CALL FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
CONSULTANCY FOR PREPARATION OF PROJECT COMPLETION REPORT (PCR) FOR 50 MILLION AFRICAN WOMEN SPEAK NETWORKING PROJECT (50MAWSP)
In September 2016, COMESA, the East African Community (EAC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly implement a project called the 50 Million African Women Speak Networking Platform Project (50MAWSP) to address some of the challenges experienced by women in business in their member/partner States and Africa as a whole with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The three RECs coordinated by COMESA jointly implemented the project. Implementation of the project kicked-off in June/July 2017 after the recruitment of project staff.
The objective of the project is to contribute to the economic empowerment of women through the provision of a digital networking platform to enable women to access information on financial and non-financial services.
The 50 Million African Women Speak Platform was developed and made available through www.womenconnect.org for women and services providers to use in November 2019. The platform provides women with a basic information service on aspects such as how to start/register a business, as well as opportunities to access information on business training, mentorship, affordable financial services/products and locally-relevant business information, while allowing them to build their networks, benefit from peer-to-peer learning and create knowledge communities, in their countries and across borders. Ultimately, as the name suggests, it is expected that the Platform will be used by approximately 50 million women on the African Continent.
The project is implemented in 38 countries belonging to COMESA, EAC and ECOWAS. Thirty-six participating countries have set up a Country Team made up of representatives from the public and private sectors as well as civil society to spearhead national project activities. Specifically, the country teams are comprised of representatives from the ministries responsible for Gender, Trade and ICT among others; institutions responsible for enterprise development, financial institutions, women associations and membership-based entities working with women in business. The country teams are supported by national project focal point persons in the project
host ministries and, National Content Developers. It is this structure at the national level that works in tandem with the regional bodies (COMESA, EAC and ECOWAS) to generate content for the platform, as well as sensitize the targeted users about the platform’s existence and benefits.
The project is expected to end on 31st December 2020 as stipulated in the grant agreement between AfDB and the RECs. It is against this background that COMESA in collaboration with EAC and ECOWAS wishes to hire the services of an individual consultant to conduct an assessment of the project and draft an independent project completion report (PCR).
The report should assess the completion of implementation of all project components, namely: support for ICT equipment & application, support for platform, related statistical database, content development, and target services for women entrepreneurs, support for back office/in-country resources and project management/capacity building components. The PCR will highlight achievements, challenges, gaps/emerging issues, lessons learnt and propose key interventions that are in line with project objectives, targets, ownership and sustainability. The project completion report will be used to inform the AfDB, member States and the three RECs on the achievements of the project, challenges experienced, lessons, gaps/emerging issues that require support. Further, the consultant will assist the PIU to develop a proposal for the second phase of the project.
Objective of the Assignment
The overall objective of the consultancy services is to undertake the preparation of project completion report for the 50MAWS project. The PCR will assess and highlight the achievements of the project, challenges, lessons learnt, gaps/emerging issues, sustainability aspects and suggest recommendations and interventions for the second phase for future enhancements of the platform.
The consultancy will adopt a mixed method with a consultative and participative approach. It will include field visits where applicable, conducting virtual meetings with RECs gender departments, resource mobilization units, PIUs, Ministries responsible for women affairs and coordinating ministries and undertake desk review work.
The consultant will also use focus group discussions, key informants’ interviews, and conduct discussions with platform design service provider and women entrepreneurs to obtain needed information.
The consultant will conduct strategic meetings with COMESA, EAC and ECOWAS Executive Management and the AfDB Task Team Leader to obtain strategic recommendations and interventions.
The Applicant shall submit their proposals to the
Chairperson - Procurement Committee, COMESA Secretariat,
Ben Bella Road,
P.O. Box 30051,
Attention: Procurement Unit
Note that the deadline for submitting questions is 30th September 2020 at 15hrs Lusaka time.