Terms of Reference – Feasibility Study for the Project Proposal

Welthungerhilfe

Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany. It is politically independent and non-denominational. Welthungerhilfe is fighting hunger around the world and is focusing its work around the Sustainable Development Goal 2: “Zero Hunger by 2030”. Since its establishment in 1962, more than 9,830 overseas projects in 70 countries have been supported with 3.95 billion euros. Welthungerhilfe works on…

Terms of Reference – Feasibility Study for the Project Proposal

Terms of Reference

Feasibility Study for the project proposal 

Project title: Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as promoters of improved food systems and equal livelihood opportunities

1. Introduction of Welthungerhilfe

Welthungerhilfe (WHH) is one of Germany’s leading non-governmental organizations with a dual mandate in both development cooperation and emergency response. WHH works to create a world in which all people can exercise their right to a self-determined life in dignity and justice, free from hunger and poverty. To bring justice for all, WHH partners with the civil society organizations in the countries where it operates, and currently the agency is partnering with over 100 local partners from 36 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America (www.welthungerhilfe.de).

WHH has been operational in Nepal since 2012, and currently managing different project in eleven districts under four program thematic areas (sectors): food and nutrition security, WASH, right to food and empowerment, and disaster risk reduction. WHH works hand in hand with civil society in Nepal to empower socially marginalized and economically poor citizens to reinforce their resilience and to ensure their right to adequate food and nutrition. 

2. Background of the proposed project

Malnutrition and poverty are two major socio-economic issues in Nepal (36% child stunting rate and as of 2018, 9.3% as extreme poverty rate). The poverty rate is over 20% as per more holistic Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) data. Over 60% population in Nepal are engaged in agriculture and farming practices, yet the country has high food insecurity rate as indicated by high stunting and poverty rates. Nepal is rich in natural resources, over one quarter area is covered by forest, which is yet to be explored for sustainable economic development activities, particularly to uplift the livelihoods of poorest people. To achieve the balance food system development, local institutions are needed to be involved in the food chain.

Nepal is a democratic country and there exist over 6,000 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and 15,000 Community Based Organizations (CBOs), which are legally registered and supposedly active in the country. The civil society is active almost in every district of the country; however, the quality of their services (deliveries) and sustainability remains a challenge. Many operate with poor organizational and technical capacity and lack sufficient and sustainable funding sources to continue their socio-economic activities in the country. If these grass-root level organizations are capacitated and linked to wider networks can bring the sustainable and self-reliant positive changes in the communities.

The project is built around transforming the social (particularly, the nutrition status of women and children under five) and economic status of most vulnerable population groups (such as Muslim women) in Kapilvastu district (Lumbini province). WHH is already operating in the province and currently managing a similar nature food and nutrition related project, and the proposed idea will leverage the resources and learnings of previous and ongoing interventions. Muslims are the third largest religious group in Nepal, making up almost 4.3% of the total population. 96% of Muslims live in the Tarai region, and Kapilvastu district has the second highest Muslim population (about 18%) after Rautahat district (19%). A number of projects was/ is already being implemented in Rautahat by WHH, the proposed project will scale up the learnings from Rautahat to Kapilvastu since the socio-economic status of both districts is similar in nature. Compared to Madhesh province (including Rautahat), there is a smaller number of development actors working in Kapilvastu to provide opportunities to fill the socio-economic gaps of Muslim population groups living in the district. Muslims in Nepal have the second lowest Human Development Index (HDI) value of 0.401, just slightly higher than the Madhesi Dalits. Poverty remains high and the average per capita income is low at NPR 10,200, which is only half of the country’s average. For example, the rural Brahmin-Chhetri group’s income, while considerably lower than their urban counterparts, is still significantly higher than urban Muslims. The education rate of Muslim children is just over 30%, which is far lower than national average which is over 80%. To address these issues, the project aims to reduce poverty and improve the food and nutrition security of most marginalized population groups, such as Muslim women, in collaboration with local civil societies. A brief project summary is presented at below table:

Project titleCivil Society Organisations (CSOs) as promoters of improved food systems and equal livelihood opportunities
DurationFour years
Budget1.6 € EURO
DonorBMZ (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development)
Target regionKapilvastu district
Target groups10 CSOs run by marginalized groups and 5.000 poor and malnourished households
Project outcomeCSOs are empowered to improve local food systems and livelihood opportunities
Project outputs (results)Organizational and advocacy capacity of CSOs is strengthenedNutrition and livelihood situation of vulnerable population is improvedCSOs are engaged in advocacy for food systems and nutrition security
Core problem and needs/ constraints to addressPoverty and malnutrition are socio-economic problems in Nepal. Muslims have the 2nd lowest HDI. CSOs play a key role in food systems transformations and in promoting livelihood opportunities for vulnerable populations but lack resources and advocacy capacity.

3. Objectives and tasks 

3.1. Overall objective of the feasibility study 

The objective of the feasibility study is to provide WHH Nepal with a well-founded basis for the further development of the project concept by clarifying the pre-requisites, opportunities and risks and providing information on how to improve/optimise the project. The study will assess the technical, economic, financial, environmental, social, and institutional feasibility of the proposed project and systematically check the extent to which the project approach can plausibly achieve the planned changes under the existing framework conditions.

The study will assess the current situation and food and nutrition security and presence of civil societies at targeted Municipalities, district and province. Further, the study will explore existing policies and programmes of local and provincial governments related to civil society mobilization, food security, nutrition and livelihoods. 

Overall, the study should analyse the situation and context, the problems resulting thereof and the target groups and stakeholders, at micro, meso and macro (national) level elaborating specific recommendations for the design of the project. The feasibility study will be used by WHH Nepal team and the identified implementing partner/s as an important tool for drafting the project proposal, thus close consultation with WHH and the partner/s at every step is required.

3.2. Tasks assigned to the selected consultant

The consultant is responsible for planning and implementing the feasibility study, including forming and leading of the feasibility study team, if required. In particular, the consultant is responsible for:

1. Preparing a detailed study design including timeline, methodology, research techniques, sample used, etc. The consultant shall present the feasibility study design and planning to WHH team for approval. 

2. Describing the context of the planned project at all relevant levels (micro, meso, macro), including any essential data relevant to understand the initial situation. The elaboration of context and problem analysis should include but not limit to:

a. What is the current situation in target area? 

b. What does the socio-economic, political, and cultural context look like? 

c. What current problems have been identified in the life situations of the target groups relating to food, nutrition, rights of the citizens on Water & Sanitation, and livelihoods? Are relevant to the project design? What are their causes and how do they impact on the living conditions of population groups? Which of the causes are prioritised and addressed in the project?

d. What livelihoods and nutrition needs have been identified based on the problem analysis? How were these needs identified (or how will they be identified)? 

e. Local priorities in terms of livelihoods and nutrition, and existing plans/strategies/policies. 

f. Are there approaches and results from previous development measures? If so, how will they be built upon? Similarly, activities of other donors/implementing organizations with view to possible synergies? 

g. Which are other agencies/actors are working in the area? In which thematic area they are working? 

h. Are there any alternatives to the planned project or any of its components?

3. Developing a detailed socio-economic target group analysis, including but not limited to: 

a. What will be the target group of the project? Which population groups, based on which vulnerabilities? This should include recommendation about the number of beneficiaries, the type of beneficiaries (occupation, sex, age, social and economic rank, etc.), etc.

b. What is the composition of the respective target groups? How homogeneous, or heterogeneous is the target group in terms of gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, language, capacity, etc., and to what extent does the project have to take this into account? 

c. What criteria should be used in the selection of the target group? 

d. Are there possibly several target groups affected in different ways by the problems? 

e. What are the needs of the target group? How can these needs be addressed? 

f. What is the role of the target group(s) in the broader social context? What conflicts of interest could arise between the target group and other non-target groups because of the support provided through the project? Are there conflicts of interest between other actors?

g. Which self-help potential does the respective target groups have? How can local problem-solving capacities be strengthened?

h. How strong is the support, for example in the form of own contribution, of the different actors for the project? What is their ability to influence the project? 

i. What is the target group’s potential especially about ownership/initiative, self-help activities and local problem-solving capacity? How can this potential be strengthened? 

j. How many community-based organizations (CBOs) are functional in the area? What nature/type of CBOs/networks exists? 

4.  Elaborating of a detailed stakeholder analysis, including but not limited to:

a. Stakeholder map (governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, local authorities, CBOs,) including their interests, position, influence. What potential contributions can be expected from the identified actors? How should be developed the collaboration/coordination? (meso/macro)

b. How does the planned project fit in with the federal/provincial/local development strategy/policies/plan/programmes on related issues? 

c. Do the municipalities have already Palika-wide nutrition plan? Do they have the required knowledge, skills, understanding?

d. Do the municipalities apply PPP (participative planning processes) during the settlement consultation meeting? 

e. What are the interests of the stakeholders? Are there any visible conflicts of interest? What interdependencies are to be expected between the project and other interventions/projects supported by the stakeholders? How will this be taken into account in the project concept? 

f. Do the stakeholders share a common understanding of the problem(s) and of the project objectives derived thereof? 

g. How strong is the various stakeholders’ support for the project? How much influence could they exert on the project? 

h. Communities, civil society groups, local institutions and local authorities have the willingness of accepting and participating in the proposed project?

5. Completing a detailed risk analysis including, among others, political, socio-economic, logistical, financial, environmental risks as well as mitigating actions that lie within the scope of the project.

6. Reviewing of the project idea and developing a draft log-frame, including indicators for project objective (outcome) and specific objectives (output) as well as assumptions. 

7. Assessing the planned project based on OECD/DAC criteria: 

a. Relevance: to what extent is the planned project doing the right thing? 

  • Are the planned project activities appropriate for addressing the problem? 
  • Are the prioritization and objectives (approach) in line with the needs of the target group/s and clearly defined? 
  • What changes are planned to have been accomplished by the project after it has been completed? 
  • Is the project design adopting the do-no-harm principle?
  • Are norms and standards of the approach compatible with those of the target group/s?

b. Coherence: how well does the intervention fit?

  • How coherent are the planned activities with human rights principles, conventions, and relevant standards/guidelines? 
  • To what extent are there synergies and linkages between the planned project and other interventions by the same actors and other actors?
  • What are the similarities or intersections between the target groups and to what extent does the intervention add value and avoid duplication? 

c.  Effectiveness: what is the most suitable project approach to achieve the objectives? 

  • What measures does the study recommend with a view to achieving objectives? 
  • Are the measures and the chosen methodology appropriate to the context and sufficient to reach the project objective? Are alternatives necessary?
  • Should activities be planned also at meso and/or macro level (multi-level approach) to make the project more sustainable and to increase effectiveness?
  • Are the causal relationships (including assumptions) plausible? What negative effects could occur? 
  • What impact logic/impact hypothesis should the project be based on? What could a meaningful logical framework look like, including suitable and informative indicators (presentation of a first rough draft of indicators and baseline data)?
  • How to enhance synergies/collaboration with interventions supported by other donors or programs in the area? 
  • Who will monitor impacts? When? At what intervals? (Impact monitoring) 
  • How are changes measured? Which indicators (fields) are more suitable for this?

d. Efficiency: Can the objectives be achieved in an economically efficient way through the planned project? 

  • What financial, institutional and human resources will be needed? 
  • To what extent can the planned measures be implemented with the budgeted funds and personnel in the planned duration? 
  • To what extent are the planned expenditures used economically? Are the investments, operating expenses and personnel proportional to the intended objectives? 

e. Significance/overarching development impact: Will the project help achieve broader development impacts? 

  • Which objectives and impacts derived from the problem/needs analysis are to be achieved, and for what target groups? 
  • To what extent will the project have a structural impact, to what extent can it serve as a model, and to what extent will it have a broad-based impact? 
  • Would it be advisable to pursue a multi-level approach (micro, meso and macro levels) in order to increase significance and effectiveness? 
  • To what extent have aspects relating to gender sensitivity, inclusion of persons with disabilities, cultural sensitivity, conflict sensitivity and human rights been incorporated in the project’s objectives? 

f. Sustainability: Will the positive impact last after the project has been completed (without further external support)? 

  • How can sustainability of results and impacts be ensured and reinforced (in institutional, economic, social and environmental terms)? 
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of governmental and/or civil society institutions? 
  • To what extent will the project be able to build on local potential, institutions, and procedures? 
  • What measures and instruments are best suited to harness and strengthen local ownership and initiative, participation, and capacity? 
  • What risks are involved in project implementation (personal risk for those implementing the project, institutional and reputational risk, contextual risk)? How can they be minimized? 

8.Elaborating concrete suggestions and recommendations to be incorporated into the project based on the main findings and assessment according to DAC criteria, such as:

I. Which components, if any, are missing in the project concept to make the cause-effect relationships more coherent and to sustainably achieve the planned objectives?

II. Which planned components are not suitable or could have negative effects, and for what reasons? 

III. Which assumptions of the cause-effect relationships are viable?

IV. Which findings and project-relevant data of the study are suitable to be integrated into the project logic/impact matrix of the project proposal? 

V. What are the recommendations for possible indicators for impact monitoring and data collection?

4. Methodology 

The methodology design of the feasibility study will be proposed by the consultant and approved by WHH, but it should comprise a combination of quantitative  and qualitative research methods, including but not limited to:

  • Literature review
  • Data collection and analysis 
  • Interactions and meetings with proposed target groups (KIIs, FGDs)
  • Discussions, interaction and interviews with relevant local authorities and stakeholders (KIIs, FGDs).
  • Field observations.

The choice of methods must take into account the needs and capacities of the different target groups and stakeholders. The persons to be interviewed/consulted are representatives of the different stakeholders to be involved in the project, including Local and Federal government, thematic officers (women, health, agriculture, WASH), local representatives, and target groups such as marginalized women, school students and teachers, FCHVs, etc. The consultant will be responsible for planning and implementing the feasibility study; however, close consultation with WHH Nepal team at every step and coordination with the partners is required.

5. Geographical scope 

The feasibility study is to be undertaken for a project that will be implemented in Kapilvastu district, Lumbini province, Nepal.

6. Deliverables 

  1. An inception report including a detailed design and work plan for the elaboration of the feasibility study (see 3.2 “Tasks assigned to the selected consultant”)
  2. Draft report in English (max. 30 pages + annexes) and presentation to WHH 
  3. Final report, including executive summary, in English (max. 30 pages + annexes), no later than 5 days after receiving comments on the draft report. 

7. Timeline

The consultancy duration is of 20 days and study should be completed (that is, final report should be submitted) by mid-October 2022.  

8. Qualification and experience required

The consultant or team of consultants must meet the following criteria: 

  1. Graduate or equivalent advanced degree in social sciences, management, organizational development, or other relevant academic fields. 
  2. Excellent track record in designing and conducting quantitative and qualitative research, analysis, feasibility studies and evaluations (5 to 8 years minimum) with focus in livelihoods and nutrition and organizational development. 
  3. Knowledge of the functioning and needs of local governments. 
  4. Experience in undertaking research with most vulnerable communities. 
  5. Ability to conduct high quality research, meet deadlines and respond to requests and feedback provided timely and appropriately. 
  6. Strong analytical and synthesis skills and excellent skills in dialogue and negotiation. 
  7. Flexible, independent, good communication skills. 
  8. Excellent spoken and written English. 
  9. The consultant is required to liaise regularly with WHH Nepal team and its partners, and is expected to deliver results in a timely manner. 

1KAP survey data will be provided by WHH 

9.  Submission of proposals

The interested and qualified consultant/ consulting firm must apply by 17:00 hours (COB) dated 25 September 2022 via email address given below (subject of the email “Feasibility Study Kapilvastu”) Email: procurement.nepal@welthungerhilfe.de. The proposal should include the following documents:

  1. Letter of expression of interest (EoI) signed by the main applicant 
  2. Detailed technical proposal including methodology (methods of data collection, analysis, samples of experience/studies of similar nature, etc.), composition of the feasibility study team and their roles (this should include detailed information about capacity of the team/person to carry out the objectives of the consultancy, clear description of role and responsibilities within the team, expected time dedicated to the assignment).
  3. Implementation Plan following the attached format (Annex 1) 
  4. Detailed financial proposal that must include an estimate of all staff costs (calculated for fees based on number of consultancy days) as well as direct costs related to the consultancy including travel, hotel, etc. (Annex 2).  
  5. Firm profile detailing the past assignments (at least two feasibility report as a sample copy)
  6. Detailed curriculum vitae of the consultant and of all team members, if any, highlighting their areas of work and experience
  7. Company registration certificate
  8. Latest tax clearance certificate
  9. VAT registration certificate (for both firms and individual consultants).
  10. Signed supplier declaration form 

Please go through the link below to download the Supplier Declaration form:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/18UMaELYzM7fsywOJvNlGmTxfaduuyoHy/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=106755148129806025610&rtpof=true&sd=true

If you have any question(s) on TOR, please write your queries at procurement.nepal@welthungerhilfe.de by COB 20 September 2022. Any queries received after that  will not be considered. 

Please note that the selected consultant/ consulting firm should adhere with WHH SOP for development project in the context of COVID-19 and government protocols regarding COVID-19 prevention. The field plan may differ considering the current COVID-19 scenario.

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for further evaluation process. Welthungerhilfe Nepal reserves all the rights to reject any or all application without assigning any reasons.