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Gender Advisory Services Programme - Women's Access to Employment & Skills: Expert Panel



Business sector:


Funding source:

EBRD Shareholder Special Fund

Contract type:

Consultancy Services

Notice type:

Invitation for expressions of interest (CSU)

Issue date:

20 Apr 2016

Closing date:

11 May 2016   at  23:59   London

Access eSelection

Project Description:

In December 2015, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the “EBRD”, the “Bank”) approved its first Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality 2016-2020 (the “Gender Strategy” or the “Strategy”) which focuses on three specific objectives:
• To increase access to finance and business support for women-led businesses;
• To increase access to employment opportunities and skills for women; and
• To improve access to services.

These will be achieved by enhancing the EBRD’s performance through increasing operations and improving delivery, with the aim of mainstreaming gender equality into EBRD operations by 2020 ; and contributing to the creation of an enabling environment that can address the constraints which gender inequality places on transition in the EBRDs CoOs.

In order to deliver on the above commitments the Bank uses Technical Cooperation funds for two primary purposes:
• to support the design and implementation of projects;
• to access specialist information to better inform the Bank’s policy dialogue and response to its clients’ needs.

Since 2014 the Bank has had in place a Gender Advisory Services Programme (the “GAS Programme”) funded with proceeds from its Donor Community (specifically the EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund, the EBRD SEMED funds and the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD TC fund.) The GAS Programme enabled the Bank to provide expertise to its clients along the three channels of access to finance, employment and services, and comprised EUR 0.5 million for a Panel of Experts and EUR 1 million for framework consultants. The GAS Programme was extended in mid-2015 by a further EUR 0.5 million.

The GAS Programme allows the EBRD to tap expertise quickly and has proved highly successful. Given this, and in light of the approval of the Bank’s Gender Strategy, the Bank now wishes to launch a further extension of its Gender Advisory Services Programme to support the delivery and implementation of the new Strategy. This Programme will run for three years from 2016 to 2019 and will have an estimated total fund value of EUR 5 million.

Expert Panel for the GAS Programme

The Bank intends to select suitably qualified individual consultants with a high level of expertise in the development of gender initiatives in the area of Women’s Access to Employment & Skills.

Experts will be selected for individual Assignments in accordance with EBRD’s Procurement Policies and Rules (PP&R). The Bank may send to the Expert(s) specific Terms of Reference for the Assignment (Specific ToR). The Specific ToR will include a description of the tasks to be performed, time-schedules and reporting instructions. The Experts(s) should respond by sending to the Bank a technical and financial proposal for the Assignment. The Bank will then assess the response(s) and – subject to successful negotiations and availability of funding - issue a consultancy contract for the individual Assignment to the selected Expert.

Description of Individual Assignments

The Expert(s) will support policy dialogue, project identification, preparation and implementation with selected EBRD clients by conducting a range of services for clients and the Bank in its CoOs.

The objectives of the Expert(s) will be to support the EBRD to deliver projects, policy dialogue and capacity building activities specifically in the area of promotion of women’s access to finance and entrepreneurship, access to employment and skills and access to services. The expected outcome of the Assignment is the provision of high quality and timely advice to the EBRD and its clients so as to increase the number of EBRD investments which promote gender equality through Women’s Access to Employment & Skills in the EBRD’s Countries of Operation.

The objectives of the Expert in the different assignment/s will include, inter alia, to:
• Work with the Bank and client’s staff to identify new opportunities and entry points in order to reduce gender gaps and promote gender equality within the area of Women’s Access to Employment & Skills
• Work with the Bank to develop the systemic impact of projects with a gender component or a gender focus
• Advise on the conceptual development and structuring of projects and assess specific aspects of project preparation, implementation and monitoring;
• Assist the Bank in reviewing/developing bankable investment programmes to identify business opportunities, as well as supporting the Bank with implementation and monitoring responsibilities;
• Provide training services to ensure clients are able to implement relevant gender activities or components;
• Support clients by optimising project management during the implementation of the relevant gender focused strategies;
• Support the Bank in assessing technical and economic potential of gender focused or mainstreamed strategies or policies across different countries and/or approaches;
• Support the Bank to identify best practice examples on which case studies and articles can be based. This will include collating material related to successful projects including facilitating interviews with clients/end beneficiaries, photography of projects and in-depth information on projects. All case studies will highlight donor support; and
• Support the Bank in developing and implementing training materials and/or tools
• Support the Bank in designing and developing research on specialised topics.
• Reporting.

Status of Selection Process: Interested individual experts or firms interested to nominate an expert are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest.

Assignment Start Date and Duration: The Assignment is expected to start in August 2016 and has an estimated overall duration of 3 years (subject to availability of funding)

Cost Estimate for the Assignment: EUR 0.8 million (exclusive of VAT). Subject to availability of funding, the performance of the selected Expert and the specific needs of the Bank the Assignment may be extended beyond the current scope.

The Consultant must determine whether any VAT would be chargeable on the services and the basis for that determination, without taking into consideration the special status of the Bank as an IFI and state this to the Bank in their response to the Invitation for Expressions of Interest. To the extent that a Consultant incurs input VAT on goods and services purchased in connection with the provision of services (e.g. VAT on airline ticket) which is not otherwise recoverable by the consultant from the local tax authority, the gross cost to the consultant of such expenses shall be treated as a reimbursable expense.

Funding Source: The GAS Programme is expected to be funded by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund. Please note that selection and contracting will be subject to the availability of funding.

Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions.

Expert Profile: Individual services are required. The Consultant shall be an expert (individual expert or an expert nominated by a firm) with the following background:

• Preferably 10 years’ experience of working on promotion of HR issues specifically relating to gender, diversity or inclusion
• Experience in projects relating to improving women’s access to employment and skills including advising companies on how to structure Human Resource policies and practices so as to encourage internal mobility of staff, improve retentions rates and succession planning.
• Research experience in the field of women’s access to employment and skills, including conducting gender assessments and analysis, market surveys, baseline assessments using quantitative methodologies, provision of training and capacity building related to improving access to employment and skills; and gender monitoring and evaluation
• Expertise of the above in at least one of the sectors relevant to the EBRD, namely manufacturing and services, agribusiness, ICT, power and energy, Natural Resources & Mining, infrastructure etc. in the private and/or public sectors;
• Experience of implementing innovative assessments/actions/measures/projects related to Equal Opportunities in private sector companies
• Fluent written and spoken English. Knowledge of Russian, French or Arabic would also be an advantage.

Submission Requirements:

In order to determine the capability and experience of experts seeking to be selected for this Assignment, the information submitted should include the following:

1. Cover letter (max. 2 pages) summarising why the expert believes they satisfy the requirements as defined in the Expert Profile.

2. CV (not exceeding 6 pages) which should include full descriptions of responsibilities carried out, not just a job title, including information on contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided (if different from duration) , main activities, objectives. Experience should particularly focus on the previous five years and should specifically flag experience in the EBRD’s Countries of Operation

3. Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link:

Expressions of Interest should be submitted in English electronically through e-Selection, to reach the Bank not later than the closing date. The complete expression of interest (including cover letter, CV, declaration and contact sheet etc.) shall be one file (pdf) to be uploaded to eSelection. The EBRD reserves the right to reject applications of experts submitting more than one file. Only if the permissible file size (4 MB) is exceeded, the Consultant may split the expression of interest into further files.

Bank Contact Person:

Vivianne Lewis-Headlam
Technical Co-operation
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
Tel: + 44 20 7338 6885
e-mail: lewishev (submissions should be sent through eSelection and NOT to this email address)


1. The selection will normally be made from responses to this notification only. Consultants will not be asked to submit a proposal. The highest-ranked expert(s) will be selected from a shortlist and appointed to the Panel of Experts.

2. Consulting firms (proposing individuals) and individuals may apply. Consulting Firms nominating an individual expert shall submit one complete individual application for each expert via eSelection. Single applications for a number of experts containing various CVs may result in rejection of such application and all concerned experts.

3. The shortlist criteria and weighting are:

(a) Previous professional experience working on promotion of HR issues specifically relating to gender, diversity or inclusion, in particular with or in the private sector (50%)
(b) Experience in developing business cases/rationale for improved HR, conducting training and capacity building related to improving women’s access to employment and skills (20%):
(c) Experience in conducting research in the field of women’s access to employment and skills (10%)
(d) Expertise in promotion of HR issues in at least one of the EBRD sectors (10%)
(e) Experience in the Bank’s countries of operation and/or other emerging markets (10%)

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