National Consultant for reviewing National Financial Policies and M&E Mechanism for Suggesting Better Implementation of Gender Responsive Policies Supportive to Women’s Economic Empowerment
UNDP, UN Women and UNCDF in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are implementing a programme, “Women’s Empowerment for Inclusive Growth (WING)” in 5 Districts Manikganj, Thakurgaon, Jashore, Cox’s Bazar, Kurigram to achieve the expected outcome between 2020-2023 targeting 6,700 beneficiaries directly, 80% women, 20% male and overall, 36% youth.
This 3-year programme aims to contribute in women’s inclusion in the local development process by supporting women’s economic empowerment. The programme will help to enhance capacity of different stakeholders for creating dignified and formal participation of women as employees and entrepreneurs in local economies, breaking entrenched discriminatory attitudes, norms and stereotypes that created the current inequities in the social, political and economic spheres.
WING aims to strategically contribute to the SDGs and is aligned with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF 2017-2021) for Bangladesh. It aligns with the Government of Bangladesh’s (GOB) efforts to attain gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, which is identified as a cross cutting theme in reducing gender discrimination as articulated in National Perspective Plan 2021 policies, strategies and frameworks including Vision 2021, and the National Development Plan.
The joint program will be implemented for below mentioned Programme Outcome (s) jointly:
- Improved implementation and enforcement of policies supportive to women’s economic empowerment
- Women’s participation in local economic development activities is increased
- Women-led enterprises unlock and access larger volume of domestic capital to expand their economic space
Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in the last 20 years in improving the lives of women and girls. Maternal mortality rates are falling, fertility rate is declining, and there is greater gender parity in school enrolment. However, women’s participation in the workforce remains constrained to limited, low-paying sectors. Three million Bangladeshi women are employed in the lucrative ready-made garment sector, which is Bangladesh’s largest export industry. Increasing numbers of women are involved in small and medium enterprises, but there remain large finance gaps that women face despite several government initiatives.
Half of the population of Bangladesh is women and their economic participation has increased significantly. In fact, national and international policy strategies have also been reflected in the policy to ensure women’s advancement so that they have control over their lives and play an influential role in society as decision makers. In Bangladesh, women have long been underrepresented in entrepreneurship. Bangladesh has close to seven million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which involve around 25 million people according to government statistics. The Covid-19 crisis, which has brought the world to a screeching halt in just five months since its first reports, has put most of them at the risk of shutdown. Presently COVID situation in Bangladesh is seriously detreating and GOB declared for shutdown with very limited access to protect the infection rate.
Evidence shows that 52 per cent of the enterprises have shut down their operation during the first lockdown in 2020, and 28 percent showed a significant decrease in the business activities. The most affected and vulnerable groups are the informal women enterprise owners, self-employed women. The vulnerability of women MSMEs is aggravated further by their low level or no resilience capacity, less/no access to financial services and assets, information and communication technology (ICT), and business networks.
Meanwhile, the Government of Bangladesh
- In its 8th Five-Year plan has already focused on increasing economic empowerment and better implementation of the 2011 NWDP, increasing of Women’s labor force participation through closing the gap between male and female enrollments in tertiary education, especially in TVET, better access to training programmes, improving child care availability, improving safety of women’s movements and in the work place, and increasing access to basic facilities like toilet and sanitary napkins in the work place.
- The National Women Development Policy of Bangladesh also highlighted that economic, social and political empowerment of women require interventions to help women overcome structural barriers;
- The National Financial Inclusions Strategy (NFIS) of Bangladesh, pointed the need for financial services (credit, investment and guarantee) of women individuals and entrepreneurs especially in rural and peri-urban areas;
- Other key policies such as Bangladesh Bank’s SME financing policies, Labour Policy 2012, Agriculture Policy 2013, Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Policy 2016, National Education Policy 2010, National Skills Development Policy 2011 and Industrial Policy 2012 also have specific sections highlighting the needs for women’s economic empowerment (WEE). Specifically, in the area of financing, the Cottage, Micro, Small and Middle entrepreneur Financing Policy (Circulation on Sept '5, 2019) of the Central Bank of Bangladesh was officially adopted for financial inclusion which provides suitable terms and conditions for local cottage and small women entrepreneurs.
Despite these initiatives, there remains challenges to be addressed in realizing WEE in Bangladesh. Along with social and cultural challenges, inadequate knowledge and information on financial services, lack of interest of women to enter in the business sector; another big challenge is the weak monitoring mechanism to track proper implementation of existing policies supportive to women’s economic empowerment.
To minimize the problem, UNDP Bangladesh has planned to review and identify the gaps within relevant policies and with support from relevant public and private institutions suggest appropriate and effective monitoring mechanism to ensure better implementation of those policies to ensure WEE. To coordinate the whole process UNDP’s WING Project is looking for an expert having profound knowledge and expertise in this area.
The particular task is expected to contribute to the following output under one of the Outcomes of WING project:
Outcome: Improved implementation and enforcement of policies supportive to women’s economic empowerment (WEE).
Outputs Review of relevant components of national policies to identify gaps and improvements required to support women's enterprises and follow up on these areas with advocacy.
A monitoring system is developed to monitor allocation of funding to support women’s economic empowerment (WEE) by local government institutes (LGIs) and Bangladesh Bank (BB).
SCOPE OF THE ASSIGNMENT/SERVICE
The National Consultant is expected to work under direct supervision of Project Manager of WING under overall guidance of Gender Analyst at UNDP Bangladesh. While reviewing M&E policies, the consultant will be engaged with relevant people from public and private banks, government agencies and other private sector actors both from central and local level if and when required.
The specific scope of works of this consultancy will be:
- Reviewing the existing national financial policies, plans, strategies, legislative frameworks, guidelines etc. that are supportive to promote women’s economic empowerment and more specifically women’s entrepreneurship
- Exploring scopes and opportunities as well as limitations/gaps within the framework/monitoring mechanism of promoting women’s economic empowerment highlighted in those policies, strategies and frameworks.
- Reviewing the existing Monitoring mechanism including available tools and processes for tracking implementation of relevant policies
- Reviewing existing tools used for determining allocation of funds on women’s economic empowerment by local government institutes as well as Bangladesh Bank, especially in relation to women’s entrepreneurship and gender responsive investments.
- Identify policy advocacy issues based on the findings of the review of different policies and their monitoring mechanism and proposal for a standard tools & techniques
- In consultation with relevant public and private sector stakeholders, propose revision of existing monitoring mechanism or a new mechanism considering findings of the review
- prepare a plan for enhancing capacity of relevant actors to implement the revised or new monitoring mechanism
- Propose and finalize SMART indicators along with required budget to measure change.
The method for accomplishing the task may include but not limit to relevant documents and literature review, key informant interviews (KII), focus group discussion or consultation with relevant actors in groups etc. from financial institutions and Ministries/govt. Institutes i.e. Local Government Division (LGD), Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), Department of Youth Development, Department of Cooperatives, NILG, Bangladesh Bank, private financial institutions, SME Foundation, BSCIC, women’s business associations, etc.
Duties and Responsibilities
Estimated number of working days
Tentative Timeline and payment milestones
Inception report containing an analysis of providing deliverables mentioned at scope of work section, number of policies/documents, reviewing tools and methodology, final report structure and detail timeline of accomplishment, persons/ organizations/ institutions to meet and approaches, detail list of financial services, accessibility.
10 w. days
35% payment by 2nd week of '21 August as 1st installment
Draft progress report
40 w. days
50% payment by 3rd week of October’21 as 2nd installment
Final Report addressing recommendations/comments from different stakeholders
15 w. days
15% payment by 4th week of November’ 21
65 W. days
IMPACT OF RESULTS
The consultancy will enable UNDP Bangladesh to be better aligned and more effective in supporting the national COVID-19 response. It would help rural and urban gender responsive businesses to access domestic financial resources by ensuring better implementation of progressive policies supportive to women’s economic empowerment. Moreover, it is expected to improve the monitoring mechanism for determining the allocation for women entrepreneurs.
DURATION OF ASSIGNMENT, DUTY STATION
Duration of the assignment is for 65 workdays over a 4 month’s period. Duty station is Dhaka, Bangladesh including different office/person visit as per schedule. If any unforeseen travel needs to be undertaken by the consultant for a valid reason, which is not mentioned in this ToR, the cost of travel and DSA will be reimbursed as per UNDP guideline.
SUPERVISION, REPORTING AND PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
The consultant will work closely with the WING Project Manager at UNDP and Gender Analyst of Country Office and will report to the Manager, who will also carry out a performance evaluation at the end of the assignment.
The total value of the contract is inclusive of transport and other allowances. Payments will be based on deliverables, made in 3 installments as mentioned above on submission of deliverable report.
- Strong experiences, knowledge, and analytical skill on financial services to support WEE, monitoring, data collection tools and techniques, RBM, etc
- Good understanding on existing national financial policies, plans, guidelines and strategies and mechanism followed by relevant institutions/Ministries to implement them
- Profound knowledge and experience on gender equality, women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship
- Demonstrated ability to conduct research and draw lessons from relevant international, regional and national practices and processes.
- Previous experience of working with financial institutions, government and UN agencies, working on women’s empowerment will be an added advantage.
- Good communication and interpersonal skills and experience in working effectively in a multicultural environment.
- Ability to deliver according to a specified timeline while maintaining the quality of the output.
- Sound skills in documentation.
- Language Requirement: Excellent command over written and speaking Bangla and English
Required Skills and Experience
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- Master’s in Institute of Business Administration/ Economics/ Women and Gender Studies/ management information systems (MIS) / Research and Evaluation / Public Policy and Governance / Development Studies / Political Science / Social Work / Social Science or any other relevant field.
- At least 10 years of experience working in public and private sectors in women’s economic empowerment
- Experience in working with Financial institutions
- Experience in designing, implementing, and managing beneficiary monitoring and database systems/strategic planning and performance measurement, including indicator selection, target setting, reporting, database management, and developing M&E and performance monitoring plans/planning.
- Experience in developing and refining data collection tools.
- Knowledge of the major evaluation methodologies (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, mixed-method, and impact) and data collection and analysis methodologies.
- Experience working with UN organization/Government/donor/NGOs is an asset.
DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSAL
- Financial proposal.
- Personal History Form-P11/CV
Individual Consultant will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:
When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual Consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
a. Responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
b. Having received the 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 obtaining a minimum of 70% point in technical criteria would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.
(master’s in relevant subject as mentioned in the ToR)
Working experiences in public and/or private sector in gender equality and women’s empowerment
Working experience with financial institutions
Working experience in policy/strategy development or analysis, preferably in the area of women’s economic empowerment
Proven experience in research, monitoring and evaluation, RBM or management information systems.
Working experience with UN agencies or bilateral donors and government of Bangladesh
Financial Evaluation: (Total obtainable score – 30)
All technically qualified proposals will be scored out 30 based on the formula provided below. The maximum points (30) will be assigned to the lowest financial proposal. All other proposals receive points according to the following formula:
p = y (µ/z)
p = points for the financial proposal being evaluatedy = maximum number of points for the financial proposalµ = price of the lowest priced proposal
z = price of the proposal being evaluated
RECOMMENDED PRESENTATION OFFER ?
Interested individuals must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:
- Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP;
- Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
- Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment and a methodology (Technical Proposal) on how they will approach and complete the assignment.
- Financial Proposal: The Financial Proposal has to be submitted through a standard interest and availability template which can be downloaded from the link below: