1. Rationale

AKF Afghanistan (AKF (Afg)) is looking for an experienced and qualified Individual/firm (hereafter referred to as “consultant”) to conduct Rapid Market Appraisal and Value chain study under LITACA III project. The consultant should apply appropriate methodology and approach to conduct context analysis, market relevant data and in-depth analysis which should enable suggestions and recommendations for identifying potential products and services and selected products to identify the gaps, challenges, and solutions under this project. The report of analysis will be used to inform project interventions. The reports will be shared with donors and other relevant stakeholders in the form of presentation and narrative report. 

2. Project Background

LITACA project helps start-ups by providing equipment and supporting marketing, labelling, design, and export. The beneficiaries are small and medium farmers, agro-processors, handicrafts producers (individual and cooperatives), cooperatives, traders (wholesalers, retailers, small and medium size enterprises) in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The focus in on vulnerable women, unemployed youth, and people with disabilities.

This project will follow the two broad strategies 1) Creation of sustainable livelihoods and support on income increase, that is expected to support livelihoods that can cope with and recover from the stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance capabilities and assets both now and in the future without undermining the natural resource base. These services provided by LITACA include vocational training to improve the skills of farmers, entrepreneurs, migrants, disabled, unemployed young people and women with the aims to produce and trade goods that are in demand in the local markets. These groups will be more qualified to access employment opportunities that will have a positive effect on income and will form the basis for local economic growth, and. 2) Market creation for LITACA products and promoting cross-border cooperation, which is intended to build capacities of communities and local organizations to establish and maintain cross-border markets, cross-border forums, fairs, B2B meetings. Capacities, to develop and implement gender responsive campaigns related to cross-border dialogue will be strengthened. People living in these cross-border areas to have better access to larger markets for trade and more opportunities for partnerships to increase the value of local businesses and make communities in the region more resilient to insecurity and instability.

3. Objective

The overall objective of this assignments is to find out the potential products and services and selected products gaps and challenges through market appraisal and Value Chains study, to come up with strategies and interventions to ensure increased economic activity, market improvement, and market access for the beneficiaries of the project. In the provincial capitals and 9 districts of 4 target provinces (Balkh, Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan).

4. Main duties and responsibilities

• Review existing Value Chain Analyses and Market Assessments of agricultural and non-agricultural products and labour markets, and other relevant project documents.

• Draft an appropriate methodology for primary data collection and develop data collection tools (e.g. market survey, interviews with market actors, key informant interviews) that will be used to conduct the Market Assessment and Value Chain study (to be reviewed by AKF). The methodology should specifically consult, and identify opportunities for, women, men, youth and traders. 

• Plan and conduct a Market Assessment targeting each selected 9 districts, with close coordination of regional EI team, focusing on:

- Identify potential products and services

- identification of major local, regional and, if applicable, distant markets

- assessment of size of markets, volume of sales, market integration/segmentation

- local market structure and enabling environment (e.g. security issues or policies affecting market access)

- market actors (consumers, sellers, traders, middle-men, employers) behaviour

- procurement mechanisms, market requirements (standards, conditions for delivery) and prices, wage rates and employment conditions

- Other areas as identified by the methodology and data collection.

• A detail analysis of the selected value chains for each selected 9 districts to get a vivid picture of each value chain. This should include: 

- Value chain mapping that depicts the chain actors and their functions & inter relationship.

- Identify and examine constraints and opportunities within the selected value chains. 

- Analyse dynamics of processing and value creation, reward distribution, value chain governance and power relation structures and knowledge transfer.

- Identifying the key chain support services/extension services, financial services or secondary actors, their roles and services, the bottlenecks experience in accessing their services and existing gaps, challenges, and solution. 

- Providing statistical data on the economic potential of selected value chains, including annual production trends and its products, volumes of trade, market quality requirements, consumers and their perceptions, production costs, pricing, and packaging.

- Analyzing the overall business environment that facilitates regional, national cross-border market linkages.

- Examining policy and regulatory frameworks that negatively or positively impact selected value chains. 

- Identify the underlying policy, institutional, and infrastructural issues that affect the competitiveness of the selected value chains.

- Evaluate socio-cultural aspects of value chains, such as participation of women, men and youth, and marginalized groups.

- Prepare a list of selected value chains and submit a report elaborating the selection process of the shortlisted Value Chains. 

• Produce two separate high-quality report 1. Market appraisal Report, 2. Value chain study Report, which includes an executive summary and practical recommendations that can be used to inform AKF Economic Inclusion intervention in Badakhshan, Balkh, Kunduz and Takhar and ensure viability, appropriateness, and ultimately sustainability.

• Consultation with stakeholders and AKF (Afg) field staff. The consultant / firm shall conduct one stakeholder’s workshop in each of target provinces.

• Prepare a detailed strategic guideline including: 

- Key partnership opportunities, business development and training needs and opportunities. 

- How to integrate marginalized groups in selected value chains. 

- Policy issues and supporting information requirements.

- Review and recommend the project implementation plan for further improvements.

5. Work locations

The work will be managed mainly from Kabul, but require extensive travel to the following provinces and districts:

• Kunduz Province (Kunduz City, Imam Sahib, and Qala-e-Zal Districts).

• Takhar Province (Taliqan City, Yang-e-Qala, Dasht-e-Qala and Cha hap Districts).

• Badakhshan Province (Fiza abad City, Khawan, Shar-e-Bozorg Districts).

• Balkh Province (Mazar-e-Sharif City, Kaldar and Khulm Districts).


6. Deliverables

The key deliverables for these assignments are as below:

- Comprehensive inception report, outlining the methodology, tools, field plan, coordination and communication plan and risk matrix. 

- Enumerator recruitment and training 

- Quality assurance mechanism and routine catch up meetings with AKF to report on the progress. 

- Complete data set and data analysis, including any dashboard, graphs or diagram related to study. 

- Frist narrative report for AKF’s review

- Finalized reports including the data analysis, recommendations for each selected 9 districts. 

- To recommend interventions, in addition to vocational trainings, to enable the job seekers to get employment for each selected 9 district  

- Power point presentation of final report and findings for each selected 9 district to AKF NPO and regional joint meeting.

7. Methodology

The individuals/firms are expected to use and apply both quantitative and qualitative research methods as part of mixed research approaches. Both the quantitative and qualitative parts/approaches will need to be well elaborated on how practically to use/apply them in relation to the pre-defined assessment/study objective(s). Moreover, a matrix would also be useful to further illustrate the proposed research approaches against each indicator for the required nature of data. Furthermore, the related sampling approaches and methods would also need to be well-defined and proposed in the light of the proposed research methods and needed data for the set of pre-defined indicators. This may also further need a quick illustration of the proposed study tools where more indications may be needed to propose the required nature and number of both quant and qual research tools. Therefore, the assignment will include desk review, individual interviews, KIIs, FGDs and making use of secondary data available with other stakeholders including market actors.

8. Qualifications Required

- The consultant (if individuals apply) or the lead researcher (if consultancy firms apply) should have a PhD degree in qualitative research or relevant field and 3+ year experience or a master’s degree in qualitative research or relevant field with 5+ years’ experience.

- Demonstrate ability to write academic and research report in English. 

- At least 5 years of experience in the field of Monitoring, Evaluation and Research and having background in market analysis, labor market or economic research are preferred. 

- International work experience, preferably in Afghanistan.

- Good understanding of context, and representation in Afghanistan. 

- Demonstrate presences and access to Afghanistan and mentioned provinces. 

- Proven excellent communication skills.

- Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills.

- Cross-cultural sensitivity.

- Ability to live and work in a remote and challenging environment.

- Consultant must provide complete consultancy package and workplan with application.

9. Terms of Payment

The payment will be in three Instalment: 

First instalment 30% will be paid after the contract is signed, second instalment 30% will be paid after the draft report submitted and the third instalment 40% after the report has been indorsed by the Project manager.

10. Timeline / Work plan

The total number assignment days will be 35 days.

11. Reporting line

The consultant / firm will report to LITACA Project Manager and will consult the technical issues with AKF EI and MERL Units. 


Interested firms or individual should submit their proposal to no later than 10th August 2022. For more technical information and query please contact Mr. Vijay Rawat at: 

Important Points:

• Please quote the Vacancy Number as the Subject of the e-mail when applying. 

• Please submit the resume of responsible individual along with the company license when applying.

• Only short-listed proposals will be contacted for further assessment.

Female candidates are encouraged to apply. Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to equal opportunity and safeguarding of children, beneficiaries, partners, community members and employees in accordance with AKF(Afg)’s safeguarding policy. 

Your details and information shared on this advertisement shall remain confidential.


Date Posted: Jul 28, 2022 Closing Date: Aug 10, 2022
Type:Request for ProposalSector:Non-profit


Job Announcement. Consultancy.pdf