Job Description

About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps partners with communities as they move from a place of fragility to resilience, meeting urgent needs while addressing root causes – always powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse, and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

With funding from the Embassy of Sweden, Mercy Corps is implementing the Catalysing Economic Development through the Informal Sector (CEDIS) program. The 4-year programme aims to improve incomes, working conditions and resilience to shocks and stresses of 30,000 vulnerable young women (70% aged 18-35) in the urban and surrounding rural areas of Bulawayo, Mutare, and Harare through sustainable informal and micro-enterprise livelihoods, with the potential for expansion after the pilot phase. The CEDIS program is committed to contributing to greater women’s economic empowerment by achieving improved incomes, better working conditions, and greater economic resilience.

Purpose / Project Description:
Taking a facilitative approach, the CEDIS program is centred on strengthening the roles of women and women-led enterprises across target sectors, while also addressing strategic cross-cutting market constraints. Such constraints include access to finance, energy and equipment, as well as rules and norms. The program seeks to enable the informal sector system to function more inclusively for women, particularly young women, for increased productivity, employment and income opportunities. In the end, we expect that by having access to better opportunities in the informal sector, women would have greater economic empowerment; thereby having stronger agency and decision-making power towards their economic activities as well as policy-making processes. Therefore, women’s economic vulnerability in the informal sector will be reduced and resilience will increase.

The program’s intervention logic entails:
Goal: Improved incomes, working conditions and resilience to shocks and stresses for 30,000 young women (70% aged 18-35yrs) in the informal economy.
Outcome 1: Female employees and female suppliers earn more through increased quantity of work or increased rates of pay.
Outcome 2: Women-led enterprises experience improved business performance.
Outcome 3: Young women and women-led enterprises experience an improved business environment.

Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to always adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct eLearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

Duties and Responsibilities

Consultant Objectives:
The purpose of this baseline study is to provide a benchmark from which to measure the progress of the program through an in-depth analysis in the target areas. The baseline study will, therefore, provide the current state of the indicators in the results framework and facilitate monitoring of progress towards program objectives. The baseline study will also form the basis of the evaluation and help set the targets for the indicators.

Consultant Activities:

The Consultant will:
● Design the baseline study methodology focusing on the program’s objectives.
● Develop baseline data collection tools that align with the methodology of the study.
● Conduct field data collection – conduct interviews with identified market actors and program participants to obtain primary data on key study questions. Based on discussions with the program implementation team, potential target groups and market actors will be identified for in-depth interviews. These respondents will be selected purposively for optimal responses.
● Compile baseline study report that meets the standards as required by Mercy Corps.

Consultant Deliverables:
The consultant(s) will report progress regularly to the CEDIS MEL Coordinator. It is expected that the consultant submit four (4) reports as follows:
1. Inception report and workplan: the consultant will have a meeting with the CEDIS Program Management Team (PMT) to understand the program and to access required documents such as the proposal and the results framework. The consultant will also engage with the PMT to come to a consensus on the baselines study methodology, field visit plan, sampling and so on. The draft inception plan should include a detailed methodology including a stakeholder map, data collection tools, baseline framework, quality assurance mechanism of data collected, sampling, deliverables, work plan and division of labour (if it is a team of consultants).

2. Brief presentation after the field work on preliminary findings: consultant will present the preliminary findings of the field work to the PMT.

3. Draft report: consultant will submit the preliminary results of the baseline study of data gathered and data/information analysis.

4. Final report: the final report will be submitted after presenting the results of the study to the CEDIS team and incorporating feedback which is received during the presentation. The final report should include the completed analytical framework of the baseline study. Review and revision process from the draft report stage to the final report should not exceed two (2) weeks. The final report should include the following:

– Acronyms
– Executive Summary
– Introduction
– Methodology
– Limitations
– Findings
– Conclusion and Recommendations
– Appendix

The consultant(s) will submit both the electronic and hard copies of all the reports and data collected. A PowerPoint presentation of the findings will also be expected from the consultant(s).

Timeframe / Schedule:
It is expected that the consultant(s) work over a 45-day spread (Sep-Nov) as follows:
1. Document Review and Inception Report (3 days).
2. Data Collection (18 days).
3. Debriefing after data collection (1 day).
4. Data Analysis and draft report (9 days).
5. Review, quality assurance (7 days).
6. Finalization of the report and evaluation brief (7 days).

The due dates for each of these will be set based on the contracting dates.

Qualifications and Experience

Required Experience & Skills:

At least an advanced degree in marketing, business management, agriculture economics, economics, or a relevant social science degree.

– Minimum 7 years in research and evaluation with experience in data collection, analysis, and reporting.
– Professional experience in the area of market systems development, market linkages, value chain analysis and/or development.
– Strong analytical skills.
– Able to work independently with efficiency and competence.
– Excellent written and oral skills.

● Excellent written and spoken English

How to Apply

How to apply
Mercy Corps is committed and accountable to the community members we work with and the beneficiaries we serve. As part of this commitment, Mercy Corps has zero tolerance to violations of the Code of Conduct (Sexual Abuse of Beneficiaries and Community Members (PSEA) Policy, Anti-Trafficking Policy, Child Safeguarding Policy, Mercy Corps Ethics Complaint and Whistle-blower Policy, Sexual Misconduct in the Workplace Policy, Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy, Conflict of Interest Policy and Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Policy).

Applicants to submit a Cover Letter, Resume and a detailed proposal to conduct the baseline study outlining the consultant(s) understanding of this task, proposed methodology, work plan and budget to [email protected] by 8 September 2023. Applicants being a group, or a consulting firm should include CVs of the individuals that will be involved in the baseline study clearly stating their roles in the proposal and registration documents (including tax clearance certificate). Applications should be clearly labelled as CEDIS-BS-EOI (Your Name) in the email subject line.

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity organization and encourages both female and male candidates to apply. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis and shortlisting will proceed as applications are received.