Consultancy to review the policy and regulatory environment on agricultural biotechnology and their implications on biotechnology regulation in OFAB chapter countries.

Duty Station: OFAB Chapter Countries
Contract Type: Full Time
Department: Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB)
Deadline for Application: 07/19/2021

About AATF 

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to facilitate sustainable access of agricultural technologies to smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.  AATF is driven by the vision of a prosperous and food secure Africa, where the livelihoods of smallholder farmers are transformed through innovative agricultural technologies that deliver results. These efforts, combined with optimal agricultural practices and product value addition, will contribute to agricultural transformation in Africa leading to food security and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

About the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB)

Despite the growing evidence of the potential of agricultural biotechnologies to address Africa’s food and nutrition challenges, widespread use remains limited due to several factors. These factors include controversies surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and lack of adequate enabling policy environment. A lack of sufficient information and knowledge among policy makers, who are sometimes confronted with contradictory sources of information is another key factor. The space is also invaded by Anti-GMO activism, whose message is based on no less than propaganda, misinformation, and sometimes sheer ignorance. Policy makers have more often made decisions based on prevailing opinions in the public domain and not on scientific evidence.  Even when such information is available, scientific facts are often mixed with social, ethical, and political considerations making decision making even more complicated.  There is need for policy makers to have acquired sufficient science and evidence-based knowledge on agricultural biotechnology to support their decision. In 2006, AATF established OFAB as a platform for information and knowledge exchange on matters of agricultural biotechnology to help support the creation of an enabling environment for research, development, and deployment. To date, OFAB has 7 Chapters in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria.

About the Assignment.  

To optimally execute its role at national and regional level, OFAB relies on the benefit of credible information on the state of enabling environment and the prevailing perception of genetically modified organisms GMO). This information is important in devising advocacy, influencing and education strategies.  OFAB engagement based on credible information and state of affairs will go a long way to improve the enabling of agricultural biotechnology. Despite the many potential benefits that Sub-Saharan Agriculture can reap from the application of Genetic Engineering, the adoption of this technology in the region remains very low owing to regulatory bottlenecks. Owing to the need for continuous advocacy towards the creation of an enabling environment to facilitate the adoption and commercialization of Biotechnology products, it has become necessary for OFAB to commission a study to generate information of  foster our understanding on how the current policy and perceptions in the OFAB chapter countries are affecting the regulatory decision-making process and how these decisions are influencing the growth of Agricultural Biotechnology. What are the key interests in Agricultural Biotechnology and how do these interests shape political decision-making processes? To what extent are preferences among interest groups (Producers, Civil Society, Consumer groups, Politicians, Farmers Cooperatives/Groups and Political decision-makers) facilitating/hindering the advancement of Agricultural Biotechnology?  Why are some countries demonstrating political acceptance of agricultural biotechnology while others do not? What are the prevailing consumer perceptions around Agricultural Biotechnology and products emanating from Genetic Modification and Gene editing?

General Objective

The main purpose of this consultancy is to conduct a Policy Analysis to assess the Agricultural Biotechnology policy and regulatory environment and analyze the Consumer Perceptions on products emanating from Genetic Engineering/GMOs (Transgenics and products of Gene Editing) while also providing a comprehensive review of the Political Environment and Interests that shape regulatory decision making around Agricultural Biotechnology in specific countries i.e. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria.

Specific Objectives

  1. Identify and characterize the interest groups (including the Media) in the Agricultural Biotechnology Space, their objectives, underlying driving force, motivation and level and sphere of influence.
  2. Identify the patterns of interactions between interest groups and regulators and their resulting influence on regulatory decision making and implementation of Policies/regulations on Agricultural Biotechnology.
  3. Based on Political Economic Theory, identify the key preferences that underlie political decision-making processes that influence the Agricultural Biotechnology Regulatory environment.
  4. Identify the key policies and regulations that govern Agricultural Biotechnology (including Co-existence regulations) at the different critical stages: Technology Access, Research and Development, Technology Testing, Production, Marketing and Consumption.
  5. Analyze the Consumer Perceptions on Agricultural Biotechnology processes and products emanating from Genetic Modification and Gene editing.
  6. Assess the status of implementation of Policies and Regulations relevant for Agricultural Biotechnology and identify challenges/gaps in the implementation.
  7. Identify the influence of stakeholder perceptions on the Political Decision Making.
  8. Based on the identified Political Economy and Consumer Perceptions, map the political environment and context with a view of providing a better understanding of the Agricultural Biotechnology regulatory landscape in each Country.

Scope of the Assignment:

The assignment will analyze policy, perceptions, and the enabling environment on agricultural biotechnology in [insert your country. the assignment should further propose advocacy and influencing actions that stakeholders need to undertake to improve the enabling environment in specific countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria.

Approach and Key Considerations:

The consultants are expected to propose a sound methodology that is well grounded in the Political Economy Theories/Models. The proposed methodology should seek to explain the behavior of the relevant actors not just based on the Profit/Utility Maximization considerations but should also borrow from Behavioral and Political Economics perspectives to explain the political and individual decision-making processes.  The approaches taken should have the ability to generate implementable recommendations to improve the perceptions and enabling environment for agriculture biotechnology. The proposed methodology should provide a clear distinction on how the two critical facets of the study will be delivered:

 Scope of work:

In consultation with AATF and other partners the consultant will be expected to undertake the following tasks:

 Expected Outputs:

  1. A study INCEPTION REPORT detailing the methodology, approaches, data collection tools and processes as well as execution work plan and detailed budget.
  2. A DRAFT REPORT outlining the key findings on the Political Economy and Perceptions of Agricultural Biotechnology and Consumer Perceptions in the relevant country.
  3. A comprehensive FINAL REPORT to be submitted incorporating comments from AATF on the Draft report. The report must incorporate all terms of references covered in detail.
  4. The data collection tools used, raw and analyzed data in soft copy including database tables as collected and captured in electronic format using an agreed-upon database management software.

 Evaluation Quality and Ethical Standards:

The consultant/s should take all reasonable steps to ensure that the assignment  is designed and conducted to respect and protect the human rights and welfare of people involved. Therefore, the consulting team should adhere to the acceptable and professional standards and principles such as:

Qualification of the Consultant(s):

  1. The consultant(s) should possess minimum master’s degree in Agricultural Economics/Economics/Political Science or any other related field.
  2. Demonstrated technical expertise and experience in biotechnology and biosafety.
  3. Clear understanding of the state of Agricultural biotechnology in Africa and especially the relevant OFAB Country.
  4. Recent experience working with a policy/campaigning and advocacy influencing work is an added advantage.
  5. Extensive experience in carrying out Political Economy Evaluations is an added advantage.
  6. Experience in conducting of expert interviews and qualitative/quantitative data collection, transcription and analysis using statistical software.
  7. Good understanding of Political Economy theories and Models and their application to empirical situations.
  8. High degree of independence, flexibility, and ability to meet strict deadlines.

 Application Criteria:

Interested individual consultants/Consultancy Firms should submit detailed technical and financial proposals (not more than 5 pages) covering:

  1. Capacity statement.
  2. Demonstrated understanding of the terms of reference.
  3. Proposed methodology to be used in undertaking the assignment.
  4. A detailed work plan (time and activity schedule).
  5. A detailed financial proposal.

The proposal should be accompanied by the below annexes:

  1. Profile of the consultant /Consultancy firm
  2. Curriculum Vitae (s)for key personnel
  3. Samples of two most recent related works (and/or references for the same with contact details of the referees.


This consulting assignment is expected to take approximately two and a half (2.5) months from the time the contract is signed.

 Evaluation and awards of the consultancy:

AATF will 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.

Application Method:

Applications should be submitted to AATF Procurement Officer at:  by COB 19th July 2021 with the subject head “SPECIFIC OFAB CHAPTER COUNTRY (e.g. Uganda, Kenya etc.)_POLITICAL ECONOMY/PERCEPTIONS ON BIOTECHNOLOGY

Terms and Conditions of the Proposal:

AATF reserves the right to request new or additional information regarding each consultant/consultancy firm and any individual or other persons associated with this project proposal. AATF reserves the right not to make any appointment from the proposals submitted. Consultants/consultancy firms shall not make available or disclose details pertaining to the Project proposal with anyone not specifically involved, unless authorized to do so by AATF. Consultants/Consultancy firms shall not issue any press release or other public announcement pertaining to details of their project proposal without prior written approval.

Consultants/Consultancy firms are required to declare any conflict of interest they may have in the transaction for which the request for proposal 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.

 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.




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