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Save the Children Using Food Aid to Stimulate Markets in Pastoral Areas – TOR for Market Assessment

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 the market functionality for basic food commodities in Wajir (East and South) and estimate the potential of the project interventions to affect prices.

Specific objectives 

1. Assess market functionality

Understand whether the markets with the project area are functioning by looking at prices of food items compared to other areas. Issues to consider include a review of trade flows/volumes, competition, integration, and price signaling.

2. Assess the risk of inflation

Look into any likely risk of inflation or deflation (gradual price reduction after project funding) borne of the voucher/cash transfer to beneficiaries and producers. Determine the induced demand levels and trader capacities to respond.

3. Beneficiary preference

Investigate the type of assistance that beneficiaries prefer (cash vs. food aid (in-kind or voucher).

4. Efficacy of vouchers

Determine the efficacy of the voucher transfers by examining how prices have responded to food procurement from local markets and how prices have been impacted by food aid distribution in the target recipient community.


Although Save the Children is open to expert opinion on this, some of the methods to utilize include:
  1. Review of the extensive quantitative data collected by project partners to date in terms of trader turnovers and income, market prices and household surveys etc. Re-analysis of this information to address the specific objectives of the study may be required.
  2. Market visits. Observe how many retailers there are and what is being sold. Record prices and talk to retailers.
  3. Semi-structured interviews with traders. A checklist of questions is given in the annex. (discreet interviews with traders).
  4. Semi-structured interviews with community-level key informants such as community leaders/LGAs/development agencies. They are usually able to give good information on trade flows in relation to the market the people use (e.g., where grain comes from or goes to), on seasonal price trends and even what happened to prices and trade following previous calamities.
  5. Graphing price data to compare with ‘normal’ trends from national / local or other external sources; ECFF has been collecting Market Prices and analysis of that will be useful to help differentiate seasonal and normal fluctuation;
Proposed tools

Save the Children proposes that a of a mix of tools be employed with MIFIRA predominantly referred to, and informed by the EMMA and ICRC market analysis tools.

Critical Questions to the Assessment

The assessment should look into some of the key questions outlined in the MIFIRA approach, specifically:

Are Local Markets Functioning Well? 

1a. Are food insecure households well connected to local markets?

1b. How has local demand responded to the voucher transfers?

1c. How much additional food will traders supply at or near current costs?

1d. Do local food traders behave competitively? and;

1e. Do food insecure households have a preference over the form/mix of aid they receive?

Is there sufficient food available nearby to fill the gap?

2a. Where are viable prospective source markets?

2b. Will agency purchases drive up food prices excessively in source markets?

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:

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?
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 or similar.
  • Solid experience in economic assessment and ability to translate economic principles and methods to inform the development community.
  • 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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