Consultant (Vital Signs Kenya)

Nairobi, Kenya 🇰🇪


Terms of Reference





There is an urgent need for better data and risk management tools to guide decisions that sustain people, nature and agriculture. By 2050, Earth will be home to more than 9 billion people and by the century’s end that number will be nearly 11 billion people. To meet the food security and nutrition challenges of today— with nearly 1 billion chronically hungry people worldwide— and tomorrow, will require an estimated 70 -100% increase in food production. Millions of small-holder farmers will need to play an important role in meeting this need, particularly across Africa.

Unfortunately, agricultural activities are degrading ecosystems – and the benefits they provide for people – faster now than ever before. There is need to find new ways of growing food that can simultaneously deliver food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity. To achieve these farmers need better information to help them increase agricultural productivity while avoiding unintended consequences for soil quality, water availability, and other benefits from healthy ecosystems. Technology and information have been essential to the transformation of every imaginable sector of human endeavor. Yet today, in the face of some of the world’s most pressing development and environmental challenges, the right data and technology, applied at the right scales, has not been available.

Vital Signs Mission

Vital Signs (VS) is an integrated monitoring system for ecosystem services in agricultural

Landscapes. It aims to generate data on agriculture, ecosystem services and human wellbeing to enable farmers and managers to make better decisions in support of sustainable agricultural production. Across Africa and the world—our mission is to provide better data and risk management tools to optimize agricultural development decisions with the needs of the human beings they serve and the ecosystems upon which they depend. Vital Signs is currently implemented in Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda and is poised to expand operation in additional African countries. The programme is filling a critical unmet need for integrative measurements of agriculture, ecosystem services and human well-being. These measurements are made at all scales that are relevant to agricultural decision making—from a household to a farm, a landscape, and at the scale of a nation, a continent, and the globe.

Vital Signs is answering questions such as:

  • What is the value of nature for farmers?
  • Where agriculture should be intensified to maximize yields while sustaining ecosystems?
  • What interventions will increase resilience of crop yields and food security to climate variability?
  • Which ecosystems should we conserve to ensure that agricultural production can be sustained?


Vital Signs will begin operating in Kenya in 2016 in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Natural resources and the Kenya Bureau of Statistics. In order to design a monitoring programme that responds to the country needs, Vital Signs and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources are looking for a consultant to document current monitoring efforts in agriculture ,ecosystem services and human wellbeing, and establish the data gaps related to agricultural sustainability, ecosystem services and human wellbeing,


Following a stakeholder workshop that was held in August 2015, it was noted that Kenya has several institutions—both government and non-governmental—with programmes currently collecting data on agriculture, ecosystems and livelihoods. It is therefore necessary to assess and synthesize this information to determine what data is available and ready for use, what data gaps exist and propose which data gaps can be filled by Vital Signs Kenya.


The specific objectives of the consultancy are:

  • To assess existing monitoring data in Kenya in the context of agriculture, ecosystem services and human wellbeing.
  • Based on that assessment, make a determination of which data streams are ready for use in terms of accuracy, completeness, frequencies of collection and ease of access.
  • Solicit information from partners on planned future data collection and monitoring efforts.
  • Identify the key data constraints faced in the top existing monitoring efforts.
  • Identify data and policy gaps that exist based on the existing monitoring efforts and data available.
  • Provide input and direction on the most appropriate composition for a field team for Vital Signs Kenya, based on the data gaps.

This assessment will act as a foundation for engagement of a partner to implement the Vital Signs activities in Kenya.


The consultant will be expected to review all existing monitoring efforts in different and relevant government ministries and departments, as well as with any other relevant partners to establish the data gaps related to agricultural sustainability, ecosystem services and human wellbeing, for an effective monitoring system for adoption by Vital Signs Kenya. These will include, but are not limited to, the below institutions:-

Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries

National Drought Management Authority

Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD)

National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)

Kenya Forest Service (KFS)

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS)

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KARLO)

Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA)

National Museums of Kenya

National Drought Management Authority

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),

World Bank

World Food Programme (WFP)

System for Land based Emissions Estimation in Kenya (SLEEK)

Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD)

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET)



  • A Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Management; PhD preferred.
  • A minimum of five years professional experience specifically related to ecosystem, agriculture and livelihood systems data management.
  • Proven ability to research and prepare reports of similar nature as detailed in this ToR
  • Ability and proven experience to evaluate local, national or regional policies and data
  • Proven experience in liaising with both government and Non- governmental stakeholders
  • Excellent and demonstrable quantitative and qualitative research skills.
  • Proven track record of excellent analytical and reporting skills .
  • Excellent oral and written English


The following deliverables are expected from this assignment,

  1. An Inception Report : The consultancy will begin with the attendance of an inception meeting with representatives from Vital Signs and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. An inception report will be due one week after the commencement of the consultancy. This report will include the detailed implementation plan, a budget, and listing of key organizations to be assessed.
  2. A Draft Baseline Report : This report will detail interim findings on existing monitoring efforts being conducted by identified organizations, data and policy findings and gaps. This output will be due within two months after commencement of the consultancy.
  3. A Final Report : A final report achieving all the objectives of the consultancy will be due within two weeks before the end of the consultancy to allow for final review of the report and any further clarification needed from the Vital Signs management. The report will include all requirements specified in the final consulting agreement, including the team composition and the data needs.

The consultant will report to the Vital Signs Africa Field Director and a focal point person from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. All deliverables and report outcomes will be submitted directly to the Vital Signs Africa Field Director for acceptance. Day-to-day oversight will be provided by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Bi-weekly Skype updates and regular summary reports between the consultant and the Supervisors are expected to ensure that the assessment is on course.  



The consultancy fee will be paid out as detailed in the payment schedule in section 9.




The consultancy is expected to take a maximum of four months. The individualwill be hosted at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources for the duration of this consultancy.

The payment schedule is as indicated below:





% Price Paid


Inception Report

1 week


Baseline Assessment of existing monitoring efforts, data gaps

Draft Baseline Report

7 weeks


Final Assessment report

Draft Final report

7 weeks




Cover Notes

Applicants should include a cover note to their proposal listing all documents submitted.

If proposer is an organization, the cover note should clearly list the name of the organizational chief executive, and, if different, the name(s) of all parties with the ability to legally bind the organization and the name(s) of all parties whom Vital Signs should contact for clarifications and negotiations.  The cover note should also provide a complete mailing address, street address (if different), electronic mail address (es), and telephone and fax numbers.

Individual or Organisational Capabilities

Applicants should provide documentation that provides evidence of the ability to complete the objectives described in this RFP.  This should include, at a minimum:

  • If proposer is an organization, include basic organizational information, such as:  year organization established, total permanent staff, and organizational history and mission statement.
  • Relevant experience in conducting similar data assessments as described in this ToR.
  • Sample documents/reports of similar work conducted as described in this ToR.
  • Provide 2-3 client references with whom Vital Signs can communicate with directly.

Technical Approach (maximum 10 pages)

Applicants should demonstrate their understanding for the Vital Signs monitoring system—current protocols, data collected and indicators (please refer to ). Applicants must clearly describe how they will conduct this assessment of monitoring efforts and engage the assessed institutions and or ministries, while exhibiting a fundamental knowledge of relevant data and policy contexts in Kenya. The applicant should include a detailed work plan explaining how the above mentioned objectives will be met within specified timelines.

Workflow and Team Diagram

As appropriate, the applicant may provide work flow diagrams (e.g., Gantt charts), team structure diagrams, or any other visual element to better explain how technical activities will take place, when they will take place, and who will be responsible for leading them. The applicant should propose a recommended approach on how best to engage with Vital Signs staff and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources point persons.

Curricula Vitae of Key Personnel

This work effort will be taking place over a very tight time-frame and a primary basis of selection will be the expert personnel who are immediately available to begin work.  If proposer is an organization, applicants must identify, by name, the team leader and any other additional individuals who will work on this project. Sub-contractors (i.e., not full-time staff of the applicant) are permitted but all sub-contractors CV’s and/or relevant experience document must be submitted and approved by VS staff prior to their retention and work commencement.


Applicants must submit an activity-based budget, corresponding to the three Milestones (1) Inception, 2) Baseline Assessment, 3) Final Assessment), in a Microsoft Excel file. Worksheets should show line item unit costs, total units, and level of effort for each section of the Scope of Work during the contract term. Budgets must include budget notes and justification.


Vital Signs will make a best value determination of technical proposals in relation to proposed budgets.  The most cost-effective budgets will not necessarily be ranked the highest for evaluation purposes.


Please submit your detailed application documents – in PDF format – to: [email protected] by August 15th2016.

All communications and queries related to this RFP should be addressed to the same e-mail address.

Please include ‘KENYA CONSULTANT’ in the subject line for all applications and queries.