Intervention strategies to remove barriers to women’s entrepreneurship - Call for expressions of interest
I – Action and involved stakeholders
Set up in 1976, Geres is an international development NGO which works to improve the living conditions of the poorest and tackle climate change and its impacts. As a grassroots actor, the energy transition is a major lever in all its actions. In order to drive societal change, Geres promotes the development and dissemination of innovative and local solutions, supports climate-energy policies and actions and encourages everyone to commit to Climate Solidarity by taking action and supporting vulnerable populations.
This support takes place within the ECODEV program, partly funded by AFD, aiming at promoting SDG7 "ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all" by scaling-up entrepreneurs and value chains involved in energy access and/or controlling energy demand of territories of five countries (Myanmar, Mali, Maroc, Tajikistan and Mongolia). In Mali, the ECODEV program is part of a large-scale project implemented with Swedish cooperation (AEDTT project) promoting sustainable energy access of entrepreneurs in rural area by scaling up Green Business Areas and vegetables farming.
The AEDTT project in Mali and the ECODEV program aim at promoting women’s entrepreneurship considering gender specificities of its target territories, by removing various barriers faced by in fulfilling their economic potential. Youth mobilization is also a specific focus.
While the ECODEV program operates in 5 territories, the support will consider only 3 of them: Mali, Morocco and Myanmar. Those three interventions have the lack of access to efficient and sustainable energy solutions or services as common issues, plus the rural contexts for Myanmar and Mali. We assume that despite the diversity of involved territories, common learning will be drawn throughout the support, regarding identified barriers, recommended tools and intervention strategies to prioritize.
In Mali, Geres is piloting Green Business Areas (GBA) in Sikasso region. The objective is to facilitate 24/7 energy access to entrepreneurs in rural area. The project also aim at supporting entrepreneurs and collectives in developing their economic activities. GBA gather craftsmen and craftswomen as well as women collectives active in freezing activities, agrotransformation, fisheries and catering.
In Myanmar, a first project supported fuelwood improved cookstoves (ICS) value chain strengthening existing ICS dissemination network. Geres aims at continuing its intervention developing an inclusive distribution network to disseminate in rural area quality and affordable sustainable energy solutions. One of the two objectives of the project is to develop and strengthen women’s entrepreneurship in the energy sector.
Geres works in Morocco since the 80’s. Recently, Geres has stepped up its contribution to the economic development of SMEs, seeing energy as an effective lever in enhancing their competitiveness. FaranEco project supports SMEs producing gas-fired ovens and their professional target: small bakery businesses. The project team is now having a close look at
women’s participation as entrepreneur head.
II – Expected support
2.1 – Subject and objectives
Geres is now building its gender strategy and ambitions to systematize gender consideration in its practices in order to improve the quality of its interventions and optimize its impacts. Gender approach is considered as a strategic technical and organizational capacity to reinforce and always renew in all its interventions and within our operational partnerships. As a consequence, this support is expected to not only support ECODEV and AEDTT projects but also feed Geres’s reflection on gender approach.
This support to participative planning is well in track with the strategic axis prioritized by the ECODEV program as well as Geres Global. It will consist in (i) assessing existing practices within the ECODEV program (ii) supporting the collective definition of the next step of economic development program’s entrepreneurship component, while (iii) inspiring regional and global strategies of Geres in considering the gender dimension in a participative way.
The support aims at :
- Understanding women’s entrepreneurship dynamics in the three countries, in order to better assist them;
- Getting better at identifying and systematizing the gender dimension in projects;
- Gaining insights to coconstruct a global gender strategy
This requires :
- preparing, in collaboration with projects’ teams and partners, contextualized “gender lens” (in other words, tools to analyze the situation of each of the three fields of intervention in terms of gender);
- wearing that “gender lens” as part of a participatory planning exercise, notably during country workshops;
- learning lessons from those workshops to operationalize Geres’s economic development roadmap for studied interventions;
- drawing on those three “case studies” to contribute to Geres’s global reflection on gender, by formulating recommendations related to its intervention strategies in the field of women’s entrepreneurship.
2.2 – Support’s implementation and indicative timetable
The lead consultant is expected to oversee stages 1, 2, and 4; field assignments being carried out by national consultants (cf. 2.3). The consultant lead can potentially go to the field if the proposed methodology justifies it.
Stage 1: Scoping, literature review and methodological proposal (September 2020) : Scoping preliminary meeting with the steering committee scheduled for September 7th (remotely), literature review and discussions, detailed definition of the methods and data collection tools to be partially filled by local teams and partners (depending on their availability) in order to improve the understanding of specific settings, elaboration of a methodological scoping note and validation;
Stage 2: Collection of secondary data, analysis, and preparation of field assignments (October 2020 - beginning of December 2020): launching of the secondary field data collection phase, analysis of data collected by consultants and elaboration of a milestone note, steering committee meeting to validate field assignments’ focus;
Stage 3: Field assignments (beginning December 2020 - February 2021): Contextual analysis, notably through a country-based participative workshop facilitated by national consultants (group restitution of the first analysis in order to (i) validate findings (barriers to women’s entrepreneurship) and (ii) collectively reflect on intervention strategies), writing
of a final draft report including :
- conclusions of the analysis and country-based workshops,
- intervention strategies recommendations with detailed action plans to implement specific activities in each country
- and global recommendations for gender strategy within Geres.
Stage 4: Finalization of the support and results’ restitution (between February and April 2021): dissemination of Final draft report to program teams, management teams and regional management to get their feedback, steering committee meeting, report finalization, final general dissemination.
2.3 – Required external expertise and budget
The support will be implemented by a team of three to four consultants. Ideally, three national consultants are required in order to develop a country-based gender strategy sensitive to the specificities of each region and following a bottom-up coconstruction approach.
The final goal of the lead consultant (who can be one of the three national consultants or a 4th stakeholder) is to report lessons learned from the field in order to harmonize the strategies. The support is expected to contribute to defining the next phases of ECODEV and AEDTT programs in terms of gender integration based on a solid case, which will be useful for the programs’ and concerned areas’ future fundraising activities.
Consultants will fulfill this required profile:
- Expertise in gender approach; furthermore, a specific knowledge in gender issues in each of the concerned country would be greatly appreciated;
- Significant experience in participative facilitation. Related creative experience would be appreciated;
- Local experience in capacity building would be appreciated;
- Required knowledge in entrepreneurship issues;
- Knowledge of the issues related to energy transition would be highly appreciated;
- Excellent analytical, synthesis and listening skills, diplomacy;
- Knowledge of local language will be valued.
Budget for this support to participative planning: €30,000. Costs linked to the organization of participative workshops gathering teams and local stakeholders in the 3 countries will be covered by Geres, not funded through the budget allocated to the consultants.
2.4 – Planned indicative timetable for the selection process
- Answers to this call for expressions of interest are expected by midnight (UTC+02:00) July 1, 2020 at the latest/Restricted call for proposals will be sent before July 7, 2020;
- Deadline for responding to the restricted call for proposals : August 26, 2020, by midnight (UTC+02:00) / An offer will be selected in order to send a response before September 2, 2020, at the latest. Kick-off meeting (remote) planned for September 7, 2020.
This call for expressions of interest is aimed at identifying consultants. Following this call for expressions of interest, a preselection will be made, then a restricted call will be issued to the shortlisted consultants, on the basis of the finalized terms of reference for the support.
At this stage, the suggested lead consultant’s resume is required. Should a consultant team be proposed, the issuance of the associate consultants’ resume, although not required at this stage of the call for expression interest, is encouraged. When possible, national consultants’ resume will be shared, on request, with the selected leads during the restricted call to offer in order to build teams.
If you’re willing to express your interest, please send your resume by email before Wednesday, July 1, 2020, midnight (UTC+02:00) to both: Paul Daulny, Research Officer, F3E : firstname.lastname@example.org and Marina Dubois, Inclusion & Energy Program Head, GERES: email@example.com.
You are expected to attach an updated resume in which you will highlight specific elements you deem relevant to appreciate your expressions of interest in the context of this support.