National Consultant to provide training on e-commerce for women-led MSMEs in Rivne and Sumy oblasts
In Ukraine, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic triggered an unprecedented economic crisis as lockdown measures involved temporary closure of most businesses, particularly in the service sector, almost halting economic activity altogether apart from the country’s key sectors (such as transport, food production and sale, agriculture and pharmaceutical production and sale). The devastating disruption of global supply chains resulted in a sharp drop of business sales, household incomes and jobs.
Into 2021, the pandemic is unfolding amidst entrenched impediments to inclusive development and socioeconomic recovery. Among the hardest hit by the pandemic are women, who “are bearing the brunt of the hardship”. Due to a larger share of women working in the industries most impacted by COVID-19, many were left without a job. Furthermore, the burden of unpaid care and domestic responsibilities has increased for many, as schools have been closed and many parents had to homeschool their children for months. Often, women find themselves in informal employment, which excludes them from receiving social protection. The pandemic has forced even more women into informal working arrangements. Accordingly, the labour force participation of women has further decreased.
This is also the case in Ukraine, where a recent study conducted by several UN agencies concluded that women were disproportionately heavily hit by the crisis. As business owners were forced to reduce their number of employees, many women lost their jobs. Moreover, household dynamics are changing because of the crisis, leading to significant growth of the care burdens (care for children/elderly/sick, homeschooling, household chores) largely shared by women and girls coupled with a rise of domestic violence that increases women’s vulnerability. This leads to women losing their income and affects their independence and economic empowerment.
One way in which the share of women in the labour force and thereby ensuring sustainable economic development can be encouraged is through entrepreneurship. However, the study conducted by several UN agencies in Ukraine, concluded that female entrepreneurs and women-led MSMEs in the country were disproportionately heavily hit by the crisis. For instance, the assessment revealed that women entrepreneurs younger than 40 years were impacted particularly severe by the pandemic. Women entrepreneurs doing business in urban areas had significantly higher difficulties with paying recurring costs such as rent and utilities in comparison to their male counterparts. Women-owned enterprises had a lower annual financial turnover compared to the ones owned by men (2019 figures): 66.2 percent of enterprises owned by women had an annual turnover of less than UAH 1 million compared to 47.7 percent of men owners.
At the same time, women showed greater willingness to invest and expand their business further, in comparison to men. Women-led enterprises indicated that they were more likely to expand their business within the domestic market than men (75.9 percent vs. 65.3 percent), expand the distribution channels for their products and services (72 percent vs. 63.3 percent) and expand their presence in foreign markets (24.4 percent vs. 13.8 percent).
In order to stimulate sustainable recovery of living standards of the COVID-19 crisis-affected population in Ukraine, UNDP in cooperation with the International Labor Organization (ILO) launched a joint pilot initiative “Economic empowerment of women as a response to the COVID-19 crisis in Ukraine”.
The implementation of the project initiative will ensure capacity building of local authorities, create an enabling environment for women's entrepreneurship, by enhancing capacity of business start-ups through innovative digital solutions.
The project will be implemented during 2021 in two regions – Sumy and Rivne. In the course of the project implementation the following activities are planned:
- Establishing, conducting and deepening a policy dialogue on women’s economic empowerment, including women’s entrepreneurship development, with the participation of key governmental and non-governmental stakeholders;
- Training for local authorities to acquire knowledge and skills needed to empower women in the context of local development, in particular through the development and implementation of local programmes;
- Training for women-led MSMEs in order to gain knowledge and skills to advance their entrepreneurial skills, transition to sustainable business models, in particular through
the use of e-commerce.
The Government of Ukraine adopted the SDGs and presented in 2017 a National Baseline Report: ‘Sustainable Development Goals: Ukraine’, where the county defines its own commitments towards achieving the goals, through nationally adopted targets and indicators, developed in close consultations with broad groups of stakeholders at regional and local levels, and reflecting specific economic, social and environmental challenges that Ukraine faces. Building upon the work of UNDP Ukraine on promoting gender equality, good governance, economic development, multi-stakeholder mobilization for quick response to COVID -19 crises in Ukraine, UNDP Ukraine proposes the stakeholders to join efforts on the implementation of the principles of Agenda 2030 in sustainable development of the local territories and focus on the possible progressive economic and social development of the local territorial communities.
To ensure the activities under the mentioned joint pilot initiative “Economic empowerment of women as a response to the COVID-19 crisis in Ukraine” (hereinafter – the Project) are implemented effectively and efficiently, UNDP Ukraine seeks for a National Consultant to provide the training course on e-commerce including the development of online handbook "How to start your marketing online" for women-led MSMEs in Rivne and Sumy oblasts. The National Consultant is expected to perform the tasks described below.
Duties and Responsibilities
2. SCOPE OF WORK
The assignment under this TOR refers to the project objective outlined above namely to develop the programme of training course on e-commerce and deliver it to the representatives of the women-led MSMEs in Rivne and Sumy oblasts. Elaboration of the Online handbook "How to start your marketing online" is an integral part of this assignment.
The overall objective of this assignment is to boost the capacity of women-led MSMEs from Rivne and Sumy oblasts in their efforts to cope with COVID-19-related changes in the market environment, and to enhance their ability to promote and distribute their products using online channels and to limit disruption to essential commerce during the pandemic.
Specifically, the Contractor will perform the following tasks:
- Review the existing publicly available national and international training and educational resources with relevant content, paying special attention to online courses on e-commerce for MSMEs, informational materials, including audio-visual materials, etc. which were produced by or with support of the UN agencies or structures;
- Based on the best of existing materials to develop and get approved by UNDP the programme, curricula, materials and content of training on e-commerce for women-led MSMEs. The developed programme should include the tools and online instruments to be used during the training sessions to develop practical skills of participants;
- Deliver 2 (two) full-scope training cycles (three half-day online sessions per cycle) on e-commerce. At least 50 selected women - entrepreneurs in two oblasts (Rivne and Sumy) are expected to complete the training programme;
- Collect and analyze the feedback of training participants. Based on the feedback, organize, and deliver at least 4 (four) post training online group consultations for the participants.
The curriculum of the training course should cover but not be limited to the following topics:
- Digital transformation and digital markets (including most popular in Ukraine digital marketplaces and logistical models)
- E-commerce essentials, including state regulation in Ukraine
- Employing e-commerce to shift business towards a sustainable business model (practical guidance, inspiring real-life cases)
- Workshop(s) on the application of e-commerce skills (online sales, product promotion, cooperation, etc.)
- How to overcome barriers to enter e-markets, promote business and make it resilient, etc.
The training course on e-commerce for women-led MSMEs in Sumy and Rivne oblasts shall contribute to the achievement of the following learning objectives:
- Objective 1. At least 50 participants from Rivne and Sumy oblasts have improved their knowledge increased their knowledge on e-commerce and skills enabling them to use that knowledge in practice, namely: how to make business more effective and resilient, how to use online sales channels, how to promote products and services using digital tools and information channels;
- Objective 2. The participants of the training programme on e-commerce supported with applying e-commerce skills in practice, by providing them effective and efficient post training consultancy support.
National Consultant can involve the third parties (qualified trainers) for the practical implementation of the training course on e-commerce, though this should not influence neither the scope of works nor the execution timeframes. All additionally involved trainers must be agreed with the Project Manager.
The information materials and presentations should address the needs of the target audience and include quality visualization, graphics, be clear and easy to perceive. All materials should contain proper visibility of UNDP and donors provided by UNDP.
The materials should be submitted in Ukrainian according to UNDP format and guidelines. The final report about the fulfilling the assignment under the contract should be submitted both in Ukrainian and English.
It is expected that Individual Consultant’s services are required for six months period, between June and October, 2021. Details of the deliverables and schedule is given below:
31 July, 2021
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31 August, 2021
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30 September, 2021
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4. PROPOSED PAYMENT SCHEDULE
UNDP will pay the negotiated amount in four tranches according to the following payment schedule:
- the first payment (20% of the contract amount) upon successful completion of the Deliverable 1 and approval of the Interim Report #1);
- the second payment (20% of the contract amount) upon successful completion of the Deliverable 2 and approval of the Interim Report #2);
- the third payment (30% of the contract amount) upon successful completion of the Deliverable 3 and approval of the Interim Report #3);
- the fourth payment (30% of the contract amount) upon successful completion of the Deliverable 4 and approval of the Final Report and indicated tasks.
The payments will be processed upon the full completion and acceptance of contractual obligations whereupon the National Consultant signs the certification of acceptance.
5. MONITORING/REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
The Consultant will work under general leadership of UNDP Regional Development Programme Manager and direct supervision of the Project Manager (the Supervisor). He/she will receive necessary guidance, clarification, information/materials that may be needed for this task. He/she will duly inform the Supervisor of any problems, issues or delays arising in the course of implementation of assignment and take necessary steps to address them.
The Consultant will report to the Supervisor on the progress of the work performance according to the developed time schedule.
All the materials and interim reports will be in the Ukrainian language. The Final Report will be in English and Ukrainian and to be accepted by the Supervisor at the end of the assignment.
- Excellent communication and organization skills;
- Strong analytical skills;
- Excellent computer skills (including, MS Word);
- Ability to set priorities, meet specific objectives, use political judgment and knowledge;
- Good interpersonal skills, diligence, open mindedness, and dedication;
- Excellent team and networking skills;
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people fairly without favouritism.
Required Skills and Experience
6. EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS REQUIREMENTS
- At least Specialist/Master’s degree in the fields relevant for the given assignment - Business Administration, Marketing, Economics, International Trade, Management, IT or related fields;
- At least 3 years of relevant professional experience in the provision of business consultancy services to SMEs (experience of consultancy with a specific focus on women-led businesses will be an asset);
- Proven experience in developing and/or provision of training on digital transformation for businesses, e-commerce or related topics (Provide examples of cases on relevant topics) – at least 2 training on relevant topics within last 3 years.
- For this assignment professional knowledge of the Ukrainian language and at least basic knowledge of English (ability to read and write) is essential. Good knowledge of English will be considered as a strong asset.
7. DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSALS
Applicants shall submit the following documents:
Personal CV, including information about past experience in similar projects / assignments and contact details for referees
Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP
8. FINANCIAL PROPOSAL
? Lump sum contract
The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in instalments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR. To assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount.
9. TRAVEL COST
All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal.
Four trips in total (one overnight per one trip) are envisaged within this assignment:
- two trips to Rivne city
- two trips to Sumy city
UNDP shall not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel in a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.
10. EVALUATION CRITERIA
The following criteria will be rated as indicated below:
- Relevant education - 10 points max
- Specialist/Master’s degree in Business Administration, Marketing, Economics, International Trade, Management, IT or related fields. - 7 points;
- PhD or higher in Business Administration, Marketing, Economics, International Trade, Management, IT or related fields. - 10 points;
- At least 3 years of relevant professional experience in provision of business consultancy services to SMEs (experience of consultancy with specific focus on women-led businesses will be an asset). - 20 points max
- from 3 to 5 years of relevant experience - 15 points
- from 6 to 7 years of relevant experience - 18 points
- 7 and more years of relevant experience - 20 points
- Proven experience in developing and/or provision of training on digital transformation for businesses, e-commerce or related topics (provided examples to be submitted) - 30 points max
- Examples of 2 cases on relevant topics are provided – 20 points
- Examples of 3 or 4 cases are provided – 25 points
- Examples of 5 (five) and more cases are provided – 30 points
- Language Skills - 10 points max
- full professional knowledge of Ukrainian language and basic knowledge of English language – 7 points
- full professional knowledge of Ukrainian language and professional working knowledge of English, working level knowledge of Russian language -10 points.
The maximum number of points assigned to the financial proposal is allocated to the lowest price proposal and will equal to 30. All other price proposals will be evaluated and assigned points, as per below formula:
30 points [max points available for financial part] x [lowest of all evaluated offered prices among responsive offers] / [evaluated price].
9. EVALUATION METHOD
? Cumulative analysis
Contract award shall be made to the incumbent whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
b) having received the cumulative highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
- Technical Criteria weight: 70%
- Financial Criteria weight: 30%
Only candidates meeting the minimum requirements and obtaining a minimum 70% from the maximum available technical score (49 points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.