Grameen Foundation USA Job Vacancy: Farmer Registration Survey for FarmerLink Program - Davao City, Philippines

Background to Grameen Foundation (GF)
Grameen Foundation is a global nonprofit that helps the world’s poorest people reach their full potential by providing access to essential financial services and information on agriculture and health. We also develop tools to improve the effectiveness of poverty-focused organizations. Founded in 1997, we provide access to financial services and information on agriculture and health that respond to the specific needs of poor households and communities. We also develop tools to improve the effectiveness of poverty-focused organizations. Inspired by the work of Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, they focus on solutions that can achieve measurable, widespread impact and make them achievable for other organisations to adopt broadly. Since 2003, Grameen Foundation has been a leader in developing mobile technology centered on the needs of the poor, developing business models to bring them products that actually work. Grameen Foundation's work focuses on harnessing the underappreciated strengths of the poor by working with private sector companies, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and others to ensure they achieve lasting impact in the regions where we work. Four principles guide our work in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean, and the US (HQ in Washington DC) includes (1) addressing the needs of the world’s poorest as part of our efforts to assist the poor at all levels, (2) delivering services via mobile phones and other technology, (3) focusing on outcomes for the poor via targeted and affordable interventions created with a wide range of partners and (4) catalyzing wide-scale adoption of new solutions to poverty. Our collaborative approach to poverty alleviation recognizes the multidimensional and complex nature of global poverty.

Background to FarmerLink Program

The Philippines is the second largest producer and exporter of coconut products in the world. Coconut is the top agricultural export and industry with over 2 million smallholder farmers (SHFs) and 23 million people dependent on coconut for their livelihood. However, key challenges like climate change and weather, i.e. typhoons and pest and disease outbreaks make the Philippines one of the most vulnerable countries in Southeast Asia. Coconut SHFs are among the least resilient and their ability to build assets as well as manage and mitigate risk, is constrained due to the following four barriers:

  • Low productivity due to lack of information, low adoption of good agricultural practices and calamities (i.e. typhoons) at the farm level prevents SHFs from achieving economic resilience.
  • Lack of farm income diversification and low market prices increase vulnerability to economic stress and shocks, reduce food security and crop resiliency to environmental stresses.
  • Lack of access to financial services i.e. loans, savings, household and crop insurance products. SHFs are unable to tap financial tools that can provide a critical safety net in the face of environmental shocks and unable to overcome economic stresses, such as low farming returns.
  • Limited visibility into the incidence and spread of new diseases, and lack of understanding of mitigation techniques lead to SHFs’ inability to detect, prevent and control pest and diseases.
Our solutions: To address the drivers of vulnerability and promote resiliency among SHFs, Grameen Foundation is employing a multi-sector approach by bringing together public, private and NGO actors to deliver integrated solutions that enable SHFs to anticipate, manage, and mitigate complex risks. GF will serve as a convener, driving collaboration between and among coconut stakeholders to better serve SHF households through our Community Knowledge Worker model, which mobile equips a network of trusted rural agents. This network of last mile agents will optimize existing services, coordinate access and delivery of resources, and accelerate the effectiveness of mobile solutions to build household resiliency of SHFs. Together with our partners, we will deliver these solution components:
  • Improved productivity: Working with agribusiness and public research partners, we will help SHFs improve productivity via access to mobile-enabled extension services that promote adoption of GAP. These services will help SHFs achieve economic resilience by increasing their revenue through enhanced productivity, increased reliability of supply to meet demand, and improved resiliency of farming systems.
  • Improved market access: We will reduce SHF vulnerability to economic stresses and shocks by a) diversifying livelihood strategies mainly through intercropping of cacao and other crops to sell to local markets and/or to improve food security; and b) promoting organic certification to access higher paying global markets that reduce price variability while promoting environmentally sustainable practices.
  • Improved access to financial services: We will work with a local agricultural bank to a) identify and assess root causes for low uptake of existing financial services with a focus on products that mitigate risk such as insurance and savings; b) improve financial literacy of the SHF’s household, targeting wives who are often responsible for managing budgets; and c) collaborate with the bank and agribusiness partners to increase access to appropriate credit products.
  • Early Warning System (EWS): Working with research institutes and international technology providers, GF will triangulate a) on-farm, geo-referenced mobile data b) real-time satellite weather data, historic climate data, and imagery; and c) climatic and pest and disease models to generate alerts and recommendations for SHFs via SMS and interactive voice response messages.
Impact: Our project will reach 20,000 coconut and cacao SHFs in Davao, also helping 100,000 farming family members. We anticipate impact in these areas: 1) SHFs are linked to services that build their adaptive capacity; 2) SHFs build assets and use risk mitigation strategies to achieve greater economic resiliency; 3) SHFs report decreased loss from pest and disease outbreaks and weather events measured by EWS usage and adoption rates of prevention and control mechanisms. GF’s model will embed mobile tools and solutions within the core business of private and public partners to enable scaling at the national level once value is proven. GF delivers a return on investment by equipping and training existing agent networks and automating and improving our partners’ processes and the design and delivery of the services offered to SHFs.

Purpose of the Consultancy Engagement
The purpose of consultancy is to undertake farmer registration survey for FarmerLink program. The registration survey will take place in four provinces of Davao (Region XI). The program operates in Compostela valley, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte providing services to small holder coconut and cacao farmers. It should be noted that this survey is part of overall registration that is being conducted by our implementing partners. Also to be noted that farmer registration survey questionnaire has already been developed and hosted in digitized form in android based tablets employing GF’s TaroWorks software, hence strict adherence of the same is expected from the survey firm.

Length of Engagement & indicative budget
The baseline data collection to be completed by the 31st December 2016. While duration of survey will depend on number of enumerators that agency will propose, however GF expect 10,000 registration surveys to be completed in approximately 20 workdays with daily case-load of 500 valid surveys per day on an average. Budget for this assignment to be proposed by bidders based on survey deliverable and work days mentioned above. Payment will be made at the end of every 5 days of the assignment and on quality deliverables. Working under the supervision of the GF’s M/E team, the selected survey firm will be expected to successfully implement all aspects of the registration survey. In summary this assignment would involve recruiting and training enumerators on GF’s digital data gathering platform, developing the field deployment plan and collecting data with strong quality assurance (QA) methods in place. All surveys will be conducted face-to-face at the farmers’ premises or in agro-field. The survey firm will not have the responsibility of designing the questionnaire (refer annex). All questions are close ended in the questionnaire. Indicative survey duration is 5-8 minutes per survey and will be administered on android tablets (provided by GF).

Specific Activities and Deliverables
  • Recruitment, contracting, and payment of experienced enumerators and supervisors, the number of which should be approved by the GF’s M/E team. This should include composition of a standard survey team, number of enumerators & supervisors, their short CVs and ability in local language.
  • Preparation of enumerator’s training curriculum and related logistics.
  • Pilot testing of at least 2 surveys/enumerator & supervisor for hands-on experience in field settings.
  •  Organization and provision of logistical support (transport, per-diem, etc.) to interviewers and supervisors while data are being collected.
  • Detailed survey plan including timeline, implementation of designed sampling methodology and substitution protocol with the approval of the GF’s M/E team.
  • Implementation of checks and controls to ensure quality of information being collected during survey’s implementation and a protocol for returning to the field if necessary when errors for a particular questionnaire reach a certain threshold. Random spot check for minimum of 15% of surveys should be planned. GF’s M/E team reserve right to conduct its own spot checks and survey repetition request (Note – GF will provide to agency with weekly raw dataset for data validation process)
  • Ensuring that data are maintained and stored for QA process in a manner that is fully confidential so that no external individual or institution can identify any specific individual in the data.
  • Delivery of a proposal relating to the overall organization and execution of survey and data QA plan.
  • Getting approval from the GF’s M/E team of any field or other conditions that dictate significant changes to the plans laid out in the approved action plan prior to making any changes.
  • Acquisition all the necessary permissions for implementing the survey data collection, including local permissions as well as obtaining any required permits related to logistics of survey implementation as well as health and accident insurance, salary and taxes for all enumerators and supervisors.
Support Provided by Grameen Foundation
  • Provide list of province wise villages (Barangays) where the registration need to be undertaken.
  • Provide the hardware (tablet) with digitized baseline questionnaire installed & hardware handling session
  • Provide survey team with appropriate endorsement support during the survey exercise
  • Availability to work with the agency during the training & detailed contract for the engagement
Qualification of the Prospective Service Provider
To be considered for this assignment, the survey firm must demonstrate capacity in the following:

  • Have legal status enabling the organization to perform the above-mentioned tasks.
  • Strong capacity and past experience in planning and organizing fieldwork required for large scale surveys.
  • Demonstrate experience in interviewing farmers.
  • Ability to report to the GF effectively on progress of the work
  • Capacity to store and maintain data in a manner that protects respondents’ identities.
  • Be ready to assume work as soon as possible.
Closing Date: 20 December 2016