Mercy Corps

Consultant (Labour Market and Vocational Training Study)

Mercy Corps

Job Description


CAR's population is estimated at 4.6 million in 2018 and is mainly rural. 60% of the population are young people aged 15 to 24.

The proportion of its young people (15 to 24 years old) who have not received formal education is high. According to a World Bank study of February 2019, about 64% of young people aged 15 to 24 have primary education or less. This low level of formal education would have an impact on the achievement of vocational training to the extent that the level of students is insufficient for entry into vocational training .

Moreover, of the entire working population (15-64 years), only 8% are in paid employment and about 82% are in self-employment. Furthermore, the lack or low level of education that prevents young people from accessing professional opportunities, in conjunction with the overall limited employment opportunities, contributes significantly to the general instability in CAR, as these are the main drivers and key factors that push young people to join armed groups and carry out illicit activities in the West and South-West of the country.

According to a study by NRC on Employment Opportunities for Youth in CAR in 2018, "the majority of unemployed youth are reported to be in urban areas, while in rural and peri-urban areas, the problem is more likely to be youth underemployment due to low productivity, seasonality and insecurity of agricultural activity.

It also emerges that a fundamental cause of the high unemployment rate in the CAR is a sluggish job creation dynamic. This is linked, among other things, to the 2013 crisis, which seriously hampered Economic Development (36% drop in GDP after the crisis). Moreover, CAR is currently in great need of structural transformation: "The Central African Employment market thus presents the typical characteristics of an economy with little competitiveness, a sparse industrial base and an embryonic manufacturing sector combined with the cyclical crises that the country has experienced. The sectors in demand for labour are not sufficiently developed to absorb job seekers. The agricultural sector remains the most important economic sector in CAR, contributing to about 50% of GDP and employing more than 70% of the workforce in rural areas. In urban areas, "manufacturing industries and small artisanal units in the informal sector ... which should provide the bulk of job creation in urban centres are handicapped by lack of energy access and the high costs of industrial inputs due to supply difficulties".

In a socio-economic context thus described, the promotion of youth employment and vocational training are inseparable. Thus, Mercy Corps and its partners Triangle and IOM have developed a project proposal to AFD to work in the following two areas:

  1. 1. Professional integration of young people (labour market system): via a market-oriented approach that promotes systemic changes and the development and stimulation of youth-led initiatives.

  2. Vocational training for young people. The skills and capacities of the training centres (including infrastructure and equipment); the research and development function (curricula, teaching methodologies, etc.); the supervision and quality control function; the function of access to funding (for young people and for the training centres); and the information, communication and Coordination functions will be strengthened in order to ensure the sustainability of the project's achievements in the long term.

Such an intervention requires a preliminary study which consists of a rigorous Analysis of the specific needs of the economic actors, and an evaluation of the absorption capacity of the sectors that could potentially generate employment in order to enable the beneficiaries, particularly young people, to seize the opportunities of the economic fabric in which they find themselves; this work will have to be carried out by people with proven skills in the field.

It is with this in mind that this document has been drawn up to define the objectives and expected results of this research and information analysis work, which will propose clear guidelines for the implementation of the project.

Purpose of the study :

  • To identify and evaluate the sectors of activity that could potentially generate employment for young people (girls and boys) in the areas of Bangui and the outskirts, Mbaiki, Bouar, Carnot and Berberati.

  • To evaluate the dynamics and capacities of the actors involved in the integration and vocational training of young people;

Expected results :

  • The sectors that create employment for young people in the target localities are identified and analyzed to highlight the opportunities and prospects for absorbing the creation of salaried employment and self-employment projects;

  • The needs of the localities in goods and services related to the development of micro-projects are evaluated;

  • The needs in terms of training of the actors, especially young people, in the identified sectors are identified and analyzed;

  • Employers' requirements in terms of skills are assessed and analysed.

  • The training offers in the different identity sectors are known and analysed (availability, accessibility, relevance and quality, etc.) :

o A quantitative analysis on the basis of gender-disaggregated data of access, retention and success for boys and girls (in the sector/training centre, etc.) and the number of trainers/literacy instructors.

o A qualitative analysis on the basis of precise data aimed at identifying the obstacles and levers to access, retention and success for boys and girls.

o An examination of the opportunities and capacity of the project to improve access, retention and success for boys and girls.

o The identification of differentiated strategies that will meet the needs of boys and girls to the extent of the counterpart's capacities. The strategies will not be limited to direct activities on beneficiaries (girls/boys) but will also include activities at the systemic/structural level.


The consultant will work under the supervision of a steering committee of the study, composed of representatives members of the consortium and ACFPE for :

  • Identification for each (territory) the profile of the promising sectors and constitution of a bank of micro-project ideas.

  • Conduct a critical analysis of the economic development seen from the point of view of the sectors of activity and on the basis of relevant indicators,

  • Conduct a rigorous analysis of the specific needs of economic actors, particularly young girls and boys;

  • Establish the geographical map of the promising sectors.

  • Identification of key institutions/resource persons for the establishment of a viable platform for the promotion and development of training and professional integration of young people.

  • Conduct a qualitative analysis of the obstacles and levers to access, retention and success for boys and girls in vocational training at the personal, family and economic levels and in terms of Gender Equality (access to resources, decision-making, work valuation, participation, backlash effects for individuals entering non-traditional sectors for their gender).

  • Examine the opportunities and capacity of the project to improve access, retention and success for boys and girls. This will involve examining training structures and schedules, promotional or affirmative action measures, curricula and teaching, school life and governance of training centres and the institutional and political context of the country.

Methodology :

The study will consist of semi-structured interviews with key informants, focus group discussions and a pre-tested structured survey in Bangui and peripheries, Bouar, Berberati, Carnot and Mbaiki.

The study defines youth as individuals between the ages of 15 and 35. It should include the following activities:

  • Mapping of the private sector: enterprises and vocational training centres should be mapped in coordination with local and state partners to identify those to be surveyed.

  • Survey of enterprises: using stratified random sampling, a number of enterprises in the target localities will be surveyed. The purpose of this survey is to collect data on the operational challenges and constraints of enterprise creation, as well as potential growth sectors. In particular, it was intended to capture the challenges, gaps and opportunities for youth employment (girls and boys), such as mentoring, apprenticeship, job placement and desired skills and competencies and needs for further training.

  • Youth Focus Groups: This will involve structured discussions with groups of young girls and groups of young boys (numbers to be determined). The aim of the focus groups is to measure young people's perceptions of their professional skills, job opportunities and attitudes regarding job prospects.

  • Key Informant Interviews: These are semi-structured interviews to be conducted with young people, government officials, business leaders, managers of vocational training centres, training centre departments or line ministries, NGOs and trainers;

The study will have to answer the following questions for the identified employment sectors:

  • How is the sector structured according to the different and varied characteristics of enterprises such as job size, age, income, profit levels, investment costs?

  • To what extent do firms of different types interact with each other? What is the nature of these interactions (e.g. are they mutually beneficial, or do benefits accrue unevenly, and in the latter case do large firms benefit at the expense of small and micro firms)?

  • How have firms in the sector performed over time in terms of output and employment?

  • What is the production structure of the sector and how does this influence the capacity of the sector to absorb labour?

  • What are the main constraints - external to the firm, such as economic, social or other constraints, or internal, such as management expertise - to the growth experienced by firms in the sector? To what extent do these constraints relate to the growth of firms?

  • What are the growth prospects for the sector? To what extent is the economic environment conducive to expansion? Does the policy environment suggest particular growth opportunities for the sector?

  • Are there particular gaps in existing policies and interventions in the sector? Are there opportunities for complementarities in potential interventions?

  • What types and levels of skills are most in demand by enterprises or most appropriate for the development of self-employment enterprises?

  • What is the level of availability of these skills in the different localities concerned?

  • Are there training offers for young people to acquire these skills? Are they accessible? What is the level of quality of these training offers? If not, to what extent is it possible to make available or improve the quality of these training offers? Who could be potential partners for this action?


The proposed duration is a maximum of 30 days.

The 30 days include travel to the project area as well as activities of preparation and analysis of documents, preparation of field surveys, interviews and information collection, report writing and the restitution/validation meeting of the study report. Although the consultant could make modifications, an estimated schedule is as follows:

Schedule/Activity/ Persons responsible:

2 days/ Review background and conduct literature review /Consultant

3 days/ Design and test qualitative and quantitative tools, develop survey protocols, and design survey databases/Consultant in collaboration with the technical committee

2 days/ Training of investigators on survey protocols, Data Collection and database tools/ Consultant

11 days/ Data collection and Data Entry/ Consultant

4 days/ Data Analysis/ Consultant

1 day/ Restitution of first results/ Consultant

3 days/ Draft study report/ Consultant

2 days/ Draft review and comments/ Consortium team

2 days/ Final report/ Consultant

Deliverables :

  • The study documents of the employment and vocational training markets in the localities of Bangui and its suburbs, Bouar, Berberati, Carnot and Mbaïki.

  • The survey protocol ;

  • The final report of the study

Report Format :

The baseline report should be structured according to the following guidelines:

  • Cover page, list of acronyms

  • Table of contents that identifies page numbers for the main content areas of the report.

  • The Executive Summary (2 to 3 pages) should be a clear and concise stand-alone document that gives readers the essential content of the study report in 2 or 3 pages, previewing the main points to allow readers to build a mental framework for organizing and understanding the detailed information contained in the report. In addition, the executive summary helps readers identify the main findings and recommendations of the report.

  • Methodology: sampling method including the strengths and weaknesses of the method used, inclusion of stakeholders and staff, approximate timeline of activities, description of any statistical analysis undertaken, including rationale and software package used. Discussion of any random sampling used should include details on how random respondents were identified and invited to participate. This section should also discuss the constraints and limitations of the data collection process and rigour.

  • Results: Consider how best to organize this based on the evaluation and research questions. In some cases it is useful to organize the report in relation to the project objective, but in other cases it makes more sense to organize the report in relation to the evaluation questions.

  • Appendices: French-language data collection instruments; list of stakeholder groups with number and type of interactions; Statement of Work, interview protocols developed and used, all data sets can be provided in electronic format, any photos required, participant profiles or other special documents needed.

Qualifications and Experience of the Consultant :

  • A thorough understanding of the legal and institutional framework and a good knowledge of the Central African socio-economic context ;

  • The consultant will have an academic background in the field and has studied economics at university level;

  • Proven experience in the development of microenterprise in the Central African Republic, with particular emphasis on young people and women;

  • Previous experience in producing professional reports;

  • Relevant professional experience, including proven experience in carrying out similar studies and proficiency in French.

Application form :

Applications must include:

  • A letter of intent.

  • A technical proposal explaining the understanding of the TOR, the proposed approach and methodology for conducting the baseline study including sampling, a detailed schedule of activities.

  • A detailed budget in Excel format.

  • Consultant's CV with references.

  • Appendices: similar work if possible.

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