Consultant on Capacity-Building Needs Assessment for Plantation Owners and Nurseries

INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT SCOPE OF WORK

Consultant Name: (Last, First) Position Title: Consultant on capacity-building needs assessment for plantation owners and nurseries
Project Name: USAID Sustainable Forest Management
Billing Code: 4.1.3.1and 4.3.1.1 Contract No:
Period of Performance: 35 person-days, from August 05, 2021 to September 25, 2021
Travel Days: 4
Work Days: 24
Remaining Work Days: (Research, Report Writing) 7
Total Level of Effort: 35 (Maximum)
Evaluator: TBD
                               

A. DAI ORGANIZATION AND VALUES

DAI is a global development company with corporate offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, EU, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Palestine and project operations worldwide. We tackle fundamental social and economic development problems caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governance, and instability. DAI works on the frontlines of global development. Transforming ideas into action—action into impact. We are committed to shaping a more livable world.

DAI and its employees are committed to confronting racism and holding ourselves accountable for positive change within the company and in the communities, cultures, and countries in which we live and work.  DAI is committed to attracting and retaining the best employees from all races and backgrounds in our continued effort to become a better development partner.

DAI upholds the highest ethical standards. We are committed to the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment as well as other ethical breaches. All of our positions are therefore subject to stringent vetting and reference checks.

B. PROJECT BACKGROUND

The USAID Sustainable Forest Management Project (the Project) will work with the Government of Vietnam (GVN) to reduce carbon emissions associated with deforestation, the degradation of natural forests, and poor plantation management. The Project will implement a “Green Prosperity” approach that strengthens local communities’ ability to protect their natural resource base and reduce emissions while building a strong foundation for sustainable livelihoods and equitable economic growth.

The Project will work in seven provinces (Lao Cai, Son La, Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Quang Tri, Quang Nam) and focus on five objectives:

  1. Improve and expand community forest management
  2. Increase conservation-friendly enterprises in forest-dependent communities
  3. Increase functionality of law enforcement system for forest crimes
  4. Improve production forest management practices
  5. Mobilize domestic resources for forest management and protection

The Project will be implemented during the period 2020-2025 by DAI in collaboration with RECOFTC and Preferred by Nature as partners, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) as the counterpart and the Management Board of Forestry Projects (MBFP) as project owner.

C. DESCRIPTION OF CONSULTANCY SERVICE:

I. Background

Under the Objective 4 (Improve production forest management practices), there are three main tasks as follows:

  1. Increase Production of Sustainable Timber by Small-Scale Foresters
  2. Increase Demand from Processors for Certified Timber
  3. Develop Market Linkages Between Timber Producers and Industry

The growing international and local furniture market has created a high demand for timber and wood chips, while an insufficient domestic supply drives indiscriminate importation of timber from abroad. Sustainable plantation management can improve yields of existing plantation lands, contribute to increasing domestic availability of wood products, and indirectly decreasing the demand for illegal wood products.

There are a variety of forest management practices that can improve the quality and yield of acacia plantations in the target provinces. These include increasing harvests to eight years or more and avoiding clear cutting or burning of underbrush. Increasing harvests requires access to improved seeds as well as implementation of a variety of silviculture techniques. The current prevailing practice of three to five-year harvest cycles is driven by ongoing or acute economic drivers and high risk of storm damage. The timber products that result from short harvest cycles generally are of low quality and quantity and suitable for wood chips or pulp products. Longer rotations include faster growth rates in years five through eight and result in higher quality and higher priced round wood products.

Improving management practices of acacia plantations can lead to increased carbon sequestration compared to business as usual. Plantations with improved management practices are also eligible for certification programs such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Certified timber products command a market premium, and there is a current shortfall of FSC-certified wood products available in Vietnam. However, smallholders, which make up the majority of acacia farmers in Vietnam, face significant barriers for certification. The upfront cost of certification is high. There is an increased risk of income loss due to storms or fires; delayed income represents an economic hardship. Many farmers have limited technical capacity; and value chains have adapted to short rotations. A variety of technical and economic approaches have been used in Vietnam to overcome these barriers, such as innovative insurance or finance products, farmer cooperatives, buyer guarantees and alternative certification schemes. Unfortunately, positive impact is still limited. Therefore, the Project is seeking a short-term consultant to provide services on identifying technical and institutional capacity gaps of different actors in the plantation (mainly acacia) value chains and propose appropriate capacity building activities to fill these gaps.

II. Purposes of the assignment

The main purposes of this assignment are to (i) conduct capacity-building needs assessment (CNA) for plantation owners[1] and nurseries in SFM/certification; and (ii) conduct an institutional capacity (IC) assessment for farmer groups; organize farmers in groups or in cooperatives.

III. Location

The assignment will be carried out in the seven Project provinces namely Lao Cai, Son La, Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Quang Tri and Quang Nam.

IV. Tasks

The Consultant is expected to conduct the following tasks:

  • Prepare an inception report, including a work plan/schedule, a questionnaire and methodology for conducting (i) the CNA for plantation owners; nurseries; and (ii) IC survey for farmer groups/cooperatives; and the report outline.
  • Collect and review existing documents relating to the technical capacity needs for plantation owners; nurseries[2];
  • Identify technical capacity-building needs of:
    • plantation owners in silviculture techniques/forest management practices to increase plantation productivity and produce large dimension timber sustainably;
    • plantation owners in preparation and implementation of FSC forest certification;
    • forest nurseries in techniques/technology to produce high-quality planting material for development of large dimension timber plantations;
  • Design capacity-building programs for plantation owners and nurseries to meet the identified technical capacity-building needs.
  • Collect and review existing documents relating to IC needs for farmer groups/cooperatives [3] on plantation in the Project provinces.
  • Conduct an analysis of:
    • the current organizational setup and capacity in forest management practices and FSC forest certification of existing or suggested farmer groups;
    • the need to set up new farmer groups to implement in SFM/ FSC certification;
    • different institutional arrangements for plantation farmer groups and suggest the most suitable legal institutional model, including a structure for effective group management;
  • Identify IC building needs for existing farmer groups/ cooperative and/or to-be-established farmer groups/cooperatives;
  • Design an institutional capacity-building program for existing and/or to-be-established farmer groups/ cooperatives to improve forest management practices, promote large dimension timber production and implementation/preparation for FSC certification.
  • Prepare a draft the report on (i) the technical capacity needs for plantation owners, nurseries; and (ii) on the IC needs for farmer groups/cooperatives; and share the report with the Project staff and professional experts for comments;
  • Revise the report incorporating the comments of the Project and submit final report to the Project.

V. Anticipated Level of Effort (LOE) and Deliverables

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, there are 2 options for this assignment implementation:

OPTION 1: Assignment conducted with travel

The estimated LOE for this assignment is 35 person-days, from August 02, 2021, and end up on September 25, 2021. All final deliverables must be prepared in Vietnamese. The final report must be in both Vietnamese and English. The specific deliverables and timeframe are listed below in Table 1.

Table 1. Deliverables, LOE, due date and means of deliverable verification

#

Activities

LOE (day)

Description of the outputs/deliverables

Deliverables

Due date (of deliverable)

Means of Deliverable Verification

1 (1,2&5)

2

Workplan/schedule for the CNA and the IC survey; questionnaire; methodology and report outline Inception Report Ten days after signing the Individual consultant Agreement (ICA) Approval by Technical team is required
2

(3,4,6,7&8)

28

Draft report, including filled questionnaire of plantation owners, nurseries; and farmer groups/cooperatives; note of survey findings; and designed capacity-building programs First draft report 40 days after signing the ICA Approval by Technical team is required
3 (9 &10)

5

Final report incorporating comments of the Project and its counterparts, including all annexes and list of respondents, gender/ethic disaggregated data Final report 60 days after signing the ICA Approval by CPMU/PPMU and technical team is required
TOTAL

35

                                         

OPTION II: Assignment conducted without travel

The estimated LOE for this assignment is 31 person-days, from August 02, 2021, and end up on September 25, 2021. All final deliverables must be prepared in Vietnamese. The final report must be in both Vietnamese and English. The specific deliverables and timeframe are listed below in Table 1.

Table 1. Deliverables, LOE, due date and means of deliverable verification

#

Activities

LOE (day)

Description of the outputs/deliverables

Deliverables

Due date (of deliverable)

Means of Deliverable Verification

1 (1,2&5)

2

Workplan/schedule for the CNA and the IC survey; questionnaire; methodology and report outline     Inception Report Ten days after signing the Individual consultant Agreement (ICA) Approval by Technical team is required
2

(3,4,6,7&8)

24

Draft report, including filled questionnaire of plantation owners, nurseries; and farmer groups/cooperatives; note of survey findings; and designed capacity-building programs First draft report 40 days after signing the ICA Approval by Technical team is required
3 (9 &10)

5

Final report incorporating comments of the Project and its counterparts, including all annexes and list of respondents, gender/ethic disaggregated data Final report 60 days after signing the ICA Approval by CPMU/PPMU and technical team is required
TOTAL

31

                                             

VI. Qualifications:

  • Vietnamese National
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher in forestry or relevant areas
  • Have at least 5 years of experience in forest management/forest certification
  • Have experience in capacity building-needs assessment for plantation owners/nurseries
  • Have skills in analyzing statistical data; synthesizing and writing reports and presenting research results.
  • Have Vietnamese and English proficiency in speaking and writing.

VII. How to apply and requested documents

Interested candidates are requested to submit:

  • A CV in English and Vietnamese.
  • A cover letter in English indicating why they are suitable for this position along with salary requirements and current contact details of at least three referees.
  • Scanned copy of highest related degrees.

via email to our recruitment email at VietnamSFM@dai.com.  Please quote the position title in the subject line: “Candidate’s full name _ Consultant on capacity-building needs assessment for plantation owners and nurseries”

Deadline for application: 5.00 p.m. (Hanoi time), July 30, 2021

---------

To learn more about DAI, please visit our website: https://www.dai.com/

DAI is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity. DAI does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, parental status, veteran status, or other non-merit factor.

_________________________
[1] Plantation owners include farmers and/or organizations who manage production plantations, which include but is not limited to, individual plantation households, forest protection management boards, and forest companies.
[2] The list of potential plantation owners; nurseries will be provided by the Project
[3] The list of potential farmer groups/cooperatives will be provided by the Project.
Job Details
Organisation Name: DAI
Location: Vietnam
Application Deadline: Fri, 2021-07-30

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