Terms of Reference (ToR’s) for National Consultant for East Darfur and West Kordofan Integrated Enterprise and Market Systems Assessment



As part of the recently launched Partnership on Inclusive Jobs and Education for Host Communities, Refugees and other Forcibly Displaced Persons (FDPs)[1], the ILO is conducting an integrated enterprise and market system assessment on refugee and host community livelihoods in Sudan. The Partnership is a unique multi-year program, funded by the Government of the Netherlands, that brings together five agencies (ILO, World Bank, IFC, UNICEF, UNHCR) to devise collaborative and innovative approaches for inclusive job creation and education in contexts characterized by forced displacement. The program encompasses three pillars, namely inclusive jobs, education, and protection and operates in eight countries across East Africa, Horn of Africa and the Middle East employing an area-based approach, in which the partner agencies jointly focus their activities on selected regions within each country. For the Sudan chapter of the Partnership, the partner agencies have selected two focus (and neighbouring) states for further analysis: East Darfur and West Kordofan and its host communities.

The objective of this integrated enterprise and market systems assessment is to provide a solid empirical and analytical understanding of the market system as well as the dynamics surrounding entrepreneurship, SMEs, cooperatives, and access to finance as well as financial literacy in the focus states mentioned above i.e., East Darfur and West Kordofan. Since partner agencies in East Darfur and West Kordofan, such as UNHCR, might also be conducting diagnostics at the same time, the assessment will not be conducted in an analytical vacuum. Rather, the work will be embedded in a wider research effort by the partner agencies and, as such, the consultant is expected to maintain awareness about potential synergies with parallel on-going assessments by the ILO and partner agencies and build on a sector selection and socio-economic assessment, completed earlier in 2020. The immediate, medium- and long-term recommendations of the assessment for sustainable enterprise promotion among refugees and host community members in the selected states will then form the basis on which the strategy, concrete outcomes and program interventions in the realm of building sustainable enterprises among refugees and host communities, will be determined.

The integrated enterprise and market systems assessment will follow the ILO’s approach to inclusive market systems (AIMS), which was developed in collaboration with UNHCR. The approach is detailed in the ILO-UNHCR “Guide to market-based livelihoods interventions for refugees”. AIMS utilizes a market systems development lens (also termed ‘making markets work for the poor’ or M4P) to analyse the market system in which refugee and host community members are already embedded. Through rigorous and data-driven analysis, the approach identifies opportunities to sustainably integrate FDPs and host community members in the focus market system and/or to improve the overall functioning of the market system to benefit host communities and FDPs. To create more and better jobs for FDPs and host community members. On this analytical basis, market-based refugee and host community livelihoods interventions are then developed.

The integrated enterprise and market systems assessment will specifically take into consideration the wide variety of organizational forms that range from informal groups, associations of family producers, private limited companies to collective enterprises such as cooperatives. Concerning the latter, ILO’s research[2] demonstrates that as people-centred businesses cooperatives[3] are well placed to provide services and goods that are important for refugees and not always readily available through other enterprises. The integrated enterprise and market systems assessment will, therefore, explore the potential of cooperative responses and capacity of existing cooperatives to address refugee and host community needs. It will also identify entry points for formalisation in the focus market system as a means of contributing to more and better jobs for refugees and the host community.

Moreover, as inclusive financial markets are necessary for fostering sustainable enterprises – given that all enterprises require financial services[4] – special attention will be paid to dynamics related to businesses (of any kind) and financial inclusion and literacy. This is particularly important, as financial services providers (FSPs) are often unable to serve FDPs due to their low financial literacy. Addressing financial literacy gaps will be critical in driving the adoption and usage of financial products among FDP populations. Financial inclusion would provide both FDPs and host communities with a diversified set of financial products (savings, remittances, credit and insurance) that are critical to mitigate shocks, build assets, create jobs and promote local economic development

These issues often emerge as central issues concerning market-based approaches to refugee and host community livelihoods. Folded into the AIMS-based market systems analysis will, therefore, be – where relevant – specific analytical tools that dig deeper on questions linked to cooperatives and financial inclusion and literacy.

As stated before, this consultancy is the continuation of previous research procured by the ILO, conducted between March and April of 2020, to analyse the socio-economic situation of FDPs and host communities, an overview of the most prominent economic sectors, and the selection of 2 value chains, in the prioritised states. As a result of such analysis, the sorghum and groundnut value chains are to be further evaluated in East Darfur and West Kordofan.

The research will be focused on the settlements in which FDPs/HCs live and in the main markets and production sites relevant for each sector. As pertinent, and depending on each value chain, the research should identify opportunities to improve the functioning and economic opportunities in these value chains, in other regions of Sudan and explore those linkages further.


The overall purpose of this assignment is to conduct an assessment of the selected value chains and surrounding market system in East Darfur and West Kordofan, to:

a) Identify constraints that prevent the functioning and growth of the value chain, particularly in terms of economic opportunities.

b) Identify constraints that may prevent the target groups from accessing economic opportunity in the selected value chains, taking into account constraints in the market system as well as in the concrete value chains.

c) Identify opportunities for growth of the selected value chains to increase economic and employment opportunities for the target population.

d) Identify opportunities for the target population to add value to the selected value chains.

The analysis should identify the underlying causes of the target group’s inability to improve its performance and access to the value chains and propose a vision for how the market system needs to change to generate sustainable improvements for that group.

As such, the consultant is expected to deliver one market system assessment. Such report must include a thorough analysis of the state of the cooperative movement and the financial sector in East Darfur and West Kordofan.

2.1 Purpose

The key purpose of the market systems assessment is to determine how the identified value chains can be developed to include both FDPs and host communities in the labour market, whether in self or wage employment and how to enhance the formalisation and overall functioning of the value chain to create more and better jobs. This analysis will employ several analytical tools, including but not limited to value chain analysis and – as relevant – analytical tools on cooperatives, enterprise formalisation and financial inclusion.

The aim of the integrated enterprise and market systems assessment is to identify concrete barriers that are preventing FDPs and host community members from seizing opportunities in the selected value chains and elucidating why such barriers persist and how they can be alleviated and identify unseized opportunities in the overall value chains (e.g. opportunities to link to new markets that will then “pull” people into the value chain given the additional jobs/economic opportunity created from such demand). The assessment will make recommendations for practical action points that will lead to a more inclusive value chain and overall value chain development, including but not limited to financial inclusion and cooperative strengthening.

2.2 Key activities:

Key Steps

Key Deliverables

Step 1: Pre-inception preparations, secondary research, and initial value chain rapid market appraisal

Inception report with detailed work plan, methodology, and assessment tools (I.e. research questions, interview guides, rapid review format, etc.)

Step 2: Field Work: Livelihoods, market and value chain detailed analysis key informant interviews, surveys and focus groups.

Systematised data

Report outline

Presentation with key findings

Stage 3: Data analysis, stakeholder validation and preparation of the final report

Value chain analysis Report (of a maximum of 50 pages).

2.3 Scope of Work

Liaising closely with the ILO Chief Technical Advisor, the ILO Enterprise Specialists, working closely with another National Consultant and under the direct supervision of the Technical Officer for Refugee Livelihoods and SME Development and the International Consultant[5], the National Consultant for East Darfur and West Kordofan will lead the process to conduct the integrated enterprise and market systems assessment by employing the AIMS methodology and incorporating the analytical tools to elucidate dynamics surrounding cooperative structures, as well as financial inclusion and literacy as deemed relevant, which must be consigned in two chapters of the final report, one including the analysis and strategies for strengthening cooperatives in the value chains and one for the provision of opportune and accessible services for FDPs and MSMEs in the area.

A gender-transformative[6] approach must be adopted throughout all phases of this assessment, to make sure that the research instruments and protocols, the analysis, findings and strategies proposed have gender equality at its core. Similarly, the research must prescribe to the principles of no-harm and conflict sensitivity[7].

The national consultant will also advise on the local political, economic and social context and provide logistical support as needed and the consultant is expected to achieve the following specific objectives for the broad project stakeholders, focusing on the groundnuts and sorghum value chains in East Darfur and West Kordofan:

  1. An assessment of relevant rules and regulations should lead to a good idea of the legal environment that governs FDPs’ access to the labour market. The legal environment should capture not only access to business[8] and work permits for refugees and other target groups but also legal regulations relating to (but not limited to) access to finance, cooperatives (e.g. cooperative policy and legislation) and business registration and formalisation. With an emphasis on those formal and informal rules that govern the selected value chains, including FDP-HCs relations and the gender roles associated with livelihood strategies.

  2. An assessment of supporting functions available to FDPs and host communities should result in a thorough understanding of the type of support that the men and women of the target group can or cannot draw on to build livelihoods, with emphasis on the selected value chains. The assessment must differentiate those supporting functions that are said to be available but are not being accessed by the target group, from those that are available and accessed, analysing the underlying causes behind that dissonance.
    Supporting functions include but are not limited to access to finance, training, language classes, information, cooperative support, guidance and coaching as well as social protection. The consultant should also evaluate institutional capacity building possibilities for possible implementing partners, including private sector service providers, provincial vocational school and training centres, local financial service providers as well as local mass organisations that can contribute to the fulfilment of the project’s objectives, while duly considering the capacity of partners in terms of delivering outputs.

  3. Value Chain Analyses will be conducted in the two selected value chains per state based on the methodology outlined in the ILO publications “Value chain development for decent work” and “Guide to market-based livelihoods interventions for refugees”. Value chain analyses will explore the existing business linkages and employment opportunities for men and women FDPs. For each value chain, the information should be collected in particular on:

a. Trends and opportunities in the subsector (potential to export, unsatisfied demand for products, potential links to new markets, trends in demand, information on specific potential market actors that can offtake the products of the supported value chains etc.)

b. Key private sector actors in those sub-sectors and the links and relationships between them as well as the level of organisation of producers in the given value chains including but not limited to the presence of cooperatives and similar self-help organisations.

c. Challenges, bottlenecks and constraints in the subsector (low productivity, lack of cooperation, lack of organization, lack of quality business development services, lack or inaccessibility of financial services, limited access to markets, informality etc.)

d. Linkages between actors, information and money flows and how value is being added across the value chain.

e. Situation, opportunities and challenges for FDPs and host communities working in those subsectors, with an emphasis on potential entry points, striving to strengthen the social cohesion of FDPs and Host Communities.

All findings and collected information should be discussed and validated during a VC stakeholder workshop. The value chain assessment should result in recommendations that would help the project design a solid strategy to develop the selected value chains for the benefit of FDPs and host communities.


This market systems assessment will be implemented in a three-phased manner over a month, starting Nobvember 2020, following the presented structure:

Step 1: Preparation



The work plan and timelines are clear, the methodology to use forward is agreed on, a pre-inception report is submitted.


Secondary research conducted

Pre-Inception plan

Present an initial report based on the available secondary data

Propose methodology and design for primary data collection for the rapid market assessment and profiling exercises

Logistical preparations and coordination of the work of the two supporting consultants

Step 2: Market Systems Analysis



The value chain analysis, key informant interviews and focus groups are executed, systematised and delivered


Primary research conducted

Research evidence

Report outline

Systematised data

Presentation with key findings *


Step 3: Final report


[1] Defined by UNHCR as: “those who are forced to move, within or across borders, due to armed conflict, persecution, terrorism, human rights violations and abuses, violence, the adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters, development projects or a combination of these factors”.

[2] ILO: Cooperative Responses to Refugee Crises (2016); available at https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_emp/—emp_ent/—coop/do…

[3] A cooperative is defined by the International Cooperative Alliance, the International Labour Organization as “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.

[4] ILO: The promotion of sustainable enterprises, Report VI, International Labour Conference, 97th Session, Geneva, 2007.

[5] The International Consultant will supervise the proper implementation of the methodology, help design the questionnaires, develop quality control of the analysis, guide the design and facilitation of presentations and will be in charge of the compilation of the final report.

[6] “Gender is central to achieving positive development outcomes. Therefore, unequal gender relations are transformed to promote shared control over resources and decision making.” (Mediterranean Institute for Gender Studies, 2015)

[7] Conflict-sensitive programming is about how to ensure that interventions does not exacerbate root and/or proximate factors, or ignite pre-existing or new triggers of conflict. Whether or not the objective is to actively reduce levels of conflict, one must be sure not to increase them.

[8] The assessment should analyse the legal possibility for refugees to form or join businesses as owners or employees. It will take into consideration the main different types of businesses allowed by the legislation with particular attention to private limited companies and member-based enterprises such as cooperatives.


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