RFP-IRQ-TAF-2024-002- Consultancy for Capacity development of Women Cooperatives in Sinjar and Baaj

Terms of Reference (TOR)


Assessing and Capacity development of Women Cooperatives in Sinjar and Baaj

  1. Who is the Danish Refugee Council?

Founded in 1956, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is a leading international NGO and one of the few with a specific expertise in forced displacement. Active in 40 countries with 9,000 employees and supported by 7,500 volunteers, DRC protects, advocates, and builds sustainable futures for refugees and other displacement affected people and communities. DRC works during displacement at all stages: In the acute crisis, in displacement, when settling and integrating in a new place, or upon return. DRC provides protection and life-saving humanitarian assistance; supports displaced persons in becoming self-reliant and included into hosting societies; and works with civil society and responsible authorities to promote protection of rights and peaceful coexistence.

  1. Purpose of the consultancy

The Danish Refugee Council based in Iraq is seeking proposals to engage external consultants with expertise in cooperative capacity assessment and development. The cooperatives are run by women in the area of Sinjar and Baaj and the purpose is to assess the area of the cooperative established and design comprehensive training materials tailored for women entrepreneurs who run cooperatives in the agricultural sector. The goal is to equip them with practical tools, strategies, and resources to overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and achieve sustainable business growth. The materials will be gender-sensitive, and culturally appropriate, and cover various topics including market research, financial management, marketing, legal compliance, and networking. The consultants will conduct a needs assessment, develop a detailed curriculum with practical expertise and case studies, provide trainer guidelines, and establish evaluation methods. The overall aim is to empower women entrepreneurs and contribute to an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.

  1. Background


Under the objective strengthen the economic resilience of conflict affected households through community-led initiatives for recovery, support for economic sectors with the potential for sustainable growth, and social cohesion in Sinjar, al-Ba’aj and Mosul districts of Ninewa Governorate, DRC will support the establishment of two women’s cooperatives (four in total) within the livestock and agriculture sub-sectors. DRC anticipates that each cooperative will include approximately five women (20 women total). DRC will train these cooperatives on production, processing, and marketing strategies, and they will be supported financially to launch the cooperative’s functions. DRC has identified the need for cooperatives dedicated to women to further enhance their successful participation in the market, as they face additional barriers to access existing networks such as farmers unions and labor associations, in comparison with men. In these established cooperatives, women will be organized with defined management and operational roles to launch and run cooperative activities. The role of these cooperatives is to start joint businesses which support the functioning of other individual businesses related to agriculture and livestock sector, with specific focus on individual women’s led businesses. Some examples of the functions expected to be performed by these cooperatives include, establishing small scale processing units, collective buying and selling services, establishing collective marketing platforms, etc. however, the actual functions will be based on thorough consultation with women and through detailed business planning process. Women in these cooperatives will be trained on business and financial management (BFMT) with continuous coaching throughout the period of establishing and running the cooperatives. Each cooperative will be provided with financial support of 10,000 USD based on the business plan submitted by cooperative members. Considering the barriers women entrepreneurs face in running successful enterprises, establishing women’s cooperatives will contribute to solving some of the issues which block their access to markets, like cultural unacceptance for women to deal with male marketing agent/buyer.

After establishing women’s cooperatives, DRC will engage an external consulting company to enhance the capacity of these cooperatives in both locations. The consultant will collaborate closely with the cooperatives, local communities, and stakeholders in the Sinjar, Baaj, Talafer, and Mosul areas. Their primary objective will be to create a comprehensive development action plan for each cooperative. This plan will include training sessions for the cooperatives on expanding their capacity in importing and exporting products and services. Additionally, the consultant will define a facilitation plan that will help connections between the cooperatives and individual producers of agricultural and livestock goods across the Sinjar and Baaj area. Furthermore, efforts will be made to link the cooperatives with larger markets in Talafer, Mosul, and potentially Duhok and Erbil. The consultant will deliver a well-defined plan and capacity-building strategies to achieve the specified goals and scope.

  1. Objective of the consultancy

The objective that consultant should look for how to empower women cooperatives by providing them with essential skills, case studies, strategies, knowledge, and resources. Through training materials, we aim to support women entrepreneurs, boost their confidence, facilitate informed decision-making, and enable the expansion of their agricultural cooperatives. Ultimately, the goal is to assess the agricultural resources in the Baaj and Sinjar regions and identify how women’s cooperative entrepreneurs can access and leverage these resources to enhance their market coverage. The consultant can approach this research and capacity development through, Resource Assessment by evaluate available agricultural resources in Baaj and Sinjar, linkage Strategies and to explore ways to connect women cooperatives with these resources and finally Develop targeted training materials based on the findings and train the women cooperatives on those findings. Breaking down the objectives that conslutant should be more precise in its reseacrh and findings its expected to work around the following outlines:

  1. Resource Assessment:
  • Begin by conducting a comprehensive assessment of the available agricultural resources in the Baaj and Sinjar regions. This assessment should cover aspects such as soil quality, water availability, climate conditions, and existing crops.
  • Collaborate with local agricultural experts, government agencies, and research institutions to gather accurate data on the resources. Consider factors like arable land, crop diversity, and livestock.
  1. Mapping Resources:
  • Create detailed maps that highlight the distribution of resources. Using certain freandly use tools to visualize the agricultural landscape, including crop zones, water sources, and potential areas for expansion.
  • Identify key agricultural products specific to the region. This could include staple crops, fruits, vegetables, and livestock.
  1. Women’s Cooperatives Engagement:
  • Engage with existing cooperatives in the area. Understand their current activities, challenges, and aspirations.
  • Collaborate with these cooperatives to identify their specific needs and preferences. Are they interested in crop cultivation, livestock rearing, or value-added processing.
  • To evaluate and assess the skills and knowledge needed to be developed and delivered to the women cooperaitive though proper trainings.
  1. Market Linkages and access:
  • To explore and find out how the cooperatives can enter the market and expand their marketing to their prodiucts at area level and abrod
  • Channels of of
  • Explore ways to connect women’s cooperatives with broader markets. This could involve:
  • Establishing direct links with local consumers, restaurants, and hotels.
  • Participating in regional or national agricultural fairs and exhibitions.
  • Leveraging digital platforms for online sales.
  • Collaborating with wholesalers and distributors.
  • Encourage value addition through processing (e.g., making jams, pickles, or dried fruits) to enhance product diversity and marketability.
  1. Networking and Partnerships:
  • Facilitate networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Encourage collaboration among cooperatives and with other stakeholders.
  • Partner with NGOs, development agencies, and private sector organizations to provide support, mentorship, and access to resources.
  1. Policy Advocacy:
  • Advocate for policies that promote gender equality in agriculture. Encourage local authorities to recognize and support women’s cooperatives.
  • Highlight the economic and social benefits of empowering women in agriculture.
  1. Capacity Building: Based on the consultant’s findings, the conslutant will create customized training materials. These materials will then be used to conduct training sessions for the women cooperatives. The goal is to empower them with the knowledge and skills needed for sustainable business growth.

As we aim to sustainable development, the consultant requires a holistic approach research, considering environmental, social, and economic factors. By empowering women entrepreneurs and leveraging local resources, we can create a thriving agricultural ecosystem in Baaj and Sinjar.

  1. Scope of Work and Methodology

The material’s aim is to empower women cooperative entrepreneurs through a needs assessment to identify their challenges and open them for opportunities that should come through the research which should include case studies, practical exercises, and guidelines for effective training delivery. The specific tasks and deliverables expected from the service provider including;

Conduct needs assessment to identify the specific challenges and requirements faced by women entrepreneurs / cooperatives in Sinjar and Baaj.

Develop a detailed curriculum and training materials covering various aspects of business develoment including but not limited to marketing, financial management, market research and characteristics of successfully women entrepreneurs.

Ensure the mterials are designed to the needs and preferences of women entrepreneurs, taking into account cultural and socio economic factors.

Develop all the tools and handouts of the training with the new curriculum. Improve clarity and relevant for women cooperatives in Sinjar and Baaj

The conslutant should use desk review approach for the existing resources of reports, market assessment, livelihood assessment or any other needed materials. Also the conslutant has to conduct KII with relevant stakeholders and beneficiaries such as government actors, NGOs, cooperatives, farmers…ect to enhance the quanititaive data which should be collected through servey tools by meeting community samples.

  1. Deliverables

As per the Scope of Work, the service provider is not expected to develop the deliverables in complete isolation. Any workplan should also show regular update meetings with DRC project manager for QA/workplan updates.

  1. Duration, timeline, and payment

The Consultancy period initially is expected to be full-time. The estimated LOE is 34 days starting Mid -July with all work to have been completed by end of Aug 2024

The applicant needs to provide tentative schedule of activities required to complete the overall scope of the work. The service provider can revise the workplan and LOE based on the project team they propose and experience in delivering projects of this nature with justification. Any workplan will be expected to provide the same Deliverables as a minimum. The applicant is invited to make suggest amendments to the workplan and activities with justification to the value-add to the programme and quality of the deliverables.

All proposals will need to articulate whether ongoing remote mentorship support after this consultancy is a service they can provide in support of their proposal application although this will not affect the overall submission scoring.

  1. Eligibility, qualification, and experience required


Applicant, organizations/institutes or firms, with individuals specialized and highly experts in researches and business development starteigies with proven experience of deisgning work of training materials.

The proposal must include a team of at least three lead members, with at least one being a female staff member. Each lead member should hold a Master’s or Ph.D. degree. The bidder will determine the final team size based on the project timeline. This assignment requires strong technical expertise and practical experience to deliver the scope of work and tailored deliverables aligned with the needs and professional capacities of the target group. The service provider should meet these qualifications


  • Demonstrated understanding of the methodology, action plan and requested deliverables, all important components of the ToR are sufficiently addressed.
  • Demonstrated expertise: te service provider should have proven track record of expertise in conducting researches, developing training materials and resources for entrepreneurship, cooperatives and business development. They should provide previous successful projects in this field.
  • Workplan: the porvided workplan shouldn`t go beyond 31- Aug – 2024.
  • Expereince with women entrepreneurs: the service provider should have specific experience in designing and/or delivering programs designed for women entrepreneurs by providing copy of past contracts with the techincal proposal.
  • The service provider has the authorization to work in Federal Iraq and Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI).


  • Individuals with a minimum Master’s degree in business management, economic development, social-sciences, development studies or equivalent relevant experience (a Bachelor’s degree will suffice if significant work experience provided in substitute for the lead team)


  • A minimum of 3 years of proven experience in conducting researches and developing training amterials and programs. They should have evidence of their past acheivements and the positive impact of their work.

Skills and knowledge:

The service provider delops the training materials for women entrepreneeurs should have relevant skills and knowledge including:

Curriculum design: proficiency in designing structured curriculum that cover essential busienss development aspects.

Content development: strong writing and cntent development skills to create engaging, useful and user friendly training materials, inclduing presentations, handouts, worksheets and case studies.

Training delivery: expertise in developing training methods and interactive exercises to enhance the learning expereince for women entrepreneeurs.

Language requirements:

  • Written and spoken fluency in English
  • Working knowledge of Arabic is an advantage

Desirable (not essential):

  • Familiarity with the local context, cultural norms in Iraq Sinjar and Baaj added value.
  1. Technical Supervision & Quality Assurance

The service provider will work directly with the following DRC Team members on the programme:

  1. Iraq Economic Recovery Project Managers for field level information and field work
  2. Iraq economic recovery technical coordinator for the work quality and assurance.
  3. Iraq northern area manager for the work quality approval.
  4. Location and support

The research will be conducted in Sinjar and Baaj area where are the cooperatives established there.

  1. Travel

Following travels will be required for this assignment:

  • Field work will be required specially for the needs assessment.
  • All other activities could be supported remotely

The service provider will provide their own computer and mobile telephone. For work in-country and field work in area of assignment, DRC will not provide the transportation, lodging, and other field and logistics arrangements.

The service provider will cover cost of international travel, insurance, in country food and transport cost for personal use. Therefore, service providers are expected to make adequate provision of these cost in the financial proposal.

  1. Submission process

Refer to the invitation to bid.

  1. Evaluation of bids

Refer to the invitation to bid. Only those shortlisted will be contacted for an interview with the panel to ensure their understanding of the required services. (optional).

How to apply

The interested bidders can retch to email address procurement.north.iraq

Please, follow the below steps for the offline and online bid submission.

Email submission

Bids can be submitted by email to the following dedicated, controlled, & secure email address: tender.irq.mos@drc.ngo

When Bids are emailed, the following conditions shall be complied with:

  • The RFP number shall be inserted in the Subject Heading of the email
  • Separate emails shall be used for the ‘Financial Bid’ and ‘Technical Bid’, and the Subject Heading of the email
    • shall indicate which type the email contains
      • The financial bid shall only contain the financial bid,
      • The technical bid shall contain all other documents required by the tender, but excluding all pricing information
  • Bid documents required, shall be included as an attachment to the email in PDF, JPEG, TIF format, or the same type of files provided as a ZIP file. Documents in MS Word or excel formats, will result in the bid being disqualified.
  • Email attachments shall not exceed 4MB; otherwise, the bidder shall send his bid in multiple emails.

    – Hard Copy:

    Hard copy Bids shall be separated into ‘Financial Bid’ and ‘Technical Bid’:

  • The Financial bid shall only contain the financial bid.
  • The Technical bid shall contain all other documents required by the tender as mentioned in section A. Administrative Evaluation, but excluding any pricing information

Each part shall be placed in a sealed envelope, marked as follows:

RFP No.: RFP-IRQ-TAF-2024-002- Consultancy for Capacity development of Women Cooperatives in Sinjar and Baaj

Technical bid

Bidder Name:

RFP No.: RFP-IRQ-TAF-2024-002- Consultancy for Capacity development of Women Cooperatives in Sinjar and Baaj

Financial bid

Bidder Name:

Both envelopes shall be placed in an outer sealed envelope, addressed, and delivered to:

RFP No.: RFP-IRQ-TAF-2024-002- Consultancy for Capacity development of Women Cooperatives in Sinjar and Baaj

DRC Office, Tal-AfarTal Afar District / AL-Kefah AL-Janobi Airport Street Bidder Name:

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