Practical Action

Introduction to Practical Action

Practical Action is an international development organization putting ingenious ideas to work so that people in poverty can change their world.

We help people find solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Challenges made worse by catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality. We work with communities to develop ingenious, lasting and locally owned solutions for agriculture, water and waste management, climate resilience and clean energy. And we share what works with others, so answers that start small can grow big.

We are a global change-making group. The group consists of a UK registered charity with community projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, an independent development publishing company and a technical consulting service. We combine these specialisms to multiply our impact and help shape a world that works better for everyone.

Background and Purpose of the assignment:

Transforming Rural Economies and Youth Livelihoods (TREYL) project is a five-year project (Jan 2019 – Jan 2024) being implemented by Practical Action Kenya, in Kisumu and Homabay counties. The objective of the project is to establish vibrant and inclusive rural economies in Kenya by promoting agricultural livelihoods for the youth underpinned by Agroecological principles and practices. The project aims to break the cycles of low productivity and increasing rural poverty, through a holistic and gendered approach which will enable young men and women to increase their income through agri-business. The project is building a business case to demonstrate that regenerative agriculture can be commercially successful. To date the project has worked with over 8,000 young men and women to increase farm productivity and income through regenerative agriculture. To promote inclusive markets, the project has been developing markets through a participatory process for poultry, groundnuts, and tomato value chains. The main approaches being used by the project include:

  • A Mentorship model to increase youth engagement in the agriculture sector
  • Regenerative agriculture to improve productivity, increase income and restore natural capital.
  • Participatory market systems development to stimulate long term sustainable change in which markets operate more effectively and critically and work better for marginalised groups such as youth

Over the longer term the project intends to impact 80,000 young people by demonstrating the viability of agri-business as a viable career option. Annex A gives more details of the objectives of the project.

Objective of assignment

The main objective of this consultancy is to document evidence against the learning questions with a key focus on youth engagement and market systems development approaches implemented by the project. Specifically, the consultancy will:

  1. Generate evidence against the learning questions provided below
  2. Document the effectiveness of the market systems approach in youth engagement strategies implemented by the project
  3. Provide clear recommendations on use of the above approach in future programming

Assessment Process:

The consultant will provide an innovative methodology to be used in addressing the objective of this assignment. However, we expect both primary and secondary data to be collected as follows:

Desk review and preparation

The consultant team will be required to

  1. Complete a desk review of project documents to gain a sound understanding of the project’s original plan, objectives, learnings, and assumptions
  2. Complete desk-based analysis of the project’s monitoring data in preparation for the primary data collection (previously gathered by Practical Action)

Develop the study Design

The consultant will develop the study design based on the expected deliverables. They will discuss and agree the following with Practical Action Kenya:

  1. The methodologies chosen, tools and questions to use with each group.
  2. Which groups within the community and stakeholders to engage and how many
  3. Deciding the number of locations and numbers of participants
  4. Refining the schedule

Practical Action believes using engaging and empowering qualitative methods. Therefore, also focus group discussions and key informant interviews can be used, we are looking for the inclusion of other methodologies too. These could include:

  • Participatory Learning and Action tools
  • Most Significant Change Methodology
  • Photovoice
  • Transect Walks
  • Qualitative counterfactuals may be considered
  • Change stories could also augment the report

Field Work – in Kisumu and Homabay Counties

Using the schedule and the chosen methodologies, qualitative information will be gathered. The consultant will be responsible for facilitating most of the activities including the following:

  1. Training the field team. This will include a day where the team will use tools in a test community, and then on-going observing and strengthening in the following days
  2. Holding debrief sessions with the team (at least daily initially) to review both issues related to the use of the tools as well as to explore the learning to date. Adjust the tools or evaluation plan as needed based on the findings.
  3. Leading on some key informant interviews in the counties. Interview with County Government and private sector stakeholders is likely to provide some additional secondary data sources which need to be considered.
  4. Leading a reflection session with the communities (or once for each of the counties in the evaluation) to reflect on the findings so far, verifying if they are correct or not, and then gaining deeper understanding to the reasons

Data Analysis

The consultant will be required to outline a clear analysis framework as part of the inception report. This is to ensure robust triangulation and clear use of primary and secondary data to generate findings and recommendations.

The consultant will be required to share preliminary findings with Practical Action. This will be a key opportunity to verify findings and support the development of the final report.

Draft Report

The consultant will be required to develop a draft report.

  1. This should follow the template in Annex C of this TOR
  2. The report should evidence the learning questions and give an overall evidence-based assessment of the questions.
  3. The details of the tools used (explaining the method and the questions) should be included in an annex
  4. Clear and actionable recommendations for Practical Action, the donor, beneficiaries, and market actors/collaborators.
  5. A 30–40-page report (excluding annexes) summarizing the main findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

Sharing of Findings

The consultant will be required to hold a session to share the findings with key staff in Practical Action Kenya. The method is up to the consultant, but it is important to make it visual and engaging giving time for participants to ask questions and interrogate the findings. The findings and recommendations should be a focus.

Final Report

The consultant will update the draft report based on any feedback given by Practical Action either during the sharing session or via e-mail. This will then be submitted to Practical Action and, if acceptable, final payment made.


The following deliverables are expected from the consultant:

  • Brief report on findings from the desk review and review of project monitoring data
  • Detailed design
  • Training of field team carried out including a day of piloting the tools
  • Field trips and meetings completed according to the plan
  • Draft report
  • Sharing Session and validation of findings
  • Final Report

A detailed schedule will be developed and agreed with the successful candidate for these deliverables


  1. A good understanding of learning documentation methodologies/frameworks specifically generating evidence at program level learning
  2. Exceptional writing skills
  3. Experience in qualitative methodologies
  4. Experience in facilitating learning workshops
  5. Experience and a good understanding of market system development including private sector actors’ role in achievement of development outcomes
  6. Team members comprising youth experts, market systems experts and documentation experts.
  7. Technical knowledge of agriculture
  8. Have a versed understanding and extensive knowledge of the two counties geographically, interns of terrain, local population, and other details of the two counties, and has carried some related or similar work in the lake region.


Detail how much of the fee will finalised with the consultant and included in the contract, along with the payment schedule. The schedule is likely to be the following:

30% – Delivery of the brief report on findings from the desk review and review of project monitoring data as well as the updated evaluation design

40% – Completion of the field trips and submission of first draft

30% – Validation of report and submission of acceptable final report

A detailed TOR can be accessed here –

How to apply

Interested consulting entities that have capacity to deliver this TOR are invited to submit the below listed items to [email protected] with subject line TREYL Learning Documentation to reach Practical Action on or before 14th July 2023.

Guidelines for Submission of Expression of Interest

A consulting entity that meets the above requirements and is available within the time limit indicated above should submit the following:

  1. Proposal and capability statement with clear methodological approach (technical proposal)
  2. Detailed financial proposal in Kenyan Shillings: If the team consists of several members, the professional fees should not be a daily rate, but it should be based on clearly shown time allocation by each member of the team to the various activities.
  3. Evidence of experience in similar work: samples of learning briefs or learning documents developed in the past
  4. Annexed to the proposal should be CVs of the consultant outlining previous experiences and accomplishment

Practical Action is an equal opportunities employer and we encourage applications from under-represented groups. We stay committed to cultivating an inclusive and diverse working environment and believe that people from different backgrounds or cultures give us different perspectives, and the more perspectives we have, the more successful we will be. By building a culture where everyone feels heard, respected and valued we give everyone working with us the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

We are committed to safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults and as such candidates will be subject to pre-contracting checks.

The successful applicant must have the pre-existing right to both live and work in Kenya.

To apply for this job please visit