Background and rationale
The ECOWAS is home to more than 360 million inhabitants of whom about 55% live in rural areas. More than 30% of the population remains in extreme poverty (below the international poverty line of US$1.90 PPP per day) and around 60% of the poor derive their livelihoods in part or entirely from agriculture. The situation is further complicated by climate change’s impact on food production by exerting pressure on average yields and increasing production volatility. Its effects are projected to intensify drastically in the coming decades. The current decline in food security is primarily driven by complex interactions of climate change, population growth, an eroding natural resource base, the incidence of conflict impacting market functioning and even harvest in some countries.
The World Bank’s Food System Resilience Program (FSRP) is a large regional investment project (Investment Project Financing Operation) designed as a multi-phase programmatic approach (MPA) to increase preparedness against food insecurity and improve the resilience of food systems in participating countries. Within FSRP’s project components, risk financing activities are in sub-component C3.1 with the purpose of strengthening the capacity of the Regional Food Safety Reserve (RFSR) to respond to food crises with an innovative finance arrangement as a backstop to the reserve. The risk finance instrument will be the first of its kind as the RFSR responds to food insecurity induced by wider source of food crisis: climate events, conflict, health crisis (Ebola, Covid-19), sudden-onset price shock (e.g., 2008 food crisis). Additionally, several ex-ante and ex-post agriculture and food security risk management and risk finance initiatives exist in West Africa at country and regional levels. Thus, the need to strengthen coordination and collaboration to proactively manage risk and strengthen financial resilience to agri-food systems shocks.
ECOWAS Commission is seeking a food security specialist to join the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) for the risk financing component of FSRP. The food security specialist will work closely with the residential advisor of this project to integrate risk financing as one key element of ECOWAS food insecurity response mechanisms and strategies. He/she is responsible to get in-house food security data and analytics ready for the new risk program.
Brief presentation of the program
Initiated as part of the implementation of the region's commitments, the development objective of the West African Food System Resilience Program (FASRP) is to increase food insecurity preparedness and improve the resilience of food system actors, priority landscapes and value chains in the program areas.
The first phase of the Program covers four (4) countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Togo) and regional actions carried out by ECOWAS, CILSS and CORAF. The Program is financed by the World Bank at a cost of about 570 million dollars over a period of five (5) years. It is organized around the following five (5) components:
Component 1 (managed by CILSS): Digital Advisory Services for the Prevention and Management of Agricultural and Food Crises with the main objectives of (i) improving decision support systems with demand-driven information services to increase the effectiveness of agricultural and food crisis prevention and management, by integrating data and leveraging science, innovation, and advanced technologies; and (ii) strengthening regional capacity and institutional sustainability, as well as capacity to adapt to climate change.
Component 2 (managed by CORAF): Sustainability and adaptive capacity of the productive base of the Food System whose main objectives are: (i) to strengthen national and regional agricultural research systems; (ii) to strengthen the policy environment for landscape governance (inclusive multi-sectoral policies and regulations to avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation); and (iii) to create/strengthen landscape units under integrated management capable of sustainably achieving multiple objectives (food production, provision of ecosystem services, protection of biodiversity, and improvement of local livelihoods).
Component 3 (managed by ECOWAS): Regional Food Market Integration and Trade whose main objectives are: (i) to support the preparation and implementation of sound regional regulations and policies to facilitate trade in agricultural goods and inputs within and across national borders in West Africa through key corridors, (ii) to consolidate the food reserve system; and (iii) to support the development of strategic regional value chains, with the potential for tangible positive impacts on regional food security and nutrition.
Specifically, the activities to be carried out by the ECOWAS Department of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources are as follows
- Facilitate trade across major corridors and consolidate the food reserve system:
- Oversee the development and implementation of the ECOWAS Agricultural Trade and Market Scorecard (EATM-Scorecard);
- To strengthen and operationalize the ECOWAS West Africa Rice Observatory by improving its capacity for coordination, data collection and regular communication on rice value chain development;
- Stimulate harmonization of regional agricultural trade policies on critical food system resilience issues;
- Support ECOWAS multi-stakeholder policy dialogue and consultation. The FSRP will support ECOWAS' facilitation capacity to organize inclusive mechanisms for multi-stakeholder dialogue and consultation, negotiations related to the continental free trade area and the World Trade Organization (WTO);
- Improve the performance of regional food security reserves at all three levels (local, national and Regional Food Security Reserve - RFSR).
- Support for the development of strategic and regional value chains:
- Improving the organization and financing of strategic regional value chains;
- Promote agricultural competitiveness and market infrastructure, through support to regional agricultural trade platforms;
- Strengthen multi-stakeholder coordination and promote an enabling environment for the private sector.
Component 4 is the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC), which is a funding mechanism for eligible expenditures in the event of an emergency precipitated by a natural disaster. Activating this component allows for the rapid disbursement of funds to reduce infrastructure damage, ensure business continuity, and recover more quickly from a disaster. Following a major disaster, the affected participating country may request the World Bank to channel resources from other PRSF components to the CERC. As a condition of disbursement, an Emergency Response Manual (ERM) will be developed for each country, stipulating fiduciary, safeguard, monitoring, and reporting requirements related to the use of the CERC, as well as any other essential coordination and implementation provisions.
Component 5 (managed by ECOWAS): This component concerns the management of the Program which will delegate the technical work under components 1 and 2 to the relevant mandated organizations (mainly CILSS for component 1 and CORAF for component 2). Component 5 will ensure effective management of the Program and careful monitoring of performance and impact.
In order to effectively coordinate Component 3 of the program, ECOWAS plans to mobilize a consultant, an expert in regional integration and trade policy to strengthen the PRSP coordination team.
The consultant will be based in Abuja, Nigeria, in the Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) of the ECOWAS Commission.
The present terms of reference describe the conditions for the recruitment of this consultant within the framework of the FSRP.
The Food Security Crisis Specialist will report to the FSRP Regional Coordinator at the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF /ECOWAS) and work closely with the World Bank team.
Scope of Work
The Food Security Crisis Specialist will be responsible for the following activities:
- Enhance ECOWAS’ food security risk management framework that includes but is not limited to the following:
- Risk identification considering the multiple food security dimensions (availability, access, stability) and at minimal, analyze trends from the history of food security classification by ECOWAS member state and identify drivers.
- Quantification of food insecurity costs and impacts based on data infrastructure in country and at the regional level including but not limited to Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), Cadre Harmonisé, and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).
- Provide critical assessment/analysis of food insecurity conditions and propose methods/tools for setting specific triggering rules and thresholds that will strike the right balance to best meet the objectives and key performance requirements of the RFSR and its backstop arrangement including preparing strategies to address uncovered/under-covered food security risks if critical.
- Provide technical guidance to risk indicators and M&E system and potentially propose new features as necessary.
- Conduct diagnostics on food security risks data and analytics at ECOWAS, the key drivers of the severity of food insecurity to inform the design of tools/solutions for improvement
- Analyze existing food security response mechanisms in countries and in the region to propose a food security risk layering approach considering the different instruments and institutional arrangement.
- Help in developing food security contingency plan considering the RFSR risk finance backstop complementary with others response instruments.
- Build partnership with R&D institutions, academics/universities in the region and beyond to perform research and analyze on a wide variety of risk topics and issues related to food insecurity including the development and use of indices for food insecurity
- Provide timely food security risk analysis and monitoring. Help fill the data/analytical gaps in the current internal system in collaboration with actuary and risk finance specialist.
- Contribute to internal and external advocacy as well as knowledge building on financial instruments to address food security within the ECOWAS, including through the preparation of presentations and briefs as well as inputs to operational products/outputs.
- Consult ECOWAS states members, civil society, development partners and other operational agencies in West Africa on their different priorities on food resilience against different shocks and disasters to better articulate FSRP risk component with existing mechanisms and to actively seek opportunities to work jointly with them
- Make a significant contribution to designing and drafting the handbook for the implementation of risk finance instrument and mainstreaming of risk finance into ECOWAS food insecurity response mechanisms and strategies including food security risk management framework.
- Support the team in providing technical workshops and other upskilling initiatives to operationalize the new risk program.
- Stay abreast of key recent developments, debates, and innovations related to managing food security-related crisis and ensure ECOWAS’ work is informed by such developments.
- Minimum graduate degree in agriculture, agro-economy, risk management, development economics or another relevant technical field
- At least seven years of experience in food security risk analysis, monitoring and contingency planning
- Experience in food security risk data analytics, triggering mechanism and indices
- Demonstrated exceptional knowledge and analytical prowess of the Africa region’s food security-related issues with past projects in Western Africa highly desirable
- Experience working with key humanitarian and development food security partners – including bilateral donors, UN agencies (FAO, OCHA, WFP, UNICEF), the NGO/CSO community – and/or data analytics systems, e.g. FEWS NET, IPC, FSNAU
- Excellent understanding of disaster risk financing, disaster response and risk profiling preferred
- Self-starter, results-oriented and proven ability to work in a team
- Fluent in English and French
General conditions for the position
Eligibility and qualifications
The ECOWAS Commission, through the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF) hereby invites natural persons to express their interest in providing the required services by providing information demonstrating that they possess the required qualifications and relevant experience to carry out the mission. Qualification and experience criteria better described in the terms of reference.
The attention of interested consultants is drawn to Section III, paragraphs, 3.14, 3.16 and 3.17 of the World Bank's "Procurement Regulations for IPF Borrowers", July 2016 ("Government Procurement Regulations"), which sets out the World Bank's conflict of interest policy.
Location, duration and start of the mission
- The Expert will be based in Lomé, Togo, at the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (ARAA);
- The duration of the assignment is for the life of the Project after a six-month probationary period; A consultant contract will be signed for renewable 12-month periods over the life of the Project subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory performance and the needs of the Project;
- The start of the mission is envisaged for the second quarter of 2023;
- The position is full time;
- The Consultant is expected to refrain from any situation that could place him/her in a conflict of interest in the context of the assignment.
The application files consist of :
- A signed letter of interest, including the time frame for availability;
- A recent signed resume detailing professional experience and similar assignments;
- Three professional references (first and last name, current and past positions, email and phone contacts);
- Certified copy of highest degree;
- Copies of work or service certificates listed in the resume.
A consultant will be selected according to the individual consultant selection method described in the "Procurement Regulations." of the World Bank. An interview to assess knowledge, skills and abilities may be arranged with the best candidates. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. RAAF reserves the right to cancel this selection process at any point of time.
Request for further information
Interested consultants can obtain further information by writing to the following e-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "SCI014- FSRP- Food Security Crisis Specialist for Risk Finance Component "
- Deadline for receipt of applications: May 5th, 2023, 5 :00 PM GMT
- Submission links: Entries will be submitted by download to Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/request/2OyzQLFgY1LVnN1h9n9Y
- Application format: The application must be in the form of a PDF file.
RAAF reserves the right not to consider applications that do not meet the above submission requirements.