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  • Writer's pictureSHIFT

TOR: Farmer Feedback Consultant

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

1. About SHIFT Social Impact Solutions and Great Lakes Coffee

SHIFT Social Impact Solutions works with forward-thinking companies, organizations and institutions who seek to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through sustainable sourcing strategies that deliver targeted social impact. SHIFT works to implement programs that increase profitability while creating more effective and sustainable supply chains, that lead to higher incomes and better livelihoods for producers.

SHIFT’s partner Great Lakes Coffee Company (GLC) is a Ugandan company who has been sourcing, milling and exporting green coffee from East Africa for 90 years. With an average annual export volume of 9,561 tons of Arabica and average sales turnover of EUR 16 million per year, the company exports 7% of Uganda's Arabica coffee.

2. The Supporting the Sustainable Future of Coffee Farming in Uganda Program

With funding from the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur lnternationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and industry partners, SHIFT/GLC are implementing the “Supporting the Sustainable Future of Coffee Farming in Uganda” project.

SHIFT/GLC are implementing this project as part of GLC’s Sustainable Coffee Program (SCP) which has the main aim of addressing the challenges facing sustainable Agriculture development in Uganda. The Sustainability Coffee Program is rooted in activities centered around three pillars: 1) Price Transparency, 2) Quality, and 3) Traceability and achieving two objectives of More Coffee and Better Coffee.

To support the SCP, GLC has developed an in-house traceability system and sustainability standard titled MaxTRACE. Through MaxTRACE, GLC Farm Inspectors perform social, economic and environmental farm inspections of smallholder coffee farmers annually. During these farm inspections, data is collected digitally about household demographics, coffee productivity, land use, household income, good agronomic practices (GAP) and ethical practices. The data is then consolidated and accessible through the MaxTRACE software platform.

Sharing understandable feedback with low-literacy farmers from farm inspections and instituting non-compliance remediation plans is often a challenge. Additionally, the latest Ugandan policy the Data Protection and Privacy Act 2017 requires farmers to have access to their information collected by the system. Furthermore, farmers sometimes are often skeptical about sharing their information with outside parties such as GLC, as they do not understand how this will benefit them.

To more efficiently communicate farm inspection results and address the legal requirements and farmers’ concerns, SHIFT/GLC wish to develop a farmer-friendly feedback system, including tools and reports, which can be used to communicate farm inspection results and guide follow-up activities.

3. Objective of the Consultancy

The purpose of this consultancy is to support SHIFT/GLC with the creation of a process and tools to provide farm inspection feedback to Ugandan coffee farmers. As many smallholder farmers are illiterate, the goal is to create a highly visual product that will be accessible and understandable to these farmers.

Specifically, the consultant is expected to:

· Analyze the current MaxTRACE farmer feedback system.

· Design a farm inspection presentation format and tools that will optimize farmer comprehension and which requires minimal guidance.

· Develop a flexible software system to convert collected data into above farmer-friendly feedback format for easy interpretation by low literacy readers.

· Pilot system, presentation format and tools with GLC and farmer communities and make adjustments as needed to reflect on the ground uptake.

4. Methodology, Key Tasks and Deliverables

The consultant is invited to propose a methodology for this assignment that incorporates the following key tasks:

Phase 1: Analysis of current system

· Review the MaxTRACE Standard Documentation, verification approach and inspection checklist to understand current MaxTRACE feedback processes.

· Assess the information needs and missing tools to support farm inspection remediation and farm management plans

· Perform key Informant Interviews and/or Focus Group Discussions with key stakeholders and intended beneficiaries to understand their expectations and potential use of such farmer feedback format.

Phase 2: System development

· Develop the new engagement process for providing feedback to farmers

· Design the accompanying visual feedback format for the farmer inspection data.

· Generate these feedback formats in the most appropriate software where they can be automatically generated for each farmer with imported MaxTRACE data. Requirements for the software system are as follows:

· The system interface should be able to import data from Microsoft Excel and communicate with MaxTRACE software through an API interface.

· Ease of use so that future adjustments to the software interface should be made by GLC personnel who have no programming skills

· Should rely on Tableau, R*, web based interface, etc with an annual subscription cost of less than 1500 USD

Phase 3: Piloting

· Pilot the farmer feedback approach and software with GLC and local communities.

· Pilot feedback from generation via the selected software using MaxTRACE data.

· Revise the deliverables based on the piloting experience.

Deliverables include:

· Mapping of the current methods of providing feedback to farmers

· New farmer feedback approach described as future annex to the MT Standard documentation

· The visual feedback format design for farm inspections and other tools

· Software system for generating these feedback forms using MaxTRACE data

5. Timeline

The consultancy is expected to be conducted between February-April 2020. The tentative timeline is below:

1 Month after signing the contract - Mapping of the current farmer feedback methods

2 months after signing the contract- New farmer feedback approach

Visual feedback formats

Feedback form generation system

3 months after signing the contract - Revised (based upon pilot experience) on all of the above

6. Qualifications

GLC and SHIFT are looking for a consultant or consultancy team with the following qualifications:

· Education: University degree or equivalent in agricultural or business related studies

  • 10 years of experience in adult learning and communication with low literacy farmers

  • Experience in digital data analytics and reporting

  • Previous experience working with international organizations and farmer communities

· Data visualization skills with Tableau, R, SPSS, Stata, or another similar platform

· Fluency in English

· Knowledge of the rural Ugandan context

· Experience with certification schemes (RTA, Fairtrade, etc.) is a plus

This opportunity is open to local, national and/or international consultants and firms.

7. Price

The total price for this consultancy is 9,750 USD. This includes any travel or other expenses.

8. How to apply

Individual service providers or firms who feel that they can meet or exceed the requirements should submit expression of interest to no later than February 1, 2020.

Submission should include the following:

1. Updated curriculum vitae of the individual or team, clearly spelling out the relevant qualifications and experiences.

2. A short technical proposal that details your approach and methodology for this assignment, as well as the proposed number of days and timeline.

3. A financial proposal that provides the daily rate and all other itemized expenses for completing this assignment.

4. At least 2 references from recent organizations where the consultant(s) have worked, and examples of relevant publications, projects or writing samples.

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