Request for Proposals: Evaluation of Oxfam’s work to increase citizen engagement and influence on agriculture policies and practices in Burkina Faso and Tanzania


Smallholder producers in Africa manage up to 80 percent of farmland in Africa and are responsible for the majority of the food produced (FAO 2012). Despite the central role they play in local food systems, these farmers face a variety of challenges in producing enough food and income to meet the needs of their families and contribute to broader rural development objectives. They lack access to inputs and services such as quality seeds, irrigation, reliable weather information and extension services, and rights to land and other natural resources are weak as are redress mechanisms when conflicts arise. For women, who make up almost 50 percent of agriculture labor force in sub-Saharan Africa, the risks associated with smallholder farming are compounded by gender inequalities. The gender gap in agriculture - exemplified by reduced access to agriculture resources, few resources tailored to their needs/priorities and harmful social and gender norms, laws, and policies - all further disadvantage women, which leads to lower agriculture productivity and consequently fewer economic opportunities for women and lower food supplies for them and their communities.

In 2014, African governments renewed their commitments to the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), to transform rural livelihoods and address poverty, including for women and men smallholder producers who make up a majority of those suffering from hunger. Despite this, progress against hunger has stalled and in Africa and the number of people who are food insecure has increased since 2010. While African governments have committed under CAADP to allocate 10 percent of their budgets to the agriculture sector, only Burkina Faso and Ethiopia are meeting their spending targets, and for all countries there are issues related to poor quality of agriculture policies (e.g. lack of transparency and accountability, lack of gender sensitivity) and/or lack of implementation of policies.

In order to address these issues Oxfam has been working across a number of African countries to advocate to governments to meet their CAADP commitments, improve the quality of agriculture polices and increase government accountability for implementation of strong agriculture polices designed to benefit women and men smallholder farmers. Particular attention is focused on ensuring increased awareness of the role and importance of women farmers and improved policy and practices to benefit them. While the approach varies by country, Oxfam and partners seek through this work to create increased space and capacity for civil society and farmer groups, particularly women farmers, to engage directly with their governments to advocate for themselves and hold their governments accountable. In Tanzania Oxfam has developed an innovative approach to community empowerment and engagement, called the “animator model”, through which community representatives are nominated to participate in an intensive program focused on building knowledge and skills related to accountability, negotiation and community mobilizing. These animators are then supported to apply these skills in their communities, leading citizens to take action and create change. In Burkina Faso, Oxfam and partners supported rural women leaders representing farmer’s organizations and CSO’s involved in the agricultural sector to develop the "Rural Women's Manifesto: 10 Measures to Build Burkina without Hunger", which has been the driving force behind a number of policy advocacy and campaign efforts. Oxfam and partners have used the manifesto and other opportunities to create platforms to enable dialogue between small holder farmers, farmer groups, and associations (particularly women) with political parties & politicians, government representatives, and media.

The purpose of the evaluation is to better understand the progress made and lessons learned in influencing policymakers and creating space for citizen engagement and influence on agriculture policies and practices in two of the core countries where this work is taking place - Burkina Faso and Tanzania. The primary audiences for the evaluation will be Oxfam staff and core partners1 who are part of the agriculture advocacy and active citizenship work in Burkina Faso and Tanzania, as well as other countries in Africa. Secondary audiences include Oxfam management, other Oxfam teams engaging in this type of work, and Oxfam funders.

 

Click here for the full RFP for more information including key questions and deliverables.

 

Oxfam invites bids from individuals and groups of individuals with the experience and skills described above. Please send the following to Lisa Hilt at by 20 February 2018, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard