18 Mar 2015

Business Advisory Services Market Assessment (National Consultant)

Job Description

Project Background and Summary

The Making Vegetable Markets Work for Smallholders Program (MVMW) is a three-year, $4.5 million initiative, funded by the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT), which aim to catalyze systemic change in the vegetable market and supporting markets that will improve the lives and livelihoods of the poor. The Program began on June 11, 2014 and its overall objectives include:

  • Reduce economic poverty of smallholder farming households;
  • Demonstrate the potential for market-based approaches to support livelihoods of the poor;
  • Provide an alternative innovative economic development model that is evidence-based 
sustainable, pro-poor, conflict-sensitive and environmentally responsible;
  • Show businesses the market potential of integrating rural households into the mainstream 
economy through conflict-sensitive business models;
  • Contribute to food security by making available a higher quantity, quality and potentially variety 
of vegetables throughout the year; and
  • Contribute evidence to key policy discussions on sustainable development.

As an integral part of the above tasking, the Program seeks to improve the ability of smallholder vegetable farmers and actors throughout the vegetable and other supporting markets to compete more effectively domestically, and, where appropriate, in international markets. The Program has three initial focus areas for Program interventions as follows

Intervention Area 1: Inputs & Production Technology – Develop input and production technology supply chains, extensions services, and related financial services;

Intervention Area 2: Off-farm Technology, Services, and Value-Added Off-Take –Develop of off-farm technology systems and related advisory, financial and other supporting services; and

Intervention Area 3: Smallholder Market Relationships – Develop smallholder farmer capacity to more effectively interact with markets.

Intervention Area 4: Promoting Inclusive Business Models – Demonstrate to agribusinesses the value of working with smallholder farmers and support business model shifts accordingly.

SOW Objective

A key component project of MVMW is the Myanmar Financial Inclusion Initiative (MFII). MFII will focus on additional and complementary needed support services, such as business advisory services (BAS) and land information services, which MVMW has identified as a significant gap for smallholder farmers (SHFs) and entrepreneurs in the value chain. MFII will allow MVMW to deepen our outreach and impact through BAS provision while also facilitating improved access to land rights education, which was not a planned activity under MVMW, but is critical to farm and enterprise development through access to formal credit. MFII focuses on service providers and aims to increase the incomes of both entrepreneurs and SHF, primarily women. MFII will improve the capacity of public and private sector actors to provide inclusive and sustainable BAS on a commercial basis if possible.

For the purposes of this market assessment, BAS are defined as non-financial services that focus on improving business management and operations processes. BAS may be delivered via structured training sessions, consulting sessions, or informal channels, and may be delivered at a neutral location or even on-site at the business’ place of operations. Subject matter addressed via BAS may include, but is not limited to:

  • Accounting, bookkeeping, cash-flow management;
  • Management information systems and technology;
  • Computer and computer software use for business management and operations processes;
  • Operations and logistics (including inventory management);
  • Business planning;
  • Sales and marketing;
  • Entrepreneurship and general business management;
  • Negotiation skills;
  • Credit management (both supply and demand);
  • Risk management;
  • Industry or business specific topics;
  • Other similar subjects.

This consultancy will be the a critical first step in moving MFII forward through leading a robust market assessment of the business advisory services market in Myanmar, both nationally as well as in the program’s target regions of elsewhere within the country as needed. The consultant will work under the supervision of the Assessment Team Leader (international consultant) and contribute to the assessment design methodology and supervise field work in Myanmar. The consultant’s work shall contribute to the production of a high quality report that provides a detailed picture of the current market for BAS in Myanmar, including a market overview, market (value chain) map, constraints analysis, inventory of service providers (as time allows), and detailed recommendations for future interventions that the project may pursue to improve both supply of and demand for business and farm advisory services in Myanmar, with a particular focus on the targeted geographies mentioned.

Tasks & Deliverables

The consultant will work closely under the supervision of the Assessment Team Leader (international consultant. S/he will supervise a team of short-term enumerators to be used for the collection of quantitative data in the field.

Tasks:

  1. With the Assessment Team Leader, set the specific plans for short-term enumerators, formulate quantitative and qualitative survey design and supervise enumerators in order to conduct effective collection of quantitative field data.
  2. Contribute to the assessment methodology and research design.
  3. Organize and attend meetings/interviews with key stakeholders; Provide translation as required for Assessment Team Leader.
  4. Desk review of relevant secondary data (especially Burmese Language Documents) and gather relevant government statistics for inclusion in the assessment data analysis.
  5. With the Assessment Team Leader, supervise fieldwork in Myanmar per agreed-upon research design, including interviews with relevant actors as well primary data collection using quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
  6. Perform primary and secondary data analysis as instructed by the Assessment Team Leader.

Deliverables:

  1. Written contributions to the Assessment Methodology and Research Design Documents (to be incorporated in final report) as directed by the Assessment Team Leader.
  2. Field notes for all relevant interviews, notes of focus groups discussions, etc.
  3. Cleaned raw dataset for any quantitative data generated as part of the assessment
  4. Written contributions to the Final Written Assessment Report as directed by the Assessment Team Leader.

Qualifications

  1. University degree in business, economic, social science or a related field.
  2. Minimum 3 years experience conducting similar types of market assessments in developing countries (whether within a long-term post or as a consultant is not differentiated but and experience in such work within a long-term position should be called out specifically in the application). Experience in Vegetable Sector highly desired.
  3. Demonstrated experience in designing and managing quantitative surveys in Myanmar.
  4. Knowledge of the business advisory services sector in Myanmar highly desired.
  5. Ability to set interviews with public, private and NGO stakeholders highly desired.
  6. Demonstrated ability of both speaking and writing in English (Advanced Level).
  7. Willingness and ability to travel to project locations Myanmar (Southern Shan, Rakhine/Chin States TBD).
  8. Experience translating for international consultants during interviews highly desired.
  9. Experience working and managing with the teams of enumerators in order to conduct effective collection of quantitative field data.
  10. Flexibility and ability to work under time pressure is critical for success.

Level of Effort

As per the Contract, total LOE distribution for this SOW is as follows:

Business Advisory Services Market Assessment National Consultant: 22 working days including travel. Note: consultant may not bill more than 6 days per week.

Timing

The Business Advisory Services Market Assessment National Consultant should commence no later than TBD, and should complete the Scope of Work by TBD.

How to Apply

Application Process:  Interested applicants must include the following documents in their application:
  1. Current Curriculum Vitae
  2. One writing sample: work chosen should be representative of the applicant’s ability to produce written work at a high level, in English, that is similar to the assessment proposed herein.
  3. 3 professional references that can attest to the applicant’s ability to lead an assessment as described above.
  4. Proposed daily rate in United States Dollars (US$) for the work described herein. Note: The successful applicant will be required to complete an employment biodata history form that justifies the daily rate proposed.
 Applicants should email to: HR@mm.mercycorps.org, Human Resources Department, Mercy Corps, #3-X, Highland Avenue, 6 Ward, 7-Mile, Mayangone Township, Yangon                              DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 10 March 2015  

Apply for this Job