Invitation to Tender for Baseline Survey Services

  • Consultancy
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • Applications have closed
  • Salary: TBA

We Effect is inviting consultancy companies or individual consultants to undertake a baseline survey for the Sustainable Cotton for Women and Youth Empowerment project in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The baseline survey will assess the situation and establish benchmark indicators that will inform the Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Accountability (MEAL) plan and form the basis for measuring the project outcomes.

The consultant(s) will work closely with We Effect Regional Programme Manager, Regional Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Country Programme Coordinators and implementing Partner Organisations in the four implementing countries.

We Effect is a development organisation founded in 1958 by the cooperative movement in Sweden. The organisation works in more than 20 countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and collaborates mainly with member-based organisations consisting of women and men who live in poverty. We Effect Southern Africa consists of four countries with programmes in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi. Our values are respect, transparency, and together.

We work in the thematic fields of sustainable rural development and adequate housing. We apply a human rights-based approach in our programmes, assisting people living in poverty to secure their rights and entitlement to adequate living conditions and broad empowerment. We Effect targets women in partner organisations to secure them the same rights and entitlements as men, especially to own and control land and access to financial resources. Partner organisations include farmer organisations, housing cooperatives, and savings and credit association.

The core strategy is to strengthen cooperatives of women and men living in poverty through membership-based democracy, long-term economic thinking, social responsibility and transparency.

The Sustainable Cotton for Women and Youth Empowerment in Southern Africa project (hereafter referred to as the project) was developed by We Effect and its partner organisations. The project, which is being implemented for four (4) years ((2019-2023), aligns with the Strategy for Sweden’s Regional Development Cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa (2016–2021) and the Swedish Development Cooperation strategies in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through the Embassy of Sweden in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is being implemented by We Effect and its partner organisations working in collaboration with other key actors in the cotton value chain in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Sustainable Cotton for Women and Youth Empowerment project six months’ inception phase ended in March 2020. During the Inception phase, five (5) studies were successfully carried out to generate critical information and provide recommendations for a detailed project design for the Implementation phase of the project.

To successfully realise its goal and achieve the intended outcomes, the Sustainable Cotton for Women and Youth Empowerment project will focus on mutually reinforcing measurable indicators that relate to the overall goal and objectives.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to poverty reduction and injustice in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe through improved productivity in the cotton sub-sector.

The project’s specific objective is:

“women, men and youth cotton farmers have increased incomes and sustainable livelihoods in targeted communities of Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe through the creation of 55, 000 decent jobs”.

The project will create new decent jobs and turn existing ones into decent jobs for women and youths by delivering a fair income, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for cotton producers to organise themselves and participation in decisions that affect their lives. The project’s specific objective is expected to be achieved through three intermediate objectives:

  1. Strengthened capacity of partner organisations and ginning companies to implement a certified cotton standard scheme and create decent jobs for women and youth in targeted communities in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe;
  2. Improved volume of certified seed cotton/ lint and cotton value-added products supplied by smallholder women and youth cotton farmers in targeted communities in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe entering local, regional and international markets; and
  3. Targeted women and youth smallholder cotton farmers have increased resilience to climate change through the adoption of sustainable agricultural land management practices.

The hired consultancy company or individual consultants shall carry out consultancy services which include leading the baseline survey process in each of the four implementing countries. The baseline survey is expected to achieve the following:

  • Establish the status of the project outcomes and output indicators as outlined in the project logical framework;
  • Set benchmarks for the project indicators;
  • Ascertain the relevance and sustainability of the set objectives; and
  • Make recommendations to We Effect based on the findings and provide information that will assist in guiding project implementation and a proposed plan of action.

3.1 Methodology, Data Collection and Analysis
The baseline survey will use a mixed approach and will be undertaken through various methods including observations, Knowledge, Attitude, Behavior and Practice (KABP) survey, Focus Group Discussions (FGD), and Key Informant Interviews (KII). Further, data collection should be done in a participatory and inclusive manner where all groups.i.e. youth[1], men[2], women[3] and other marginalised groups fully participate. The consulting team should take cognisance of the COVID 19 situation and include some online meetings for data collection where possible.

The baseline survey should be designed to meet the objectives and the theory of change (ToC) approach which will entail careful analysis of the intended outcomes, outputs, strategies and activities, and the contextual factors in each country including their potential to achieve the desired outcomes.

Data is expected to be collected through primary and secondary sources. This will include desk review, group and individual interviews with key stakeholders, such as representatives of line ministries both at national and district level, implementing project partners, community leaders, beneficiaries (youth, men, & women), ginning companies, management and project staff.

3.2 Sampling

The consultant (s) is expected to develop and suggest a sampling strategy, including a description of:

  • Sample size (or expectations of the consultant (s) in calculating it);
  • Necessary respondent disaggregation; and
  • Sampling approach.

3.3 Participant Selection and Recruitment

Stakeholder participation at various levels in the baseline survey will be critical. The consultant will ensure that stakeholders are meaningfully involved in the baseline survey process. These will include youth, men and women, including those with disabilities, and the marginalised. Additionally, it should involve families, district and national level government, implementing partner organisations, ginning companies and project staff.


The expected outputs are:

  1. Inception Report –finalise the technical proposal including the proposed work plan, detailed methodology, including sample size and data collection tools. The inception report should be submitted and presented to the Sustainable Cotton project team and partner organisations to facilitate feedback;
  2. Draft Baseline Report – including an Indicator Tracking Table with baseline data to be submitted and presented to We Effect and project implementing partners highlighting main preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations at a validation meeting.
  3. Final Baseline Report – maximum 40 paged concise report, excluding the executive summary and annexures (Indicator Tracking Table, data collection tools and consent forms). The consultant will also submit three (3) hard copies of well bound final report and an electronic copy to We Effect.
  4. Cleaned data set (e.g. Excel, SPSS) – transcripts of qualitative data, syntax/ code books etc.

The timeframe for the baseline survey is 40 working days. The assignment should commence by 26th October 2020 and be completed by 18th December 2020.

The payment of professional fees will be based on the delivery of the expected outputs, as follows:

  • 30% upon approval of the design/Inception Report.
  • 40% upon submission and presentation of the draft Baseline Report;
  • 30% upon submission of the final Baseline Report.

Reimbursable costs shall be reimbursed upon approval of the expected outputs.

Tenders shall consist of the following compulsory minimum requirements:

  • Company profile (clearly stating full contact details, physical address and telephone lines);
  • Certificate of incorporation or registration;
  • VAT registration;
  • Tax clearance certificates; and
  • Declaration of any business or personal relationships connected to We Effect.

Tenders that do not meet the compulsory minimum requirements shall not be evaluated

Tenders shall also consist of:

  • A technical proposal including
    • a proposed workplan,
    • detailed methodology, including sample size and data collection tools,
    • brief justification of the methods and techniques used (including relevant underlying values and assumptions/ theories) with a justification of the selections made (e.g. of persons to be interviewed).
  • A financial proposal including a proposed detailed budget in USD and local currency indicating clear distinctions between professional fees and reimbursable costs. The proposal should also include and fee rate per consultant and time input.
  • References and samples of three similar assignments completed for an NGO/INGO or similar within the past three years;
  • CVs of the proposed consulting team; and
  • Signed letter/s stating the availability of the proposed consultant/s for the assignment period; and
    Membership or affiliation to a relevant professional body.

The baseline survey should preferably be conducted by a consulting team with a good understanding of the local and international contexts in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe; including  the cotton industry and should have vast experience in the cotton value chain and market analysis, operations of the ginning companies and smallholder cotton farmers, and cotton certification schemes.

The qualifications and expertise required of the proposed consultant (s) include:

  • At least a master’s degree level preferably in agriculture, development studies or any other social sciences including gender studies;
  • At least seven years’ experience in leading and conducting complex regional programme evaluations in development or other international organisations;
  • Expertise and knowledge of the thematic areas relevant to the Sustainable Cotton Project.
  • Knowledgeable about advancing gender equality, human rights, environmental and social issues in cotton production and processing.
  • Excellent analytical, writing and communication skills;
  • Excellent written and spoken English. The team should have at least one member able to speak/ understand Portuguese.

The selection of the successful consulting firm /consultant(s) will be based on satisfaction of qualification requirements, outcome of interviews of company representatives and/or candidates including the strength of both the technical and financial proposals.

All applicants are required to email tender documents to [email protected], or deposit applications in the ”Tender Box” at the We Effect Regional Office reception, Plot 93 Kudu Road, Lusaka clearly indicating “Baseline Survey for Sustainable Cotton Project” before close of business on 14th October 2020.

Only shortlisted consultant(s) will be contacted.


Offers with requests for payment or fees should be treated with extreme caution, viewed as potentially fraudulent and reported immediately.

[1] Female and male aged 18-35 years
[2] Males aged 36 years and above
[3] Females aged 36 years and above