Apply now Job no: 495806
Work type: Contract
Location: Afghanistan, United Kingdom
Categories: International development

About the role

Coffey is looking for a Scoping Study Lead which will look at Afghanistan’s agri-business sector and provide recommendations to DFID-Afghanistan for future DFID programming within the sector. The aim of any programme would be to facilitate the commercialisation of the agri-business sector in Afghanistan, to support job creation, import substitution, exports and reduce poverty.


DFID is currently funding Phase II of the Comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development Facility (CARD-F), which is an agricultural value chains development programme jointly funded by DFID and DANIDA that aims to generate jobs and increase incomes. DFID has asked Coffey to conduct an independent scoping study to enable DFID-A to make a decision regarding the benefits of any future support to agri-business development in Afghanistan and the shape and size of any future programme to maximise impact and coordination.  

Scope of work

The study will:

  • Analyse the context, need and rationale for support to the commercial agri-business sector in Afghanistan for economic growth and poverty reduction, including:
    • Research and articulate the context of the commercial agriculture in Afghanistan, including identifying market failure(s) and need(s) for intervention by donors;
    • Literature review of all current and future programming supporting agri-business in Afghanistan;
    • Analysis of appropriate funding mechanisms;
    • Detail of potential impact on economic growth and poverty reduction.
  • Understand the strengths, weaknesses, benefits and challenges of agriculture programming in Afghanistan, with a specific focus on CARD-F Phase I and II. This should include:
    • An assessment of the lessons learned from CARD-F Phase I and II and implications for new programming;
    • Political economy analysis identifying areas of blockage and support, informing programme governance and design;
    • Identification of areas of opportunity to grow the agriculture sector, especially for small and medium sized businesses, and other businesses that support poverty reduction;
    • Assess possible value chains that should be supported, using and building upon CARD-F programming, the National Export Strategy and the Agriculture and Rural Development National Priority Programme;
    • Identification of constraints to agri-business development;
    • Recommendations on components of CARD-F that should be kept, changed or removed, with focus on impact, sustainability, delivery, governance and value for money, to meet constraints;
    • Recommendations on new areas of programming to meet constraints.
  • Provide advice on how DFID, DANIDA and/or other donors could meet the needs and gaps identified in the agriculture sector, including:
    • Alignment with Afghan government policy and plans (including the Agriculture and Rural Development National Priority Programme and National Export Strategy), and donor objectives;
    • Complementarity with other DFID and wider donor programmes (including the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund);
    • Suggesting programme option(s) and delivery model(s) that support the growth of the Afghanistan agri-business sector, making best use of the institutional capacity of CARD-F Management Unit and existing staff expertise;
    • Ensuring the programme takes into account adequate gender, social and disability issues and actively complies with the UK’s International Development (Gender Equality) Act 2014, and the UK’s commitment to leaving no one behind.
  • Provide an indication of possible governance and management arrangements for the preferred delivery option(s), as well as possible outputs, outcomes and impact.
    • Provide options for programme structure including length of programme, governance and management arrangements, and how the programme would fit into existing donor and government coordination structures;
    • Provide an indication of expected outputs, outcomes and impact.
  • Map the following:
    • Priorities /recommendations from relevant government strategies including National Export Strategy, National Infrastructure Plan, Agriculture and Rural Development National Priority Programme;
    • Existing programmes supporting the agriculture sector in Afghanistan;
    • Future programmes (that are known) and initiatives (donors or Afghan government) supporting agri-business.

The programme can either be completely new, a hybrid using current components from CARD-F Phase II, or an extension of CARD-F for a third phase. It is critical that lessons learned from the current CARD-F programme are addressed and incorporated into the assessment.

Any programme design should consider opportunities for other donors to also provide funds. It is envisaged that the programme will be off-budget (i.e. not channelled through the national budget of the Government of Afghanistan), however the Study Lead should assess possible on-budget programming that is going ahead with other organisations (e.g. Asian Development Bank and World Bank).

A potential programme could be implemented across Afghanistan, but the SP will be required to make recommendations on provincial focus, if any.

Key responsibilities

The Scoping Study Lead will:

  • Lead a desk-based literature review of the relevant DFID-Afghanistan, DANIDA and other donor-funded agriculture/ agri-business programming (e.g. World Bank and Asian Development Bank);
  • Facilitate meetings /key informant interviews with DFID-Afghanistan, DANIDA, the CARD-F Management Unit, relevant line ministries (e.g. Ministry of Agricultural, Irrigation and Livestock; Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development) and other relevant stakeholders in the public and private sector;
  • Oversee the delivery of a final report (maximum 60 pages) presenting options for donors support the agri-business sector in Afghanistan. The report should provide evidence to donors to make an informed decision on available programming options and delivery mechanisms;
  • Deliver a presentation on key findings and recommendations to DFID, DANIDA and other key stakeholders.

Timeframe and location

The assignment will be carried out mainly in country and will take approximately two months between January and March 2018, with a final report to be submitted by 1st week of April 2018.

About you


  • Strong expertise in agriculture and agri-business programming and multi-disciplinary rural development programmes;
  • Extensive experience working in, and understanding of, Afghanistan’s agricultural sector and value chain development, as well as political economy issues in the region;
  • A good understanding of monitoring, evaluation and Learning (MEL) in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS);
  • Prior experience leading a team, ideally on a similar project;
  • Exceptional research skills and the verbal and written communication skills to be able to present results to an audience of decision-makers within DFID and DANIDA;
  • Experience working with DFID;
  • Ability to work in a multinational, multicultural environment.


  • Prior experience working with Afghan line ministries such as the Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL)
  • Dari or Pashto language skills would be an advantage
  • This is a senior-level role open to both international and Afghan-national applicants. Please note that this is a consulting role for a specific project, not an offer of employment.

About us

Coffey’s Evaluation and Research practice is one of the largest specialist advisory services providers to DFID within the international development sector. This is an exciting and fast-growing practice, with the opportunity to also get involved in a number of interesting projects. The team is currently delivering evaluations across the globe, including large scale longitudinal surveys, randomised control trials and qualitative research).

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