Terms of Reference – Gender Consultant


Project Title

Volunteers Engaged In Gender Responsive Technical Solutions (VETS)

Implementing Partners

VWB/VSF Canada

Local partners: Meru Dairy and Wakulima



1. Overview

Veterinarians without Borders/ Vétérinaires sans frontières – Canada (VWB/VSF) is a charitable, humanitarian organization whose mission is to work for, and with, those in need to foster the health of animals, people, and the environments that sustain us. More information about the organization can be found at www.vetswithoutborders.ca.

VWB/VSF sends many Canadian volunteers overseas to work with partners help create integrated animal health systems. The Canadian volunteers include professors of veterinary medicine, veterinarians, animal nutritionists, rural development specialists, food safety specialists, horticulturalists, community health workers, and gender specialists. While universities, community organizations—even government agricultural extension workers benefit from this initiative, the primary focus is on improving the lives of small-scale livestock producers.**

VWB/VSF is presently seeking a Gender Consultant to launch the beginning of the Project Implementation Plan (PIP) of the VETS Project. The successful candidate will lead a gender assessment and gender action plan with our two local partners in Kenya (Meru Dairy Co-operative Union LTD and Wakulima Dairy). The aim of the Gender Consultant is to establish sustainable mechanisms in collaboration with our two local partners in Kenya (Meru Dairy Co-operative Union LTD and Wakulima Dairy) and build capacity in gender equality to lead the gender assessment and gender action plan. Mentoring and coaching local staff is requested.

2. Context and Project Rationale

In developing countries, more than 90% of food animals are raised by small and subsistence farmers. These small-scale livestock producers, the majority of whom are women, have very limited access to animal health services and remain extremely vulnerable as they lack the necessary support to prevent, or cure diseases in their livestock, leading to a loss of their livelihoods and keeping them in the cycle of poverty. The agricultural sector is underperforming in part because women, who are often a crucial resource in agriculture and the rural economy, face constraints that reduce their productivity. Although women comprise about 43 percent of the agricultural labor force globally and in developing countries, one in three has no control over major household purchases such as livestock, limiting their influence over decision-making and financial planning. A number of country-specific gender equality challenges are but not limited to: competing government priorities, socio-cultural traditional beliefs; limited access to land and other productive resources for agriculture and livestock. Consequently, the social responsibilities of women are often restricted to unpaid work, and women are often responsible for family decisions with respect to household expenses. Women and girls in rural households carry out at least two and a half times more unpaid household work than men.

The Volunteers Engaged In Gender Responsive Technical Solutions (VETS) Project will directly improve the economic and social well-being of the poorest, most marginalized people, particularly women and girls, in six countries in Africa and Asia, through support to animal, human and environmental health (One Health) initiatives. The Project will use the skills of Canadian volunteers to support smallholder farmers, primarily women, to reduce poverty by improving family income and nutrition principally through improved production of livestock and crops. By working with local women’s organizations and associations, as well as local partners that work with and support the identified women’s groups, the Project will also help women assume greater leadership and control over their livelihoods. The Project is built around the One Health (OH) concept which recognizes that the health of people, animals and the natural environment are interconnected. It promotes the production of more and better food and increased incomes from livestock, all the while promoting land rehabilitation and conservation for sustainable development. Between 2020 and 2027, 190 Canadian volunteers will work with ten selected country partners in Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Laos, Senegal and Vietnam to help create integrated animal health systems that benefit small scale farmers.

The VETS Project will contribute to the Ultimate Outcome of Improved economic and social well-being of the poorest, most marginalized people, particularly women and girls, in 6 countries in Africa and Asia, through animal, human and environmental health (One Health) contributing to the SDGs. As indicated by the Intermediate Outcomes, the primary resources involved are the expertise and time of Canadian volunteers who will provide technical assistance to local partners and target communities to advance gender equality, through One Health programming and organizational systems, processes and policies. Upon return from their placements, Canadian volunteers will build and sustain Canadian capacity to help internationally through the education they gain through their own participation, and by encouraging other Canadians to support international development efforts.

To achieve the Immediate Outcomes, project staff and Canadian volunteers will build partnerships with local organizations and undertake capacity and needs assessment activities to identify priorities for capacity development. Canadian volunteers will undertake a range of technical assistance activities, including delivering formal training workshops, providing informal mentoring, on-the-job accompaniment and skills modeling designed to reduce the prevalence of disease among livestock, and improve the capacity of partners to deal successfully with animal disease and production issues. Knowledge-sharing activities will be supported by the project to allow partners to undertake research and come together to exchange good practice and support the development of innovative policy for gender equality and environmentally sustainable/climate-resilient solutions. Canadian volunteers will also help strengthen the organizational systems, practices and policies needed to sustain strong programming in animal health. Lastly, Canadian volunteers and local gender consultants will support partners and communities to identify the gender equality barriers facing small-scale farmers and design locally-relevant action plans to overcome these gender barriers. During and after their missions, volunteers will communicate with other Canadians – primarily people with an interest in livestock and animal health – illustrating the value of the work through social media, public speaking, articles for various publications, and media interviews.

Summary of the Logic Model


  • Improved economic and social well-being of the poorest, most marginalized people, particularly women and girls, in 6 countries in Africa and Asia, through animal, human and environmental health (OneHealth) contributing to the SDGs


  • Increased engagement of Canadians in international development and key global issues through (OneHealth) in support of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP)
  • Increased performance of developing country partners to deliver more inclusive, innovative and environmentally sustainable development initiatives that advance gender equality, through OneHealth in support of Canada’s FIAP.


  • Increased awareness of the Canadian public in international development, and key global issues through holistic gender responsive OneHealth programs
  • Increased participation of Canadian women and men volunteers in gender responsive OneHealth international development work
  • Improved technical knowledge and skills of partners to deliver holistic gender responsive OneHealth interventions
  • Increased awareness and capacity of communities to support holistic gender sensitive OneHealth interventions
  • Enhanced organizational capacity to deliver gender responsive OneHealth interventions

3. Location of the Evaluation

The gender assessment and gender action plan will be carried out in projects’ targeted areas at the same time in the below specified communities:


Mukurweini Sub County: Gikondi ward, Rugi ward, Central ward and West ward.

Tetu, Othaya and Mathira

Kirinyaga and Muranga

Meru Dairy

Dairy Cooperatives to be reached

4. Period and Duration of the Consultancy

The assignment is expected to commence 4th of November 2020 until November 20th 2020. The final gender assessment and gender action plan would need to be completed and submitted to VWB/VSF HQ on the last day of the assignment (November 20th). ****

5. Objectives

The main objective is to conduct gender assessments with each partner organization and major project communities in Kenya within the VETS project. Following these assessments, the consultant will utilize findings to develop a Gender Action Plan (GEAP) with each partner aligning to VETS project objectives.

6. Responsibilities and tasks

As part of the Project Implementation Plan (PIP) of the GAC funded project for ‘Volunteers Engaged In Gender Responsive Technical Solutions (VETS)’, the Gender Consultant will support our two local partners Meru Dairy Co-operative Union LTD and Wakulima Dairy in developing Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAPs) by conducting participatory gender equality assessments of the organization project communities. Further details are described below:

6.1. Research and preparation

  • Contact local partners (Meru and Wakulima) for general briefing and initial response framework;
  • Review all the guidelines from the VETS project and ensure the activities planned by the local partners corresponds to the communities needs in terms of gender equality and are gender-sensitive;
  • Prepare key gender background notes for local partners: include known gender features of the population and guidance on gender issues in this type of context (e.g. different physical needs & capabilities to access aid, gendered roles & responsibilities in the communities, security & exploitation);
  • Organizational gender audit: To work collaboratively with partner staff and VWB/VSF local coordinator to review partner’s existing processes for encouraging the equal participation of men and women among students, trainers and staff members;
  • Review human resources & administration issues: balanced recruitment and deployment of staff; appropriate working conditions provided for both male & female staff; staff aware of gender equality principles (Gender Policy) and PSEA policies and codes of conduct duly signed; personal needs, security & risk considerations of staff;
  • Review organizations’ budgets to ensure that adequate attention is paid (and resources allocated) to the promotion of gender equality across sectors;
  • Establish key internal and external contacts with understanding of the social/gender dynamics and trends in the communities where the local partners work, local leaders and organizations/networks known to promote the interests of women.

6.2. Development of necessary tools

  • Create tools to collect data for the gender assessment and to monitor progress of the gender action plan;

6.3. Gender Assessment

  • Community gender analysis: To work with partner staff at the community level to identify barriers to gender equality facing small-scale farmers;
  • In collaboration with local partners and the VWB/VSF local coordinator, support the collection and analysis of sex disaggregated data (quantitative and qualitative) as well as streamlining the needs assessment, collection and analysis so that it can be more effective in meeting beneficiary needs;
  • To analyse the organizational and community level gender context and provide other technical supports to build knowledge and skills relating to gender equality;

6.4. Gender Action Plan

  • To hold key informant interviews and focus groups with staff of both partner organizations and selected beneficiary communities.
  • To work with partners’ staff to prepare a Gender Equality Action Plan for the VETS Project that will guide the GE priorities for future incoming Canadian volunteers
  • To provide feedback/recommendations on the plan and adjust accordingly

7. Methodology

The consultant will be expected to propose the most appropriate consultative and participatory approaches for this assignment following initial consultations with VWB/VSF’s Program Director, Africa Program Officer and local partners Meru Dairy and Wakulima Dairy.

8. Output of the Assignment

The consultant is expected to provide a draft/preliminary Gender Action Plan by November 20th 2020. The Gender Action Plan will address the objectives and topics described in the paragraphs above, giving special attention to the overall data analysis and recommendations for current and future gender equality activities. The consultant will complement electronic Gender Action Plan with visual images from the training sessions in the communities, field assessment tools (focus groups, interviews etc), working sessions with the local partners, and any other visuals and materials that visually illustrate gender equality issues.

9. Qualifications and Experience of the Gender Consultant


  • A university degree in a related field (political science, international development, women’s studies) **
  • Relevant post-graduate degree and formal training in gender considered an asset**


  • A minimum of five years (5) experience in program management/program development in an international development/humanitarian organization;
  • A minimum of three (3) years international development experience in the Global South, especially in Kenya is required;
  • A strong understanding of women’s rights is required, as well as demonstrated experience incorporating gender and feminist approaches into the design, monitoring, learning, and evaluation of programs;
  • Experience in applying participatory methods and tools, including the promotion of gender equality, good governance, and environmental sustainability;
  • Strong knowledge and experience in conducting gender assessment and gender Action Plan in a developing country context;
  • Knowledge of multi-stakeholder program development processes including coordination and learning;
  • Knowledge of training tools and methods and proven experience delivering training on gender responsive programs. Experience in coaching and mentoring in rural and agricultural communities is considered an asset.


  • Ability to communicate ideas in a culturally-sensitive manner and conducive to their practical application;
  • Robust conceptual and analytical skills.
  • Excellent time management skills, with an ability to deliver high-quality outputs on time.
  • General finance, administration, information management and telecommunication skills and proficiency in information technology/ computer skills.
  • Ability to prioritize, organize, work independently, and take initiative
  • Excellent public speaking skills
  • Curious, enthusiastic and willing to innovate and adapt
  • Fluency in English is a must, Proficiency in Swahili and other languages spoken in Kenya (Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Meru, etc) is considered an asset.


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