UN Women is grounded in the vision of equality as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, it 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.
Background of the Consultancy:
UN Women Nigeria is implementing a two-year pilot project on Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment through Climate-Resilient Agribusiness in Nigeria. The project aims to close the gender gap in ownership and control of productive agricultural resources including land, and to enhance productivity, access to services and markets for smallholder rural women farmers and entrepreneurs engaged in the rice and shea value chains in Niger and Ebonyi state respectively. The pilot project seeks to deliver the following results:
- Increased agricultural productivity through climate smart agricultural practices by women farmers increased
- Expanded access to diverse high value markets by women through value chain development
- Strengthened capacities and trade opportunities by women through ICT platforms
- Improved institutional coordination and knowledge management through research for development
Although agriculture remains one of the most important areas of women’s work in Nigeria, women farmers face key structural barriers that limit their access to land, information, finance, infrastructure, technologies, extension services and markets. Women still have less access than men to resources and climate change adaptation mechanisms. Closing the gender gap in access to resources and climate smart agricultural and agri-business technologies through informed investments that remove these barriers, represents a great opportunity for rural women’s economic empowerment, overall economic development, and societal resilience to climate change in Nigeria.
In the shea butter agri-businesses value chain, women are unable to derive the full value of their efforts because they often lack the skills, technology, and financial resources to take advantage of the most financially rewarding stages of the chain, namely value-additive processing and marketing. Through the pilot project, UN Women will strengthen the capacities of the targeted women agri-business associations and/cooperatives in Niger State to move up the shea butter value chain. The assistance will involve enhancing their capacities in value-additive processing of shea products to meet international quality standards and improving their access to diverse and competitive national and international markets.
Duties and Responsibilities
Purpose of the Consultancy:
As part of the pilot project, UN Women Nigeria is seeking the services of an international consultant to strengthen the capacity of selected women agribusiness associations and cooperatives in Niger State on improved shea butter processing to meet international quality standards, and enhance their market competitiveness and access.
The specific objectives of the assignment include: (i) to train the targeted associations and/ cooperatives on improved value-added processing of shea butter in to various high quality products, (ii) to facilitate quality certification of their products, (iii) to strengthen their marketing skills and practices, and (iv) to facilitate their access to competitive markets including the Fair Trade markets in Europe and America.
Duties and Responsibilities:
The consultant will undertake activities as detailed below to strengthen the targeted women agribusiness associations and cooperatives in terms of good governance and management practices, and good practices in value-added processing and marketing of shea butter products for the domestic and international markets.
1. Strengthening of organizational capacity
- Assess the management capacity the selected five women agribusiness associations and cooperatives engaged in shea butter value chain in Niger State.
- Design a training program to strengthen the governance and management capacity of the targeted organizations
- Develop a training module covering, but not limited to the following topics:
i. Strategic planning and participatory consultation and self-assessment tools
ii. Principles of good governance
iii.Leadership and organizational management
iv. Financial literacy and management
v. Development of business plan
- Conduct on-site training to members of the targeted organizations based on the modules developed and validated by stakeholder
2. Strengthening of value-added processing capacity
- Conduct an audit of the range of shea butter derivatives currently produced by the members of the selected five women agribusiness associations and cooperatives, and their production practices
- Design a training program to strengthen the capacity of members of the targeted associations and cooperatives on improved value-added processing of shea butter products based on good practices recognized internationally
- Advise the project stakeholders on the acquisition of the appropriate, low-cost technology needed to implement the good practices in value-added processing of shea butter
- Develop a training module on good practices in shea butter production to guide the training of 500 participants with low formal educational background (limited capacity to read and write)
- Conduct on-site training on internationally accepted good practices in the processing of varieties of shea butter products, product traceability, coding, stabilization, and conservation
3. Strengthening of marketing capacity
- Develop training materials and conduct on-site training on international good practices in packaging branding and labelling standards
- Provide advice and assistance in the target women agribusiness associations with information on the acquisition packaging materials
- Provide support to the targeted women cooperatives and associations to increase their access to local, national, and international supply chains, branding, new business opportunities and partnerships including Fair Trade market opportunities
- Inception report generated with the following content - the status of the organizational capacity of the targeted women agribusiness associations and cooperatives, the shea butter processing practices among members of the associations (including the type of technology, and the diversity of the products); the marketing practices and a recommendation on appropriate technology and equipment for establishing a common processing facility
- A training program developed to strengthen the institutional, value-added processing and marketing capacity of the targeted women agribusiness associations and cooperatives
- Training modules (adapted to the needs of the target associations and cooperatives) developed on organizational governance and management, good practices in value-added processing and marketing including product traceability, branding, and labeling as well as access to Fair Trade market opportunities and validation with project stakeholders
- On-site training on organizational governance and management including financial management, good practices in value-added processing and marketing of shea butter products delivered to the targeted women agribusiness associations and cooperatives.
- A final consultancy report on the training activities and recommendations generated and submitted to UN Women.
The consultancy will be conducted for a total period of 40 days. The consultation period is expected to include home-based work (12 days) and on-site activities (28 days).
Integrity: Demonstrates consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
Professionalism: Demonstrates professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.
Respect for Diversity: Demonstrates an appreciation of the multi-cultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrates an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.
- Ethics and Values: Demonstrate and safeguard ethics and integrity
- Organizational Awareness: Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment
- Development and Innovation: Take charge of self-development and take initiative
- Teamwork: Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multiethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
- Communication and Information Sharing: Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication
- Self-management and Emotional Intelligence: Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behavior towards others
- Conflict Management: Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.
- Continuous Learning and Knowledge Sharing: Encourage learning and sharing of knowledge
- Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making: Demonstrate informed and transparent decision making
- Excellent understanding of gender equality issues and, more broadly, women’s economic empowerment.
- Minimum HND or university degree in manufacturing, entrepreneurship, agricultural economics, gender or another relevant field.
- Extensive experience in conducting trainings or workshops for women organizations in value additive processing of food and other agricultural commodities.
- Excellent inter-personal communication skills, including experience of facilitation of trainings or workshops and presentation.
- Ability to establish and sustain effective relationships with clients, demonstrating understanding of client’s perspective; anticipate client needs and addresses them promptly.
- Leads and works with teams effectively, demonstrating emotional intelligence and good judgment.
- Excellent skill in written and spoken English.
Required Skills and Experience
Education and certification
HND, or B Sc., or Master’s degree or equivalent in the field of manufacturing, business development, entrepreneurship, agricultural economics, gender or related fields
- Excellent knowledge of gender, and experience in capacity building of women agribusiness associations and cooperatives
- At least 8 years of proven experience in conducting training in value-added processing, and organizational governance and management
- Knowledge of the shea-butter value chain in West Africa
- Experience in developing training materials
- Strong communication skills. Business intelligence and documentation expertise and experiences
- Experience of working with communities, government institutions NGOS and international organizations
- Good facilitation skills
- Experienced in delivering training courses to women with limited formal education
- Fluency in written and spoken English is required
- Ability to speak Hausa language is an asset.