Solidaridad Network is an international solution-oriented civil society organization working through eight regional expertise centres to transform markets to make them more sustainable and inclusive. Our eight regional expertise centres include Asia, Eastern and Central Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, Southern Africa, South America, West Africa and our global Secretariat in the Netherlands. Solidaridad Eastern and Central Africa, one of the regional centres, is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya with country offices and programmes in Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. Solidaridad works in over 13 commodities, however for East Africa the common commodities include Tea, coffee, Sugarcane, aquaculture, Livestock, Dairy, Textiles, Cotton, leather, fruits and vegetables, Cocoa, Oil palm and Gold. We bring together players across key commodities and engage them with innovative solutions to improve production, ensuring the transition to a sustainable and inclusive economy that maximizes the benefit for all. We facilitate strengthening of local capacity in developing countries, support the creation of enabling environments for economies to thrive, and improve market access. Solidaridad uses the landscape approach to link commodity production ambitions with conservation and natural resource management.
The demand for increasing commodity production while conserving critical ecosystems has risen in the recent past. This is mainly because of the increasing global consumption that has resulted in unsustainable land-use practices, this practices are a major reason for continued water and land degradation across the region. More so, degrading ecosystems are forcing poor communities to engage in exploiting nearby resources in a bid to increase access to farmlands and other productive areas, which then impacts negatively on biodiversity. On the contrary, ecosystem degradation is increasingly creating concerns about the provisions of various services connected to supply chain productivity. More so, climate change impacts worsen the challenge posed by supply chains on ecosystems service provision and vice versa. This therefore, implies the complexity of the supply chains, land, water, and climate change nexus. To address these concerns, Solidaridad landscapes approach aims at gathering evidence to inform multiple stakeholders on the two-way relationships between ecosystems and supply chains. Such evidence aims at ascertaining the changing land use practices driven by supply chains and how they are impacting on ecosystem functions. While assessing the drivers of ecosystem degradation, climate change being among them, and how such degradation affects supply chain performance. This evidence is critical to informing supply chain and other actors in the ecosystem on the need for ecosystem protection and restoration while ensuring supply chains remain productive.
The Lake Victoria ecosystem represents an interconnected landscape made up of high productivity and conservation areas, all of which are challenged to different extents by rising population pressure and increasingly commodity productive supply chain actions. Degradation of the Lake Victoria basin is also becoming a big concern not only affecting productivity, the lake region ecosystem biodiversity. Land use practices within the Lake Victoria ecosystem threaten sustainability of these commodities. On the other hand, actions by commodity supply chain actors including producers do threaten and degrade the lake ecosystem, affecting biodiversity. In order to address the challenges in the region, Solidaridad would like to engage the services of a consultant. The consultant will facilitate the process of developing a shared understanding towards sustainability of supply chains actions that conserve, protect and restore the Lake Victoria ecosystem, while ensuring increased productivity across supply chains for sustainable livelihoods. This study aims to build a concrete case for using the landscape approach across supply chain actors and other multi-stakeholders within the Lake Victoria ecosystem.
The objective of this assignment is to assess threats to ecosystems and to supply chains posed by unsustainable supply chain actions, including poor land-use practices and develop sustainable solutions, in the form of business cases for improved ecosystem management by supply chain actors. Identified solutions will need to cascade along the whole commodity supply chain from production to processing. This should include options for action and potential investment priorities. The assignment covers the Lake Victoria basin ecosystem (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda).
Major outcomes of the assignment would be:
- The current status of commodities and livelihoods within the Lake Victoria basin profiled.
- Ecosystem and land use threats within the Lake Victoria ecosystem are identified.
- Using both productivity, conservation, changing climate, and balanced (hybrid) scenarios, identify opportunities (inform of business cases) for potential investment within the Lake Victoria ecosystem. Identified opportunities should aim at securing supply chains while protecting the ecosystem are developed.
- An institutional framework for scaling up the Lake Victoria solutions proposed, identifying key stakeholders to be engaged.
This analysis will need to meet the below criteria:
- Be able to develop a profile of significant drivers of land use change and degradation within the landscape.
- Relate the degradation actions to supply chain actions, focusing on key supply chains within the Lake Victoria ecosystem.
- Analyse key threats that identified supply chains pose to the Lake Victoria ecosystem.
- Profile key actors and identify/propose governance frameworks that exist/needed for negotiating resource use within the ecosystem.
- Work with stakeholders to develop scenarios on sustainable supply chains comparing business as usual, pessimistic and optimistic scenarios.
- Assess the policy implications of the identified scenarios.
- Use the best scenarios to develop sustainable supply chain landscape based solutions (business cases).
The consultant will be required to address these questions among others:
- What key commodities are of value in the Lake Victoria basin ecosystem (based on the Solidaridad main supply chains and any emerging incase)
- What is the contribution of identified commodity supply chain actions to land-use change and land, water degradation?
- What are the main issues related to human activity, development and conservation in the areas of interest?
- Are there cases of negative land use change/degradation and what are the main drivers of degradation?
- What are the impacts of commodity supply chain actions to biodiversity?
- How has climate change contributed to unsustainable actions across the landscape?
- What are the best scenarios needed also to ensure a shift towards climate smart land use systems, reduced risks and improved climate change mitigation potential?
- Which (economic) activities/production systems/ practices - both existing and potential - offer the best opportunities for supply chain development and conservation to ensure optimum land use?
- What business cases/sustainable solutions can be conceived to synergistically achieve conservation and supply chain development while ensuring resilience towards climate impacts?
- What is needed to cause a shift towards landscapes thinking among the identified supply chain actors?
- What is the policy implication of the proposed solutions?
- What is the stakeholder perception on identified issues.
6. Scope of work
Solidaridad expects the consultant to perform the following activities:
- Desk study.
- Expert interviews.
- Field missions.
- Validation workshop/meeting.
The consultant will be expected to set out a short methodological approach, which can be further developed during the inception phase. We are open to different methodological approaches and part of the proposal should focus on what approach (es) will be used and why, if possible give different research scenarios and cost implications. This assignment will take a regional focus with specific country information. While we will not prescribe the approach we would anticipate the following elements:
- Desk based research both from regional and country level perspective:
- Interviews with key institutions, implementing organisations, and funders / donors interested to invest in.
- Possibly site visits to specific mentioned areas to understand the context on the ground – the scope of any such visits would need to be discussed and agreed beforehand.
8. Duration The assignment is expected to be carried out for a period not more than 40 days. The final report will be submitted by 20th May 2020.
9. Required expertise and qualifications
To be eligible to apply for this role the consultant must have:
- Proven experience in undertaking such commodity based work work within similar linkages to ecosystems management.
- Strong analytical skills to identify current trends, gaps and opportunities within the landscape
- Proven experience working on similar assignments in similar landscapes.
- Knowledge of the Lake Victoria landscape (including actors and actions) would be an added advantage.
- Ability to communicate findings in an accessible way for technical and non-technical readers, including presentation of data in visually appealing ways & well-structured rigorous summaries of findings.
- A team with mixed professionals on commodities, conservation and investment proposition development is preferred.
- Flexible and adaptable approach to the assignment.