Afghanistan: Terms of Reference for a study on management and regeneration of pasture lands at high altitude | News24Media

Afghanistan: Terms of Reference for a study on management and regeneration of pasture lands at high altitude

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Context

Mission d’Aide au Développement des Economies Rurales – Afghanistan (MADERA) is a French non-profit, non-governmental organization, funded in 1988, which operates only in Afghanistan. Its actions are oriented towards empowering rural communities by building their capacities and supporting their initiatives, with the aim of giving them greater control over their own development.

Overview of the programme

The Central Highlands Programme has been designed to increase living standards and quality of life of rural mountainous populations by promoting balanced rural development and the preservation of natural resources. Under the supervision and funding of the French Agency for Development, it is being implemented by a consortium of three French NGOs (GERES, MADERA, and Solidarités International) and led by GERES.

The specific objectives of this programme are the following:

  1. Support sustainable intensification of agriculture and livestock farming production;

  2. Improve energy resilience of households and their living conditions in winter while limiting the depletion of natural capital;

  3. Improve access to and management of rare natural resources (pastures and water) for the sustainability of the production systems;

  4. Produce knowledge and consolidate lessons learnt within the programme to launch political dialogue with local authorities and development stakeholders.

Every specific objective must be understood as a specific component of the programme, and each component will be implemented by one or more partner on the basis of their expertise and know-how. As a result, the components will be implemented as follows:

  • Component I: MADERA and SI;

  • Component II: GERES;

  • Component III: MADERA and SI;

  • Component IV: GERES, with lower contributions from MADERA and SI on knowledge production, and specific contribution of MADERA on the consolidated M&E System.

The present study falls under component III which is implemented in the districts of Beshud I and II in Wardak.

Pasture management

In Wardak highlands pasture tenure is in-between customary land rights and collective community ownership. Since the 1930s, at least, access to pastures and their resources (fodder, collected fuels, water) has been shared between nomadic pastoralists and settled agro-pastoral communities.

According to the communities, pressure on resources has been rapidly increasing in the recent years. Answering to this new situation, communities try to readjust the balance and managed to share the understanding of good use of pastures. However, the fragile status quo on the current repartition of mountainous lands between communities is becoming weaken.

For poor households with limited or no access to land, livestock grazing represents the major livelihood activity and source of income. Grazing pressures have led to the degradation of pastures, significantly impacting the livelihoods of animal breeders and their abilities to support their families’ basic needs. Improved pasture management and planning allows the poorest rural households to improve the most critical natural asset to their livelihoods.

Restoration and management of natural pastures – extremely degraded in Afghanistan, and particularly in Central Highlands – are fundamental to:

  • Improve animal feed and production;

  • Improve water infiltration and reduce soil erosion;

  • Increase availability of animal dung for home combustible;

  • Improve soil fertility

The project contributed to the constitution of Natural Resources Management groups (NRM) at community level in order to improve the management and condition of pasture areas traditionally used by the targeted communities in view to rehabilitate it and prevent its further degradation. The NRM Groups were engaged in identifying areas of natural degradation and planning to improve those areas through cultivation of fodder crops and anti-erosion measures

Test Plots were also established in order to demonstrate different improved production of fodder cropping and diversification of fodder varieties.

In January 2016, an evaluation of the project activities regarding management and regeneration of pasture was conducted and made some recommendations.

Objectives and scope of the study

The study relates to pasture lands used by the communities living in Besud I and II.

The main objectives of the study are:

· To Identify the factors facilitating /constraigning the implementation of activities related to pastures restoration and pasture management (politiques, legal Framework, cultural, tenure issue, etc…)

· To make recomandations to overcome constraints if any

· To provide technical advices on regenation techniques

The specific objectives of the study are:

· Clarify the way pastures are managed among the communities, including with nomadic pastoralists when applicable, and the implications;

· Clarify the land tenure situation regarding pasture areas, identifying existing conflicts;

· identify gender-based division of labour regarding pasture and animal husbandry

· Identify suitable plants to be tested

· Describe cultivation methodology based on different type of seeds and land;

· To clarify time of cultivation according to seed varieties

· Describe appropriate pasture restoration techniques

· Map areas appropriate for the implementation of plant test and restoration techniques, taking into account botanical issue, pastoralism route, water point, with indication, for each location, of which plants should be tested and which restoration techniques should be implemented

· Make recommendations on :

  1. The approach to follow to conciliate pastoralism and communities pastures management if applicable

  2. The approach to follow to overcome any identified constraints regarding pasture management and restoration activities

  3. The pertinence to implicate women in activities related to pasture management/ pasture restoration

Methodology and approach

The consultant will be required to submit a proposal showing the method and tools he/she will use to undertake this study.

The methodology should be participatory

The following tasks should be implemented:

· Desk review (Project documents, activities reports, evaluation report, legal Framework, related studies, etc)

· Inception report with tools and calender

· Interview with key personn in MAIL

· Application of participatory techniques among a representative number of breeders

· Inspection of a representative number of pasture areas

· Workshop with main findings at the end of the field work with the field team

· Debriefing with Madera direction in Kabul

· Reporting

DELIVERABLES

The consultant will produce a clear and concise the report in English language. The final report will contain a maximum of 25 pages, excluding annexes.

All the specific objectives should be treated in the report, as well as the description of the methodology.

In addition, the final report should contain at least the following annexes:

  • Terms of Reference for the study;

  • Research instruments;

  • List of FGD conducted (where, number of women, men)

  • List of individual’s persons interviewed;

  • Map of visited pastures

  • Map indicating where to implement which techniques, to test which plants

  • Summary of field visits

  • List of supporting documents reviewed

  • Any other relevant material

DURATION AND TIMELINES

tasks

Duration

Desk review and inception report redaction

4 days

Interview key person in MAIL

1 day

Field work

10 days

Workshop in the field/debriefing with CD

1 day

Draft report

5 days (not later than 10 days after field work)

Final report

2 days (not later than 1 week after receiving comments)

Total duration

23 days

BUDGET

The budget for the entire study will be provided by the consultant as part of his/her financial proposal, and should include:

  • Daily rate

  • International flight ticket and visa (if any)

  • Per diem

  • Insurance: Insurance for disease, exceptional risks, repatriation;

  • Accommodation: MADERA may propose to rent an accommodation in its own “guest house” in Afghanistan if required;

  • Logistics: Madera offers the consultant a mobile phone with a SIM card, possibly a satellite phone if the security conditions require it; Communications costs, however, will be borne by the consultant.

  • Domestic Transport: MADERA will facilitate local transport related to the mission. Travel has to comply with MADERA safety rules; Move must be done by car or plane depending on security conditions defined by MADERA.

  • Interpreter: MADERA will provide a translator Dari/English during the working days of the consultant (if required);

REQUIRED PROFILE OF THE CONSULTANT

• Advanced educational qualification in agriculture or veterinary science, development studies, M&E or related fields, or equivalent demonstrated experience,

• Minimum 5 years of experience in conducting participatory investigation in rural areas ;

· Proven experience in pasture restoration;

· Experience in Afghanistan;

• Excellent oral and written reporting skills and demonstrated ability to write and edit reports in English;

• Ability to write clear and concise reports and to meet required deadlines ;

Required personal traits and qualities:

· Flexibility and adaptability

· Respectful to local culture and practices

· Capacity to work in remote areas with limited resources and logistics

· Readiness to visit pasture areas

· Languages: Fluent in English (speaking and writing) ; Dari language is an asset

EVALUATION CRITERIA

The proposed offers will be scored on a total of 100 points, according to the following criteria:

  1. Technical quality of the proposal in relation to the methodology and the work plan: 70 points

  2. Financial offer presented: 30 points

  3. A score of 30 points will be awarded to the lowest financial offer.

AUCTION OF THE OFFER AND CONTRACT

The exclusion or auction of the offer will be sent by email to applicants within the next 15 days counted from the date of the final deadline for submitting proposals. The formalization of the contract will take place within a maximum of 20 days from the date of notification of the final decision.

Source: ReliefWeb Jobs

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