Consultancy Services Terms of Reference

Assignment title: Baseline assessment on digital advances in jute trade for local economic development in climate stress Northwest Bangladesh.
Description: A Baseline assessment will be commissioned jointly by the Consultant and Practical Action on digital advances in jute trade for local economic development in climate stress Northwest four districts in Bangladesh. 
Location: Kurigram, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari
Duration and timing: 2 years, 21 Sep 2020 to 20 Sep 2022
Number of Working Days: 60 days (01 Jul’21-30 Aug’21), The detail timeline of the assessment is available in the Annex-1.


Practical Action (PA) is an innovative international development organization putting ingenious ideas to work so people in poverty can change their world. We help people find solutions to some of the world's most difficult problems, namely catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality. We do things differently so that answers that start small can grow big and bring people together in bold collaborations, combining knowledge with innovation to change the systems that keep people poor and vulnerable. We work with communities to develop ingenious solutions for water and waste management, agriculture, climate resilience and clean energy access. Then we share what’s proven to work with others, so many more people can change their world and we also believe in the power of small to change the big picture.

Practical Action has been implementing a project tilted “Digital advances in jute trade for local economic development in climate stress Northwest Bangladesh” with funding support from Internet Society Foundation (ISF). The project is being implemented in four districts of Bangladesh namely; Kurigram, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, and Nilphamari, during the time frame of two years, 21 Sep 2020 to 20 Sep 2022. In brief, this project intends to demonstrate that by facilitating appropriate entrepreneurial skill development training and awareness raising, gender sensitizing on women’s role in jute SME sector, linking them to online marketing platform, extending linkage to financing institutions and expanding market demand of bio-degradable natural products enable 22160 beneficiaries that includes 2,000 women weavers, 100 youths and 15 SME actors, 45 SME staff and 20,000 jute farmers attaining economic independence in climate stress Northwest Bangladesh in COVID-19 context.

A COVID-19 awareness and support with hygiene materials in the workplace and at home for a safe and decent job in the jute diversified products trade and online marketing to be ensured under the project. The online marketing capacity of 15 jute SMEs, 45 SME staff, 2000 women weavers and product makers and intermediate youth and girls in digital literacy to support weavers and SMEs will also be improved. As weavers are engaged in making products, they are planned to be supported by a group of 100 youths (60% girls and 40% boys) from schools or colleges to provide ICT support for them in business expansion and market linkage.

With a view to capture the present situation of the targeted 22,160 jute value chain actors covering 15 SMEs, 45 SME staff, 2000 women weavers and 100 youth ICT entrepreneurs, in order to improve the capacity on online marketing and digital literacy skills, Practical Action intends to conduct a baseline assessment under this project. The assessment will be commissioned jointly by consultant/firm and Practical Action.

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