Call for National Market System Development Consultant

02 May, 2019


Local Economic Development Project, Albania

Requirement for National Market System Development Consultant


CNVP Albania wishes to recruit a national consultant to support implementation of a Sida-funded project on Local Economic Development (LED). The consultant must have significant experience of market system development (MSD) in Albania and/or the Balkans. The consultant will be responsible for helping to improve existing market systems and value chains for medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), non-timber forest products (NTFPs), and wood/crop biomass products (WCBPs). Based in Tirana, the consultant will be required to travel within Albania. The background to MSD is given in Annex 1.


The national MSD consultant will work with an international MSD consultant to achieve quality results in the following areas:

  1. provide advice concerning how to achieve a sustainable development impact for poor and disadvantaged people through the promotion of financially viable MAP, NTFP and WCBP market system models, working in cooperation with private sector stakeholders in the targeted value chains; this will require the national consultant to:
    1. understand the underlying institutional causes of negative development outcomes, as well as methods of intervening in market systems to achieve poverty reduction on a sustainable basis;
    2. analyse how the existing market system is failing poor people, including rural women and youth, and analyse what is causing the failure;
    3. identify market trends, changes and risks, as well as identify how to adapt interventions that can quickly respond to any change in market conditions;
    4. test hypotheses and learn from experience so that successful activities can be scaled-up whilst unsuccessful activities can be either adjusted or closed down;
    5. develop a monitoring system to provide project management with real-time information with which to improve project performance;
  2. support the implementation of all project training, workshops, pilot activities etc.;
  3. provide coaching to project stakeholders that emphasizes strategic collaboration and behavioural change among market actors;
  4. establish strategic partnerships within the MAP, NTFP and WCBP markets for producers and private sector stakeholders;
  5. work closely with producers’ groups to develop strategies, work plans and interventions that are focused on market systems, and based on market analysis/assessments;
  6. ensure information and lessons learned from project activities are shared with key stakeholders;
  7. contribute to the development of all knowledge transfer materials;
  8. ensure all project activities are implemented on time, including monitoring, evaluation and reporting; and
  9. contribute to meeting the project implementation milestones identified for Year 1.


The national consultant will have at least five years’ experience in:

  1. implementing MSD projects in the Balkans;
  2. creating sustainable development impacts for poor and disadvantaged people, including rural women and youth, through the promotion of financially viable MAP, NTFP and WCBP value chain models;
  3. having an in-depth understanding of at least two of the following: private sector development; approaches to inclusive MSD, including markets for the poor (M4P); enterprise assessment/support; and commercial analysis;
  4. implementing project activities covering rural development, community engagement and social impact assessment, using participatory methods;
  5. developing monitoring systems to provide real-time information for management with which to improve project performance;
  6. designing and delivering knowledge transfer activities, including workshops, training materials, pilot activities etc.; and
  7. being fully computer literate, as well as fluent in Albanian and English languages.


The national consultant will be employed for 113 working days over twelve months from the date of project start-up.


Salary will be competitive with local market rates for national consultants.


Applicants should send a CV and letter of interest (in English) to Janaq Male, CNVP Albania Country Director ( by 17.00 on Friday, 13 May 2019.


Annex 1

Local Economic Development Project, Albania

Background to market system development (MSD)[1]

MSD has emerged as a way to improve the delivery of large‐scale, sustainable development impact to poor and disadvantaged people, including rural women and youth. MSD provides a framework to understand the institutional underlying causes of negative development outcomes, and a method of intervening in market systems to achieve poverty reduction on a sustainable basis. Three important features differentiate MSD from more traditional development approaches:

  1. Facilitation: MSD projects recognise that they are external players, standing outside the market system, the role of which is to stimulate and support changes in the way the market works. By doing this, project results are more likely to be sustainable.
  2. Market system-centric: MSD intervention is based on the identification and analysis of how and why a market system is failing poor people, and understanding what is causing the situation.
  3. Adaptation: MSD projects test hypotheses and learn from experience. Successful activities are scaled-up while unsuccessful interventions are either adjusted or closed down. Monitoring systems are designed to provide real-time information to help management improve project performance.

General rationale for MSD approaches[2]

Proponents of MSD approaches, such as Making Markets work for the Poor (M4P), value chain development, or industrial strategy, argue that poverty can only be reduced sustainably through improvement of the market systems within which poor people live, because markets are the main means through which people participate in economic activity.

Where markets operate in an inclusive manner, they serve the poor by offering them the means – jobs, opportunities, finance, products and services – to increase their incomes. In this context, an important justification for market development is about scale; for example, where development agencies work with a small target group to demonstrate how to overcome market and/or government failures, the incentive to make a profit can lead other businesses to copy positive change on a larger scale. Related to this, sustainability is important. Due to the catalytic nature of interventions, they can improve the way in which a market system functions in the longer term, without the need for the agent of change to remain within the system.

Expected results of programmes targeting markets, sectors or value chains

Examples of market development interventions include: introducing technical assistance to local providers of specialist advice/training for businesses; providing market information; introducing new business ideas and/or technologies; and linking different actors in a value-chain.

Such market interventions are expected to cause targeted beneficiaries/firms to change their behaviour in ways that lead to an increase in turnover and/or productivity/profitability. Where this happens, other firms are expected to copy the behavioural change, thereby increasing the competitiveness and productivity of the whole market.

Poor entrepreneurs are expected to benefit most from increased incomes as market development interventions are targeted on sectors where the poor are concentrated e.g. agriculture and labour-intensive industries. Moreover, where firms increase their productivity/profitability and turnover, they are likely to start employing more people, which would be expected to benefit the poor.