Georgia: Food Safety Regulation in Georgia: Assessment of the GoG Reform Efforts in 2016

Organization: Europe Foundation
Country: Georgia
Closing date: 30 Jan 2017

Europe Foundation (EPF) seeks an international expert or a team of international experts to assess the efforts of the Government of Georgia (GoG) concerning food safety[1] reforms, which are informed, in part, by the EU-Georgia Association Agreement.

About Europe Foundation

Europe Foundation’s mission is to empower people to effect change for social justice and economic prosperity through hands-on programs, helping them to improve their communities and their own lives. To achieve its mission, EPF strives (1) to strengthen the capacity of individuals and institutions, empowering them to address pressing issues and (2) to mobilize relevant stakeholders in issue-based dialogue, through raising public awareness and creating various coalitions, platforms or working groups, so as to effect positive change. EPF’s work is guided by the following approaches: (1) creating opportunities for civic participation in public policy making, (2) engaging youth, (3) fostering culture of corporate and community philanthropy, including through formation of public-private-NGO partnerships, (4) promoting evidence-based advocacy and decision making, and (5) building confidence across religious, ethnic, and community divides. Some of EPF’s flagship programs include: (1) Engage and Monitor for Change, (2) European Integration, (3) Youth Integration, (4) Social Enterprise and (5) Open Door Grantmaking. Together, they feed into achieving the Foundation’s mission and provide opportunities for Georgians to engage in social, economic, and political developments, in order to effect substantive and sustainable positive change at the local and national level.

Description

The post-Rose Revolution Government of Georgia was steadfast in undertaking various measures to combat rampant corruption in the public sector and to undertake reforms designed to foster free market economy. Apart from other activities, the GoG began rapid deregulation of the previously regulated spheres, such as food safety, which included abolition of the then existing standards (mostly remnants from the days of the Soviet Union) and public regulatory agencies responsible for monitoring their fulfillment. The GoG rationale for these decisions was two-fold. The Government representatives argued that only by eliminating regulatory agencies or public regulatory functions could they address the Government’s two main objectives of eradicating corruption and promoting laissez fair economy. As a result, food safety control measures were abolished and the field was almost completely deregulated. Unfortunately, this led to widespread distribution of tainted food products and decreased the competitiveness of Georgian food producers on the EU and other more regulated markets.

The adoption of the ENP AP and the ensuing discussions on the DCFTA pushed the GoG to make significant changes in this area, including the creation of the National Service for Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant protection (later renamed as the National Food Agency) and the adoption of the first food safety strategy that aims at aligning this sector with EU standards. The country also started to revise its food safety related legislation, albeit at a slow pace. The past four years have seen an unprecedented increase in the activity of the National Food Agency (NFA) and notable improvements can observed in food safety legislation. Nevertheless, Georgia has a long way to go before it succeeds in setting up a fully functional food safety system. As the country progresses, it is important to assess the effectiveness of the GoG reform efforts in this field, so as to highlight progress, identify shortcomings, and develop recommendations for substantive improvements.

The Assessment Goal and Objectives

The overall goal of the assignment is to assess both de facto and de jure progress of the food safety reforms, which took place during 2016 in Georgia. As part of the assessment, the consultants are to look into the fulfillment of the GoG obligations under the EU-Georgia Association Agreement.

More specifically, the consultants are asked to

  • analyze the 2016 legislative reforms, in order to identify factors that impede the creation of a fully functioning food safety system in Georgia,
  • assess the performance record of relevant state institutions (e.g. NFA, Ministry of Agriculture, Revenue Services, and others), including, among other, with respect to the existing Government strategies, programs and/or action plans related to the food safety field,
  • assess whether the reforms undertaken by the GoG are transparent and participatory in nature, considerate of legitimate interests of both consumers and business operators, and
  • develop actionable, locally grounded, and internationally informed recommendations on how to foster more effective reforms toward a fully functioning food safety system.

For the list of government institutions dealing with food safety in Georgia and relevant documents by the end of 2015 please refer to the EPF report Food Safety Regulation in Georgia: Assessment of Government’s Reform Efforts in 2015, Tbilisi, 2016

Methodology

The methodology to be applied for the assessment will be qualitative in nature. When collecting the necessary data, the consultants are encouraged to review of secondary sources of data, as well as gather data from primary sources, including through individual and/or focus group interviews with major stakeholders and beneficiaries.

The consultant(s) will be responsible for developing the study design and methodology, in order to meet the goal and objectives of the evaluation. Details about the approach, as well as sampling and data collection methods to be employed, must be included in the bid.

Eligibility

Both, individuals and legal entities are eligible to apply, provided that they are not in a conflict of interest situation, whereby the assessors’ personal or professional affiliations and involvement in particular activities could lead to subjectivity or perception of subjectivity when making determinations.

Budget

EPF has allocated Euro 12,000 (gross) for this service, including travel and lodging expenses. Price competitiveness will be a consideration during the selection process, and proposals exceeding this amount will be declined.

Selection Process

EPF management and program staff will review the applications. During the review process, the applicant may be requested to present additional information. The applicant will be given three working days to submit the requested data. EPF will select the winning candidate based on maximum compliance with the competition requirements.

Selection Criteria

The proposals will be reviewed based on following criteria:

  1. Degree to which the proposal adheres to the goal and requirements of the terms of reference
  2. Quality and feasibility of the proposed methodology and work plan
  3. Qualifications of the bidding organization and/or the personnel involved in the assessment, including past experience in conducting similar studies
  4. Cost-effectiveness of the proposal.

Timeframe and Report Format

The following deliverables are expected in either English or Georgian:

  • Final assessment report (not more than 40 pages, without annexes), A4, Times New Roman 12 (for English) and Sylfaen 11 (for Georgian), single-spaced) no later than April 15, 2017. The report should include an introduction, executive summary, conclusions and recommendations, as well as all relevant annexes, including the list of respondents.
  • Presentation of the assessment report to be delivered at an event that will be organized by EPF in Tbilisi.

The costs for translation and publication of the report, as well as its presentation, will be borne by Europe Foundation. However, the assessors’ time allocated to the final presentation will have to be considered within the budget of this assignment.

The report will be the sole property of EPF, which will retain the right to use it for internal and external purposes.

[1] The term “food safety” is meant in its broader sense covering the issues such as animal health, plant protection, food counterfeiting and ways of misleading consumers — all those spheres that directly or indirectly affect, or can affect, the delivery of safe food and consumer health.

How to apply:

Request for Bids

Proposals are to be submitted via email to Ms. Lela Berdzuli, Program Associate at lberdzuli@epfound.ge. Please indicate „Food Safety Regulation Report” in the subject line of your email.

Applicants should submit a proposal in Georgian or English that includes:

  • Detailed description of researcher’s qualifications;
  • Description and justification of proposed evaluation methodology including sampling strategy, description of tools and techniques that will be used to collect and analyze information;
  • Draft work plan;
  • Budget;
  • Copy of a report on food safety or a similar subject completed by the applicant.

Only complete applications will be considered.

The deadline for the submission of applications is January 30, 2017.

Contact Information

Europe Foundation, 3 Kavsadze Street, 2nd floor, Tbilisi, Tel.: +995 32 225 39 42/43, website: www.epfound.ge.

For question and inquiries about this ToR please contact Vakhtang Kobaladze, Senior Program Manager at vkobaladze@epfound.ge.

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