporting (December) right when the prolonged dry season produced an increase of malnourished children in other types of households.

Activity (3) - Support to local agricultural producers and traders to improve the quality and quantity of protein rich foods on local markets.

The project is supporting 3,600 local livestock producers to increase both the quality and quantity of the milk and meat sold through local market outlets. VSF-Suisse has been sub-contracted by the programme to provide the following to local producers and milk and meat traders:
  • training (e.g. livestock management, milk and meat handling, processing and storage),
  • Expanded access to animal health services (training community animal health workers – CAHWs and support to vet pharmacies)
  • Provision of milk and met handling equipment (e.g. stainless steel milk containers, knives, slaughter slabs etc).
Baseline surveys on milk quality, animal husbandry practices and producers production and income have been undertaken. 

Activity (4) - Action research produced for learning and advocacy

A comprehensive monitoring framework has been established to monitor the quantitative impacts of the project. Project findings will be fully documented and shared with key stakeholders.

Project findings, including the quantitative data collected from this project, will be used to feed into wider debates on key issues such as food aid, pastoral productivity and chronic malnutrition levels. The subjects for examination in this TOR form part of this wider action research.

3.0 Purpose of the Study under this consultancy

The purpose of the study is to assess how far the alternative approaches to food distribution and the inclusion of locally-produced food used in the project demonstrate value for money (VFM) compared with the traditional approach to general food distribution (GFD) practiced in Kenya. 

Specific objectives 

1. Quantification of intangible and indirect benefits of the new food aid modalities

The consultant will identify and estimate the additional intangible benefits that the voucher intervention is creating for both traders and food aid recipients. The consultant will also estimate the indirect benefits to local food producers that have emerged from the inclusion of their products in the food aid basket and therefore creating a guaranteed market for them.

2. VFM of delivering food aid via vouchers compared to the traditional GFD.

The consultant shall establish the estimated cost of delivering food aid under the two modalities (traditional GFD vs. use of vouchers and local traders), as well as identify any further opportunities for cost reduction in the project approach should it be implemented at greater scale. The consultant will give special consideration to the additional intangible benefits of the new approach.

3. VFM of including locally-produced foods compared to imported commodities.

The consultant shall quantify the cost of utilizing local sources of protein (meat and milk for Wajir and dry fish in Turkana) and compare it to the cost of using the protein-rich foods that are traditionally utilized as food aid (i.e. imported pulses). The consultant will also focus on the intangible benefits of using foods that are culturally accepted by the recipients’ communities.

4. Overall assessment of VFM of the wider project

The consultant will consolidate the findings from the previous points in a summarized VFM assessment for the overall project. 

4.0 Proposed Methodology 

Prospective consultants are encouraged to submit their proposed methodology to ensure the evaluation objectives are fully met, however at minimum it is expected the following will be undertaken:
  • Meet SC and other consortium partners technical and programme staff (both in Nairobi and field level) to discuss programme implementation, financial expenditure and monitoring results.
  • Meet with WFP and KFSSG (Kenya Food Security Steering Group) representatives in Nairobi and District Officials in the respective programme areas.
  • Review all qualitative and quantitative data collected for and by the project staff and partners. SCUK undertakes regular monthly analysis of the quantitative household and other survey data collected by the project. SCUK will provide support in the further or re-analysis of this data for the consultant as required.
  • The consultants are encouraged to recommend how the monitoring framework could be revised to better capture costs and benefits.
  • Undertake a field visit to the project locations and undertake focus groups with all beneficiary groups i.e.
  1. Food aid beneficiaries
  2. General grain traders
  3. Milk traders
  4. Meat traders
  5. Pastoral milk and meat producers
  • Undertake visits to other interviews or FGDs with a range of other stakeholders e.g. District Officials, other market traders, non-beneficiary producers, other NGOs etc
  • Preparation of a presentation on draft findings for presentation to the ECFF consortium steering committee
  • Submission of a draft report within one month of start date for comment and review by client
5.0 Critical Issues to consider 

Specific issues that should be critically assessed by the consultant in the evaluation include:
  • How efficient are vouchers as a modality compared to other mechanisms such as food aid or cash?
  • Does the voucher system represent a cost efficient modality for food aid delivery for agencies like the WFP and the government?
  • The target areas are also project locations for the DFID funded HSNP (Hunger safety net programme) how far are the two projects comparable or complementary?
  • Are markets and livelihoods being increased / expanded beyond the direct inputs of the project – i.e. is there a sustainable multiplier effect?
  • Are the means used to lead activities well optimized?
  • Does the investment in livelihoods by the project represent value for money?
Recommendations for improving the execution, replication and scale up of future phases of the programme, should be provided where necessary.

6.0 Consultancy Period

It is anticipated that consultancy shall be conducted and completed before a period of 30 days from signing of consultancy contract.

7.0 Accountabilities and Responsibilities

The consultant shall report directly to SCUK’s Food Security and Livelihood Advisor. S/he will also liaise closely with the SCUK Data Analyst, OGB’s Food Security and Livelihoods Advisor and ECFF Programme Managers in Wajir and Turkana. 

Save the Children will provide;
  • Guidance throughout all phases of execution.
  • Logistic arrangements for all field travel (Oxfam GB to support in Turkana)
  • Approval of all deliverables including final sign offs for the purpose of making payments.
The consultant will be responsible for;
  • Conducting field work, initial presentation of findings, draft and final study .
  • Regular progress reporting to Save the Children’s evaluation Manager.
  • Development of the study results.
  • Production of deliverables in accordance with contractual requirements.
8.0 Deliverables

As part of the study the consultant will prepare
  1. A final study workplan for approval by the SCUK Food Security and Livelihoods Advisor before beginning any work.
  2. A presentation of finding using powerpoint – to the ECFF steering group representatives
  3. A draft study report of no more than 20 pages (excluding annexes)
  4. A final study report
These deliverables are to be:
  • Prepared in English only.
  • Submitted to SCUK electronically via email and/or electronic media storage devices.
All reports are to be submitted to the SCUK FSL Advisor.

9.0 Qualifications and required competencies
  • An experienced development practitioner with direct relevant experience in the areas of food aid, development economics, cost benefit analyses or similar.
  • Proficient in methodologies to estimate the intangible and indirect benefits of project interventions.
  • Ability to analyze large amounts of information and undertake critical and relevant written analysis. 
  • Proof to be provided in the form of previous relevant studies or work produced.
  • Excellent standard of written and spoken English.
  • Excellent report writing skills.
  • Experienced in the region specifically northern Kenya.
10.0 Expressions of Interest 

Interested consultants should send the information listed below to by May 15th, 2011
  1. Brief proposal – outlining their approach in undertake the assessment, days required and daily rate
  2. CV (of consultant and any supporting team members)
  3. Examples of relevant previous experience
  4. Fees
Further information can be obtained by contacting Ernesto Gonzalez, Food Security and Livelihoods Advisor (

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