Aquaculture Evaluation Consultant

Western Region Coastal Foundation is seeking an Aquaculture Evaluation Consultant
Location: Takoradi, Western Region of Ghana


1.0 Background to Western Region Coastal Foundation
The Western Region Coastal Foundation is a 5-year UKaid funded programme aimed at promoting stability and socio-economic development for the communities impacted by the Oil & Gas industry in the six coastal districts of Western Region of Ghana. Limited job opportunities, land ownership and right of way issues are fuelling potential community grievances in a region impacted by the extractive industry, particularly, Oil & Gas. A number of environmental risks and climate change impacts exacerbates these risks. The programme responds to these issues/concerns by holding dialogue which allows community members to voice out their concerns and jointly plan with other stakeholders including district assemblies and the Oil&Gas companies to address the problems. WRCF also pilots interventions in selected economic value chains to demonstrate viability and scalability to create jobs and increase incomes of the local citizen.

The programme expects to achieve increased stability and inclusive growth, through:
• Reducing the risk of conflict, which also has major financial and environment returns in terms of safeguarding oil production and mitigating its adverse impacts;
• Increasing growth and employment prospects, through better planning and development, addressing local barriers to growth and improved education. As local skills develop, industry value-chains will increasingly be localised, to the benefit of residents as well as companies;
• Mitigating adverse local socio-economic impact and improving the livelihoods of affected communities, through better targeted support and programmes from both CSR initiatives and government interventions.

The programme Outcome is: Citizens expectations managed and met and constructive relationship built between communities, government and industry. This will be achieved through four Outputs:
• Output 1: Coastal Foundation provides locally owned, sustainable platform for coordinated development in Western Region coastal districts.
• Output 2: Independent and inclusive dialogue structure promotes transparency, responsiveness and collective action on local development issues.
• Output 3: WRCF supports local development interventions.
• Output 4: Evidence generated and communicated to enhance stakeholder learning and inform programming.


1.1 Background of the Assignment
One of the objectives of the Western Region Coastal Foundation is to improve socio economic conditions of the residents of the six coastal districts through effective investment in sustainable livelihood interventions and market system development. After a rigorous economic assessment conducted in 2015, five value chains, including Aquaculture were selected as intervention areas with the potential to increase income and jobs for the people of the six coastal districts.
WRCF’s aquaculture intervention in the coastal districts aims to significantly boost productivity of low-income fish farmers to meet growing demand for fresh fish by means of sustained access to: (i) quality inputs (feed, fingerlings); (ii) know how on best pond/business management practices; and, (iii) diversified markets for farmed fresh fish (catfish and tilapia).

This intervention aims to make the coastal districts aquaculture industry a much more attractive investment by local farmers and a more robust market for aquaculture inputs/outputs despite its current low level of production, scattered and distant locations from markets. WRCF will implement this intervention in two stages over a period of 18 – 24 months:

WRCF supported 8 demonstration ponds in 2016 and 2017 in selected coastal communities as a mechanism to improve the knowledge of pond farmers in best pond/business management practices and as a platform to promote business relationships between pond farmers, their prospective suppliers of inputs and services and buyers of produce.

With incentives aligned and capacities of all value chain players strengthened, WRCF encouraged other key market actors – new entrants into fish farming, financial institutions, local service providers (pond construction, security, harvesting), educational institutions, the media and local/regional government – to participate directly in advancing the growth of the Western Region aquaculture industry in line with their unique interests and capacity.

Aquaculture production can assume a high significance in the Western Region due to the resource endowments conducive for aquaculture production. With the apparent decline in wild fisheries, the aquaculture sector provide a high potential for poverty reduction. The sector’s poverty reduction potential is rooted in the sector’s strong multiplier effect with additional labour and economic activity revolving around each pond e.g. feed, fingerlings, processing, and services.

The constraints identified before the intervention include poor production knowledge by farmers leading to large wastage of feed and poor water quality management, procurement of weak fingerling —resulting in high production cost of catfish farming, high mortality rates and lack of business management knowledge and weak relationships between the value chain actors at different functional levels

Three main strategies were developed to address critical production constraints identified in aquaculture sector during the pilot intervention: (a) building capacity for knowledge transfer to boost and increase productivity (b) Aquaculture value chain strengthening through improved linkages among actors (businesses, smallholder farmers, smokers, marketers, transporters, financial institutions, research institutes, government, etc.) to boost adoption of better business and management practices. (c) Changing the mind-set of fish farmers from subsistence production towards commercial orientation to meet demand from within and outside the Region.

Initial assessment of the pilot demonstrations indicated that more critical factors need to be addressed to move aquaculture forward in a sustainable and equitable way. The major reason for the reduction of aquaculture production in the region is the high cost of feed. Feed represents about 50-70% of the cost of fish farming. The opportunity still exists to reduce cost of production by developing capacities of farmers to produce feed using right proportions of raw materials available in the region. There is also the opportunity to diversify production of fish species by looking at the production of tilapia in cage culture in addition to the culture of catfish

Rational for the Assignment:
After implementing the aquaculture intervention for 2 years, with the completion of at least two cycles of production, WRCF would like to assess what has worked, and why , what has not worked and why, as well as sustainability of the intervention. It will assess progress made towards the achievement of the overall and specific objectives, current data on the project and direct observation as well provide the project achievements, gaps, lessons learnt and provide recommendations and best practice to guide future programming by WRCF and its partners.

The specific evaluation objectives are:
1. To assess the relevance of the Programme in regard to ownership and congruency, technical adequacy, and complementarity of programme with other initiatives;
2. To determine the effectiveness of the programme in achievement of results, highlighting reasons for achievement and non-achievement of results and factors contributing/hindering achievement of the results;
3. To assess the sustainability of the programme including the participation of partners in planning and implementation of interventions, as well as assessing the measures taken to ensure that activities initiated by the Programme will be completed and continued on cessation of WRCF support;
4. To document the impact of the programme highlighting what were the intended and unintended, positive and negative, long term effects of the programme
5. To provide the best practices/recommendations that may be used in the future programming
6. To assess the scalability of the programme by gauging possibility of absorption by beneficiaries, crowding in and replication by other partners.

The evaluation, including its recommendations, will be used as a resource by WRCF as a knowledge base on good practices in the area of Aquaculture, and to inform future programming and direction. As part of the evaluation, a Theory of Change will be developed that will help structure the debate on the possible pathways for contributing to long-term changes in artisanal fish farming, catfish and Tilapia . The evaluation will also be used by donors of WRCF to assess and decide on longer-term support to Aquaculture.
The evaluation is expected to be carried out from 1st – 29th March 2018.

Key Evaluation Questions / analytical Framework:
The questions below are indicative of the key information needs identified during the formulation of this Terms of Reference.
Asses the Programme design with regards to the programme logic and theory of change:
• Whether appropriate indicators were designed to track progress towards objectives
• Whether the indicators were adhered to and used to monitor the programme
• Whether the indicators used were specific, measurable, attainable and relevant. (this should be done against validity, reliability, sensitivity, simplicity, utility and affordability)

Assess the relevance of the Programme with regards to:
• Consistency of programme with social and economic context of rural western region of Ghana
• Identification of programme beneficiaries
• Ownership of the programme by partners
• Complementarity of programme with other initiatives supported by other donors

Effectiveness of the programme
• The extent to which the programme achieved its stated objectives – (the results achieved both qualitative and quantitative)
• Assess progress towards the achievement of outcomes
• The reasons for achievement and non-achievement of results and factors contributing/hindering achievement of the results
• The extent to which capacities of the beneficiaries and partners have been strengthened
• What are the changes produced by the programme on competiveness and commercial orientation
• Identify cross cutting strategies used to enhance programme effectiveness
• What is the strategic positioning and comparative advantage of WRCF in implementing this programme
• What is the psychographics of the early adopters of the best practices –their motivation and capabilities for adoption
• What are the challenges of those who have not been able to adopt the best practices

Efficiency of the programme
• The optimal transformation of inputs into outputs - efficiency; and the timeliness of the inputs and outputs;
• Value for money adopted to ensure integrity in programme management and implementation
• How the programme has utilized existing local capacities of farmer based organizations and institutions to achieve its outcome.
• How has WRCF adhered to partnership principles identified in Programme design
• The extent to which technical assistance from Water Resources Institute informed and improved programme implementation
• The viability of the intervention in terms of cost and benefits

Sustainability of the programme
• The extent to which the programme addresses beneficiary priorities and demand
• Support to the programme by local institutions and integration with local social and cultural conditions
• Potential for replication of best practices
• Participation of partners in planning and implementation of interventions
• Financial/programmatic capacity of partners to sustain the programme results when donor support has been withdrawn
• Extent to which steps have been taken to ensure that activities initiated by the Programme will be completed and continued on cessation of WRCF support;
• What are the recommendations for scale up of the intervention

Impact of the programme
• What the intended and unintended, positive and negative, long term effects of the programme
• The extent to which changes that have occurred as a result of the programme can be identified and measured
• The extent to which the programme enabled the beneficiaries and partners to perform their duties more efficiently.

Partnership Principles
• Assess the partnership performance and outreach between WRCF and partners
• The extent to which partners perceive the partnership as effective for achieving the outcomes
• Assess the choice of stakeholders, manner and reasons for their involvement
• Assess to what extent the programme has contributed to capacity development and the strengthening of partner institutions and programme

Underlying factors
• Are there any underlying factors beyond the control of the programme that have influenced the outcome?
• What were the key assumptions made?


Main Outputs of the Evaluation:
The following will be the deliverables by the evaluation team/ consultants:
• Evaluation inception report containing the following:
• Interpretation of TOR
• Design of evaluation including outline of methodology
• Evaluation matrix
• Work plan, including a timeframe of the overall process and a table with key milestones and dates for deliverables
• Evaluation tools
• Programme site visits
• Feedback of Evaluation results to WRCF
• Evaluation report (first draft for discussion followed by a final report).
• The final report should be structured as follows;
• Title page, table of contents, acronyms
• Executive summary
• Purpose of the evaluation
• Evaluation objectives and scope
• Evaluation Methodology
• Context of subject
• Description of the subject
• Findings
• Analysis
• Conclusions
• Recommendations
• Lessons learnt
• Annexes

The report should not exceed 30 pages excluding annexes

To address the evaluation questions, multiple methods will be applied to collect both qualitative and quantitative data.
• Literature review through revisiting various reports, filed information, financial records, existing at WRCF.
• Direct observation by visiting partner organizations in the intervention areas
• Conducting interviews and focus group discussions. Key informants for the evaluation will include fisheries commission, Water Resources Institute, beneficiaries, community groups, as well as staff of WRCF.
• Case studies will also be used as part of data collection.


Management Arrangements
WRCF will support the evaluation and will designate a focal point for the evaluation and any additional staff to assist in facilitating the process (e.g., providing relevant documentation, arranging visits/interviews with key informants.
WRCF will make sure that evaluation recommendations are considered and ensure that agreed actions are implemented and monitored.


Evaluation Team:
The lead consultant will possess the following combination of skills and expertise:
• At least a master’s degree in any social science
• At least five years of evaluation experience, 2 years of which in evaluating development programmes related to agricultural value chain and results-based evaluations
• Knowledge of issues concerning agricultural value chains, mixed methods of evaluation, fish farming, local economic development, rural development and poverty reduction.
• Demonstrated ability and excellent communication skills to facilitate group discussions
• Demonstrated ability to produce high quality evaluation reports, including recommendations for future work
• Ability to work with the WRCF Evaluation Manager to ensure that a high quality evaluation report is produced
• Facilitation skills and the ability to deal with multi-stakeholder groups
• Fluent in English; knowledge of local language an asset


Terms and Conditions
Contract modality and duration
The Consultant will be hired under a Short-term Technical Assistance Agreement for a maximum of 26 consultancy days including travel time, interviews, desk study, preparing and submitting of draft, and final case studies.

Assignment Start Date: 1st March, 2018
Assignment End Date: 29th March, 2018

i. Reporting
The consultant will report to the Monitoring & Evaluation Manager of WRCF.

ii. Travel and other associated costs
This project is based in Takoradi in the Western region. While the consultant is expected to work remotely, there will be some travel within the six coastal districts for research and interviews.

iii. Application procedure
Please send your Technical and Financial Proposals and a copy of at least one previously authored evaluation report to infowrcf@dai.com, with a copy to George_owusu@dai.com. With a subject heading “Application – WRCF Aquaculture Evaluation

Application Deadline: 16th February, 2018.