Environmental Assessment Consultant
Terms of Reference
Veterinarians without Borders/Vétérinaires sans frontières (VWB/VSF) is seeking expressions of interest for a short-term environmental consultancy to complete a gendered environmental assessment and action plans for VWB/VSF and its implementing partners under a new project. Utilizing a One Health approach, this project aims to increase environmental sustainability and climate resiliency while improving the economic and social well being of small-holder farmers. The dates of this assignment will take place from November 30th to January 7, 2021.
II. Background and Context:
Veterinarians without Borders/ Vétérinaires sans frontières – Canada (VWB/VSF) is a charitable, humanitarian organization whose mission is to work for, and with, those in need to foster the health of animals, people, and the environments that sustain us. More information about the organization can be found at www.vetswithoutborders.ca.
VWB/VSF sends many Canadian volunteers over seas to work with partners to help create integrated animal health systems. The Canadian volunteers include professors of veterinary medicine, veterinarians, animal nutritionists, rural development specialists, food safety specialists, horticulturalists, community health workers, and gender specialists. While universities, community organizations—even government agricultural extension workers benefit from this initiative, the primary focus is on improving the lives of small-scale livestock producers.**
III. The Program
The Volunteers Engaged In Gender Responsive Technical Solutions (VETS) Project will directly improve the economic and social well-being of the poorest, most marginalized people, particularly women and girls, in six countries in Africa and Asia, through support to animal, human and environmental health (One Health) initiatives. The Project will use the skills of Canadian volunteers to support smallholder farmers, primarily women, to reduce poverty by improving family income and nutrition principally through improved production of livestock and crops. By working with local women’s organizations and associations, as well as local partners that work with and support the identified women’s groups, the Project will also help women assume greater leadership and control over their livelihoods. The Project is built around the One Health (OH) concept which recognizes that the health of people, animals and the natural environment are interconnected. It promotes the production of more and better food and increased incomes from livestock, all the while promoting land rehabilitation and conservation for sustainable development. Between 2020 and 2027, 190 Canadian volunteers will work with ten selected country partners in Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Laos, Senegal and Vietnam to help create integrated animal health systems that benefit small scale farmers.
Canadian volunteers will undertake a range of technical assistance activities, including delivering formal training workshops, providing informal mentoring, on-the-job accompaniment and skills modeling designed to reduce the prevalence of disease among livestock, and improve the capacity of partners to deal successfully with animal dieses and production issues. Knowledge-sharing activities will be supported by the project to allow partners to undertake research and come together to exchange good practice and support the development of innovative policy for gender equality and environmentally sustainable/climate-resilient solutions. Canadian volunteers will also help strengthen the organizational systems, practices and policies needed to sustain strong programming in animal health. Lastly, Canadian volunteers and local gender consultants will support partners and communities to identify the gender equality barriers facing small-scale farmers and design locally relevant action plans to overcome these gender barriers. During and after their missions, volunteers will communicate with other Canadians – primarily people with an interest in livestock and animal health – illustrating the value of the work through social media, public speaking, articles for various publications, and media interviews.
The purpose of this consultancy is to systematically assess the potential environmental impacts, country-specific challenges and opportunities of the VETS Program through a comprehensive Environmental Assessment that includes a review of both overseas and Canadian project components, in compliance with relevant laws and policies. These include, but are not limited to, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) 2012 , the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development’s Policy for Environmental Sustainability and VWB/VSF’s Environmental Policy.
The Environmental Assessment will provide VWB/VSF and its partners with a comprehensive and holistic understanding of the potential environmental effects (both positive and negative) of each project component and will direct strategies for the sustainable management of cumulative environmental effects and climate smart programming; include country-level environmental impact assessments; and identify recommended and agreed-upon alternatives, strategies and priorities for the continued management and implementation of the project at each country level. The final output will be the development of an Environmental Assessment for the Program, including country specific environmental action plans and a summary document to be included as part of the project implementation plan.
The Consultant will, in consultation with VWB/VSF, develop or adapt an existing framework in order to conduct the Environmental Assessment and Action Plan. The Consultant will be required to undertake an examination of each component of the project, guided by VWB/VSF HQ staff. Some questions that may be relevant include:
i. What is the current context in the geographic areas where the project will be implemented?
This involves identifying and evaluating existing environmental resources, relevant state and non-state institutions, current legislation, policies and projects. Key regional issues must be recognized, along with the maximum level of change that these components can tolerate. Context analysis may also require the identification of stressors and trends, such as human or natural drivers of change. This information and analysis will serve to act as the baseline of the project which can then be monitored throughout implementation.
ii. Do the objectives of the project meet the guidelines outlined under the VWB/VSF Environmental Policy and Canadian government policies such as the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 and the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development’s Policy for Environmental Sustainability? If not, provide recommendations on how objectives can be met.
The assessment must clearly demonstrate whether the proposed project level activities meets the requirements set out in the policies noted above, while also ensuring compliance with the environment policies and regulations of the country where the activity will be implemented.
iii. What are the positive and negative environmental issues associated with the project level activities and how significant are they?
Once the positive and negative impacts of the project activities have been identified, the level of risk for these environmental effects must be assessed, taking into consideration compliance with local and international standards, the institutional and/or environmental capacity to address these effects, the likelihood that they will occur and what cumulative effects may occur (if any), and the level of local or broader public concern regarding the project’s implementation.
iv. How can the positive effects be augmented and the negative effects diminished?
Once the relevant risks and benefits have been identified and assessed, it will be important to examine how these can then be addressed. Any recommendations for adjustments to the established programmatic approach must ensure that:
The objectives of the project are being met;
- They are aligned to relevant VWB/VFS and donor policies on environmental sustainability; and
- There are a minimal number of adverse environmental effects (both known and unknown).
v. How will the associated environmental impacts be measured and evaluated?
- The Consultant will also be required to provide guidance on monitoring, evaluation and learning tools to allow VWB/VFS and its implementing agencies to monitor the beneficial and adverse environmental impacts that will result once project implementation is underway.
Upon completion of the analysis, the Consultant will draft two documents, a full Environmental Assessment report (as per the table of contents outlined in section VI) and an 4-8 page summary report that summarizes the overall findings of the full analysis. Both documents will be submitted and presented to VWB/VSF for feedback. For each of the components of the program, the report must document the following:
- The processes and respective outcomes of all of the consultations that were undertaken to perform the Environmental Assessment;
- The recommended modifications and accompanying justifications, with acknowledgement of the relevant trade-offs;
- An analysis of the institutional capacity of VWB/VSF partners to implement the recommendations and how existing systems can be enhanced; and
- Measures to monitor and evaluate the environmental impacts
- Upon receipt and incorporation of feedback into the drafts, final products will be submitted to VWB/VSF.
VI. Timeline and Deliverables (timeline is somewhat flexible):
- Desk review of the VWB/VSF Environmental Policy, project materials and partner organizational structure and current procedures and materials (2 days)
- Development/finalization of framework for conducting Environmental Assessment (2 days)
- Undertake Environmental Assessment analysis for each of the program countries (8 days):
- Write-up of analysis and recommendations (2 days)
- Debriefing with VWB/VSF; presentation and review of draft findings (1 day)
- Submission of final report including incorporated feedback (1 day)
All reports are to be submitted in English. The above-mentioned deliverables should contain the following sections, to be agreed upon by VWB/VSF and the Consultant:
- Overview of Program/project
- Expectations of assignment
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Assessment Methodology
- Assessment Framework and Timeline
- Information Collection and Analysis
- Work Scheduling
Final Environment Report Structure (maximum 30 pages )
- Title Page
- Project goals and objectives (including relationship with other relevant projects)
- Environmental Assessment objectives
- Environmental Assessment methodology
- Environmental Assessment consultation process
- Baseline (by country)
- Strategic Environmental Analysis (by country)
i. Identification of the project’s potential significant and cumulative effects on the environment (positive and negative), including on issues such as biodiversity, population, human health, fauna, flora, soil, water, air, climactic factors, and the interrelationship between the above factors
ii. Measures envisaged to prevent, reduce, and as fully as possible, offset any significant adverse and cumulative environmental effects – and to enhance any potential environmental benefits – of implementing the project
iii. Identification of monitoring needs and management actions
- Linkages with gender equality
- Strategies and Recommendations
- Follow-up, Monitoring and Reporting Framework
Executive Summary (maximum four pages):
- Relevant aspects of current state of environment in region(s) where project will be implemented (including existing environmental problems, stressors, trends)
- Environmental characteristics of areas likely to be significantly affected by the project
- Environmental protection objectives established at international or national levels relevant to areas of environmental importance
Annexes to the final report
- Terms of Reference for the review
- List of individuals interviewed and of stakeholder groups and/or communities consulted
- List of supporting documentation reviewed
- Environmental Assessment instruments: questionnaire, interview guide(s), etc. as appropriate
- Specific monitoring data, as appropriate
- Short biography of the consultant
Final Summary Report Structure (maximum of 8 pages)
▪ To follow same structure as Final Environmental Assessment Report
On technical and contract-related matters, the Consultant will report to VWB/VSF program staff.
VIII. Qualifications & Proposal Process:
Applicants must demonstrate how they meet the following requirements:
The consultant(s) should be a senior professional with an advanced degree in a relevant field and a minimum of 7 years’ experience. The candidate(s) should bring to the position:
- Experience in developing and providing recommendations on Environmental Assessments for multi-sectoral international development projects, including education and health programming;
- Knowledge and experience of international best practices in Environmental Assessments;
- Knowledge and experience of GAC requirements for Environmental Assessments; and
- Outstanding written and interpersonal communications skills in English.
- Experience in / understanding of development context in West and East Africa and South East Asia would be an asset.
How to apply
Interested and qualified professionals should submit their applications including the following:
- Technical Proposal
- Resume (CV)
- References and List of previous works
The Documentation requested above shall be sent via e-mail to:
Deadline for Applications November 27, 2020
- Please DO NOT send original documents and/or heavy attachments
- Additional information will be required only in case of pre-selection and short-listing.
- Applications will be assessed until the date of the application deadline.
- Please indicate the earliest you can commence the assignment
- Please note that applications from individuals or teams are eligible for this assignment, providing that the number of days does not exceed the total detailed in section VI