Consultancy Assignment to Conduct a Gender Audit
Terms of Reference – Local Consultancy assignment/Service
Consultancy Assignment to Conduct a Gender Audit
“ Integrated Market Development Program across the occupied Palestinian territory “- SDC-DANIDA Project.
Background and Rationale for Assignment
The proposed program, ‘Integrated Market Development Program across the occupied Palestinian territory’, seeks to strengthen the potential of the agricultural sector to provide employment and income opportunities for women and men small-scale producers (SSPs). Its overall goal is to contribute to resilient, sustainable, and equitable agricultural growth.
The program aims to operate at two levels: at the sectoral level to facilitate agricultural market system changes and specific value chains level. The initially selected value chains are: high value vegetables especially baby vegetables; high value fruit trees, including date palms; and dairy cow value chains, with food processing as a cross-cutting area chain the program will engage in, given its high growth potential and its relevance to women’s economic empowerment.
Agriculture sector and its key sub-sectors attract and create more income opportunities and empowerment for women and youth. To enhance women’s economic empowerment and youth inclusion in agricultural and agricultural-related service value chains, the program will enable women and new entrants to the labor market to gain skills, assets and competence to establish their own enterprises or increase their employability. The program will also engage in developing pilots on gender equity and agriculture and in influencing producer organizations, SMEs, business associations, financial institutions, and government agencies, to adopt policies and practices (business models, products, services, and perceptions) that will improve the way markets work for women and youth, which in turn would improve their access to skills, resources and market opportunities. The program will also engage in or support national level policy, advocacy, campaigning and community level influencing on gender equity and agriculture.
Recent research shows that gender diversity at all levels of an enterprise/organization leads to increased profitability, productivity, and organizational effectiveness, and that achieving gender equality can add $12 trillion to the global economy. As this business case becomes increasingly clear, leading companies are adjusting core business strategies, product and service development, and partnership approaches to engage women entrepreneurs more strategically and leverage women’s markets more fully. Support organizations, customers and suppliers are increasingly looking to engage and partner with companies that have a commitment to advancing gender equality. At the same time, investors are looking at a company’s performance on gender equality as an indicator for future growth.
Despite this opportunity many social, economic, and legal barriers for women still exist; preventing them from entering the workforce, progressing in their careers and growing their businesses. Additionally, women continue to be subjected to discrimination, unconscious bias, and violence further impeding their opportunities to contribute to the formal labour force and sustainable growth.
The private sector - the engine for 90 per cent of jobs in developing countries, has a tremendous opportunity to advance the agenda of women’s economic empowerment, and importantly, reap the benefits of doing so. Investing in women entrepreneurs as suppliers, represents a significant market opportunity for business and a key enabling factor for economic growth and social progress. Furthermore, evidence shows that in nearly all instances, offering a specialized range of services to women will allow business to tap into a vastly underserved market segment, and investing in helping women reach their full potential as employees is being shown worldwide, to have positive bottom line impacts. Measures such as respecting and supporting women’s health which can reduce turnover and absentee rates, , addressing legal and social barriers to unleash new market opportunities, offering equal opportunities for women to apply for an excel in their work. Furthermore, providing onsite childcare facilities to increase productivity and creating specific professional development programmes for women to increase opportunities for innovation and differing perspectives at senior leadership levels, will help in diversifying market outreach and customizing services that best meets the needs of the target customers.
A few leading companies have already understood the value of unlocking the female economy, recognizing their role in supporting women’s business ideas and drive. Nevertheless, there is a need for more corporate trailblazers who are willing to step forward, take the leap, and invest in women entrepreneurs – especially among MSMEs in agriculture. Consider the global simple equation: almost 80% of household spending decisions are made by women and an equal number of women around the world are your customers, but less than 1% of your products are made by women owned businesses. With those numbers in mind, can you comfortably say business is fully meeting the needs of their customers? If businesses will hear it, there is a loud knock of opportunity at the door.
This assignment involves working with four companies/cooperatives in different locations in West Bank and assessing the role and engagement level of women internally within those entities including the challenges they confront, and levels of corporate/cooperative engagement, commitment, and support to address those challenges and aspirations. In addition, the assignment involves understanding the existing and potential role of women and girls as input suppliers and support service providers to that business, as well as women as customers and ultimate consumers of products and services supplied by the business. The project intends to conduct a gender audit to understand the engagement levels and any gaps or inequalities practiced towards women’s participation as well as opportunities for advancing gender equality because there is a compelling business case for doing so.
Objective and Expected Results:
The consultant will work with four of the Palestinian pioneering private sector companies, including those targeted under SDC-DANIDA project, to generate a viable analysis for strengthening and promoting women as employees, suppliers, customers and consumers, as well as creating a model for inclusive gender sensitive business in the Palestinian context. This will include analysis of policies, business ethos, structure and various operations from a gender perspective, gender imbalances present in practices, perceptions, working environments, structures and operations, and analysis of women’s role or potential role as suppliers and customers. The study will identify opportunities for bridging gender gaps and promoting women‘s empowerment in all aspects of their business operations.
The number of companies that will be gender-audited are four companies, each working with different farmers and cooperatives all of which working in the Agro-food sector or its support services and are located in different locations in the West Bank.
The assignment will examine the companies’ activities and internal environment from a gender perspective and identify strengths and weakness in promoting gender equality issues. In particular, the assignment will:
- examine how many women employees they have, the levels at which they work and the salaries they are paid compared to their male counterparts;
- Examine to what extent a company is gender inclusive through assessing internal structure and the working environment (ex. availability of gender friendly policies integration in the working environment, examine HR policies … etc.);
- Examine the extent to which the company’s operations (including human resources, recruitment, culture, working environment, products and services and payment gap … etc.) are gender-sensitive;
- Examine the staff gender balance at different levels of the companies and the decision making;
- Assess the level of resources allocated and spent on gender mainstreaming and gender activities;
- Identify and share information on mechanisms, practices and attitudes that will make a positive contribution to create gender sensitive companies;
- Set-up the initial baseline score of performance on gender mainstreaming by the companies with a view to introducing an ongoing process of benchmarking to measure progress in promoting gender equality;
- Assess physical working environment, flexibility in working hours, child care options, career paths … etc;
- Is Training accessed by both men and women equally ? Is dedicated female training accessible?
- Evaluate access to income and assets levels by employees at the company or its wider network.
- Evaluate the policies for division of labor, time and responsibilities;
- Assess women self-confidence; like leadership, speaking up, influencing, ability to manage…etc
- Assess the general working environment within the business enterprise.
Time Frame and Deliverables
- A final report which includes, but not limited to the following;
- Consideration on whether the internal practices and related support systems for gender mainstreaming are effective and do re-enforce each other, and whether they are being followed;
- A monitor and assessment of whether there was any progress made in gender mainstreaming by the companies in the past;
- Established baseline for the number of workers and their gender type and policies and practices adopted by the companies;
- Identified critical gaps and challenges relating to gender mainstreaming and sensitivity;
- Recommended ways of addressing the gaps and suggesting new ways of working with gender issues and a more effective strategy;
- Documentation of good practices and a developed action plan per company towards the achievement of gender equality.
The time frame to complete the assignment and submit the final report for the four companies is 12 weeks.
The reports are to be delivered to Oxfam in open source (i.e. Microsoft word and excel) and PDF format.
Technical and financial offer should include:
- list of relevant experience in the same field supported by sample of previous gender audit works.
- The consultant needs to be a certified gender auditor to conduct the gender audit.
- Clear and applicable Work Methodology.
- Clear Description of the work plan (outline proposal) with time frame.
- CV/s of consultant/s.
- Contacts of at least 3 references.
- Proposed action plan (detailed one).
- Detailed financial budget with a breakdown of cost.
General Terms and Conditions
- The assignment is open to all consultancy companies/ Individuals.
- Prices must be provided in US Dollars and excluding VAT
- The evaluation for offers provided by each company / or individual will be based on both technical and financial bases.
- Companies/consultants are requested to provide the company registration, valid deduction at source certificate (Local consultants). Individual consultants are requested to include their full details, CVs, and copy of their ID, and valid deduction at source certificate if valid .
- Submitted offers should be valid for 60 days from the final date of submitting the offers.
- Invoices must be excluding VAT for companies. Individual consultants must submit payment requests, where Oxfam will deduct the 5% of income tax as requested by the local Palestinian taxation laws.
The assignment is expected to commence on 15/03/2020 and to be completed on 15/06/2020
Send a cover letter responding to the Terms of Reference that includes company profile/CV, full technical proposal including a proposed work plan, and a financial proposal (quotation) to [email protected] no later than Monday, March 1st 2020, COB.