Canadian Government Procurement Specialist

Date of Publication: 
30 September 2020
Application Deadline: 
19 October 2020
Cowater International
Brief Description: 
Job stage: Immediate Opportunity Wage: Commensurate with Experience
Position Type: Consultant, Short Term, Part-Time
Closing On: 10/19/2020
Posted: 09/29/2020
Country: Home based

Technical Expert - Terms of Reference

Technical Assistance (TA) Request: Government procurement provisions of the Canada-Colombia FTA

Expertise Required: Canadian Government Procurement Specialist

Deadline to Apply : October 19th, 2020


Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Expert Deployment Mechanism for Trade and Development (EDM provides technical assistance to Official Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries to maximize the development impacts of trade and investment. Over seven years (2018-2025), EDM will invest CAD $16.5 million to support Canada’s developing country trading partners to negotiate, implement and benefit from and adapt to trade and investment agreements with Canada.

EDM is a demand-driven project that will benefit potential partners – including governments, local private sector groups and local civil society organizations – through capacity building and technical advisory support on policy reform issues that have a high potential to reduce poverty and gender inequalities, and support progress in trade and investment agreement negotiations.

After 50 years of internal conflict, relative peace has brought Colombia steady economic growth. Between 2000 and 2017, GDP grew at an average annual rate of 4.3% and nearly doubled in per capita terms.  This growth can be chiefly attributed to increased security, sound macroeconomic policy and strong global demand for commodities and raw materials.  However, the benefits of this growth have flowed disproportionately to the large urban centers.  The growing disparity between urban and rural socio-economic indicators has caused some observers to speak of “the two Colombias”.

To sustain economic growth and address inequality, Colombia has set out a National Development Plan, which includes commitments to: inclusive growth; a lasting peace by strengthening the regions; support for regional governance and industry associations to deliver services; entrepreneurship; formalization of the economy and labour; investment attraction; streamlining regulation; expanding tourism and trade in services (especially the “orange economy”), improve Colombia’s low productivity (31.5% of OECD average); modernize customs administration; improve logistics and further develop “single window” service to exporters.

The National Development Plan signals a shift in Colombia’s trade strategy from an outward-looking trade negotiations agenda to a more inward-looking focus on increasing domestic competitiveness and the export performance of firms. The Government’s priority on taking advantage of existing trade agreements, instead of negotiating new ones, is a response to the decades’ long decline in the competitiveness of the domestic manufacturing sector. The proposed solution in the NDP is the prioritization of domestic economic reforms, such as the reduction of the cost of doing business and increasing business growth through customs administration and other regulatory reforms, increased transparency in government processes, and helping SMEs increase their capacity to compete domestically and take advantage of existing opportunities in international markets.

A mission to Bogota in March 2020 confirmed Colombia’s priority interest in harvesting the benefits of existing trade agreements – including the 2011 Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement – before advancing further in its trade negotiations agenda – including the Canada-Pacific Alliance FTA.  The mission identified opportunities for technical assistance to more fully implement and benefit from the CCFTA and, in so doing, strengthen Colombia’s readiness for next generation trade agreements.  Among the issues raised was the need to raise awareness of the government procurement provisions of the CCFTA and how to benefit from the market access opportunities created by the Agreement.

Linkage to EDM Performance Measurement Framework 

This technical assistance is aligned with the approved Country Needs Assessment Plan – Colombia, Mandate 3: Benefiting from / adapting to trade and investment agreements.  The specific context for this assistance is the Government Procurement Chapter of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

This assistance is also aligned with the EDM Performance Management Framework, Intermediate Outcome 1300 (Increased access by private sector organizations and civil society – particularly women, indigenous peoples and other under-represented groups – to the benefits of sustainable and inclusive trade and investment agreements with Canada, in EDM partner countries) and Immediate Outcome 1310 (Increased abilities among targeted private sector organizations to adapt to and benefit from trade and investment agreements with Canada).

Description of Technical Assistance Request

ProColombia, the trade, tourism and investment promotion agency of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, has requested expert assistance to increase private sector awareness of the obligations and opportunities created by the government procurement chapter of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) and to strengthen the capacity of trade support organizations to support the export development efforts of Colombian companies.  The anticipated result of the assistance is increased trade through government procurement.

The technical expert(s) will:

  1. Design a training course (translated into Spanish), to be delivered by officials of Colombian trade support organizations (TSOs) to Colombian businesses, on:
    1. the provisions of the government procurement chapter of the CCFTA and the evolution of government procurement obligations in trade agreements, including the increasing incorporation of gender equality and social inclusion considerations;
    2. how the Canadian market for federal government procurement operates and how Canadian laws, regulations, policies and procedures are designed to comply with the obligations and achieve the objectives of the Agreement;
  2. Draft a business guide to the government procurement provisions of the CCFTA and the Canadian government procurement market, to be used in the training delivered by TSOs;
  3. Provide advice on how to identify barriers to the participation of women, Indigenous populations and other underrepresented groups in trade and government procurement, and measures that can be taken to overcome these barriers.
  4. Deliver this training / advice by electronic means to Colombian TSO officials. 

The direct beneficiaries of this technical assistance include the participating officials of ProColombia, industry guilds and associations, regional chambers of commerce and organizations representing women, Indigenous Peoples and other underrepresented groups.  The indirect beneficiaries are the Colombian businesses that will be trained and supported by these trade support organizations.

Technical Expert Profile/Expertise Required 

The technical expert(s) must demonstrate expert knowledge and extensive experience in the following areas:

  1. Government procurement
  2. The Canadian government procurement market
  3. The government procurement provisions of the CCFTA and recent trade agreements
  4. The design of adult education, including distance learning methods
  5. The delivery of technical assistance in developing countries
  6. Capacity to deliver to deliver technical assistance in Spanish is considered an asset
  7. The EDM includes a core focus on gender and social inclusion as well as on environmental issues associated with trade activities. Successful applicants are required to research and integrate specific good and emerging practices in these areas-partnering with other expert consultants if necessary. Any prior experience in the provision of TA on gender equality and social inclusion and environment will be viewed as a strong asset.


Starting date: October 2020

Proposed duration: 6 months


  • A detailed work plan, work schedule and budget for the delivery of activities, taking into account COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
  • Completed EDM Performance Measurement Framework template for the TA, including baseline data and targets against EDM indicators.
  • Training courses and related teaching materials addressing the three training objectives noted above, under Description of Technical Assistance Request.
  • Final Narrative Report on Mandate: Due within 30 calendar days of completion of all TA activities. The report shall describe activities delivered; results achieved (versus initial expected results and baseline); lessons learned of relevance to future EDM activities; and, expenses incurred by the Consultant in carrying out this mandate. This report will be reviewed and approved by EDM prior to being shared with Global Affairs Canada.


For your proposal to be considered, please name your document in the following format:

4.1 Colombia, Consultants Last Name, First Name

(Proposals can be submitted by a single consultant or a consortium of consultants)

Your proposal should contain the following sections:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Proposal that includes the following:
    1. Describe your approach to implementing this TA, taking into account COVID related travel restrictions. Provide as much detail as possible.  (10 pages maximum)
    2. Describe your approach to ensuring that gender equality and social inclusion are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery. (2 pages maximum)
    3. Describe your approach to ensuring that environmental impacts are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery.  (1 page maximum)
    4. Outline your project management and monitoring strategy for the implementation of the activities. (3 pages maximum)
    5. Indicate all personnel who are being proposed to implement this project, their roles and responsibilities. Include all CVs of proposed personnel/experts. (3 pages maximum per CV)
  3. Provide estimated level of effort (in days) and provide consulting rates (in CAD$) for each proposed personnel and/or expert who will be implementing the project.

Please submit your proposal as single PDF file through the Cowater Career Page (here). Emailed proposals will not be accepted.

If you have any questions, please email


With more than 35 years’ experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec and London, United Kingdom, Nairobi, Kenya in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.