West Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world due to its climatic, demographic, institutional, economic, environmental and livelihood context. The region is home to over 360 million people, 55% of whom live in rural areas and depend on natural resources for their socio-economic development. Agriculture accounts for 29% of the region's gross domestic product (GDP) and is the main livelihood for more than 60% of West Africans.
Climatic, agricultural and market risks make agricultural performance highly volatile, triggering more frequent and severe food crises.
The worsening of food insecurity is attributable to multiple factors that play an important role in reducing per capita food production.
In 2020, an estimated 16.7 million West Africans required immediate food assistance due to a non-typical combination of drought, poverty, high grain prices, environmental degradation, displacement, poor trade integration, and conflict.
The West African region is thus characterized by large-scale vulnerability linked to a very slow increase in the productivity of the food system leading to a reduction in per capita food availability.
Market imperfections (variation and volatility of commodity prices) are one of the factors that contribute to households' food and nutrition insecurity. Indeed, most intra-regional food trade is informal and hampered by numerous barriers to free movement. As a result, food markets are fragmented, making it difficult to adjust to the large variations in local food production that occur from year to year by efficiently distributing food from surplus to deficit areas of the region. Localized food shortages and price volatility are common, while producer prices remain low.
The COVID-19 pandemic is putting additional pressure on the food system, threatening to increase malnutrition and food insecurity among vulnerable populations. The pandemic has caused health and economic crises that reduce access to food - for example, by increasing unemployment and reducing purchasing power - particularly among the urban poor. Fragile countries are expected to experience a sharper decline in growth as COVID-19 exacerbates factors of fragility. The number of people living in poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase significantly, by up to 40 million people, which will have a negative impact on food security in the short and long term.
In addition to its quasi-permanent nature, vulnerability in West Africa is characterized by inequality between social groups. This demarcation is linked to the inability to acquire productive resources. Indeed, great inequalities persist between women and men in terms of access to resources that can improve their living conditions through agriculture - in particular access to land and equipment, credit, markets and advisory and support services.
In response to these findings, the region has made strong commitments to transform agriculture and strengthen the resilience of the food system. Thus, three mutually reinforcing areas of intervention have emerged as priorities for building food system resilience in West Africa:
(i) Support the productive base of the food system by investing in climate-smart agriculture at the farm and landscape level;
(ii) Promote an enabling environment for value chain development and intra-regional trade;
(iii) Strengthen regional capacity to manage agricultural risks.
To address these priorities, the region benefits from World Bank funding for the implementation of the West Africa Food System Resilience Programme (FSRP).
Brief presentation of the programme
Initiated as part of the implementation of the region's commitments, the development objective of the West African Food System Resilience Programme (FSRP) is to increase food insecurity preparedness and improve the resilience of food system actors, priority landscapes and value chains in the programme areas.
The first phase of the Programme covers four (4) countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Togo) and regional actions carried out by ECOWAS, CILSS and CORAF. The Programme is financed by the World Bank at a cost of about 570 million USD 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 of which 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 of which 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:
- To facilitate trade across major corridors and consolidate the food reserve system:
- To 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;
- To stimulate harmonization of regional agricultural trade policies on critical food system resilience issues;
- To 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);
- To 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:
- To improve the organization and financing of strategic regional value chains;
- To promote agricultural competitiveness and market infrastructure, through support to regional agricultural trade platforms;
- To strengthen multi-stakeholder coordination and promote an enabling environment for the private sector.
Component 4: This 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 CERC, as well as any other essential coordination and implementation provisions.
Component 5 (managed by ECOWAS): This component concerns the management of the Programme 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 Programme and careful monitoring of performance and impact.
For the overall coordination of the Programme, a Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) is planned to be set up, consisting of (i) a Regional Coordinator, (ii) an Expert in Monitoring and Evaluation, Capitalization and Knowledge Management, (iii) an Expert in Communication and Visibility, iv) a Coordination Assistant, v) an Environmental Safeguards Expert, vii) an Administration and Finance Assistant, and viii) a Procurement Assistant.
General conditions of the position
Location, duration and start of the mission
- The position will be based in Abuja, Nigeria, at the ECOWAS Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD);
- The duration of the mission is for the entire life of the Programme after a probationary period of six (6) months;
- The start of the mission is envisaged for October 1, 2022;
- 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 file consists of:
- A letter of interest, including the time frame for availability;
- A recent curriculum vitae 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 curriculum vitae.
Submission of applications
Applications will be received no later than 19 agust 2022 at 17h00 GMT, by hand delivery or by e-mail to the following addresses
Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF),
83, Rue de Pâture, Lomé, Togo (in a sealed envelope marked: "Application for the position of Consultant, Expert SE, West Africa Food System Resilience Programme (FSRP)"
Subject: "Consultant Application, Expert SE, West Africa Food System Resilience Programme (FSRP) "
The consultant will be selected using the qualification-based selection method as defined by the Rules for the Use of Consultants in World Bank-Financed Projects. An interview session may be held with a short list of short-listed candidates.
Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. The RAAF reserves the right not to proceed with this call for applications.
Consultant, Environmental Safeguards Expert
As part of this programme, environmental and social safeguards documents have been developed in accordance with the environmental and social standards (ESS) that apply to the planned activities. These include Environmental and Social Commitment Plans (ESCP), Environmental and Social Management Frameworks (ESMF), Stakeholder Engagement Plans (SEP), and Workforce Management Procedures (WMP).
Reporting to the Regional Coordinator and working in close collaboration with the ECOWAS Environment Directorate and the RAAF, CILSS and CORAF teams, the Environmental Safeguards Expert is responsible for ensuring the integration and management of environmental aspects in the planning and implementation of the FSRP. He/she will work in close collaboration with the Social Safeguards Expert based at CORAF.
In this capacity, he/she will be responsible for the following tasks:
- Ensure that regional, national and international legal provisions as well as the World Bank's operational policies on environmental safeguards are taken into account in the conduct of Programme activities;
- Coordinate, monitor and report on the implementation of the environmental safeguards recommended in the Programme's environmental safeguard documents in general, and in the PEES, in particular, as well as in the environmental impact studies;
- Contribute to the appropriation and dissemination of environmental protection documents, support and ensure the transfer of skills to the actors and structures involved in environmental monitoring;
- Ensure the implementation of environmental measures in the context of environmental planning, monitoring and follow-up;
- Ensure the establishment of various forms of collaboration and exchange with national institutions in charge of environmental assessments;
- Participate in the elaboration of the annual work plans and budget by defining the needs for studies, trainings and any other activity in the field of environmental protection and ensure their realization;
- Ensure compliance with the procedures for the systematic environmental screening of the Programme's activities (Environmental Screening) with a view to their environmental categorization and the identification of the required environmental safeguard instruments;
- Design the tools, initiate and coordinate the collection of monitoring data for environmental safeguards and their integration into the monitoring and evaluation software;
- Analyze environmental monitoring and surveillance data and propose measures to improve the collection, analysis and sharing of information;
- Supervise the drafting of periodic reports on environmental safeguard monitoring activities;
- Contribute to the establishment of the Programme's Complaint Management Mechanism (CMM) and ensure its functionality;
- Participate in the preparation of the tender documents by ensuring the integration, both in the tender documents and in the contracts, of the environmental clauses to be respected by the project manager;
- Ensure the implementation of all other tasks related to the position.
Qualifications, experience, skills
- Have a university degree (Baccalaureate+4 years) in environmental management, natural sciences (forestry, ecology, biology, botany, geography, etc.) or any other degree deemed equivalent; having a postgraduate degree would be a particular advantage;
- Have received additional training in environmental assessment.
- Have at least five (5) years of experience in environmental risk management of development projects, including two (2) years in the development, implementation and evaluation of Environmental and Social Management Frameworks, Environmental Impact Assessments, ESMPs, etc. in development projects;
- Experience as an environmental safeguard specialist in a World Bank funded project would be a major asset;
- Experience working with one of the ECOWAS institutions or agencies is would be a major asset.
- Good knowledge of the World Bank's Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and Environmental and Social Standards (ESS);
- Good knowledge of national, regional and international environmental management legislation;
- Very good command of office automation tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.);
- Be familiar with a multicultural work environment;
- Fluency in French and English.