Aus for EqualityCareerCall for proposal: Market Systems Development Advisor

Call for proposal: Market Systems Development Advisor

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam and home-based

Assignment duration: August 2019 – July 2020

Days: 90 days (approximately)

Start date: August 2019

Deadline to apply: 7 August 2019


With more than 30 years of experience, CowaterSogema is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe for clients such as DFID, DFAT Australia, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, economic and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017, 2018 and 2019.


CowaterSogema is seeking to recruit a highly qualified consultant/organisation specialised in Market Systems Development approach to support the Aus4Equality|Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program.

The GREAT Program is a flagship initiative of the Australian aid program in Vietnam – it commenced in November 2017 and will run for five years (2017 to 2021). The Program seeks to promote women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in the ethnically diverse north-west region of Vietnam. The primary beneficiaries are women living in the provinces of Son La and Lao Cai, while an overarching emphasis is placed on the inclusion of women from ethnic minority communities as these provinces are home to twelve and twenty-six ethnic groups respectively.

The objectives of the Aus4Equality|GREAT Program are:

  • Objective 1 – Empowering local women: Women living in local communities have increased capacity, space and choices to beneficially engage with agriculture and tourism businesses.
  • Objective 2 – Inclusive businesses partnerships: Selected private sector actors within the agriculture and tourism sectors innovate to profitably and sustainably trade with more women entrepreneurs and operate in gender sensitive ways.
  • Objective 3 – Improving sector governance and policy: Government agencies reinforce policies, and enact plans, regulations and services that enable more inclusive socio-economic development.

Key approaches applied by the program include: Market system development (MSD), Adaptive Management, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI), Women’s Economic Empowerment and Innovation. The program will partner with approximately 50 partners to deliver results, including private sector actors, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and research institutions.

For non-business partners the Program provides grants up to 90% of project costs with grants up to 49% for private sector partners.

As market systems development is still relatively new to Vietnam, there is a need to provide further capacity building and mentoring support to the Program team and non-business partners to refine interventions as well as support new interventions.


  • Provide an external perspective and expertise to further strengthen the market systems development approach within the GREAT Program and refine current project interventions.
  • Provide capacity building on market systems development to GREAT partners and Project Management Units in Lao Cai and Son La.
  • Provide high-level guidance and tools to support the GREAT team’s assessment and designs of new interventions that combines a strong market systems approach with women’s economic empowerment.


  • Deliver a series of practical training workshops on women’s economic empowerment through market systems development to support selected non-business partners to refine existing interventions and to develop market systems development “champions” within partner organisations.
  • Deliver a course on market systems development to the Project Management Units in Son La and Lao Cai.
  • Review/audit GREAT team/partner’s design of new interventions to ensure strong alignment with market systems approaches.
  • Provide ongoing mentoring/backstopping support to the GREAT team and partners as required.


  • Agenda and training materials for workshops.
  • Delivery of series of workshops in Hanoi for partners (estimated at 3 workshops x 3 days) and PMUs (estimated at 2 days to be coordinated with partner workshops).
  • Recommendations for strengthened MSD approaches at GREAT Program level and for partner projects.
  • Advice including written feedback on potential new interventions.


  • Strong track record of success with market systems development in the Asia region.
  • Experience in capacity building and developing training programs.
  • Excellent understanding and experience in women’s economic empowerment.
  • Understanding of the Vietnam context with experience working in Vietnam preferred.
  • Existing approaches and tools that combine market systems approaches with women’s economic empowerment that can support the GREAT Program is an advantage.


Please submit your proposal to by 5 pm (Hanoi time) 7 August 2019 specifying the position you are applying for in the email title.  The proposal should include:

  • An understanding of the assignment, the Vietnam context and the proposed approach (maximum 4 pages)
  • Organisation profile (maximum 4 pages – not required if submitting a proposal as an individual)
  • CV’s of all team members (maximum 5 pages for each CV)
  • A budget inclusive of travel costs and taxes (workshop costs do not need to be budgeted). A daily rate should be specified for each team member and needs to comply with DFAT’s Aid Advisor Renumeration Framework for international staff and EU/UN cost norms for national staff.

Please note that an agreement will be entered into with the successful organisation or consultant that has to be compliant with CowaterSogema’s head contract with DFAT including DFAT ownership of final deliverables.

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