AgriFin Digital Farmer (ADF 2) Program Overview
AgriFin Digital Farmer II (ADF 2) currently represents a $12 million, four-year AgriFin program working in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria , with potential to expand to other markets (Uganda, Zambia+). In partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates and Bayer Foundations, ADF 2 seeks to support the expansion of digitally-enabled services to 5 million smallholder farmers, delivered by growing ecosystems of diverse service providers and building farmer income, productivity and resilience across by 50% while reaching 40% women.
The program’s core innovations are: 1) a rapid iteration engagement model to drive innovative, client-centric product development; and 2) our work with partners to develop “bundles ” of mobile-enabled services offering farmers affordable access to digital financial and market informational services. Our support programming is focused on enabling the following critical areas of innovation, that will follow an ecosystem and market facilitation approach supported through partnership activities and dissemination of evidence-based learning to ecosystem actors following a Market Systems Development (MSD) approach, with a strong gender focus**:**
Climate-Smart approaches to SHF Climate Adaptation & Mitigation
Agricultural Advisory and Smart Farming Solutions
Gender Transformative Programming
Appropriate Digitally-Enabled Financial Services for SHF
Digital Platform Models Providing Market Access, Financing, Information and Resources
Digital Channels, Logistics and Mechanization
Use of Digital Data for Decisioning, Product Development & Risk Management.
The Program targets the core Three outcomes will contribute to the achievement of this goal:
Outcome 1: Market actors expand, improve and continue to offer high-impact DFS products and services that are tailored to address the expressed needs of SHFs;
Outcome 2: Farmers increase capability to access and utilize demand-driven, high impact technology-enabled financial products and services relevant to SHFs;
Outcome 3: Ecosystems around both supplier and farmers emerge supporting provision of digital financial and informational services to SHFs that are used at scale.
Building on the AgriFin approach, partnerships and experience to date, ADF 2 will build on existing approaches and partnerships, leveraging in new programming to:
• Design, Test & Scale Digitally-Enabled Climate Smart Agriculture Solutions (dCSA) focus alongside other innovation areas: Climate change is already causing yield declines for staple crops exacerbating food insecurity on the African continent. Farmers are struggling to know more and more to know how best to manage their farms. ADF 2 will continue to maintain a focus on the original ADF I (five) focus areas of innovation i.e. (a) smart farming & ag advisory; (b) financial products & services; (c) digital markets; (d) logistics & distribution; and (e) alternative data & credit scoring leverage climatic data;
• Deliver on Digital for Women: AgriFin is committed to address the digital divide by designing products and services specifically for women farmers and women in agricultural value chains. Designing for women ensures uptake, active use and impact, while increasing agricultural productivity, inclusion, poverty reduction and climate resilience. AgriFin impact evidence on gender points forward to the importance of digitizing groups, building meaningful financial bundles that are savings-led, building farm skills, market linkages and ensuring a trusted human support role as women build decisioning power, digital access and digital literacy;
• Address Impacts of COVID-19 and Desert Locust: Recognizing the dramatic impact of COVID-19 and Desert Locust across our markets, we have seen that digital solutions are a lifeline to create safe, transparent, efficient and scalable solutions for farmers and the value chains in which they work. AgriFin has already successfully leveraged and will continue to engage existing agile programming, technology innovation and partnerships to scale services for farmers, while protecting the companies and markets serving them, working to rebuild livelihoods and food systems;
• Crack the Digital Platform Code by building on existing and developing new platform partners, continuing to leverage digital data and diverse bundles of products and partnerships. AFD II will support existing partners, including platforms like DigiFarm, KALRO, WeFarm, World Bank Million Farmer Platform, WhatsApp for Business, One Acre Fund, Vodacom, GoogleX and ATA along with new partners like Yara/IBM, Digital Green. Each of these partners have explicitly stated the need for platform and dCSA approaches;
• Support Breakthrough Models for Digital Data Sharing and Usage : Leveraging a strategic approach with AgriFin partners, including government, private sector, academics and development agencies to break down data silos and build collaborative data agendas and learning areas, leveraging closer relationships with other key think-tanks and Open-Data initiatives to shape the data opportunity in agriculture. AgriFin will develop and disseminate actionable data toolkits that can be refined directly in work with partners and available externally as a public good, continuing to push sustainable business models, open data sharing environments, farmer inclusion and research and learning around data and data sharing.
• Support Ecosystem Learning, Impact Evaluation & Reporting. Market ecosystem actors and the development community lack sufficient information, proven products and tools, and effective partnership models to successfully provide effective digitally-enabled services to farmers. AgriFin serves as a public information resource related to digitally-enabled services for smallholder farmers, share program research, tools and project engagement learning, as well as disseminate lessons learned through a dedicated website and social media.
In response to farmer needs and ADF program learning, Mercy Corps aims to leverage current AgriFin partnerships and learning to expand and deepen our work to address the looming food security and climate change crisis to extend high-impact, digitally-enabled services for over 5 million smallholders and the agricultural value chains they work across our existing markets in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopian and Nigeria, with expanded service support services in adjacent markets with national, regional and global partners over the next four years. As our hub markets in Kenya and Tanzania mature, ADF 2 will extend models, funders, Mercy Corps’ African footprint in 16 countries and regional partners like AGRA, CGIAR and FSD to drive growth in new and former AgriFin markets, including Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Senegal, Sudan and DRC.
Purpose of Engagement
The Consultant will work closely with the AgriFin Program, staff and other relevant field teams to support program engagements, partnerships follow-ups (onboarding to implementation), and provide inputs to evolving concept notes in the area of climate smart agriculture and agriculture. The expert will also be participating in relevant meetings and learnings, related to the areas of agriculture and technology. The consultant will provide both technical and project management support and work under the direct supervision of the AgriFin Global Climate Technology Lead and in coordination with the Deputy Program Director to determine priority activities on a regular basis. This will include determining how the consultant will deploy with the AgriFin team and relevant partners. Adjustments will be made as necessary with feedback from partner timelines and project development.
Scope of Work
This scope of work sets the terms of reference for individual consultant for AgriFin Digital Farmer (ADF 2) Implementation. Under the direction of the ADF 2 Climate Technology Lead and the Deputy Director, the consultant will engage in the following key activities at an expected level of effort of (8) days per month.
Activity 1: Support Digital Climate Smart Agriculture Strategy Development & Implementation
- Support strategy and plan formulation for D-CSA including the initial climate smart agriculture country research for new country contexts, including ecosystem and farmer-centric research with strategic partners.
- Support identification and integration of relevant digital climate-smart solutions into the Mercy Corps AgriFin portfolio in all countries of operation.
- Lead and support climate-smart engagements across the AgriFin portfolio as agreed with program leadership during weekly technical team meetings.
- Engage in program learning and external representation for the AgriFin program with climate-related partners.
Activity 2: Partner Engagement Support
- Support strong partner identification, review, relationship management, project plans and development of product roadmaps based on program priorities, including gender transformative approaches;
- Conduct due diligence on prospective partners, compile required legal documents and share reports on the same;
- Assist in development of partner business and work plans, reviewing research, marketing plans, business processes, operational manuals, product and technology specifications, and financial statements to do so;
- Monitor project progress, related consultancies; issues identification, reporting and resolution, or assist in resolving issues, under direction of ADF 2 management;
- Prepare project documentation and progress reports and status updates based on program approved processes, supporting program monitoring and evaluation staff as needed
- Assist the program in identifying technical consultants as needed, in preparing terms of reference and scopes of work, and provide support and oversight for consultants as required;
- Engage actively in program learning and representation.
This project implementation shall be fully consultative with key stakeholders and all learning outputs will be developed in close coordination with ADF 2 and related partners to ensure recommendations and final learning outputs remain strategically aligned the program strategy.
The consultants will provide ADF with the following deliverables, with specific timelines to be agreed in the approved consultant workplan:
Activity 1 & 2: ADF 2 Program Support
- Monthly report updating project status, potential risks, check-in minutes with task managers and any other updates from partnership implementation in the month.
- Periodic back to office reports (BTOR) following partner meetings and engagements, including a summary of project status, potential project risks, and any other updates from partner meetings with ADF 2 partners, existing donors, contractors, and other ecosystem members.
- Final/handover report on activities with partners and future prospects for developments in additional program areas with working partners.
- Advanced degree in Agriculture Science, Computer Science, Business, Engineering, Economics, or relevant field
- Work experience in providing advisory services for multi-year international Agricultural and financial sector development projects.
- Proven expertise in fundraising and proposal writing.
- Demonstrated strong management, coordination, teamwork and planning skills.
- Familiarity with Mercy Corps Systems is a plus.
- Strong analytical and technical skills.
- Excellent communication skills and a proven ability to establish and maintain interpersonal and professional relationships.
- Excellent verbal, written interpersonal and presentation skills in English.
- Ability to offer coaching, mentorship and development of technical capacity.
Project Learning Agenda
The following Key ADF 2 Learning Agenda questions will be addressed:
- What financial and value-added products and services do SHFs, including women and youth, value most and why?
- How does bundling of products and services impact uptake and usage of digital financial services?
- What capacity building tools have the highest impact on SHFs willingness and ability to use digital financial services?
- How and to what extent have ADF 2 partners have been successful to achieve scale and commercial sustainability?
- What are the main drivers of success and failure of different partnership and bundled approaches?
Ownership/Control of Work Product/Publication
Matters relating to ownership and control of work product and publication of materials produced during course of this engagement are addressed in the main contract agreement entered into between Mercy Corps and the Consultant for performance of services for AgriFin Digital Farmer II.
Authorship and Acknowledgement
Matters relating to authorship and acknowledgment of any materials produced by the Consultant during the course of this engagement are addressed in the main contract agreement entered into between Mercy Corps and the Consultant for performance of services for AgriFin Digital Farmer II.
The Task Manager for this engagement is the AgriFin’s Program Global Climate Technology Manager with oversight from AgriFin’s Deputy Program Director. The consultant will direct all communications to the ADF Task Manager.
How to Apply
Please refer to our website for more information.