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Call for consultants Sustainable and inclusive business models research

Call for consultants

Sustainable and inclusive business models research

July 2020

Brussels, Belgium

 

CONCORD, FTAO and Cooperatives Europe are seeking to recruit a consultant to conduct research and present the findings around EU and Member State support to sustainable and inclusive businesses.

CONCORD, FTAO and Cooperative Europe are equal opportunity employers and consider applicants for all positions without regard to race, colour, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status. All employment decisions are made entirely on merit. All qualified applicants are strongly encouraged to apply regardless of their national origin,  race, color, disabilities, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or age.

Background

CONCORD, FTAO and Cooperative Europe want to promote sustainable and inclusive business models as viable alternatives to conventional business models - putting people and the planet before profit in their successful economic undertakings. Companies of this type are driven by a social and environmental mission underpinned by values and directed by participatory decision-making and inclusive governance. The EU institutions and its Member States, in various domestic and external policy documents, committed to support such actors. CONCORD, FTAO and Cooperative Europe therefore would like to examine to what extent such support has been provided over recent years and could be provided best in the future.

Aims and objectives

Through its international partnerships and cooperation with other regions and countries of the world, the EU should help to reshape the economic system to the benefit of all, now and for generations to come. EU development cooperation, investments, trade and economic diplomacy should not only support social dialogue, decent working conditions, womens rights and well-designed life-cycle based, gender-sensitive universal social protection systems, but also sustainable and inclusive business models in partner countries. With this research, on the basis of which we will further elaborate a CONCORD report, we want to better understand to what extent the EU and Member States differentiate between conventional and sustainable and inclusive businesses and how and to what extent they support the latter. In addition, we would like to find out how the EU could best support sustainable and inclusive businesses in partner countries.

 

Methodology

Through desk research and in-depth interviews with a limited number of EU and Member State experts and sustainable and inclusive business leaders in partner countries, the consultant should:

  1. Assess whether the EU (incl.  EBRD and EIB) and Member States use criteria/indicators or categories to distinguish sustainable and inclusive businesses from other types of businesses, and whether these criteria are being applied in external policies, programmes and budgets.
  2. Collect evidence on recent and current EU and Member State support to sustainable and inclusive business models in partner countries - through development cooperation, investments, trade or economic diplomacy. Analyse how much development aid and investments targeted sustainable and inclusive businesses over recent years. Analyse whether the EUs investments in other types of businesses created unfair competition or had other negative impacts on sustainable and inclusive business models in selected sectors (e.g. agriculture or energy). Assess how the EU engages with partner governments on sustainable and inclusive business models in a few selected countries with strong public support for sustainable and inclusive businesses and in a few selected countries with a very hostile political or regulatory environment for sustainable and inclusive businesses.
  3. Assemble a list of (10) sustainable and inclusive business examples from the Global South suggested by CONCORDs members, the FTAOs network and the Cooperative network and search for (3) other inspirational types of businesses that are mission-driven and inclusively governed and (2) good examples of a sustainable and fair local or national supply chain. Draft for each of these a short description, on the basis of the desk research and (where possible) interviews, of who they are and what makes them sustainable and inclusive, what makes them stand out.
  4. Collect stories and examples as to how the EU can best support sustainable and inclusive business models through in-depth interviews with some of these sustainable and inclusive businesses, as well as with European Commission/EEAS and MS experts

 Deliverables

  1. Half way through the research, the consultant will share an update with the dedicated research task force on the first outcomes of the desk research and take into account possible feedback from the task force when proceeding with the research.
  2. A research report will be made available with the outcomes of the research into the different research questions and the detailed transcripts of the interviews will be provided by the 4th of September 2020.
  3. A presentation of the main findings will be given during a video conference to CONCORDs inequalities and sustainable economy workstream (ideally on the 7th of September).

 

Research details

Research tasks:

-          Phase 1:

-          conduct desk research on EU and Member State criteria/categories and support,

-          gather suggestions for good sustainable and inclusive business cases from CONCORD members, FTAO, Cooperatives and search for alternative types of businesses,

-          develop interview questions and send out (online/phone) interview requests to these sustainable and inclusive businesses,

-          develop interview questions and request relevant European and Member State experts for an online or phone interview

-          Phase 2:

-          conduct and transcribe the interviews,

-          bring together the findings of the desk research and interviews,

-          draft a report with the main findings,

-          present the findings to CONCORD, FTAO and Cooperative Europe.

 

Research questions

  1. Do the EU (including the EIB and EBRD) or its Member States have criteria, indicators and categories to distinguish sustainable and inclusive businesses from other businesses? If so, what are they and to what extent are they being used in EU external policies, programmes and funding?
  2. In which ways does the EU currently support sustainable and inclusive business models through its development cooperation, investments, trade and economic diplomacy? And how much of that support is being given in quantitative terms - in how many countries, for how much money, to how many businesses, with which impact, etc?
  3. Can you provide good practices of where the EU & selected Member States (e.g. Spain, Italy and France) have been able to provide support to sustainable and inclusive business models in partner countries? Good practices of how national governments (government agencies, ministries, International Financial Institutions, import-export agencies, government-funded organisations, etc) or the EU institutions (European Commission and EEAS in headquarters and in partner countries, EIB, etc) have supported the development of and trade with sustainable and inclusive business models through their external policies such as development cooperation, investments, trade or economic diplomacy. What have been the main drivers or obstacles for success?
  4. Can you give examples of a variety of sustainable and inclusive business models in partner countries, explain what makes them sustainable and inclusive and inform us of how they see the impact of the EU on their operations and how they believe the EU could support them?

 

Budget

Total consultancy budget: EUR 9,000 (+/- 15 working days).

 

Skills and Qualifications

The consultant is expected to have:

●        Experience in researching external action policies and support to the private sector in partner countries;

●        Clear understanding of EU development cooperation, investments and trade policies and programmes;

●        Clear understanding of the, EU institutional set up including the role and functioning of EU delegations;

●        Experience of policy analysis

●        Experience in conducting in-depth interviews

●        Experience in drafting a research report in clear and easily understandable English;

●        Knowledge of Spanish, Italian, Portuguese or French is an asset.

Indicative Timeline

17 August pm

Kick-off video call to clarify expectations

18 August

Start research

week of 24 August

present findings of desk research and next steps to research task force and integrate their feedback

4 September

Submit the research report to CONCORD, FTAO and Cooperative Europe

7 September pm

Present the findings of the research to CONCORD, FTAO and Cooperative Europe during a video call

 

Application procedure

Please send the following elements:

●        A CV outlining your relevant expertise for this assignment;

●        A short proposal (max 1 page) on how you will organise yourself to undertake the research       

●        Send your application by Sunday 2 August midnight Brussels time, to: lonne.poissonnier@concordeurope.org 

●        Please include CONCORD research consultant plus your name in the subject of the email.



 
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