Consultant – Market Systems Assessment Consultant – Liberia

Mercy Corps


Background

With funding from the Swedish Embassy, Mercy Corps is launching the PROSPECTS IV programme with the goal to increase incomes, job quality and job security for urban female and male youth. The programme will be implemented in two defined urban areas – Monrovia (Montserrado County) and Ganta (Nimba County) – with potential expansion to secondary locations and counties contingent on the results of the first year’s Inception Phase activities. In total, the programme is planned to last about four years with a budget of about 5.5m USD – and aims to directly benefit 16,400 young people through the course of implementation. One of the first Market Systems Development (MSD) programmes in Liberia, PROSPECTS IV will focus on urban youth employment, based on the following Theory of Change:

Poverty Impact

Increased incomes, job quality and job security for urban female and male youth

Outcome

  1. Enhanced job-readiness of young men and women

  2. Increased female and male-owned micro-enterprises access to markets and market services

  3. Growth in responsible and inclusive labour-intensive businesses

System Focus

Labour supply

Micro-enterprise

Wage employment

System Changes

Market system actors improve performance in labour supply system functions such as training, job-matching and labour market information

Market system actors improve performance in micro-enterprise system functions such as access to markets, inputs and finance

Market system actors improve performance in wage employment system functions such as human resources and business development support

Interventions

PROSPECTS IV partners with market system actors to co-design interventions based on their role, capabilities and incentives for change.

Purpose of Consultancy

The consultant is responsible for an inclusive market systems assessment of three market systems that will drive the identification of the geographies of focus: projected to at least include Montserrado and Nimba Counties – as major hubs of population and employment. Additional focus on secondary cities can be prioritised based on the results of the market systems assessment. The assessment will follow the MSD approach – tailored for urban/peri-urban employment – and seek to fully understand these target market systems including the relevant supporting functions, rules and regulations as well as the key actors and their relationships. Each target market system will be looked at independently, however many elements of these market systems are potentially shared between target markets so integration between assessments will be necessary. The market systems assessment will fully integrate gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) through each step of the inception process, ensuring that diverse target participants are included in each stage from data collection, disaggregated analysis to integration into programme design. The assessment will help map market system linkages, and identify bottlenecks and opportunities for targeted support throughout the programme. The assessment will help inform and refine interventions at all levels, from inputs and services to production, processing and sale of given product/service, ensuring the voices of women and vulnerable groups is clarified across each level. Special attention will be given to understanding the constraints that impede the growth of the subsectors, including marketing at the domestic level, while identifying possible product sales expansion to regional/international markets.

The consultant will also, as part of the market assessment, build the capacity for the PROSPECTS IV team. The PROSPECTS IV programme implements Mercy Corps’ resilience approach. Therefore, the market assessment should be carried out considering the enhancement of resilience capacities at the household and community level, where possible.

Objectives, activities, and deliverables:

Objectives

1. Conduct a market systems assessment

The consultant will conduct a market systems assessment as outlined in the above section and the activities below. Mercy Corps’ project team or Global/Regional (Africa) Market Technical Support Unit will provide to the consultant detailed tools, templates, and outlines in Mercy Corps format to use for deliverables.

Activities:

a. Attend planning call with project team and Mercy Corps’ Global/Regional Markets TSU focal point

b. Conduct and capture secondary/background research

c. Prepare research plan with workplan, including a GESI plan with a section detailing how GESI has also been integrated in each step of the market system assessment

d. Prepare kick-off workshop agenda and materials

e. Develop MSA Report Outline and Template with input from the project team

f. Conduct kick-off workshop with qualitative/quantitative data gathering training as well as MSD Lite training

g. Plan field/assessment logistics with the project team

h. Monitor and manage data collection processes

i. Lead periodic data quality checks and lead refinement/adaptation of data gathering tools, questions, and methods as necessary

j. Identify and refine programme vision (select/define target group, geographies, market systems and sector selection matrix, programme impact objectives with Theory of Change)

k. Profile the target group, urban male and female youth

l. Complete the market donut, market map (value chain), and stakeholder list (organised by market function and including market actor groups’ numbers and description of their power/influence)

m. Assess and describe market systems performance (opportunities, constraints, incentives, relationships) at the function and market actor group levels (for core and supporting functions and rules/norms)

n. Assess resilience capacities as agreed-upon with the project team

o. Assess cross-cutting themes (GESI, Decent Work, Environmental Impact and Conflict Sensitivity) as agreed-upon with the project team

p. Identify main market systems constraints and conduct a root cause analysis

q. Together with the project team, prioritise the constraints (based on criteria developed with the project team) and justify the selection

Deliverables:

r. Kick-off workshop agenda and materials

s. Research plan with workplan

t. Field assessment logistics plan

u. MSA Report Outline and Template

2. Design interventions and programme activities/partnerships

The consultant will work closely at each step of this objective with the project team to develop project interventions, activities and potential partnerships based on the information gathered during the market assessment through a series of discussions/workshops, including at least one formal Design Workshop where the donor and external stakeholders can be invited. The process for the MSA is not purely linear, so it can be expected that design activities will commence while the market assessment is still taking place. The MSA report will include both the market assessment and intervention design – making up the major components of the Inception Phase report. The outline/template will be shared by the MC project team.

Activities:

a. Identify the key activities to be included as pre-work for a formal Design Workshop and the activities to be completed during the Design Workshop, from the following selection:

i. Together with the project team conduct a “who does/who pays” (WDWP matrix) exercise for the prioritised constraints, to develop a vision of the market system future, identifying potential market actor groups as partners and pursuing sustainability/scalability of interventions

ii. Together with the project team, identify the potential activities (using the facilitation options list provided by the MC project team) and partnerships (market actor groups or individual market actors) for the priority constraints from the WDWP matrix.

iii. Together with the team, conduct a potential partner selection exercise, using the Will/Skill Matrix

iv. Together with the team, select priority intervention areas and develop “intervention tables”, detailing for each intervention: the vision, objectives, target group, potential pilot activities, potential partners, AND impact projections

v. Together with the team, walk through each step of the programme design to ensure it meets the needs and wants of an inclusive group of urban female and male youth

vi. Conduct feasibility checks on the identified opportunity, partner, and solution (as per Mercy Corps project team guidance)

vii. Identify key activities and partners that can be implemented immediately as an opening portfolio of interventions.

viii. Together with the team, construct sector-level and programme-level results chains from the bottom up (i.e., the intervention areas identified as part of the design process).

ix. Together with the team, refine a programme-specific Risk Assessment with clearly defined risks and mitigation strategies.

Deliverables:

a. Design Workshop

b. Geographically and system targeted assessment will have identified the most critical enablers and constraints to target group engagement in select market systems, alongside entry points to the market to facilitate market behaviour change

c. A comprehensive gender/GESI assessment of market systems

d. A final list of market functions for intervention that have the greatest potential to impact poor and marginalised youth during implementation. This will build from and include results and recommendations from pilot interventions.

e. A refined overall Theory of Change and specific system Theories of Change with supporting logframes and results chains containing refined projections for impact and outcome level indicators

f. A more detailed programme management plan, including a review of required staffing structure, a capacity building plan, budget allocations, updated workplan, risk register and management, and overall management processes

3. Draft and finalise MSA & Design Report – key components of the Inception Phase Report

The consultant will start filling out the MSA report template from the beginning and continue throughout the MSA & Design process for each of the selected market systems. This means that the MSA Report & Design template is closely aligned with the process described in this SOW and in the tools/template and resources that are available from the MC Global/Regional Markets TSU. The MSA Report will include a section on key cross-cutting themes, detailing how the assessment and programme design integrated GESI, identified means to encourage Decent Work, and how Environmental Impact and Conflict Sensitivity principles were integrated.

Deliverables:

a. Draft MSA Report (including excel tools/templates) – Mercy Corps will provide feedback on the draft report.

b. Final MSA report with intervention design and Results Chains

4. Build staff capacity in MSD

As part of the process of conducting the market assessment and design work, the consultant will build the capacity of the Mercy Corps project team in the MSD approach. Most of this capacity building is done through learning-by-doing with the project team throughout the MSA & Design process. Training materials can be made available by the Mercy Corps project team or Global/Regional Markets TSU.

Activities:

  1. Conduct MSD Lite training
  2. Conduct ongoing on-the-job learning capacity building throughout the entire process

Deliverables:

  1. All relevant training materials

LOE and Timeline

Below is a list of consultant activities with estimated days of effort and timelines. The exact timeline will be determined between the PROSPECTS IV team and the consultant when the consultancy begins and due dates will be finalised in the workplan upon approval by Mercy Corps.

The anticipated LOE for this assignment is 60 days within a 4 month period. Ideal start date is in November 2021. All deliverables must be approved by the Mercy Corps representative to be considered final.

Activities

Estimated LOE

Timeline

Location

Deliverables

1. Conduct a market systems assessment

a. Attend planning call with project team and Mercy Corps’ Global/Regional Markets TSU focal point

b. Conduct and capture secondary/background research

c. Prepare research plan with workplan

d. Prepare kick-off workshop agenda and materials

e. Develop MSA Report Outline and Template with input from the project team

5 days

Nov 2021

Remote

Kick-off workshop agenda and materials

Research plan with workplan

Field assessment logistics plan

MSA Report Outline and Template

f. Conduct kick-off workshop with qualitative/quant data gathering training as well as MSD Lite training

g. Plan field/assessment logistics with the project team

h. – o.

30 days

Nov-Jan 2021

In-country

2. Design interventions and programme activities/partnerships

a.

15 days

Feb 2021

In-country

Design Workshop

b-e (detailed above)

3. Draft and finalise MSA & Design Report

10 days

Feb 2021

Remote

Draft MSA Report (including excel tools/templates)

Final MSA report with intervention design and Results Chains

4. Build staff capacity in MSD

Throughout

All relevant training materials

An assessment of staff MSD capacities with recommendation on further areas of growth for project team members

TOTAL

60

4 months

Mercy Corps Responsibilities

  • Organise transportation to/from locality
  • Facilitate meetings with key stakeholders from the community
  • Provide any materials and refreshments for workshops (including printing)
  • Review/approve all draft and final deliverables
  • Contract and pay any research team to support primary data collection (if necessary)

Assessment Team

  • Assessment Lead – Market Assessment Consultant
  • Team Leader – MSD
  • System Managers (3)
  • MEL Senior Officer/Coordinator
  • Enumerator (Service Contractors)
  • Data collection firm

The Consultant will report to

Team Leader – MSD

The Consultant will work closely with:

The PROSPECTS IV programme team and HQ-based technical advisers

QUALIFICATIONS

  • BSs in economics, business administration international development, or any research related field, MSc/MBA is highly preferred

§ 5-10 years of progressive experience and proven high level of competence in socio-economic development, economic development-related programmes, ideally in in a vulnerable context;

§ Demonstrated experience with market systems assessments and designing private sector development activities (required)

  • Experience working in Liberia/West Africa (preferred)

§ Fluency in spoken and written English required

SUCCESS FACTORS

  • Ability to work under pressure, independently and with limited supervision
  • Demonstrated creative problem-solving skills and excellent time management capacities
  • Security, political and cultural awareness
  • Highly developed interpersonal communication skills
  • Deep commitment to humanitarian principles and values

How to apply

Application Forms and CVs will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Click Here to Apply

Closing Date: 11:59pm (UK Time) on Thursday 4 November 2021

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