Job Opening

Posting Title: SRO-SA International (principal) consultant for the conceptualization and development of a study on ‘’MSMEs and Value chains and trade development in Southern Africa: Case studies-selected countries
Department/Office: Economic Commission for Africa
Duty Station: LUSAKA
Posting Period: 01 March 2022 - 13 March 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Economic Commission for Africa-174513-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Objectives of the consultancy and of Study
The study aims to identify opportunities for MSMEs in six target countries (Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia) to integrate into national, regional and global value-chains, and trade at higher levels, in line with the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap and to build back better post-Covid. In this context, the study will propose concrete actions and initiatives, to be implemented at national level to enable MSMEs to develop and apply innovative approaches such as digital technologies and e-commerce to relieve their constraints to integrate into value-chains and to trade. In particular, the study will analyse the constraints faced by MSMEs to take advantage of regional and global trade agreements and explore the potential role that STI/innovative approaches can play to address these constraints.

Work Location

Remote

Expected duration

The assignment will be completed and delivered in 5 work months

Time frame Activity
2 weeks after the signature of the contract Consultant submits to ECA an inception note, detailing the methodology, conceptualization of the study, the annotated outline and case studies to be included in the study; Consultant also submits to ECA terms of reference to undertake missions to the three selected countries along with a schedule of visits and a timetable;
1 week after the submission of the inception report The inception report and mission terms of reference is reviewed by ECA and updated by the consultant and approved
3 weeks after signature of the contract The consultant undertakes a 5-day mission to 3 countries over a period of three weeks; (the secondary consultant travels to another 3 countries)
7 weeks after signature of the contract The consultant submits mission reports
12 weeks after the signature of the contract Consultant submits a first draft of the report to ECA for comments. ECA provides comments within two weeks.
15 weeks after the signature of the contract A regional workshop is held to validate the study
20 weeks after the signature of the contract The report is finalized and sent for editing

Duties and Responsibilities

Background:
The United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa (SRO-SA) is currently implementing a technical assistance project, funded under the UNDA 13th tranche, titled “Innovative approaches for MSME competitiveness to promote trade and inclusive industrialization in Southern Africa in the Post-COVID context”. The objective of the project is to strengthen capacities of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in six selected Southern African member states (Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia) to design and apply innovative approaches to enhance their competitiveness so that they can be effective private sector enablers of trade and inclusive industrialization and build resilience to unexpected shocks such as COVID-19. This project will focus on how MSMEs can leverage innovative approaches to address competitiveness challenges during and after adverse shocks. There are two components to this project: the first component focuses on strengthening capacities of MSMEs in the private sector to address competitiveness challenges that impede them from participating effectively in inclusive industrialization processes (COVID and Post-COVID); the second component focuses on strengthening capacities of MSMEs in the private sector to address challenges that impede them to trade effectively (COVID and Post-COVID).
What are innovative ways? MSMEs could be investing or could invest in innovative approaches, either on their own, with Government support or through public-private partnerships, depending on the sector and country context. Examples of such innovative approaches are the development and application of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), including digital technologies. Other innovative approaches may refer to locally-grown, endogenous solutions to address specific competitiveness and trade-related challenges.
Industrialization is widely recognized as the key source of growth for the future of the Southern African economy. Promotion of industrial growth is at the core of the African Union’s Agenda 2063. The African Development Bank also prominently features industrialization at the core of its recommendations for Africa’s growth. The SADC included industrialization as the first pillar of its vision and roadmap for 2050. Lessons from the development path of South-East Asia, among others, indicate that industrialization could be a pathway out of poverty. The cross-sharing of experiences and best practices within the region and across regions and continents can serve to accelerate the effective implementation of national and regional industrialization strategies.
However, industrialization cannot succeed unless buttressed by the harnessing of trade opportunities whether nationally, regionally or globally, and leveraging science, technology and innovation that afford opportunities for upgrading, increased product and process discovery and productivity growth. As stated in the UNDA 13th tranche project document “Trade and industrialization are two sides of the same development coin”. In order to build industries that can sustain economies by creating jobs and generating incomes over the long-term, market opportunities have to be created on a sustained basis. The leveraging of regional and global trade through a full utilization of trade preferences should be fostered. Most international trade occurs not as finished goods but mostly as intermediate products.

Justification
For Southern African MSMEs to make the most of preferential or free trade agreements, whether the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, regional trade agreements such as the SADC and COMESA Free Trade Agreement and other trade agreements such as the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs), the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Global System of Trade Preferences (GSTP), Southern African MSMEs will need to develop capabilities,among others, to integrate into regional and global value-chains and become trusted suppliers to regional and global firms, in addition to exploiting market opportunities on their own. The profiling of national, regional and global value-chains in which MSMEs can integrate can provide valuable market information to Southern African MSMEs as they position to compete and develop their business strategies.
Building capabilities of Southern African MSMEs to comply with the provisions and protocols of the trade agreements is another area where analysis and recommendations are warranted. How can Southern African MSMEs integrate these value chains successfully, in the face of global and continental competition in a post-Covid context, is an area that merits attention. Leveraging of Science, Technology and Innovation, including digital trade technologies such as e-commerce platforms shoud be explored, in addition to the traditional barriers faced by MSMEs to participate in value-chains such as compliance with Non-tariff measures and technical standards. In a second-round online business survey, in which SRO-SA was a collaborating partner along with the ECA African Trade Policy Center (ATPC) and International Economics Consulting (IEC), the resort to technology and innovation by African firms as a lever for addressing the economic impact of Covid-19 was confirmed . However, while nearly half (i.e. 47 per cent) of the companies surveyed indicated that they are moving or planning to move towards innovative solutions through collaboration/partnerships, e-commerce was found to account for only about 16 per cent of surveyed firms. There is significant scope for Southern African MSMEs to develop opportunities to integrate in value-chains in addition to leveraging innovative tools and technologies to increase their market share of global and regional trade.
As Southern Africa aims to build back better from post-COVID, an analysis of the national, regional and global value chains that can be leveraged by Southern African MSMEs to create opportunities of growth and development is considered timely and pertinent. Additionally, an understanding of the constraints faced by MSMEs to fully and efficiently utilize global and regional trade agreements is necessary, in order to help identify gaps in existing legislative, policy and regulatory frameworks and in current industrialization and trade strategies. How can STI be leveraged to relieve these constraints and assist MSMEs to identify and exploit opportunities for survival, growth and development as they aim to build back better from Covid is another area where more research and policy analysis is needed.
In view of the foregoing, the ECA Subregional Office for Southern Africa wishes to secure the services of a principal consultant to undertake a study on value chains and trade development in the six targeted countries, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia, conceived within the framework of the UNDA 13th tranche project.

Duties and Responsibilities

Working under the Economic Affairs officer of the SRO-SA and overall guidance of the Director .The principal consultant will be supported by a secondary consultant and will have the responsibility of conceptualizing , developing, drafting and finalizing the study addressing all the issues identified for analysis and discussions identified under Section 3.a. and answering the main questions raised under Section 3.b.
The principal consultant will have the responsibility of allocating tasks within the team and act as team leader. In this regard, the principal consultant will:
• Take the lead in drafting and finalizing the study;
• Work with the secondary consultant to allocate tasks and ensure a comprehensive delivery on the study, defining its building blocks and assigning responsibilities;
• Define the conceptual and analytical framework for the study and report, including setting specific objectives for the study, spelling out research questions, and refining the methodology;
• Support the development of the survey instruments to be administered by the secondary consultant, including designing the questionnaire, identifying respondents, etc;
• Draw conclusions from the research and compile the set of policy recommendations and action plan for MSMEs on the basis of its findings.

The Principal consultant will also:
¿ Work with the secondary consultant to prepare the inception report, establish an annotated outline of the study that indicates a division of tasks in the team based on the terms of reference of the secondary consultant; the annotated outline will be submitted to ECA for approval.
¿ Supervise the secondary consultant who will submit the analytical written inputs (based on the division of labour specified in the agreed annotated outline), in a timely manner to ensure a timely completion of the study;
¿ Oversee the selection of case studies proposed and developed by the secondary consultant;
The principal consultant is expected to engage in:
• A literature review from relevant academic and institutional sources;
• A review of available, renowned methodologies for assessing value chain participation, simulating possible entry into value chains, and generating export opportunities;
• Desk research using available secondary data for compiling the export and value chain participation profile of each target countries;
• Analysis of trade and value chain participation data to inform the country profiles;
• Case studies of MSMEs which successfully integrated into national, regional or global value chains, including (where applicable) mentions of the government policies which supported them in doing so;
• Interviews underpinning the development of the case studies.

The study is a part of a wider project aimed at enhancing the capacity of industrial MSMEs for rolling out process and product innovation, combatting competitiveness bottlenecks, and overcoming the negative impact of COVID-19. In this context, the consultant is expected to support the SRO-SA team in field missions, training seminars, and other project activities, based on a planning agreed in advance.
The principal consultant will undertake a one-week mission in three of the six targeted countries (Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia). He/She will organize the mission and lead the mission team. The objective of the country missions is to gather data, statistics and qualitative information (case examples etc) based on surveys and conduct interviews with the stakeholders who should be identified ahead of the mission, in close coordination with the SROSA project team and members of the project steering committee;
The consultant will support the planning and organization of a regional workshop for the validation of the study report. He/she will serve as a resource person at the workshop.

Deliverables.
1. Inception report: The Consultant will submit to ECA an inception report detailing the conceptualization of the assignment that strongly demonstrates a clear understanding and interpretation of the objectives and tasks; includes a conceptual/analytical framework; the methodology, including data and information collection and analysis, and an annotated outline of the report and a work plan. The inception report should also contain a list of proposed interviewees and survey questions for review by the ECA, and a clear division of tasks between principal and secondary consultants;
2. Draft report – A high-quality, analytical and well-researched report on ‘’MSMEs and Value chains and trade development in Southern Africa: Case studies from selected countries”. The report will be prepared using both quantitative and qualitative information. It shall cover the issues and questions as identified under Sections 3.a. and 3.b. It will include an executive summary, a list of acronyms, glossary of terms used, key messages, introduction, a section featuring the analytical/conceptual framework for the report, references and annexes. It will contain a literature review, definition of key concepts and terms and the outcomes of the desk research/survey, with specific chapters dedicated to each country; an aggregate analysis of the findings; policy recommendations and an action plan on how MSMEs can integrate into national, regional and lobal value-chains;
Final report – incorporating comments, inputs and recommendations provided at the regional workshop and by ECA, its partners and other stakeholders;
4. Mission reports with action point items;
5. Power point presentation to be delivered at the regional workshop;
6. Report of the regional workshop.


Other key deliverables/ provisions

i. The Consultant shall provide ECA with the datasets (preferably in Excel format) used to generate the charts, graphs and other figures presented in the study report as well as the charts/figures/graphs in an editable format.

ii. All the written outputs shall be prepared in English. Except for the power point presentation, all outputs shall be prepared using single line spacing, times new roman 12 font size, contain page numbering, list of acronyms, a table of contents, foot notes, references, relevant annexes and appendices.

iii. All work submitted must be the original work of the consultant, and contain proper citation and recognition of reference documents and data sources.

iv. Meetings will be held regularly between the consultants, ECA and the project steering committee members. Consultants are expected to participate and prepare for the meetings.

Other key deliverables/ provisions

i. The Consultant shall provide ECA with the datasets (preferably in Excel format) used to generate the charts, graphs and other figures presented in the study report as well as the charts/figures/graphs in an editable format.

ii. All the written outputs shall be prepared in English. Except for the power point presentation, all outputs shall be prepared using single line spacing, times new roman 12 font size, contain page numbering, list of acronyms, a table of contents, foot notes, references, relevant annexes and appendices.

iii. All work submitted must be the original work of the consultant, and contain proper citation and recognition of reference documents and data sources.

iv. Meetings will be held regularly between the consultants, ECA and the project steering committee members. Consultants are expected to participate and prepare for the meetings.

Other key deliverables/ provisions

i. The Consultant shall provide ECA with the datasets (preferably in Excel format) used to generate the charts, graphs and other figures presented in the study report as well as the charts/figures/graphs in an editable format.

ii. All the written outputs shall be prepared in English. Except for the power point presentation, all outputs shall be prepared using single line spacing, times new roman 12 font size, contain page numbering, list of acronyms, a table of contents, foot notes, references, relevant annexes and appendices.

iii. All work submitted must be the original work of the consultant, and contain proper citation and recognition of reference documents and data sources.

iv. Meetings will be held regularly between the consultants, ECA and the project steering committee members. Consultants are expected to participate and prepare for the meetings.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: An Advanced University Degree (Masters Degree or equivalent) in Economics, international Trade ,Industrial economics, regional integration or any other related social science will be required. A fist level degree with in combination with two years qualifying experience will be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. PHD is an advantage Experience: A Minimum of Ten (10) years professional experience in industrialization, regional integration, international trade, international development, science, technology and innovation, economic development, preferably in Southern Africa with extensive knowledge and understanding of MSME is required.
Demonstrated knowledge of trade and trade support measures for industrial MSMEs and knowledge of the SADC region is desirable.

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat.For this consultancy,fluency in English is required. Knowledge of the other is an advantage.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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