Consultancy Service for Baseline Assessment for 'Spice for Equality" Project



Baseline Assessment for “Spice for Equality” Project

Project title:  Spice for Equality
Location: Lao Cai province (Lao Cai city, Van Ban and Bac Ha districts)
Duration:  1st to 30th September 2016

1.    Background

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) is a non-profit, international development organisation founded 53 years ago, and now operating in 28 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Our global team of local and international advisors use their expertise in three sectors – Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – as well as the cross-cutting topics of gender, climate change and youth employment to contribute to solving some of the leading problems facing the world today. We work with local partners to equip communities, businesses and organisations with the tools, knowledge and connections they need to increase and gain access to basic services – empowering them to break the cycle of poverty and guide their own development.

SNV has been working in Vietnam since 1995, and currently has over 30 national and international staff. SNV Vietnam operates from a head office in Hanoi and projects in over 50 provinces in the country, including in the poorest and most remote areas.

The “Market development and competitiveness enhancement for cinnamon products to promote women's economic empowerment in Lao Cai province project” – or “Spice for Equality” for short - is 2 years project being implemented by The Netherlands Development Organization SNV in partnership with Agricultural Extension and Services Center of Lao Cai province (AESC). The project is part of the ‘Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism Program’ (GREAT) funded by an Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The project strong focus on gender transformation, which will address barriers to women’s participation cinnamon value-chains, and better support women’s genuine economic empowerment. It will link women producers and entrepreneurs with each other to increase opportunities for women’s collective action, and will strengthen links between women and other value-chain actors to create opportunities for women’s economic participation. In this way, “Spice for Equality” adds value to existing interventions with the targeted populations (in Bac Ha and Van Ban districts) by promoting a gendered value chain approach that is specifically designed to focus on improving the skills and enabling environment for ethnic minority women – one of the most economically marginalized groups in the country. By working to overcome these gender-based barriers to social and economic development, “Spice for Equality” will contribute to overall poverty reduction and the promotion of gender equality in Lao Cai province.

In order to address gender-based barriers to women’s full participation in Cinnamon value chain and better support women’s genuine economic empowerment SNV and AESC will work together with Son Ha Flavoring and VINASAMEX JSC. as a consortium partners in implementation of this project.

The overall goal of the “Spice for Equality” project is to improve the economic and social status for women in Lao Cai province through the development of high quality cinnamon market system with women’s participation associated with the value chain of spices exporters.

  • Outcome 1:   Increased income for 1,600 households  in Bac Ha and Van Ban District
  • Outcome 2:  1,600 women increased confidence, self-esteem and make changes in gender roles and norms;
  • Outcome 3: 48 women could successfully take the leadership in production groups.
  • Outcome 4: Created 300 new full time or full time equivalent jobs in Van Ban and Bac Ha District, 230 of which are women;
  • Outcome 5: Policies are improved to facilitate women-cooperated businesses and develop agriculture market system in cinnamon value chain in order to empower women economically women could successfully take the leadership in production groups.

The project will work with 1,600 members from 32 established producer groups[1] in Bac Ha and Van Ban districts to improve women’s participation in cinnamon value chain. The project will employ multiple approaches: i) Gender transformative changes and social inclusion; ii) Development of sustainable pro-poor value chains and iii) Promoting an enabling environment to make the changes at different levels: individual and household level, community level, and at the multi-stakeholder/value chain level.

In order to have baseline information for the project, SNV is looking for a qualified consultant to work with SNV to provide supports for baseline assessment in accordance with terms and requirements as detailed below.

2.    Consultancy description

2.1. Objectives

A baseline assessment will be completed at the start of the project, with local stakeholders, to measure the status of all indicators and to understand the starting point of key elements of the work against which later progress will be measured. This will enable project indicators at output and goal/outcome level to be measured and tracked. Several objectives are determined to see the results into below mentioned areas:

  • Income status of 1,600 targeted households, and contribution from Cinnamon production;
  • Women's capacity and decision making (in the project 1.600 targeted households);
  • Value chain of Cinnamon in province, focusing in Van Ban and Bac Ha districts;
  • Policies that supporting the value chain of Cinnamon and gender equality in Lao Cai.

2.2. Scope of work

Key activities responsible of consultant

  • Data collection: desk-based study and field trips. The formers allows for the consultant to establish initial knowledge base on the sector’s settings. The latter will be a short visit (3-4 days) to Lao Cai city and the two pilot districts to obtain brief information about the current status of the Cinnamon value chain in as well policy on Cinnamon. 
    Analysis and report writing: this will involve two-way communication of the consultant and SNV/relevant stakeholders to validate and share findings. The analysis of data is the full responsibility of the consultant, but will be a participatory process in which key stakeholders will be consulted.

*Note: SNV will be responsible for the below activities:

  • Conduct a survey of 130 households to collect information representing 1,600 targeted households, and entry information collected from interviews to data entry template.
  • Provide available documents and share with consultant information on current status of cinnamon production, processing and consumption in the area.

Field location

Lao Cai province and the districts of Bac Ha and Van Ban. Specific places to be visited will be defined and proposed by the consultant in due course.

2.3. Deliverables and outputs

A final report in Vietnamese is to be submitted, addressing all the assignment objectives as pointed out in the above.  The report template is suggested to be composed of the sections with structure as below:

  • Executive summary (1.5 pages)
  • Introductions/Backgrounds of the assignment (1 page)
  • Research methodology (1-1.5 pages)
  • Summary findings and result of data analysis (maximum 10 pages):
    • Income status of targeted households
    • Women's capacity and decision making in the project targeted populations
    • Value chain of Cinnamon in province
    • Policies that supporting the value chain of Cinnamon and gender equality in Lao Cai
  • Recommendations (2-3 pages)
  • Annexes

2.4. Methodology and Implementation Coordination

The consultant will form a research team with SNV’s project team. The consultant is responsible for finalizing survey tools[2], analyzing data and compiling the report; whereas SNV’s role are  (i) conducting households survey, (ii) providing available documents and information to consultant, (iii) supportive for logistics arrangement (i.e events at Lao Cai and districts). The division of main responsibilities and estimated consultant’s man-days are as follows:

Main responsibility




Estimated man-day

Desk study 

Collect and review relevant documents


Provide available documents

Research plan

Finalize research plan


Check and agreed with local partner on research plan

Development of questionnaires for households survey 

Review draft (developed by SNV) and finalize


Draft questionnaire and work with consultant for finalization

Develop interview guide for key informants and focus groups discussions

Develop interview guides

Review and approve

Household survey (130 households using questionnaires)



Conduct interviews with households

Key informants interviews, and forces group discussions

Conduct interviews and events at Lao Cai city and the two targeted district


Propose list of interviewees. Participate in events

Analysis of data and draft report

Fully responsible for the analysis of all data and drafting report


Data entry for household interview questionnaires

Team up with the consultant during the analysis process.

Presentation and Final Report

Present the results of the consultancy to clients and SNV by means of a PowerPoint presentation as well as a draft report

Prepare a final version of the consultancy report, integrating comments and feedback provided by clients and SNV


Attend the presentation of the results.

Provide feedback for the final results of the consultant.

Approve the final version of the consultancy report.

Total estimated man-day (days)



2.5. Timeline

From 01st to 30th September 2019.

2.6. Consultant qualifications

The consultant can be one person or a team of two. The consultant (or composition of team) should meet the following requirements:

  • Holding Master Degree in Social Science, Agriculture, Forestry or similar;
  • Having good understanding on gender equality and women empowerment;
  • Having experience in agricultural sub-sector analysis, and market studies is an asset;
  • Having experience in provincial policy studies is an asset.
  • Being fluent in research methodologies (qualitative and quantitative methods);
  • Being able to deliver the committed outputs on time;
  • Having excellent analytical skills and report writing skill;
  • Having experiences on spice and cinnamon sector is an advantage;

3. Remuneration

A lump-sum to cover fee and related travel, as appropriate, will be paid upon satisfactory completion of the assignment.

Remuneration will be subject to the qualification of the consultant and to agreement on services provided by the consultant in relation to the SNV’s financial regulation.

The contract will be in form of lump sum with the proposed total budget covering consultancy fee, VAT/PIT tax and travelling cost.

4. How to apply

Deadline for submission of proposals is 5 pm on 27th August 2019.

Interested consultants are requested to submit a short research plan (maximum 3 pages) for implementation of the assignment and CV (s) to the link: with the title: “Baseline for Spice for Equality Project”.


[1] These 32 groups have been established with total 1.600 farmers/women joined
[2] Drafted by SNV team

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Application Deadline: 
Tue, 2019-08-27