Call for Expression of Interest (EOI) - DESIGNING AND IMPROVING CAPACITY ON ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SAFEGUARDS FOR RICE PRODUCTION
- Contract type: Consultancy
SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
SNV is a not-for-profit international development organisation driven by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Founded in the Netherlands in 1965, we have built a long-term country presence in over 24 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Our global team of local and international advisors works with local partners to equip communities, businesses, and organizations with the tools, knowledge, and connections they need to increase their incomes and gain access to markets and basic services - empowering them to break the cycle of poverty and guide their own development. Our work focuses on three sectors - Agriculture, Energy, and Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene (WASH).
SNV has been working in Viet Nam since 1995, and currently has over 30 national and international staff. SNV Viet Nam’s team works hand-in-hand with communities, government agencies, and businesses in more than 50 provinces, including the remotest and poorest areas of the country. We operate from a country head office in Hanoi and regional offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Dalat.
Increasing population growth, expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, combined with weather variations caused by climate change, threatens the progress attained thus far to achieve food security around the globe. Agricultural practices, for instance, emit over 50% of global non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which contribute to the warming of the planet. About 7% of agricultural non-carbon dioxide emissions are a result of rice farming and over 80% of GHG emissions from rice farming are produced in South and Southeast Asia.
To address these global issues, SNV in collaboration with appropriate government partners at central and provincial levels designed (now completed) and implement a pioneering project entitled “Transforming the Rice Value Chain for Climate Resilient and Sustainable Development of the Mekong Delta (TRVC)”. The TRVC project is planned for 5 years, from June 2023 to December 2027. The project will employ a “Pay-for-Results” prize mechanism that awards monetary prizes to participating private sector companies in Vietnam that successfully reduce on-farm GHG emissions (CO2e) among their partner small household farmers. The TRVC project is designed to identify novel approaches for reducing GHG emissions, increasing farmer profits in rice cultivation, improving efficiencies through stronger linkages in the rice value chain, and scaling the most effective approaches to thousands of SHFs. Given that the vast majority of emissions occur at the land preparation and cultivation stages of rice farming, the project focuses exclusively on the actors and emissions involved during these two stages of the value chain for rice production.
TRVC overall aims to bring about significant positive environmental and social outcomes by incentivising the scaling of low-carbon, sustainable and climate resilient rice production practices. In so doing the programme aims to deliver climate adaptation and mitigation benefits through the widespread adoption of AWD and other approaches/ technologies that reduce the use of agro-inputs and water in the production of rice. These more sustainable production practices also offer other environmental benefits such as reduced pollution of waterways and associated benefits for biological diversity. From a social perspective the programme has a very specific emphasis on ensuring that smallholders and local farming communities (including ethnic minority peoples) participate in and benefit from the rice value chain transformations. Thus, ultimately the programme’s interventions should serve to increase rice yields and net profits of rice farmers.
However, certain risks remain due to the nature of the activities (large scale rice production), and inherent risks with agribusinesses in the sector (e.g. related to labour and working conditions of employees and supply chain workers, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)/ Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), use of agro-chemicals etc). Moreover, the precautionary principle is applied e.g. as ethnic minority farmers will also be involved in the supply chains in the program’s target areas.
TRVC has prepared an Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF). It provides a set of procedures, actions and measures for the avoidance, management/minimisation, and mitigation in response to the identified risks. These include:
- Environmental and social due diligence checks to be performed on participating companies by SNV, including triangulation with local communities and other local stakeholders to eliminate companies with a bad record in terms of honouring contracts, treatment of employees and other cases of poor environmental and social performance.
- Exclusion Checklist (e.g. including use of banned/listed agro-chemicals).
- Screening and assessment of companies’ proposed competition approaches and technologies and existing ESMS, leading to the elaboration of a basic Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) for each competitor to be implemented by the competitor.
- Development of an Ethnic Minority Policy Framework (EMPF) for situations where ethnic minorities are affected by or involved in the program. This should be a simple document providing guidance on adequate free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) consultation with ethnic communities/households, engagement in the programme in a culturally appropriate manner, provision of recourse to a grievance redress mechanism and other measures that can be incorporated into ESAPs and associated monitoring.
- Pre-competitive capacity building on the IFC Performance Standards and basic safeguards requirements for companies participating in the prize competition e.g., regarding stakeholder engagement/ consultation with communities; fair contracts; PPE to be provided; Trainings to be provided (e.g. on OHS, IPM) and in what form, including women and ethnic minority farmers etc.
- Monitoring and reporting of ESAP implementation by companies and annual check by SNV. In reality, many companies will be required to implement certain standards for their certification standards.
SNV will perform checking and ensuring the implementation of the relevant safeguards by the companies regularly throughout the programme by checking reports submitted by companies and conducting spot checks. As competition manager, SNV will also establish and make programme stakeholders, including participating farmers, aware of a programme-based GRM for the receipt and address of complaints and grievances.
SNV therefore seek the Consultant to develop guidance and provide initial capacity building on IFC’s environmental and social safeguards requirements and standards for the competition to approximately 20 competing Enterprises and other relevant stakeholders e.g., local DARDs/Agricultural Extension Service Centres.
Expected outcomes from the capacity building will be that RVC companies participating in the prize competition are fully aware of the ESS requirements; be responsible for applying the requisite safeguards and standards and reporting on them. Utilisation of existing certification standards and associated reporting to be used wherever possible to avoid excessive monitoring and reporting.
- Master’s degree in environmental/social sciences, development studies or other relevant subject.
- At least 7 years’ experience with the preparation of ODA-funded projects and associated environmental and social safeguards requirements in the agriculture/ environment sector in Viet Nam.
- Demonstrable experience in the conduct of environmental and social assessments and preparation of ESMFs/ESMPs, applying benchmark international environmental and social safeguards policies and standards, e.g. those of the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, IFC.
- Familiarity with, knowledge of, and experience with the agriculture sector and especially rice sector is highly desirable.
- Native Vietnamese language speaker with proficient capability to write, present and communicate in English.
Expected Duration of Services
- The total Level of Effort is estimated at 5-10 days depending on candidate profile, experience, and expertise.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested organisations/ consultant teams/ individuals should submit the EOI with the following information/ documents via instruction in this site.
- Letter of Interest
- The applicant’s professional qualifications and CVs:
Documents proving the capacity of individuals and consultant teams in terms of practical experience undertaking and designing training contents, materials, and ESAP and report templates
- Self-Declaration form https://c.smartrecruiters.com/sr-company-attachments-prod-aws-dc5/58919688e4b0672cc03331a9/346e9882-fb94-48a7-9542-27798483953c?r=s3-eu-central-1 (for individual), or https://c.smartrecruiters.com/sr-company-attachments-prod-aws-dc5/58919688e4b0672cc03331a9/08676a70-6272-4b5d-85a6-25722c6e56dd?r=s3-eu-central-1 (for firm)
- Business registration certificate of the company (if any);
Deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest: December 1, 2023.
SNV will review all Expressions of Interest received in accordance with the guidelines and criteria in this solicitation. SNV reserves the right to exclude any EOIs that do not meet the guidelines. Please note that SNV is unable to provide detailed feedback to those EOIs that are not selected.
Step 1: SNV will shortlist selected EOIs, and unsuccessful respondents will be notified. Successful applicants will be contacted by SNV.
Step 2: SNV will release Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for the specific activities and contract with the selected organizations/ consultants.
Protection of Information
We request that Expressions of Interest responses be free of any intellectual property that the applicant wishes to protect. Should offerors wish to include proprietary intellectual property that they believe would be helpful for SNV, please note the proprietary nature of such information. Costing information will be kept confidential and will not be shared beyond SNV.
Issuance of this EOI does not constitute a commitment, award, or engagement on the part of SNV nor does it commit SNV to any future commitment or engagement.
Note: SNV reserves the right to change or cancel this requirement in the EOI/or solicitation process at any time.