Consultant - Women and Youth Empowerment Microfinance Due Diligence - South Sudan / Remote
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future. Mercy Corps began programming in Sudan in 1985, and has been operating in states of what is now South Sudan since 2005; Operations have continued since the independence of South Sudan in 2011. We have been working to meet people’s immediate needs, and with communities, to build local capacity and promote economic development, especially with the eruption of violence in December 2013. Mercy Corps South Sudan works aims at addressing a number of interrelated needs within a range of activities including livelihoods, peace building, agriculture, water and sanitation, health and nutrition, financial access and economic development. Mercy Corps applies a broad and integrated approach to address challenges to product and service availability, access and utilization among communities of intervention to integrate targeted assistance for the immediate needs of critically vulnerable populations with a larger strategic focus on market facilitation that promotes long-term systemic change while working through strategic partnerships to realize scale and impact of programs.
Purpose / Project Description
Mercy Corps with funding from SDC is implementing a 2-year STREAM project in partnership with AYA (Active Youth Agency) NNGO and WOYE an existing private financial service provider. The Project is implemented in Mundri East, Mundri West and Koch Counties in South Sudan. The STREAM (Strengthening Resilience in Agriculture, Livelihoods, and Markets through Local Institutions in Mundri and Koch Counties) project aims to improve wellbeing of 6,350 Vulnerable households, girls, boys, women and men through use of skills, knowledge and facilitate an enabling environment through Resilience and early market recovery approaches support to Cooperative societies, producers groups (farmers), Self-help groups, Apiary groups, lulu groups, youth groups, existing traders and local government structures
Women and Youth Empowerment Microfinance (WOYE): WOYE was originally established in 1991 as a savings and credit component of Mundri Relief and Development Association (MRDA), a local NGO that provided relief assistance to war affected population of Mundri County, Western Equatoria State. In July 2009, WOYE became a government registered MFI offering three loan products through a door-to-door service delivery approach, which contributed to the institution’s significant growth with active client base of 1,625 individuals in 2011 to 3,242 individuals in May 2015. However, due to the outbreak of war in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State in 2015, WOYE’s operations were seriously affected. Currently, WOYE has a total client base of 1,200 and active clients of about 200 in the branch offices of Yambio and Mundri respectively.
The overarching objective of the assignment is to determine the current capacity of WOYE and the most effective forms of support that should be provided in the short and medium terms to enable it to revive and achieve its objectives and to serve the community effectively and efficiently. The key deliverables will be
- An appraisal of WOYE
An appraisal of WOYE will be undertaken to understand the vision, direction, health, and stage of development of WOYE. This appraisal report should cover all key areas including:
- An overview summarizing WOYE’s vision and mission, organizational strengths and weaknesses, and macroeconomic, political, and other external factors.
- An analysis of the external environment including the regulatory environment and the formal and informal financial services sectors
- A description of the institution, including WOYE’s legal status, ownership and governance, organizational structure, regulation and supervision, management, external relationships, human resource management, information and communications technology, information availability and quality, internal controls, and external auditing
- An analysis of WOYE’s products, including savings, lending, and financial and nonfinancial products.
- An assessment of WOYE’s social performance, assessing how well WOYE translates its social goals into practice, looking at systems, outreach, and potential for achieving impact.
- A review of WOYE’s loan portfolio quality, reviewing how WOYE measures, monitors, and manages its loan portfolio, including delinquency and write-offs.
- An analysis of WOYE’s financial performance and risk management, analyzing WOYE’s financial performance, risk management, and financial ratios
- An evaluation of WOYE’s business planning, evaluating WOYE’s strategic and business planning processes and financial projections
- Strategic vision and business plan
Based on this appraisal, a 3-5 year strategic vision and business plan will be developed to describe key strategic goals and how these will be achieved, with realistic goals and projections. The business plan will cover all the key areas within WOYE, including:
- Potential markets and appropriate products and services
- Human resources, including structure and staff capacity development
- Credit policies and procedures and internal control systems
- Management Information Systems and future digital opportunities
- Infrastructure development
- Institutional targets for key indicators and projected financial statements
- Key risks and how these should be addressed
- Financial resources needed to achieve these targets, an identification of funding requirements and a supporting funding strategy
- Activity plan
In order to start to operationalize the business plan, an activity plan will be created covering the first 12 months of the business plan. By reflecting the current status and capacity of WOYE, the plan will describe the activities that need to be completed to achieve the objectives in the business plan.
The activity plan will therefore include:
- A description of the key activities to be undertaken, together with roles and responsibilities (and identification of potential partners / providers), timings, and costs
- Identification of and recommendations for funding support, including that to be provided by Mercy Corps
The exact activities will be confirmed by the consultant, but a suggested outline of activities is:
- Create a plan to describe all activities to be undertaken during the assignment.
- Provide inception report including Literature review/overview of South Sudan micro finance environment.
- Gather and analyze documents before visit
- Conduct a site visit for information gathering, followed by a workshop to sharing key findings from the appraisal and start to create the strategy and business plan
- Prepare and share draft reports and plan
- Share final reports, plans and conduct a handover session with all relevant parties
It is expected that the consultant will spend approximately 5 days in country and a total of 20 days to complete this assignment. The exact level of effort will be determined with the consultant. The assignment is due to start in June and should be completed with the provision of all deliverables by the end of August 2021
The Consultant will report to:
STREAM Program Manager, Country Director (MC South Sudan)
The Consultant will work closely with:
Senior Advisor, Digital and Financial Inclusion
Required Skills and Experience
- 5-10 years of experience in a relevant technical field
- An excellent track record of conducting projects of this nature in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in emerging markets with low financial inclusion rates
- Relevant experience of the microfinance sector in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Excellent analytical ability
- Excellent written and verbal communication, and the ability to work effectively remotely
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.