Consultancy – Cross-Country Research on Youth and Women Employment in Conflict-Affected Regions: Insights from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Sudan




Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Sudan



Employment Type



Full SoW

Closing Date

17 May 2024

CFYE Overview:

The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) is a 7-year and €134 million programme funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that aims to create a prosperous future for 230,000 young women and men in the Middle East, North Africa, Sahel & West Africa and Horn of Africa regions. The Fund will be supporting initiatives in 12 focus countries that will offer youth, in particular young women, opportunities for work that is demand-driven and productive, offering a stable income and safe working conditions, and that is contributing to their personal development and social protection.

Assignment Overview

This assignment focuses on conducting comprehensive in-country research to address the challenges of youth and women employment in four conflict-affected countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Sudan.

The research aims to identify effective strategies, solutions, and policies that can be adapted and replicated across different conflict-affected contexts to ultimately enhance youth and women employment opportunities.
The research will be structured around two main pillars:

  • Pillar A will investigate how private sector SMEs in fragile contexts can contribute to job creation and employment ecosystem in fragile settings to attract and sustain women and youth employees.
  • Pillar B will explore how programs such as CFYE operate in conflict affected zones and what are the barriers to applying a project like CFYE in fragile contexts and has can CFYE set up/adapted its processes to this.

Objective and Activities

The assignment aims to gain insights into the specific challenges encountered by youth and women in employment within conflict-affected countries. It involves identifying policies, strategies, and techniques implemented by private sector SMEs and development programs to address these challenges. Furthermore, it seeks to determine the adaptability, success rate and replicability of these strategies, solutions, and policies across different conflict-resulting fragile scenarios both within the target countries and beyond. Adopting a comprehensive perspective, the research will approach the issue from various angles, including those of employers, employees, and policymakers, to ensure a thorough understanding of the complexities involved.

Ideally, the research is built up around the following activities:

  • Stakeholder Engagement: Identify and engage with CFYE Implementing Parties (IPs) (see overview in the full SOW attachment above) including employers, recruiters, beneficiaries and other stakeholders active in youth employment, like representatives from development programs through in-country primary research. Conduct interviews and focus group discussions to gather diverse perspectives.
  • Data Collection and Analysis: Collect qualitative and quantitative data on youth employment challenges, strategies, and policies in fragile contexts. Analyse the data to identify common themes, trends, and successful practices.
  • Case Study Analysis: Conduct a detailed analysis of the CFYE, and other development programs in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Sudan to understand its approach and effectiveness in supporting youth and women employment.
  • Policy and Strategy Evaluation: Evaluate existing policies, strategies, and techniques employed by private sector SMEs and development programs. Assess their effectiveness and adaptability to different conflict-affected contexts.
  • Report Writing: Compile the findings into a comprehensive report that will later be presented and disseminated.


In relation to the activities mentioned above, the consultant will provide the following deliverables:

  • Methodology document developed and approved by CFYE (including interview guides/surveys to be used)
  • Literature Review: Conduct a thorough review of existing literature on youth and women employment challenges, private sector initiatives, and development programs in conflict-affected contexts.
  • Well-documented and structured case studies from each of the focus countries built up around interviews with stakeholders, as well as a contextual overview which compares and contrasts the countries – in an edited format with proper lay-out (to be agreed upon with CFYE).
  • Overall insight paper as a synthesis of the assignment that outlines key challenges, identifies effective strategies and policies, and provides recommendations for enhancing youth and women employment in conflict-affected contexts.

Operational Arrangements

The selected organisation/consultant will report to Ahmed Darwish and Geja Roosjen. CFYE will ensure a proper introduction to key staff members, who in turn will ensure the consultant is introduced to employers, recruiters, beneficiaries (including CFYE Implementing Partners). The consultant will work actively together with the CFYE team in the preparatory phase. Selection of case studies and analysis will be made together with CFYE, where needed final decision on selection will be made by CFYE.

Where travel to each country is required for the completion of the assignment, including accommodation, visa requirements, transportation and planning arrangement and planning, the consultant is expected to include commercial considerations for travel in their proposal. Travel insurances are not provided by the company.

Core Competencies

The selected organisation/consultant should demonstrate that it has the following core competencies:

  • Research methodology: understanding of various research methods and the ability to select most appropriate methods
  • Data Collection: proficiency in designing surveys, conducting interviews, etc.
  • Data analysis: strong analytical skills to interpret data and draw meaningful conclusions
  • Report writing: communicate findings and insights effectively through well-structured and concise reports
  • Communication skills: excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Experience, connections and presence in the focus countries identified (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Sudan)

Minimum Requirements

  • At least 5 years of track record of research assignments on entrepreneurship and youth employment in Africa and the Middle East
  • Thorough understanding of the private sector and the role of development programmes/organizations and investors.
  • Demonstrable experience of conducting research within the youth employment space, with a focus on gender
  • Demonstrate experience of conducting research in conflict affected regions
  • Demonstrate experience in working directly with stakeholders, including employers, recruiters, and beneficiaries.

Level of Effort and Reporting

CFYE expects that the assignment will start in June 2024 and run until October 2024. We roughly expect this
research to require the following level of effort:

  • Onboarding with CFYE and country teams and preparation of research tools
  • Literature review
  • Interviews with country leads
  • Interviews/surveys with beneficiaries and stakeholders in-country
  • Case study development
  • Insights paper development

We expect to have the following submissions completed by:

  • First full draft: August 2024
  • Second full draft: September 2024
  • Final full copy: October 2024

Based on an estimated 4 months for this assignment, CFYE will disburse the budget in tranches based on three milestones:

  • Upon signature of contract: 33%
  • Upon reception of first full draft insights paper: 33%
  • Upon completion of assignment: 33%

How to Apply

Interested consultants are requested to provide a high-level proposal (technical and financial) of a maximum of 10 pages all together, where they elaborate on:
1) Their suggested approach/methodology to the proposed activities
2) Relevant track record of the organization and profiles of proposed team members for implementation
3) High level workplan (can be a Gantt chart)
4) Break-down of proposed budget for the assignment (breakdown of proposed fee structure and any
other expected costs).


Please submit your proposal by email to
Tender submissions close: Friday, 17th May 2024, COB CEST.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Service provider’s experience and qualifications in conducting research and learning assignments to
    similar organizations
  • Clarity and quality of the proposed approach to providing the abovementioned research activities
  • Feasibility of the proposed timeline and budget for delivering the activities
  • Quality and experience of proposed team members
  • Overall fit with CFYE’s mission and values

CFYE reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received, to negotiate with any qualified proposer,
and to waive any irregularities or informalities in the proposals received. CFYE also reserves the right to cancel this ITT at any time.

If your quote is successful, you will be required to enter into the Company’s standard contract for the types of goods or services being provided. In the provision of the Goods and Services, you will be required to comply with the Company’s policies, including (without limitation) its Business Partner Code of Conduct and any relevant Project Manual. Potential service provider must also comply with the Company’s Business Partner Code of Conduct in the submission of any proposal pursuant to this tender.

If you are bidding as part of a joint venture, partnership or similar, please make this clear in your submission. Likewise, if you propose to subcontract any part of the goods or services provision, then disclose this fact within your submission. The Company may require additional information from you and approval for subcontracting will not be automatic as subcontractors will be subject to Palladium’s Due Diligence process.

If you are successful, we will need you to complete our full due diligence process, which requires the completion of a self-assessment questionnaire on your business registration and operations. In addition to the completed questionnaire, you will have to provide supporting documents. These will include (but may not be limited to):

  • Evidence of corporate registration (or equivalent)
  • Relevant business insurances
  • Audited accounts and tax clearance Certificates for the past two years
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Evidence of business policies (e.g., code of conduct)
For any queries please send your questions by email to and
Queries to be submitted no later than Tuesday the 14th of May, 2024
About Palladium

Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact – the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value.

We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits. For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved – and is committed to continuing to improve – economies, societies and most importantly, people’s lives.

Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.