Re-advertisement: Two National Consultants to support in the implementation of “Women’s Small Business Program (WSBP)” in Kamëz municipality



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Tirana, ALBANIA
Application Deadline :10-Aug-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :30 (thirty) working days over 8 months for each consultant

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

Note: THOSE APPLICANTS WHO HAVE ALREADY APPLIED AND SUBMITTED ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS IN THE PREVIOUS ADVERTISEMENT, DO NOT NEED TO REAPPLY.

UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women's rights at the centre of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates United Nations system efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States' priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

The Government of Albania has made national and international commitments to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women in many different socio-economic aspects. Several international conventions and platforms, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Beijing Platform for Action, demonstrate Albania’s commitment to the realization of women’s rights and the achievement of gender equality. 

On November 26th, 2019 Albania was struck by a strong 6.3 magnitude earthquake described by national authorities as the strongest to hit Albania in 30 years. The earthquake affected 11 municipalities: Shijak, Durres, Kruja (in the Durres region), Tirana, Kamëz, Kavaja, Vora and Rrogozhina (in the Tirana region) and Kurbin, Mirdita and Lezha (in the Lezha region). The affected areas can be divided into three different regions: 1) the capital city of Tirana, 2) the coastal region including the port city of Durres, which is the main tourist and economic hub in the area, and 3) the rural areas in the countryside.

In the countryside, agriculture is the main economic activity, and it employs 41% of the overall population, while about 24.3% of the land is used for agricultural purposes. The agriculture sector is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming because of lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. Women typically constitute the majority of workers in the small family farms. The main crops cultivated in the earthquake-affected areas are vegetables, fruit trees, vineyards, and forages. On average, 75.5% of the affected farming households rely solely on agricultural activities for their incomes and livelihoods.

Past experiences show that women and girls are differently and often disproportionally affected by disasters and crisis and have different and uneven levels of resilience and capacity to recover. Learning from past outbreaks have shown that a pandemic magnifies all existing inequalities, including economic status, ability, age and gender. This was also confirmed by the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA)[1] conducted in Albania following the deadly earthquake of November 2019, which points out the disproportionate impact of the earthquake on women and girls in the affected areas. Their economic empowerment will stagnate as they will be pushed further towards traditional roles and activities, including caretaking for children and elderly, family members with disabilities and engaging in agriculture to support their household. They also have less mobility to search for casual jobs, which further aggravates the inequality gap and constrains their ability to recover quickly and to build back better. Women and girls in these communities are now faced also with the impact of COVID 19 pandemic, which is expected to further widen gender inequalities and exacerbate their socio-economic situation and any existing vulnerabilities. The PDNA also stressed the importance of considering the recovery process as an opportunity to strengthen resilience by reducing inequality and the vulnerability of women and other groups.

The earthquake in 2019 specifically shed light on Albania’s lack of preparation to respond to natural disasters in a  manner that ensures the protection and support to the most vulnerable groups such as rural women, who face  increased risks of losing their subsistence agriculture production; single mothers or women heads of households who  are at risk of losing their homes and falling into homelessness and poverty; and women victims of domestic and/or  intimate partner violence among other forms of violence, and other groups with an increased vulnerability such as  women and men with disabilities, LGBTI persons, elderly persons, and Roma and Egyptian women and men.

To address some of these needs, UN Women is implementing a project focused on Gender sensitive post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction, funded by the Government of Sweden, through the UN Albania SDG Acceleration Fund. The project aims to strengthen resilience by reducing inequality and the vulnerability of women in the affected areas. In this context UN Women is looking to contract two national consultants to support in the implementation of the “Women’s Small Business Program (WSBP)” in Kamëz municipality.

[1] Albania Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, Tirana, February 2020

 


Duties and Responsibilities

Objectives of the assignment

Support in the implementation of the Women’s Small Business Program (WSBP), specific to vulnerable and marginalized women affected by the 2019 earthquake in the municipality of Kamëz.

The activities in this consultancy service aim to strengthen the business competencies and entrepreneurship skills of an estimated 20-30 selected marginalized women in Kamëz. As a result of the entrepreneurship training, marginalized women will be able to: Understand and develop the entrepreneur characteristics and competencies; Develop competencies on issues such as business idea generation, innovation, business planning, contracting, product development, marketing, sales, promotion, and financing; Develop a basic business plan and present their business ideas; Start-up / consolidate their business. Economic empowerment and improved living condition of marginalized women, and their families will be achieved by (i) supporting job creation via self-employment; (ii) increasing the number of marginalized and vulnerable women in self-employment, production, processing and marketing and promote their contribution in economic development and social cohesion; and (iii) create positive attitude towards promotion of the successful women; (iv) raising awareness to the Kamëz municipality to integrate women small business support measures in the future, providing financial support or establishing positive fiscal incentives.

Tasks and responsibilities:

In close cooperation and continuous consultation with UN Women Project Coordinator on Post-Earthquake and UN Women Women’s Economic Empowerment & Local Economic Development (WEE&LED) Expert, the two consultants will perform the following tasks:

  1. Develop a detailed Work Plan and Calendar of Activities.
  2. Organize the process of identification and selection of women beneficiaries in Kamëz municipality.
  • Conduct meetings with municipality representatives and other stakeholders. The consultant(s), together with the project’s Women Economic Empowerment & Local Economic Development (WEE/LED) senior expert, will introduce the assignment interventions to the municipality of Kamëz appropriate staff and invite their participation, as appropriate. Social Service Section, gender focal point, heads of administrative units, economic development specialist, and mayor will be encouraged to become WSBP ambassadors, and promote the project activities. The consultant(s) will cooperate with the Kamëz Labor office, and Social Service Section to identify vulnerable and marginalized women, who have ideas, and potential to meet the pre/defined criteria. In addition, the municipality staff will be invited to attend the training and other project activities, in order to get better understanding of the capacity building measures on economic empowerment and promote them within municipality and not only.
  • Conduct needs assessment for the vulnerable and marginalized women in Kamëz, by identifying women and organize the focus group with the support of Social Service section staff of the municipality.
  • Conduct 12-15 interviews with municipality staff, gender focal point and/or domestic violence coordinator, social administrators, women in businesses and marginalized women, and project staff, with the purpose of obtaining adequate information about the business environment in Kamëz, needs, challenges of the marginalized women, and identify the precondition to facilitate success of the WSBP. One focus group will be organized with a group of vulnerable and marginalized women.
  • Support in developing eligibility criteria for selection process- the consultants will elaborate criteria for the selection process that enable a fair, transparent process, and to ensure that a significant share of beneficiaries are poor, marginalized and vulnerable women, and women that are affected by the 2019 earthquake. (The selection criteria might include: vulnerable and marginalized women, with a feasible business idea, support of the family to start the business, with experience in undertaking risk, and readiness to contribute with their resource to the new business).
  • Identify and select the beneficiaries: Together with the Municipality representative, UN Women PM and WEE & LED Expert, the consultant(s) will conduct the selection process based on the defined and agreed eligibility criteria. There will be 25-30 people selected to participate.

        3. Deliver business trainings and coaching.

  • Prepare and finalize training calendar. After the call for applications, and consultations with municipality of Kamëz, the consultant(s) will finalize the training program for the Kamëz municipality on the number of participants, their availability, etc. Plan for five 2-day sessions or 10 one-day sessions, depending on the participants’ availability.
  • Prepare and finalize curricula training program. Based on the identified needs, the consultant(s) will develop the training curricula. The tailored curricula will address a holistic entrepreneurship and start-up mindset and provide guidance on preparation of business and financial plans, based on a standard Competency based Economies, Formation of Enterprise (CEFE) methodology[2], designed to help the women evaluate and refine their ideas in a short amount of time, using tools to help them determine if they can move forward with their business ideas.
  • Organize and deliver business development training in Kamëz. KASH (Knowledge, Attitude, Skills, and habits) principles integrated in CEFE methodology will need to be used for strengthening business competences of women.

          4. Provide technical assistance and follow-up coaching

  • Provide individual coaching to the selected group of women that intend to develop a viable business plan. The coach will empower the beneficiaries to define the product, identify competitive advantages, get to know and assess the competitors, properly understand costs, and pricing. Coaching will start after the module on business planning. 1-day coaching will be dedicated to each of the participants.
  • Provide three group  coaching. Experts will offer a support group platform. Group coaching session will be held once in three weeks, for 3-4 hours with focus on business development, challenges, and success factors. The participants will be encouraged to share their experiences. This facilitates creating trust in the group, strengthen social relationships and doing business together. It is expected that after the project, the municipality staff continue facilitation of the women’s group meetings.
  • Support formalization of these local women entrepreneurs whose business plans are appropriate and support project goals.

        5. Contribute to organizing public events for entrepreneurs

  • Support the project team in organizing at least one “Experience night”, as a public discussion with a focus on learning from failures, stimulate developing a positive, problem-solving attitude towards failure.
  • Support the project team by preparing a concept note for the organization of a Final event with participation of women beneficiaries and their families, Municipality representatives, UN Women and its donor, private sector, civil society organizations, community members and other stakeholders. Women beneficiaries will present in front of a panel to be composed of UN Women representative, Municipality representative, private sector representative, and financial institution.

         6. Prepare technical equipment needs assessment report for the selected beneficiaries

  • Prepare and submit to UN Women a needs assessment report to support the best business ideas with some equipment for the women beneficiaries of the program to succeed in their entrepreneurships.

Technical deliverables

  1. Eligibility criteria for women beneficiaries;
  2. List of selected women beneficiaries and selection report;
  3. Training calendar for WSB program;
  4. Training modules (5) for business development;
  5. Training report;
  6. Developed business plans;
  7. Individual coaching and group coaching plans and reports;
  8. Technical equipment needs assessment
  9. Minutes of meetings with local representatives;
  10. Concept notes for the public events;

Administrative deliverables

  1. Detailed Work Plan and Calendar of Activities for Kamëz municipality;
  2. Monthly update reports, including contributions to the project Success Stories, project newsletter, and quarterly reports;
  3. Monitoring and evaluation data, as requested by the project. This would include: lists of participants for all meetings, trainings, coaching and public events, training agendas, etc.;
  4. Final Report (English).

Note: The individual tasks and specific deliverables for each consultant will be specified in a detailed work plan to be assigned at the start of the contract in close consultation with the project manager.

Duration and remuneration:

The duration of the contract will be for an initial period of 8-months starting from August 2021. The payment will be made in installments upon satisfactory completion of tasks and deliverables, submission of time-sheet, monthly report and approved deliverables by UN Women.

[2] CEFE is a methodology that stands for Competency based Economies, Formation of Enterprise and is a comprehensive set of training instruments using action-oriented and experiential learning methods to develop and enhance the business management and personal competences of a wide range of target groups, mostly in the context of income and employment generating and economic growth. CEFE trainings are completely adapted to teaching and are oriented towards simulations, empirical and interactive participation of participants. 5 modules on basic entrepreneurship skills, from idea generation, pitching, entrepreneurs’ profile, innovation, market research, product definition, marketing, business plan development, minimum viable product, financing plan, cash flow, break-even point.


Competencies

Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism

Core Competencies:

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge and experience on issues related to national and international framework related to gender equality, women inclusion and women economic empowerment;
  • Knowledge and familiarity on women entrepreneurship and economic development in Albania;
  • High level of skills and expertise related to CEFE methodology;
  • Good know-how and experience on adult learning methodology;
  • Diverse organizational skills in various settings;
  • Proven ability to work within limited time constraints in the preparation of high-quality documents;
  • Strong ability to interact effectively with various partners and stakeholders, with focus on local level authorities and local communities;
  • Strong negotiating skills;
  • Possesses the ability to work independently;
  • Good computer skills in Windows environment, knowledge of internet communications and command of MS Office applications (Word, Excel, Power Point).


Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications/Education:

  • Master’s degree in economics or development-related disciplines (business administration, marketing, economics, rural or/and economic development, international development, gender and social studies, public administration or any other social science related to development);
  • International CEFE Senior Advisor and Master Trainer, or certification as CEFE trainer and coach is mandatory;

Work Experience:

  • At least 10 years of relevant professional nvironment in Albania, market approach, rural development, women economic empowerment;
  • Experience in business training and coaching experience for different target groups;
  • Experience in designing business development training curricula for specific target groups (women groups, special interest groups, marginalized groups, etc.);  
  • Experience in support of women entrepreneurs and start-ups;
  • Previous experience or familiarity with the UN system or other international organizations would be considered an asset.

Language:

  • Fluency and proficiency in spoken and written Albanian and English required.

 

Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments:

  • Financial Proposal specifying the lumpsum fee in Albanian Lek for the tasks specified above. 

Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant/consultant during the contract period (e.g. fee and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services and travel-missions to the targeted area (Kamza municipality). The financial proposal shall include a travel estimate for at least 15 (fifteen) travels to Kamza for each consultant.

  • Payment will be made as per the payment schedule in the contract upon (i) satisfactory completion of tasks; (ii) provision of deliverables specified in the ToRs; (iii) submission of and approval by UN Women; and (iv) submission of the certification of payment.

Recommended Presentation of Offer:

Qualified and interested candidates are asked to submit their application no later than 10 August 2021:

  • A Letter of Confirmation of Interest including a brief description explaining why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment.
  • UN Women Personal History Form (P11) including past experience in similar assignmentCan be downloaded at: UN Women Personal History Form (P11)  or http://www.unwomen.org/en/about-us/employment
  • Financial Proposal specifying the total lumpsum in Albanian Lek for the tasks specified in this assignment, including the daily rate and the costs for one travel to the targeted municipality as specified in the section above.

 

Evaluation of applicants:

Candidates will be evaluated using a cumulative analysis method taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications and financial proposal. Contract will be awarded to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of below defined technical and financial criteria                                                                                                                                                                   

Technical Evaluation –70 points:

  • Master’s degree in economics or development-related disciplines (business administration, marketing, economics, rural or/and economic development, international development, gender and social studies, public administration or any other social science related to development); (max 15 points)
  • High level of skills and expertise related to CEFE methodology- business training and coaching experience for different target groups; (max 10 points)
  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience in the areas of business environment in  Albania, market approach, rural development, women economic empowerment; (max 15 points)
  • Experience in business training and coaching experience for different target groups and in designing business development training curricula for specific target groups (women groups, special interest groups, marginalized groups, etc); (max 15points)
  • Experience in support of women entrepreneurs and start-ups; (max 10 points)
  • Previous experience or familiarity with the UN system or international organizations is considered an asset (max 5 points)

Financial Evaluation – 30 points

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points) in the technical evaluation would be considered for financial evaluation.

The maximum number of points assigned to the financial proposal is allocated to the lowest price proposal. All other price proposals receive points in inverse proportion. The calculation formula applied is as follow:

p = 30 (µ/z); where: p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated; µ = price of the lowest priced proposal; z = price of the proposal being evaluated.

How to Submit the Application: To submit your application online, please follow the steps below:

  • Download and complete the UN Women Personal History Form (P11)- http://www.unwomen.org/en/about-us/employment
  • Merge your UN Women Personal History Form (P11), the Financial Proposal, and the Letter of Confirmation of Interest into a single file. The system does not allow for more than one attachment to be uploaded.
  • Click on the Job Title (job vacancy announcement).
  • Click 'Apply Now' button, fill in necessary information on the first page, and then click 'Submit Application;'
  • Upload your application/single file as indicated above with the merged documents (underlined above).
  • You will receive an automatic response to your email confirming receipt of your application by the system.

Notes:

  • UN Women retains the right to contact references directly. Due to the large numbers of applications, we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.
  • The consultancy post is open to local (Albanian) individuals or foreign individuals with valid temporary or permanent residence in Albania.
  • Applications without the financial offer will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.
  • The individual consultants should take the mandatory learning security course prior to commencement of assignment– details will follow before the issuance of contract.



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