1. Background

Energy for Agriculture (E4A), a SIDA supported renewable energy project being implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organization, Zambia intends to develop the biogas market in Zambia to increase access of households, public services, and businesses to renewable energy technologies. The project aims to develop viable markets for productive biogas that will lead to improved livelihoods through increases savings on conventional fuel sources and income generation from the productive use of biodigester products – biogas and bioslurry. In addition to triggering consumer demand through promotion, awareness raising and access to finance; the project will also develop the supply of biodigesters and productive appliances through skills development and result based finance incentives, and create an enabling environment that supports market development. The project envisages contributing to national aim of poverty reduction by improving livelihoods and quality of life of rural farmers; reducing impacts of biomass resource depletion; and supporting national goals of food production and livestock development.

The project will establish a solid foundation in the country to implement large-scale domestic biogas project in the long run. Major focus will be given for awareness building, promotion & marketing, capacity strengthening, quality assurance as well as popularisation & dissemination of biodigester technology at the grassroots level. The project aims to support the construction of 3,375 biodigesters in Zambia, and will run up to April, 2018.

An important factor for permanent sector development for biogas related activities is the potential financial return stemming from the use of biodigester products – biogas and bioslurry, achieved through the implementation of the project activities. One of the major stakeholders in implementing biodigester related activities is private sector – companies constructing biodigesters and suppliers/distributors supplying biogas appliances. At present, the involvement of private sector in biogas related activities in a structured manner is minimal in Zambia. SNV, therefore envisages conducting a Private Sector Development (PSD) study to determine the prospects, opportunities and challenges of establishment and mobilisation of private companies to involve them effectively in biodigester sector.

 1. Role of Private Sector

Energy for Agriculture (E4A) realises that strengthening the private sector to take lead on marketing, construction and after-sale-services is the main pre-requisite for the promotion and extension of biogas technology in the country. Private sector development is viewed as a means to develop a more productive and efficient economy and to increase the economic participation of the population. In the case of production and use of biodigester products, the objective is to let the sector develop by using the internal forces of demand and supply and by reducing external driving forces such as centrally planned production targets and subsidization in the long run. However, the immediate or short term driving force have been identified to be the external driving force like result based incentives and credit. Any biodigester project, such as E4A comprises of different functions to be implemented in a coordinated way. The following picture illustrates those functions under the framework of E4A.

As shown in the picture above, the central functions of construction and after sale service, manufacturing and supply of appliances, and financing should be taken care of by private sector.  A condition for a successful privatisation process should be that there are checks and balances between countervailing powers (competition, standardisation/quality control, users’ satisfaction etc.) because that dismisses the government sector from the need to intervene. One of the specific objectives of E4A is to create a conducive environment for the private sector entrepreneurs to function effectively. E4A considers the private sector as the main vehicle for the project to penetrate into the communities with a clear-cut mandate to participate in biogas related activities.

Entrepreneurs, selling biogas related services, need to trade in a range of viable services to justify the expense and investment they make in visiting and servicing communities. Biogas may not qualify as a viable business proposition in Zambia in the initial phase of the project implementation, as the market is thin and expected to develop slowly even if the social changes do come into effect. One hope for implementation of biogas is therefore to piggy-back it onto something much more marketable. Such companies could be motivated to market biogas as one element in their portfolio of services. However, the bottom-line is that the sector should grow with effective participation and ownership of the private sector.

In summary, to develop a market-led permanent biodigester sector, a very important part will have to be played by private parties. With E4A this means mainly (i) contractors who will take charge of marketing, construction, after-sales service and repair and maintenance to a lesser extent, and (ii) workshops who produce necessary appliances for plant construction and operation. This assignment will deal only with the first category.

2. Objective of the Assignment

The objective of this assignment (PSD Study) is to determine the ideal but realistic profile of biodigester construction companies who could be mobilised in the biodigester sector and formulate actions to be undertaken and/or support to be provided to establish and strengthen such companies to mobilise them effectively for promotion, marketing, construction and after-sale services related to biodigester technology under the framework of E4A.

The specific objectives of the assignment are:

To assess the status and requirements (tax and other obligations) of a small registered company in Zambia; plus possible alternatives.
To appraise the structure a small biodigester company can/should have for it to take legal responsibility for its products and services within an acceptable period;
To explore willingness, enthusiasm and commitment of the active biodigester masons to form and run a company;
To analyse the educational background and competency of the masons to run a company;
To examine the entrepreneurial spirit of the active masons and analyse if it is enough to establish sufficient companies;
To appraise short, medium and long term supports required by potential entrepreneurs to enhance skills related to the management of a private company such as management skills, bookkeeping skills, marketing skills, accounting skills;
To inventorise actors (institutions, private sector development programmes, …) that have the expertise, presence and willingness to support developing entrepreneurs with the issues resulting from f;
To suggest an action plan/time table format to establish, strengthen, and mobilise these companies effectively.
3. Approach and Methodology.

The main instrument for the study will be collection, review and analysis of primary data and information using structured and semi-structured questionnaires; focus group discussions; interviews with biodigester masons and relevant actors. The consultant should prepare an inventories of related studies carried out in Zambia in the last five years and use the relevant secondary data and information from the reports, if any. The consultant will start with a desk study covering relevant programme documents, available information on the biodigester initiatives in Zambia such as the involvement of masons, the methodology of biodigester promotion and marketing. Based on the findings of the desk study, the consultant will formulate primary data collection tools, such as structured questionnaires for masons and other potential relevant actors.

The study should be conducted in close consultation with the National Biogas Support Unit and SNV Zambia. The consultant should propose a detailed approach and methodology including the number of households to be surveyed while submitting the letter of interest. The consultant, together with the National Biogas Support Unit (NBSU), will visit project provinces viz. Lusaka, Southern Province, Northern Province and Eastern Province to have discussions with the most active masons preferably at least 5 per province as well as with other stakeholders such as the Department of Commerce and industries, national construction council, Zambia Construction Association etc. In the provinces the consultant will identify the organisations involved in private sector development to discuss: (1) the problems faced for small and medium companies to get established and develop, and (2) the scope to which these organizations can develop and are willing to participate.

4. Deliverables

1. Inception report

Prior to the field visits, the consultant will submit for approval to the E4A an Interim Report in English. This report will incorporate:

detailed methodology and work schedule for the survey;
Proposed table of content for the draft report.
E4A shall provide comments and suggestions on the Inception Report within 2 working days.

2. Draft PSD study report.

The data collected from the field survey shall be checked and verified by the consultant expert team prior to processing.

The Draft Report will be concise and is expected to be not more than 50 pages. The consultant shall submit one copy in soft and hard format each of the PSD study report.

The report shall include:

background and justification of the study
approach and methodology of the study;
findings of the relevant desk-study reviews;
present situation of biodigesters dissemination with regard to involvement of masons/contractors
review of the relevant findings from discussions with stakeholders (masons and others);
synthetization of major findings;
profile of a feasible and sustainable biodigester company;
listing of identified suitable actors and their tasks in the PSD trajectory;
action plan and time table for the coming 2 years to strength companies.
suggestions and recommendations;
The NBP shall provide comments and suggestions on the draft report within 5 working days.

The final PSD study report.
The consultant will finalise the draft report, incorporating the comments and suggestions received from the E4A and –if necessary- other relevant and knowledgeable institutions and persons. The final report will be submitted in soft and hard copy format as a Word document in English.

4. Time frame

The duration of the study will be 35 days (spread into one and half months) starting form the first week of April. The tentative schedule is described in the table below.

Name of the Report Time Remarks
Review of secondary data and information and submission of Inception report April 28th , 2016 Soft copy
Draft report for comments and suggestions May 13th , 2016 Soft Copy
Final report incorporating comments and suggestions from E4A May 30th,  2016 A soft copy and 2 hard copies of the report
5. Budget and Resources

The consultant(s) should clearly indicate in his/her/their letter of interest the total costs in Zambian Kwacha or Euros of conducting the study including remuneration, DSA, travel and transportation fees and any other sundry expenses that may be needed to conduct the study. The consultant should also mention about the supports and resources expected from SNV to successfully carry out the study.

SNV is exempt from payment VAT and any customs duties. Withholding tax will be deducted by SNV in accordance with the legislation of the Government of the Republic of Zambia. (20% for International Consultants and 15% for Local Consultants)

6. Competency of the Consultant(s) and Qualifications.

The team of the study should be led by a Private Sector Development Expert with proven experiences on organisational development and data management supported by experienced data enumerators. The team leader and data enumerators should have previous experiences of conducting similar studies. The team leader should have proven knowledge about the evolution and strengthening of private sector in Zambia.

7. Qualifications

At least 7 years of related professional experience with a Master’s Degree in Economics or a related field
Proven experience in areas related to private sector development
Practical experience in the use of the “making markets work for the poor” approach and value chain analysis would be a distinct advantage
Experience working for INGOs, multilateral and bilateral and NGOs, clients, in particular the World Bank, AfDB, DFID and SIDA
Field experience working in emerging or developing economies in general, and Southern Africa in particular, would be a distinct advantage
Familiarity with the involvement of private sector in Renewable Energy Sector in general and biodigester sector in particular in Zambia.
Demonstrated experience of having undertaken at least two similar services in the recent past; preferably in African Countries.
Demonstrated evidence of clients served (businesses that benefited from the provision of your last assignments of this nature whom SNV can obtain further references)
8. Evaluation Criteria

The proposals received will be evaluated using the following criteria and other relevant criteria as may be considered appropriate by evaluation / review committee:

Relevant qualifications and years of experience.
Relevant work experience
Depth of proposal in addressing the ToR
Research and Analytic ability
The technical proposals fulfilling the minimum required conditions (score more than 60 out of 100) will be considered for further action. Financial proposals of those who do not meet the minimum criteria will not be considered.  The firm/consultant achieving the highest score will be invited for negotiations.

 9. Application Procedure

Based on this ToR and information provided by E4A/SNV, interested consultants will develop a proposal for the survey. Consultants are encouraged to suggest improvements to the ToR. The proposal shall be submitted in two separate sections:

Section 1, technical proposal, including:

Detailed approach and methodology of the study
A tentative work schedule for the survey;
Any suggestions for improvement of the ToR and/or the survey
The names, detailed CVs and responsibilities of the proposed members of the Study Team.
Section 2, financial proposal, including:

Cost break down/item-wise cost of services;
Proposed budget.
Payment modality
Submissions are to be made available to SNV no later than the 17:30 on 18th April, 2016

Further information is available from:

The Renewable Energy Sector Leader,

SNV Zambia


Proposals can be submitted to:

The Senior Procurement Officer,

SNV Zambia,


Interested consultants should request for the detailed Terms of Reference from the Senior Procurement Officer:
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