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Learning and Accountability (PLA) Specialist ,


TERMS OF REFERENCE
FOR SUPPORT TO VECO EAST AFRICA IN PROGRAMME LEARNING AND ACCOUNTABILITY

1.       Background
VECO East Africa is a regional programme of Vredeseilanden, a Belgian International NGO. Vredeseilanden envisions a world with production and consumptions systems that allow poverty and hunger to be eradicated and that do not burden our planet more than it can bear. It enables and supports smallholder farmers to take up their role in rural poverty alleviation and to contribute to feeding a growing world population in a sustainable way.
VECO East Africa’s strategies and interventions in the region aim to create an enabling environment for smallholder farmers. These includes policy and regulatory frameworks, market mechanisms, extension services, seed and input supply systems, credit for smallholder farmers and organizations, engagement and actions of societal actors among others. VECO East Africa promotes the business case for chain actors who include buyers, traders, processors, distributors, retailers and smallholder farmers and their organizations to engage with each other and establish linkages. It supports smallholder farmers to organize themselves and build the necessary capacities to create economies of scale, guarantee quality, food safety and sustainability.

VECO East Africa is presently implementing a 3 year Programme (2014-2016) in Eastern Uganda and Northern Tanzania at the pilot and structural change (up scaling to a higher level with greater impact) levels focused on horticulture and staples.  VECO East Africa is also designing a new US$10.5 million year programme for 2017-21. VECO East Africa requires a Planning, Learning and Accountability (PLA) Specialist to support the implementation of Vredeseilanden’s PLA system and to strengthen VECO East Africa’s PLA capacities, thereby contributing to VECO East Africa becoming one of the leaders in delivering innovative, adaptive programmes in the Region.

2.       Duties and Responsibilities

-        Support VECO EA program staff and partners in concepts, methods and tools for planning, monitoring, learning and evaluation
-        Work with VECO EA Regional Management Team and VECO Global PLA Advisor to assess and improve PLA systems
-        Develop with the VECO EA team and partners a PLA framework and tools to meet the expectations of all internal and external stakeholders.  This should take into account the different data /learning approaches needed to support pilot and structural change projects and it should also be a cost effective system.
-        Support VECO EA to evaluate different ICT options for the PLA framework and if needed, support the implementation of a new system
-        Support VECO EA teams to embed data collection processes in their work and have robust validation processes to ensure accuracy of data
-        Advise VECO EA on research methodology and approaches for conducting surveys and other research, including establishment of agreements with key research institutes
-        Support VECO EA in specific learning processes and knowledge management as needed
-        Work with the Communications Specialists as needed to ensure documentation of outcomes, experiences, practices from VECOs pilot chains are building evidence to support structural change agenda’s and up-scaling

3.       Duration and Ways of Working  
A rolling 6 month workplan will be developed in partnership with the consultant and the initial contract will therefore be for 6 months, renewable upon successful completion of work.  The initial 6 months workplan is expected to include the following:

Description Task
Month
Work Days
Inception process to understand needs and agree detailed plans
May
3
Immediate support to ensure Food Trade Project PLA system is in place and operating effectively
June
22
Review of current PLA system together with key programme staff of VECO EA, definition of VECO EA’s PLA needs and participation in Global workshop in May
 June
15
Validation of the proposed PLA system with key programme staff of VECO EA
June-July
5
Identification of organisational learning and capacity strengthening needs
July
5
Development of proposed system for VECO EA including ICT options
Aug - Sep
15
Participation at the Global PLA Workshop in September
Sep
5
Development of cost effective approach for research, surveys, etc
Sep
10


80

The focal point for the PLA Specialist shall be the Regional Representative. The workplan will be developed together and reviewed at least once per month.

4.       Terms and Conditions
The PLA Specialist will be contracted as a consultant and paid according to the daily rate agreed and submission of reports or products demonstrating that the work has been completed in line with the agreed plan.

5.       Qualifications and Experience Required
-        Master Degree in Social Sciences or Knowledge Management or equivalent by experience
-        At least 5 years in PLA roles preferably in agricultural value chain programs
-        Participatory PM&E methods (outcome mapping, …)
-        Design of surveys and qualitative studies
-        Data collection with standardized and non-standardized instruments
-        Data processing with Excel, Access, SQL databases
-        Design, implementation and evaluation of Participatory Assessments and Action Research
-        Mentoring and facilitation skills
-        Documentation skills

Application Procedures

Qualified candidates are invited to submit their comprehensive curriculum Vitae, together with a motivation letter and evidence of similar previous assignments done via email to Tanzania Programme Coordinator at veco-ea@veco-eastafrica.org  before  15 May, 2016.
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