Terms of Reference to conduct a Baseline survey for the Tree Planting for Improved Livelihoods project.
|Project Name||Tree Planting for improved Livelihoods project.|
|Project lifespan||1 year|
|Location||Bumugibole and Masira sub-counties, Bulambuli District|
|Baseline Rationale||Measure the status of all indicators and understand the starting point of key elements of the work against which later progress will be measured.|
|Anticipated baseline report released||15/11/2023|
- Context and project background
Bulambuli District is a district in Eastern Uganda and one of the districts bordering the Mount Elgon National Park (MENP). It has 9 sub-counties, 35 parishes, and 510 villages. One of the sub-counties is the greater Masira Sub-County, which borders the national park (MENP) and has a population density of about 272 people per Km2 with an annual growth of 4.9%. The households depend on the national park for natural resources like firewood, ropes, pole wood, vegetables (including mushrooms), bamboo shoots, bamboo stems, crop stakes, and grazing. Farmers still use rudimentary and inefficient three-stone cook stoves which consume large amounts of fuel wood. Farmers are also practicing unsustainable agricultural practices. This has increased land degradation and reduced crop yields. It is a highly degraded area identified by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Forage for beekeepers is also limited in the area because of the high degradation rate.
METGE and the UWA Mount Elgon National Park management identified the most degraded sites along the community/national park boundary which needed restoration as well as agroforestry support in the adjacent communities. The criteria for identification considered sites with heavy encroachment/degradation, community park boundary conflicts, land degradation, and poverty. As a result of this, a stretch of 34.45 km stretching from Mbiji parish in Masira Sub-county Bulambuli District to Bukibooli Parish in Sironko District was identified. This was identified using the satellite imagery and ground truthing jointly undertaken by the METGE and UWA teams. The area is susceptible to extreme impacts of high temperatures and long droughts, unreliable rainfall characterized by erratic rains leading to landslides, and subsequently loss of life and property.
Restoring this degraded stretch in both Bulambuli and Sironko is therefore a priority. This project will therefore facilitate boundary planting to secure the integrity of the community-park border. The on-farm restoration through agroforestry and the use of efficient energy-saving stoves will be promoted. The latter contributes to the reduction of smoke inhalation with significant health benefits, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, slowing deforestation, and providing a host of social benefits. Degraded sites in the national park along the community-park boundary will be restored with indigenous tree species some of which will be useful in enhancing bee forage, which will in turn improve production of bee products.
UWA has identified a woman as the ‘rebel’ to the MENP. This is because of their gender roles like ensuring that their families have daily meals. This they do through the illegal cutting of trees in the national park for fuel wood and encroachment of parkland for farming. The project will therefore focus on women groups to discuss their roles in restoration and enhance their skills in alternative livelihood interventions through sustainable land management (e.g. vegetable farming and planting of fast-growing tree species), and establishing and strengthening revolving for conservation.
- Project description
The overall project goal is to restore the degraded strip of the Mount Elgon National Park in Bulambuli district
- Project specific objectives
As already stated the central objective of the project is to contribute to the restoration of a degraded strip of the MENP to support sustainable livelihoods in Bumugibole and Masira Sub-Counties, Bulambuli District. The project will focus on 1) restoration of indigenous tree species, increasing adoption of agroforestry through agroforestry and sustainable land management; 3) improving household incomes; and 4) increasing stewardship of the MENP by the community.
The central objective of the project will be achieved through the following four interlinked objectives/outcomes;
- Restoration of 14 hectares with indigenous tree species and 3 hectares as boundary strip with Spathodea campanulata tree species.
- Improved knowledge and attitude of the community to increase adoption of agroforestry and sustainable land management practices, and use of energy-efficient stoves
- Improved household incomes from the adoption of Agroforestry and land management practices
- Increased stewardship of the Mt Elgon National Park by the community in Masira Sub-County
- Beneficiaries and target groups
The project targets to reach holder farmers in the parishes adjacent to the degraded stretch of the National park. The project will target a total of 1,350 farming households that will benefit directly and another 5,000 people who will benefit indirectly. Out of the total targeted farmers, 60% will be women and youth while 40% will be men. The project will also include people living with disabilities and other marginalized groups among the targeted population. In addition, the project will target community local governance structures (LCI and LCII) especially those involved in natural resource use and management, and other local governance structures, community-based organizations (CBOs) as secondary beneficiaries of the project. Also, Bulambuli district local government and UWA. The project will benefit these structures by building their technical and governance capacities based on gaps identified through organizational capacity assessments.
- Objectives of the project baseline
The baseline study is intended to capture social, economic, and environmental data at the beginning of the project. The study will be completed as part of project start-up activities, with local stakeholders, to measure the status of all indicators and to understand the starting point of key elements of the work and intervention against which later progress will be measured. This will enable project indicators at output and goal/outcome levels to be measured and tracked but also understand the prevailing conditions in the project environment.
The consultant is therefore expected to review the logical framework for the project and propose re-definition, removal, or inclusion of the project document as appropriate, including providing suggestions on the most appropriate units of measure for each indicator. The consultant will work closely with the project team and will report directly to the Programme Manager. The baseline will provide information for project staff, partners, and stakeholders who will use it for tracking and measuring progress over time as a result of the planned interventions.
3.1 Specific objectives/tasks
- Produce baseline values, and benchmarking, for key program indicators at impact, outcome, and output levels in line with the project outcomes.
- Assess the current methodologies for climate resilience, agriculture, and natural resource management for the farming households in the targeted districts.
- Assess the current livelihood options that exist in the community.
- Identify opportunities that exist in these communities for restoration of the degraded MENP strip.
- Identify barriers and challenges facing both women and men in access to social and economic opportunities.
- Clearly document the greatest drivers of degradation of the park in this part of the community, challenges faced in their conservation efforts, and what can be done to embrace restoration sustainably.
- Document the efforts in place to ensure restoration and maintenance of the integrity of the National Park.
- Document the flora and fauna that existed and are no longer in existence, and the goods and services enjoyed by the community from the National Park.
- Document the capacity gap that might affect the ability of the community members to embrace the project.
- Mapping out the 500ha of degraded area within the MENP
The Consultant is expected to use a mixed methods approach to utilize both qualitative and quantitative means in data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The Consultant will be expected to explain the sampling methodology used, the sample size, and how findings of the baseline study can be generalized and applied to the target population; develop data collection tools and a systematic methodology for data collection; and use data analytical techniques and analyze data for the baseline study. They will also recommend mechanisms for tracking the progress of project implementation including sources of information and the means of verification.
- Scope of work
The baseline survey will be conducted in Mayiyi and Ganzo parishes of Bumugibole and Masira sub-counties of the Bulambuli district. The Consultant’s findings should include the following:
- The socio-economic characteristics: The baseline should give socio-economic characteristics of the households in the project implementation area such as household food security levels, sources of livelihoods, household income levels and the sources of income, nature, and types of on-farm and off-farm businesses, household access to markets, household access to agriculture extension services, and social inclusion.
- Demographic data: In the baseline report, the Consultant will include household demographic information, including age, gender, education levels, family sizes, land holding sizes, and marital status. All data collected must be sex-disaggregated.
- Farming systems: The Consultant is expected to produce baseline information/status in relation to common farming practices, common types of crops grown, common livestock classes reared, yield levels for main crops, level of alternative energy sources, reforestation, agroforestry practices and technologies and other relevant characteristics.
- Governance of natural resource man: The Consultant is expected to provide information on the status of different governance structures/systems for the management of natural resources, both land and forests, including their roles and capacities. Inclusions of women and youth and their roles should also be unearthed.
- Key stakeholders: The consultant will list all the key stakeholders in the sectors relevant to the project including areas where they operate. This will include service providers in extension, policy formulation, advocacy, input supply, National Task Forces including membership, and players in research with any ongoing work or published materials that would be useful to the harmonized program.
- Timelines and Deliverables
The assignment shall run for a maximum period of 30 (thirty) days. At a minimum, the Consultant is expected to give updates as outlined below:
- Inception report
The Consultant shall submit, within 5 (five) days after the award of the contract, an electronic copy of an Inception report to METGE for review and comments by the Project team. The report shall be comprehensive, clear, and concise, demonstrating the understanding of the Terms of Reference (ToRs) and the subsequent assignment approach that sets out the methodology, strategy, proposed data collection instruments, and timeline of activities. The Consultant shall incorporate comments into the inception report before the implementation of the assignment.
- Baseline report
After approval of the inception report and commencement of the consultancy, the consultant is expected within 25 (thirty) days of signing the contract, submit to METGE an electronic copy of a draft baseline report for review by the project team and other relevant parties.
- Final baseline report
Within 30 (thirty) days of signing the contract, the consultant shall submit to METGE an electronic copy of the final baseline report. The final report shall take into account all the comments and feedback on the draft report. At a minimum, the report shall include; a table of contents, list of acronyms, executive summary, introduction, baseline context and purpose, baseline framework and methodology, findings, case studies, conclusions, and recommendations. Annexes should include the TORs, inception report, Project Results Framework with baseline values from the baseline survey, list of documents reviewed, list of persons interviewed or consulted, data collection instruments, and the Consulting team members.
The Consultant will be responsible for fulfilling the following major tasks:
- Assembling and leading the Baseline Study team.
- Reviewing all the secondary information sources and other related project documents.
- Designing the Baseline Study work plan and methodology, and sharing and agreeing upon it with the METGE project team before commencement of the actual work.
- Developing and agreeing with the METGE project team on Baseline Study data collection tools (e.g. Household survey, FGD, and KII questions, etc.).
- Training enumerators and pretesting the Baseline Study tools, leading on field testing of the tools, and incorporating necessary changes from field testing into the tools.
- Field work for data collection (FGDs, KIIs, visits, observation, etc.).
- Data analysis.
- Preparing the Baseline report using appropriate tables, graphs, and other formats and presenting the quantitative and qualitative results benchmarked with expected indicators.
- Sharing and presenting the draft Baseline Study report to the METGE project team for feedback.
- Presenting the Baseline Study final report as per received feedback.
- METGE project team
Responsibilities of the METGE Project will be as follows:
- Compile and make all needed documentation available for the consultants.
- Arrange meetings with concerned parties in the target areas.
- Give feedback and approve the deliverables described in this TOR.
- Required expertise and qualifications.
The Consultant must be a suitably qualified team of individuals or consulting firm with the following qualifications.
- The team must include holders of an advanced degree in Development Studies, Economics, Agriculture Economics, Agribusiness, Land Management/Administration, Statistics, and other relevant qualifications.
- The lead consultant must have strong analytical skills and the ability to clearly synthesize and present findings, draw practical conclusions, make recommendations, and prepare well-written reports in a timely manner.
- More than 5 years of progressive knowledge and practical experience in conducting baseline studies and evaluations of studies of similar projects funded by development partners in Uganda is an added advantage.
- Documentation/report writing skills are vital.
- A clear understanding of the Uganda smallholder farmer agriculture, climate change, and land tenure security policies and regulatory environment is required
- Good understanding of climate change, disaster risk resilience, food security and livelihood interventions, disability and gender inclusion, and age among vulnerable populations in Uganda.
- Proven experience in participatory and results-based M&E knowledge and practical experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods.
- High level of professionalism and an ability to work independently and in high-pressure situations under tight deadlines.
- The team must have experience in participatory data collection methods.
- Availability for the period indicated and ready to carry out the assignment and deliver results within the specified period/time.
Terms of payment shall be 60% after approval of the inception report and 40% upon the submission and approval of the final report. All professional fees, administrative costs related to transport, accommodation,, and stationery as well as remunerating any assistants will be handled by the consultant. Costs will also be subject to taxes.
- Method of application
Interested applicants, firms, or individuals, should submit technical and financial proposals including consultants’ CVs, work plans and timelines, and a copy of a report of similar consultancy previously conducted to the address in section 9.2 below.
- Application process
Interested candidates will be expected to provide the following documentation:
- Detailed Technical proposal in response to TOR, with a specific focus on the interpretation of TORs, technical approach, methodology, and work plan to be used and key selection criteria.
- Company name and TIN number are needed in your address.
- A brief description of the Consultants’ organization and an outline, proof of recent experience of the Consultant on assignments of a similar nature is required.
- The financial proposal should indicate, detailed budget breakdown based on expected daily rate, reimbursable expenses, consumables, consultancy fee, all relevant costs, applicable taxes as well as withholding tax etc.
- Company profile or CV including a minimum of 3 references, Names and CVs of individuals or team members proposed, highlighting their experience, and their roles in the achievement of the assignment.
- Submission of applications
Sealed envelopes can be hand delivered to METGE offices and addressed to:
The Executive Director
Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise
P.O Box, 1595, Mbale city.
Plot 29, Boma Avenue.
All applications should be submitted not later than 16th November 2023 by 17:00hrs.
Late applications will automatically be disqualified, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.