Request for Proposals Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project in Ukraine Final Assessment

World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU)
  • Location
    Remote and Kyiv (potentially Western/Central), Ukraine
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
    Jun-09-2024
  • Posted
    Jun 03

Position description

Request for Proposals 
Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project in Ukraine Final Assessment


Program: World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), Credit for Agriculture Producers Project (CAP) in Ukraine

Timeframe: Anticipated June 17 – August 16, 2024

Deadline to Submit Questions: June 5, 2024, 5 pm EST to [email protected]

Submission Deadline: June 9, 2024; no later than 11:59 pm EST

Submit Proposals to: [email protected] 

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Description of Services:

World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is seeking a consultant/firm to conduct a final assessment of the USAID-funded CAP Project in Ukraine, with a focus on implementation during wartime and a road map for ongoing development of credit unions and a rural financial system that serves underserved Ukrainian micro and small enterprises to support recovery and rebuilding in Ukraine.

Background: 

Since its inception in 2016, the Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) project, funded by USAID and implemented by WOCCU, have contributed to revitalize the credit union sector in Ukraine by creating a more transparent legal and regulatory framework for credit union operations in Ukraine to both promote growth and reduce risks, while improving access to rural and agricultural finance in rural areas. Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, CAP continued to work with the credit union sector, and in February 2023, USAID provided CAP with an 18-month extension—until September 2024—to support Ukraine credit unions in wartime. In July 2023, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted the new Law on Credit Unions, which took effect in January 2024. Under the new law, credit unions have opportunities to expand lending to a new segment of legal entities, including micro and small enterprises[1]—previously unable to be served by credit unions—and to provide other types of financial services if qualified, including currency exchange and certain types of payment services, among other changes.[2]

CAP objectives include:

  1. Credit unions operate in an improved enabling environment to support early recovery.
  2. Credit unions expand digitalized financial services for MSMEs.
  3. Credit unions have increased liquidity.
  4. Credit unions expand their agriculture and rural MSMEs finance portfolio.

Overview of Scope of Work: 

As the CAP Project comes to a close in September 2024, CAP is seeking a consultant to conduct a final assessment of project interventions focused on implementation during the full-scale invasion of Russia in Ukraine (since Feb 24, 2022). The purpose of this assessment is to generate knowledge about CAP’s implementation during this period to capture outcomes and develop a road map for ongoing development of credit unions and a rural financial system to meet the needs of members, focusing on its new segment of micro and small enterprises, in support of recovery and rebuilding in Ukraine.

The assessment will review the effectiveness of project approaches, examine the extent to which the project achieved its intended results during wartime, and analyze key learnings derived from implementation challenges and successes. This will include a review of credit union data to support increased analysis of success factors and/or challenges per implementation of interventions across the credit unions.

Applying lessons from CAP implementation, within the context of the wider opportunities per the new Law on Credit Unions as well as the more stringent regulatory requirements, the road map will outline next steps needed for credit unions to reach and serve more Ukrainians interested in expanding or starting enterprises in Ukraine in wartime. This requires an understanding of the evolving needs of rural and agricultural micro and small enterprises in wartime, including those led by women, veterans and relocated and returnee populations.

Specific tasks of the consultancy include:

  • Assess to what extent the CAP project achieved its objectives and targets since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine starting in February 2022, and to what extent intervention results and outcomes are sustainable and likely to continue beyond the end of the project.
    • This includes a review of adaptations made during wartime, and implementation of the Liquidity Fund in coordination with the USAID-funded Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Credit Union Liquidity Activity (per CAP Objective 3).[3]
  • Capture key learnings, including challenges and successes to inform the road map for ongoing development of the credit union sector in support of rebuilding and recovery in Ukraine, per a focus on CAP objectives, and in light of the new Law on Credit Unions.
  • Conduct key informant interviews with a representative group of CAP partners across objectives to help identify successful and sustainable project interventions and outcomes.
  • Design data collection methodologies and tools and conduct data collection from a sample of credit union members who benefitted from CAP-assisted activities, with a focus on rural and agricultural micro and small enterprises – both in person and remote. Include questions to assess:
    • The improvement in value delivered by project-assisted credit unions to better meet the needs of their members, especially rural and agricultural micro, and small enterprises.
    • The impact of the project, especially as a result of agri-lending, on entrepreneurs’ economic performance, including growth in sales, new jobs generated, adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices, and new business linkages.
  • Identify and prioritize critical needs of members, particularly rural and agricultural micro, and small enterprises, since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
    • Provide recommendations to the credit union sector to improve credit union capacity to expand their reach, products, and service delivery channels, including through digital solutions.
  • Identify potential for collaboration with new stakeholders to support in further development of credit unions, to expand on CAP objectives.
  • On the demand side, conduct a regional mapping of stakeholders and provide relevant examples for potential opportunities for collaboration to increase outreach and improve support to underserved rural and agricultural micro and small enterprises, including through the provision of business development services.

 Deliverables: 

  • Final assessment plan—to include assessment methodology (including sampling approach, proposed data collection and analysis tools and approaches) to be carried out and work plan with detailed timeline.
  • Mapping of relevant stakeholders and contacts.
  • Interview guidelines and questions.
  • Interview notes and/or transcripts.
  • Analysis of data by credit unions to inform assessment.
  • Final assessment report (approximately 20 pages)—to include summary of findings from the assessment of CAP implementation during wartime, and roadmap for ongoing development of credit unions and a rural financial system that serves underserved Ukrainian micro and small enterprises to support recovery and rebuilding in Ukraine.
  • Findings and recommendations are to be disaggregated by gender and age as possible, and to include specific consideration to veterans and relocated and returnee populations.
  • Summary of road map (PPT slides in Ukrainian and English) to share with Ukrainian credit union partners.

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[1] New groups that can be served under credit unions now include farms, cooperatives, trade unions, religious organizations, associations of co-owners of apartment buildings and apartment housing cooperatives, and micro-enterprises.

[2] The new Law on Credit Unions also expands the ways credit unions raise capital, including through subordinated debt;  establishes a requirement for stabilization and liquidity support funds for credit unions at the UCU level; improves procedures for credit union mergers, acquisitions, and other voluntary reorganizations; and increases the compliance functions of UCUs to monitor credit union activities.

[3] The Liquidity Fund was initiated with a USD 1 million investment from USAID and is used specifically to disburse loans to agricultural MSMEs. Since the beginning of the war, the Liquidity Fund has issued 1,051 agribusiness loans via 19 credit unions for a total of UAH 77.53 million (approx. USD 2.72 million).

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, business administration, or related field is required.
  • Minimum 6 years of relevant and progressive work experience in access to finance, financial inclusion, and investment, preferably in the agriculture sector.
  • Must have experience working with financial institutions or private sector investors in Ukraine; knowledge of the credit union sector in Ukraine required.
  • Understanding of the financing needs/considerations of the MSME market.  
  • Ability to develop innovative and creative financing solutions to catalyze private capital.
  • Must have the ability to travel to/within Ukraine.
  • Must have experience in designing and carrying out evaluations, including data collection through surveys, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions, in different settings, preferably in emergency contexts.
  • Fluency in Ukrainian and English is required.

Application instructions

Qualified candidates must submit the following information. Only complete applications will be considered: 

  1. Executive summary detailing relevant work experience and qualifications for this assignment, including CV(s) of proposed key personnel.
  2. Proposed approach and schedule/timeline of services (estimated level of effort for the assignment is 20 business days, pending work plan developed in coordination with the selected consultant/firm)
  3. Budget for proposed services, disaggregated by categories, and including proposed rate indicated in daily format.

Should your application be selected for consideration, WOCCU will request contact information for 2-3 references. 

Both firms and individual consultants are welcome to apply.

Submission Instructions

Application materials should be submitted via email with the subject line “CAP Final Assessment” to [email protected]. Bidders must include all relevant materials within your proposal. Failure to do so may result in the disqualification of your proposal. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact [email protected].

Deadline to Submit Application: June 9, 2024; 11:59 pm EST

Disclaimer

This bid solicitation in no way obligates World Council of Credit Unions to award a contract, nor does it commit World Council of Credit Unions to pay any costs incurred in the preparation and submission of the application. World Council of Credit Unions reserves the right to vary any part of this bid solicitation at the time of award if it becomes necessary.