1.0    About AATF (www.aatf-africa.org)

AATF provides farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with practical technology solutions to overcome farm productivity constraints and improve livelihoods.

Founded in 2003, AATF is driven by the vision of a prosperous, resilient, food and nutrition-secure Africa, where the livelihoods of smallholder farmers are transformed through agricultural innovations. Active in 24 countries in East, Southern and West Africa, AATF is one of the continent’s foremost technology transfer organizations trusted by both private and public sector institutions over the past two decades. AATF’s work goes beyond product development to include commercialization and scaling of demand-driven technologies for sustainable development.

AATF works with a broad range of actors across the technology transfer value chain to nurture and strengthen Africa’s evolving enabling environment for agriculture technology. It takes strategic action towards better policy and regulatory systems through advocacy including convenings and dialogues to catalyze functional markets, seed systems and enabling environments for technology testing, delivery, and adoption.

2.0 Communications Context

AATF is implementing a new strategy (2023 – 2027), themed Scaling for Impact, that focuses on commercialization and scaling, ensuring the organization attains the desired impact by delivering products and innovations to farmers. To align communications work with the organizational strategy and strengthen our value proposition there is a need to review and update the current Communication Strategy that was developed in 2018.

3.0 Objectives of the assignment

The objective of this assignment is to develop a comprehensive and integrated communication and outreach strategy that will profile and position the AATF brand as a premier organization spearheading agricultural technology development, deployment, & commercialization in Africa.

The  consultant (agency or an individual) will work with the Communications and Partnerships Unit (CPU) to develop a communication and outreach strategy and workplan 2024-2027 that is aligned with the AATF Strategy, Scaling for Impact, that focuses on commercialization and scaling, to drive the desired impact through the delivery of products and innovations to farmers. The communication strategy will therefore be aligned with the three institutional strategic objectives supported by the cross-cutting priorities (CCPs) and the strategic key enablers that support delivery of AATF overall mission.  

4.0 Scope of Work

Working closely with the Senior Manager, Communications and Partnerships and assigned technical experts, the consultant will research the AATF communication needs and recommend the best strategic and implementation approaches. 

The consultant will be expected to review the current communication strategy and the communications approaches and processes to inform strategy development. To this end, the consultant is expected to:

  • Assess the current corporate and advocacy communications approaches, identify gaps and challenges for both internal & external stakeholders and advise on strategies to achieve the desired goals considering new and emerging trends.
  • Map out AATF key audiences and best possible engagement mechanisms for each target group.
  • Identify information gaps and misperceptions that can negatively impact the organization and communication goals.
  • Develop key messages for various audiences.
  • Organize and facilitate message development guidelines and usage workshop.
  • Develop a communications and outreach strategy 2024 – 2027 with an implementation matrix that will facilitate institutionalization of communications activities and achieve the desired goals including enhanced brand awareness, visibility and share of voice, enhanced staff and stakeholder relations/engagement and improved thought leadership and knowledge sharing.
  • Develop a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation log frame/plan.

5.0    Deliverables

  • An inception report demonstrating methodology, understanding of the assignment and implementation schedule.
  • A communications gap analysis report
  • Key audience map with best engagement strategies and platforms.
  • Key messages for various audiences with clear dissemination platforms and plans and message development guidelines.
  • Workshop on messaging
  • A communications and outreach strategy 2024 – 2027 with an implementation matrix
  • Well- designed strategy PowerPoint for presentation to Management and Board
  • Capacity needs assessment report
  • A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation log frame/plan
  • Submission of final report

6.0 Duration

The assignment is expected to take 30 working days with effect from 1st May 2024 and must be completed no later than 30th June 2024.

7.0   Key competencies/technical background and experience required

  • Master’s degree in communication studies, Public Relations, or equivalent academic credentials
  • Demonstrated understanding and experience of over five years in developing communication/marketing policies, strategies, workplans and programs.
  • Organized and able to present ideas in a concise and logical format.
  • Participatory approaches in conducting assessments.
  • A good understanding of the agricultural development landscape in Africa and related development issues will be an added advantage. 

8.0  Application Criteria and timeline:

  • Interested candidates should submit their application on or before 12th April 2024
  • Applications should be submitted to AATF Procurement Officer at procurement@aatf-africa.org with the subject line “Development of Communications Strategy.”

9.0 Application and Submission Requirements

The consultant is expected to present a brief but concise Technical and Financial proposal detailing-

  1. The understanding of the consultancy objectives and tasks.
  2. Suggested process of carrying out the assignment, including any tools to be deployed.
  3. Anticipated cost of the consultancy inclusive of applicable taxes

Any other information to support the proposal. The following information should be submitted together with the proposal:

  • Consultant’s profile including CV or CVs of key persons proposed for the assignment.
  • List of past and present clients for which the consultant has already conducted similar assignments.
  • Recommendation letters from past clients will be an added advantage.

Links to three samples of previously developed communications strategies related to scope of the assignment.

10.0   Evaluation and Award of the Consultancy

AATF shall evaluate the proposals and award the assignment based on technical and financial feasibility. AATF reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal received without giving reasons and is not bound to accept the lowest or the highest bidder.

11.0 Terms and conditions of the Proposal

AATF reserves the right to request new or additional information regarding each service provider and any individual or other persons associated with its project proposal.

AATF reserves the right not to make any appointment from the proposals submitted. Service providers shall not make available or disclose details pertaining to their Project proposal with anyone not specifically involved, unless authorized to do so by AATF. Service providers shall not issue any press release or other public announcement pertaining to details of their project proposal without the prior written approval. AATF Service providers are required to declare any conflict of interest they may have in the transaction for which the tender is submitted or any potential conflict of interest. AATF reserves the right not to consider further any proposal where such a conflict of interest exists or where such potential conflict of interest may arise.

12.0 Confidentiality Statement

All data and information received from AATF for the purpose of this assignment are to be treated confidential and are only to be used in connection with the execution of these Terms of Reference. All intellectual property rights arising from the execution of these Terms of Reference are assigned to AATF.