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

AATF is a not-for-profit organization that is empowering smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa with a wide choice of agricultural innovations that contribute to food and nutrition security to generate health and wealth for their families and communities. Established in 2003 as an African-led entity, AATF works with public and private partners across the full food value chain to access, develop, deliver, and commercialize innovative technologies that bring meaningful change to Africa’s agriculture.

AATF is driven by a vision of a prosperous and food secure Africa, one where millions of smallholder farmers can transform African agriculture with the same innovations that are transforming food production around the world. AATF believes the farmers in Africa will become globally competitive through use of the best technology, optimal agricultural practices, strategic product value addition and boosted access to efficient markets within and outside Africa.

2.0 Background

In 2023, AATF celebrated 20 years of active service to African farmers. In the same year, AATF unveiled its next 5-year institutional strategy, titled “Scaling for Impact” for the years 2023-2027 with the aim of “Transforming farmers’ livelihoods in Africa through the scaling of agricultural technologies.”. This new strategy presents AATF’s new direction, objectives, and delivery model, while also articulating its vision, mission, values and overall proposition and we would like this crafted into our digital communications.

To this end, AATF is seeking the professional services of a digital communications agency/consultant to revamp the organization’s digital communications strategy to align with the new corporate strategy as well as creatively communicate the success and impact, and ongoing progress.

3.0 Objectives of the assignment

The assignment is to review the current digital communications approaches and develop a comprehensive strategy, including a digital media activation plan to promote visibility and amplify the AATF brand persona and AATF work(programs, projects, initiatives). The Strategy should guide effective communication with stakeholders as well as amplify AATF results, beneficiary voices such as farmers and excite action by our audiences.

4.0 Scope of Work

The recommended approach to developing the communications strategy will be both participatory and consultative. Key stakeholders, including staff and partners, would be engaged in the process to enhance ownership.

The  agency/consultant will work with the Communications and Partnerships Unit to develop a digital communications 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 communications 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.  

The consultant will therefore be expected to

  1. Produce a project inception report outlining details of activities indicating delivery dates and a range of methodologies to be used in accomplishing the task.
  2. Carry out a situational Analysis and best practices review:
    • Assess the current communications approaches, including platforms, identify gaps and challenges affecting both internal & external stakeholder communications and advise on strategies to achieve the desired goals.
    • Map out AATF key audiences and best possible engagement mechanisms.
    • Analyze and identify information gaps or misperceptions that can negatively impact the organization and communication goals.
  3. Develop key messages for various audiences and structure message development guidelines and usage workshop.
  4. Map out and propose best digital media platforms aligned to AATF.
  5. Develop a detailed digital communication strategy and implementation matrix.
  6. Set up key performance indicators including a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation log frame/plan

5.0  Deliverables and Outputs

The consultant will deliver the following:

  1. An inception report demonstrating methodology, understanding of the assignment and implementation schedule within 1st 2 weeks of assignment.
  2. A detailed situational analysis and best practices review report.
  3. Key messages targeting various audiences.
  4. A detailed digital communications strategy , an implementation matrix, content strategy, website strategy and media buying mapping.
  5. Well- designed strategy PowerPoint for presentation to Management and Board
  6. Capacity needs assessment report
  7. A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation log frame/plan
  8. Inception meetings, discussions and reports will be presented in English.

6.0 Qualification of the consultant

The consultant/agency should have the following qualifications:

  1. A minimum of undergraduate degree in Communications, Digital  Marketing, Public Relations, or equivalent academic credentials of the team lead/consultant
  2. Demonstrated 5 years of experience in developing effective and creative digital communications strategies, ideally in the development and humanitarian context.
  3. Minimum 5 years’ experience in developing digital strategies for nonprofit organizations
  4. Good understanding of the constantly evolving digital landscape
  5. Strong experience carrying out digital marketing campaigns in the NGO sector, with preference for agricultural industry- at least 3 relevant campaigns in the last 5 years.
  6. Strong communicator who can moderate the participatory sessions effectively within the short timelines.
  7. Experience in conducting capacity needs assessment in the areas of media, communications, and digital skills.

7.0   Timelines

The process- from start to finish- is expected to take 1.5 months for completion from the awarding of the contract.

8.0  Application Criteria and timeline:

 8.0 Application Criteria

          8.1 Technical proposal:

1.Clear work plan and proposal, describing the proposed direction to undertake this assignment- Creativity and innovation is highly encouraged. Also, capture previous experience on similar projects.

2. Consultant’s profile including CVs of key persons proposed for the assignment

3. Three links to previous work samples demonstrating the most relevant productions placements.

4.Three references (with contact information) from previous clients

        8.2 Financial proposal:  

Anticipated comprehensive cost of the consultancy inclusive of applicable taxes

9.0 Submission

A full package of the proposal should be sent to: procurement@aatf-africa.org no later than 12th April 2024 with the subject line “Development of AATF Digital Communications Strategy.”

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.