Afghanistan: External Monitoring Agent for Environmental and Social Safeguards Compliance review of AAIP sub-projects

Organization: Government of Afghanistan
Country: Afghanistan
Closing date: 30 Apr 2018

Job Title: External Monitoring Agent (Individual Consultant)

Location: Kabul – Afghanistan

Organization: Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL)

Project: Afghanistan Agricultural Inputs Project (AAIP)

Vacancy/REOI No: MAIL/ARTF/AAIP/S.273

Nationality: AnyInternational Citizen

Publication date: 16-April-2018

Closing Date: 30-April-2018

Language: English (Essential) Dari and Pashto (Preferable)

Duration of Assignment: (Three Months)

I. Background of AAIP:

The overall Project Development Objective (PDO) of the AAIP is to strengthen institutional capacity for safety and reliability of agricultural inputs and sustainable production of certified wheat seed. The Project has four components: (A) Improved Seed Production; (B) Quarantine Networks and Quality Control of Agro-Chemicals; (C) Improved and Expanded Input Delivery System and (D) Project Implementation and Management.

Component A aims to strengthen a sustainable, commercially viable, and technically efficient seed production and certification system.This component has three sub-components that are as follows. A1: Assistance to Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan(ARIA) including varietal selection and Production of Breeder Seed, A2: Assistance to Improved Seed Enterprise (ISE) including production of Foundation Seed and A3: Coordination of Seed Sector. Under sub-component A1 and A2 there are three major project elements: a) training, b) support to production, and c) infrastructure renovation / development.

Component B aims to build and strengthen the institutional capacity and physical infrastructure required for quality control of agro-chemicals and plant quarantine. Furthermore, this component involves the establishment of physical infrastructure such as ‘Border Quarantine Stations (BQS)’ and capacity to prevent the introduction of exotic quarantine insect, pests and diseases, in addition to facilitating the export of plant materials by issuing proper quarantine/phytosanitary certificates.

Component C aims to analyze current agricultural input delivery systems and to develop a plan of action, to be followed by a pilot input delivery system. Specific activities under this component includes piloting a voucher system for wheat seed, which is the primary seed produced under the project. The main goal is to explore the possibility of replacing the currently insufficient government-led seed distribution system that is mainly based on providing subsidized seeds to a limited number of farmers. This approach is an attempt to improve the situation by creating an environment which strengthens linkages between seed producers and farmers while the government phases out its involvement in seed distribution and focuses on its regulatory role.

Component D hosts the Implementation Management and Support Team (IMST) in MAIL with overall responsibility for Monitoring and Evaluation, Management Information System, Procurement, Financial Management, and implementation of the ESMF, RPF and PMP.The following main technicalDirectorates from the MAIL side have been involved in thepreparation and implementation of the project: (i) for Component A: the Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan (ARIA), the Improved Seeds Enterprise (ISE) and the National Seed Board (NSB)

(ii) for Component B: the Directorates for Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQD) and Food Quality Control & Agriculture Inputs (FQCAID).

(iii)Component C will be implemented by the IMST (mainly the national M&E Specialist supported by an international M&E Specialist).

II. Assignment Background:

As part of the project preparation, initial environmental and social assessments are being carried out under the World Bank Operational Policy on Environmental Assessment and related policies.The main outputs of the environmental and social assessments include the following: Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) project specific Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP)s, Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM), Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF), Pest Management Plan (PMP) and the IPM Approach implementation. The findings and the recommendations of these different documents are being incorporated in the engineering designs of the proposed project or are at an advanced stage. These terms of reference are for an External Monitoring Agent (EMA) to undertake an independent mid-term review of the process and outputs of ESMF, ESMPs, GRM, RPF, PMP and the IPM approach implementation being undertaken by the AAIP for the sub-projects in Afghanistan.

III. Objectives of the Assignment:

The overall objective of the assignment is to ensure that the social and environmental safeguard and GRMprocesses and outputs are in line with all applicable World Bank operational and safeguard policies and Afghanistan Environmental Law, mainly the Project Environmental and Social Management Framework, Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) and Project Greivence Redress Mechanism.

IV. Methodology:

Our suggested methodology is in three phases.

Phase-I is the preparatory phase where the EMA is required to review and understand the ESMF, RPF, GRM, PMP and all associated project documents. Define the monitoring parameters, roles and responsibilities, frequency and the preparation of monitoring and compliance templates.

Phase-II is the so-called interactive phase where the EMA is required undertake site visits, surveys and discussions with relevant representatives of the project team and public to fulfill the requirements of this review assignment. Site visits need to be carried out to collect data from the sub-project locations in different regions of Afghanistan by planning of objectives and targets. Target area will be Nangarhar from east region – Balkh, Badakhshan, Kunduz and Takhar from north region – Kandahar, Helmand and Khost from south region – Herat and Nimroz from west region – Kabul, Parwan and Bamiyan from central region. More details on sub-projects can be provided on request.

Phase-III is reporting phase where the EMA is required to submit a detailed quality report on the project outputs and compliance of the sub-projects.

V. Scope of the assignment:

The scope of the consultant shall include but not limited to the following three main components that needs to be monitored.

Environment

· To review the process and the outputs of the ESMF, ESMPs and related reports in order to confirm that all the applicable World Bank Operational Policies have been complied with;

· To Review the implementation of the project PMP and the IPM approach, find shortcomings, their relevant reasons and give appropriate recommendations;

· Assess how much the PMP and the IPM approach are mainstreamed in the relevant project cycle, M&E, Extension Work, reporting, training and Capacity Development and etc;

· To confirm that the ESMF and RPF are closely integrated with the project’s economic, financial, institutional, and technical analyses to ensure that environmental and social considerations are given weight and influence design decisions;

· Assess compliances with national environmental policies, laws, NEPA regulations, and standards as well as World Bank Safeguard polices;

· To review the approach adopted in developing the project in a comprehensive manner that minimizes adverse impacts on natural and social environment;

· Propose remedial measures in case of failing ESMF and PMP implementation

· Assess the progress of key PMP and IPM approach requirements, e.g., establishing functional Steering Committee, creating functional and useable MIS System for Pest and diseases management, preparation and application of relevant legislation and regulations.

Social Safeguards

· To assess and verify that the outputs of the Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMPs) , Grievance Redress mechanism (GRM) and Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) have been adequately addressed in the project’s engineering design and in its implementation plans.

· Assessment of the stakeholder consultation process which have been carrying out among the project stockholders, beneficiaries and involvement of women in the project design and do heir feedbacks have been reflected into project design or not?

· According to project RPF, assess the social risks, negative impacts, the land acquisition and land related issues, loss of livelihood, land documentation and the status of squatters and encroachers under each sub-project

· Assessment of how environmental health and social issues have been addressed across sub-projects

· Based on the findings of the current assessment, propose how to increase women’s participation in the project

· To review the status of the site specific ESMPs which have been implemented by the contractors (outputs from implementation of ESMPs)

· The consultant will assess that do the project stakeholders and beneficiaries receive the project information and social safeguard and GRM awareness during planning and implementation stages and their feedbacks have been reflected in the project design or not?

· Based on findings of current assessment, provide and propose clear recommendations that what actions the ministry should take to address the social safeguard issues

GRM

· Based on GRM manual, monitor and assess the establishment of GRCs at both headquarter and sub-project level

· Based on GRM manual, to verify thatthe Grievance Redress Mechanism has been addressed and complaints have been recorded during the sub-project implementation

· To assess the effectiveness of GRM and public perception about GRM and its utilization.

· Verify the status of grievances have been addressed properly and also the unresolved grievances

The EMA will interact with the MAIL/AAIP on a continuous basis throughout this review assignment. The EMA will collect any information required from the World Bank if required.

The Consultant will prepare a draft review report and discuss the same with the AAIP team for environmental and social safeguards.

AAIP will provide comments to the EMA on the draft review report that will focus on the required modifications to the ESMF, ESMPs, PMP/IPM approach and RPF.

EMAs’ deliverables shall also be reviewed by the World Bank and Environmental and social safeguards team of AAIP, and comments have to be incorporated by the consultant.

VI. Reporting Requirements:

A. The Consultant should submit the inception report within 1 week of the commencement of services. This will include the suggested methodology proposed for sampling of the sub-projects to be audited.

B. The EMA will prepare a comprehensive review report with the following suggested contents:

  1. Executive Summary: This will include a summary of the strengths and weaknesses identified in the review of the ESMF process and outputs. This will clearly identify the major deficiencies in the ESMF outputs along with a justification and also outline the modification requirements. This will also carries a summary of the reviewer’s conclusion.

  2. Introduction: This section will state the purpose of the terms of reference, objective, scope and explain the arrangements for the review of the Environmental and Social Management Framework.

  3. Review findings-overall Environmental and Social assessment process: This will include a comparative analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the Environmental and Social screening process that were adopted. This will also identify, recommend and provide the details of any additional requirements to the EA and SA process, which are imperative. This will include:

i. Review findings-ESMF

ii. Review findings-ESMP

iii. Review findings-PMP and IPM approach

iv. Review findings-RPF

v. Review findings-GRM

vi. Review findings-Integration of Environmental and Social concerns

The final comprehensive report should include the three areas detailed in section 5 of the TOR, along with an estimated budget for the Capacity Building of the staff if required.

  1. Conclusion: This will contain with a clear recommendation as to the endorsement (without conditions) of the project ESMF and RPF prepared by the AAIP in as far as they meet the relevant World Bank requirements.

5. Recommendations: The EMA will come up with a list of corrective actions and recommendations that needs to be followed by the AAIP.

  1. Appendices: List of references (published and unpublished), list of meetings with individuals or organizations met, reproduction of important reference materials or data /information, and recording of important consultation meetings conducted

C. Reporting Schedule and duration

The EMA will perform the required duties within a maximum period of up to 3 months following signing of the contract. The consultant will be responsible for the following deliverables. The time line of deliverables will be specified at signing of contract.

S.N

Reporting

Timeframe for submission of reports

1

Inception Report depicting the approach and methodology

Within 7 days of contract signing

2

Review Report (First draft)

Within 2months of obtaining approval for the inception report

3

Review report (Final draft) with a list of recommendations and corrective actions which needs to be followed by the project

within one weekof receiving the final comments

4

Submission of all data collected from field survey (hard and soft)

After approval of the final draft

VII. Qualifications and work experience required:

The consultant should have a clear understanding about environmental auditing system/process and requirements. The Specialist should have a minimum of 3 years work experience in Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan related auditing preferably in agriculture and livestock projects. The consultant should possess at least a Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences / Natural Resource Management or any other related field, including work experiences in developing countries. The consultant should have successfully completed at least one environmental audits in projects of environmental management plan implementation. Preference will be given to local consultants having relevant experience with the government or any donor/ international agencies.

For International applicantsexperience in international context in mentioned subject is a must.

Payment Schedule:

The payment to the consulting firm shall be made in three instalments as given below:

(i) First instalment: 20% of the contract amount upon attending the orientation meeting, submission of Inception Report along with the timeline of activities and work plan for all the staff for the assignment and staff deployment in the field.

(ii) Second instalment: 50% of the contract amount will be paid upon receiving the approved final report’.

(iii) Third instalment: 30% of the contract amount will be paid after submission of the data collected at the field survey (hard and soft) to AAIP’s Environmental and Social Safeguard team.

How to apply:

Please submit your updated resumes along with a cover letter / Expression of Interest quoting the Job Title to the attention of Project Director AAIP.

aaip.jobs@mail.gov.af , copy to jehangir.gabar@mail.gov.af No later than 30 April, 2018 the interview date/s and venue will be determined soon after the expiry of the deadline for applications.

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