Position: Market Linkages Expert Volunteer
Location of Assignment: Mbeya, Iringa, Morogoro, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Proposed Level of Effort: 6 weeks
Anticipated Start Date: 1st of April 2019
The Tanzania Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise Program (ENGINE) is a four-year, USAID-funded Feed the Future activity that aims to streamline and enhance many of the regulatory, informational and financial channels that encourage domestic and foreign investment in the southern mainland agricultural regions of Mbeya, Morogoro, and Iringa, and in Zanzibar.
ENGINE works at the district level, using a broad-based approach to engage with district Local Government Authorities (LGAs), private sector associations, business development service providers (BDSPs), financial institutions and small and medium enterprises. The program’s activities are divided into three main components:
- Implement policies for growth. Build the capacity of the private sector to effectively dialogue with the government to set the policy agenda and improve the capacity of the public sector to implement policies.
- Equip businesses for growth. Strengthen SME capacity and foster the growth and capacity of a sustainable market for business development services (BDS) in Tanzania.
- Access to finance for growth. Broaden access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially women and youth entrepreneurs and those working within agricultural value chains, to facilitate increased investment and growth.
The ENGINE Program BDS component is currently working with 112 BDSPs spread in the mainland regions of Mbeya, Iringa, Morogoro and in Zanzibar. One of the major constraints facing MSMEs that purchase BDS from the ENGINE supported providers is the inability to market and sell their product successfully. This problem is especially acute for MSMEs that are involved in agriculture and agribusiness activities as they often rely on local markets which offer low prices. Through training and coaching sessions, the ENGINE-supported BDSPs have received Technical Assistance on marketing BDS to MSMEs but these skills have not been translated to strategies for linking smallholder agricultural producers and processors to higher-value markets. A few among the ENGINE-supported BDSPs are providing market linkage services to MSMEs; however, this is done haphazardly without systematic tools or methodology.
Objectives of the Assignment
The main objective of this assignment is to build capacity of BDSPs in Morogoro, Iringa, Mbeya and Zanzibar and provide them with tools and methodologies that will enable them to offer market linkages services to their MSME clients that are involved in agriculture and agribusiness activities. Through this assignment, BDSPs will add to their menu of services that they can offer to MSMEs and will in turn enhance MSMEs ability to pay for BDS through additional revenue generated from improved sales from diversified market opportunities.
The Expert Volunteer will complete the following tasks:
- Attend an orientation meeting with ENGINE Program Component 2 staff in Dar es Salaam;
- Through focus group discussions, and one-on-one meetings, assess the technical assistance needs of at least 10 BDS providers in each of the four regions in relation to creating marketing linkages for agricultural related MSMEs.
- Accompanied by relevant ENGINE staff, facilitate group training for selected BDSPs in Morogoro, Iringa, Mbeya and Zanzibar, covering the following topics:
- How to identify market opportunities/channels for agriculture and agribusiness MSMEs.
- Strategies for linking smallholder farmers and processors to markets
- How to research and develop market information services
- How to develop trading relationship between producers and potential buyers especially in agriculture and agribusiness related products
- How to analyze market channels for various activities associated with agriculture and agribusiness products.
- How to organize events for buyers and sellers to network and make connections
- Write a Final Report summarizing findings, conclusions and recommendations related to the assignment, as well as challenges and recommended solutions;
- Provide an exit debriefing to ENGINE program staff, including an overview of the assignment challenges and proposed solutions.
The Expert Volunteer will submit the following deliverables:
- Training materials including tools and methodologies for creating market linkages
- Notes from group discussions and one-on- one meetings
Volunteer will submit a Final Trip Report to the ENGINE Program that includes the following sections:
C. Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations related to BDS Providers group trainings in the four regions.
D. Discussion of assignment objectives and how they were met or why they were not met.
Additionally, the Expert Volunteer will provide an exit debriefing (Task E above).
Expert Volunteer Qualifications
The ideal resource Market Linkages Expert Volunteer will have the following skills and qualifications:
- 5+ years of experience working with Business Development Service Providers, particularly those who provide services to micro, small and medium enterprises. Knowledge and experience of Business Development Service needs for SMEs in developing countries, especially sub-Saharan Africa is crucial.
- A proven track record in training, coaching or mentoring Business Development Service providers, especially in Market research, Building trading relationship between Producers and buyers, Market channel analysis, sector development
- Experience in stakeholder engagement, consultation, and facilitation;
- Well-developed writing skills in English and the ability to express one’s self clearly and concisely;
- University degree in entrepreneurship, business administration, economics, or another relevant field;
- Training skills, including participatory training in group settings. Training and consultation experience utilizing a translator or interpreter is an added plus;
- Self-motivated, proactive, detail-oriented, mature, professional team player, who is a strong people person and communicator, with good inter-personal skills;
- Ability to address issues, challenges, questions, and concerns in a professional, respectful, logical, and timely manner;
- Works well in a multi-cultural setting;
- Good computer skills in MS Office.