TOR - International consultancy firm to conduct feasibility study for migrant workers in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa. Vacancy in Ethiopia

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: International Labour Organization
Closing date: 10 Sep 2021

Background and Introduction:

To strengthen the capacities of countries in East Africa to govern labour migration, the UK Foreign Commonwealth & Development Officer (FCDO) is funding the project “Improved Labour Migration Governance” in East Africa. This project will contribute to building the capacity of the relevant national institutions and the social partners to improve labour migration governance to promote adequate skills and qualification recognition, matching and development and to facilitate skills and qualifications portability for returnees and potential migrants. It will contribute to laying the foundations for improving labour migration governance in East Africa by using evidence-based policies, enhancing migrant workers’ qualifications and skills, and actively engaging the social partners for improved development outcomes. The expected outcomes of the project are:

  1. Established and strengthened foundations for enhanced labour market and migration information systems (LMMIS);

  2. Better skills matching, recognition and development along specific migration corridors;

  3. Strengthened capacities of the social partners to engage in labour migration policy development and implementation.

Labour migration has always been part of the socio-economic landscape of East and Horn of Africa. It is one of the regions with the largest recent increase in the number of migrants and refugees. Climate change and environmental degradation, armed conflict, and political, economic and food crises continue to force people to flee, resulting in a growing need for assistance. Mixed migration flows, which include refugees, asylum-seekers, displaced persons, and migrants pursuing family reunification, education or employment, put a strain on governments in the region as they struggle to cope with the large number of migrants crossing their borders and moving through their countries.

According to the UN data, South Africa is the most significant country of destination in Africa, with more than 2.8 million international migrants residing in the country. The three countries hosting the highest number of international migrants in Eastern Africa in 2020 were: Uganda (1.7 million), Ethiopia (1.08 million), and Kenya (1.05 million). As for the migrant workers, the ILO estimates that there were 13.7 million international migrant workers in Africa in 2019, which corresponds to 8.1 per cent of all international migrant workers in the world.

Objective of the Assignment:

To facilitate skills portability between origin and destination countries, and foster the recognition of skills and qualifications in selected economic sectors, in migration corridors, the ILO is hiring a service provider for an occupational analysis and feasibility study of designing/ aligning occupational profiles and putting in place skills recognition mechanisms for migrant workers.

This study aims to contribute to enhanced skills portability, resulting in better skills and job matching, improved rights protection and fair recruitment processes, with particular attention to the needs of women migrant workers. The results of this work will also contribute to preparing the grounds for piloting specific labour migration schemes/arrangements in the future between interested origin and destination countries, containing skills components, among others.

Scope of Work:

The focus of the analysis will be on 1 origin country and 2 destination countries corresponding to different economic contexts and 2 different labour migration governance mechanisms:

  • Intra-regional migration corridor: Ethiopia – South Africa;

  • Free mobility within a regional economic community (IGAD) Ethiopia – Kenya.

The service provider will carry out consultations in all three countries to assess the feasibility of skills and qualification recognition for one selected occupational profile in two selected sectors, one of which will be domestic worker in the care sector. The service provider will be expected to identify and suggest another sector and occupation based on their relevance for migrant workers and on skills demand in the three countries using the following criteria:

  • A significant number of migrant workers performing work and tasks that the country’s citizens cannot or do not wish to perform;

  • Stated benefits for recognition of the skills acquired by migrants both in their countries of origin and following migration to the host country;

  • Political will to encourage skills development in these trades, including for migrant workers and returning migrants (socio-economic reintegration) in the three countries.

  • The existence and use of occupational standards.

The feasibility study will assess institutional and governance arrangements regarding the development and recognition of skills and qualifications for the selected occupational profiles. Subsequently, it will include an in-depth comparison of the selected occupational standards. The term “occupational standard” can include – depending on country contexts – skills and competency standards, qualifications and assessment standards. The study should clarify terminology and approaches used in each country. Based on the analysis, the study will propose options and recommendations to enhance mutual recognition and/or harmonization of standards for the selected occupational profiles.

Tentative Outline:

  1. Introduction: (2 pages)

    1. Migration movements in the selected sectors between Ethiopia and Kenya, and between Ethiopia and South Africa

    2. Brief overview of the national labour migration policies and arrangements

    3. The rationale for comparing occupational profiles and of putting in place skill recognition mechanisms in the respective sectors and for the selected occupational profiles. (This should include key aspects of migration movements, such as occupations, periodicity, employment situation of migrants (formal, informal), profiles of migrants (education level, age), efficiency and economic gains).

  2. Description of the Education and Skills Development Systems in the three countries with a focus on the selected occupational profiles and sectors: (5 pages)

    1. Policy and governance: policies, stakeholders and their roles: governmental, regional and other competent authorities. Social Partners such as enterprises, professional and intermediate associations (accreditation, assessment and certification bodies), education and training provides etc.

    2. Structure: Vocational qualification systems and pathways, levels and level descriptors, learning outcomes, standards, competencies

    3. Recognition of formal, non-formal and informal learning: systems, actors, processes.

    4. Quality assurance: mechanisms of monitoring and evaluation of the National qualification systems, accreditation, assessment and certification.

    5. Level of implementation of national skills development systems: Social partner engagement, share of TVET, share of workforce with qualifications, level of completeness and use of NQF (if it exists)

    6. Development and review of occupational standards: actors and processes, curriculum and respective development methodologies; assessment processes; and certification process. Level of engagement of social partners in these processes.

  3. Comparison of occupational standards and existing education and training programs for selected occupations in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa

    1. Titles and levels of selected occupational standards

    2. Comparison of selected occupational standards: Description of tasks, areas/units of competence and respective competences, composition and description of competence units, associated learning time, learning objectives, performance criteria;

    3. Training offer: Overview of main training providers; provided courses (formal and non-formal); delivery mode (in an institution, at the workplace, dual programme, etc.); course duration, geographic reach;

    4. Perceived value of qualifications by employers.

  4. Analysis of existing mechanisms for skills and qualification recognition in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa for migrant workers in the selected occupations and options for mutual recognition

    1. Ethiopia

    2. Kenya

    3. South Africa

  5. Feasibility assessment and recommendations towards mutual recognition of skills and qualifications for the selected occupational profiles in the respective sectors and beyond, strengthening institutional arrangements for skills recognition and linking them to labour migration governance arrangements

    1. Feasibility of options for mutual recognition/harmonization of selected occupational standards

    2. Recommendations for the way forward: Selected occupational standards

    3. Recommendations for strengthening skills and qualification recognition along the two corridors as part of improved labour migration governance


Based on the above tentative outline, the service provider will provide the following deliverables:

  1. An inception report (by 5 days)

    1. A work-plan

    2. A list of relevant stakeholders to consult. The ILO will support contacts to relevant ministries, social partners and other key stakeholders if needed.

    3. Suggestions for the selection of the second sectoral and occupational profile

  2. Following confirmation of the selected occupations by the ILO, a draft report (outline below) (by 30 days) including:

    1. A brief comparison of each countries’ education and qualifications systems to identify the similarities and differences between their respective qualification systems and to consider the most effective ways of promoting reciprocal recognition of qualifications for the selected occupations. This analysis will in particular provide insights on how occupational standards are designed and recognized, how training programs can be accessed and how recognition of prior learning is implemented in the selected sectors.

    2. An analysis and comparison of the existing occupational/skills/competency standards, qualifications, and assessment standards (if available) highlighting commonalities and differences between the countries for the selected occupations in each country to support mutual recognition and/or harmonization of the standards.

    3. Feasibility assessment and recommendations at the national level to harmonising/mutually recognizing the occupational standards for the selected occupations and on strengthening institutional arrangements for skills recognition as part of improved labour migration governance in the three countries.

  3. Final national report incorporating comments received (by 50 days)

  4. Final draft report incorporating comments received including a revised version of all three sections. (by 65 days)

Qualifications and experience:

The study is expected to be done by one international expert supervising three national experts in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa with extensive experience in the Africa TVET sector, occupational standards design, recognition of prior learning and migration with the following minimum requirement for each of the team members**:**

Academic Qualification:

A postgraduate degree in relevant field in Education/Social Science/Research/Migration


· At least 8 years’ experience in working in the skills development and migration sector

· Evidence of handling research using research tools and methods such as surveys, framing questionnaire, conducting FGD and interviews

· Having analytical publications or in the area of skills and migration will be preferred


Fluency in English for both the international and national consultants and fluency in the national official language for the national consultants


· Excellent knowledge of Africa TVET sector, occupational standards design, recognition of prior learning and migration.

· Knowledge and ability to use computer for research and report writing.

Some other expected broad competencies are:

· Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.

· Must display a high standard of ethical conduct and exhibit honesty and integrity.

· Gender-sensitive behaviour and attitude.

Payment Schedule:

  • 30% On completion of deliverables, 1 under section II of this TORs no later than 5 days, to the satisfaction of the ILO,

  • 30 % On completion of deliverable 2 under section II of this TORs, no later than 30 days, to the satisfaction of the ILO

  • 40 % On completion of deliverables 3 and 4 under section II of these TORs no later than 50 days, to the satisfaction of the ILO

Evaluation Criteria and Score:

The successful service provider will have will have expertise and qualifications in the focus areas related to this assignment for both the international consultant and national consultants in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa. Evaluation of the suitability of the international firm to work on this assignment will be made against the following technical criteria:

Evaluation criteria and corresponding maximum mark:

  1. Expertise/Qualification

A postgraduate degree in relevant field in Education/Social Science/Research/Migration for both the international consultant and national consultants in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa.

10 points

Each of the international consultant and national consultants in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa should have at least 8 years’ experience in working in skills development and migration sectors. 10 points

The international consultancy firm should conducted consultancy for ILO/UN in similar contexts is an asset. 5 points

Fluency in English for both the international and national consultants and fluency in the national/ official language for the national consultants is a must. 5 points

Maximum Points 30 points

  1. Proposed approach to deliver the ToR’s scope of work

Applicant demonstrates (via submitted technical proposal) their expertise working as a research consultant. The technical proposal includes a realistic action/work plan. The evaluation to assess the understanding of scope, objectives and completeness of response. 40 points

Quality of the sample report suggests that the applicant possess the required level of knowledge, analytical skill and ability to write the final report of the activities. 30 points

Maximum Points 70 points

Total for Both Section A (30 Points) and Section B (70 Points) 100 points

Minimum Acceptable Score for the Proposal to be considered for financial evaluation. 50 points

Recommended presentation of proposal

Interested international consultancy firm must submit the following documents/information:

· Technical Proposal, specifying the understanding of the assignment, methodology, approach, proposed work and management plan, key personnel (one international consultant and three national consultants in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa) qualifications and relevant experiences.

· Sample(s) of accredited publication(s)/reports of similar work done previously.

· Personal CV of one international consultant and three national consultants in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa, indicating all past experience from similar assignments, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references.·

. Financial proposal, The interested individual consultants are requested to provide a separate financial offer including number of field mission dates, travel cost and daily allowance. The travel cost will be managed by ILO). The service provider is responsible for paying the staff it promised to hire in its financial and technical proposal.

The ILO promotes equal opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive employment in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.

How to apply:

All interested International consultancy firms can send questions to the ILO’s Procurement Unit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ( until 20 August 2021. Questions will be answered and shared with the interested organizations by Close of Business on 25 August 2021.

Completed technical and financial proposals are to be submitted to by Close of Business on 10 September 2021.


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