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Consultant - South Kivu Food Security Program / Market Systems Assessment - DRC

Bukavu (Congo Democratic) | Washington D.C.


The Food Security Project (FSP) is a 5-year Food-for-Peace funded program with the overall goal that vulnerable populations in South Kivu have increased food security, improved nutritional status and enhanced well-being. To achieve this goal, FSP will strengthen community’s resilience to the stresses and shocks that impede their food security. Our theory of change holds that improved resilience is necessary to create a more stable, transformative environment in which sustainable, inclusive development progress -- including access to nutritious food, better overall health and more economic opportunities -- can be made.

Purpose / Project Description:

South Kivu households—on average purchasing 68 percent of food in markets instead of relying on their own production—must barter or secure adequate income to ensure they have adequate food. However, alternate revenue options are limited: small commercial centers lack processing capacities; with limited investments from private or government sectors, business services are almost nonexistent; the market for non-agricultural products remains undeveloped; and lack of access to financial services constrains entrepreneurs.

Therefore, concerted efforts to improve market systems so that the most vulnerable can participate meaningfully should focus on developing appropriate business services for farmers and other actors in the value chain; strengthening market organization for increased efficiency; and spur investments in identified missing functions in the value chains such as transport, storage and post-harvest processing. Sustainable development of market systems in South Kivu should ensure that investments from private sector partners contribute to the resilience of smallholder farmers to market shocks.

This assessment supports implementation planning for all three FSP program pillars:

Purpose 1: Increased income for vulnerable households despite exposure to shocks and stresses – The assessment will help the FSP team and activity stakeholders understand market trends, gaps and opportunities for the development of new agricultural products and services. This will include a mapping of all market actors, including their strengths, weaknesses and motivations, as well as a risk analysis of the evolving impacts of shocks, stresses, and resource uses.

Purpose 2: Improved nutritional status for children under two, pregnant and lactating women, and other women of reproducing age – The assessment will help the FSP team and activity stakeholders understand the specific market opportunities for nutrition-sensitive agricultural products and services – more specifically bio-fortified varieties and improved practices along the value chain to maintain nutrient content. This will include a risk analysis of the evolving impacts of shocks, stresses, and resource uses.

Purpose 3: Operating environment for sustainable development made more sustainable and inclusive - The assessment will help the FSP team and activity stakeholders understand how to best engage minority groups such as women and youth in the development of markets; how markets can contribute and/or be taken into consideration in the development of local resilience plans; and how private actors can combine forces to improve the regulatory environment. This will include a risk analysis of the evolving impacts of shocks, stresses, and resource uses.

This assessment draws from existing assessment work carried out by Mercy Corps and other existing resources. These include:

● South Kivu Market Assessment, Mercy Corps (2016)

● Assessments and Analyses from USAID in South Kivu

● Assessments and Analyses that may be conducted by Feed the Future (FtF) partners

Cross-cutting topics for this assessment include sustainability, resilience, and gender and youth.

Consultant Objectives:

The objective of this assessment is to:

  • Understand the market system for FSP target populations related to agricultural livelihoods and develop a mapping of these systems with key actors, capacities, incentives and constraints.
  • Select market opportunities, and identify the gaps and leverage points in each target market to ensure that both producers and consumers can benefit.

The consultant will include analysis for key value chains, with a particular attention to beans, soy beans, maize or any promising cash crops such as onion, and will revalidate market information that the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) conducted for the Coping Strategies Index (CSI).

Consultant Activities:

The consultant’s activities will primarily be:

· General coordination of assessments

· Development of interview guides and analysis

· Intermediate and final reporting including recommendations for implementation

The assessment will employ a staged approach to data collection. The approach is based on Mercy Corps’ market system development assessment methodology, which builds on secondary data and key informant interviews. The final selection of markets and in-depth market analysis will be conducted, if feasible, in collaboration with FtF in South Kivu.

Research subjects and corresponding activities are as follows:

  1. Market Opportunities for FSP’s target populations

● Secondary research

● Key informant interviews with major traders, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Economy

  1. Market selection

· Market matrix, reviewed and validated by Mercy Corps staff and key stakeholders, including FtF if possible.

  1. Opportunities and constraints for selected markets

● Supporting functions (input supply, transport, post-harvest, storage, trade, financial services, etc.)

● Formal and informal rules (regulatory environment, policies, etc.)

● Losses of nutrients along the chain

● Market actor map and characteristics

Study zone:

Kabare and Kalehe territories, Province of South Kivu – Democratic Republic of Congo

Consultant Deliverables:

Assessment deliverables will include:

· A broad assessment report based on secondary research, Mercy Corps’ preliminary findings from its 2016 report, and rapid primary data collection of the target areas.

· A market selection matrix and discussion of results with particular attention paid to beans, soy beans, maize and onion markets

· 2 to 3 in-depth market-specific reports highlighting supply and demand analysis; market system map; actors and their characteristics; business enabling environment analysis; SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) for the market; and recommendations on interventions.

Information and Services Provided by Mercy Corps:

For the duration of their consultancy, the consultant(s) will be provided with:

• Collaboration and support of the FSP team in country.

• Access to all project documentation at the beginning of the consultancy.

• Access to Mercy Corps’ Office for working.

• Transport in all sites targeted for the research.

Consultant Profile

  • Academic qualifications: Master degree in Agriculture, agro-business or other related field

  • Skilled and experience (5 years minimum) in leading agriculture value chain analysis with previous experience of pro-poor market development

  • Be familiar with the context of agriculture in the Great Lake region (Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda)

  • Demonstrated experience in systems-thinking and experience in approaches for understanding complexity for development programming.

  • S/he will also value shared learning and have demonstrated experience using assessment processes to build the capacity of program implementation teams.

  • Be fluent in English and French.

  • Must be independent but collaborative, willing to share thoughts and ideas, and able to give constructive feedback to Mercy Corps team

  • Experience working for international donors, ideally USAID (Food for Peace and/or Feed the Future).

Timeframe / Schedule:

Deliverable and Due Date

Broad market assessment and market selection 12 – 23 June 2017

In-depth market assessments 26 June – 14 July 2017

Final reporting 28 July 2017

The Consultant will report to: The Chief of Party

The Consultant will work closely with:

Mercy Corps P1 team

STRESS Coordinator

To apply please go here::

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  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Bukavu (Congo Democratic) | Washington D.C.
  • Grade: Mid/Senior - Internationally recruited position - Mid/Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Nutrition
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Security and Safety
  • Closing Date: 2017-05-31

What does it mean?

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