Enterprise Development and Livelihoods Consultant

Period of Performance: September 27, 2023 – March 27, 2024 (6 months)

Location of Assignment: Beirut, Lebanon (with travel to travel to project locations in Tripoli, Halba, Taanayel, Beirut/Mount Lebanon, Saida and relevant communities/geographical areas)

Background:

For 100 years, NEF has worked to build more sustainable, prosperous and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through education, governance, and economic development initiatives. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF currently operates in ten countries. Its programs are organized around three themes: Inclusive Economic Development; Climate Resilient Development; Stabilization and Peacebuilding.

Assignment Overview:  

The Near East Foundation (NEF) is actively promoting economic empowerment among vulnerable individuals in Lebanon. We achieve this goal through a multifaceted approach, including capacity building and support for market-linked skills development. We also facilitate the creation of new income-generating activities (IGAs) and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Our efforts extend to providing access to services that aid in the growth of existing high-potential IGAs and MSMEs, as well as offering support to struggling businesses on the brink of closure. All of these initiatives aim to enhance self-sufficiency and protection for our target beneficiaries by broadening their access to economic and social resources.

Throughout our work, we are mindful of potential competition and protection risks. We actively work to reduce the potential for tension and misunderstanding while fostering social stability between displaced and host populations.

The success of these economic activities hinges on various factors, including access to markets, product quality (ensuring quality inputs, standardized production and processing skills), market demand, competitiveness, compatibility, the availability of raw materials/inputs, and market trends. Additionally, we take into account the specific obstacles, risks, and opportunities faced by vulnerable groups, such as men, women, youth, adults, people with disabilities, and others facing marginalization.

Given our seven years of experience and the ever-evolving economic landscape in Lebanon, NEF has embarked on a sixth phase of this work. This phase encompasses both financial and non-financial services. It aims to assist vulnerable individuals in developing essential life and technical skills, accessing social resources, and engaging in IGAs to reduce their social and economic vulnerability. Importantly, we mainstream protection considerations at all stages of the project.

Drawing from our learnings and program evaluations, we have integrated new components into our program design and implementation in 2023. These additions include the introduction of a new online Business Development curriculum, the development of specific curricula for business resilience and expansion, and corresponding revisions to business plans to align with these new categories. We have also adopted a tailored approach to business grants based on individual business needs. Furthermore, we have integrated a mental health and psychosocial support component across NEF's various livelihood services.

These enhancements reflect our commitment to continuously improve and adapt our programs to better serve the needs of our beneficiaries and the dynamic context in which we operate.

NEF Lebanon is looking for a consultant for a six-month engagement. The consultant's primary responsibilities will include:

  1. Reviewing the newly designed program.
  2. Assessing its strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Proposing recommendations for improvements and modifications.
  4. Assisting the team in developing technical tools and processes.
  5. Collaborating with the NEF Lebanon team to formulate a program strategy and a roadmap for implementing changes in line with that strategy.

The objective of this consultancy is to provide NEF with a comprehensive analysis of how the program can adapt to both current and anticipated market changes. This includes offering insights into the evolving market landscape in Lebanon and identifying business sectors that can withstand the current challenging conditions.

The analysis should be detailed, offering practical and actionable recommendations in each of the five areas mentioned. This information will guide the customization of the project's technical assistance activities and inform the planning of future projects.

The consultancy will involve a thorough review of the current program design and tools, encompassing assessments, data collection methods, the business development training curriculum, business analysis, and coaching and mentoring practices. Based on the findings, the consultant will provide recommendations for areas that require improvement and offer support in implementing new processes where applicable. This may also involve revising training content and creating tools for use throughout the program.

The ultimate goal of this consultancy is to enhance the program's effectiveness and adaptability in response to changing market dynamics. 

Audience and Use

The key audience of the consultancy is the Near East Foundation. The consultancy will strengthen NEF’s understanding of local market dynamics and micro-business opportunities and struggles as well as risks, it will support targeting/planning of project activities needed for the context and for NEF to tailor its program to the needs of the different program components. 

Expected Outputs/Deliverables of the Consultancy:

The Consultant will work under the supervision of the Project Manager, with support from various departments, to produce the following deliverables:

  1. Detailed Inception Report: This report will provide a comprehensive understanding of the consultant's approach to the task, the contextual analysis, the proposed methodology, and a clear action plan for achieving the project's objectives. It should also outline the intended structure of the final report.
  2. Duration: The consultancy period will span six months from the date of agreement signature. During this period, the consultant is expected to dedicate an equivalent of 2 working days per week, commencing from the day the agreement is signed.
  3. Draft Report: The consultant will submit a well-structured draft report in English. This report should encompass the methodology employed, an in-depth analysis, key findings, lessons learned, and comprehensive recommendations. These recommendations should be designed to inform both the current project and future programming. The draft report is due for review and feedback from NEF three months after the consultancy's commencement.
  4. Supporting Implementation: The consultant will actively assist the team in implementing the relevant recommendations and actions derived from the report. This support will continue for a period of three months following the report's submission.
  5. Regular Updates: The consultant is expected to conduct regular meetings with the NEF Country Representative and the Project Manager to provide ongoing progress updates.

Deadlines:

  • Contractual Starting Date: September 27, 2023
  • Deadline for Inception Report: October 13, 2023
  • Deadline for the draft report: December 27, 2023
  • Deadline for the final deliverables: March 27, 2024

NEF will be responsible for: 

  • Provision of previous and actual project documents for contextual background; 
  • Logistics and transportation for the days of field work when applicable. 
  • The consultant is expected to use their own laptop and phone. 

Payment Method:

Payment will be issued on a monthly basis, contingent upon the number of working days completed within that month and subject to the approval of the monthly deliverables as stipulated in the inception report. It is important to note that NEF will not assume responsibility for any additional expenses incurred by the consultant during their consultancy visits, nor will NEF be liable for any loss or damage to the consultant's belongings.

Skills, experience and selection criteria: 

  • University degree in relevant field; 
  • Proven capability  and experience in conducting similar consultancies;
  • Should have a clear vision for how to approach the project subjects and be able to build a trust and rapport with the subjects and communities being profiled; 
  • Experience in the livelihoods and MSMEs sector in Lebanon; 
  • Native Arabic speaker; 
  • Excellent writing and communication skills in Arabic and English; 
  • Availability and willingness to travel to various areas in Lebanon during weekdays; and, 
  • Ability to work under strict and demanding timelines. 

How to apply

Submission requirements:  

Interested applicants are required to submit a single PDF file containing the following documents:

  1. Up-to-date Curriculum Vitae(s): This should include all relevant information pertaining to your qualifications and experience.
  2. Technical Proposal: This proposal should include your understanding of the Terms of Reference (ToRs), any comments or suggestions related to the ToRs, your proposed methodology, and a comprehensive work-plan. The work-plan should outline the number of days allocated to each phase of the project, with a clear timeframe for each activity as specified in the work-plan.
  3. Financial Proposal: Please provide your financial proposal on a per working day basis. It's important to note that the consultant will be responsible for handling their own taxes.
  4. Two References: Include the contact details of two references who can speak to your qualifications and suitability for the consultancy.

Documents should be submitted by September 14, 2023: 

By email to: [email protected] with a subject line, “Enterprise Development and Livelihoods Consultancy”.  

Submissions received after the deadline will not be taken into consideration. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Near East Foundation by visiting the NEF website at www.neareast.org. 

منتهية الصلاحية
آخر مدة للتقديم
الخميس, 14. سبتمبر 2023
نوع الدعوة
دعوة لتقديم الاستشارات
قطاع(ات) التدخل:
العمل وسبل العيش
Remuneration range:
> 6000 (USD)
Duration of Contract:
6 months