A comprehensive study on the state of Digital Agriculture in Zimbabwe: Focus on Development Sector || UNDP – United Nations Development Programme

  • Harare

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

DUE : 20 JAN 2023

Organization: UNDP – United Nations Development Programme
Location: Harare
Grade: Consultancy – National Consultant – Locally recruited Contractors Agreement
Occupational Groups:
Agriculture and Forestry
Information Technology and Computer Science
Scientist and Researcher
Closing Date: 2023-01-20

Background
Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector employs about 60% of the country’s labour force and contributes about 21% of its GDP. As the crux of Zimbabwe’s economy and livelihoods of its citizens it is important that the sector thrives and continues to grow. Unfortunately, the sector continues to face several challenges, including declining productivity, limited access to financing, and poor infrastructure. In addition, the sector is vulnerable to climate change and has been affected by droughts in recent years. The government has prioritized the agricultural sector and has implemented several initiatives to improve the sector’s performance, including the strengthening of Agricultural Extension Services and the establishment of subsidized provision of input schemes like Pfumvudza and COMMAND Agriculture. At the same time the development sector continues to make significant investments in the agricultural in the form of agro-based resilience building. Through this work and the need to protect communities from the impact of climate change, a niche area has emerged in the form of digital agriculture, the use of digital technologies to solve challenges in agriculture. UNDP has invested in being a thought and practice leader in the area through a diverse portfolio of AgTech projects spanning the whole value chain from production to supply chains and consumption. For example, the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) supported the development and operationalisation of the Sizimele App, a digital marketplace for food, agricultural and related supplies that is tailor-made to keep informal traders and buyers in close contact. UNDP through the Green Climate Fund is supporting the setup of automated weather stations to provide reliable forecasting data for agricultural advisory services. UNDP is also working with Agritex on setting up an Agricultural Information Management System.

Although such efforts have yielded positive results, their impact and success rate could be significantly improved if there was a coordinated way of ensuring that digital agriculture work by various players is interconnected and builds upon each other. UNDP is one of many development partners working on digital agriculture solutions and private sector players, start-ups and corporations are also testing different tools. A common understanding of the digital agriculture ecosystem in Zimbabwe would allow for stronger collaborations between partners and accelerate agricultural growth in the country.

That said, UNDP Zimbabwe is seeking to hire experienced, driven and tech savvy consultant to conduct a comprehensive study of the state of digital agriculture in Zimbabwe.

Duties and Responsibilities
OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSIGNMENT
The digital agriculture mapping consultant will be tasked with conducting a comprehensive study of the Agricultural Technology space in Zimbabwe and produce detailed knowledge products as per scope of work. They will be expected to conduct desk research on presently available digital agriculture solutions across the whole value chain from production to consumption, assessing their strengths and limitations. They will also be expected to liaise with development partners, private sector firms, start-ups, and government agencies to map out their priority areas in digital agriculture in Zimbabwe. The consultant will function as the focal points throughout the project, maintaining professional working relations with all partners and providing routine progress updates to UNDP.

SCOPE OF WORK
Specific responsibilities and duties will cover four main areas of activity:

Area (1): Conduct comprehensive desk research on digital agriculture tools in Zimbabwe
Area (2): Mapping of key players in the Digital Agriculture space in Zimbabwe
Area (3): Production of a knowledge product on the state of digital agriculture in Zimbabwe
Area (4): Collaborate on the planning of a knowledge product launch workshop

Area (1): Conduct comprehensive desk research on digital agriculture tools in Zimbabwe
Develop a methodology to capture key insights from desk research and implement it to map past and present digital agriculture tools in Zimbabwe;
Create a library catalogue of all sources reviewed during the desk research;
Group solutions into three user categories- producer tools, distribution tools and consumer tools;
Conduct a SWOT analysis for each solution and tabulate the findings;
Demo solutions when possible and document experience with using the digital tool.

Area (2): Mapping of key players in the Digital Agriculture space in Zimbabwe
Meetings (in-person or virtual) with solution providers of mapped AgTech solutions and digital projects to document opportunities and challenges they are experiencing;
Meetings (in-person or virtual) with solution users to get feedback on experience with using the tool;
Create online library of meeting notes and meeting recordings, pictures, and videos.

Area (3): Production of a knowledge product on the state of digital agriculture in Zimbabwe
Synthesize findings into a report outlining tools and projects, players, opportunities sand challenges;
Use findings to conduct a foresight exercise and propose emerging technologies that could complement existing solutions;
Propose entry points for UNDP in all three user categories- producer tools, distribution tools and consumer tools.

Area (4): Collaborate on the planning of a lnowledge product launch workshop;
Compile a list of guests to invite to a technical level launch of the knowledge product;
Prepare a pitch deck of key findings and present during the workshop;
Perform workshop planning activities as assigned by UNDP.
This task require 1 consultant to focus on Development Sector. Applicants are to specify the Sector they wish to focus on the title of their proposal.

EXPECTED DELIVERABLES
The consultant is expected to deliver the following:
A draft summary of the digital agriculture landscape in Zimbabwe outlining findings in each user category, challenges, opportunities, and potential entry points for UNDP;
Catalogue of all sources reviewed during the desk research;
Online library of meeting notes and meeting recordings, pictures, and videos etc;
Executive summary in form of a visual driven pitch deck;
A final report on the state of digital agriculture in Zimbabwe that should function as a source of programming and resource mobilisation intelligence for UNDP.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE AND OTHER CONDITIONS
The consultant must send a financial offer based on the scope of work outlined above. The consultant shall quote an all-inclusive cost of conducting each of the four areas listed under scope of work. The term “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, communications, consumables, etc.) that could be incurred by the national consultant in completing the assignment are already factored into the cost of each stage of the scope of work submitted in the proposal.

Payments will be made based on the agreed financial proposal and released upon submission of a certificate of payment request, indicating deliverables achieved to be verified and cleared for payment by the supervisor.

The qualified consultant shall receive his/her lump sum service fees upon certification of the completed tasks satisfactorily, as per the following payment schedule:

Payment will be based on deliverables as per the ‘Deliverables’ below. The assignment is expected to commence on the 15th February 2023 after the signing of the contract to the successful bidders.

Full payment will be made to the Consultant as Lump Sum upon completion of work of a specific task as broken down below. Bidders are supposed to indicate the number of days to be taken to complete each deliverable.

First installment of 10% after Presentation of inception report outlining the tools and methodology to be used by consultant to perform the assigned tasks which must be approved by UNDP Resident Representative or Designate;
Second installment of 15% after Submission of draft summarizing desk review findings together with a catalogue of all sources reviewed during the desk research which must be approved by UNDP Resident Representative or Designate;
Third installment of 25% after Submission of first complete draft incorporating information from meetings with solution creators and users. This will also include submission of online library of meeting notes and meeting recordings, pictures and videos etc. This must be approved by UNDP Resident Representative or Designate
Fourth installment of 30% after Submission of the final report on the state of digital agriculture in Zimbabwe that should function as a source of programming and resource mobilisation intelligence for UNDP which mush be approved by UNDP Resident Representative or Designate;
Fifth installment of 20% Presentation of executive summary in form of a visual driven pitch deck approved by UNDP Resident Representative or Designate .

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR MANAGEMENT OF THIS CONSULTANCY
The principal responsibility for managing this assignment lies with the UNDP Country Office, Zimbabwe. The Consultant is accountable to UNDP under the direct supervision of the UNDP Accelerator Lab Head of Experimentation. The consultant will submit bi-weekly progress updates, detailing work progress, and any constraints that require UNDP attention. The Consultant should be available for subsequent discussions about the consultancy work with UNDP.

TIMEFRAME
The consultancy is expected to run between 15 February 2023 and 30 June 2023 during which the consultant is expected to provide 120 days of service.

CLIENT OBLIGATIONS
Besides paying the Consultant for the work, the Client will assist the Consultant with the following:
Assist to convene stakeholder meetings where required.

Competencies
Functional Competencies:
Excellent drafting, documentation, and communication skills in English;
Knowledge of digital platforms, agriculture, and capability to create knowledge products;
Proven record in desk and field research.

Corporate Competencies:
Promote the highest standards of ethics and integrity;
Support creativity and innovation;
Help create an enabling environment for open communication;
Share knowledge and support a culture of learning;
Demonstrate fairness and transparency.
Required Skills and Experience

Education
Academic qualifications of at least a National Diploma in a ICT, social sciences, Agriculture, technology or a related field.

Experience
At least four years of experience related to desk and field research utilizing various methods;
Demonstrated experience in producing knowledge products for advisory purposes;
Knowledge of digital systems and emerging technologies a strong plus;
Prior experience working with UN entities is desirable but not a must.

Language:
An excellent command of English and Local Language is a requirement.

TO APPLY

Submission must be online following the instruction given on the website. Please submit the following to demonstrate your interest and qualifications. Please note that all the documents below must be submitted as one PDF file. Click here to apply

Personal CV
Project portfolio showcasing knowledge products created in the past
Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided [see link further down].
A 300 word write up on one technology of your choice that you see having the most significant impact on Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector in the next three years. Briefly explain the technology, why you think its relevant, it’s potential benefits and challenges to consider with its wide adoption.
Financial proposal outlining the budget for each scope of work (All-inclusive for each scope of work stage).
A technical proposal outlining how the consultant intents to accomplish each of the duties outlined under scope of work. This should be as detailed as possible.

Application Evaluation Process:
Applicants will be evaluated based on the Cumulative Analysis methodology [weighted scoring method], where the award of the contract will be made to the first consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
Having scored high in an in-person interview which will be administered in the form of a one-day online hackathon.
Technical Criteria weight; [70%].

Financial Criteria weight; [30%].

Only consultants obtaining a minimum of 70% of the obtainable 100 points in technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation and Hackathon.

Technical Evaluation Criteria:

Adequacy of Profile and Technical Proposal (Max 100 points)

UNDP Personal History form (P11) required of all applicants:

https://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_file.cfm?doc_id=308402

Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/789q1hvdrdgwqqc/PPG_Cons_Letter%20of%20Interest%20and%20Availability.docx?dl=0

“UNDP is committed to gender equality in its mandate and its staff, and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Well qualified candidates, particularly women and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply”.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization’s page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.