29 Technical Assistance: Context, Scope, Contractual Arrangements and External Service Contracts

From Blue Gold Program Wiki

Context and Scope[edit | edit source]

This section of the report sets out to provide the context within which the EKN-funded technical assistance (TA) team operated, and the reasons for its wide remit.

The TA team included international and national experts who were charged with supporting all aspects of the program and guiding and facilitating development within the polders. The Program Document (EKN 2012) recognised the crucial role that community facilitators, and Farmer Field School (FFS) trainers would contribute to the achievement of objectives, and the importance of providing training and guidance to the field level staff. The next chapter (Chapter 30) sets out how the TA team evolved away from a component-based organisational structure to give greater autonomy to polder-level staff who were responsible for community mobilisation and the coordination of project activities with WMGs.

The design of the Blue Gold Program broadened the thematic coverage of the most recent EKN-funded investment in the coastal zone, through the Integrated Planning for Sustainable Water Management IPSWAM (2003 to 2011) by introducing livelihoods training for water management groups (WMGs) through the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Department of Fisheries (DoF) and Department of Livestock Services (DLS), and focusing attention on choice of cropping patterns best suited to the local environment (the soils and water) which maximise profitability for the farmer.

Starting from 2015, DAE-led Community-led Agricultural Water Management (CAWM) schemes brought a package of measures including cropping patterns suited to local conditions, investments in small-scale water infrastructure to allow farmers greater control over water levels so, for example, water could be drained before harvest, and a focus on farming as a business, including record keeping and collective actions in input purchase and bulk sale of produce. CAWM farmers then introduced the lessons they had learnt from this integrated approach to cropping, water management and the business of farming by hosting visits from surrounding WMGs. And in due course, an initiative to expand investments in small-scale water management infrastructure (SSWMI) has broadened the awareness and practice of water control within polders.

Whilst the role of local government institutions (LGIs) was recognised in EKN’s Program Document, the strengthened role of Union Parishads (UPs), in particular, has evolved over the latter years of Blue Gold. Union Parishads have provided the initial point of contact with proxy representatives of communities before the establishment of WMGs, as well as assistance to WMGs in realising their collective objectives for economic development, and resolving community disputes, especially over shared water resources.

Over the course of Blue Gold, investments through the innovation fund (refer Section H) have resulted in a range of positive and practical outcomes for farming communities.

Contractual Arrangements[edit | edit source]

An advertisement inviting proposals for Technical Assistance (TA) services to the Blue Gold Program was published on 31st August 2012. Technical and financial proposals were submitted to the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on 15th October 2012, six weeks from the date of advertisement. After evaluations of the submitted proposals, contract negotiations commenced with Euroconsult Mott MacDonald BV on 17th February 2013, and a contract agreement was signed between EKN/MoFA and Euroconsult Mott MacDonald BV on 20th February 2013. The TA team was considered to have mobilised with the arrival of the Team Leader in Dhaka on 15th March 2013.

Four addenda to the contract between EKN/MoFA and Euroconsult Mott MacDonald BV were issued, as follows:

18 Nov 2013 Addendum 1: changes to invoicing period (6m) and amount of advance.
10 Dec 2014 Addendum 2: changes to invoicing period (3m), amount of advance and schedule for reporting
20 Jun 2017 Addendum 3: changes to contract ceiling and inclusion of inflation adjustment after Year 3
24 Nov 2017 Addendum 4: project completion extended from 15th March 2019 to 31st December 2020, contract ceiling changed, and delivery date for final narrative and financial report fixed at 30th June 2021.
5 Aug 2020 Addendum 5: project completion extended from 31st December 2020 to 31st December 2021, contract ceiling changed, and set delivery dates for 2020/21 Annual Plan and narrative, financial, audit and final financial and final narrative reports.

TA Service Contracts[edit | edit source]

Arrangements for service contracts were made through sub-consultancy agreements. This section provides an overview of the types of work that was undertaken. It does not include the 50+ agreements for the Innovation Fund projects which are covered in Section H of this report.

Environmental Impact Assessments[edit | edit source]

Because of the proximity of the environmentally sensitive area of the Sundarbans, environmental clearance certificates from the Department of environment (DoE) are required before the commencement of any construction work. The process of obtaining this clearance involves the preparation and submission of environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for each polder.

Firm Title Contract Date
1 CEGIS Environmental Studies 5-Mar-14
2 CEGIS Environmental Studies 4-Dec-14
3 SCL Environmental Impact Assessments Phase 1 16-Apr-19
4 SCL Environmental Impact Assessments Phase 2 9-Jan-20

Digital Elevation Models (DEMs)[edit | edit source]

DEMs provide the base polder maps showing land levels, khals, roads, villages, embankments and regulator locations and drainage catchments.

Firm Title Contract Date
1 IWM Preparation of DEM for Polders 2, 26 and 31-part 29-Apr-15
2 CEGIS Development of Digital Elevation Model 55/2A,55/2C 16-Sep-15
3 CEGIS Development of Digital Elevation Model 7 Polders 21-Mar-16
4 CEGIS Development of Digital Elevation Model 2 Polders 1-Aug-16
5 CEGIS Development of Digital Elevation Model 8 Polders 2-Oct-16
6 CEGIS Development of Digital Elevation Model 34/2 22-Jan-18

Arrangements for Communications, Extension and Horizontal Learning[edit | edit source]

A key responsibility of the TA team has been to provide open communications with all stakeholders, for monitoring and evaluation, and reporting. Formal reporting arrangements are covered in Chapter 28. The most important communications, however, were directed at the coastal communities who were to be the driving force of development - and the mechanisms we used for communicating with them are covered in Chapters 32 and 33. In the latter years of the project - from 2019 onwards – the lessons learnt by Blue Gold were presented to a wider and more sophisticated audience using a combination of videos, high quality brochures and case studies, and a wiki report.

Firm Title Contract Date
1 Mass Line Media Centre Piloting dissemination through Lokbetar 1-Jul-14
2 Aditi Popular Theatre for Mela (fair) 18-Dec-14
3 Ashek - E - Elahi Supervisor of Mela (fair) 18-Dec-14
4 Tareq Mahamud Consultancy Support for BARTA Newsletter 5-May-15
5 Prekkha Greehoo 2D Animation to promote WMO/LGIS collaboration 3-Mar-16
6 Tareq Mahamud Consultancy Support for BARTA Newsletter 5-Jun-16
7 Agro-Insight Evaluation of Extension Methods for Blue Gold 29-Jan-18
8 AVCOM CAWM video documentary 24-May-18
9 R & B creatives studio Blue Gold LOGO creation in Motion Graphics 27-Sep-18
10 Big Blue Communications Design of Communication Materials 22-May-19
11 Big Blue Communications Design and Management of wiki LLR Database 14-Feb-20
12 Aowlad Hossain Call for Action translation 9-Mar-21

Capacity Building[edit | edit source]

In the first years of the Blue Gold Program, a number of WMG capacity building programs were out-sourced to external training organisations, for example for Gender and Leadership Development (GLD), Accounts Keeping and Audit System (AKAS), and Organisational Management (OM). Over time, the limitations of this form of training were recognised (refer for more details to Chapter 31), capacity building was refocused to learning-by-doing to encourage WMGs to take control of their own activities. During 2017/18, therefore, courses run by training organisations were closed, and a refocused approach to WMG capacity building using polder teams was adopted.

Firm Title Contract Date
1 Khairuzzaman Khokon Organizing management (OM) Phase-1 10-Sep-14
2 Shushilan Community DRR Volunteer 18-Dec-14
3 Gopi Nath Saha Management of Agricultural Machineries (MAM) 12-Jan-15
4 MATRIX Savings and credit 16-Apr-15
5 SUS Organizing management (OM) Phase-2 11-Nov-15
6 KNKS Gender and Leadership Development 6-Mar-16
7 AIRN Agricultural Input Retailer Training Services 29-Aug-17

Monitoring, Reflection and Learning[edit | edit source]

Data collection for baseline, endline and WMG surveys has been sub-contracted to specialist organisations to ensure there is no conflict of interest. In developing databases and MIS systems, specialist assistance has been obtained. A report on agricultural changes from 2013 to 2021 by reconfiguring DAE Block-level data to represent polder-level figures is being carried out by an independent consultant. An analysis of satellite mapping was carried out by specialist firms in 2018 and 2021. An evaluation of CAWM demonstrations was terminated when the contracted organisation was unresponsive for an extended period.

Firm Title Contract Date
1 Abdullah Al Shakib Socio Economic Baseline Survey Phase I 12-Apr-16
2 BRAC RED Impact Evaluation of CAWM   16-Nov-16
3 Mpower WMG Tracker: Database and MIS development 2-Mar-17
4 Mpower MIS Development: Service Level Agreement 19-Mar-17
5 LSTSCL Consortium Socio Economic Baseline Survey Phase II 11-Apr-17
6 Socioconsult Ltd. 2018 WMG data collection 16-Aug-18
7 Satelligence Earth Observation Mapping 6-Feb-18
8 Socioconsult Ltd. 2019 WMG data collection 13-Jun-19
9 Mpower WMG/WMA Self-Monitoring 9-Jan-20
10 LSTSCL Consortium 2020 Endline Impact Assessment data collection 25-Feb-20
11 LSTSCL Consortium 2021 WMG Survey data collection 12-May-21
12 Md Ashraful Islam Updating TR22 on agricultural changes 17-May-21
13 Terrasphere Imaging Satellite Mapping 19-Apr-21

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

A mix of international and national individual consultants were contracted as members of the review missions, reporting directly to EKN. A number of high-level specialists were recruited to prepare a of papers on participatory water management (PWM) for presentation at a national conference.

See more[edit | edit source]

Previous chapter:
Chapter 28: Project Management Arrangements
Blue Gold Lessons Learnt Wiki
Section G: Project Management
Next chapter:
Chapter 30: Evolution of TA Organisational Arrangements

Section G: Project Management
Chapter 28: Project Management Arrangements Chapter 29: Technical Assistance: Context, Scope, Contractual Arrangements and External Service Contracts Chapter 30: Evolution of TA Organisational Arrangements organisation
  1. Introduction
  2. Implementing Modalities
  3. Development Project Proformas (DPPs)
  4. Project Meetings
  5. Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs)
  6. Review Missions
  7. Annual Work Plans
  8. Polder Development Plans
  9. Progress Reports
  1. Context and Scope
  2. Contractual Arrangements
  3. TA Service Contracts
  1. Scope
  2. Scope of Technical Assistance in the Program Document
  3. Early Arrangements for the TA Organisation
  4. Evolution of TA Organisation
  5. Theory of Change: the emergence of practical approach to PWM
Chapter 31: Capacity Building Chapter 32: Agricultural Extension Methods and Communication Chapter 33: Horizontal learning
  1. Capacity Building Programs
  2. International Exposure
  3. Refocused Training
  4. Refocused TA FFS
  5. Vocational Education Training
  1. Communication aimed at beneficiaries
  2. Communication aimed at organisations
  1. Horizontal Learning – the approach in BGP
  2. Horizontal Learning – An assessment of BGP’s experience
Chapter 34: Monitoring and evaluation Chapter 35: Management Information System Chapter 36: Environmental Due Diligence
  1. M&E Objectives
  2. Approach to the Participatory Water Management Project Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
  3. Key elements in the Project’s M&E Framework
  4. Impact assessment/Endline survey 2020
  5. Independence of M&E Reporting
  1. Background
  2. Establishing a WMG Tracker
  3. Management Information System (MIS)
  4. MIS Design and Development
  5. MIS Results Reporting
  6. WMG Tracker Closure
  7. Polder Dashboard
  8. Polder "Health Checks"
  9. Participatory Monitoring
  10. Post-Project Monitoring
  11. Self-assessment of WMG performance
  1. Objectives of the EIA Study
  2. Overview of EIA arrangement and consideration
  3. The modalities for carrying out the EIAs
  4. Alternative future modality
Blue Gold Wiki
Executive summary: A Call for Action
Section A: Background and context Section B: Development Outcomes Section C: Water Infrastructure


Summary and Introduction


Section D: BGP Interventions: Participatory Water Management Section E: Agricultural Development Section F: Responsible Development: Inclusion and Sustainability




Section G: Project Management Section H: Innovation Fund Files and others