Mid-term Review

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Mid-term Review
Soc Trang Herd and Crop Quality Improvement Project
Terms of Reference
A) Background
The Agricultural sector in Vietnam is undergoing major structural changes. Production and
trade of high-value commodities such as fruit, rice, vegetables and meat have grown over the
last decade at a rate of approximately 4 to 6 %. This growth has largely been driven by
domestic demand and influenced by the export/international market circumstances and
opportunities. Vietnam is attempting to gain access to international markets, by improving on
its ability to complete, while focusing on its ability to manage food safety and quality issues.
The Soc Trang Herd and Crop Quality Improvement Project was approved in July 2003 as
part of the first set of projects approved under the CIDA policy statement, Promoting
Sustainable Rural Development through Agriculture. The Herd and Crop project expands
upon CIDA`s experience in implementing a five year Vietnam Rural Poverty Reduction
Program and is based on a proposal submitted to CIDA by Soc Trang`s Department of
Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD). DARD requested supports for the Soc Trang
Breeding Centre and the local Laboratory-which are responsible for: testing, verifying and
certifying the quality of seeds and agriculture products; the development of high quality crops
such as fragrant rice varieties, and limiting the use of pesticides.
The implementation approach, places the Provincial Government in the lead in the execution
of the Herd and Crop Project, and is based on decentralized planning and decision -making
processes, which are expected to strengthen local agencies engaged in the project. The project
continues to follow and use Vietnamese authority delegations and financial administration
procedures in its implementation. Overall strategic direction is provided through a Joint
Steering Committee co-chaired by CIDA and the Province of Soc Trang. A project
Management Unit (PMU) located in the provincial government/DARD conducts day to day
operations; its work is supported by a locally contracted financial management service that
ensures that financial management and reporting on the project -meets CIDA standards and
B) CIDA Project Description
The Soc Trang Herd and Crop project is expected to enhance agriculture productivity and
income by diversifying and intensifying agricultural systems, reducing post-harvest losses and
improving food safety. It was initially designed as a pilot for the Food and Agriculture
Products Quality Development and Control Project, which is food system wide projectnational in scope.
The goal of the Soc Trang Herd and Crop project is to improve rural livelihood through
support for agriculture and rural development. At the impact level, the project is expected to
help improve national capacity to meet international standards for food quality, develop
domestic markets and gain access to international markets.
The expected outcomes of the project as stated in the LFA and Project Approval Document
(i) Breeds and varieties of animal and crop products improved in terms of quality, value, and
environmental sustain ability.
(ii) Quality standards and processes established and adopted.
(iii) Profitability and returns from production increased.
The Project Implementation Plan (PIP) defines the development objectives of the project as:
(i) Improving the quality and safety of food and foodstuffs, to increase incomes from
agricultural production in Soc Trang, and to improve the competitiveness of farm products.
(ii) Improving quality and price of crop varieties, farm animal breeds and agricultural
(iii) Establish and operate the performance recording systems for pig and dairy cow.
(iv) Establish and apply the quality standards and processes.
(v) Increase profits and incomes from the production.
(vi) Promote co-operation among farming households through the development of clubs, cooperatives, and animal husbandry associations.
As elaborated in the PIP achievements of the project results is based on effective undertaking
in two groupings of work (components):
(i) Crops Development and Quality Improvement; and
(ii) Animal Husbandry Development.
The primary clients for the Mid-Term Review (MTR) are CIDA and the Provincial People's
Committee (PPC) of Soc Trang. The PPC will also participate in the MTR process along with
other key participants at the provincial and commune levels.
C) The main objectives of the Mid Term Review include:
To assess project implementation progress and the degree to which the Herd and
Crop Project is achieving intended results, and is on track to meet project
objectives on time and within budget, including project implementation progress of
the two main components (Crop and Animal)
To review and assess the effectiveness of project implementation to date,
including project Governance (management and administration), the role and input
of project partners, the overall management of project operations by the PMU, the
provision of technical assistance and other capacity building support, integration of
gender equality, etc.
To identify operational and management lessons learned for CIDA, the
Province and the PMU- including recommendations for project adjustments aimed
at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of project implementation.
To review and assess the contribution from the Soc Trang Herd and Crop Quality
Improvement project to the Social, Economic and Agriculture/Food Development
Priorities of the Province of Soc Trang,
To review and make recommendations to CIDA and the Province, concerning the
sustain ability of results achieved by the project.
To assess continued relevance of project design and planned results, including
inter alia consistency with local partners and country needs and the priorities and
the efforts of other donors/organizations involved in addressing the same
To review and assess the efficiency of the funding modality currently used to
transfer Aid funds (CIDA) to the Province, relative to other forms/modalities of
funds transfer.
D. Scope and Focus of the Mid Term Review
The MTR will focus on reviewing project progress to date in the field, involving the
participation of key project partners and stakeholders-with a view to informing
improvements in project implementation; and documenting lessons learned for use by
CIDA and the Province.
The MTR is envisaged to take place over a period of 2 months October-November, 2008.
A Vietnamese team of consultants or a firm, to be selected jointly by CIDA and Province
(PPC), will carry out the MTR. This is expected to include a MTR Team Leader and an
Agricultural Specialist.
In order to address the purpose of the MTR as outlined above, it is expected that the MTR
firm/consultants will address the following questions and areas:
 Project Implementation Progress:
To what extent is the HCQIP on track towards achieving intended results at both the
output and outcome levels as stated in the Logical Framework of Analysis (LFA),
and in terms of Development Objectives as stated in the PIP, within the current
time frame and budget of the project?
Review and assess project progress to date against the expected results as stated in
the LFA with reference to the PIP, subsequent Annual Work Plan and Progress
Reports. Identify any gaps at the output and outcome levels results as well as any
unanticipated results and occurrences.
The evolution of the context, which has had tangible impact on project progress to
date, must be factored into the review of progress. E.g., did fluctuating commodity
prices, demand changes and movements, pest’s infestations, input prices and
availability, producer's behaviour etc? Affect and impact on the project at the
output and outcome levels?
 Effectiveness of Project Operations:
To what extent is the project effectively planning, delivering and monitoring support
to key project areas as identified in the PIP.
To what extend is the project contributing to institutional capacity de development
at the Provincial level?
To what extent is the province exercising due diligence and probity in the use and
management of project funds?
How well is the local accounting firm (contracted to provide financial management
services) performing its role and supporting project management?
Review and assess the effectiveness of the overall project operations, including
project governance, the role and functioning of the Project Management Unit
located within the provincial government, and level of co-ordination with local,
provincial, regional and national institutions and other relevant CIDA initiatives.
To review and assess the efficiency of the funding modality currently used to
transfer Aid funds (CIDA) to the Province, relative to other forms/modalities of
funds transfer
Identify any gaps as well as unanticipated results and identify reasons for these.
 Operational and Management Lessons:
Taking into consideration the analysis and assessment of project implementation
progress and operations to date, what are the key lessons learned for the Province
and CIDA?
Make recommendations to improve the project operations and management.
Sustain ability of Results:
Assess the results being achieved by the project from a sustain ability perspective
and identify areas in which sustain ability is at risk and or could be strengthened.
Make recommendations for action by CIDA and the Province to maximize the
sustainability of project results.
E. Methodology
The Mid-Term Review will be carried out in conformity with the principles, standards,
and practices set out in the CIDA’s Evaluation Guide. The MTR team will undertake
the following activities and tasks:
Review of the project related documentation;
Development of a detailed work plan for MTR including the gathering and analysis
of data;
Data collection including field visits, meetings and interviews with stakeholders,
including a 6 day field visit to the Province which should conclude with
presentation of preliminary findings to provincial partners;
An initial MTR debriefing- with CIDA in Hanoi at the conclusion of the provincial
field visit, to present and discuss preliminary mission findings, observations and
proposed recommendations (ideally, we expect the debriefing will be happened in
Soc Trang on Nov 20th late afternoon when CIDA team mission is present there);
Submission of draft report to CIDA and the Province;
Revision of draft report in consideration of comments from CIDA and the Province
Submission of final report to CIDA and the PPC.
F. Accountabilities and Responsibilities
The MTR Team Leader will report to CIDA`s field officer and Vietnam-Canada PSU
Director and will be responsible for:
Conducting and co-ordinating the mid-term review;
Day to day management of operations;
Regular progress reporting to CIDA`s field office;
Production of all deliverables in accordance with contractual requirements.
The MTR Agricultural Specialist:
He/she is responsible for assisting the Team Leader in all required tasks indicated
above and in providing specialist/technical inputs and comments.
G. Schedule of Deliverables
The MTR Leader will submit the following deliverables to CIDA through the
Canadian Embassy in Hanoi:
A detailed work plan and budget for the Mid Term Review, including a draft outline
of the MTR Report to be submitted to CIDA and the Province for approval with-in
2 weeks of signature of Consultant’s contract and prior to beginning the review;
A draft Mid Term Review report in English and Vietnamese to be submitted to
CIDA/the Province for comments within 10 days of completion of field visits;
A final Mid-Term Review Report in English and Vietnamese with an Executive
Summary of 2-3 pages to be submitted to CIDA/the Province for approval within 2
weeks of receiving consolidated comments from CIDA on the draft MTR Report.
H. Consultant/team qualification and experience
The Mid-Term Review team will consist of an MTR Team Leader and an Agricultural
Specialist with the following qualifications and experience:
The MTR Team Leader:
Professional qualifications and demonstrated experience at senior levels in public
administration in Vietnam.
Demonstrable experience in performance review including operational review;
Good knowledge of institutional development and policy development practices;
strong analytical skills;
Excellent spoken and written skills in English and
Excellent communication skills to work the Province.
Experience and Knowledge of the Agricultural sector in Vietnam.
He/she is responsible for the overall management of the above stated deliverables and
tasks including liaising with CIDA, writing the report and delivering the debriefing.
The Agriculture Specialist:
Strong Professional/Academic qualifications and demonstrated experience in the
Agriculture Sector in Vietnam, including expertise in crop production and product
quality1 and animal husbandry2;
Good knowledge of and insights of Agriculture in Vietnam within the context of
relevant government policies, guidelines and programs;
Good research and assessment skills;
Strong analytical skills;
Excellent spoken and written skills in English and Vietnamese;
Excellent communication skills.
He/she is responsible for assisting the MTR Team Leader in all required tasks,
particularly in providing specialist/technical inputs and comments.
I. Tasks and Estimated Level of Effort of MTR Team Leader
Review of project documentation3
Meeting with CIDA officers at the post
responsible for the project.
Developing detailed work plan and budget
Field visits to relevant project areas in the
province Key informants interviews4
A debriefing workshop in the Province
A debrief for CIDA in the field
Write report (draft)
Write Final Report
Proposed dates
3.5 days
1 day
during the week of
Nov 3rd-9th 2008
2 days
5 days
15th-20th Nov. 2008
1 day
1/2 day
Nov. 20th, 2008 (late
7 days
The first week of
10 days
Final report to be
submitted on Dec
18th 2008
30 days
Tasks and Estimated Level of Effort for Agricultural Specialist
Proposed dates
To include supervision of seed and seedling quality; management of pesticide usage during production;
storage and handling; processing and packaging; quality grading and quality based pricing.
To include animal husbandry production and product quality; improving animal herds (breeding,
performance recording); carcass grading (carcass yield, quality -based pricing); products quality grading;
sanitary and veterinary control.
Including Logical Framework of Analysis (LFA), MOU, Contribution Agreement, Project
Implementation Plan (PIP) Progress Report (semi-annual and annual), and PSC minutes.
Including (Present and Past) Vice-Chairman of Soc Trang Provincial Peoples Committee; Department
of Planning and Investment; Department of Science and Technology; Department of Health; Technical Coordinators of the Crops development, Husbandry development, Performance of the recording system and others
as deemed necessary by CIDA officer at the post and the Province.
Documentation Review (see footnote 3)
Meeting with CIDA officers at the post
responsible for the project
Developing detailed work plan and budget
Field visits to relevant project areas in the
province Key informants interviews (see foot
note 4)
A debriefing workshop in the Province
A debrief for CIDA Post
3.5 days
1 day
Write report (draft)
Prepare final report
27 days
during the week of
Nov 3rd-9th 2008
2 days
5 days
15th-20th Nov. 2008
1 day
1/2 day
Nov. 20th, 2008 (late
The first week of
Final report to be
submitted on Dec
18th 2008
Interested candidates should be sending a one- or two-page preliminary proposal on
methodology and work-plan along with CVs of the team members by 17:00 Wednesday, 29th
October 2008 to:
Mr. Randall Sach
Vietnam-Canada Program Support Unit (PSU)
12th Floor, Hanoi Towers
49 - Hai Ba Trung Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam
Or via email to: info@vietnampsu.org
Proposals submitted later than above mentioned deadline will not be considered.