Market Systems Analysis: Request for Expression of Interest (EoI)

07. July 2020

An organisation or a team of individuals to conduct market systems analysis/diagnosis for a new inclusive economic development programme in Eastern Europe, South Caucuses and the Western Balkans

 1. About the Programme

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has a long-standing commitment to the growth and prosperity of Eastern Europe, South Caucuses and the Western Balkans. As part of this commitment, Sida is currently implementing a new regional inclusive economic development programme in partnership with HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation.

The overarching objective of the programme is to enable women and young people, as well as other disadvantaged and excluded groups to benefit from economic opportunities by increasing their income and taking up decent employment/self-employment. The programme has a 22-month Inception Phase, which will prepare the ground for a 5-year main phase (or ‘scaling-up’ phase) with a total timeline up to 2026 or mid-2027.

The programme will be focused on three broad workstreams:   

  • Workstream 1: The programme aims to address widespread skills mismatches - the gap between an individual's job skills and the demands of the job market - in the region.  The focus will be on improving formal and non-training offers as well as strengthening labour marker information and intermediation services.   
  • Workstream 2: The programme aims to support to private sector development through promoting new and improved business and financial services and public-private coordination, stimulating enterprise investment, growth, invest and ultimately the creation of more employment and income-earning opportunities.
  • Workstream 3: The programme will support advocacy (policy/ regulatory/ legislative/ administrative improvements) so that target groups and private enterprises increase their participation and voice, and hence access better economic opportunities.

In this regard, Helvetas is seeking out organisations or a team of individuals interested in conducting detailed market systems analysis/diagnosis.

2. The focus of the market systems analysis

The market systems analysis will take place in 12 countries of Eastern Europe (Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine), South Caucuses (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), and Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, N. Macedonia, and Serbia). It focuses on four aspects that are important to facilitating inclusive economic development:

·       Target groups: the starting point for the analysis is to look at inclusive economic development from the target groups’ perspective. This in practice means to have a better understanding of the profiles of the target groups – women and the youth, as well as other target groups.

·       Economic sectors: the analysis identifies relevant, potential and feasible economic sectors in line with the three workstreams of the programme. By economic sectors, this may refer to a single sector (e.g. tourism, information technology and communication) or a combination of sectors (agro-tourism, agriculture and technology). This may also refer to broader economic issues (e.g. financial sector, business process outsourcing). In this sense, the analysis requires further refinement of the selection of economic sectors to bring the economic sectors to contribute to the long-term benefits for the target groups.

·       Stakeholders: the market systems analysis will identify key stakeholders as well as their incentives and capacities to perform the different functions and rules and regulations in inclusive economic development. In line with the three workstreams of the programme, the analysis will focus on areas that are critical for improving the market systems around skills development, financial and business services and advocacy, and investigate the underlying root causes for the underperformance or failures in the functions and rules and regulations.

·       Baseline information (on selected indicators): this part of the analysis is an important step in the design and development of the Monitoring and Results Measurement (MRM) of the programme. The baseline study gathers the information to be used in subsequent assessments of how efficiently the programme is being implemented and the eventual results of the programme and forms a basis for setting performance targets and ensuring accountability to Sida and other partners.

3. Scope of the work

The analysis is expected to start at the beginning of August 2020. The expected total time dedicated to this assignment will be a maximum of 40 working days.

The analysis should build on existing knowledge – incorporates existing studies, reports, and data from multiple sources and synchronised with national analytical processes. The analysis will contribute to minimising or avoiding the risk that the programme may have limited understanding of the needs and priorities of the target groups or prematurely dismiss high-potential and high-relevant economic sectors or key stakeholders just because the programme lacks any ‘actionable intelligence’.

Similarly, the analysis contributes to enabling the programme to capture some of the complexity of exclusion of the target groups, more systemic characteristics of economic sectors, and subtle incentives of stakeholders. The analysis will help the programme to go beyond obvious/observable causes of exclusion, simple and easily available growth forecasts of economic sectors or openly stated intentions of stakeholders. Yet, the analysis does not replace but rather guides the need for continued analysis of the findings at a later stage (e.g. target groups, economic sectors, potential stakeholders).

The market systems analysis is expected to deliver the following activities and outputs.

·       Preparatory work: including elaborating a detailed work plan to conduct the assessment; preparing an inception report; identifying the need by the programme for relevant and core baseline data; holding initial consultations with the Programme Facilitation Unit (PFU) and other stakeholders; conducting initial secondary/desk research;

·       Analysis: conducting field research using a variety of tools and processes; conducting further secondary research; analysing findings; and

·       Validation workshop and final report: preparing and submitting ideas on validation workshop and plan on how to manage the validation workshop; leading the validation workshop; writing the final reports (focusing on four products that consist of the target groups; economic sectors; stakeholders; and baselines).

4. Profile of the applicant

The general profile for the market systems analysis is an organisation or a team of individuals with a proven track record in inclusive economic development and poverty reduction through private-sector, market and value-chain development, with relevant experience from countries in transition and post-conflict environments. In other words, the applicant needs to include more explicitly knowledge and experience of post-Soviet economics and preferably in Eastern Europe.

Since the programme will be designed and implemented using the Market Systems Development (MSD) approach, the applicant for conducting the analysis must demonstrate in-depth knowledge about this approach, strong capacity and ability to do a diagnostic using key principles of the approach, including work in an entrepreneurial and facilitative manner.

The market analysis requires proven track record in analysing a region with complex economic, social and political systems. Demonstrated experience in conducting assessments for planning and/or evaluation purposes is mandatory. The scope of work also requires team skills represented like regional integration and trade, access to finance, geographical experience, multidimensional poverty and employment analysis, experience in gender mainstreaming as well as green economic development.

Specific skills and knowledge that will make up the core of the selection include:

o   Extensive experience in carrying out research and interviews, as well as solid facilitation skills through engaging with local, regional and international partners

o   Familiarity with established assessment and analytical tools (e.g. market systems analysis, women economic empowerment, political and economic analysis, environmental impact assessment)

o   Experience working with multidisciplinary and multicultural teams

o   Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines

o   Demonstrated excellent analytical, writing and reporting skills with a proven record of synthesising (extracting/summarising) solutions/key findings

o   Good understanding of monitoring and results measurement frameworks

o   Fluency in spoken and written English and knowledge of Russian and other local languages of the region

5. Application Procedure

No template is available. Interested organisations or a team of individuals should submit a short application or proposal in the following structure:

A)    Proposal (maximum 3 pages): outlining how the applicant plans to conduct the market system analysis covering 12 countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Western Balkans.

B)     Capability statement (maximum 3 pages): this should include details of experience demonstrating the following capabilities:

  • Experience in conducting detailed and large market systems analysis in inclusive economic development programmes, particularly ones supporting skills, private sector development and advocacy systems
  • Familiarity with the MSD approach
  • Key experts and their experience in carrying out market systems analysis (supported with short CVs of key experts)
  • Experience of working across multiple countries in the region (i.e. regional experience of working in more than one country)

C)    Sample of work (maximum 10 pages): a synopsis of recent work on market systems analysis (please do not attach full reports).  

6. Timeline

  • Call release date: 9 July 2020
  • Application submission deadline: 24 July 2020
  • Submission: Applications should be submitted to Helvetas Eastern Europe
  • Applications will be evaluated by the programme’s evaluation committee and applicants can expect to receive a decision on their proposal by 5 August 2020.