Call for Expression of Interest: Consultancy to undertake review of the state of the Informal Sector in Swaziland.
The business legal framework in Swaziland requires that one is a legal citizen with a registered business that has a trading license with premises from which it operates. The place has to be issued public health certificate. Tax laws and labour laws also have to be adhered to. The informal sector has a significant contribution to the economy. Currently, the informal sector employs 32.5% of the Swaziland labour force which ranks second after the private sector.
According to a World Bank report of 2009, about two thirds of all employees’ worldwide work in the informal sector. In addition, the informal sector market players are a gateway to the local markets of many agricultural commodities. They provide cheaper goods and services compared to formal sector, thus allowing the consumer to save money. They also act as middlemen as they create the market for many goods produced in the rural areas and export them to regional and global markets, for example, handicrafts. They also contribute to the budget of the economy as they pay their taxes and are able to provide for their families.
However, the contribution of this sector to the economy is short-circuited by a myriad of difficulties. These challenges include lack of business management skills (bookkeeping and financial reporting, budgeting, business development, management practices, etc.), market research, as well as business finance. It is difficult for businesses operating in the informal sector to get loans given their risk profile. Street vendors get constant harassment from law enforcement agents. For those operating in designated trading areas, locations are usually based in places where they are fewer customers.
In addition, they often operate from poor infrastructure with unhygienic and unhealthy facilities and the project recognises the effort by the Small Enterprise Development Corporation (SEDCO) and municipalities around Swaziland to try and improve the standards of the informal sector by providing adequate shelter. VAT for cross border traders still poses a huge challenge.
The current legal framework in Swaziland does not allow the incubation and ultimately expansion of the informal sector in Swaziland. A number of initiative have been undertaken to improve this sector’s contribution to the economy. There is need for the government to unequivocally recognize and admit the importance of the informal sector and find ways to encourage its growth. Expansion of the sector will lead to both economic growth and job creation. OSISA established a programme that will support the strengthening of the Coalition of Informal Economy Associations in Swaziland (CIEAS) through the Coordinating Assembly of Non Governmental Organisations in Swaziland.
The project focuses on achieving the following objectives:
• Ensuring that CIEAS has a fully functional and well coordinated Secretariat.
• Full comprehensive report on the state of the informal sector in Swaziland is undertaken and the recommendations used for advocacy by OSISA.
• Budget allocations and support for the Informal sector is increased by the state.
• The commencement of the development of the policy or legal framework for the informal sector.
2.0 Objectives of the Exercise
The informal sector represents several sectors such as commerce, finance, manufacturing and trade related activities which are mainly dominated by street vending. Undertaking comprehensive market research on the sector should assist in terms of contribution of this sector to the economy. Market research could identify the sector’s contribution as well as bring to light some of the linkages either backward, forward, technology, consumer or credit linkages that potentially exist between the formal (big companies) and informal sector.
The goal of the exercise is to review the state of the Informal sector in Swaziland and influence better budgeting and priotisation of the needs of the sector in the development hierarchy of Swaziland.
The specific objectives of the exercise are to:
• To review the state of the informal sector in Swaziland.
• Develop a protocol that will be used by CIEAS to guide the development of the informal sector.
• To assess and recommend advocacy opportunities by informal traders to lobby support amongst policy makers in particular the Parliament of Swaziland.
• Undertake to review how guarantee funds for the sector can be established through commercial banks incentivizing to invest in SME sector by reducing default risk.
• Review the capacity needs of the informal sector in responding to market opportunities.
• Recommend training and coaching programmes that can be used to improve the capacity in the informal sector.
3.0 Qualifications of Consultants
The assignment will be undertaken by a consultant with the following profile:
• The consultant shall have a minimum of postgraduate qualification in Economics, Development Management, Social Sciences or
• Professional background/experience of not less than 10 years;
• Have competencies and skills in the management, evaluation and monitoring of national policy think tanks and institutions and extensive experience and knowledge in the area/s of budget analysis, economics and developing protocols.
• Have a vast experience in the area of policy analysis in the country.
• Sound knowledge of the NGO environment in Swaziland.
• Be able to clearly himself/herself in Siswati (Locals will be given first preference).
3.1 Review Outputs
The expected output of the consultancy is the following:
• Submission of Inception Report with clear timelines of how activity will be undertaken.
• Detailed Report reviewing the state of the Informal Sector with clear strong recommendations for advocacy.
• 5-10 page protocol that will be a Guideline on how to develop the Informal Sector in Swaziland.
Preference will be given to local based Consultants. The call is open to Consultancy firms or individual consultancies.
4.0 Selection of individual Consultant
A Consultant will be selected in accordance based on the Consultants Qualifications method set out in the CANGO Procurement guidelines.
5.0 Submission of Expression of Interest
Consultants are encouraged to send detailed expression of interest with clear approach, methodology and budget how to undertake proposed work and attach detailed CVs clearly marked “Expression of Interest for Consultancy to undertake the Review of the Informal sector in Swaziland which should all be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and copied to email@example.com.
The deadline for applications is the 10th October 2016 at 1300 hours and all emails should have subject CANGO Informal Sector Applications Expression of Interest. No posted or hand delivered applications will be accepted.