Terms of Reference (ToR) Hiring a Consultant

Oxfam in Nepal

Oxfam has been working in Nepal since the early 1980s undertaking various development initiatives addressing the poverty and injustice faced by women and other socially and economically excluded groups. The level of Oxfam's engagement increased substantially after restoration of democracy in 1990 as it became easier for civil society to work in the new political environment. Over the years, Oxfam…

Terms of Reference (ToR) Hiring a Consultant

Terms of Reference (ToR)

Hiring a Consultant from University for the Study on Gender Role in Agricultural Seed System Management in Sudurpaschim Province

1.  Background

Oxfam is an international confederation of 19 organizations network together in more than 65 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty. Oxfam has been working in Nepal for 40 years to support the Government of Nepal with the vision to create a just society without poverty; a society in which all women and men live a life of dignity, enjoy their rights and assume their responsibilities as active citizens of Nepal. Through its different program, it aims to provide people with livelihood opportunities, ensuring that development-related activities are demand driven and sustainable and that the most vulnerable are empowered to claim their rights.  As defined by the new Country Strategy (2020-2025), Oxfam will work in three inter-connected thematic sectors; 1) Gender Justice, 2) Resilience and Climate Justice and 3) Water Governance. By working in these sectors, Oxfam aims to provide people with opportunities to reduce poverty, vulnerability and inequality, ensuring that development-related activities are gender sensitive, socially inclusive, demand driven and sustainable, and that the most vulnerable are empowered to claim their rights. Oxfam works in close coordination with national and local governments and civil society organizations to support marginalized, socially excluded and economically poor communities. 

Project Background:

Sowing Diversity = Harvesting Security” (SD=HS) is a multicounty project and is currently being implemented in Sudurpaschim province of Nepal jointly by Oxfam Nepal and LIBIRD. The programme is supported by Oxfam Novib and funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The project’s overall objective is that indigenous peoples and smallholder farmers enjoy their Farmers’ Rights and have the capacity to access, develop and use plant genetic resources to improve their food and nutrition security under conditions of climate change. The SD=HS programme has four interconnected pillars/components. Pillar 1 aims to broaden the genetic base of the crops through Farmer Field Schools (FFS) on Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) and contribute in effective management of plant genetic resources by empowering indigenous and smallholder farmers. Pillar 2 focuses on establishing and strengthening Farmers’ Seed Enterprises (FSE), which strives to provide smallholder farmers with access to improved, appropriate, adapted, and affordable seeds that meet their needs.  Pillar 3 relates to the Neglected and Underutilized Species (NUS) and their strategic management such that there is an increase in the intake of nutritious food based on local biodiversity. Pillar 4 takes an evidence-based approach to policy influencing based on the work in the first three pillars that creates an environment to realize the goals of the project. 

The focus of this assignment is on pillar 2 which aims to enhance the livelihood, income and seed security of indigenous peoples and small-holder farmers (IPSHFs) through improved production of high-quality seeds of diverse crops and varieties, adapted to farmers’ needs and preferences. The project has developed three farmers seed enterprises. Likewise, the project is supporting women seed producers to enhance production by addressing the limitations. Despite various efforts project not able to bring larger numbers women seed producers in the seed production. Therefore, the project wants to seek the services of university to conduct a study on different gender roles in agricultural seed production to understand challenges, women are facing in quality seed production. 

2.  Objectives of the Assignment

The major objective of this consultancy is to assess gender roles in in agricultural seed system. The specific objectives (guiding research questions) are as follows: 

  • What are traditional and existing gender roles in agricultural seed system management? 
  • Who does take decisions within households to select, purchase or keep the seeds? 
  • What roles are being played by genders in conserving, maintaining seeds? 
  • What are the existing social norms and gender related constraints for seed security in western Nepal? 

3.  Methodology: 

The study will employ both qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection and review of secondary information. Consultant is expected to collect household level data using structured questionnaire (draft to be developed by consultant and approved by Oxfam Nepal) and key informant interview (KII) as well as Focus Group Discussion (FGD) carried out to triangulate and collect qualitative data. Remaining within this broader framework, consultant can propose appropriate methodologies for the study as well. 

Within the context of the SD=HS FSE basic framework for the manuscript included in the study are:

a)  Agricultural context of the seed sector of the country 

b)  Information and analysis of the seed sector of the country

c)  Seed market analysis with gender lens 

d)  Production Analysis of seeds with gender lens 

e)  Household resilience through gender perspective on the seed’s security

f)  Gender role in the seeds policies and regulations

g)  Gender-responsive recommendation to enhance household levels seed security 

4.  Task, deliverables, and suggested time-frame for consultant 

The key deliverable is a Manuscript that responds to the scope of the assignment as outlined above and supporting transcripts of interviews undertaken. The Report should provide an analysis of scope outlined above in objectives and specific objectives, with the presentation of key findings and recommendations for the organization.

5.  Management responsibility 

The primary reporting officer for this assignment will be technical coordinator-SDHS Project. The other stakeholders for this study are thematic leads for gender justice and resilience and climate justice, concerned partners’ staff. 

6.  Duration: Start date and completion date

It is estimated that the task will require at least 30 person-days including an estimated 11 days in the field. The non-negotiable deadline for this task is 30 September 2022. 

7.  Budget and terms of payment 

30% of the agreed amount will be disbursed after receiving inception report and upon the satisfaction of the reporting officer whereas remaining 70% of the agreed amount will be released after receiving final report and upon the satisfaction of reporting officer.

Estimated budget

Budget headings UnitNumber of daysRate(NPR)Total(NPR)
1. Expert/Team Leader-1Day30
2. Transportation cost-4 timesTime4
3. Field expensesDay11
VAT 13%
Grand Total

8.  Profile of the firms and/or consultants 

This assignment is open only to academic institution and universities including colleges, campuses, faculties, and departments of Nepal.  We are looking for a team of researchers with the following experiences, academic qualifications, and competencies of the firms and team members should include: 

  • At least master’s degree in agricultural sciences experience in carrying out research on development project 
  • Knowledge of and experience in interpreting and using qualitative and/or quantitative research to develop evidence-based strategies with a gender lens
  • Strong conceptual and analytical skills including on gender 
  • Proven record of experience in conducting similar assignments

9.  Documents for submission 

Interested consultancy firm/ academic institutions can apply by submitting the following: 

  • Cover Letter
  • A technical proposal including
    • Description of how skills and experience match the TOR requirements,
    • Proposed methodology and work plan
  • A financial proposal: should include a detailed budget sheet with breakdowns
  • CV of researchers/ lead consultants
  • Copy of VAT registration Certificate
  • Copy of Company registration and renewal documents
  • Copy of tax clearance certificate 2077/78
  • Organisational Profile with related experiences

10. Proposal review/scoring criteria

The total score is 100 points that include 70 points on technical expertise, organizational profile, understanding of the assignment, study design and methodology, and 30 points on budget plan.

S.N.Key Criteria
1Relevant work experiences of the firm, particularly in analyzing seed sectors of Nepal with gender lenses (15)
2Academic qualifications and work experience of proposed consultants as revealed by CV (40 points)
3Understanding of the assignment along with proposed study design, tools, and methodology (15 points)
4Cost-effectiveness and realistic budget plan (30 points) 

11.  Ethical consideration 

The Consultant will be required to take all the necessary actions to handle the collected data responsibly (see Oxfam Responsible Data Policy) to ensure data privacy, anonymity, and confidentiality.

12. Our commitment to safeguarding 

Oxfam is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults and expects all staff, consultants, volunteers to share this commitment. We will do everything possible to ensure that only those who are suitable to work within our values are selected to work for us.  

13.  Confidentiality/Non-disclosure 

All material issued in connection with this ToR shall remain the property of Oxfam and shall be used only for the purpose of this procurement exercise. All information provided shall be either returned to Oxfam or securely destroyed by unsuccessful applicants at the conclusion of the procurement exercise. 

During the performance of the assignment or at any time after expiry or termination of the Agreement, the Consultant shall not disclose to any person or otherwise make use of any confidential information which s/he has obtained or may in the course of this agreement relating to partner organization/Oxfam, the respondents or otherwise. 

The consultant will be required to sign a non-disclosure / confidentiality agreement as part of their undertaking of this work.  

14.  Intellectual property, Copyright, and Ownership of all prepared information

The Consultant shall retain all rights to pre-existing (background) intellectual property or materials used by the Consultant in the delivery of this study. All arising intellectual property, ideas, materials, processes, or processes formed in contemplation, course of, or as result of this study shall be passed to Oxfam without restriction.

The Consult shall warrant that all arising Intellectual Property, materials and/or products produced in pursuit of this study shall be original and shall not infringe on any third party’s claim. All technical or business information, in whatever medium or format, originated, collated or prepared by or for the Consultant in contemplation, course of, or as result of this assignment shall be transferred to Oxfam without restriction on completion and shall not be used by the Consultant for any other purpose without express written permission of Oxfam. 

Copyright of all arising documents, data, information or reports produced by the Consultant under this agreement shall belong to Oxfam and will be passed to Oxfam without restriction. Such documents, data, information and reports shall not be used by the Consultant for any other purpose other than in conjunction with this assignment, without the express written permission of Oxfam’s Head of Programme Funding.

15.  Response

The Consulting VAT Registered Firm should submit the technical and financial proposal to Oxfam by 10 July 2022 before 5 pm via mail to consultancy_nepal@oxfam.org.uk, clearly mentioning the title of assignment in the email subject line “Study on Gender Role in Agricultural Seed System Management” and not exceeding 15 MB