Job Information Request for Knowledge Products Consultancy NGO Information
Contact Name
Contact Email
Job Information
Contract Duration
Governorate Al Anbar
Job Shift
Nationality Not Applicable
Working Hours Full Time
Posted 2024-06-12
Minimum Education Bachelor Degree
Degree Title
Minimum Experience 5 Year
Required Travel
Job Status
No Of Jobs 1
Published Date 2024-06-12
Deadline Date 2024-07-05
[Heet,Ramadi,Fallujah,Iraq ]

Near East Foundation (NEF) Iraq

Request for Knowledge Products Consultancy


Application Deadline: 5 July 2024

Number of positions: 1


About NEF:


Since 2019, the Near East Foundation (NEF) has been active in Iraq, focusing on inclusive economic recovery. Collaborating with GIZ, NEF's Anbar Business & Workforce Advancement for Improved Living Conditions project targets Al Anbar Governorate, empowering local entrepreneurs with structured services like market assessments and training for 580 individuals. NEF provides tailored support, including coaching and financing, to 500 entrepreneurs. Siraj Centres, located within the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs vocational centres, offer vital resources, fostering social and economic empowerment. NEF strengthens livelihoods through peer networks, mentorship, and the Siraj Digital platform. This work complements other NEF-implemented work in partnership with GIZ, including micro-grants and loans to women-owned agribusinesses with low default rates and business management skills for MSMEs and prioritising support for women, youth, and people with disabilities business owners. NEF's commitment to entrepreneurship and resilience underscores its dedication to Iraqi communities' sustainable prosperity.

NEF seeks to deepen its understanding of the impact and effectiveness of its business support services offered to small business owners in Anbar, Iraq. This consultancy aims to explore the dynamics of NEF's interventions and generate insights that will drive future programming and policy recommendations.


  1. Assess impact of business support services: Evaluate how NEF’s structured business activation and support services have influenced businesses' operational, financial, and growth metrics.
  2. Analyse business financing methods and approaches: Analyse the outcomes of businesses that received financing as grants versus those that received a blended approach of grants and loans, identifying key factors influencing these results.
  3. Identify effective strategies to address socio-economic and cultural barriers: Investigate how socio-economic, cultural, and institutional factors affect the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Anbar and analyse strategies that have successfully mitigated or addressed those challenges business owners face.
  4. Explore opportunities to further support MSME growth: Identify current unique and concrete growth opportunities of MSMEs in Anbar that may not be the focus of past project interventions or are new opportunities for deepening or scaling up of interventions.

The consultant will undertake a systematic study to answer the following key questions, aimed at deepening our understanding through evidence and innovative approaches:

  1. Impact of business support services and financing strategies on business outcomes:
  • Q1: How did NEF’s delivery of structured business activation/support services impact business outcomes such as operation, profit, revenue, sales, and growth?
  • Q2: What differences exist between businesses that received only grants and those that received a blended approach of grants and loans, including analysis of push/pull factors, incentives, and demand/supply dynamics?
  1. Addressing challenges related to socio-economic, cultural, and institutional factors:
  • Q3: How do socio-economic, cultural, and institutional factors intersect to shape the unique challenges faced by small business owners in Anbar, particularly for women and youth, in terms of access to financial resources, market opportunities, social networks, and institutional support?
  • Q4: What strategies have proven effective in mitigating or addressing these challenges? This will include reviewing the success of current interventions and proposing modifications or new strategies based on observed outcomes.
  1. Identification of opportunities to further support MSME growth:
  • Q5: What are the current unique MSME growth opportunities in Anbar that were either not the focus of past project interventions or are new opportunities for deepening or scaling up of interventions?
  • Q6: Identify list of concrete opportunities for market or sector-specific interventions at enterprise level using rapid and low-cost interventions with a focus on underutilised sectors and demographics, such youth, people with disability, other agricultural sectors, and women-led non-agricultural sectors, including a climate and inclusion lens.


The consultant will propose a comprehensive approach encompassing:

  • Data Collection: The consultant will utilise qualitative and quantitative methods to gather data from a representative sample of business owners impacted by NEF programs. This will include surveys, interviews, and potentially focus groups to ensure a robust dataset. While the consultant will be responsible for directly gathering primary data linked to the above questions, NEF will also provide survey data and FGD/KII data collected from project beneficiaries to the consultant to bolster the overall depth and quality of the dataset to be used for the assessment.
  • Analysis: The consultant will conduct detailed analyses to assess the impact of interventions on business outcomes and evaluate the effectiveness of different types of financing support (grants vs. loans) and non-financial interventions. This sectorial and intervention/approach analysis will help to identify the critical factors that contribute to the business outcomes.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: The consultant will facilitate discussions with NEF staff, program beneficiaries, and other relevant stakeholders to validate the findings and gather additional insights. This engagement will also ensure that all parties' perspectives are considered when interpreting the data.


  1. Learning Paper Development:
  • Comprehensive Report: Develop a detailed report that synthesizes key insights and findings from the study. The outline of the report will be finalized in coordination with NEF staff. The report should articulate the evidence gathered, evaluate the effectiveness of different approaches, and assess the impacts on business outcomes. It should highlight effective strategies that have mitigated challenges faced by women small business owners in Anbar and discuss emergent or previously unaddressed needs in the MSME sector. The report must include a comparative analysis of different interventions, focusing on success factors, incentives, barriers, and growth opportunities.
  • Executive Summary: Provide a two-page executive summary that encapsulates the key findings and recommendations.
  • Beneficiary Profiles: Include 2-5 detailed beneficiary profiles that offer in-depth insights into the experiences of MSMEs.
  • Technical Features: Prepare 2-4 one-page or two-page technical briefs that highlight key aspects of the interventions.
  • Presentation: Create a presentation that summarizes the key findings, recommendations, and comparative analysis.
  • Stakeholder Briefings: Conduct briefings for NEF stakeholders, including the preparation of fact sheets, one-page or two-page technical briefs, success stories, and beneficiary profiles.
  1. Proposals for New Areas of Intervention:
  • Detailed Proposals: Identify and propose new areas for intervention, focusing on previously underutilized or underdeveloped sectors and needs. This should include detailed proposals for potential new interventions based on the study’s findings.
  • Growth Opportunities: Identify growth opportunities and provide recommendations for future projects by listing at least 5 concrete opportunities for market or sector-specific interventions at micro and small enterprise level. Proposed interventions backed by reliable data should be rapid and low-cost with a focus on underutilised sectors and demographics, such youth, people with disability, other agricultural sectors, and women-led non-agricultural sectors, with a climate and inclusion lens.
  • By addressing these specific questions and deliverables, the consultancy will provide NEF with actionable insights and data-driven recommendations. These insights can be used to scale up successful interventions and explore new areas for development. This targeted approach will enhance the effectiveness of NEF's programming for women entrepreneurs in Anbar.

Level of Effort (LoE)

Given the time-sensitive nature of this project, the consultant will propose a Level of Effort (LoE) up to 60 working days to complete the specified deliverables. The provided LoE is indicative; NEF will agree on the specific LoE and/or pricing for each deliverable in advance to ensure timely and effective completion of the tasks. The consultant is requested to provide a detailed breakdown of the proposed LoE along with associated pricing, considering the urgency and scope of the work outlined. This breakdown will facilitate NEF's planning and allocation of resources to meet the project's objectives within the stipulated time frame.


Qualifications & Preferred Skills


  • Strong knowledge of development and humanitarian issues, preferably with relevant technical expertise.
  • Ability to articulate messages clearly.
  • Ability to produce exceptional-quality written materials for publication.
  • Ability to work in a high-pressure work environment and meet urgent deadlines.
  • Ability to respond positively to critical feedback and differing points of view.



  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience in humanitarian or development programming, specifically focusing on communications and external representation for international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) or international organisations.
  • Demonstrated experience in publishing high-quality articles, research papers, and reports, particularly in the fields of economic empowerment, gender issues, or small business development.
  • Proven ability to utilize modern media technologies and social media platforms effectively for public information campaigns and advocacy initiatives.
  • Extensive experience in engaging with institutional donors such as the European Union and United States Government, as well as corporate stakeholders and private foundations, particularly in contexts related to humanitarian or development aid.


Language Skills

  • Fluency in written and spoken English. Arabic language is an advantage.
How To Apply

How to Apply:

Application Deadline: July 5, 2024

Please apply by submitting a technical proposal responding to the objectives and deliverables mentioned above to accompany the CV, writing samples, and an indication of remuneration expectations to the Near East Foundation Careers page at: 


Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The consultant is requested to provide a detailed breakdown of the proposed LoE along with associated pricing, considering the urgency and scope of the work outlined. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; NEF reserves the right of conducting interviews before the closing date and can close the advertisement earlier in case of finding a suitable candidate.


Kindly note only finalists will be contacted.


Please note this is a Consultancy Service arrangement and benefits will not be provided.



Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Near East Foundation and its affiliates by visiting the NEF website (

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