International Consultancy to conduct research on the state of play of women small-scale cross-border traders between Benin, Ghana and Togo

In Africa, small-scale cross-border trade (SSCBT) is widespread, with academics estimating that its volume at times exceeds formal trade flows for certain commodities. It is a significant driver in local economies, which constitutes the livelihoods of millions of Africans, many of whom are women. SSCBT plays an important role in generating income for cross-border communities, contributing to poverty alleviation, job creation and food security, as well as transforming borders into areas of cooperation and catalysts of growth, as envisaged in the African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation adopted in 2014 (also known as the Niamey Convention). SSCBT also contributes to regional economic growth and development within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African continent in general.

While many economies in West Africa rely on this sector, SSCBT remains an area that has not been sufficiently supported through adequate policy research and responses, with a view to unleashing sustainable development outcomes, especially with regards to women traders who represent a significant proportion of the sector’s traders. There is a gap in understanding the needs of women involved in SSCBT across the continent, including between countries along the Abidjan-Lagos corridor which supports approximately 75 percent of trade activities in the sub-region and is home to over 70 million people.

To address this gap, IOM Ghana is recruiting a consultant to lead the research in understanding the state of play of women in SSCBT between Benin, Ghana and Togo. The research will focus on the Aflao (Ghana) – Kodjoviakope (Togo) and Sanveecondji (Togo) – Hillacondji (Benin) border crossing points, and lead to the production of a report with three sections, one for each country.

Performance indicators for the evaluation of results

  • An inception report laying out the proposed methodological approach and workplan for the research.
  • A comprehensive and gender-sensitive report on The State of Play of Women SSCBTs between Benin, Ghana and Togo is produced, with three sections – one for each country.
  • In accordance with the above, each section will consist of four chapters: 1) a desk review of trade governance, including relevant laws and regulations focusing on women’s rights; 2) a labour market assessment focusing on women participation; 3) a stakeholder mapping relevant to female SSCBT (e.g. including health and social services, welfare, access to financial services, trade facilitation, etc.); and 4) an identification of challenges and opportunities with corresponding recommendations for policy and community actions. The report will also include an introduction, methodological overview and conclusion that speak to the entirety of the research.
  • Summary of the report findings in a PowerPoint presentation format.
  • Present the draft report to relevant stakeholders during three national consultations, one in each of Benin, Ghana and Togo.
  • Present the validated report at a regional on consultation in Ghana.

Education, Experience and/or skills required

  • Advanced University degree in Trade, Migration Studies, Development Studies, Economics, International Relations, Law, or a related field;
  • A minimum of ten years of experience in the field of trade, development, migration, or a related field, with a demonstrable experience in informal cross-border trade;
  • Experience and knowledge of the gender dynamics of trade;
  • Experience in designing and conducting qualitative and quantitative research, with skills in data review and analysis;
  • Proven experience in producing quality reports in English and/or French;
  • Excellent oral communication and writing skills;
  • Strong communication capacities;
  • Fluency in English and French is required.
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • Knowledge of the socio-economic, cultural and political context of Benin, Ghana and Togo is an advantage;
  • Knowledge of the labour migration context in West and Central Africa is an advantage.

Travel required

Travel between Benin, Ghana and Togo as and when needed



  • Inclusion and respect for diversity: respects and promotes individual and cultural differences; encourages diversity and inclusion wherever possible.
  • Integrity and transparency: maintains high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.
  • Professionalism: demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.

Core Competencies – behavioural indicators

  • Teamwork: develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.
  • Delivering results: produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner; is action-oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.
  • Managing and sharing knowledge: continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.
  • Accountability: takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own action and delegated work.
  • Communication: encourages and contributes to clear and open communication; explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.

How to apply

All details about this International Consultancy, including the Terms of Reference (TORs), can be found on the IOM Ghana website, here.

Interested candidates should sent their application including all documents as stated in the TORs, to by 17 August 2023, indicating in the subject of the email “SSCBT Research Consultancy Application”

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