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DIGITAL STORYTELLING CONSULTANT.


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Country: Kenya
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 28 Aug 2020

Mercy Corps Background

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action—helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future. As a global organization with programs in over 40 countries, we focus much of our advocacy on influencing governments, multi-lateral institutions as well as foundations and the private sector to improve relevant policies, practices and decisions in order to better help vulnerable communities lift themselves out of poverty.

Mercy Corps AgriFin

Mercy Corps’ mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. The AgriFin Accelerate (AFA) program is a six year, USD 24.7 million program of Mercy Corps, supported by The MasterCard Foundation. The core problem AgriFin Accelerate seeks to address is the inclusion gap for smallholder farmers (SHF) who lack access to affordable, accessible, demand-driven financial products and services that drive higher productivity and income for farm families.

Drawing on Mercy Corps’ experience implementing the AgriFin Mobile program and years of work in the agriculture, finance and ICT sectors, AgriFin Accelerate will support the expansion of digital financial services (DFS) to one million farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over six years, delivered by growing ecosystems of diverse service providers. AgriFin Accelerate’s primary target group is unbanked smallholder farmers living on less than $2.50 per day in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. Three outcomes will contribute to the achievement of this goal:

Outcome 1: Market actors expand, improve and continue to offer high-impact DFS products and services that are tailored to address the expressed needs of SHFs;

Outcome 2: Farmers increase capability to access and utilize demand-driven, high impact technology enabled financial products and services relevant to SHFs;

Outcome 3: Ecosystems around both supplier and farmers emerge supporting provision of digital financial and informational services to SHFs that are used at scale.

To address SHF’s challenges in using the mobile phone, the MasterCard Foundation funded a $25 million six-year program called the AgriFin Accelerate Program. This program draws upon Mercy Corp’s experience in implementing the AgriFin Mobile Program coupled with their extensive work in the agricultural, financial, and ICT sectors. The program will support the expansion of digital financial services (DFS) to one million farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over six years, delivered by growing ecosystems of diverse service providers. AgriFin Accelerate’s primary target group is unbanked smallholder farmers living on less than $2.50 per day in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.

Purpose of Engagement

Via this SOW, Mercy Corps AgriFin Accelerate will partner with a qualified Storytelling Consultant to translate and curate program learnings and insights into powerful and compelling human stories related to the Program’s main areas of work. The Consultant is expected to produce stories that demonstrate AgriFin’s impact on the farmer, institution and ecosystem level. The Consultant will also develop an animated video explaining how AgriFin works and engages partners across levels, develop a program brochure, and develop a fresh set of photography AgriFin can use across its communications products. All materials will be disseminated through AgriFin’s communication channels including but not limited to the website and social media accounts, as well as reflected in all external-facing communications materials

Scope of Work

Purpose / project description:

Via this SOW, Mercy Corps AgriFin Accelerate will partner with a qualified Storytelling Consultant to translate and curate program learnings and insights into powerful and compelling human stories related to the Program’s main areas of work. The Consultant is expected to produce stories that demonstrate AgriFin’s impact on the farmer, institution and ecosystem level. The Consultant will also develop an animated video explaining how AgriFin works and engages partners across levels, develop a program brochure, and develop a fresh set of photography AgriFin can use across its communications products. All materials will be disseminated through AgriFin’s communication channels including but not limited to the website and social media accounts, as well as reflected in all external-facing communications materials.

Objectives & Activities:

The consultancy will contribute to the following objectives:

(1) Review the Program learnings provided by Mercy Corps AgriFin to obtain a better understanding of the goals and context to follow when developing the products:

o Meet with technical and MEL teams to discuss potential storylines, based on the framing provided by the AgriFin team for each of the individuals to be documented;

o Develop a storytelling brief including a detailed work plan identifying timelines, activities and determined deliverables for the period of assignment;

o Conduct regular check-ins with the AgriFin Task and Technical Manager over the course of the assignment to update on progress towards deliverables, and course-correct if needed.

(2) Identify success stories and engaging and compelling stories/content, and gather them both by desk review and by field interviews (to be developed in consultation with AgriFin team) with the participants selected to be portrayed in the storytelling activity:

o Conduct a content-gathering exercise involving field visits (around Kenya) to interview and document the identified subjects (travel and logistics will be coordinated by the Program);

o Turn program learnings into personalized human stories reflecting AgriFin’s work across thematic areas (including tech-enabled/digital solutions and bundled products, gender, youth, climate change, resilience and climate-smart agriculture, COVID-19 and its intersection with other crises and livelihood challenges, amongst other themes), and voices from a range of participants that various audiences in the agri-fin-tech ecosystem can relate to;

o With an emphasis on strong writing, contextualize and design visual and text-based content as well as tailor and package key messages (identified in the Program’s existing learning outputs) into compelling human stories, in line with Mercy Corps’ messaging and branding guidelines;

o Audiences may include, but should not be limited to: donors, nonprofits and development actors, entrepreneurs and technology innovators, mobile network operators, financial service providers and agri-businesses.

(3) Produce a new set of photographs AgriFin can use across its communications templates to refresh its existing photography portfolio, to tell the organization’s narrative through imagery, taking into consideration the Program’s overall objectives, vision and activities.

(4) Develop an animated video for AgriFin’s website and social media channels to illustrate how the Program works with partners, farmers, and the wider ecosystem.

(5) Provide AgriFin with revised drafts for comments/feedback by agreed deadlines, and timely incorporation of feedback received from the AgriFin team and other Mercy Corps staff into final deliverables.

Deliverables

The consultancy will produce the following high-quality deliverables for AgriFin in line with Mercy Corps branding requirements and within specified deadlines as agreed during the tenure of the contract. The Consultant will be responsible for mobilization and overall outputs while AgriFin will support coordination processes for field visits, if needed.

1.Workplan + Concept

Based on a review of background documents and the content gathering plan to be provided and discussions with key AgriFin staff, submit a detailed concept note and plan of activities demonstrating an understanding of the engagement, specifying how identified profiles are to be converted into compelling stories in line with the program objectives and brand.

2-page brief outlining:

● Technical details of the agreed interview and photo shoot process as well as potential narrative structures for each participant identified

● Outline for all deliverables to be developed during the assignment

● Understanding of how the visual and written content gathered will convey the program’s message

Indicative deadline: September 5th 2020 .

2.Farmer and Partner Stories (field collection)

Conduct storytelling projects targeting farmers and AgriFin partners by:

  • Interviewing selected participants, recording and transcribing their responses and writing their stories

  • Producing supporting video and photography documentation of the subjects/participants in their natural element (e.g. a farmer tending to crops/livestock) during interviews

  • Submit the draft stories (consolidated with relevant audiovisual content) for review and validation

Draft Stories (9), each comprising:

● Narrative of participants story based on their interview responses (~1,500 words per story)

● Accompanying photo-essay / imagery related to the subject as specified in the Consultant’s Workplan + Concept

● Accompanying audio (English/Swahili/Vernacular) and written (English) transcripts of the interviews, for validation.

Indicative deadlines:

● September 20th 2020 (3 stories)

● October 20th 2020 (3 stories)

● November 20th 2020 (3 stories)

Timelines to be reviewed with Task Manager on an ongoing basis.

3.Photography collection / portfolio

Develop a set of fresh photographs capturing AgriFin’s work with its partners, and impact at farmer level across thematic areas, participant types and (if possible), geographies. The images should convey the subject’s day-to-day activities and perspectives as well as the different ways and tools through which they engage with the AgriFin program and the role of these tools on their livelihoods.

For this deliverable, the Consultant shall observe any editorial guidelines provided including providing different formats of selected images. The photos should be shared online for review and shall become the sole property of AgriFin without copyright, credit or use restrictions and be accompanied by written releases by all subjects featured in the photos.

All photo dimensions and orientations should take into consideration AgriFin’s online infrastructure, especially that of the newly designed website, and ensure all assets when uploaded will be displayed as required, within the existing platform customisations.

Photos must be categorised and labelled upon submission.

● 450 (50 per story / subject matter) edited, high resolution (300 dpi) client story images from different locations showing a variety of farmer and Value-Added Service provider activities.

● Each photo be captioned, containing descriptions of locations, program sites, relevant individuals depicted in each photo and an impactful quote from the subject.

● Selection of 45 out of the 450 photos (chosen by AgriFin) that are further formatted/resized (not cropped) for multiple online uses (social media posts, presentations, annual reports, e-newsletters, etc.)

Indicative deadline: November 6th 2020

4.Animated Video, video clips and stills

Development of animated linger video to explain AgriFin and its engagement model, to be embedded on its website. Upon completion, development of shorter clips taken from longer video, to be used across AgriFin’s social media channels. Generation of stills from the video to be used in AgriFin’s publications.

The Consultant will be responsible for providing a storyboard, creating the graphics for the animation, selecting and covering necessary approvals for possible background music, writing and recording voice-over narration. The Consultant will share rough cuts with AgriFin for approval before producing the final video.

● Video script, no longer than 300 words

● One high Definition (1080p) 90 second “explainer video” including approved narration and soundtrack

● Ten still photographs of the same video (shoot)

● Three 15-second snippets / previews cut from the 90s video

Indicative deadline: November 30th 2020

5.Final reports

A report of the consultant’s activities during the development of each story, including the final draft and relevant annexes (transcripts, consent forms) to each story. The format should be similar to this sample report.

Final Reports (9, or 1 per story)

● Online Presentation of final stories to AgriFin at the end of assignment.

Indicative deadline: November 30th 2020

How to apply:

Please refer to our website for more information and tender documents.

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