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SOCIOECONOMIC ANALYSIS (SEA) OF BRČKO DISTRICT – Udruženje mreža za izgradnju mira

CARE International, within its project “Brčko Inclusive Socioeconomic Initiative (in further text: the Project), is looking to contract an external consultancy (individual consultant or a consultancy company) to design and undertake a Socio-Economic Analysis, with the main goal to provide detailed and comprehensive data and data on all major project topics, as well as on the project implementation context, necessary to guide implementation of all project activities.

The Analysis will also incorporate the Capacity Needs Assessment of the Regional Guarantee Development Fund of Brčko District (RGFBD) – the main Project partner – that would identify potential capacity gaps the Project needs to address in order to enable RGFBD to effectively tackle socio-economic challenges in Brčko District in the future. The Analysis will also provide all necessary data to inform planning and implementation of the RGFBD capacity building program to be undertaken within the Project.

Job title:                                                    Consultant(s) or company for conducting project baseline assessment

Project title:                                             Brčko Inclusive Socioeconomic Initiative

Donor:                                                       Czech Development Agency and CARE Czech Republic

Project country:                                       Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brčko District

Place(s) of work:                                     Brčko District

Anticipated consultants:                       Specialized consultancy team comprised of experts with diverse and complementary skill sets and backgrounds, fitting the consultancy task

Engagement period and duration:      Approximately 40 working days, over the period 1st November – 15th December 2023

CARE’s mission in the region of Balkans is to contribute to post-war recovery, socio-economic development and building the societies of equality in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia (FYROM). CARE’s work in the Balkans started in 1993, when it provided humanitarian support to people affected by war. In the late 90-ties, CARE shifted its focus in the region from humanitarian post-war assistance and rehabilitation to socio-economic development, engaging in interventions directed at conflict prevention and peace-building, sustainable livelihoods, gender equality and the prevention of gender-based violence.

CARE in the Balkans places the quality of its program at the centre of its mission and has developed a regional strategy that encompasses two main program directions: Gender Equality and Social and Economic Inclusion. The goal of the Social and Economic Inclusion Program is to strengthen capacity and create opportunities for the marginalized, socially excluded and poor to integrate into society and access rights. CARE’s Gender Equality Program aims to empower women vulnerable to violence, discrimination and poverty, to reach better life opportunities and social justice and to work on prevention of peer violence and building of tolerance among young men in the Western Balkans. CARE’s engagement and contribution lies in strengthening sustainability of key regional, national and/ or local civil society organizations and networks promoting equality and diversity, in the context of social inclusion and non-violence.

The project “Brčko Inclusive Socioeconomic Initiative” will contribute to socio-economic integration of disadvantaged and vulnerable categories of citizens of Brčko District. This is mirrored in the Project Objective: to increase social inclusion and create sustainable employment opportunities for citizens in Brčko District (BD) with a particular focus on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, through raising employment capacity, support to entrepreneurial activities and enabling a conducive environment for more inclusive economic development.

The following project results/outputs are expected:

Output 1:            Disadvantaged and vulnerable populations of the Brčko District have increased their capacity for employment and knowledge of their citizens’ rights, through project conducted trainings and awareness raising.

Output 2:            Increased capacity, skills and job opportunities for the unemployed citizens of BD and creation of new employment for the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, via project financial and technical support.

Output 3:            Enhanced environment for a more efficient economic inclusion of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, by creation of public-private partnerships to address labour market barriers and promotion of sustainable employment models.

The Development-Guarantee Fund of Brčko District Government – RGFDB (https://rgfbd.com/) is a public institution established under the Government of Brčko District (BD), responsible for providing financial support or guarantees to small and medium-sized enterprises, individuals or agricultural producers.

More specifically, the main current RGFDB services include:

Role in the Project:  Unit for Implementation of International Projects at RGFDB (further PIU) has been mandated by the Government of BD to act as the main Project partner and beneficiary focal point (for all three project Outputs). PIU will also act as an intermediary between the selected the project applicant/implementer and the Government of BD, in particular on strategic issues such as legislation, long-term financing and sustainability of project outputs, etc. PIU will, through this Project, establish and develop the (Self) Employment Socio-Economic and Entrepreneurship Centre (further Centre), which will aim to provide comprehensive support to BD residents, and especially marginalized persons, on their path to self-employment, entrepreneurship and long-term/permanent employment. The Centre will serve to develop, strengthen and upgrade the skills of BD residents so that they are employable in the labour market. At the same time, it can provide retraining and other training courses, personalised training, coaching, consulting, mentoring, therapeutic and psychosocial services and similar types of help and assistance. It will serve also serve as an incubator for start-ups and early stage entrepreneurs.

Socio-Economic Analysis (SEA), a comprehensive assessment of the social and economic circumstances in Brcko District will be conducted in 2023 and will greatly influence the designing of implementation plans for all project activities, influencing the position of the main project target groups – unemployed, deprived and vulnerable citizens.

The SEA goal will be to provide sufficient information for the Project to make informed decisions about the methodologies and measures that, if adopted, could improve the socio-economic status of the project target beneficiaries. SEA will be designed as a multidisciplinary measure, undertaken by local expert consultants in close communication with CARE, the partner RGFDB and experts from the Czech Republic.  SEA will examine the relations between economic activities and social well-being.

Thus, the SEA will involve examination of various factors and provide various outputs, including:

*             Demographics, collecting data on the size and composition of the population living in BD. The data will be segregated by age, sex/gender, ethnic diversity and similar characteristics, which will support  project planning activities, through identification of specific vulnerable and marginalised groups who should be included in the project, identify their needs and difficulties they face in accessing their socio-economic rights, especially employment.

*             Collection of data on socio-economic indicators such as social status of citizens, education levels, household income, distribution and conditions, unemployment rate, family composition, level of education, which should indicate particularly vulnerable communities and through this to identify areas or communities with higher rates of social exclusion and unemployment.

*             Qualifications and education levels: SEA will evaluate existing skill levels and education level in marginalised groups i.e. their employability. This part will also include analysis of accessibility and quality educational institutions in BD, especially their adequacy to the labour market opportunities; vocational education and training programmes; skills development initiatives (soft skills, digital literacy etc.); prequalification and retraining opportunities. In this sense, SEA should identify potential gaps in education system and opportunities that need to be addressed in order to increase the employability of the deprived, marginalised and vulnerable people and their employment prospects. As a prerequisite for this, the SEA should undertake a labour market analysis, obtain data on the available and potential employers, and analyse the educational profiles that are in demand. Having in mind the particularity of the target groups, SEA will identify specific job opportunities and sectors in which marginalized persons potentially enter.

*             Access to services for marginalised and vulnerable citizens as an important factor for exercising of their socio-economic rights will be evaluated. SEA will particularly analyse access to health, educational and social services, transport, childcare, employment bureau, etc. and any limitations that prevent the access to these services for marginalised communities. This analysis will also include questions regarding the possibility to organise an online platform for direct interaction with the clients, the platform content and the ways it can be fully adjusted to the specific access of various vulnerable categories of beneficiaries, particularly people with disabilities (further PWDs), but also those less digitally literate.

*             Assessment of the current capacities of the RGFDB for the formation and management of the Centre, as well as for the provision of socio-economic aid services to the most vulnerable clients. SEA will assess the human resources of the partner RGFBD, its staff who would be suitable for engagement as service providers in the new Centre, also discover the knowledge gaps and recommend additional capacity building of RGFDB staff, if needed. The SEA will also propose the project investment in the Employment Centre premises (equipment, small furniture, etc.), in agreement with RGFDB and the overall plans for the Centre development.

*             SEA will assess the availability and quality of infrastructure in BD, such as transport, public services and civic amenities. SEA will identify shortcomings that hinder economic opportunities and social inclusion of marginalised population. This segment of the analysis will also evaluate physical barriers to transport, public services and civic amenities for people with disabilities and suggest solutions, including legislative framework, for overcoming these obstacles. 

*             Institutional framework, existing policies and programmes: SEA will analyse existing or upcoming laws and regulations both at BD and national level, with particular emphasis on social security policy and its implementation on various vulnerable groups. The focus will be placed also on eventual policies particularly regulating the field of employment of people with disabilities, any existing quotas, benefits for employers and similar measures. SEA will detect implementation of any eventual active support/employment measures proscribed by the State, or programmes and initiatives implemented/supported either by the Government of the BD, or by the civil sector and other stakeholders working on social exclusion and unemployment. SEA will evaluate their effectiveness, identify gaps, but also suggest the ways for cooperation and creation of synergies with the activities of third parties. 

*             Mapping of stakeholders currently involved in facilitation of the socio-economic inclusion of vulnerable and marginalised, parties with potential to become constructively involved in building of inclusive solutions, but also those stakeholders who clearly hinder inclusion processes and add to social exclusion and unemployment of the marginalised populations. SEA will list government bodies, local institutions, NGOs, financial services, business associations, educational institutions, and similar.

Based on the analysis of the present situation in BD, as well as positive trends and best practice examples from BH and especially from the Czech Republic and EU, SEA should present the organisational model of the (Self)Employment Socio-Economic and Entrepreneurship Centre , which is planned to be established as one of the main outputs of the Action. The analysis should propose a specific way of using the space, selection of the services that the Centre would provide and explain in details the business model of the Centre, its sustainability plan and conditions for fitting it into the existing BD establishment. The SEA will propose the profile and ideal number of service providers (employees) within the Centre, and as mentioned, possible sources of funding beyond the project duration. It is expected that the accompanying activities: reconstruction of the premises for the Centre and selection of equipment will be carried out in complete accordance with the model of the Centre, suggested by SEA.

This consultancy will be undertaken within the Brčko Inclusive Socioeconomic Initiative project implemented by CARE International Balkans, Office in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The contracted company and/or expert group is expected to undertake the following tasks:

  • Prepare a detailed plan for conducting the Socio-Economic Analysis in consultation with RGFBD and CARE, and designated experts from Czech Republic. The plan will be a subject of CARE’s approval.
  • Design the SEAoutline and methodological tools, based on the purpose and objectives/planned outputs of the SEA described above.
  • Review and analyse all relevant available reports, studies and surveys on the subject synthesize the information for the Socio-Economic Analysis Report (SEA Report).
  • Consult, within the entire SEA process, with the CARE and RGFBD PIU representatives, as well as the Czechian experts designated by the Project. Install appropriate Czech methodologies and successful operational models into the SEA processes.
  • Undertake field research employing qualitative and quantitative data collection methods necessary for obtaining relevant and required information, i.e. interviews with main stakeholders, focus group discussions etc. All polls within the SEA will be conducted in a professional manner and on the samples representative for the said research.
  • Conduct capacity needs assessments of RGFBD PIU for the formation and management of the Centre, as well as for the provision of socio-economic aid services to the most vulnerable clients, as explained within the section Purpose.
  • Inspect and present a review of the particular capacity of civil society organisations of BD that represent or provide services to marginalize population groups and identify gaps in their capacities.
  • Provide the baseline data on all project log frame indicators.
  • Design a plan, guidance and recommendations on monitoring and evaluation processes to be undertaken within the project, to maximise learning and improve the project design and logic of intervention.
  • Design and deliver a workshop (in local language) with project staff for debriefing of preliminary findings of the SEA and discussing implications on implementation.
  • Prepare and submit to CARE a well-structured Socio-Economic Analysis Report with findings and recommendations for the instalment of the baseline findings in the project implementation plans. The Annexes should include Log frame Indicators matrix updated with baseline values; findings of demographics analysis and polls; capacity needs assessment of the RGFDB staff and local CSOs; methods for introduction of new services and/or service methodologies for final beneficiaries into CSO and Centre service portfolios and other Annexes, as per tasks given in the section Purpose of this ToR.
  • Respond to any request or remark provided as CARE’s feedback to the SEA Report.
  • Upon CARE’s approval of the Socio-Economic Analysis Report, facilitate participatory Instalment Workshop organised by the Project for the partners, to discuss the SEA findings and their instalment into the Project implementation plan.
  • In cooperation with CARE and RGFDB PIU, organise an official presentation in Brcko, of the SEA findings and intervention plans to the local stakeholders and civil society organisations.
  • Hand over to CARE the entire original quantitative and qualitative data documentation collected for the purposes of the consultancy, upon the final SEA Report acceptance and prior to the payment.

The methodology for this assessment will include both direct and indirect data collection (both qualitative and quantitative), analysis and cross referencing and formulating recommendations. Data collection will be done through site visits to the target CSOs, as well as to the areas of the target CSO, in coordination with CARE.

The consultants will base their research concerning the wellbeing of the final beneficiaries – unemployed citizens of Brcko District and in the analysis they will be guided by the principles of the Rights Based Approach.

The consultants will continuously communicate with the designated Czech experts in the attempt to integrate various successful Czech methodologies and best practices into the recommendations/realisation plans. Particular attention will be paid throughout the SEA process to acknowledgement of the recommendations made by the RGFDB, especially regarding the activities involving the RGFDB PIU.

  • Project Proposal – Document
  • Logical framework
  • Contacts with RGFDB PIU, targeted civil society organisations and other local stakeholders, as per consultants’ request.
  • Detailed methodology and plan for implementation of the SEA.
  • Project logical framework, with updated initial indicator values.
  • Presentation on the main SEA findings and recommendations regarding the project planning to the project team as a debriefing session, as explained in section Scope of Work.
  • M&E plan and tools (detail tables for the project activities follow up).
  • Socio-Economic Analysis Report (SEA Report) on 30-35 pages excluding Annexes, in highest quality written English and BHS languages, with the Executive Summary (up to 3 pages) and core report. Mandatory Annexes to the SEA Report:
    • Detailed RGFDB PIU and CSOs capacity needs assessment with findings and recommendations for project capacity building,
    • Updated log frame matrix with basic indicators values,
    • M&E plan and monitoring tool,
    • Reports and data on other topics mentioned under section Purpose and Objectives.

This assignment is expected to be undertaken up to 40 working days and is expected to be implemented over the period 1 November – 15 December 2023. The individual and/or company undertaking SEA Study will be fully responsible to administer the study, including management of the field data collection. The Instalment Workshop and local presentation of SEA findings to the stakeholders will take place in the week of 18 December. The final products shall be delivered to CARE Project Manager by 20th December 2023.

The Consultants will report to Branislav Tanasijevic, CARE Project Manager.

CARE invites teams of experts, NGOs or consultation companies/agencies from Bosnia and Herzegovina, familiar with the context and subject of the Project, to apply to this call and present in details their expertise, experience, division of work and responsibility levels. The following qualifications are required:

  • Minimum one expert with PhD or MA degree in socio-economic sciences, with excellent overview of the socioeconomic circumstances of BIH and Brcko District,
  • Minimum one expert with experience in working with women and/or youth,
  • Excellent understanding and knowledge of Brčko District local socio-environment environment, which will be evidences by inclusion of local expert(s),
  • Extensive, successful and proven experience and qualifications in conducting evaluations and impact assessments/studies,Extensive experience in working with civil society organizations and excellent knowledge of civil society sector in BIH and Brčko District,
  • 2 years and more experience in monitoring, evaluation and evidence-based learning methodologies,
  • Excellent workshop facilitation and presentation skills,
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability for team work,
  • Excellent knowledge of English and local languages, both oral and written. Highest level of reporting skills.

The applications should be submitted in English. Deadline for applications: 30th October, 2023.

There is no standard format for the submission of the consultancy proposal

The consultant’s proposal should consist of the following:

  1. Consultants CVs with detailed portfolios documenting their past experience in the field of
  2. Socio-economic analysis, research and evaluation as well as the list of references on the similar conducted consultations. Consultants’ CVs should be attached as an Appendix.
  3. A clear and concise Consultancy Proposal, with objectives for the task and described proposed working plan and methodology.
  4. Consultant’s Budget. Gross budget that includes all expenses should be proposed. No additional costs will be approved.
  5. Statement on the Consultants’ availability and commitment to schedule.
  6. Contact and identification details (for groups of individuals/organization/company)
  7. Filled in a Request for Quotation Form. Please contact CARE Procurement Office at shalkic@care.ba  to obtain the required Request.

Payment schedule

I Instalment (25% of the contracted amount), not later than 20th of November Upon the finalisation of the first point of delivery, Detailed methodology and plan for implementation of the SEA. Presentation of data collection tools for all indicators to be measured in the SEA, upon approval from CARE Project Manager.
Final payment (75% of the contracted amount) Upon the completion of all tasks from the Scope of Work and the approval of the SEA Report by CARE.

Interested candidates (organizations, consultancy companies or freelance consultants’ groups) are invited to apply and should submit their applications before the given deadline to the following address:

CARE International in the Balkans, Derviša Numića 6, 71 000 Sarajevo, or via e-mail: shalkic@care.ba  

Subject: Consultancy Application for the Brčko Inclusive Socioeconomic Initiative SEA.

The received applications will be evaluated against the below stated criteria:

REFERENCE /HISTORY                     (experience in similar work) METHODOLOGY / APROACH  (appropriateness for the task) KNOWLEDGE /SKILLS (specific for the task) FUNDS                                               (value for money)

CARE retains the right not to select any of the candidates for the consultancy upon this call, should all applications fail to meet the necessary requirements.

For any additional information on the application process and consultancy, please contact Branislav Tanasijević, e-mail: btanasijevic@care.ba

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