Private Sector Action Research Consultancy

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Private Sector Action Research Consultancy

  • Post Date:August 3, 2021
  • Views 640
0 Applications
  • Career Level Consultant
    Qualification Degree
    Experience 5-10 Years
  • Industry Non Governmental
Job Description

Location: Harare / Harare Province
Employment type: Contract
Pay: Competitive/hour
Req#: REF2523I

SNV is a not-for-profit international development organization. Founded in the Netherlands in 1965, we have built a long-term, local presence in over 30 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Our global team of local and international advisors work with local partners to equip communities, businesses and organizations with the tools, knowledge and connections they need to increase their incomes and gain access to basic service empowering them to break the cycle of poverty and guide their own development. SNV is dedicated to a society where all people enjoy the freedom to pursue their own sustainable development. We contribute to this by strengthening the capacity of local organizations. We focus on increasing people’s incomes and employment opportunities in productive sectors like agriculture as well as on improving access to basic services such as energy, water, sanitation and hygiene.

SNV’s Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) is a market-based approach to sustainably reduce youth unemployment and underemployment. We act as a match maker between young people and private companies. Our model is based on SNV’s decades’ long experience in value chain and inclusive market development for the agriculture, energy and water, sanitation and hygiene sectors. SNV’s Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) approach tackles the youth unemployment issue in a comprehensive and sustainable way. We do so by:

  • Providing disadvantaged youth in rural areas with life skills and relevant technical training (push factor);
  • Linking youth to market opportunities for employment and enterprise development, including access to finance (match factor);
  • Employment creation and enterprise development in identified growth sectors (pull factor).

In addition, we build on partnerships with private sector companies, (local) government institutions, financial service providers, and trainers and coaches from public and private sectors.

Job Description

The Basis of the Research

Experiences with implementing the OYE model as well as outcomes from the market scans recognise the critical but fraught issue of identifying and realizing appropriate and effective (longer term) inclusion of young people in the business models of private sector companies, notably in agribusiness and renewable energy, aiming at the realization of youth self-employment and enterprise development. Apart from employment opportunities, the bulk of opportunities are in the realm of self-employment which require some level of investment that should – at least partly come from a private sector on the basis of an envisaged return on such investment. Thus far, SNV-OYE has ‘flexibly’ applied cost-share or co-investment, notably in training costs and inputs/starter kits for the prospective (self) employed youth. Especially in new partnerships, such investment from SNV-OYE has also been functional to harness/promote the relationships with the companies, which may be strategic in the short term, yet not sustainable in the long term. Hence a specific point of attention in the assessment of existing partnerships/engagements: for the longer term, the project seeks to optimize access for youth into private sector business models through sustainable (co-) investment models.

In the context of the second year of SNV’s youth employment projects in Zimbabwe and Zambia, we have the ambition to get a much better insight into challenges and potential in relation to private sector engagement (formal and informal) aimed at realizing (self-) employment among the young women and men we are targeting. To this effect, we are aiming at setting up an action research in partnership with local/national knowledge institutions and/or consultants with a relevant academic background and business experience.

a. Deepen the understanding of issues at the demand (youth) side i.e. ambitions with regard to (self-) employment in agriculture and agribusiness and renewable energy;

  • Identifying ambitions of youths intending to get into business and those already in business, set against (potential) opportunities in the agriculture, green enterprises and renewable private sector. Ambitions will be disaggregated for young women and young men. Formulate practical (action) recommendations for OYE to work more effectively along these ambitions.
  • Identifying the impediments that youth face in accessing (self-) employment in private sector in the aforementioned sectors, disaggregating the potential and obstacles for young women and young men. Formulate practical (action) recommendations for OYE to effectively overcome these impediments.
  • Analyze the participation and ownership of ‘OYE youth’ in private sector engagements negotiated by/with the OYE project teams (including Local Service Providers).
  • Understanding why youth believe they succeeded or failed to deal with the private sector and ultimately spelling out what they feel are tipping points for their successes or their failures in these engagements.

b. Deepen the understanding of issues within the supply (private sector cum OYE project) side;

  • Assess the existing private sector engagements (design and practice) in OYE Zimbabwe and Zambia. This includes analysis of the negotiated ‘deals’ between OYE and the companies (laid down in MoUs). This also includes assessment of the role of Local Service Providers in private sector engagements.
  • Outline the successes or failures of these highlighting the likely causes for their success or failure filtering the critical success factors for any successful private sector engagement. Cases for improvement notably for longer term success and sustainability. These may particularly include investments by the private sector. Assess positive and negative perceptions/expectations by the private sector of NGOs and how these influence successes or failures of private sector engagement
  • Assess the need and effectiveness for additional financial solutions e.g. credit guarantee facility in private sector engagement.

In as much as is possible, the study should seek to disaggregate issues above in terms of gender (female and male) and location (rural and urban).

CENTRAL RESEARCH QUESTION: How SNV OYE’s private sector engagements – existing and future – can be best structured to be relevant and responsive to the financial and business needs of young women and young men for their empowerment, while optimizing the longer-term business interest of private sector companies?

More specifically we seek to acquire deeper insights on the following:

  • Assess the existing private sector engagements in OYE Zimbabwe and Zambia in the market in terms of both capitalizing on companies’ business interest as well as promoting self-employment opportunities for young women and young men. Specific point of attention is the nature and rationale of cost-share or co-investment between the companies and SNV-OYE. Exploring the need for longer term improvements. Methodology: Desk study and key informant interviews (companies, OYE staff).
  • Explore potential new private sector engagements for (self-)employment opportunities for young women and men. Assess existing systemic obstacles for young people to engage or be engaged by the private sector. Identify private sector demand/needs, views, experiences and/or frustrations in order to engage young people (previously excluded) within their structures through formal employment or as part of their supply chain. Methodology: key informant interviews (companies).
  • Assess existing private sector engagements on the basis of views, experiences, appreciation and/or frustrations among OYE youth engaged. Methodology: focus group discussions.
  • Analyse regulatory frameworks (laws, policies and institutional framework) as well as economic performance and social issues promoting or discouraging private sector engagement of young people. Methodology: desk study (based on a small sample of policy documents and economic blueprints); key informant interviews (government, private companies).

Scope of Work

The assignment which will cover both Zimbabwe and Zambia is structured to facilitate the development of youth more responsive and more effective private sector engagement e.g. youth inclusion in the two countries as well as facilitate the identification of policy opportunities for youth interventions in the private sector and/or policy gaps that need to be addressed by policy makers.

This assignment is expected to involve partial desk research and key informant interviews. The consultant will be supported and advised by the OYE Project Team led by the Regional Program Manager and Regional Knowledge Development and Research Advisor throughout the assignment and will have access to SNV’s extensive knowledge database related to and for the purposes of this assignment. SNV will facilitate and arrange for any interviews with relevant stakeholders within the Zimbabwe and Zambia market. SNV country projects will appoint staff that will collaborate with the consultants on a daily basis including taking part in key informant interviews.

Key Deliverables:

The appointed consultant is required to:

Undertake an inception meeting from where preliminary consultation on the scope, expected deliverables and related timelines will be discussed culminating in the production of an inception report.

  • Perform desktop research (project reports as well as open-source data) and develop an oversight on the ToR topic;
  • Conduct a selective review of private sector youth inclusion policies;
  • Prepare a comprehensive report that responds to the objectives of this study.
  • Suggest/recommend best practices and solutions towards the development of context responsive youth inclusive private sector engagement.


  • Specialist in inclusive market system development
  • Proven track record in private sector inclusive business models
  • A first degree in Economics, Business Management, or any related but relevant degree.
  • At least five years’ experience in research in inclusive business – prior work with youth will be an added advantage.
  • Master’s degree in business management, Agribusiness or Agricultural Economics will be an added advantage.

Additional Information

Application Procedure

Proposal submissions should be sent through to [email protected] by 22 August 2021 at 23:59pm.

Submission Instructions

  • An intent to bid should be highlighted by the individual or entity who wish to apply and in turn they will receive the following documents – Advanced due diligence form and Request for Proposal Package.
  • Proposals for this consultancy should cover the researcher’s understanding of the brief, the proposed approach/methodology and anticipated budget.
  • Proposals should be no more than four (4) pages and must be accompanied by a writing sample (of published or unpublished work) and the consultant’s CV with at least three (3) consultancy references of past performance.
  • The consultant should also include a detailed workplan with key milestones including periodic touch points with the SNV team, submission of draft strategy, collation of final comments from the SNV team and submission of the final strategy.
  • Applicants must clearly demonstrate their relevant experience, qualifications and capability to carry out the assignment.

The position is open to individuals / entities within the SADC region with knowledge of the Zimbabwean and Zambian private sector markets.

Duration of contract: October 2021 to December 2021

How to apply

Please apply by clicking on the “APPLY NOW” tab on this page and indicating your Expression of Interest in the position where a “Request for Proposal Package” will be sent to the applicant and in turn the applicant should submit their package by 22 August 2021 to [email protected]

NB: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

SNV does not require you to undergo any medical test prior to employment

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No one should live in poverty. SNV is dedicated to a society in which all people are free to pursue their own sustainable development.