Job - National Consultant on Agricultural Data Collection and Analysis, UNDP, Armenia

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


Deadline:

November 15, 2018


Opportunity Cover Image - Job - National Consultant on Agricultural Data Collection and Analysis, UNDP, Armenia

Background

Agriculture and rural development are the cornerstones of the broader sustainable development agenda of Armenia as is stated in the current Armenia Development Strategy 2015-2025. Agriculture is one of the main economic sectors contributing to about 18% of the national GDP and absorbing about 36% of the labour force in the country. Despite the significant growth demonstrated by Armenian agriculture during last decades, the country’s agribusiness, and relatedly a majority of small scale producers, face several systemic challenges, particularly in the availability of real-time based primary information/data. The introduction of mechanisms that produce timely and independent yield estimations is a prerequisite for evidence-based decision-making and designing strategic interventions to facilitate the lasting growth in the sector.

In 2014, Armenia carried out the first ever Agricultural Census (that should be conducted once in every ten years, in compliance with the international standards). Having census data in mind as a baseline, alternative mechanisms are needed to ensure the permanent and consistent flow of primary data regarding the status and dynamics in production cycles. Nowadays, there are number of innovative digital technologies that make it possible to collect and leverage huge amounts of critical data at minimal costs — thus making a farm’s field operations more insight-driven, and potentially more productive and efficient. In this context, “Digital agriculture” is the deployment of computational and information technologies in farming to leverage the smart use of data and communication to achieve more productive, profitable and sustainable farming systems.

The recently approved Program of the Government of Armenia for 2017-2022 targets an increase in gross agricultural output by at least 5% annually. It aims at enhancing the level of food security, developing high value agriculture, introducing modern technologies, substituting imports, increasing export volumes and creating favorable conditions for the activities of economic entities in the agricultural sector. Moreover, the 2010-2020 Armenian Strategy for Sustainable Rural and Agricultural Development also prioritises improvement in sales of agricultural and agro-processing products and increase of export volumes, as well as increasing agricultural competitiveness and promoting know-how.

With the reference of the mentioned above the UN Country team has initiated a join project with the overall objective to increase decision making capabilities through the demonstration of an innovative digital data gathering and information management system in agricultural sector Armenia.

At the farm level, different types of innovative technology investments may be distinguished[1], such as: (i) capital investments to promote efficiencies (such as computer hardware/software, robotic systems, high precision geo-positioning, such as GPS and RTK, sensors, mobile-broadband, etc.); (ii) service investments that provide actionable information (including remote sensing, cloud-based decision models, unmanned aerial remote-control systems - drones, etc.). The Action proposes to develop and test a crop growth monitoring system based on remote-sensing technology. Such mechanism of data collection and forecasting is likely to be more effective as compared to traditional techniques given that it does not generally involve upfront financial or knowledge investments related to data collection including on the part of farmers.

[1] “Innovation in Agriculture and Food Systems in the Digital Age”. Harold van Es and Joshua Woodard. Cornell University; available at  http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_gii_2017-chapter4.pdf

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance of the Programme Policy Adviser and direct supervision of the Armenia National SDG Innovation Lab Lead, the consultant will be hired to support UN Country office with the development of the mechanism for IT/remote sensing based agricultural data collection and crop growth monitoring system with full cost estimates for the selected methodology.

The consultant will perform the following duties:

  • Analysis of the international best practice for application of relevant IT/remote sensing-based methodologies for agriculture data collection, real-time monitoring for yield forecasting and estimation;
  • Analysis of current Agricultural Data ecosystem in Armenia;
  • Revision of the current technological capacities and gap analysis for application of remote sensing technologies in Agriculture in Armenia;
  • Develop a set of recommendations on selection of methodologies/technologies for real time monitoring for yield forecasting and estimation applicable for Armenia including types of crops to be monitored with cost estimates;
  • Support in multi stakeholder consultation for identification of project pilot areas;
  • Collaborate with private and public organizations to get access to existing data/databases; and
  • Provide other support and assistance as required.

Expected outputs:  

  1. Draft report on the Armenian Agriculture data ecosystem and assessment of national capacities on application of remote sensing technologies in Agriculture in Armenia (two weeks after the contract signature)
  2. Final report on methodologies/technologies for real time monitoring for yield forecasting and estimation applicable for Armenia (four weeks after contract signature)

Payment mode:

  • Output 1 -   40% of total amount
  • Output 2 –  60% of total amount

Competencies

  • Strong background in analysing data, produce written reports and conduct oral presentations;
  • Experience in designing databases and write and maintain database design documentation and operating manuals;
  • Familiarity with the kinds of information systems used to produce and analyse policy data, sufficient to allow effective interaction with statisticians, IT and data experts  
  • Experience of working in or with public administration bodies;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with ability to establish and maintain effective work relationships with people of different social and cultural backgrounds;
  • Excellent coordination and collaboration skills, with ability to work under time pressure and handle multiple activities and projects concurrently; and
  • Strong verbal, reading and writing skills in English. Familiarity with the Russian and/or Armenian is an asset;

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • University diploma or degree in Computer Sciences or Agricultural, or Environmental Sciences, or Forestry or other relevant discipline.
  • Any Microsoft certifications in Access or SQL Server would be preferred.
  • A relevant university degree in combination with qualifying experience in the project design, monitoring and management may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience:

  • At least five years of proven experience in IT/remote sensing technology design and application;
  • Minimum 5 years work experience in database design or database administration, data management and data analysis;
  • Understanding the role and importance of the AI technologies in development of digital smart agriculture in developing countries;
  • Proven practical experience in information gathering and research methodology;
  • Experience in capacity building and coaching/ assisting team members;
  • Knowledge of the Agenda 2030, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other related conventions and agreements will be an asset. 

Language requirements

  • Strong verbal, reading and writing skills in English and Armenian. Familiarity with the Russian is an asset. 

NDIVIDUAL CONSULTANT WILL BE EVALUATED BASED ON THE FOLLOWING METHODOLOGY:

Candidates will be evaluated using a cumulative analysis method taking into consideration the combination of the applicants' technical qualifications,  experience and financial proposal. The contract will be awarded to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as technically responsive/compliant/acceptable to the requirements of the ToR and received the highest cumulative (technical and financial) score out of below defined technical and financial criteria.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points in the technical evaluation would be considered for financial evaluation.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation - max. 70 points

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation - max. 30 points.

DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION.

General Conditions of Contract is available here: http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/documents/procurement/documents/IC%20-%20General%20Conditions.pdf.

Note: Please note you can upload only one document to this application (scan all documents in one single PDF file to attach).

 
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES: Interested candidates can apply for the position here.



Host Country
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Publish Date
November 08, 2018




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