Consultant, Promoting GESI in Trade and Investment Promotion, Paraguay

Date of Publication: 
12 October 2021
Application Deadline: 
25 October 2021
Cowater International
Brief Description: 

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 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.
Paraguay has been identified by Global Affairs Canada as a priority country for trade technical assistance under the EDM, in the context of the ongoing Canada-MERCOSUR FTA negotiations.  Assistance provided under the EDM is expected to strengthen Paraguay’s capacity to participate in the negotiations, to implement the resulting agreement and to benefit from the opportunities it creates.
Paraguay has achieved impressive economic growth in recent years, and poverty has been reduced by half over the past decade.  Despite these achievements, roughly 20% of the population remains below the poverty line and poverty reduction has slowed.  Further economic growth and poverty reduction depend, in large measure, on increased trade and investment.  The central trade challenges are: to diversify production, by strengthening both the manufacturing and services sectors; move agricultural production higher up the value chain; and improve trade infrastructure, including strengthening border controls to increase tariff revenue and reduce re-exports.  Barriers to foreign investment include an uncertain regulatory environment (principally gaps in the regulatory regime), perceived corruption, and weakness in the judicial system.

Paraguay is committed to improving gender equality and social inclusion.  To that end, it has developed: (a) The National Development Plan 2030 - Axis 1: Poverty reduction and social development; (b) the National Poverty Reduction Plan; (c) the Fourth National Plan for Equality between Women and Men - Axis 3.4 Economic Empowerment; and (d) Agenda 2030, focused on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  Despite these efforts to establish the legal and institutional basis to advance gender equality and social inclusion, women, Indigenous Peoples, and other GESI groups remain underrepresented in the senior ranks of government, business and trade, and face all the classic barriers to participation in the economy.

The Paraguay Ministry of Women’s Affairs, in partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, the Network of Women Entrepreneurs of Paraguay and the Agency for Development and Integration of the Itaipu Region, have requested EDM technical assistance to better integrate gender equality and social inclusion in trade policymaking and to strengthen trade and investment promotion programs and services targeting underrepresented groups. 

The focus of the technical assistance in trade and investment promotion is strengthening export development and investment attraction programs and services targeting micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSME) owned or led by women, Indigenous Peoples, and other underrepresented groups.

Linkage to EDM Performance Measurement Framework
This assistance is consistent with the approved EDM Country Needs Assessment Plan for Paraguay, Mandate 1, Trade Policy Capacity Building, and Mandate 2, Strengthening Trade Promotion.  The assistance is also aligned with the EDM Performance Measurement Framework, Immediate Outcome 1220, increased capacity of partner country ministries, departments, and agencies to expand access to export-oriented economic opportunities for SMEs, particularly those led by women, indigenous or other under-represented groups, and Immediate Outcome 1310, increased abilities among targeted private sector organizations (PSOs) to adapt to and benefit from trade and investment agreements with Canada.

Description of Technical Assistance Request
The consultant(s) will:

  • Compile an inventory of policies and programs established by Canada, the European Commission and EU member states, and Paraguay’s regional trading partners to promote participation in trade and investment attraction by MSME owned or led by women, Indigenous Peoples, and other underrepresented groups.
  • Recommend policy and programs measures that can be taken by Paraguay (ministries and trade support organizations) to support the participation of MSMEs led by women, Indigenous peoples, and other underrepresented groups in trade and investment attraction, including through the development of linkages to domestic, regional and international supply chains.
  • Design a training course, or courses, to be delivered by trade support organizations, to strengthen the capacity of these target groups to develop export markets and attract foreign investment, including exploiting the market access preferences and other provisions of free trade agreements. 
  • Design and deliver a train-the-trainer course to prepare trade support organizations to deliver the training.  The related teaching materials should include a list of additional resources for self-directed learning, including bibliographies, online resources, related training courses, etc.  The training events and teaching materials should be prepared in both English and Spanish versions.  In view of the current travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the train-the-trainer course will be delivered remotely (virtually), either in Spanish or in English with simultaneous interpretation.
  • Provide advice, on a responsive basis and for a short period, to participants in the workshop to answer additional or unresolved questions.

The direct beneficiaries of this assistance are the participating ministries, agencies, and trade support organizations.  The indirect beneficiaries will be the women, Indigenous, and other entrepreneurs who will be assisted under the policies, programs, and services developed with the assistance of EDM technical experts.  
In the near term, the success of this assistance will be measured in the increased knowledge of officials and trade support organizations.  In the longer term, its success will be measured in increased economic activity – including trade and investment – by enterprises owned or led by women, Indigenous Peoples, and other underrepresented groups.

Technical Expert Profile/Expertise Required
Bidders must have extensive knowledge and experience in:

  • Trade and investment policy, including recent developments in the integration of gender equality and social inclusion provisions in trade and investment agreements.
  • Trade promotion and investment attraction policies and programs.
  • Research methods.
  • Understanding of and experience in applying gender equality and inclusive approaches.
  • Adult education.
  • The delivery of technical assistance in developing countries.


  • Starting date: November 15, 2021
  • Proposed duration:  6 months  


  • Mission plans, including a detailed costing and proposed work schedule.
  • Draft outlines of the teaching program, all teaching materials (presentations, case studies, exercises, readings, etc) and written reports.
  • Both draft and final versions of all teaching materials and written reports.
  • Completed EDM Performance Measurement Framework template for the TA, including baseline data and targets against EDM indicators.
  • 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; integration of GESI and environmental considerations within the TA, 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.

Proposal Submission Process

The deadline for submission is October 25th (5 pm EST), 2021.  

For your proposal to be considered, please name your document in the following format:
2.4.1 Paraguay, 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. The proposal that includes the following:
    3. Your approach to implementing this TA, taking into account COVID-related travel restrictions. Provide as much detail as possible. (10 pages maximum)
    4. 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)
    5. Describe your approach to ensuring that environmental components are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery. (1-page maximum)
    6. Outline your project management and monitoring strategy for the implementation of the activities. (3 pages maximum)
    7. 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)
    8. Provide an estimated level of effort (in days @ 7.5 hrs per day) and provide consulting rates (in CAD$) for each proposed personnel and/or expert who will be implementing the project.

Please submit your proposal as a single PDF document through the Cowater Career Page (attach your PDF document under the Cover note, do not upload your resumes separately). Emailed proposals will not be accepted. If you have any questions, please email

About us

    1. With more than 35 years of 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 and 2018. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec; London, United Kingdom; Nairobi, Kenya; and Brussels, Belgium; in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

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