Consultancy team to conduct a research project on Affirmative Procurement Assessment in Senegal
UN Women has developed a high-impact Flagship Programming Initiative (FPI) in the field of women’s economic empowerment to support women-owned businesses to access affirmative procurement supply chains. The initiative, “Stimulating Equal Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs through Affirmative Procurement, Investment and Supply Chain Policies” focuses on the need to extend the role of women in their countries’ economies to promote sustainable growth and development.
Globally, women-owned businesses secure a mere 1% of government contracts, suggesting systematic gender disparities within procurement systems. On the other hand, procuring entities, corporations and investors lack the information necessary to analyse the gender impact of their decisions and identify women-owned suppliers. The general consensus on the positive correlation between gender equality and the socio-economic environment of a country calls for incentives to ensure equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs and their male counterparts, for instance in the form of preferential treatment for marginalized groups when it comes to public procurement.
Three countries, namely South Africa, Kenya and Senegal have been initially identified to conduct a study on the status of public procurement and how women-led businesses are benefiting from this opportunity. While Kenya and South Africa had already conducted similar studies in the past, for Senegal this is a baseline research to assess the participation of women-led Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in public procurement and the challenges faced by the women entrepreneurs.
In Senegal, the total share of women-owned businesses (WOBs) has grown from 23.8% in 2007 to 32.1% in 2014. In addition, the share of female entrepreneurs in newly established business ventures has grown from 25% in 2000 to 38.1% in 2010 (Seck et al., 2015). In view of the potential economic and social benefits of SMEs, the Senegalese government has adopted a Law on the Promotion and Development of SMEs in 2008, with measures geared towards facilitating access to finance, guaranteeing funds, helping with relocation of SMEs into regions with development priority, among others. One article of the SME Promotion Law (Art. 33) refers to specific measures for women entrepreneurship, stating that 15% of public procurement is earmarked for qualified women-owned SMEs. However, due to the lack of information, the success of this policy is difficult to assess and the results of the baseline study will provide substantive evidence to develop future programs.
Taking into consideration the framework that has been put in place in Senegal, the aim of the study is to analyse the extent to which women-led enterprises have benefitted from this procurement opportunity in the Senegalese context. The study falls within the framework set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and it will inform interventions to address SDG8, target 8.3, to “promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro, small and medium enterprises, including through access to financial services”.
Duties and Responsibilities
UN Women, in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB), wish to contract the consultancy firm to perform a baseline study on women entrepreneur’s access to public procurement in Senegal. The study will provide evidence on the percentage of women who are taking advantage of affirmative public procurement policy in Senegal and the challenges they face. This study is the first of its kind to be conducted in the country and it will provide the necessary background and recommendations for future interventions.
Specifically, the main responsibilities of the consulting firm would include:
- Planning of the study;
- Design of the methodological framework;
- Data collection;
- Organize and coordinate stakeholders’ meetings;
- Preparation of a consolidated report from the research products;
- Coordination of the study and its launch.
Reporting will be done to the technical team comprising of representatives from UN Women and the AfDB.
Research Objectives and Expected Deliverables
- To deliver the Final Report, the following research objectives have been identified:
- Research on the current situation and conduct of a comprehensive analysis of the access for women-owned businesses in government procurement in Senegal;
- Identify common issues and challenges (e.g. access to information, financial and structural capacity), as well as concerns and misconceptions that women face to access public procurement in Senegal;
- Compile recommendations, including key areas of opportunity for engagement by UN Women in order to assist with overcoming key barriers and challenges faced by women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs to access government supply chains.
- Identify actions to speed up the implementation of the Affirmative Procurement Law
- Inception report: upon commencement of the research, the lead researcher will prepare an inception report outlining the study methodology and a work plan;
- Data collection: the research will employ both quantitative and qualitative research methods;
- Draft baseline report based on the data collected;
- Facilitate a workshop with key stakeholders to discuss the women’s access to public procurement in Senegal;
- Final baseline report including recommendations from stakeholders to be submitted to the technical team.
Core values / Guiding principles
- Integrity: Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values relating to gender-related issues;
- Professionalism: Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work;
- Cultural sensitivity and valuing diversity: Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity;
- Proven experience in research, strategic planning and programming on Women’s Economic Empowerment, particularly in UN Women’s thematic focus areas - and preferably, mainly in Africa;
- Strong track record of experience in researching, monitoring and evaluation of research projects;
- Strong familiarity of Results Based Management (RBM) principles and approaches;
- Demonstrated good oral and written communication skills.
Required Skills and Experience
The Consultancy team must possess the following qualifications:
- The team leader will have experience and research experience in the following: Gender issues, Development Finance/Economics, International Development, Public Procurement, Public Policy;
- Practical international experience in consulting and the conduct of case studies with extensive experience in West Africa, in Senegal in particular;
- Master degree in following areas : Economics / Finance / International Development studies, Procurement
- Minimum 10 years strategic planning experience for international and/or UN agencies at the national or international level in design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of research projects and establishing inter-relationships among international organization and national governments, preferably in the field of gender, economic empowerment, procurement-related issues and economic empowerment of women;
- Knowledge of women’s empowerment initiatives, economic development and informal sector initiatives.
- Technical and Financial offers to be sent in separate documents.