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Consulting- Sustainable Intensification Monitoring and Evaluation and inventory of associated indicators and data


The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is a not-for-profit agricultural research for development organization with partners in over 100 countries. Please refer to our website for more information: www.cimmyt.org.

 The International Center for Improvement of Maize and Wheat (CIMMYT) is looking for an innovative, proactive and independent professional for the consultancy of Sustainable Intensification Monitoring and Evaluation and inventory of associated indicators and data to work on Project Management Unit of CIMMYT. Please take into account that this consultancy is strictly temporary.

 The consultancy is based at CIMMYT’s campus in Texcoco, State of Mexico, and located 45 km northeast of Mexico City, Mexico.

1) Study Rationale and Purpose:

There has been a significant research focus in CGIAR on developing sustainable intensification practices for wheat and maize based systems increase productivity and incomes, and reduce farmer dependence on use of external inputs and generates environmental services (including lesser negative environmental impacts).  The CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) MAIZE and WHEAT want to better quantify these impacts of sustainable intensification practices in economic terms at the macro level. However, sustainable intensification projects have variously approached the issues and robustly tracking changes at scale including technology adoption and resulting impacts has proven difficult.

The purposes of the proposed consultancy are twofold:

1) To assess the quality of M&E components of selected major MAIZE and WHEAT sustainable intensification projects, including the theories of change

2) To make a systematic inventory and describe and assess what monitoring indicators and data are being collected by major MAIZE and WHEAT sustainable intensification projects.

2) Audience:

The primary audience for this review will be the Sustainable Intensification, Socioeconomic and M&E activities of MAIZE and WHEAT including its Management Committees and a taskforce that has been set up to define Study objectives and approaches for a possible macro-level analysis of major sustainable intensification efforts.

3) Evaluation Scope:

This review and inventory will cover selected substantive sustainable intensification projects implemented under MAIZE and WHEAT. We envisage coverage across the main geographies and projects that have been active for at least the past 5 years. They include but are not limited to: the Masagro productor program in Mexico, the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) portfolio, and the Sustainable Intensification of Maize and Legume Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa [SIMLESA] and, possibly, similar projects from IITA and ICARDA. The evaluation will take stock of inter alia the indicators each project is monitoring; data collection methods and frequency; data quality and accessibility; the associated theories of change; the overall robustness of M&E practices being implemented.

4) Evaluation Criteria and Questions:

  • What M&E practices are currently being utilized by the selected projects
  • Does the project have a theory of change (ToC)? How does it link/match with the FP4 theory of change for MAIZE and WHEAT CRPs?
  • How are the M&E and ToC linked? To what extent is the ToC utilized in monitoring, reflected upon, referred back to?
  • Does the project have a performance monitoring plan?
  • What indicators does the project track at the following levels:
    • Activity level?
    • Output level?
    • Outcome level?
    • Impact level?
  • How best to categorize each of the tracked indicators (incl whether quantitative and/or qualitative measures, unit, clarity, utility) and associated data collection methods and frequency; and data quality and accessibility?
  • What are relevant learnings from any project evaluations (planned or conducted, internal or external)?
  • What project plans and processes, if any, allow to learn from M&E and adjust implementation, reporting and/or ToC?
  • What is the overall robustness of M&E practices being implemented?

5) Roles and Responsibilities:

PMU, SIP & SEP Management
  1. Oversee design of the evaluation, development of ToRs, contracting of evaluator(s)
  2. Brief relevant staff and partners about the evaluation;
  3. Request project leaders to compile and make relevant information available and allocate time to discuss the information with the consultant;
  4. Introduce project leader and other resource persons to the consultant
  5. Feed‐back on the final draft report, involving taskforce and other staff as appropriate;
  6. Help communicate findings and lessons, and act on accepted recommendations.
Study Manager (MEL Specialist, PMU)
  1. Plan and manage the design of the study;
  2. Prepare ToRs;
  3. Contract and authorize payments by HR to the consultant;
  4. Brief consultant and provide them with logistical support;
  5. Compile documentation and data, including pre‐analysis;
  6. Put consultant in contact with key people;
  7. Troubleshoot emerging problems and conflicts;
Study Manager (MEL Specialist, PMU); Adoption/impact assessment lead
  1. Give feed‐back to the draft report and provide quality assurance;
  2. Manage feedback processes;
  3. Assure the quality of the process and outputs
  1. Consultant to gather and analyze information  from proposals, reports and other salient documents;
  2. Discuss with project leaders and other relevant resource people approaches, perceptions and viewpoints that help to complete the study
  3. Consultant to contribute to a written inventory and presentations of analysis via a draft and final report

6) Deliverables:

Deliverables will be produced in English and presented to the Project Management Unit electronically (except when otherwise stated), and include the following:

Deliverables Description
Evidence inventory Evidence gathered during the study in support of each finding to be provided in a protected file and in a format agreed to with PMU. An inventory of the evidence is to be prepared and shared with the Study Manager.
Draft report
  • Draft report, which answers all of the evaluative criteria and questions.
  • The study will be circulated for comments and factual checking to PMU, SIP and SEP management, MAIZE/WHEAT CRP Program Manager and adoption/impact assessment lead.
Final Report The inventory provides learning and conclusions based on the analysis conducted. May include recommendations as needed.

7) Timeline:

The anticipated completion date for this baseline study is January 2019 with presentation to the Sustainable Intensification and Socio-economic programs as well as PMU. The consultant will produce the following deliverables based on the following timeline:

Activities and Deliverables Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan.
Contracting of consultant X
Evidence Inventory X
Draft report X
Review by PMU, SIP and SEP X
Final Report X

Required academic qualifications, skills and attitudes:

  • Master’s degree in agricultural sciences or other discipline relevant to the consultancy.
  • 5 or more years of experience in evaluation, including practical experience with theory of change based evaluation
  • Relevant experience with monitoring & evaluation and/or adoption studies and/or impact assessment of systems agronomy,
  • Basic Spanish comprehension

CIMMYT offers support for continuous professional development.

Candidates must apply online to IRS18139 Consulting- Sustainable Intensification Monitoring and Evaluation and inventory of associated indicators and data. Screening and follow up will begin on Wednesday, October 31, 2018.
Applications must include a CV and a letter of interest. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. For further information on the selection process, please contact Yessica Castillo (y.castillo@cgiar.org)
Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
This consultancy will remain open until filled.

CIMMYT is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.