AFD- call for proposals “Economic empowerment of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian in the agriculture sector”

The French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement – AFD) is willing to finance International and National Jordanian Civil Society Organizations or other Non Profit Organizations (CSO/NPO) to implement a project aiming at improving the economic empowerment of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian in the agriculture/rural sector (see the Terms of Reference (ToR) in Section VII).
This project will be funded through AFD Minka Middle East Initiative. Established in 2017, its objective is to provide multiannual support to Syria’s neighboring countries. This regional program seeks to finance development projects that mitigate the vulnerabilities generated by population displacements and strengthen the resilience of the host countries.

Main objective

Economic empowerment of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians working in the agriculture sector through improving work conditions and fostering increase & diversification of income sources, to strengthen households’ resilience to unpredictable shocks and stressors.


Specific objectives

  • Improving the regularity of the income for the small farmers and productivity of small farms (mostly targeting Jordanian but marginally also Syrians) through disseminating low cost – high impact improved practices (for example on irrigation and soils conservation, among others), supporting small-scale processing and marketing with a market-based approach, and supporting a diversification of their activities, especially when they rely on one agricultural production only, which increases their vulnerability.
  • Improving access to year-round income for vulnerable workers and farmers (including Syrian refugees, employed in bigger farms). In particular, the project should also support access of seasonal workers to other economic activities for the 5.5 months when they cannot work as farm hands.
  • The project should also deal with working conditions of workers and farmers (with a specific attention on child labour).


Content and challenges

The proposals are expected to detail the following aspects, which will receive particular attention in selecting the proposals and the follow-up discussions:

Selection of target groups :

The call for proposals aims to strengthen the resilience of a number of vulnerable groups, by increasing /diversifying and securing their sources of income and improving their working conditions, both within refugees (Syrians living outside of the camps and others nationalities) and host communities. These groups include in particular the low-income households, women and youth.

The proposal is expected to define precisely:

  • the intended target groups and their definition in relation with the specificities of the proposed area(s)/sector(s);
  • the proposed methodology to reach out to the groups and identify the final beneficiaries (outreach strategy, partnerships with relevant organizations in the field, selection criteria);
  • the relevant intermediaries and partners to ensure the sustainability of the action;
  • The expected impact of the project on the efficiency of agricultural activities and improves natural resources management at farm level through from the low cost high impact practices. When relevant, it should identify and create innovative and positive linkages between the activities proposed and ongoing activities by the partner or another organization.

The group of beneficiaries must be aligned with the 2020 JRP in terms of repartition between nationalities for a resilience project. The proposal will explain how the proposed approach will distinguish between vulnerable Jordanians and Syrians in terms of outreach, selection, training and access to activities, according to their different needs and opportunities.

Although no formal quantitative target is set for women within the groups of beneficiaries, proposals should aim for gender parity in the intended beneficiaries. The proposal is expected to detail how it will address the specific needs of women (distinguishing between Jordanian and Syrian if relevant) in terms of needs and opportunities, outreach, selection, training and access to activities.

Finally, even if social cohesion does not seem to be an issue at this stage in Jordan, approaches and activities aiming at facilitating exchanges between communities will be valorized.


Operational content :

Activities should be designed to maximize quick impacts while integrating medium term sustainability. They should aim at reaching a significant number of beneficiaries through cost effective approaches.

Proposals are expected to provide sufficient details on the activities contemplated in this project, as well as the methodology that will be used for their implementation. The logical link between proposed activities and expected result should be clearly explained in the theory of change. The proposals should clearly describe how the different communities will be targeted, and how their common and their specific needs will be addressed within the global framework of the project.

Activities proposed for income generation or its diversification should be justified by an appropriate analysis of economic opportunities in the targeted rural areas and, in the case of Syrian refugees, by taking into account any existing restriction that limits available options. The choice of technical solutions proposed for small farmers should be based on demonstrated cost-effectiveness, local availability, environmental and/or climate-smart relevance, and dissemination potential (including expected demand from farmers). Social activities aiming at improving the working conditions of farm hands should be based on a good understanding of the labour law, its requirements and its gaps. They should identify incentives for big farmers to improve the working conditions of their labour force.

– It is expected that, each time this is relevant, partnership should be sought with local or national level public services and institutions, as part of the project’s exit strategy. The proposal should identify precisely which public entities will be involved in the project implementation, whether on technical agricultural or social issues.

A specific attention will be accorded to: – Tentative eligibility criteria, both for beneficiaries, and for the type of activities that can be funded;

– for proposals submitted by consortia, the proper integration and articulation of activities implemented by the different partners. The consortium should add value that goes beyond a simple juxtaposition of the different partners’ activities.


Choice of the geographical areas :

This call for projects does not have restriction on geographic areas, knowing that the project should be aligned with the 2020 JRP in terms of beneficiary repartition taking into account Syrian refugees’ spatial distribution in Jordan

However, the proposal is expected to explain the rationale of the choice of areas covered including: 1. area context analysis allowing for a precise understanding of the initial situation: socioeconomic context, local situation of refugees, vulnerabilities’ assessment, situation of the agriculture sector (value chains, water resources, constraints and opportunities…) and perspectives for final beneficiaries to diversify their income and improve their working conditions; 2. a well-grounded rationale of the proposed actions: direct experience in the area, lessons learnt from previous relevant activities, identification of other initiatives in the area and identified opportunities for synergy and cooperation, proposed innovations…; 3. the possibility to have a significant impact in the proposed areas through the project; 4. the possibility to link the project to other ongoing or recently achieved projects, in order not to continue them but rather to create new added values for the benefit of all projects.

Experience of the implementing institution(s) :

Project implementation will be entrusted to one NGO/CSO or one consortium of NGOs/CSOs. In both cases, the lead organization must be an international civil society organization (CSO/NPO) registered in Jordan or under process of registration17.

In case of a consortium, other partner institution(s) – which can include UN agencies – must either be registered in Jordan or be able to demonstrate that they have started their registration process. Consortium partners as a collective entity are expected to demonstrate, between them, experience in working successfully in the fields of agricultural and rural development sector, as well as implementing social activities related to the project’s objectives.

The lead institution must demonstrate a capacity to implement and manage financially and logistically projects of the scale proposed. In this respect, the turn-over of the lead organization over the last three years must be at least 3 times the amount of the proposal. It will sign the financing agreement with AFD.

The lead institution must also demonstrate a capacity to enter into an institutional dialogue with national and local structures as well as AFD Jordan office and headquarters. Significant operational experience on the field is required. An existing relationship with the national authorities will be assessed positively.

Lead institutions are invited to mobilize other relevant international and local institutions of the public and private sector to ensure that they have all expected competence and network to fulfil the mission including:

– Knowledge of local economies, needs and opportunities in agriculture and rural development;

– Capacity to reach out to vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees over the lifespan of the project;

– Demonstrated capacity to implement economic empowerment related activities, provide technical solutions and support to farmers, and support income diversification for vulnerable populations;

– Understanding of the legal and social issues pertaining to access to work and working conditions for Syrian refugees in Jordan. – Capacity to implement inclusive and participatory approach, with experience in mediation.

In the case of a consortium, partnership with a Jordanian NGOs is required, and the proposal shall demonstrate how the lead institution will contribute to the capacity building of its local partner(s).


Monitoring and evaluation setup :

The proposal is expected to indicate how the activities will be monitored over: – The short term, among other objectives to control that both Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian are targeted; – The medium term, to assess how revenue diversification/increase has reduced vulnerability of the beneficiaries, and how this impacts both their working conditions and daily life. Capitalisation during the project, such as mid-term and final evaluations, must be included. External resources can be mobilized during the implementation of the project.


Medium term sustainability :

Although the call for proposal gives priority to projects aiming at short to medium term results, the sustainability of the approach is nonetheless important. Sustainability of the proposed projects will be assessed based on:

– The unit costs per beneficiary, with an impact on the total number of beneficiaries; – The combined impact of the project on the target area/sector; – The possibility to replicate or scale up the approach allowing for economies of scales; – The capacity to adapt response to a changing context and changing needs over time; – The participation and reinforcement of preexisting local institutions contributing to institutional sustainability – The possibility to link this project to other existing projects – The proposed exit strategy.


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