Cordaid Consultant to evaluate Cordaid's Resilient Business Development programme Jobs in Ethiopia

Cordaid Consultant to evaluate Cordaid's Resilient Business Development programme Jobs in Ethiopia

Terms of Reference for the Evaluation of Cordaid’s Resilient Business Development Services (RBDS) Programme

Since 2016, Cordaid has been delivering support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Sierra Leone and Ethiopia with the view of improving their business performance, enhancing their investment readiness, and encouraging their growth as a means to drive job creation.

Recognising that the lack of business support services and access to finance for the so called “Missing Middle” is a key bottleneck to growth, the 6-8 month programme of group training, individual coaching, expert meetings and peer consultations has been geared towards making SMEs ‘investment ready’.

As the programme now nears completion, Cordaid wishes to commission an external evaluation which will help to inform the direction of future programming.

Resilient Business Development Services (RBDS)

Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (MSME’s) are often recognized for their ability to provide jobs, incomes and much-needed products and services in places where large or foreign enterprises are scarce or absent.

One major challenge facing most MSME’s operating on the verge between small- and medium size is that sooner or later, they remain stuck in their day-to-day operations, and more often than not fail to incorporate long(er)-term strategic planning in the development of their business.

The MSME may lose then track of its unique value proposition during this phase. Experience has taught that it is at this critical point in the business life cycle that business acceleration services can make a difference.

The emphasis of business acceleration is on rapid growth, and to sort out all organizational, operational, and strategic difficulties that might be facing the business.

A business accelerator approach helps companies get through adolescence and prepare them to enter adulthood, providing them with strong arms and legs, sound values and a clear mindset (strategy) for the future.

RBDS has been developed by Cordaid aimed at MSME's with growth potential in challenging, often post-or in-conflict, contexts.

The RBDS model covers traditional topics like financial and operational management, but also addresses challenges such as favouritism and a lack of trust between actors along the value chain, a weak legal and administrative environment, and gaps in the business infrastructure.

The RBDS model offers group training, individual coaching and mentoring and peer to peer support to enable entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and ultimately, create jobs.

The objectives of RBDS, as originally formulated, are to:

  • Improve business performance of target SMEs in terms of increased job growth, financial turnover, profitability and access to new markets;

  • Make individual SMEs investment ready or increase their capacity to get access to finance of Cordaid’s Stability Impact Fund or other financial institutions; and, to

  • Create linkages between SMEs to foster learning and growth and promote an enabling environment for SMEs.

    Although programme implementation is being monitored closely, a more comprehensive and objective evaluation, to identify accomplishments and shortcomings, by an external consultant is deemed necessary to validate results, and to formulate recommendations for improvement for the future of Cordaid’s Private Sector Development Programming.

    Evaluation Objectives

    The objectives of the evaluation are the following:

  • Assess the extent to which the programme has been successful in attaining its outputs and
  • Review relevance, effectiveness and efficiency & cost effectiveness of the programme interventions;
  • Identify the need for technical assistance services for SMEs and find out if SMEs are willing to pay for this kind of services;
  • Identify gaps/weaknesses in the current programme design, delivery mechanisms and interventions, and provide recommendations as to their improvement for the future of Cordaid’s Resilience Business Development Service programme / Private Sector Development programme to strengthen the quality and sustainability of the programme deliverables;
  • Identify and document lessons learnt regarding the challenges entrepreneurs face in fragile environments, such as economic challenges, favoritism, external shocks, lack of trust between actors, doing business in a weak legal and administrative environment and gaps in business infrastructure, and approaches to address these;
  • Identify and document lessons learnt on the changes that have already been implemented by Cordaid as compared to the original project proposal during the project period;
  • Identify any unintended or unforeseen effects (both positive and negative) of the programme to date;
  • Highlight issues and challenges affecting effective and efficient implementation of outputs and their contribution to project outcomes;
  • Assess the quality of the business services per modality offered by Cordaid and its implementing partners;
  • Assess indications of the degree to which training and coaching trajectory are likely to be sustainable beyond the project’s lifetime and provide recommendations for strengthening sustainability.

    Methodology for the Evaluation

    The evaluator(s) will coordinate closely with Cordaid Global Office project officers, experts, Cordaid Country office representatives, as well as project implementation and cooperation partners.

    The evaluation requires a combination of desk research, interviews, consultation meetings in The Netherlands and field work is to be carried out in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Bo, Makeni, and Freetown (Sierra Leone).

    The evaluation should follow the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Criteria for Evaluating Development Assistance -

    Timeline and Schedule

    The study should be conducted in 30 days, the final report to be presented no later than 30th September 2019.


  • Inception Report: methodology, work plan, review of project documents and drafting data collection tools

  • First draft of review report. Presentation of findings and recommendations to Cordaid, BDS providers and other key stakeholders for verification.

  • Final report, including all annexes


  • You will have experience in delivering programmes in fragile environments and in evaluating programmes on entrepreneurship / private sector development.

    Key competencies:

  • Knowledge and experience with working on / evaluating programmes focusing on BDS (Business Development Services, SME development, and access to finance);
  • Knowledge of the SME development field and the NGO and donor sectors;
  • Experience in applying SMART indicators and reconstructing or validating results chains;
  • Good professional knowledge of the programme countries, especially a strong political understanding of working in Ethiopia and Sierra Leone;
  • Demonstrated and strong analytical, communication and report writing skills;
  • Capacity to work with the target group representatives.

    How to Apply:
    Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV(s)/ Company Capacity Statement, with a covering letter explicitly referring to previous similar experiences, to Mike Sips via including a work plan indicating dates and number of days for each task, methodology and approach, professional fee (in Euro’s – either lump sum or daily rate), and availability to deliver.

    Application Deadline: Friday 19th July 2019 23:59 Central European Time

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