Gender Consultant for Cashew Integration and Acceleration Program (Benin)

Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

July 2016 for the duration of 20 working days

TechnoServe works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. We are a nonprofit organization that develops business solutions to poverty by linking people to information, capital and markets. Our work is rooted in the idea that given the opportunity, hardworking men and women in even the poorest places can generate income, jobs and wealth for their families and communities. With more than four decades of proven results, we believe in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.

With financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), TechnoServe, through the Cashew Integration and Acceleration Program (CIAP) launched in October 2015, is leading a sector-wide value chain approach aimed at strengthening and expanding the cashew sector into a more productive, diversified, value-adding, competitive, sustainable, globally integrated and inclusive economic growth engine for the people of Benin. Over five years, CIAP will increase yields and revenues for 35,000 smallholder cashew farmers, triple domestic processing capacity, create at least 3,400 jobs (70% for women), catalyze development of the nascent by-product market and set the sector on a path for continued growth and success.

CIAP improves returns from the major crop of cashew for smallholder farmers and for Benin’s economy as a whole. The project vision is to build a thriving cashew sector where smallholders realize optimum yields and prices for their crop; where farmer investments and improvements are driven by demand from a competitive local processing sector operating within a well-organized value chain; and where maximum local economic value is extracted from the cashew nut and other cashew byproducts. CIAP ensures that local processors have the financing, managerial capacity and resources to fulfill their potential role as the engine of change by investing in their supply chain, through traceability systems, satellite processing and farmer financing. A vibrant local processing sector will impel coordination and capacity-building across the value chain, from trade associations to government agencies.

The results will be expanded trade volumes of processed kernel, increased sales volumes of cashew byproducts, increased productivity and incomes for farmers, job creation on a large scale, maximum value extracted from the cashew crop and increased returns for actors throughout the value chain–all contributing to the sustainability of a vibrant economic system.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

The Consultant is expected to work closely with the Team Leader and relevant technical program team members. Specifically, the expert will:

Conduct a gender assessment, which should identify:
Opportunities and challenges for the active and equitable participation of women producers in the cashew value chain
Power dynamics within cashew producing households
Factors limiting participation of women and opportunities for women to participate in and benefit from the cashew value chain
The extent and nature of women’s control over income (particularly as it relates to income derived from cashew)
Women’s decision making power particularly as it relates to cashew production including production decisions (including a women’s decision making power over her own labor) and decisions related to the use of agricultural income (including expenditure on major items and daily purchases)
Nature of women’s ownership of productive assets particularly as they relate to cashew
Potential risks associated with a project that seeks to economically empower women and recommendations on how to minimize these risks
Gender dynamics in the context of women as a members of producer groups/farmers associations and leaders of these organizations
Dynamics of women as individual farmers, participants in a household and members or leaders of producer groups/ farmer associations
The extent to which women participate and benefit at different levels of the project targeted value chain
Make recommendations as to how CIAP can most effectively increase women producer incomes
Make recommendations on the types of integrated gender activities that should be incorporated into the project based upon the Beninese context
Make recommendations on how staff can best measure the project’s impact on gender through M&E activities
Train local gender consultant who will be responsible for training CIAP technical staff on outcomes of the gender assessment

Required Skills & Experience:

Post-graduate degree in gender & development, rural development, economics or other relevant
Work experience:
At least 5 years professional experience in development, economics or relevant fields, including proven experience in the field of women’s economic empowerment
Other qualifications:
Sound and practical experience in strategic and operational planning
Proven research and analytical skills
Proven ability to work within limited time constraints in the preparation of high quality
Demonstrated analytical skills on issues related to gender mainstreaming, women’s economic empowerment, rural development
Previous experience in developing programmatic documents for governments, international organizations or civil society organizations on women’s economic empowerment
Fluency in French and English, required
Previous experience in Benin, or other West African country, preferred
Experience in agriculture, particularly cashew or other tree crops, preferred