Consultantancy services – Gender Equality

Terms of Reference
Study of Vi Agroforestry Gender Equality Strategy, Fair Resource Allocation by Sex (FRAS+)

Background
Vi-skogen (Vi Agroforestry) is a Swedish non-profit foundation established in 1983. We work with local partner organisations in East Africa, mainly in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to empower smallholders’ farmers and their organisations to improving their living conditions. Vi Agroforestry has 37 years of experience in promoting agroforestry, sustainable agriculture, human rights-based approaches, gender equality, and empowerment of women, men, youth, and children. Vi Agroforestry works in partnership with farmer organisations, government agencies, and other civil society organisations to promote sustainable food production, a safe environment, and human rights-based approaches that benefit women, men, young people, and children.

Vi Agroforestry has been working with the Fair Resource Allocation Strategy (FRAS) as part of its gender equality strategy since 2016. FRAS was aimed to ensure that more than 50% of the resources are allocated to women during budgeting and implementation of the programme. In 2019, a decision was made to move beyond FRAS to FRAS+ where we not only look at resources allocated to women but also be cognisant of the issues that affect women’s active and meaningful participation; underlying changes, and impact of allocated resources. In 2019, five partners (drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda) were selected for a detailed study through qualitative data collection and analysis. Based on the study findings and recommendations, strategies were put in place to ensure women’s access to resources and their active participation in project activities. Five partners have been implementing FRAS+ on a pilot basis for the last year. We find it prudent that a study is undertaken at this point to understand current gender equality strategies and the position of FRAS+ in improving the situation of women by enabling them to participate actively and meaningfully both within and outside the partner organisations.

More specifically, the study will seek to answer the following questions:
1. What are the current gender equality strategies and tools used by development organisations for addressing Power & Agency and Economic Empowerment for women?
2. Which strategies and tools have been proved to be effective and efficient in addressing gender social norms and attitudes in organisations, communities, and households.
3. Are there significant outcomes (expected, unexpected, positive, or negative) in the partner organisations using FRAS+ in the pilot phase?
4. How useful was the FRAS+ tool in addressing women’s access to organisational resources, contribution towards gender equality, and integration of a gender perspective in partner organizations operations?
5. What have been the Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats for partner organisations working with FRAS+ compared to those who are not? What can be done to address any emerging challenges?
6. Would the study recommend the use of a different gender equality strategy or modification of FRAS+ for increased efficiency and effectiveness?
7. What would be recommendations for measuring gender equality outcomes in power/agency and economic empowerment for women (mainly qualitative indicators)?

Methods and Approach
The study shall be conducted through a consultative process and with input from key stakeholders, as well as a review of relevant documents and studies. The hired firm shall collect all available background information and data as may be applicable. This includes, but is not limited to documents, studies, and discussion papers on the concept of addressing gender equality in projects through fair resource allocation. The firm of consultants shall conduct direct interviews with members of the partner organisation (those participating in the pilot phase and those that are not)) and consultations with partners (FRAS+ pilot partners and sample those who are not) and other key stakeholders working in the areas of gender and women empowerment in any or all the four countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda).
Methodology of the study
• We request a detailed methodology with a clear elaboration on the method to be used in the application submitted to conduct this study. Please note that Vi Agroforestry staff in the countries can assist with data collection.
• The interviewees shall include our country managers, gender focal staff (regional, country office and partners), Finance staff (regional, country and partners), representatives from partners organisations (those in the pilot phase and those not implementing FRAS+), project beneficiaries and M & E staff (regional and in countries).
• An inception report will be prepared by the consultant based on and in line with this term of reference and it will be reviewed and agreed upon by Vi Agroforestry.
• The inception report must include a work plan for the study detailing methodological aspects and timeframe for conducting the interviews. It’s the responsibility of the consultant to book meetings for the interview through direct communication with the interviewees. A list will be provided by Vi Agroforestry.
• Before writing the final report, the consultant will organize a workshop for the feedback and validation of the conclusions and recommendations with the participants from the interviewees. This feedback will serve to validate the information, the analysis, and the feasibility/utility of the recommendations made.

Key Deliverables
The specific deliverables of the assignment include but are not limited to the following:
• A detailed Work plan, in which proposed methodologies and study tools are incorporated, which have to be validated by Vi Agroforestry.
• Inception report to be submitted within 5 days of signing contract detailing the consultant’s approach to the study, providing a detailed work-plan and detailed methodology and how the assignment will undertake.
• Draft report showing the key findings of the study.
• Report from consultations; highlighting key discussions with KII and FGDs and recommendations.
• Final report of the study should include an executive summary of a maximum of one page. The main report must include a chapter of conclusions and another of recommendations

Duration of the assignment
The duration for the works specified under this Terms of Reference (TORs) shall be for two (2) months from the signing of the contract without extension.

Required Knowledge and Skills
• A Master’s or Ph.D. degree in gender studies, social science, or another field relevant for the consultancy.
• Experience from research on gender and development.
• Extensive experience in research and writing on gender with an emphasis on climate change, natural resource management, and agriculture or agroforestry.
• Priority will be given to those applicants with demonstrated evidence of past work on the topic/ issues.
• Experience in transdisciplinary work on gender, human rights, economy, climate change, and poverty issues.
• Field experience is an asset.
• Fluency in English and Kiswahili is required.
• Curriculum vitae (CV) of the consultant should be provided. The CV should include details on engagements carried out by the consultant or member of the consultancy team, including ongoing assignments indicating responsibilities assumed, qualifications, and experience in undertaking similar assessments or studies

Term of validity of the consultancy and method of payment
The consultancy is expected to have a maximum duration of two months – 15 business days from the signing of the contract. Only one payment will be made after submission of the final report and approval of Vi Agroforestry of the report.

Ownership and confidentiality
Vi Agroforestry is the sole owner of the results of the evaluation and all other information produced as a result of the evaluation. The result of the evaluation can be used after previous authorization from Vi Agroforestry.

Receipt of offers
The submitted offer shall include:
• Cover letter
• Resume of the responsible Consultant/team with updated references and references of similar assignments.
• Technical and financial Offer
• Offers shall be sent to the following electronic mail:
saif.omar@viskogen.se
• The deadline for the submission of the offer is 15th January 2022.