Consultant – EOI on Training, Business and Financial Skills Management, Saving and Loans Groups, and Women’s Empowerment at Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Mercy Corps with support from Ekaterra Foundation aims to support the resilient ginger farmers in Kaduna state, through the Empowering Resilient Ginger Farmers (ERGF) Program. ERGF works in Kachia, Jema’a, Jaba LGAs. Mercy Corps wishes to invite interested partner/s through this expression of interest to support the training on business management, savings and lending groups formation/strengthening, and/or support to women’s leadership and capacity building as market actors.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Consultancy – EOI on Training, Business and Financial Skills Management, Saving and Loans Groups, and Women’s Empowerment

Location: (Jaba, Kachia, Jema’a LGAs) Kaduna
Employment Type: Contract

The Program’s main objective is to enhance ginger farmers application of regenerative agriculture practices, increase farmer’s income through strengthened integration to markets and access to savings and financial services. The program focuses on all ginger farmers, but has specific women’s empowerment goals, and aims to strengthen the capacity of female ginger actors to build their agency and negotiating power and more within the ginger value chain.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is one of the popular plants that has benefited various countries across the world and Nigeria is no exception. Nigeria, after China and India, is the world’s third-largest exporter of ginger, with 523,000 tonnes exported each year. Ginger farming has huge potential in local and overseas market, however, the challenges faced by ginger growers may vary from the areas in which farming are being practiced.In Nigeria, challenges include lack of sustainable good agricultural practices, markets, and processing facilities, middlemen, irregular climatic conditions which stand as a risk and uncertainties, access to finance and credit facilities, financial inclusion, inadequate fertilizer, lack of modern farm equipment, and the limited number of varieties (Rhizomes). Kaduna is Nigeria’s top producer, accounting for over half of the country’s total harvest.

According to a government document (2018), just under 40% were banked, 10% were served by other formal institutions and nearly 10% were served by informal service providers. In another strand of research conducted (2021), results indicated that 78% of rural small-scale farmers in Nigeria were financially excluded. One of the key indicators used was financial capability. Financial capability reflects on people’s ability to effectively participate in a formal financial system through financial literacy, consumer protection and prudent financial decisions and plans.

According to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), summarises financial literacy as, “the process by which consumers improve their knowledge of financial product, develop skills to become more aware of financial risks to make more informed choices, and improve their financial well-being”. This is therefore key to developing individual financial stability. However, a financial literacy gender gap exists worldwide, where women lag men in the knowledge and management of finances.

In Nigeria, while the affirmative action of 30% in the National Women Policy (2000) is yet to be implemented, this may translate to the wide gender gap particularly in the rural/farming communities where women do not take some key positions in the farmers cooperatives or cluster groups and continues to inhibit their contribution in decision making.

Purpose / Project Description
Mercy Corps is seeking for suitable applicants or service providers with requirement and experience to provide technical assistance to participants to achieve program goals in the following areas. The technical assistance can be provided through a range of mechanisms, including but not limited to: training, mentorship, etc.

  • Improving the Business Management Skills of ginger farmers
  • Forming/strengthening Saving and Lending Groups for ginger farmers
  • Providing Women’s Leadership Capacity Building in Markets support to female ginger farmers

Areas of evaluation include but are not limited to:

  • Scale- innovative approach which has been tried at a minimum scale of reaching thousands of farmers in terms of outreach and impact,
  • Impact data and evidence- innovations which have data and evidence of impact on productivity, Inclusion-inclusive innovation with a focus on ginger smallholders and women farmers.

Consultant Activities
Invitation for the Selection of Institutions/Consulting Services for services associated with:

  • Improving the Business Management Skills of 4,000 ginger farmers
  • Forming/strengthening Saving and Lending Groups for 6,000 ginger farmers
  • Providing Women’s Leadership Capacity Building in Markets to support at least 1,800 female ginger farmers


  • 6000 will be trained on Saving and Lending Groups, out of this, 4000 will then be further selected and trained on Business Management Skills. In same vein, about 1,800 female ginger farmers will also be selected from the pool.
  • The Selected institution/Consultant is expected to develop and provide a comprehensive training curriculum and manual to the participants that are easy to understand and concise, using a teaching methodologies and techniques that are engaging and interactive, monitor participants progress during the training, providing feedback and guidance as needed, and conduct an evaluation of the training at the conclusion.

Consultant Deliverables
The contractor is responsible for the following deliverables:

  • Develop acomprehensive training curriculum, manual including training materials.
  • Conduct the training, including group exercises according to cluster groups with refreshments.
  • Issue certificates of attendance at the end of the training.
  • Develop a complete training evaluation/report of the training, including participant feedback and recommendations for future training programs.
  • Conduct post-training mentoring and coaching to participants.

Timeframe / Schedule

  • The training is for maximum 45 days from the commencement date.

The Consultant will report to:

  • Margaret McLoughlin
  • Director of Programs.

The Consultant will work closely with:

  • Ismail M. Rilwan
  • Program Manager.

Special Requirements

  • Access information is key in making an informed decision. The ERGF Program aims to empower ginger farmers with business skills, access to savings and credit, and gender empowerment to enable farmers make an informed and effective choice about money matters.
  • In doing so, this will support cluster farmers to be financial responsive, better plan their business, and increase the inclusion of the ginger value chain, particularly entry to up stream actions, such as entrance to processing/aggregation opportunities.
  • While the training will be conducted in the mentioned 3 LGAs, previous experience will be an added advantage for organisations working in these locations or rural areas. Again, priority will be given to entrepreneurship training centre, CSO, or consulting firm that implemented similar activities. Prior experience with the noted value chain or working with female farmers is critical, and fluency in the local language is a pre-requisite.
  • The applicants can propose to address one activity, two, or all three in conjunction. Proposed methodologies should be evidence based with accompanied impact data.
  • For the component on strengthening business skills, Mercy Corps relies on the capacity and competence of the business development service providers. As such, Mercy Corps will consider applicant registered as National Business Development Service Providers (BDSP) certified by SMEDAN (Small and Medium Development Agency of Nigeria) for that component. For savings and loan promotion and women’s empowerment/leadership training, Mercy Corps expects to see a background and proven track record in those areas with relevant professional memberships a plus.

Selection Process

  • Within ten (10) working days of the deadline for submitting expressions of interest, a technical review panel will convene. Mercy Corps shall take steps to ensure that members of the review panel do not have any conflicts of interest or the appearance of such about the organizations whose applicants are under review
  • An individual shall be considered to have the appearance of a conflict of interest if that person, or that person’s spouse, partner, child, a close friend, or relative works for or is negotiating to work for or has a financial interest (including being an unpaid member of a Board of Directors) in any organization that applied currently under the panel’s review. Members of the panel shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favours, or anything of monetary value from parties to the awards.
  • The status of the application received, whether accepted or rejected, shall be communicated to all applicants within thirty (30) days. All Applications that meet the business skills and management training objectives requirements will be reviewed by the review panel.
  • Any selected applicants may then be invited to a further co-creation process to ensure the design fits the ERGF program needs.


  • Mercy Corps is interested in partnership with institutions, research centres, CSOs, consultant, entrepreneurship organisation registered with the CAC or a Public Sector Institution, present of tax clearance, previous experience working in rural communities in the aspect of financial literacy and numeracy, saving and loan groups, women leadership. Applicants must be Nigerian and licensed.

Information meeting

  • The information meeting will provide an opportunity for interested applicants to learn more about the opportunity and the process. Attendance at the information meeting is an optional requirement for applicants. If interested in participating, applicants should send an email requesting interest to participate in an information meeting to and a meeting will be organized for applicants individually or as a group and as appropriate.

Evaluation Criteria

Upon submission, the Mercy Corps will evaluate all applications using the following criteria:
Feasibility of design & Technical Approach:

  • Viability of the proposed technical approach (i.e., the proposed technical approach can reasonably be expected to produce the intended outcomes)

Impact on Target Group:

  • Does the approach correspond to the needs of the target groups (ginger farmers, women, processors, etc) and directly benefit them?
  • Ability to enable targeted farmers to earn reasonable and sustainable returns based on the proposed methodology

Management & Programmatic Capacity:

  • Ability to support farmers to demonstrate sustainable Business plan- business description, market analysis, business management plan, critical business risks and mitigations within the Ginger value chain.
  • Ability to support farmers to empower women, with evidence of past impact
  • Demonstrated ability to mobilize and work in Jaba, Kachia and Jema’a LGAs through available networks or existing presence.

Sustainability/Commercial viability:

  • Ability to build and strengthen the capacity of ginger farmers, clusters, or cooperatives.
  • Can the activity be sustained by the ginger farmers group beyond the project period?


  • Does the proposed activity incorporate a gender inclusive lens or represents a strong commitment to including women, youth, disabled, and other vulnerable groups as beneficiaries?

Past Performance:

  • Evidence of previous or ongoing experience implementing similar activities that relates to rural women business training and empowerment, saving, loans and cooperatives formation, women leadership (of note, past performance in relation to component selected)

Cost Efficiency:

  • Evidence of achieving the desired result with a reasonable cost compared to its competitors and other alternatives.
  • Costs will be evaluated in equal weight for cost-effectiveness and cost realism of the application.

Application Closing Date
7th July, 2023.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send in their training plan and proposal to capturing the below information:

  • Name of private company, Organization, Institution, Name and contact of focal person, office address, Registration type and Number of the company and description of what the company does.
  • Consultant(s) profile/CV, including details of academic and/or professional history
  • For the business and Financial inclusion approach:
    • Sample of business training plan and workshop templates (e.g., worksheets, business development proposal templates for participants, etc.) used at a previous training workshop.
    • Sustainable Agribusiness model/plan/concept for rural communities (focused on women-farmers).
  • For the women’s empowerment approach:
    • Sample of relevant training plan and templates
  • Proposed plan, any associated training model and modules, noting which components you are addressing
  • Clear description of sustainability of your training and how you will achieve scale and sustainability
  • What measurements you proposed to ensure your proposed action achieves the intended result
  • Project activity against a timeline (workplan) – based on activity proposed under Section II, Item 6.
  • Project Budget.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges.
  • We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
  • We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

  • We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.