The USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (hereinafter referred to as the Trade Hub) is a five-year, $116 million trade and investment facilitation activity that seeks to improve private sector competitiveness in West Africa through a market-based approach. By working in partnership with the private sector and fostering co-investments, the activity generates new private-sector capital investment in critical sectors to create jobs and increase two-way trade.
Through these USAID-funded co-investment partnerships, the private sector companies and the Trade Hub are collaborating to improve food security; boost employment among women and youth; build resilience to climate change; foster agribusiness competitiveness and productivity; and boost international and regional exports. Through a blended finance approach, the Trade Hub is co-funding catalytic activities with the grantees through funding from 10 different sources to unlock $400 million in new private investments, create 60,000 jobs, and increase exports to the international market. The project comprises of three main components.
Through this Co-Investment Fund and technical assistance, the Trade Hub improved companies’ abilities to expand business operations, increased productivity, and created jobs that build on the talents and aspirations of West Africa’s growing population. The Trade Hub has collaborated on specific commercial opportunities with firms, service providers, research organizations, as well as other business network actors to access private capital that contributed to large-scale jobs, exports, and investment, particularly with strong demonstrated or potential links to the U.S. companies and investors.
Through its co-investment partnership, the Trade Hub provided support to smallholder farmers in the 2023 farming season to increase their productivity and improve their livelihoods across seven targeted states (Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kebbi and Niger state) and 5 value chains (Aquaculture, Rice, Maize, Cowpea and Soybean). Support provided includes training, input financing, extension services and market access.
The Trade Hub seeks to conduct a farmers’ survey to determine the outcome of its initiatives on smallholders’ productivity and profitability in Nigeria. The results will be compared with the FY21 baseline survey ’ results to help measure progress towards achieving the project outcome indicators (see Table 1 below) and to understand the project’s achievement and identify potential issues. The survey will also collect data that will complement and update existing studies on gender empowerment and social inclusion. The survey should be able to generate information on gender and age gaps, and barriers that could limit the project’s ability to meet its intended goals. For example, this study will focus on understanding the role of women, men and youth in the value chains as well as identifying the opportunities for participation, barriers and constraints hindering their participation and inclusion in the various chains supported by the Trade Hub Activity. The results of the study will be used to further plan and improve the implementation of the project interventions and will provide, throughout its implementation, the Trade Hub with the appropriate tools and information to tell its story more effectively.
Table 1 Trade Hub list of Indicators to be measured in the Farmers’ Survey
|1||EG.3.2-26: Value of annual sales of producers and firms receiving USG assistance||Commodity, location/state sex, age of the respondents/head of the firm|
|2||EG.3-10: Yield of targeted agricultural commodities among program participants||Commodity, location/state, sex, age of the respondents|
|3||EG.3.2-24: Number of individuals in the agriculture system who have applied improved management practices or technologies with USG assistance||Commodity, location/state, sex, age of the respondents, type of technology|
|4||EG.3.2-25: Number of hectares under improved management practices or technologies with USG assistance||Commodity, location/state, sex, age of the respondents, type of technology|
Conduct a mixed-method research design consisting of:
- A quantitative survey in seven target states in Nigeria, among smallholder farmers, to measure smallholders’ agricultural productivity, and profitability of supported smallholder farmers as well as assess the gender and youth status and conditions (challenges, barriers, opportunities, and comparative advantage) in the Nigerian agricultural sector with a focus on aquaculture, maize, rice (wet and dry season), soybean, and cowpea value chains.
- A qualitative component: Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with key supported agribusiness owners’ and other representatives’ perceptions on support received from the Trade Hub and its impact on the productivity of farmers in the targeted states and value chains.
The survey will capture data from a representative sample of the target population of smallholders using an existing beneficiary-based household questionnaire, to be updated by the consultant with technical oversight from the Trade Hub MEL Team. The questionnaire will address and collect information on productivity, sales, adoption of improved technologies and management practices, employment, access to finance and gender and youth roles (challenges and barriers) amongst the farmers and within the farming communities. The subcontractor will be responsible for determining the sample size using an acceptable sampling frame provided by the Trade Hub. However, stratified sampling methodology is envisioned given the availability of an updated sample frame and the spread of the supported farmers across value chains and locations to mitigate risks of sampling bias and other forms of errors on the validity of findings. The interviews will be administered using smartphones/tablets and the data collected uploaded to an online platform with all data properly geocoded.
To get more in-depth information, Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) will be conducted with agri-businesses owners supported by the Activity. Trade Hub considers the qualitative methods to be highly important for analyzing changes in attitude, behaviour and practice, perception, and knowledge of target beneficiaries. The KIIs will gather information on respondents’ use and knowledge of technologies, access to finance, perception and attitudes on gender and youth access and control to productive resources as well as household power dynamics. The subcontractor will develop key informant interview protocols for this assignment with technical oversight from the Trade Hub. In all cases, a gender lens will be applied to each of these topics to better understand the roles and responsibilities of both men, youth and women and how their perceptions differ. The Trade Hub envisions conducting at least 20 KIIs in the course of this activity and 5 FGD’s.
The consultant, with technical oversight from the Trade Hub MEL team, will use the existing instrument that was designed during the FY21 farming season and updated in FY22 to conduct a pretest and pilot of the questionnaire with at least 30 respondents from the farmers within the sample frame. Following the pilot, the subcontractor will work with the Trade Hub MEL team to finalize the survey instrument if there are any.
Upon the completion of data collection, 25% of all questionnaires will be checked by the consultant to ensure compliance with methodology, data quality, and other ethical standards.
The survey team will be led by an experience evaluation expert (who may wish to work with any team from his or her end that could include a data analyst, a specialist in agribusiness development, and a value chain development expert) with an excellent understanding of the context in which the smallholder farmers were supported.
Field Officers: The number of field officers will be finalized based on the final sample frame. The field officers should have experience in field data collection exercises. To facilitate access to the supported farmers, the Trade Hub will work with the firms whose farmers were sampled to select their field officers and or extension agents to serve as data collectors under the supervision of their respective supervisors, the consultant (and the team), and the Trade Hub.
The Consultant: Is expected to have the overall responsibility for the administration and supervision of the entire survey process. His/her responsibilities will include:
- With oversight from the Trade Hub MEL team, inform local authorities about the administration of the farmers’ survey.
- Work with the Trade Hub team to select the sample for the FY23 farmers’ survey.
- Finalize the survey instrument with oversight from the Trade Hub MEL team.
- Monitor the implementation of the field research phase.
- Oversee the data entry process and perform data cleaning.
- A final report that provides information about the:
- sampling methodology.
- field research approach implemented.
- results of fieldwork completed including response rate (a table specifying targeted and number completing interviews per community), fieldwork logs, data quality checks, etc.).
- challenges faced in carrying out the work and how these were resolved; and
- other findings and or recommendations
- Submit to the Trade Hub all the documents related to the study training materials for enumerators/others, completed questionnaires (if applicable), the final electronic database in SPSS (.sav and syntax file if created), and any other supporting documentation.
- Participate in survey findings workshop/seminar to present key findings to relevant stakeholders of the project.
The grants field officers who will serve as the enumerator will hold the following responsibilities:
- Ensure that they follow all the survey implementation procedures and complete their allocated interviews within the allocated times.
- Carry out and follow quality control measures, daily, throughout the fieldwork.
- Manage team logistics.
- Review data for accuracy and completeness.
- Conducting callbacks on respondents.
- Provide technical advice regarding the implementation of the sampling plan.
- Interpretation and coding of difficult field responses, and
- Send daily feedback and reports to their supervisors.
With oversight from the Trade Hub MEL team, the consultant will:
- Submit a detailed inception report to the Trade Hub MEL team.
- Design a research data analysis plan that includes a sampling methodology to collect responses from a representative sample of smallholders from the seven target states.
- Code and upload finalize questionnaire to a Database server agreed with the Trade Hub MEL team.
- Prepare a Field Procedure Plan, to include an approach to quality control for all aspects of the FY23 farmers’ survey.
- Produce training manuals, presentation slides and share with the Trade Hub MEL team for review and approval.
- Train enumerators and field supervisors for the survey and produce a training report which should capture beneficiaries’ feedback, successes, challenges about the training.
- Use SPSS and Microsoft Excel to produce an electronic database housing data from respondents for analysis.
- Ensure that every respondent agrees/consents to the survey to take place.
- All enumerators and those working on behalf of trade hub will comply to the Do No Harm (DNH) Principle.
- Write a final report.
Project Work Plan and timelines
With oversight from the Trade Hub MEL team, the consultant will be responsible for the following tasks in the conduct of this assignment. It is understood that some tasks will occur concurrently.
- Submit an inception report and share with the Trade Hub MEL team for review.
- Meet with The Trade Hub MEL team to discuss/ clarify deliverables.
- Finalize the research proposal including sampling and the methodology.
- Prepare the Field Research Plan.
- Conduct a pilot of the survey instrument.
- Finalize the data collection instrument.
- Work with the Trade Hub MEL team to upload the research instrument on MEDAL.
- Participate in the recruitment and training of enumerators and field supervisors.
- Community sensitization for the survey.
- Field data collection.
- Submit weekly field progress reports.
- Clean and organize dataset housing survey data and share with the Trade Hub MEL team for review and approval.
- Report writing.
- Meet with the CoP, the MEL team, and other relevant Trade Hub staff/team to discuss conclusions and final deliverables.
- Participate in survey findings workshop/seminar to present key findings to relevant stakeholders of the project.
Quality Control will be conducted by specially selected and trained professionals, using any standard CAPI data collection system using tablets/smartphone devices, who did not participate in the interviews.
The consultant will implement quality control measures to ensure a high level of enumerator performance. A full description of these measures and the results of the quality control must be included in the proposal and final report. The consultant shall ensure that every respondent can be matched to a questionnaire and an enumerator. At a minimum, quality control measures will include verification of the:
- the fact that the interview took place.
- proper application of the sampling plan in selecting the respondent.
- approximate duration of the interview.
- proper administration of the various sections of the questionnaire.
- proper data entry based on interviewees’ responses; and
- Enumerator’s general adherence to professional standards.
Each data record should include the following identification fields:
- Interview serial number.
- Date of interview (MM/DD/YYYY format).
- Beginning and ending time of each interview; and
- Enumerator ID number (must be unique in the data file).
- GIS coordinates of the location where the interview was administered.
N.B. For each verification conducted, a brief verification form should be completed.
Enumerators should always carry a field log in which they record relevant information on what happens in the field, such as contact and call-back details. The Enumerator logs must include geo codes for an independent observer to locate the selected household.
The Trade Hub MEL team may assign an observer to accompany enumerators during fieldwork and/or training. The observer may select the interviews he or she wishes to observe in any part of the surveyed area.
All food insecurity and socio-economic data should be analyzed using SPSS or other analytical statistical software packages. It is expected that correlations and crosstabs (chi-squares) will be utilized to assist the Trade Hub MEL team in learning what factors may be most associated with the indicators of interest. This will help the team in better designing approaches to specifically address related factors. The analysis of the data and presentation must align the data needs of the Trade Hub for the indicators.
Capturing Open Ended responses
All responses from open-ended items will be entered verbatim into the data set. During data cleaning, a postcode variable of the open-ended variable in the questionnaire will be developed and added to the dataset alongside the open-ended variable.
The consultant is responsible for providing the following main deliverables:
- Detailed Work Plan and methodology, including Field Research Plan.
- Review and update data collection instruments, questionnaires and guides.
- Clean data set with coded variables and value labels in SPSS, and syntax file.
- Field staff training agenda & relevant training materials.
- Draft the report of the FY23 farmers’ survey.
- A detailed electronic copy of the Final Annual Report. The quantitative results and qualitative information should be integrated into one main report. The analysis should follow the sample design and presents a comparison of results by state. In addition, the subcontractor shall also disaggregate the results by other key variables. For example, analysis of data by sex of HH head or age may reveal some interesting findings and help inform targeting and adjusting the project strategies.
The consultant will report directly to The Trade Hub MEL Director (or anyone assigned by the MEL Director), in connection with the performance of the duties under this Agreement and shall fulfil any other duties reasonably requested by Company and agreed to by the subcontractor.
Proposed implementation schedule
We estimate the entire survey will take a total of 48 days (Monday to Saturday) starting from October 16, 2023. However other preliminary activities will happen in the month of September
|Implementation Phase||Planned Activities||Outputs/Deliverables||Duration|
|Orientation & Preparation for fieldwork||Development of research plan and data analysis plan.||Survey and data analysis plan developed.||2 days|
|Inception report meeting and making a presentation to the Trade Hub MEL team||Report submitted meeting held/presentation made to Trade Hub MEL Team||3 days|
|Review and updating data collection instruments; questionnaires and KII guides, pilot research||Refined survey questionnaire||5 days|
|Develop training materials and presentation slides.||The Trade Hub approved training materials and presentation slides. Training report||3 days|
|Training of enumerators, moderators, and interviewers.||Research team ready for fieldwork||5 days|
|Field data collection, data entry and reporting||Fieldwork, 25% control, data entry Key informant interviews||Completed questionnaires||14 days|
|Verifying and cleaning the dataset (both quantitative and qualitative – transcripts of KII)||Cleaned electronic data set||4 days|
|Preparation of final report (including Trade Hub feedback)||Draft Narrative report||7 days|
|Report||Revision and submission of the final report with Trade Hub feedback addressed||Final report||5 days|