USAID/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance
Scope of Work for an Initial Environmental Examination on the Save the Children Mali Albarka program.
General Background and Context
Save the Children (SC) and its partners, TASSAGHT, ADICOM, G-Force, CMC, VIAMO and Sangare Partners launched the USAID/BHA Albarka Resilience Food Security Activity on October 1, 2020. The 5-year program seeks to “improve food security and resilience of communities in conflict-affected areas through strengthening local systems and community participation” in North and Central Mali. The program plans to leverage local structures (government and community) to reach over 210,000 participants (members of vulnerable and very vulnerable households) in the three regions of Tombouctou (cercles of Tombouctou and Gourma Rharous), Mopti (cercles of Koro and Duentza) and Gao (cercles of Gao and Ansongo), with packages of multi-sectoral interventions.
Mali’s Mopti, Gao and Tombouctou regions are located in the semi-arid Sahel and the arid Sahara Desert. The USAID Climate Risk Profile reported in October 2019 that Mali’s central region receives annual rainfall between 100-1,100mm; this drops to 50mm as one heads further north. Over three fourths of Mali’s population rely on subsistence rain-fed agriculture and pastoralism for food and income, both of which are acutely sensitive to climate stressors.  Projected changes in Mali’s climate include: reduced wet season rainfall in the Inner Niger Delta (IND); and more frequent and extreme drought and rainfall, with variable rainfall patterns that will continue to weaken ag/ pastoral livelihoods, water supply, sanitation, hygiene services, and infrastructure.
Albarka aims to develop an environmental safeguarding strategy that promotes strong environmental stewardship by Activity staff, participants, communities and stakeholders. Pursuant to the regulations set forth in 22 CFR 216, ADS 201, ADS 204 and applicable environmental compliance and management regulations of the Republic of Mali, Albarka seeks a consultant to develop a supplemental Initial Environmental Examination (S-IEE), inclusive of an Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plan (EMMP), Climate Risk Management Plan (CRM), and as required, a revised Institutional Arrangement Plan (IAP).
SC is therefore looking for a qualified firm or consultant conduct this consultancy and who meets the qualifications laid out in this SOW.
Objectives of the Consultancy
The primary objectives of this consultancy are to:
· Summarize the technical design;
· Describe baseline environmental conditions in Albarka’s implementation areas;
· Identify all reasonably foreseeable environmental impacts of Albarka’s interventions;
· Recommend threshold determinations for Albarka interventions and determine whether further analysis is required for specific interventions, including but not limited to Scoping Statements and Environmental Assessments;
· Develop a Safer Use Action Plan for activities;
· Develop an Environmental Status Report (ESR) (i.e. for the past 14 months);
· Develop an Integrated Waste Management Plan (IWMP)
· Recommend sound mitigation measures to prevent, reduce or compensate for environmental impacts; and,
· Build the capacity and support Albarka staff to successfully implement a sound environmental safeguarding strategy in compliance with all applicable programmatic, legal and regulatory frameworks.
The Consultant/Firm will be responsible for producing the following:
· Assessment Plan. The Assessment Plan should outline the process, methodology and timeline to complete this consultancy.
· Desk/Literature Review. The Literature Review should include a bibliography of resources, frameworks, legal and regulatory policies consulted during the desk review. The literature review should include all available, relevant Activity documentation, including formative research conducted during the Refinement Year, government (US and Mali), bilateral and 3rd party research on key climate and environmental issues impacting the target geographies.
· Supplemental IEE. The supplemental IEE, inclusive of the EMMP, CRM and IAP.
o IEE-S: Describe the technical design and intervention area and ascribe threshold determinations to Albarka technical interventions. The IEE-S must adhere to the requirements of 22 CFR 216 and the November 2019 RFA-Level IEE.
o EMMP: The EMMP should provide the guidance and resources such as checklists and templates to carry out the necessary environmental monitoring for the project. The monitoring plan should integrate environmental monitoring into Albarka’s overall MEAL system, tools and process. This includes recommendations on new environmental monitoring indicators for inclusion in the Activity’s Indicator Performance Tracking Table (IPTT).
o CRMP: this Climate Risks Mitigation Plan should provide effective guidance and resources for better climate risks identifications and mitigations, and tools for monitoring and implementation of the plan across Albarka activities in the target zones
o IAP: The IAP should make recommendations regarding any additional staff and/or analysis necessary to ensure environmental safeguards.
o ESR: Y1 implemented activities are reviewed according to the environmental status report guidance and check list for compliance over the past year of the life of the Activity. The consultant will finalize the ESR based on comments received from SC
· Water Quality Assurance Plan. The WQAP should articulate a clear path for water quality assurance, as well as establish a corrective plan of action if contamination or exceedances are identified. It should also identify and map government water quality labs. If unavailable in the implementation areas, the WQAP should include recommendations for engaging and building local official and/or private operator capacity for field monitoring of water quality.
· Environmental Compliance and Safeguarding Training Toolkit. Develop a PowerPoint ToT toolkit, highlighting key environmental and climate risks, corresponding mitigation
measures and sample visual guides, and train Albarka’s Environmental Officer and other relevant staff.
· SUAP: while Albarka Activity does not plan to provide pesticide to communities in any of its activities, it is anticipated that the Activity will promote the use of improved seeds, rain-fed and cash crop improved production, soil fertilization technics, yield, weeding, harvest, post-harvest management and storage of produces, breeding of small ruminants including livestock health and sanitation through community animal health workers, improved fodder production during trainings, sensitizations, etc. So it is essential to get recommendations and plan for a safer use in compliance with USAID’s 22 CFR 216 procedures.
Reports should be submitted in English and French.
Period of Performance
The anticipated period of performance for this activity is November– February 2022. A tentative timeline, to be finalized upon execution of a consulting agreement, is provided below.
Procurement and Contract signing – by the end of November 2021
Desk Review and discussion with Albarka field staff – last week of November 2021
Assessment Plan – First week of December 2021
Conduct Field Work – December through early January 2022
Presentation of Findings to Albarka Mali and US staff – by mid January 2022
1st Draft IEE-S (EMMP, CRM, SUAP and IAP), IWMP and WQAP – by mid January 2022
Draft 2 and Final Draft IEE-S (EMMP, CRM, SUAP and IAP), IWMP and WQAP – in February /March 2022
PowerPoint Training Toolkit with sample Visual Guides, and orient/build the capacity of the Albarka staff in charge of environmental compliance – in March 2022
The proposed consultant/s should demonstrate appropriate qualifications to conduct this consultancy, including:
· At least five years of experience in relevant fields such as Environmental sciences, systems analysis, integrated environmental management, USAID regulation 216.
· Experience conducting similar consultancies in the past. Specific experience in the Sahel is a plus.
· Knowledge of Mali’s environmental compliance requirements.
A firm or international consultant can propose to work jointly with a local firm or Malian consultant, who complement their expertise.
Roles and Responsibilities
Due to the security situation in Central and Northern Mali, only Malian consultants will be able to travel to the regions. Save the Children will be in charge of all logistical cost associated with the field work for this consultancy, including per diem, travel, vehicle rental etc. SC will also support with arranging logistics for any necessary travels.
Note: the details included in this version of the SOW are subject to change pending approval by BHA. The final version of the SOW will be shared with the consultants prior to finalizing the budget and contract.
How to apply:
Instructions for Applications
Interested applicants should provide the following pieces as part of their applications by November 9th. Please send applications to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
· CVs for the proposed consultants highlighting relevant experience and qualifications
· A narrative of 3 pages maximum presenting the proposed teams, relevant experience, proposed approach, key steps for the consultancy and a timeline.
· One example (report) of a past consultancy.
· Three references.
· A budget including the proposed number of days and daily rate for each proposed consultant and for the milestones below:
Milestone 1: inception/assessment plan and desk review
Milestone 2: Draft IEE, WAQP and SUAP
Milestone 3: Final versions of IEE, WAQP and SUAP
Milestone 4: Environmental Compliance and Safeguarding Training Toolkit and associated training
* Only complete applications will be considered.