Terms of Reference
Date of issuance: 5-2-2020
Due Date for submission of offers: 16-2-2020
Solicitation for: Policy Research/Advocacy Consultant/s – Palestine
Background: The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. CIPE is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy and an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Since 1983, CIPE has worked with business leaders, policymakers, and civil society to build the institutions vital to a democratic society. CIPE’s key program areas include enterprise ecosystems, democratic governance, business advocacy, and anti-corruption & ethics.
ASALA is a leading Palestinian business association established in 1997 and specialized in supporting women micro-entrepreneurs to be successful by breaking down barriers through business training, capacity building, marketing, and advocacy. ASALA aims to provide Palestinian women with the necessary skills and opportunities to successfully contribute to the advancement of their society on the basis of equal rights and access to resources and markets.
ASALA provides comprehensive and needs-based services to women entrepreneurs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip along three strategic tracks, namely:
- Advocating and lobbying for women’s economic and social rights and a conducive business enabling environment
- Providing capacity building opportunities for women entrepreneurs
- Facilitating access to local, regional and global markets for women entrepreneurs.
This assignment is part of a partnership between CIPE and ASALA to advance the interests of Palestinian businesswomen through building ASALA’s capacity as a mission-driven, member-focused organization that advocates effectively for women-led micro-enterprises. This partnership focuses on three areas: organizational sustainability, activating member services and advocacy.
Scope: In the context of the background information above, CIPE and ASALA seek to contract a consultant or firm to work closely with the two organizations to assist ASALA with finalizing its overall policy agenda and producing policy advocacy position papers on two issues identified by ASALA’s stakeholders: improving women’s access to quality technical and vocational training and improving women’s access to finance and capital.
This assignment is expected to include desk research of relevant data, insights and analysis of national and international funded development programs addressing the issues at hand, as well as research on the relevant factors bearing on the issues including policies, laws, regulations, and implementation thereof. ASALA’s overall policy agenda will only require minor research and editing. In addition to desk research, the two policy papers should be informed by key stakeholder interviews and a stakeholder engagement power map. The consultant will also be expected to provide an outline for the policy papers for approval, summary report of initial conclusions, as well as a final report with in-depth analysis of the issues and policy recommendations.
Considerations for the Specific Products:
Overall Policy Agenda: This product will require overall editing of the language used in the agenda both in Arabic and English. It will also entail the consultant conducting basic desk research to support and sharpen the issues previously identified as priorities by ASALA’s members and potential members in focus groups and roundtables. The policy agenda includes problem statements for 4-5 issues which should be supported by data and research. It also includes bullet points on proposed solutions which should be reviewed by the consultant and edited in close coordination with ASALA and CIPE as needed.
Policy Paper: Increasing Women’s Access to Quality Technical and Vocational Training: The educational and vocational training system in Palestine favors male participation and does not encourage the participation of women. This limits economic opportunities for women and perpetuates traditional roles in the economy based on gender, especially in non-traditional sectors.
- In addressing this issue, is it important to address cultural and social barriers to women’s access to TVET and ways to counter them, whether through awareness raising, gender sensitive communication strategies, education, government-driven policies, or other strategies.
- The private sector is also a key stakeholder in this issue and identifying opportunities for partnerships between government, civil society, TVET centers, and the private sector for possible solutions is an important to explore.
- It is also important to explore how the introduction of new government policies and/or the revision of current policies can contribute to solutions.
Policy Paper: Extending Financial Inclusion to Women Micro-entrepreneurs through Enhanced Access to Finance and Capital : Women in Palestine now own close to 62,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs)— approximately a quarter of all enterprises—in the West Bank and Gaza. Many women also operate from their homes and are not legally registered, leaving them with no legal protection and limiting their businesses’ ability to grow. For example, this status limits their ability to access finance, legal protection and access to markets as well as take advantage of export opportunities.
- In addressing this issue it is important to explore the challenges women who are registered face in accessing finance. Please consider the access to information issue, private sector-led incentives and programs for women, government incentives to the private sector to create customized programs for women entrepreneurs, direct government policies and programs to enhance women’s access to finance, and finally, any religious considerations and Islamic financing options and programs.
- The second part of this issue are those women who cannot access finance because they are afraid to register formally with the government. It is important to explore informal finance options and any relevant legal considerations.
- Accessing capital through inheritance rights is an issue for women entrepreneurs generally within Palestine. The consultant must capture key insights from ASALA’s existing advocacy work on inheritance rights as well as from other sources on the topic
- Recommendations should be informed by national inclusion strategies and action plans, and engage all relevant stakeholders to insure, by-in, diversity and inclusion of all view points on the final recommendations.
Specific Tasks Expected of the Consultant:
- To conduct desk research on the four issues identified in ASALA’s policy agenda to help support and sharpen the problem statements and initial recommendation in ASALA’s brief policy agenda. ASALA has also recently conducted a needs assessment for 1,000 low income women as well as other research that should be utilized in this task.
- Conduct in-depth desk research on two issues (Access to Finance and Access to TVET) to learn, document and analyze existing research, laws, regulations, program and initiatives addressing the issues at hand.
- Draft an outline and stakeholder interview list for CIPE and ASALA’s approval and feedback that will be used for the 2 policy position papers. It is important to ensure that women’s interests and perspectives are adequately represented.
- Develop a summary report with initial research findings and policy recommendations, including feedback collected through engagement with stakeholders.
- Develop the final policy papers with analysis of the issues identified and policy recommendations.
- Develop a policy brief (2 pages maximum). The policy brief is a summary of the key findings, recommendations, and analysis to be used in high level meetings. It is recommended to make the policy brief as easy to read and as visual as possible to enhance communication and presentation of the issue. The consultant will be responsible for an infographic to enhance the visualization of data supporting each of the 2 position papers.
- All products should be produced in Arabic and English and the consultant must oversee that any translations are professional and accurate.
- Perform any other tasks that CIPE and the consultant agree upon, as appropriate, and in consultation with ASALA.
جميع الحقوق محفوظة لموقع جوبس.
- Experience in policy research, women’s economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and business enabling environment, and economic development in Palestine.
- Strong familiarity with public sector, private sector and civil society advocacy.
- Strong understanding of Palestine’s security, political and economic environment.
- Strong written communication and stakeholder engagement skills.
- Fluency in English and Arabic required.
Duration: Immediate start; completion in March 2020. Unless otherwise agreed by CIPE in writing, the consultant will develop and finalize the initial summary report 10 days post contract. A timeline for the project with the end date in mind should be submitted for approval by CIPE and ASALA.
- Develop a concept note (2 pages max) about the consultant’s approach to implementing this assignment, detailing the methodology, implementation action plan, and initial outline of the policy paper/s.
- Those interested can apply to work on all the assignments in this ToR, on one issue and the editing of the overall policy agenda, or on one issue only.
- Produce a financial offer to accompany the technical concept note with itemized costs. Your price offer should be in USD including VAT.
- For companies and organizations: Provide registration certificate, source of deduction and tax invoice.
- Freelancer: Provide copy of ID
- For Both: Submit CVs of the individuals who will implement the assignment and examples of previous similar projects and policy papers (attach previously developed policy papers if available).
Interested Consultants should send their proposal and Price offer to the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association - ASALA Office located in AlBireh – khalaf trading tower – 2nd floor in sealed and signed envelopes no longer than Sunday February 16th , 2020 by 3:00 PM.