Terms of Reference for Small Scale Labor Market Assessment on business startup

VSO Nepal

VSO is the world's leading international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty. Working in 24 countries around the world, our unique role in international development is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organisations where their skills can have the greatest impact. Our extraordinary volunteers live and work in some of the world's poorest communities. Sharing their unique skills and experience to generate new ideas and new ways of doing things, helping the communities they work in lift themselves out of poverty. We're not about delivering quick fixes, but instead we focus on long-lasting, sustainable change, that will impact generations to come. Join us and help us work towards our vision of a world without poverty.

Detailed Job description / requirements:

Terms of Reference for Small Scale Labor Market Assessment on business startup in

Lamjung, Surkhet, Parsa and Dhading District of Nepal 

VSO Nepal

Name of Project 
Sisters’ for Sister Education - II(SfSE-II) Project in Nepal
Project Location 
4 districts (Surkhet, Lamjung, Dhading and Parsa)
Duration of the Research
The research final report and summary report (a 4-page document) must be finalised before 25thDecember 2020.
Purpose of the Research

To identify the existing skills demands in selected occupation and start up small business, income levels, and overall functioning of the labour market focusing to the out of school young girls and women engagement and employability in the project districts. 

1.  Background

VSO has worked in Nepal since 1964, evolving our focus from service delivery in remote districts to our current approach of developing organizational, managerial and civil society capacities to address poverty. One of our key strengths is our ability to work at the community level where the needs are the greatest, sharing skills and experience strategically with people and organizations with the potential to effectively contribute to development in Nepal. 

Through volunteering for development approach, VSO envisions a fair world for everyone, our unique mission is to bring people together to address marginalization and poverty. We embrace collaboration by empowering marginalized people to take charge of their own development, enable them to share knowledge and skills to create everlasting change and build partnerships that promote innovation and impact, we promote inclusion in all we do and lastly we are committed to integrating safeguarding, treating others equally whilst ensuring no harm, and zero tolerance to fraud.

VSO Nepal envisions a world where excluded and marginalized people including  people with disability(PWDs),  people living with HIV(PLWHIV), LGBTQI populations, adolescents, youth, prisoners, sex workers and drug users are empowered to exercise their  Sexual, reproductive health and rights(SRHR) and enjoy healthier and safer lives. VSO works at the level of individuals, families, communities, services, systems and polices. We aim to achieve behavioral change and build confidence in young people, to create a supportive and enabling family and community environment, to build capacity of service providers working in the health system, and to influence positive policy responses that meet the needs of youth and adolescents. 

About the Project: 

VSO Nepal is implementing 4 yearlong project called Sisters for Sister’s Phase II (SfSE-II) in partnership with Global Action Nepal (GAN) and Aasman Nepal. The project is working in 49 schools of four districts. The project envisions that marginalised adolescent girls from four districts in rural Nepal – Surkhet, Parsa, Dhading and Lamjung – will transition from basic to secondary education, and secondary to upper secondary, empowered to leave school to either secure a sustainable livelihood or continue with education. They will be equipped with skills, bolstered by strong learning outcomes that improve employability, enhance confidence and self-esteem to act as leaders in the school and community, and enable them to influence and control their own sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR). 

2.  Purpose of the assignment 

The specific occupations and small-scale business will be selected on the basis of the findings and recommendation of the Small Scale Market Assessment on the local rural context of the districts. The small scale labour market Assessment serves as a basis for receiving information to start up small business and employment opportunities in a particular occupation currently and near future ( 3 to 6 months), skill demands in a particular occupation, income levels, and overall functioning of the labour market focusing to the out of school young girls and women. This research aims to derive evidences of skills demands and employment opportunity. 

One of the key characteristics of the labour market is that it is dynamic, and it keeps on changing. Thus, labor market Assessment/assessments should be done to receive an update on labour market supply and demand aspects focusing on out of school young girls and women. 

The main purpose of the assignment is listed below:

  • To identify what type of small-scale business startup opportunity are available in the market that can be filled by short term training skills, with a special focus on highly demanded skills.
  • To provide a convincing overview of current labour market trends and snapshots of small-scale businesses’ opinions on training and strategic skill needs as well as an overall assessment of economic, social and technical drivers of market growth. A particular focus should be given to sectors and occupations that could be inclusive to out of school young girls and women especially in income-generating types of small business sectors.
  • To find out the relevance of skills training offered in the districts to market needs.
  • An assessment of immediate priority skills needs in the priority economic sectors categorized into skill types and levels.
  • To assess the capacity of existing service providers in relation to the provision of identified market-demanded skills.
  • Identification of other economically significant sectors where skills deficiencies might constrain future employment and economic growth for out of school young girls and women.
  • Assessment of key sectors and skill requirements by occupations in the local context.
  • Analysis of whether unemployed out of school young girls and women are interested or not interested to participate in trainings and later work in identified “most promising” occupations. What are the challenges they face to participate in the trainings and transition into employment?
  • Review the availability and markets and whether small scale business product will be sold in the nearby markets

3. Scope of work

The consultant will: 

a.  Find out the most employable skills training opportunity that can be offered by this project in the given COVID-19 context. 

b.  Find out skill gaps and opportunity in the market uncovered by existing service providers; this should be classified into1. Specific type of employment available and locations. 2. Level of skill required, including attention to aspects of gender and location. 

c.  Visit and hold discussions with service providers to find out their attitude towards out of school young girls and women employability in small scale business in the local context. 

d.  Identify challenges faced by out of school young girls and women getting employment and provide relevant recommendations and ways of creating decent work for females.

e.  Assess how financial institutions and cooperative provide small business loans and identify best approaches for linking out of school young girls and women to have access to such services. 

f.  Advice on innovative currently possible small-scale business startup in the COVID-19 context that are in demand and are not covered in the local context. 

g.  Identify the potential enterprise or business houses and possibility of marketing the small-scale business products produced by the adolescent girls from the project. 

3.  Methodological approach and design

Based on the study the consultant will propose major demanding and potential occupations, it may be varied from district to district considering the local geographical location and contextual factors. VSO Nepal recommends at least 10% sample size from young out of schoolgirls and women including better sample from service providers and other relevant stakeholders, however the consultant may propose better sample size.

The secondary data as part of desk study will gather, review, and analyze all relevant literature, policy and program documents issued by governments, and other relevant parties within the scope of current labor market situation. Gender lens should be used in all document reviews in particular analysis of barriers or enabling environment for young out of school girls and women to start the small business and employability as well. Similarly, primary data sources in this labor market assessment related to the information will be gathered directly for the purpose of the assignment. The data will be collected through individual interviews, questionnaire, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) of unemployed young out of school girls and women, Key Informant Interview (KII) from different stakeholders such as employers, service providers, local government authority andsupport institutions (to see supply aspect), The FGD should follow gender approach conducting interviews/discussions separately with young out of school girls and women by female researcher/enumerator discussions besides the mix group discussion in some context. Gender disaggregated data by sex, caste/ethnic group, with disabilities, age, in all areas possible. 

The consultant is required to briefly present the methodological approach that they will undertake for the market assessment and briefly elaborate on the process, tools and data analysis and presentation methods. 

The consultant is also encouraged to present better and suitable methodology not limiting to those as provided in this ToR. Relevant methodology suggestions to be done by the consultant based on the explanations given in the scope of work.

  • While collecting data, VSO wants to refer to its Evidence Principles, see Annex 1, to ensure the following:
  • Our approaches and designs are ethical and reasonable
  • Build in continuous and on-going analysis into the methodology 
  • Methods are appropriate and relevant for the purpose 
  • Test and peer review our methodological approaches 
  • Ethical approach to evidence collection, analysis and use 
  • Data is analyzed in a systematic way that leads to convincing conclusions 
  • The perspectives of different stakeholders are compared and analyzed in establishing if and how change has occurred

It is encouraged that the consultant presents some findings, especially on the intervention processes, as diagrams or flowcharts or power point Presentation for visual impact. There will technical discussions on findings with the VSO technical team and the consultants need to present the findings through various modes,i.e. face to face interactions, online mode (skype call), etc.  The consultant is responsible to incorporate relevant technical feedback provided, share the report and get approval from the VSO to make it final. 

4.  Deliverables:

The following deliverables are expected from the consultant in due process of the assignment: 

a)  Inception Report: the consultant should submit an inception report within three days after signing of the agreement detailing on the research methods, tools and work plan. Structure of the inception report is as follows:

  • Background 
  • Purpose of the research  
  • Methodology including sample size, location etc. 
  • Key research question (with technical support from VSO Nepal)
  • Detailed work plan 
  • Main report layout/structure 
  • Interview and FGDs targets 
  • Outstanding questions and issues 

b)  Reporting: A draft report should be shared with VSO Nepal for feedback. Upon submission of a draft report, consultant should be responsible for presenting the most significant findings to the VSO Nepal officials through a meeting (face to face or via skype, zoom) and get their feedback on critical areas. The meeting will be arranged by VSO Nepal. The report should consist the following sections (a) executive summary not more than two pages (b) the context/introduction (c) objectives (d) methods and limitations (e) Detailed findings and analysis in response to the study questions (f) conclusions (g) recommendation (h) appendices. 

The review report will be finalized upon VSO Nepal return of the draft report. The consultant should submit a final report in both hard and electronic copies along with all data (csv, excel, SPSS or STATA compatible formats), transcripts of the FGDs and KIIs, photographs where applicable, Appendices, to include research terms of reference, actors mapping for research, end notes (where appropriate), References, Detail table of respondents (name, address, organization, contact number) and relevant photos if applicable.

5.  Risks and challenges of the research

It is important that the successful bidder has taken all reasonable measures to mitigate any potential risk to the delivery of the required outputs for this assessment. 

6.  Target audience of the research

The intended users of this assessment will be VSO SfSE-II project and implementing partners organizations. These might include funders and other programmes in VSO and wider in the sector. The final report and summary report will be documented as “Knowledge Product” to be presented as learning papers more widely. VSO is the owner of raw data and all final products from this assessment.

7.  Duration of assignment, cost and payment

The assessment will be conducted within 45 days including report preparation. The review final report and summary report (a 4-pager) must be finalised before 25 December 2020.


Estimated Budget
NPR 1,000,000.00 (One Milliononly)
Consultant costs, literature review, KII and FGD cost.

The consultant should submit the total budget in the proposal with detail breakdown including applicable government taxes. 30% of amount will be paid after signing of the agreement and remaining 70% amount will be paid after submission of final report which is approved from VSO Nepal

8.  Timeframe and estimated working days 

The final assessment by VSO must be completed within 25 December 2020.

Task deliverables
No of workdays
Submit Proposal
Oct 3rdweek

Selection of consultant
Nov 1st week

Submission of inception report including document review 
Nov 2ndweek
5 days
Pre-test questionnaire/checklist in the field and finalize questionnaire 
Nov 3rd week
 7 days
Field work data collection
Nov 4thweek
16 days
Data analysis and Submission of draft report 
Dec 1,  2020
10 days
Feedback on draft report 
Dec 10,2020
3 days
Presentation of findings/Workshop 
Dec 12, 2020
1 days
Incorporate inputs from VSO Nepal and submit final report 
Dec25, 2020
3 days

9. Management and governance

The consultant will be expected to submit reports to the VSO Evaluation Steering Group and attend all meetings as agreed with the Project Manager. The team will be required to submit to the Project Manager/M&E Manager monthly progress reports (by email) during the study period, summarising activities/tasks completed to date (percent achieved), time spent, etc.

10. Expertise required

The consultant(s) should have the following academic qualification and experiences:

  • Proven research and analytical skills and knowledge of Labour Market trend, Research and Survey Assessment. 
  • Experience and/or training in research design and methodology in economic 
  • empowerment of women and young out of school’s girls. 
  • Experience working with community-based organizations in Nepal
  • Experienced in including young out of school’s girls and women in research and promoting their active participation 
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills 
  • Ability to deliver outcomes in timely manner 
  • University education, Master’s/Doctoral degree in social sciences or related discipline 
  • A minimum of 5 years professional experience in research related to labour market survey research and assessment. 
  • Ability to work with remote team
  • Experience with youth friendly and gender-sensitive approaches. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experiences with the application of rights-based approach, an understanding of the women’s economic empowerment, gender-based violence and relevant national and international frameworks. 
  • Demonstrated experience in conducting primary qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis 
  • Strong experience in conducting similar research projects.  
  • Fluency in English written and spoken.

11.  Logistics and Quality Assurance Procedures

Ethical plan: Consultant should consult and coordinate with VSO and Implementing Partner of VSO (Surkhet, Lamjung, Parsa and Dhading Districts) for FGD and KII.In case of any changes on plan, prior notification should be given to VSO team.

12.  Intellectual Property 

This assignment is being funded by UK Aid and led by VSO and therefore it shall be the owner of the assignment output. All information related to this report will remain the property of VSO Nepal. Except for purposes of this assignment, the information will not be disclosed to the public nor used in whatever without written permission from VSO Nepal.

13.  Application Procedure

Consultancy firms are required to submit the following: 

  • Track record inconducting similar types of assessment, survey work and desk review.
  • Expression of interest outlining how the agency/consultant meets the selection criteria and their understanding of the TOR.
  • An organizational profile containing evidence of the work done in this area. 
  • Technical Proposal, detailing proposed methodology and work plan with a time frame.
  • CVs of professional personnel proposed for the project
  • Financial proposal indicating the consultancy fee and a breakdown of expenses. 
  • Copy of company registration certificate.
  • Copy of PAN/VAT registration certificate.
  • Copy of tax clearance certificate FY075/76
  • An audit report of immediate last fiscal year.

14. Consultant selection Criteria 

1Does the consulting firm/individual/team leader have experience in conducting relevant study/assessment? 
2Does the team leader have relevant academic qualification? 
3Is the composition of proposed team balanced in terms of gender and expertise?
4Is the review methods/methodology proposed realistic and relevant to the objectives of assignment? 
5Is data analysis methods, data management and security mechanism well explained? 
6Is proposed field plan (timeline) realistic? 

Grand total

15.  Supervision

The Monitoring and Evaluation Manager will supervise the overall research process of SfSE-II Project Manager will provide the technical input for the study.

16.  Reporting 

The Consultant will report to M&E Manager andProjectManager of SfSE-II 

Interested and eligible Firms are requested to submit their letter of interest (LoI) along with required documents as mentioned above on point no. 10 and 13 to email ID: procurement.nepal@vsoint.org  by 18th Oct 2020 no later than 5:00 pm.

Job Overview

Category Development and Project, Expression of Interest
Openings 1
Position Type Contract
Experience Please check details below.
Education Please check details below.
Posted Date 06 Oct, 2020
Apply Before 18 Oct, 2020
City Lalitpur