Senior Consultant to Support the Implementation of the Grain Quality Grading and Certification Study – ECMR (EOI) at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

African Development Bank Group (AfDB) – Established in 1964, the African Development Bank is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 80 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries). The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Expressions of Interest: Senior Consultant to Support the Implementation of the Grain Quality Grading and Certification Study – ECMR

Location: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (Remote)
Consultant type: Individual Consultant
Job family: Other
Department Making the Request: Microeconomic, Institutional and Development Impact
Division (ECMR.2)
Period of Assignment: March 30, 2023, to June 29, 2023 (3 months)
Expected Start Date of the Assignment: March 30, 2023

Introduction and Background

  • The African Development Bank is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent.
  • The Bank’s development agenda entails delivering financial and technical support to transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
  • In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Ten-Year Strategy (2013 – 2022) and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas of focus (High 5), all of which will accelerate our delivery for Africa, have been identified for scaling up, namely, light up and power Africa (energy), feed Africa (agriculture and nutrition), industrialize Africa (industrialization), integrate Africa (regional integration and intra-regional trade) and improve the quality of life for Africans (sustainable socio-economic development)
  • The Chief Economist/Vice-President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management (ECVP) is responsible for (i) providing leadership and visibility for the Bank on economic, finance, financial governance and socio economic development issues; and coordinate the generation of analytical work to inform operational policy; and (ii) systematically emphasize the critical role of knowledge, experience, lessons learnt and their tangible impact on sustainable and inclusive transformation of African economies.
  • The Macroeconomics Policy, Forecasting and Research Department (ECMR) is dedicated to the generation of high-quality knowledge in the area of development in Africa. ECMR comprises of two divisions, one of which is the Microeconomics, Institutional and Development Impact Division (ECMR.2) which serves as the institutional anchor of the ex-ante Additionality and Development Outcome Assessment (ADOA) of the Bank’s private sector operations.
  • As such, it is a key element of the Results Measurement Framework and the primary tool for mainstreaming Development Outcomes into the Bank’s operations.
  • ECMR.2 also undertakes microeconomic-related research and knowledge generation activities to inform its additionality and development outcomes assessments and more broadly the Bank’s operations.
  • These activities cover a wide range of areas, such as development finance, infrastructure development, private sector development, industrial organizations, governance, competitiveness & investment climate, agriculture, institutions, and regional integration, which are relevant to the Bank’s High 5 priorities.

Objective and Activities of the Assignment

  • Thanks to the financial support of the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Trust Fund (KOAFEC), ECMR.2 is conducting a research project on improving grain quality and institutionalization of the grading and certification of grain quality in developing countries.
  • The pilot phase of the program will be implemented in Ghana. This research aims to explore whether grain quality grading and certification at the farmers’ level can significantly enhance investment in uptake of technologies to enhance grain quality, increase farmers bargaining power, market price and consumption of high-quality safe food and, overall, strengthen food and nutrition security.
  • Of primary interest is whether improved knowledge of the quality of grains produced by farmers and independent third-party grading and certification of the quality will strengthen farmers market power and allow them to obtain higher prices.
  • Our research is expected to have several positive results, including empowering farmers in marketing negotiations, allowing them to receive higher prices; and encouraging uptake of technologies to increase the production of high-quality grain suitable for household consumption, high-value processing, and exportation.
  • The research will also contribute to laying the groundwork for the successful implementation of commodity exchange emerging in most African markets. The project fits under the Feed Africa Strategy of the African development Bank (AfDB 2016). The Feed Africa Strategy is cognizant of the positive effect of grading and use of standard measures in agricultural markets; it is stipulated in its 2013 guidebook on Africa commodity and derivative and its 2018 report on Africa’s agricultural commodity exchanges, warehouse receipt systems and standards that effective market access is key to Africa’s Agricultural Transformation.
  • Farmers, traders in the open market, and other stakeholders will need to be sensitized, incentivized, and convinced about the benefits of grading and use of standard measures in marketing. We expect that grading and certification of grain quality at the smallholder level will generate several synergic benefits to actors along the agricultural value chain including smallholder farmers, traders, processors, consumers, lenders, and the national economy at large and improve their access to market.
  • This would directly contribute to achieving intermediate results for three Enablers for agricultural transformation as specified in the Feed the Future Strategy: 1) increase productivity; 2) realize the value of increased production; and 3) increased inclusivity, sustainability, and nutrition. ECMR.2 is currently seeking to recruit an individual consultant to support the implementation of the project objectives.
  • The consultant will work alongside AfDB research team in all aspects of the implementation of the project. Preference will be given to individual with strong track-record in project design, impact evaluation, dynamic modeling and project’s implementation, supervision, monitoring at household and enterprise levels.
  • To achieve the main objective of the study, the consultant will lead the drafting of the desk research study and literature review, establishing the theoretical foundation of the research, supporting the research design and implementation, research quality assurance of data collection, etc.

Key Responsibilities
The consultant will work in close collaboration with AfDB research team to:

  • Conduct back ground /literature review on food safety and nutrition in Africa,
  • Draft a paper on evidence-based policies and experiment to enhance grain quality;
  • Develop a theoretical model of grain quality enhancement investment and price and food safety incentives;
  • Set a list of data points needed for the calibration of the theoretical model;
  • Assist in drafting outreach papers to be published in the Bank’s working paper series and beyond.

More specifically, she/he will:

  • Carry out a search and review of academic and non-academic literature on food quality control, food safety, and food and nutrition security. Review all relevant peer-reviewed papers and policy notes on food safety, identify key and relevant research gaps, layout key interventions and policies to improve food safety, and recommendations that could be useful for the execution of the project.
  • Undertake desk review on grain quality enhancement, technologies to enhance grain quality and adoption incentives (premium, household food safety, etc.).
  • Review and compare grain quality standards in various African markets vis-à-vis the the various African national bureau food standards authorities.
  • Provide input on the research experimental design.
  • Develop a theoretical model of grain quality enhancement investment and price and food safety incentives.
  • Support the team in organizing materials for knowledge dissemination and outreach events, including talking points, presentation slides, media briefs, policy briefs, journal articles, etc.
  • Provide inputs on project intervention design and implementation. These include review of the project impact evaluation design, household, and enterprise surveys.
  • Prepare reports which compile information on grain quality, grading and certification according to the agreed outline.
  • Keep a record of all documents reviewed
  • Perform other tasks as assigned by the supervisors.

Management and Supervision of the Consultancy:

  • The consultant will work independently, under the overall guidance of the division manager
  • (ECMR.2) and under the immediate supervision of the task manager for this undertaking.

Duration and Location of the Assignment

  • The consultant will work for a period of 3 months, starting from 30 March 2023 to 29 June 2023.
  • The consultant will be paid lumpsum based on achieved deliverables. The present contract could be renewed upon satisfactory performance and depending on the needs of the Project.
  • Given the nature of the assignment, the consultant will work remotely.

Required Qualifications and Experience

  • A PhD in Economics, Agricultural Economics, Development Economics, or a related discipline.
  • A Master’s Degree complemented by a strong research background and proven record of outstanding publications in refereed journals may be acceptable.
  • Strong experience in developing household models complemented with analytical skills in econometrics.
  • At least eight (8) years of relevant professional experience in development policy research and analysis and the study of economic conditions in developing countries, notably Africa.
  • Proven track record to conduct policy-relevant research with publication record in peer reviewed international journals in development economics.
  • Sound knowledge and background in theoretical modeling using software such as Matlab, R, etc.
  • Sound knowledge and background in the use of statistical and econometric methods and packages such as Stata, SPSS, SAS, etc.
  • Evidence of the ability to design and manage research projects, including impact evaluation project, from conceptualization to publication.
  • Ability to communicate and write effectively in English and/or French; a good working knowledge of the other language is desirable.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to work in teams and in an interdisciplinary environment, and sensitivity to cultural diversity. Competence in the use of standard software applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

Establishment of the Short List:
A shortlist of three to six individual consultants will be established at the end of the request of expressions of interest. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. The consultants on the shortlist will be judged on the following criteria based on their resume:

  • General qualifications and relevance for the assignment to be undertaken 35%
  • Similar experience in the area of expertise of the assignment 45%
  • Experience with the Bank and/or multilateral donors 5%
  • Language proficiency 5%
  • Knowledge of the region (assignment environment) 10%

Remuneration for the Assignment

  • The consultant will be paid a competitive lump sum for the entire period in accordance with Bank’s scale set for consultants.

Application Closing Date
20th March, 2023.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send an Expression of Interest that includes a Cover Letter, Portfolio of experiences in ex-ante impact framework development to: Alesse Allaba Lucette via: and Copy to: Francis H. Kemeze via: using the Job Title as the subject of the mail.

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Click here for the Job Description (PDF)


  • The eligibility criteria, the establishment of a short list, and the selection procedure shall be in conformity with the Bank’s Procurement Policy and Procedure for Corporate Consultants Recruitment.
  • Please, note that interest expressed by a consultant does not imply any obligation on the part of the Bank to include him/her in the shortlist.

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