People in Need (PIN):Research of socio-economic situation in the Brčko District, Bosnia and Herzegovina – Udruženje mreža za izgradnju mira

People in Need (PIN) has been operating in the Western Balkans since 1992, providing humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict in BiH as well as in Kosovo in 1998. The PIN representative office is located in Sarajevo, with field office in Mostar and soon to be opened in Brcko District (BD), and additional representation in Belgrade and Pristina. The total volume of the current programs is more than three million USD annually, funded by EU, CSSF/FCDO, CzDA, and other donors. In the last two decades, PIN implemented projects in the areas of environment and climate change, waste management, circular economy, social cohesion, and socio-economic inclusion of marginalized groups. PIN is a member of Alliance2015, a strategic network of seven European non-governmental organizations engaged in humanitarian aid and development projects. This collaboration increases effectiveness, both in working in the target countries and in campaigns aimed at influencing the attitudes of politicians and the general public in Europe.

More information is available on PIN’s website www.peopleinneed.net.

In August 2023, PIN in cooperation with the Development-Guarantee Fund of Brčko District Government (RGFDB) designed a project intent titled ‘Brcko Prosperity Initiative: Empowering Marginalized Communities for Economic Growth’ to be funded by the Czech Republic government. The project is currently awaiting funding decision, which is expected to be announced in the beginning of October 2023. The project aims to contribute to sustainable economic and inclusive prosperity that will reduce unemployment and poverty in Brčko District. The project will act as a catalyst of the socio-economic empowerment of marginalized groups in Brcko District through the (Self) Employment Socio-Economic and Entrepreneurship (SEE) Center vis-à-vis enhanced cooperation among state, civil society, and private sector actors.

The research objective is twofold:

  • PIN seeks to conduct comprehensive research to gain an insight on current status of and recommendations on mitigating barriers and maximizing opportunities for socio-economic integration and empowerment of marginalized groups of BD, including: women, youth and other marginalized people.
  • The research is also expected to provide information on current status and baseline data for the following variables:
    • Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) investments in BD 
    • Active labor force rate, employment rate, and unemployment rate of vulnerable and marginalized groups in Brcko District
    • Marginalized groups members expressing agreement with statements of enabling socio-economic environment (e.g. opportunities, sense of agency, acceptance, skills, access to money, job security, income) .

The consultant/consultancy team will be expected to collect data, analyse, interpret, and clearly state the findings with relevance to structural causes of social exclusion and discrimination and other barriers to sustainable growth and social inclusion. The research should therefore cover the following areas of interest:

  • Demographic data: collect data on the size, composition, age distribution, gender/gender distribution and ethnic diversity of the population living in BD. This will help identify specific marginalised groups to target and allow for a better understanding of their needs and challenges.
  • Socio-economic indicators: collect data on key socio-economic indicators (e.g. poverty rates, unemployment rates, education levels, income distribution or housing conditions) and through this identify areas or communities with higher levels of social exclusion and unemployment. Assess current level of perceived enabling socio-economic environment on a representative sample of vulnerable and marginalized groups.
  • Skills and educational attainment: assess the current level of skills and educational attainment of marginalised populations (including analysis of the availability and quality of educational institutions, training programmes and skills development and retraining initiatives). Identify any gaps that need to be addressed to increase their employability and chances of entering the labour market.
  • Labour market analysis:
    • Existing MSMEs, start-ups and employers: businesses and sectors with high employment potential i.e. sectors that marginalised people can potentially enter, employer requirements, business sizes, revenue levels, employment statistics, and geographical distribution. Assess root causes of the challenges MSMEs/start-ups face including limited access to finance, lack of technical skills, marketing limitations, and technology and infrastructure gaps. Evaluate the existing capacity of MSME/start-up owners and areas for capacity building. Assess the financial needs of MSMEs/start-ups, including capital requirements for expansion, working capital, and investment in technology or equipment.
    • Employment seekers: assess skill sets, educational backgrounds, and areas of expertise. Identify mismatch between skills and the requirements of labour market. Identify barriers such as lack of experience, limited networking, or inadequate job search resources. Determine if additional training, certifications, or education could enhance their employability. Identify the types of training they would be interested in. Confirm where they typically search for job opportunities (online job boards, social media, networking events).
  • Access to services: assess the availability of basic services (e.g. health care, transport, childcare and social support systems) and the gaps and challenges in access to these services for marginalised groups.
  • Infrastructure analysis: analyse and assess the accessibility and quality of infrastructure in the BD, including transport networks. Identify any gaps that may hinder economic opportunities and social inclusion for marginalised groups and opportunities for barrier-free design of key public and private infrastructure and buildings.
  • ESG investments: assess the potential for ESG investing in BD and identify likely investment sectors or corporate partners.
  • Legislative framework: map and review existing policies and support schemes, existing or drafted laws and regulations both at the BD and national level (with particular emphasis on the employment of PWD, and other vulnerable and marginalized groups. Evaluate their level of implementation, relevance, potential gaps, and areas for improvement.
  • Stakeholder mapping: identify and map all stakeholders involved in social exclusion and unemployment issues, including government bodies, NGOs, business associations, MFIs, educational institutions, etc.
  • Proposals for the use of the so-called (Self)Employment Socio-Economic and Entrepreneurship Center. The research should propose a specific way of using the premises as well as the services that the centre would provide. The profile and the ideal number of service providers within the centre will be defined, including how to finance them during and after the project. It is expected that the proposed model for the functioning of the centre will also be adapted to the proposal for the possible renovation of the premises and equipment of the centre, which will be part of the research, including the proposal of the sources of their financing in accordance with the requirements of this call for proposals.

The research team is expected to conduct the analysis in the territory of the Brčko District, as a separate administrative unit within BiH with a specific management system. The study should be conducted in close cooperation with the RGFDB, and its International Project Implementation Department, other relevant stakeholders, such as BD Employment Office, BD government sub-department for social protection, and Employers’ Union and defined target groups.

Target groups: disadvantaged or vulnerable groups, with a special emphasis on people with disabilities, women, young people, Roma and other national minorities, LGTB+, people in housing need or people otherwise at risk of poverty and social exclusion living in BD.

The consultant(s) will propose the methodology in the application. However, employing mixed research methods is expected. Specific proposed data collection methods should be noted for each area of interest in the research proposal. When using secondary data please state the sources.   

  • Quantitative data analysis (such as structured surveys on a representative sample of target population)  
  • Qualitative data collection and analysis (Key informant interviews, Focus Group Discussions, etc.)
  • Desk review and analysis
  • Review of Development Strategy of BD 2021 – 2027 and its Action Plan for 2024-2026
  • Review of the Youth Strategy for Brcko District 2022- 2024
  • Inception report that provides the details on the methodology, scope, sampling, and data collection tools, work plan with a detailed time frame. Inception report must include any concerns regarding the feasibility of data collection or availability of data. These must be fully justified. If such concerns are not brought up in this stage and the TOR not adjusted, PIN will consider the research work incomplete if some data is missing in the final report.
  • Draft report with key findings and recommendations
  • Concise and clearly written final report with specific findings and recommendations for research objectives and areas of interest.
  • Presentation of the major research findings and recommendations relevant for the project implementers and key stakeholders 
  • Online delivery of the presentation

The above-described deliverables are to be:

  • Prepared in English, and
  • Submitted to PIN electronically.

The final research report should contain at least the following sections:

  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Summary of findings, conclusions, recommendations.
  • INTRODUCTION: Description of the research with presentation of the research background and purpose.
  • METHODOLOGY: Description of the methodology used, including limitations.
  • FINDINGS: Presentation of findings per each area of interest.
  • CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:  A summary of major findings and provision of actionable and realistic recommendations to mitigate barriers and maximize opportunities for socio-economic integration and empowerment of marginalized groups of BD.
  • ANNEXES: Terms of Reference, bibliography, a list of interviews and key informants, data collection tools including questionnaires and checklists for interviews, schedule and other technical details, raw electronic data from qualitative surveys.

The research is expected to start during October/November and finish latest by end of December 2023. The exact timeframe will be part of the technical offer to be submitted by the Consultant and reviewed by PIN. All expected deliverables will have to be submitted to PIN by end of 2023.  

The work will be carried out by an external consultant, or a consultancy team:

  • experienced in a similar field of study (socio-economic integration and empowerment of vulnerable and marginalized groups, employment/employability, inclusive governance, MSMEs, business sector, microfinance and revolving funds, etc.)
  • with extensive experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative research and socio-economic analysis
  • with a proven record in delivering clearly formulated and actionable research findings and products  
  • proficient in spoken as well as written English, with at least one team member with fluency in in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language
  • at least one team member being woman and/or a member of any target vulnerable or marginalized group is strongly preferred
  • with the minimum educational qualification of at least one team member/team lead MA degree in the related field of study (social science, social work, law).
  • experience working in the Western Balkans / Bosnia and Herzegovina is strongly preferred.

The deadline for application is October 25, 2023, EoB. 

Application package will include:

  • Technical and financial proposal:
    • Description of methodology, including sampling strategy
    • Type of methods and brief description of expected instruments
    • Ethical protocol for working with vulnerable and marginalized groups
    • Proposed budget (financial offer), with specific categories such as daily rates for desk work and field work for each member of the team, with VAT/taxes, other costs, and any logistic arrangements that are included in the expenses such as transportation, accommodation.
  • Updated CV of consultant. If research team, CV of lead researcher and CVs or expected profiles of other research team members.  (CVs max. 3 pages per CV)
  • Sample of a previous report; conclusions and recommendations section as minimum.
  • References of precedent research or recommendations letters
  • A brief cover letter (optional)

Offers have to be submitted to PIN at the following email address procurement.bih@peopleinneed.net  before closing date and time.

PIN will review all applications submitted in due time. Applications submitted after the deadline or applications that do not contain necessary items as described above may not be taken into consideration. 

The evaluation committee will evaluate bids as follows:

  • Technical proposal – 40%,
  • Financial offer – 30%
  • Experience and expertise of consultant/consultancy team (CVs, sample, references) – 30 %

Maximum budget available for the evaluation is 25 000 BAM, including VAT/taxes.

%  Milestones 
20%  Following the signing of the Contract    
30%  After the Inception report has been submitted and approved by PIN    
50%  After the final version of the research report has been submitted and approved by PIN  
PIN reserves the right to deduct up to 0.5% of the total contract price for each day’s delay in meeting the deliverables specified. This deduction shall be applied to the last payment of 50% of the contract price.  

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